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

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


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."