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Upcoming Documentary Looks at Causes of Somali Conflict

Somali history enthusiast Mohammed Ibrahim Shire blogs about an upcoming Somali documentary Kacaan: The Untold Stories

‘Kacaan: The Untold Stories‘ is an upcoming hard-hitting documentary film that will objectively look at the background to the Somali conflict and its causes with special emphasis on events after 1969. It will closely look at the last functioning Somali government headed by late Mohammed Siad Barre; its inception to its downfall. Kacaan (Revolution in Somali) was the self-designated name of the 1969 bloodless coup d’état in Somalia. The documentary will contain key interviews with assorted people, ranging from former senior government officials to opposition (rebel) leaders to prominent members of Somalia’s pre-199 civil society — unseen footage and will revisit key subjects in order to develop a clearer picture; separate fact from fiction and attentively look at what went right, wrong and what we can learn from it.

Kenyan Blog OilNews Among World’s Top Oil and Gas Websites

Oilnews Kenya has been ranked as top blog in Africa on matters oil and gas, Kachwanya reports

 

The website recently launched as first of its kind in Kenya aiming to give Kenyans insight in the oil and gas industry opening up information platform for explorers, investors and stakeholders in the sector.

Following increased interest from investors in the oil and gas sectors with a number of discoveries in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Mozambique that has seen the East African region now named the new oil frontier, Kamau Mbote founder of Oilnewskenya saw it fit to give exposure to the latter as well as provide Kenyans more information on the sector.

The website has been ranked 22 globally and 1st in Africa with a Visibility of 58%, Engagement of 41% and relevance rating at 100% according to a research by Inkybee a renown research company. 

MTN South Africa launches FrontRow

Telecommunication provider MTN South Africa has launched MTN FrontRow, a video-on-demand (VOD) service. Tech Moran reports
 
According to MTN, ” MTN FrontRow, is a premium entertainment network that brings you all the TV series and movies you love, even if you’re not an MTN subscriber – and you could get the first month FREE.You won’t even have to install a dish, buy a box or take out a bank loan. From only R179 a month, you can sign up to MTN FrontRow Club and play our content instantly at any time via your browser on your computer or mobile device, or on our Android app (an iOS version is coming soon!). You can even stream to your TV via your devices, of course.”

 

The A to Z of Kenyan Twitter

Mark Kaigwa, who declared “Twitter is going to change Kenya” in February 2010, describes the A to Z of Kenyan Twitter:

Kenyans on Twitter are the ones to be rallying behind a hashtag, making light work of creating a global trending topic. Be it to bringing CNN to apologise for a story, correcting misperceptions of the country with #SomeoneTellCNN or to celebrate the humour behind the national education and final examination system with examples such as #KCPE2010, #KCPE2012 and others.

In another fleeting moment they will wage virtual war on another African nation (be the reason sparked by football (Nigeria), politics (South Africa) or foreign policy (Botswana). Again the war cry of #SomeoneTell beckoning them. And #KOT won’t stop with just trading barbs and insults, they’ll take any misperception and stereotype they can find and using what seems to be a growing lexicon of African-made memes as when attacking Nigeria.

#ISurvivedEbola Campaign Releases First Video

The #ISurvivedEbola campaign has released its first video that feature Ebola survivors from Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. The multimedia campaign engages Ebola survivors to highlight stories of hope and resilience:

This is the first video in a series that will be rolled out as part of #ISurvivedEbola, a multidimensional trans-media campaign that places West African Ebola survivors and their stories at the center of efforts to stop the spread of the virus. Ebola survivor William Poopei narrates the video, telling the story of how he and his son, Patrick, contracted and recovered from Ebola in Liberia. In a voice that only occasionally belies the grief he has experienced, William tells the world how he lost his wife and 13 other family members to suspected Ebola, and how early treatment helped him and Patrick recover. He closes the piece with a commitment to continue to educate his fellow Liberians so that they can protect themselves – a commitment that will drive #ISurvivedEbola.

Hope in the Midst of an Outbreak: William's Story of Survival from #ISurvivedEbola on Vimeo.

Sierra Leone: An Unlikely Fashion Hotspot

Freetown Fashpack is a fashion blog by an Australian living in Freetown, Sierra Leone who intends to show a different side of a country commonly associated with civil war and blood diamonds: 

My name is Jo Dunlop and I’m an Australian living in Freetown, Sierra Leone. After moving here in 2011, it soon became apparent that what Freetown lacks in high street shopping, it makes up for in style. The streets are teeming with some of the most resourceful, brave and outrageous fashion decisions ever made. In a country so commonly associated with civil war and blood diamonds I felt inspired to show a different side to Sierra Leone and reveal an unlikely fashion hotspot.

