Archives For Weekly Review

Appfrica’s weekly review looks back at popular stories from our own blog and others from the week gone-by. This week: Kampala rocked by rioting, the flow of news during crisis situations, GLO-1 finally arrives in West Africa, and the search for African science fiction.

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This week, Kampala was crippled by riots and looting which marred the image of one of East Africa’s model cities. The cause of the uprising is complicated but The Independent described the situation well for the international audience.

One thing the recent riots in Kampala have revealed is the flow of news and how people behave during crisis situations. We still don’t quite know what we’re dealing with in Kampala. It’s either the beginning or the end of a wider scale confrontation. For those of us on the ground, we’re starved for information. The mobile phone and it’s users ere essentially the only reports we can rely on for timely info. Despite the fact that people are more connected than ever through mobile devices and web services like Twitter, there are still some gaping holes in how information is aggregated and disseminated in times of crisis. Over the past three days I contemplated how it might be possible to improve the flow of data during crisis situations.

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Our weekly review looks back at some popular stories from our own blog and others from the week past. This week: NBC catches critcism for their newest show about a wealthy good samaritan, the commandline Wikipedia ensures you can find out who invented spaghetti even while programming, ICANN pollutes the namespace to save the environment, and Nigeria gets animated.

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This Week in African Tech

Teddy Rist or Bobby Sager?If the MacArthur Foundation offered grants for action, adventure and intrigue the NBC show The Philanthropist would be a documentary about one of the winners. Instead it channels real-life philanthropist Bob Segar and his efforts to change the world, one C-note at a time.

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“This Week in Appfrica” is a weekly digest highlighting articles and stories from the previous week. If you’re interested in becoming an advertiser on this blog, head over the sponsor page for details on how. Appfrica Archives | Contact | Twitter | Weekly Digest | Subscribe via E-mail

Features and Analysis

SEACOM: This is What ‘Open Access’ Looks Like—Commentary on East Africa’s new SEACOM cable

The Bottom 5%–What would the world look like if we took out the bottom 5%?

No Connection? No problem! Practical Advice for Freelancing From Cybercafés—With high internet prices and low connectivity, how can freelancers work from a USB key?

Advice for Freelance Developers: Getting a Better Contract—Practical advice for freelancers just getting started

Your Client Just Asked for What?!?? Price Negotiations for Beginners—Price negociations from a West African perspective

Global Communication Infrastructure—How the world communicates, in pictures.

News

UNICEF Informs Parents of Free Polio Vaccine by SMS—UNICEF works with African governments to disseminate information cheaply

New Chinese TV Channel Targets Middle East, North Africa

Benin is Back! Togo and Niger, Not So Much—Benin is back online (sort of) after the SAT-3 was cut last week

US & Africa Collaborate for Lab Accreditation—The US announces an effort to help African research labs get accreditation

Chinese Label Dangerous and Fake Drugs as “Made in India”—Fake drugs marketed by China flood the African market

Be the Difference: Mozilla Announces Week of Service—Mozilla invites the world to help non-profits take better advantage of IT services.

GSM securing lives on Lake Victoria—Using SMS to communicate market conditions and the weather

Clay Refrigerator Preserves Food without Electricity—A Nigerian inventor creates a two-pot system to cool food in arid climates

Dutch Scientists Test Malaria Vaccine Delivery … Through Mosquitoes—Weakened live parasites combined with chloroquine could mean a vaccine.

“This Week in Appfrica” is a weekly digest highlighting articles and stories from the previous week. If you’re interested in becoming an advertiser on this blog, head over the sponsor page for details on how. Appfrica Archives | Contact | Twitter | Weekly Digest | Subscribe via E-mail

Editorials and Features

Real-Time Web for the Bottom Billion

How do you reach the billions around the planet who live off the grid? Introducing WorldWantsToKnow

Tech News

Afrobotics Initiative

Promoting and supporting engineering and manufacturing in Africa.

