VEDA computers fra Nigeria

VEDA er en nigeriansk computerproducent.

Læs mere på firmaets websted.

Fundet via Timbuktu Chronicles.

Skaterpark i Kampala

I bydelen Kitintale i Ugandas hovedstad Kampala ligger der en skaterpark. Den er bygget i efteråret 2006 af medlemmerne af Uganda Skateboard Union med håndkraft. Forløberen var en enkelt rampe, der blev bygget i vinteren 2005.

Til at begynde med rådede medlemmerne kun over to skateboards, som de havde fået af et stormagasin i byen. Sikkerhedsudstyr manglede de også.

De eksperimenterede med at bygge deres egne boards og lave sikkerhedsudstyr af blade, som de bandt om knæene og albuerne.

Senere har foreningen fået donationer fra skaterlegenden Tony Hawks fond og Christian Skaters (ja, sådan nogle findes der altså), så nu har medlemmerne en del flere boards og andet udstyr at gøre godt med.

Uganda Skateboard Unions websted er der blandt andet billeder fra byggeriet og livet på og omkring skaterparken. Der er også en weblog, hvor man kan følge med i foreningens og medlemmernes aktiviteter.

I skrivende stund er det seneste nyt, at en af parkens ramper, half pipe’en, er gået i stykker og for at få midler til at genopbygge den søger foreningen støtte fra offentligheden.

Alle billederne er fra Uganda Skateboard Unions websted.

Den schweiziske fotograf Yann Gross har lavet en billedserie af skaterne og skaterparken.

Fundet via AFRICA.VISUAL_MEDIA

Miljø-realityshow i Nigeria

Den nigerianske miljøaktivist Newton Chukwukadibia Jibunoh er på trapperne med et reality show til nigeriansk tv med fokus på global opvarmning. Showet hedder Desert Warriors og på dets websted beskrives det således:

The 50 selected participants will be invited to become  contestants on The Endurance Reality show in Agadez, Niger. They will join the Nigerian ambassador to Niger Republic, and will work with officials of the Republic of Niger’s Ministry of Environment on various greening projects, community services and endurance exercises.

While in Agadez, the participants will be put through various endurance exercises, physical fitness challenges, discipline tests, social comportment and driving skills tests. The challenges will be filmed and later transmitted on LTV, Silverbird TV and TVC in Lagos. The show will also air on various TV stations in Niger to show how the participants are faring. During the show, viewers will be able to vote via sms on which of the contestants they would like to eliminate or keep. The final decision on whom to be eliminated will be made by a panel of judges.

Eventually, the remaining 15 contestants will become official Desert Warriors and will set off on an Expedition. During the expedition, the participants will drive from Nigeria to the United Kingdom across the Sahara desert by road. The Desert Warriors will also receive prizes including a Suzuki jeep as well as monetary awards. All 15 Desert warriors will become Lagos state Environment ambassadors and will be honoured at a ceremony in London.

Læs mere om Desert Warriors her.

Læs mere om Newton Chukwukadibia Jibunoh her.

Fundet via Media News fra European Journalism Centre.

Ugandisk landbrugsjord på udlandske hænder

Ifølge organisationen Uganda Land Alliance er der grund til bekymring over den ugandiske regerings salg og udlejning af landbrugsjord til rigere lande og firmaer.

Dette er ikke kun et problem i Uganda, men også i flere andre afrikanske lande. Problemet er, at afgrøderne fra den udlejede landbrugsjord for det meste bliver sendt ud af landet og derfor ikke hjælper de lokale meget. Jorden er ofte heller ikke bare noget, der har ligget ubrugt hen og derfor uden problemer kan lejes ud. Ofte er den eller dele af den opdyrket af subsistensbønder, der ikke har papir på jorden. Den mulighed mister de naturligvis, hvis jorden bliver lejet ud til udenlandske firmaer.

Uganda Land Alliance skriver blandt andet:

The government of Uganda is said to have leased 840, 127 Ha of land in various parts of the country to the private sector in Egypt to grow wheat, produce organic beef and rice for export to Egypt. This acreage represents about 2.2% of Uganda’s total land mass; and

In 2006, President Museveni is said to have provided Chinese investors with 10,000 acres (4, 046 Ha) of land in Uganda, which is being utilized by 400 Chinese farmers using imported Chinese seeds of corn and rice. The project is overseen by Liu Jianun, a former Chinese government official and now head of the China-Africa Business Council.

Læs hele meddelelsen på The African Executive.

Læs mere om Uganda Land Alliance her.

Er Afrika lig med lidende børn?

Et blogindlæg på Africa Rising – “Images of Africa” – problematiserer brugen af billeder i vestlige organisationers kampagner for hjælp til Afrika. Det hedder blandt andet:

When I say the word “Africa” what do you picture? Chances are you see in your mind the image of a young, dark child, shirtless and with a swollen belly, with big eyes looking up at you in need. In some cases, you might even see flies crawling on the child’s face. This is an image that is used time and again to portray Africa in appeals made by nonprofit organizations.

