News & pics from our Keta project after two weeks course

The first part of our project in Keta with Margarete Grimus holding the in-service training for teachers in digital media skills in public schools in Ghana at Keta Senior High Technical School has finished now. Margarete has done a great job in these almost three weeks and met some interesting people on the spot – so the next step is to assess the outcomes and possible ways to go further. From what Margarete is writing, however, there will definitely be a next part and we will continue the project.

So before we post a summary and our lessons learned, here’s some pictures of the course:

Make sure you check back soon, not to miss our summary.

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News & pics from our Keta project after two weeks course
was published on 25.09.2012 by Florian Sturm. It files under global
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News from our Keta project after a week course

As already announced, since 6 September our member Margarete Grimus is in Ghana and holding the in-service training for teachers in digital media skills in public schools in Ghana at Keta Senior High Technical School since a week already.

Now here’s a short sum up of what she writes about how everything is going:

The course is running alright, we start every day at 8 AM until 1 PM officially – but so far we never stopped before 1:30 PM. […] There are plenty of computers in the computer room, but only 5 are working and they regrettably have viruses. Also, we don’t have access to internet. I bought an own internet stick myself on the first day and I’m using that one. There are 12 participants of the course with very different levels of skills, but the spirit is very good. […]

From next week on we’ll only start at 3 PM because regular school is commencing.The fact that we don’t have internet is quite a constraint in the course contents. Also I cant use the questionnaire I developed upfront. What’s very good is that two thirds of the participants have their own laptops with them. […]

It’s also very interesting to find out about the didactical aspects, which I find very important. There’s something new coming to my mind every day. […] The participants have a portfolio where they are summing up down every day what they learned and everybody is very interested and motivated. […]

We also have some pictures of Margarete at the school and with her hosts which you see above.

So, let’s hope internet will be available this week and that there’s a lot going forward at the course!

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News from our Keta project after a week course
was published on 16.09.2012 by Florian Sturm. It files under sub saharan africa
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Delayed start for our ICT training for teachers in Ghana

Because of a medical issue we regrettably had to postpone our in-service training for teachers in digital media skills in public schools in Ghana. Due to our initial plan the course should have started already, but we had to delay the start for two weeks. We’ve been in touch with everybody and have our man Gameli Adzahoon on the spot, so everything is sorted out.

Margarete Grimus will be in Ghana now from 6 September on and will probably split the course on two parts – but Margarete and the participants will plan for this when she’s there.

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Delayed start for our ICT training for teachers in Ghana
was published on 28.08.2012 by Florian Sturm. It files under global
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New project: In-service training for teachers in digital media skills in public schools in Ghana

We’re proud to announce a new project, which will already start in about two weeks time!

Our members Margarete Grimus and Worlali Senyo have joined up with Gameli Adzaho and Charles Amega-Selorm in Ghana to provide an In-service training for teachers in digital media skills for teaching and learning in public schools in Ghana. The one-month course will already begin in two weeks and will take place at Keta Senior High Technical School. Margarete Grimus, who has extensive knowledge in teaching and adult education in ICT will hold the course and meet with several people on the spot to explore possibilities for further projects in this sector.

The main objective of this pilot project is to equip 15 teachers in public schools with skills in internet research and presentation to support their teaching and learning and ultimately extend it across public schools in Ghana.

I think it’s good timing for our project to start now as Ghana has expressed their intentions to use ICT in education a while ago already and confirmed so lately. We hope that the pilot picks up and want to enable the 15 participants to pass on their knowledge to their colleagues – literally teaching the teachers.

Specifically, the project will:

  • train teachers how to use computers for the learning in classroom for teaching, lesson notes preparation, and for general research
  • provide teachers with skills to use the internet as a resource to improve their teaching (e.g. how to access it, integrating it in class teaching to improve learning, internet literacy and internet safety)
  • guide teachers to identify good practice for Maths and Science teaching (in Junior and Senior High schools)
  • acquire presentation skills as a way to enhance their lesson delivery to improve learning outcomes in the classroom
  • introduce basic skills in research and statistics for evaluation of class/school-projects and scientific writing [from the project proposal]

To hear Gameli Adzaho talk in more detail about the project, check out this link to Coders4Africa Podcast.

We’ll keep you posted on the project and upload news and pictures here as soon as it has started.

