Macjordangh.com Finally Launched


If you haven’t noticed, I haven’t been blogging here very much recently. I bought the domain; http://macjordangh.com  from Web4Africa Web Services.

Somewhere last month, I moved all contents from my free hosted blog: https://macjordangh.wordpress.com onto the new domain: http://macjordangh.com below.

Macjordangh.com

Macjordangh.com

 

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Africa’s Bill Gate: Herman Chinery-Hesse & Others Speaks At Tech4Africa


Herman Chinery-Hesse @ TEDGlobal 2007

The Tech4Africa 2011 conference to be held from 27-28 October, 2011 at the “The Forum” in Bryanston, Johannesburg, South Africa, will feature a line-up of international and African technologists. The event aims to provide attendees with the opportunity to learn firsthand from technology evangelists about the role that the web plays in African business and development.

The two-day conference plans to bring international experience and perspectives to the African continent, while at the same time showcasing what Africans are doing with mobile, web, digital media and other emerging technologies.

“2010 saw the launch of Tech4Africa and we were met with overwhelming support from both the tech and business communities and our foundation partners, First National Bank and Internet Solutions,” says Gareth Knight, MD of Tech4Africa.

“This year we’re delivering the same high standard of content and looking forward to bringing technologists together to look at what’s current now, with an emphasis on social media and how it’s relevant to digital marketing, mobile convergence, the growing cloud and the applications of BigData. We’re also focusing on great African technologists that really are leading the way.”

Keynote speakers include Josh Spear, one of the youngest and most respected digital marketing strategists in the world, and Herman Chinery-Hesse, commonly known as ‘The Bill Gates of Africa‘.

Fresh perspective from Josh Spear
Spear is a trend spotter, blogger and brand strategist, sought out for his fresh perspective and no-holds-barred style of consulting on everything from design and gadgets to authenticity and word-of-mouth. His recent focus has been the power of the blogosphere, technology, and the impact of digital media on the world. In addition to his internationally recognized trend-spotting blog, he is a founding partner of Undercurrent, a digital think-tank focused on exploring new ways to reach young people without interrupting them.

With Africa rapidly leapfrogging the web and PC experience with a mobile one, the insights into how people and brands interact digitally is crucial, and indeed sets the stage for the foreseeable future. Spear has appeared in publications including Time Magazine, the New York Times and the Chicago Tribune and has presented for such diverse clients as McDonald’s, NBC, Pepsi, Virgin, The American Advertising Federation and The Google Zeitgeist conference.

Tech4africa 2011

Unlocking African prosperity, wealth with Chinery-Hesse
Herman Chinery-Hesse is a renowned Ghanaian technology entrepreneur who co-founded the million-dollar software company SOFTtribe, and then went on to launch BSL, which provides the infrastructure for entrepreneurs across Africa to sell products and receive payment through their cell phones. Chinery-Hesse is passionate about the contribution that technology can make in unlocking prosperity and wealth across Africa, and will be presenting his thesis on this. He has won a number of awards and is also an accomplished speaker who has delivered talks at the Wharton Business School, Harvard Business School, Cambridge University, the University of Ghana, and the TEDGlobal conference in Tanzania.

Spear and Chinery-Hesse are part of a line-up of African and international thought leaders from organizations like Amazon, HP, Johns Hopkins University, Mozilla, SwiftRiver, the African Institution of Technology, SimpleGeo, Motribe, Clearleft and Ultinet Systems.

Gareth Knight adds, “With Tech4Africa our simple aim is to congregate the best practitioners in Africa and the world to provide inspiration, guidance, case studies, and success stories and ultimately experience, so that Africans don’t need to travel the world to gain this understanding and exposure.”

Registration for the event is open and early bird tickets are available until 10 June. For further information or to register, go to http://tech4africa.com, or to contact Tech4Africa, email hello@tech4africa.com or go to http://tech4africa.com/contact/.

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First Swahili iPad/iPhone App By Nkyea Released


Nana Kwabena Sarpong and Isaac Ameyaw started Nkyea Learning Systems in 2009 to develop desktop and mobile applications for learning African languages. They’ve already developed and released two Twi language applications, Nkyea Twi Primer and Nkyea Twi Phrasebook, ’My Twi Name‘ app, and ‘Adrinkra E-Cards‘ app.

