Monday, May 31, 2010
Sunday, May 30, 2010
...for asking the obvious question apropos of Deepwater Horizon, "What about Nigeria's oil spills?"
The Malawian gay couple have been pardoned.
Friday, May 28, 2010
Press release for the 419 Positive Project. Click to enlarge. Kudos to Rosemary Ajayi for making this happen.
Thursday, May 27, 2010
of the Fast Company's "most creative people" list. However, how much would you trust a ranking that puts Lady Gaga at its summit? I'm just saying...
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Obasanjo sits on the "Africa Progress Panel". According to his remarks cited here, his beliefs on homosexuality do not sound progressive. Should this apparently distinguished panel have people sitting on it that hold a 13th century perspective on sexuality? Kofi Annan has his work cut out...
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Main One has finally reached Lagos and is just about to start testing phase. After years of wasted opportunities (read SAT 3 and NITEL) finally Nigeria will have faster and cheaper bandwidth. Or rather, Lagos, Abuja and a few other large cities will. There was never a coherent plan to build a fibre optic network for the whole of Nigeria. As with other parts of the world, rural internet access will continue to be a challenge for many years to come. Still, now is the time for eager anticipation. Are the ISPs ready to provide the retail service and pass the lower costs on to the long suffering customer however?
Sunday, May 23, 2010
Saturday, May 22, 2010
In May 2007, we travelled deep into the Old Oyo National Park to visit the ruins of Oyo Ile, one of the most powerful empires of West Africa in its time. After over three hours driving from Ilorin into the forest, we finally reached the cave where Oranmiyan was led by the python. To this day, there is a python cave in the same spot. The national park guards were very wary when we walked close to the entrance; apparently the pythons can travel faster than you can run. There is scarcely anything left of the great empire; just a two foot high mud wall. Perhaps one day there'll be a museum and the place will be a bit more organised. For now, everything is left to the imagination. No bad thing in a way.
Preaching her insane/inane drivel in Houston. The suffering to thousands of children in Akwa Ibom and Cross River State this evil woman has caused...
Good analytical post from Akin here on how the Qu'ran actually discourages polygamy. The idea that a man can marry a woman without any age limit is also a complete misinterpretation of the Suras. Here. The Prophet Mohammed married the widows of his friends to ensure their children had a proper upbringing. It was an ethical act, not an act of lust. Religions are often bastardised and corrupted in the hands of men.
Excellent piece on the other side of the World Cup here. The article could be called, "How Europe underdevelops African football." It doesn't seem like the World Cup is going to help transform the beautiful game in South Africa, let alone anywhere else on the continent. The stadiums will be turned over to the white sports of rugby and cricket after the tourists have gone. The shady network of European talent scouts picking up young African players is barely a rung above human trafficking,
Friday, May 21, 2010
One thing that's been absent from the discourse on Senator Yerima and his 14 year old Egyptian wife is the health risks associated with newly married girls becoming pregnant. The most tragic of these is obstetric fistula. Young girls often lose their babies because their bodies are not developed enough for childbirth and then suffer the awful consequences of fistula. Nigeria unfortunately has one of the highest fistula prevalence rates on the continent, with 20,000 new cases each year. The link between obstetric fistula and the common practice of child marriage in the North is obvious for anyone to see. A thousand years ago, people could be excused for not understanding these things. For practices to be justified on account of ancient historical/theological precedent in the face of the obviousness of suffering is a lesson in stone stage thinking. Child marriage ruins thousands of young girls lives in Nigeria every year. How is it possible to know about obstetric fistula and yet continue to be a proponent of child marriage?
Is it me or was it only Benicio Del Toro who looked like a God at this year's Cannes?
EBEDI WRITERS RESIDENCY: CALL FOR APPLICATIONS
The Ebedi International Writer’s Residency is administered by EBEDI International Writers Resort. Located in the idyllic scenery of Iseyin town in Iseyin local government area of Oyo State Nigeria , the Ebedi Resort provides an inspiring ambience to churn out creative works away from the rigours and bustle of everyday work and life.
