Wednesday, 22 December 2010

BarCamp Ghana 2010

I attended BarCamp Ghana 2010 last Saturday,18th December, hosted by Ashesi University College. In true barcamp fashion, there were event enabled tremendous learning and networking opportunities, while showcasing a special urge by Ghana's youth to "create dreams, work smart and shape the future." This post explores five high points made more evident by the just ended BarCamp.

Focus on breakout sessions
The idea of an exclusive "breakout session barcamp" was experimented, cutting out keynote and panel discussions. Subject matter experts were integrated into the various breakout sessions to enrich discussions in those groups. I attended breakout sessions on citizen journalism, sustainable development and blogging. All of these sessions were intense and engaging, allowing for cross-fertilisation of diverse opinions and ideas. One session I missed was "telling the African story", whose key discussion point was whether there was really something like a positive African story or not. Fellow blogger Nana Fredua Agyeman has written an emotional post on the subject.

Farida Bedwei: succeeding in the face of the most-daunting adversity
When we encounter difficulties and problems, we often lose steam and are thrown off the course of our goals. We succumb to temporary setbacks, while wishing adversity was never part of the equation. The same cannot be said of Farida Bedwei, software engineer and writer. She is joyously making the most of life amidst physical, social and psychological exertions of cerebral palsy, a medical condition that leaves many throwing their hands up in despair. Farida facilitated breakout sessions on women in ICT and neurological disorders at #bcghana; her story challenges all of us to rise above whatever challenges lie in our path and live life to our optimal ability.

Blogging and social media on the rise
The blogging breakout session, coordinated by Oluniyi Ajao of GhanaBlogging, unsurprisingly seemed to be the toast of this year's barcamp as it recorded probably the highest attendance. Blogging success tips from Oluniyi, MacJordan, Nii Ayertey, Ebenezer Gwumah, Nina Chachu and others were shared. Design, consistency, relevance and focus are some of things needed to be successful in blogging. One thing I picked up though was "Yes, you can make money from blogging in Ghana", and that is truly heartwarming. The high turnout shows jut how important individuals in Ghana is attaching to social media. Local companies have no choice but to follow suit shortly. Perhaps an exclusive blogging and social media event/workshop should be put together soon to showcase what social media can do for all aspects of our lives.

Sustainable development is the way to go for Africa
D.K. Osseo-Asare's presentation of the Anam City project, Anambra State, Nigeria, was truly brilliant, and brought to the fore key questions surrounding the notion of a perfect city and how humans and their environment can live side by side. Deploying the Rurban model, which promotes a balance between ecology, technology and sociology in community building, Anam City is set to inspire similar schemes in Africa and the world at large if it works the way D.K. and his colleagues.

Virtual connections extends to real life and real life goes virtual
Repping at BarCamp Ghana were most of the active bloggers and tweeps on the local social scene. The list is exhaustive but linking up with the likes of @ebengwumah, @Delalorm, MissYayraTayDB, @kafuiday, @niyyie, @ttaaggooee, @MacJordan, @nii_ayertey, @donaldiaba, @nanawireko, @jefferyboye, @Abocco, @florencetoffa, @ajoaofoe, @dotkwame, @osarpong, @freduagyeman, @reggesegge, @DaisyAmmaBaffoe, @niiadjeisowah, @D41XY and @iJojoo is definitely worth the time!

The mood whipped up by this year's BarCamp is one of optimism, motivation and action. One can only understand the positive effects of these events through participation. This tweet from @reggesegge sums it all up:

There's somethg abt these #bcGhana events. If u haven't attended any, u'll not understand é +ve 'transformations/resolutions' I'm talkng abtless than a minute ago via HootSuite

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

BarCamp Ghana Goes to Ashesi

BarCamp Ghana, the unconference that's been inspiring entrepreneurship and innovation among Ghana's youth, will be held at Accra's Ashesi University this Saturday, 18th December, 2010.

This year's event comes off after successful regional BarCamps at Kumasi, Accra and Takoradi. The day's deliberations will be under the theme "Create dreams, work smart and shape the future." BarCamp Ghana therefore puts together all the positive discussions on youth entrepreneurship and innovation we've been having since September.

