TEDxAccra: Re-Think. 3 things I look forward to

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This whole week I have been hearing the build up buzz on TEDxAccra. With events every night culminating in Saturday 23rd all day at the National Theathre (Ego tickets here, although many categories are SOLD OUT!) ,the organising team has succeeded in taking over social media. I have seen the #TEDxACCRA2016 trending for days!

I have sadly been to busy to go to any pre-events (another exciting one on Women’s contributions to Economy tonight), but will be spending my Saturday at the main event. Specifically, I am looking forward to:

  1. Hearing Lucy Quist, CEO of main sponsor Airtel. She is a leadership supernova in Ghana, but manages to also be approachable and informative.
  2. Being introduced to other amazing speakers and getting to know their work which I’ll then share with my followers. (Follow me on Twitter and/or Instagram @kajsaha)
  3. The networking. I love to be among young change-makers and doers!

Hope to see you tomorrow!

PS. If you can’t come, you can stream it live!

Upcoming BloggingGhana Events!

BloggingGhana feb 2014BloggingGhana had a wonderful meeting in February (see photo above) and when looking forward, many exciting things are happening: BlogCamp is around the corner, we are getting ready to move into our new Social Media Hub (see the film here!) and soon new executives (maybe you?) will steer the ship!

Here is a list of important dates:
 
March 
Sunday 23, 3-6 PM March meet up – our first meeting in the new hub! (From now on we will meet there unless otherwise indicated!)
April
Saturday 5, 3-6 PM, Pre-BlogCamp Event with guests
Sunday 6, Midnight, Deadline for Executive nominations (form to follow) and proposals.
Saturday, 12 All Day BlogCamp and the Social Media Awards!
May
Sunday 11, 4-6 PM, Annual General Meeting (AGM). Come and vote! FOR PAYING MEMBERS ONLY, pay by April 12th to participate! Membership details here.
 
Please RSVP to events and find more details on BloggingGhana’s FB page!
This post can also be found on BloggingGhana’s blog.

 

ALERT: Chale Wote 2013!

ALERT. ALERT. ALERT. Do not miss this year’s street art festival in Jamestown in Accra. Happening this weekend, 7-8 September. Find (printable) program here (PDF). Personally, I find it hard to chose among the many events, but will likely just go and stroll around with my family and enjoy the surprises around each street corner…

This minute-and-a-half video gives you a feel of the amazing event.

Superproductive art collective AccraDOTAlt are the organizers. This year, BloggingGhana is among the official collaborators. Other involved partners are: REDD Kat Pictures, Acrilex, Urban Republic, FashionistaGH, and Ghana Urban Platform.

Chale Wote 2013 is the third flamboyant, spectacular and fun yearly festival, see my posts from 2011 and 2012.

See you there!

Chale Wote Street Festival in Ghana

At the same time as I am waiting for my life to change here in Sweden, creative friends of mine in Accra under the umbrella “ACCRAdotAlt” (find them here on Facebook) have organized the “Chale Wote Street Festival“.

Chale Wote is the Ghanaian name for the cheap flip-flop that clad many Ghanaian feet. However, the festival was all other than cheap. From the pictures I have seen so far – the best ones you find with Nana Kofi Acquah (like the smashing pic above),  the festival was a meeting opportunity for creative souls like musicians, designers, artists and the local community of James Town in Accra with a beautiful and rich result.

I love events like these as they bring meaning, activity  and fun to peoples’ lives where there before was just business as usual.

UPDATE: See also the festival covered by fellow bloggers Graham, Jemila and Holli.

Must See in Accra – Dobet Gnahore

On Wednesday Ivorian performer Dobet Gnahore graces Accra with a concert at the Alliance Francaise.

This energetic singer/dancer provided me with one of my best concert experiences in my life last time she came to town, so expectations are sky high!

Dobet Gnahore (MySpace, official website)has it all –  the music in her blood as a daughter in a family of Ivory Coast musicians, many amazingly beautiful melodies and songs sung with a versatile voice and  one of the most interesting and captivating stage presences I’ve ever seen – Dobet just rocks!

My high regard for this artiste grew when I heard that she graciously agreed to lend her music to the Witches of Gambaga film I wrote about earlier this year.

