Bloggers who covered WSIS in Tunisia

After a long week working on the details of the project I am leading to write a people's constitution in Tanzania using simple social software, I have spent the day reading informative posts from bloggers who attended the WSIS in Tunisia. Here are some of them: Andy, Ethan, WSIS blogs, i-witness (PANOS), APC blog, Civiblog, Rebecca, and ICANN Watch.

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WSIS: Speakers at Expression Under Repression

A panel entitled "Expression Under Repression" was hosted by Hivos and organized by Global Voices during the WSIS summit in Tunisia. Read Ethan's posts about the panel: the opening remarks, Taurai Maduna (from Kubatana), Nart Villeneuve (from Citizen Lab), and Isaac Mao.

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WSIS: Hossein on Iranian Bloggers

Ethan writing from Tunisia: Hossein Derakshan at Expression Under Repression

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Vote for Global Voices: Deadline November 20

Vote for Global Voices for the best English Language blog in the Best of Blogs Awards. The link to where you can cast your vote is here.

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Kiswahili/Tanzanian bloggers: Cross-posted at Global Voices

Cross-posted at Global Voices weblog:
Kiswahili bloggers and Latest Voices From Tanzanian Blogosphere.

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Somebody's got to help me...

In my culture, when somebody writes about you like this, people will come running to help you with carrying your head!

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Africa in Camden, Maine

Ethan has written an excellent summary of the sunday morning session at Pop!Tech, which featured 10 young African innovators.

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Congratulations Anna and all Open Cafe folks

Open Cafe celebrated its first birthday on 21 October. One year of building open source communities in Africa. Check out their art initiative, ArtMarketOnline. And their Szavanna blog and OpenCafe blog.

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Pop!Tech Conference

I have been live blogging in Kiswahili the Pop!Tech conference and havent been able to do anything on this blog. However, those who dont speak Kiswahili can follow the conference on Ethan's blog. Yes, and Ory (Kenyan Pundit) is also blogging in English.

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Peter Diamandis: Ndege za Binafsi za Kwenda Sayari za Mbali

This is what happens sometimes when you have more than one blog. I wrote the post below for my primary blog, Jikomboe, but made a mistake of posting it here!
Peter Diamandis anaongea dakika hii ninayoandika hapa. Huyu bwana kampuni yake inajihusisha na utengenezaji wa ndege za kibiashara za kibinafsi za kurusha watalii kwenda sayari za mbali. Mwaka 2001 Dennis Tito alikuwa ndio mtalii wa kwanza wa sayari za mbali. Safari za aina zinaelezewa kirefu katika kamusi elezo ya kiingereza. Bonyeza hapa.

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Pop!Tech Conference - Camden, Maine

I am in Camden, Maine attending this year's Pop!Tech conference as one of the young African leaders participating in this year's conference. I will mostly blog on primary blogging space, Jikomboe, in Kiswahili. Ethan and Ory are blogging in English...in case you dont speak Kiswahili!

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Jimmy Wales of Wikipedia, Hoder...

Had a good conversation with Jimmy Wales about Kiswahili Wikipedia. I have just written about it on my Kiswahili blog. I have to go to my first session this morning. Ruby Sinreich of Lotus Media is talking about using the web creatively for political activism.

We have just learned that Hoder was not allowed to enter the country. He was going to lead a session later today on International Community and Blogging.

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ConvergeSouth: evening events

As part of the ConvergeSouth evening events, David and Jinni Hoggard have invited conference attendees to their house for barbecue...and that's where I am heading to right now. You can check out ConvergeSouth technorati links. Tommorow I will be working with an intern from Somalia, Warsame Guled, a second year print journalism major at A and T. I guess I may ask him to do some posts here while I am concentrating on my primary blog, Jikomboe. I have to go. After barbecue we have the choice of going to any of these venues ( free for conference participants).

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ConvergeSouth Going On...

ConvergeSouth conference is going on right now. I attended a wonderful session led by Sue Polinsky and Ed Cone. I have a detailed post here (yes, in Kiswahili!). Also a post in Kiswahili about We Media conference.

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Blogging in Gikuyu

A Kenyan poet and PhD student in the US, Gatua Wa Mbugwa, has started a blog in Gikuyu. My friend Gatua released a poetry CD in Gikuyu, Maitu ni Ma Itu (Our Mother is Our Truth), early this year.

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Globalization and Democracy: Helsinki Conference

Cross-posted at Global Voices.

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We Media Conference - October 5, 2005

As a result of a fellowship from the Media Center, I will blog the "We Media: Behold the Power of Us" conference, which will take place next week wednesday ( October 5, 2005) at the headquarters of the Associated Press in New York. The conference is about collaborations, collective intelligence, and participatory media. Here is the full program:

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Kiswahili Wikipedia

Kiswahili wikipedia needs your help in case you speak Kiswahili. Find out about what you can do to improve it.

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Breaking Silence: Updating Kiswahili blog

UPDATE: The transcript of the IRC chat is here.

I am currently updating my Kiswahili blog.

Do not forget that the Internet chat with Reporters Withouth Border Internet director, Julien Pain about the Handbook for Bloggers and Cyberdissents is today. More information...

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Helsinki conference ended today

The Helsinki Process on Globalisation and Democracy was initiated in 2000 by the Finnish and Tanzanian governments to address critical issues relating to globalization and democracy such as health, security, small arms, corruption. The Helsinki Process seeks to strengthen North-South cooperation and encourage a multi-stakeholder networking involving labour unions, academic institutions, civil society, private sector, media, and governments. The ultimate goal of this conference was to build commitment for the implementation of of neccessary steps towards eradicating poverty.

The conference ended today at with concluding remarks by co-Chairs of the Helsinki Process
and commitments to change.

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Tanzanian President

Tanzanian president, Benjamin Mkapa, speaking at Finlandia Hall, Helsinki, yesterday.

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press conference yesterday

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There are 2 bullets for every person in the world

"Small arms are weapons of mass destruction. They kill half a million people every year." "There are 2 bullets for all of us in the world today."
"In order to achieve the millennium development goals, development has to be understood in the context of right and not aid or charity."
- Irene Khan, Secretary-General of the Amnesty International
"I am an oxymoron because I am a prince who is promoting civil society."
"Globalization debate should focus on the creation of universal moral majority."

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Pastoralism is no longer viable in Africa

"Pastoralism is no longer viable in Africa. Conflicts in Somalia, Northern Kenya, even Darfur, are to some extent related to the fact that pastoralism as an economic model is not viable. The Maasai in Tanzania are very peaceful that is why there hasn't been intense conflicts between farmers and the Maasai...they have abandoned pastoralism as a way of life to become security guards in urban centers in Tanzania."

"There is an assumption in the developing world, particularly in Africa, that moving to urban centers is a neccessary step if one needs to succeed..."

"For Africa to prevail, it need to prevail against two major problems: HIV/AIDS and chaotic organization of political systems."
- Mrs. Anna Kajumulo Tibaijuka, the Executive Director of UN-HABITAT.

