Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The 3rd Barcamp Kasoa discusses "Education That Counts" #bckasoa

The third +Barcamp Kasoa happens on Saturday. Before we get into the press release and other info you need to know, I'll like to highlight the team making this possible. Kasoa is a very interesting town, some might call it city. It's one of the fastest growing cities in West Africa, and that also means its growth is pretty disorganized. It's densely populated with many private schools (even tertiary level). We run a Twitter discussion on #famouspeopleinkasoa recently and thankfully, before people jumped on it to make fun of Kasoa, we discovered many great sons and daughters of Kasland. It's clear that the many people in Kasoa are in the informal sector and many who succeed and live there have not had the best education. That's why the +Barcamp Kasoa theme is - Education that counts. Intrigued? Go here.

The main Barcamp Kasoa team is made up of +Elorm Billy-Awittor +Emelia Agblevor +jennepha omueti +Edmund Laryea +Danshiki Lapido and they are ably supported by +Barcamp Ghana team members +kofi yeboah +Leonard Hagan +Rachel Hormeku amongst other +GhanaThink Foundation members. Looking forward to a great Barcamp Kasoa on Saturday. You can join us in person or via the hashtag #bckasoa on Twitter. Press release below.

BarCamp Kasoa 2015 is a free networking event to bring people together for a day of discussion, demos and dialogue about Kasoa, Ghana and beyond. This event would take place on July 25, 2015 at West End University College. The theme is 'Education that counts'. Barcamp Kasoa is organized primarily by the GhanaThink Foundation.

This Barcamp event is part of the Barcamp Ghana program run by the GhanaThink Foundation, an NGO based both in Ghana and the USA. GhanaThink has organized 45 BarCamps in Ghana, building a network of changemakers, doers and entrepreneurs. This will be the 3rd Barcamp in Kasoa.

This Barcamp will focus on sharing and education on many ways of utilizing knowledge from educational institutions.  As usual, the Barcamp will feature multiple user-generated breakout sessions about topics relevant to the Central Region, Kasoa and beyond. Emelia Agblevor a member of the BarCamp Kasoa team said, "I'm excited about this third BarCamp in Kasoa as the theme speaks directly to the educational crises the country is currently facing. It would be a great platform for serious brainstorming and generating great ideas towards making education count in the country”.

There will be a speed mentoring session where mentors will give insights and answers to questions from attendees. As usual, mentors from diverse industries will be there to share insights on the theme. Confirmed resource personnel include +Nanayaw Arthur aka Daniel Arthur-Baidoo (Designer & Inventer), +Eric Opoku Agyemang (Patriots Ghana), Zenaida Morrison (Broadcast Journalist), +priscilla becky cudjoe (Educationist), +Ebenezer Essuman (Public Speaker), +Binta Alhassan Ibn Kimba (Journalist), +Stephen gyasi-kwaw (Entrepreneur), +Wilson senya (Educationist), Afia Drah (Television Producer), amongst others.
Register at Barcamp Kasoa Eventbrite site. You can also register by sending “Barcamp Kasoa, Your Name, Your Email Address” to 1945 on all mobile networks.(example - Barcamp Kasoa Esi Eshun . Contact us via barcamp at for sponsorship or partnership opportunities.

Barcamp Kasoa 2015 is supported by Making All Voices Count, Tigo Ghana, West End University College.
Stay tuned via our social media. Hashtag is #bckasoa. Twitter | Facebook | Google+

Barcamp Ghana - All about Barcamps in Ghana

This is also posted on the Barcamp Ghana website. See here -

Recently, someone sent a message to the +Barcamp Koforidua  page asking - "What do you do at the (bar)camp and for how long and how much?" This article addresses his and others’ questions. The Barcamp Ghana program is a GhanaThink Foundation initiative. This program is building a network of young changemakers, doers and entrepreneurs. At Barcamps in Ghana, there is learning, sharing and networking. The aim is to bring people together to learn from each other, share with each other and network. A lot of the conversations are broadly around entrepreneurship, leadership and technology.

