Sunday, June 20, 2010

We've moved!

Vijana FM has moved to a new blogging platform designed by Wordpress. What does this mean?

For our subscribers and partners:
For our studio crew:
Many thanks, and see you at our new home :)

An interview with Ory Okolloh

Ory Okolloh, is a Kenyan activist and Africa's prominent blogger. She runs kenyanpundit.com and is also the founder of ushahidi.com, as well as mzalendo.com, initiatives that have garnered immense attention and praise. In March 2010, she was interviewed by BBC on issues of blogging and contemporary internet culture in Africa. Listen to the audio interview below.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Scientific research and society - a lecture by Kofi Annan

Theme: Scientific Research and Society
Venue
: Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) - Zurich, Switzerland

Today I was fortunate enough to attend an overbooked lecture by Mr. Kofi Annan, the former UN-SG and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. For this year's Richard R. Ernst Lecture at the ETH Zurich, Mr. Annan delivered a captivating lecture on the role of scientific research in solving the needs of society . He urged young researchers to delve into research that crosses boundaries of their fields through interdisciplinary work and international collaborations with less technological advanced nations. Addressing a multitude of young researchers and students, Mr. Annan pointed out that scientists should provide the necessary leadership in research policy when political support is lacking. This could be through creating innovative solutions to societal needs that gain public support of the target communties. He pressed on the need of academics to refuse to remain in the ivory-tower, but rather become actors through research that makes a lasting impact to society. During the lecture, he quoted the Indian statesman and foremost actor in its R&D revolution, Jawaharlal Nehru, who once said "we are too poor to not invest in science and technology", to highlight the importance of science and technology for solving incessant problems of the south - food shortage, climate change and diseases of poverty.

The full lecture
video
(c) ETH Zurich, ITS-MMS

Below are amateur video clips of the panel discussion with Kofi Annan chaired by the 1991 Chemistry Nobel Laureate Prof. Richard R. Ernst.

video

video

video

Cameron Herold: Let's raise kids to be entrepreneurs

In my opinion, this TED Talk by Cameron Herold is exactly what the world needs to hear.

Cameron speaks of his own struggles in the education system. He speaks of his ventures and passion for business at a very young age and how his dad would never allow him to get a "regular" job. He always had to find new ways to earn his own money.

Cameron states that children should be taught how to save at a young age and how to make use of their resources. Instead of giving monthly allowances to children give them opportunities to be innovative. Children should also be given the opportunity to nuture their creativity and not be told what to be in the future. We need to teach kids how to fish and not give them the fish.

Darwin's Nightmare

A 2004 documentary film written and directed by Hubert Sauper -- dealing with the environmental and social effects of the fishing industry around Lake Victoria in Tanzania.



Quote from the Darwin Nightmare's website:

"Some time in the 1960's, in the heart of Africa, a new animal was introduced into Lake Victoria as a little scientific experiment. The Nile Perch, a voracious predator, extinguished almost the entire stock of the native fish species. However, the new fish multiplied so fast, that its white fillets are today exported all around the world.

"Huge hulking ex-Soviet cargo planes come daily to collect the latest catch in exchange for their southbound cargo… Kalashnikovs and ammunitions for the uncounted wars in the dark center of the continent..."

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Lakers secure 16th NBA championship

Congratulations to LA Lakers and their fans!



Enjoy the mini-movie of the final game (yeah, everything seems cool in slow-motion):

The power of an image





















Any thoughts on this image ?

Does the world need nuclear energy?

Nuclear power: the energy crisis has even die-hard environmentalists reconsidering it. In this debate, Stewart Brand and Mark Z. Jacobson square off over the pros and cons. A discussion that'll make you think -- and might even change your mind.


From Amsterdam to Bamako

Documentary film on migration from Africa to Europe. The maker tries to take an African's perspective by reversing a migrant's journey traveling from Amsterdam to Bamako speaking with migrants he meets on the way.

'Tip' from Jadili Africa (Have you joined the group?).

Edit: You would understand why I 'bumped' this documentary film after watching it...

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Hard Pressed for Leaders

The Mo Ibrahim Foundation recently met to see if any new leaders (heads of government) fit the profile and qualifications of excellence in leadership and good governance. They decided that since there were no new candidates no prize would be awarded. To some this may seem like de ja vu, there was no prize laureate last year either. The only difference is that last year seemed more powerful and the political message was clear. This time around, there was hardly any news coverage or pomp and circumstance making people question whether this Prize will be around much longer. To be fair, the Prize Committee (the committee responsible for choosing the prize winners) are fighting an uphill battle. One is mathematical in that there will be years where no leader steps down or fulfilled his/her term limits, some term limits are 4 years, others 5, some 10 (see Tanzania). I am sure there will be a year with many potential candidates and years with none. The other problem is the lack of democratically elected leaders and visionary leaders that push for good governance and actually step down after their term without manipulating the constitution or becoming 'president forever.'

I am sure that the Mo Ibrahim Foundation is now thinking of "plan bs" and contingency plans to make sure that the money is used towards the betterment of Africa and good governance. One thing is for sure, we are still facing a deficit in effective leadership. This goes back to the importance of the youth and the Mo Ibrahim Foundation is going to establish a fellowship program and I encourage all of you to watch this spot:

"The Foundation will shortly be launching the Ibrahim Leadership Fellowships, a selective programme designed to identify and prepare the next generation of outstanding African leaders by providing them with mentoring opportunities in key multilateral institutions. The programme will seek to attract a number of highly qualified and talented professionals each year to serve in leading institutions whose core objective to improve the prospects of the people of Africa. “The Foundation is currently working with pan-African organisations to design the fellowships. It will announce further details of them at the Foundation’s annual celebration and forum on governance to be held in Mauritius in November. Applications will open shortly afterwards and we expect the first Leadership Fellows to begin their Fellowships early next year."

