In August 2007, Winneba Open Digital Village Foundation (WODIV) organized a wireless training workshop for persons interested in deploying Wireless Local Area Network technology (WLAN). Participants were drawn from across the country – Ghana with others from Nigeria. The workshop was dubbed Simpa Open Summit.
Some of the members were sponsored by IICD whilst others sponsored themselves. At the end of the workshop, the participants from Northern Ghana felt very strongly the need to form a wireless user group to enable members to continue to share and exchange knowledge and skills in WLAN technology deployment. This desire of the Northern Ghana group resulted in the maiden meeting of the group on Wednesday, 22nd August 2007 at Lady Sweets Restaurant at Gumani – Rice City, a suburb of Tamale.
Purpose of the group
- To continue to update and to share knowledge in the newly acquired skills in wireless networking
- To promote wireless networking as an alternative means of deploying internet access to deprived communities in the Northern Ghana
- To be a WLAN technology think-tank for the Northern Ghana
- To be a group that would deploy wireless technology cheaply and rapidly in the Northern part of Ghana
- To give support to IICD Sponsored projects to deploy wireless technology to serve their various communities
The founding members are of varied professional background working with different organizations in Northern Ghana. They are:
- William B. Nsiah-Asare UDS
- Agbenyo John Stephen NINS
- Norbert Apentibadek ACDEP
- Baatuomu B. Christian ECG-CBC
- Basiru Total Supply
- Baba Musah MOFA
- Baba Salifu GES
- Mumuni Mohammed SEND Foundation
- Bro. Gracious PEPS-C Wa
Membership of the Group
For now the group would be a closed one and membership of the group will be by application and registration or by honorary status conferred on individuals by the founding members. The group is yet to be registered with the appropriate authorities in the country.
The following potential opportunities were identified for the group should it come into existence.
1. NGO, Government Organizations and Individuals would be more comfortable dealing with a group rather than individuals
2. Deploy and execute wireless projects as a group
3. Bid for contracts if and when the opportunity comes.
The following are some of the services which the group will offer
1. Organize awareness seminars WLAN technology and ICTs for development in general
2. Organize training programmes in ICTs for communities and institutions in Northern Ghana
3. Organize training programmes on behalf of strategic partners like IICD
The group identified the following organizations and individuals as strategic partners:
- IICD, Netherlands
- WODIV, Wiineba
- Kofi Annan ICT Center, Accra
- ECG- Business and Computer School
- Total Supply Ltd
- Ghana Telecom University
- Ghana Telecom
- George Azunga
- CEO, Clinton Computers
- Some prominent non-political Individuals in society
- Some prominent non-political individuals in society as patrons
- CEO, Data Security
- Government Organizations
- Private institutions
Message from the Team Leader and Country Director (IICD)
The maiden meeting was joined later by the IICD country manager (Olaf Erz) and Team Leader, Mr. Stijn van der Krogt. They shared their experiences on wireless technology deployment in other deprived communities in Bolivia and other countries with the group. They also shared their experiences on their familiarization tour of the Community Information Centres (CICs) of the District Assemblies which are being supported by the Ghana Government.
Next meeting: 5th of September, 2007
The convener thanked them for coming to share ideas with the group and for coming at a very important time to reinforce the ideas that our noble idea of forming a group was a good one.