#CitiTrends Episode 18: Cyber Security in Ghana vrs Lifeline of SMS in Ghana

Source: linkedin

Source: linkedin

I love weeks like this when the world is buzzing with technology stories.

The truth is, its like this every week.

Who is complaining?

This week on the show, we are all aware that around 40% of the world population has an internet connection today. Africa accounts for just 9.8% of this number. In recent months, the world has been over taken with countless stories of cyber breaches here and there. The hacking of the Sony Corporations, Kaspersky (which is an antivirus company) and US federal government are good examples. I sat with Albert Antwi-Bosiako who is the founder and principal consultant with e-crime bureau, Ghana’s first Cyber Security & Digital Forensics firm, and asked some questions about the state of cyber security in Ghana.

One woman who has been increasingly active in the SMS landscape in Ghana is Anne Amuzu, CEO of NandiMobile and I caught up with her and asked her what her thoughts were on the matter of the lifespan of SMS.

Awo shares four Apps this week; Any.do, Truemessenger, Feeday and TwinorNot on the Apps segment of the show. Mawuli Tsikata shares some technology news stories in the Trending segment of the show.

Press play and enjoy the show.


Thye devil is in the detail

Thye devil is in the detail

They consume the dimly lit corners of your life;

hoods up.

Stares as cold as icicles, glares that pierce.

You shudder as you walk past

They sneer at you.

You wonder and ponder, often concluding

You question yourself, your being, your person

Why do they stare?

Why does it linger?

Why do they not look away?

They intimidate you,

confine you to a space; escape is impractical

You are intimidated.

You acquaint yourself with the symmetry of the paved road

You take solace in its silent, dark, stable, motionless self.

You seek acceptance in its presence

You seek liberation.

The nitrogen oxide-filled, cyanide-containing smoke escapes from the under the hood

Teeth flash, feet shuffle and the silent night is disrupted by the boom of a laugh

You miss a step, almost falling.

They shared a joke, you didn’t get it.

They stand huddled in a group

your every move brings them closer

You yearn for the sight of the pavement

You yearn to be free

The chill from the steel of the lamppost fills your senses

Its light, dim as it may be, shines brighter than the sun

A glance over your shoulder you will not risk

Your sanity depends on it.

Get your bearings right

Support comes in all shapes and sizes.  Photo Credit: Rumela Basu

Support comes in all shapes and sizes.
Photo Credit: Rumela Basu

It was in the Kervan Palace Turkish Restaurant in downtown Glasgow that I realized how lost a man (or woman) could get. I realized just how easy it was for people to get so enveloped in their ‘issues’ that they tended to neglect the world around them. They did not see that the elements of the universe just kept going on and on and on despite their woes.

Damn the universe!

Can you not see that a man is suffering? Can you not see that losing his girlfriend to his best pal and missing the bus to his new job interview because he was finding out about the loss is an unfair move? Can you not see that denying her access to the internet minutes before she hands in her final assessment could be regarded as plain cruel?

Anyway, that is just to let you know that you can be unfair. Back to my epiphany.

I realized in that restaurant (and in the car as we struggled along the M8 into the city earlier) that i, and human race, waste a whole lot of time being pushed around by things we cannot control. We get flustered. We lose hair. We palpitate. We don’t even eat sometimes.

Know the destination. Plan to get there. The rest will fall in place. Photo Credit: Rumela Basu

Know the destination. Plan to get there. The rest will fall in place. Photo Credit: Rumela Basu

It gets so bad that we do not eat!

The road trip into the heart and the highlands of Scotland taught me something. There are things you cannot do ANYTHING about!

Eight people drove for 48 hours in 72 hours in two cars with one thing in mind; EXPLORE SCOTLAND. Over 3,200 miles of road was covered. In three days those eight people got only 12 hours of sleep. They spent over 570 pounds on fuel and realized just how bland the meals served in 10 different rest stops along the way could get.

The eight people journeyed from Cardiff to Edinburgh to Inverness. They got lost in their quest along the Loch Ness trail and ‘pretended’ to see the monster. They grudgingly and eventually settled for some good food and free wifi in a restaurant in Portree and walked quite a few miles to discover the breathtaking Fairy Pools near Carbost, a village on the south shore of Loch Harport on the Isle of Skye. Those same eight people travelled long nights and sung songs in Hindi and ‘Twi’ (Ghanaian language) as they sought refuge in Loch Lomond.

Those eight people ended up, however, with one thing. MEMORIES. Memories that will last a lifetime.

Those eight people chose to enjoy themselves silly. They chose to bond with each other. They chose to do the ‘Macarena’ in the backseat of a vehicle guided by the power (or lack thereof) of Google Maps. They chose to tell each other the stories of their families and friends in countries so identical they could be siblings. They chose to smile through the pain of not peeing for hours because the drivers of the cars they sat in needed ‘spotters’ of speed cameras.

The point here is this. In life, there is only so much you can do about the things that happen around you. There is no point getting messed up about those things you can do nothing about. You cannot control the steering wheel of the car approaching in the other lane at breakneck speed. You cannot control the algorithms that feed your phone with GPS coordinates and leave you miles from your destination. You just cannot.

What you can change is your attitude to these things.

Plan what you can. The rest is out of your hands. Stop stressing!  Photo Credit: Rumela Basu

Plan what you can. The rest is out of your hands. Stop stressing!

Like the eight road trip junkies, you can allow the beauty of the Fairy Pools to dazzle you and inspire you to write poems. You can allow the snow-capped mountains on the Isle of Skye to amaze you and get you screaming like a 5-year old. You can drive an automatic car for the first time in your life in a foreign country. You can fall on your bum and laugh out loud about it as tens of strangers walk past. You can even learn to say “I love you” in Bengali (Ami tomaye bhalobashi).

Get focused. You know what you can control.

Get your bearings right!

Things you don’t get right

Colour in the Mountains

In life there are things you will are most likely never going to get right.
You will try so hard and yet end up failing at them.
It might seem pointless to keep trying, but then, that is why we were not made perfect.
There are things you will not get right, the worst you can do is to stop trying.


Birds Eye View

Birds Eye View

I like being nestled up here. It was a great place to take shots. This one included.
It gives you a picture of what God sees on a daily doesn’t it?