This could be an opportunity for all of us to put our ideas and thoughts into action.

What are your thoughts on the Mo Ibrahim Foundation's Prize? Does it hurt or benefit them that they have not awarded a leader in two years? Who has the potential of receiving a Prize in the coming years?

For more information, see this PDF file.

TAMASHA-Vijana na Ujamaa Hip Hop Darasa

Ukiperuzi haraka haraka kwenye hii makala unaweza ukadhani umepotea njia na uko kwenye blog ya Fid Q. Hapana -- hapa ni Vijana FM, mzee!

Kama nilivyosema wiki chache zilizopita, kuna baadhi ya mambo au harakati zinazofanywa na Vijana wenzetu ambazo mara nyingi hazitambuliwi; kwa maneno mengine, inaonekana hazipewi kipaumbele. Lakini nadhani Vijana FM itabadili hii desturi.

Nia hasa sio tu kuwafagilia tu Vijana wenzetu. Ni matumaini yangu kuwa makala kama hizi zitawapa wahusika changamoto na kuwahamasisha Vijana wengine kujiunga na kuwasaidia wahusika kwa namna moja au nyingine.

Leo hii nakuletea harakati za Winston Churchill na timu yake nzima ya TAMASHA-Vijana. Mchana wa leo (tarehe 16 Juni, 2010) ulikuwa ni maalumu kwa ajili ya Watoto wa Afrika, na mzee mzima Fid Q ndio alikuwa mgeni rasmi au mwalimu wa kwanza wa Ujamaa Hip Hop Darasa.

Kabla sijakupa dondoo za hili Darasa, ningependa kukuambia madhumuni hasa ya TAMASHA-Vijana/Ujamaa Hip Hop Darasa.

Winston anasema,"[Tunajitahidi] kufikiria jinsi ya kuwasaidia Vijana... maana tunaona wana vipaji lakini jinsi ya kuvibadili katika ujasiriamali bado imekuwa ndio changamoto. "

Kwahiyo wameamua kuanzisha Ujamaa Hip Hop Darasa. Hili Darasa litakuwa linatumia falsafa ya Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere: "Binadamu hujikomboa na kujiendeleza mwenyewe; hawezi kukombolewa na kuendelezwa." Na litakuwa linatumia taswira ya utamaduni wa Ujamaa wa Kiafrika na Hip Hop ili kuwavutia zaidi Vijana.

Darasa rasmi la kwanza la Hip Hop litaanza tarehe 26 Juni (Mikocheni, Old Bagamoyo Rd, Dar es Salaam). Licha ya kwamba Madarasa yatakuwa bure, waandaji bado wanafikiria namna ya kufanya mpangilio mzima uweze kujiendesha wenyewe.

Ukiacha Hip Hop Darasa kuna mambo mengine yatakayokuwa yanaendelea na kufanyiwa kazi -- kwa mfano, utengenezaji wa video (Research, Archive and Documentary on Hip Hop), Outreach and Relations, Uhuru Clothing na Film Project.

Napenda kuchukua fursa hii kuwatakia kila la kheri TAMASHA-Vijana na Ujamaa Hip Hop Darasa kwenye shughuli zao na nadhani timu ya Vijana FM itajaribu kuwasaidia pale itakapoweza.

Cha muhimu zaidi ni wasanii wengine, wataalamu wa mambo haya na Vijana kwa ujumla kuitikia mwito.

Nawatakia jioni njema!

Because this is 2010 Shanghai Expo!

By BK

Can you imagine a water city where you live like a fish, a space city where the city is in orbit, an intelligence city, characterized by sophisticated electronic meeting places, production, marketing, and distribution system. Or an eco-city where nothing is wasted but used in an ecosystem-like fashion? Can you imagine a toilet that intelligently detects biochemical substances? Can you imagine the kitchen of the future, or an energy garden?

This is an account of the places I found interesting at the Shanghai Expo 2010 and in the city itself. I will also write some of the things that my other group members and I did for the entire time of our stay. We visited the Expo 2010 courtesy of an award from a project competition we won at Jacobs University - our project: the usage of snake robots for underground pipe system maintainance in megacities.

Our journey was quite long but of a great experience. Having left Bremen on June 1 at 1815 (German time) we arrived in Shanghai on June 2 at 1355 (local time). We were then picked up and accompanied to our hotel. That evening we went out for a walk at the People's Square and on to Nanjing Road. Nanjing Road is a commercial street, nicely decorated with a lot of lights. We loved this place so much for its liveliness, and nice shops.

Nanjing Road, Shanghai

On June 2, we drove from our hotel to the Expo 2010 site. Located in Zone E at the Urban Best Practices Area (UBPA) we first visited the Jacobs University stand where we were shown the multimedia interactive exhibit of the university displaying the university's core objective of preparing leaders of tomorrow-who, in abundance, will become global citizens. We were then shown the Bremen Case-for Bremen and North-West Germany.

Future oriented projects are showcased that range from a simple but highly beneficial car-sharing concept and electric cars to nature, energy and science. Just like the name suggests, with a car-sharing concept, cars will be owned by a special body and everyone would use a car without having to worry about maintenance but their bills only that are payable at the end of the month. This would be of advantage to young people or people who cannot afford to buy cars. Most importantly, it would reduce heavy traffic and environmental pollution.

Bremen Pavilion at EXPO 2010

At the Bremerhaven stand, the Alfred Wegner Institute for Polar and Marine Research (AWI), tells us that beautiful Shanghai will be underwater if proper measures to control the climate change are not taken. They have other nice projects too.

