Africa, technology, media, humanitarian issues, Africa jobs.
Wednesday, December 31, 2003
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...
Posted by Ben at 1:17 am
Wednesday, December 24, 2003
Tuesday, December 23, 2003
Monday, December 22, 2003
Friday, December 19, 2003
APC Action Apps - Building information communities - General Information The most interesting thing in this content management system called ActionApps is the idea of content pooling - it's a kind of trusted syndication.
Posted by Ben at 12:49 am
Thursday, December 18, 2003
Monday, November 24, 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."
Posted by Ben at 1:20 am
Somali Journalists Network: Advocating Free Press in Somalia: "The Somali Journalists Network "
Posted by Ben at 1:05 am
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."
Posted by Ben at 10:02 pm
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."
Posted by Ben at 6:29 am
Posted by Ben at 6:17 am
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."
Posted by Ben at 6:04 am
Wednesday, November 19, 2003
Friday, November 07, 2003
Amazon.co.uk: 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]
Posted by Ben at 6:38 am
Thursday, November 06, 2003
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."
Posted by Ben at 1:37 am
Wednesday, November 05, 2003
Posted by Ben at 1:56 am
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"...
Posted by Ben at 1:52 am
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)
Posted by Ben at 6:37 am
Monday, November 03, 2003
allAfrica.com: 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...
Posted by Ben at 11:18 pm
Friday, October 24, 2003
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.
Posted by Ben at 7:46 am
Tuesday, October 21, 2003
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."
Posted by Ben at 7:14 am
More initiatives on scholarly and scientific journals for developing countries:
Posted by Ben at 6:03 am
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?
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."
Posted by Ben at 3:05 am
Sunday, October 19, 2003
oneworld.tv * 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..."
Posted by Ben at 10:40 am
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."
Posted by Ben at 6:48 am
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."
Posted by Ben at 8:24 am
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."
Posted by Ben at 8:02 am
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"
Posted by Ben at 7:54 am
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: firstname.lastname@example.org; or by post to: Kitty Warnock, Panos Institute, 9 White Lion St, London N1 9PD, UK
Deadline for submissions: Oct 15th 2003"
Posted by Ben at 10:48 pm
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)
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. "
Posted by Ben at 2:40 am
Thursday, September 25, 2003
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. "
Posted by Ben at 5:38 am
Wednesday, September 24, 2003
Posted by Ben at 5:51 am
Friday, September 19, 2003
Tuesday, September 16, 2003
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. "
Posted by Ben at 7:26 am
Wednesday, September 03, 2003
From: Brian Longwe
Date: Wed Sep 3, 2003 5:16 pm
Subject: AfrISPA Online Discussion
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
Posted by Ben at 7:29 am
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. "
Posted by Ben at 5:40 am
Monday, September 01, 2003
Boston.com / 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.
Posted by Ben at 6:59 am
Friday, August 29, 2003
War On Want : Vacancies : Media Officer: "Vacancies
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."
Posted by Ben at 5:18 am
Thursday, August 28, 2003
Amazon.co.uk: 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. "
Posted by Ben at 2:21 am
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)
Posted by Ben at 5:26 am
Thursday, August 21, 2003
Wednesday, August 20, 2003
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. "
Posted by Ben at 11:24 pm
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 www.eastandard.net...
Posted by Ben at 8:01 am
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?
Posted by Ben at 12:02 am
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. "
Posted by Ben at 6:17 am
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 email@example.com. Preference will be given to qualified Rwandan nationals.Deadline of Application: 31 August, 2003."
Posted by Ben at 5:19 am
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
Posted by Ben at 5:54 am
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"
Posted by Ben at 1:30 am
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."
Posted by Ben at 1:28 am
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."
Posted by Ben at 1:24 am
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. "
Posted by Ben at 9:59 am
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?
Posted by Ben at 7:28 am
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)
Posted by Ben at 5:24 am
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:
Posted by Ben at 12:47 am
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)
Posted by Ben at 2:22 am
Wednesday, July 30, 2003
Tuesday, July 29, 2003
Job: EAST AFRICA: PROGRAMME MANAGER - RECONCILE
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.
Posted by Ben at 1:14 am
Posted by Ben at 1:08 am
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)
Wednesday, July 23, 2003
Sunday, July 20, 2003
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."
Posted by Ben at 2:54 pm
Thursday, July 17, 2003
...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.
Posted by Ben at 10:59 am
(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.
Posted by Ben at 10:56 am
Friday, July 11, 2003
Workthing.com - 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 firstname.lastname@example.org, go to email@example.com/opportunities/jobs/business 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. "
Posted by Ben at 8:08 am
Monday, July 07, 2003
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)
Posted by Ben at 2:06 am
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."
Posted by Ben at 4:21 am
Monday, June 30, 2003
Candle-powered FM radios in Senegal: "First Lady of Senegal Inaugurates Community Radio
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. "
Posted by Ben at 4:11 am
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."
Posted by Ben at 12:33 am
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
Posted by Ben at 12:23 am
Wednesday, June 25, 2003
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:
Posted by Ben at 7:38 am
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.