What is a Barcamp? A Barcamp is an ad-hoc informal gathering of people. Barcamps in Ghana are an evolution of what regular Barcamps are and a revolution around which certain goals are being met. Barcamps in Ghana have become "networking forums". Events where serious discussions happen in an informal and open environment. So yes, it's liking to camping in a bar without the loud music and the alcohol. Attendees must leave the Barcamps highly motivated, inspired and enterprising. It's that "can-do" attitude. There are 3 main sections of each Barcamp in Ghana as described below.

There is one session that centers around the theme for the Barcamp and its location - town, etc. This session can be done in the form of a keynote speaker who speaks or presents on the theme, or an interview with this keynote person on the theme. We can also have a panel of people discussing the theme. In some cases, we have had open discussions on the theme, as one group or broken into separate groups. The latter session gives Barcampers the opportunity to figure out - who is in the room - that they can network or connect with easily.

The second main session is that of speed mentoring. It's like speed dating, but one person is a mentor the other a mentee. It’s normally a one-on-one 10 minute session or sometimes with a couple of people to a mentor. If there are too few mentors for the large participant number or many participants are unable to see mentors, we'll switch to group mentoring with longer times in each round. The aim of these chats is for the mentee to gain insight and get advice from the mentor. It's also for them to network, discuss something peculiar to them, gain information, etc. It's arguably the most popular session at Barcamps.  

The third session consists of breakout sessions organized by various participants. Some are organized by +Barcamp Ghana partners, other organizations, etc. A Barcamper can literally hear about the Barcamp on Friday, attend on Saturday morning and by Saturday afternoon, organize a breakout session on a topic of their choice. It makes our participants further drive the agenda of the Barcamp. Some use these sessions to drive adoption of tools and products (example Google), others to get local content online (like Wikimedia User Groups), and others engaging users on their programs (like Reach for Change). Blogcamp Ghana, Ghana Makers group, and various groups around the subject of some of these breakout sessions have been created after breakout sessions at Barcamps in Ghana.

Barcamps in Ghana have mostly attracted the youth, especially the aspirational types. They have always been free, since the first Barcamp Ghana event. They target mostly tertiary students and working professionals. The numbers at each event vary from 100 to 400, depending on the location, timing, and yes, budget. Barcamps in Ghana normally run from 9am to 3 or 5pm. The first hour is for registration and networking, and breakfast too. I also call the let's wait for people to come hour". Many Ghanaians are tardy with time and we use the first hour to build a quorum of people and do some networking before the Barcamp actually starts. At about 1 or 2, lunch is served, for free as well.

A lot of the mentors are also young. We believe in the power of peer mentoring. Horizontal inspiration comes when colleagues drive their age mates to do better because they have taken the lead and are achieving. What are Barcamps for? Quite simply, we are building a movement of Ghanaian changemakers, doers and entrepreneurs who all know each other. Check out 5 things somebody learnt after one event.

We +GhanaThink Foundation have had Barcamp Ghana events - in Accra, Kumasi, Takoradi, Tamale, Cape Coast, Ho, Sunyani, Tema, Koforidua, Kasoa, Bolga, Wa and counting. I earlier called it a "morevim movement", a number of people who are interested in Ghana's development as well as their own and won't leave that in the hands of the government or others. The movement is moving across the length and breadth of Ghana and multiplying outside of its borders and catching up to the next of kin in the Diaspora.

Friday, June 12, 2015

10 over 10 - Barcamp Wa completes Barcamp Ghana

Finally, in a couple of days, we can say Barcamps have been to every region of Ghana. Thanks to a team led by Rukaya Sukah and the resourcefulness of Joachim Danbo, the first Barcamp Wa happens on June 13. I'm blogging about this as I take a DKM bus to Wa with Rachel Hormeku, marketing lead for the Barcamp Ghana team. We'll be joined by Kofi Yeboah, Kobe Subramaniam, Daniel Yakuba, Amos Antumwini amongst others in executing the first networking forum bringing and building a community of young changemakers, doers and entrepreneurs in Wa.

Below is the press release prepared by Rachel Hormeku. At any point of time you are reading this, search #Bcwa on social media and get updated.