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Why talk?

I am introducing a guest blogger from Malaysia, Vkii. Vkii is the editor of the Malaysian online newspaper, Malysiakini.

Hi! I´m Vkii and I am from Malaysia. I know Macha by reputation only previously but here in Helsinki I have met him finally. If you ask me - cool dude with cool principles.

The Helsinki Conference is all about talking. But believe me, here the talk serves a purpose. You have to talk FIRST. Then only can u sort out your differences. And that is what the world is about. Differences.

So let´s talk about them. Let´s meet. It is the first step. The whole problem may not be solved just by talking with each other but at least we will know how the others FEEL. And that is the bridge that will take us a step closer to an answer.

Let`s recognise that there are a lot of us in this world and each and every one has a right to be here. There is going to be friction (it is inevitable. we`re humans) but that is not insurmountable.

Know that we can work together, know that we can sort out differences. know that all can be satisfied. Know also that this can be achieved.

Have first faith in the talk.

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Tanzania's first photoblogger

One of my memorable moments today was when Muhiddin Issa Michuzi, Tanzanias leading photojournalist, decided to enter the blogosphere. On this photo I am "officially" welcoming him to the Tanzanian blogosphere. Another journalist, Charles Nzo, is seriously working on his blog right now here in Helsinki.

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What is the difference between Bono and God?

The former Irish president, Mary Robinson, cracked this joke: The difference between God and Bono is that God does not think that he is Bono!

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Earlier today, Mary Robinson, the former Irish president of Ireland (her Irish name is Máire Bhean Mhic Róibín), and the Director of Ethical Globalization Iniative, said that the world leaders have a very serious moral obligation to ensure that poverty is tackled, not with wordy reports but concrete actions.
Speaking during the plenary session on the Helsinki Process Outcome and the Way Forward at the Helsinki Conference 2005, she said, "The world is not short of good report or good ideas. There is a sense of frustration about these reports, we don’t get to the stage of implementation."
What makes the Helsinki Process a unique iniative, she observed, is its inclusive approach, which emphasizes the role of a vast range of stakeholders such as trade unions, academic institutions, governments, civil society, the media, private sector, etc., and its commitment to putting human rights and dignity at the center of the globalization debate.
**Photo: Mary Robinson speaking to reporters this afternoon.

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This is Finland

This is my second day in Helsinki. I am not planning to say anything related to what president Chirac said in July this year about Finish food.

Finland is a very interesting country. It is a country where an epic poem led to a succesful independence movement. I remember attending a moving theatrical performance of Kalevala by Parapanda Theatre Lab at the National Museum in Tanzania in 2000. The building where the conference sessions are taking place, Finlandia Hall, was designed by the famous Finish architect, Alvar Aalto.
Finland, which gave Nokia to the world, is the least corrupt country in the world according the Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index.
It is also the the most Globally Competetive country in the world according to the World Economic Competetiveness Index.
Despite Finland being one of the most wired nation in the world, blogging hasnt become popular yet. The Finish world for blog is verkkopäiväkrija. One of the leading bloggers in Finland is an America IT professional.

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Tanzanians attending the Helsinki Conference 2005.

* Photo by Muhidin Issa Michuzi.
Michuzi, a leading photojournalist with the Daily News in Tanzania, started photoblogging today...my latest disciple!

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Benjamin Mkapa, the outgoing Tanzanian president and Tarja Halonen, the Finish president speaking this morning during the plenary session, Implementing Commitments: Mobilising for Change. They reiterated the fact that the current global economic and social structure requires massive readjustment. They emphasized that The Helsinki Process is a step towards building a multi-stake holder approach to addressing poverty in the world.

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Are Africans so poor?

During the discussion on women, globalization, and economy yesterday, Mama Maria Shaba, the chairwoman of Tanzania Association of Non-Governmental Organizations, asked participants to redefine poverty. She argued that African have been told that they are poor for so long that they end up believing to be poor while they are neccesarily not poor.
She asked, "If we are so poor why do western multinationals so busy investing on the continent? If we are so poor that we cannot even pay back our debt, why do western nations and banking institutions keep on lending us?"

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Helsinki Conference Live Webcast

I am in Helsinki already for the Helsinki Conference 2005. I missed the Global Media Workshop. But had a good conversation with the editor of the Malaysian online newspaper, Malaysiakini, S, Vicknesan.
I am still trying to figure out the conference schedule, rooms, etc, and to locate people that I want to interview. There is a live webcast of the conference.
There a lots of participants from Tanzania...which is good for me. There is a feeling I miss back in the US from being away from Kiswahili speakers....I have been speaking Kiswahili non-stop. I have to get ready for the reception later this evening. I have posted a longer piece on my Kiswahili blog. I will probably write a longer one today for this blog after the reception or tommorow.

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Blogging Helsinki Conference 2005

I was supposed to be leaving tommorow for Finland. But since my passport has not been delivered, and tommorow being a public holiday (it will be delivered tuesday morning), I will leave on Tuesday. I am going to attend the Helsinki Conference 2005, which is a result of a joint initiative between the governments of Tanzania and Finland addressing issues of democracy and globalization. The first conference was in 2002.
Lots of activities related to the general theme of the conference have been taking place. For example, a number of organizations have arranged various events in Helsinki around the theme: Democratising Globally. Also, there is a Youth Conference.
As part of the Helsinki process, civil society actors from both the North and South are brought together to tackle the negative impacts of globalization through a participatory mechanism called the Citizens' Global Platform.

Take a look a the list of speakers and the conference program.
I will report on the conference and other related activities on this blog, my primary blog (in Kiswahili), Jikomboe, and also Global Voices weblog.

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Reinforcing Journalism in the Information Society

A conference organized by the Highway Africa News Agency, Reinforcing Journalism in the Information Society, is taking place in South Africa, 12-14 September 2005.

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Prof. Kelly Askew on Taarab

Here is a very informative interview between Prof. Kelly Askew and Afropop Worldwide on Taarab, Kiswahili poetry, national identity, etc., in Tanzania.

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Is Tanzania waging propaganda war against Kenya?

I wonder what will be the future of the East African Community. Read the entire article...

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Foreign "AID": Who benefits?

For obvious reasons, I was not suprised when I read this article in the Guardian. Of £3m to Malawi relief projects by the British government through the Department of International Development, £586,423 was spent on hotels for a US consultancy agency, the National Democratic Institute and £126,062 was spent on meals!
Pens and notebooks for one project in Malawi were bought in the US while they were available locally. Read full article...

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Bloggers: leading voices of dissent in Egypt

I just came across this article on Yahoo!: In a country where most major newspapers are state-owned or affiliated to a party, the Internet is offering an unprecedented freedom and platform for an increasingly bold opposition to the regime. Read more....
One of the people "blogging down" the regime is a female blogger, Baheyya.

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Blog Day 2005

So the end of this month is the big day for bloggers. Read more...