I personally loved the Beluga stand that proposes tapping wind energy using wind turbines carried in a huge ship that floats in an ocean. The concept is much more complicated involving a strong base for the ship to resist storm winds and water waves. Also the tapping of wind energy using wind turbines built in the ocean is exhibited.

Airbus, Kaefer, Werder Bremen, and Hochschule Bremen (University of Applied Science) are also there. We then helped out with some tasks at our stand before we went on to see the rest of the pavilions at the zone.

Oh, I loved the Pavilion of Future! Seeing it I was reminded that we human beings are highly limited by our imagination. While others dream the future others might just be observers. As you may anticipate, this pavilion showcases cities of future; water city, eco city, energy city, space city and intelligence city. They have a multimedia visualization projected on a really huge screen, in a huge dark building.

The intelligence city was so amazing. I think I did not grasp it well, but everything is "electronized" in this city. For example if you wish to move from one place to the next you do some "electronic magic" and you have a skate or something. Just nicely and all over a sudden you start moving. All you need is a remote control.

We visited the Hamburg pavilion. We saw the Theater of the Future at the Taipei Pavillion. I also went to Dusseldorf City, Seoul, Cairo, Information and Communications pavillions.

In the evening we decided to cross the Huangpu River to go shopping at the Super Brand Mall in Pudong District. But we were late and the mall was closing. Because we knew that we could be late, we had plan B in mind; to visit Lujiazui where The Oriental Pearl Tower is located. This street is the skyline of Shanghai. It has many (expensive) restaurants, banks, hotels and offices. We could not climb the tower, but took a lot of photos. We later enjoyed a nice view of the Bund in Huangpu District from the other bank of the river. The Bund is characterized by European-like archicture. We took lots of photos and a video of it.

Apart from the fact that Shanghai Streets may be considered as very superficial with unnecessary lighting leading to power wastage, there is a lot of amazement in it.

Oh! Wait! I love the way business is done in Shanghai. No price is final. Bargaining is the right way to go. And you really have to be hard at it.


The energy garden, the future kitchen, and the elderly lounge, elderly bedroom, elderly parlor and bathroom are found at the Shanghai Pavilion. The Wine Bar at Barcelona's case is where Spain's famous Torres wine is sold is also a good place to chit-chat and enjoy the Spanish wine.

On Monday June 7 we met our professor while later in the afternoon we met our University president. We then went to Tongji University, one of China's finest universities to visit the Department of Environmental Research and the university as a whole. On June 8 I visited a large International Logistics Fair at Expo. On June 9 we visited Zhujia Jiao, an ancient water town. On June 10 my friends returned to Bremen and I went to Xi'an, Shaanxi province in Northwestern China. I will head back to Germany on June 18 to begin my internship.

BK, a Tanzanian national, is a final year student of Electrical Enginering and Computer Science at Jacobs University in Bremen, Germany.

Bremen Pavilion feature, ICS
video

Tanzania's Education and Careers Exhibition

8 days to go!!! ( Date: June 24th & 25th, 2010)

Venue
: Diamond Jubilee Hall, Dar es Salaam.

Tripod Media Company Limited is organizing “Tanzania’s Education and Career Exhibition” which will bring together Primary and Secondary Schools, Colleges, Tertiary Institutions and Universities in Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi in a Careers and Schools Exhibition so that students/trainers/parents/guardians can interact one-on-one with representatives of these institutions on programs offered, careers, admission requirements etc.

Topics:
Career Choices -- Challenges and Motivation
Changing Career -- Refocusing
Going against the wind -- Choosing unpopular career path
Caught in between -- Incomparable Careers within an individual
Employment vs. Entrepreneurship
Politics and Leadership -- Is it a career path?

Speakers:
Susan Mashibe (Engineer and Pilot), Modesta Lilian Mahiga (Managing Director, Professional Approach Ltd.), Janeth Mbene (MP), Sebastian Ndege (Doctor, Radio Presenter and Public Speaker), Khadija Mwanamboka (Fashion Designer), Ali Mfuruki (Economist and Entrepreneur), Lady Jay Dee (Musician), Master J (Music Producer), Femi Banigbe (Engineer & TIGO CTO), Sadaka Gandi (Psychologist), Siana Nkya (Scientist) & Emelda Mwamanga Mtunga (Bang! Magazine CEO Relim Entertainment).

For more info about the event, click here...
















Vijana FM Crew is wishing the organizers and all the participants all the best!

SAM.10


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Raghava KK: Five lives of an artist

Raghava KK is an artist who started by drawing cartoons in the classroom. Listening to him and see what he has done, you’ll agree with me, his pencils & paint brushes are mightier than the sword. One thing that really impressed me with Raghava is his creativity, and how his art evolves and transforms, while still maintaining its originality.

Secondly, how he collaborates with different type of artists to revolutionize his own is just so impressive. I hope young artists will learn not to limit themselves, kwani ubunifu kama huu ndio unao kosekana kwa wasanii wengi wa Bongo Hip Hop/ Bongo flava na hata aina nyingine za sanaa.

African Hip Hop Thesis

Mimi kama mpenzi mkubwa wa Hip Hop, nimekuwa nikijaribu kuifuatilia kwa karibu tangia '2 Proud' alipokuwa anavuma na nyimbo kama 'Ni mimi, niko kwenye maikrofoni' na 'Madawa ya kulevya'. Safari ya Hip Hop Tanzania ni ndefu kiasi chake -- ila wengi mtakubaliana na mimi kuwa hatuna "kioo" (as in, standard) madhubuti cha kuangalia na kutath'mini mabadiliko yaliyoletwa na huu muziki wetu.

Mara nyingi mambo mengi tunayojadili kuhusu Hip Hop tunakuwa kama tuna speculate tu. Kwahiyo, tunayoongelea kwenye kijiwe hiki ni tofauti na yatakayoongelewa kwenye kijiwe kingine kutokana na sababu kadhaa.

