Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Growing Kumasi Konnect (team, initiative and events)

The Kumasi Konnect initiative is growing. When we first promoted it, a gentleman called +joseph osei emailed us saying - "My name is joseph, i work with Ultimate Radio, and I will like to be involve in the Kumasi Konnect initiative". I knew of Joseph, because I had seen him email the +BloggingGhana mailing list and knew he lived in Kumasi. I was really happy that he approached us about getting involved in #KumasiKonnect. I knew what exactly we wanted him to do, since he was with Ultimate Radio and was a blogger he'd help us with marketing. After finally reaching him via Twitter, the team asked him to recap the first event. He came back with a post that talked about the first event which featured Frank Boateng and the second (upcoming event) featuring Valerie Okudzeto. Foresight. Get tickets for tickets for this one at Ego Tickets.

Below is the press release he wrote and circulated amongst many websites (albeit edited a bit). I love Joseph's vim, he's had this published in more places than I'm normally able to. He'll work well with +Rasheeda Yehuza+priscilla sarfo-frimpong and +Prince Boadu as +kofi yeboah and myself play more of a supportive role. We have a few other volunteers who will take on bigger roles as the initiative grows within the +GhanaThink Foundation. We have the locally based Butterfly Media on board for photos & videos as well as Nasara Mobile for SMS communication as well as +mFriday's Tech Hub as venue. Eager to sign up our very first cash sponsors.
A group of entrepreneurs and innovators will be converging again in Kumasi to connect at pience share and build together. If you missed out on the maiden edition of the Kumasi Konnect program at the KNUST Campus, then don’t miss out on this. You will have another opportunity to meet deep thinking and influential youth to interact, share ideas and motivate to propel you for the corporate world. The maiden edition held on 25th July 2014, had Mr. Frank Boateng, who spoke on "Turning Passion into Business". Mr. Frank Boateng is a Serial Entrepreneur, Executive VP for XP Resources LLC in Houston USA and Country MD for EquipXP Mining and Construction Ghana Ltd.

The networking was great with many proposing the meeting should be held every month. Participants said Kumasi Konnect created opportunities for skills development and application among the youth. The participants were inspired by Mr. Frank’s diligence towards his dreams and his utmost hard work in turning his ideas and passion into a business.

Interactions led to new opportunities for collaboration among attendees. We hope that the new social capital forged would spark projects that would be of benefit to communities. The participants contributed and shared their personal entrepreneurial experiences, challenges they face and how they are overcoming those challenges as well as asking thought provoking questions which culminated into meaningful discussions.

Valerie Okudzeto, CEO of Clean Team Ghana, will speak at the second edition of Kumasi Konnect on the topic "Leveraging Opportunities for Personal Development", and the event is slated for 4th September, 2014 at KNUST's Tech Hub. The Mandela Washington Fellow will draw from her personal and professional experiences; including key innovative interventions by Clean Team in addressing the problem of sanitation in Kumasi. She will also share experiences from the recent Mandela Washington Fellowship at the White House.

The overall objective of Kumasi Konnect is; to empower the youth to learn how to develop public policies to solve community problems, also, to learn how citizens can have power to monitor and influence public policy making in the community and develop intellectual and participatory skills that promote authentic research, critical thinking, effective communication and reflective thinking.
Kumasi Konnect is an initiative by the GhanaThink Foundation and sponsored by the TechHub in KNUST. This meet-up hosts about 40 young energetic and innovative mind in Kumasi each time. This event series will further commune the network built out of Barcamp Kumasi. Kumasi Konnect series will further commune the network built out of Barcamp Kumasi. The event will also bring together innovators and doers in Kumasi, to interact and share ideas that have the propensity for social and economic impact. Stay tuned via +Barcamp Kumasi on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ or the #KumasiKonnect hashtag.

Kreating Kumasi Konnect

Sometime last year, +kofi yeboah had an idea for a monthly meetup. He had returned from Kenya where he attended the Amani Institute and was brimming with ideas. I admired Kofi, he reminded me of myself when I was younger. To a great extent, that's probably only because he is younger than me. I've known him since +Barcamp Cape Coast 2011 and he's grown into being more awesome, aspirational and inspirational. I wasn't surprised when he sought to organize a monthly event for social entrepreneurs in Accra. Today, that idea has given birth to Kumasi Konnect and a lot more like it are about to follow. Watch this space.

