Entrepreneurs Corner

Mobile SMS Apps Developer In The Making

Since we started the training, I have been so eager to know more about Mobile technologies, even more that I was when I read the Mobile Web Ghana advert in my email last month.

I am Emmanuel Owusu Addai, a graduate from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi. At my leisure periods, I love to challenge myself with programming. I have done mini technical projects using visual studio.net (VB, C#), NetBeans (Java), and web technologies (php, HTML, CSS, JavaScript). I also love to play around technologies that I can implement in my field of study, i.e., Geographic Information System (GIS) development, GPS Positioning and Navigation.

Developing mobile apps, however, was the last thing I’d ever think of. I thought they did not concern me (a Geomatic engineer/surveyor), and most of all, I thought it would be a very difficult venture to tread. But, I can confidently tell you that this has been one of the best decisions I’ve taken in my educational life – being part of this workshop training.

It is now 11 days into the Mobile Web Ghana training program, and by the 5th day, I had already developed a library SMS application that provides a platform for users to query the library system if there exists their book of choice. This application has given me more practicable ideas that could solve the very problems we face in our everyday movements – talk about transportation, medicine, engineering, education, and in the corporate world. Look, if Ghanaian programmers cannot use their skills to solve the pertinent problems bedevilling us, then who are we (they)?

The most insightful session has been the Business track where our minds were challenged with questions like: who is an entrepreneur? Are you an entrepreneur? Who is a businessman? It was clear that it is not only having the ability to write that “killer” application, but also that application must be relevant to its targeted users. And also, the business model of your idea must be apt.

I believe by the time I leave here, I would be motivated enough to improve my already existing business, iCottage Networks (www.icottagenetworks.com). I would take this opportunity to commend the organisers of this platform.



Yesterday I had the privilege of having a discussion with a friend about the current state of African technology as compared to what technology is in other places like Europe, North America, China and others. But during our discussion one thing just stood out and that is the fact that despite how the system is or how we have come to see the system, we can actually cause a change in how others would come to see it. We can choose to ‘leave’ it the same way we saw it or to ‘leave’ it in a better position.

I know that there are things that we just have to learn to deal with if we are to make the difference especially in this part of the world where we are.

Stories like:

  • There are no proper equipments and platforms to exploit our potentials;
  • We didn’t start early;
  • No one would be ready to risk their resources on our ideas;

The list can go on and on and on forever. But one thing I believe is that no matter the difficulties that one might face in any journey in life, that fellow can actually achieve that thing that he has set his mind to.

However, the excuses are gradually becoming irrelevant because of the opportunities, platforms, equipments, information, connections and so much more that the Mobile Web Ghana and other institutions alike presents to today’s entrepreneurs and especially the mobile entrepreneurs today.

Now you don’t only have to be the only odd guy that thinks he can change the world through technology but you can actually go ahead to take full advantage of the opportunity of being among likeminded men and women that have also accepted the opportunity that Mobile Web Ghana presents to all of us.

Furthermore, the trainings that is being organized – which I am a very grateful to be a participant – brings the great men and women that are currently pioneering this cause of a new face to entrepreneurship on the continent to mentor all upcoming mobile entrepreneurs. And for me this has really been one of the greatest things that can happen in one’s life.

Not only do we get to meet the established entrepreneurs and computer’s greats, but we also get to meet fellow entrepreneurs that have successfully transformed their great ideas into great businesses to be and these guys get to tell you the struggles that they are currently facing and how they have overcame other struggles in their start ups. What a time to be an entrepreneur!!.

But I think that despite all their efforts in helping me and other entrepreneurs, our attitudes and choices would really play a role in determining if the system would remain the same or will be changed.

I’ll leave you with a quote I wrote down from one of the business sessions last week.

“Innovation = Creativity + Implementation.”

An entrepreneur doesn’t leave it at the creativity level but actually takes a step forward to implement.

I would love to end this post by showing my appreciation to these great men and women of all races – some are even not Africans but you can actually see the love they have for Africa. I would love to thank them for their time, money, minds and other sacrifices that they have actually made just to follow their passion of seeing a better Africa – beginning in Ghana. And I am certain that this heart of gratitude is not only shared by me but by all the participants at this year’s trainings.

–David Lartey