Ashesi promises to be a fitting host for BarCamp Ghana as they're focused on raising entrepreneurial leaders of the highest quality for Africa and the world. Ashesi are ardent BarCamp champions- they've demonstrated this through active involvement of their students and faculty, and by sponsoring the event.

The structure of this year's BarCamp Ghana takes a break from previous years' format, with more emphasis on breakout sessions, to unleash the true BarCamp experience. Resource persons have been drawn from across industry segments to enrich the discussions. They include Bernard Avle of CITI 97.3 FM, Leila Djansi of Turning Point Pictures, Oluniyi Ajao Solomon Adu-Atefoe of Agric Development Bank, Golda Addo of Energy Solutions Froundation, Mohamed Amin Adam of Publish What You Pay, Philip Gamey of Web & Software, DK Osseo-Asare of Anamcity, Paul Tenejou of ROI-MOB-Lang and Ronke Ampiah of Smiles for Christmas.

To register to attend, please visit the registration page at eventbrite. Also contact the BarCamp team through the same page if you're interested in sponsoring or organising a breakout session.

BarCamp Ghana 2010 is proudly sponsored by Ashesi University College, Vodafone Ghana, Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology, GhanaThink Foundation, Google Ghana, Mobile Web Ghana, Fie.nipa, Worldwide Web Foudnation and NandiMobile. Our media sponsors are CITI FM, Radio Univers, ModernGhana, GhanaBlogging, Sunlight Radio America, The New Ghanaian and Skyy Digital. Customer support and feedback services can be accessed via 020-1500033. Be there!

Monday, 15 November 2010

Spotlight Takoradi: BarCamp and The Emerging Oil Industry

Takoradi is one of the biggest towns in Ghana. It is host to the oldest of the country's functioning commercial ports, and together with its twin-city, Sekondi, forms one of the most bustling and vibrant social and commercial centres in Ghana. Sekondi-Takoradi is capital of the Western Region, an area not only rich in forest and mineral resources, but also in awesome tourist attractions and well-developed beaches. There is an active fishing community there too. Find more on the official Sekondi-Takoradi website.

Takoradi has always been a good place to do business in Ghana. With the development of the country's new oil industry, there is every indication that the metropolis has become a bee-hive of intense activity, as many multinational companies plot, strategise and scramble to gain control of the black gold. Questions have been raised with regards to safeguarding the interests of the people of the Western Region and Ghana at large. That is a charge to keep by all stakeholders.

Oil is not the only exciting thing happening in Takoradi at the moment. BarCamp is going there too. BarCamps are known to provide collaboration and networking platforms for people interested in business and other endeavours. Specifically, BarCamp Takoradi aims at catalysing networking among local business people, while showcasing opportunities available in the oil industry. The keyword here is COLLABORATION. There will be great speakers such as Nana Kobina Nketsia, Amos Anyimadu and Wilson Arthur. If you're interested in attending, register online and show up at Takoradi Technical Institute(TTI) on 27th November, 2010.

This year, successful regional BarCamps have been held in Kumasi and Accra, but BarCamp Takoradi comes with its own excitement. Firstly, Takoradi offers a refreshing alternative to Accra and Kumasi as venue for events of this nature. Secondly, it'd be interesting observe the discussions that go on concerning the oil and the opportunities that will be identified and exploited thereof. I hope BarCamp's coming to Takoradi will breed local entrepreneurial and innovative success stories that would be showcased as proof for continuation of this great project. Tsoboi!

Monday, 1 November 2010

Da Young Entrepreneur TV Show

Starting from 3rd November 2010, a new TV programme will be available to Ghanaian viewers. The Young Entrepreneur will be aired on Skyy Digital's Knowledge TV, from 8 pm to 9pm, to viewers in Greater Accra, Eastern, Western, Central and Ashanti regions.