Fid Q nadhani ameliona hilo na ameamua kufanya utafiti kuangalia Hip Hop kutoka Afrika -- utafiti huu wa kitaaluma utachunguza nini hasa kinachotokea kwenye ulingo wa Hip Hop, mabadiliko kwenye jamii yanayoambatana na Hip Hop, (bila kusahau) Hip Hop kama kitambulisho cha Vijana wengi sasa hivi.

Kilichonifurahisha zaidi ni kwamba anajua wapi pa kuanzia (kwasababu mambo ya utafiti yanahitaji maujanja, na kujua wapi pa kuanzia hurahisisha kazi); ataanza kuongea na wasanii ili kujifunza kama wanafikiri wana nafasi yoyote kwenye jamii.

Mimi binafsi nina maswali mengi mno. Lakini sasa hivi nitamuuliza Fid Q maswali machache tu kwanza ili aanze kuumiza kichwa:

1. Marekani inajulikana kama ndio chimbuko la Hip Hop, lakini sasa hivi inaonekana kama Hip Hop inaanza 'kurudi' Afrika (Soma makala kuhusu hili suala hapa). Je, kuna sababu za msingi au ni jambo la kawaida tu?

2. Wasanii wanajua maana ya Hip Hop? Wanaitumia ipasavyo?

3. Niliona filamu moja (documentary) inayozungumzia kufanana kwa maneno ya mitaani kutoka Marekani na Afrika Mashariki (ingawa lugha zitumiwazo ni tofauti). Kuna ukweli wowote ule?

4. Vipi kuhusu mambo yanayozungumzwa kwenye nyimbo mbalimbali. Sehemu mtu anapotoka (msanii) ina athari kubwa sana au ndogo kwenye nyimbo anazoimba? Au hutegemea zaidi mambo fulani mtu aliyopitia kwenye maisha yake binafsi? Ni sahihi kulundika wasanii kutoka Mwanza, Arusha au Dar kwenye kundi moja? Au tuangalie hadi vitongoji wanavyotoka?

5. Kuna baadhi ya wasanii kutoka Tanzania ambao wanaheshimika sana nje ya nchi ilihali bado wanatumia lugha ya Kiswahili kwenye nyimbo zao. Hii inakuwaje? Wengine wanatumia maneno kutoka Temeke!

6. Mabadiliko yanayotokea kwenye Hip Hop yanaakisi yanayotokea kwenye jamii? Au jamii huakisi mambo yanaongelewa na wasanii?

Nitaishia hapa kwa leo.

Ila kama una maswali zaidi au una maujanja yatakayoweza kumrahisishia utafiti huu, unaweza ukamtumia Fid Q barua pepe: cheusidawa (at) gmail (dot) com. Au unaweza ukatembelea blog yake (ina mipini yake karibia yote; cheki upande wa kulia).

Fid Q, Vijana FM inakutakia kila la kheri! Binafsi, nina uhakika kazi yako itawanufaisha wengi.

Makala nyingine kuhusu Fid Q zinapatikana hapa na hapa...

Budget 2010/2011

The size of the word reflects how often it was used in the 2010/2011 budget speech (wordle.net)

a 74 page document
79 - number of times the words "misaada" or "mikopo" appears
11,609,557 - amount in T.Shs of the budget
14% - basal income tax
20,277,100 - amount in USD set for research and development
628,591,000 - amount in USD set for Agricultural projects
2 Billion USD set for education expenditures
1 Billion USD set for health care
30% of total budget from donor sources
0% on import duty for transport buses (Fast Truck Project)..........


Hon. M. Mkullo, minister of finance (picture michuzi blog)

Click here for the full budget
How does the budget affect you?

A family tree for humanity

All humans share some common bits of DNA, passed down to us from our African ancestors. Geneticist Spencer Wells talks about how his Genographic Project will use this shared DNA to figure out how we are -- in all our diversity -- truly connected.


First capsule to an asteroid

The first capsule to land on an asteroid returns to Earth.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Africa's Leaders of Tomorrow School (ALTS)

By BK

Everyday I read stories about the economic growth of China. I read about Germany's solutions, clean energy in particular, aimed at solving global challenges. I read about a student in a Tanzanian village who uses an oil lamp with a small floating wick, and that 60% of African population is living without electricity. I read that while two out of five Africans lack clean water supplies and Africa's economy is greatly reliant on international aid, the African population will double by 2030.

Some challenges are old. Some are new. I ask myself many questions. Some are: For countries to reaclh or maintain global leadership, should they focus on global solutions? Because global solutions are always also local while local solutions cannot always be global. If the correct answer is yes, then, is it the likeliest situation that an African country will never become a super power?

Obviously, we are living at a time when all agents of development, across all age ranges and professions, must work together to solve these challenges. Since life is only a choice that must have a purpose to be lived well; for Africa, I would propose a leadership school, Africa's Leaders of Tomorrow School (ALTS) that would involve young African students at the earliest time possible in solving African challenges.

ALTS would be a social business, and would place education at the service of the society. Interested mid-school students who are top in their classes, and who have demonstrated great leadership and risk taking skills in their communities would be admitted. They would be brought together and shown the greatest challenges that the continent faces in preparation for tomorrow's leadership. I am mindful that we learn best from the people who surround us. That's why guest speakers who are themselves entrepreneurs, policy makers, government leaders and infuential people would be invited to talk with the students.