Kofi ended up moving to Kumasi late last year to start his national service with +Clean Team Ghana. Today, he's traveling to Singapore to represent Clean Team at the BOP Convention Expo. I've heard many great things about Singapore from friends like +Curtis Vanderpuije and I know Kofi will come back and share a lot of great experiences. Last year, he was selected to attend the Preparing Global Leader Academy. Via the +GhanaThink Foundation, we supported him to raise the money he needed to go to Jordan as well. I was impressed with how he took charge of the process and drove the campaign to raise the money. He's a very driven young man.

Earlier this year, I was thinking about the lack of networking amongst the entrepreneurial community in Oseikrom. Again. I remembered Kofi's meetup idea and told him we should pilot this in Kumasi. I've been part of the +Global Shapers Accra Hub's Accra Discourse and I was itching to see something similar happen in Kumasi, and in fact, around the country. I'd also seen the +mFriday group at Tech grow quieter with their regular meetings also absent. We needed to fill the void in between +Barcamp Kumasi events. So we came up with the meetup idea and eventually called it Kumasi Konnect.

We spoke with the Kumasi team for GhanaThink and selected a couple of volunteers. Soon enough, the team was formed. Kofi, +Rasheeda Yehuza+Prince Boadu+priscilla sarfo-frimpong and myself. We approached +mFriday Ghana to host the first event at the Tech Hub in KNUST and they agreed. Prince brought on Frank Boateng as the very first speaker. We were able to secure pre- and post event interviews with Ultimate Radio in Kumasi, who had supported +Barcamp Kumasi 2013 through +kojo akoto boateng's work. We had a press release and sold (free) tickets via Ego Tickets, using a Ghanaian made answer to Eventbrite, built by +Alfred Rowe.

The first event went really well. We hosted about 60 people on June 25, 2014. The budget was GHC 350. We can surely do more of these meetups for an even smaller amount. Frank Boateng gave a great speech and set the tone for more conversations. You can see a Storify story capturing Frank's soundbites, etc. Planning for the next is underway with Valerie Okudzeto (nee Labi), the CEO of Clean Team Ghana and a Mandela Washington Fellow speaking next on September 4, 2014. You can get tickets for this one at Ego Tickets as well. As usual, the hashtag is #KumasiKonnect. This is where I should say that similar events are coming to Cape Coast and Koforidua soon (already being planned) and also to Tamale after discussions at +Barcamp Tamale.

I was really proud of the team that put this together. Priscilla was getting involved in something of this nature for the first time and acquitted herself well. Rasheeda has been involved in +Tech Needs Girls Gh & already runs her own Nasara Mobile firm which supported Kumasi Konnect with SMS communication. Prince is the convenor of TEDx KNUST at which I spoke once. And you know about Kofi Yeboah already. He's taken over leadership of the +Barcamp Ghana program from me alongside +Kobe Subramaniam+Senam Aseye Bridget  +Leonard Hagan and +Rachel Hormeku. He's growing in stature just like the people I've mentioned in this blog and am excited to see them become more influential and excellent. The critical mass is growing and it has multiple champions. And we're konnecting as well. 

Friday, August 15, 2014

Excited about Barcamp Tamale on August 23, 2014

The first time I went to Tamale was for +Barcamp Tamale 2011. Ever since then, I always look forward to visiting again. When there is the opportunity to meet the young movers and shakers, the young changemakers, doers and entrepreneurs there, it is a huge added bonus. That's what Barcamp Tamale is about. If you are in or around Tamale, you can't miss this event on August 23rd. If you can't be there, tell someone who can. Stay tuned to the hashtag #bctamale. Kudos to the organizing team of +Mohammed Muntasir Nashiru +Yakubu H.Yakubu +Kwaching Jessica +maccarthy lomotey +Enoch Robot Boy Appiah Junior +Peter Awin with the able support of +Leonard Hagan +kofi yeboah +Kobe Subramaniam and the +Barcamp Ghana team of the +GhanaThink Foundation.
Barcamp Tamale 2014 is a free networking forum bringing people together for a day of discussion, demos and dialogue on Tamale, Ghana and beyond. It will take place on August 23, 2014 in Tamale. The theme for this year is Harnessing the development potential in Northern Ghana through entrepreneurship and innovation.This Barcamp hopes to assemble stakeholders to network, build a supportive enterprising community and partner to build together.

The GhanaThink Foundation has successfully organized 31 BarCamps in Ghana as part of its Barcamp Ghana program since 2008. BarCamp Tamale 2014 will be a showcase of entrepreneurs and innovators in the Northern region. Discussions will center on developing various business and industry sectors in Tamale and the Northern region. It will be an event for many people who live and are interested in Tamale to learn, share and network with.

