Thursday, January 28, 2010

Why Do Ghanaian Employers Require University Education?

University of Ghana LibraryImage by nikkorsnapper via Flickr

Yesterday, I had a call from a friend who’s been job-hunting from the middle of last year till now. He’s been lucky to be short-listed for a few interviews but none ever worked out due to the “university degree” menace rocking the nation.

This guy in question is a very practical person when it comes to the field of information technology. He’s just curious to know about the latest IT trends, new software usage, troubleshooting skills and How-to’s but he’s not getting employed. He's studied at one of the best private IT institutions in Ghana and yet, no job. So I asked myself; what is wrong with not having a degree??

Dearest my passionate reader; please help me answer this question that keeps bugging my mind over the above subject.

Question: Why do employers in Ghana demand a prospective employee to have a degree before been employed?

According to a colleague I shared this topic with yesterday; this is how she defines a “degree”. She says; “A degree only shows that a person can follow a set motion of educational learning, but that person might have no common sense or experience at all”.

To some extent, I realized what she said was very TRUE. Do you also agree or disagree with her? This is actually very evident with a lot of people I know who have a degree in Information and Communication Technology, Computer Science and Computer Engineering but absolutely knows nothing. Yes, they know absolutely NOTHING.

Somewhere in August 2009; a week after Maker Faire Africa, a friend asked me to come have a look at his computer because it was acting “funny” and needed to format it. He didn’t even know the steps in formatting a PC, let alone grab an installation CD to start… Would you believe this friend is a graduate from the prestigious University of Ghana with a BSc Computer Science degree couldn’t solve this small problem on his PC?? What is the essence of his degree then?

I know graduates who have first-class honors in the IT field from some of the top universities of Ghana. I randomly asked a few of them to terminate a CAT-5 network cable for use in connecting to a Local Area Network [LAN], and they were like flying to the Accra Zoo for assistance. When asked why they couldn't terminate the cable, their reply was; “We were not taught how to terminate a network cable at the university!” You wouldn’t believe where some of these guys are working now?

Some random girl [a university graduate] who keeps reading my blog and thinks I’m a geeky/nerdy sort of a person because of my passion for tech-stuffs once asked me: “Why is it that I cannot get a job”? My answer to her question was this simple; “You don't have any practical experience in ICT and for that matter, you need to go for ICT professional courses [Cisco, Microsoft, Novell, Oracle or CompTia] in addition to the degree you have. If you have any of the trainings/certifications in those fields, your chances of getting short-listed and a promising job is far higher than only the so called “Degree”.

How would you compare the “whom you know” syndrome currently rocking the nation to the bureaucracy of yester-years?? It seems that with the advent of the Americanized system (the introduction of the CV), people are pigeon-holed into whatever category of work they include on their CV. What is difference between a “Personnel” and a ‘Human Resource” manager? Do you have any idea how your CV is treated when you apply to any of the GSM companies that everyone is dying to work for right after the university??? Buzz me for more fila…!

In conclusion, common sense can never be bought but can be acquired if you so wish for one. Thanks to David Ajao and all bloggers at Ghana Blogging for keeping the aggregator running till now.

Share your views, comments, criticisms and objections here. Those are the reasons why I always sit up every morning to put my thoughts on my blogs for you. Enjoy and hope to see you come back for more....!

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Saturday, January 16, 2010


HaitiImage by caribb via Flickr

On Tuesday, at 21:53GMT the Caribbean nation of Haiti was hit by its strongest earthquake in more than 200 years, causing what is being described as "a catastrophe of major proportions".

Heavy casualties are feared after numerous buildings were leveled by the 7.0 magnitude earthquake. Rumors have it that, about 100,000 people are feared dead but that number is yet to be ascertain. Major landmarks, including the Presidential Palace, National Assembly and Port au Prince Cathedral have been destroyed.

I find it very disheartening to think that Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince, along with its administrative, health, governance, and diplomatic faculties has been rendered incapable in mere seconds. To make matters worse, the majority of the foreigners based in Haiti - relief and aid workers - have also suffered numerous losses with the UN reporting damages to its properties and possible staff deaths in the hundreds.

“#HAITI” has been a trending topic on twitter until I just realized, it’s no more. My tweets: “I can't believe #Haiti is no more trending on Twitter. Wot's w/ all this useless trending topics? KMT. Pple needs help in Haiti. #HelpHaiti” should let you know how concerned I’m about the situation in Haiti and how willing I’m in spreading more info about ways people can help the survivors of the earth-quake. Even though #Haiti isn’t trending on twitter as at this time, Wyclef Jean’s #YELE is trending on twitter.

In search for accurate blog posts to aggregate from Ghana about the Haiti-Quake, I came across a few posts from members of the Ghana Blogging Group and other blogs worth reading.

Ethan Zuckerman, one of the donors who sponsored my trip to Copenhagen for COP15 and also a great contributor of Global Voices Online [an international citizen media organization dedicated to amplifying the voices of bloggers and other producers of citizen media, with a special focus on the developing world] wrote about how reporters are racing to Haiti to report on the disaster, but voices are already making themselves heard from the decimated city. He also mentioned how Georgia Popplewell has been rounding-up tweets from Haiti on the Global Voice Special Haiti-Quake page.

Georgia is a list person I must say. She has started a list on Twitter, aggregating accounts of people who are posting from Haiti. On her post about “List and the Haiti Earthquake” she mentioned how she can’t live without “LISTS” as they are a way of escaping thoughts about death been described by Umberto Eco. She also wrote about she spent the whole day of Jan 13, following the aftermath of the 7.0 earthquake in Haiti.

