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Innovation Ghana Logo (1)BloggingGhana is offering a totally awesome Blogging Competition under the Google Innovation Project and is open to bloggers in Ghana. This competition seeks to tickle the thoughts of the  blogging community on issues surrounding innovation. The prize amount for the competition is three hundred Ghana Cedi only (GHS 300) for the ultimate winner and two hundred Ghana cedis (Ghs 200) for the runner up. Continue reading to see how you can get involved and be in with a chance of earning some serious cash!

1. CONTEST PERIOD

The competition will run from today till the end of October 2013. You can send in as many posts as you want. You can write on any topic provided the title has Innovation & Ghana in it. Once you publish your post, you can send the link of the post to info@bloggingghana.org or tweet it with the hashtag #InnovationGhana. Only posts received in the BloggingGhana inbox or with the #InnovationGhana hashtag will be considered.

2. ENTRY

If you are already a registered contributor to BloggingGhana, you will have the option of entering the competition when you sign in to the site using your membership account. If you are not a registered contributor to BloggingGhana don’t worry, you can still enter by directly submit your entry via email to info@blogginghana.org. All you have to do is publish your post on your blog and send us the link and voila!…you are in.

3. WINNER SELECTION

A committee will select 3 best post based on the following  criteria

1. Number of unique comments on the post

2. Creativity

3. Relevance of post to the topic

The winner will be selected by public voting by November 8th.

4. PRIZES

Winners will be announced on BloggingGhana’s main website and all other related social media platforms. The prize will be paid as a lump sum after verification of winning status. It is a winner’s sole responsibility to redeem the prize amount after announcement. All potential winners are subject to verification at BloggingGhana’s sole discretion. No assignment, transfer or substitution of any prize is permitted. The prize is expressed in Ghanaian Cedi. By accepting a prize, winners agree that their name and likeness may be used for promotional purposes at BloggingGhana’s discretion in any and all media.

5. THE LEGAL STUFF (sorry not us, blame the law people)

BloggingGhana reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to disqualify any individual it finds, in its sole discretion, to be tampering with the entry process or the operation of the Contest or the Website; to be in violation of the User Agreement of the Website; to be acting in violation of these Official Rules; to be acting in a unethical or disruptive manner, or with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any other person, as determined by BloggingGhana at its sole discretion.

If for any reason this Contest is not capable of being conducted as planned due to infection by computer virus, bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failures, or any other causes which, in the sole opinion of BloggingGhana, corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity, or proper conduct of this competition, BloggingGhana reserves the right to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the Contest. If the Contest is terminated due to tampering or technical difficulties prior to its expiration date, notice will be posted on BloggingGhana’s website at https://www.bloggingghana.org

 This contest is part of Google Ghana’s InnovationGhana project to highlight innovation in Ghana.

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WSA Winners Seal 2013Two Ghanaian innovations are representing the country at the 2013 World Summit Award (WSA). The two winners, Nandi Mobile, a mobile technology startup and Mobile Technology for Community Health in Ghana (MoTeCH), a technology-driven health initiative. They have been announced winners in their respective categories of e-Business and Commerce, and e-Health and Environment in this year’s World Summit Awards. Ghana becomes one of the most successful nations at the Award after receiving awards for two Ghanaian products. This  award is UN-based initiative to promote the world’s best e-content.

Nandimobile won with their Infoline product which is a mobile and web service which connects consumers and businesses in emerging markets. The service provides mobile-users the option to send messages to businesses and receive responses from the businesses through a private channel, while going around the limitation of lack of internet access. The product also offers it users the convenience of obtaining relevant business information about products and service through SMS.

MoTeCH is part of a service delivery for maternal health at Antenatal Care; it has two applications which are the Mobile-Midwife Application and the Nurse Application. Mobile Mid-Wife targets pregnant clients with educational and actionable messages tailored to their stages in pregnancy. The Nurse Application is aligned to simplified paper registers to collect clinical information. This enables easy identification of both mothers and infants and saves time collating information to generate monthly reports, alerts and reminders for clients that need care.

At a press briefing, Wednesday, 18th September, 2013, Dr.Dorothy Gordon, the Director-General of the Ghana-India Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence in ICT (AITI-KACE) congratulated the winners and appreciated the work of these Ghanaian innovators. In her speech to the press, she disclosed that “There is no country that had more joint winners at the world summit than Ghana”.