Believing that grassroots businesses should be at the heart of the Brand Ghana initiative, the show's formulators aim to:

  • Encourage entrepreneurship among young Ghanaians since it is a sure way to address the issue of unemployment, national development and economic liberation.
  • Provide a platform for educating the young Ghanaian about running businesses and the opportunities that abounds in our country.
  • Showcase young businesses with the potential of making it in industry so as to expose them to potential customers and investors.
Da Young Entrepreneur show has two carefully crafted segments to achieve these aims:

Mentoring: This segment features a successful business person who will equip viewers with enough information of the business terrain as well as the right approach to achieving their goals.

Entrepreneur Showcase: this segment features young Ghanaians who are running legitimate money making projects and businesses. This will motivate many other young entrepreneurs who are determined to succeed in the business world.

Da Young Entrepreneur is a brainchild of iROKKO Concepts, a brand management and marketing company, and Skyy Digital TV. It will be hosted by Donald Diaba, who is the CEO of iROKKO Concepts.

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Thursday, 28 October 2010

Google Baraza: Building African Web Content

It is often challenging to find relevant African content on the web as very few people on the continent are active on the Internet. The problem, really, is that the Internet is not readily accessible to potential active users. In a previous blog post, I mused about the difficulty of finding relevant Ghanaian content on the web.

This may soon be a thing of the past as Google has launched a new Question and Answer website aimed at gathering African content dubbed Google Baraza. This website is great since it gives you the opportunity to ask for any information that you cannot find through regular search. If you're an expert in a particular field, you can also answer the pressing questions of other Baraza users, to the benefit of the entire community. To effectively use the tool, you can subscribe to certain labels or direct your questions to specific subject matter experts. Google rewards active Baraza users by giving them points, which enables them to rise in reputation ranking.

I've played with Baraza a little. Yesterday, I posed a question: "which radio station in Ghana has the best educational content?" A couple of Baraza users are offering useful suggestions, and it looks like a tight race. Some people are also asking really interesting questions on Baraza such as "why does Africa still lag behind despite all the resources it is endowed with?" and "where can I get dog meat Khebab in Accra?" Haha. There's room for everyone on Baraza. :). All the questions asked and their respective answers are searchable using the main Google search engine. Hopefully, it should be searchable through other search engines.

Baraza is not the only Q & A site from Google. They have similar products for Russian and Arabic speakers. Also, Aadvark reported recently that they have joined Google. They are really doing well to get content from everywhere onto the web so that it is made available to all.

This evening, from 6:30 pm at AITI-KACE, GhanaBlogging and Google will be hosting a networking event to discuss Google Baraza and local content with a cross-section of Ghana's Internet community. This is amazing opportunity for people to explore ways through which they can contribute to web content and the benefits therein.

Google Baraza is a welcome solution to the dearth of local content in Africa. Try it for yourself and get your questions answered!

Friday, 15 October 2010

Blog Action Day- Solving Water Issues Through Adaptive Technology and Policy

Clean drinking water...not self-evident for ev...Image via Wikipedia
Today is Blog Action Day 2010, and bloggers all over the world are uniting to advocate for the provision of clean water to people all over the world. Earlier in the year, I highlighted on some problems associated with using water on World Water Day. Water has very extensive applications in transport, chemical industry, energy and agriculture. However, we realise it's full importance only when we recall that our bodies need to be hydrated in order run the delicately complex processes that culminate into life. With lifestyle trends worldwide swiftly drifting towards technology, it's becoming clearer that sustainable water use is imperative now more than ever. Countries, non-profits, corporations and individuals are taking interesting steps to ensure that water is available for drinking for us and the future generations.

We often underestimate the extent of our water consumption

In a piece, titled the coming clash between water and energy, IEEE spectrum Inside Technology presents clear statistical evidence to buttress our deep thirst for water. To quote one paragraph:
Robert Osborne, an enterprising water blogger, calculates that a single Google search takes about half a milliliter of water. Just a few drops, really. But the 300 million searches we do a day take 150 000 liters. That’s a thousand bathtubs of water to power the data centers that handle the world’s idle curiosity. We challenge you to find an activity more trivial than a search engine query.
With increasing use of modern technological gadgets in Africa, we run the risk of powering our beloved toys at the expense of drinking water for the majority of our population. Note that majority of people in both urban and rural Ghana lack access to good drinking water.

