What can I do? I’m just a little guy. Even though Joshua may not have asked himself this very question, his life, work, and passion show the statement’s power. It seems some sort of negative statement that people say as an excuse for doing nothing.
But that isn’t the true meaning of this profound statement. It is an irony that strikes some sense of humor, and if you give it an extra thought, you would soon realize that you can do something even if you are a little guy.
Joshua Opoku Agyemang is a passionate fellow who simply followed the proverbial omens through his passion for computers. “Anything tech, to me, is fun,” Joshua said. At only 27 years, Joshua is the Co-founder and CEO of Pesonet Limited, a company Joshua started at only 19 years.
To serve others, he started the IoT Network Hub to help educate everybody and anybody on emerging technology with the potential to revolutionize how we live. As a little guy, this is inspiring for all little guys out there. Here is how Johsua’s story unfolds.
Early Life of Joshua Opoku Agyemang; The Discovery of Passion
Joshua Opoku Agyemang was born in a town called Mim in the Upper Region of Ghana. Joshua was raised in a religious family, with his dad being a Pastor, and attended primary school at Kasapin even though under harsh conditions. Joshua and other junior students had to carry palm fronds to school to protect themselves from the intense sun as they had no roof to rely upon. They also had to carry buckets of water to pour on the ground to make it conducive for studies.
Your Environment Is Of No Consequence If You Have A Passion and a Vision.
The village had no electricity, making life a little out of touch with modern technology at the time.
Amidst such education and environment, Joshua was able to find his passion for computers and, subsequently, technology. “I have loved computers since a very young age. So, by the time I was 7 years I was in the village I had my first encounter with a computer and my first touch was striking. I felt something. I felt that my life is in that box. So I have been following that till now. So From 7 years till now, I have been pursuing computers all my life, despite academics.” says Joshua.
His dad, a pastor, had a computer for the use of the church, which Joshua had the opportunity to operate. “Even before I got to senior high school, I discovered what I wanted to do with my life. I found my way to my purpose” (Joshua Discovered passion in JHS. Had the opportunity to operate a church computer and became obsessed right from there).
As Joshua grew, his passion grows from computers to technology. But that was not until he met his supposed destiny helper wh helped him with some direction and life guidance.
Joshua would perform poorly in his senior high school exams while at Mim Senior High. He would skip classes to pursue his technology obsession. Interestingly, Joshua invented his own course in SHS. “I invented my own course cos I wanted to study ICT as a whole program which we didn’t have. So I did science but also took the computer to own dormitory”.
Joshua was a favorite at school due to his small size; he made some friends continue nurturing his passion. The first question they asked my mom at the administration was, “Ei, madam, where is your child’s feeding bottle?’ because I was very young.”
Transition to Accra; Things get Dramatic.
Before arriving at Accra, Joshua didn’t know much about the software side of computing. Of course, he was able to repair computers. Joshua was also the go-to man for software and digital content such as music and software. His very first business venture was his first business venture back at senior high, and his come community, burning whatever they wanted onto CDs for people.
Joshua performed poorly in his senior exams, and without his knowledge, his parents registered him for the Nov/Dec resit exams to be taken in Sunyani. As destiny would have it, Joshua would meet a man who would play a key role in his transition to the capital city of Ghana; Accra.
[At Sunyani, When Joshua went to write his Nov/Dec] “That was where I met my savior or my guardian. He was someone who saw who I am which I didn’t even know I am. He told me that you are really good at this, you need to go to Accra and take this course and it will help you…” Joshua recalled.
Joshua heeded and moved to Accra. With much motivation, Joshua was set to discover new challenges and opportunities. “My first motivator was the fact that my parents did not like what I was doing, not that they hated it but they just wanted me to go to school to do what I am doing and I thought with what I am doing, I don’t need to go to school to do it. I can learn mostly on my own” Joshua replied when asked what inspired his desire to heed to the mystery man who helped him.
Innovations, Communities, and Companies.
Joshua Opoku Agyemang is an alumnus of the Ghana-Indian Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence in ICT (AITI-KACE), a passionate computer programmer, a serial entrepreneur, visionary, and a Speaker. His education at AITI-KACE was the first thing Joshua pursued when he arrived at Accra, where he also met his partner with whom he would start Pesonet.
Pesonet Limited is a Software and networking company specializing in bringing technology to the everyday home, office, and any other places of interest. The team recently included robotics and IoT for industrial use in their portfolio. They currently serve both big and small local and international brands.
IoT Network Hub, The Community of the Future
Joshua is a true believer in the power of AI and the Internet of Things (IoT). Africa seems to have been left behind in many of the revolutions that the world has undergone.
Joshua believes Africa is on the verge of revolution 3.0. “I will say, Africa, we are still in industrial revolution 3.0 while we are exploring the full potential of computers, technology, internet, communications, and the rest”, Joshua says passionately.
