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

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Memorable Kenya news headlines (first in a series - if I get around to it): "Furious mother chews off son's ear over hunger claims" (Nairobi Star , 5/Jul/08)

More (potential) social games:


Sent to you by Ben via Google Reader:


via Akvo blog by Peter van der Linde on 12/9/08


Representatives of the gaming industry spend free time on the bus, developing water game concepts.

On the 19th of August two busses headed of from Amsterdam to an international gaming convention in Leipzig. 20 professionals from the Dutch gaming industry used the trip to freely spend 400 hours of creativity on developing water games concepts that address global water issues.

I am happy to share the news that the concepts that have been developed are now publicly available here. In January we will organize a follow-up meeting with representatives from the gaming sector to explore possibilities for cooperation in more detail.


Photo: world water pipe game. One of the game concepts that has been developed.

Since August I have gained a particular interest in these hand washing and solar disinfection games (dutch) that were developed by Ellis Bartholomeus from Laika, for Simavi. I feel such games can play an important role in awareness raising, especially when they are 'cultural neutral' and shared openly.

I am excited to see what will come of this.

Peter van der Linde is the partner-director of Akvo


Things you can do from here:


Oh. Mail-to-Blogger has not worked for ages. Here comes my backlog of postings...

Friday, November 28, 2008

Forward of the day...

Somali Pirates in Discussions to Acquire Citigroup

November 20 (Bloomberg) -- The Somali pirates, renegade Somalis known for hijacking ships for ransom in the Gulf of Aden, are negotiating a purchase of Citigroup.

The pirates would buy Citigroup with new debt and their existing cash stockpiles, earned most recently from hijacking numerous ships, including most recently a $200 million Saudi Arabian oil tanker. The Somali pirates are offering up to $0.10 per share for Citigroup, pirate spokesman Sugule Ali said earlier today. The negotiations have entered the final stage, Ali said.  ``You may not like our price, but we are not in the business of paying for things. Be happy we are in the mood to offer the shareholders anything," said Ali.

The pirates will finance part of the purchase by selling new Pirate Ransom Backed Securities.  The PRBS's are backed by the cash flows from future ransom payments from hijackings in the Gulf of Aden.  Moody's and S&P have already issued their top investment grade ratings for the PRBS's.

Head pirate, Ubu Kalid Shandu, said "we need a bank so that we have a place to keep all of our ransom money.  Thankfully, the dislocations in the capital markets has allowed us to purchase Citigroup at an attractive valuation and to take advantage of TARP capital to grow the business even faster."

Shandu added, "We don't call ourselves pirates. We are coastguards and this will just allow us to guard our coasts better."

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Jobs: (Development) Policy and Research Communication (UK) 

"DFID is seeking experienced policy and research communication specialists to help create and deliver a new service delivering high profile policy and research communications and ensuring research evidence is taken up. There are six posts which can be located in either London or East Kilbride.

The new Policy and Research Communications Unit will help implement the new Research Strategy - a strategy that will drive up to £1billion spend over the next 5 years to:

  • ensure research makes a much greater impact on the reduction of global poverty and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals;
  • manage high profile policy and research events;
  • exploit developments in new communication technologies to promote DFID's profile in international development policy and research.

For more information and how to apply see the DFID website."

Monday, November 17, 2008

Nation Media Group's new Facebook-style (?) site: Zuqka

Update 9 December: it's half dead at

Test drive reports here

Monday, October 27, 2008

Opera Mini releases their top ten of Africa mobile web countries . Mobile Swazis really take their surfing seriously...

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Humanitarian game: - "Prisoners of War

Sunday, October 05, 2008

More memorable Kenya headlines: "The Audacity of Hull" (Sunday Nation, October 5, 2008)

Monday, September 29, 2008

New humanitarian / social games: "Joseph is a [Ugandan] character in a cutting-edge Alternate Reality Game launched by the Red Cross on Monday -- a 21st century cross between a role-playing game and a treasure hunt. The game called "Traces of Hope" ( is the first time a charity has used the interactive ARG format more commonly used to promote films and commercial products." (via Reuters)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

News: According to a release from Kenya's ICT board, KenCall EPZ has won an Call Center Award. See the shortlist:

Non-European Call Centre of the Year

24/7 Customer, India
EMP - Emirates Marketing & Promotion, U.A.E.
-> KenCall EPZ Ltd, Kenya
Vodacom, South Africa

Saturday, September 06, 2008

A breakthrough in Kenya's M-Banking revolution - ... "withdrawals can be made from 110 PesaPoint ATMs in 46 towns around the country without the use of an ATM card"

Meanwhile, more Kenya mobile money news... A Kenyan sex worker is duped by fake mobile payoff; while banks get ready to cry foul  and finally, poor Zain, market share evaporating, bleeding money in a horrible re-branding, bravely says it's relauching its own money transfer service, Sokotele ...

Monday, September 01, 2008

Amazing Washington Post expose: er... the African Middle Class exists...

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Thinking of buying a goat for a needy person in Africa? (as Kristof suggests in the New York Times). Before you do, read this bracing article in South Africa's Mail and Guardian.
Extract: "A few months ago, at the height of the Christmas shopping season, Oxfam encouraged us Britons to give "the gift of dung" to Africa. That's right: dung. Apparently poor African farmers like nothing better at Christmas time than to receive a bucket of shit with which they can fertilise their crops."