Friday, October 9, 2015

The second Barcamp in Bolgatanga - BarcampBolga is here!

It's early in the wee hours of Saturday morning. I've returned home after being at the Odadee Torch & Bonfire night at Presec. I was wearing a black +Barcamp Tema tshirt. Many Odadee recognized me but also recognised Barcamp. Branding. I am not unable to be at +Barcamp Bolga which happens today due to prior engagements and personal reasons. I am sad though. I really wanted to be at Barcamp Bolga for the team. But like I've told many people, the Barcamp will run smoothly without me. That's the mark of maturity. The +Barcamp Ghana team is taking leadership, spearheading #bcbolga through +kofi yeboah and +Leonard Hagan+Rachel Hormeku and +Senam Aseye Bridget have done their part too, with +Kobe Subramaniam in the background. +Abdul Razak Dimbie and +Baawuo Gloria together with +Daniel Yakuba +Jon Mydaz and +Frank Bruce are making the second Barcamp Bolga happen, with support from +Joachim Danbo and +Enoch Robot Boy Appiah Junior.

The second Barcamp Bolga promises to be better than the first, +Reuben Griffiths Bekoe has ridden into town, and discovered a waakye map. There's more interest from young people around Bolgatanga and the Upper East region and more gender parity. Other +GhanaThink Foundation members like +Mohammed Muntasir Nashiru +Rukaya sukah +Karima Seidu +Antumwini Amos +Jaynie Micado +Joseph Osei Oppong-Brenya will be there as well. I'll be following the Barcamp via the #bcbolga hashtag, especially on Twitter. Read the press release below to learn more.

Barcamp Bolga 2015 is a free networking forum bringing people together for a day of discussion, demos and dialogue on Bolgatanga, Ghana and beyond. It takes place on October 10, 2015 at VAG Hall in Bolgatanga. The theme for this year is "Building partnership for development- the role of private enterprise". Frank Bruce, the coordinator for this second Barcamp in Bolga, said, “The first of its kind in the Upper East region, Barcamp Bolga has shown the way to connecting people with distinguished business leaders for a day of networking, mentorship, and ideas sharing for the development of Bolgatanga, the region while empowering residents particularly the youth to aspire to achieve”.

The GhanaThink Foundation has successfully organized 49 BarCamps in Ghana as part of its Barcamp Ghana program since 2008. BarCamp Bolga 2015 will be the 2nd of its kind and it will showcase of entrepreneurs and innovators in the Upper East region. Frank Bruce recalls, “Since we organised first Barcamp Bolga last year, the team have received overwhelmed response from participants as how our event has inspired them to be achievers and helped them to interact with business leaders in the region who on a regular day is hard to cross them and network

Leonard Hagan of the Barcamp Ghana team said "I'm excited about the second BarCamp to take place in Bolga. I hope this forum is better utilized by the tertiary students, young entrepreneurs and even the unemployed youth to gain ideas on how we can build stronger developmental partnerships. If Bolga for that matter our country will develop, it will take the strong developmental foundations we lay today(our ideas)”.

The 2015 Barcamp Bolga theme explores how the private sector in Bolgatanga and beyond can be active players in pursuing development in this region, especially as partners. Discussions will center on developing various business and industry sectors in Bolgatanga and the Upper East region. Frank Bruce continued, “This year promises to be even invigorating with an array of accomplished individuals in various fields of endeavour assembled to mentor the hearts and minds of participants to spur them for success. You can’t miss Barcamp Bolga 2015, looking forward to meeting you there.”

The Barcamp will feature multiple user-generated breakout sessions in topics relevant to the Upper East Region and beyond. There will be a speed mentoring session where mentors will give insights and answers to questions from attendees. Confirmed resource personnel include +Linda Atibilla (Social Entrepreneur), +Richard Azunre (Lecturer), Jonathan Atuah (Agribusiness), +Fati, Abigail Abdulai (Social Entrepreneur), +Hillary Adongo (Entrepreneur), Ibrahim Dabo (UDS Lecturer), +roger laari (Upright Consult), Joseph Kancha (Agribusiness), etc.
Register/RSVP at the BarCamp Bolga eventbrite website ( or text "Barcamp Bolga [name] [email address] to 1945 through any mobile network (example - Barcamp Bolga Esi Eshun Contact us via barcamp at for sponsorship or partnership opportunities.