The core subject, 'Africa and the World' would guide students through the history of Africa after independence, the challenges it faces and its e orts to solve them. An emphasis would be on why the continent is the poorest despite the great natural endowment it possesses. It would encourage debates and discussions, to emphasize on the development of leadership skills, entrepreneurial skills and global citizenship. It would be discussed on how leaders can play a greater role to improve the life of an African. The students will be required to write a project on a topic of their own choice but related to Africa and the World. An example of such a topic would be 'Africa, what is the missing link? a look at African governance.'

Not until we are aware of the challenges our small communities face, can we dream of solutions to national, continental or global problems. ALTS students would have to complete a minimum number of hours of community service in preparation for leading an interesting life in which serving others is the greatest character.

The major feature of ALTS curriculum would be to train young great minds to understand how every discipline has and can be used to solve the challenges humankind faces. I see this being met through talks by guest speakers and mandatory class discussions with course instructors.

I see graduates from the school become CEO's, politicians, activists, scientists, policy makers and economists of tomorrow, to mention but a few examples. ALTS students would become global citizens. They would not be fatalistics but able to embark on meaningful and unprecedented projects that would change the way Africa and the world operates. They would be able to integrate into the ever changing world in terms of technology, culture, science and politics while devising methods to integrate with solutions that aim at making Africa a bigger economy. With an emphasis on creativity, they would gain problem solving skills rather than mere knowledge accumulation. They would therefore be equipped with an ability to apply knowledge obtained in class to nd answers to the the problems of the society.

I would envision a family of such schools all over Africa under the social business concept that would prepare students to become leaders of tomorrow who would change Africa and the world at large.


BK, a guest columnist, is a senior at Jacobs University Bremen (in Germany) pursuing a B.Sc degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. He hails from Mwanza, Tanzania.

Japan's bribes on whaling; old news?

by Felicity Ogilvie
A conservation activist says an investigation into claims that Japan bribes small nations for their support on whaling is confirmation of what has been common knowledge for a long time.

Two reporters from Britain's Sunday Times newspaper posed as the lobbyists of a fictional Swiss billionaire and set out to buy votes at next week's International Whaling Commission (IWC) meeting.

Six countries told the reporters they were willing to consider their offer, but the reporters were told they would need to better the aid the countries are already getting from the Japanese.

Tanzania's IWC commissioner is recorded saying that as well as aid, politicians from his country are flown to Japan where they are offered prostitutes.

Geoffrey Nanyaro told the undercover reporters he has never used Japanese prostitutes.

"As a Christian, I live by the Bible, so I never indulge in such [activities]," he said.

Mr Nanyaro says when he visits Japan he is put up in a five-star hotel, and women offering massages often call his room.

"They start by saying you know, do you want massaging, you know, it will be free massaging, you know. Are you not alone there?"

Nicola Beynon from Humane Society International says the undercover investigation adds weight to what environmental groups have long suspected.

"It has been common knowledge for a long time that a number of countries that vote in favor of commercial whaling at the IWC are not actually voting because they genuinely want to see a return to commercial whaling, but they are voting because they are beholden to Japan and Japan's very generous fisheries aid," she said.

"This is confirming what has been common knowledge for a long time and there has been very few occasions where we have had proof of it."


If you don't know what 'Whale Wars' are all about (you probably don't watch Southpark, I guess), check out this clip:

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Uvumbuzi mahsusi kwa walemavu


Amos Winter, mwanafunzi wa shahada ya uzamivu pale MIT, Marekani yuko njiani kuwekeza matokeo ya elimu yake katika kusaidia walemavu wa nchi maskini. Winter ametengeneza wheelchair maalum kwa walemavu wa miguu kwa ajili ya matumizi kwenye barabara zilizo na mabonde au matope tulizonazo 'uswahilini'. Mradi wake huo uitwao, Leverage Freedom Chair, umemwezesha kushinda tuzo mbalimbali pamoja na kuweza kufundisha wanafunzi wengine kuhusu teknolojia hii. Wenzetu wa VETA na SIDO, mpoo?






Tembelea ukurasa wake hapa ili kufahamu zaidi kuhusu kazi zake.

Nelson R. Mandela - 46664

Picture: Nelson Mandela by Sue Dickinson

Filamu ifuatayo ni ya historia ya Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, kwa maneno yake mwenyewe -- kwa kifupi. Angalia jinsi wazee wetu walivyotaabika, wakajitoa mhanga ili mimi na wewe leo tuweze kusimama bila uwoga na kutembea mitaani na vifua vyetu mbele.

Sijui unapata hisia za aina gani unapoona na kusikia hadithi kama hizi. Binafsi, napata motisha isiyo kifani na sichoki kuwashukuru wanaharakati kwa mambo waliyofanya. Leo hii naweza kuandika chochote ninachotaka kwenye blogs na vyombo vingine vya habari; sauti yangu inasikika. Sitetereki pale mtu anapoanza kunirushia maneno ya kibaguzi. Naamini kuwa sehemu kubwa ya mafanikio kwenye maisha yangu itatokana na juhudi zangu mwenyewe.

Bahati mbaya watu wengine wanatumia uhuru huu huu kujinufaisha wenyewe na familia zao; wamesahau machozi, jasho na damu ya wanaharakati kama Madiba. Wamewahi kujiuliza: Tungekuwa wapi kama watu na viongozi kama hawa wangeamua kupigana kwa ajili yao na familia zao tu?

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Media Relations: Press Releases and Targeting Reporters

Your social enterprise has a cool event or story it wants to share with the world. Perhaps the first conference of African women entrepreneurs is happening in Tanzania on June 27th and you want to tie in an event from your start-up on women artists in with coverage on the symposium. Or perhaps one of your board members will participate in the symposium and you want to let the media know she would be a good go-to person for quotes or commentary in an article they are already drafting about the event. In either case, you will be addressing your intent to the media via press release.