[…]

When a Western charity makes an appeal for funds with the photo of a seemingly helpless African child, the Western donor is cast in the role of the strong, generous, and righteous person helping the lowly and needy. Strength, generosity, and righteousness are all good things, but I fear that an unrighteous pattern has developed. The West and Africa have become type-cast into strong and weak, resourceful and helpless, giver and receiver, parent and child.

Det er ikke noget nyt at problematisere denne billedbrug, men dette indlæg gør det på en kort og præcis måde.

Læs hele indlægget her.

Fundet via Africa Unchained.

Gider afrikanerne science fiction?

Er Afrika klar til science fiction, spørger den amerikansk/nigerianske forfatterinde Nnedi Okorafor i et gæsteindlæg på Nebula Awards ‘ netsted. Nebula Awards er science fictionens svar på Oscar Awards.

Det mener hun, hvilket vel er naturligt nok, eftersom hun selv skriver science fiction. Men hun refererer til en samtale hun har haft med den nigerianske filmmand Tchidi Chikere, som ikke er enig med hende. Han siger blandt andet:

“I don t think we’re ready in the primary sense of the word,” Chikere said. “We can hide it in other categories like magic realism, allegory, etc, but we’re not ready for pure science fiction.”

“Science fiction films from the West are failures here. Even Star Wars!” he said. “The themes aren’t taken seriously. Science fiction will come here when it is relevant to the people of Africa. Right now, Africans are bothered about issues of bad leadership, the food crisis in East Africa, refugees in the Congo, militants here in Nigeria. Africans are bothered about food, roads, electricity, water wars, famine, etc, not spacecrafts and spaceships. Only stories that explore these everyday realities are considered relevant to us for now.”

Hun fortsætter selv:

In my observation, in Africa, science fiction is still perceived as not being real literature. It is not serious writing. As Chikere said, African audiences don’t feel that science fiction is really concerned with what’s real, what’s present. It’s not tangible. It’s sport. Child’s play. I can see how science fiction can be foreign to many Africans. Technology tends to play a different role on the continent. There is a weird divide and connection between the technologically advanced and the ancient. For example: People will have cells phones in rural villages yet have no plumbing or electricity or one will opt to buy a laptop instead of a desktop computer because a laptop has its own power supply, most useful for when “NEPA takes the lights”.

Læs hele indlægget på Nebula Awards netsted.

Om Nnedi Okorafor:

Nnedi Okorafor is an award-winning science fiction and fantasy author of Nigerian descent. Her novels include Zahrah the Windseeker (winner of the 2008 Wole Soyinka Prize for African Literature) and The Shadow Speaker (An NAACP Image Award Nominee). Her forthcoming novels Who Fears Death (from DAW) and Akata Witch (from Penguin) are scheduled for release in 2010. Her Disney Fairies chapter book, Iridessa and the Fire-Bellied Dragon Frog (Disney Press), is scheduled for release in 2010. She holds a PhD in literature and is a professor of creative writing at Chicago State University.

Besøg hendes netsted nnedi.com

Fundet via Africa is a country

Bushpunk

Jeg er netop faldet over begrebet bushpunk, som er nyt for mig.

En hurtig forklaring: Bushpunk er sat sammen af bush og punk. I denne sammenhæng er det den afrikansk bush, der er tale om – bøhlandet om man vil. Punk har rødder tilbage til cyberpunk, der er en retning indenfor science fiction. Cyberpunk kredser om en fremtid, hvor menneske og maskine er smeltet sammen i større grad end i dag og hvor gør-det-selv-folk fusker med at øge denne sammensmeltning. William Gibsons Neuromancer er et af hovedværkerne i denne genre.

Bushpunk er i modsætning til cyberpunk ikke fiktion. Det går ud på, at gør-det-selv-folk – muligvis fra bushen – bygger maskiner og apparater af forhåndenværende dimser og skrot. William Kamkwamba, som jeg tidligere har omtalt, der byggede en vindmølle af skrot i sin landsby i Malawi, da han var 14 er et eksempel på bushpunk-bevægelsen, hvis man kan tale om en sådan.

Begrebet optræder i en artikel i The Guardian om det da netop afholdte Maker Faire Africa i Accra, Ghana.

Han skriver blandt andet:

The Maker Faire in Ghana helped combine the African and American visions of gadgetry. Conference organisers hoped to answer the question: what happens when you put the drivers of ingenious concepts from across the African continent together and add resources to the mix? The answer is instead of steampunk technology, you get bushpunk low-fi tech.

Læs hele artiklen.

Fundet  via Bombastic Elements og Timbuktu Chronicles