The residency whose Patron is Dr. Wale Okediran, will be administered by the Ebedi’s Writers Residency Management Board under the Chairperson of Maryam Ali Ali. Other members of the board are Akintayo Abodurin, Uche Peter Umez, Tokunbo Okediran and Alkasim Abdulkadir as Secretary to the board.
Ebedi Writers Residency is a well furnished 4 bedroom Bungalow complete with Kitchen, bathroom and Patio area.A standby generator and water bole facilities as well security arrangements are also available. A large well landscaped compound and the adjoining hills will complement a beautiful Writers Resort.
The Writer-in-resident shall be granted a stay not more than six weeks.
The Management Board shall also provide the writer with a grant enough to cover feeding and incidental expenses during course of stay.
How to Apply
All applicants must specify two preferences for the time of their residency; successful applicants will be offered the first available spot in accordance to their preference.
To apply, please send in the following:
Biographical sketch including publications, performances and writing credits
Ten page sample of your latest work.
One-page description of the work to be undertaken while at the Residency
Two letters of recommendation e-mailed directly to the e-mail address mentioned above
If the applicant has a publishing contract for the project in process, he/ she should kindly state this.
Ebedi’s Writers Residency is open to both writers based in Nigeria and international writers who have published books in the categories of novels, short stories, poetry or plays.
Writers should have a specific project they will be developing or completing at the Residency.
Selected writers will be expected to contribute to the Iseyin Community's educational development by organizing a literary activity such as a writing workshop or literary competition among the students of a secondary school in the town during the duration of the program. Regardless of the country of origin, the applicant must be fluent in speaking English.
Ebedi Writers’ Residency program mainly focuses on the professional experience of writers, quality of past work and their potential to have a productive time while they are residents.
Major factors in making the selection will be the literary achievement of the applicant to date and the ability to produce a work of substantial literary quality. The Management Board will make the final selection of two (2) for each Residency Season.
All applications must get to the board before close of business on the 15th of June 2010.
Completed applications should be sent to alkasim.abdulkadir@ yahoo.com
A charity set up to sent secondhand/unused bras from the US to Uganda is kicking up a storm in the 2.0 world. It began with a piece in the Huffington Post. It prompted this outraged rejoinder. There are many excellent points in the response about imports preventing the local cotton industry from thriving and the overall dumb blonde patronising tone, however, I think there's a false note attached to an alleged stigma in possessing second hand clothes.
Thursday, May 20, 2010
"In Nigeria's conservative Islamic north, women are barred from ruling, except in the kingdom of Kumbwada. Here, an ancient curse keeps males off the throne, according to locals. Male pretenders who dare to try will be buried within a week..."
Article from a few weeks back in the LA Times here.
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Sean Jacobs, assistant professor at the graduate program in International Affairs, leads a panel that includes Time magazines senior editor Tony Karon; Austin Merrill, author of the Fair Play blog for Vanity Fair; and writers Binyavanga Wainaina and Teju Cole. The discussion features film and video clips. Sponsored by the graduate program in International Affairs.
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Sunday, May 16, 2010
Friday, May 14, 2010
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
One of Canada's top papers devoted its World section to the African continent on Monday, edited/curated by the Kenyan blogger and founder of Ushahidi, Ory Okolloh. Its all online here.
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
The fracas starts around 4mins 50 in. Hilarious! I wonder if Anji and Fiona have seen it...
Monday, May 10, 2010
Sunday, May 09, 2010
Excellent analysis by Cheta here. The silence of the clerics is deafening...
The tragicomedies of Nigeria come in the thousands each day and are never ending.
Will Uganda and Ghana avoid the mistakes of Nigeria in their management of oil revenues? An article from the May 3rd Time magazine asks the question.
Buka is a new Nigerian restaurant opened last month in Brooklyn (946 Fulton Street). Lookman Afolayanin's joint is the new headquarters of Nigerian food in New York. The menu features several pepper soups--the traditional goat, as well as fish and chicken. There's also okra, fried plantain, moinmoin, and jollof rice. Facebook page here. Photos and menu review by F.F.
Saturday, May 08, 2010
A 20 minute documentary written by Ruonah Agbroko on Nigeria's founders told through the figures on the Naira notes premiers later this month, supported by the Nigerian Leadership Initiative. Here for more.