Nkyea Swahili App on iPad/iPhone

The two-man Ghanaian language learning apps development team has just released Nkyea Basic Swahili, the first Swahili iPhone and iPad app from their startup, on the Apple App Store. Nkyea Basic Swahili, which sells for $2.99, contains more than 650 essential words and phrases and has been designed to give absolute beginners a general conversational competence in Swahili.

Nkyea Basic Swahili presents the user with 18 lessons of basic grammar and vocabulary. The user can then choose a lesson, listen to the native speaker, read and record, play back and compare with the native speaker. The app also presents you with a quiz after each topic, which means users can reinforce what they learn and earn motivation badges for scoring high marks.

“This is a very user friendly language learning application, “Sarpong explains. “It’s really easy to learn Swahili with Basic Swahili.”

Nkyea Basic Swahili is targeting four primary markets: Tourists traveling to East Africa, students learning Swahili at a beginner level in school, anybody who has an East African relative or friend and lastly, language enthusiasts.

Here is the link to the app in the Apple App Store

Sarpong and Ameyaw are also working on more African language apps, which would be released in the coming weeks. Nkyea remains a bootstrapped endeavor, wholly financed through the startup’s PC, Mac and iPhone application sales.

You can follow them on Twitter via @NanaSarpong & @IsaacAmeyaw for more info about their work and creativity.

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Accra Wi-Fi Map Launched


On September 2, 2009; I was inspired by Rebecca Wanjiku’s article; Free Wi-Fi hotspot locator in Nairobi to also write on Free Wi-Fi Hotspots In Accra which pointed out the various FREE Wi-Fi spots in Accra about 2-years ago.

This morning, one of my tech and social media mentors; Erik Hersman shared the link to the Nairobi Wi-Fi map which made me decide on creating and developing the Wi-Fi Map for Accra.

The site is designed and built on the Crowdmap platform by the Ushahidi Team from Kenya. Its allows you to

  • Collect information from cell phones, news and the web.
  • Aggregate that information into a single platform.
  • Visualize it on a map and time-line.

Accra Wi-fi Map

Accra Wi-Fi Hotspot map will provide data on all Wi-Fi hotspots located in the heart of Accra. The various categories include:

  • FREE Wi-Fi Hotspots
  • Hotels & Guest Houses With Wi-FI
  • Cyber Cafes & Coffee Shops

I entrust all dwellers, visitors, bloggers and techies in Accra to feed in enough data unto the site. Visit the site: http://accrawifi.crowdmap.com/ and submit a report of all Wi-Fi Hotspot you’ve accessed recently. You can also submit a report by texting to the number: (+233) 262.220.210

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2 Represent Ghana At Big Brother Africa Amplified


On May 1, 2011; M-net Africa; organizers of this year’s Big Brother Africa Amplified revealed the new 26 young, energetic, talented & adventurous housemates for the season 6 reality show.  Among the 26 house-mates; two Ghanaians; AlexConfidence are presenting Ghana in the competition.

Big Brother Amplified Logo

The competition running 91 days and 24/7 non-stop with a dream prize of USD200 000. The sixth season of Africa’s biggest reality show, according to organizers, will include more drama, emotions, excitement and suspense. Fourteen of the housemates are ‘somewhat’ celebrities in their countries, with careers ranging from radio and television personalities to models and actors.

In my previous post: Big Brother Africa – Season 6 Is On; I made mention how Big Brother Amplified will be showcasing Housemates from 14 countries including:

Angola, Botswana, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

There are two housemates from most countries except Angola and Mozambique, with one housemate each. In total, there are 16 female housemates and 10 male housemates.

Alex - Ghana

Alex – 31-years old Fashion Designer from Accra is pretty sure, Africa would like him whiles in the house. He’s once worked in the fashion district of New York and believes in empowerment of the individual. According to Alex; he wanted to be in Big Brother Africa because he believes he “can bring it home for Ghana”.

Confidence on the other hand is a 37 years old Night Club owner also from Accra, Ghana.  She’s also the CEO of a Multimedia company in Ghana. According to Confidence; she would love to turn out like her role model aunt who, she believes, is “sexy, strong and principled”.

