The man seated next to me my first time at Tomsed was composing a message by the hunt and peck method. He pressed one letter on the keyboard, searched for the next, pressed that one, and so on. It was his one-fingered technique that attracted my attention, but when my eye alighted- not entirely accidentally- on his text, I caught my breath. The man was composing a 419 letter. A real-live scam artist sitting next to me.
This Thursday at 12:30 the WB’s Africa Department will be hosting a discussion on ‘The Challenges of the Private Sector, Finance and Human Development in Africa.’ The main speaker will be Nkosana Moyo, managing partner of ACTIS, and the session will be chaired by Yaw Ansu, World Bank sector director for Human Development in Africa. For more information, or if you would like to attend, please contact Nana Konadu Afram-M’Bow, 202-473-3352.
They may not be the richest, but Africans remain the world's staunchest optimists. An annual survey [PDF] by Gallup International, a research outfit, shows that, when asked whether this year will be better than last, Africa once again comes out on top. Out of 52,000 people interviewed all over the world, under half believe that things are looking up.
The Free Software & Open Source Foundation for Africa, UNEC and UNCTAD are hosting the Second IDLELO Conference on Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) in Kenya, February 23-25. (via TechSoup)
The impact of tourism in Africa accounts for more cash moving from rich to poor countries than governments give in aid…tourism constitutes over 10% of total exports in more than half of African countries for which there is data. In countries such as Mali and The Gambia, tiny annual international arrival figures of 70,000 – that’s less than 200 tourists a day – are significant and tourism contributes 10.1% and 30.5% of total exports for these countries respectively.
Audio and video from the recent United Nations and Sun Microsystems sponsored Pop!Tech event is now available online (Part 1 & 2). This excellent event brought together young African thought leaders to discuss the role of technology in changing communities and fighting poverty and disease. Several of those in attendance were also blogging from the event.
Until recently, blogging - the practice of keeping a journal style website with dated entries - has barely registered in sub-Saharan Africa, with switched-on South Africa as the obvious exception. The relative scarcity of affordable internet access and the physical distance from the Western epicentre of the online world made blogging an elite pastime for expatriates living in the continent and Diaspora students outside it. But the situation is starting to change…