Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Event: E-Learning Africa May 25-27, 2011

6th International Conference on ICT for Development, Education and Training Conference 2011

eLearning Africa, the Continent’s premier annual conference on ICT-enhanced learning and which this year is hosted by Tanzania, will once again be showcasing a wealth of proposals that promise to stimulate thought and discussion.

Individual topics range from eBook clubs in Uganda and multimedia storytelling in Tanzania to eBusiness among women in Nigeria and school governance in Francophone Africa.

In line with the main theme – Youth, Skills & Employability - many proposals focus on the affordability, sustainability and pedagogical integration of ICTs in ways which can improve the learning, living and employment opportunities of young Africans.

Mobile learning in health, education and agriculture and Open Educational Resources (OER) feature very highly on our agenda. Given the popularity of OERs as an issue, the eLearning Africa Debate will provide a platform for argument about the controversies at the heart of the OER enterprise.

With its new and dedicated research stream, eLearning Africa aspires to nurture African research and knowledge in the field of ICTs in education.

Read more here

Monday, January 24, 2011

Africa's Youth, Arise & Do Something!!!

60% of Africa’s population and about 36.9 per cent of its work force are youth...50% + of our youth are illiterate & those with disabilities are amongst the most marginalized and poorest of all youths!!!

In an effort to harness the energy, imagination and initiative of the world’s youth in overcoming the challenges facing humankind, from enhancing peace to boosting economic development, the United Nations proclaimed an International Year of Youth starting on 12 August 2010.

In its resolution proclaiming the Year, the General Assembly called on governments, civil society, individuals and communities worldwide to support activities at local and international levels to mark the event. Under the theme ‘Dialogue and Mutual Understanding,’ the Year aims to encourage dialogue and understanding across generations and promote the ideals of peace, respect for human rights and freedoms, and solidarity.

If you are an African youth in the continent please take this opportunity to engage in this initiative. More information can be found here on how you can participate

Interesting reading:

Youth in Africa


Official UN International Year of Youth Web Site

Photo by IICD

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Edward K. Ndopu-Telling It Like It Is

Youth in action -Edward Ndopu Inviting you to join him on a journey for the reclamation and reformation of education in the African continent

"If you didn't know now you know, heed the call to action"

APOV supports the Global Strategy for Inclusive Education ...full throttle ahead!!!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

South Sudan-What Next?

South Sudan
To Be or Not To Be? That is the Question...

  • Capital city: Juba
  • Demonym: South Sudanese
  • Area: 619,745 km
  • Population:11,000,000–13,000,000 ???
  • Ethnic Groups: Dinka, Nuer, Bari, Lotuko, Kuku, Zande, Mundari, Kakwa, Pojulu, Shilluk, Moru, Acholi, Madi, Lulubo, Lokoya, Toposa, Lango, Didinga, Murle, Anuak, Makaraka, Mundu, Jur, Kaliko, and others.
  • Official language: English
  • Did you know: Southern Sudan produces 85% of Sudanese oil output!

The African continent is gearing up as the geographical land map is about to witness significant change!

The secession of South Sudan is more likely, & a new nation is about to be born in the African continent. This marks the end of a new beginning as the journey ahead as an independent international sovereign state begins.

So what would their To do list look like:

  • Sustain the peace dividend
  • New name
  • New National Anthem
  • National Pledge perhaps
  • Dialing code
  • Domain name
  • Good governance
  • Development Strategy
  • Education, Education, Education!!!
  • Strong, independent, transparent, accessible institutions
  • Become an economic powerhouse in the continent
  • Don't become another Eritrea
  • Be serious

Not to do list:

  • War
  • Corruption
  • Inefficiency
  • Nepotism
  • Tribalism

Sudan as it is today

Check out:

Monday, January 17, 2011

Winds of Change - Mohamed Bouazizi

The 26-year-old university Computer Science graduate Mohamed Bouazizi set fire to himself in the Tunisian town of Sidi Bouzid in mid-December, after police prevented him from selling vegetables without a permit. He died in early January. Unemployed Bouazizi sold fruits and vegetables from a cart in his rural town of Sidi Bouzid, located 160 miles from the country’s capital Tunis. He did not have a license to sell, but it was his sole source of income.

His action was followed by weeks of increasingly violent protests across Tunisia over unemployment, corruption and high food prices which resulted in the resignation of President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali last week. Little did he know through his action of despair he would topple a government.

