OUR ROADTRIP TO GOOGLE GHANA OFFICE, ACCRA – GHANA & ADA
5th March, 2011. 5:30 am. 7 guys, a bus, and a driver, and a plan. The plan was to visit the Google Ghana Office in Accra and Ada. Well, what seemed like a straight forward trip turned out to be a mashup of events-- a trip to Kobe, the GTUG UCC Manager's, house, a tour of the heart of Accra, and a lively discussion of web technologies, all en route to Google Ghana.
As noted earlier, we set off at 5:30am, and by 9:00am, we were in Accra--lost in Accra. So we turned to our Google map. After a survey of the map, which was a saved Google maps in pdf format, the bus burst into a lively discussion of the credibility of the information on the map. Some argued that the map, Google, despite it being adept at innovation was susceptible to errors; hence that information on the map could be wrong. Others were of the opinion that, the information was correct but just that, it has been updated in a while.
William Boampong Osilaja, a member of UCC GTUG and a Google Campus Ambassador gave us one more reason why he was the Google ambassador.-- unflinching faith in Google's Technologies. So, the ambassador a.k.a encode took us online. True, Google was right- the information on the map was correct. We were, rather, not following the map as we ought to. After an hour touring Accra, and putting Google maps to the test, we phoned Juliana........ and informed her of how close we were to the office.
11:30 am. At Google Ghana. Meet Estelle... the confident, smart and elegant country manager of Google Ghana. After a brief introduction of ourselves, we quickly settled into cozy conference room full of some of the most enthusiastic Google Technology users. The General Manager, Operations of Zipnet Ghana was the first to address the gathering. He took us through the history of Internet in Ghana, the challenges facing Internet accessibility in Ghana, and the way forward couple of questions, then answers from him, and he was out to attend to business.
Next was as session on building Google Chrome extensions and developing cross platform GUI games using UNITY, ......, We spoke, learnt, coded, and yes ate meat pies!!
1:30pm. Pictures taken, contacts have been exchanged, good byes have been said, and we were en route Ada to educate a community there on Google Technologies. We had requested for Google Africa t-shirts, and so we decided to distribute that as part of our creation program in Ada.
2:30pm. In Ada. We were actually heading towards Radio Ada, a community radio station, for a session on air to broadcast a message on Google technologies. After a meeting the manager of the station, we toured the place and had our 5 minutes radio broadcast.
4:0pm. Lunch by the side of the river Volta amidst fun, and some good music.
5:00pm. Stuck in traffic.
6:30pm. Still in traffic.
7:00pm. On the Accra-Cape Caost road.
10:00pm. Back in School.