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<time datetime="2008-07-17T00:00:00-07:00" pubdate><span class='month'>Jul</span> <span class='day'>17</span> <span class='year'>2008</span></time>
<h1 class="entry-title"><a href="/heart-of-brightness.html">Heart of Brightness</a></h1>
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<div class="entry-content"><p>I had long been fascinated with all things African. It is the only continent where you hear more about genocides than any actual development. It is quite unfair because there are actually peaceful nations in Africa and a lot of creative development goes on there because of the poor infrastructure of many nations. </p>
<p>I set about reading books/blogs on Africa to get an understanding of why/what of the current events in Africa. The book <a href="http://www.bookjetty.com/books/067973869X/africa-biography-continent">Africa: A Biography of the Continent</a> is an excellent resource on the history of African nations since the origin of humans till the late 60s and 70s. I then read <a href="http://www.bookjetty.com/books/0375703772/emma-war">Emma&#8217;s War</a> which is about this foolhardy Aid-worker who marries a rebel commander in Sudan. That book was a good source of on-the-ground reporting of the war in Sudan and how it came to be so. Beware, none of these books are for the faint of the heart. The unspeakable atrocities committed by Africans on Africans is enough to depress you for a week at least! Another novel I read recently was <a href="http://www.bookjetty.com/books/0385474547/fall-novel">Chinue Achebe&#8217;s Things Fall Apart</a> that talks about how the society changes after the coming of the missionaries. It has an interesting descriptions of the mythological beliefs of some tribes of Nigeria. </p>
<p>Here are some of the blogs that cover great news about Africa but most of which never gets into the main stream news:</p>
<ol>
<li>
<a href="http://mashilingi.blogspot.com/2008/07/e-commercem-commerce-which-way-for.html">E-Commerce solutions for Africa</a> is a blog post that talks about the opportunities of payment solutions using mobile telephony in Africa. Mobile phones have great reach in African countries as they skip the government entirely and rely on private operators. <a href="http://www.kiwanja.net/about.htm">Kiwanja</a> has a project called <a href="http://www.kiwanja.net/frontlinesms.htm">FrontlineSMS</a> which use SMS as a service to remind patients/farmers important information that can save time-consuming trips to the nearest doctors/markets.
</li>
<li><a href="http://www.afrigadget.com">Afrigadget</a> has a <a href="http://www.afrigadget.com/2008/04/30/afrigadget-innovator-series-simon-mwacharo-of-craftskillz/">great interview with Simon Mwacharo</a> who runs CraftSkills a small business based in Nairobi that focuses on buildign self-sustainnig renewable energy projects in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Cameroon, and Rwanda. (thanks to <a href="http://friendfeed.com/thaths">Thaths</a>)</li>
<li>
<a href="http://afropop.org/">Afropop.org</a> has a great collection and features on evolving African music and its ties to South American/North American music. They have a great podcast too (again thanks to <a href="http://friendfeed.com/thaths">Thaths</a>).
</li>
<li><a href="http://wildlifedirect.org">Wildlifedirect.org</a> is a charity that gives us the opportunity to follow the day to day activities of their partner parks/wildlife conservations (located all over the world) and to donate directly to the parks/conservations you support. For example, you could donate money to help pay the salaries of the park rangers of <a href="http://maratriangle.wildlifedirect.org/">Mara Triangle</a>.</li>
<li><a href="http://www.ssrc.org/blogs/darfur/">Making Sense of Darfur</a> blog seems to have interesting articles on Darfur and the recent possibility of indictment of the President of Sudan (via <a href="http://chrisblattman.blogspot.com/">Chris Blattman</a> who blogs about African news and opinions that is generally not visible in mainstream media).</li>
</ol>
<p></p>
<p>That covers most of my sources of African news. Now, if only I could find a good cheap way to get there and see all these!</p>
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