#BlogCamp14

Sunday, 7 March 2010

GhanaGTUG Holds First Meeting

I was privileged to be part of the very first meeting of Ghana Google Technology Users Group (GhanaGTUG) held last Friday, 5th March, at the yet-to-be-inaugurated offices of Google Ghana. GhanaGTUG is a group of Ghanaian software developers and technology enthusiasts who actively use Google products. Present at the meet-up were the founding members of GhanaGTUG and staff of the new Google Ghana office. The programme lasted for approximately one hour and was excellent in terms of its educative and social value.

The meeting was kick started by Jojoo Imbeah, organiser of the event, who informed the gathering that the idea of forming a GTUG in Ghana was conceived during Google technology breakout sessions at BarCamp Ghana 2009. He also went on to mention the advantages of using Google technology, pointing out that Google technology helps developers and users to make and save money.

Google Ghana's Office Lead, Estelle Akofio-Sowah was the next to speak. In her submission Estelle said that Google's main goal in Sub-Saharan Africa, consistent with its mission of acquiring, reorganizing and presenting all of the world's information, is to get as many people as possible online. She explained further that the company intends to achieve its objective by ensuring the availability or relevant content, easy access to gadgets and the Internet and the development of a wide array of products that are useful in every facet of daily life and business. She stressed that the company does not have any immediate financial intention in relation to its operations in this part of the world. Estelle, who was very excited about the formation of GhanaGTUG, called for the formation of more GTUGs throughout the country and promised to work in close collaboration with the group and other stakeholders in Ghana's Internet industry. She stated that the Google Ghana office is open to ideas from GhanaGTUG, and other groups , and called for their support, feedback and ideas so that Google can deliver more to meet their technology needs.

There were also few demonstrations and technical presentations to round up activities for the day. A short video that explained what GTUGs do was shown. This was followed by a presentation on mobile development for the Android platform by Ushahidi developer Henry Addo. Finally, Richard Ngamita, a Googler originally from the Nairobi office, gave a detailed presentation on various Google products and developer resources such as Map Maker, App Engine, API and Local Business Center (LBC). Richard emphasised the obvious advantages of these products to Africa as they are free or very affordable.

After Richard's presentation, there were presentations of Google souvenirs to lucky attendees. This was followed by refreshment which was kindly sponsored by Google. Participants took the opportunity to meet new people, discuss projects they are working on and to generally interact among themselves.

Overall, the event was a great success thanks to the efforts of the organising team , coordinated by the tireless Joojo Imbeah, all those who attended and Google Ghana. Please also check out tweets from various attendees.

6 comments:

  1. Great Post Gameli.Hope to see you at GGhana event in May.

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  2. Thanks Anon. I also hope to see you sometime. GGhana wil be good.

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  3. http://whywastethetime.blogspot.com/

    i love the fact that ted is in ghana...

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  4. @The Walk, thanks for the link. You're off to a good start with your blog.

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  5. Found these pictures too :-)

    https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos/111796091852481128190/albums/5447488635679116369

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  6. Great pics, Ato, thanks for sharing!

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Keep comments and insights coming to get the discussion going!