Africa, technology, media, humanitarian issues, Africa jobs.

Wednesday, December 31, 2003

Job: IAVI - International AIDS Vaccine Initiative - Clinical Program Manager - Kenya

Dress made from condoms by Brazilian designer Adriana Bertini [via Communication Initiative]

The Communication Initiative - Vacancies - Director of Partnerships - International Planned Parenthood Federation - Kenya

UN Vacancy Announcement: UN Addis Ababa: "Senior Geographic Information Systems Officer"

New literary art form: spam's random poetry: I got a spam for Cable TV designed presumably to outwit the spam filters with strings of random words and an embedded graphic. Here's a nice clip: "swell degassing evil corpulent aboriginal gunshot amsterdam portmanteau weekend". That's what I call a holidya greeting...

Monday, December 22, 2003

Balancing Act/African Internet Connectivity Mike Jensen and Russell Southwood join forces for what will surely be the authoritative site on the African Internet.

Friday, December 19, 2003

Friday, November 21, 2003

Job - Research Director - African Economic Research Consortium: "AERC invites applications from qualified individuals for a Board-appointed senior management position in its Secretariat in Nairobi. AERC, established in 1988, is a public not-for-profit organisation devoted to advanced economic policy research and graduate training in economics. Further information on the programmes and structure of AERC are available on this website."

Somali Journalists Network: Advocating Free Press in Somalia: "The Somali Journalists Network "

Thursday, November 20, 2003

Job: IDRC ICT Innovation Officer: "IDRCs ICT for Development (ICT4D) program has initiated the 'Electronic Sandbox', program which allows IDRC staff, to experiment with innovative ICT related ideas which can lead to full implementation in a relatively short period of time. The Sandbox program is designed to allow ICT innovation to occur in-house as well as ICT research ideas to be explored in partnership with researchers in the field."

Is the World Bank Development Gateway any good?: "This paper argues that the World Bank's understandings of knowledge and development are inscribed in the technology of the Development Gateway, obstructing the use of the technology in support of alternative understandings of knowledge and development, adversely affecting the validity and diversity of the knowledge needed for development, and accelerating the loss of knowledge."

Mobile content job: "OKN Mobile Business Manager, Open Knowledge Network East Africa"

Job Posting - Amnesty International Program Director Africa

Job Posting - Legal Officers - Kenya: "The African Human Rights and Access to Justice Programme (AHRAJ) is a joint cooperation Programme of the Kenyan and Swedish Sections of the International Commission of Jurists concerned with domestication of human rights in thematic areas and in accordance with international human rights standards. The AHRAJ is working in eastern, western and southern Africa to support human rights impact litigation in the areas of fair trial, women’s rights, labour rights and health rights in order to ensure victims have adequate access to justice."

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Blog Africa: BlogAfrica Catalog: "Welcome to the BlogAfrica Catalog" launches African blog directory...

Friday, November 07, 2003 Books: Another Day in Paradise: Front Line Stories from International Aid Workers: "The relief workers who in this book bear witness to their experiences aren't saints, but they are members of a rare breed: unedited, unbought eyewitnesses to our collective folly. Some are what conventional society would call misfits, because the only true kinship they can feel is with the world's victims. Some, by their own admission, are war junkies who live for the adrenaline rush of the front line. Others can't rest till they've entered the final heart of darkness without a gun and witnessed the worst of what man can do to man. For them, there is a kind of terrible triumph in witnessing truths that the rest of us hurry to look away from. " (from John le Carré's forward)

Aid workers are in for a good month - what with Angelina Jolie in that Without Borders aid heroine movie too...

The HIV/AIDS Red Ribbon Media Award for Excellence: "The HIV/AIDS Red Ribbon Media Award for Excellence is awarded to journalists in the Region of Southern and Eastern Africa in the following countries;
Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Eritrea, Somalia, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Comoros, Mauritius, Madagascar, Seychelles, Rwanda, Burundi, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Botswana and Mozambique." [Deadline: 15 November]

Kenyan journalist Ken Opala bags award : "Winner of The 2003 Natali Prize for Africa and Gold Medallist: Ken OPALA (Daily Nation, Kenya) "

Thursday, November 06, 2003

Jobs: n Development Bank --- Job Opportunities --- Current Vacancies

Breast milk bank provides hope for HIV+ babies: "Orphaned babies, many of whom are HIV-positive, are getting more than basic love and shelter at a home in South Africa's port city of Durban. They are also receiving the gift of immune-boosting breast milk donated by a network of mothers in the city."

The Sarah Ntiro Lecture and Award: "Sarah Nyendwoha Ntiro, the first woman university graduate in East and Central Africa"

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

The $87 Billion Money Pit Fascinating account of aid money, contractors, corruption and confusion in Iraq from Newsweek.

Ethiopian dolls...

ETHIOPIA: Interview with Prime Minister Meles Zenawi - OCHA IRIN: "According to the latest rendition of the Boundary Commission, Badme would be 800 metres inside Eritrea. What’s 800 metres in a country as big as Ethiopia?"

Meles says Badme, the flashpoint for the deaths of tens of thousands is "some godforsaken village"...

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

How many Falash Mura are there hoping to go to Israel?: "When 4,000 Falash Mura were brought to Israel in 1998, many officials thought they constituted the last group of Jewish immigrants from Ethiopia, said Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, president of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews and a board member of the Jewish Agency and the JDC. Eckstein attended the Oct. 23 meeting.

But then another 14,000 people turned up at the compounds in Addis Ababa and Gondar, and the Jewish relief operations in Ethiopia continued.

In 1999, government surveyors counted 26,000 people served by the compounds, but a few thousand have since emigrated to Israel.

Estimates of the number of Falash Mura left in Ethiopia range from 15,000 to 24,000, with about 19,000 at the compounds." (Virtual Jerusalem)

Monday, November 03, 2003 Uganda: LRA Photographed September 1 Ambush: "One of the photos showed the rebels forcing people out of the bus, another showed them harassing the helpless passengers and a third photo showed the bus burning."

The LRA gets weirder and sicker...

Friday, October 24, 2003

DPKO Vacancy Announcement: "Jobs in UN Peacekeeping Operations"

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

Rest in peace: "Collaborateur de RFI depuis 1990, âgé de 48 ans, Jean HELENE a occupé successivement les postes de correspondant à Nairobi pour l'Afrique orientale et l'Océan Indien (de 1990 à 1998) et journaliste au service Afrique à Paris de 1998 à 1999. Il était, depuis 1999, Envoyé Spécial Permanent à Libreville (Gabon), chargé de l'Afrique centrale."

Jean was a well-liked and well-respected veteran among Africa correspondents and it's a sad morning that we hear he was shot in Abidjan possibly because of anti-French and anti-RFI feeling.

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

New website for United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea .::

Another science publishing thing...: "A new on-line journal wants to radically alter the exchange of scientific information by making vital research available for free to anyone who logs on the Internet.
If the Public Library of Science's on-line journal succeeds, it could break the stranglehold that expensive, subscription-only journals have on the publication of many scientific breakthroughs."

More initiatives on scholarly and scientific journals for developing countries:

  • INASP | Information Page: "International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications"

  • Scientici journals for developing countries: "The food and agriculture organisation of the United Nations (FAO) has launched an initiative to help students, researchers and scientists from developing countries gain free and low cost access to scientific literature.

    The initiative, known as AGORA (access to global online research in agriculture), will provide access, via an online web portal, to more than 400 scientific journals in food, nutrition, agriculture, as well as biological, environmental and social sciences. "

    Comment: There seem to be a large number of these initiatives. Do they work? Which are the best?

    Connectivity Africa approves funding for four projects :: Connectivity Africa Website :: Connectity in Africa

    Petersberg Prize: "The Petersberg Prize will recognize the most exemplary contribution in the field of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) for development during the last ten years. The awardee will receive the €100,000 Prize. Nominations are due by February 1, 2004."

    The Rafto Prize 2003

    The Professor Thorolf Rafto Memorial Prize for 2003 is awarded to Paulos Tesfagiorgis, Eritrea, former head of the Eritrean Relief Association. (via

    Sunday, October 19, 2003 * OneWorld/Staying Alive World AIDS Day 2003 Competition: "OneWorld/Staying Alive World AIDS Day 2003 Competition

    A GREAT opportunity... to use your video skills creatively to get a winning message on HIV/AIDS to a global audience.
    MTV Staying Alive and One World are looking for the best 30 second or 60 second PSA (public service announcement) in either video or audio..."

    Thursday, October 16, 2003

    FAO: SD : Knowledge :Setting-up a News Agency on Development Issues in Africa: "Partly thanks to a partnership with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC) has set-up a news agency on development issues, including food security. Called the Simbani1 News Agency, it will reach all of Africa and will make use of FAO's technical information on food security, editing it into radio format, thus making it accessible to a wide audience, including to people in the most remote rural areas. Information dissemination will rely on the adaptation to rural populations' needs, on the use of local languages and on the vast community radio network, radio still being the most popular communication medium in Africa."