The Barcamp will feature multiple user-generated breakout sessions about business, social entrepreneurship, technology and development, alongside topics relevant to the Northern 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 Rabi Salifu (ProNet), Naana Fatima Mohammed (FarmCare), +Chris Daniels (Development News Africa), Abdul Washeed (Northern Scope), +Mash Codjoe (Writer & Social Media), Rashida Aduni Ganiyu & +Hikmat baba dua (MILEAD Fellows), +Shani Mahama (Driinic), +Senyo Kpelly (SEKAF Ghana), etc

Register/RSVP at the BarCamp Tamale eventbrite website (barcamptamale14.eventbrite.com) or text "Barcamp Tamale [name] [email address] to 1945 through any mobile network.. You may also contact the BarCamp Tamale team through the eventbrite page for sponsorship opportunities. If you are interested in organizing a breakout session, let us know, especially if you have special needs.

BarCamp Tamale 2014 is sponsored by GhanaThink Foundation, Google, mPedigree, Nandimobile, etc. Our media partners are Spy Ghana, Northern Scope. Join us to move the Northern Region and Ghana forward.
Stay tuned via our social media. Twitter | Facebook | Google+

Monday, August 11, 2014

Appliquer Pour la Tech Camp Ouest Africaine avant son échéance imminente

I haven't released my Togolese alter-ego. My friend Thelma gave me some helpful material to learn French but my fluency is nowhere close to what it could be. So allow me to start off this blog post with some more English. Or you can skip it all to the French part. I have already given you great info with the title of this blog post :-)
It's very exciting for us at the GhanaThink Foundation to partner with the US Embassy in Ghana to organize TechCamp West Africa. Sounds a lot like Barcamp right? Yeah. You can learn more about multiple Tech Camps done all over the world at this website and at this wiki. Tech Camp West Africa will bring together some of the most influential, innovative and impactful young people in West Africa for a weekend of ideas, actions and projects.
GhanaThink and the US Embassy in Ghana look forward to all the cool things that will happen this weekend of November 14-16.

We're looking for applicants, as this is open to citizens of Ghana, Togo, Burkina Faso, Benin, Nigeria, Cote d'Ivoire and Liberia. If you meet the criteria, go ahead and apply today. The deadline is this Friday! This TechCamp promises to be full of action, with great value to all the participants and the various initiatives they are involved in. Read the press release below.
CampTech Régionale
Vous avez entre 25 - 35 ans et vous croyez-vous que votre génération peut servir de catalyseur pour la création d'emplois. Vous avez aussi réalisé des changements positifs dans votre quartier ou dans votre communauté et vous êtes prêts à faire partie d'une grande communauté. Vous êtes du Bénin, du Burkina Faso, du Ghana, de la Côte-d'Ivoire, du Libéria, du Nigeria, et du Togo, nous aimerions avoir de vos nouvelles.

GhanaThink en collaboration avec l’Ambassade des États unis au Ghana organise un Camping de la Technologie (TechCamp West Africa) pour l’Áfrique de l’Ouest, à Accra, Ghana. Ce camping, qui aura lieu du 14 au 16 novembre 2014, vise à répondre aux inquiétudes majeures de la jeunesse dans la sous-région – « Le Chômage et la Créa tion d’Emploi ».

Notre objectif en tant que chercheurs de solutions est de créer et de développer un réseau permanent d’agents de changement en vue d’augmenter la communication et la coordination régionale, et surtout le commerce à travers l’Afrique de l’Ouest.

Ensemble avec des experts du secteur privé, les 100 participants sélectionnés exploreront les obstacles à la croissance de petites entreprises et partager les bonnes pratiques pour les entrepreneurs privés et sociaux à fin de résoudre les défis régionaux à travers le partage des idées, la collaboration, le partenariat et l’apprentissage. Curieux(se)? Vous n’avez qu’à vous inscrire sur notre site www.techcampwestafrica.org avant le 15 août 2014 pour participer au TechCamp West Africa.

Venez partager, explorer, et construire avec nous au TechCamp West Africa. Pour plus d’information, aller sur www.techcaampwestafrica.org ou contacter GhanaThink via Twitter @GhanaThink ou l’Ambassade des États-Unis, Ghana @USEmbassyGhana. 

Informations générales: Des dizaines de TechCamp de par le monde entier ont réuni des représentants du secteur privé et de la société civile pour trouver des solutions aux défis communautaires. Ils sont uniques en ce qu’à la fin de l'événement, les voix de la société civile sont reliées à des réseaux internationaux de technologues, de parrains et de bénévoles numériques intéressés à aider à mettre en œuvre des solutions retrouvées.

