Kajsa Hallberg Adu was one of Ghana’s earliest bloggers. Despite being a Ghana-based Swedish lecturer, she founded BloggingGhana in 2008. She had helped nurture Ghana’s digital and social media community of content creators. She is also a lecturer (political science, leadership and English) and an eternal student (PhD underway in African studies/Migration studies). She also runs her personal blog on kajsaha.com
Today we talk BloggingGhana and the growth of the digital community in Ghana.
Good day, Kindly tell us a bit about yourself?
I am a teacher in different ways: I hold a lecturing position at Ashesi University College where I teach academic writing, politics, leadership and business ethics. Within BloggingGhana, I see myself as an instructor of social media and a role model in how to create opportunities. Finally, I am a mother of two – maybe my most challenging teaching position. I am originally Swedish, but have lived in Ghana since 2007. I am a blogger since 2006 on kajsaha.com. Follow me on @kajsaha, +Kajsaha My first name is Kajsa and pronounced [ka:iser].
It’s been six years since you founded BloggingGhana. What was the motivation then to start BloggingGhana – Ghana’s first organization for bloggers and Social Media users?
It wasn’t really to start an organisation at all. I was new in Ghana and needed friends. I decided together with my friend and blogger Sandra Crabbe to bring together the six bloggers in Ghana that we knew of. That gave rise to the first meeting of BloggingGhana in July 2008. We had so much fun! We discussed varying topics and shared ideas that made all of our blogs better. We also held our meetings at a different location in Accra each time to explore the city. The group grew organically from there.
From then, how has BloggingGhana helped in building a network of empowered and connected Ghanians. How has BloggingGhana evolved and what does the digital and social media community like?
In 2011, we decided to register our organisation, mainly to be able to look for sponsorship for projects such as our yearly conference, BlogCamp, and our election project, GhanaDecides. Now we have a yearly budget of over $100,000, office space and interesting projects. We have set up Africa’s first social media awards and I cherish that our core pillars: technology and friendship are still our focus. Our membership has grown from 8 to over 100. We collaborate with local and foreign organisations. We have over 60,000 followers on our social media channels. However, I feel we still haven’t developed to our full potential, though. There is so much more we could do.
Against other major countries like South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya where a majority of its youth are using digital and social media to grow, strengthen their businesses, and to move the country forward. Where does Ghana square up?
Yeah, the same thing is happening in Ghana. I think the development is best described as revolutionary; now you can run a successful business from home powered by Instagram, through applications such as Google Maps you can find things you could not find before, by using Facebook and Twitter young people in Ghana are increasing their political engagement. Maybe a difference to the African countries you mentioned, Ghana is much smaller. It has several advantages, one is the tech scene is like a family. We all know each other.
Any message to the African digital community out there reading this?
Yes, you are all welcome to blogcampghana.com in Kumasi, April 18th, 2015. Follow @BloggingGhana for updates on the social media community in Ghana. Let’s keep sharing best practises!