    Africa jobs - - Director of Field Operations - Africa - Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation

    Jobs in Africa - USAID Administrative Project Manager - Congo Basin Forest Partnership

    Wednesday, October 08, 2003

    Web Spends: SA publishers still in search of the perfect stats package : "[ITWeb, 7 Oct 2003] The SA Online Publishers' Association (OPA) says it has chosen RedSheriff for the supply and delivery of a Web analytics infrastructure to its members. The OPA was formed earlier this year to collaborate on adopting a standardised Web site traffic measurement system."

    More jobs: Country Director - Journalists for Human Rights - Ghana

    Job - Director - Africa Now - UK

    Another NGO with a silly name...: "Stop It Now! seeks a CEO to report to the Board of Directors and oversee the development and management of Stop It Now!, including its mission and policies, operations and programs, financial status and all aspects of the organization's administration. Upon joining the organization, the CEO will work closely with the founding CEO during a period in which the Founder is available to support the transition, particularly in the areas of external affairs and fundraising."

    Job Posting - Donor Coordinator - AMREF: "Donor Coordinator

    The African Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF) is an independent, non-profit, non-governmental organization organization (NGO) whose mission is ‘to improve the health of disadvantaged people in Africa as a means for them to escape poverty and improve the quality of their lives”. AMREF has over 500 employees throughout Africa, its Headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya, and programmes in Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda, and is in partnership with 12 National Offices in North America and Europe that build awareness and support fundraising for AMREF Africa. AMREF continues to focus on retaining its position as a leader in health development in Africa.

    Based in Nairobi, and reporting to the Director of Programmes, the Donor Coordinator will provide support to AMREF project and programme staff as they prepare grant proposals and report on grants received and will work through AMREF’s country and Programme senior management. In addition the donor coordinator will coordinate the preparation of grant proposals and reports to institutional donors. The donor coordinator will also liaise with the Director of Communications and Fund Raising to ensure that appropriate PR support is available for grant submissions"

    Monday, October 06, 2003

    Global Knowledge Partnership: "GKP/PANOS Media Award - Reporting on the Information Society

    The inaugural GKP/PANOS Media Award, given jointly by the Global Knowledge Partnership and Panos, aims to encourage and bring to international recognition thoughtful and incisive reporting on developing countries' progress to becoming 'Information Societies.'
    Four awards of $2,000 each will be made for published journalism by developing country journalists (print, radio, TV or web) that goes beyond describing projects or new investment initiatives to analyse broader questions such as the social impact of ICTs, particularly on rural or disadvantaged groups, or national and global communication policy issues.
    The winning entries will be disseminated internationally and honoured at the World Summit on the Information Society in Geneva, December 2003.
    To submit a piece of work for consideration, send a clipping, audio or video tape, transcript or web reference by email to:; or by post to: Kitty Warnock, Panos Institute, 9 White Lion St, London N1 9PD, UK
    Deadline for submissions: Oct 15th 2003"

    African Post Offices in trouble: "At a recent meeting of the West African regional organisation of postal services (CPAO), delegates shared the pain they were taking from the impact of e-mail on their business. Business losses of between 5-15% were discussed. Although letters will never completely disappear, African postal services are a great deal more vulnerable than their developed world counterparts to e-competition: they have much lower volumes and the level of security they offer is often far from impressive. But all was not doom and gloom for these monopoly postal companies. Several pointed out that the revenues from their own cybercafes now exceeded those from their traditional post office activities." (Balancing Act)

    Congratulations to Corinne Dufka for her $500,000 MacArthur grant.

    AFROMET - The Association for the Return of The Maqdala or Magdala Ethiopian Treasures: "AFROMET - The Association for the Return of The Maqdala (or Magdala) Ethiopian Treasures - is an international organisation dedicated to retrieving priceless treasures looted during the British invasion of Ethiopia in 1867-8. "

    Thursday, September 25, 2003

    100,000 dead in Ethiopia-Eritrea war: "The next few weeks will go far to determining whether Ethiopia and Eritrea resume a path toward war – which took some 100,000 lives between 1998 and 2000 – or solidify their peace agreement. "

    Job: FAO SENIOR OFFICER NEWS GROUP: "Under the policy guidance of the Division Director and the overall supervision of the Chief, News and Multimedia Service, will be responsible for the management of the Service's public information activities involving the print media, the web and, in coordination with the Multimedia Production Group, with radio and television news organizations. "

    Job Opportunities in ICT for Development: Internet Editor (World Bank)

    Wednesday, September 24, 2003

    The Theatre Company (Kenya) The Theatre Company and The Children's Theatre were registered in Kenya in 2000 with the aim of providing and creating space for dramatic expression. The company's directors are Keith Pearson and Mumbi Kaigwa.

    Job Posting - Comic Relief Media Relations Manager

    Friday, September 19, 2003

    M-commerce in Zimbabwe A critical shortage of bank notes may provide the impetus for the uptake of financial transactions via cell phone in troubled Zimbabwe.

    Pro-Poor Satellite Broadcasting, Myth or Reality? from APC.

    Africa Civil Society and WSIS

    Welcome to the official IDLELO website The first African conference on the Digital Commons.
    Dates: Jan 11-15, 2004
    Venue: The University of the Western Cape
    Cape Town, South Africa

    Tuesday, September 16, 2003

    Kenya hosts massive ICASA HIV/AIDS conference

    UFO in Zimbabwe UFOs in Africa...

    Catalysing Access to ICTs in Africa | Home The CATIA programme now has a web site. This is a $15 million (approx) programme for Internet and ICT development in Africa, funding mainly by the British government and executed by Atos KPMG Consulting. Daily editorial cartoons from Kenya.

    Monday, September 08, 2003

    ICT Stories: "This year the Global Knowledge Partnership (GKP) partners with infoDev and IICD to support ICT Stories. By bringing the GKP network to the project the input and dissemination channels of the Stories are expanded. But GKP also introduces a significant financial prize for the winner of the Tony Zeitoun Awards; an award for a project most contributing to poverty alleviation. Read more on this cooperation. "

    Wednesday, September 03, 2003

    AfrISPA consultation:

    From: Brian Longwe
    Date: Wed Sep 3, 2003 5:16 pm
    Subject: AfrISPA Online Discussion

    Hi all,

    CATIA has made arrangements for AfrISPA to hold an online discussion with the wider African community during which there will be discussion on issues that affect the Internet in African and thus have ample information to guide us in the development of position papers, lobbying efforts etc...

    Please subscribe to the list by sending email to:

    catiainternetsubscription@t... [you have to post through the Yahoo! interface]

    Please also forward this invitation to any others who might have an interest in this area.

    The discussion will run for 7 days starting from Friday 5th September and will have a summary report at the end of this period.

    This report will also be present during the AfrISPA AGM which will be taking place on the 18th of September in Johannesburg, South Africa; more details on ISPA

    Tuesday, September 02, 2003

    Job Posting - Professors - Civil-Military Relations, and Counter-terrorism: "Africa Center seeks two professors in the following areas of expertise: Civil-Military Relations, and Counter-terrorism. "

    Job Posting - Overseas Volunteers -

    Monday, September 01, 2003 / Business / Technology / Web Search Content Ads Seen Falling Short: "But marketers, too, are finding difficulty in predicting where contextual ads will land because often they can be linked to words in rapidly changing news stories.
    In one recently publicized example, Mountain View, California-based Google served a luggage ad with a New York Post story about a murder victim whose body parts were found in a suitcase."

    Contextual ads apparently don't work.

    Friday, August 29, 2003

    War On Want : Vacancies : Media Officer: "Vacancies
    Media Officer
    Be at the cutting edge of campaigning…

    War on Want works in partnership with people across the developing world while undertaking cutting-edge anti-poverty campaigns in the UK and beyond. We are seeking a committed, enthusiastic and energetic individual to help us capitalise on the opportunities open to us in the media and, also to maximise the effectiveness of our website.
    The successful applicant will have considerable media experience and preferably some knowledge of international issues. Equally important is the ability to effectively communicate War on Want’s campaigns and projects and the capacity to think creatively to achieve positive coverage for our issues. The post-holder will also play a key role in developing and co-ordinating the website.
    To apply, please download the attachments from this site."

    Thursday, August 28, 2003 Books: Ethiopia (Country Profiles)

    Second edition of my book updated by Abraham Woldegiorgis. Buy now! Books: Ethiopia Since the DERG: A Decade of Democratic Pretension and Performance: "Synopsis
    The Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) took over from the much hated army dictatorship of Mengistu's DERG at the beginning of the 1990s. This book is the outcome of an intensive research and monitoring study of the growing gap between democratic aspirations and reality. It focuses on the elections held in 2000 and 2001 but also presents the wider context and issues including gender, urban and rural contrasts, class and caste conflict, and environment. While the EPRDF is a great advance on the previous DERG administration, the authors are critical of how far it has fallen short of its original democratic hopes. They explain why it seems unable to accept any indication of a faltering in its rural support or afford to lose political control even in a small number of localities. They conclude that only when the regime recognizes its shortcomings will it create the conditions for substantive democratization. "

    Tuesday, August 26, 2003

    Rare insight into the Lord's Resistance Army:
    Rat-eating defector Oneka spills:

    "Oneka told journalists that he spent two years in a Khartoum hospital after the rebels broke his jaws in 1998 when he tried to escape.