BarCamp Bolga 2015 is supported by Tigo Ghana, Making All Voices Count, etc.
Join us to move the Upper East Region and Ghana forward.  
Stay tuned via the #bcbolga hashtag.

Stay tuned via our social media.Twitter |Facebook |Google+

Friday, September 11, 2015

Another Barcamp Cape Coast chapter starts with #bccapecoast 2015

This year, we shall have our 5th +Barcamp Cape Coast. It's been great to see what has emerged out of Barcamps in Cape Coast these 5 years. There are startups like which now has the +Ahonyabid product. There's the inspiration for +Tech Needs Girls Gh by +regina agyare. But I especially love the growth of people like +kofi yeboah +Kobe Subramaniam +William Osilaja Boampong and +francis kumadoh. The first two are joined by +Rachel Hormeku (also from #Bccapecoast), +Senam Aseye Bridget and +Leonard Hagan to lead the +Barcamp Ghana program in Ghana. With this next theme around 'Equipping the Youth to plan their future today', we at the +GhanaThink Foundation are on course to do more.

Barcamp Cape Coast 2015 is on September 12th at the University of Cape Coast. The organizing team is made up of +Papa Baffoe Aikins +Mantey Joshua +Wilson Seyram Ameamu +sampson oboh +Ansaba Amoah +Kwesi Quagraine and some other volunteers. I'm excited for this event, as always. Especially because I get to be in Elmina, my hometown. Join us there to learn, share and network. Hoping that we congregate and continue network a lot of driven young people based in Cape Coast and beyond. If you can't join us in person, stay tuned to the #bccapecoast hashtag.

Barcamp Cape Coast 2015 is a free networking forum bringing people together for a day of discussion, demos and dialogue on Cape Coast, Ghana and beyond. It will take place on September 12, 2015 at the Faculty of Education Lecture Theatre 9 at the University of Cape Coast. The theme for this year is Equipping the youth to plan their future today. This event will be the 5th BarCamp in Cape Coast as it builds a network of young change makers, doers and entrepreneurs in Ghana. The GhanaThink Foundation has successfully organized 47 BarCamps in Ghana.

This forum will focus on information sharing to enable participants plan their future better. Time-tested teachings along with transcendent trends will be highlighted and discussed in order to help set the paths of youths right. Cape Coast has been a major town for education in Ghana and various stakeholders will be participating in Barcamp Cape Coast.
The Barcamp will feature multiple user-generated breakout sessions about business, social entrepreneurship, technology and development, alongside topics relevant to the Central Region and beyond. There will be a speed mentoringsession where mentors will give insights and answers to questions from attendees. Confirmed mentors include Benedict Entsi Williams (Agrobusiness), +Ekow Simpson (cape360gh), George Nii Tackie (Business Lecturer), +Samuel Kojo Brace (ATL FM Journalist), Felix Osei (Talent Microfinance), +benewaa fosu aka Sarah Fosu (Woman for Girl Initiative), +Jay Yorke (Marketer), +Rosina Dolly (Dolly Foundation), +Elvis Sekyi (First Capital Plus), +Tara Squire (+Tigo Ghana), etc
Register/RSVP at the BarCamp Cape Coast eventbrite website ( or text "Barcamp Cape Coast [name] [email address] to 1945 through any mobile network (example - Barcamp Cape Coast Esi Eshun Contact us via barcamp at for sponsorship or partnership opportunities.

