Giving Christmas hampers is a UK tradition, apparently. At least I think that is where urban Ghanaians got it, Ghana being a former British colony – The Gold Coast. In any case, it is a tradition in urban areas to give a Christmas hamper to each of your friends. Businesses give them to customers, suppliers and partners. We see them in the stores, place prominently near the checkout lanes – baskets full of canned milk, sparkling juices, cookies and other goodies. They can be expensive, easily reaching 150 cedis, or about $70. Some are quite a bit more expensive than that. Apparently there are people and businesses in Accra whose income allows them to purchase and give away a number during the Christmas season.
Apparently, government offices got into the tradition as well. A nice hamper for one’s boss might help your career. Then some offices started using public funds to purchase the hampers. The President of Ghana has responded by banning government offices from using public funds to purchase hampers for gifts. He has said that any official caught doing so will have his or her pay docked for the amount plus a surcharge.
Good leadership at the top. I like it.