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Quick Reads + Mali

Media archive · 132 posts

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Latest stories from Quick Reads + Mali

Why Elders Protect Doves in Rural Mali

Doves in rural Mali via Fasokan with his permission

Doves in rural Mali via Fasokan with his permission

Fasokan explains why elders in rural Mali pay special attention to the protection of doves [fr] :

Les vieilles personnes font tout pour protéger ces oiseaux contre la tuerie des enfants pendant leurs chasses avec des lance-pierres. Si par hasard il arrive qu’un groupe de jeunes garçons attrape une tourterelle vivante, une vieilles personne du village rachète l’oiseau et le libère. Cet achat a pour but de mettre les enfants dans leur droit parce qu’ils ont fourni de l’effort pour l’attraper.[..] les tourterelles sont considérées comme annonciatrices d’évènements futurs selon leurs chants, comme l’arrivée d’un étranger ou d’une étrangère. De village en village pour les commissions des parents, les tourterelles informaient les jeunes envoyés en cours de route, sur la position de celui ou celle qu’ils devaient aller voir dans un autre village.

Elders would do everything in their power to protect doves when children go for a hunt with their slingshots. If a group of young boys happen catch a live dove, an old person from the village would buy the dove from them and then release it. The purchase aims not only to protect the dove but also to not punish the kids because it took some effort and ingenuity to make the catch [The reason why Doves are protected is because] they are considered harbingers of future events based on their songs of the moment. For instance  it could announce the arrival of a guest. When children run errands for their parents from village to village, doves would inform children whether the people they were looking for were at home.

Innovation: A Solar Energy-Powered PC Made in Mali

Limmorgal, a low power PC made in Mali via Tech of Africa with permission

Limmorgal, a solar energy-powered PC made in Mali via Tech of Africa with permission

As part of our series on innovation made in Africa, we recently showcased the 3D printer made from E-waste in Togo and a spell checker for Bambara language. Today, we present the first low-power PC made in Mali. The PC called Limmorgal (Calculator in Peul language) is the brainchild of two Malian groups, Internet society Mali (ISOC Mali) and Intelec 3. Mamadou Iam Diallo, president of ISOC Mali, explains the needs they want to fulfill with this PC [fr] to Bamako Blog:

Nous avons conçu cette machine pour contribuer à la réduction du fossé numérique, mais également à la vulgarisation de l’outil informatique surtout en milieu scolaire. Limmorgal est aussi un ordinateur adapté à l’alimentation par l’énergie solaire grâce à sa faible consommation d’énergie.

We designed this PC to help reduce the digital divide, but also the expansion of the use of computers in schools. Limmorgal is a computer adapted to be powered by solar energy and requires low energy consumption (24 Watts required).

The basic specifications of the PC are:

  • Operating system: Ubuntu (open source) 
  • 1.4 G Hertz microprocessor
  • 1GB RAM
  • Unit pricing : 171000 Fcfa (260 euros)

Innovation: A Spell Checker for Bambara Language

screen capture of Bambara spell checker via Fasokan

screen capture of Bambara spell checker via Fasokan

Fasokan in Mali reports on the creation of an app to help spell check texts in Bambara [fr] :

Il est disponible sur les traitements de texte et outils bureautiques libres et gratuit : Open Office, Libre Office, Néo Office, et sur les ordinateurs Windows, Mac, et Linux. Qu’est-ce qui a rendu ceci possible ? D’abord l’énorme travail fait par les linguistes qui ont publié des dictionnaires et des grammaires ces dernières années : ces dictionnaires sont maintenant disponibles sur ordinateur [..] Ces linguistes ont rencontré des informaticiens, tous ces gens là ont eu des rêves..

The spell checker is available on open source word processors and office software such as: Open Office, Libre Office, Neo Office, and on Windows, Mac, and Linux computers. What made ​​this possible? First, there was the enormous amount of work done by linguists who published dictionaries and grammar books that are now available online [..] These linguists came together with IT engineers with a dream of building a Bambara spell checker..