Confidence-Ghana

The rest of the 24 house-mates are:

Ernest & Sharon O – Kampala, Uganda

Vimbai & Wendall – Harare, Zimbabwe

Millicent & Nic – Nairobi, Kenya

“Miss P” – Peo & Zeus: Gaborone, Botswana

Lotus – Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Weza – Luanda, Angola

Michael – Maputo, Mozambique

Karen & Vina – Jos & Lagos, Nigeria respectively

Kim & Mumba – Livingstone & Lusaka; Zambia respectively.

Felicia & Lomwe – Lilongwe & Blantyre Malawi respectively.

Bernadina & Jossy – Keetmanshoop & Windhoek; Namibia respectively.

Luclay  & Nkuli, Cape Town & Johannesburg; South Africa respectively.

Wishing all the house-mates the very best. Meanwhile, you can catch all the action on DStv Channel 198 24/7.

You can follow the discussion on the social media platforms here; e.g. Facebook or on Twitter with the hash-tag: #BBAamplified

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MTN-Ghana, Airtel & Other Major Telecom Organizations Wins Laurel at Ghana Telecoms Awards 2011


Two telecommunications giants, MTN-Ghana and Airtel Ghana shared honors at the maiden edition of the Mobileworld Ghana Telecoms Awards 2011 held at the La Palm Royal Beach Hotel on Friday evening. The two companies won three awards apiece.

MTN-Ghana Logo

MTN-Ghana won:

The Telecom Operator of the Year Award,

The Best Mobile Money Service Company of the Year  and;

The Best Corporate Social Responsibility with its MTN Foundation.

Airtel-Ghana Logo

Airtel-Ghana on the other hand won;

The Best Customer Care Company of the Year,

The Best Marketing Campaign, with the CEO of the company, Mr Phillip Sowah emerging the best telecoms CEO of the year.

Vodafone also won two key awards –

The Wholesale Telecom Company of the Year and the Best Telecom Brand.

Corporate Communications Manager of Vodafone, Mrs. Carmen Bruce-Annan told journalists after the awards ceremony that the latter honour received by her company was the most prestigious of all the awards presented on the night.  That, according to her was because every company’s character and quality of service it delivers to its customers were summed up by its brand. “Without the brand you have nothing,” she emphasized, adding that the award was only a confirmation of a similar one that adjudged Vodafone the 5th largest global brand in the world.

“This is ample proof that we are doing the right things and delivering quality services to our products,” she stated.

Mrs. Bruce-Annan, said despite the award, the company will continue to strive hard to give its customers value for their money.

Prestigious award

In other categories, Helios Towers won the Best Telecommunication Infrastructure Company; Esoko Ghana took home the most Innovative Mobile project of the Year, with Mobile Content Ghana winning the Best Mobile Content Provider of the year.  Mobile phone of the Year went to Samsung while Ericsson won the Vender of the Year award. The Standard Chartered Bank was adjudged the Best Telecom Financing bank of the Year.

Director of the Kofi Annan Center for ICT, Mrs. Dorothy Gordon was honored for her contribution to the ICT & Telecoms sector, while the Communications Minister Haruna Iddrissu was given a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Mr Akin Naphtal, Group Publisher and Chief Executive Officer of Mobileworld; organizers of the awards, said the awards were in recognition of the tremendous contribution of the telecom companies to Ghana’s economy.

It was important to recognize the role of the telecoms in nation building and to encourage and motivate them to contribute more to better the lot of the ordinary Ghanaian, he said.

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Ghana ICT & Telecoms Summit and Best Customer Service Awards 2011


The first ever Ghana ICT & Telecoms Summit and Awards Night takes place in Accra, Ghana from April 28 – 29, 2011 at the Kofi Annan ICT Center and the La Palm Royal Hotel respectively.

Ghana ICT & Telecoms Summit

 About:

Ghana ICT & Telecom Summit 2011 is designed to explore the critical business, service and technology strategies needed to ensure market competitiveness and exploit emerging opportunities for increased growth and profitability in Ghana ICT market.

Keynote presentations, dialogues and round-table discussions will feature C-level executives from the major operators in Ghana including Ministry of Communication, National Communication Authority of Ghana, Information Technology Enabled Services (ITES), and Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communications (GIFEC), as well as government and regulatory authorities, influential institutes and associations.

