Online dating for ghanaians

Scamming came to be refered to by the Hausa term ‘sakawa’.Headlines warned of “The Sakawa Menace,” and crime movies had titles like “The Dons of Sakawa.” Despite the widespread approbation — even moral panic — a too-weak police and court system in Ghana has left scammers to pursue their gains largely without resistance, Burrell said.“As the Internet was growing and spreading in the US in the mid- to late-90s, Ghana simply didn't have the bandwidth,” Burrell explained.“And it certainly didn't have the public access facilities or Internet cafés that most Ghanaians needed.Burrell tells a story of a burgeoning online friendship between Fauzia, a young Ghanaian woman, and an Egyptian man.While chatting online, Fauzia mentioned “ok, my phone is giving me problems and I will be very grateful if you could send me money to get a better phone or if you could send me a new phone.” After repeating the request, “I didn’t see him online again,” said Fauzia.

This extreme response to the Internet security issue now blocks not only scammers, but also legitimate online activity by Ghanaians.In her research in Ghana, Burrell encountered a number of young non-elite Ghanaians pursuing another approach to the Internet’s promise of prosperity: online scamming.The most familiar example may be the so-called “419” email scam.When Burrell began studying the youth Internet culture in Accra, Ghana, in the early years of the 21st century, she found a widely-shared fixation on making foreign connections and specifically on possibilities for travel overseas.Although Ghana’s elite already had Internet access and international connections, the more widespread availability of public Internet cafés provided the first opportunity for many ordinary Ghanaians — especially youth — to interact with the wider world.

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