Saturday, November 30, 2013

Building industries for our communities in and out of Tema

+Barcamp Tema 2013 was the second +Barcamp Ghana event of the year after +Barcamp Kasoa. It came off on August 10 at the Rotary Centre in Tema. This cool venue was secured in conjunction with the Rotaract Club of Tema. The theme was 'Building Industries for our Communities'. Given that Tema is an industrial city with many communities, you could see that this theme was very carefully chosen. With Tema being popular for music and musicians, the idea was to help spring more industries for similar communities in Tema.

The event began with Samuel Abakah, the admin manager at the Tema Development Corporation (TDC), talking about the history of Tema and talking about the work of the TDC. Tema is about the only town in Ghana with a dedicated development corporation helping build it. This stems from the formation of Tema during Kwame Nkrumah's time, another feather in his cap. While Tema Municipal Assembly (TMA) maintains Tema like others around the country, TDC facilitates large scale development in Tema. You can find out many of what Mr. Abakah said via +GhanaThink Foundation's Storify story. He shared a lot of great tidbits and that generated a lot of chatter and learning. We learnt about Tema's other name 'Tormang' and that municipal Tema was hitting 2 million inhabitants. Many Tema residents asked questions about their communities, we had a little town hall going.

The speed mentoring session was the next on the agenda. In the spirit of catering for many communities of interest, many people from varied disciplines were invited as resource personnel. They had 1-on-1 mentoring sessions with attendees for 10 minutes at a time. We had +chemphe (Musician), +Ali Bukari Maiga (a Google champion who currently heads +GBG Tema), +Benjamin Gregory Aggrey (Woman 2.1 Summit), +Ob Abenser (of +FashionistaGH), +Nana Kofi Asihene (NKACC - video production & fashion), Felicia Joan Oppong (Finance), +Gregory Rockson (Entrepreneur), +Nana Asaase Philip Boakye Dua Oyinka (Spoken Word Artist), +Emeka Okoye (Technologist), +Emmanuel Okyere (Hutspace), +Basil Anthony (TicketGhana), Vickie Remoe (GoWomanAfrica), Daniel Antwi-Boasiako (Doctor) and Seth Otu Larbi (Oil & Gas). You can see what people were saying about this via Storify as well.

The event continued with sponsor presentations. Jake Morrison, an ambassador for Kiss Condoms (DKT International), did a small session around sexual health and the need for protection. +Doris Anson-Yevu+Kobe Subramaniam and +Donald Ward collectively presented about various Google tools for developers and business people, representing +Google Africa. Maxwell of the Rotaract Club talked about their work as well. Other sponsors for the event were the +Mpwr show, Nandimobile and the Ghana News Agency. The theme was dissected as part of a panel discussion. +Senam Aseye Bridget moderated the discussion which featured Cecilia Anderson (Global Children Action Network), Seth Otu Larbi, Chemphe and Daniel Antwi-Boasiako. The discussion was captured on Twitter too and thanks to Storify, you can follow it here.

Various breakout sessions were the last line in the agenda in bringing +Barcamp Tema to a close. The breakout sessions were the Election Petition session led by +Ghana Decides (of +BloggingGhana), Open Data session led by Emeka Okoye & Emmanuel Okyere, Blogging and social media session led by +Delalorm Semabia, Insurance session led by rep from an insurance company, Google Business and Developer Tools session by Donald Ward, Doris Anson-Yevu and Kobe Subramaniam, Matters of the brain and SHS session led by Andrews of Rotaract Club in IPS, and the Getting content about Tema online led by +Enock Seth Nyamador of +Planning WIKIMEDIA GHANA. You can read about actions and reactions here on Storify.

Many of the 230 attendees connected, networked and are collaborating to make various things happen. Some attendees were inspired to start their own businesses. A lot of conversations about the election verdict happened as well. The Wikimedia team took a lot of notes about Tema that would help populate the Tema Wikipedia page with better information. There were a lot of SHS students who attended the event and learnt a lot. It's always great to see the enthusiasm to either support future Barcamps, be part of the next Barcamp teams or get inspired to organize and do similar things.

This was the 21st Barcamp in Ghana and the second Barcamp Tema. The organizing team was made up of Senam, +Felix Nartey+Leonard Hagan+ELOM ALFONSO+Sophia Amenyah and Maxwell Seshie. Many other thanks and kudos to the various +GhanaThink Foundation members who played great roles to make the event successful. Check out #bctema on Google+ & Twitter
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