BarCamp Wa 2015 is a free networking forum where participants learn,
share and network. BarCamp Wa 2015 is on the theme, 'Entrepreneurship for economic security'. This maiden edition in the Upper West region of Ghana takes place on June 13, 2015 at the Lecture Hall adjacent the Spanish Lab at the Wa Campus of University for Development Studies.

This first BarCamp in Wa would be the 45th Barcamp as part of the Barcamp Ghana program run by the GhanaThink Foundation. The Barcamp Ghana program is building a network of young changemakers, doers, entrepreneurs in Ghana and beyond. This Barcamp will focus on sharing and education on many ways of being creative entrepreneurs and how to sustain businesses in Ghana's economy. Rachel Hormeku, the marketing lead for the BarCamp Ghana team said, "I'm excited about this first BarCamp in Wa. It will be and build a network of great minds. Every young person in Wa would benefit greatly from this."

As usual, the Barcamp will feature multiple user-generated breakout sessions about topics relevant to the Upper West Region, Wa and beyond. There will be a speed mentoring session where mentors will give insights and answers to questions from attendees. As usual, mentors from diverse industries will be there to share insights on the theme. Some of the confirmed resource personnel include Mumuni Sulemana, Martin Dery, Dr Damasus Tuurosong, Hikmat Baba Dua, Alhaji Nur Danwaana, Lawyer Shakur, Aiden Sumara, Richard Quainoo, Braimah Samadu, Justice Bening, Benjamin Kanligi, Steven Saan Ire, Freeman Kanton, Mahama Latif, Abu Jica, Roger Zolko-ere, etc.

Register at Barcamp Wa Eventbrite site You can also register by sending “Barcamp Wa Your Name Your Email Address” to 1945 on all mobile networks. (example - Barcamp Wa Esi Eshun Contact us via barcamp at ghanathink dot org for sponsorship or partnership opportunities. Our hashtag is #bcwa.

BarCamp Wa 2015 is supported by Tigo Ghana, Making All Voices Count (MAVC) and UDS - Wa SRC. Join us to move the Upper West region and Ghana forward.

Stay tuned via our social media.
Twitter  - @BarCampWa
Facebook - BarCamp Wa
Google+ - BarCamp Wa

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Barcamp Tema 2015 - Create, Impact, Sustain

Great to see BarCamp Tema 2015 happen under the team work of these fine folks, +Benjamin Adadevoh +ELOM ALFONSO +Edem Kporha +Nana Ennuson +Leonard Hagan +kofi yeboah +Rachel Hormeku +Senam Aseye Bridget amongst others.

BarCamp Tema 2015 is a free networking forum bringing people together for a day of discussion, demos and dialogue on Tema, Ghana and beyond. It takes place on May 30 at the Rotary Centre (Club House) in Tema. The theme is "Create. Impact. Sustain" . This is the 44th +Barcamp Ghana  program and it’s organized by the GhanaThink Foundation as it builds a network of young change makers, doers and entrepreneurs in Ghana. It's being organized in conjunction with the Rotaract Club of Tema. This year, we take a more realistic look at how ideas and solutions are created, sustained and impact our community and the world.
There will be a speed mentoring session where mentors will give insights and answers to questions from attendees. As usual, mentors from diverse industries will be there to share insights on the theme. Confirmed mentors are Annabella Boadi-Misa (Founder, ABM ART integrate), Kenneth Owusu-Akyaw (President, Aquimiini Digital Communication), Damiano Aubin Lantonkpode (Projects/Events Management Consultant), Crisswaddle R2Bees (Musician), +Akumaa Mama Zimbi (Media Personality), Gameli Adzaho (‎Environment & Human Health Specialist, Blogger), +Hassan Salih (Architect, Founder Mesh), Lucy Dede Asare (Chemical Engineer, Caterer - Founder JollotPot), Norbert Ambenne (Engineer,Writer), Nicholas Ferguson (HR, Construtora Queiroz Galvão), +Akua Akyaa Nkrumah (‎Environmental Scientist, Waste-to-Resource Technologist), +jude abbey & +Jude Nyoagbe (3d visualizer, Graphic Designers Partners Revival Design and Visualization studios); Doe Y. Agbolosoo- Mensah,(Corporate Strategist, National Petroleum Corporation), George-Patrick Bediaku (Civil Engineer, sports journalist), Frederick Tettey (Administrative Assistant Solas Enterprise, marine safety consultancy) and MANY MORE.

