Stories of various GhanaThink members‘ recruitment’ for Barcamps

Ato Ulzen-Appiah
7 min readAug 29, 2018

It has been 10 years since we at the GhanaThink Foundation started organizing Barcamps in Ghana. These free networking forums have been the major way to recruit most of the current members of GhanaThink. Earlier in May, Duncan Gablah, one of our most active members, had a wish. He asked me: “Tell us how you recruit members of GhanaThink Foundation”. It was a question that has spurred this blog post. I initially answered by saying “I have hardly picked out people to be recruited for GhanaThink”. In fact, only a few fall into this category. Some of those are ⁨Adelina Martey⁩ (@justdellez), ⁨Gerald Sowah⁩, ⁨Enoch Robot Boy Appiah Junior (@iamrobotboy), and ⁨Sabina⁩ Pwasam (@spwasam). In fact, almost all GhanaThink members asked to be part of the organization. They showed interest, were willing to volunteer, put in the work and were given more responsibility as time went by. Basically, I like to test people and see how they perform. The things to test are activity, proactivity, learning and improving, getting things done, and interest, etc. That’s how I recruit.

I have a story about lots of of other members. I hope people learn a thing or two from these stories.

After Barcamp Ghana 2008, we asked for folks who wanted to be part of the Barcamp Ghana 2009 team. The main team behind this inaugural event were Nii Simmonds (@nubiancheetah), Shirley Somuah (@obaasima), Kwesi Smith and Henry Barnor (@disterics). Various people joined after our call — Donald Ward (@donaldwardgh), Edward Tagoe (@ttaaggooee), MacJordan Degadjor (@MacJordan), Kafui Anson-Yevu (@kafuiday), Gameli Adzaho (@gamelmag), Florence Toffa, George Abban (@george_abban), ⁨Nii Nai-Kwade⁩, etc. This became the core team in Accra. I remember working with this team while based in the US, it was a lot of emails, and almost no Whatsapp. We made things work. The team pretty much organized Barcamp Accra 2010 with me doing a small amount of work.

We scaled to Barcamp Kumasi because I wanted to see this happen. So I recruited my very good childhood friend Nana Kwabena Owusu (@just2izy), my brother Kofi (@kulzenap) and Carl Nutsugah (@carlnutsugah ). They were all at the very first Barcamp. Nana had been a panelist. They partnered with NSBE KNUST where Teresa Lemaire (@reggesegge) & Kwamena Appiah-Kubi (@dotkwame) got involved. Today, these two are married (1 GhanaThink marriage). Nana Oppong Damoah was also involved. We scaled to Barcamp Takoradi because MacJordan wanted us to. He got support from Donald Ward, Teresa Lemaire, Kwamena Appiah-Kubi, (both Kumasi based at the time but interested in Takoradi) and Takoradi based folks like Archie Essel and Glenda Jonfiah who I only got to know through organizing #bctdi.

Duncan Gablah went on to ask: “How do you spot all the talents assembled on this platform?” This platform in question was the GhanaThink members Whatsapp group. He added: “Everyone on this page has something unique, how difficult is it to assemble all this talent under one umbrella.”

I spotted Duncan Gablah (@duncanqwame33)⁩ & ⁨Jemima Bernice Abochie (@jemmygh)⁩ when we started National Volunteer Day in 2013. I saw them as 2 special Koforidua Polytechnic students. They wanted to be part of NVDay and not heard about Barcamp before. So after they participated in NVDay 2013, I recruited them to join the new #bckdua team. So I guess I recruited them personally. We had been struggling to get Barcamp Koforidua going. These 2 together with Samuel Twum (@smtwum) & Eric Amonoo (@ericamonoo ) who we recruited from NSBE Ghana’s ANUC chapter alongside Paa Kofi @Tinagyei got us started in 2013.

I spotted ⁨Herbert Acheampong⁩ (@akyherb) on Twitter. I was so impressed by him. I think I asked him to join the #bctdi team in 2014 because I don’t remember him being at Barcamp Takoradi in 2012. That same 2014, ⁨Nana Fynn (@greyfynn)⁩ who had been leading Barcamp Takoradi brought ⁨Araba Assafuaba Yelbert (@MamiAssafuaba)⁩ on board. I spoke to NSBE for help with Takoradi Poly, and that’s how ⁨Ahmad Nasir Agyekum⁩ (@ahmadspinoza) also joined. Currently, the team includes Kwesi Koomson (@kkoomson11 ) who is really awesome.

⁨Naomi Kokuro⁩ (@EMBAhenfie) showed interest in joining the team. I knew she was a great fit for logistics. I think she joined #bcksi before 2015. I had met ⁨Irene Ali Dery (@ali_renny5 )⁩ at Barcamp Tamale. I encouraged her to come to #bcksi. Before I knew it, ⁨Sampson Deklu⁩ had recruited her for #bcksi. @WolanyoKosi also recruited Daniel Sarpong (@danielmolesarp). I asked ⁨Noah Alorwu (@plasmadray)⁩ to join, so I guess I recruited him personally. Sampson himself was recruited Kuukuwa Manful (@Kuukuwa_) who was recruited after she had been to Barcamps in Accra.