Apply for Tech Camp West Africa before its impending deadline

Earlier, the GhanaThink Foundation was approached by the US Embassy - State Department to collaborate and organize a Tech Camp. Sounds a lot like Barcamp right? Yeah. These Tech Camps are done and pushed by the Tech @ State Department. You can learn more about multiple Tech Camps done all over the world at this website and at this wiki. It's very exciting for us at the GhanaThink Foundation to partner with the US Embassy in Ghana to organize TechCamp West Africa.

It will bring together some of the most influential, innovative and impactful young people in West Africa for a weekend of ideas, actions and projects. I am looking forward to all the cool things that will happen this weekend of November 14-16. We will surely leverage the success of this event to do more with GhanaThink and in Ghana afterwards. Adapt, Empower, Measure!

We're looking for applicants, as this is open to citizens of Ghana, Togo, Burkina Faso, Benin, Nigeria, Cote d'Ivoire and Liberia. If you meet the criteria, go ahead and apply today. The deadline is this Friday! This TechCamp promises to be full of action, with great value to all the participants and the various initiatives they are involved in. Read the press release below.
Are you between 25 - 35 years? Do you believe that your generation can be the catalyst for job creation?  Have you made positive change in your neighborhood or community?  Are you ready to be part of a greater community? Do you reside in Benin, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Nigeria, or Togo?  We want to hear from you.
GhanaThink in collaboration with the U.S. Embassy in Ghana is organizing TechCamp West Africa in Accra, Ghana from November 14 - 16, 2014 to address the primary concern of youth in the region -- “Unemployment and Job Creation.”  Our objective as solution seekers is to create and develop a lasting network of change agents to increase regional communication, coordination, and ultimately trade across West Africa.   Together with private sector experts, the 100 selected participants will explore obstacles to small business growth and share best practices for private and social entrepreneurs for solving regional challenges through idea-sharing, collaboration, partnership and learning.  Intrigued? Apply to be part of TechCamp West Africa at www.techcampwestafrica.org before August 15.
Come and share, explore, and build with us at TechCamp West Africa.  For more information, see www.techcampwestafrica.org or contact GhanaThink via Twitter @GhanaThink or US Embassy Ghana @USEmbassyGhana
Dozens of TechCamps around the world
have brought together representatives from the private sector and civil society to seek solutions to community challenges. They are unique in that after the event is over, civil society voices are connected to global networks of technologists, sponsors and digital volunteers interested in helping implement solutions.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Building a partnership with the second Junior Camp Augusco

There have been 2 Junior Camps at St. Augustine's College and I haven't been to any of them. I will make sure to go the next one. Funny thing is, if we allow +Wilson Seyram Ameamu and his Augusco boys, they will have a Junior Camp every single term. I couldn't attend JCAugusco on June 14th because I was in Ho attending the funeral of the late Eli Aidam, a +GhanaThink Foundation member who helped start +Barcamp Ho. Thankfully, the +Junior Camp Ghana (JCG) program is in able hands, and its team members +Nathaniel Alpha+Eunice Mintah Young and +francis kumadoh are able to hold the events down pat. The second JCAugusco was a success, with the support of the +Barcamp Cape Coast team.

This was the 6th Junior Camp following that on January 30, 2013 at +Keta Senior High Technical School, on July 13, 2013 at Kalpohin Senior High School, the first #JCAugusco on  July 27, 2013, and +Ahaspora Ghana's career mentoring event with the JCG's team involvement on December 30, 2013 and the second in 2014 after JCArmesco at Armed Forces Senior High School on June 7. Junior Camp Augusco was a career guidance and mentoring event for the students of St. Augustine's College.

Career Coach +Emmanuel Woyome was part of the panel at Barcamp Cape Coast 2013 which had the theme - "Solving unemployment by creating work". He was the keynote speaker at this Junior Camp where he shared a lot of great knowledge. The Preachers group at Augusco ministered unto the students and have a photo album on Facebook capturing the event as well. Other mentors included Isaac Essuman, Gordon Mensah, +Rachel Hormeku+Samuel Ekem+Papa Baffoe Aikins, Daniel Owusu, Kwasi  OwusuAdu-Gyimah, 3 members of the The Preachers group, Ebenezer Duncan Eghan, +Allan Barku, Christian K. Fialor, +Mary jonah, Yaw Odoom, resident teacher +Wilson Seyram Ameamu and the 3 +Junior Camp Ghana members.

Here are a few tweets that capture what happened at #JCAugusco.

You can see some more photos from the event here. There were a number of tweets posted via the #JCAugusco hashtag as well. Looking to more students becoming skills-oriented and focusing on skills to sustain careers. Thanks to Seyram and co, we're building a good relationship with Augusco. Kudos to the team of Nathaniel, Eunice, Francis, +Pedel Oppong+Kofi Kafui Kornu and Esinam Yevu for another event with a helping hand from +Thelma Boamah. The +Barcamp Cape Coast team also supported. 