The World in 2050

According to this projection, Congo will be one of the most populous places on the planet.

Google Grows Up

Microsoft seems to be have some success with it’s Bing strategy. Google answers back with a new OS.

Nokia and Intel Announce Partnership

“They know portability, mobility is the wave of the future.”

Appfrica News

PCWorld highlights our new app WorldWantsToKnow.

A debate about Appfrica’s WorldWantsToKnow blows up on Slashdot!

Questionbox launches an awesome new blog at Posterous.

Podcast

The latest Appfricast interviews users of Question Box in Uganda.

http://www.odeo.com/flash/audio_player_standard_gray.swf

“This Week in Appfrica” is a weekly digest highlighting articles and stories from the previous week. If you’re interested in becoming an advertiser on this blog, head over the sponsor page for details on how. Appfrica Archives | Contact | Twitter | Weekly Digest | Subscribe via E-mail

Editorials

Affect Theory

My editorial at the TED Fellows Blog discusses the role of education, investment capital and mentorship all correlate to a positive African future.

Techcrunch Goes to Africa

Sarah Lacey is in Africa, sparking a lot of excitment that Techcrunch would cover the local tech scene.

VC4Africa Mobilizes Investors Interested in Africa

One of our first startups Afridex announces a partnership with the 5,000 strong community of investors at VC4Africa!

News

Africa Does the Robot with Robonica

A south African robotics startup raises new capital and announces new products.

South Africa’s Billion Dollar Aids Scandal

Ponzo scheme hits the international Aids industry in a big way.

Is Wordnik the new Wikipedia?

An innovative new way of crowdsourcing the dictionary is useful for more than just that!

China Grants $90M for African Development

China wants it’s companies to invest more in African operations.

Are You Following @FricaFact?

Fricafact.com relaunches.

“This Week in Appfrica” is a weekly digest highlighting articles and stories from the previous week. If you’re interested in becoming an advertiser on this blog, head over the sponsor page for details on how. Appfrica Archives | Contact | Twitter | Weekly Digest | Subscribe via E-mail

Editorials

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Your Friendly Neighborhood TED Fellow

Along with 24 other fascinating people from around the world, I’ve been nominated as a TED fellow!

10,000 African Hours

Time can change everything.

News

Jo’burg to London at Two Megabits per Second

What can $15,000 a month buy you in bandwidth?

Web 2.0 Confuses IT Gurus

What is Web 2.0? Don’t ask your IT guy.

Is Google Making the Wrong Kind of waves?

Google rethought email and came up with Wave, a new open source communication protocol. But is the industry ready?

Big Bing Theory

Microsoft Bing ups the ante on search. Can they change their fortunes or are they doomed to repeat history?

Naijaborn Launches as Community for Nigerian Diasporans

A place to socialize for Nigeria’s sons and daughters.

Putumayo Kids Releases African Children’s Music

Some of Africa’s finest singers are featured on a compilation disk for kids.

Peter Schwartz on Nigeria’s GDP

Has the growth of Nigeria’s economy really flatlined?

Appfrica Podcasts

FricaFactoid 1 – China Localizes for African Web Users

http://www.odeo.com/flash/audio_player_standard_gray.swf

China’s involvement in Africa through it’s investments, policy influence, and mining is widely known. But what about the Chinese web? It turns out there’s more going on there than one might think! As part of my research, I attempt to join the Chinese social networking sites QQ, TaoTao, Zahnzuo and Foxmail and successfully you them all to communicate. Read the detailed version at “A Safari Through China’s Social Web” or listen to the podcast below. Photo by slimmer_jimmer.

Appfricast 12 – Balancing Act

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Russell Southwood from the Balancing Act consultancy sits down with Natalie and I to discuss consumer protection rights, the future of technology in Africa and mobile currency systems MTN Mobile Money and Safaricom’s MPesa. Russell’s group Balancing Act seeks to be the primary source for information on the telecoms, Internet and audio-visual media industries in Africa.

