Today, I went to the launch of Kofi Annan’s memoir, “Interventions, A life in war and peace”. I tried to tweet from the event, but had some problems with my network. Hence, I’d like to share my twitter reports here.
Before I do, I must confess I stayed until the end of the program to get my hands on a copy. I love memoirs. It is something special about a “true story”. Especially when told by a successful member of the community. Reading their story is like getting a moment to converse with them. Last it was President Mahama. Today it is Kofi Annan. Who’s next? If you are thinking about doing me the honor, check out this free online creative writing course that discusses, among other things, how to write a memoir.
Did I get the book? No, it quickly sold out. I guess I am not the only one loving memoirs…
Here to my reporting from the evening:
If you have read all the way here, thanks for your patience! By the way, did I tell you about when I invited Kofi Annan and his Swedish wife Nane to our wedding? No? Well, I guess that is a story for my biography!
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!
So my Swedish summer is over and I am back in Ghana with all that it entails. So far:
1. A Ghanaian wedding in which a vuvuzela played an important role.
“Do you take this… VUUUU! VUUUU!”
2. Getting the updates on our backyard farm from my husband.
“…And here we have tomatoes, watermelon, two kinds of plantain, cassava, paw-paw and there ginger. Don’t step on the pepper!”
3. A visit to the drivers licensing office, DVLA. I was there for an hour and did of course not get my license. I did however read an article about the corruption at the DVLA while I waited.
4. Returning to work where E-V-E-R-Y-B-O-D-Y greeted me whith a heartily:
“Akwaaba! How was your trip?”
5. A function at the University of Ghana where I, to my surprise, got the chance to pitch my research idea to Former Secretary General of UN Kofi Annan.
“I am interested in why Ghanaian students leave this…” Kofi Annan interrupts me excitedly:
“Yes, exactly, this wonderful country”. When he found out I was married here in Ghana to a Ghanaian he and his Swedish wife Nane Annan smiled and said a warm “congratulations!”
Yes, I am back in Ghana! This wonderful country!