However, there are some interesting solutions that could solve the situation

In the United states cities such as San Francisco, Salt Lake City and Minneapolis have taken steps to cut spending on bottled water. The rationale is to cut down on petroleum, carbon emissions and waste, while protecting the ecological resources of the areas where spring water is mined.

Perhaps, countries in West Africa can take a cue from this, and restrict the use of bottled and pure (sachet) water, as we lack the capacity to recycle plastic containers. If we can drastically reduce the cost of water consumption in the city, the money saved could be pushed into rural water projects.

Singapore's approach is rather awe-inspiring. They actually convert toilet water into drinking water. Forcing waste water through filters under high pressure, Singapore's water utility was able to rid waste water of impurities and microbes, achieving water purity higher than other processes. A side benefit is a reduction in energy costs. This is the extent to which countries that lack natural water resources go in order to quench the thirst of their citizens.

We do not need to use toilet water in Ghana as we're blessed with lots of water bodies. Let's also deploy technology relevant to our needs to solve our water shortage problems once and for all.
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Friday, 1 October 2010

Retail Tower: Ghana Web Start-up Offering Product Distribution and Monitoring

The availability of tons of e-commerce sites means that on-line merchants would like to explore business opportunities available on multiple platforms/websites. However,managing product information distribution and retail monitoring proves to be a daunting task for small to middle-scale merchants as they lack online tools to manage their multi-channel transactions. Enter Ghana software start-up RetailTower, previously written about by Emeka Okafor.

RetailTower is an online multi-channel management service built for online merchants. The service offers seamless integration with existing ecommerce solutions, shopping comparison engines, and online transactional marketplaces to provide a cost-effective and one-stop platform for online merchants to submit product feed, optimize and manage their products on shopping destination platforms such as; Google base, Shopzilla, Pricerunner, and pricegrabber.

Deploying a web application with well-tailored features, the RetailTower team aims to craft a solution that is simple, comprehensive and has seamless integration with shopping cart software.

RetailTower is still in development and is an exciting initiative for a West African start-up whose eyes are on the USA market. The start-up team emerges from MEST just like NandiMobile and Leti Games, which were previously covered.

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Wednesday, 29 September 2010

BarCamp Accra is on Saturday!

The much awaited BarCamp Accra 2010 is finally here and I'm really excited about it. BarCamp Accra will be hosted by MEST this Saturday, 2nd October. This year's event themed, "creating wealth and employment in a challenging environment", is aimed at strengthening the capacities of Accra's young people to translate environmental difficulties into business opportunities.

One novelty of BarCamp Accra is Start-up Bazaar, an exhibition of products and services of registered start-ups, with emphasis on core competences that they can offer to other young companies at very affordable rates. This is a really ingenious way of harnessing the collective power of some of Accra's young entrepreneurs.

We're really blessed to have quality speakers and panelists for Saturday:Yoofi Grant (Databank), Estelle Akofio-Sowah (Google), Richard Anim (Richard Anim and Associates), Eve Andersson (Google), Esi Ansah (Ashesi University and Axis Human Capital), Derrydean Dadzie (DreamOval), Emmanuel Dogbevi (Ghana Business News) and Esi Cleland (AfroChic). Check out their profiles at the event website.

There's something else to be excited about!

Mawuli Sikanku of Tutamee has designed a wonderful Accra-themed flyer for BarCamp. Over a Google map of Accra, he's spelt out clearly the main focus of BarCamp Accra: youth, Accra, entrepreneurship and innovation. Check it out for yourself!

Finally, the BarCamp Accra team has released a Video rallying everybody in Accra to be part of a day of idea-sharing, discussions and fun!

From my last check, there are only 33 tickets left on eventbrite, so if you've not registered please do so now.

Learn more about BarCamp Accra 2010:


See you there!

Monday, 27 September 2010

Open Source and Global Health Unconference Held in Accra

Last week, from 20th to 24th September, a special unconference, aimed at improving the deployment of Health Informations Systems (HIS) in West Africa, using open source technology, was hosted in Ghana. I first learnt about the conference through a post on Intra Health Intenational's website. This is a great example of how technology can be applied to a pertinent area of development. The training was held at Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence in InformationCommunication Technology (AITI-KACE).