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New project: In-service training for teachers in digital media skills in public schools in Ghana
was published on 08.08.2012 by Florian Sturm. It files under global
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German article – Learning for a Responsible Life with a Global Horizon: Education Projects in Africa

Last month, at the international conference “Interactive and Competence-Orientated Education” in Brussels our member Margarete Grimus presented her article about education in Africa with a focus on ICT. The article is in German, the title “Lernen für ein verantwortliches Leben im globalen Horizont: Bildungsprojekte in Afrika” approximately translates to “Learning for a Responsible Life with a Global Horizon: Education Projects in Africa”.

I took the liberty to translate the abstract to English:

The development of the internet has opened perspectives in Africa in the last century which have been hampered by under-developed infrastructure before. The World Wide Web (WWW) can constitute a meaningful contribution to an increase in education standards – if lectureres know the potentials, have the necessary carefulness in dealing with ICTs and implements this in class. Education processes aim at the acquisition of knowledge, skills and approaches, digital literacy is a substantial part of education.

The different weight which is put on sectors such as gender or AIDS in the “first world” and in developing countries is extending experiences in both worlds. Insights in the education scene in Sub Sahara Africa are given with examples of the teacher education in Kano (Nigeria), health education in Cape Town (South Africa) and teacher education in Ghana.

So here you can download the article of Margarete Grimus. Here’s also the presentation slides she used:

Here’s the link for citation:

Grimus, Margarete. Lernen für ein verantwortliches Leben im globalen Horizont: Bildungsprojekte in Afrika. In: Holz, Oliver; Seebauer, Renate (Hrsg.): Interaktiver und kompetenzorientierter Unterricht. Interactive and Competence-Orientated Education. Verlag Dr. Kovac. Hamburg. S. 124-148 (ISBN: 978-3-8300-6422-0)

Thanks a lot to Margarete for providing this, it’s a very interesting read – especially having in mind our own projects.

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German article – Learning for a Responsible Life with a Global Horizon: Education Projects in Africa
was published on 19.06.2012 by Florian Sturm. It files under global
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Planning for a new project & presentation at Ars Electronica

Although we haven’t announced any news during the summer, we were not only travelling and relaxing but we were also working behind the scenes.

One major outcome is a proposal for a new project in Ghana with exciting local and Austrian partners, which we want to start later this year.  The main objective of this project

is to equip teachers in public schools with skills in internet research and presentation to support their teaching and learning process” [quote from our proposal]

By assisting teachers to use the internet, we think several aspects in education can be improved. This in turn makes not only the teachers, but the students and other stakeholders benefit. By teaching teachers, we are aiming for a multiplier effect and replication across the country.

We will publish more about the project and our partners (Ghana: Worlali Senyo, Charles Amega Selrom, Gameli Adzaho;Austria: Prof. Emerita Maragete Grimus) as soon as we’re finished planning and have concrete dates.

However, we will present the proposal on 1. September in Linz at the event “Mein Beitrag zum Wandel” at the “Create Your World” subfestival of “Festival Ars Electronica”.

Check here for the exact time and date of the “Create Your World” event.

We’re proud to get the chance to present there and I’m sure we’ll get to know many interested and interesting people.

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Planning for a new project & presentation at Ars Electronica
was published on 27.08.2011 by Florian Sturm. It files under sub saharan africa
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Young speakers take center stage at first TEDx conference exclusively for African youth

Inaugural TEDxYouthInspire will bring together those with “A Good Head & A Good Heart”

On Saturday, April 10, 2010, from 8:00AM – 6PM GMT, the inaugural TEDxYouthInspire conference will be held at the Ghana-India Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence in ICT in Accra, Ghana. The free one-day event, a first for young African visionaries ages 14-25, will welcome a host of youth speakers, a Ghanaian dance ensemble and an Academy Award-nominated short film. Organized along the theme “A Good Head & A Good Heart”, taken from Nelson Mandela’s 1995 autobiography Long Walk to Freedom, TEDxYouthInspire will exhibit how radical thought and integrity of spirit combine to create unlimited possibilities for a brighter future. “The outpouring of support for TEDxYouthInspire exemplifies the need for more events like this for young people,” says Raquel Wilson, event curator, “As our speaker line-up suggests, youth everywhere are ready to solidify their contributions towards making the world a better place.” TEDxYouthInspire welcomes the following speakers to give the talks of their lives:

Iyinoluwa E. Aboyeji, 18, a Nigerian teenager with a passion for philosophy, global politics and economics, is President of the Board for University of Waterloo publication Imprint. Using his weekly column “E is for Error” to discuss development and post secondary education, he aspires to be a tenured professor by age 25.

