This is exciting enough to rouse me from my blogging lull.
Google announced in this blog post that they are making the map maker data for Kenya available under a pseudo creative commons license for non-commercial use. Governments, non-profits and individuals are allowed to use the data in any non-commercial way with attribution.
If you remember from my previous blog post, my reservation about map maker was that the data was not owned by the public. All though this announcement does not put the data into the public domain it goes a long way to eventually making it happen.
this place is hush hush
i remember when it used to be on fire? (or do i?)
so whats everyone up to?
When a female soldier in a Ghanaian movie (Scorned) was shot in the line of duty and taken to hospital, she wasn't taken to Korle Bu. She was taken to Lister Hospital, a modern healthcare facility in Accra, not very far from the Tetteh Quarshie Interchange. Lister's website says the Lister Hospital and Fertility Centre is the most technologically advanced private hospital in West Africa. From the movie and the susequent scenes in and around the hospital, it looks modern, clean and high-class. Basically, the healthcare costs there will be high. I wonder if the National Health Insurance Scheme would suffice for costs there. In the era, where countless government personalities have to fly abroad to get excellent medical care, it's refreshing to know about institutions like Lister Hospital, however small they are. There should be more Listers and the public health system should catch up with the needed state investment.
How many world-class hospitals are in Ghana? Last time, this issue came up, someone said there was one; the Trust Hospital. I have never been there before, and haven't known of any friends/family who had treatment over there. Nyaho Medical Centre is also highly regarded, as well as the Ridge Hospital to some extent. Is Dr. Edward Mahama's hospital great? What about Dr. Edmund Delle? Does he even have his own private clinic? With the growing middle-class, it should be prudent to operate more and more private clinics where people have the bang to buck. Or a buck for every bang suffered. You get the point.
Every country has this particular batch of men and women. The Koti, The Odumgya, The Soja, The Border (bother) guard are all endearing terms we use to call our security services not to mention the services of some special forces whose praises we barely get to sing but are always there for us should they be needed all the same. My mission today is to pay tribute to them but also to draw attention to how they have failed us in certain respects. The Sergeant Adjeteys and Corporal Attipoes of our time are not being matyred whiles submitting any petitions on our behalf in the line of duty but neither are they being showered with fragrant smelling confetti either in some respects.
Korle-bu teaching hospital was in the news recently and what struck me as shameful was the admission that they were down to their last supplies of blood. This wont be the first time such a thing has happened and I believe i speak for all the major hospitals when I say that they are all probably suffering the same plight.
With all the promises made by governments past and present about enhancing our health care delivery system, I am wondering why such a vital component of the health care delivery has been left to rot or is it simply a case of mismanagement.
God bless our homeland Ghana and make our nation great and strong…bold to defend forever the cause of freedom and of Rights? Pride? Nationalism? Patriotism?
The last time I wrote to you, your daughter, Samia, had become a Member of Parliament. Now, she is in the news again praising Ghana’s new president, Asomdwoe Hene Atta Mills for proposing a Founder’s Day to honour you. This national holiday would commemorate your 100th birthday, September 21, 2009 and would be a yearly affair just like Martin Luther King Day in the USA. I don’t know why this bit is not surprising, but the folks in the New Patriotic Party (NPP) have opposed this proposal and getting this legislation to pass is going to be a battle in parliament. This opposition is being branded as a feature of the “Mate me ho” folk, which dates back as far as you emerged on the scene as Ghana’s leader. The National Democratic Congress’ majority will probably chalk another democratic victory so felicitations again, Osagyefo, it seems you are about to chalk another feat.
...Sounds on da ground and seens on the see-ins
I was at the recent Harvard African Business Conference. Why did I go? I went just because it was an African business conference and I had been attending as long as I knew it existed. I went because credit is crunching and it would be nice to pay some more attention to what I could do back home and it became absolutely necessary. I went to network and identify partners for various undertakings in the future. I went to identify the leaders of the future as well. As you know, most of our African presidents are not the best people to write home about, especially with Barack Obama front and center in leadership chatter. A-Plus chastised a whole lot of African presidents in his 'A Letter to the West' song, likening their reigns to horror movies. One president who is turning his own horror movie story into a feel-good one is Rwanda’s Paul Kagame. In fact, this last weekend has made me a huge fan of his. People, Obama is not ours but we may have one ourselves, and he’s called Paul Kagame.