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Mobile Phone Revolution in Africa

Interesting article in the New York Times about growth of mobile phone use on the continent and Andy's take.
Lately, I have been talking a lot about mobile phone use in Africa. I get asked why I encourage Africans to blog considering the fact that very few people have access to the Internet and that computers are expensive to most people on the continent. One of my many answers is that these days the Internet is not only accessible through computers, there are many other cheaper tools such as cellphones. Mobile phones are increasingly becoming affordable to most people in Africa. It is only a matter of time, for example, before my mother, deep in the village on the slopes of the mountain of Ruwa (God), Kilimanjaro, starts reading my Kiswahili blog via her cellphone. The NYT article reports that 1 in 11 people in Africa is a mobile phone subscriber, what we are not told is that in many instances, particularly in the village, mobile phones are telecenters. One's mobile phone number becomes the contact of every villager, a teacher's mobile phone becomes the school's means of instant communication, etc.

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Conference on Participatory Spatial Information Management

International Conference on Participatory Spatial Information Management and Communication takes place in Kenya early next month. Read more...

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Media Awards for African Journalists

Individual journalists and media institutions based in Africa are invited to participate in the 2005 African Information Society Initiative (AISI) Media Awards.

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PANOS/GKP Journalism Awards 2005

Global Knowledge Partnership and Panos-London are offering 4 awards of US$1,000 each to print, radio, TV and web journalists from the South who produce the best works on the theme "Where is the money for bridging the digital divide?" Winners will be invited to attend the World Summit on the Information Society inTunisia in November 2005.

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Women and ICTs in Southern Africa

Ekowisa is an organization in Southern Africa using e-knowledge to build a gender sensitive information society.

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Dismantling taboos in Africa with a blog

BBC has an article about Ekine, a Nigerian blogger in Spain who uses her blog to tackle cutural taboos on the continent. Read more...

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Shona Podcast

A podcast for those interested in learning Shona.

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Most wired nation and e-slates for textbooks in Africa

While Rwanda is planning on becoming the most wired nation in Africa, Eduvision pilot project in Kenya replaces textbooks with e-slates.

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Blogging and Podcasting taking off in Africa

Andy Carvin was in Ghana recently. The first mobile phone podcast from Accra was one of the successes of his trip. Balancing Act has an interesting article about his experience in Ghana and some comments and observations from Ethan about blogging in Africa.

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Limerick for Mr. Corrupt Minister

Last month, the British goverment issued a travel ban on a corrupt Kenyan minister. Kenyan bloggers did not leave him alone. Mshairi hit the minister with a limerick, other Kenyan bloggers were inspired. Read the comments on her post.

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Youth led IT initiative in Nigeria

This is one of those day that you get lost in cyberspace forgetting completely what you were looking for in the first place. I came back with KnoweldgeHouseAfrica website.

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Tanzanian Blogosphere

I have been updating the Tanzanian section on the Global Voices wiki. I am trying to find the addresses of two or three other blogs that I have misplaced. Well, take a look...

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Another Tanzanian blogging in English

Idya, a Tanzanian PhD student in South Africa, has been blogging in Kiswahili for a while. I guess it was after meeting Ethan in Cape Town recently that he decided to blog in English as well.

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Africa Puzzle

How rich is your knowledge about Africa? Try Schoolnet Namibia's puzzle...

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Youth is where IT is at

The World Summit Youth Award (WSYA) is an international competition for youth-led projects that encourage the active participation of young people in the emerging Information Society. You can participate if you are less than 27 years of age. The deadline is September 18, 2005.

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Presidential candidate in Tanzania sets up a blog

The presidential candidate for the opposition Chama cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (the Party of Democracy and Development) in Tanzania, Freeman Mbowe, has set up a blog. The presidential and parliamentary elections are set to take place this in October this year. So far, he is the only presidential candidate with a blog, though he hasn't started blogging yet. Three other members of his party have set up personal blogs: Dr. Slaa (outgoing Karatu MP), Mr. Zitto, the Director of Campaign, and Mr. Mnyika, Director of Youth Affairs.

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Kenyan journalist denied work permit in Tanzania

I wonder what this means in the context of the revival of the East African Community.

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Chocolate made in Switzerland, no...in Africa!

Now I am going through all kinds of papers that I collected and notes that I made while reporting on the G8 Summit at Gleneagles. I have just come across a leaflet from a chocolate company in Ghana that was set up by local farmers in 1998. I don't usually eat chocolate, but considering the "pan african" sentiments in me, I had to try this one. I did not regret. Explore the heavenly chocolate with a heart...

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WiFi in Africa: empty water bottles, coffee tins, bicycle spokes...

I once reported about this amazing project in Mali using water bottles to make antennas. Mereka Institute in South Africa uses a coffee tin and a section of bicycle spoke to make antennas, which are called cantennas.

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Globalization and Democracy: the Helsinki Conference 2005

The Helsinki conference is a global dialogue initiated by the governments of Tanzania and Finland to address the challenges of globalization and democracy. The first conference took place in 2002. The Helsinki Conference 2005 will be held 7-9 September 2005 in Helsinki.

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Global Voice is Global!

Global Voices Project has been around for seven months. It is becoming a truly become global voice. Ethan tells us that the project:
- averages over 7,000 unique visitors a day
- recorded a quarter million visits in July
- it is one of the two hundred most cited blogs (on a monthly basis)
- it has been ranked in the top hundred most cited blogs in the past month
- it has been linked to in the past month by bloggers in at least 36 countries, writing in 11 different languages
- it has been extensively linked to by conservative (yes, conservative!) and liberal bloggers
Read Ethan's blog entry and his post in Global Voices about how "global" the voices have become.

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World Information Technology Forum 2005 in Botswana

I announced some months ago about the World Information Technology Forum (WITFOR) taking place in Gaborone, Botswana 31 August- 2 September, 2005. This information might be late (I am not sure): The African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP Group) is sponsoring one ACP Country representative involved in the technical management of ICTs and ICT development and policy design in their country to participate in WITFOR 2005. The sponsorship is limited to one person per country. Visit the WITFOR website for more information and application form.

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Educational Technology and eLearning in Southern Africa

SANTEC is a network of educational technology practitioners working in the area of educational technology and eLearning for development focusing on Southern Africa. You can join them for free if you are interested in issues of educational technology and eLearning.

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ICTs for Education in Southern Africa

The International Journal of Education andDevelopment using Information and Communication Technology (IJEDICT) has a special issues on ICT for Education and Development in Southern Africa. I will spend my sunday morning going through some of the articles. I am little bit behind on issues of education and information technology on the region since I have been focusing on media, IP, community technology, and politics (in relatioship to ICTs).

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I am back, but....

I am back in cyberspace but currently updating my Kiswahili blog.

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Back soon...

Will be back soon. Time for this and this.
The revolution was last night, did you miss it?

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Talking about blogging and G8 on BBC

John and I just got back from Bush house where we had two interviews for BBC Go Digital and BBC Kiswahili Service on blogging, journalism, G8, etc. Tomorrow morning (5:30am and 6:30am) I will be on BBC Network Africa talking about blogging at the G8 summit. That will be few hours before I leave for the US.