Selected operators from overseas markets will share first-hand experiences and case studies relevant to Ghana’s broadband development aspirations.

As part of customer’s feedback/response for the Best Customer Service Company category, the organizers of the Awards Night have teamed-up with Ghanaian start-up; NandiMobile who are offering a customized version of it award winning Gripeline service for the purposes of collating votes for the telecoms company in Ghana with the best customer service.

Best Customer Service Awards platform by NandiMobile

Among the different categories, the Best Customer Service Category (bcsc) is the only one open to the general public.

Individuals can vote (i.e. MTN, Expresso, Airtel, TiGO and Vodafone) by sending their choice to 1945 proceeding with the keyword BCSC. e.g. (bcsc Safaricom to short code 1945) where Safaricom is the telecom company’s name.

Garage48 Opens in Accra, Ghana


Garage48 : 13 - 15 May, 2011. Accra, Ghana.

Garage48 : 13 - 15 May, 2011. Accra, Ghana.

The past couple of months saw several technology focused events happening in the capital of Ghana, Accra. Most recent was the Innovation Week 2011 [iWeek 2011] which again offered me the opportunity to show-case my Social Media know-how to participants and other technocrats who attended.

Just yesterday; I heard about Garage48; an event started in Estonia in April 2010 that have expanded to other countries in Northern Europe and Africa. All Garage48 events are held in English and have about 100 participants from different countries. Participants have different skills, ranging from software development to design, marketing and management.

Garage48 is happening from May 13 -1 5, 2011 at the Kofi Annan ICT Center. The event starts at 5pm on Friday with the presentation of various product ideas.

The teams are formed and derived organically. By the end of weekend, the teams will have a working products or prototypes. On Sunday evening, starting at 5:00pm, every team will showcase their product with live demo on stage in front of other participants and big audience. The jury and the audience will choose their favorite team or service.

“The event is mainly for tech practitioners namely graphic designers as well as front-end and back-End software and mobile developers. But we need also people with business skills – project managers, visionaries and marketing specialist. Everybody with great skills can apply to our event, but we will choose only around 100 best applicants to the event,” explained Ragnar Sass.

Inspiring and supporting environment is an important prerequisite to the birth of new ideas. Business and social network is increasingly important to start a new successful business. Despite that in many countries in Africa the market is huge, tens of millions of people, the IT sector is making its first steps.

According to Ragnar Sass again; while visiting Nigeria and Ghana in March, he met dozens of talented developers. The purpose of the events, in addition to build the local startup community, is to help those talented developers to get connections with successful entrepreneurs in Europe and America.

How does it work?

Garage48 events usually start at 5pm on a Friday evening. All participants gather together in a big room and pitch about 30 to 40 ideas on stage. Each idea is put on the wall and everyone can choose their favorite idea and team. Usually about 12-15 ideas will be selected and teams start working.

If you consider organizing Garage48 event in your country, please contact us info@garage48.org for further details.

Registration and more information for Accra’s maiden event here:  Garage48 Accra

See Map below for direction.

Map of Kofi Annan ICT Center, Accra. Ghana

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Barcamp-Kumasi 2011 On April 16, 2011.


Bar-Camp Kumasi 2011

BarCamp Kumasi 2011 is a networking event to bring people together for a day of discussion, demos and dialogue about Kumasi, Ghana and beyond. It will consist of user-generated sessions and discussions. BarCamp Kumasi 2011 will take place on April 16, 2011 at Royal Lamerta Hotel in Kumasi, Ghana.

 

Under the theme: Developing a hub for regional integration.

BarCamp Kumasi ’11 is a FREE event for anyone who is interested in using their skills, talent and resources to benefit Ghana and Africa as a whole.

The BarCamp Ghana team has successfully organized six BarCamps in Ghana. Barcamp Ghana is a project being run by the GhanaThink Foundation, an NGO based both in Ghana and the USA. A BarCamp is a user-generated conference (or unconference). Barcamp Kumasi 2010 was organized at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology on September 18, 2010 with the theme – “Collaboration: The key for opportunity and development“.

