By Ethel Cofie
Entrepreneur Ethel Cofie runs EDEL Technology Consulting, a digital transformation and IT consulting firm, and founded Women in Tech Africa, the continent’s largest professional group for women working in technology. It has members from more than 30 countries.
My favourite view in Accra is from the lobby of the Golden Tulip hotel. Combining my roles usually drags me from one meeting to another. In order to keep up with the pace, I tend to use public spaces not only as places to relax but also to meet like-minded people, potential clients and to people watch.
I spend up to five hours a week sitting in the lobby of the Golden Tulip watching how people interact with their technological devices, mainly because I build software and consult on digital transformation. An understanding of a typical African’s interaction with technology is fascinating to me.
A large number of people meet at and work from the Golden Tulip. It is always lovely to eavesdrop on the conversations — the anger, the frustration and the celebratory moments remind of me of the ups and downs in life. I always choose a seat with a view of the pool as it provides me with the sense of work and play at the same time.
Where to live
I live in West Legon, which is 13km north of the city centre. I would recommend it for anybody who wants to live away from the centre of town in a nice, expanding residential area. It does not have many serviced apartments or hotels, but it does have a good number of houses. It’s relatively quiet and that’s what I love about it.
Where to eat breakfast
I usually have my breakfast in my home gym after a workout, but once in a while I go out. I love the set-up at Peduase Valley Resort, which is about half an hour from the capital, with beautiful lush greenery and a petting zoo.
Peduase lodge has a good mix of local and continental dishes. I love that they have plantain and kontomire (a spinach-like vegetable) as well as waffles on the table.
Where to drink cocktails
I love sipping cocktails at Skybar 25 after a hard day’s work. It’s small and exclusive, so you always have to call and book a table. Admittedly, Skybar is a clichéd name for a bar at the top of a high-rise building, but there is a lot of variety in the scenery and it gives you an amazing view from what might be one of the highest points in Accra. It is a great place to watch planes taking off and landing at the airport, as well as the night-time traffic.
Where to relax
The Coco Lounge restaurant at Stanbic Heights gives me a view of Airport City Accra and the hustle and bustle of the traffic when people are leaving work. At night, there is a beautiful array of lights zipping across as you look down. The food is great — a little pricey, but worth it.
Their coco chips, tilapia rolls and coco starter combo does a good job of taking local foods such as tilapia and cocoyam and making them continental.
Where to discover music and culture
+233, a jazz bar and grill, has a live band six days a week. The bar is designed to host multiple bands per night, with a small stage upstairs and a large terrace. It boasts of hosting musical legends such as Bessa Simons from Osibisa, the Ghanaian Afrobeat band, and many contemporary Afropop artists.
Where to spend time outdoors
The beaches across Keta, a town in Ghana’s Volta region, are vast and beautiful — a great place to run and commune with the sea. It’s two hours east of the city by car, and quiet and secluded because it’s not a well-known tourist location. It is a place to be quiet with oneself, to rethink and re-strategise.
Photographs: Emmanuel Bobbie; Howard Denner/ Photoshot/Getty Images; Rene Mayorga.