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BBC interview

This morning, John Kamau and I are going to have an interview with Colin Grant for the BBC programme, Go Digital. I am leaving tomorrow for the US. There is still a strong feeling of sadness all over London. I must admit, on my way here I was a bit scared.

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What do Scottish farmers think about subsidies...

I spoke with Scottish farmers about subsidies. Here is what they said...

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Final communique

It has come to an end. African presidents came, dined, wined, took photos, and left...not even a word to African journalist, to borrow a line from Fela Kuti, JUST LIKE THAT!

G8 leaders came, pretended to care about poverty, and issued this communique, which has been criticized by World Development Movement and Friends of the Earth.

I am still at Gleneagles, it is about 11pm. I will be heading to Edinburgh very soon.

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The African President who was not allowed to attend the G8 summit

I just found this article. I am not sure if I find it funny or sad. All the way from Africa to London, on the way to Gleneagles, but....

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If you could meet the G8 leaders for coffee...

What would you tell them? Read my piece on Panos Africavox.

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Voices from African Civil Society

We left in the morning for Gleneagles. The bomb attacks in London have shocked everyone at Gleneagles. We had a long, long day. Maura and I came back to the apartment around 1am. Earlier today I talked to few representatives of local and international organisations in Africa who are attending the summit to get the exact messages they have brought all the way from Africa.

Monica Naggaga is the policy coordinator for Oxfam Uganda. I started our conversation by asking her the reasons for coming to Gleneagles. “I am here to lobby the leaders of G8 to end poverty in Africa,” said Naggaga who mainly uses the media to get her message across to world leaders and the British public.

Naggaga's main message to leaders of the G8 is clear: African governments should be allowed to decide their own trade policy. “If they decide to open up their markets, let it be so, if they decide to protect domestic markets, let it be so.” She said with conviction.

On the issue of debt, Naggaga believes that what Africa need is better and appopriate aid “so that we can effectively deliver the Millenium Development Goals.” Better aid, according to Naggaga, means aid not tied to conditionalities, which usually amounts to giving money with one hand and taking it away with the other. She maintains that Africa requires extra $50 billion this year.

Naggaga also wants world's advanced nations to to commit themselves to a clear time-frame to phase out farming subsdies, which negatively affects African farmers.

Mulima Kufeksa Akapelwa, the head of deparment of Justice and Peace for the Catholic Centre for Justice, Development, and Peace in Zambia, is in Gleneagles to ask world's richest nations to extend debt cancellation beyond the 14 African countries that have benefitted from the first phase of the deal.

She wants debt cancellation to be accompanied by more and effective aid. She elaborates: “Africa does not benefit from aid designed in a way that huge chunk of the money comes back to the West as payment for consultants, technicians, and purchase of equipment.”

“Another critical area that we have raised our concern is trade. Africa will not be able to stand on her own if the international trade regime is not reformed,” she said, adding that fair trade alone will not help Africa. “Africa needs the economic capacity to give incentives to her people to be more productive, and also improve the necessary physical, telecommunication, and financial infrastructure and systems needed for high and quality productivty,” Mulima noted.

On the role of Africa in fighting poverty, she observed that more foreign aid cannot is needed even where it seems as if the problem is under Africa's control. She points out that corruption, which is one the the major problems in Africa, requires huge investment to wipe it out. Referring to her country of Zambia, in Southern Africa, she said, “Zambia reguires about $4million to install new technologies for tracking use of public funds. This is a lot of money for a country like Zambia but very crucial.”

After attending the 2003 G8 Summit in France, Caroline Sande, the Director of ActionAid, Southern Africa, promised herself that she was not going to attend more G8 summits: “Historically, these meetings are about rhetorics and sometimes leaders are only scoring points against each other.”

However, this year's summit, “is very unique and brings with it hope and optimism that has never been felt before.” Mass demonstration that took place in Edinburgh last week, Sande believes, showed that ordinary people are asking questions and at the same time Africans have started to critically sift through grand statements and look at small prints.

Despite her optimism, she will not be surprised if nothing significant comes out of the summit “since it will not be the first time Africa is one of the key issues of the summit with lots of promises made but not fulfiled.” She points to the contradiction within western governments such as the UK as an indicator of how difficult it might for promises to be delivered.

“Look, the Home Office wants to kick out asylum seekers from Zimbabwe, the Trade Department's policy papers talk about working towards opening up Africa's markets to British corporations, the UK is the second largest exporter of small arms to volatile regions of Africa, at the same time the Prime Minister leads other G8 leaders in ending poverty in Africa. How can you explain these contradictions?” She asks.

Another contradiction, she adds, is in the fact that members of the G8 want African countries to practice the pure form of free market economy while they forcefully protect their domestic markets.

Caroline has speficic messages from Africa for G8 leaders, “We need time-frame for impementing promises, solutions cannot be found in singular programmes; it is about a package of fair trade, better aid, debt cancellation and so forth.”

The basis of our message is that the lives of African people should be valued. “We dont see, for example, why plans to put every HIV/AIDS victims under treatment are targeted for 2010. Why not now? We are talking about human beings who will not be around in 2010,” she complained.

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Back from Gleneagles

We have arrived back to our apartment from Gleneagles where high priests of capitalism are meeting. We missed Bono and Geldof. We were busy eating and sipping not knowing what was going on the other side of the tent.

Maura, who was very disappointed for missing Bono, writes about rap music in Mozambique for Metro newspaper. Earlier today I was in Simon Mayo's BBC Radio Five Live Show talking about the power of protests. Right now Joel is on air discussing Africa and the G8 Summit.

I am going to write a short piece about my first day at Gleneagles for Panos blog before going to sleep. Tomorrow will be a busy day, we are all going to Gleneagles early in the morning.

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We have arrived in Gleneagles

We have arrived in Gleneagles after over an hour drive from Edinburgh. We are drinking wine and eating Scotish food while talking to people. This is part of "Taste of Scotland Evening" with the First Minister of Scotland, Jack McConnell. I have met journalists from Nigeria, Ghana, and Uganda and have just spoken to the minister of education and young people of Scotland. Will write more later.

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From London to Edinburgh

Everything seems to be happening extremely fast since I arrived in London last Monday to cover the G8 Summit for Panos London. We left London for Edinburgh last Friday. Other journalist who are Edinburgh for the same reason are Hilary Mbobe, Machrine Birungi, John Kamau, Maura Quartoze, and Salamatu Turay.
A lot has been happening in Edinburgh. Follow our coverage (photos, features, blog entries, etc) here and here. Metro will be featuring stories from us. We are going back to London this coming Friday. London gives me a feeling of being tightly squeezed by old buildings with thick walls, tiny cars, throngs of people running to catch the next train, narrow roads, and tiny bedrooms. London, in a way, reminds me of New York: rush, rush, rush…catch the bus…is it number 38 or 28? Catch the train…what time is the next train leaving?