    Sudanese military officers reportedly took him to Khartoum for treatment. The rebel fighter handed himself over to the UPDF on August 23 at the Uganda-Sudan border after contemplating suicide.
    When Oneka finally gave up the idea of shooting himself, he came across two elderly men and a boy hunting.

    He tried to put the trio at gunpoint but they fled in various directions abandoning an edible rat, which he gleefully picked for his supper.

    So what does Oneka want to do with the rest of his life now? The former rebel fighter wants to become a driver, a skill he was taught in the Sudan. " (Monitor)

    Wednesday, August 20, 2003

    Job Posting - Senior Analyst (West Africa) - ICG

    Job Posting - Regional Operations Manager - Oxfam East Africa

    High IQ for Humanity
    Obscure and ideologically unconventional charity that needs a better name, like "Feed the Clever". "Save the Brainy"...

    "High IQ for Humanity is a child sponsorship program unlike any other.

    High IQ for Humanity is about more than handouts and alleviation. High IQ for Humanity is about identifying and educating the gifted children of the developing world so that they may become prominent factors in the advancement of their nations. "

    Job Posting - Oxfam Regional Media and Advocacy Coordinator - West Africa

    Jobs, jobs, jobs - interesting Africa jobs: Job Posting - Programme Manager – East Africa - Traidcraft

    Monday, August 18, 2003

    Hindu Press International July 5, 2003
    Kenya's national slogan "Harambee" is derived from a Hindu chant used by Indian railway workers a century ago. It's presumably similar in etymology to Hare Krishna.

    "Investigations into the origin of the Gujarati word, according to the Christians, indicates that Indian workers, while working on the Mombasa-Kampala railway more than a century ago, lightened their work by chanting 'Haree Ambee,' which in their words meant 'Hail, Ambee.' With time, the words came to be assimilated into Kiswahili, Kenya's national language, to mean 'pooling together.'"

    First read at

    The Monitor (Uganda): "The Chief of Military Intelligence, Col Noble Mayombo, told court yesterday that some donors support rebels but declined to name any saying it is classified information.
    Mayombo also named Afghanistan, Costa Rica and Suriname as countries that are considered to be enemies of Uganda."

    Costa Rica plotting against Uganda?? Uh?

    Friday, August 15, 2003

    BBC NEWS | World | Africa | Protest over Horn footballing troops

    "United Nations officials have protested to the Ethiopian Government over what they describe as repeated border infringements by Ethiopian troops into Eritrea. The soldiers entered the temporary security zone on the Eritrean side of the border on three occasions to play football. "

    Thursday, August 14, 2003

    ICT jobs in Rwanda

    "The Rwanda Development Gateway Group (RDGG) invites applications to 18 positions for the implementation of activities related to the use of information and communication technologies for sustainable development in Rwanda (please see the file for detailed description).To obtain information on complete job descriptions and requirements on how to apply, please send an email to Preference will be given to qualified Rwandan nationals.Deadline of Application: 31 August, 2003."

    AMREF - Jobs at AMREF: "Publication Editor and Regional Training Coordinator"

    WNSP and GKP Gender and ICT Awards Deadline: August 25

    Wednesday, August 13, 2003

    Call for Contributions: Rhodes Journalism Review (WSIS): "The Rhodes Journalism Review is published by the Department of
    Journalism and Media Studies at Rhodes University in South Africa. It is
    disseminated to editors, journalists, media academics, media trainers
    and media policy-makers throughout the African continent and abroad.
    Contributors are scholars and practitioners in the broad field of media.

    This special edition of the Rhodes Journalism Review will focus on
    Placing African Media at the centre of World Summit on the Information
    Society. This WSIS African Media special edition aims to showcase
    critical African thinking and innovation in media practice. In addition
    to its usual circulation, this edition will be widely disseminated at
    WSIS Geneva as part of Africa's intellectual contribution to the ongoing

    Friday, August 08, 2003

    Reuters AlertNet - How to apply for the top humanitarian prize: "Nick Cater writes about disasters, development, environment, crisis and conflict. His Words & Pictures consultancy has carried out assignments for commercial and non-profit clients, from Bob Geldof to the World Bank and the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. He explains how to apply for the Foundation's annual humanitarian award, worth $1 million"

    Thursday, August 07, 2003

    Job Posting - Africa editor: "SciDev.Net seeks an Africa editor to develop its coverage of science and technology in sub-Saharan Africa and build up its network of contributors and partners in the region. Responsibilities will include writing, commissioning and editing material, promoting and marketing SciDev.Net in the region, and overseeing and co-ordinating production of a regular newsletter. Assistance will also be required in providing French translations of selected material."

    Job Posting - Country Director: "The American Bar Association Africa Law Initiative (ABA-Africa) is currently seeking a mid-career attorney with 5 or more years of experience to serve as Country Director in Rwanda to implement an access to Justice Program. The primary focus of this program is the promotion and protection of the rights of women and children. To that end, the Country Director would work closely with the Ministry of Justice, and change-agents within the legal professional community."

    Wednesday, August 06, 2003

    BBC NEWS | Africa | Sniffer rats to find African mines: "A new weapon is being developed in the battle against the millions of unexploded landmines that kill innocent children and adults around the world - the African pouched rat.
    Cheap, intelligent and, crucially, lightweight, rats are being trained in Tanzania to sniff out landmines and explosives. "

    Monday, August 04, 2003

    ERITREA-ETHIOPIA: No demarcation unless ruling changed, say Tigrayan officials Uh oh. Will Ethiopia and Eritrea go back to war? Will Meles keep his job?

    NEPAD Mailing List Why is NEPAD's online HQ in Vienna?

    Friday, August 01, 2003

    Naomi Klein on NGO gagging by USAID: "For aid workers, there are even more strings attached to U.S. dollars. USAID told several NGOs that have been awarded humanitarian contracts that they cannot speak to the media -- all requests from reporters must go through Washington. Mary McClymont, CEO of InterAction, calls the demands 'unprecedented,' and says, 'It looks like the NGOs aren't independent and can't speak for themselves about what they see and think.' " (Globe and Mail)

    Nearly $1 billion private investment in Uganda: "The Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) licensed 152 projects in the last financial year 2002/2003 with a total planned investment of $858,049,956 expected to create 14,966 jobs." (New Vision)

    Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | Negro emancipation: "Negro emancipation

    On Saturday August 2, 1834, slavery was abolished in the British Empire. The Guardian issued this report at the time:

    Job: Anti-Slavery International Africa Programme Officer

    Thursday, July 31, 2003

    Who will the US not sell weapons to?: "The list of countries to which Washington has proscribed weapons sales: China, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Haiti, Liberia, Myanmar, Somalia and Sudan.

    The United States also severely restricts arms sales to Belarus, Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Syria and Vietnam." (Mail and Guardian)

    Wednesday, July 30, 2003

    Kenya Agricultural Commodity Exchange - another outfit planning to provide commodity and market prices via SMS in East Africa.

    Tuesday, July 29, 2003

    Applications are invited from suitably qualified candidates to fill the post of Programme Manager for the Programme on Reinforcement of Pastoral Civil Society in East Africa. The programme is implemented jointly by RECONCILE and the Drylands Programme of the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) in collaboration with pastoral civil organisations, NGOs and donor projects in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.

    BBC NEWS | Health | UK still poaching African nurses

    Monday, July 28, 2003

    Succulent Somali Plants New Targets of Illegal African Wildlife Trade - United Nations Environment Programme A boom in poached “succulent” plants is among the latest threats facing Africa’s rare and endangered wildlife... (UNEP)

    Ethiopia goes shopping: "Ethiopia has bought 60 Russian-made tanks from Yemen at a cost of over $24-million dollars, a privately-owned weekly newspaper reported on Wednesday." (DPA)

    Wednesday, July 23, 2003

    Kenya's ICANN Internet Celebrity

    BBC profile of Njeri Rionge, Kenyan member of the ICANN board, and boss of Wananchi Online, from before she was famous. Congratulations, Njeri.

    Sunday, July 20, 2003

    Classic CNN Liberia headline: Koinange: Monrovia 'not safe at all' Since when did the correspondent - even our Jeff - belong in the headline? And of course it's not safe. Duh.

    Eritrea arrests another journalist

    The following statement was made by Voice of America (VOA) Director David Jackson regarding the detention of a VOA reporter in Eritrea:

    Washington, D.C., July 15, 2003 -- "We strongly object to the detention of Voice of America reporter Aklilu Solomon. He has distinguished himself as a journalist by telling the world of the urgent needs of the Eritrean people during the drought which has afflicted his country, and all of us at the Voice of America are proud of his contributions. His reporting has put VOA at the forefront of this important humanitarian story. We demand that Eritrean authorities free him immediately."

    Thursday, July 17, 2003


    Winning the Caine Prize for Fiction this year...

    TEK Search
    They say:

    ...with the TEK search engine, the user submits a query which is emailed to Boston. The TEK Server, which is connected to the Internet backbone, searches the Web, locates some pages, selects which pages to send back, compresses them, and returns them back to the user. Because the search results are returned asynchronously, by email, the connectivity charges are lower. Post-processing the search results and selecting which pages to send back reduces the amount of information and addresses the bandwidth question.