BarCamp Cape Coast 2015 is supported by Tigo Ghana, Making All Voices Count, Kasahorow Foundation, Cape 360. Join us to move the Central Region and Ghana forward.
Stay tuned via the #bccapecoast hashtag.
Stay tuned via our social media. 
Twitter | Facebook | Google+ 

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

National Volunteer Day (#NVDay) is here again, and growing all over Ghana (#NVDay15)

I've blogged about National Volunteer Day (NVDay) a number of times. It all started with promoting the very first one. People (including some +Barcamp Kumasi members) joined me for an activity at the King Jesus Charity in Kumasi. For International Volunteer Day (IVD) in 2013, +GhanaThink Foundation launched the +Ghana Volunteer Program. I encouraged my avid readers to participate in #NVDay14. We used IVD last year to share what had happened during NVDay all around Ghana. I was on TV3 earlier today talking about NVDay with +Andrew Tetteh, we were hosted by Benny Blanco. There was this attempt to keep posted on volunteer activities in Ghana through a calendar that hasn't panned out well. Will try revive again during this National Volunteer Day period. #NVDay15 is here. 19th, 2th, 21st Septemeber. Aren't you excited? Looking for inspiration on what to do? Read my own story. Read the press release below. Or skip it, and go to
The Ghana Volunteer Program (GVP) is a program being run by the GhanaThink Foundation, an NGO based both in Ghana and the USA. National Volunteer Day, which falls around the 21st of September each year, is our major activity. It was instituted as part of GVP in 2013. This year, the event falls within the 19th – 21st Sept 2015 time frame. The initiative aims to get as many people as possible in Ghana to volunteer their time or do community service during the Founder’s Day Holiday weekend. While volunteerism is not very popular and part of our society’s fabric, many individuals and organisations volunteer occasionally. National Volunteer Day (NVDay) is to increase these numbers and unify efforts in volunteerism in Ghana. We are encouraging more people to do community service within Ghana. That’s the same spirit our founding fathers engendered within our citizenry.
Ato Ulzen-Appiah, the director of the GhanaThink Foundation stated: “Volunteering is a great way to show leadership in our communities and for our nation. It’s great to see National Volunteer Day growing and becoming a yearly feature”. By having volunteer or community service activities during the 19th – 21st September time frame, we would be championing the ideals of our founding fathers and joining a national effort to work for Ghana. Volunteering demonstrates initiative and hard work, two ideals that many organisations look for while hiring. We believe that by participating in NVDay, participants would be building their CVs and professional capabilities.
We expect several individuals and organisations to hold different activities throughout the country on the day. Last year, over 80 activities were organised and registered with us, mostly by individuals and groups that were organising volunteering activities for the first time. Their activities directly impacted the lives of thousands of people. These activities happened in 9 out of the 10 regions in Ghana and in several cities and towns. Activities ranged from skills training programs, clean up exercises, tutoring in a particular course, reading clinics for kids, blood donation drives, creating playing grounds for kids in the government schools to painting schools and faded zebra crossings. More than 300 people volunteered and their work benefitted thousands of people. The impact on the volunteers and beneficiaries was massive and was captured on social media via the #NVDay14 hashtag.

Eleanor +Ela Asare , the lead coordinator for the Ghana Volunteer Program said “NVDay has not only come to stay, but it is also here to cause a positive change in our attitudes towards volunteerism and to serve as a development tool.” Make it a point to be a part of NVDay15 this year by organising and registering your event on our website. The registration of your activity will allow us to support you with more volunteers and some publicity. At the website, you can also join volunteer activities that are being planned by others. We look forward to hearing about the incredible things you will be doing on NVDay15. Stay updated with what’s happening with the #NVDay15 hashtag and on social media Twitter, Facebook and Google+ . You can also support the organization of National Volunteer Day activities by donating through Volunteerism, the heart of community development. Kudos to the GVP team, Eleanor, +Enock Seth Nyamador  +William Osilaja Boampong +Gerald Sowah +Felix Nartey and +Adelina Martey and all the other +GhanaThink Foundation members making this happen.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Higgins Memorial Lodge - homely guest house in Kumasi

Many a times people have told me that I am very friendly and helpful. It lends well to a lot of the work that I do with the +GhanaThink Foundation etc. Someone said I have the heart of a mother. If I do, you might imagine how great my mother is. She is :-) Her greatness lends itself well to hosting people. She's hosted many people in our house growing up. And for the last few years, she has a guest house where she hosts more people. If you're looking for a place to stay in Kumasi, a guest house for one, two, three nights, a week, two weeks - look no further than Higgins Memorial Lodge. It's affectionately called Higgins Homes.