What happened at the Unconference?

Assessment of the need to use local adaptations of technology in healthcare

Training in the deployment and customisation of open source tools for healthcare

Formation of a regional collaborative network

Reading through the reports coming in from the event, I got the impression that it was well attended and very educative. Hopefully, we'll see some improvements in the area of information management in healthcare as this is crucial to the overall progress of the healthcare system itself. Big thanks to West African Health Organization (WAHO), WHO, the University of Oslo, Health Metrics Network (HMN) and the CapacityPlus project for putting this together.
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Wednesday, 22 September 2010

A Man-on-the-Street View on the Progress of the MDGs Part II

Yesterday, I reviewed the first three goals of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) from a lay man's perspective. Here's my analysis of the rest of the goals:

4. Reduce child mortality
From what I've read in the news and some reports, global under-five mortality has reduced significantly over the past 10 years. Child health campaigners herald a dramatic dip in deaths caused by measles for example. I agree that this achievement must be applauded, but a close look around one's environment reveal some disparities. Reduction in child mortality appears to be the preserve of a few countries. There are also obvious demographic gaps in the rate of progress- child mortality is improving in urban centres while the same rate of progress is not happening in rural areas. Further, even in urban communities, there are great disparities between the wealthy and the not-so-wealthy.

5. Improve maternal health
More women are having access to antenatal and postnatal clinics; this is bringing maternal mortality down and boosting the overall well being of pregnant women and lactating mothers. What is questionable however is whether these women have the quality care that they deserve. I say this because the numbers of doctors, nurses and public health workers lag behind that of an escalating global population. There is very little emphasis on the quality of health of new mothers compared with the urgency attached to keeping them alive. Another problem is the increasing rate of unsafe abortions and poor family planning practices, a situation the medical system is failing to resolve due to obvious differences with local cultures of many developing nations. This oft-ignored point must be addressed by health policy thinkers when they're formulating strategies to improve maternal health.

6. Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
The global fight against infectious diseases has achieved mixed results. For example, parts of sub-Saharan Africa is experiencing a decline in HIV/AIDs infection whilst Eastern Europe is reported to be experiencing a resurgence. Anti-retroviral drugs are also out of the reach of poor people in many countries. Progress in rolling back malaria worldwide has also been reported to improve, but the long queues at rural health centres indicate that more needs to be done. Many children still present at clinics with the most complicated forms of cerebral malaria, resulting in death. The fight against malaria must now take an innovative twist. There must also be a careful watch of the global pandemic situation as mutating forms of old bugs re-emerge to wreck havoc on the human species. I don't get the feeling that we're being cautious enough.

7. Ensure environmental sustainability
There's no gainsaying that the survival of future human generations on the planet depends on how sustainably we exploit the environment's resources. Climate science remains controversial, and even when certain facts are proven, global appear to lack the political will to take decisions for the overall good of the planet. The inconclusive climate change talks, COP 15, held in Denmark recently is a case in point. Back home in Ghana, there's a lot of work to be done on the environment. Our cities remain littered with rubbish from polythene bags, while our forests are getting depleted by the day. While we have not mastered dealing with the environmental requirements of our mining industry, our nascent oil and gas industry presents a new challenge.

8. Develop a global partnership for development
There seems to be lot of interest worldwide in the affairs of developing countries now more than ever. In 2005, in Gleneagles, Scotland, leaders of the G-8 countries came out with Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative (MDRI) to implement the call for canceling debt owed by poor nations. There have been other aid schemes all aimed at taking advantage of the international infrastructure to bring development to developing countries. Does the man on the street feel the impact of all the donor money coming to Africa? No! It has been argued that unfavourable conditionalities, corruption and mismanagement erode aid money as quickly as it comes. In spite of incessant calls for more trade globally, the markets of the developed world remain difficult to penetrate, due to extremely demanding regulations. The rules of global engagement are heavily tipped in the favour of the big guns such that smaller nations feel voiceless and have no sense of real power. If we are to guide international relations in a way so as to engender development, poor countries too must be given a voice in matters of global community!

