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Showing posts from February, 2011

Attending a Lighthouse chapel in America (Oakland) #Ghana

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This Sunday, I attended yet another Ghanaian church in the Bay Area. Yeap, you guessed right, it's in Oakland too. I had already been to the Church of Pentecost here, twice. A friend invited me to the new Lighthouse Chapel International branch that they had started in September. Her persistence paid off as I attended this weekend. Like I learnt in Ghana last Christmas, there is a Lighthouse chapel in every corner. Seriously. I hope this blog entry helps us all figure out why.

There are 1200 Lighthouse Chapel International (LCI) branches worldwide in 52 nations. Talk about spreading far and wide. It started in Ghana 21 yrs through a medical student called Dag Heward Mills who is now the presiding bishop. Sorry, but I can't help but think of churches as businesses/enterprises/start-ups these days. Dag Heward Mills is every bit an entrepreneur churning out new entrepreneurs every year. There has been the question of should churches pay taxes? I think so, if they don't, they …

A story of an African bash/party in the Bay Area

It's an understatement for me to say that I had been looking forward to the "I am African" bash that happened in the Bay Area this Saturday. Friends of mine had invited me more than 4 months prior and messages hit my Facebook inbox every now and then. I was so giddy for this African party like I was in Las Gidi. Las Gidi is appropriate because the party was being thrown by mostly Nigerians and mostly Nigerians would be attending. Well, Ayooluwaato Eze would be there live and square too. Even for $20. Hey, most parties cost that, nothing new here. Besides, I wanted to be amongst my African people. Win-win situation. All my reservations about how African parties/clubs, etc were organized were thrown out the window. And then they resurfaced during that moment when we were leaving it. Let's recount. Tori o!

Firstly, this was going to be some bash. Tickets were sold online at http://iamafricanbash.eventbrite.com. Now, did you see that some tickets were being sold at $200? …

Ghana-made @MESTGhana startups grow in stature

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Last week, my good friend Edward Tagoe was in the Bay Area attending the Launch conference along with other Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) graduates. I was looking for opportunities to meet him since he was going to be even busier than me and he was in San Francisco. He sent me an itinerary and I picked the perfect opportunity, The Africa Network (TAN) February 2011 Event: Showcasing Africa Software Entrepreneurs. Edward's Nandi Mobile, alongside Retail Tower and Streemio would be presenting about their business to members of the Bay Area African community and other interested folks at the Plug and Play tech center in Sunnyvale, California. I enjoyed the event and little did I know it was one highlight of a week that would end up with Nandi Mobile's Gripeline winning best business at the Launch conference.

Attending the TAN event gave me the chance to learn more about these start-ups. A lot of this info is being reproduced from my tweets. Samuel Owusu Da…

Ghana-made @Nandimobile's #Gripeline wins best business at Launch Conference

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News broke Friday of NandiMobile, a Ghana-made start-up from the MEST Incubator winning a“Best Business” award at the LAUNCH conference in San Francisco. I was so excited about this, especially from my friends Edward Tagoe Twitter: @ttaaggooee, Anne Amuzu and Kwame Pocho. Edward had told me he was coming for a conference in San Francisco earlier this month, turns out it was a conference aligned with a competition of almost 100 Silicon Valley start-ups! For a Ghanaian-made product to win this international award in the Bay Area of all places, it is a monumental achievement. Mind you, this is not Ghanaians living the US or Ghanaian-Americans, these are Ghanaians who've been schooled in Ghana, worked and learnt in Ghana and built their products/software in Ghana. Like Jorn Lyseggen (CEO of the Meltwater Group) said, "software can be made ANYWHERE!" Congrats to @Nandimobile group.

I have already blogged about the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST). It…

Have you heard Didier Awadi's tributes to Pan-African African leaders and revolutionaries?