You can book your stay there by contacting me - @Abocco or on gmail as well with the same username. Higgins is a great place to stay. You can ask +kofi yeboah who stayed there for more than a week. +Yayra Tay stayed there with a couple of friends for some time. My brother +Kofi Ulzen-Appiah can also tell you more. Higgins Homes is on now. As well as Trip Advisor.

There are 2 apartments - one 2 bedroom and one 3 bedroom. So you can even rent with your family when you're in Kumasi. Or rent one of the 5 rooms. Versatility at its best. Am sure +Okyeame Kwame agrees. 

You know how you go to hotels and you have to pay to get your attire ironed? At Higgins Homes, an iron is provided for you. There is DSTV as well for you to enjoy a great selection of TV channels. Air conditioning? Down pat. You even have a kitchen to cook that meal you love, in a guest house. Breakfast is for free. Yummy! 

Higgins Memorial Lodge is more than a guest house. It's home away from home. And here's the kicker! The cost hovers around $23.3 per night. What's not to love?

Monday, August 24, 2015

Watch Tigo's #Shelter4Education on TV & YouTube

Tigo's Shelter for Education initiative seeks to improve on infrastructure for basic education in rural Ghana. As part of this project, 6 Ghanaian communities have been beneficiaries of fully furnished six unit classroom blocks with Headmaster’s office and Teacher’s Common room. The pupils each received two school uniforms, exercise books and Tigo branded souvenirs as well. The project has also been documented as a television series. Shot as video documentaries, they are currently showing in Ghana They are also on YouTube. You can learn more about the #Shelter4Education initiative in this other blog post.

The television series airs every Sunday on TV3 at 4pm, and at 6:30pm on both Metro TV & ETV. A repeat shows on UTV at 7pm. Viasat1 shows Tigo Shelter For Education every Saturday and Sunday at 2pm. You have only two weekends to catch this so make it a point to watch the show this coming weekend.

The St Joseph School in Obuasi, Ashanti Region was renovated. You can watch a short clip about this renovation here 

The Obeng Yaw School in Adeiso in the Eastern Region was built anew. A big launch was done to unveil this too. You can watch a clip about this on YouTube as well. 

The Tupaa Basic School in Ga South in Accra was also a beneficiary. A new 6-unit classroom block was built, alongside other great facilities for the school. Relive the process here. 

Yesterday, after returning to Accra after a great +Barcamp Takoradi weekend, I was able to catch the Shelter For Education television series on Metro TV. This was the Dimaabi, MA school, Norther Region story. I love how the process was chronicled. We saw some of the construction nitty-gritties, views from the headmaster of the school and some teachers as well. Tigo employees in the Northern region chimed in with their thoughts and +Gifty Bingley also shared Tigo's hopes for the project. I love how the video captured the completion of the construction and subsequent unveiling. The best part are the real stories and feeback from the beneficiaries - the pupils, their parents and the community. 

You can catch the last two episodes on TV. These will be for the African Fit School, Banda Ahenkro, BA region where a new school was built and the Hianwoanwu African Fit school, Ejura, Ashanti Region, a renovated school. 

Kudos and Morevim to Tigo on this project. Looking to seeing great stories of impact in the lives of pupils and students as we improve education nationwide in Ghana. Also, make sure you are following +Tigo Ghana on Facebook (, Twitter (, Instagram ( and Youtube ( 

Tigo builds #Shelter4Education for 6 Ghanaian communities

A lot has been said about the quality of education in Ghana, especially in public schools. It's very important to create a nice environment for learning as bad conditions greatly affect the performance of students. "Schools under trees" is a popular topic when public school education is discussed in Ghana. These points lend more credence to the importance of Tigo's Shelter for Education initiative in Ghana which seeks to improve on infrastructure for basic education in rural Ghana.

