Remembering Emmanuel Yaw Amofa Okyere

I was just reached by the horrible news that developer, social entrepreneur and friend Emmanuel Yaw Amofa Okyere had passed away.

Screenshot 2014-08-14 00.06.01
I remember the first time we met. He came to a BloggingGhana meeting, I believe at Starbites in East Legon, and I noticed him as a new face right away. A head taller than everybody else with a wide smile on a handsome face, he stood out. He listened in to the likely long meeting and towards the end made some remarks on how he could help our organisation. I can’t remember exactly what he offered, but I remember it was generous and involved personal involvement on his side. I also remember his infectious smile later when we said goodbye. After this, we would meet regularly at iSpace, BlogCamps, Data BootCamp and other tech events. He would often be called “Chief” by his colleagues and friends.

Emmanuel Okyere and Nehemiah Attigah’s Odekro initiative was one I very much respected and was inspired by. Their latest project was a simple way for people to find voting registration centres – GotToVote.

As a digital citizen, upon hearing the news I went to his Facebook wall and to his Twitter page. His final tweet was almost spooky, as he promised a friend to teach him chess this weekend, but also testament to his helpful ways.

I can’t believe this kind and exceptional man is gone. Although Emmanuel’s passing is a huge blow to the tech and civic engagement community, I fear he will leave an even greater void privately. My thoughts go out to his wife and daughter, colleagues and friends.

Photo borrowed from Sunlight Foundation.