>Kwame Nkrumah: The City of Tema (Part 1)

> Over this week, we have a Kwame Nkrumah theme at Ghanablogging.

I thought I’d write about an important aspect of Nkrumah’s legacy. The industrial harbor town of Tema. My new hometown. (I know its beside the point, but also there is almost nothing about Tema, GH, online!)

Let’s start my exposé on Tema with Nkrumah’s own words. We go back to February 10th, 1962 and the Official Opening of the Tema Harbor. Kwame Nkrumah walks up to a podium and gives his speech.

“By taking advantage of the river systems of West Africa, it should be possible – again, by concerted action – to connect the hinterland, far outside the boarders of Ghana, with this great port of Tema. Thus, in this harbour of Tema, we see a unifying force and an essential requirement in the progress towards African Unity”

Hence, Tema was just one part of the grandiose plan of Africa rising. Tema should be a harbor not just for Ghana, but for Africa. Still today, Burkina Faso, Mali and other landlocked countries are highly dependent on the Tema harbor. What whould they be today without this sea port?

Nkrumah continued his speech with comparing the existing Takoradi harbor “designed by the colonialists to facilitate the exportation of the wealth of the country” to this new sea port. He said:

“Tema is the sign post of the future. It represents the purposeful beginning of the industrialisation of Ghana. It is the signal for industrial expansion, a challenge to our industry and intelligence and a hope for the future.”

Tema and its connection to a bright Pan-African future will be my starting point for future deliberations on Tema.

Pic: My first view of the Tema harbor, Xmas 2004.

>Ghanablogging Grande! Report from August Meet-Up

> Yesterday, at out monthly meet-up we had visitors from Maker Faire Africa, Maneno and some probloggers like WhiteAfrican. All in all about 20 people joined in at Smoothies in Osu.

We learned about Maker Faire Africa which is an initiative to boost African inventions, upscale them or just spread their usability from country to country. They have set up camp at the Kofi Annan IT Center in Accra for the weekend and I’ll be heading over there in a bit.

Also Miquel from the African-inspired blogging platform Maneno (meaning ”words” in Kiswahili) told us about how he came up with the idea after visiting the Kongo where internet is slow and expensive. Maneno is tailored for the subsaharan conditions and seek to invite more Africans to become bloggers. He posed some interesting questions to us.

Internet is quite reliable and not too expensive in Ghana. So would SMS posting be interesting here?

Discussion followed where most ghanablogging members seemed to think mobile solutions could catch on in Ghana. Also Internet – even if available – is largely restricted to the elite in Accra.

Miquel also asked:

What do bloggers in Ghana write about?

We had difficulties summarizing the rich and varied blogosphere in Ghana, but compared to the very different Nigerian blogosphere where blogs serve a more political purpose. IN Ghana we mentioned blogs about lifestyle, current affairs and poetry, but there are many other subjects. Coming up soon on ghanablogging.com will be listing blogs in “categories”, maybe that will help?

Finally, problogger Eric/WhiteAfrican/Afri Gadget talked about blogging as a job. Eric grew up in Kenya and Sudan and studied in the US. He told us how blogging started as a hobby, just like for most of us, and grew, grew and grew. He stressed producing your own content rather than just writing about others work or reposting it. A blog with new content, could be the only place to go for certain type of information! He writes about technology in Africa and when starting the AfriGadget site recently it quickly surpassed his popular personal blog, WhiteAfrican.

Not anybody can be a blogger, he said. You have to be consistent. After 6 months you have to keep posting, your readers will expect it.

Present were Ghanablogging members David Ajao, Samson Ojo, Toke Olagbaju, Nana Kofi Acquah, Nana Yaw Asiedu, Cornelis Rouloph Otoo, Edward Amartey Tagoe , Gameli Adzaho and Emmanuel K. Bensah jr.

and not yet members, but hopefully soon, Nii Ayertey Aryeh and Lora Akati.

Some of the interesting guests were Miquel Hudin of Maneno, Erik Hersman (WhiteAfrican and AfriGadget), Klaas Kuitenbrouwer, William Kamkwamba (lead name at MFA), ‘Tosh’ Hamilton Juma, Nigerian entertainment blogger Chika Okafor and Brian Shih.

And me.

It was the biggest number of bloggers so far convened in Ghana! Thanks to everybody for coming and maybe we should try to invite guests a bit more often?

In the pic: David Ajao, Eric Hersman and Klaas Kuitenbrouwer being nerdy.

>Conference Season in Ghana: ASWAD

> New week, new conference. This time it is the 5th Biennial Conference for the Association for the Study of the World Wide African Diaspora.

The conference, which has the title “Africa, Diaspora, and Pan-African Agendas”, has been going on since Sunday, however unfortunately I haven’t been able to go to every day. In addition to my spotty attendance, about five workshops and panels happen at once so I have probably just experienced a fraction of this year’s conference but what I know for sure, to paraphrase Oprah, is

1. It is the first ASWAD conference on African soil

2. Kwame Nkrumah would have turned 100 years this year

3. We still dont know enough about slavetrade and its consequences

4. Diasporan and African studies need to converge for any Pan-African agenda to progress

And finally and most uplifting:

5. A new generation of Pan-Africanists is emerging!

In the pic, the new generation of Pan-Africanists (including Robtel Neajai Pailey, Carina Ray and myself) listen to one of the old-school activists, Jaqueline Ki-Zerbo.