Friday, 10 June 2011

Web@2011: Fuelling the Web Revolution in Ghana


Image taken from www.profy.com
There is no doubt that the Internet is fast becoming a key part of the everyday lives of Ghanaians. Many individuals and businesses are taking advantage of the reach, convenience and speed of the web to engage their friends, clients and business partners. Web 2.0 platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter are recording huge numbers of local users. Ghanaian Facebook users have increased to 970,840 from 277,600 in November, 2009 according to facebookcheck.com. This presents the case for business web users to develop effective skills to ride smoothly and speedily on the wave of the nascent web revolution. Creative Ghanaian social web maven, Maximus Ametorgoh and popOut are out to empower Ghanaian web users with the essential skills through Web@2011.
Web@2011 is a technology event which aims at unveiling all about the World Wide Web as a platform for connecting with the world, sharing information, doing businesses, engaging customers and meeting new people. It will further touch on how to design a website, optimize it for search engine, how to create rich and captivating web content, and ways to drive traffic to a web. The new 'virtual infection' called social media, as a consumer-engagement tool, will also be discussed.
Web @ 2011 Event, AITI-KACE, Accra
The first in a series of workshops was held on 3rd June at Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence. Various stakeholders in the Ghanaian Internet space were taken through interesting and insightful topics such as
  • Wealth on the World Wide Web
  • Web Product Development
  • Web Content Development
  • E-mail marketing
  • Creating a Great User Experience
  • Online Payment
  • The Game Business on the Web
  • Driving Traffic to a Website
The speakers were a unique blend of experienced, successful technopreneurs and young, talented, game-changing web professionals/entrepreneurs. The line-up included Herman Chinery-Hesse (SoftTribe), Charles Hansen-Quao (DreamOval), Edward Tagoe (NandiMobile), Maximum Ametorgoh (popOut), Sheila Bartels-Sam (inCharge Global), Eyram Tawia (Leti Games) and Michael Darkwa (NandiMobile). Read more about the Accra event on Edward Tagoe's blog.
Kumasi and Takoradi- Get Ready for the Webvolution!
Thankfully, Web@2011 is not one of those conferences scheduled for Accra only. The web revolution fever is spreading to other parts of Ghana; workshops have been lined up for Kumasi (17th June) and Takoradi (24th June). I hope these regional events will be successful and further motivate the organizers to take the webvolution to the rest of Ghana, and beyond, as I have been advocating.
Businesses and individuals who have a serious intent to use the web as an effective communication tool need to take time to learn the core skills that will help them to be successful in their endeavour. The higher the number of skilled Ghanaian web users, the higher the quality and quantity of local web content (applications, text, images, and videos), the higher the traffic to Ghanaian sites and the higher the revenue generated from the Internet!

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Coders4Africa: Skills Training for the African Technology Revolution

One of the key components of promoting African development through technology is skills training for its developer community. Developers need to be abreast with the latest cutting edge technology so that they can deliver compelling solutions to our software, work and life problems. Thankfully, events such as Python African Tour, G-Ghana and Garage48 have served as great learning and collaboration platforms among members of Ghana's software community. Similar initiatives are taking place all over Africa. Another interesting training opportunity making waves recently is Coders4Africa.

What is Coders4Africa?
Coders4Africa is an ongoing ambitious African technology project scheduled to run up to 2016. Its goal is to train and certify over 1000 Africans in different programming tools and platforms such as Java, PHP and Microsoft. Coders4Africa is the brainchild of Ali Kone (Mali), Kwame Andah (Ghana), Ibrahim Cisse (Mali/Senegal), Amadou Daffe (Senegal), and AlMoustapha Cisse (Niger).
Our short term goal is developing a community of African developers all across Africa under one structured roof - Coders4Africa. We want to create a pool of highly skilled African citizens in the software development industry to enlarge the labor income share thus contributing in a more equitable distribution of income.
First Ghana Workshop
On 18th and 19th June 2011, Coders4Africa will be running their first Ghana training sessions at Ghana's tech Mecca, AITI-KACE. The workshops are free to attend by software developers, system designers, computer science and information studies students and other IT folks. There will also be presentations by local software companies. To be part of this worthwhile educative event, secure your place by registering on their Eventbrite page. For more info visit Coders4Africa website or connect with them via Facebook and/or Twitter.
The team deserves commendation for putting all this together.