    Critics point out that this is not a very good idea. Big download, non-interactive search via webmail is probably the same thing and that the developing world is fed up with graduate students thinking up "cool" stuff on their behalf. IDRC once had a better idea for a web browser that worked by e-mail instead of HTTP in the background. I can't quite explain but the front end was a browser which rendered HTML normally. When you clicked a link, the back end generated an e-mail which sent off the request to a webmail server and looked out for its arrival back. I recall you had to run Jigsaw in the background as the HTTP server or something. A much slicker idea but never got much past alpha AFAIK.

    (Closing date: October 30 2003)

    Gamos and Big World invite you to compete for a Digital Video Camera, plus accessories, to enhance your Information and Communication for Development (ICD).

    As technology changes, new opportunities arise. Gamos and Big World believe that digital video has made a significant step forward in the last 18 months, and will become standard equipment for information storage and retrieval, and in the slightly longer term even for communicating. We believe this is very important for development activities, particularly where communities are struggling to capture and express their own ideas, and to share ideas that can reduce poverty. The new opportunities that digital video presents will add a vital tool or method to adult and child education, both formal and informal within communities.

    Over the last three years Gamos and Big World have been anticipating the technological changes, and have developed research, pilots and training that will now support these new opportunities.

    We have been developing a network of partners in the South who have piloted using Digital Video for information and communication for development. We note that others have also seen the opportunities and we have been actively seeking partnerships with them, both South based organisations and international agencies working in development.. Please contact us if you do not want to enter the competition but would like to co-operate on this area.

    The aim of this competition is to identify new partners to expand a growing network of South based partners, and to generally provide an opportunity to enhance and strengthen your development work.

    Friday, July 11, 2003 - View vacancy: "The Africa Centre is the flagship of African arts in the United Kingdom, based in London's Covent Garden. The Centre is embarking on a substantial recovery programme, and has secured funding support from the public sector.
    For this purpose, it is making a number of appointments to enhance its operational and financial capacity. For application forms and job packs e-mail, go to development, or write to: The Administrator, Africa Centre, 38 King Street, London WC2E 8JT.
    The Centre is now looking to recruit a deputy director (head of resources). The successful candidate will have responsibility for: financial management and budget preparation, and the IT systems to achieve such; buildings management, including the rehabilitation of the Centre's premises; and overseeing the recruitment and induction of new staff. "

    Monday, July 07, 2003

    Moreover on Yahoo!: "Moreover Technologies has inked a deal with Yahoo! to integrate its public metabase into the directory company's News Search Product to expand and enhance Yahoo!'s existing news search results. "

    Comment: Feeling the heat from Google news...

    Thursday, July 03, 2003

    USAID boss says NGO grantees are "an arm of the US government" - or else!: "Natsios insisted that aid agencies and for-profit contractors in the field should identify themselves as recipients of U.S. funding to show a stronger link to American foreign policy. If this does not happen more often, Natsios threatened to personally tear up their contracts and find new partners.
    NGOs and contractors 'are an arm of the U.S. government,' Natsios said." (via Interaction)

    Tuesday, July 01, 2003

    Job: OneWorld Africa Editor: "ZAMBIA: OneWorld Editor
    Application closing date:2003-7-4
    The Oneworld Africa is looking for an Editor. Areas of responsibility include editing of the OneWorld Radio site/s, write content for site/s; write monthly newsletter/s for members and subscribers, and also promotional materials."

    Monday, June 30, 2003

    Candle-powered FM radios in Senegal: "First Lady of Senegal Inaugurates Community Radio
    23/06/2003 (UNESCO)
    The First Lady of Senegal Viviane Wade and UNESCO Dakar Office Director Armoogum Parsuramen inaugurated a community radio in the Senegalese village of Mbissao last week. UNESCO donated a so called suitcase radio - a portable FM station - and 40 oil lamps comprising an FM receiver powered by the heat of the flame. "

    Friday, June 27, 2003

    Africa Centre for investment Analysis: "For the first time, the Africa SMME (Small, Medium and Micro Enterprise) Awards will be presented at the 5th Annual Development Finance Conference to honour the best SMMEs in Africa. This gala-event will be broadcast live on SABC Africa and other broadcasting channels throughout Africa and beyond."

    When King Mswati III dissolved Swaziland's Parliament this month in anticipation of October elections, he sternly warned prospective candidates not to murder innocent people in order to harvest their body parts to make a "muti" to bring good fortune... Usually marginal people in society, such as widows or orphans, are killed for pieces of flesh that are roasted, ground to powder, and combined with other ingredients for a potion its users believe will allow them to triumph over their rivals.
    Source: Mail and Guardian

    Wednesday, June 25, 2003

    Internship at ReliefWeb, Geneva

    Internship at ReliefWeb, 3-6 months starting a.s.a.p

    ReliefWeb is a project of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs aiming to strengthen the response capacity of the humanitarian community through the timely dissemination of reliable information on prevention, preparedness and disaster response.

    Duties: The intern will assist the information managers in the research and posting of information on humanitarian emergencies and related issues. This includes:

    Tuesday, June 24, 2003

    AP TV Job

    You hardly ever see TV news jobs advertised. Here's an exception.

    APTN has a vacancy for a Regional Editor covering Europe and Africa, based in London, to be responsible for all APTN's editorial coverage in the regions.
    The Europe/Africa Editor identifies news for the international agenda and sets up detailed plans for coverage of day-to-day and special events. The Editor manages resources, budgets, and the operations of some forty bureaux in the regions. The position reports to APTN's Deputy Managing Editor (Planning).
    Candidates need several years' experience in a senior role in television news-gathering, and a strong background in team leadership and resource management. An excellent knowledge of news and current affairs in Europe and Africa is essential, along with good organisational and communication skills. Languages are desirable.

    Third World Network Africa - TWN Africa

    Report challenges claims for Genetically Modified Crops in Africa.
    After examining the impact of three genetically modified crops, sweet potato, maize and Bt cotton, on poverty alleviation in Africa this report concludes that biotechnology does not address the real causes of poverty and hunger in Africa.

    Nominations open for African science, technology reporting awards

    Jun 20, 2003

    Nominations have opened for Africa's biggest science and technology journalism awards, with a final deadline set for October 1.
    The annual Profile Awards, sponsored by global technology group Siemens, is accepting nominations from anywhere in Africa for the first time. The awards previously only recognized work published in the southern African region.
    The awards seek to showcase journalism that breaks the mould, and that elevates technology writing above the dull and jargon-ridden “techno-talk” that characterizes so much science reporting on the continent.
    Winning entries should demonstrate journalists' ability to “unbundle” technology in writing that is interesting and easy-to-understand, and which makes even complex concepts, or the workings and benefits of technological processes, easily understandable to a lay audience.

    Miraa farmers, traders protest flights ban

    Miraa farmers, traders protest flights ban
    By Patrick Muriungi

    Angry miraa farmers and traders in Meru yesterday protested over the decision to ban flights to Somalia.
    The farmers claimed the ban has so far caused them over Sh50 million in unsold miraa (khat) and demanded for the Government to lift the ban immediately.
    Led by Mithika Kiome, Baituri M'Ithia and Bernard Kiome, the farmers and dealers said the ban on flights had greatly affected their only source of livelihood.
    Most of the miraa which grows in mainly Meru North District is transported to Somalia via Wilson Airport.

    Monday, June 23, 2003

    Zanzibar International Film Festival

    The Festival of the Dhow Countries, East Africa’s largest cultural event, will take place in Zanzibar from 28th June – 12th July 2003, in magnificent, historical venues along the waterfront of Stone Town. The festival celebrates the unique cultural heritage of the "Dhow" countries: the African continent and the Indian Ocean region and their global Diaspora.

    Daily Nation on the Web

    Somali leader seeks lifting of flight ban
    The Somali Transitional National Government wants Kenya to lift the flight ban on the country.
    The closing of Kenyan airspace to aeroplanes from Somalia will only add to the suffering of its citizens and undermine the on-going peace talks, President Abdi Qassim Salat Hassan said. His call came barely two days after the ban was effected.

    Meet Gaetano, Uganda’s Big Brother housemate

    By Elizabeth Kameo & Moses Serugo
    May 27, 2003

    If one is going to follow any reality TV show in Uganda this year, it has to be Big Brother Africa. Forget Survivor, Pop Idol ... Adrenaline is going to flow as Ugandans have a take too, a Ugandan housemate in the Big Brother house.
    Uganda’s representative is 30-year old Gaetano, known by family and peers as Gae. Originally a dare, Gaetano Juuko Kagwa soon found that dare had turned into reality as he waved goodbye to his family and entered the Big Brother House.

    Friday, June 20, 2003

    Highway Africa 2003

    The Highway Africa conference concentrates on new media issues relevant for journalists and the media and aims to bring African media into the centre of debates about the Global Information Society. It is an annual conference and includes panel discussions and debates, as well hands-on skills training workshops. This year's conference themed "Mainstreaming Media in the Information Society" will be held in Grahamstown, South Africa from the 8 - 10 September 2003.

