Barcamp Ghana is a program being run by the GhanaThink Foundation, an NGO based both in Ghana and the USA. A BarCamp is a user-generated conference (or unconference). It is an open, participatory workshop-event, whose content is provided by participants. The Barcamp Ghana events – free networking forums – are organized to forge networking, discussion, partnerships and change. The goal is to help Ghanaians learn about the issues that affect them, generate ideas for development, network and partner with others who have similar interests and improve or start businesses and projects.
The BarCamp Ghana team has successfully organized 70 BarCamps in Ghana since December 2008. Inspired by attending Barcamp Africa at the GooglePlex in Mountain View, California in October 2008, some members of the GhanaThink Foundation joined up with other young Ghanaian change makers to plan the first ever Barcamp in Ghana. Barcamp Ghana 2008 at the Kofi Annan Centre for Excellence in IT (KACE-AITI) on December 22, 2008 was a national event with the theme – ‘Fuelling Ghana’s Business and Tech Renaissance’. Barcamp Ghana 2009 followed at the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology in East Legon in Accra on December 21, 2009 with the theme – ‘Leadership for our times – cultivating change makers’. The Barcamp Ghana team decided to take the conversations and Barcamping spirit to other places in Ghana in 2010. These have been in Accra, Kasoa, Kumasi, Takoradi, Cape Coast, Sunyani, Tamale, Tema, Koforidua, Ho, Bolgatanga and Wa. 3 affiliate Barcamps have been organized in conjunction with UPSA, Ashesi University and GHAPOHA. There was also Barcamp Voices, organized in conjunction with the Making All Voices Count Initiative.
The events have brought together over 7000 young change makers, doers and entrepreneurs. They have also given birth to some professional groups (including 5 Google Technology User Groups in Ghana and the Ghana Makers Group) and started up or supported new and ongoing enterprises and ventures. They have also educated attendees about many products and also given the opportunity for different businesses to get feedback on their products and improve their services. They have also inspired many Ghanaian youth to become agents of change and work smarter to shape the Ghanaian future. The events are contributing to building a network of young, positive-minded, innovative and entrepreneurial Ghanaians.
The Junior Camp Ghana program – a career mentoring series in high schools in Ghana – was created out of the impact Barcamp Ho and Barcamp Tema in 2012 made in the lives of some Keta Senior High School students. Barcamp Ghana has also been the launchpad for many business start-ups (such as Afrochic. Ahonya, TechNeedsGirls), and also blog camps from Blogging Ghana. Various projects created from Barcamps have resulted in movie productions (A Weekend in Volta), popular blogs and websites, amongst others.
All Barcamps are convened under the leadership of the GhanaThink Foundation with support from young Ghanaians. All the events are free at no cost to the public to ensure as many diverse people attend. The events are supported by our partners and the venues are normally generously sponsored by various institutions. Some of our notable partners have been Google Ghana, Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST), DKT International, Making All Voices Count, Airtel Ghana, Vodafone Ghana, Mobile Web Ghana, World Bank, Tigo Ghana, Ashesi University, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kofi Annan Centre for Excellence in IT (KACE-AITI), Ushahidi, Blogging Ghana, etc.
Some of the speakers and resource personnel at past Ghana Barcamps have included Estelle Sowah (Google Ghana), Herman Chinery-Hesse (SoftTribe), George Allotey (American University Professor), Patrick Awuah (Ashesi University), Yoofi Grant (Databank), Amos Anyimadu (AfricaTalks), Lionel Dosoo (Ecobank), Albert Ocran (Legacy & Legacy), Ellen Hagan (L’Aine Services) and Douglas Adjepong (CEO of Leadership & Mentorship Academy).
It has also featured many younger change makers like Eyram Akofa Tawia (LetiArts), Nana Kwabena Owusu (Ignite Systems), Esi Cleland (Afrochic Online), Derrydean Dadzie (DreamOval), Ashifi Gogo (Sproxil), Leila Djansi (Turning Point Pictures), Farida Bedwei (Logiciel), Rodney Quarcoo (RQVisuals), Aisha Obuobi (Christie Brown), John Armah (GCEEI), Regina Agyare (Soronko Solutions), Emmanuel Gamor (MPWRshow), Bernard Avle (CITI FM), Kinna Likmani (GhanaDecides), Deborah Ahenkorah (Golden Baobab), Emmanuel Okyere (Hutspace), Chemphe (Musician), amongst others.
See pictures of past events on our Picasa. You can also find more pictures on the various Facebook pages. Our main social media channels are – Facebook, Google+ and Twitter. Check out #bcghana on Google+ and Twitter. Our website is barcampghana.org