Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The 3rd Barcamp Kasoa discusses "Education That Counts" #bckasoa

The third +Barcamp Kasoa happens on Saturday. Before we get into the press release and other info you need to know, I'll like to highlight the team making this possible. Kasoa is a very interesting town, some might call it city. It's one of the fastest growing cities in West Africa, and that also means its growth is pretty disorganized. It's densely populated with many private schools (even tertiary level). We run a Twitter discussion on #famouspeopleinkasoa recently and thankfully, before people jumped on it to make fun of Kasoa, we discovered many great sons and daughters of Kasland. It's clear that the many people in Kasoa are in the informal sector and many who succeed and live there have not had the best education. That's why the +Barcamp Kasoa theme is - Education that counts. Intrigued? Go here.

The main Barcamp Kasoa team is made up of +Elorm Billy-Awittor +Emelia Agblevor +jennepha omueti +Edmund Laryea +Danshiki Lapido and they are ably supported by +Barcamp Ghana team members +kofi yeboah +Leonard Hagan +Rachel Hormeku amongst other +GhanaThink Foundation members. Looking forward to a great Barcamp Kasoa on Saturday. You can join us in person or via the hashtag #bckasoa on Twitter. Press release below.

BarCamp Kasoa 2015 is a free networking event to bring people together for a day of discussion, demos and dialogue about Kasoa, Ghana and beyond. This event would take place on July 25, 2015 at West End University College. The theme is 'Education that counts'. Barcamp Kasoa is organized primarily by the GhanaThink Foundation.

This Barcamp event is part of the Barcamp Ghana program run by the GhanaThink Foundation, an NGO based both in Ghana and the USA. GhanaThink has organized 45 BarCamps in Ghana, building a network of changemakers, doers and entrepreneurs. This will be the 3rd Barcamp in Kasoa.

This Barcamp will focus on sharing and education on many ways of utilizing knowledge from educational institutions.  As usual, the Barcamp will feature multiple user-generated breakout sessions about topics relevant to the Central Region, Kasoa and beyond. Emelia Agblevor a member of the BarCamp Kasoa team said, "I'm excited about this third BarCamp in Kasoa as the theme speaks directly to the educational crises the country is currently facing. It would be a great platform for serious brainstorming and generating great ideas towards making education count in the country”.

There will be a speed mentoring session where mentors will give insights and answers to questions from attendees. As usual, mentors from diverse industries will be there to share insights on the theme. Confirmed resource personnel include +Nanayaw Arthur aka Daniel Arthur-Baidoo (Designer & Inventer), +Eric Opoku Agyemang (Patriots Ghana), Zenaida Morrison (Broadcast Journalist), +priscilla becky cudjoe (Educationist), +Ebenezer Essuman (Public Speaker), +Binta Alhassan Ibn Kimba (Journalist), +Stephen gyasi-kwaw (Entrepreneur), +Wilson senya (Educationist), Afia Drah (Television Producer), amongst others.
Register at Barcamp Kasoa Eventbrite site. You can also register by sending “Barcamp Kasoa, Your Name, Your Email Address” to 1945 on all mobile networks.(example - Barcamp Kasoa Esi Eshun . Contact us via barcamp at for sponsorship or partnership opportunities.

Barcamp Kasoa 2015 is supported by Making All Voices Count, Tigo Ghana, West End University College.
Stay tuned via our social media. Hashtag is #bckasoa. Twitter | Facebook | Google+

Barcamp Ghana - All about Barcamps in Ghana

This is also posted on the Barcamp Ghana website. See here -

Recently, someone sent a message to the +Barcamp Koforidua  page asking - "What do you do at the (bar)camp and for how long and how much?" This article addresses his and others’ questions. The Barcamp Ghana program is a GhanaThink Foundation initiative. This program is building a network of young changemakers, doers and entrepreneurs. At Barcamps in Ghana, there is learning, sharing and networking. The aim is to bring people together to learn from each other, share with each other and network. A lot of the conversations are broadly around entrepreneurship, leadership and technology.

What is a Barcamp? A Barcamp is an ad-hoc informal gathering of people. Barcamps in Ghana are an evolution of what regular Barcamps are and a revolution around which certain goals are being met. Barcamps in Ghana have become "networking forums". Events where serious discussions happen in an informal and open environment. So yes, it's liking to camping in a bar without the loud music and the alcohol. Attendees must leave the Barcamps highly motivated, inspired and enterprising. It's that "can-do" attitude. There are 3 main sections of each Barcamp in Ghana as described below.

There is one session that centers around the theme for the Barcamp and its location - town, etc. This session can be done in the form of a keynote speaker who speaks or presents on the theme, or an interview with this keynote person on the theme. We can also have a panel of people discussing the theme. In some cases, we have had open discussions on the theme, as one group or broken into separate groups. The latter session gives Barcampers the opportunity to figure out - who is in the room - that they can network or connect with easily.

The second main session is that of speed mentoring. It's like speed dating, but one person is a mentor the other a mentee. It’s normally a one-on-one 10 minute session or sometimes with a couple of people to a mentor. If there are too few mentors for the large participant number or many participants are unable to see mentors, we'll switch to group mentoring with longer times in each round. The aim of these chats is for the mentee to gain insight and get advice from the mentor. It's also for them to network, discuss something peculiar to them, gain information, etc. It's arguably the most popular session at Barcamps.  

The third session consists of breakout sessions organized by various participants. Some are organized by +Barcamp Ghana partners, other organizations, etc. A Barcamper can literally hear about the Barcamp on Friday, attend on Saturday morning and by Saturday afternoon, organize a breakout session on a topic of their choice. It makes our participants further drive the agenda of the Barcamp. Some use these sessions to drive adoption of tools and products (example Google), others to get local content online (like Wikimedia User Groups), and others engaging users on their programs (like Reach for Change). Blogcamp Ghana, Ghana Makers group, and various groups around the subject of some of these breakout sessions have been created after breakout sessions at Barcamps in Ghana.

Barcamps in Ghana have mostly attracted the youth, especially the aspirational types. They have always been free, since the first Barcamp Ghana event. They target mostly tertiary students and working professionals. The numbers at each event vary from 100 to 400, depending on the location, timing, and yes, budget. Barcamps in Ghana normally run from 9am to 3 or 5pm. The first hour is for registration and networking, and breakfast too. I also call the let's wait for people to come hour". Many Ghanaians are tardy with time and we use the first hour to build a quorum of people and do some networking before the Barcamp actually starts. At about 1 or 2, lunch is served, for free as well.

A lot of the mentors are also young. We believe in the power of peer mentoring. Horizontal inspiration comes when colleagues drive their age mates to do better because they have taken the lead and are achieving. What are Barcamps for? Quite simply, we are building a movement of Ghanaian changemakers, doers and entrepreneurs who all know each other. Check out 5 things somebody learnt after one event.

We +GhanaThink Foundation have had Barcamp Ghana events - in Accra, Kumasi, Takoradi, Tamale, Cape Coast, Ho, Sunyani, Tema, Koforidua, Kasoa, Bolga, Wa and counting. I earlier called it a "morevim movement", a number of people who are interested in Ghana's development as well as their own and won't leave that in the hands of the government or others. The movement is moving across the length and breadth of Ghana and multiplying outside of its borders and catching up to the next of kin in the Diaspora.

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