Tanzanian bloggers’ virtual conference

Tanzanian bloggers worldwide are meeting formally for the first time today October 18th, 2006. After calls by several African bloggers for African bloggers to organise their ‘own’ media and blogging conference following the Digital Citizens Indaba controversy and especially after several prompts from a Tanzanian Rastafarian blogger Ras Laihamu, Jeff Msangi took the initiative of calling for the first Tanzanian bloggers conference.

Ingawa idadi ya blogu za kitanzania … zimekuwa zikiongezeka kila mara … hatujapata nafasi ya “kukutana”. Nia imekuwepo, sababu zimekuwepo, mipango ya muda na jinsi ya kukutana ndio imekuwa migumu. Habari njema ni kwamba sasa tunaweza kukutana kwa kutumia tekinolojia hizi hizi za mitandao….

Although the number of Tanzanian blogs has been increasing all the time, we (bloggers) have not had the chance to meet. We want to meet and we have all the reasons to meet, but when and how to meet has proved to be difficult. The good news is now we can meet using online digital technologies….

Writing about the need for African bloggers to meet, Jikomboe quotes Ras Luihamu:

Kwanini inakuwa vigumu sisi wanablogu kutoka Africa kuwa na mkutano wetu hapa hapa Afrika?… Mzee Ndesanjo nasi tungependa tuwe na mkutano wa wana blogu kutoka Afrika hapa hapa Afrika kwa sababu tunaweza kujifunza mambo mengi sana, nadhani hatuhitaji wadhamini kwani lengo letu ni kukutana kisha kuzungumzia kazi zetu.

Why is it difficult for us African bloggers to have our own meeting here in Africa? Ndesanjo, we would like to have a meeting… I don't think we need sponsors to meet and talk about our work.

Indeed thanks to the web based interactive service, IRC@Work, that Tanzanian bloggers are able to meet at last.

The planning for the conference (nomination of conference moderator, agendas to be discussed, meeting date and time, etc) has taken place online. A wiki page was set up to facilitate the process. The conference will discuss, among other things, outreach strategies, bloggers’ award, and national blog day.

Elsewhere, Msangi Mdogo and Jeff Msangi have been digesting and analyzing news about a senior Tanzania government official, Ukiwaona Ditopile Mzururi, who allegedly gunned down a communter bus driver. Mzuzuri was the Tabora Regional Commissioner. He has resigned following the incident.

Msangi says that, unlike many Tanzanians, he was not suprised by the incident because he reads the signs of the time. He notes that there is a Regional Commissioner who spanked voters and District Commissioners who reportedly slapped innocent citizens.

A popular photoblogger, Muhidin Issa Michuzi, documents the mourning and burial of the driver as well as the former Regional Commisioner's first appearance in court.

Mzawa looks at the incident with a sense of humor. He posts “a new traffic sign” in Tanzania, which reads: Drive Careful, Ditopile Ahead!. After the incident, several commuter buses and shops have been christened “Ditopile”

Pondering about China-Africa Cooperation summit , Motowaka doubts whether the Tanzanian president, Jakaya Kikwete, ever discussed the Dafur crisis with the Sudan president, Omar Al-Bashir.

Ila bila kuongelea na ikibidi kukemea tabia au kusudi la Bw. Al-Bashir la kufumbia macho mauaji ya Durfur atakuwa hajawatendea haki watanzania na waafrika wote kwa ujumla.

Without discussing or criticising president Bashir's policy on Dafur, which condones killing of civillians, he (President Kikwete) has let down Tanzanians and all African people.

On China's aid to Africa, Motowaka writes:

…ingawa China ametuita kutupatia msaada naye inabidi aambiwe kwamba soko lake la silaha la Sudani linatuumiza sana kuliko hiyo misaada anayotaka kutupatia ….

Although China plans on giving aid to Africa, it has to be told that its arms trade with Sudan renders its aid to Africa useless….

Lastly, blog by a Tanzanian living in Canada, African Perspective, has been nominated for the 2006 Canadian Blog Awards in the Best Cultural Blog category, writes Jikomboe.


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