Appfricast 11 – Natalie’s First Day

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Appfricast has a new co-host and her name is Natalie Kimbugwe! Natalie will be joining us week-after-week to discuss the latest in African IT news and current events. As the female founder of a start-up here in Kampala, she offers unique insight into the IT industry, policy making and….Shaggy?!

Appfricast 10 – Ten Years Strong

http://www.odeo.com/flash/audio_player_standard_gray.swf

James Wire of Linux Solutions discusses how technology use in Africa has changed over the the ten years he’s been a successful software entrepreneur here in Uganda. As a supporter and developer of free and open-source software (FOSS), he stresses the role of open source, locally developed software solutions versus epensive, proprietary solutions from foreign contractos and companies. Local innovations in mobile like Uganda’s Me2U and Mbuni are examples of success.

“This Week in Appfrica” is a weekly digest highlighting articles and stories from the previous week. If you’re interested in becoming an advertiser on this blog, head over the sponsor page for details on how. Appfrica Archives | Contact | Twitter | Weekly Digest | Subscribe via E-mail

This week was, of course, was split by April Fools Day on Wednesday. We had some good fun with our readers.

April Fools Posts

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Undersea Cable Arrives in Africa
Unfortunately, this wasn’t true but a lot of people fell for it which leads me to believe that most people only skim the articles that they read online, because anyone really digging into this post would have been tipped off by the fake-links directly to Wikipedia’s April Fools page and larger than life events like Mark Shuttleworth calling me from space!

Google South Africa to Open Theme Park
My other prank for the day was faux story about Google opening up a massive theme park in South Africa.

Editorials

Why Kelele Can’t Fail
The people organizing this pan-African blogger’s conference have so much weight be hind them. Corporate sponsors have lined up, Africa’s brightest talents are offering their time and energy and the event was launched out of Google’s special Barcamp Africa last year. Yet, even all that may not prevent it from never happening.

Things Still Fall Apart
Chinua Achebe’s masterpiece has never been more relevant but has history proven it hopelessly wrong about Africa?

News

Synthasite Rebrands as Yola
One of Africa’s biggest startups is changing it’s name.

The Last of Hitler’s Regime
Officers of Hitler’s Army have scattered all over the world, one of them may have been hiding out in Egypt for the past many years.

SXSWi 2009 Recap
I had the pleasure of attending SXSWi in Austin, Tx. Here’s a recap of how it went.

Appfrica Around the Web

BlackWeb2.0 has begun re-syndicating some of our content. First up was Part 1 and Part 2 of “Can Freeconomics Work in African Markets”.

Change.org has published my first of a series of articles about starting up as a social venture.

Vimeo has a video interview Jonathan Marks conducted with me at SXSW.

Mike Stopforth posted a short interview he conducted with myself and Erik Hersman of Ushahidi fame.

“This Week in Appfrica” is a weekly digest highlighting articles and stories from the previous week. If you’re interested in becoming an advertiser on this blog, head over the sponsor page for details on how. Appfrica Archives | Contact | Twitter | Weekly Digest | Subscribe via E-mail

Editorials and Features

The Not-So Inclusive Web and Network Failure Pt. 1

Is the web community really as inclusive as it claims to be and if not, are there valid reasons for the way things are?

What Journalism can Learn from Zimbabwe

Simple math tells us micro-payments as a subsidy for journalism are a pipe dream. Why will it fail? Let me count the ways…

The Best and Worst Project Management Apps

Different markets have different needs. I investigate PMS apps and their viability for the four billion people on the planet not blessed with high bandwidth.

Appfrica Joins Kuv Capital

My Manifesto explaining why Appfrica exists, where we’re heading and how we’re helping.

Bittorrent in Developing Countries

What are the real world advantages of Bittorrent and why isn’t it being embraced by more development organizations?

Free RSS!

Some websites are still trying to control the flow of data when RSS feeds really just want to be free.

