Friday, March 12, 2010

If you're an Ghanaian ( read African) living in the US, here's two for your consideration.

Hi Everyone,
I've got two things to share.

1. An Event Relevant for Ghanaians happening at Columbia University Next Weekend

Next weekend Columbia University will be abuzz. Talk about business in Africa will be plenty. Speakers include our own Aisha Obuobi, creator of the Christie Brown Clothing label, and Magatte Wade, founder and CEO of Adina World Beverages (for which she raised $20 million) and Tiossano Tribe Inc.
See the complete list of speakers. It promises to be a great event for entrepreneurs and future entrepreneurs to learn about what works in our part of the world. All these discussions will be part of Columbia's 7th Annual African Economic forum. I know...sounds official:) Seems to me this is Columbia's version of the better known, Africa Business Conference organised annually by our folks over at Harvard Business School. I heard from a friend now at MIT that this year's ABC was full of so so kɛkyɛ (tr: posing) and posturing. I anticipate that Columbia's version will be more down to earth, and maybe more relevant for people who just want to do something in Africa but are not necessarily business school types. Like me, I guess. The theme of the event is Africa Turning Golden - How a Continent is moving forward: Wish I could go. I wish they'd bring this event here, where the action is actually happening. Those of you who are in the US should go, and let us know how it went.

I was checking this blog's stats a week or so ago New York city tops the list of cities where readers live, followed by Accra, then London, and then more US cities. Not bad, right? Accra peeps are not slacking koraa o. Looks to me we could actually have a "what your mamma never told you" party in NY. Maybe we should. One of these days, when I visit. Where was I even going with that?....Oh yeah, I was saying since o many of you who read this blog live in NYC, you should check out this event and let the rest of us know how it went. I'd give anything to hear the Wade lady speak.

Here's a video

2. REACH - An NGO focussing on Improving Health Care in Ghana
I know. I know. Does Ghana really need another health-focussed NGO? And even if we do, how is an NGO which meets in Washington DC going to do any good for those of us who have to use the broken health care systems they propose to fix? Do they even know the issues on the ground? Is this another case of people abroad proposing solutions for problems they don't know intimately? These are the first questions that came to me when I first learned of REACH Ghana. REACH stands for Representatives of Equal Access to Community Health-care. They launched about a year ago.

You know, my first instinct may be right. But things get more interesting if it's not. Also, maybe I'm just a disillusioned healthcare person who moved to Ghana to work on a project aimed at improving healthcare which never took off.  So now I've given up on saving the world and have fun for a living. Maybe I need to lose the cynicism and dream again. So let's do exactly that.Say we give REACH the benefit of the doubt. Say they actually are able to achieve their vision. What would that changed system look like? Quite exciting actually!

*engaging dreamer inside*

They wish to improve healthcare by supplementing health-care resources, empowering REACH members, as well as promoting and aiding the development of sustainable health delivery methods. To this end, they're already working on 2 projects: One which has to do with HIV intervention and the other enhances health education.

Visit the REACH GHANA website for more information and to join or support with a donation. The website is a little academic-sounding and not quite where it could be aesthetically but it's a start and as we all know it's easier to talk, and to criticise than to do. These Ghanaians are trying to do something. Maybe that alone is enough grounds on which to fully support REACH GHANA

If anyone reading this has more information about either the Columbia event or REACH Ghana, please tell us more.


  1. My girl Zandile Blay (of is moderating the fashion panel. Holler at her for more details!

  2. As you guessed, the AEF was great! Magatte Wade's speech was excellent, focusing on the exciting and lucrative entrepreneurial opportunities for young professionals in Africa. The panel on the Niger Delta was also great, and featured an interesting back-and-forth between a Nigerian citizen-journalist and the governor of a Nigerian state whom the former accused of corruption.

    On another note, I first saw your blog tonight, after following a link from Chris Blattman's blog. I think your posts are very informative and entertaining, and helpful to an American like me who is learning more about life in Ghana.

    Also, I co-founded an organization called Titagya Schools that is promoting high-quality early education in northern Ghana. If you are ever near Tamale, please come visit our first pre-school for 50 children in Dalun, about 30 km outside of Tamale. This is our website:

    - Andrew Garza

  3. Hi,

    A friend told me about your blog and this very particular post.
    Thank you for your nice comments, I appreciate it! AEF was awesome! I can feel the sizzle in young african professionals.
    By the way, I love your blog. Keep it up! A bientot,
    Blog at