Back in London we were able to meet different political and media figures. We met Hugh Bayley (Member of Parliament for York), the chair of Africa All Party Parliamentary Group. While seated on a side table in his office, he briefly told us the progress that has been made by his group in bringing to the attention of British politicians and policy-makers critical issues relating to Africa.

Last Tuesday, John and I went to talk to the former CEO of City Water, Cliff Stone, about the Tanzanian governement decision to deport him and cancel its contract with City Water. We did not have enough time to finish the interview; we might do it again face to face or over the phone before we leave the UK. We are still working in this story. The same day, we went to London School of Economics to a public forum entitled: Make G8 History. We got there a little bit late. But I was glad that we did not miss Tariq Ali, George Monbiot, and Mark Curtis.

On Wednesday we met Clare Short (Member of Parliament for Birmingham Ladywood) at House of Parliament. Before meeting Clare Short, Francesca, Nicky, John, and I visited BBC online offices to see what they do. John, apart from blogging for Africavox blog, will also blog for BBC online.

On thursay, the day before we left for Edinburgh, we had informative discussions with two amazing and experienced UK bloggers. Paul Mason writes about our meeting. Rafael Behr talked about being the only blogger at the Observer and showed us the last public speech by Ceausescu. Colin Grant-Bu interviewed me for the BBC programme, Go Digital. He will conduct another interview with all of us next Monday.
You might be interested in visiting other G8 Blogs:

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John Kamau on G8 in the guardian newspaper

John Kamau, one of the african journalists who are blogging and reporting on the G8 Summit has an excellent article in the Guardian today.
Please visit the Panos G8 blog where we are reporting from an African perspective on what is happening, or not happening, here in Edinburgh. We also just learnt that we got media accreditation to actually brush shoulders with GW and his buddy, Tony.
Right now, a group of anarchists are demonstrating.

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Yes Men in Edinburgh

Another long day in Edinburgh, we attended some events in town where we got to see and hear Samir Amin, Walden Bello, George Monbiot, Trevor Ngwane, etc. We also spoke to a person from the World Development Movement about water privatization in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. I think these guys made my day. On our way back we met a group of anti-war demonstators. We wanted to stay but it got so cold and we were hungry. I have to start working on my stories for Panos.

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blogging in tanzanian politics

Tanzanian's opposition party, Chadema, has blogs for its national leaders. I will be watching closely to see how they will use blogging technology in this year's presidential and parliamentary election.

Here in Edinburgh, we are about to start our day with a full Scottish breakfast. Remember visiting our new blog.

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Do I have to go back to London?

I just realized what makes me love Edinburgh. First, people are more relaxed (and drunk?). In London, everybody seems to be stressed about something. The whole city seems to be late for something. Many Africans I saw over there have permanent frowns on their faces. Greener pastures might not be that green. Lots of them seem to be somewhere else: thinking about the landlord?
Second, in Edinburgh it is easier for me to find my way around. Somebody from Panos said something about Edinburgh being a manageable city. I wonder if Mzizima, the largest city in Tanzania is manageable to visitors.

Right now, Live 8 concert on TV is in South Africa. A group of musicians are singing the South African national anthem, Nkosi Sikeleli, which happens to be the same national anthem, in different languages though, in Zambia and Tanzania. We have been watching some of Live 8 performances. Whoever was deciding which performance was to be aired must not like African music. The few times they showed African musicians, it only lasted for 6 sconds.

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G8 security and GDP in Malawi

I was told by an activist from Congo DRC during Make Poverty History demonstration that the total cost of G8 Summit security is more than the GDP of a country like Malawi! Dont forget to get to read blog entries from African bloggers who are in Edinburgh.

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Make Poverty History demonstration

I guess there were over 200,000 demonstrators in Edinburgh earlier today. It was exciting and fun being among those thousands souls with banners, music, drumming, singing, etc. The last time I was in something like this was 2002 in New York at an anti-war protest.
Today I was busy tracking down African demonstrators. I met some activists from Uganda, Tanzania, Nigeria, Ghana, and Congo DRC.
Here are some photos.
For more detailed information about what is happening here from an African perspective read the new Panos blog.

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Eating "leaves" in Edinburgh

I just got back from a long walk around Edinburgh. It is 1:45am, the city is still bustling with activities, mostly kissing, smoking, and arguing. Everybody seems to be staggering from alcohol. And they speak something that sounds like English...Scottish english, I am told.

I met three Tanzanians as i was about to come back to the apartment. It is always such a great feeling meeting Kiswahili speakers in the Diaspora. "Are you here for this thing?" They asked me while pointing to a piece of cloth outside an old church, which says: Unfair trade costs Africa $2700,000,000 every year.
Strange, one of the three Tanzanian comes from my village!

Before we left for lunch yesterday, I wrote about Dr. Fackson Banda, the Executive Director of Panos Southern Africa, asking us to go where he can eat "real" food, not fast food. We went to a restaurant not far from where we leave (Sameer: "dont break anything, please dont touch anything...don't, don't, dont..."). Dr Banda's food ended up being too "real"! I havent laughed so much since I got in here last Monday. Dr. Banda ordered sauteed chicken pepper, thinking it was going to be a filling. Unfortunately, he did not see the word:salad. When his meal came, his salad, to be precise, he had to ask to see the menu again before he realised that his order was for people who like eating leaves (vegetables). In less than two minutes he had finished his leaves! I advised him that next time, instead of asking for menu, he should go to the kitchen to see for himself what he is ordering.

On our way back to the apartment, we laughed so hard while discussing Banda's "leaves."
"I grow vegetables in my backyard. I eat them for free, now here I had to pay the equivalent of 150,000,000 Zambian currency (Kwacha)" John Kamau, who also happened to eat "leaves" for lunch, did a quick calculation to find out how much Kenyan shilings he had used for "leaves" that left him even hungrier. He
grabbed a mint we got from the hotel from his mouth and threw it away in disgust. Banda looked at John while cracking with laughter, " You see, that damn thing does not even dissolve!"

Oh, I am tired. Tomorrow is a long day. I have to go to sleep. There will be a big march in town. Earlier today ohn told me that next week there will be 8 leaders of the so called "wealth economies," 10,000 arnachists, and 100, 000 activists!

There are so many police officers around the town, some roads have been closed and some shops on Princes (street/ avenue/road?) have been covering their glass windows with wooden planks, mainly because of anarchists. As I told you yesterday, I will be looking for anarchists for tomorrow.

**I learnt today that John Kamau from Kenya, who is with us, is also an accomplished musician.

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Live 8 on Technorati

We just arrived in Edinburgh. We are staying at a very beautiful apartment: large rooms, interesting artwork, big windows, etc. Well, we are about to go out to get some food. Dr. Fackson Banda, from Panos Southern Africa, says he doesnt want "fast food" but "real" food! Check out Technorati for info about Live 8 at: http://live8.technorati.com
More later. Down with neo-imperialism!

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Does Tony Blair Play for Manchester?

