Stories about Sub-Saharan Africa from November, 2012
D.R. of Congo: Artists Sing Against War
As war is resuming in the Eastern part of Congo, with the takeover of Goma by M23 rebels, several Congolese artists decided to unite and sing against the war. The video was posted on popular singer Koffi Olomide‘s Youtube page: http://youtu.be/kQAgKodnGHU
On World Toilet Day, Introducing the Crap Map Project
With both big technology players and local partners in Ghana, we’ll be hacking together our “crap map” using existing open source tools and software paired with meaningful offline facilitation around behavior change in sanitation. Molly Norris of Ideo.org explains the objective of the Crap Map project: “to stimulate collective action...
Mauritanians Protest in Solidarity with Gaza
After Friday Prayers, hundreds of Mauritanians took to the streets of the capital Nouakchott on November 16, 2012, in a solidarity rally with Gaza residents after the city became the target of heavy Israeli bombing.
Zambia's Currency to Get a Makeover
Zambia is set to rebase her currency by removing three zeroes from the Kwacha at the beginning of next year. Netizens have weighed in on the massive project for which the Bank of Zambia has even proposed 31 December, 2012 to be a holiday to allow for the smooth transition to use the new currency. While some netizens support the exercise some argue that it is simply cosmetic.
Sierra Leone: Mapping Out Real-Time Election Data
Sierra Leone holds its third national election since the end of their civil war on 17 November, 2012. A coalition of monitoring organisations in the country, National Election Watch, will map out real-time election-related data using OneWorld's monitoring technologies. The idea is to help civil society diagnose, anticipate and prepare for immediate action in the event of fraud or violence.
What is the Role of the Army in Africa Today?
The army has often played a determining but ambiguous role in the African political process. Between 1950 and 2000, 53 African countries were subject to military coups leading to regime change. After a period of respite in the 1990’s, the African continent was once again the scene of many military coups in the first decade of the 21st century, with 27 attempts at takeover. Being both a factor in the consolidation and the destabilisation of regimes, the army is regarded with suspicion in most countries and does not seem to know how to adapt to changing mindsets.
Chad: A Petition to Fight Impunity
Makaila ‘s blog published [fr] a petition cosigned by several human right organizations in Chad that bemoans the absence of investigation regarding war crimes. In addition, the petition notes [fr] that : We would like to take this opportunity to emphasize the fact that the executive power mingling into the judicial power facilitates the use of...
Is Ethiopia Fit to be a Member of the United Nations Human Rights Council?
Ethiopia was among four African countries that were elected as members of the United Nations Human Rights Council on 12 November, 2012. Considering Ethiopia's poor human rights record, many Ethiopians online feel that their country is not fit to be a member of the council. One netizen uses a local proverb to describe Ethiopia's membership at the council, "A fool makes a donkey carry red meat and send her along with a hyena! So the hyena will chomp through the red meat and later turn on the donkey!"
An Initiative to Keep Portuguese Language Teaching in French Universities
Portuguese is the sixth most-spoken language in the world, and there are about two million Portuguese speakers in France. Geneviève Fioraso, the French Minister of Higher Education and Research, said that having rare disciplines such as Portuguese in all French universities may not be efficient.
Zambia's Gossip Girl
Do you know who Zambia's gossip girl is? Read Neelika's post on Africa is a Country blog: We’ve grown to love serious reportage coupled with compromising photographs and cheeky headlines, such as “Kambwili grabs Roan golf club, turns it into grazing field for his cows,” replete with a stock image...
Kenyan Elections 2013: What Has Changed since 2007
Mzalendo looks at Kenyan elections 2012: Though Kenya has recovered somewhat since the 2007/2008 post election violence. Somewhat because there are still several internally displaced persons. The economy though better than in the aftermath of the 2008 election is still in a slump. Ethnic tensions are still high as evidenced...
Guinea-Bissau: International Arrest Warrant Against Blogger
The most visible face of Guinea-Bissau's blogosphere, António Aly Silva, wrote [pt] that he is being accused of “the crime of incitement to war” and that an international arrest warrant was issued against him by the regime in power since the coup of April 2012. In an interview [pt] for...
Côte d'Ivoire: Surprise Government Overhaul to Be Announced Today
Upon hearing that a government reshuffle [fr] will be announced today at 12h30 local time, blogger MacMady invites her readers to speculate on who stays and who will be let go [fr]. The government is also engaged in a vigorous debate on social networks [fr] on multiple office tenures by political leaders.
Mauritania: RIP Constitutional Institutions
Various opposition groups held a demonstration in front of the Mauritanian Parliament in protest against the constitutional void that the country is witnessing with the Mauritanian president out of the country for treatment.
Madagascar: Journalists and Blogger Prosecuted over Rosewood Trafficking Report
Reporters sans Frontières (RSF) reports that four journalists and a blogger are prosecuted for defamation and “complicity in spreading false news” [fr]. The charges against the reporters were submitted by Mamy Ravatomanga, a billionaire who owns several news outlets and is the former employer of the Minister of Communication. Blogger...
“Self-Defence is No Offence”: Nigerian Student on Trial in Ukraine
On Nov. 5, 2011, Olaolu Femi, a Nigerian student in Ukraine, was attacked by a group of young people in the city of Luhansk; he was detained the next day, and his alleged attempt to defend himself and a friend was interpreted by the Ukrainian prosecutors as attempted murder, for...
Assault of Female Radio DJ Ignites Zimbabwe Gender Violence Debate
The assault of a popular radio DJ by her boyfriend has ignited debate about violence against women in Zimbabwe. The pictures showing her swollen face were both praised and condemned on social media, bringing into focus what has become a growing social problem.
US Presidential Election Resonates in Zimbabwe
The just-ended United States election has got Zimbabweans excited as they face their own elections next year. Citizens are marveling at the speed the election results were announced, how presidential hopeful Mitt Romney “quickly” accepted defeat and how smooth the whole process seemed to them.
Lagos to Host Social Media Week in 2013
Lagos will become the first city in the African continent to host the Social Media Week (SMW Lagos) co-produced by Dragon Africa and AFRIKA21 in February 18 – 22, 2013.