Saturday, 18 February 2012

Weaving the African Dream Through Social Innovations

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It is heartwarming to observe that a number of brilliant social innovation projects are continuously driving change and progress in Ghana and the rest of Africa. Previously blogged about initiatives include BarCamp Ghana, Maker Faire Africa, Python African Tour, Coders4Africa , Sunset Sports and the Kuyu Project. Today, I simply want to point to a few more projects I find inspiring.

Tech in Education: This project is the main motivation behind today’s post. Tech in Education is a 48hr gathering of ideas, people and digital tools aimed at creating novel web and mobile solutions to improve learning amongst primary and secondary school students in Nigeria. My first reaction to Femi and CP Africa’s tweets was “this must be replicated in Ghana.” Tech in Education resonates with the Kuyu Project’s objectives. We must take advantage of the abundant tools, talents and information our modern world presents us with to mould our upcoming ones better, enabling them to become agents of social innovation. Tech in Education was birth by the Co-Creation Hub of Nigeria.

Sandlanders Football: Started originally as Keta Sandlanders, Sandlanders Football aims to use sports as a tool for community development. Currently, Sandlanders have extended their reach to across Africa and even beyond. Uganda, Liberia, Kenya and India are some countries that either already have or are planning Sandlanders teams. Club ownership is based on the co-operative model, as pertains in clubs like Barcelona, and supporters are ingeniously recruited worldwide through the power of the web. All Sandlanders teams are independently run by the respective communities, while the collective headquartered in London provides support. Sandlanders Football is affiliated with Co-operatives UK and Supporters Direct, with funding from Chembe Ventures.

Farmerline: An innovative approach to minimise the effects of climate change on poor agricultural communities, Farmerline offers up-to-date and relevant agricultural information for extension officers and rural farmers. Built by a team from KNUST, this cutting-edge voice and SMS-based mobile platform recently won third place in the West African edition of the Apps4Africa challenge. They are currently gunning for another award in the Dell Social Innovation Challenge.
Programming for Kids in Ghana: Another project in the running for the Dell Social Innovation Challenge, Programming for Kids aims at introducing Ghanaian children to computer programming and software development at an early age. Apart from the software skills they gain, the children will learn to be analytical, creative and collaborative. This project has the potential to generate a can-do attitude and problem-solving mindset, seemingly lacking in Ghanaian students, among children earlier in life. The overall impact on national development needs no restating.

Golden Baobab Prize: Desirous to curb low reading levels among young Africans, members of the Golden baobab foundation figured out that part of the problem stems from lack of quality literature that African youngsters can relate to. They therefore set up an annual writing competition that to unearth new African Children writers while churning out quality literature for the consumption of young minds. Their work is receiving loud applause from organizations such as Echoing Green, Playing for Change, African Library Project and The Global Fund for Children.

Big ups to the brilliant people who are using their intellect and sweat to bring needed change to our communities.


  1. Didn't know much about the Tech Education in Nigeria. I guess this could fall into the Social Media nation-wide project BloggingGhana is embarking on. Training Ghanaian students how to use social media for social change would be an exciting project.

  2. The Nigerian programme is aimed at creating useful software tools for their educational sector.

    We had a blast last year with the Kuyu Project digital literacy camp at Ketasco. If BloggingGhana is doing social media training for schools, that'd be awesome. I'd be glad to help out.

    But, like the Nigerians and Kenyans are doing we need more indigenous applications for our schools (ala paasco Africa, Exceed, etc). A hackathon for educational tools will be a great labour of love...


Keep comments and insights coming to get the discussion going!