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Archive for the ‘social media’ Category

Preserving Africa’s digital legacy

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CC: aussiegall Flickr

I spend my days immersed in social media, so much so that I’m left without  the energy to convert thoughts into blogs in my nights. All that to say that I’ve allowed my blog to slip into a coma. But listening to Christian Payne’s (@Documentally) audioboo ‘Contemplating the digital beyond‘ has jolted me back to life.

Christian (what an incredibly soothing voice this man has!) considers the need to reconcile the cultural significance of all we are creating and sharing on social media platforms (particularly the ‘big three’: Facebook, Twitter and Google +) and the potentially transient nature of these plarforms – they are, afterall, businesses dependent on sustainable income for their survival.

It’s certainly recommended listening.

While preserving a well loved blog is in itself interesting, for me though, the reason this recording strikes a cord is that it makes obvious the fact that Africa’s digital story could be lost.

Thousands are blogging, tweeting, sharing audio files and pictures, collectively redefining what it means to African – and challenging the “Africa is a country” mentality. It’s an exiciting time. Internet connectivity and with it, social media platforms have opened Africa up to the world in a way that defies the moribund tales of disease, famine and war.

As Christian explains, the value of social media is that “it is documenting society in real time but for future generations.” But withouth investment (of “cents, pounds or dollars”) and collective will, that could all be lost. This poses a challenge to all those creating new platforms (whether supported by mobile or other devices) for the African market and to those using existing platforms to talk about their Africa: think about legacy.

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Written by Eliza

July 10, 2012 at 3:23 pm

Mobile phones in Africa – an interview with Chris Locke of the GSMA Development Fund

Chris Locke is the managing director of the development fund at the GSMA, an organisation that represents nearly 800 of the world’s mobile phone operators. In this interview, he shares his thoughts on Africa’s mobile phones market, the developmental benefits of mobile tech and what he sees as the greatest barrier to further growth. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Eliza

October 26, 2011 at 12:07 am

Photograph of the week – one less problem for South Sudan

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There’s no better place for political slogans than on a t-shirt and no better opportunity than the birth of a nation.

As the world watches, cheers with and hopes for peace and prosperity in the newly formed state of South Sudan, the above picture began to make the rounds on Twitter, inspired by the song 99 Problems by US rapper Jay Z, which has the line “I got 99 problems but the b***ch ain’t one.”

If you want to know what others make of the world’s 54th nation, Global Voices, the citizen journalism project, curated the thoughts of several bloggers in ‘South Sudan: Free at last!

Written by Eliza

July 11, 2011 at 4:35 pm

Photograph of the week – Inforcer of the Law

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Emailed to me with the comment : “And we say there is no security in Cameroon. Please.”

Written by Eliza

April 22, 2011 at 4:52 pm

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#civnext: the beginning of the campaign not the end of the cause

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CC: Department for International Development

We now know what war is. It is up to us to make sure our children do not live that hell ever again. #civ2010 #civnextThu Apr 14 19:59:29 via Twitter for iPhone

Scanning my Twitter feeds, a new hashtag brings a smile to my face. After months of a political stalemate which led to a rapidly deteriorating humanitarian crisis, Ivory Coast is pulling back from the brink of war with a seven-letter hashtag: #civnext.

With the capture of Laurent Gbagbo, there is a palpable and understandable desperation to move on. The #civnext hashtag, is both the collective virtual exhale of a country that’s narrowly escaped civil war and a call to action: to reconcile Ivorians and rebuild Ivory Coast. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Eliza

April 14, 2011 at 10:47 pm

Why don’t Africans use social media to revolt like Arabs?

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Just after an article was published by the Guardian about the role of social media in  the Arab uprisings, I was invited by Charlie Beckett, director of POLIS at the LSE to write about what I thought was lacking in Africa’s attempts to do the same thing.

Here is that blog.

Flickr: magdino20 | Maged Helal

If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” Apparently not. For there to be ‘sound’ there needs to be ears that hear the vibrations made by the falling tree.

This philosophical riddle speaks volumes about the muted protests happening in parts of sub-Saharan Africa at the moment – and of the seeming disinterest both in the countries where they are started and in the international media. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Eliza

March 4, 2011 at 10:41 am