Tuesday, July 17, 2012

My Tamale Experience

Over the weekend, I was in Ghana's Northern Regional capital, Tamale. Amazing place.
I was first welcomed by the Central Mosque which made me miss my trips to Abuja (in Nigeria) last year. The roads are a must-see. The sense of culture abounds in this town. It's full of life.
My word, was I surprised to actually see a lot of motorcycles. Most being ridden by ladies. The sad part of that for me though was the riders not being in their helmets (about 2 in 25 did have helmets on).
I was actually there to participate in a Barcamp event, to meet and interact with people to see how best the condition of the people can be improved, and their stories told to the world. Whoever said the youth are the future of any nation is right. A lot of ideas were floated, and action plans made.
Personally, the future of Tamale and indeed Ghana is secured and bright.
A picture of the Larambaga mosque. Photo credit: Barcampers


Sunday, July 8, 2012

SIFE-CUCG are National Champions!

Last Thursday, I was at the Accra International Conference Center to serve as a volunteer for the SIFE Ghana National Exposition 2012. I was also there to support the SIFE team from the Catholic University College of Ghana. This event is an annual event that showcases projects that have been initiated and/or completed by SIFE teams in tertiary institutions across the country. Did I mention it was my first time ever partaking in this event? I was amazed at the projects students had initiated and completed within the past year, in such areas as job creation, poverty reduction, youth empowerment, et cetera. Sitting through the presentations, I thought to myself, "Why do you think you have to be in a certain (high) position before making an impact on society?" Indeed, I took a cue from the students -- lesson well noted.
SIFE CUCG team
The two-day event saw the Catholic University emerge as victors! Their major project was the building of a bakery for the locals of the Mantukwa village in the Brong Ahafo Region. The money for this project was raised by the students -- they used their birthdays to raise it -- just like some celebs do for charity: water. I was deeply touched by the competiting institutions; projects and pray we all give a little more support to these change makers.
The winners will represent Ghana at the SIFE world cup in Washington DC that would take place from the 30th Sept - 2nd OCtober.
We wish them the very best.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Google Faculty Development Workshop -- Day 3

Did Google save the best for last? I don't think so because all the days have been great.
The final day saw participants taken through Google Apps for Education: Calender, Gmail, Google docs. A hands on session on Google+ was also held and that had a lot of engagement as the interaction between the presenter and participants was great.
Baris, a software engineer at Google also had a cool session where he took participants through a typical software design approach used by Googlers. Participants finally decided to build an app to help solve traffic problems in Accra and indeed, in Ghana.
Another brainstorming session was held after the programm when a numberof folks stayed behind for about fifteen minutes after closure, to talk with Baris about malaria and help him understand issues on the ground so as to be well informed to build an infrastructure that can mitigate the harm caused by mosquitoes, and prevent them from 'invading' the rooms of their 'potential victims'.
Baris with some participants discussing malaria

It was a great event and the knowledge base has been really dense.
I do hope to be here next year, and fully help advance the mission of Google in making technology an integral part in education.
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