ECG Corruption Revealed by Anas Aremeyaw: The Reactions on Twitter

Ghana’s favorite (and only?) investigative journalist has done it again – revealing excessive corruption where the general public had a hunch something was fishy. Last time it was the Ports and Harbors (GHAPOHA). This time the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) has been monitored over 8 months as Anas Aremeyaw took up work with the company. And what stories!

This morning, as radio station JoyFM carried Anas Aremeyaw’s story, I was first alone to be tweeting on it, but soon the Ghanaian Twitterverse exploded. I’d like to share some of the comments with you here (with a little help from widget BlackBirdPie):

[blackbirdpie url=”!/kajsaha/status/161355926832562176″]

[blackbirdpie url=”!/nautyinaccra/status/161368470578139136″]

[blackbirdpie url=”!/Ghanareporters/status/161371755976474624″]

[blackbirdpie url=”!/SorayaSpeaks/status/161392936909668352″]

[blackbirdpie url=”!/oBiii/status/161393883480207360″]

[blackbirdpie url=”!/manifestive/status/161388592063713280″]

[blackbirdpie url=”!/kinnareads/status/161385070756757504″]

[blackbirdpie url=”!/grahamk5/status/161391241840431104″]

[blackbirdpie url=”!/MacJordaN/status/161389414247972864″]

[blackbirdpie url=”!/Joselyn_Dumas/status/161392577919205376″]

In Ghana, Twitter is quickly gaining ground. I believe social media can be highly useful to create momentum around a topic such as this, as many tweets or short posts, apart from showing the people of Ghana’s rage, also came with suggestions on how to move forward and who to hold accountable.



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Not To Sound Racist, But…

…White folks should definitely spend two minutes with this YouTube clip to educate themselves. Many of these comments I have heard before. And really, no one should have to.

Like all good comedy, it is both hilarious and tragic at the same time.

And not to sound racist, but at some point in time, I might have said something like “you guys can do so many things with your hair”… It won’t happen again.

Lesson learned.

Ps. The original “Shit Girls Say” is pretty funny as well, but without the learning curve.

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Build a Tribe! On Leading Groups

Recently, I came across marketing guru Seth Godin’s interactive list on how to build a tribe. That is how to create a group or a network or even a MOVEMENT that works and to build community between people. Mr Godin even wrote a book on his concept of Tribes (and at one point was ranked by technocrati as the world’s no 1 blogger), but I think the (free) resource discussed here covers the vitals.

This list (built on social media tool squidoo) is a resource that provides inspiration and ideas and make me think of how to take organizations and networks that I am currently a member of (like GhanaBlogging, IAS Graduate Students Network, FabFem etc.)  forward.

My favorite items on the list are:

Listen Carefully

As well as speaking have a strong ear for what the group is saying. Trust that the tribe knows what it needs to grow.

Invent rituals

Summer camps do it. So does organized religion. Great corporations have their own lingo, their own culture. How you speak and the totems and daily rituals build connection.

Give Peoples’ Lives Meaning

Have tribal goals that enrich peoples’ lives and give them more meaning

Create a manifesto.

Your tribe already exists… it just hasn’t been defined yet.

So create a manifesto. Give voice to the frustrations of your tribe members. If you strike the right tone – if they feel you can relate to them – this manifesto will be the viral tool that gets your tribe members to raise their hands and say “I am.”

How would you build a tribe?

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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!

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Why Do So Many Blogs Fail? How To Sustain a Blog Successfully

You find a new blog and love the posts. But next time you check in, no new posts are there…

Why do many perfectly good blogs fail?

Today, fellow Ghanablogger Oluniyi David Ajao posts his answer to the question and adds:

I am wondering if the art of blogging is a calling for a special set of people who can afford to give it all the time it requires.

I am not sure it is a calling….Although I agree with him on the basic argument of what is needed for a successful blog: getting the principles of blogging, finding new ideas, and making the time to post regularly, I think two aspects that he do not touch upon are that successful blogs also are often “reborn” and linked to the rest of the Internet. Let me expand:
1. Virtually all successful amateur blogs (that is to say not company or pro-blogs) I follow have in one point or another revived its style, focus and sometimes even launched on a new URL. I think inherent in the format is a constant need for invention and novelty.

I am not sure my own blog is very successful (for instance reader numbers have been dwindling lately), but as an illustration I recently felt compelled to change the focus of my blog and at the same time moved from Blogger to WordPress and chose a new template. I both felt more inspired and got more readers.

2. Successful bloggers read other blogs! And comment on other people’s posts and mention not just blogs, but also other social media and links extensively to web resources in their own posts. For blogging to say fun and rewarding, I think being part of the blogging community is vital.

Afrigator and other aggregators is a good start. Every day commenting on at least one other blog is another step.

Are you a blogger? Join the discussion.

What do you do to keep your blog alive?

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Swedes in Ghana

Sigtuna Swedish flag, Ghanaians, Ghana, SwedenSurprisingly, there are a lot of cool young Swedish people in Ghana.

I say “surprisingly” only because Sweden and Swedes do not really have any strong ties to Ghana; no embassy, weak colonial connections, some mining business, but nothing major. Of course it is not surprising Swedes go south – where else would we go?

Since almost two years I know Maya Maame, a Swedish/Ghanaian blogger.  A few weeks ago I wrote about two Swedish DJ’s coming to Ghana (on their blog you currently get a teaser to their mix tape Gold Coast Rising!), but now it has exploded and I have also met engineers, business women, students, IT professionals, diplomats and a shipping agent!

To keep track of all these adventurous, beautiful and fun (the much missed irony, mostly) Swedish folks I started a Facebook group: Ghanasvenskar.  If you speak Swedish, understand the concept “fika” and you are in Ghana, you are welcome!

Pic: Some Ghanaians and a Swede in Sigtuna, Sweden.

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Only in Ghana – Twitter in Ghana

I signed up to Twitter some time ago and am still struggling with using it.

First it is the practical stuff. At times, I can upgrade my Twitter status or tweet from my phone – but many times this does not work.

Also, Twitter rarely works at home (Vodafone Broadband). Is it a firewall maybe?

But it has not really mattered, because I just could not see the use for Twitter. It is mostly a lot of noisy small talk.  The only (useful) application I have thought of is that I’d love to get (and contribute to)  updates about traffic for instance on the Tema-Accra motorway. I even invented a hashtag or searchable keyword for writing about traffic in Ghana  #TraGha – but how do one make a hashtag be used?

And OK, OK, Twitter is fun to use at events, with event specific hashtags but then phone updates have to work! (see above discussion).

So currently, I have given up on serious usage and as Twitter today is working from home/through a wordpress application, I found this up-and-coming funny hashtag: “#onlyinGhana”. Here are some of my favorites:

#onlyinGhana a Burger is regarded as ‘high class food’.

Theres a shop at the mall called WHITEley’s that sells only african stuff. #onlyinghana.

some cedi notes look like dey have fell in the gutter #onlyinghana

#onlyinghana where #facebook gurls paint their walls wid azar paint just to clean ya #wallpost

#onlyinghana does the whole parliament go to welcome Obama at the airport

What “only in Ghana” sentence would you add?

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