Justin Arenstein visited the Mobile Web Ghana lab  on Friday 15th June 2012 and  had a brief meeting with Florence Toffa, – Project Coordinator of Mobile Web Ghana. They discussed about fast-track projects for possible collaboration and immediate implementation, including exploring a pilot for a Code4Ghana programme, a joint data bootcamp for 160 people in September, a public open data repository, an open budget data visualization project, and possible synergies around citizen journalism programmes.

Justin also had a brief talk with some Mobile Web Ghana trainees. He wanted to know the sort of projects they’ve been working on, Daniel Garibah talked to him about his project, Meditext and introduced him to a few other projects from the recently ended third training programme.

Justin advised the trainees to take a serious look at some open data projects currently being deployed in Kenya – especially the ones that can be implemented in Ghana, since Ghana’s government is soon to commence the implementation of Open Data Initiative. He advised that best time for developers to prepare and take advantage of this opportunity is now. He also  told the trainees about an ongoing apps competition at http://africannewschallenge.org/ and encouraged them to take part in it.

Justin  is an investigative journalist, OpenData activist, social entrepreneur, strategist. A start-up junky, beginning as an anti-corruption investigative journalist in South Africa, he launched the nation’s first rural social justice wire-service, African Eye News Service (AENS), before helping pioneer the region’s first rural lifestyle magazine publisher (HomeGrown Magazines) and Mpumalanga’s first commercial radio station (MPowerFM).

Justin is with the African Media Initiative (www.africanmediainitiative.org), as a Knight International Fellow (www.icfj.org). He was also instrumental in establishing three major media non-profit organisations: the continental Forum for African Investigative Reporters (FAIR), the southern African Association of Independent Publishers (AIP), and the Southern African Freelance Association (SAFREA).

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Eli Sabblah

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