Register/RSVP today at the BarCamp Kumasi eventbrite website. You may also contact the BarCamp Kumasi team through this website for sponsorship opportunities. If you are interested in organizing a breakout session, let us know, especially if you have special needs. To follow the discussions online via Twitter; use the hash-tag: #BCKsi or #BarcampKumasi.

BarCamp Kumasi 2011 is sponsored by Royal Lamerta Hotel, National Service Personnel, National Society of Black Engineers (KNUST chapter)GhanaThink FoundationFienipa Group, etc. Our media partners are Kapital 97.1 FMFocus 94.3 FM and ModernGhana.com.

Register at http://barcampkumasi11.eventbrite.com/

See you there!

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Ghana’s Influential Women Celebrated on Int’l Women’s Day


The 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day was celebrated all over the world on March 8th, with lists of top women featuring powerful women, celebrities and other well known personalities.

Hundreds of events occurred not just on that day but throughout March to mark the economic, political and social achievements of women. Ghanaian women were not left out of this important day.

Series of events took place which lead to bloggers and civil society organizations in Ghana expressing their opinions/comments on their various platforms.

In Ghana, the Ministry of Women and Children’s Affairs mandated that the Day should be commemorated with the Ghana Women of Excellence Awards Scheme which saw the First Lady; Her Excellency Ernestina Naadu Mills been the Guest of Honour.

The Awards Scheme was on the theme “Empowering the Ghanaian Woman for National Development” which in essence was to motivate Ghanaian women to strive for excellence in their various walks of life …and to take their rightful places in the national development process.

The scheme formed part of the celebration of International Women’s Day and the 1st Awards ceremony which was held at the Accra International Conference Centre yesterday, 8th March 2011.

Ghanaian Blogger & Bar-Camp Activist; Ato-Ulzen Appiah; author of “The Vim Views & Versions – Blogs of a MIghTy African” blog did an interesting and a well detailed post (with winners/awardees) on the ceremony which saw Dorothy Gordon; Director of Ghana-India Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence in ICT been honored for her role in ICT in Ghana.

 

Dorothy K. Gordon - DG AITI-KACE been awarded

Also, in an interview blog-post by co-founder of Nandi Mobile: Edward Amartey-Tagoe interviewed Farida Bedwei; the author of “Definition of a Miracle” as his International Women’s Day contribution article.

Farida got diagnosed with cerebral palsy and in a community where people suffering from this disease are routinely misunderstood and viewed as incapable of contributing meaningfully to the society; Edward decided to feature her by way of seeking answers to some questions from her.

The CS Monitor of which I occasionally contribute to; also had a self-explanatory article by Ariel Zirulnick which touched on, “What International Women’s Day was all about!

A list of 50 Inspirational African Feminists (pdf) from Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah of African Women Development Fund saw a couple of Ghanaian & other African women doing great things, have achieved success in their own ways and are impacting the lives of many others in their communities and beyond.

Below; I highlight on some of the Ghanaian Women who made it on this list:

  • Professor Abena P.A. Busia : Rutgers University – Uniquely blending feminist activism with creativity and academia
  • Professor Ama Ata Aidoo : Author/Mbaasem (Women’s Words) Production of outstanding African feminist literature
  • Angela Dwamena-Aboagye : Ark Foundation – Operating the only shelter for survivors of Domestic Violence in Ghana
  • Boakyewaa Glover : Writer/Blogger –  Contribution to a renaissance of African women’s writing
  • Dr Rose Mensah Kutin :  Abantu for Development – Demonstrating stalwart leadership on women’s issues
  • Lucy Mensah : Women United Against Aids in Ghana (WUAAG) – Establishing the first HIV& AIDS women only support group
  • Professor Takyiwaah Manuh : Institute of African Studies (University of Ghana) – Dynamic social activism and contributions to academia especially around women’s rights
  • Yaba Badoe : Film Maker/Writer – Directing and producing ‘The Witches of Gambaga’ Documentary, a powerful visual account of the abuse, and exploitation of women accused of witchcraft

Even though, the original list doesn’t include Estelle Akofio-Sowah; I believe she deserves a spot and a mention when Influential Women in Ghana mentioned.

  • Estelle Akofio-Sowah: Team Lead – Google Ghana: Leading a team of Technologists from Google Africa to shape the future of ICT, Internet Policy Fomulation and Mobile internet in Ghana and Africa as a whole.
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