Tigo is the reigning Ghana Telecom Awards Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Company of the Year. This is quite a big deal, given the constant competition amongst telecommunication companies in Ghana. Tigo launched its new CSR programme, Shelter 4 Education recently. Tigo has put up 6 six unit classroom blocks with Headmaster’s office, Staff common room and a KVIP for some selected schools in makeshift structures or in need of renovation across the country.

The initiative was launched recently while doubling as the handing over of the project. The entire
communities of Obeng Yaw and Adeiso in the Eastern region went into a fanfare when Tigo unveiled a fully furnished six unit classroom block with Headmaster’s office and Teacher’s Common room. This replaced their makeshift structure which dates back to the 1960s and had seen little renovation over the decades. The company also provided all the teachers with fully connected mobile phones whilst the pupils each received two school uniforms, exercise books and Tigo branded souvenirs. The students of these schools also received sandals, and other learning materials. Footwear is one major need for many pupils in Ghana too.

The Head of Corporate Communications and Social Responsibility for Tigo, Gifty Bingley, revealed Shelter for Education is a multi-million dollar project which will transform education in the selected communities. “Education has over the years been a priority for us, our ‘Change Leader programme’ for instance supports various young entrepreneurs to improve teaching and learning among in deprived communities. “One of our goals for this project is to see Ghana advance on the Millennium Development Goals now the Sustainability Goals in particular Goal two on Achieving Universal Primary Education, she said.” I met +Gifty Bingley for the first time when she mentored at +Barcamp Accra. As evidenced by her responses while I interviewed her at +Barcamp Tema, she's extremely passionate about children's education in Ghana.

The CEO for TigoRoshi Motman, underscored the importance of education in improving living standards and reducing poverty. “Education is key in building a nation and for Tigo as a caring brand, we want to contribute in shaping the lives of these children – helping them to build their dreams right from the basic level. Our hope is that by providing them with a conducive environment, they can concentrate on their studies and have a brighter future,” she said. I met Roshi earlier this year in her office, and I must say it's one of the coolest CEO offices in Ghana. Roshi is a Swedish native and was recently named second amongst 75 outstanding women from Sweden. She's passionate about digital lifestyle which is evident in Tigo's business right now, but she's a very concerned citizen. She's equally passionate about Ghana's development, as evidenced in her crowning as queenmother in the Tafo Akyem area and has the stool name, Obaapayin Nana Yaa Adusei. Roshi is also a fun lady. She was having a jolly good time at Tigo Ghana Meets Naija and she took a selfie with me. That made me very happy :-)

I am also very happy that the #Shelter4Education initiative touched multiple regions around Ghana. The beneficiaries include

  • Ejura Sekyere-Dumase MA School in the Ashanti region 
  • Tupaa Basic School in GA South of the Greater region
  • Obeng Yaw Basic School in Adeiso of the Eastern region
  • St Joseph Primary School in Obuasi in the Ashanti region
  • Dimabi Nursery and Primary School in Tolon Kumbumgu of the Northern region
  • Banda Ahenkro MA School in Banda Ahenkro of the Brong Ahafo region

The project has also been documented as a television series. Video documentaries showcasing the story behind the construction of these schools around the country have been captured and are showing on local television. They are also on YouTube, You can learn more about that in this other blog post. Kudos and Morevim to Tigo on this project. Looking to seeing great stories of impact in the lives of pupils and students as we improve education nationwide in Ghana.

Also, make sure you are following Tigo Ghana on Facebook ( ), Twitter (, Instagram ( and Youtube ( 

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Can entertainment drive major development for #Takoradi (& #Sekondi)? Barcamp Takoradi 2015 discusses

Last year after Barcamp Takoradi 2014, some of the participants went out partying. We ended up at a new joint called Tilly's where we had a jolly good time. One thing that caught our attention was the number of young people there who were very likely in their early twenties who had no idea there was a Barcamp in town that weekend. We had struggled to get a good number of people to Takoradi Poly that day with the many of the attendees being T-Poly students and some other young people based outside the Twin Cities of Takoradi and Sekondi. We realised that entertainment was something that brought Takoradi and Sekondi together. The social and entertainment spots are areas where many youth congregate. It also is home to many top artistes like Paapa Yankson, Gyedu Blay Ambulley and the Fanti Rap Van Damme, +pappy Kojo. so for this year's Barcamp Takoradi, the theme centers on Development through Entertainment and Entrepreneurship. Exciting, innit?

