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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.