What is a press release?
A press release is a statement directed to the media about a story, a spokesperson, an event, a product, or a service. It's a way of attracting publicity around a story. A press release is sent to members of the media that cover that particular beat, or topic. You would not send a press release about a new pharmaceutical drug to a reporter in the Daily News or Sunday News that writes on politics; you would send it to the reporter who covers health related topics.

The format of press releases differ depending on the intent of the press release but most are no longer than one page. Templates also differ and you can find many examples of press release templates online. Here's what a typical press release authored at my firm would look like:

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COMPANY LOGO HERE.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (in caps): Contact: Contact's name
MM/DD/YYYY or contactsemail@youremailhere.com
DD/MM/YYYY Phone: xxx-xxx-xxxx


Use A Catchy Headline Here:
A byline is the line after the headline which elaborates on the story. Not needed for all press releases. Usually italicized.


Location Here, Tanzania (the location will be where the story, person, event, etc. is located) - This is the body of your press release. Paragraph one should include all important information. Reporters are succinct and straight-to-the-point people; they need to be able to get the gist of what your story is in the first paragraph.

You can go into depth on the story here and include quotes from any spokespeople from your start-up, if appropriate and if it adds to the story. Include the how, etc. Write in the active voice: Amy sings sad songs versus The sad songs are sung by Amy, which is in the passive voice and unnecessarily long-winded.

The last paragraph should be a few sentences about the start-up sending out the press release (you).
###

---

Make sure you do your research and identify the key media members for your story. Ask them how they prefer to be contacted and honor the request. If the reporter wants you to email them the story don't call them; if they want it via fax don't email it to them. Create an Excel spreadsheet and input the information for all reporters into it including:

* First Name
* Last Name
* Title
* Beat (Topic they write on)
* Outlet (Are they writing for Daily News or are they a producer for a radio show on RTD?)
* Phone number
* Email address
* Fax number
* Preferred method of contact

---
Please note: don't send a press release a day or two days before a story is to take place. If your start-up is scheduling a conference or an important event or if they are participating in an event, make sure you send out the press release ahead of time. Reporters have deadlines on stories and don't appreciate being asked to follow through a story without having enough time.

Furthermore, if a reporter decides to write a story or interview your spokesperson, have all important information available. Let them know you are at their disposal. You don't want a reporter to ask you for the contact information of your start-up's spokesperson and you don't have that information on hand.

READ MORE:
Media Relations 101: Getting media coverage.

Follow Stephanie on Twitter: @radiomorillo

Friday, June 11, 2010

It's finally here

The wait is finally over!

1 hour to go!



The productivity at work today was ZERO. Sifuri, cero, nul, null, nula, 零...

South Africa via Dar es Salaam

by Angelique Kidjo


Miaka minne iliyopita

Leo nimeamka alfajiri kabla hata jua halijachwea ili nifike mzigoni mapema; muda wa sherehe za Kombe la Dunia ukifika, niwe mbele ya runinga na glasi ya mvinyo nikiwashangilia watoto wa Bondeni wawapige bao Mariachi.

Miaka minne iliyopita nilikuwa sifuatilii vitu gani hasa vinavyotokea nyumbani, lakini nimekua na nimeanza kusoma vitu ambavyo vinanifungua macho. Na leo nimepata fursa ya kuperuzi bajeti yetu... Bahati mbaya bajeti yetu nd'o hivyo tena (bofya kwenye taswira):

Sio kama nimeshtuka saaaaana, ila kuna mambo mengi yanayoendelea ambayo yanatibua siku kama ya leo. Kama hicho kidogo tulichonacho, misaada na mikopo nchi yetu inayopata ingekuwa inatumiwa ipasavyo, sidhani kama ningekosa raha kiasi hiki.

Ni aibu kuendelea kuwapa madaraka watu ambao "labda" wanafanya mambo kwa manufaa yao. Tufanye nini? Ni kuwaondoa tu kwa nguvu ya hoja; nadhani kwa uchaguzi huu labda tume'shachelewa, kwahiyo tuanze kujipanga kwa ajili ya uchaguzi wa 2015? Ningependa kusikia mawazo yenu.

Nitaishia hapa na kuwaacha na maneno ya Jenerali Ulimwengu: Wawakilishi kama wafadhili, kosa!

Homa ya uchaguzi imepamba moto na wote wanaohusika kwa njia moja au nyingine wanachakarika. Wale wanaotarajia kujitokeza kama wagombea tayari wanapita huku na huku wakijitambulisha, na baadhi yao tayari wametangaza nia yao.

Miongoni mwa waliotangaza ni wale wale waliokuwa wabunge katika kipindi kinachomalizika hivi sasa, ambao wanatarajiwa wagombee tena, kwa sababu ni Waafrika wachache wanaokubali kujiuzulu kutoka katika nafasi za ‘uongozi’ ambazo mara nyingi ni nafasi za ulaji, ukwasi na utukufu. Nimesikia mara kwa mara watu wakishauri kwamba wabunge wasiruhusiwe kukaa bungeni kwa zaidi ya mihula miwili, lakini siamini kwamba siku moja Bunge letu litakuwa na busara ya kukubali ushauri kama huo.

* * *

... maana hii ya ubunge imevurugwa kabisa. Mbunge wa siku hizi anaangaliwa kama mfadhili, kama mtu wa “kuwaletea maendeleo” wananchi waliomchagua. Hiyo ndiyo lugha inayotumika: “Mkinichagua nitawaletea maendeleo.”

Dhana hii ambayo inamfanya mbunge kuonekana kama ‘mfadhili’ itatuumiza kwa muda mrefu, kwa sababu sioni ishara za kweli za kuifuta. Imekuwa ni njia moja rahisi kwa watu wasio na sifa za uwakilishi kujipatia ajira, nao wataiendeleza dhana hiyo kwa sababu inawafaa. Wananchi wenye sifa na uwezo mkubwa wa kuwa wawakilishi hawatafua dafu kwa sababu hawana uwezo wa ‘ufadhili’ huo.