This Barcamp is coming together through the major efforts of the coordinator +herbert acheampong who does an awesome job. His drive is relentless. He is supported by +araba assafuaba yelbert +Marian Clara Adeaba +Jesse Asiedu-Akrofi +Ahmad Nasir Agyekum +james quaicoenile amongst others. The +Barcamp Ghana team is providing support as usual led by +kofi yeboah +Rachel Hormeku and +Leonard Hagan. I'll be there with the +GhanaThink Foundation head of Online +Seyram Freddy Ahiabor and the main co-founder of Barcamp Takoradi+Mac-Jordan Degadjor. We've seen how youth in Takoradi and Sekondi flock to entertainment events. Can the entertainment industry with some entreprising efforts drive development for the Twin-cities the way Oil and the Ports industries are doing? Read the press release below to learn more about the event.

BarCamp Takoradi 2015 is a FREE networking forum to bring people together for a day of discussion, demos and dialogue about Takoradi, Ghana and beyond. The Theme for this year is "Developing through Entertainment and Entrepreneurship". BarCamp Takoradi 2015 will take place on 22nd August 2015 at the SSNIT Hall in Takoradi. It hopes to assemble Western Regional stakeholders to network, build a supportive entreprising community and partnership.
The 4th +Barcamp Takoradi is as part of the Barcamp Ghana program run by the GhanaThink Foundation, an NGO based both in Ghana and the USA. The +GhanaThink Foundation has organized 47 BarCamps in Ghana in building a network of changemakers, doers and entrepreneurs. This Barcamp will connect and strengthen a community of motivated and aspirational people in the Twin-cities, ultimately benefiting the Western region and Ghana. Participants will learn from, share and network with each other.
The Twin Cities - Sekondi & Takoradi have given birth to a lot of talented entertainers. The best, they say, comes from the West. A lot of Takoradi youth are interested in and flock to entertainment. Ar Barcamp Takoradi, we'll be focusing on how to leverage entertainment and being entreprising in and around it for the development of the twin-cities and beyond. Herbert Akyeampong, the lead coordinator said, “We chose the theme because Takoradi is an entertainment city and it’s time the youth especially realise the prospects of entertainment with adequate guidance from experienced people”.

Thought and business leaders in the region will share insight and inspiration. As usual, we will have multiple user-generated breakout sessions about topics relevant to the Western Region and beyond. Our speed mentoring session will help participants gain insights and answers to questions. Confirmed speed mentors include Ernest Odame (Nestle), Asare Debrah (SG Ghana), Tilly Mintah (Tilly’s), Kofi Larbi Boakye (Coconut Oil), +Mac-Jordan Degadjor (Blogger), +nana ama barnes (Diabetes Youth Care), Joseph Afful (SG Ghana), +George Britton Gh (Media Journalist), Nana Kwasi (Insurance), Asabea Agbenu (Consultant), @richard addisonRichard Addison (Agriculture), Abeku Larbi-Boakye (Mantrac), Hypolite Damba & Samuel Akwesi Peterson (Takoradi Fashion Weekend), etc
Register/RSVP today at the BarCamp Takoradi eventbrite website ( You can also register by sending “Barcamp Takoradi, Your Name, Your Email Address” to 1945 on all mobile networks (example - Barcamp Takoradi Esi Eshun . Contact us via barcamp at ghanathink dot org for sponsorship or partnership opportunities. Barcamp Takoradi is supported by Tigo Ghana, Making All Voices Count, YFM 97.9, Paragon 99.9 FM, Guinness, etc.

Stay tuned via the #bctdi hashtag. Stay tuned via our social media. Twitter | Facebook| Google+

Disqus for The Vim Views & Versions - Blogs of a MIghTy African