Category Archives: Africa

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

The Free Syrian Army deploys kittens, the ultimate Internet PR weapon

FSA Kittens is a tumblr blog dedicated to celebrating the kittens fighting to overcome the Assad regime in Syria. The dozen or so posts range from the documentary to the deeply whimsical: This FSA kitten, Yasmeen, is on sniper-duty. Yasmeen’s … Continue reading

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Happy distractions: sumo, South African music, and Islamic hackerfic

This year is the first in decades where I’ve been beneficiary and victim of the academic schedule. While I spent almost a decade at the Berkman Center, research at that institution continues year-round, and there’s not much of a summer … Continue reading

Posted in Africa | 1 Comment

Kenya, power and questioning my assumptions

I’m discovering that one of my special joys in life is having my presumptions proved wrong. I’ve just returned from a ten day trip to Kenya, helping host the fifth Global Voices summit, attending board meetings for two companies, and … Continue reading

Posted in Africa, ideas, Media Lab | 9 Comments

Ghanaian Ambitions

I spent Tuesday on the crowded roads of the northern suburbs of Accra, catching up with old friends and marveling at transitions and transformations: those my friends have made, as well as the changes made to a city I love … Continue reading

Posted in Africa, Personal | 3 Comments

Laamb and sumo – what would happen if Senegalese wrestlers came to Japan?

The New York Times had a great article yesterday on laamb, a style of wrestling popular in Senegal. Laamb, sometimes called “Lutte Senegalese” is enjoying a resurgence in Senegal, and is now more popular in that country than more global … Continue reading

Posted in Africa, Sumo | 7 Comments