Not long ago when internet came to Ghana, it was limited to the elite. Barely a handful of people knew about it and could surf. The main use of the internet at the time for most of these Ghanaian folks was emailing and reading of news.
Now, every nook and cranny in Accra you find internet cafés and Ghanaians as young as 7 years surfing. It’s only amazing that you find children from a third world country surfing the internet for information and learning new things. Some of them even have email addresses and have made a lot of friends from other countries. By 2005, the Internet Relay Chat (IRC) system was popular amongst the youths of Ghana particularly those living in the capital city, Accra.
When the chatting system became another significant aspect of the internet for them, it was mostly limited to yahoo and MSN but now, you find downloads of numerous chat software on their computers.
Ghanaians became more and more interested in the internet when online dating hit the core of their hearts. Tens of hundreds of Ghanaians have found their dream partners online and are happily married. Some date online for fun, long term relationship and marriage purposes.
Initially some Ghanaians thought that, only women who were not getting attention from men would go on the internet, advertising themselves for attention and vice versa but the mentality has changed of late.
One major reason that can be attributed to the change in mentality is the exposure Ghanaians gained from foreign dating websites where you find responsible adults posting their ads to seek romantic relationships and the like. There has also been a growing number of whites seeking to marry Ghanaians or blacks on the whole.
The Ghanaian Internet Dating started with the concept of whites or singles living abroad seeking Ghanaians and that has been the trend until now. Internal online dating is very minimal. There are a few reasons for that; there hasn’t been any special website dedicated to Ghanaians which provides purely dating services in the past but thanks to http://www.Ghanasinglesnet.com, which has been described as the fastest growing Ghanaian Dating website and the nation’s number one. In the first two weeks of launching the beta stage of the website and with little or no advertisement, there were more than two hundred registered members, 75% resident Ghanaians, 20% non-resident Ghanaians and 5% other singles. The statistics tells of Ghanaians’ readiness to welcome the website which provides 100% free dating services for Ghanaians.
Online dating services in Ghana have also witnessed a few setbacks which I think are worth considering. The first and foremost is scam or scamming. Cases where men or women fake up their profiles for fraud purposes are very rampant.
Another setback is the method of payment for online dating services. Mostly the foreign websites accept credit cards and the like which are not common in Ghana. This is a hindrance because even if they join a pay dating website, they would not enjoy all the features of the website, in most cases you cannot initiate a contact or send a message at all. This is why the only online dating website dedicated to Ghanaians; http://www.ghanasinglesnet.com was made free for all.
When it started, Ghanaians in Diaspora and foreigners had immense confidence and trust in Ghanaians seeking a foreign partner but frequent and rampant fraudulent activities have deteriorated the trust.
The situation is even worse when men disguise themselves as women and use photos of models to defraud their victims.
The team behind the website said that, they will do anything technologically possible to get rid of such members on their website. Steps like this can help curb the menace and rebuild the trust foreigners once had in Ghanaian singles.
However, the number of Ghanaians dating online is increasing every day in and day out. There are a lot of real Ghanaians who are seeking for love and do not disguise themselves. Internal online dating is growing as well and Ghanaians are getting to understand that; you may join a dating website for fun, friendship, long term relationships, casual dating and even marriage. Wherever you fit is a matter of choice.