Friday Top Five – March 14th

This week’s Friday Top Five seems to circle around back to the same topic. Africa’s not a country and we know that but we like to talk like it is. . .

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1) FYI – A How To for Traveling in Africa

This article was brought to my attention this week titled: “How to travel to Africa without being another neocolonialist.” It’s a little old but you should read it, so you’re in the know and stuff.

2. Drop the heroic voluntourism: Nobody takes a holiday to London and drops in at the local slum to voluntour [SP] a few hours of singing and dancing with the local kids there. (Those English, they just have such rhythm in their culture!) It would be strange and condescending, and a bad idea for a whole range of reasons besides. If you’re actually traveling to wherever in order to do some well-planned, real development work (setting aside a massive academic debate for a moment), then fine. If you’re coming for an adventure and would like to briefly get your Clooney on, please refrain. We’d much prefer it if you concentrated on having fun.

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2) Read – “Two Years After Kony 2012”

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Buzzfeed sometimes – often times – gets overlooked in terms of actual content and commentary besides stuff like The Definitive Ranking Of Facial Hair and quizzes like Which Fictional Company Should You Actually Work At? (Just so you know I got: Bluth Company from Arrested Dev.). What could probably be deemed one of the best timewaster websites produces good stuff too like this article by Jessica Tessa, titled: “Two Years After KONY 2012, Has Invisible Children Grown Up?” And it is an interesting read on Kony 2012, Jason Russell, NGOs, mental health, and a whole lot of everything else because it runs a little too long. But still worth it! Here’s a preview:

And then the conversation stopped — and with it, all the debate, conspiracy theories, and think pieces about Invisible Children’s methods and motivations. Some threads continued, of course, but it was as if the media saw Russell’s breakdown and slowly backed out of the room, switching off the lights before comically bolting away.

Russell was marked, even after his recovery tour. The organization was marked too. And yet they both have endured, largely off the millions KONY 2012 brought in, but also because of significant changes made in response to KONY 2012, and a desperately sustained belief that the LRA’s end is near — a belief motivated by the fear that if it’s not, theirs may come first.

3) Women – CSW58 2014

Currently the Commission on the Status of Women 58 is running and the priority theme is Challenges and achievements in the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals for women and girls. Some background info: “The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) is the principal global intergovernmental body exclusively dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women. A functional commission of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), it was established by Council resolution 11(II) of 21 June 1946. The CSW is instrumental in promoting women’s rights, documenting the reality of women’s lives throughout the world, and shaping global standards on gender equality and the empowerment of women.”

Something that has been highlighted this year is the safety of journalists. Talking from experience, this is a topic not always talked about a lot even on platforms dedicated to journalism. Women journalists face particular challenges as can be seen in this article by Mathias Haufiku, titled: “Africa: Female Journalists Marginalized.”

There was a report released titled “Violence and Harassment against Women in the News Media: A Global Picture.”

Still, according to the IWMF, Violence and Harassment against Women in the News Media: A Global Picture provides the first comprehensive picture of the dangers faced by many women working in news media around the world. It describes the types of violence and threats female journalists encounter and considers how these incidents affect their ability to conduct their work. The report identifies trends among reported incidents and offers suggestions about what individuals and organizations might do to mitigate the dangers of reporting in hostile environments and provide a safe working environment at home. A shocking finding of the study is that for two thirds of the respondents said the main perpetrators of violence against them were bosses, followed by co-workers and sources.

You can read more about the findings in this article. You can also watch this interesting video about training girls to be citizen journalists.

4) Hackthis – Profile: iHub

March 12 an article “iHub – A Tech-Community Showcasing, Nurturing Inventors, Technologists, Hackers & Tech-Companies” was posted on innov8tive about the tech scene in Kenya.

iHub was established back in March 2010 by a renowned blogger, entrepreneur and TED fellow called Erik Hersman. The iHub is essentially a co-working space “cluster” of technologist, young entrepreneurs, inventors, programmers, researches and designers. iHub is also informally referred to as the “unofficial headquarters of Kenya’s tech movement”. It gives an opportunity to young entrepreneurs to get mentorships, internet connection and stand a chance of getting funded through connections made to international venture capitalists.

The article also mentions the IBM Research lab and more can be read in this article: “IBM Research – Africa: IBM’s Research Facility For Africa Opened In Nairobi, Kenya

This is what prompted IBM to establish its 12th global laboratory in Nairobi, Kenya. Making it the first technology research facility meant for commercial viable projects to be established in Africa. The facility conducts both applied and far-reaching invention/exploratory research activities to address various challenges unique to the African continent and those that can be applied to the rest of the world.

5) Favorite – (Well that might be a bit of a stretch this week) Tweet-o-graph of Africa

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If you click on the link above, you can see all the graphs.

This infograph has gotten a lot of traction lately. While it is interesting in the sense that it shows what GIS is capable of, it denotes Africa has one big ‘thing.’ Maps have been done in the past that get down to such a level of showing types of checkins on Foursquare during one day in New York City (Really cool video, you should search for it). So why is there a map of Africa has a whole? What does this actually tell us? People have cellphones? We knew that, if you don’t know about mobile technology you must have been living under a rock.

In addition here two cool posts about Twitter specifically: How Twitter Is Changing the Geography of Communication & Watch a Map of Lost Productivity (Otherwise Known as Tweeting).

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Thoughts? Anything you’d like to see here? Email us at ProjectAfrica.NS@gmail.com.

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