The long awaited ‘SOTNAD’ finally happened last week.
I would like to welcome you all to commffest (global ) community film festival and is accepting film submissions from Ghana to our festival .Please visit our website at www.commffest.com and go to submissions
We are looking forward to hearing from you. Al submissions are through "withoutabox" a subsidiary of IMDb.
COMMFFEST: Community Film Festival is a charitable organization, combining films and videos followed by panel discussions which includes a question and answer period for individuals and communities to engage in a dialogue of social issues and cultural exchange through the powerful language of film in all genres.
I am just picturing a cute 6 yr old with two front teeth missing bopping up and down with impatience in the back seat of a car on the way to a very exciting event asking the inevitable question: “are we there yet” (justified impatience mind, especially if the journey is taking a tad too long). If I were to apply this analogy to what is happening in the political clime of Ghana today then it certainly does look like watching paint dry. I try to be patriotic but try as I might I can’t seem to catch the fever.
LOOK BEFORE YOU LEAP:
The people of Ghana have spoken but have they really? A landslide victory would have given the incoming President an unopposed majority of the people’s mandate but the closeness of the election results says it all that the country is split in equal halves in their support and opinion. In other words only ‘HALF THE BATTLE’ has been won. Not a very comfortable victory by the looks of it as the other half needs to be won over lest the irate vote of theirs comes out in full force in 4 years time. You don’t have to do the sums to figure out that there is no time for complacency.
ALLAYING THE FEARS OF THE PEOPLE:
The 2008 elections has brought about the worst in humankind in Ghana. Everything is based on rumours, speculations and down right lies and negative propaganda. The information flying about is so collosal it will send your head reeling. I have followed many an article on websites across the spectrum and unsubstantiated declarations of all sorts and the conclusion i have drawn is that it is Ghanaians doing what they do best...vying for a bit of notoriety and everybody wanting to shout the loudest.
In the past few weeks a culture of blame, scape goating and insults of a very acrid nature is what is flowing across the landscape. Its like a battle ground flowing with poisonous spears of discord aimed at the consciences of people.
from the MIghTy African
When I first heard about BarCamp from my GhanaThink buddy, I was apprehensive. What is this BarCamp that I have heard of before? I still don’t know why it’s called BarCamp, even after helping organize BarCamp Ghana. What I do know is is that the concept of a BarCamp is excellent. It has almost everything I want in a gathering of minds, hands and people. BarCamp Ghana 08 came off yesterday, December 22nd at the Kofi Annan Center of Excellence for ICT – AITI. Ever since I arrived in Ghana on Tuesday the 16th, I’ve had many ideas of a blog and subject matters to write about, but the excitement that is BarCamp generated for me trumps all.
My first real experience with BarCamps was BarCamp Africa. It was organized by a group of people, mostly non-African who were passionate about or had some interests in Africa. Google sponsored the BarCamp, giving us a whole building for free – an auditorium, a kitchen/bar with free food all day (yay!) and more than 10 rooms all with internet, power, etc. Attendees were charged $25 which was a bargain fee, considering how much the HBS ABC costs, or even SABF. (Google these). When I first got to the Google premises, the organizers were wearing T-shirts, yes tee-shirts, not suits, smart casual shirts and slacks, but the same attire I slept with the other day. They gave me one and some info, and I proceeded to the auditorium. More people there were wearing these white T’s (you’d have thunk we were going to break to partake in some hip-hop video.
As the dawn of a new government approaches, perhaps its time to get our brooms and dusters out and give our organs of government a spring clean.
Ghana has seen too many years of Centralised governance. Our Unicameral legislature is seen to be very inclusive in terms of party politics but also has the tendency of being electively dictatorial. But the most worrying fact is that in enforcing its duties, Parliament in Ghana does not give local governments their due and the independence they require for a proper representation of the people and their right to a fair share of the national cake.
‘’Election flash in the pan’’