To sum it all up, the statistics may point to some success in the attainment of the UN's MDGs. While this is noteworthy, what should concern world leaders is how these statistics reflect in the lives of everyday people. As it stands, it looks like more has to be done than is currently thought
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Tuesday, 21 September 2010

A Man-on-the-Street View on the Progress of the MDGs

Yesterday, I missed out on TEDxAccra, one of the TEDxChange events being organised worldwide to mark the 10th anniversary of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). I followed TEDxAccra through tweets from Oluniyi, Daisy, MacJordan and a few other people who were present at the event. While waiting for reviews from the event's attendees, I'd like to share my man-on-the-street views on the MDGs.

So what are the Millennium Development Goals?
The MDGs are eight broad goals, to be reached by 2015, set by the United Nations (UN), to address the issues of poverty, illiteracy, poor quality of health, gender inequality and environmental degradation a global scale. Each goal has set targets as well as indicators for measuring progress. Former UN Chief Mr Kofi Annan, writing in yesterday's issue of Ghana's most popular newspaper, The Daily Graphic, sums up the importance of these eight goals thus:
There is no doubt that the eight Millennium Development Goals and their framework of accountability have served the world well. They have not only provided a much-needed sense of direction to national plans and international cooperation-they have also delivered measurable results. we have seen primary school enrollment rates double in Ethiopia and Tanzania and countries like Malawi and Algeria transform themselves from food importers to food exporters.
Have they really impacted significantly on the man on the street?
Let's go through the goals one-by-one to find out:

1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
The working definition of poor is living on less than a dollar a day, making this goal seem trivial. But that is not the case. Wars in areas such as Darfur, Sudan, Somalia and other parts of Africa have ensured that no real progress has been made in the area of poverty reduction. Even in countries such as Ghana, where statistics have been showcased to indicate phenomenal success in poverty reduction, massive graduate unemployment abounds. How can there be development when those who are supposed to develop into leadership positions are themselves wallowing in the quagmire of unemployment and hence poverty.

2. Achieve universal primary education
As indicated by Mr Annan's submission primary education is now more widely available to more children than before. In Ghana, introduction of programmes such as Capitation Grant, School Feeding, distribution of free school uniforms and books, among others, has incentivised many children to come knocking on school doors. But is high school attendance at the basic level the only answer to combating the looming threat of illiteracy? What consideration is being given to the quality of teaching in schools? Specifically, what is being done about primary 6 pupils who are unable to make simple sentences in the English Language or are learning ICT without access to even the most basic devices? Is only primary education enough for the youth of developing countries?

3. Promote gender equality and empower women
Female enrollment in educational institutions has been increasing steadily, with women enjoying preference over men, in what is called "affirmative action", for admissions to higher educational institutions. In this way, women are now better equipped for good-paying jobs that will enable them to contribute greatly to their family's upkeep. However, in Ghana and many developing nations, women are still largely at the backstage when it comes to political leadership, although the mass media has been vociferous about the merits of electing female leaders. There's also not much to be said for violence against women as this unfortunate incidence keeps rearing its ugly head in our country's families.

To Be Continued...

What do you know about the MDGs? Do you think some progress has been made with respect to their implementation? What should be done in order to speed up their implementation? Should they be scrapped completely? Speak your mind!

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Press Release for Software Freedom Day 2010

This press release below is from AITI-KACE concerning the upcoming Software Freedom Day Celebrations in Ghana

Celebrating Software Freedom Day 2010 in Ghana!

We are proud to announce that the Ghana-India Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence in ICT (AITI-KACE) in collaboration with the FLOSSInclude Project will again be hosting a special event on Saturday, September 18th under the theme “Knowing the alternative software solutions”. The venue for this year's celebrations is the AITI-KACE premises and the time is 9:30 – 15:00. This is the biggest international celebration and outreach event for Software Freedom globally involving hundreds of teams from all around the world.

In an increasingly digital age, more and more of our everyday experiences depend upon software. Software influences how we interact with each other, enjoy different media, get paid, and even navigate our roads. Software underpins our very way of life, our basic freedoms such as freedom of association, freedom of thought, freedom of choice and much more, yet many people do not realize the importance and influence of software and other technologies on their lives.