I asked a friend of mine in Tanzania to find out if Tony Blair, the chair of the Commission for Africa, is known in rural Tanzania. Does he play for Manchester? He was asked by a primary school student on the way to watch a local soccer game.

When he told one old man, "Tony Blair is the chair of the Commission for Africa." The old man wanted to know the name of the village he comes from. It did not occur to him that the man who heads the Commission for Africa is not an Africa. But a white male born in the UK!

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Propa Propaganda

Benjamin Zephaniah has a book titled, Propa Propaganda. I guess what the UK government does with new films on the G8 summit website (UK) is propa propaganda about how "aid" has helped "poor" African countries.

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We met two British experienced bloggers

I am working on a detailed post about some of the things we have been doing since we got in the UK. We met two experienced bloggers earlier today: Paul Mason from BBC Newsnight and Rafael Behr who blogs for the Obsever. Paul Mason already has a post about our meeting this morning. Colin from the BBC has just interviewed me for the program Go Digital about blogging and the new Panos blog. He will conduct another interview with all of us when we get back from Edinburgh.

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Launching of Panos Africavox Blog

I arrived in the UK yesterday morning. We had a busy day with Sameer Padania from Panos. Tomorrow is a great day because Panos will launch its Africavox blog, which will have stories written by a team of African journalists visiting the UK as part of Panos G8 Media Fellowship Programme. I will post the blog link and other stuff tomorrow.

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I am on the way to the airport...

I am on the way to the airport. The next time you hear from me I will be in London, then in Edinburgh to blog this summit.

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Debt Trap Still Haunts Tanzania

Despite the G8 ministerial decision to cancel debt owed by Tanzania and other 17 nations, debt trap still haunts...

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HIV/AIDS: online helpline in Tanzania

The Tanzania Youth Alliance will soon introduce a new online helpline desk service for detailed information as one of its efforts to tackle the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

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e-Africa Commission

e-Africa Commission, which was established in 2001, manages the development of the ICT sector on the African continent.

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Bending the Arc to take place next month

Bending the Arc is an event organised by The New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) Secretariat on July 4th in London. The key aim of the event is to mobilise resources to obtain the Millennium Development Goals in Africa in partnership with the G8. Reports from the event will be presented to the African Union summit in Libya and to G8 Summit leaders in Scotland. Bending the Arc is co-sponsored by the United Nations DevelopmentProgramme (UNDP), the United Nations Fund for International Partnerships(UNFIP) and the United Nations Information and CommunicationTechnologies Task Force. NEPAD is designed to empower Africans to address socio-economic challenges facing the African continent.

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What Tony Blair and Willy Brandt have in common

It is not Go back 25 years ago, and then reflect. More...

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Declaration for a free Internet

Global Voices Online tells us about recommendations released by Reporters Without Borders and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, which governments and corporations should follow in order to ensure a free internet.

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Debate: Can the G8 Fix Africa?

On Friday July 1st at 1900 GMT, 2100GMT, and 2200 GMT and again on Saturday July 2nd at 1100 GMT, BBC World Service Radio will broadcast a debate called, Can the G8 Fix Africa? Presenters will be Tajudeen Abdul-Raheem, Director of Justice Africa, Madam Rosemary Museminali, Rwandan ambassador, James Shikwati, Kenyan economist, and Lord David Triesman, Minister for Africa (to be confirmed).

The event and the recording will take place at the Africa Centre, 38 King Street, Covent Garden by 7pm onWednesday, 29th June. The recording will start at 7.30pm and will be finished by 9.00.

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We will meet George Monbiot

While in the UK for the Panos G8 Media Fellowship Programme, we will be able to meet George Monbiot, a well known author, broadcaster, and a radical columnist for the Guardian Newspaper .
George Monbiot is the author of The Age of Consent: A Manifesto for a New World Order, Captive State: The Corporate Takeover of Britain, Poisoned Arrows, and No Man’s Land (an investigative journey through Kenya and Tanzania). Monbiot, who has lived and worked in Indonesia, Brazil, and East Africa, is a visiting professor of planning at Oxford Brookes University. Visit his website for more information about him and read a collection of provocative essays and articles.
I am excited!

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Theta for WSIS in South Africa

SANGONeT will host a Thetha forum on 29 June 2005 for South African civil society organisations to reflect on the objectives of WSIS.

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Tele-Health and African baskets online

I just came across this website and these amazing African baskets while visiting The Stockholm Challenge.

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Who Rules the Internet?

Is the Internet ruled by netizens? Find out...

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Translation of my G8 entries

Mshairi, a Kenyan blogger in the UK, has volunteered to translate my G8 Summit postings from my Kiswahili blog, Jikomboe, for her audience. Asante sana dada!

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Completing the Revolution in Africa: Panos on Rural Telephony

In order for the revolution, which will no longer be televised, to be ditized in Africa and the desire to bridge the digital divide to be realised, policy-makers and other key decision makers need to pay serious attention to rural connectivity. Read the report on rural telephony by Panos London, Completing the Revolution: The Challenge of Rural Telephony in Africa. The report is based on case studies from Senegal, Zambia, Uganda, and Burkina Faso. There is also a media brief, which is designed to be a useful guide for journalists. You may also learn about Panos' activities around the World Summt on Information Society.

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Seven African journalists, including myself, will be in the UK for about two weeks covering the G8 Summit through Panos London G8 Fellowship Programme.
The Panos fellowship programme has two objectives:
1. Through a targeted programme of meetings with representatives of the UK media, policy-makers, business, civil society organisations and the public, to support the journalists in bringing an African perspective to UK and international media coverage of the development challenges at stake at the summit, wherever possible securing the commissioning and publication of relevant material.
2. To strengthen the knowledge of the journalists on international policy-making relevant to development and poverty reduction in Africa so that on return to their countries they can use the expertise developed to strengthen reporting and media coverage on the international issues affecting this challenge at home.

While in the UK, I will blog the summit and other related activities and events on this blog, my other Kiswahili blog, Jikomboe, and a new blog currently being set up by Panos London.

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The Commission for Africa Report Review Meeting

The Commission for Africa Report Review Meeting and Consultations for Eastern Africa and the Horn of Africa took place in Kenya from 6—7th June, 2005. Attended by representatives of learning institutions, civil society, media, private sector, government, regional and international organisations, the meeting released this final communique. One item caught my eyes: the meeting urged government of the EU and G8 to take all necessary legal and administrative measures to disallow and repatriate illicitly acquired state funds and assets.
If the western legal systems continue to allow corrupt and inefficient African rulers, I dont want to call them leaders, to keep funds stolen from the African people in western banking institutions, the idea that money saved in debt repayment will be used for Africa's development is nothing but a dream. Read Eduardo Galeano's piece on Swiss banks, Souls of Discretion.

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BBC: Africa Calling

Peter Day reports on how technology is touching the lives of ordinary people in Africa. Listen to the whole program here.