Fire Destroys Basin Market in Bamako, Mali

An accidental fire destroyed the basin market [fr] located near the Wahhabites Mosque of Bamako yesterday (12/15). It is the third tragedy of such kind in market area of Bamako in 4 years. Nama explains why such incident seems to repeat itself in his city [fr] :

Plusieurs plans d'aménagement de l'Artisanat ont été proposés par les autorités depuis la construction de la grande mosquée. Aucune de ces études n'a pas pu être concrétisée. Tout semble géré par une mafia qui ne dit pas son nom. Partout règnent l'anarchie et l'incivisme à zéro pas de l'Assemblée Nationale.

Several estate developments for the handicraft have been proposed by the authorities since the construction of the Great Mosque. None of these studies have ever materialized. Everything seems to be run by an invisible mafia. Anarchy and incivility prevail everywhere in the district, right under the nose of the National Assembly.

Basin Market in Bamako, Mali via Palladium blog

Basin Market in Bamako, Mali via Palladium blog

Sadness and Anger in Kidal, Mali

Blogger Wirriyamu mourns the two French journalists killed [fr] in Kidal, Mali. But beside his immense sadness, Wirriyamu also feels angry at seeing Northern Mali left helpless yet again to terrorists attacks. He writes [fr] about his silent anger at the situation there  :

Tant qu’il ne sera pas possible de patrouiller dans Kidal, tant que cette ville ne sera pas réellement dans une situation normale, ce genre d’assassinat continuera hélas à être possible. Si la paix doit avoir pour prix cette zone de non droit, alors (que les maliens me pardonnent) nous devons y renoncer au moins momentanément.

As long as the army is not allowed to patrol in Kidal, this type of assassination will continue to happen. If there were to be real peace in this stateless zone, the price to pay (May my Malian friends forgive me) might be to renounce peace temporarily.

The FIRE Awards Winners for Internet Development in Africa

The FIRE programme awards, an initiative of AFRINIC, acknowledge the actors from the African region who strive to provide solutions to internet development for the African Continent. The 2013 FIRE Awards Winners are : 

Below is the presentation of the MEWC initiative :

Follow the Presidential Election in Mali in Real Time

Today (July 28) is the first round of the presidential election in Mali.  To keep track of the proceedings in real time, updates are available on twitter via the hashtag #Mali2013, on the twitter accounts @Malivote (and its website)  and @angaelections (site) and  on the news group “Info élections 2013″ on Facebook [fr].

What Issues do Malian Voters Care about in the Presidential Election?

Bruce Whitehouse parses out five key issues for the upcoming presidential election in Mali (July 28). As for what Malians expect from the poll, Whitehouse reports:

Voters are overwhelmingly concerned about the high cost of living, unemployment, corruption, law and order, and everyday quality-of-life questions, particularly water and sanitation. Preserving national unity and ending conflict are also concerns, but much further down the list of priorities.

 

Twin Suicide Car Bombings in Niger Kill 23

Benjamin Roger for Jeune Afrique reports [fr] that 18 soldiers, one civilian and four terrorists were killed early morning in an suicide car bombing in Agadez, Niger on May 23. He adds that military school students are currently being held hostages by another attacker following the bombing. Simultaneously, another car exploded in an uranium mine exploited by the Areva Group in Arlit, Niger. The militant group MOJWA has claimed responsibility for both terror attacks.

British Security Firm Profits from Mali War

Ramzy Baroud writes [fr] about the conflict in Mali on Pambazuka:

British security firm G4S will rake in enormous profits due to the crisis taking place in Mali, Libya and Algeria. Recognized as the biggest security firm in the world, the group was downgraded at the time of the Olympic Games in London last year, as a result of its inability to meet the terms of a government contract. However, with the growing instability in Northern and Western Africa, it is expected that the firm will make a strong recovery in the near future.

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