The Story of our Buddy Bear


In the outfit of a “Borga”, the Embassy’s Buddy Bear represents a unique example of mutual inspiration and cultural cooperation between Ghana and Germany.

Highlife Music, Borgas and a Minister at the German Embassy
Borga, the German Ghanaian Buddy Bear© German Embassy Accra

Buddy Bears are a symbol of tolerance and understanding across borders. The cheerful bears, all individually designed by international artists, have won the hearts of Millions of people in Germany and abroad.

With our “Borga” we want to emphasize the strong ties that exist between our two countries Ghana and Germany, the German Ambassador explained during the unveiling ceremony in February 2016.

In the design of the bear, the Ghanaian artist Adwoa Amoah gave her own interpretation of the Ghanaian German relationship. The bear tells the story of Ghanaian Highlife musicians who moved to European countries and especially to Germany in the seventies and early eighties of the last century. In Germany the Ghanaian musicians played and collaborated with German musicians and created a new exciting music mix which came to be known as Burger Highlife. The new music style brought with it a special subculture, fashion and identity for the immigrants. It is seen as a German music style but it has its roots in the Ghanaian highlife music and stimulated the development of Ghanaian music, as many musicians returned to Ghana and continued to develop their music style here.

In the outfit of a “Borga”, a locally corrupted word for “Burger” which refers to returnees especially from Germany, the Embassy’s Buddy Bear represents this unique example of mutual inspiration and cultural cooperation.

Highlife Music, Borgas and a Minister at the German Embassy
The artist Adwoa Amoah and the highlife and afro-pop musician Pat Thomas© iCAPTURE MULTIMEDIA
Adwoa Amoah is a Ghanaian artist who lives and works in Ghana. She received her BFA from the College of Art, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi in 2003. Her work is primarily painting, but occasionally experiments with installations and photography which extends her language of expression to reflect contemporary situations.

She is currently the Co-Director of the Foundation for Contemporary Art, Ghana.

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