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Weekly Wire: The Global Forum

Kalliope Kokolis's picture

These are some of the views and reports relevant to our readers that caught our attention this week.

In Kenya, Using Tech To Put An 'Invisible' Slum On The Map

"If you were to do a search for the Nairobi city slum of Mathare on Google Maps, you'd find little more than gray spaces between unmarked roads. Slums by nature are unplanned, primordial cities, the opposite of well-ordered city grids. Squatters rights rule, and woe to the visitor who ventures in without permission. But last year, a group of activist cartographers called the Spatial Collective started walking around Mathare typing landmarks into hand-held GPS devices." READ MORE

Poverty Matters Blog
Telling countries they're the worst in the world doesn't really help them
"The west seems to be obsessed with ranking things. Whether it's Mark Owen's top 20 hits, the Forbes rich list or the 100 greatest Britons, success is apparently relative rather than absolute. But the urge to order things does not stop with pop culture and celebrities. In development, it extends to ranking countries, and not usually by their successes but by their failings. The human development index, the global peace index, the failed states index; time and again mainly northern-based organisations feel at liberty to opine about the progress of nations. The countries with the worst rankings in these indices undoubtedly have serious challenges they need to confront. The pseudo-scientific concoctions that underpin many development indices contain elements of truth, and the countries ranked as most failed have every reason to take a long hard look at themselves."  READ MORE

 ICT Works
How New Technologies Can Make Every Voice Count in Government Activities

"Ten years ago, leveraging information and communication technology for development was all about getting people an email address. Today, there is an explosion in access to ICT thanks to mobile technologies – the CEO of Ericsson recently predicted, 92% of the world’s inhabitants will live in an area with mobile reception coverage by 2018 (see article). But what impact is all this technology having on the relationship between governments and citizens?" READ MORE

The Next Web
The powerful ‘Open Data for Africa’ platform is now available across the continent
"The African Development Bank (AfDB) has announced that it has completed the last phase of deploying its Open Data for Africa platform across the continent following deployments in Benin, Comoros, Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Kenya, São Tomé and Príncipe, Sierra Leone, Swaziland, and Togo. The platform has now been rolled out to all 54 countries across the continent."  READ MORE
Skoll World Forum
How (and Why) Africa Should Solve Its Own Problems
"Africa is the second largest continent on earth and has immense resources, yet African people are poor. The question is “why are we poor” if we have all this wonderful land, sea, shores? We are poor because of misrule, because we are badly governed. I don’t subscribe to the narrative that Africa is backward because of colonialism. Africa has been independent for 50 years now. Let’s forget the past, we need to get up and dust-off ourselves and get on with life. What actually happened in the last 50 to 60 years is that we missed a lot of opportunities. At the moment of independence, many African countries like Ghana and Egypt had higher income per capita than China, India or Singapore. Where are we now? And where are those guys? I think the blame should rest squarely on the way we have governed ourselves."  READ MORE
Thomson Reuters Foundation
Young farmers turn to social media to adapt to climate change

"Julius Cheruiyot has been a farmer since he was 16 years old. Forced to drop out of school because his family was unable to pay the fees, he went to work on his father’s farm in Uasin Gishu county, in Kenya’s Rift Valley region. Today, Cheruiyot, 32, is a father of three who can afford to feed and educate his family by cultivating his own land. But as increasingly unpredictable weather in Kenya makes life difficult for subsistence farmers, he has joined a number of younger farmers who are using social media to learn how to cope." READ MORE

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Photo credit: Flickr user fdecomite


It's true, the ONLY reason the whole continent can't escape this 3rd world mentality is because of corruption in leadership. It's just never had a chance, yet, to get its act together (with the exception of S.Africa). Once it gets its' legs, they absolutely have a great chance of financially flourishing. For more on what I think about international finance, visit

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