Ransford Okpoti's Blog

21 October, 2016

A Seamless “Move” To Transfer Money Between Mobile Wallets In Ghana Is Now Possible

Filed under: Uncategorized — ranskills @ 2:32 pm

A company that is silently making waves in the mobile financial services sector in Ghana has taken the bold step by coming out with a solution that every mobile money user would be dying to have, i.e. the ability to transfer money between the various mobile money operators (MMO) in the country.

What it simply means is that you can “Move” – and by the way, that is the name of the service – money from one MMO to another, e.g., transfer money from MTN Mobile Money wallet to an Airtel Money wallet or a Tigo Cash wallet. The good thing about it is that you don’t need a special application to access the service, it can be accessed on any mobile phone through the use of an Unstructured Supplementary Service Code (USSD) service shortcode, i.e. by dialling *718*2# on the mobile phone.

The How

  1. Just dial *718*2# and follow the prompts

Supported Networks

  1. MTN
  2. Tigo
  3. Airtel
  4. Vodafone


Things To Look Out For Before Using The Service

  1. How much does it cost to transfer money between wallets? Is it cheaper than the alternatives currently available using the electronic voucher system?
  2. Will the charges that apply be shown to you before transferring the money?
  3. If a transfer was not successful, but money has been taken from the sender’s wallet:
    1. Who do you complain to?
    2. How long should you expect for the refund of the money? This should be explicitly stated in the Terms & Conditions of the service.


“Move” is a much-welcomed service in the mobile money space and will go a long way to add a nice convenience in moving money between mobile wallets provided by different operators.


21 February, 2012

Talk: Web Scraping, An Important Technique For Data Extraction

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — ranskills @ 7:14 pm

After the successful launch of Java 7, late last year, here in Ghana by Coders4Africa where I was the main speaker highlighting on the new language changes in Java, I am pleased to announce that I will be making another presentation on Web Scraping at the upcoming meeting.


Web Scraping, An Important Technique For Data Extraction

Introduces Web Scraping using PHP as a valuable alternative to extract data from other websites in the absence of APIs in Africa. Demonstrating how to fetch related data and producing outputs in standard formats such as json, xml, csv, etc.

Event Details

Coders4Africa In Action in Accra Ghana – March 3rd 2012 at BusyInetnet
Saturday, March 3, 2012 from 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM (GMT)
Accra, Ghana

You can register here.
A tutorial will be posted after the event on this blog.

11 July, 2011

How To Create a Gherkin Syntax Highlighter In gedit

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — ranskills @ 8:29 am

So, I woke up today and did a little bit of surfing, like I always do, and came across Cucumber, a Behaviour-Driven Development (BDD) framework in Ruby and I bought into the idea as it focuses on the behavioural aspects of the system by allowing you to describe and test the system’s behavior. Well, like a typical PHP junkie, I had to look for alternatives in PHP and luckily my search lead me to Behat, a BDD framework in PHP and inspired by Ruby’s Cucumber. Python’s users of Freshen may also find this informative since it uses the same syntax.

I decided to try out the examples only to realize that Gherkin, the Domain-Specific Language (DSL) used to describe the features to be tested in the features file, had no syntax highlighting in gedit, the official text editor of the GNOME desktop environment.

These are steps required to provide a basic gherkin syntax highlighting.


  1. Locate the directory where all the language files used for source code highlighting are kept, i.e. the language-specs directory.


    1. Type the command below to help us locate the language-specs directory.
    2.  locate gtksourceview | grep 'javascript.lang$' 

      The outcome of the above command is shown below with /usr/share/gtksourceview-2.0/language-specs/ as the directory of interest to us.



      The location is going to be either one of these, provided gedit was installed on drive C:\.

    1. C:\Program Files (x86)\gedit\share\gtksourceview-2.0\language-specs (if on Windows 7)
    2. OR

    3. C:\Program Files\gedit\share\gtksourceview-2.0\language-specs
  2. Create a gherkin.lang file into the language-specs directory with the content below.
  3. <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
    <!-- Author: 2011 Ransford Okpoti -->
    <language id="gherkin" _name="Gherkin" version="2.0" _section="Scripts">
                <property name="mimetypes">text/x-feature</property>
                <property name="globs">*.feature</property>
                <style id="keyword" 	_name="Keyword"		map-to="def:keyword"/>
                <style id="feature" 	_name="Feature"		map-to="def:type"/>
                <style id="steps_keywords" 	_name="Steps Keywords"	map-to="def:keyword"/>
                <style id="constructors" 	_name="Constructors"	map-to="def:type"/>
                <style id="variables" 	_name="Variables"	map-to="def:comment"/>
                <style id="comments" 	_name="Comments"	map-to="def:comment"/>
                <context id="gherkin" class="no-spell-check">
                            <!-- Keywords -->
                            <context id="steps_keywords" style-ref="steps_keywords">
                            <context id="comments" style-ref="comments" end-at-line-end="true">
                            <context id="feature" style-ref="feature">
                            <context id="constructors" style-ref="constructors">
                            <context id="variables" style-ref="variables">
                            <context id="arguments" end-at-line-end="true">
                                        <context ref="def:decimal" />
                                        <context ref="def:float" />
                                        <context ref="def:string" />
                                        <context id="table_headings">
  4. We are done, close gedit, if you have it opened, and open a gherkin source file with the extension .feature to see the beauty of our work.
  5. NOTE: On line 3, the _section attribute was set to Scripts indicating that the Gherkin menu item can be located from the program’s menu navigation: View -> Highlight Mode -> Scripts -> Gherkin.

Below is a gherkin source file with no syntax highlighting in gedit.

Gherkin File With No Syntax Highlighting

After the completion of our little procedure, you can see how beautiful our gherkin source file appears in gedit.

Gherkin File With Syntax Highlighting

NOTE: The above procedure can be followed to create syntax highlighting for any source file.
For a thorough explanation of the structure of the xml file, follow the official guide.

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