21 May 2008

Stories from 21 May 2008

Africa: Powering mobile payments in Africa

  21 May 2008

Mobile Africa reports about a mobile payment system empowering rural communities in Africa: “Leading mobile payments provider Mi-Pay has signed a contract with an East African operator to deliver a mobile money ecosystem to its subscribers in rural communities. Mi-Pay’s technology and expertise will enable subscribers to benefit from international...

Xenophobia Plagues South Africa

  21 May 2008

Extremely violent attacks on foreigners in South Africa in the last days have stirred the entire South African media and of course… blogs. Individual bloggers question whether the government is right to call these attacks "xenophobic", and criticize the media for being too event driven to address the causes behind the violence.

India: Is Google really evil?

  21 May 2008

profy on why Google wasn't quite evil when their cooperation with the Indian Police resulted in the arrest of a man accused of posting obscene content on Orkut.

Nepal: Violence and Immigrants

  21 May 2008

Kathmandu Speaks on the violence against “outsiders” in South Africa, and similar waves of protest against immigrants in other parts of the world.

Armenia: Human Rights Activist Attacked

Unzipped: Gay Armenia reports that a local human rights activist was verbally and physically assaulted in Yerevan today as well as shot at with a gas pistol. The assault was reportedly carried out by the former leader of a pro-establishment party who accused the activist of being a “CIA agent...

Trinidad & Tobago: Don't Touch My Buddy

  21 May 2008

Grounding recalls an effective campaign in response to “a surge in racism and racist attacks in France” and wonders: “What would it really be like for us to have a similar campaign here in T & T?”

Bahamas, U.S.A.: Agriculture & Politics

  21 May 2008

Larry Smith at Bahama Pundit weighs in on this and that, saying that “Food self-sufficiency for the Bahamas is an illusion” and that “The American presidential election is…the most interesting presidential race in memory.”

Bermuda: A Taxing Situation

  21 May 2008

Vexed Bermoothes says that one of the defining features of democracy is the incentive of taxpayers to turn out a government that does not perform: “And herein lies a major challenge for Bermuda: our largest taxpayers cannot vote. You see, our Government is propped up by the massive taxes and...

Lebanon: National dialogue in Doha

Lebanese parliamentarians, ministers, and opposing political leaders are currently holding talks in Doha, Qatar. This national dialogue came at the end of violent clashes between opposition and pro–government groups two weeks ago. The talks are taking place since Saturday in an attempt to reach an agreement on the national unity government, the election law and to finally elect a consensus president. Following are some bloggers reactions on the dialogue.

South Africa: The African Leadership Academy

  21 May 2008

Ladybrille writes about the African Leadership Academy: “Founded by four dynamic individuals: Fred Swaniker, Chris Bradford, Peter Mombaur and Acha Leke, the ALA is an organization committed to developing the next generation of African leaders. The Academy, located in the outskirts of Johannesburg in South Africa, boast a world class...

Lebanon: Psycological traumas

“Many Lebanese, myself included, argue that this technically short conflict did far more psychological damage than the 34 day 2006 war. Civil wars are much harder psychologically than wars with ‘the other’,” concludes Charles Malik, who wrote anecdotes of the psychological effect of the conflicts in Lebanon.

Kenya: The battle for mobile phone market

  21 May 2008

Ka-Investor blogs about “mobile wars” in Kenya: “The stage for a bruising battle for control of the local mobile phone market is now set and the main target is the safaricom’s near monopoly 9.2 million subscribers (although some of them are absentee subscribers). Other battle frontiers are the cash transfer...

Kenya: My experience with M-Pesa

  21 May 2008

Digzer writes about his experience with M-Pesa, a service that allows people to send money using mobile phones: “For all the simplicity using Safaricom’s M-Pesa is meant to provide, I’ve had a rather hard time at it. I’ve always noticed long queues at various M-pesa agent points and so thought...

Southeast Asia: Coping with the rice and food crisis

  21 May 2008

Food prices continue to rise in the world market. Southeast Asian governments are now re-examining their food and agricultural policies in order to prevent consumer panic and social unrest. Bloggers are discussing the food crisis and its impact in the region.

China: Volunteer Force

  21 May 2008

A hug number of volunteers rushed to Sichuan to help the earthquake victim. Zhai Minglei is one of them, he pointed out that civic force, even though they don't have legal status due to government policy, has contributed a lot in the relief work [zh], but the CCTV camera only...