Archive for March, 2015

SADA Rebranding

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on March 25, 2015 by kola

The Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA)has roused itself like the proverbial phoenix from the ashes of the negative public image that it has ingloriously enjoyed and shown a concerted desire to do better in achieving the mandate for which it was created for.

The organization seeks to rise from the doldrums of obscurity and negative public opinion and be seen as at least making an attempt to come up with realistic development plans that can be implemented within the Savannah ecological zone. 
To this effect I has recently been collaborating with several bodies and organizations riding pillion or piggyback on their programs.

The latest one of those is the SADA – Ghana Institute of Engineers collaboration with SADA facilitating a series of workshops including a Youth Forum organized by the GhanaThink BarCamp Team in Tamale for students, youth and youth leaders within the savanna ecological zone. 

The forum brought participants from as far as Kintampo, parts of the Brong Ahafo region and the further reaches of the Upper East and Upper West regions all to Tamale to attend the youth forum.

In speeches by the Tamale Deputy Regional Minister, The CEO of SADA, some board members and the president of the Engineers Association, they all affirmed that the youth are the backbone of a country’s development and that it is the youth on whose backs a nation rides to achieve it’s development goals.

They further asserted that the youth however are faced with challenges and it is to put forth some of these challenges that programs like the forum were organized so the youth can express their grievances and be a part of the decision making process in the way forward as a nation.

A presentation was made by yours truly on how to harness social media tools as youth in not only personal development but also developing the nation as a whole.

There was a panel discussion on nationalism and volunteerism as youth where some young people who have been volunteers in various sectors of the nation gave glorious examples of what it is like to volunteer as a youth. Their stories were varied but they all made one point that volunteerism is a selfless activity that yields rewards when one least expects.

Inasmuch as one is volunteering, it could be in one small corner of the country, people tend to notice and very soon recommendations come in that let’s the selfless activity serve as a springboard to other things.

The most exciting session at the youth forum was the Breakout Sessions where various topics were focused on. Topics that were dealt with included, but were not limited to, education in the savanna, youth entrepreneurship, agribusiness, locating your inner intelligence, using ICT tools, harnessing youth potential and finally the most heated group of all Rebranding SADA.

It was in the latter group that the most heated debate was in a session. Some youth were of the opinion that the organization had burnt all its bridges and to rebrand there would have to be a change of name whilst others also were of the opinion that SADA hadn’t been treated fairly by the general populace and the news and print media had just slammed the organization and limited its duties and roles to just rearing of Guinea fowls and planting of cash trees.

There was also a discussion on the political affiliations and its implications on the organization.

The intensity of the debate was so high that they hogged the whole hall and all the breakout sessions finished discussions and now just watched and listened in to this session. Valid points were raised on both sides and it took some of the organizers to step in to calm them down so the program could go on as planned.

After lunch, the various breakout sessions presented their reports and as expected the Rebranding SADA session couldn’t agree on one report so they presented two.

And it was still heated.

Finally there was an open forum where the participants were given an opportunity to suggest to the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority what programs they think the organization should embark on and this time it was the turn of the high table to take notes.

Brilliant ideas were put down and in the chairman’s final speech he made mention that he was personally happy that such a program has been organized and he emphasized and reaffirmed the importance of SADA and youth cooperation to help the organization achieve it’s agenda of developing the savanna ecological region.

He further emphasized that in a bid to solidify its relationship with the youth of the region a committee of regional youth representatives with be constituted from some of the participants to represent and forward youth issues to the organization.

Well, in my humble opinion, all this is laudable but it will become just another rhetoric like many other initiatives that have already taken place in this country.

I sincerely hope that SADA has learnt its lesson from its failed start and doesn’t make the same mistakes it did during its takeoff.

This is their second chance and Ghanaians will only accept them as making an effort only if they see visible and tangible results.

We always say that it is not how many times you fall but it’s how many times you lift yourself up, dust yourself and try again.

However SADA should keep in mind that the organization can’t keep making expensive falls like it has already done at the expense of the taxpayers and these taxpayers won’t be so forgiving the next time.

