Special Invitation

Special Invitation: Reception and Awards Night For (www.sypala.org) at Coconut Grove Hotel



AUGUST 6th 2009



From August 1st to 6th, IMANI held a residential seminar at Ashesi University, which involved three off-campus events at Coconut Grove Hotel. Speakers at the event have ranged from a former Advisor to the Clinton Transition Team to the first and only black person to become a tenured professor at Cambridge University in 850 years to the man who designed Coca Cola’s CSR program for Africa. Now we are at the climax, and it is our pleasure that this closing ceremony shall mark the presentation of the inaugural “Sohne Prize for African Innovation”. We are grateful to the friends and family of the late Guido Sohne for consenting to the creation of this named prize. Guido Sohne was quite simply Ghana’s and Africa’s most passionate and most visionary enthusiast of the use of technology innovation to redeem Africa from the maginalisation caused by poverty, especially technical poverty. It is apt that a Prize aimed at celebrating “Excellence” should be dedicated to his memory.


Venue: Coconut Grove Regency Hotel


Introduction by Moderator

Mr. Paul Adom-Otchere


Keynote Remarks







Paul Adom-Otchere

Paul Adom-Otchere is the Country Manager of africapractice in Ghana and a media and communications consultant with 10 years experience in radio, television and corporate communication, including time at Multimedia Broadcasting Company (JOY FM), Metropolitan Television (METRO TV) and Omni Media (CITI FM).  The Ghana Journalists Association recognized Paul’s distinguished output when in 2001 they conferred on him the award of “Radio News Reporter of the Year”. Since June 2001, Paul’s television programme “Good Evening Ghana” on Metro TV has won eight awards, notably from the Radio and TV awards scheme and the Chartered Institute of Marketing Ghana. In corporate communication Paul has served as consultant to significant national and corporate events. In 2004, Paul was lead PR consultant to EXPO AFRICA organizers of the “Ghana Expo”, an event hosted jointly by the ministries of Trade and Foreign Affairs in London to communicate Ghana’s business profile with the view to raising awareness about the potential of the Ghanaian market as an investment destination. In 2005, Paul was retained as external Consultant by MMRS Ogilvy to design the communication to help secure Rand Gold Resources (the South African Mining Company) a successful take-over bid for the Ghanaian Gold mining company Ashanti. Paul was also retained by MMRS Ogilvy to help design a communication strategy to manage the DATA BANK and SSNIT “Obatan” matter and in 2004-2005 Paul worked as Communications Director of Asante Kotoko football. Paul holds two separate bachelors in Political Science (BA) and Law (LLB) from the University of Ghana. He also holds an MSC in Alternative Dispute Resolution (arbitration, mediation & negotiation) and Development Economics from the University of London. Paul is a British Chevening Scholar.










Eric Osiakwan

Eric Osiakwan is an Internet specialist in research, education and consulting. He is a tireless advocate of ICT matters through his journalism in Ghana and abroad, and for a while run his own talk-show, ICT World, on a local radio station. He is also a web developer and the Secretary to the Ghana ISP Association and Africa ISP Association. Eric is a Reuters Digital Vision fellow and is focusing on questions of fibre and wireless internet and telecommunications access in Africa. He has advised, among others, the World Bank, the British Government, Stanford and Harvard Universities on models of infrastructure development in Africa that favours small business ISPs and NSPs over formerly state-owned telecom incumbents.









William Williams

Mr William (Billy) Williams is a career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. In Canberra, Mr Williams has held a number of positions in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, including Director, International Media and Expos Section (2006-07), Director, Africa Section (2001-02), and Director, Olympic and Sports Section (1995-2000). Overseas, Mr Williams has served as Counsellor and Deputy Head of Mission, Pretoria (2002-06) and as First Secretary (Public Affairs), Kuala Lumpur (1990-93). Mr Williams is a graduate of the Canberra College of Advanced Education and the Australian National University. He is married with three adult children.











Obour has achieved fame as Ghanaian musician of the hip-life genre, but he has also been acclaimed by critics for his remarkable blending of old and new trends, such as his recent collaboration with the Ghanaian hi-life maestro, A.B. Crentsil. An Ambassador for many causes, including road safety and national reconciliation, Obour is savvy about the role of the arts in national development.



Atukwei Okai

Professor Atukwei Okai is the Secretary-General of the Pan African Writers Association. He is one of Africa’s leading lights in literature. Trained in Ghana and Russia, he is widely published and is generally acknowledged to be the first real performance poet to emerge from Africa. One of the first recognised ones worldwide in fact. He has been the Head of the Ga Dangme Department at the University of Education, Winneba.

 “Can Excellence Be a Social Value?”

His Excellency, the High Commissioner of Australia to Ghana



“The Young Ones that Ride With God”

Professor Atukwei Okai

President Obour


Ode to Guido Sohne

Eric Osiakwa


Conversations (Open Floor)

What Measure of Excellence for Our Rising Youth?

Atukwei Okai, Obour, Eric Osiakwan, Brigitte Dzobgenuku, William Williams


Moderator Vote of Thanks & Remarks  


SYPALA ENDS