Friday, April 28, 2006

MetroTV versus Information Services Dept

Osman, of METRO TV interviewing Mawutodzi Abissath, of Information Services Department.

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Part V--Experimental TV Production

Here is TV3's Henry Herbert Malm interviewing Selassi, a Photojournalist from

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Vida and Veronica, or Joy FM and Metro TV

Joy's Vida reponds to TV Africa's Veronica in this experimental TV production

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Experimental TV Production--Part III

This is Akua, of Metro TV, interviewing Kojo Oppong of Radio Peace, Winneba (Central Region)

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TV Production (Experimental) at Ongoing PenPlusBytes ICT Seminar Workshop

Here is Veronica, of TV Africa, interviewing Vida, of at the ongoing PenplusBytes ICT Seminar. Actually, this is of Vida responding to Veronica's question

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Video Clip#2: everyone is captured!

This is part two of the long-ish video I took of my ICT seminar colleagues working on their computers;-)

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Video Clip: Day Three of PenplusBytes--PUSH/PULL publishing; Content Management System, etc

Kwame A, our instructor from PenPlusBytes, is currently talkling about PUSH and PULL-publishing for the Web. We have just heard from Vida, from, and Abaa, from Ministry of Information. I was just asked how mine works--simply Content Management System (CMS) also.

Cellphones now, we use a PULL system, because the system goes to pull info about my credit. It is currently 11.53am, and we are visiting the penplusbytes,net website...

more later:-)

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Pictures from the Three-Day ICT Seminar for Journalists Workshop

Some of my colleagues -- a few wearing -- T-shirts working intensely in front of their computers in one of the BusyInternet halls

some of my colleagues still intensely working on the computers:-)

This is Rayborn Bulley, in session eleven, about to explain ICTs application in Journalism

This is the blog (ICTPOWERHOUSE)that was created yesterday. The picture is of Eric, PenPlusBytes Director, but he's looking a little funny;-))

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

This is Where I Shall Be from 26-28th April: Being Trained With "Journalists in Ghana on the Information Society" | Ghana Passports, anyone?

Ok, so I turn 29 tomorrow, but that's not the motivation for this post. What is is that I will most likely be blogging from BusyInternet, described as...:

...the largest privately owned & operated ICT centre in Africa. With a unique mission to provide both commercial services as well as social development, Busy has been featured as a promising ‘hybrid’ model for Africa

I have the priviledge of being accepted for this three-day course, organised by PenPLusBytes, the International Institute of ICT Journalism.

This is one of the motivations for attending the course:

  • Journalism around the world today has moved from the use of simple desktop applications such as MS Word to the WWW3 and its amazing opportunities. Internet research is an integral part of journalism today; new technologies such as blogging and podcasting are also catching on in the media world. Yet online journalism is still in its embryonic stages in Ghana. Most media houses do not have up to date online presence and those that do have, are not using universal online journalism styles and ethics

  • from:

    These are the topics we shall be working on:

    Session One: Implications of information society developments

    Session Two: Introduction to ICT Journalism

    Session Three: Knowledge Management for the Media:

    DAY TWO – 27th Thursday April 2006

    Session Five: Online Journalism

    Online Journalism can be defined as the reporting and publishing content mostly through online means basically the internet. During this session we shall take a look the history of online journalism, types of online journalisms, online journalism in practice and the future of online journalism.

    Session Six: Practical

    Group Work, Discussion & Group Presentation

    DAY THREE- 28th Friday April 2006

    Session Seven: Re-cap of Day 1 (clarification of concepts)

    Session Eight: Online Journalism –blogs and Content Management Systems (CMS)

    Session Nine: Practical - Online Research using the Internet

    On weather news, the sky went dark around ten o'clock this morning, followed shortly by tremendous precipitation. At work, the electricity went off -- as per usual -- and the generator kicked in shortly. The trees swayed, and many of us sighed: more rain! But, it was very, very welcome, considering the heat of earlier days.

    What was not welcome (news) at all this morning on the CITI Breakfast Show with Bernard Avle was the news that an investigative reporter of the Crusading Guide private paper had uncovered this:

    some of the workers inside this house called the Passport Office of Ghana are busily destroying Ghana’s pride and image by fraudulently processing original Ghanaian passports in large quantities, for export to ‘non-Ghanaian criminals’, in countries like Libya, Italy, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, Holland, Britain, Germany and others.

    Without recourse to due procedures, they process the original passports which are signed by the Director of Passports in Ghana at a wholesale price of three hundred thousand cedis.

    This is later retailed to the ‘non-Ghanaian criminals’ for between $300 and $400 and £250 to £300 internationally.

    The Ghanaian Passport which was revered and respected across the world has now been reduced to an ordinary booklet, stripped of its solemnity and dignity


    I am no conspiracy theorist, but I do feel the need to copy this portion of the whole article for posterity in the (unlikely) event that some up higher might feel that the findings, irking them, should be "disappeared". These kind of things do happen in democracies, please let's not kid ourselves...


