Welcome to My New Blog!

Finally! Today I am moving (or should I say “launching”?) my new blog on wordpress and introducing you, my dear reader, to a new blogging concept. You will recognize much from Rain in Africa (I have imported all the posts, the headings of imported posts are marked “>”), but in this space I’d like to expand and give you

-More personal stories (on Me , myself and I)
-More work related stories (teaching and PhD/ migration research)
-More critical stories
-More international stories
-More of my favorite reads, links and resources.

To underline that the new blog is more personal, I’ve decided to “do an AtoKD” and simply give my new blog my name plus initials = Kajsa H.A. resulting in the web address https://kajsaha.com (please bookmark it and change eventual links!)

Thanks for reading my blog and I’d love to read your comments on my new blog!

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>Ghanablogging: Citizen Media

This evening the network of bloggers in Ghana, GhanaBlogging, will meet again! Even bloggers with a Ghanaian connection outside of Ghana will probably join in by Skype chat.

Especially exciting for this monthly meeting is that we will be discussing Citizen Media, departing from a project Ghanabloggingmember Nana Kofi Acquah has been involved in.

See you at Smoothies in Osu tonight Thursday 25th February at 6.30 PM!

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>New Favorite Blog: Silverjuggler

> My friend Andreas is trying out life on a old-fashioned farm (well, minus the snow mobile and the website) in mid Sweden 7 km from nearest road and he writes beautifully about his experiences. The blog Silverjonglerier is in Swedish, but even if you can’t read it I recommend it for the beautiful, snowy pictures.

The blog posts are about the daily labor at the farm, including awe for the influential older worker – “gammeldrängen”, different types of firewood and work hazards – but also about the coffee breaks which we Swedes so affectionately call “fika”.

It is also about a modern human being being confronted with a strict schedule, physical work and silence.

Pic: from Andreas’ first day at Lillhärjåbygget.

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>Busy Everyday Life

>This week was also not a good blogging week – what is happening to me?
Well, let me tell you and at least that gives me a few days respite!

These days I teach Monday through Wednesday. It is a lot of preparation work, since I am teaching two classes that are new to me. It means all lectures, assignments, readings and handouts have to be prepared from scratch. I knew this semester was going to be heavy and truly, even though I love my work I have been very busy.

As you all know, I am also hoping to soon start my PhD at University of Ghana. The update is that my department in January arranged for supervisors and now it is up to the School of Research and Graduate Studies to officially admit me to the program. Yesterday, I was tired of waiting and wrote a letter of inquiry into the application process to involved parties. And I think that was a good thing to do, because all the three recipients were not in their offices when I came around.

Outside of work and study, I am engaging in civil society. I am a part of the Fabulous Feminists (FabFem), the Accra Book Club (ABC), the Accragio choir (but that’s a different blog post, Sppp) and the Ghanaian bloggers’ group Ghanablogging.com.

The FabFem met yesterday, a fun meeting as usual with young, female, fabulous, professionals with one or two things to say about feminism. Especially interesting for this meeting was that we talked about what we as a group can do for our community. I’ll keep you posted. (also, a new member of the group recognized me from my blog! celebrity life, here I come!)

The ABC last month read Swedish (!) writer Stieg Larsson’s book from the Millenium triology. I missed that meeting, so I look forward to saying a thing or two on Lisbeth Salander’s impact on Swedish society at the ABC meeting next week. This month we are reading Lawrence Hill’s The Book of Negroes (and hey, there’s another blog post).

is meeting the week after that, but as I am the anchor of the group, every week there are things to take into consideration. People who want to join our network, have meetings with us etc. Last week my colleague Edward and I spoke about blogging at Radio Universe, University of Ghana’s student run radio. At this point in time we want to spread the blogging habit or citizen media to others and are planning an event around that.

Tonight there is a performance with a female flamenco group with the scariest and best name, Mala Sangre, at the Alliance Francaise. 8.30 pm!

And that is my busy everyday life!

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>Involuntary Absense

So some of you might think I decided to check out completely just because I turned 29 on Sunday.

But that is not the case. I mean, Yes, I was a bit shocked (“29, already? Wow, that means I am soon to be 30, iiiiaaaah”). Yes, I went to the beach to unwind. Yes, I had a glass of good, red wine (or two).

But my absence here has nothing to do with that and all to do with an Internet Service Provider that has painted the town red.


Update: And I’m not the only one noticing, see Nyani‘s very similar post here!

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>Work Blog

> Just to let you know I have incorporated my favorite pasttime, blogging, into my work. *drumroll* I p r o u d l y p r e s e n t

Social Theory Blog

a classblog for Social Theory, one of the courses I teach at Ashesi University this semester. Follow it if you want to (re)discover social and political philosophy.

