Osei Darkwa

e-mail: Darkwa@uic.edu; or odarkwa@yahoo.com

Osei Darkwa is an Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois, Jane Addams College of Social Work. He has been with the University since 1995. He teaches courses in social work research, social welfare policies and services, and intergroup relations in a multicultural environment.

His research, writings and publications focus on computer applications in education, health, international social policy, aging, and distance education. Osei has published numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals about the application of information technology to education, health, and socio-economic development in Africa.

Professor Darkwa has participated and presented papers at numerous information technology conferences and at workshops in a number of countries such as the Botswana, Ghana, India, South Africa, and the United States of America. He consults with international development agencies in exploring the establishment of community learning centers and multipurpose community telecentres in designated countries in Africa.

He is the initiator of the Asante Akim Multipurpose Community Telecentre (AAMCT), a solar-powered center which uses computers and information communications technologies to empower rural communities and promote the social, cultural and economic growth of the people in the Asante Akim district, in Ghana.

Click here for a view of some of the people and places in Patriensah, Ghana...Osei's home village, where he is a member of the traditional community leadership. It is this village which will soon be the site of Greenstar's investment in Ghana.

He is the founder and President of the Ghana Computer Literacy and Distance Education, Incorporated (GhaCLAD), a non-profit organization (based in Chicago) committed to the inclusion of Africa in the mushrooming global information technology revolution.

In May of 1998 Dr. Darkwa led an initiative to organize the first International conference on information technology in Ghana. Dr. Darkwa chaired the GhaCLAD International Program Committee which planned the GhaCLAD 2000 conference in Accra, Ghana, July 26-29, 2000.

The transition to an information society may lead to growing inequality, because not all people, regions and states are able to avail of its opportunities equally well. Osei comments:

"Today, Internet connectivity is seen as a useful mechanism for knowledge acquisition, but such connectivity is unavailable in most rural areas in the developing world. An overwhelming majority of people living in rural areas, are not connected to any form of electronic network. Unless innovative solutions are found, these people will not have interactive connectivity in their lifetimes.

"This is where Greenstar comes in. I like their model because they want to ensure that rural people are not left behind in the technology revolution.

"A famous African proverb says 'Until the lion writes it own history, the tale of the hunt will always glorify the hunter.' Greenstar's work ensures that the tail of the hunt glorifies the hunted, not the hunter. Greenstar believe in investing in real people."