Junior Camp Ghana Program So Far: Investing In Ghana's Future

Junior Camp Ketasco started us off on January 30, 2013. The +Junior Camp Ghana program expanded with Junior Camp Kalpohin on July 132013. St. Augustine's College grew it more on July 27, 2013. JCG is now 9 events strong. The team made up of +Nathaniel Alpha +Pedel Oppong +francis kumadoh +Kofi Kafui Kornu +Eunice Mintah Young, Esinam Yevu have been doing a great job. Award-winning blogger Francis, who joined the +GhanaThink Foundation after attending +Barcamp Cape Coast & organizing a National Volunteer Day (NVDay) activity in 2013, blogged about the JCG journey so far in a press release that's been published on +ModernGhana.com. Kudos to +Gameli Adzaho +Naomi Selorm +Wilson Seyram Ameamu +Christabel Dadzie +Freda Obeng-Ampofo +patrick Boakye +Christian Junior Worgbah +Dominic Hotor +Thelma Boamah and co who have played instrumental roles in making these events happen. Read the press release below.

The Junior Camp Ghana Program of the +GhanaThink Foundation has been of immense benefit to the  high School students who have experienced it since its inception in 2013. The program has been structured in such a way that makes the students make informed choices about their careers. This we do through the mentoring and counseling during breakout sessions around industries. We invite mentors from several fields to be part of our events. Examples are Health and Sciences, Computer Science, Fashion and Arts, Education, Social Media and Journalism, Technology, Music, Engineering, Public Speaking, Personal Branding, Environmental Health, Sports Development etc.

We’ve had 9 Junior Camps. We’ve had events at Keta Senior High School with 500 students, Kalpohin Senior High School (200 students), St. Augustine’s College (two events with 200 students at each event). In 2014, we’ve had events at Dumasua Junior High School (98 students), Armed Forces Senior High School (126 students), Krobo Girls Senior High School (1200 students), Takoradi Senior High School (240 students). In December 2013, 97 students who participated in a joint program with the Ahaspora Group of Young Professionals.
We have had speakers share on topics relevant to career guidance including +Emmanuel Woyome  (CareerCoach), +Esi Cleland-Yankson around skills and tools for high school students to succeed, and Eunice Ogbugo about charting a career. Our mentors have included Daniel Owusu (Personal Branding), Eunice Mintah Young (Journalism and Social Media), Francis Kumadoh (Education), Nana Ama Barnes (Health and Science), +Wilson Seyram Ameamu (Computer Science and Technology), Ato Ulzen-Appiah (Engineering), +Seyram Freddy Ahiabor (Technology), +John Armah (Entrepreneruship), +Akua Akyaa Nkrumah (Environmental Science). The following mentors have also been mentoring at our events: Nathaniel Alpha, +Collins Owusu Bempah, Annan Isaac Childers, Tetteh Andrews, +Samuel Ekem, Isaac Essuman, +kofi yeboah, +Karen Sagoe, +Mohammed Muntasir Nashiru, +Kofi Larbi, +Senam Aseye Bridget, +Eyram Tawia, +Yayra Tay, +Samuel Tinagyei, +duncan qwame, +Jemima Abochie, +Papa Baffoe Aikins, +William Osilaja Boampong, +Kobe Subramaniam, +Ela Asare and a host of others.
Whiles mentoring and guiding the students, we encourage them to learn a skill in addition to their academic qualifications. This we believe will make them look unique in their societies. We also encourage them not to abandon their talents but also help them to develop them. By doing all these we have the firm belief that we are truly helping the students live tomorrow’s career today. The GhanaThink Foundation seeks to mobilize and organize talent and resources in the service of Ghana. JCG events are workshops that seek to provide interaction, networking, and career guidance to high schools. +Junior Camp Ghana events target youth between the ages of 12-19 years to provide career guidance and counseling, expose them to multiple career paths and opportunities as well as connecting them with mentors that have inspiring stories to tell. JCG is inspiring change in tomorrow’s leaders today.
We are currently receiving invitations from senior and junior high schools to organize a Junior Camp on their campus. Reach us via our facebook page Junior Camp Ghana on Facebook  and/or our email juniorcamp@ghanathink.org.

If you need more information about Junior Camp Ghana, or want to schedule an interview with JCG, please contact Nathaniel Alpha on +233 272196393 or Eunice Mintah Young on +233 247787901 or email us juniorcamp@ghanathink.org .

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