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The Global Aid System Benefits the West

According the UK charity ActionAid, western consultants and companies pocket $20 billion of global aid!

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There will lots of activities and campaigns to end global poverty during the G8 Summit next month in the UK. Make Poverty History Campaign is organising marches and demonstrations in the UK, where up to over 250,000 people are expected to turn up. The Working Group on Climate Change and Development is holding the GW8 in Edinburgh, Friends of the Earth is working on a "climate alarm." Visit the G8 Alternatives website.

There will be lots of cultural activities calling for the world leaders to combat poverty. Apart from Live 8, which is to be held on 2 July in Londo, Berlin, Rome, Paris, and Philadephia, organisers of Live 8 announced yesterday that there will be an Africa-only event in London as part of the worldwide call to end poverty.

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HighwayAfrica Conference 2005 will take place in September in Grahamstown, South Africa. There is a limited number of scholarships for practising African journalists. The deadline is July 7th.

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"Live 8" for African musicians

After many people raising their concern over the lack of African artists at Live 8 concert, organizers announced that there will be an African-only concert in London. Some of the African musicians expected to perform are Angelique Kidjo, Maryam Mursal, and Youssouf Ndour. Maryam Mursal is a Somalian musician based in Europe. She once became a taxi driver in Mogadishu, Somalia, after being banned from singing for criticising the government. Listen to her interview on NPR.

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The day chickens visited Tony Blair...

Yes, chickens paid him a visit to draw attention to the plight of chicken farmers.Watch the video...

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The Meaning of Debt Relief for Africa

Here is a story by a christian science monitor staff writer in Johannersburg about what the debt relief means for Africa's development.

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G8 Summit Special Report

Guardian Unlimited has a special report on the G8 summit. African development in on top of the agenda next month in the UK.

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WTDC Youth Forum in Nigeria

Africa Regional Youth Preparatory Meeting for WTDC in Abuja next month...

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Commission for Africa report launched in Tanzania

Tanzanian President Benjamin Mkapa launches the Commission for Africa report in parliament.

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So weapons can grow like trees...

I wonder where the seeds for this tree come from.

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For Richer or Poorer...

Christian Aid on economic patnership between Afrika and Europe.

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Multilingualism in Cybespace

It is because of these reasons, recommendations, and a book like this one, some of us are blogging in African languages: Kiswahili, Shona, Kichagga, and Tamazight.

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Voices from Kiswahili Blogosphere

Voices from Kiswahili blogosphere, which I posted on the Global Voices website. I somehow forgot to cross-post them here!

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Broadcasters move the Kenyan government to action

The Kenyan government has launched a new HIV/AIDS program for public taxi drivers as a result of a recent exposé by two broadcasters.

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G7 Finance Ministers Cancels Africa's Debt

The meeting of G7 finance ministers yesterday scrapped 100 percent of debt owed by the world's poorest nations to the World Bank, the African Development Bank, and the International Monetary Fund. The US$40 billion deal benefits 14 countries in Africa. The deal was reached as part of series of meetings and policy discussions leading to the next month's G8 summit in the UK.

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Blogging vs. journalism

The Interactive Media Conference discusses blogging vs. journalism

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Last November, the conference on "Role and Place of Media in the Information Society in Africa and the Arab States" in Marrakech, Morocco, made these recommendations.

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The Africa Regional Preparatory Conference for the World Summit on the Information Society
adopted this document.

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Science in Africa

Popular science magazine for Africa.

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Tanzanian political parties online

Politics is online in Tanzania. Currently, three political parties have websites: the ruling party, Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM), and two opposition parties: Chama cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (Chadema), and Civic United Front (CUF).

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Conference on Electronic Transaction Security and Digital Signature

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Positive Impact of African Languages on FM Radio

Here is a study showing positive impact of African languages on FM Radio.

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What is happening in Ethiopia? - 2

Protest continues in Ethiopia. More...

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The Burden of International Debt to Africa: Bishops Speak

Here is a pastoral letter from the Catholic bishops of Kenya calling for the cancellation of Africa's debt.

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African nation on debt cancellation

A regional meeting in Nairobi calls for debt cancellation ahead of the G8 Summit next month. More...

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Better living through corporate watch?

Corporate Watch on the 2005 G8 Summit.

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Remix Digital Culture Competition

Creative Commons South Africa invites digital video, artwork, and interactive displays that expresses your view of African digital creativity, remixing and innovation. Make use of public domain, Creative Commons-licenced materials or your ownoriginal work - or a mixture - to create something truly inspiring! The prize is R6,000.
To enter the competition, produce either one of the following:. a digital video (max. 60 seconds); Or a digital artwork; or a digital info-graphic that, in your view, expresses the essence of African Digital Creativity, Remixing and Innovation. Interactive work that requires an internet connection is encouraged.
The deadline is 31 July, 2005. Email submissions to HFordSA@gmail.com.
Copyright licencing: All submissions will be licenced under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence (More details 'Free Culture' by Lawrence Lessig ; the creative commons; the Internet Archive; and creative commons South Africa.
Judges include LarryLessig, Christo Doherty, Marcus Neustetter and Nathaniel Stern.
This prize is sponsored by the International Development Research Centre(IDRC).

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What is happening in Ethiopia?

Andrew Heavens, a freelance journalist in Ethiopia is reporting the crisis that has left several people dead. Look at his photos.

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Digital/Smart village model in Nigeria

Youth For Technology Foundation is the pioneer of digital/smart village model in Nigeria.

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Open ICT lessons for everyone (especially those in the South!). Here...

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There will be resistance...

Get news from independent media center about resistance and protests during the G8 summit in the UK. There is also a network of resistance against the G8, the G8 Alternatives, and Stop the War Coalition.

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Report by Commission for Africa

The decision by the UK, which assumes the presidency for the 2005 G8 Summit, to focus on Africa can be understood in the context of the UK-led Commission for Africa. The commission released its report early this year. Here are some reactions.

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Africa: the focus of 2005 G8 Summit

The 2005 G8 summit at Gleaneagles (july 6-8) focuses on climate change and Africa.

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Bloggers: Fellowships to Cross-Platform Media Teams program

The Media Center at the American Press Institute The Media Center invites bloggers and leaders of small, independent, alternative or start-up media ventures to submit applications for two fellowships. More...

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Lawmakers and Policymakers discuss Africa before the G8 Summit

International lawmakers and policymakers opened talks Monday morning to formulate recommendations on Africa for the G8 summit. More...

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G8 SUMMIT 2005

I will be posting a lot of information and articles about the G8 Summit that takes place from 6-8 July in Scotland. This summit will specifically focus on Africa. Right now I am posting information and links about the summit on my Kiswahili blog for Kiswahili speakers in Africa and the Diaspora.

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Tanzania Education Website

I just came across this informative website. This is one of their projects.

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My Interview on Radio France Internationale

I just finished doing an interview with RFI (Radio France Internationale's English service) about multilingual cyberspace. Below are instructions and time from the person I spoke with for those who want to follow. It will be on air/internet tomorrow.

