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Silicon Sub-Sahara

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One Boston College tech course takes the class to Ghana

When it comes to tech hotspots, there are the usual suspects, mostly featuring the word Silicon in its nickname. But one college class is taking its students far afield in search of how technology is used and developed.

Boston College’s TechTrek program brings undergrads to meet with tech executives in the expected destinations – Silicon Valley, Silicon Alley, and Boston’s Cyber District, among them. But there’s one big outlier in the TechTrek’s journeys – Ghana.

The 24 students enrolled in MI215 Technology and Economic Development (aka TechTrekGhana) will spend a week in Accra, Ghana this May, working with the local Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST), a two-year post-graduate training program.

The treks are the brainchild of John Gallaugher, Associate Professor of Information Systems at the college’s Carroll School of Management.

“I wrote a textbook and started giving it away for free,” Gallaugher told us, “and it became very popular in the developing world. I’m fascinated by the role of fast technology growth in emerging markets, so I wanted to build a class around that idea.”

You can learn more about TechTrek Ghana here, and to learn more about Boston College’s resources for startups, check out the Information Systems department homepage here.

Now go forth (and explore).

Nitty Gritty:

2.27MM: Urban population of Accra in 2012

1957: Year Ghana declared independence

3,275 miles: Surface area of Lake Volta, an artificial body of water in Ghana

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