    Kenya's Friends Reunited: Welcome to WakoWapi

    Welcome to the WakoWapi community. The premier Kenyan reunion and networking virtual community. In this commumity, people educated in Primary, Secondary, and High schools, Colleges and Universities in Kenya are able to reunite with old classmates and friends, catch up on old times, recreate, renew, rekindle and recapture old memories and experiences as well as make new lasting and meaningful friendships, now and into the future.

    Wednesday, June 11, 2003

    Job: Knowledge Coordinator, Infodev, World Bank

    The new Knowledge Coordinator reports directly to infoDev?s Program Manager. To that end, the selected candidate will also be supervising a small team of staff as well as short-term consultants on a need basis. This position is central to the expansion of infoDev?s operations. He/she will:

    - Ensure a significant increase in our ability to provide original analysis and research of relevance to the activities of infoDev and the ITC Department as a whole.
    - Launch original research programs and develop ICT projects of interest to infoDev?s clients and donors.
    - Accumulate data and knowledge on relevant ICT themes and best practices.
    - Manage and expand infoDev?s activities in the area of knowledge dissemination (publications, events, monitoring and evaluation).
    - Develop excellent cooperation with high-level research entities within and outside the World Banks Group (including universities, private research institutes and other international bodies).
    - Contribute to infoDev?s strategy and policy formulation and interact with clients in this regard.
    - Represent infoDev and GICT Department at internal and external fora.

    Tuesday, June 10, 2003

    Miner mobiles

    Underground market attracts MTN


    [Johannesburg, 6 June 2003] - While there have been concerns raised that the local cellular industry has almost reached saturation point, mobile operator MTN is looking to break into the underground market.
    The company has been conducting tests to assess the safety of electric and electronic detonators in the presence of cellular radio interference, in the hopes that it will soon be able to roll-out the next generation of underground communication systems within the country's mines.

    Sunday, June 08, 2003

    Petronas to explore oil on Ethiopia-Sudan border

    The Council of Ministers approved on Friday, May 30, a draft agreement on oil exploration, exploitation and development, signed between the Ministry of Mines and a Malaysian company, Petronas.
    Petronas is one of the 10 largest oil companies in the world, pioneering oil exploration and discovery in Sudan, along the Ethiopian border region of Gambella. The company, according to senior sources, has agreed to conduct explorations in Gambella region, bordering Sudan, hoping that the pocket would have similar geological feature with wells in Sudan.
    "It will open a new chapter in Ethiopia in changing its image," said one government official. The ministry is seriously working with oil companies." According to experts the company will have a concession that encompasses an area of more than 15,000 square kilometers, and includes the entire Melut Basin where it passes from Sudan through the southwestern toe of Ethiopia and back into Sudan.
    "No seismic has been shot or wells drilled in the Gambella Concession to date," says a study previously conducted on the region. According to the studies, gravity data show the Melut Basin in Ethiopia contained within the Gambela Concession to be one of the more potentially prospective areas in the prolific rift basin.
    Chevron, a company that has pioneered the oil exploration work in Sudan for many years, is believed to have mapped several seismic features right up to the Ethiopian borborder in 1984 just before it withdrew from Sudan. "The well had oil and gas shows, but was never tested," disclosed the study.
    The council, in its 76th regular session, gave a green light for the ministry authorities to strike a final deal with Petrogas. According to close sources, this final agreement will very likely be signed in one month. (Fortune, June 1/03)

    Tuesday, June 03, 2003

    Vomiting money

    Magician loses his mind because of black magic


    MBASHENI – Once famous magician from Mbasheni is believed to have lost his mind because of the black magic that he used to perform.

    According to the magician Jemeni Lukhele’s parents, the man who used to be a money spitting human machine, has been sick and his behaviour has prompted his parents to believe that he has lost his faculties.

    His father Samuel Lukhele, sounding as if he was resigned to his child’s imbalanced mental status, told the Times point blank that his son was paying the price for the tricks he used to perform.

    Jemeni made headlines when he came in the open declaring that he was capable of multiplying money, especially notes, which he vomited for members of the public. He would be paid different sums as a token by appreciative people.

    W2i: THE WIRELESS INTERNET INSTITUTE — Conference: The Wireless Internet Opportunity for Developing Nations

    On June 26 , 2003, the Wireless Internet Institute will join forces with the United Nations Information and Communication Technologies Task Force to host "The Wireless Internet Opportunity for Developing Nations" at UN Headquarters in New York City. The conference will create the conditions for informal dialogue and brainstorming among industry practitioners, government representatives and international development experts. It will feature plenary sessions and structured brainstorming workshops to establish strategies to overcome obstacles as well as develop environments favorable to the broad deployment of WiFi infrastructures. Conference conclusions will serve as a blueprint for national consensus-building programs, spectrum-policy reform and infrastructure deployment.

    Technology R&D funding in Africa: Open Knowledge Workspace

    IDRC's Acacia Initiative Announces its Acacia ICT R&D Grants Programme

    The Acacia initiative is pleased to announce its first ICT R&D Grants for

    Interested organisations from the developing regions of Africa can apply
    for the grant now.

    The main objective of the Grants Programme is to promote an active ICT
    research environment in Africa for issues related to ICT based development
    applications, policy research and their impacts. The Grants Programme
    expects to build research capacities, and accelerate the use of ICT for
    development in the region. It is also directed at encouraging original and
    innovative solutions to specific development problems. Finally the
    programme aims to build a body of knowledge on the impact of ICTs on the
    development of African communities.

    Small grants of a maximum of $30,000 CAD each will be awarded on a
    competitive basis to successful institutions from the African region.

    The deadline for submission of detailed proposals is the 1st of September 2003.

    NEPAD: Has not really found traction yet, but donors will pay for training of journalists to write about it. Am I missing something?

    WAN - NEPAD for women journalists

    Women journalists from 16 West African countries are invited to apply for a three-day training program on reporting on the New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD). The training will focus on the media's role in covering NEPAD and NEPAD's role in strengthening the independent media in Africa. This program will provide an opportunity for women journalists to gain an in-depth understanding of NEPAD and to explore the media's role as watchdogs during a time of democratic change

    Job: Lamentations [Lamentations? What kind of a title is that? Is that Afro-pessimist?]

    Job title: Managing Editor Salary: £28k pa
    Date posted: 26/05/2003 Closing date: 28/6/03
    Publication/web site title: Lamentations
    Full details: Must have a record of working in Africa as a research
    journalist in more than one African country. Must be ready to work under
    pressure, and be ready to travel. The person must also show a strong
    commitment to the ideals of our publications with the view to creating a
    newspaper that will influence socio-political trends in Africa.
    Apply to: Mr Tope Awopeju, Consultant auditor/administrator,
    Lamentations, The Leber-Lebe House Ltd, 3 Bernal Close, Thamesmead, London, SE28
    Telephone: 0207 701 9000

    Africa ICT policy job: Internet & ICTs for Social Justice and Development News - APC

    APC seeks Internet Rights Policy Project Coordinator: AFRICA
    JOHANNESBURG, South Africa -- Working both with the APC member organizations in the region, as well as with other groups and experts in the ICT policy arena, the Coordinator will lead APC's ICT policy research and dissemination activities in Africa. Currently, this is a full-time position for 6 months. Depending on the availability of funds, and outcomes of performance assessments, the contract will be extended for 1.5 years.

    I have been on the road and only just connected to e-mail. Trying to pick some good bits from my inbox...

    The Drum Beat 199 - Electing Our Leaders

    If democracy is so good and wonderful, why do no we not elect, democratically of course, the people to fill the main leadership posts in international development?

    Yahoo! News - King Blames Trousers for World's Ills

    Swaziland's absolute monarch has singled out women wearing trousers as the cause of the world's ills in a state radio sermon that also condemned human rights as an "abomination before God."

    Thursday, May 22, 2003

    Kenya is buzzing with terrorism rumours. The International (US-curriculum) school is closing early this term. US diplomats being offerered incentives to move to another station etc etc... British Embassy/British Coucil opening and shutting...

    Got this SMS from a friend tonight:

    A security alert; plse keep away from the big malls such as yaya, sarit, village mkt. Am made 2 understand it is reliable info. Pass 2 others & lets pray

    Tuesday, May 20, 2003

    Also, bodysnatchers in Tanzania.

    Letter in today's Guardian in Dar es Salaam:

    Bongo Flava dancing should be in bedrooms


    The latest craze in dancing to what is labelled Bongo Flava leaves much to be desired.

    The female dancers try to compete among themselves on who can shake their behinds the most as if dancing in Tanzania is mainly concerned with shaking buttocks vigorously.

    There isn’t any dignity in this, for, buttock shaking should be practised in the privacy of the bedroom and not in public as is the vogue now.

    The sex motif in our music is getting out of hand. Let us go back to dignified dancing as practised by most ethnic groups in Tanzania.

    Disgusted local music lover,
    Area C,

    Monday, May 19, 2003

    I wonder if African Lakes will raise GBP 1m by 21 May.

    Currently in Dar es Salaam.