Side note: 60% of the African population are said to be 24 years old and below. Given the inefficient governance frameworks in place and limited jobs, Mohamed Bouazizi death serves as a clarion call to all African leaders to step and salvage hope for a better tomorrow for their people. Chances are there are many who have gone through such fate and their stories have gone untold for the world to hear.

Brief chronology of events

* 17 Dec: A graduate sets himself on fire in Sidi Bouzid over lack of jobs, sparking protests
* 24 Dec: Protester shot dead in central Tunisia
* 28 Dec: Protests spread to Tunis
* 8-10 Jan: Dozens of deaths reported in crackdown on protests
* 12 Jan: Interior ministry sacked
* 13 Jan: President Ben Ali promises to step down in 2014
* 14 Jan: President dissolves government and parliament, then steps down...word he has left the country after 23 years of dictatorial rule...

There can only be one Mohamed Bouazizi:
Elsewhere in Cairo Egypt Mr Abdel-Monaim set himself on fire outside the parliament building in the Egyptian capital, Cairo. He shouted anti-government slogans before pouring fuel on his clothes and setting himself alight...

President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, 2nd left, visits Mohamed Bouazizi, the young man who set himself on fire, at Ben Arous Burn and Trauma Centre, in Tunis 28 December 2010

William Kamkwamba-The Energy Within

William Kamkwamba was born August 5, 1987 in Dowa, Malawi, and grew up on his family farm in Masitala Village, Wimbe, two and half hours northeast of Malawi’s capital city. The second eldest of Trywell and Agnes Kamkwamba’s seven children, William has six sisters.

William was educated at Wimbe Primary School, completing 8th grade and was then accepted to Kachokolo secondary school. Due to severe famine in 2001, his family lacked the funds to pay the $80 in annual school fees and William was forced to drop out of school a few months into his freshman year. For five years he was unable to go to school.

Windmill and other projects:Starting at 14, rather than accept his fate, William started borrowing books from a small community lending library located at his former primary school. He borrowed an 8th grade American textbook called Using Energy, which depicted wind turbines on its cover. He decided to build a windmill to power his family’s home and obviate the need for kerosene, which provided only smoky, flickering, distant and expensive light after dark. First he built a prototype using a radio motor, then his initial 5-meter windmill out of a broken bicycle, tractor fan blade, old shock absorber, and blue gum trees. After hooking the windmill to a car battery for storage, William was able to power four light bulbs and charge neighbors’ mobile phones. This system was even equipped with homemade light switches and a circuit breaker made from nails, wire, and magnets. The windmill was later extended to 12 meters to better catch the wind above the trees. A third windmill pumped grey water for irrigation.

Photo by White African

Subsequent projects have included clean water, malaria prevention, solar power and lighting for the six homes in his family compound; a deep water well with a solar powered pump for clean water, a drip irrigation system, and the outfitting of the village team Wimbe United with their first ever uniforms and shoes. Since receiving their sun and wind-themed uniforms, the team has been on a winning streak that has brought the village together with pride.

The windmill project drew many visitors from kilometers around, including Dr. Hartford Mchazime, Ph.D., the deputy director of the MTTA, the Malawian NGO responsible for the community library. Mchazime brought press, including The Malawi Daily Times, who wrote a long story. Soyapi Mumba and Mike McKay, engineers at Baobab Health Partnership in Malawi blogged about the article, and news of William’s inventions reached Emeka Okafor, program director for TEDGlobal, a prestigious gathering of thinkers and innovators. Okafor searched quite diligently to find William and invite him to the conference as a fellow. William’s presentation led to additional mentors, donors, and companies supporting his education and further projects.

Currently: Student at Dartmouth College pursuing engineering degree.

Book: William has finished his autobiography The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope with co-author Bryan Mealer (author of All Things Must Fight to Live, his reportage of the war in Democratic Republic of Congo). William Morrow, an imprint of Harper Collins will publish the book worldwide September 29, 2009.

Media: Kamkwamba was profiled on the front page of The Wall Street Journal December 8, 2007, as well in major articles in The Malawi Daily Times, The Sydney Morning Herald, La Repubblica, Banker Magazine (Financial Times, UK), a special Africa issue of L’Uomo Vogue and myriad blog posts on sites such as Boing Boing, Worldchanging and Treehugger, and his blog has been featured on the front page of news aggregators such as Digg and Reddit.

Interests: writing books, farming, the internet, ipods, computers, education, mobile phones, action movies, windmills, wind energy, solar power, irrigation, lighting, low-power lighting, digital cameras and camcorders, helping my family, animals and wildlife documentaries, Heroes, 24, Prison Break, and LOST.


The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
William Kamkwamba
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