Dobet Gnahore, ladies and gentlemen. She is a must see!

Wednesday 23 March, 2011, 8.30 pm

Alliance Francaise, Accra

6 GHC/2 GHC for students

Photo credit to African Music Safari.

Weekend Report including Beach and Wanlov

My weekend, I announced on Twitter on Friday, would be dedicated to sleep, walks on the beach and good food.

It totally was! I slept a lot, walked on the beach BOTH Saturday and Sunday morning (this I believe is a southern Ghanaian luxury everybody that can get up at 6am on a weekend should give in to!) and ate well.

I also went to see Wanlov launch his Brown Card/African Gypsy album. Read Graham’s review here (excerpt below) which I found very insightful and on point!

Working with two Ghanaian musicians and accordion player Jérôme Pierre Soulas and violinist Filippo Bonini Baraldi from Paris, he combined elements of his own quirky Ghanaian style with their ‘gypsy music’. Wanlov’s rather androgynous image and performance style complimented the formality of the Paris musicians.

But did this merging of styles work?

It was Saturday and “everybody” was there.  I even met Wanlov’s mother in the buzz afterwards!

This week it is Mid-Sem “break” aka grading all the way. It is going well, with one or two oxymora drifting by…

Have a good week!

Ghana Internet Governance Forum: An Eyewitness Report

This morning, I decided to stop by the Ghana Internet Governance Forum (IGF) at the Kofi Annan Center for Excellence in ICT. It is a local stakeholder forum to discuss issues for Internet governance and it were to start with a session on youth and Internet governance. As one of the panelists was running late, I was called upon to talk. I quickly decided to focus on two issues that I feel are important and inter-related:

  • Access  to Internet in Ghana – currently only 18% of Ghanaians have access to the net, the bulk of this group on their phones. Internet access is expensive and limited to urban areas. For youth to gain access in their numbers this has to change.
  • Production of local content – at the moment, Ghanaians consume the Internet rather than create it. We need to write more articles, upload more photos and videos. Blogging could be one way. How can youth be encouraged to create local content? (here I returned to the issue of affordable access)

With me on the podium was GhanaBlogging members Gameli, Amma and Mac-Jordan along with moderator Godfred Ahuma, coordinator of the Ghana IGF.  The discussion was interesting and involved government agencies and their (non-) usage of social media, Sakawa or Internet fraud, Twitter vs. tv-news, if you have a right to be forgotten online/managing your online presence and what we want from the service providers (Philip Sowah of Airtel Ghana was listening when I listed 1) SMS to Twitter, 2) higher speed Internet and 3) cheaper access for a larger customer base).

I left the program early, party because no Internet access was provided in the venue(!), so missed out on deliberations on Internet governance for development and importantly affordable access and diversity.

You can follow the proceedings on Twitter, #GhIGF. Hopefully pictures will come soon.

Update: Read a report from one of the other panelists at Gameli’s World. Photo credit to the same source!

Three-end-of-week Events in Accra

Here are three upcoming interesting events that I thought you should know about:

1.       Thu 24 Feb Adventures in the Diaspora

2.       Fri 25 Feb Talk Parti organized by Accra[DOT]ALT

3.       Sat 26 Feb Ghana Planetarium Event

See details below!

Psst. I hope you have also heard about the Asabaako Music Festival, taking place on the Independence weekend on the beautiful Busua beach!

1. Thu 24 Feb 2011, Adventures in the Diaspora 7.30 pm at the Golden Tulip

Kindly join us for the 5th Adventurers in the Diaspora Series, with Seth Dei.

‘creativity and patronage’.

As with most parts of the world, our creative fields are under siege due to the lack of proper support on all levels. In Ghana, we are beginning to see the onset of a creative environment driven a new kind of patron  class, who see creativity as part of a civic and cultural responsibility. Mr. Seth Dei, a true adventurer epitomises this blend of entrepreneurship and the arts. he is partner at Blue Skies Industry, a pre-eminent agro-business based in several countries around the world, and is a dedicated art collector and financier of indigenous high -tech initiatives. his important work in the agriculture sector since 1992 has embodied corporate social responsibility, stimulating and sustaining numerous initiatives that have had ripple effects within and outside the agricultural industry.