What do we mean by Software Freedom? Software Freedom is about a technology future that we can trust, that is sustainable, and that doesn't negatively impact on the basic human freedoms we take for granted. For instance, spyware is a software that monitors what we listen to, our banking details and who we email. This software can be installed on our computers without our knowledge. Proprietary data formats can mean lockout to accessing your own information! Software Freedom can be maintained by transparent systems (such as Free and Open Source Software - FOSS) that are based on open, secure and sustainable standards including data formats and communications protocols.

Software Freedom Day is a yearly celebration of Software Freedom and why it is important; our purpose is public education about these important issues which we believe will eventually ensure that all barriers to the use and deployment of software are eliminated.

The AITI-KACE and its partners have been celebrating Software Freedom Day for a number of year and we have had many members of the general public and IT Community participate through the doors. We would like those that have attended or are attending for the first time to bring a friend along. Share with us the possibilities. Come and see demonstrations of open source software to suit just about every usage that you might think of. Take home some ideas, and CDs/DVDs full of software that you can use straight away.

People in the Eastern Region of Ghana can also join the Computer Science Department at the Koforidua Polytechnic to celebrate the day.

AITI-KACE is located near Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ), adjacent to the Council of State Building on 2nd Avenue, Ridge, Accra.

Members of the media are invited to cover the event.

Contacts : Fred Yeboah - Tel 0302 679542-4 or e-mail:
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Monday, 13 September 2010

Nandimobile: Ghana Start-up Empowering Connections Through Mobile Phones

The business climate in Africa is plagued with complaints about poor customer service. While frustrated customers rave and rant about how inattentive their service providers are, the concerned companies themselves are often overwhelmed with the headache of attending to the massive demands of their demanding customers.

A few companies are attempting to solve this problem, but one that has captivated my attention recently is Nandimoblile ltd, emerging from the start-up incubator of the Meltwater Group.
Nandimobile’s objective is to leverage the high global mobile penetration rates to create mobile customer service technology that enables businesses to connect to their customers through their mobile phones and easily engage, inform and manage their customer relationships.
Their first product, NandiClient, takes advantage of the rising global trend of increasing adoption of mobile and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications in business settings. It deploys a powerful two-way system-Gripeline to receive customer feedback and Infoline to deliver marketing information.

From their website:
Nandiclient is an on-demand software as a service suite, which provides businesses with effective tools for delivering customer support and information services to mobile phones of customers via SMS and WAP channels.
NandiClient has been tested to handle registration and feedback for major events like TEDxYouthInspire and BarCamp Accra. African companies wishing to improve their customer relations should definitely go for NandiClient because of its simple yet efficient solution, and the well-rounded team of young entrepreneurs behind it.

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Update on Barcamps in Ghana

We're going to have a whole season of bar camps in Ghana this year, as two regional barcamps will be held in addition to the traditional BarCamp Ghana event.

BarCamp Kumasi 2010

The barcamp train will make its first stop in the garden city on the campus of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) on 18th September, 2010. Deliberations will be held under the theme: "Collaboration-the key for opportunity and development." Registration is ongoing, do well to register, and keep yourself updated by following @barcampkumasi on Twitter and liking the BarCamp Kumasi page on Facebook. Read the full press release from the BarCamp Kumasi team.

BarCamp Accra 2010

The Accra regional barcamp, attempts to address the nagging twin problems of poverty and unemployment in Ghana, is appropriately themed "Creating wealth and employment in a challenging environment." Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology, MEST, will be hosts on 2nd October. Here's a press statement from the organising team. However, for real time updates on developments, like the BarCamp Accra fan page on Facebook and follow @barcampaccra on Twitter. Don't forget to register!

BarCamp Ghana 2010
A grand BarCamp Ghana event will round off the two regional events, and hopefully ride on the momentum that'll be generated by BarCamp Kumasi and BarCamp Accra. Theme, venue and date are yet to be announced. For more information follow @barcampghana on Twitter or join the BarCamp Ghana Facebook Page.