27 Months

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Weekly Quick Hits

Throughout the week I make note of interesting news pieces, blog posts, online debates and trending topics with a focus on technology and Africa. This is an experiment in sharing some of these items, filtered by yours truly, in a blog post. Wherever possible I’ll try to include appropriate links to the people behind the stories so readers can follow them online. We’ll see if this turns into a weekly habit.

Weekly Quick HitsThe much-anticipated arrival of the SEACOM cable, linking east and southern Africa to Europe and India, topped African tech news and sparked a great deal of controversy online. Rebekah Heacock collects reactions from the blogosphere over at Global Voices Online. Whiteafrican does a comprehensive roundup of the debate surrounding the event on tweets and blogs.

A group of Nigerian twitterers and bloggers started a movement called Light Up Nigeria with the intent of mobilizing Nigerians to demand reliable electricity from their government. Solomon Sydelle gives an excellent backgrounder on the problem and provides a growing list of social media contacts related to the movement. Blacklooks collects critical reactions to the online campaign and suggests that what Nigeria really needs are flyers and a Banksy to address the problem at the street level.

TED Africa Director Emeka Okafor has a short post and YouTube video link about the Eden Campus, a school that teaches business skills and entrepreneurship to marginalized South Africans.

StartupAfrica offers some technical tips for building an African micro-blogging platform with a listing of existing services and an interesting discussion by a variety of Africa tech heads.

Africa Rural Connect teams up with the NPCA to ask the question, “What’s your best idea for Africa?” with a focus on improving the lives of farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa. The ARC launch party was held on July 21st in Washington DC. Here’s Molly Mattessich describing the inspiration for ARC in a video presentation.

I’d be remiss without mentioning something about TEDGlobal 2009 in Oxford. Trying to follow the live stream of mind-blowing presentations online is like drinking from a fire hose. Brainpicker filters the stream with some selected highlights. Among all the talks, an unexpected favorite came from Brother Paulus Terwitte, a German friar who thinks we’ve become like primitive hunter-gatherers, preoccupied with collecting information, instead of taking in less and deepening our lives.

The irony of Brother Terwitte’s message in the context of this post is not lost on this blogger. With this, I am going outside for a Sunday stroll.