The Asanti Dance Theatre is a dynamic ensemble that combines traditional, contemporary and freestyle dancing along with drumming. Founded in 2003, the group raises awareness of prominent issues facing West Africa and is dedicated to developing and preserving the cultural heritage of Ghana.

Yawa Hansen-Quao, 26, is a women’s empowerment activist and firmly advocates that “one cannot love an Africa one does not know.” Believing that women must play a central role in spurring economic and social advancement in Africa, Yawa supports travel as a tool to “transform people without permission”.

Mac-Jordan Holdbrookes-Degadjor, 25, a social media activist, is passionate about Information and Communication Technologies for Development (ICT4D), youth empowerment and ending poverty through education. With three blogs to his credit, he often writes about global events, social entrepreneurship, traveling and how it feels to be a geek in Ghana.

Shirley Osei-Mensah, 18, is an Internet entrepreneur and student at Keystone National High School. Unable to attend a regular classroom, she takes all coursework online and uses her web exposure to inspire others, provide tips about entrepreneurship and advise on earning an income online.

Esi Yankah, 25, is founder and president of The Africa Mentor Network and creative director for Yankah and Associates. Cautious to always live a life that is cheerful and purposeful, she does not believe that entrepreneurs are an extraordinary breed of people; rather, as she explains, “We just back our faith with action.”

Ghana Google Country Manager Estelle Akofio-Sowah will host TEDxYouthInspire.

TEDxYouthInspire is sold out, however, a live web steam of the event will be available online at LiveStream. Individual and corporate sponsorship packages are still available. Additional information about TEDxYouthInspire can be found by visiting www.tedxyouthinspire.org. Follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/tedxyouthinspir or Facebook at www.facebook.com/tedxyouthinspire.

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Young speakers take center stage at first TEDx conference exclusively for African youth
was published on 10.04.2010 by Worlali Senyo. It files under sub saharan africa
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oneVillageFoundation Ghana

The oneVillageFoundation is an international foundation aiming at promoting the use of

Information Communication Technology (ICT) to address World Urgent Issues, by providing a platform for an integrated approach to sustainable development” [from the oneVilageFoundation homepage]

It was founded in the US and currently operates also in Ghana, Nigeria and Taiwan.

Recently me and ICT4D.at fellow Worlali Senyo went to Winneba, Ghana, to meet the people behind oneVillageFoundation Ghana and to look at their projects.

Winneba is the main base of the oneVillageFoundation in Ghana, they have a building with offices and computer rooms there. Jacob Odame and Kafui Prebbie welcomed us and gave a short presentation of the projects which oneVillageFoundation is currently supporting, and the objectives of oneVillageFoundation Ghana in general.

In Winneba the foundation provides computer classes, an internet cafe, acts as local partner for appropriate technology company Inveneo and has a NComputing sample solution set up. The latter two help a lot in their efforts to give consulting for other organizations who want to introduce ICT solutions.

The computer room is built with the already mentioned NComputing device, a tiny and almost no energy consuming device which allows to split up the computing power of one PC to up to four workplaces – with monitor, mouse and keyboard each. This basically allows everyone to open up an internet cafe or easily equip a computer room with low equipment and energy costs. Due to the low power consumption it’s also possible to easily implement a backup power source as well as to minimize the cooling efforts – things which are of critical importance in a country like Ghana.

Another way the organization serves the surrounding communities is by sharing their internet conection with them. This is done with the German software Freifunk which allows to easily create large mesh networks by utilizing antennas and commonly available routers. This way only one participant of the network has to offer the conncetion to the intenet to make everybody profit. The same works in some cities in Austria with the initiative Funkfeuer.

oneVillageFoundation Ghana is also part of several international projects, such as the Wireless Africa initiative aiming at promoting Community Owned Information Networks or the EU-initiated Digital World Forum focusing on the use of ICT to leverage economic development in Africa and Latin America.