This Barcamp will focus on sharing and education on many tips and ways of being creative and sustainable and impactful with our ideas. As usual, the Barcamp will feature multiple user-generated breakout sessions about topics. There will be a keynote interview with a top level executive from Tigo Ghana, discussing the theme - “Create. Impact. Sustain”. Norbert Ambene will also give a presentation centering around the topic. Director of the +GhanaThink Foundation, Ato Ulzen-Appiah adds, “ +Barcamp Tema will be the first in a series of networking forums, where a lot more quality is ensured in our breakout sessions, with active participation from industry expertise.”
Register/RSVP at the BarCamp Tema eventbrite website ( or text "Barcamp Tema [name] [email address] (example Barcamp Tema Esi Eshun to 1945 through any mobile network. Contact us via barcamp at ghanathink dot org for partnership opportunities.
BarCamp Tema 2015 is supported by Tigo Ghana, Rotaract Club of Tema, Making All Voices Count (MAVC), BLU Telecommunications, etc. Join us to move the Greater Accra Region and Ghana forward.

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

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Eaton INTU Ghana - powering ourselves better

On Monday, May 11th, I attended a media briefing which launched Eaton Corporation's operations in Ghana in partnership with a local group of companies INTU. Eaton is the 4th largest electrical company in the world with over 100000 employees globally. With offices and manufacturing lines in South Africa, Tunisia and Morocco, Ghana is a new point of call to drive their business more intimately. Monday marked a milestone in Eaton's business as they launched their operations in Ghana, in conjunction with the INTU group of companies. This launch was organized by Global Media Alliance, the same company which houses YFM, ETV, Silverbird. They do a lot of press relations and marketing work as well. Eaton's interests here were represented by Jerry Sawyerr, who handles their PR in the sub region. Sumaya Abdool, the head of marketing for Eaton Electrical in Africa, welcomed us.
Shane Kilfoil, the managing director of Eaton Africa, gave a presentation with some more insight into Eaton's business and organization. "We don't manufacture power, we help out customers manage power, safely". A lot of light has been thrown on how Ghanaians manage and/or waste power & energy. A bit part of the problem driving this #dumsor crisis is the heavy consumption while we don't generate power to current capacity.

About Eaton, Shane mentioned "We make equipment that operate in harsh environments and still do so in safe ways". This is extremely important. With their South African operations, Eaton makes so many conveyor belts that are used in mines all around the world. We see a lot of unsafe galamsey practices in Ghana, whose business is not crippling the formal mining sector in Ghana. If our tech companies are hard hit by the power crisis, imagine the mining sector, the bread upon which our natural resource economy is based. Their ability to use power and even contribute to the power grid is important for Ghana and Eaton's entry will make this even better.

Everyone likes to talk about the 50MW power projects, forgetting about the smaller ones for end users". I bought a generator for the first time this year to cope with dumsor. I had considered solar power, and inverters before this. Many SMEs are suffering in this current climate, and solutions that target them to manage their power consumption are key. Eaton and INTU understand this clearly and will be driving these solutions in the market. It may have taken them a while to launch in Ghana, but there is no better time than the present.

How do you build one of the world's largest electrical companies with billions in revenue and a 100,000 employees? By working with partners and acquiring others to grow. Eaton already does business in Ghana but by partnering with INTU, one aspect of business often overlooked in Ghana is done better. "With people on the ground, manufacturing & delivering quicker, means better customer service", Shane said.

I must have heard about INTU before, especially INTU-IT. Though the INTU group of companies has done extensive work in Ghana, because it is B2G - Business to Government, I have hardly heard of them. INTU has a great track record in the services industry in Ghana. Bryan Akyeampong, their CEO, shared a lot of this.