    Monday, May 12, 2003

    This just in the mail: New Africa International Network:::Debate

    NAIN is a Pan-Africanist and international organisation for research, mass dissemination of information, networking, campaigning and social action for the purpose of consolidating and developing the African Union into a strong, democratic, independent and self-reliant United New Africa which is also often referred to as the United States of Africa. NAIN is there to promote, publicise, defend and campaign for the speedy growth of the African Union which was agreed to by African Heads of State as a successor to the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) on 26 May, 2001 in Lusaka, Zambia.

    By the way, the Kenyan suspected SARS case was not confirmed to be SARS. A hapless airport worker sneezed and was whisked off for tests...

    GKP Africa Day

    The Global Knowledge Partnership (GKP) Secretariat and the ECA collaborate in jointly organising regional ICT events in the framework of the AISI and the Partnership for ICTs in Africa (PICTA). One of such events is the "GKP Africa Day".
    The second GKP Africa Day (GKP Africa Day - 2) will be held on 13th May 2003 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia during the third meeting of the Committee on Development Information (CODI-III) that will take place from 12 - 16 May 2003 on the theme "information and governance". More on CODI >>

    Wednesday, May 07, 2003

    Newsweek on the African SARS scenario: Waiting for Disaster

    African health officials cast a worried eye toward India. Here’s their nightmare scenario: An expatriate Indian from Nairobi returns to Mumbai, where some SARS patients live, for a visit. He comes home and infects his housemaid. She in turn spreads the virus to Kibera, Kenya’s largest slum. There, working in shacks with signboards out front, local staff are trained to diagnose familiar diseases like flu or malaria—but not SARS.

    Kenya has its first suspected case of SARS - press conference this afternoon at Kenyatta National Hospital. Very scary implications for the huge slums of Nairobi. And it's really the rainy season now...

    I want one: BGAN - 128K satellite internet access anywhere. This is what TV people are using to feed pictures from the Gulf. Read more from Inmarsat.

    Tuesday, May 06, 2003

    Spare a thought for others when you tuck your children into bed: ReliefWeb: Uganda: Feature - Horrors of LRA child captivity

    Children who have managed to escape from LRA captivity tell horror stories about the extreme physical and psychological violence with which they were initiated into rebel ranks.
    Peter Ochan, 14, was abducted, when he was asleep and made to walk the whole night and the whole day, before he and other abducted children were allowed to rest. During his 10 months in captivity, the clubbing of children to death by rebel commanders became a daily ritual in the bush, he says.
    Ochan, now accommodated at the Gulu Support the Children Organisation (GUSCO), a rehabilitation centre set up to help children returning from captivity, explains how he and others were forced to carry the decomposing body of a boy killed for trying to escape.
    "We carried the body on our shoulders everywhere we went," he said. "It smelt very bad. We were told it was part of our training. The commander then told us to scoop out the brains from what was left of the body and show them around to others."

    Thursday, May 01, 2003

    The World Bank is calling an interest-free loan "innovative". Am I missing something?

    Rising number of global cases increases pressure to eradicate polio - international community challenged to fill funding gap

    WASHINGTON, April 29, 2003 - An innovative financing program to help eradicate polio (poliomyelitis) worldwide by 2005 was launched today when the World Bank approved a US$28 million no-interest loan for the purchase of oral polio vaccine (OPV) in Nigeria, Africa's most polio endemic country. The World Bank, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Rotary International, and the United Nations Foundation, which together comprise the Investment Partnership for Polio, said they would move swiftly over the coming months to fund the immunization of children in other polio endemic countries. A US$20 million loan for eradicating polio in Pakistan is scheduled to be approved in mid-May.

    (source: World Bank Press Release)

    USAID is expected to fund Burundi demobilisation. Here's a job.

    Mauritius Telecom Limited to move into Burundi, one of three 15-year GSM licence holders . World Bank provides $1 million guarantee. Doesn't sound very much.

    Friday, April 25, 2003

    Biopiracy for World Intellectual Property Day (April 26): The University of Toledo has tried to patent the use of Endod, an Ethiopian berry to control zebra mussels. The Endod berry, used as a natural soap, but was found by an Ethiopian scientist to control schistosomiasis, a disease carried by freshwater snails. From the Traditional Ecological Knowledge Prior Art Database (T.E.K.* P.A.D.). (via Development Gateway).

    Thursday, April 24, 2003

    Zambian internet pioneer Regina Cammy Shakakata died in November 2002. The Pula newsletter offers an obituary. I remember her fondly from an APC workshop on the African Internet in South Africa in 1997. The meeting produced a truculent communique which we called (toungue in cheek) the Holy Family Communique.

    Reading it again, I wonder how far we have come. Here's an extract:

    • Relevant African information ("content") needs to be produced, managed and delivered appropriately within Africa. The raw information heritage is too valuable to be trusted to others. Almost no resources are directed to this need.
    • Telephone and other communication infrastructure beyond the cities remains under-funded - a problem that liberalisation cannot solve. Private investment in deregulated markets has so far generally concentrated in the major cities.
    • The little international investment that there is in technical training and capacity building - a critical need, especially to bring more women into networking - too often neglects the particular needs of Africa.
    • Methods of information delivery must go beyond "putting it on the Web". The power and flexibility of electronic mail should not be underestimated.
    • Alliances are being developed between some donors and parastatal PTTs which are giving governments a stranglehold on national bandwidth. Donors are mainly focusing on the pipes, not the people.
    • We seek greater consultation from the various initiatives which aim to steer telematics developments in Africa - including: AIF, ANI, AISI, AFCOM, SDNP, ACACIA and the Leland Initiative. There is a difference between being used as cheap advisors and then ignored, and becoming valued as key stakeholders in an ongoing process.

    BBC NEWS | Africa | UN sends more troops to Ituri. IRIN reports 200 more troops. The UN force in DRC and its approach to Ituri explored here.

    Tuesday, April 22, 2003

    Democrats are "damned" according to Swazi clerical sycophants.

    Telkom Kenya is changing area codes. And, by the way, 1 MB of bandwidth in Nairobi costs $6750 per month.

    TIMEeurope Magazine | Heroes 2003 - Innovators. Kenyan social entrepreneurs ApproTEC are nominated heroes by Time magazine. Their MoneyMaker irrigation foot pump is helping small famers make profits.

    Gold and minerals exploration in Eritrea: Canadian company Nevsun continues exploration in Western Eritrea despite the murder of its consultant which Asmara blames on Islamic rebels backed by Sudan and Ethiopia. The Yahoo! chart illustrates investor excitement about Nevsun's prospects in Mali and Eritrea.

    PDF: "Humanitarian work should be performed by humanitarian organisations. Insofar as military organisations have a role to play in supporting humanitarian work, it should, to the extent possible, not encompass direct assistance in order to retain a clear distinction between the normal functions and roles of humanitarian and military stakeholders."
    Rather obvious but sound advice from a briefing note on humanitarian issues in Iraq by the Humanitarian Policy Group of the UK-based Overseas Development Institute

    Global Witness: Reports. Al Qaeda in the illicit African diamond market.

    e-Africa - Journal of Governance and Innovation. They say: "e-Africa - Journal of Governance and Innovation will be launched on May 1 by the South African Institute of International Affairs Johannesburg, South Africa ( ) . It will be a free e-publication to the leaders of nations, policy makers, key business and NGO people, academics and journalists across Africa."

    Thursday, April 17, 2003

    RIPE NCC Training Course Request Form. If you are in an African ISP, this free course in Kampala is for you.

    New Technologies for Rural Applications The ITU is requesting ideas and information - and may fund - pilot projects using WiFi in rural areas.

    Five contenters for 3rd Kenya GSM licence. As MTN are not there, the word is they are highly likely to buy Vivendi's share of Kencell.

    Wednesday, April 16, 2003

    FoodNet | Market Information Here it is - the price of bananas in Uganda. Coffee, Cotton, Maize, Cocoa prices are available via SMS on MTN Uganda

    Very interesting job. Using SMS to deliver market content to local traders in Kenya.

    The Networking Africa's Future conference is under way

    More South African airports to get WiFi Net access

    Tuesday, April 15, 2003

    Meteorological experts warn of severe drought It's not just my yard. Kenya is having a drought.

    Saw a family of Sykes monkey in the parking lot leaving work yesterday. The rains still haven't really started. It's getting late...

    Poor 12-year-old Iraqi bomb victim Ali is becoming the "framing" humanitarian story (the woman giving birth in a tree in Mozambique has been called the "framing" story from the floods disaster there - see below). There is an Ali Fund which has raised UKP140,000.

    Do you know this name: Adekoye Jo Fola Adeoye? The British police have belatedly narrowed their search for clues in the allegedly ritual killing of a black child in London to Nigeria. In a bizarre show of ignorance, the police had previously brought in a South African expert in "muti" - or witchcraft - killings called Dr Hendrick Scholtz, while the name found at the scene was obviously Nigerian.

    Only the torso of the boy - aged five or six - was found in the River Thames. The graphic here was released by UK police. Police have offered a £50,000 reward for information leading to a conviction for the boy's murder.