After a short walk through oneVillageFoundation’s facilities we had a discussion on how to get cheap internet to as many people as possible in Ghana – also mentioning several former UNDP efforts, the recent foundation of the Ghana Network Operators Group (ghNOG) which is a “forum for the exchange of technical information to ensure stability of the Internet Services in Ghana” and the Ghana Connect initiative.

It was inspiring to see the innovative and highly appropriate installations oneVillageFoundation implemented. Also I am curious if their solutions will spread over Ghana in the future, increasing internet access by simple means. Thumbs up for Kafui, Jacob and their co-workers who do a good job serving a lot of people.

If you want to know more about them and their projects check out the oneVillageFoundation homepage or the oneVillageFoundation blog.

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oneVillageFoundation Ghana
was published on 23.09.2009 by Florian Sturm. It files under global
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First AfNOG EO Localization UNIX System Administration Workshop

16 years ago, an Internet Community from Ghana connected West Africa to the Internet and transferred this knowledge to other countries in Africa. Sadly, this community has been ignored over the years and no wonder Ghana has lost its presence on the global internet space with an internet penetration rate lower than the average on the African continent.

Group picture of participants at the First AfNOG EO localization workshop held at the University of Cape Coast

Group picture of participants at the First AfNOG EO localization workshop held at the University of Cape Coast

The President of Internet Society, Ghana Chapter (ISOCgh) Mr. Daniel Obuobi in a welcome address recounted how Internet Technology workshop had started in 1993 and since then to 2000 eight countries have held such workshops. The localizing of such workshops became more important so as to reduce the cost of travels and increase participation as well as build capacity on the continent. The results, was the birth of African Network Operators Group (AfNOG) with Internet Society (ISOC) facilitating and providing support. In this same regard, the ISOCgh accepted the challenge of localizing AfNOG EO track (Unix System Administration) home. This got strong approval from ISOC and the University of Cape Coast opted to facilitate the process by hosting the first ever AfNOG EO localization workshop/conference.

To feather extend the localization drive the Ghana Network Operators Group (ghNOG) was born on the 31st day of July, 2009 at the University of Cape Coast for which I am more than excited to be part of. The ghNOG is a “forum for the exchange of technical information to ensure stability of the Internet Services in Ghana” with the aim of creating a community for sharing experiences and technical challenges on setting up, building and running IP networks in Ghana.

The event begun on 27th July with participants from government, education, industry and Non-governmental organization been taken through Unix System Administration using the Free BSD (ghNOG-1). Topics covered included; Unix concepts, FreeBSD installation, DNS concepts, configurations and delegations, Apache and Virtual Hosts, Email systems using exim, System Log Management and  Backups.  The climax of the event was the outdooring ceremony of the new baby ghNOG. The President of ISOCgh hoped to see a vibrant ghNOG working closely with ISOC Ghana to organize technical workshops, conferences and annual meeting at various venues across the country to build capacity.

Mr. Michuki Mwangi, Senior Education Manger, ISOC in a short message was excited to be part because one Ghana was close to his heart and also he attended an AfNOG training that was organized in Ghana in 2001 which marked the start of this career and has made him who he is today. As he puts it “to give back to the community that help changed me”. Mr. Michuki  was an instructor at the workshop. Sharing with the audience a story on Skunkworks in his home country Kenya. Skunkworks is mailing list of young and upcoming engineers who with little or no resources are helping solve problems, making great innovation and helping local authorities to know where to go for help. “Its not perfect but has filled a void” Michuki said. He recommended that, Ghana develop these communities along a common line that bring the youth, young engineers together to harness their talent since it was difficult to get find such talents in our part of the world in a group.

AfNOG Convener and board member of ICANN, Prof. Nii Quaynor in his message applauded the development of internet operators groups which in May 2000 gave birth to AfNOG in Cape Town South Africa. At the 10th anniversary of AfNOG in Cairo, Egypt in May 2009, the role of NOG’s became even more apparent and important and as he noted “the growth of the internet network simply demanded more technical capacity of operators who had to coordinate and communicate better”.

The Internet Technical Community through ghNOG will deliver;

  • ghNIC domain name registry,
  • ghCERT,
  • GARNet,
  • IXPs/Roots,
  • W3C office,
  • AfrNIC training office and more… he added.