"You go to http://www.rfi.fr/, then click in the top left-hand corner where it says "english". Then when you are on that page, all the programmes are on the right-hand side. The interview with be broadcast on one of the first four programmes ("English to Africa" 04.00 GMT, 05.00 GMT, 06.00GMT, 07.00GMT). Monday's programme will stay online for 24 hours after it is broadcast, and then gets replaced by Tuesday's show.

The programmes always start with the news, and then at around 15 minutes past the hour there is a section where we broadcast interviews."

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Zuckerman interviews Sokari of Black Looks

Here is the interview that Ethan Zuckerman conducted with Sokari Ekine of Black Looks and Afrotecnik.

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Kiswahili version of Firefox

After launching of the first ever Kiswahili version of OpenOffice.org 1.1.3 (Jambo OpenOffice.org 1.1.3) , the klnX Team has started the localization of a Free and Open Source web browser called Firefox 1.0.1. Here.

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Creative Commons at Yahoo!

You can search works under creative commons on Yahoo! Here.

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Rip, Remix, Sample, Reuse the BBC...do you have 68 years to spare?

Paula LeDieu, the former Joint Director of BBC Creative Archive, spoke on the first day of the Commons-sense conference in South Africa about the BBC initiative to provide access to public service audio and video archives to the British public to rip, mix, re-use, and share the BBC (not for commercial purposes). The project, modelled after the Creative Commons, was launched in 2004. The Creative Commons model, which was the theme of the conference, proposes a flexible and customisable rights management. So instead of the strict "all rights reserved," individuals and organizations can opt for "some rights reserved," or "no rights reserved."
LeDieu told conference participants that to access all their archived materials, one needs to spend 68 years of non-stop video watching!

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Here is a video gallery from the Commons-Sense conference. The videos were taken by students and staff of the New Media Lab.

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I arrived last night after a long, and tiring flight from Egoli/Jozi (Johannersburg) where I was attending the Commons-Sense conference. I was interviewed by Rhodes university's New Media Lab. Watch the video here.

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I just opened the email from Kenya Unlimited about a show on Kenyan bloggers on Open Source Radio next week.

I am still at the commons-sense conference. This morning there was a very moving panel on Blogging the Commons. I am overwhelmed. Dont click...as I promised I will post detailed information about all these panels, the conversations, and discussions. Lots of ideas and information to chew.

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A team of 15 students and two staff members from the New Media Lab at the School of Journalism and Media Studies (Rhodes university) are live-blogging from the conference. Amazing! Follow the conference here.

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Hello from Commons-sense conference

I am in attending the Commons-Sense conference in Egoli (the Zulu name for Johannersburg), South Africa. The conference started yesterday and ends tommorow. I bloged about it some weeks ago while in the US. I will post more detailed information about the conversations taking place around here about Intellectual Property (IP) in Africa in the information age. We had some very interesting speakers yesterday. One of them was the father of "free culture" and the founder of the Creative Commons, Lawrence Lessig. The woman behind Creative Commons South Africa, Heather Ford spoke about the South African creative commons initiative. Yesterday was the official launching of Creative Commons (South Afica). I will blog in depth about the conference when I get back to the US. A lot of interesting stories and projects. This conference is organized by Wits university, Creative Commons (South Africa), and the Link center.

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Do not forget about this event!

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The Southern African NGO Network (SANGONeT), in collaboration with the Association for Progressive Communications (APC), is hosting a Thetha forum on Tuesday, 24 May 2005, to discuss whether Southern African organisations should use Creative Commons to licence the information that they produce. More...

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My friend Mokhtar, who teaches Arabic at the School for International Training, has started blogging in Tamazeight. Mokhtar is a storyteller. He has been telling stories orally and in print media. Now he goes digital. There is also a Shona blog and Chagga (which happens to be my language) blog from Texas.

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Take a look at the 2004 Kenya ICT Policy.

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Bisharat focuses on research, advocacy, and networking relating to use of African languages in software and web content

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The conference on “Multilingualism for Cultural Diversity and Participation of All in Cyberspace” is taking place in Bamako, Mali, on 6 and 7 May 2005. Follow it here. Read the agenda.

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From 25-27 May, 2005, participants from around Africa and the world will gather to strategise towards the realisation of an African Digital Information Commons. Here for detailed information.

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This year's presidential election in Tanzania might be rightly called the first "internet" election. I will be blogging more information on this between now and October. Visit this innovative website that covers election news and issues (in Kiswahili). Here.

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People who don't have easy access to the Internet in Kenya are using sms to search for jobs. Read the complete story here.

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This year's Afrogeeks conference is taking place in May19-21, 2005 at the university of california, Santa Barbara. I will take part in the panel discussion moderated by Bruce Bimber, on May 21. The title of the panel is: Geek Speak: Decipherin' Digital Heiroglyphs.
The theme of the conference is Global Blackness and Digital Public Sphere.

This is the panel:
Panel: Geek Speak: Decipherin’ Digital Heiroglyphs
Moderator: Bruce Bimber
Ndesanjo Macha "Decolonizing the African Blogsphere: The Case of Kiswahili"
Jarita C. Holbrook "Cultural Astronomy, Black Physicists, and Total Solar Eclipses"
Skip Ellis "Project NEEM: Technology for Enhancement of Distributed Meetings"

Here is the full program. Visit this site for last year's conference.

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Is simputer one of the solutions to problems of access in Africa? Read here and here.

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In the great tradition of DIY wireless comes another project underway in Mali. The project is investigating best practices for building small DIY antennas and router enclosures at low-cost to serve the Malian television and WiFi markets. Designs were taken from numerous sources and adapted to use materials readily available in Mali such as plastic water bottles (peep the “BottleNet” antenna at right), used motorbike valve stems, and window screen mesh. More...

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NetTel@Africa is a network for capacity building, knowledge exchange in ICT policy, regulation, and applications.

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Women of Uganda Network (WOUGNET) is a non-governmental organisation in Uganda that develops the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) among women as tools to share information and address relevant issues collectively. Here.

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Here is an interesting moving about the never ending cycle of knowledge and ideas from Creative Commons (South Africa).

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ComICT project is working to bridge the digital divide in rural Cameroon. Here.

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African Languages Technology Initiative (Alt-I) was set up to facilitate development of the necessary resources that will enable the engagement of information communication technologies (ICT) in African Languages. The initiative has already designed a Yoruba keyboard, which is being used in CAWD first project in Oke-Ogun rural community.

Another interesting project in South Africa is African Speech Technology at University of Stellenbosch.

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Bridging the Digital Divide in a Nigerian Village

Committee for African Welfare and Development (CAWD) is a UK-registered charity organization aiming to bridge the digital divide and bring new opportunities in Africa. Its first project is in Oke-Ogun in Nigeria. More info here.

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EduVision is empowering students in a remote Kenyan village to have access to a library of some 15 million books! Here.

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Visit Kijiji cha Lunga (Lunga Village) in Tanzania...virtually, of course! Here.

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