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Blogging Africa

Review of the African Blogosphere – May 14, 2009

Dibussi Tande

2009-05-15, Issue 432

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Yashvin writes about the changing media landscape in Mauritius:

“Everything started with the introduction of private radios some years back.
Later on, the rude competition for a better ISP lead to the explosion of blogs and growing use of social networking sites. More recently, newspapers have increased their presence on the net…

We have heard a lot about “TV Privée” since the last months, so lets wait a bit more, hoping that it will soon become a reality…

This boom in the media has created much change in the life of Mauritians…

Nowadays, anyone can participate in sharing information… interactively and in real time!
No need to be a journalist! Nor a blogger, you can even share on facebook, twitter and the other social networking sites…”

Island Crisis, another blog from Mauritius questions why the state funds religious and socio-cultural groups:

About 5 days ago, Clency Lajoie, adviser at the municipality of Curepipe decided to move with a proposition to stop the funding of religious groups and their activities by the municipality money aka YOUR MONEY!

His main proposition was that instead of funding religious groups and activities, why don’t we use this money to do real social activities that will help everyone. However after a municipal vote proceeded the next day, his proposition was rejected…

The question is that why can’t this money be used where it should be used! Rs 100000 for Chinese festival! Why can’t the Rs100000 be used to help students of the region? Why can’t it be used instead to buy food for the needy? Why can’t the money be used to help where it is really needed?!”

David Ajao reviews “Gatorpeeps”, the microblogging platform recently launched by Afrigator:
“I had the privilege of witnessing Justin Hartman announce to the world during BarCamp Nigeria 2009 in Lagos Nigeria. After a few weeks of use, I am still excited about it. Gatorpeeps - essentially a subset of Afrigator - is a micro-blogging platform that enables users to share their thoughts in just 140 characters and also network with one another.

A glance at brings a name to one’s mind - Twitter. Matter of fact, Afrigator once connected to Twitter and republished Afrigator users’ twits. Gatorpeeps has now effectively replaced Twitter in that area. Gatorpeeps is African and more relevant to African bloggers...

Gatorpeeps is basically about social networking, and it does that very well. There are several communities of interest one could join, one could follow friend’s blog posts, it includes one’s latest blog posts in every peep, there are multiple tools to enable you integrate your peeps into your blog(s) and other social networking platforms.”

Ethan Zuckerman writes about the TED Open Translation Project:

“My friends at TED have launched an exciting new project today, the TED Open Translation Project. It’s a powerful system to allow the “social translation” of their video content. This tool demonstrates the state of the art in social translation on the web today, and I think there are a lot of lessons in the tool and thinking behind it for anyone who hopes to make the polyglot internet more comprehensible, and for anyone thinking about online cooperation...

The internet is huge, growing, and being built by people who speak hundreds of different languages... Unless we find scaleable, inexpensive ways to translate, we’re each going to face an internet that’s grows everyday, where we find less of the content understandable. Until we figure out better solutions to translation, we’re fooling ourselves into believing we’re more cosmopolitan and connected than we actually are.”

In Scribbles from the Den, novelist Patrice Nganang writes about state-sponsored "literature Apartheid" in Cameroon:

"An intellectual crime is being committed in our country: that of segregation against Anglophone Cameroon Literature. The crime is unfolding before the very eyes of our national Intellectuals, with our consent as stakeholders and, often spurred by our most respected, yet conniving francophone Intellectuals. Salient in mind are Achille Mbembe’s fumble in an article he published on the Anglophone issue. The fact, therefore, that a francophone student can complete education, beginning at Nursery school right up to a University degree – twenty years in all – without so much as touching a poetry collection, a work of prose or a drama piece published by an Anglophone writer is illustrative of the magnitude of the literary apartheid which has been used by our educational system to brainwash us.

The opposite likely holds true for Anglophones, who may have been subjected to the same form of segregation by the doings of a so-called ‘‘bilingual” State (in a country with over 200 languages), which actually inculcates segregation in the minds of its citizens through school syllabi it controls single handed.”

* Dibussi Tande, a writer and activist from Cameroon, produces the blog Scribbles from the Den

* Please send comments to [email protected] or comment online at

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