The two key success factors Prof. Quaynor noted were; extent of engagement of the community and policy environments. One interesting question he asked was the “e-Readiness of our Judiciary to handle IT related cases at IT speeds” an experience his own company Network Computer Systems (NCS) had suffered from.

“the Internet Technical Community is our only weapon to prevent the digital divide”

Concluding his speech, he wished ghNOG and its trainers and trainees to be missionaries/ revolutionaries who will champion internet development and selflessly serve their communities. “Ghana deserves an Internet renaissance” he added.

ghNOG!!!! Success………!!!!!

In the keynote address by the Hon. Deputy Minister of Communication Hon. Gideon Quarcoo, commended ISOCgh for its work in bringing to the forefront the importance of the Internet as an indispensable tool that we can use to accelerate the socio-economic development of the country and creating a forum for the exchange of technical information, sharing of experience and capacity-building for the industry given the constraints. The Minister called on all the internet fraternity to join hands with Government in addressing the security threats confronting the development of the Internet in general. He noted that in the area of legislation, the Ghana’s Electronic Transactions Act, 2008 (Act 772) which among others, will help develop a safe, secure and effective environment for the conduct of electronic transactions.

He charged the ghNOG to complement Government’s efforts and provide practical and meaningful measure that can help control the menace of security. The Ministry of Communication has developed a comprehensive e-security policy that has identified eleven priority areas to secure the country’s systems, infrastructure and information he added. A copy of which he is presenting to ghNOG for study and guidance in its operations. He also mentioned an e-Security Policy document which was part of the Ministry’s arrangement for the establishment of a national Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT). He again noted that the Ministry was enjoying goodwill from Industry and this will enable it establish a governing Board for the Internet Registry and facilitate multi-stakeholder participation in the management of Ghana’s domain name space.

“Government is also working to reduce the cost of bandwidth to promote the growth of the industry” he added.

He stated “Let us collectively strive first and foremost, to protect the internet and build confidence in its usage. There is so much expectation out there, and we dare not fail in our endeavour”

The Ghana Network Operators Group (ghNOG) was then formally declared duly launched by the Hon. Deputy Ministry. And promised the Ministry’s and Governments support and cooperation to the community at all times.

The board for ghNOG was inaugurate and were made of  6 members with Mr. Ernest Brown as interim Convener.

Presentation sessions were organized;

  1. Mr. Ayitey Bully, Technical coordinator, AfrNOG presented on the Role of NOGs in National Development.
  2. Prof. Dakubu, GARNET, UG presented on Roles of NRENS in National Development.
  3. Prof. Nii Quaynor, Convener, AfNOG presentation was on IGF: A Multi-stakeholder Process
  4. Towards an Improved National Internet Infrastructure: Prospects & Challenges -by Ezer Yeboah-Boateng (for GISPA)
  5. Mr. Issah Yahaya Director, Ministry of Communication presented on New ICT Initiative for Accelerated Development
  6. Presentation on ccTLD as a Backbone to Information Society was by Eric Akumiah, GM, Africa Top Level domain organization

ghNOG will be have a series of training workshops in the months details of which will be had available on the site.

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First AfNOG EO Localization UNIX System Administration Workshop
was published on 04.08.2009 by Worlali Senyo. It files under global, sub saharan africa
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International Development Design Summit

Just a quick point to an exciting project which is currently taking place here around Kumasi and at KNUST – International Development Design Summit.

It’s an initiative by MIT (MIT press on IDDS) to drive capacity building in developing countries, but also to provide students with real-life experience and a forum to discuss issues. The students work together with other students and practitioners here in the wider area of Kumasi and try to find applicable solutions for every day problems of the people in rural areas of Ghana.

One project is for example built around the problem of making water drinkable with chlorides – and how to produce these chlorides with the help of available tools – such as a bike, in that case. Another projects deals with easy methods of rice-destoning – which would rural farmers enable to compete better with big companies.

The project is really good covered in various blog – IDDS official blog in as good source, also pointing to other blogs. The results of the projects will be presented at Maker Faire Africa (IDDS at Maker Faire Africa), really looking forward to seeing that.

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International Development Design Summit
was published on 28.07.2009 by Florian Sturm. It files under sub saharan africa
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