Always giving thanks to God the Father for everything,
in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ
Looking back on it, that evening of 7th March, 2013 opened a great door for me. On that evening, after over two years of searching, applications and interviews, I finally received an email stating that I have been offered a Faculty PhD Studentship Award. I could barely contain my excitement as I imagined the world of academic life awaiting me in Sheffield. As sleep eluded me, I got up around dawn to go running on the beach of Barcelona where I was living at that time, all the time thinking of how my dream of starting a PhD was becoming a reality. It was not long after accepting the offer from Sheffield that I was notified of another PhD Studentship award offer at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia. Torn between a choice of continued sunshine ‘down under’ and a cold wet South Yorkshire, I chose the latter and can now look back on what has been an incredible three years and counting. The many opportunities that have come my way at the University of Sheffield have made this a great academic journey. The culmination of all the ups and downs of my research apprenticeship is partly found in this thesis. For all that I have learnt and experienced as a student, I am most grateful first and foremost to God through Jesus Christ, of whom and through whom I have been blessed with the opportunity, perseverance and determination to successfully complete this research project.
This thesis would not have been possible without the help, encouragement and support of a number of people and institutions. Firstly, I will like to thank the Department of Urban Studies and Planning (née the Department of Town and Regional Planning) for providing me with an intellectual home even when on many occasions I was unsure of my belonging. I am also grateful to the University of Sheffield for the award of a three year Faculty of Social Sciences PhD studentship. In this regard, I am indebted to Steve Connelly for nominating me for the award and making a case on my behalf. I will also like to offer profound thanks to my supervisors Glyn Williams and Tom Goodfellow for giving me room to learn, develop and make mistakes. Thanks for reading through all the drafts of my chapters along the way and offering constructive and detailed feedback. I am grateful to the following senior academics who at various stages provided me with feedback and encouragement on aspects of my work through face to face meetings and over email – Bill Bramwell and the late Dorothea Meyer of Sheffield Hallam University, UK, Chris Rogerson of the University of Johannesburg, South Africa, David Harrison of Middlesex University, UK, and Regina Scheyvens of Massey University, New Zealand.
Over the course of my research, I have had the opportunity to undertake a number of fieldwork visits, attend conferences and engage in research mobility programmes. In March, 2014, I founded the Tourism Research Network (TouRNet) which brings together staff and students with research interest in tourism across the Universities of Leeds, Sheffield and York, and other affiliate universities. I am grateful to the White Rose Doctoral Training Centre for providing the seed funding to kick-start the network through which some of the ideas in this thesis were developed. I am grateful for funding from the Department of Urban Studies and Planning that supported a number of conference attendances and presentations. The Sheffield Institute for International Development (SIID) provided funding for a second fieldtrip to Ghana through its Research Enhancement Fund. An award from the Santander Research Mobility Fund programme at the University of Sheffield funded a research visit to the Department of Geography and Resource Development at the University of Ghana. I also undertook a research visit to the School of Tourism and Hospitality Management at the University of Surrey through an award from the Sheffield Methods Institute Fund. An award from the World Universities Network Research Mobility Programme funded a 6 weeks research visit to the African Centre for Cities based at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. All these research visits provided me with time and opportunity to think, analyse and write this thesis as well as to discuss my work with (senior) colleagues at these institutions.
I will like to acknowledge and extend special thanks to all the people who made time to be interviewed during the two periods of fieldwork in Ghana. This research would not have been possible without your assistance. In particular, I am grateful to Dr. Annah Prah at the University of Cape Coast, Mr. Justice Amoah who is now a Coordinating Director at the Wa Municipal Assembly, and Mr. Ebenezer Ebo Dadzie, a proud citizen of Elmina, based at the desk of the National Commission on Civic Education in the Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abrem Municipal Assembly. I am also indebted to my dear friend George Nana Addo Ofori-Atta for hosting me during my stays in Accra and for our ongoing discussion and debates about governance, politics and national development in Ghana. My thanks go out to my mates and friends in Dunkwa-On-Offin, Kumasi, Accra, Cape Coast and Elmina for making each fieldwork visit feel more like a homecoming. Special mention goes out to ‘Organa Fadas’ Ben and R. Nico for all the visits to the Fufu joint, to Kaku Ackah and ‘Burgga’ Ankomah for the jokes and reminiscing each time I get to Kumasi and Dunkwa-On-Offin, and to Martin ‘Alaska’ in Elmina for the fun times. Enrique Wedgewood Young, a man of the world and whose last known location was in a stately home in Edinburgh deserves a mention for help with proofreading. To the many others who kept asking about the progress of the PhD, I say thanks!
Last but certainly not the least, I wish to acknowledge and thank my ever-supportive family. I am grateful to my parents, A.B. Gyedu and Cece Akua for all the investment in my education. I look forward to being able to tell my mum that I am no longer a student. My deepest gratitude and thanks go to Marre Adu-Ampong, my dear wife without whom this thesis could not have been produced. Thank you for your patience, sacrifice and strength in being a ‘single mother’ for Zoë and Joshua for long stretches of time while I got lost in this research project. I dedicated this thesis to you, Zoë, and Joshua. Maybe one day we can all read through the thesis as a family bedtime story!
Emmanuel Akwasi Adu-Ampong
1st December, 2016