Furthermore it behoves on us as Ghanaians to keep a positive attitude that the organization can and would work if only the right tools are employed in trying to achieve its mandate.

A positive attitude will lead to positive results.

Like I always say,
It begins with YOU!

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Social Persons

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on March 8, 2015 by kola

With the advent of social media we have met so many people who hitherto we wouldn’t have met or even could’ve have had any interaction with.

I know many of my readers will share my sentiments that they have met many people on social media websites and platforms  that exist on the world wide web.

Recently one of the youngest and most innovative  entrepreneurs of our time, the CEO of Horseman Shoes and “the president’s shoemaker” (as he’s come to be known as)made a touching remark of the powerful and far reaching effects of social media when he said that without it he wouldn’t have been in contact with some people whom have been inspirations and he’s known from afar. 

Businesses have been launched via social media platforms and here a classic case is the WearGhana brand that always does a social blitz for most of it’s events.

Mention can also be made of design houses like MSimps and Harmattan by Mabel Simpson and Immaculata Larbi. These businesses have made use of social media to a great effect and seen results.

So when it comes to the whatsapp application people join groups for various causes and yours truly is participant of almost 30such groups – both local and international.

It was in one of such groups that she was added. When I was told that there was a Kenyan group put together by an interesting independent woman and that I will find it fascinating I didn’t hesitate to be added. It was upon entering that I realized that the group was of young free thinkers who were upfront about almost anything.  That’s quite refreshing considering that Africans generally are uptight about some issues when it comes to our common problems. Here was a no holds barred platform where no subject was off limits. From belly button piercings to bisexual relationships and through social studies and politics, religion and sex no subject was off limits.

There is only one rule.
NO SPECTATORS!!

So one day a fun chick is added to the group and my first thought is Damn! This gal has the figure of an oboe.  What the heck!

The first picture she posted we all thought was Photoshopped and usually people not comfortable about doubting their photos so I had to find a way to get her to post more of her lovely photos. To this effect I confronted her to prove that the photo wasn’t and she finally had a photo where she stood on a stage right behind a huge guitar and I’m Sure most of the men given the choice will stroke the guitar in clothes and not the bare wood she had in her hands. 

There was no doubt both would produce the most delicious sound. 

In the next few weeks it became obvious that this was no bimbo. I’ve always been intimidated by beauty and brains and maybe it’s because I find such women so attractive it has a profound effect on me.  This was one chica who knew exactly what she was about.

Not only was she selfish she was also a philanthropist with a focus on young women and trying to get them through the rough patches they got in life through various methods available such as mentoring and just looking out for them.
Over the weeks folk in the group have become like family and there has been sharing of emotions and general stuff, Happy times mostly and sad times when the group has been used as a therapeutic platform to help members cope with the various adversities in life. Deaths have been mourned, relationships have taken either a dive or spiralled depending on the needs of the participants, job opportunities have been shared as well as research on various topics.

Lately births have been celebrated most. 

But focus on the support system provided as this heavenly guitar sprung it on us that she had gone for a checkup and there was bad news that she was sick.  The ability to own up to it and recognize this group that she has come to know like family for a few months is even unique in itself. The Passion family also didn’t disappoint and rallied in to support one of their own.

What intrigues yours truly most is that this young motivator didn’t see herself as an island when in crisis but then jumped into her social media family to open up and share not only her life but her fears and aspirations. Most of us will consider ourselves as individuals and be in our own corner and suffer in silence and that’s exemplified in the recent death of one of Nollywood’s young budding superstars who had a terminal illness and kept it to himself to his grave. Sad!

VAL! We’re here for you as a family and will always be. Passions got your back and this write up is dedicated to you. In you we see a friend and a sister, a colleague and a peer and Precious sees you as a mother and a mentor.

For all the young ladies they see you as a motivator and we pray you just live Long to achieve your purpose for which God put you on this planet. 

Be a shining light to your friends, family and country and through social media this Ghana man is privileged to know you. We will meet one day soon.

Social media causes change and though it you can not only cement friendships and meet cool people like VAL but you can spark a change process one person at a time t affect your community and your country.

Like I always say
It begins with YOU!!!