I believe deeply that Ghanaians and Africans can make the necessary changes for development. Yes, there are obstacles. Yes, we have day-to-day responsibilities. Yes, times can be tough. But that’s not the entire story. We also have stepping stones, passion, inspiring moments, and above all, we have EACH OTHER. In Ghana’s case especially, having each other and keeping the peace is probably the biggest factor in how far we have come so far. Yet, if the events (revolutions) this year are any indication, our peace is not guaranteed, particularly when it is sitting on a minefield of inequalities. Enter Northern Ghana.

Northern Ghana has probably been exhausted on here, so I won’t take that route. If you want to know what my thoughts are regarding why development in the region is in the best interest of ALL Ghanaians, click here. Instead, I’d like to send you a personal invitation to take a step in helping initiate sustainable change in Northern Ghana for Ghana: BarCamp Tamale. It’s a FREE event supported by the likes of Google and Tamale-GTUG, and if you know anything about the BarCamp Ghana events, you’ll know this is bound to be an intellectually stimulating and network enhancing event. Not to mention that the theme: “Championing local voices for development through technology and ICT” is very relevant. Many great initiatives have been borne through BarCamp including REACH Ghana, and it has featured young people like you and I who are finding their path, leading by example, and excelling at it. There’s a ton of work to be done up North, so if you’re looking for an avenue to contribute, this could be it.

No, it doesn’t matter if you don’t know the capital of the Northern Region (BTW, it’s Tamale :) ). Or if you think the north is another country altogether. All that matters is that you’re a Ghanaian/African/Global Citizen, and you care about our common future. That’s all it takes. Ghana is regarded as a poor country (middle income title or not), and according to the last WB poverty assessment, 60% of those living in extreme poverty…take that in: SIXTY… are based in Northern Ghana. I found that out today, and it just left me dumbfounded. How come that statistic is not as propagated as all our other indices? Anyway. Experience they say is the best teacher. So this is an opportunity for you to see for yourself, get outside your comfort zone (aka Accra/Tema/Kumasi/Cape Coast) and experience a bit more of Ghana.

To my Northern GH peeps: Helping plan BarCamp Tamale, one thing stood out to me: our networks are so fragmented they border on being non-existent! Beyond knowing someone as your mother’s brother’s cousin’s great uncle’s favorite koko seller’s niece, how else do we know each other? This is a great networking opportunity and honestly, it would be our own fault if we don’t make good on it. We always say we have a lot more to offer than we are given credit for. Well guess what? It’s time to show it! Kindly forward this on to all Northern Ghanaians you know  – old, new, young, abroad, in-land, – everyone you think might benefit/be interested in this. If you can’t make the event, please just forward the information on. If you’d like to be more involved, consider volunteering or sponsoring the event. If there’s an entrepreneurial Northerner you’d like to nominate to be a speaker/panelist, kindly let me know (jabdulai@gmail.com) and I will forward you on to the right people. Anyway you choose to act on this, do it! It counts as a contribution!

Alora, quick recap on the event:

Date: Saturday November 26, 2011
Venue: Tamale Polytechnic
Time: 8am – 5pm
RSVP/Register: Via Facebook –  https://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=216108505126332 
                            Via Eventbrite –  https://barcamptamale11.eventbrite.com/?nomo=1

Also Stay Tuned :  Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/BarcampTamale
                             Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/barcamptamale

Downloadable Press Release: http://www.scribd.com/doc/72099868/Press-Release-Bar-Camp-Tamale-2011

We’ve come to a point in history where we have to spearhead our own solutions for development. Yes, we work in partnership with one another, but WE have to take the lead. This is Northern Ghana’s opportunity to turn the wheel and make a change. How are YOU contributing?

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Jemila Abdulai is the creative director, editor and founder of the award-winning website Circumspecte.com. A media and international development professional and economist by training, she combines her business, communications and project management expertise with her strong passion for Africa. Besides writing and reading, she enjoys travel, global cuisine, movies, and good design.

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