    How BusyInternet Started up in Accra, Ghana

  • CITI FM Breakfast Show

  • Ghana passports

  • Ghana journalists

  • accra rain
  • Friday, April 21, 2006

    As the Week Draws to a Close in Accra: Thoughts on…Armed Robbery, Easter, and AREEBA vs ONETOUCH (Ghana Telecom)

    As per usual, my parents and I went to the Central Region, by way of Weija (see picture below), Winneba. The road from which I took this picture is close to Weija, where the police barrier is, and is the newly-constructed route that is trying to lend itself to "dual carriageway". Confusion is evident by the fact that the white truck is also passing us on the left. I thought it should be our right of way--and only ours...who drives on the road to the extreme right of us, then?

    At the time that this was going to “press”, there was news that the occupants of a taxi in Dansoman, a suburb in Accra, had all been killed by policemen who believed them to be armed robbers. It is sounding like a case of mistaken identity, as some of the occupants, so the news reporters at CITI FM maintain, were themselves victims of an armed robbery!

    This calls to question the vigilante-like tactics of police officers who shoot-to-kill without verifying, plus the hard-nosed attitude of the police these days towards armed robbers. The latter is a very good point, given the spate of armed robbery, but mistakes like these are bound to occur if proper regulation by higher-up authorities is not maintained. My view is that given this attitude by the police, armed robbery has been clamped down considerably, but, as always, the double-edged sword is that innocents get killed. That should not be toyed with.

    Serendipity and Tribulation at Kokomlemle
    It was with a great degree of joy that I uncovered not too far from BusyInternet on the Ring Road this place called Phones and Phone City. The reason why I went there at all stemmed from the Easter break, and me having a small accident with my SAGEM myx-7 phone. Although it is covered, I accidentally put it with some things, which included pure water. By the time we ended up in the Central Region, after almost two hours of driving, the pressure from the pure water (chill, actually) had formed condensation on the plastic sheath of my phone, which, in turn, had gone into the battery.

    This meant that a bit of water affected my battery!!

    I spent the better part of the weekend plugging and re-plugging my phone—only for it to start up once it was plugged and stop a third of the way as the SAGEM logo was about to be displayed.

    I was crest-fallen. I had to be decisive, so I decided that upon returning to the capital of Accra, I would check out the Ghana directory for mobile phone places. After calling and re-caling for phones, I was informed that the SAGEM phone they had was an myx-5, or myx-5-2v, which had a camera. That sounded great, but I wanted one that was very close to my sagem myx-7. Turns out Phones and Phone City had SAGEM myx-6. Not the myx-6-2, which has MP3, regrettably.

    Whatever the case, I was overjoyed that the shop just next door to that place, in Kokomlemle, was selling my x-7!!! a quite prohibitive price of ç1,700,000. They said they would offer it me at ç1,500,000. I told them “no need”, and whipped out mine. In explaining the problem to them, I told them to that end, I would want a new battery. Lights were out, so there was no way of testing.

    I ended up taking it to Phones and PhoneCity, where the very personable young woman (Eastern Region—I know cos I suspected and asked (she had the vestigial beauty of an Eastern Region woman, including my girlfriend!) – decided she would test it for me—irrespective of the lights not being on.

    It worked!!!

    My frustration was over. My serendipity had been consolidated—I did not know much about Kokomlemle, but thanks to this, I am glad to know it, and, finally, I know a good place/area to get some really decent mobile phones and accessories ;-)

    Easter suicide

    The picture was taken by yours truly of an Easter Convention gathering in Mankessim, Central Region

    The papers have been replete with little else than after-effects of Easter. One news story that has carried through the short week of Tuesday to today has been that of a man who committed suicide in a church on Easter Friday or so. The sad thing is that he had been with the church for around fifteen years, and was also sponsoring a child. No-one is quite sure what motivated him.

    Areeba vs GT--Who Wins?
    The afternoon has been fraught with confusion on the areeba airwaves, because for a good two hours, connectivity was virtually impossible. Any time you tried to make a call from one areeba customer to another, it said “Busy network!”. Yet, calling Onetouch from Areeba, or onetouch to onetouch was a walk in the park. This prompted speculation by some of my colleagues that the erstwhile war going on between AREEBA and Ghana Telecom, operators of ONETOUCH, are still rife.

    Connectivity at the time this goes to the blog (5.25pmGMT) is still very poor. My text message to a friend from thirty minutes ago is still not sent.

    The battle, I guess, continues…


    My parents and I have extolled the virtues of Nollywood acting. This site is impressive, going to complement the perception that Nigerian films are doing very well:

    Thursday, April 20, 2006

    (My) Most Popular Song for 2005

    Here's a sampling of one of the most popular songs in Ghana at the moment. It is sung by Kwabena-Kwabena, who is also a "Mentor" on TV3's new reality show run much like "Pop Idol", or BBC's "Fame Academy"

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    Thursday, April 13, 2006

    Accra Picture(s) of the Day

    This is a great place to get FRESH croissants delivered to your place of work, or home. Just make sure you tell them a day before!

