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Cake day: Nov 23, 2020

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The petitioner says that the use of monofilament nets and beach seine nets for fishing is a traditional and long-standing artisanal fishing practice by Lamu inhabitants…


Yes I did. I read it twice. The general impression is that a Nigerian entrepreneur is revealing the necessary understanding on how to align with African realities. But if you read it critically, you realize it is an advise to American venture capitalists (and those kind of forces) on how to tailor their entry to Africa with their surveillance nonsense.


In Africa, mobile numbers are people’s unique identifiers for digital services, as many users do not have email addresses which are often the default for enterprise systems in other markets. Therefore, enterprise solutions for Africa need to factor the use of mobile numbers as unique identifiers, where required.

Reading that article, I got the impression that they were marketing themselves more than anything. Africa is not waiting for some polished solutions from outside it to thrive. The focus of this article on how organizations outside Africa need to customize their solutions to fit Africa raises an obvious question – why are homegrown solutions failing? Which are succeeding? But perhaps most striking is the obsession with surveillance technologies like Facebook website tracking. I am not surprised (Harvard Business, after all) but I am pissed off by these kind of assumptions that nothing is happening therefore outside companies must come and solve the problems.


“I saw people dying in front of me,” says survivor Mohammed Isa Omar. …


Other suggested names had included Nile Republic and Cush, a reference to a Biblical-era kingdom in the area.




The price of cobalt has doubled since January, and more than two-thirds of the global supply is here in Congo…


Attracted by the promise of well-paid work and a chance to escape joblessness at home, more than 100,000 Kenyans work in Saudi Arabia - sending home millions of dollars every year, government and central bank data shows…



… [t]he exporters are arguing that the law should ban the local consumption of the species, which is native to River Nile and Lake Albert in Uganda as a measure to protect the Nile perch which is currently threatened by illegal fishing methods. Goswami who says that they have exported fish to th…



Neighbourhoods with a large body of students (colleges and universities) have fresh supplies of food and fairly priced – because students provide a high and steady demand for food an therefore vendors can afford to keep low prices that way.



Power sales have increased 39.3 percent since 2012 when the number of those connected to the grid jumped 271.7 percent. …





This is more like saying “Yes, poison me, but please print the chemicals used in clear font on the bottle”

“All large platforms who operate ad networks — Facebook, Google, YouTube — should disclose targeting parameters on their platforms through publicly available APIs.”


The use of SI metrics for the purpose of quantified measurement and ranking gives it the appearance of being ‘scientific’ and as such has the implicit ideological power of making the racialised inequality of peoples and countries much more acceptable and natural…


Updates: https://www.michaelgeist.ca/2021/05/not-just-big-techbillc10/

Government Memo Shows Bill C-10 Targets News Sites, Podcast and Workout Apps, Adult Websites, Audiobooks, and Sports Streamers for CRTC Regulation

https://twitter.com/mgeist/status/1395364990362718212?s=20


(1) calls for the immediate cessation of hostilities in the Tigray Region of Ethiopia; …


Data protection implies accepting these so called passports and ‘managing’ the process. It is accepting that these things are necessary. The big question should be whether they are successful epidemiologically.


While over-fishing and the climate crisis have contributed to dwindling catches elsewhere in Lake Malawi, the waters around Mbenje remain abundant with fish – something many attribute to the maintenance of the traditions established long ago and handed down generation to generation ever since…


https://www.cornell.edu/video/james-scott-the-art-of-not-being-governed

For two thousand years, the peoples residing in Zomia – the mountainous region that stretches from the Central Highlands of Vietnam to northeastern India – have fled the organized state societies in the valleys. Far from being ‘remnants’ left behind by civilizing societies, they are “barbarians by choice”, peoples who have deliberately put distance between themselves and lowland, state-centers.


I did not know Nilotes were running away from Cushitic centralized states. TIL.


And the ‘TOTAL’ chaos follows the oil people wherever they land.

Most communications with Palma and the surrounding area have been cut off by the insurgents, although some in the besieged town got messages out using satellite phones. The town is where many contractors have been working for a multi-billion-dollar liquified natural gas project by the French energy company Total.


In recent years, bees in North America, Europe, Russia, South America and elsewhere have started dying off from “colony collapse disorder”, a mysterious scourge blamed partly on pesticides along with mites, viruses and fungi…


Science and technology are not value neutral. It is driven by ideas of value, in this case profit:

But although this new therapy is extremely promising, there are still numerous barriers to delivering this care, one of them being cost. Therapies for rare diseases aren’t profitable, so all this is funded by donations, fund raising and charities, with many other children waiting for treatment.


"But although the Indian Ocean is bordered by Africa, Asia and Australia, the single biggest harvester of yellowfin in the area is the European Union. EU nations – principally Spain and France – operate a “distant water fleet” of 43 vessels that fish the seas thousands of miles from home. In 2019 th…


One would think that with all the talk around ‘sovereignty’ the governments would see the dependency matrix they are fixing themselves in. They also do not come cheap – an email account on Xchange may cost over 10Dollars a month. It is puzzling how a low-income country would opt for a costly, dependence-inducing platform yet their technical people advise on fairly priced options that give them more autonomy.


Aaaaaaaaah. Like fine wine. They do not make them this finer any more.


I found individuals in tech-departments (the sys-admins) can play a disproportionate role in steering an organization or government office to FOSS or closed-source. While I see OSA has the right message, they are also funded by some of the main beneficiaries of closed-source surveillance software used by governments in Africa: Microsoft + Google. I hope the board offers more insight and capacity in how to deal with these structural issues.


Wishing Sam the best:

“I can do these things without being on the Board for OSI, but I have the opportunity to bring more people around the culture, as I recently did with many efforts from Africa, like the Open Source Festival.”


Aladin Borioli - Hives - Idea Books

How bees and humans have related based on a study of apiary (especially beehives) architecture. …


The Garissa solar plant is doing 50MW - https://www.rerec.co.ke/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=53&Itemid=234

I wonder what led to East Africa success in this area. I do not know whether it is relative to other regions but in absolute sense, they seem to be doing something right.


Seems the EV adoption is happening in the most unexpected spaces, like fishermen in Lake Nam Lolwe (or as the British called it, Lake Victoria): https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-africa-56273602


He managed to convince the court to allow him file the case as a pauper, without having to pay any litigation charges. The case will be mentioned on January 26, 2021. …