The aim of Accra SOUP is to allow citizens identify the problems of Accra, propose solutions to these problems and fund the solutions.
SOUP really is a simple concept. For a suggested donation of GH¢5, attendees get a bowl of light soup and a vote. The audience listens to four presenters pitch an innovative idea that can change Accra.Each presenter will have five minutes to share their idea and will then be questioned by the audience. After that, the audience eat; meet new people; talk; enjoy an artistic performance and then vote.
They will be voting for the idea amongst the four that they like the most. The one they believe benefits Accra the most.
At the end of the night, the ballots and the suggested donations (GH¢5 collected at the door) are counted. The idea with the most votes gets to take home all the money raised to carry out their project and make a public pledge to come back at the next Accra SOUP dinner to report on how they used the money and the progress of their project.
The organizers will not take any percentage; everything goes to the winner on the night. In effect, we take from Accra and give back to Accra.
Submissions are currently open for the next Accra SOUP dinner which will be held on November 7, 2015. There are only two rules; the project should take place within the Greater Accra Region and there will be no PowerPoint presentations.
This is because, we believe the people of Accra are the best people to decide on the problems of Accra and contribute towards its solution. So people in Accra cannot possibly know the problems in Tamale or Ho better than the people who live there.
This is a new approach to decentralizing our cities and towns. Also, the aim is to get presenters to speak from the heart and appeal directly to the audience without colorful and fancy electronic presentations getting in the way hence losing the message.
Project ideas can be just about anything from non-profits to for-profits and social enterprises.
Whether it is a local business recruiting disadvantaged youths to work; a clean-up; after school programs; starting a football team in a community; painting zebra crossings in front of schools; teaching a skill; starting a garden on a patch of land to painting a school.
The winner of the last Accra SOUP dinner (which was also our first) in August was Action Accra. They wanted to continue constructing their playground behind the iconic lighthouse in Jamestown.
Recycled materials collected from the beach were used in the construction of the playground. At the next SOUP dinner in November, they will tell the audience how they used the money raised from the first SOUP dinner.
It is not enough to be frustrated about how inefficient our cities and towns are run.
Too many bad things have happened in Accra and that is not the image we ought to show to the world rather; a progressive city where everybody is working towards the common benefit.