    The clues available to the police were:
    Orange shorts with a label in German
    Seven half-burned candles wrapped in a white sheet
    A name - Adekoye Jo Fola Adeoye - written on the sheet and the name Fola Adeoye inscribed on the candles.
    The name is thought to be Yoruba

    Now (April 2003) they have done analysis on the bones and have narrowed their search to between Benin City and Ibadan.

    Detectives from London are now in Nigeria hunting the killer. (Ananova categorises this as a South Africa story)

    Oil and gas analyst Duncan Clarke of Global Pacific and Partners has released a paper coining the phrase "The Third Scramble for Africa" about oil prospects in Africa. Here is the summary of oil reserves across the continent:

    In Angola, reserves may sit around 12-15 BBLS proven while Sonangol has cited potential as some 50-70 BBLS. Benin may have some 100 MMBLS, but the deepwater is yet to be tested. Cameroon is under stress and estimates of oil may only be 200 MMBLS, while others cite 400 MMBLS, with potential in the 3-400 MMBLS range, again deepwaters to consider. CAR has no commercially proven reserves but industry sources indicate potential around 1-2 BBLS. In Chad, 1.0 BBLS is proven and another 1-2 BBLS may await discovery. Congo has suffered reserve downgrades in fields recently but proven oil is around 1.3-1.5 BBLS, and a new upsurge appears in-place with potential maybe at 1.0 BBLS, much hinging on the deepwaters. Cote d’Ivoire has had recent discoveries and a range of 500-1,000 MMBLS is indicated with Government claiming potential at 6.0 BBLS, this over-optimistic. In DRC, fields are small and 100 MMBLS may be proven now with potential at 150 MMBLS. In Equatorial Guinea, some 2-3.0 BBLS may have been proven, with potential possibly at 2-3.0 BBLS. Eritrea has neither proven oil nor clear image of oil potential evident. Likewise is Ethiopia, but for 300 MMBC reported in the Calub. Gabon has suffered decline, and 2.6 BBLS is thought to exist but with potential for another 5.0 BBLS. No oil has been discovered in The Gambia but claims of potential at 100 MMBLS are made. In Ghana, GNPC had claimed 800 MMBLS but 50 MMBLS is more likely now, with unclear potential for more. Guinea has no proven oil to date and potential is undeclared. In Guinea-Bissau, the Dome Flore may have 1.0 BBLS of Heavy Oil. Kenya remains a frontier with no proven reserves but potential according to officials could be 2-3.0 BBLS, a claim awaiting exploration in deepwaters. Liberia has delineated offshore blocks and some place potential at 100-200 MMBLS. Madagascar has recorded Heavy Oil finds, OMNIS suggesting potential might be 500-1,000 MMBLS. No one expects oil in Malawi now. Mocambique has been a gas play, and deepwaters will soon be tested. Mali has no proven oil but one player reckons potential at 2-4.0 BBLS. Mauritania has an estimated 300 MMBLS and potential might reach 1.5 BBLS in time. In Namibia, it has been gas. In landlocked Niger, some 350 MMBLS exist, yet to be commercialised, and potential might be some 1-2.0 BBLS. Nigeria’s Government reports 33 BBLS now with 40 MMBLS expected by 2007, and potential somewhere around another 25-40 BBLS to 2025 given success in deepwaters and ultra-deep plays as well as the JDZ. Rwanda only has methane gas in Lake Kivu. In Sao Tome & Principe, the talk is of 4-8 BBLS potential, untested. Senegal has only 10 MMBLS and an 85% share of Dome Flore and AGC waters. Seychelles has not shown reserves but SNOC believes 1-2.0 BBLS exists in the Archipelago. Sierra Leone is just starting to award blocks, and potential is unknown. Somalia mostly under force majeure has proven oil and potential, perhaps 100 MMBLS within ready reach in the near term, some saying 1.2.0 BBLS potential in the long-run. In South Africa, oil reserves stand around 40-50 MMBLS and potential is placed by State agencies at some 1.0 BBLS in time, with deepwater openings coming and the EEZ expected within 10 years. In Sudan, proven oil may already be at 2.5 BBLS, and growing with CNPC-Petrodar’s recent discoveries, while suggest potential up to 8-12 BBLS. Tanzania has been a gas play with the Mafia Basin deepwater under examination, and potential is indicated by TPDC at maybe 500 MMBLS. Togo has had no luck, and potential is undeclared. In Uganda, operators reckon there could be a potential of 650 MMBLS. Zamibia is a long shot for any company. Zimbabwe has probably no hope.

    Clarke does not regard the new Ugandan announcements yet worthy of inclusion. Overall reserves are put at 60 billion barrels. Sadly oil and other mineral wealth have brought misery and war to Angola, Sierra Leone, the DRC and elsewhere.

    Monday, April 14, 2003

    Fellowship in digital technology and the African Diaspora . "The Center for Black Studies is currently accepting applications for the 2003-04 Visiting Fellow in Residence at the University of California, Santa Barbara. We are interested in researchers working in the areas of digital technologies and the African Diaspora. This fellowship will help inaugurate the Center's new research initiative concerned with the
    intersections of race and technology from a number of perspectives including, historical, economical, institutional, socio-political, cultural-artistic, global, local, and interpersonal. The Center intends this race and technology initiative to help reframe public debates about the "digital divide.""

    Rageh Omaar t-shirt (via MediaGuardian). Why is a football site selling this? And are they paying the man?

    Map of Ituri showing Drodro, location of the latest massacres.

    HTTP 501 Not implemented. Oh dear - the UN is moving to Windows on the main website and forgot to set it up properly. The Iraq page, for example is stuffed.

    The CNN effect: Does media coverage make any difference in generating funds for humanitarian relief? The woman giving birth in a tree in Mozambique is given in this (PDF) paper from the Humanitarian Review as an example of "framing" the story. The Orissa cyclone on India killed 10 times more people but generated a fraction of the response. The paper argues that lobbying has a greater effect than courting a fickle media.

    Thursday, April 10, 2003

    Humanitarian hyperbole watch: "The clock is ticking, and if time runs out, we will have a huge problem like you have never seen before." 2 billion people worldwide do not have safe water. So what exactly will we not have seen before in Basra and Baghdad?

    Iraq: Relief and Recovery. The World Bank's hyperportal, the Development Gateway, has a new Iraq section.

    AfriNIC - an African regional Internet registry. Soon Afrinic will be choosing which country should host the central service which allocates IP numbers to Africa.

    Tuesday, April 08, 2003

    Affected Areas - Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). WHO's page shows no cases in Africa yet. This must be the nastiest disease not to be blamed on Africa for some decades...

    DEPHA: Digital mapping (GIS)resources for the Horn of Africa.

    Monday, April 07, 2003 -- Uganda: RPA Moves Closer. Northeastern DRC looks worse and worse as new massacres are reported in Ituri.

    Friday, April 04, 2003

    ReliefWeb: Iraq: Military/humanitarian distinction not just lofty ideal

    Humanitarian hyperbole watch: Umm Qasr "bleak".. We shall watch the adjectives in the coming days... There will be inflation.

    Since June of 2002, an estimated 5,000 children have been abducted from northern Uganda by the charismatic-terrorist group, the Lord's Resistance Army.

    Job: Executive Director of the IMLU (Kenya). The Independent Medico Legal Unit (IMLU) is a non-profit organization. Its focus is to promote and protect of human rights by providing medical and legal assistance to victims and survivors of torture.

    Genetics and race: One quarter of "white" South Africans shared a male ancestor with Nama Khiosan people in a recent test in South Africa.

    The US CENTCOM now says they think Thuraya phones are insecure. Thuraya phones are portable satphones which also can be recharged by solar power. They say "Thuraya uses encryption which is equivalent in robustness to the standard GSM encryption."

    Wednesday, April 02, 2003

    IRIN: UGANDA: Oil potential confirmed. If "Several billion barrels" means, say, 5 billion, then Uganda would have more oil than the UK or Gabon. the US DOE estimates world oil reserves in this table.

    Extracts from the 1 April edition of the e-newsletter Humanitarian Times (

    favoring the new programming design by President Bush, Save the
    Children will now bomb children after feeding them. The new
    fundraising campaign "Bombs with Biscuits" has already raised $300,000
    in private donations, primarily from Texas & Florida. Other NGOs are
    leery of this mixing of destructive ordnance, killing & humanitarian
    aid, claiming that it might confuse the beneficiaries about the
    intentions of humanitarian NGOs; as a symbol of protest MSF closed all
    its programs in Westport Connecticut.

    extend the now-in-revision SPHERE humanitarian charter & minimum
    standards. Among the new standards is a clarification that relief
    aid should only be given if the recipients reveal tactical information
    useful to combat or if they agree to flee their homes. Water should
    be delivered primarily in the form of imported bottles & shelter
    destruction should be given earliest priority.

    There are "several billion" barrels of oil underneath Uganda, confirmed by a test drilling by Heritage Oil on 31 March. Meanwhile President Yoweri Museveni feels 20 years in power may not be enough.

    As reported earlier for IRIN, this does not bode well for peace on the Congolese side of the border.

