Category Archives: Africa

Sharp suits, warm beer – Guinness, sapeurs and the seduction of Congolese fashion

A Guinness ad featuring a group of splendidly-dressed men from Congo-Brazzaville, called Le Sapeurs, is making a splash online. The men in the ad (below) are members of Le Société des Ambianceurs et des Personnes Élégantes, a group of middle … Continue reading

Posted in Africa | 2 Comments

Rest in peace, Teresa Peters

I got an email from an old friend today, the sort of mass email we send our friends and colleagues to update each other on our lives and goings on. I didn’t make it past the first line, because he … Continue reading

Posted in Africa, Personal | 3 Comments

Ta-Nehesi Coates and Hendrik Hertzberg at MIT on opinion journalism

Tom Levenson introduces Ta-Nehesi Coates and Hendrik Hertzberg , who are in conversation tonight at MIT’s Stata Center on the topic of opinion journalism. The event is hosted by CMS/W, MIT’s Comparative Media Studies and Writing department, where Coates is … Continue reading

Posted in Africa | 5 Comments

Citizen science versus NIMBY?

There are ten graduate students associated with the Center for Civic Media, half a dozen staff and a terrific set of MIT professors who mentor, coach, advise and lead research. But much of the work that’s most exciting at our … Continue reading

Posted in Africa | 13 Comments

What comes after election monitoring? Citizen monitoring of infrastructure.

I spent last week in Senegal at a board meeting for Open Society Foundation, meeting organizations the foundation supports around the continent. Two projects in particular stuck in my mind. One is Y’en a Marre (“Fed Up”), a Senegalese activist … Continue reading

Posted in Africa, ICT4D, ideas, Media Lab | 12 Comments

Y’en a Marre – music and mobilization in Senegal

I’m in Dakar, Senegal this week for a meeting of Open Society Foundation’s Global Board, along with the boards of our four African foundations (East Africa, West Africa, Southern Africa, South Africa). The formal meetings begin today, but for the … Continue reading

Posted in Africa | 2 Comments

Who let all those Ghanaians on the Internet? Jenna Burrell on internet exclusion

Jenna Burrell, assistant professor at the School of Information at UC Berkeley, is speaking today at the Berkman Center on her research on internet usage in Ghana, the subject of her (excellent) book Invisible Users: Youth in the Internet Cafes … Continue reading

Posted in Africa, Berkman, Developing world, xenophilia | 14 Comments

Ghana Decides, 2012 – the story so far

Here are a few things we know about Ghana’s 2012 elections. It’s going to be close. With 168 of 275 constituencies reporting, incumbent John Mahama has 49.83% of the vote and his chief rival Nana Akufo-Addo has 48.68% of votes. … Continue reading

Posted in Africa | 5 Comments

Hey VICE: Your documentary is bad, and you should feel bad

Shortly after I posted a review of Mads Brügger’s “The Ambassador”, a film that raised some interesting questions about what constitutes ethical and responsible journalism about Africa, I got a reminder about just how low alleged journalists can go in … Continue reading

Posted in Africa, Media | 25 Comments

On hating – and occasionally loving – Mads Brügger’s “The Ambassador”

Before I traveled to Ghana for the first time in 1993, I attended an orientation in Washington DC for Fulbright scholars who would be working in sub-Saharan Africa. Returning scholars gave us lots of advice, some mission-critical (many people react … Continue reading

Posted in Africa, Media | 8 Comments