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August 10, 2012

Ghana buries late president Mills

Ghana buries late President Mills – Wikinews, the free news source

Ghana buries late President Mills

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Friday, August 10, 2012

Ghana
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John Evans Atta Mills, 2008 campaign poster
Image: National Democratic Congress party of Ghana.

After two days of mourning, the West African nation Ghana is giving its late president John Atta Mills a state and military burial today at Geese Park, a bird sanctuary near the seat of government, Osu Castle, along the Atlantic Ocean.

His mortal remains, which were moved from the Banquet Hall in Accra, currently lie in a Ghana flag-draped casket at Ghana’s Independence Square (Black Star Square). The burial ceremony is ongoing as thousands have gathered to bid him farewell.

Eighteen heads of state; President of the ECOWAS Commission, Kadre Quedraogo; and Hillary Clinton, US Secretary of State are among the dignitaries present for the ceremony.

The Chief Officiating Minister of the ceremony the Most Reverend Professor Emmanuel Asante, in an interview with Radio Ghana earlier, has congratulated Ghanaians for uniting to mourn the dead leader.

Mills was 68.



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July 12, 2007

Two British girls arrested for smuggling in Ghana

Two British girls arrested for smuggling in Ghana

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Thursday, July 12, 2007

Ghana
Other stories from Ghana
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Location of Ghana

A map showing the location of Ghana

To write, edit, start or view other articles on Ghana, see the Ghana Portal
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Two 16-year-old British girls were arrested in Accra, Ghana earlier this month for apparently attempting to smuggle £300,000 worth of cocaine in laptop bags.

Yasemin Vatansever, of Cypriot descent and Yatunde Diya of Nigerian descent were arrested as they attempted to board a British Airways flight from the Kotoka International Airport on July 2, 2007. The arrest was by the Ghanaian Narcotic Control Board. They were alleged to be carrying 6.5 kg of drugs. They are currently in Ghana police custody and have been visited by British High Commission staff.

The girls who are both students from Islington, north London, had left home after informing their families they were making a school trip to France. They are expected to be charged with “possessing narcotic drugs and attempting to export drugs”, for which they could be jailed for up to ten years if found guilty.

The arrest is part of the Operation Westbridge project set up in November 2006 as a collaboration between the Ghanaian Narcotic Control Board and HM Revenue and Customs of the UK. It is to curb the influx of drugs into Europe and the UK through West Africa which is now being used as a transit point from South America. The project involves the provision of technical and operational expertise to the Ghanaian teams and training in the use of specialist scanning equipment. Ghana is the first country in Africa to introduce such equipment.

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July 11, 2007

Swiss President visits Ghana

Swiss President visits Ghana – Wikinews, the free news source

Swiss President visits Ghana

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Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Ghana
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Location of Ghana

A map showing the location of Ghana

To write, edit, start or view other articles on Ghana, see the Ghana Portal
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Micheline Calmy-Rey
Image: Dake.

The President of the Swiss Confederation, Mrs. Micheline Calmy-Rey, has begun a 2-day visit to Ghana.

The trip is part of an African tour which which includes Senegal, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Rwanda and Burundi. She has already been in Benin.

She held talks with John Kufuor her host. Mrs. Calmy-Rey praised Ghana’s successful democracy and said Ghana has a special role to play in Africa and is partners with Switzerland in that role. She is also keen to see more Swiss investment in Ghana.

They also discussed issues such as trade, taxation relief to help boost Swiss investments in Ghana and Swiss support for Ghana’s cocoa and pineapple industry. Also discussed was possible increased budgetary support as well as assistance to the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre in Accra.

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Italian President ends visit to Ghana

Filed under: Accra,Africa,Archived,Europe,Ghana,Italy,Politics and conflicts — admin @ 5:00 am

Italian President ends visit to Ghana – Wikinews, the free news source

Italian President ends visit to Ghana

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Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Ghana
Other stories from Ghana
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Location of Ghana

A map showing the location of Ghana

To write, edit, start or view other articles on Ghana, see the Ghana Portal
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Mr. Giorgio Napolitano, the President of Italy has completed a three day visit to Ghana.

During his visit, he met President John Kufuor at the Osu Castle. They highlighted the bonds between Ghana and Italy and past cooperation such as the building of the Akosombo Hydroelectric Dam and AGIP’s involvement in Ghana’s petroleum business.