    "The prospect of petrodollars in Ituri may have provided a new impetus to the bloody battle for control of Ituri in 2002, analysts say. Geological surveys have indicated potential oil reserves in the Semliki basin, south of Lake Albert. A Canadian firm, Heritage Oil Corporation, has been exploring western Uganda since 1997 and is in the process of drilling a test well in the area called "Turaco-1". In June 2002, Heritage signed an agreement with President Joseph Kabila to gain initial rights to a staggering 3.1 million hectares of eastern DRC, including eastern Ituri. The test well on the Ugandan side of the border has a 20 percent chance of producing oil, officials of Heritage indicate, and is expected to produce results, one way or the other, before early 2003. In another illustration of the links between the security and commercial dimensions of the conflict, a founder and director of Heritage Oil, Anthony (Tony) Buckingham, was the "inspiration behind Sandline [International]", the British private security firm."

    Today is Safe Motherhood Day.

    Aidspeak of the day: What is a Shared Vision Program (SVP)?

    Tuesday, April 01, 2003

    Numbers: Amount paid out by the UN Compensation Commission for claims against Iraq arising from the 1991 invasion of Kuwait: $16,680,964,976.12 (PDF).

    The United Nations Compensation Commission (UNCC) was created in 1991 as a subsidiary organ of the UN Security Council. Its mandate is to process claims and pay compensation for losses and damage suffered as a direct result of Iraq's unlawful invasion and occupation of Kuwait. Funds to pay the awards of compensation are drawn from the United Nations Compensation Fund which currently receives 25 per cent of the revenue generated from the export of Iraqi petroleum and petroleum products, pursuant to Security Council resolution 1330 (2000).

    UN appeals for $2bn for Iraq.

    Monday, March 31, 2003

    Very interesting content/technical/project management job: Africa Programme Manager, Open Knowledge Network

    There are so many "forgotten" crises, but the misery of living in northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo must rank among the worst. Handwringing about Basra being without clean water for a week is all very well. But try living in Ituri.

    Amnesty has a new Ituri report out: "The scale of the tragedy in Ituri is appalling, but Amnesty International believes the situation could worsen further, and sharply so...The preliminary findings of the MONUC investigation (which was continuing in February) revealed 117 cases of summary executions, most of which took place between 24 and 29 October, and 65 cases of rape, including the rape of children, as well as cases of torture and illegal arrests and detentions. A number of victims "were executed, mutilated and cannibalised"(28). The preliminary MONUC report, which has not been made public, was sent to the UN Security Council, whose members condemned "in the strongest terms" these "massacres and systematic violations of human rights" and demanded that the leader of the MLC, Jean-Pierre Bemba hold the perpetrators accountable. Read more at Amnesty

    Friday, March 28, 2003

    Want some of the $75 billion? Get a job in Iraq with USAID.

    Thursday, March 27, 2003

    Do you know what Rangoli is?

    e-government failures in the developing world. Case studies from the University of Manchester.

    "Survey and poll results produce the following working estimates about e-government initiatives in developing/transitional countries:

    · 35% are total failures
    · 50% are partial failures
    · 15% are successes"

    "World Bank-funded public sector ICT projects in Africa: almost all were partial failures; often systems that closed down after a year or so of operation"

    Eritrea gloats over Ethiopia losing Badme in the binding decision of the border commission which is meant to settle their dispute after a war in which tens of thousands died.

    Wednesday, March 26, 2003

    Jobs in Africa - an automatically updated JavaScript feed from (my former employer) :

    24 hours after I start my blog I have just been asked if I want to do an interview about blogging. Odd. Is someone pulling my leg?

    BBC NEWS | Middle East | Aid begins to arrive in Iraq. The WFP says they are appealing for $1 billion. Nothing like a round number.

    Humanitarian relief in Iraq. News and features from IRIN and an interesting new site specifically for aid agencies working on Iraq called

    The exceptionally precocious Aaron Swartz is "200 ms from home" in Japan.

    Matt Prescott is my first reader. His site is a great source for environmental information. Thanks, Matt.

    Sniffer Dolphins.

    Tuesday, March 25, 2003

    RSS2HTML perl script called rss_display. There can never be too many of these.

    Al-Jazeera in English - I never got in but now it seems they were hacked

    The Internet in Africa has been growing despite the policies of governments. Voice over IP is punishable by jail time in Tanzania and WiFi is illegal here in Kenya. Here's a cracking open letter to the Kenyan government byu a veteran of the Kenyan Internet scene, Joseph Mucheru:

    Dear Hon. John Michuki - Ministry of transport and Communication

    It is now three months (90 days) since the NARC victory promised us new
    hopes and challenges but most of all we were pleased that finally we
    had a government that is in touch with the people.

    I have been a member of the Internet Industry since its introduction
    into Kenya. I remember that the first commercial Internet link was a
    donation to Kenya through ARCC in 1995. The link was a donation and the
    joke then was it was so small, the US Company did not know how much to
    charge for it. At that time a 64Kbps link in the US was about $300
    monthly. Kenya only got a 9.6Kbps link, which would have meant a $45 monthly

    Further to this KP&TC would charge Internet users ksh70,000 for modem
    "type approval" . This of course made Internet business hard for any one
    interested in bringing the Internet resource to the Kenyan people. The
    quality of the lines then made it hard to even get a stable connection.
    It was however a start and Kenyans were proud to have an Internet
    connection, which was used more as a hobby than for business.

    Many Kenyans read about the Internet wave that was gripping the world
    and they wanted to be a part of the “global superhighway�. The costs
    however, were so high and the service so unreliable only a few were
    able to afford. It was during this time that the Kenyan people first came
    to face the hostile regulatory environment that was. KP&TC was not only
    the sole communications service provider in the country, but they were
    also the regulators and they made it impossible for the Internet
    Industry to even put a foot in.

    Like in all other time when Kenyans are oppressed they found a way and
    the first was by looking at the modem law. The law was clear. No KP&TC
    subscriber was allowed to connect to their network without first paying
    the ksh70,000 type approval fee for equipment already type approved by
    the ITU. The law did not say anything on selling of modems. So Diamond
    systems sold hundreds of modems to various users and informed them they
    needed to get type approval from KP&TC. None of them did and it became
    impossible for KP&TC to fight with individual clients. I’m not sure
    this law was ever changed.

    This was the first of what I call victories the private sector was able
    to have over the then KP&TC regulator. By the time KP&TC was divided
    into three, over five Internet Service Providers (ISPs) we operating with
    an average monthly subscription of 8,000 per month. There were about
    16,000 Internet users

    Today we can be proud as a country for not only having an Internet
    backbone in the country, but also the first Internet Exchange Point in
    Africa (outside South Africa). We can also say the Internet connection
    prices have also reduced to approximately 1,000 per month in 8 years and of
    course the user base has also increased to almost 250,000 users.

    The Internet like the telephone is a tool that has completely changed
    peoples and business ways of communicating across the globe. For Africa
    however things are so grim it is important that drastic decisions be
    made to ensure we are not totally left behind and totally excluded from
    the globalized converged economy.

    Here are some statistics……

    The Republic of Kenya

    Population 30,000,000

    TELEPHONES Services:

    Land lines 400,000
    GSM lines 1,200,000

    Total Telephones 1,600,000

    The ratio of Telephones to People 5.33%

    This tells you that more than 90% of Kenyans have never made or
    received a
    telephone call! We are talking here of voice telephone calls not the



    Internet Connections 35,000 (including Leased Lines)
    Internet Users 250,000

    The ratio of Internet Connections to the Population 0.833%


    Compare that with the world Internet statistics

    World Internet Population 580,000,000

    Kenya’s contribution to the World Internet community 0.043%


    In my view, the lack of infrastructure, education at all levels and a
    free and fair regulator environment is what is led to the poor
    performance of Kenya in global terms. Please note I have eliminated cost because
    by nature the Internet reduces the cost of communications. As an
    example, today the laws prohibit Kenyans from using Voice over IP which would
    save the country millions. An ordinary call to the US would cost about
    $2.00 per minute to the USA using the current PSTN while we know that
    using Voice Over IP it would not cost more than $0.30 per minute. An 85%
    saving on the current price. Why do we as Kenyans have to pay so much
    more than our US or UK counterparts? Telkom Kenya could offer this new
    method of communication to the Kenyan people instead of fighting to curb
    its use. As a country we have a huge opportunity to save.

    I also would like to say in my view many people seem to think the
    privatization of Telkom would make a difference but in my view that only
    creates a bigger problem for Kenya simply because as a country we would be
    dealing with a private monopoly. We all know the market forces lead to
    better consumer prices and services. In my view we may not have seen
    canned beer in Kenya had Castle Breweries not introduced competition.

    It is therefore my view that you should introduce competition for
    Telkom Kenya and the other monopolies that you control in order to get Kenya
    to the next level.

    We are excelling in Cricket today and I firmly believe with the right
    environment, we can lead the world also in the Internet and
    communications sector. And believe me this is not wishful thinking.

    Any chance of a reply?

    "technically anything is possible!"
    Joseph Mucheru
    Operations Director
    Wananchi Online Ltd.
    Loita House, 1st Floor Loita Street
    P.O. Box 10286
    00100 Nairobi

    Mobile: 254-722-522135
    Phone: 254-02-313985
    Fax: 254-02-313922