Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Recapping the Vodafone Ghana AppStar Awards & Exhibition

I've done what people will call emceeing at many Barcamps in Ghana. I'm the default +Barcamp Ghana emcee, but am trying to change that. I won't be emceeing +Barcamp Accra this Saturday. This year, I've emceed the weddings of my two sisters. I'm not sure I did a great job but I will do this better and better. Who knows? I should get +Kafui Dey MC's "How to MC any event" book. Maybe I'll become a professional emcee.  On December 3, 2014, I emceed the Vodafone Ghana AppStar Awards and Exhibition at the Fiesta Royale Hotel. This was the first I had emceed a professional event. I wasn't able to experience the event like an attendee because I was a different kind of participant. But that's why there is Twitter and hashtags :-)

I announced the day on Twitter.
Vodafone also welcomed us.
I then started reading a number of funny #appstargh tweets. I blogged about those earlier here. This was when fuel Tracker was demoed. Alongside a radio app whose name I can't remember now.
I introduced the judges. My +Party Crew buddy +Derek Bossman+Julius Owusu-Kyerematen who I knew from the States and +Todd Holcombe from the +Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology.
After wondering who will be finally especially be in the established app category, we learnt about it at the event.
The Vicinity App was demoed first. This app helps users find waakye spots, ATMs, and other places of interest around them. +Priscilla Haizel who I met this year was on the team with other MEST EITs Aberdeen Adelu and +Barnabas Nsoh.
I had missed most of the +VodafoneGhana #IconsRemix goodness because I didn't have a TV. So I didn't realise @AliceTwum and co when they came in. I thought they were media people because we were asked to vacate some seats we were in for them. Anyway, Alice, who was the 2nd runner up of the Vodafone Icons Remix edition sang a song after. Because I never knew the song, I thought it was hers. "I blast!" :-)
Smart Doctor was the next app to be demoed.
The Vodafone Icons first runner-up Titi (@icons_titi) and then the winner Chris (@Icons_Chris) performed after.
I released my first tweet while at the event. My phone's been having staying alive problems. Sigh.
Africa's Legends. That's what +Eyram Tawia and +Nana Kwabena Owusu will become part of. Kobby asked about African superheroes and someone in the audience mentioned my name. Honoured. Eish, I just remembered I have to write that blog post about how I do all I do.
GH Vigilante demoed next.
I was very happy when Africa's Legends won! More money and bragging rights for +Leti Arts. Kobby, Eyram and I go way back. Really proud of them.
Vicinity won! Another team from MEST? The +Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology schools just keep on #winning.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Father Christmas of Barcamps in Ghana is here - Barcamp Accra 2014!

It's been a busy year for the +Barcamp Ghana program. On Saturday, we have our 14th Barcamp this year, which will also be the 8th Barcamp in Accra, since 2008. Barcamp Accra 2014 is a free networking forum where people will learn from, share and network with each other. It's a place for you to get inspired, motivated, connected, learn about opportunities, learn, share, promote in a fun environment. You won't get the full picture until you come. Or check out some photos. We've championed people starting up, making change, doing and being entreprising. For this Barcamp, we'll focus on how to grow what has been started and is doing well. Go on, register here!

The +Barcamp Accra team has seen a lot of changes, and this is also mostly because the +GhanaThink Foundation is growing. Folks move on to new roles, responsibilities, etc. As such this year's team is pretty new. In fact, most of the core team was not directly involved in organizing Barcamp Accra 2013+nii nai-kwade is now our coordinator, while +Bubune Sorkpor focuses on our resource personnel. What a lineup of mentors we have! +duncan qwame joins from the +Barcamp Koforidua team, as well as +Andrews Otoo from the +Barcamp Cape Coast team. +Barcamp Kumasi's +Yayra Tay, while transitioning to help keep a sane structure for GhanaThink, is on the team, joined by +Nana Fynn Class-Peters from the +Barcamp Takoradi team. +Atitsogbui Patrick Keli is a new member, rounding up the core team with +Watson Bedzrah. The +Barcamp Ghana team members +kofi yeboah +Leonard Hagan +Senam Aseye Bridget +Kobe Subramaniam and +Rachel Hormeku are playing their supporting roles as well. We foresee many Barcamps around Accra next year. If you want to organize one, contact any of them.

We've seen many startups win local and international awards, especially this year. We're looking to celebrate a lot of them. A lot of things have also happened in 2014 around Ghana. We'll find a way to incorporate a lot of them at the Barcamp. It's the end of year shindig for positive change in Ghana. You don't want to miss it. Join us to discuss this at the event or via the hashtag #bcaccra. Read the press release below to learn more.

BarCamp Accra 2014 is a free networking event to bring people together for a day of discussion, demos and dialogue about Accra, Ghana and beyond. The event shall be held on December 20 at Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology. The theme is also “Expanding Excellent Entreprises”. This Barcamp event will be the 42nd organized by the GhanaThink Foundation, as part of its Barcamp Ghana program which is building a network of change makers, doers and entrepreneurs.

GhanaThink celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. Over the 6 years of Barcamps in Ghana, we've championed 'starting up'. We've seen the creation of many Ghanaian-owned entreprises. Now, we need to see these entreprises grow. At Barcamp Accra, we will discuss, in interactive sessions, what some Ghanaian entreprises are doing well and how they can expand. We'll cap off the day with breakout sessions.