Napolitano also visited the Parliament of Ghana, where he paid a courtesy call on the Speaker, Ebenezer Sekyi-Hughes. Napolitano said the European Union had a role to play in the integration of Africa. Sekyi-Hughes was pleased that the Italian president had shown confidence in Ghana’s parliament and its young democracy.

Later, he visited the Kwame Nkrumah mausoleum in Accra and inspected work on the Ohene Djan Sports Stadium where Italian workers are engaged in construction work to prepare the stadium for the 2008 African Cup of Nations tournament.

The next day, he visited the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre near Accra. Ghana and Italy affirmed their commitment to the training of civilian personnel attached to various peacekeeping missions. While there, he said “Italy appreciates the level of troop contribution to and for works done by Ghana’s contingents to peacekeeping operations worldwide”. He continued, “We are pleased with your sense of mission and the high level of professionalism being exhibited by your troops on peace missions, and we would continue to support you in your role”.

He was the guest of honour at a state banquet held before his departure.

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July 6, 2007

Ghana\’s first female Chief Justice receives award

Ghana’s first female Chief Justice receives award

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Friday, July 6, 2007

Ghana
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The first female Chief Justice of Ghana, Georgina Theodora Wood was among 77 others who received national awards in Accra today. The awards are for distinguished services to Ghana.

Georgina Wood, who became Chief Justice on June 15, 2007, received her award from President John Kufuor. She was given the Order of the Star of Ghana, the nation’s highest award. Two others who received this award as well were Dr Paul Acquah, Governor of the Bank of Ghana and the Omanhene (King) of the Juaben Traditional Area, Nana Otuo Serebour II, a former head of Ghana’s Statistical Service, for his contribution to industry and public service (traditional category).

President Kufuor is quoted as saying at the award ceremony that “Like the Olympic medalist, we should seek to surpass existing limits to set new records hitherto deemed unattainable. This way, Africa, including Ghana, can excel in the competition and thereby carve a dignified niche for itself in the Global Village.”

As Dr. Paul Acquah received the award, the audience shouted “The value is the same” which is the catchphrase for the Ghanaian cedi redenomination in process at present. Nana Otuo Serebour did a short Adowa dance much to the admiration of the audience. The loudest ovation was however reserved for Georgina Wood as she received her award. Professor Atukwei Okai, a writer, poet and educationist, recited a poem which translates as “You are because we are”.

Other awards given out were the in the Order of the Volta (Companion), Order of the Volta (Member) and the Grand Medal categories. Among the winners were Paul Victor Obeng, influential member of Jerry Rawlings’ military government in the 1990s, Dr G.K. Agama, a former governor of the Bank of Ghana, Ike Quartey, former WBA welterweight champion. Some popular musicians, including Nana Kwame Ampadu, Kofi Ghanaba, Diana Akiwumi, Pat Thomas and Sidiku Buari also received honours.

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April 7, 2006

Semapedia introduced to Africa: Powered by \”Made in Ghana\” technology

Semapedia introduced to Africa: Powered by “Made in Ghana” technology

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This article mentions the Wikimedia Foundation or one of its projects. Please note that Wikinews is a project of the Wikimedia Foundation. Semapedia is not associated with the Wikimedia Foundation.

Friday, April 7, 2006

Accra — The Ghana-India Kofi Annan Centre for Excellence in ICT introduced the Semacode technology and the Semapedia application to a segment of the Ghanaian public in a presentation delivered by Guido Sohne, Developer-In-Residence at the Centre and Chief Software Architect of CoreNett Ltd, a Ghanaian electronic transaction processing company.

Introduced for the first time in Africa, Semapedia is a way of associating Internet sites with physical barcodes that can be read by cameraphones, enabling one to look up information about physical objects quickly and easily.

The Semacode technology

A semacode for the wikipedia article on the subject

The Semacode (a URL barcode), was conceived in Canada (North America), and includes portions (such as one of the very first versions) that were developed in Ghana (West Africa) by local software developers. Simon Woodside, the founder of the Semacode Corporation and the Semacode community site contacted Mr. Sohne for assistance in developing an early version of Semacode and Mr. Sohne in turn recommended Francois Bonin, another Developer-In-Residence at the Kofi Annan Centre for Excellence, to develop this software. Mr. Bonin successfully delivered on the project to develop an implementation of this technology, which later on has become increasingly widely adopted and known.

