Kim Nooij Mapping Day Event

Mapping Day

Mapping Day Uganda is a fast growing project organizing mapping events, implementing trainings, generating awareness about the importance of maps, actively pledging for getting open data sets and building a network of enthusiastic mappers in Uganda.
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Kim Nooij Devtrac Homepage

DevTrac

This real time reporting tool on public services in Uganda has been developed by Mountbatten and commissioned by UNICEF. The website is based on Drupal and displays a wide range of public services and their behavior on a map. The aim is to visualize the efforts of development work and to support transparency in the benefit of Uganda’s citizens.
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Kim Nooij T2Vision Homepage

WordPress website T2Vision

Communications Specialist Tesse Theidersen started this year as self-employed freelancer and like a good communication specialist does, her website and other promotional expressions were long ready before she kick started her leap of faith. Continue reading

Kim Nooij Match a Maker

Match a Maker

The Maker Faire Africa is an event that celebrates African ingenuity, innovation and creation. On the website you will find the Makers who showed their work at the 2010 event in Nairobi Kenya. Work ranges from time saving devices for agriculture to alternative energy sources from design with recycled objects to social media applications for mobile phones.
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Kim Nooij Building Bridges Project Image

Building Bridges

Building Bridges is a campaign to encourage, map and connect peace initiatives in Kenya and believes that everyone can make a change and contribute to a peaceful togetherness.
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9 steps to make a social business model

Maybe you have an idea and you want to start your own business. Or you might have started your business already but you are not so sure if you are on the right track and if you will make profit. Despite the scenario, this post will outline 9 simple steps to make a (social) business plan that might work for you.
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Bus

Priceless Public Transport

Bus

“It is better for you to travel by public transport.”

The person I am meeting today tells me a private taxi will cost up to 150 GHC (30,00 EUR) and public transport only 30 GHC (6,00 EUR) to reach. The hotel receptionist directs me to the nearby-est VIP bus station, bringing me straight and air conditioned to Winneba where my appointment takes place.

Upon arrival at the bus station, the taxi driver who took me from the hotel, suddenly gets a brainwave and tells me he has a better idea.

Now.

This is the time where only two things can happen. Or luck will come your way and you travel in pure luxury or, within the next minutes, you find your self in a slight uncomfortable situation.

Ten minutes later I am seated in a small 20-people-packed bus, all looking at me like entertainment could not have been more sweet. Big brown eyes stare at me while the children in the back carefully touch my hair.

Full equals departure so the bus takes off to Winneba but only after 3 more men squeeze in and both tires, on the right side of the bus only, are aired. Randomness at your doorstep.

Ebola

I am checking the health of my neighbouring passenger. With Ebola running through West Africa you can not be too careful and travelling by public transport isn’t the best way to protect yourself. This is a stupid idea, I hear myself think.

Luckily another taxi diver who drove my from the airport at my first night in Accra had shared his view on this matter. He told me Ebola can never come to Ghana because Ebola is a disease of fighting countries. And in Ghana. Exactly. They don’t fight.

With this wisdom in mind I exchange some “How are you’s and feeling allright’s?” with my lady neighbour but the surrounding views will soon grab my attention and make me daydream about the coming months in Ghana. The passengers rebound from by my sudden appearance in the bus and some even fall asleep.

Everything is quiet and peaceful.

Sharing and Caring

Suddenly a fiery debate in which all passengers discuss the best stop for me to get off, has arisen. I checked with my neighbour the best stop for me to leave the bus in order to reach the university. She told me the police station is the best place to alight but others clearly disagree.

Men and women strongly defend their pick and by the time we have finally reached the bus stop, (ironically the endpoint of the bus), everyone knows where I am heading to next.

Now, privacy has never been an issue in Ghana and it is often something you share with others but this time it has come to an extended level. People who left the bus and travel into the same direction are now gathering around me so we can all share the costs of a taxi to reach the university. I have become a landmark for university-direction-travellers.

An old man grabs my hand and tells me he doesn’t want people to cheat me. Together with his wife and a student, we share a taxi and he walks me all the way to the building my appointment is taking place.

The person I met today was right. Travelling by public transport is better for me and I decided to take the same bus back to Accra.

The whole trip cost me 14 GHC (2,80 EUR) but the travel was priceless.

It is the Mindset

Carrying things on your head is not the only way to sell!

It is the mindset!

It is the Mindset

Two young men selling sunglasses from a self made cardboard plateau

Richard puts a big bottle of green liquid on the table. “Here, you see this?” he asks. “A young boy produces his own liquid soap and wants to start selling it.”

Before I know it I find myself behind the office building, washing my hands, whereby the water is carefully poured by Richmond, the owner of Soft Productions Africa, an ICT company in Accra.

“Can you feel the soap being soft and soapy?” Richard laughs. “It is good right?” This is exactly why people come to Soft Productions Africa. They can get practical training in marketing and design and obtain skills to represent themselves more effectively and, at the end of the day, sell more products.

Green liquid soap in a bottle

The bottle with the green liquid soap on top of the current advertisement efforts done by the owner of the soap.

Youngsters joining the program sign up and note down their level of experience. Every Wednesday they come in and get vocational training relating to their field of interest. So far Soft Productions Africa has 8 members already and everyone got assignments to work on varying from making compliment cards to graphic design jobs and from video shooting to software development.

“The jobs are there and the youth is ready, we only need initiatives like these to prepare them for this demand by providing practical training.”

Richard also known as Smart studies at the University for Development Studies upcountry, has his share in Soft Productions Africa and is Google Ambassador trying to increase access to information amongst his fellow students.

According to Richard it is all about the mindset.

“People think that carrying things on your head is the only way to sell products but there are alternatives.”

Soft Productions Africa is one of these alternatives to unemployment and limited preparedness to the job market by offering vocational training combined with business development. With their motivated and strategic team, a simple idea and low costs, they are able to move fast in recruiting members, providing training and generating jobs.

This is precisely what I believe Tech Support Ghana can mean to youngsters in Tamale. In it’s slightly different approach and organizational structure, being another sustainable local alternative for job creation in Ghana.

More information:
https://www.facebook.com/SoftProductionAfrica