There will also be the popular speed mentoring sessions with many inspirational people. Confirmed mentors include Bridget Otoo (TV3), +Rosy Fynn (Surfline), +Anima Misa Amoah (Sapphire Productions), Gifty Bingley (Tigo), +Afua Ankomah (Open Data), Stephanie Aboagye (EY), +Tanko Mohammed (GNFoods), +Kwabena Poku (MediaPop), Inna Patty (MissGhana), +Christabel Dadzie  (Ahaspora), +Alex Adjei Bram - [SMSGH] (SMS GH), +selorm branttie (mPedigree), +Anita Erskine  (Viasat1), +Nana Yaw Asiedu (Oxford & Beaumont), +Caroline Sampson (YFM & ETV), +Raja Owusu-Ansah (Republic), +Regina Agyare  (TechNeedsGirls), Hamdiya Ismaila (Venture Capital Ghana), +Franklin Cudjoe (IMANI Ghana), +Esi ! Ansah (Axis HCL), +Godwin Etse Sikanku (Legon), +Beryl Agyekum (Echo Haus), etc.

Register at http://barcampaccra14.eventbrite.com/. You can also register by sending “Barcamp Accra Your Name Your Email Address” to 1945 (example - Barcamp Accra Esi Eshun esi@eshun.co) . Contact us via barcamp at www.ghanathink.org for sponsorship or partnership opportunities.

Barcamp Accra is supported by the +Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology, +Making All Voices Count, +Kimathi Kuenyehia Foundation, SMS GH, mPedigree, +Saazaa Shoes+Surfline GH, Nandimobile. Our media partners are +Spy Ghana, Modern Ghana, Echo Haus, +TV3 NETWORK LIMITED GHANA, +viasat ghana, +Citi97.3FM, Y 107.9 FM, and X 95.1 FM.

Check out Barcamp Accra on Twitter |Facebook | Google+

Friday, December 5, 2014

Marking International Volunteer Day in Ghana via #volunteeringh

Today, I was on TV3's New Day morning show talking about the +Ghana Volunteer Program. I went with +Dieu-Donne Gameli who organized an NVDay activity this year, as well as Utopia Wishlist's +Kofi Asare Aboagye who organized NVDay activities last year and this year. Bridget Otoo asked us some great questions, especially about +GhanaThink Foundation too. Many thanks to +nana aba Anamoah who set up this interview. On this occasion of International Volunteer Day, the GVP team is using this opportunity to promote volunteerism in Ghana and account for its work so far. You can read more about this from our press release below.

Aside our TV3 interview, we have a lot of media engagement as part of the anniversary. +William Osilaja Boampong of the GVP team was joined by +klenam fiadzoe, an NVDay14 activity organizer with the Rotaract Club of Accra South, interviewed by +Benkoku Avle. The GVP lead +Ela Asare was joined by team member +krystabel vorsah and Chris of the CSR Hub on Live 91.9 FM. +duncan qwame, a GhanaThink member passionate about volunteerism was interviewed by +Kwaku David on XFM 95.1, joined by +Rita Kusi who also organized an NVDay activity this year in conjunction with Klenam's group.

In Kumasi, +Baaba Forster-Forson of the +Creativity Group and +maame ama tuFfet of #One4TheKids were interviewed on Focus 94.3 FM about today's subject matter, pertaining to what they did in Kumasi this year. In Ho, +Barcamp Ho members +Elvis Bomasah & +Courage Christson Tetteh were interviewed by Kuul 103.5 FM about NVDay in the Volta region. +Barcamp Tamale's +maccarthy lomotey was joined by +Ruka Yaro & +portia dery on Bishara Radio to talk about NVDay activities in Tamale this year+Jon Mydaz will be

See the full press release via the GhanaThink website. A few highlights of that are below.

GhanaThink's Ghana Volunteer Program (GVP) is marking one year since it’s inception. As some of you might be aware of, the National Volunteer Day Initiative (NVDay) which started on September 21, 2013, metamorphosed into GVP and was launched on the 5th of December 2013 - International Volunteer Day - across social media and traditional media.  

The focus of GVP at present is to acquire volunteers for volunteer opportunities around Ghana. GVP also helps volunteer activity organizers find volunteers. This program seeks to encourage volunteerism in Ghana, and to market and make attractive volunteer activities. In furtherance of this focus, in 2014, GVP sourced for Volunteers for three events namely: Dain Agribusiness Workshop, Chale Wote Street Art Festival, Lifebuoy Global Handwashing day.

The second National Volunteer Day spanned across from 20th - 22nd September. Volunteers used the holiday and weekend to create, support and join volunteer activities. Many people joined to volunteer in GH for NVDay14. About 80 activities were documented, in 8 of our 10 regions and this involved 1,022 volunteers. There was a lot of online and offline engagement and publicity before, during and after these activities.  Reactions and feedback were captured via Storify.

On the occasion of 2014’s International Volunteer Day, the GVP team engages the media all over Ghana discussing the work done so far under the program and what the future plans are for our nation. Through these engagements, we will encourage more people to do community service within Ghana. The GVP lead, Eleanor Asare commented: “The volunteer spirit is the same our founding fathers engendered within our citizenry. We would be cherishing the ideals of founding Ghana and joining a national effort to work for Ghana”. Volunteering demonstrates initiative and hard work, two ideals that many organizations look for while hiring. The GVP team and all of GhanaThink believes that by volunteering, volunteers would be building their CVs and experience.

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