Kenya Monitor: Mobile Citizen Media and News App

Kenya Monitor app is a m-Media & News app. It is the to-go citizen journalism app for all local content. It brings together all favorite news in one place from different counties in Kenya. All content is presented in a fun and intuitive manner.

Getting reliable news stories about Kenya or about development issues has become a rarity. Any story that is covered is vague and has no follow-up. The Kenya Monitor app will seek to change this. All stories will focus on what is going on in the different locales. Anyone will get to play a role in telling the story of where they live.

Kenya Monitor will provide Kenyans with a platform to tell their stories in what is known as citizen journalism. Kenyans from all walks of life will get to tell stories about where they live, how they want it to be told and at the time they think it should be told. All content will be gathered from the people themselves. Stories will be submitted through SMS enabling anyone with access to a phone to do so. One does not need a smart phone to send in or receive content.

A Presidential Birth Certificate Controversy Provokes Social Unrest in Gabon

Protests in Libreville, Gabon against president Bongo on on December 20 - via OpGabon with permission

Protests in Libreville, Gabon against president Bongo on on December 20 – via OpGabon with permission

Clashes broke out between police and the opposition in Gabon on December 20 stemming from questions about the legitimacy of President Ali Bongo. 

A recent book called “New African Affairs” by French reporter Pierre Péan alleged that President Ali Bongo has Nigerian origins. The book was slammed by the authorities, accusing the reporter of inciting racial hatred in Gabon. The clashes led to the death of one student and several arrests. Photos on social network of the protests and its impact on civilians were widely circulating on the Gabonese blogosphere, such as the following:  

True or false, recap of a tumultuous week-end in Gabon http://t.co/hu4r9iWtya #Libreville #obs #Bongo @cbainier 

Film: A Ugandan Transgender Girl Fights for Her Right to Love

Rough Studios, a small Swedish production company, has released the first episode of a documentary series about being transgender in Uganda:

We enter the life of Cleopatra Kambugu, a Ugandan transgender girl who was forced to flee to Kenya after being “outed” as homosexual in one of Uganda's major tabloids. It is a story about love, hate and being transgender, in one of the worlds most homophobic places.

Our goal with this film has always been to make a difference. Whether it is to change peoples hearts, their perception of a transgender person or the prejudice people have towards the LGBT community.
Uganda is a country which for long have been criticized for the discriminations against the LGBTI community.

Three Cases that Show Social Networks Are Helping Hold Mozambique's Government Accountable

PicsArt_1415720335303Some renowned journalists in Mozambique have accounts on various social networks, but they do not believe in their potential to influence decision-making, government action or social participation among others. However, the government itself has recognised their utility by creating accounts on social networks such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp. Here are three recent examples where social networks have knocked on the door of accountability and governance in Mozambique. 

1. In November 2013, a letter by Carlos Nuno Castel-Branco circulated on Facebook criticising the method of government used by Armando Emílio Guebuza, President of the Republic of Mozambique. As a result, the author of the letter was summoned to testify before the Attorney General on May 26, 2014.

2. When the Confederation of Economic Associations (CTA) offered a Mercedes Benz S350 to the President of the Republic, José Jaime Macuane, a university lecturer at the Universidade Eduardo Mondlane, immediately wrote a post on Facebook explaining that the act violated the Public Probity Law. The issue made the headlines of various newspapers and was discussed all over the country for over a week, even once the Mercedes had been returned three days later.

3. To promote citizenship, transparency and active participation by citizens, Olho do Cidadão (Citizen's Eye), which is led by Fernanda Lobato and Tomás Queface, developed digital platform Txeka to allow citizens to participate directly in observing elections on October 15 via SMS, Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and email. This culminated in the creation of a situation room, comprising various civil society institutions and academicians, as well as a partnership with STV – an independent television channel – which hosted the broadest real-time coverage of the event, using the information sent by citizens via the Txeka channels.

In spite of the fact that in Mozambique, just 4.3% of the population has access to the Internet, the citizen reporter's perspective is valid and useful. Debates on social networks can influence government actions to a certain extent.

The author of this post, Uric Raul Mandiquisse, is a volunteer for Txeka and Olho do Cidadão. 
 

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