    Taken yesterday evening on nthe Spintex Road. This is the GOIL filling station that is situated a few hundred metres from the junction that leads to Regimanuel Gray Estates and Manetville.

    The picture is taken from a taxi.

    Have a good Easter. Might be off to the Central Region. Might not. If so, will most definitely bring back pictures:-)

    have a good one!!

    Wednesday, April 12, 2006

    Accra's Spintex Road Makes an Eponymous Entry

    The Spintex Road in Accra is one of the fastest-growing, traffic-inducing roads just outside the Accra Metropolis. It leads to Teshie-Nungua, and onto Tema. From that road, you reach the famous (or should that be infamous?) Tetteh-Quarshie Interchange, where you either get confused by the structure or follow the automobile crowd.

    This is in no way a coherent entry, but given the relative absence, I thought I'd broach the very important issue of the Spintex Road. A picture of the road from the infamous tunnel graced an entry way back in 2005, which you can read here.

    The picture to the right is that of a taxi a few minutes away from the-said tunnel.

    In any event, the Spintex Road is also the road that boasts the most badly-lit semi-highway in the country. Rumours have abounded that streetlights would be a feaeture this year--Ghananian drivers, and ECOWAS ones to boot, who ply the route regularly have yet to see it.

    What is clear, and that is a bit odd considering how dark it can be;-) -- is that the government is paying scant regard to a route that will prove to be a great source of frustration and enjoyment for drivers going to, and coming from, Teshie-Nungua/Tema/Baatsona/RegiManuel/Manetville Estates--for a very long time to come.

    Hopefully, this third edition of the "Spintex Brief Community Journal" has made inroads into the consciousness of Ghanaians on how to make our frustrations better heard.

    Thursday, April 06, 2006

    Ghana's ONETOUCH May Rock, But Seriously Making Strides on Internet also...

    I was down near Cantonments yesterday afternoon -- precisely to go to the GT care4U centre (see picture) to purchase an extra ONETOUCH Chip. Onetouch has done it again! The latest is a promotion from the semi-privatised company, being run by Norwegian TELENOR management, for new users. Those neophyte ONETOUCH users in April get 20K cedis worth of units FREE every month for five months, which means 100K cedis in those five months free.

    I also find that Onetouch's latest i-share unit transfer represents one of the better ways of truly sharing your credit to a friend, or a loved one. Areeba, though the first to start unit transfer in the country, has been more problematic for people like myself, because of having to go to specific places to have your units transferred, when you could easily do it from the comfort of your...erm, phone.

    On another note, thanks to the persistence and perserverance of my parents, we can now access internet at home. Like in the West, you need a landline first, which was the biggest hurdle. Now that has been cleared up, things have made us pleasantly surprised, because we now have a mailbox, plus this website here -- -- where you will find "DIALUP4U" and "BROADBAND4U" login to your email from anywhere in the world.

    It was interesting to note that the webmail that Ghana Telecom uses is provided free--yeah, it's open source software. Here is the disclaimer:

    Open WebMail 2.51 20050310

    Copyright (C) 2001-2005
    Chung-Kie Tung, Nai-Jung Kuo, Chao-Chiu Wang, Emir Litric,
    Thomas Chung, Dattola Filippo, Bernd Bass, Scott Mazur, Alex Teslik

    Copyright (C) 2000
    Ernie Miller (original GPL project: Neomail)

    This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify
    it under the terms of the version 2 of GNU General Public License
    as published by the Free Software Foundation

    This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
    but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
    See the GNU General Public License for more details.

    Removal or change of this copyright is prohibited

    The actual website can be accessed here:

    Kudos, GT!!

    Video Clip: Driving on Accra's Spintex Road at Night

    This is how dark it gets on the Spintex Road at night. Taken around 8.30pm, you can see for yourself that the number of cars passing at quite high speed suggests a busy road, and streetlights!! The placard (yellow) I am trying to capture to the right of the video is that of "Papaye" on the Spintex Road. I am in a taxi, and radio is on 104.3FM--Peace FM, where the presenter is discussing Sports and the Black Stars performance in Germany.

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    Monday, April 03, 2006

    Video Clip of April Sunday Shower in Accra

    This is a video clip of the skies of Sunday 2 April, 2006--a few minutes before rain started to fall. The noise you hear shortly after is the sound of the rain doing more than "pitter-pattering":-)

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    Video of Accra April Showers

    It rained more than cats and dogs yesterday, and so reminded me of those proverbial April showers one used to experience whilst living in Brussels. The following video shows the intensity of the rain (viewed from my abode) in East Airport Residential area.

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