Friday, April 27, 2012

The CUCG -- Improved Transport

Since moving to their permanent site in August 2008, the Catholic University College of Ghana has been plagued with a number of challenges. Paramount among them (was) their access road.

A number of pleas have been made to the government and other agencies to come to the institution’s aid and help develop its access road. Thankfully due to a Cocoa Farmers’ Funding Project, the road has been given a face-lift to the joy of not just the university community, but the people of Fiapre (the locality within which the CUCG is sited). Thanks to J. Adom Company Limited – a very good and efficient construction firm based in Sunyani.

Prior to the construction, transportation was a very big issue to students. Drivers refused to ply the road because of its bad nature. Most of them complained of how the road had adverse effects on their vehicles. The school buses were also breaking down constantly. This affected academic work as some students were late for lectures.

It was really heartbreaking to see students on foot after lectures.

Thanks to the contract, transportation has improved. Now I pick a cab from town to the school’s junction, and the driver will ask, “Mi nfa mu nk) campus?” (Can I take you to the campus?). Interesting. A bit funny. There’s even a union of drivers for the CUCG campus! Yes, really.

But these drivers need education. Most of them drive carelessly because of the enhanced road. We do not want accidents on our road!

The community is grateful to the institution(s) that played (and still play) a major role in the project.
Mawu ne yra miakata. Nyame nhyira mu. W) nunts) ni y) ngwE adz) nyE. God bless you.

So much for Data Management

Since the beginning of this year, I’ve not been able to get a printed copy of my pay slip as I usually do. The excuse: “We are now sending the pay slips through e-mails. The organization is going hi-tech.”

That sounded cool – or so I thought at the time.

So I waited patiently for my pay slip to be delivered via e-mail – NONE delivered! I decided to ask the finance department at the end of March. Surprisingly, I got a text message from the finance department informing me that payments have been made. I thought the e-mail will follow. It didn’t.
I asked a colleague at the office why still I haven’t got the mail. His answer, “Well, you will have to provide your e-mail address, so we send the pay slip to you.” You can imagine my surprise.

Me provide my e-mail address? Where did you people get my phone number from? Is it not from the same form with my details that I provided when was employed? Argh!

But you see I really don’t blame them. Most of our institutions rush into the use of technology without really doing their homework/research thoroughly and so end up being stuck at a point.

This problem wouldn’t be surfacing if our data are being managed effectively. I don’t even want to recount the number of times e-mail addresses have been collected form staff during meetings. What becomes of them?

We need to be up to the tasks we assign ourselves. Period!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

First-ever Barcamp Sunyani -- The experience

The first-ever Barcamp event in Sunyani ended almost three hours ago – boy was I blown away (no hyperbole intended). Ideas. Energy. Networking. These were all in full supply at the event, which took place at the FFRT (KNUST-SYI).

A barcamp is simply a FREE networking event that brings individuals together to brainstorm and find solutions to problems affecting their communities and propose ways of developing their communities and the country as a whole. A novel idea, don’t you think?

I attended my first-ever barcamp event in Kumasi, three weeks ago at the KNUST campus. What makes today’s event even more remarkable – apart from the organisation – is the number of ladies present. These ladies were bold and they cogently defended their ideas in a clear manner. Women of substance. Wow. The event also had a number of highlights:

1. A discussion on whether Sunyani is a worthy candidate as the capital city of Ghana? A number of positives and negatives were identified, but in all, we realised it could be the capital of Ghana if enough thought, energy and planning is employed by our leaders.
Sunyani – better known as the Sun City, is simply a town to love. ;-)
2. A representative of the Youth Council implored us to really take part in the on-going biometric voter registration and actually go on to vote. No sitting on the fence. From his speech, I learnt that the word ‘youth’ is not found – not even once – in the 1992 constitution! Can you believe that?
3. Mr. Agbozo, a lecturer at the Catholic University, gave an insightful talk on Entrepreneurship. He shared the results of a survey he carried out in his class based on priorities and surprisingly, achievement was at the bottom while love was fourth. Even learning didn’t place. (No surprise for me.) Good news though is that, barcamp participants decided to change their attitude. This I believe would diffuse and take our youth by storm. Go Ghana!
The next speaker was the General Manager of Eusbett Hotel, Mr. Mensah. He also gave a lot of insight into where Sunyani has come from in terms of development and the opportunities still lurking around. I bet you a number of his ideas would see fruition by the close of the year.
The BloggingGhana crew was also there to talk on their #iRegistered campaign which seeks to cover the registration and voting processes via social media (blogs, tweets, Facebook, Google+, Instagram et cetera.)
4. During the breakout session, a number of topics were discussed:
  • How to develop the Sunyani Township?
  • What GTUG is all about?
  • How to keep Sunyani clean?
  • The (correct) use of Social Media
5. A GTUG coordinator, Jojoo Imbeah, demonstrated how culture can be fused into technology. He actually used the Mozilla Firefox browser in Akan!
6. The last, but definitely not the least highlight was when participants ended the event by singing the national Anthem, “God Bless our Homeland Ghana…”
Participants are of the view that, barcamp Sunyani should be held frequently. Taking into consideration the number of barcamps in the country, I would propose that it is organised twice in a year.
God be the oga, oshe!