As Ghana’s largest collector of contemporary art, his Dei Centre has become a home to art exhibitions and creative activities, as well as an incubator for numerous projects involving young professionals such as Cubicle Blu. Mr. Dei’s work has stimulated artists, students, young professionals to see themselves as ’cultural entrepeneurs’

with responsibilities to grow and publicise their ideas and thoughts. It is this democratic exchange of support and ideas that have propelled creative impulses into Ghana’s development agenda and generated innovative and context-sensitive ways of doing things. His insights on the role of creativity in his endeavours is inspirational and a model that needs to be shared.

We hope you will share the evening with us. See attached invite.

Food and Drinks will be provided by Golden Tulip and our main sponsor ATLANTIC GROUP.

For more information on and live streaming of AiD 5 and past events see our blog http://adventurersinthediaspora.visualsociety.com/

For questions, contact joe@constructsllc.com

2.       Fri 25 Feb Talk Parti organized by ACCRA[dot]Alt, 6.30pm, Passions bar, Osu (not far from Country Kitchen)

See this page for more info: www.facebook.com/ACCRAdotAlt

3.       Sat 26 Feb Planetarium Event

When: SATURDAY 26th FEBRUARY 2011, 3pm – please note the earlier start time

Where: The Ghana Planetarium

Theme: Comets!

Featuring:

3pm – Children’s activities

5pm – Activities for all – Night Sky presentation, astronomy videos/presentation on comets, Planetarium show and telescope viewing / “Globe at Night” constellation  observation (weather permitting). For full details of the  “Globe at Night” citizen science project which anyone can take part in, see http://www.globeatnight.org/

Charge: Adult – GHc 5 / Student – GHc 3 / Child – GHc 2

Please come along and join us, and tell all your friends, family and colleagues!

Directions to the Planetarium:

The GHANA PLANETARIUM is on OSU AVENUE EXTENSION.  That is the road behind Police HQ, and also behind Christ the King.

From Christ the King church/school, take the first turn on your right after passing Christ the King on your right.  The turn is signposted for Quality Distance Learning (QDL). Take another right where you see another sign for QDL.  The road bends round to the left and the Planetarium is on your left, in the same compound as Quality Distance Learning and Office Automation Systems.

Or, from Danquah circle, head towards Kwame Nkrumah Circle on the Ring Road until you get to Police HQ.  Take the slip road that is next to Police HQ, and take the right turn that is halfway up the slip road (ie you don’t go all the way up the slip road to the mini roundabout).

This road is Osu Avenue Extension.  Pass Cinderella’s Night Club, then you will find the Planetarium in the same compound as Quality Distance Learning and Office Automation Systems.  There is a large sign on the wall.

Just look for the giraffes!

Accra – A Boring City?

When I first moved to Accra, I found the city boring, dusty and event-less.

Three years on and counting, I am not sure if it is the city that has changed or my network that has grown. Maybe both?

Yesterday, I knew of five interesting events happening simultaneously:

the Ghanablogging November Meet-Up I arranged at cozy Cafe Dez Amis (former Afrikiko), a discussion evening with entertainment for diasporan Ghanaians and others at Golden Tulip Hotel. There was also a fund-raiser coctail at Bella Roma Restaurant in Osu, a first meeting for the new expat network InterNations at Rhapsody’s and the High Vibes music festival also opened… (click on link to see program for the following week!)

I smiled to myself as I hurriedly left the first event for the second, smiling because I felt like this was the first time I was actually missing out on something in Accra…

I only resent that events often are announced short in advance (some less than 48 hours !)  and that there is no information central for finding out about “all” events (if there is, please let me know!). I believe that makes Accra rather boring for a newcomer.

What do you say, is Accra boring?

>Jazz Festival in Accra

>Starting today and running until Saturday, Alliance Francaise organizes a Jazz festival in Accra. Every night at 8.30 pm there will be concerts with different jazz musicians. Seeing the program, I do not know what to make of it as all names, thus far, are new to me; Babu Group(Tue), Chico Freeman(Wed), Ka-Tam Trio (Thu), André Jaume (Fri)…

But I’ll gamble by letting my schedule decide and go as many nights I can.

Pic from an earlier event at AF in Accra.