The significance of Semacode is that one can now link a real world, physical object to arbitrary data. Before there has been no link, except for things like ordinary barcodes such as those used in stores to label products, or on books to indicate publication details. Unlike Semacodes, traditional barcodes have limited storage for information, are fixed function and good for only one narrow application, and also require the use of special, custom hardware and software to read or access such barcodes.

With the Semacode approach, all it now takes is for an ordinary camera phone, equipped with a Semacode reader software package (available free of charge by pointing your mobile phone web browser to the over the air distribution). There is no need to purchase any hardware or software to read these two dimensional barcodes.

Semacodes, by embedding a URL into a barcode, enable any portion of the Internet to be ‘attached’ to any object, and can replace barcodes by going further to give arbitrary information on the Internet, not just the simple product number.

After the successful development of the core of the Semacode encoding software (called the Semacode Tagger), Semacode went on to achieve user adoption, such as with the inception of the Semapedia, the Physical Wikipedia.

Semapedia, the physical Wikipedia

A Semapedia entry (photo credit: akaalias from flicker)

In the words of Stan Wiechers and Alexis Rondeau who are the founders of the Physical Wikipedia, “Semapedia is a non-profit project. The idea was to bring the amazing knowledge from the wikipedia to places in the real world where it matters. Being able to stand in front of a building and dive into its history right on the spot is something incredibly useful to anybody.

Doing that by just taking a picture with your mobile phone of a semacode is a very very simple interaction that is understandable to everybody. We have been explaining and showcasing to people with no technical background at all and they still immediately understand the use and value of our project.

Semapedia is a community project, everybody can go to our site and create semapedia tags via a simple text entry form right away, print them out and start hyperlinking ojects to the information he wants people to know.”

Made in Ghana

Following his interest in the initial development of the Semacode encoder, Mr Sohne has continued with Semacode technology by developing free software, licensed under the GNU General Public License, to create Semacodes. The first version of his software was developed as an experiment to investigate the benefits of writing code for the Apple Mac OS X operating system. Mr Sohne had at the time recently acquired an Apple PowerBook and used the Semacode as a goal to be achieved that would serve as a learning exercise for the newly acquired hardware. This software grew to include a C to JavaScript port of the Semacode encoder to run within a web browser, so that it could be accessible on all platforms, and not just the Apple platform.

Within computer software development, a port can be considered akin to a translation between two human languages. It retains the essence of its source, yet is somewhat different while performing the same function. With that transformative step, each Web browser is itself a full blown Semacode encoder, regardless of platform. And since each Semacode created by the software is in a hyperlink format, all the Semacodes created can be conveniently stored by web engines such as Google.

Powering this all, are deceptively simple Semacode symbols that are easy to create and quick to read, a testament to simple ideas brought to life by complex systems. Perhaps the real genius of the idea behind the Semacode, brainchild of Mr. Simon Woodside of Semacode Corporation, is that it is so simple that it works so well and so easily. It was not so simple before the breakthrough concept of the Semacode as a URL barcode that is accessible by a wide variety of ‘off the shelf’ camera phones!

Bringing Semapedia to Africa

Today, this introduction of the Semapedia and its associated technologies, at the prestigious Ghana-India Kofi Annan Centre for Excellence, explained and explored the possibilities that are opened by the use of Semacodes. The audience received the talk very well and suggested several interesting ways of locally applying Semacodes during an engaging discussion during question and answer time.

The introduction of the Semapedia immediately preceded the launching of the first African entry into the Semapedia which will take place immediately after the talk, when several members of the audience used Semacodes to tag the Ghana-India Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence with its corresponding entry into the Wikipedia.

During the presentation Mr Sohne said that “The time has come for African content to take its place in the global constellation. We need more African content, and anybody can help add more content to the Wikipedia. So tag something today. It’s really easy to do and the software is free too!”

If it can be done in Ghana, then it can easily be done elsewhere in Africa and even in Asia, Europe and North America too. It is rare to find African created technology being used today in Western cyberspace so this event is indeed a laudable step forward for African technology as well as an indication of the benefits of collaborative development based on liberal software licensing such as open source software that can arise from further North/South private sector partnerships.

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Semapedia introduced to Africa: Powered by “Made in Ghana” technology

Alexis Rondeau, Stan Wiechers. “Semapedia Introduced To Africa” — semapedia.org, April 10, 2006

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