Ghana – an epOnsite training under palmtrees

Currently my colleague David and I are in Accra, Ghana, to host another epOnsite training session on Market Research and Customer Relations. It’s the first time we’re hosting a such a session in West Africa and although we’ve been to several African countries before, this one is, again, different! And actually, why shouldn’t it be? From Nairobi to Accra it is approx. 5,800 km. Crossing Europe from the very South to the North is approx. 5,000 km and I assume that every European would also agree that Rome, for example, is different to the North Cape.

But back to Ghana: it’s absolutely beautiful! People are very friendly, the food is delicious, the sea is very close, and we are literally having some training sessions in the shade of a palm tree. Shade is especially important, as it’s hot in Ghana, very hot. Being European, I suffer from the heat and humidity – but at the same time I realize how spoiled I am. After all I can go and refresh in my hotel room, the meeting room where we have our workshop has an AC, same as the restaurants we go to.

On our way through the city a few days ago we passed by a public thermometer reading 41°C. And that was before midday! The same day, we also passed by some informal settlements: shanties – with no trees, and no shade around. I might feel like melting – but that’s nothing compared to how drastic and threatening the heat must be if you have no chance of escape.

Living in shanties in informal settlement is degrading and there are still too many people living in these conditions. And this brings me back to our epOnsite training because we, and in particular, all the participants contribute to reducing poverty –  and this is the most important work!

This epOnsite training is a very special one for David and me as it brings together the best of different parties:

And all these cool people from all these networks have come together at the Impact Hub Accra! Partnering with the Impact Hub, collaborating with SEED and the MIT makes it really special to work together in this constellation.

With 20 social entrepreneurs and innovators we’ve spent the day talking about how to identify the target market, which forces influence my market and much more. Tomorrow, we’ll focus on the customer and on the third day we’ll discuss how to customize products and services to specific customer needs.

The first day is always a little exciting because you never know if the group will really “connect”. But the answer is, yes! Across borders, cultures, language barriers: we’re all people with a similar mindset. And that’s what counts!

Merken

Merken

And if you like to learn more about the participants and what they are doing, just take a look:

  • Claire from >> Gravity Light Foundation, bringing light to Kenya
  • Patrice from >> Helvetas, Benin, working in every area that has an impact on people’s livelihoods
  • Omotayo from >> Quintas Renewable Energy in Nigeria, working on biomass energy generation
  • Eden from Ethiopia, implementing the >> Nazava Water Filter from Indonesia in her country
  • Martin and Salifu, from >> Technik ohne Grenzen Germany and Ghana, working on projects in the context of technical assistance and training
  • Oreluwa from >> Smart Hydro Power Nigeria, bringing access to electricity to rural Nigeria
  • Diane from >> GiftedMom in Cameroon, working on health education for pregnant women and mothers through offering a SMS messaging platform
  • Vivian from >> City Waste Recycling Ghana, promoting waste collection and recycling
  • Dan from Ghana Bamboo Bikes Initiative, building a bamboo bike that offers easy and clean means of transportation
  • Collins from >> HELIOZ Uganda, bringing the WADI UV measurement device to Uganda, that visualizes the process of solar water disinfection
  • Aliou from >> Compatible Technology International (cti) Senegal, distributing innovative tools for farmers to improve farmer’s live by income generation
  • Akah from >> Traveler in Cameroon, working on road safety through ICT
  • Sanusi from >> MAPS Nigeria, providing the AgRover vehicle to farmers
  • Larissa from ICU in Jordan, promoting the >> Groasis Waterboxx, that allows planting fruit or trees in very arid regions
  • Joe from >> Moringa Connect Ghana, providing social impact for farmers by creating nutrition and cosmetic products out of seeds of the Moringa Tree
  • Alexander from >> RECNOWA Initiative Ghana, promoting training and employment for physically challenged street youth & recycling initiatives
  • Adisa from the >> Shea Nut Pickers Association Ghana, promoting the empowerment of women though offering training and processing services for shea butter producers
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