Saturday, September 25, 2010

Ashifi Gogo at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI)

This weekend, a friend of mine who I really respect, Ashifi Gogo, sent me an email saying "President Clinton recently commented on the challenges of counterfeiting in front of several world leaders in business and politics attending the Clinton Global Initiative annual meeting." Ashifi, the famous Kwabeef man, was being introduced by the former US president, Bill Clinton. Level! That was all I needed to see to do this blog entry. I am so proud of Ashifi, he's under 30 and he's doing big things. A revered! He is behind the website anyway :-)

Ashifi Gogo has been working on a start-up Sproxil, which is a service that fights counterfeit drugs. For his work, he is winning awards and going into high places. He was also the featured speaker at BarCamp Diaspora. He was also a panelist at BarCamp Ghana 08. I also blogged about his story earlier.

Bill had this to say about Ashifi's work. "This is a genuinely remarkable accomplishment...(it's) empowering...putting people in charge of their own healthcare." See video below
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Outstanding Commitment Award
In 2009, Sproxil made a commitment to action at the Clinton Global Initiative University, to use technology to enhance people's lives, especially in the case of fake drugs. We won an Outstanding Commitment Award in Global Health, leading to the first large-scale crowdsourced anti-counterfeiting text message system deployed in Africa.

Watch the full CGI session

cgi_plenary on Broadcast Live Free

When he was asked by the Clinton Global Initiative "why fake drugs", he said, "I commit to craft technologies specifically for the developing world. My current realization of this lifelong goal is to provide an easy service for any developing world consumer to check their medication against counterfeits using any cell phone. Just like a lottery ticket, consumers scratch off a label on their medication, revealing a number that they could then text and receive instant verification of their drugs at the pharmacy or open air market. This will help prevent disasters such as the death of 84 infants in Nigeria last year due to teething syrup laced with antifreeze."

Ashifi's work has been recognised by the World Summit Awards, World Economic Forum Tech Pioneers, etc and he's given presentations at top institutions. He's been awarded at the IBM SmartCamp, USAID, Nokia, the IEEE, amongst others. Ashifi Gogog is one of the cheetahs, part of a young African generation who are making things happen. Let's begin to celebrate the young upstarts and acknowledge their work. More over, it will give us more inspiration to start investing our talents where they count. Tsooboi!

PS: Photo - President Clinton congratulates Sproxil CEO Dr. Gogo at 2010 Clinton Global Initiative meeting in New York, USA. Photo: CGI
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