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

Wednesday, March 29, 2006 | Daily Nation | NEWS | UK acts tough on shady firms: "Corruption is bleeding Africa to death, and the cost is borne by the poor. The African Union calculates that $148 billion (Sh10.7 trillion) a year is corruptly spirited out of the continent. This is six times what Africa receives in aid.
'Much of the money is banked in Britain or our overseas territories and dependencies and sometimes British citizens or companies are involved in corrupt deals. We want our government to get tough on corruption...' "

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Kenyan Blog Awards - 2006: "Kaybees - Kenyan Blog Awards (2006) Karibu and welcome to the 1st Annual Kaybees ? the Kenyan Blog Awards.
The Kenyan Blogosphere is full of vibrant, dynamic, cutting edge blogs and now is time for us to recognise the best in Kenyan Blogging. "

Friday, March 24, 2006

Oxfam Media Blog: "The latest missive from a journalist in my inbox had a subject line which read 'pastoralists - are they b*!gered?'. Such is the sophisticated analysis that a press officer has to deal with! "
[Interesting blog of an NGO press officer and his dealings with press on Horn of Africa drought issues...]

BBC NEWS | Africa | Drought-hit Eritrea expels NGOs: "The Eritrean government has expelled a number of international aid agencies.
Letters have been sent to at least three agencies, including US charity Mercy Corps, the Irish agency Concern, and a British NGO, Acord. "

Fair trade: UK supermarkets binge on liberal guilt: "Oppenheim [in the Spectator] points out that of the GBP1 extra paid for a bag of Fairtrade bananas, the proportion going back to the farmer is 4p, while of the 99p paid for a Fairtrade chocolate bar, the return for the cocoa grower is 'less than 2p'. If a supermarket charges GBP2.49 for a packet of own-brand Fairtrade coffee, when the combined cost of buying, shipping, roasting and packaging it 'cannot be much more than GBP1', it results in a gross profit margin of 160 per cent."

Fair trade: "
[From April 2005]
"...The full absurdity of the fair traders’ position is revealed by the fact that even British farmers, rightly notorious for their addiction to subsidies, can now be part of the scheme..."

Sunday, March 19, 2006

KIDS IN CANS (Breadline Africa Containers Appeal) [unfortunate names for aid projects (1)]

Saturday, March 18, 2006 "More than 1,000 migrants have been detained at sea over the past eight days while trying to reach the Spanish island, and NGOs estimate that many more have been forced to turn back after getting lost and running out of food. "

The Concoction: Can the aid industry be reformed?: "Poverty is when I lose all my limbs and my sight and I become totally dependant on others, and development is when my neighbour helps me up when I fall"

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Banned African airlines...: "In the UK, all aircraft operated by airlines from Equatorial Guinea, Gambia, Liberia and Tajikistan have been banned, as well as Sierra Leone's Star Air and Air Universal, Cameroon Airlines, Albanian Airlines and Central Air Express, from DR Congo.

France has publicly blacklisted Air Koryo (North Korea), Air Saint Thomas (US), International Air Services (Liberia), Lineas Aer de Mozambique, and Phuket Airlines (Thailand).

The Belgian list of unsafe airlines includes companies from Ukraine, Republic of Central Africa, Egypt, Armenia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Libya, Nigeria, Ghana and Rwanda.

And finally, Switzerland joined the three countries later last year, publishing a list of five companies from Azerbaijan, Egypt, Bulgaria, Lebanon and Nigeria."

Africa's New Ocean: A Continent Splits Apart - International - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News: "A Continent Splits Apart

By Axel Bojanowski

Normally new rivers, seas and mountains are born in slow motion. The Afar Triangle near the Horn of Africa is another story. A new ocean is forming there with staggering speed -- at least by geological standards. Africa will eventually lose its horn.

Geologist Dereje Ayalew and his colleagues from Addis Ababa University were amazed -- and frightened. They had only just stepped out of their helicopter onto the desert plains of central Ethiopia when the ground began to shake under their feet. The pilot shouted for the scientists to get back to the helicopter. And then it happened: the Earth split open. Crevices began racing toward the researchers like a zipper opening up. After a few seconds, the ground stopped moving, and after they had recovered from their shock, Ayalew and his colleagues realized they had just witnessed history. For the first time ever, human beings were able to witness the first stages in the birth of an ocean."

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

tHiNkEr?S rOoM: "Apparently Kenyan bloggers, including yours truly, have made it to a Daily Nation feature. Recongition from the mainstream media? My one gripe ? a very healthy imagination on the party of the author. I?m not 29. At no time did I divulge my age, or indeed anything personal about myself. Check your facts, ladies and gentlemen, check your facts!"

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Poll: What or who is an aid worker?

UNHCR - Multimedia: "Somalia: People-smuggling
Despite the risks desperate people are willing to pay smugglers to help them escape violence or poverty. (3:46).
Posted 20 Feb 2006"

Sunday, March 05, 2006

How to write about Africa by Binyavanga Wainaina

Never have a picture of a well-adjusted African on the cover of your book, or in it, unless that African has won the Nobel Prize. An AK-47, prominent ribs, naked breasts: use these. If you must include an African, make sure you get one in Masai or Zulu or Dogon dress.

In your text, treat Africa as if it were one country. It is hot and dusty with rolling grasslands and huge herds of animals and tall, thin people who are starving. Or it is hot and steamy with very short people who eat primates. Don't get bogged down with precise descriptions. Africa is big: fifty-four countries, 900 million people who are too busy starving and dying and warring and emigrating to read your book. The continent is full of deserts, jungles, highlands, savannahs and many other things, but your reader doesn't care about all that, so keep your descriptions romantic and evocative and unparticular.

The Concoction on corruption "Instead of milking the cow while they give it the best feed so it can multiply and fill the place with lots of grade cows so that if they steal one or two they go unnoticed, they try to drink the milk and eat the beef from the same cow, at the same time. They are then surprised when they are caught with the blood of the one and only cow on their hands."

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Reuters AlertNet - Voodoo priests at risk as bird flu hits Africa: "Officials in the tiny West African country which is the home of the ancient religion say spreading the word about bird flu may help save the lives of Voodoo devotees.
'We have identified the groups at risk, including fetishists and followers of the Voodoo cult who sometimes kill animals with their teeth,' Guillaume Hounsou-ve, director of livestock at Benin's Agriculture Ministry, told Reuters in an interview."