Monday, 31 December 2012

A Round-up of a Very Eventful 2012

The year 2012 is just under two hours of receding into history. Since it's been a loaded year, it would be improper to let it pass without a recap of notable events or activities undertaken. In no particular order, here are some highlights of my 2012:

Vodafone Broadband in Keta
The year started on a good note. It was finally possible for individuals and organisations in my town to sign up for Vodafone's broadband Internet service. I quickly applied and by February, I started surfing to my heart's delight. My joy's been cut off twice due to the theft of the copper cables that delivered last-mile connectivity. As I blog, the service has not be restored after the second interruption. Oh! :(.

Diplo Internet Governance Capacity Building Programme
I got a scholarship from Diplo Foundation to pursue an online course in Introduction to Internet Governance, as part of their Capacity Building Programme for citizens of developing countries. Through the course, I got a better appreciation of the power of the Internet as a tool for social change and the different positions on how the global platform should be managed. It was also a great opportunity to experience online education first hand and to network with other emerging African leaders in field. My appreciation goes to Godfred Ahuma, who encouraged me to apply, Stephen Nii Adjei Sowah, one of my Ghanaian coursemates, Marsha Guthrie, my tutor, Stephanie Psaila and Ginger Paque for making the experience worthwhile for me. It was unfortunate though that we could not organise Ghana Internet Governance Forum in 2012. I hope that changes next year

Ghana Decides
If you've been following this blog closely, you'd notice that a lot has been said about BloggingGhana's Ghana Decides project and its drive to engender youth engagement in Ghana's civic affairs. Through various campaigns, workshops and discussions, we captured the diverse needs of youth groups, disability self-help groups, women candidates and other voices often drowned out in our politics. One beautiful thing about Ghana Decides project is that aside the core team, Ghana's online community contributed actively and this crystallised its success. Today, we have a machine that could morph into an accountability and community mobilisation initiative. Whatever, it becomes it's all back to the community! 

BlogCamp Ghana
BloggingGhana finally moved the BlogCamp talk to action, and the result was the biggest and most interesting social media event held in Ghana to date. Edward Tagoe and the BlogCamp team's vim was the main propelling force behind this astounding success, as many young Ghanaians for the first time found out how they could make their voices heard through social media. Watch out for BlogCamp 2013.

BarCamp Ghana
GhanaThink Foundation has been organising barcamps in Ghana since 2008, but in 2012 there was a record. Eight barcamps in seven regions. Unprecedented! I attended six of those- Takoradi, Sunyani, Cape Coast, Ho, Tema and Accra. This makes 2012 my most 'barcamped' year. Also, I had the opportunity of introducing some of my students from the Writers and Debaters Club of Keta Senior High Technical School to barcamps, showcasing how the unconference model can inspire learning and encourage creativity among youngsters. Guess what? They got hooked and are now busy planning their own "Junior Camp" as part of their 60th Anniversary SRC week celebration. More Vim!

ICT, Digital Literacy and Education
There were many opportunities to further efforts in this space as ICTs have become increasingly crucial tools for education, business and development. Due to their growing ubiquity, there's no excuse, really, not to take advantage of what they have to offer. Like I've been saying around: "we must use the tools we have to solve the problems we face." And where we don't have these tools, we have to strive to make them. Here are a few programmes that I was involved in, one way or the other:
To sum, 2012 has been packed and productive. Let's look forward to the new year, with faith and hope that our plans and dreams will be brought to life. I'm looking forward to a great 2013 and wish the same for you. Happy New Year, Happy New You!


Keep comments and insights coming to get the discussion going!