News

GTV Closure Hurts Africa

The fate of GTV and what it means in Africa.

The World in 2050

According to this projection, Congo will be one of the most populous places on the planet.

Great African LAN Party

Brining video game culture to Africa.

Synthasite Raises $20 Million

In these harsh economic times, raising any amount of capital is a blessing, but $20 million secures very solid futures for Synthasite.

Young, Tech and Dangerous

Who are the upcoming tech stars of South Africa and Nigeria?

Links to Appfrica

Cyn.in thanks us for the positive review of their software.

Change.org is congratulatory calling Appfrica Labs the ‘coolest tech incubator in the world‘!

Appfrica Archives | Contact | Twitter | Weekly Digest | Subscribe via E-mail Editorials The Wonderful African Oz The Wizard of Oz as an Allegory for International Development trends in Africa. … Appfrica Labs is Hiring As part of a string of announcements and recent developments, Appfrica is on the hunt for talented developers and social entrepreneurs in Uganda.

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“This Week in Appfrica” is a weekly digest highlighting articles and stories from the previous week. If you’re interested in becoming an advertiser on this blog, head over the sponsor page for details on how.

Appfrica Archives | Contact | Twitter | Weekly Digest | Subscribe via E-mail

Editorials

Blogging an African Novel

How fiction reflects society and the reasons behind my own contributions to the space.

The Internet’s Weakest Link is the Internet Itself

What’s behind the number of International internet outages of the past year?

Thoughts on Disruptive Journalism

How will big media survive and do developing countries need it to?

News

Re-hacking Your World

This week it’s my great pleasure to be participating in the Re-Hacking Your World conference taking place physically in Germany, but globally via pre-recorded interviews, IRC and Skype.

Ugandans Design Cost Effective Vehicle

Here comes the VDS Vision 200, a cost-effective vehicle that was designed by the Vehicle Design Summit 2.0, with some undergraduate students at Makerere University being major contributors

Flying Car to Cross Europe, Africa

In only 18 months Giles Cardozo has managed to do something many of us have been dreaming of since we were small children; he’s built a fully functional flying car.

Gates Foundation Partners With Ashoka

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is known for making very calculated investments in the world of social capital. This recent announcement them puts them in partnership with a group founded to do just that, Ashoka

Best Afropop of 2008

The artists that are representing the various regions of Africa around the world.

Muxtionary: A Novel

Chapter 1: Shīfu Zhàn

The first chapter of my novel, Muxtionary. Here’s an excerpt:

This is the state of poverty — people restless, ignorant and helpless to their own biology. They walk and beg because they haven’t got a clue what fucking else to do with their time. Stand and burn or sit and burn, makes no difference to the fury of the sun. Just over the horizon that bright red god is peaking over the edge of the earth. Only nine hundred hours and already 36 degrees centigrade.

Chapter 2: Hoppers

My parents, conceived me in early 1999 in Mumbai. They talk about the night often, often failing to omit the parts that make me want to wretch like how father had locked himself out of his flat, so they got it on in the shelter of his auto-rickshaw. Her father was so furious at the man who had defiled and impregnated his virgin daughter that they fled the country, eloping in the one place where they knew he’d never bother them, Nairobi. It was there that he opened his restaurant The Sultan Pepper which he still owns today. I was born shortly after the opening of the restaurant, which is why I’ve never been back. My parents had no desire to return. So I am Kenyan. I learned to walk, I soiled many diapers, I scraped my knees, I kissed a few girls…and then a few more…it wasn’t long before I discovered a love for computers.

Appfricast: African Tech Podcast

Appfricast 5

It’s the first Appfricast of the new year. This episode discusses the phonetic Arabic search engine Yamli, the Legoland Inauguration, Photosynth, Souktel and Ushahidi’s partnership with Al Jeezera and the potential merger between MTN SA and Verizon SA.

FricaFact: Facts About Africa

“Many African languages are tone languages, in which pitch level determines the meaning.”