INTU will be starting out with Eaton power quality products & others that can help companies & communities manage power better. Bryan mentioned how companies like Global Media Alliance could wean themselves off the grid and even sell power for distribution. The more intriguing revelations were around towns like Nkawkaw using Eaton power systems and products; A plug & play power container into to provide power for all its needs. A strong local leadership could take such a project on with other forward thinking partners. We need great examples like these to inspire change and innovation around the country. After the presentations, Eaton's Shane and INTU's Bryan signed their partnership into agreement and posed for photo opps, short of the two of them taking a selfie and posting it on Twitter with the #EatonIntuGhana hashtag.

I was curious as to what roles many of the 100,000 Eaton employees were in globally, why there were only 900 of them in Africa and what they did differently. A journalist asked about the unemployment issues in Ghana and Eaton will help resolve that. Shane answered saying many of the employees are in manufacturing and distributing roles. Partnering with local companies also brings new business and capacity that creates more jobs as well.

You can find more information about the media briefing via #eatonintughana. Let's welcome Eaton into Ghana. Eating Intu Ghana. See what I did there? :-) Akwaaba INTU Ghana, Eaton. Eaton's mantra is powering business worldwide but in Ghana, we can use Eaton and INTU 's partnership in powering ourselves better

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

My passions, #getstartedafrica!

It's your voice that everyone wants to hear. Have an idea or dream? Get Started, With a Nescafe.
Here's a video where I talk about my passions, +Barcamp Ghana amongst other things. Watch it and be inspired to get your dream started.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

JCIP - A paid internship program for Ghanaian high school students

I've blogged about the +Junior Camp Ghana program started and grew. As part of providing value to high school students in Ghana, primarily through, we organized Junior Camps in Ketasco, Kalpohin and Augusco+GhanaThink Foundation's Junior Camp Ghana program has grown into 21 events since January 2013. It includes a collaboration with the +Ahaspora Ghana Young Professionals in mentoring some senior high school students. Our first major partner is +Webster University's Ghana campus, which we truly appreciate. Our +Diaspora Camp member +Thelma Boamah applied for a grant to run an internship program for high school students last year. After working through it, getting the grant and supporting more junior camps, we are at the point where the Junior Camp Ghana Internship Program is live.

Before I leave you with details, I'll like to recognize those who have led us to this point under the leadership of Thelma. +Gameli Adzaho has worked on the curriculum that will prepare the interns, with help from +Priscilla Esinam Yevu+Kofi Kafui Kornu takes on a role working with our 6 confirmed companies. +Nathaniel Alpha +Eunice Mintah Young +francis kumadoh and +Pedel Oppong continue to support the success of this under their Junior Camp Ghana program. Get in touch with us for more information and how you can help, support or partner. (juniorcamp at ghanathink dot org). The most important link is the application :-)

From July to September 2015, Junior Camp Ghana is rolling out a Ten Week Internship Programme for Senior High School leavers. This programme is meant to expose them to the world of work. The Internship Programme will focus on grooming 10 participants in their various fields of interest, as they undergo 8 week internships at companies in Ghana. These will include Agriculture, Technology, Art, among others.

The Junior Camp Internship Programme (JCIP) will boost their confidence and capacity to improve their employability. “Experience is the best teacher, which is why internships are so valuable for career development,” Thelma Boamah, the JCIP project lead said. “JCIP participants will be supported to gain a better understanding of their career interests and, through practical experience, develop the soft skills employers want to see.” Final year students in Senior High Schools in Ghana should apply via before 1st May, 2015.

Junior Camp Ghana is a career guidance and mentorship programme run by the GhanaThink Foundation. This foundation believes in investing in the potentials of young Ghanaians, especially at the Junior High School and Senior High School level. They believe this will help heighten their interest and participation in ensuring the progress of the country. The main message in the Junior Camps is to encourage students to build skills. JCIP will give 10 senior high school graduates the opportunity to experience work and implement learning as they continue to build skills.

Last year, over 3,000 students benefited from the career guidance and counselling sessions on their campuses with mentors from various industries. This is an extension of the overall vision of the GhanaThink Foundation which has the slogan; “Less Talk, More Action”. JCIP is an effort to put more action to all the talks where students learnt about building skills in the previous year. The internship programme will offer successful applicants a unique opportunity to gain vital work experience and industry exposure.

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