Happy new year to you, and thank you for clicking to read this note. This is my 2022 in review. It was exciting, challenging, encouraging, and refreshing.
Let me re-introduce myself, in case you are a new reader here. I am Yaw Antwi Owusu, a Believer in Christ, Youth Advocate, and a Pan-African who works in tech as a Product designer and startup founder. I quit my job in media in December 2021 to pursue my goal of building a career in tech.
Now that you know who I am, let’s get into what 2022 was for me. In the subsequent paragraphs, I will be highlighting key moments that defined my year.
Named among 100 top personalities celebrated at the inaugural edition of Kwahu State Dinner
In January, I got an invitation to the inaugural edition of the Kwahu State Dinner, attended by the president of Ghana, His Excellency Nana Akufo Addo, Kwahumanhene Daasebre Akuamoah Agyapong II, and political and business leaders.
At the event, I was celebrated as one of the top 100 personalities of Kwahu descent doing well in various industries in Ghana. It was an honor, and I will like to thank the MP for Mpraeso constituency, Hon. Davis Ansah Opoku and Executive Director of the National Schools Inspectorate Authority (NaSIA), Dr. Hilda Ampadu, for the opportunity.
Building a stronger relationship with God
I can boldly say that my relationship with God grew in 2022; my prayer life saw an improvement and my knowledge and faith in God and His works and word became stronger. I fellowshipped a lot at Grace Centre, and God answered a prayer I had been praying for so long.
I was very glad I had the support I needed to build this relationship with God. I would like to thank my Pastor and mentor, Ps. Mawuli Tsikata, and my family for their support.
Starting and graduating from the MEST Africa EIT program
After quitting my job in media, I got into MEST Africa’s EIT program which lasted for eight months.
During the program, I wrote my first line of dart code, met business partners, built life-long friendships, learned a lot about building a software company, teamed up to build three MVPs, was mentored by some brilliant minds, and learned a lot about myself.
Met co-founders and started building Ubadi Technologies
During the MEST program, I met my co-founders Somto, Poga, and Philip. These three have unique personalities, and I am glad to have connected with them.
Together we did some fun things like walking through the Nkofieho Caves and climbing Mount Afadjato. We also brainstormed ideas for our business, talked to teenagers & parents to validate our ideas, pitched our ideas to investors, built our product — the Ubadi App, and have finally started and incorporated Ubadi Technologies.
Traveled across seven new regions in Ghana
I did a lot of local traveling in 2022. I visited seven new regions for work, volunteering activities, and fun.
- Oti Region
I visited the Oti region for the first time for a volunteering activity with the N-Plec Foundation’s Studentpreneur project, where I had the opportunity to train SHSs students in web designing with Figma.
- Volta Region
I visited the Volta region for the first time for the annual EIT trip, and I climbed Mount Afadjato and swam in Wli waterfall.
- Bono East, Bono, Northern, Savannah, and Upper West Regions
I visited these regions for work. I was on the research and evaluation team of Savings Grians, a German impact company helping farmers and aggregators fight post-harvest loss on grains like maize and maximize profit through access to capital and storage technology.
I saw and understand firsthand that farmers are rich folks and that agriculture is indeed a profitable venture. I appreciated what it is to build software for these target audiences and what real impact looked like.
I got into tech as a product designer and a startup founder
If you have ever been on my Twitter timeline on @YawAntwiOwusu, you may have noticed my popular note, “I quit media for a career in technology”. It finally happened in 2022.
I started Ubadi Technologies with my co-founders Somto, Poga, and Philip, and we are working tirelessly on our business and product. At Ubadi, we are looking at increasing the financial inclusion brackets for teenagers across Africa through our advocacy activities and the Ubadi App, which will be launched later in 2023.
Apart from Ubadi Technologies, I accepted an offer from Altavia Design, a software design and development agency in Ghana as a Product Designer. At Altavia Design, I got to design and ship experiences for brands like MTN Ghana and Saving Grains, thanks to Kelvin Tyron for the opportunity.
I went to my first Product Designer and User Experience professional meetup by UX Ghana and went to the maiden Fintech Ecosystem Meetup at Zeepay HQ. I also spoke as a speaker on a Twitter space organized by Utiva.
Bonus: I had a viral tweet
Can we imagine what could possibly happen if first year Visual arts students in SHS are introduced to design softwares like Figma, Photoshop, Illustrator or After Effects?— Yaw ?? (@YawAntwiOwusu) May 15, 2022
Because of the products I worked on at MEST, I interacted with young people in 2022 during business validation research and product testing activities.
Out of some of the bright conversations I had with these young people, I tweeted about what could happen if we began teaching teenagers relevant skills for the future, and it appears many felt it was a thought in the right direction.
I am looking forward to a brighter 2023 where my relationship with God grows even stronger, and in my career and business, I am looking to have a fruitful year as a founder and product designer. Lastly, I hope to share a lot of learning points I gather through my work in the coming years to help impact bright minds.
Thank you for reading this far. You can shoot me an email via email@example.com or dm me on Twitter @YawAntwiOwusu so we can talk about tech, building businesses in Ghana, educating teenagers, building a relationship with God, and developing Africa.
Edited by Efua Eshun of Golden Quill Editing Solutions