As a taste of the kind of slashing and burning of all that is held good by the incoming Conservative government in their rush to save £6bn (and create a second recession unwittingly), Middlesex University is closing its philosophy department. Its 1979 all over again. The next generation is going to quickly discover why the Tories are hated so much by lefties. The closure is not going to happen without a fight however; students have occupied a building called Mansion House on the Trent Park campus and are putting on free seminars for the public. Here. As they say,
Friday, May 07, 2010
Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani will be reading from her book, I Do Not Come To You By Chance, at Quintessence Bookshop, on Saturday 15th May at 4pm. Click here for the Facebook event page (and to let us know if you are coming).
Interview with Mandy Brown at 10am tomorrow (Saturday, 8th May), GMT+1. You can listen live here.
A story on Next in the Huffington Post. Will the paper survive by moving to the mobile space? Many among the political class in Abuja would hope not..
For holding on to Streatham for Labour with a 17.5% majority.
Thursday, May 06, 2010
Wednesday, May 05, 2010
School of Media and Communication, Pan-African University
August 2010 Conference
New Media and the Knowledge Economy in Africa
The concept of the knowledge economy is more than that of an economy based on knowledge. It even goes beyond the notion of the (economic) management of knowledge and knowledge production in culture and society. The conceptual shift resides in the re-evaluation of production value away from the traditional combination of raw materials-machinery-capital, and towards greater emphasis on human capital, its development and its contribution to the value chain.
For us in the cultural industries, the commanding role that ICT plays in the value chain demands that we focus on new media as the platform of the knowledge economy. In real times, media are not merely channels of communication, not mere tools, but prime assets in the (re)production of knowledge. Thus they raise questions of skill-sets, competence even of skilled producers and the future direction of African economies and polities.
Against this background, this conference will address the place of new media and ICT in general in the production and reproduction of knowledge in Africa. How well are the universities and training institutions in Africa leveraging on the new media in knowledge production? What is the state of library and information systems in our institutions in this regard? What are the policy options being pursued or implementation strategies adopted by national governments to push forward the empowerment of citizens through the new media platforms? How do the new media advance democracy in Africa? What impacts do the new media have on industrial production, service delivery and workflow practices?
It is expected that at the 2010 conference, the publication of select papers from the 2009 conference (Journalism and New Media Technologies in Africa) will be launched. In 2010 the sub-themes have been organized along the lines below. The themes are provided only as suggestions. Scholars, industry experts and practitioners, policy makers and others who wish to organize special panels along themes other than those below should make proposals to the organizers. However, extra topics must be hinged on the central theme of the conference.
Paper proposals should be one page, and should list the author's name, address, university affiliations, telephone, fax, and e-mail, followed by the paper's title and an abstract of not more than 300 words. The abstract should specify the subject, questions asked, methodology and findings.
a) Theoretical and conceptual issues on new media and knowledge economy
· Research paradigms and traditions
b) Culture and the (re)production of knowledge in Africa
· Endogenous/indigenous knowledge systems
· New media and archiving of cultural knowledge
· Cultural interfaces and dissonances in knowledge production
· Knowledge production in central and peripheral societies
c) Citizen empowerment and new media
· E-Governance and democracy: framework for social and economic empowerment
· Political and public communications and the new media
· New media and public policy in Africa
· Social media, social enterprises and social critiques in the new media
· ICT and professionalism in public service delivery
d) Business and economic practices
· Market economies and moral economies in the new media age
· Marketing communications and the new media
· Business and financial intelligence in new media contexts
· Research and development in the ICT age
· Intellectual property issues in the new media
· Virtual business communities
(e) Tools and technologies in the knowledge economy: Educational networks, virtual universities
· Infrastructure of knowledge production: Research and the new media
· Education and e-competence: Preparing employable youths
· Library and information services in Africa today
· On virtual universities in Africa
The deadline for submission of abstracts is 30 April, 2010. Notification of acceptance is 30 May, 2010.
Venue: Pan-African University, Lekki Campus
Date: 11 – 13 August, 2010
Students: 50% discount
PAU alumni: 25% discount
Conference convener: Prof. E. A. Biakolo
School of Media and Communication