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His Excellency Hans Docter
His Excellency Hans DocterHis Excellency Hans Docter

My Accra: HE Hans Docter

The best places to eat, drink, stay, shop and visit in Ghana according to His Excellency Hans Docter, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands

Written by
Daniel Neilson

Why were you interested in working in Ghana?
I was in Kenya and in fact I got enthusiastic when someone sent me a copy of Time Out Accra. I looked at it and I saw a lot to do. Ghana is also a regional hub, and the Ghanaian people are fun and accomplished.

Has it lived up to expectation?
I was bowled over when I got here. The place has got a vibe and the people have style. There’s a great music scene that mixes cultures – African and European and US influences. There’s an aesthetic to the coastal towns too, such as Winneba, Elmina and Cape Coast, and inland the cultures of the Volta region are interesting. The landscapes of the north are beautiful too, plus the area is now more comfortable to visit.

Where do you take people to eat?
When people come from Holland, I like to visit an Ivorian restaurant that you have in Osu. I prefer the food from French West Africa – I like the style of food but cooked by the Ivorian chefs. There are couple of Ivorian restaurants so you are in touch with street life and with other parts of West Africa. I also like Coco Lounge, and Bread & Wine, but I like the street life the best.

Where do you put up visiting friends?
I like La Villa Boutique. It has a nice style and the pool is good. We tend to prefer the smaller and cheaper hotels, but if there’s a big delegation then we use the Mövenpick or the Holiday Inn. The small boutique hotels have the most charm such as the Pink Hostel, which is simple and clean.

When you want to escape the city where do you go?
I generally go to the beach. Sisimbo and Ko-Sa, just past Elmina, is run by a Dutch couple and has a nice restaurant. It’s an escape and great to interact with the fisherman on the beach and see life going on. Life continues and you are part of it.

What can the Netherlands do to help Ghana?
Growing Together is our slogan. This means that we do business together which is win win for both parties but it also means we grow together socially. Our support for developmentcooperation is in support of this agenda. The Dutch are the third main investor in Ghana and we do a lot of trade together, where Ghana actually exports more to Holland than we to Ghana. There’s a large Ghanaian community in Holland and it’s in our shared interests that the economy grows in trade relations.

Do you listen to Ghanaian music?
Last Saturday I had a visitor and we went to the +233 and after that  drove around. There was a band in the stadium and bands in Osu for the amazing Osu Night Market. There are many places, but I’d like to see a podium in the streets where bands can play to make it as accessible as possible. There’s actually more going on that is captured by Time Out, but there’s still not enough of a community, I hope that Time Out will become that leader.

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