Maccharty Lomotey (@mccth)⁩ & Yakubu Habi Yakubu (@kubu2011)⁩ showed interest and joined us for Barcamp Tamale. I met them in 2011 when we run some Google Ghana sessions in Tamale. They are on the #bctamale team with @⁨Nashiru Muntasir⁩ (@nashirum) @⁨Peter Awin (@AwinPeter)⁩ @⁨Mohammed M Jaward⁩ (@jawardmaltiti) all asked to join. I’m very very impressed by ⁨Fawziyya Issah⁩ @Ziyyakartu.

⁨Ahmad Nasir Agyekum⁩ only came to Barcamp Tamale that in 2016 because he was doing his service in Yendi. Due to how I have seen him work, he’s part of the #bcaccra core team with ⁨Duncan Gablah⁩, ⁨Andrews Otoo⁩ (@ryplae) and Sampson Adotey Junior (@blaqstoryteller)⁩

⁨Joachim Danbo (@danjoachim)⁩ joined us for the Barcamp Sunyani team after ⁨Dominic Mary Kornu⁩ (@Qaphui) & Jean-Baptiste Mantey⁩. Michael Sedinam Tenu (@micsedinam), Redeemer Honu (@macantonio_kay), Rachel Anane-Antwi (@missamarayray) and Selorn Ahorlu (@selormonray) were all recruited later (but first as #bcsyi volunteers).

⁨Francis Kumadoh⁩ (@kumadorian) was a Google Student Ambassador. I only got to really know after he had joined the #bccapecoast team before 2013, led by ⁨Kofi Yeboah (@kofiemeritus)⁩, Kobe Subramaniam (@kobebigs) and Mark @ValentineAikins⁩. The Barcamp Cape Coast team has been really awesome. ⁨Rachel Hormeku (@misshorms), William Boampong Osilaja⁩ (@encode_1) all came from.this team. The team currently has Leticia Okata (@nayelleticia), Dora Ampaabeng (@Awo_Agyapomaa), Michael Amuah (@meetbraamuah )

who started out as volunteers.

Courage Christson Tetteh (@cctetteh)⁩ is one of the most influential young men in Ghana. I think he’s been part of Barcamp Ho since 2012 at least and has been leading the #bcho team since Eli Aidam passed away. The late Eli (recruited by my childhood friend Eyram Tawia @eyramtawia) led #bcho at the start with Gameli Adzaho. Courage recruited Benjamin Aklama⁩ (@BK_Aklama). The late Eli recruited ⁨Elvis Bomasah (@ElvyssB)⁩. And the team works together very well. Now we have ⁨Rosemond Selorm Dzormeku⁩ (@AkuaSelorm), ⁨Harry Akligoh (@harryakligoh)⁩, ⁨Precious Adade⁩ (@pk_adade) as well as ⁨Ousman Saidy⁩ (@OusmanSaidyB ) who’s in Accra now.

I don’t remember how I met ⁨Frank Bruce (@kwazibruce)⁩. But he wanted to start Barcamp Bolga for a while. It was after I met Jon Midas⁩ (@Jonmydaz) and ⁨Daniel Yakuba⁩ (@princeyakuba) at Barcamp Tamale, that they got together and led to the start of #bcbolga with Joachim’s help. Today, ⁨Gloria Baawuo⁩ (@Glorya_kb), ⁨Raymond Ayinne⁩ (@RaymondAyinne ) and ⁨Razak Abdul Dimbie⁩ (@dimbie369) are key members.

I had known Elorm Billy (@Awittor) and Edmund Laryea (@seedeblay) through Blogging Ghana. They became part of the #bckasoa team as that started in 2013 alongside Emefia Agblevor (@AfiIAm). Jennifer Omueti (@EfuaIsEnuf) participated in that first Barcamp Kasoa and she joined the team after, so did Mawuli Ladipo (@MawuSogboliza ). After a 2 year hiatus, it was great to see Barcamp Kasoa happen again in 2018 with the help of some great volunteers as well.

⁨Joachim Danbo had angled for us to organize Barcamp Wa. #bcwa took off after I met Rukaya Sukah (@Rukygh) via the American Field Service folks. Joachim and Rukaya helped recruit Karima Seidu (@Rimmanib) and Amos Antumwini (@specific213) while we brought on board Sampson Adotey Junior (@blaqstoryteller) and Cryspin Kavaarpuo (@cryspinkav). The team currently has Love Nyaaba (@love_nyaaba) and Samuel Wilson (@Luchyba ) who were instrumental in helping organize Jobcamp WaWeDey in May 2018.

GhanaThink members are on volunteers and no one is on staff or salary. Only these individual members can tell you why they joined GhanaThink and have been part of it for years. They organize Barcamps in Ghana. They are passionate, patriotic, and have various levels of being positive, proactive, progressive and productive. We are all working on this on ourselves. We’re building something big that would be very valuable for Ghana, Africa and the world. Thank you for supporting us and continue to support us to make great impact as we build a sustainable, successful social entreprise.



Ato Ulzen-Appiah

I’m part of @GhanaThink which runs @barcampghana @JuniorCampGhana @volunteeringh, etc & @Museke. Read #mightyafrican blogs & @Abocco’s @ #GhanaConscious.