She spoke of the WSA for driving outstanding e-content relevant  to people’s needs  and to the achievement of the MDGs, She also indicated that Ghana’s consistent high achievements in the highly competitive WSA, is an indicator of the quality of Ghanaian talent and skills as well as our rapidly  growing innovation ecosystem. She said “We are making sure that we have world class products from Ghana”

Edward Amartey-Tagoe Co-founder of Nandimobile executive expressed his team’s joy for the international recognition.  He stated that “Ghanaian tech entrepreneurs are here to build world acclaimed products that will receive international recognition”.

According to a WSA release, both Ghanaian products have one thing in common: They serve specific needs of millions of Ghanaian people and thereby fulfill the WSA’s claim for high quality local e-content which can serve as a model on a global level perfectly.

The winners will present their venture on a global stage and in front of a high class international audience. The Gala 2013, organized by the WSA team and its Sri Lanka partner organization ICTA (Information and Communication Agency) will take place in Colombo from October 23 to 26 2013.

Other Ghanaian innovations that made it to the finals include Trokxi in the e-Culture and Tourism category, Yougora in e-Inclusion and Empowerment, MyPassco in the E-learning and Education and Leti games (Leti Arts) for e-entertainment and Games, Street Development Project for e-Inclusion and Empowerment, Bedroom Diaries from Viasat 1 for Media and Journalism.

The World Summit Award

The World Summit Award (WSA) is the global follow-up initiative of the United Nations World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) organised by the International Center for New Media (ICNM), Salzburg, Austria. It partners with the key UN organisations and agencies in the framework of the UN Geneva Agenda and the Tunis Action Plan and selects and promotes the world’s best e-Content and innovative ICT applications; to date more than 160 countries are actively involved. Through national pre-selections and contests together with a global jury process, WSA demonstrates the local diversity and rich creativity of ICT use. WSA is a global hub for everyone who values the crucial importance of local content to make today’s information society more inclusive.

The delegation of Eminent Experts of the World Summit Award has been invited to Estonia by The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications. WSA delegation is hosted by the Estonian Information System’s Authority, the Association of Information Technology and Telecommunications, the Centre of Registers and Information Systems and the representative of WSA in Estonia, Mrs Katri Ristal. WSA delegation’s visit takes place in the framework of EU Structural Funds’ programme „Raising public awareness about the information society“ and is funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

Visit us on www.wsis-award.org, facebook.com/WorldSummitAward and twitter.com/WSAoffice

By : Kofi Yeboah.

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BloggingGhana Members in a pose at MEST, Ghana Campus

Ghana’s first organization for Social Media users, BloggingGhana announces its five year anniversary.

BloggingGhana started with eight members back in July 2008 and has since met monthly and today lists 250 blogs and has 40 active members.

Highlights include founding Ghana’s first Social Media Awards, moderating online discussions around the 2012 elections through the Ghana Decides project and holding social media workshops for organizations around the country including the yearly BlogCamp conference.

Co-founder and Chair of BloggingGhana, Kajsa Hallberg-Adu says:

I am happy the group of individuals that came together in 2008 is today a tool for positive change in Ghana. We have just concluded the Ghana Decides project which by all measures was a success and we are in the planning stage for upcoming projects using technology for more voices to be heard. We also welcome new members!

The anniversary is celebrated with a birthday party on Sat 21 Sept, 2013 together with Bless The Mic, a platform for upcoming artists in Ghana, also celebrating five years.

Bless The Mic will be celebrating with a string of events starting the same weekend. At the party BloggingGhana’s new aggregator website will be launched.

Learn more about BloggingGhana on BloggingGhana.org or follow us on Facebook.com/bloggingghana or on Twitter @BloggingGhana

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Kajsa Hallberg-Adu – Kajsa@bloggingghana.org or Edward Amartey-Tagoe – Edward@bloggingghana.org

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National Volunteer Day is being instituted by the GhanaThink Foundation to come off every September 21st in Ghana. The initiative is to get as many people as possible in Ghana to volunteer their time or do community service on the Founder’s Day Holiday. While volunteerism is not very popular and part of our society’s fabric, many individuals and organizations volunteer occasionally. National Volunteer Day is to increase these numbers and unify efforts in volunteerism in Ghana.