I've heard a lot of Senegal's DJ Awadi and how he is talked about a lot when it comes to African hip-hop. We've seen a lot of conscious and meaningful hip hop come out of Senegal and Awadi's Positive Black Soul deserves a lot of the credit. Awadi's recent album, Presidents d'Afrique (African presidents) was released in 2010, the same year many African nations celebrated their golden jubilees of independence. Awadi took us back to the 60's and told us those messages of unity, positivity, leadership and revolution still ring true today. So, I had to let you know all about the album :-)
African rap legend, Didier Awadi, is one of the most highly respected African musicians. He spent four years of research, reading, collecting and interviews preparing his most recent album, Presidents d'Afrique. He featured many African rappers and musicians on the album, making a transcendent and monumental African rap album. L'Esclave opens the album and features …

Velkom the Vim Views & Versions!

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While I was in Ghana over the Christmas break, I thought of my blog. I had missed blogging. I was browsing mostly on my HTC Aria phone powered by Android using Vodafone's mobile internet. Power to you, Vodafone. My laptop decided not to turn on once I got to Ghana so I was computerless. I couldn't get to use my brother or sister's pcs, because they were on it a lot. It didn't really occur to me to blog using my phone. Too much to type. That brought up another idea. Who said blogs should be 6 paragraphs? No one. If someone did, I'm not buying it. Blogging should be fun. Why so serious? Anyway, Why so serious was the title of my blog when I started it. It was chosen because this blog would be a place for me to speak my mind, promote people and projects, air out opinions, publicize things, etc. And I was going to do it my way, in a witty and funny way cos there is no reason why we can't talk about serious things in an 'unserious' way. But, this Christmas, …

Watching, guiding and aiding Takoradi's growth

Ghanaians have been giddy about the oil discovery on the Western shores of Ghana. Some are looking to work in the potential oil industry, while others are looking to do business around it. Some of the job expectations are unrealistic, people say. Some are skeptical how much money Ghana will really raise from the oil production and whether we might misuse it. The Western Region's traditional leaders want at least 10% of all oil revenue and many Ghanaians don't like that idea. One thing many Ghanaians agree on is the fact that places like Sekondi and Takoradi are not going to be the same. They are about to be transformed. If you read the news or have asked Takoradi residents, Takoradi is transforming. We should watch, guide and tailor this transformation in the absolute best interest of Ghana's development.

It's tough to talk about Takoradi and not mention Sekondi. They are the Twin-cities. When we were planning the first Barcamp in the Western Region, we battled with na…

Learning more about the African Leadership Academy at #SAF2011

While at the Stanford Africa Forum two weekends ago, I asked a question during the education panel. The recipients were to be Chris Bradford, the COO of the African Leadership Academy (ALA) and Zimbabwe's Lennon Chimbumu Adams, one of the first graduates from the ALA. The ALA is a residential secondary institution located on the outskirts of Johannesburg, a two-year program that prepares students for university. You can learn all about ALA on its wikipedia page. I was thinking about a recent new story I heard about Ghana's Ashesi University, where it was reported that out of 90 total graduates last May, 14 percent went on to graduate school abroad. Still, a majority of Ashesi’s graduates stays in Ghana. On the Ashesi website, it also stresses the latter point, saying 95% choose to stay in Africa. Hence, I wanted to know what the total number of graduates from ALA's first ever class, how many graduates were staying in Africa, what universities were they going to or what the…

Tweeting & Reporting from the Stanford Africa Forum themed #Enterepreneurship and #Development

Two weekends ago, I was at the Stanford Africa Forum. If you were there and you saw a young man wearing an African shirt, unlike the many others who were wearing suits and their cousin-type attires, that would be me. The fairer one. The theme for the event was "Entrepreneurship and Development: Doing Business in a Frontier Market". It was organized by Stanford students, including some from the Graduate School of Business (GSB). I must congratulate the team for putting up a great event. I wasn't going to miss this event for anything. It's what I do. I live for events like these. I documented a lot of what happened at SAF through.... tweets. Yes, I am loving my HTC Aria powered by Android. Let me tell you what I took away from SAF as per the tweets.

First of, I am not a big fan of keynote speeches. I won't lie, I wasn't too interested in who the keynote for SAF was, so I skipped his speech totally. You can find his name at the Stanford African Business Forum we…