BARCAMP IN GHANA & IS @GOOGLEAFRICA HOMOPHOBIC?

Posted on July 13, 2012

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Awhile back I attended a Barcamp Kumasi at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. Needless to say I stood out, not because of my age, nor the colour of my hair, but because of my relative lack of ICT expertise. The techies ruled. What’s more I felt a disconnect. To them it was the medium; message was incidental. The only passion came when they yelled out in chorus, “MORE VIM!”

MADinGhana

A few days ago, I wrote a post on the lack of any coverage in Ghana of Google’s Legalizing Love campaign to protect its gay workers in homophobic countries. It is a very sensitive issue here-IT’S NOT EVEN A HUMAN RIGHTS ISSUE HERE- and there was total silence.

I addressed my concern to the Barcamp Ghana/Ghana Think kingpin Ato Ulzen-Appiah. He said he hadn’t read anything! The issue had gone viral! In fact when he did see it, it sent him for a loop:

Ato Ulzen-Appiah ‏@Abocco
@XytNow what is Google doing in this? am confused more and more. any helpful URLs to figure out what’s really happening?

I sent him the Washington Post article for clarification. Then he wrote back saying it wasn’t “his interest”.

Still now, needless to say, there hasn’t been anything on the two curations, @BarcampGhana, @Ghana that he administers. I thought he might have picked up my post in which I dismissed any accusation of censorship, but alas he didn’t….

Anyways, I follow Googleafrica on Twitter. I went to their twitter site and to their blog and lo and behold, NOTHING THERE EITHER! So I tweeted them…alone…it was the kind of tweet that my finger hovered over the Enter key before I sent it…thinking I would be opening a Pandora’s Box. The tweet read:

chris scott ‏@madinghana
@googleafrica no mention of the Google campaign “Legalizing Love” targeting homophobic countries on googleafrica blog or twitter?

Silence for the past 23 hours.

But not from me! I’ve always wanted to send a comment to the facebook account of BBC following their daily call for stories that you’d like to see covered. So I commented this:

“Googleafrica’s silence on the Google campaign “Legalizing Love” targeting homophobic countries.”

And then on the BBC HYS (Have Your Say) Twitter account, this appeared:

BBCAfricaHaveYourSay ‏@BBCAfricaHYS
@BBCAfrica is looking for new people or organizations to follow so please recommend ‪#FF‬ Many Thanks

To which I replied:

chris scott ‏@madinghana
@BBCAfricaHYS @bbcafrica ‪#madinghana‬ writing about google campaign Legalizing Love-no publicity in these homophobic countries-silence

Anyways, to return to Barcamp. There’s one in Tamale tomorrow. One of my favourite facebook friends is the prolific, original Circumspect. Jamila is from Tamale/Yendi but lives abroad. I just sent her the following:

Here’s a local pressing human right issue you can push at Barcamp Tamale. What can internet activism do about this?

Just to shake the techies up and bring MORE VIM to the occasion than just technology. Oh, I know, Barcamp Tamale will be all about SADA and what a great disappointment the program has been and how to revitalize it. A huge issue indeed…..but I thought I’d stir the pot.

Just a few days ago another prominent voice in the Ghanaian blogosphere, Kobe, wrote his reflections on Barcamp.

MORE VIM!!!!!