I just came across Troy Livesay’s informative tweets and long story blog about new developments in Haiti. She’s really worth following for more updates. From Troy’s blog; “

> Mass graves are being used; the bodies are seen stacked in trucks and around town. Many people will be buried without their families ever knowing where they were when they died.

> Plans are underway to open a clinic to serve our area. We need prayers that the plane is allowed to land with our people and supplies. They are supposed to be able to get in the next 36 hours but we pray that it actually comes to pass. We cannot begin without them.

> Water purification in the form of a safe chlorine product is being made around the clock and will be distributed for people to add to their dirty water source and be able to make it safe to drink.

I have never fully understood the wonder of social networking until now, seriously thank God, for Twitter, Facebook, Skype and all blogging platforms!

Kasja Hallberg-Adu had this to say about social Media and how it’s going to help in the Haiti crisis; “If anyone ever doubted that blogging and tweeting could go beyond navel gazing, I guess today we have evidence of the contrary. Hopefully this access to on the ground information will also make a difference to the Haitian people.

Nsoromma...Child of the Heavens requested, a prayer be said for the good people of Haiti. She writes:

Say a prayer for Haiti please!

Prayers are free, but financially you can help in the following ways:

>> Donation to UNICEF >> Donation to CARE >> Donation to Christian Aid

President Barack Obama and former presidents of the United States; George W Bush and Bill Clinton launched a national drive to raised funds for the survivors of Haiti. Obama has already pledged US$100milion as a relief fund for Haiti.

Yasmeen H. Nsiah [Soap maker from 2009's MakerFaireAfrica held in Accra] have also started a campaign to mobilize donations both in cash and in-kind for survivors of Haiti-quake. She created a group on Facebook; GHANAIAN HELPERS FOR HAITI and posted this info up: “A short code has been set up for the Red Cross in Ghana. Text HAITI to 1990 to donate GHC1.00 to the Red Cross in Ghana or text HAITI to 1960 to give through the Haiti Earthquake Relief Fund. You can text multiple times!

You can also send your donations through other NGOs. But in order to ensure you're not being scammed, here are lists of reputable NGOs with operations in Haiti with whom you can donate to:

YELE Haiti, Partners In Health, Red Cross, World Food Program, Save The Children and Doctors Without Borders

May the victims of this quake rest in perfect peace…!

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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

How is a Relationship “Complicated” on Facebook…!!!

I love Facebook and admit I spend a lot of time on there.  It's a personal space for me to talk with my friends and family. I've been noticing a lot of people have the "It's Complicated" Facebook dating status.  It got me thinking; why does a relationship have to be complicated? Better yet, why in the world do you want to be in a relationship that is complicated?

When I see/hear it's complicated I immediately think that individual is in some BS type of situation they clearly don't need to be in or it wouldn't be complicated. What kind of BS situation am I referring to? Well, let's see. I'm thinking of one of the following:

  1. Someone is involved with an individual that is married. [Sugar-daddy, Sugar-mommy relationships]
  2. You're dating someone who isn't quite ready for a commitment, but you are and you're your hanging on hoping they'll change their mind.
  3. You got cheated on (or you did the cheating) and now your relationship is on shaky grounds.

Why do we hang on to these complicated relationships? Are we waiting for a love fairy to come down and magically un-complicate the situation for us?

We are in the New Year [2010], I propose all those with these "It's Complicated" Facebook dating status'; take a real hard look into what's making their situation complicated and determine if this is a situation that is truly good for them and if it's not; have enough balls to end it and move on.

I don't know about you, but it's my goal to live a life that is as uncomplicated as possible.

Who needs the added drama? I certainly don't.

Do you?

Monday, January 4, 2010

Global Voices Online @ 5. View from Ghana

The month of October, 2009 saw me joining Global Voices Online shortly after I had met Georgia Popplewell, who's the director of the Global Voices Online Community. I was introduced to her by Eduardo Avila [Founder and Director of the Bolivian Voices Project] after we had met at Maker Faire Africa which was held in Accra, Ghana from 14th -16th August, 2009.

The very first time I heard about Global Voices was during one of Ghana Bloggers monthly meet-up somewhere in Accra. Emmanuel K. Bensah spoke about his contributing to their works from Ghana and I really enjoyed all that he said about them. Since then, I have been looking out for a chance to join the group and also contribute my quota. That chance finally opened in Oct, 2009...

West-Africa's Celebrity Journalist, Ameyaw Debrah once asked me shortly after my post on Blog Action Day; "what Global Voices Online was? Answering him wasn't that difficult at all because I had started writing and contributing. "Global Voices Online is a network of bloggers and citizen journalists mostly who are volunteers that follow, report, and summarizes what is going on in the blogosphere in every corner of the world" was my answer to him.

Of all the authors at GV, Ethan Zuckerman, Solana Larsen & Georgia Popplewell are those whose works/writing inspires me a lot. There's no single day, I am not reading from any them to stay abreast with whatever is happening out there. Before writing this post, I had read about David Sasaki's retrospectives on GV's first 5yrs. It's really worth reading…!

Since Global Voices are made of volunteers [myself] who are self-less and willing to bring the news, interviews and discussions around the globe to your door, a little donation in supporting our works won't be a bad idea at all. You can send all your donations through various means here: Global Voices Donation

Honestly speaking, 5yrs of online presence and keeping people everywhere updated on the latest happenings around the world in different languages is just too much. I feel so elated to be a part of the GVO Community.

Global Voices at 5, many more years of connecting, informing and inspiring is yet to come.