Or just know what I do for a living.

In the picture Socrates is emptying his cup of poison with some ironic words about that citizenship entails following state decrees, even if those decisions kills you.


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>Blogging in Sweden

I came across some interesting information about blogging in Sweden, compiled by the Swedish research institute World Internet Institute – I wonder where similar information about Ghana could be found?

In 2009:
– 400 000 Swedes had their own blog.
– 6 percent of all Internet users in Sweden had blogs and 37 percent read others’ blogs.
– 20 percent of Internet users 16–25 years are writing or have been writing a blog and 60 percent of users in the same age group read others’ blogs.

Amazingly, figures also show that a third of the group “young women” what ever that means, have at some point had a blog and that two out of three in this group read others’ blogs. The overall number of 400 000 blogs is also impressive.

Two thirds of bloggers (64 %) write about everyday life, one fourth (26 %) about a hobby or special interest. Only 6 % blog on politics and 4% about work.

I don’t know how I’d categorize my blog, as I feel I write on politics, special interests (blogging especially!) AND everyday life. Also I hope to blog more on work…I should maybe call it a work blog to be more unique…

On a more serious note, the World Internet Project which the Swedish research institute discussed above is a part of does not have any partner organizations in any African country! How can they then be called the “World” Internet Project? Even though there are no figures (?) for Africa and Ghana, I have the strong feeling there is room among the 44,3 million Internet users for much more blogging! (and mapping of the same phenomena!)

Pic: The Africa Facts courtesy of World Famous Design Junkies via Holli and Scarlett Lion, thanks!

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>On the Usefulness of Blogging and Tweeting: Earthquake in Haiti

>Feeling so sad as I read the live reports of the earthquake in Haiti, see for instance the continuously updated BBC report here.

This people that has been through so much, why? Today, I think of my colleague with Haitian roots, my college friend from Haiti and my UN-peacekeeper friend who used to live in Port-au-Prince. I think of their friends and their families.

As I was driving to work this morning, they said on the radio that communication with Haiti has collapsed and it will take time before we know the scale of the disaster. However, at that time, I had already read a number of tweets from Haiti.

Citizen media, including blogs, video reports and Twitter are becoming more influential as sources of information these days. See Global Voices‘ Georgia Popplewell’s early tweet-based report here , her colleague Janine Mendes-Franco later account here or problogger Dan Kennedy‘s extensive compilation of citizen media about the Haiti Earthquake here.

If anyone ever doubted that blogging and tweeting could go beyond navel gazing, I guess today we have evidence of the contrary.

Hopefully this access to on the ground information will also make a difference to the Haitian people.

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>Christmas Ghana Style (of course it involves goats!)

The holidays have come to all creatures on this earth. How are you celebrating them? This is how some of my fellow bloggers are honoring the holidays.

Nana Kofi was especially happy with his gift this year, Ato KD sent a message to all who is close to his heart and interact with him on his blog, Holli decorated her unorthodox tree, Afrocentric urged us to think twice about what we are celebrating, Maya Maame has been xmas style busy and Yngvild has some authentic snow on offer!

As for me, I am celebrating with my Ghanaian family. Yesterday we had fun at the local beach. Swimming and enjoying some softdrinks and “biskits”. Today early in the morning two goats were slaughtered and they are being cooked I write this. Soon, I will be going over to my mother-in-law’s for goat light soup, dance and laughter, cousins and uncles, drinks and jokes!

Dear reader, I wish for you a time of year that is not just about filling your belly, but also filling yourself with stories to take you through the next year.

And may I suggest: If you overflow with tales, you might want to start blogging?

Pic: Santa in my friend Vera’s house.

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>Oluniyi Ajao’s Report from Ghanablogging Session

Here are the excellent notes from the session I led on blogging yesterday, courtesy of Oluniyi David Ajao, one of the most successful bloggers out of Ghana.

Noteworthy is also that 24 people signed up to receive more information about ghanablogging.com after the session. Yihaa!

Also, see the Flickr photostream here (where I borrowed the photo for this post).

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>BarCamp Ghana Underway: Blogging Session

>I am right now at BarCamp Ghana 09, all details can be found in Oluniyi’s blog here or the official BarCamp Ghana site here.

It came to a slow start, but “everybody” is here, many members of ghanablogging.com, lecturers, industry reps, entrepreneurs and cool students – so networking is great!
Importantly, I will be leading a break-out session on blogging in an hour. What I will talk about is

1. Why should you blog?
2. How can we together create Internet content that is relevant for Ghana?
3. How can online activities be taken in to the “real world”? (with the example of ghanablogging.com)

Hope to see you in my session!

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