The Global Shapers

Last July, I was welcomed into the Global Shapers Hub of Accra. Interestingly, I had only heard about it a month earlier when the Accra folks were looking for additional shapers in Ghana. I wasn't too clear on what the Global Shapers were but the way I just explained it to friends of mine recently are that Global Shapers are the young people shaping their communities who are connected to the World Economic Forum. Let's pick something from the official website. "The Global Shapers Community is a network of Hubs developed and led by young people who are exceptional in their potential, their achievement and their drive to make a contribution to their communities"

Since I've been part of the Global Shapers Hub of Accra, I've gotten to share and learn from some very awesome individuals based in Accra. The curator of the hub is Nadia Zeine who runs Brand Effect (seen their signboards in Ayawaso West Wuogon?) and Other Stakeholders, amongst other things. I first met her in person at her office in East Legon. After a great long conversation, she offered me to join the Global Shapers hub. I didn't see that coming, at all. I left the building thinking, this chis is way too awesome. Fred Deegbe Jr, proud Ashesi alumni and founder of Heel The World (H.T.W) shoes is another member. I first met Fred at TEDxDzorwulu. Deborah Ahenkorah, who I know from her time in the US when she started the Baobab Prize at Bryn Mawr College - whereby that has morphed into a social entreprise called the Golden Baobab - is another member. I don't remember where I first met Debbie sef.

Gary Al-Smith, Twitter guru and sports journalist extraordinaire, who is also an Odadee (Presec Alumni) also dey inside some. The first time Gary 'struck' me in person was at Barcamp Takoradi after he had asked Nana Kobina Nketsia V a question. Yawa Hansen-Quao, who I first met at Barcamp Ghana 2009 at the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology and another alumni of Ashesi is another member. She runs the Leading Ladies Network. One-time top blogger in Ghana, Esi Woarabae Cleland (now Yankson), is another member. I first met the Wesley Girls' alumni at Smith College and she was also a panelist at the very first Barcamp Ghana event in December 2008. She is a co-founder of Afrochic. John Roberts, the founder of the Open University of West Africa is the latest member. The day OUWA & SliceBiz launched HubAccra - Accra's first tech co-working space, I remember John on CITI FM showing off his Twi and thinking, I like what this guy is doing. Next time I am on an English-speaking radio or television station in Ghana, I am speaking some small Twi or Pidgin English by force :-)

I am in Cape Town this week. I applied and got invited to join the World Economic Forum on Africa event this week. Before that starts on Wednesday, I am attending SHAPE Africa, which is the first gathering of Global Shapers from around the African continent. Turns out that many hubs in Africa routinely have 15, 20, 25 members. At 8, the Accra hub is pretty small. We need to expand it soon. And leverage those numbers to make more happen in Ghana and for Ghana. And the Kumasi hub must happen soonest too. I don't like how too many things happen in Accra to the neglect of the rest of Ghana. The Accra hub would be expanding this year and am looking forward to welcoming new members and hopefully more around Ghana.

At Barcamp Accra 2012, I invited all the shapers to become speed mentors at the event. Gary and John couldn't make it. It was a great time and that story was captured here. The first project the Accra Global Shapers Hub is doing is called "Watchudoin". "What are you doing?" to impact your community or shape (your corner of) the globe? Whatchudoin? Okay, now, let's watch you doing. Watchudoin!? It hasn't gotten the effort, traction and vim needed to make it more successful but I think it is really needed. The project is to document the stories of awesome young Ghanaians on video. See the videos we've shot so far involving Nandimobile's Edward Tagoe, Anne Amuzu and Adwoa Safoa Gyimah of Sa4a designs. More dey come. Watch this space.

Excited about being a Global Shaper, especially today. Gotto make this count even more. More vim!
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