The mission of the GhanaThink Foundation, a Ghana and US based NGO, is to mobilize talent and support idea generation to projects and ventures. Through our Barcamps, we have built a network of over 3000 Ghanaian change makers, doers and entrepreneurs through 20 events in Ghana. We want to use this network and other channels to build a bigger network of volunteers in Ghana. We believe volunteerism is the heart of community development.

We want to encourage more people to do community service within Ghana. That’s the same spirit our founding fathers engendered within our citizenry. By having volunteer or community service activities on September 21, we would be cherishing the ideals of founding Ghana and joining a national effort to work for Ghana. Volunteering demonstrates initiative and hard work, two ideals that many organizations look for while hiring. We believe that by participating in NVDay, participants would be building their CVs.

Different individuals and organizations have planned volunteer activities for September 21st. Utopia Wishlist is organizing a kids career fair in Omanjor near Accra. Some others are greening a school in Madina while others paint schools in East Legon, also in Accra. Some friends are gathering other friends to donate blood on NVDay in Accra and Tamale while others gather to clean up a taxi rank in Ashaiman. Young people are coming together to mentor SHS students in Kumasi while others organize a reading clinic for orphanage kids in Kasoa.

We expect at least 233 different activities on the day. You can find info about these activities and more on nvday13.eventbrite.com. If you need more info on what to do or how to contribute to National Volunteer Day, visit the same link. Interested groups,organizations and individuals should register/RSVP at the National volunteer Day eventbrite website (nvday13.eventbrite.com). National Volunteer Day 2013 has the following media partners – The Diva Show on TV3, Focus 94.3 FM, Sunsum 98.7 FM, Anidado 97.9 FM and MPWR Show on Y 107.9 FM. Join us to move Ghana forward.

Stay tuned via our social media. Twitter Facebook Google+

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ACCRA, 28 August 2013: Bono, lead singer of U2 and co-founder of The ONE Campaign and (RED), met with Ghanaian entrepreneurs to hear how technology is transforming Ghana and discussed ways in which digital innovation can spur economic development and increase transparency in health, agriculture and government services.

Approximately 70 people joined the session at the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST), including internationally renowned Ghanaian business leaders and entrepreneurs such as Bright Simons of mPedigree, Edward Amartey-Tagoe of Nandimobile and Eyram Tawia of Leti Games.
Bono was joined at the visit by a diverse delegation of leaders from the international policymaking, business and creative communities who are traveling with him in Ghana as part of a ONE/(RED) listening and learning trip to the region.

Bono said: “Technology can play a huge part in eradicating extreme poverty. As well as building thriving businesses, it can be used to battle corruption by helping citizens hold corporations and governments to account. Transparency is the best vaccine against corruption, and harnessing the talent of these tech-savvy innovators could dramatically change the game against those trying to game the system.”

Bono and ONE have been working over the past few years with African partners on the fight for greater transparency and accountability in development, with a focus on increasing transparency in the extractives industry, and on how to increase international investment in Africa.

The group at Meltwater also discussed how technology can serve as a tool to ensure grassroots voices are heard as the future of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are discussed. The MDGs, created by former UN secretary general, Ghanaian Kofi Anan and adopted in 2000, are a set of globally-agreed development goals that aim to halve extreme poverty and hunger and massively reduce disease by 2015. As that deadline approaches, world leaders are debating what should follow. It is important that the voices of the citizens in developing nations are heard in this process. ONE’s ‘You Choose’ campaign used mobile technology to ask people in South Africa, Zambia and Malawi what their priorities are for the future.

Jorn Lyseggen, Founder and CEO of Meltwater and MEST, added that “MEST was started on the fundamental belief that technology entrepreneurship is one Africa’s most exciting untapped opportunities. We are proud that Bono and one.org chose MEST as the venue to discuss how tech can help address Africa’s challenges”.
Earlier today, the group also visited the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital to see the difference being made by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria. (RED), which partners with corporations to drive funding to the Global Fund to fight AIDS in Africa, has generated almost US $215 million for the Global Fund to date.
Prior to arriving in Ghana yesterday, the group was in Liberia meeting with local leaders in government, business, healthcare and the energy sector. Bono and members of the ONE / (RED) team met President Sirleaf in Monrovia and President Mahama in Accra.