* * *

Kila ninapoliangalia Bunge letu napata taswira ya mashaka. Bunge letu, kama ilivyo serikali yetu, lina taswira ya watoto wa wakulima na wafanyakazi, kama tulivyozoea kusema, hata kama leo tumeanza kusahau. Lakini kila miaka mitano inapoenguka, watoto wa wakulima na wafanyakazi wanazidi kupungua na watoto wa wafanyabiashara na wanamitaji wanaongezeka.

* * *

Lakini ongezeko la umasikini halitokani na wabunge kushindwa kufanya kazi yao. Ni kweli kwamba wako wabunge kadhaa ambao hata hiyo kazi ya uwakilishi imewashinda. Hawa ni wale waliokwenda kuomba kura miaka mitano iliyopita, wakachaguliwa na kisha wakahamia mijini na kuponda starehe bila kujali watu wao hata kwa kuwatembelea tu. Wakirudi kwao Oktoba ijayo watakiona cha mtema kuni.

* * *

Matokeo ya kura za mwezi Oktoba yatatupa mafundisho mengi, na hili linaweza likawa mojawapo ya mafundisho hayo. Ni matumaini yangu kwamba tutaweza kuyasoma vyema mafundisho hayo na kuyafanyia kazi kwa lengo la kuboresha miundo na michakato ya utawala wetu.

* * *

Kwanza kabisa, wananchi waelimishwe kuhusu maana halisi ya mbunge kama mwakilishi, kama mjumbe, na siyo kama mfadhili, na dhana hii ieleweke vyema kwa wananchi. Wanaposhiriki katika michakato ya uchaguzi wajue kwamba hao wanaowachagua si watu wa “kuwaletea maendeleo” kama wanavyowaangalia “wafadhili” bali ni wajumbe wao ambao jukumu lao kuu ni kuwawasilishia matatizo yao na hoja zao katika baraza la Taifa na huko ndiko upatikane ufumbuzi wa matatizo yao katika muktadha wa kutafuta utatizo wa matatizo ya nchi nzima kwa pamoja.

Tusiwaruhusu wabunge wetu kujifanya ni Papa Noeli, Father Christmas anayekuja na zawadi kwa kila mtoto, kwa sababu mbili kuu: kwanza katika dunia ya kweli hakuna Father Christmas; pili tunatakiwa tuache kuwa watoto.

Soma makala nzima hapa (bofya)...

Thursday, June 10, 2010

SA in the spotlight

While we're still scratching our heads and wonder if the friendly game against Brazil did our beloved Tanzania any good, I decided to post the McKinsey interview with the ANC veteran, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe -- just to ease the frustrations. He discusses the state of the South African economy, world cup, the country’s progress in fighting HIV/AIDS, China’s role on Africa, and the important part that values have to play in the business world.







I would like to wish the organisers, all South Africans, participating teams and football supporters around the world all the best.

Let the best team win!! I mean, please, no Italy in the final...

Utaenda 'jeshini'?

Wengi wetu tumesikia simulizi za kusisimua kutoka kwa wazazi wetu pindi walipokuwa jeshini (National Service). Nyingi zinahusu shida, uvumilivu, ufanisi na uzalendo. Ingawa kuna waliochukia maisha magumu waliyoyapata walipokuwa jeshini, wengi wao wanakumbuka kipindi hicho kwa tabasamu. Binafsi mama yangu anasikitika kuwa vijana wa leo hatupitii kimbembe kama alichopitia yeye baada ya form six kwa mwaka mmoja pale JKT Ruvu.


Mpango wa National Service ulianzishwa na Mwl. Nyerere katikati ya miaka ya 60 kwa nia ya kujenga taifa lenye watu wazalendo, jasiri, werevu na wakakamavu. Mchakato huu ulikuwa wa lazima kwa wanafunzi wote wanaomaliza shule ya sekondari kwenda katika kambi za jeshi na kupitia mafunzo mbalimbali ya kijeshi na kielimu kwa mwaka mmoja. Mpango huu ulifutwa mwaka 1992, na hivyo kufanywa wa hiari.

Nchini Tanzania, kuna mjadala umejitokeza kuhusu kurudishwa kwa mpango wa National Service kwa vijana wa sasa. Je, itakuwa vibaya tukirudisha mchakato huu kwa wanaomaliza sekondari kutumikia taifa kabla ya kujiunga na chuo au sekta binafsi? Simaanishi tuwe na national service ya kijeshi, la hasha, bali tuanzishe mpango kwa ajili ya wahitimu wa sekondari utakaoweza kuwapeleka vijana wetu vijijini kufundisha masomo kama hisabati, na lugha kwa kipindi cha miezi 6-12. Au hata kuwatumia vijana hawa katika hospitali zetu - kwenye awareness campaigns za ukimwi/malaria vijijini, au kuwatumia kwenye vituo vya kilimo, vituo vya wazee/walemavu/watoto yatima na hata kwenye mabenki. Ilimradi tu mchakato huu usiwe wa kitumwa, au mateso bali uliojaa elimu mbadala wa vitendo ili kujenga taifa imara.

"Thula Mama"

South African singer-songwriter Vusi Mahlasela dedicates his song, "Thula Mama," to all women -- and especially his grandmother.

This is one of the finest uplifting tunes I have ever heard. Trust me, it's not just a hype.



Na napenda kuchukua nafasi hii kudediket huu wimbo kwa mama yangu, Ubungo Kibangu na bibi yangu, kijijini Kihurio (Same). Bila kusahau mama zetu wote waliotulea, kutuasa, kutusaidia na kuwepo karibu yetu kila tulipowahitaji/tunapowahitaji.

