My area of interest is centered on francophone Africa, the status of minorities and immigrants in Europe & media biases. Raised in Madagascar, I hold a Master of Public Policy from Princeton University at the Woodrow Wilson School of International Affairs with a focus on international development & international relations and PhD in Medical Sciences from Purdue University. I can be found on twitter at twitter.com/lrakoto.
Latest posts by Lova Rakotomalala from October, 2010
Madagascar: Village Burned Down by Highwaymen during Cattle Robbery
The villages of Ampasimbe and Ankaenihenibe in Madagascar were attacked by gangs of highwaymen [Fr] (Dahalo in Malagasy) that made away with 18 and 15 zebus respectively. As the Ampasimbe villagers retaliated against the robbers, their village was burned down entirely, partly because of the powerful wind guts at the time.
Gabon, France: Gabon-raised Frenchman to Run for Elections
Will Mael Nyamat explains [Fr] what a black candidate who was raised in Gabon like himself can bring in terms of perspective to the political discourse during the French primary elections. Nyamat also argues in his book that the historically close tie between Gabon and France [Fr] makes him as sensible...
Global: Rarefying of Rare Earth Metals?
The economy-focused blog Le regard à Lupus explains [fr] that there are increasing concerns over the shrinking access to rare earth metals. These strategical mining resources are indispensable to the high-tech industry and green energy solutions.
Benin: One of the Most Affected by the Floods in Western Africa
Blaise Aplogan posts a photo of floods in Benin [fr]. He adds a table that summarizes the number of casualties and people affected by the floods in several western African countries, noting that Benin was one of the most severely hit [RFI report in French].
Cote d'Ivoire: Reports of Violence as Elections Approach
West Africa researcher for Human Rights Watch Corinne Dufka says:”While politicians and foreign diplomats have wrangled over election preparations, residents in western Côte d'Ivoire are consumed by fear of violent robbery or of being pulled from a bus and raped.” NGO Akendewa has set up a citizen reporting platform to...
Africa: Journalists Still Struggling for Press Freedom.
Reporters Without Borders published the Press Freedom Index today (10/20/2010). The section of the report on Africa mentions that Eritrea is last for the 4th consecutive year and that amongst the French-speaking African nations, Rwanda, DR of Congo, Cameroon, Cote d'Ivoire and Madagascar show worrisome signs for press freedom. [fr]
Cote d'Ivoire: A UN Seminar on Election Monitoring for Diplomats and International Observers
The UN Mission in Cote d'Ivoire announced that it held a two-day seminar (Oct 12-13) on election monitoring for diplomats and international observers in preparation for the elections [fr].
Madagascar: Citizens Reporting of the Latest Clash Between Armed Forces and Protesters.
Blogger Jentilisa gives a detailed eyewitness account [mg] of the latest acts of violence [fr] between security forces and protesters on October 18th in Antananarivo, Madagascar. An estimated 1,500 people protested in front of the court where members of the opposition were to appear. Here is a citizen video of the protest before the...
Benin: Text Messages to Help Protect Children Against Violence: Lessons Learned
The Violence Against Children (VAC) project is an initiative co-implemented by PLAN and Save the Children in West Africa and takes place over 4 years in seven countries. The project explored the idea of setting up a text message based system that will collect and map out reports of violence against children. The following is a discussion about the impact and lessons learned on the implementation so far.
Republic of Congo: Bass Player from Japan Learns Lingala to Collaborate with Music Stars
Japanese-born bass player Niwa explains in this video interview that his motivation for learning Lingala was to get better acquainted with the music scene in Congo [fr/ln]. Niwa is now also a Congolese citizen and has played with Congolese music superstars Tonton Zao and Bisso Na Bisso.
Somali Pirates Captures Taiwanese Fishing Boat off Madagascar Coast
Somali pirates may have seized Taiwanese fishing ship Feng Guo and its 14 crew members off the east coast of Madagascar. Le Matinal adds that Mauritius PM will speak out today in favor of an inter-regional strategy against piracy [fr]. Feng Guo had a fishing license issued by authority in Mauritius.
Senegal: Wade's Son Takes Over Energy Ministry as Power Outage Increases
Seneweb reports that power outages are becoming increasingly problematic in Senegal [fr]. More protests come about as food cannot be conserved without electricity. President Wade's son, Karim Wade has been assigned the Energy ministry in addition to his other duties as minister of International Cooperation, Territorial Management, Aerian Transport and...
Tidiane Deme, Director of Google Francophone Africa on the Future of Internet
Although it is estimated that 8.8% of the population in Africa is connected (twenty times more than in 2000), the director of Google Francophone Africa, Tidiane Deme argues that the cost of broadband on average in Africa is still too steep [fr] for individual consumers but that there is a very palatable market...
Burkina Faso: Folk Singer Icon Mahama Konaté Is No More
Le Faso.net reports that the Mahama Konaté, icon of the Senoufo traditional music passed away today [fr]. Konaté was the founder of the band “Farafina” and insisted on making his own instruments, arguing that “music is just a way of giving back what nature has to offer”.
Madagascar: A Referendum on the New Constitution Proposal
A referendum on a new constitution has been scheduled for November 17. The holding of a referendum is still heavily disputed by both the opposition and the international community. Malagasy bloggers have dissected and analyzed some of the changes suggested in the proposal and offer their own perspectives.
Sahel Region: On Paying Ransom for Hostages
Hostage-taking by a militant Islamist group called Al-Qaeda in The Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) is on the rise in the Sahel region which spans across several countries in the north of Africa. In order to free hostages, governments and companies have put political pressure on the African nations involved, or opted to pay ransoms directly. However, the strategy of paying ransom is often decried as ineffective and dangerous in the long run.