About ONE: ONE is a grassroots advocacy and campaigning organization that fights extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa, by raising public awareness and pressuring political leaders to support effective policies and programs that are saving lives, helping to put kids in school and improving futures. Strictly nonpartisan, ONE works closely with African activists and policy makers and achieves change by building popular and political support for government funding of effective programs such as the Global Fund and PEPFAR. ONE is not a grant-making organization, and it does not solicit funding from the public. To learn more, go to ONE.org/Africa.
About (RED): (RED) was created in 2006 to engage the corporate sector in the fight against AIDS in Africa by partnering with businesses who contribute up to 50% of their profits from (RED)-branded goods and services to fight AIDS through the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria. To date, (RED) has generated close to $215million for the Global Fund, with 100% of the money going to work on the ground, impacting the lives of over 14 million people.

About MEST: The Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) and the MEST Incubator program provide training, investment and mentoring for aspiring software entrepreneurs with the goal of creating globally successful companies that create wealth and jobs locally in Africa.
MEST is based in Accra, Ghana and is fully funded and run by Meltwater Group through the non-profit organization, Meltwater Foundation
Since 2008 MEST has trained over 100 tech entrepreneurs and has invested over $1.5M in 13 tech start-ups in Ghana. MEST companies have raised external capital, competed in top technology events such as TechCrunch Disrupt, DEMO, and the Launch Festival, and have gained admittance to top accelerator programs such as HealthXL and 500 Startups.

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Dev Congress

The tech landscape in Africa is increasingly becoming a hotspot for the world with tech entrepreneurs rising from Africa to rub shoulders with the best of the world. South Africa, Kenya, Egypt, Nigeria and Ghana currently lead the trend, with Kenya positioning itself as the tech hub of Africa.

With the job markets flooded with job vacancies for software developers, it is increasingly becoming quite obvious that the budding tech scene in Ghana must be given all the push it needs to fill in both the human capital development and economic empowerment gaps created as a result of the under supply of the demand. This is where Developer Congress comes into the picture.

Software developers in Ghana can and should be able to match developers from any part of the world. The reason for the current deficit, some believe,  is two fold. First of all, the developers in Ghana are not very well resourced to develop their full potential. The level of exposure is also too narrow. This inadvertently dovetails into the second reason; lack of confidence.

The Concept

DevCongress, as its sworn mission, is to provide an enabling community for software developers in Africa, beginning with Ghana, to be exposed to the rich resources that will enhance their skills and build confidence. The team intends to achieve this mainly through conferences. At these conferences, they will bring highly experienced developers to share their experiences and expose the audience to new and better ways of getting things done, have hands on sessions to hone in the skills. In addition, they will offer  a number of speaking slots for individuals who are not necessarily experts to speak on any aspect of software development they are passionate about in the bid to grow their confidence. This is  the principal objective of Dev Congress; to build developers’ confidence.  Hence their tagline: Developing developers.

Their objectives are very simple;

1. To build confidence among software developers in Ghana and Africa for that matter by giving them the opportunity to share what they know and to challenge them to do more. In short, build a reputation among the developer community.

2. Expose developers to a rich array of resources by which they can develop themselves to international standards and make global impact.

3. Contribute to open source projects that have great social and economic impact on their country and the software development scene. Leave a legacy.

4. Harness the combined talent and resources of the local tech community to create solutions to national problems which will be open source and jointly owned by all participants.

At the maiden edition of their congress, dubbed dev:congress{2013} coming off at the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology the attendees will have the opportunity to pose hard questions to a panel of experts on the state of electronic payment in Ghana and the technologies currently at the disposal of developers, take a deep dive into version control (using git mainly) and explore Chrome developer tools among other exciting sessions. They will be launching two major projects that will keep the developer community engaged till the next congress, hopefully next year. Curious what these project are? You will only need to be at the conference. Registration is free by the way.

Is this yet another developer group springing up only to die in a fortnight or at best have three or four active people? They think not. They claim it will be the most vibrant developer movement across Africa.

Well, such boldness usually gets rewarded eventually. Shall we rally around them and make it happen? Yes we should. And you can start from here.

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