Posted by Ben at 11:30 pm
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.
Posted by Ben at 11:33 am
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.
Posted by Ben at 8:35 am
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.
Posted by Ben at 3:04 am
Monday, June 23, 2003
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.
Posted by Ben at 11:59 pm
Somali leader seeks lifting of flight ban
By ADAN MOHAMED
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.
Posted by Ben at 5:02 am
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.
Posted by Ben at 3:30 am
Friday, June 20, 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.
Posted by Ben at 1:19 am
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.
Posted by Ben at 12:52 am
Wednesday, June 11, 2003
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.
Posted by Ben at 11:19 pm
Tuesday, June 10, 2003
Underground market attracts MTN
BY RODNEY WEIDEMANN, ITWEB JOURNALIST
[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.
Posted by Ben at 6:49 am
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)
Posted by Ben at 11:29 pm
Tuesday, June 03, 2003
Magician loses his mind because of black magic
BY LUCKY TSABEDZE
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.
Posted by Ben at 7:39 am
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.
Posted by Ben at 7:33 am
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.
Posted by Ben at 5:30 am
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...
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."
Posted by Ben at 12:23 am
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...
Posted by Ben at 1:31 pm
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
Posted by Ben at 1:27 pm
Tuesday, May 20, 2003
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,
Posted by Ben at 1:56 pm
Monday, May 19, 2003
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.
Posted by Ben at 4:14 am
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...
Posted by Ben at 4:11 am
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 >> http://www.uneca.org/codi
Posted by Ben at 4:08 am
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.
Posted by Ben at 8:29 am
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...
Posted by Ben at 8:28 am
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."
Posted by Ben at 3:41 am
Thursday, May 01, 2003
The World Bank is calling an interest-free loan "innovative". Am I missing something?
FINANCIAL INNOVATION WILL BUY POLIO VACCINE TO HELP ERADICATE POLIO WORLDWIDE
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)
Posted by Ben at 9:07 am
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).
Posted by Ben at 2:14 am
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.
Posted by Ben at 2:50 am
Tuesday, April 22, 2003
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.
Posted by Ben at 5:04 am
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
Posted by Ben at 3:10 am
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 (www.wits.ac.za/saiia ) . It will be a free e-publication to the leaders of nations, policy makers, key business and NGO people, academics and journalists across Africa."
Posted by Ben at 1:42 am
Thursday, April 17, 2003
Wednesday, April 16, 2003
Posted by Ben at 4:15 am
Posted by Ben at 1:52 am
Tuesday, April 15, 2003
Saw a family of Sykes monkey in the parking lot leaving work yesterday. The rains still haven't really started. It's getting late...
Posted by Ben at 10:46 pm
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)
Posted by Ben at 2:02 am
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.
Posted by Ben at 12:29 am
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.""
Posted by Ben at 6:10 am
Map of Ituri showing Drodro, location of the latest massacres.
Posted by Ben at 5:04 am
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.
Posted by Ben at 2:15 am
Friday, April 11, 2003
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?
Posted by Ben at 11:44 pm
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...
Posted by Ben at 11:54 pm
Monday, April 07, 2003
Friday, April 04, 2003
Wednesday, April 02, 2003
Extracts from the 1 April edition of the e-newsletter Humanitarian Times (HTimes@fcc.net):
- SAVE THE CHILDREN ADOPTS US GOVERNMENT APPROACH
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.
- NEW HUMANITARIAN AID STANDARDS DRAFTED BY COALITION MILITARY
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.
Posted by Ben at 4:10 am
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."
Posted by Ben at 1:39 am
Today is Safe Motherhood Day.
Posted by Ben at 12:51 am
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).
Posted by Ben at 11:38 pm
Monday, March 31, 2003
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
Posted by Ben at 1:20 am
Friday, March 28, 2003
Thursday, March 27, 2003
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"
Posted by Ben at 4:10 am
Wednesday, March 26, 2003
Posted by Ben at 11:02 pm
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?
Posted by Ben at 7:01 am
BBC NEWS | Middle East | Aid begins to arrive in Iraq. The WFP says they are appealing for $1 billion. Nothing like a round number.
Posted by Ben at 6:46 am
Tuesday, March 25, 2003
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 â€œglobal superhighwayâ€�. 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. Iâ€™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 statisticsâ€¦â€¦
The Republic of Kenya
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
telephone call! We are talking here of voice telephone calls not the
NOW THE INTERNET::
Internet Connections 35,000 (including Leased Lines)
Internet Users 250,000
The ratio of Internet Connections to the Population 0.833%
==> PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS IS LESS THAN 1% OF THE POPULATION!!!!
Compare that with the world Internet statistics
World Internet Population 580,000,000
Kenyaâ€™s contribution to the World Internet community 0.043%
IF YOU ROUND THIS OFF YOU GET 0% (ZERO PERCENT) !!!!!!!
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!"
Wananchi Online Ltd.
Loita House, 1st Floor Loita Street
P.O. Box 10286
Posted by Ben at 9:55 pm