According to their website, “IoT Network Hub is an internet of things community with a membership of over 4,500 including engineers, developers, designers, researchers, entrepreneurs, students and all tech enthusiast with chapters in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda and Gambia coming together to tackle Africa’s nagging problems using emerging technologies such as AI, IoT, Blockchain, Robotics, 3D Printing, VR, AR, Cyber Security and many more.”
Readersity is a community of readers, an initiative Joshua started during the coronavirus lockdown to help eliminate boredom while pursuing knowledge.
Joshua is an avid reader, and with this program, he hopes to help others become avid readers. He reads an average of 8 books monthly.
Joshua believes personal development is a critical aspect of success since massive amounts of experience and knowledge can be gained from a single book.
Joshua was devastated like everybody else when the coronavirus hit the world. But Joshua did something about it.
The IoT Network Hub was seriously involved in problem-solving. Teams were formed, and ideas were shared. It didn’t just end there; Solutions were created. Joshua built a touchless hand-washing system that allowed people to sanitize themselves without fear of getting infected.
They also developed a reusable face mask through the use of 3-D printing by sourcing materials locally. Another exciting solution based on IoT was the smart home system which allowed an almost touchless system at home, public places as things such as light bulbs can be put off through a mobile app by the power of connectivity and data.
The Success Matrix; How to Achieve Fulfilment in Life
Being an entrepreneur is not easy for anyone, something Joshua had to learn on his journey. He started his first company at the age of 19. His successes can be attributed to his attitude, mindset, and an extreme passion for what he does. “For me, the things that I call fun is waking up daily having a big problem to solve, that sort of challenge keeps you awake every day,” Joshua explains. “Anything tech, to me, is fun.”
He believes one must seek to find their passion if one lives a life of fulfillment and meaning. Finding your passion can be done through self-awareness, first knowing and understanding yourself, and getting to know and understand the world. Having a good grasp of yourself will give you deeper insights into the problems you should be solving and how.
To fulfill your passion, you need to find your profession, vocation and need to find your mission. This matrix will enable you to begin to create your life’s work.
But Joshua notes that this must be approached with practicality as your passion may not always bring you the monetary income you need to keep going. You need to find something that the world needs and will pay for. It could be a skill, talent, or some knowledge that you have. Use your self-awareness to work out this matrix, and your life will blossom with passion, success, and a feeling of meaning and fulfillment.
Awards, Honors, and Recognitions
- Joshua was named The “Tech Prodigy” by UNDP Ai4Dev Magazine 2020 and Featured in the “100 Inventions, Innovations and Icons from Africa” in 2021 by Forbes Africa.
- Joshua is the President of Internet of Things Network Hub (IoT Network Hub) Africa with over 7000 members in Ghana, the fastest and largest growing Tech community in West Africa, with chapters in Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Togo, Sierra Leone, Gambia, Zimbabwe, Cameroon, Liberia, and Rwanda.
- Joshua is also the Founder of Entrepreneurs Network Hub, a community envisioned to bring all aspiring, budding, and serial entrepreneurs with grit who are self-motivated to be the next generation changemakers in Ghana and the Africa Continent.
- Advisor and a judge to Ashesi Entrepreneurship Capstone at Ashesi University.
- Partner, mentor, and judge to Hultz Prize Competition at Reagent University College.
- Some of Joshua’s works have been recognized by GIZ, UNDP, Internet Society(Kenya and Ghana Chapter), GONDWANA international networks, Arduino.org, 1000africanvoices, and many more.
- He is also a consultant to Ghana Technology Laboratory (GhanaTechLab) an initiative of the Ghana Government sponsored by the World Bank to train millions of Ghanaian youth in digital skills required in the 21st century.
- A KIC Fellow, a member of Internet society, Ghana STEM Network, Artificial Intelligence Association, Blockchain Society of Ghana, Cysec Ghana, Stanbic Incubator, Best Makers Forum, Practical Data Community, Ghana Developers Network, Ghana Start-up Network, and among others.
- IoT Project was awarded by Africa Entrepreneurship Award in 2018 as the most significant and sustainable business idea out of 5000 applicants across the Africa Continent.
- Team won Ghana open Data Hackathon (2018 & 2019)
- Featured in 50 Innovations from Africa combating Covid-19 by United Nation Development Program.
As humans, our greatest gift is life, and that life is tied to a purpose. Joshua found his early in life and has maintained consistent focus and intensity on it. Unlike Joshua, everyone discovers their passion in their own time. Yours could be as a kid or perhaps when you get to your 30s. Everyone can live their dreams. Don’t settle; keep searching.
The only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work, and the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking, and don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking, don’t settle.Steve Jobs, Co-Founder of Apple Inc.