Shukrani kwa ushujaa, ushupavu na mioyo yao migumu iliyotuambukiza maarifa, kujiamini na kutupa busara kwenye maisha yetu ya ujana. Tungekuwa wapi leo hii bila nyinyi?

Nawatakia siku njema!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Mbu na harufu ya pombe

Habari si njema kwa 'wanywaji' bongo. Utafiti umeonyesha kuwa, mbu wanaosababisha malaria wanavutiwa mno na harufu ya aliyekunywa bia. Mbu kama wadudu wengine wengi wana uwezo mkubwa wa kuhisia harufu mbalimbali - insect repellant nyingi zinatumia sifa hii ili kufukuza mbu. Katika utafiti huu uliofanyika huko Burkina Faso, watu 43 pamoja na mbu takribani 2500 walitumika ili kuweza kudadisi athari zozote kwa mbu zitokanazo na unjwaji wa bia.

Watafiti hawa wanaeleza kuwa metabolism ya bia mwilini inabadilisha kemikali fulani za harufu zitokazo ngozini na hivyo harufu itokayo baada ya kunywa bia yaweza kuwa inawavutia mbu hawa. Pia wanadokeza kuwa, baada ya bia kunywewa kinga mwilini hupungua, kwahiyo mbu kwa namna fulani wameweza kujenga uwezo wa kuhisia upungufu huu na hivyo kupendelea zaidi harufu ya waliokunywa pombe. Utafiti zaidi wahitajika ili kufahamu ni signatures gani za harufu zinazobadilika ambazo zinavutia mbu hawa. Itabidi tuanze kupiga 'tungi' ndani ya neti.


Did you guys see this?

Just saw this on Lin The Fin's Blog (Posted on the 17th May, 2010; I don't understand how I missed the whole saga... I guess the officials did their best to keep things quiet.):

Last week presidents Jakaya Kikwete and Armando Guebuza inaugurated the long-awaited Unity Bridge that spans 720 meters over the river Ruvuma between Tanzania and Mozambique. The two countries are finally connected!

Except they are not.

During the project of spending 34 billion Tanzanian shillings ($ 24 million) nobody thought to build customs posts or roads to the bridge. It's 165 km from the bridge to the nearest paved road in Mozambique, and 56 km to the paved roads in Tanzania. The nearest towns are Mocimboa da Praia (275 km) and Lindi (240 km).

These people built a bridge linked to nothing. It can't have been built so suddenly that it took the Ministry of Planning by surprise. It can't have been so low-profile that nobody noticed that it was happening. According to the Controller and Auditor General (report on financial year 2008/2009) the bridge is "useless".

Finance minister Mustafa Mkulo says "It was unfortunate that there wasn't adequate coordination when the project was being implemented".

No, it's not April fools' day!

Africa: A continent on the move

Submitted by Jean-Marie Vianney Habarugira

With the 2010 World Cup set to begin later this week, eyes are turning toward South Africa, the country playing host to the world’s most watched sporting event, and, more broadly, toward Africa as a whole. After decades of stagnation, the continent’s economies have expanded much more quickly during the past ten years. So this month, McKinsey Quarterly focuses on Africa’s surprisingly bright economic future. (You will have to register first to get full access to the articles and the interview.)

What’s driving Africa’s growth
The rate of return on foreign investment is higher in Africa than in any other developing region. It’s time for global executives and investors to pay heed.

South Africa in the spotlight: An interview with Deputy President K.Motlanthe
In a video interview, the deputy president of South Africa reflects on its economy, the battle against HIV/AIDS, how the world perceives Africa, and China’s role there.

Checking Africa’s vital signs (with interactive map)
A series of maps and charts on Africa shows the populations and literacy rates of its countries; their position in the World Bank’s ease-of-doing-business index; and changes in life expectancy, real GDP, levels of HIV/AIDS infection, and capital inflows.

Africa’s path to growth: Sector by sector
The continent’s growth story isn’t entirely about the extractive industries. Seven articles examine the future of a wide range of sectors.

Fulfilling the promise of sub-Saharan Africa
The region has already made big strides below the radar. It now stands to become the developing world’s next great success story.


Source: McKinsey Quartely - June 2010 Newsletter

Artwork Painted by Katongo
Tinga Tinga art from Tanzania

Iba kura, uwatishe, ukishindwa kubali

Hayo sio maneno yangu, jamani! Ni kichwa cha habari cha mtiririko wa makala za Jenerali Ulimwengu kwenye gazeti la Raia Mwema.

Nafahamu fika kuwa Vijana wengi hatupendi kufuatilia Siasa, hatuna mpango wa kupiga kura na hatufanyi mambo muhimu yanayohusiana na upatikanaji wa viongozi kwenye nchi zetu. Lakini, unadhani tutapata suluhisho la haya matatizo yetu kwa kunung'unika tu? Kupiga kelele kwenye forums?

Leo sina mengi sana kuhusu hili jambo, lakini napenda kuwaasa tufumbue macho na tujaribu kubadili fikra zetu. Tuitikie mwito pale jamii inapotuhitaji -- kuna matatizo mengi kila kona kama mnavyojua na ni jukumu letu kujitosa na kujaribu kuyatatua.

Nakusihi ufuatilie makala za Jenerali ulimwengu ambazo zinazungumzia uchaguzi ujao -- kuna mengi sana ya kujifunza.

Maneno ya Jenerali:

KATIKA makala zangu zilizopita nimekuwa nikijadili masuala yanayohusiana na uchaguzi mkuu ujao na jinsi tunavyojiandaa kukabiliana nao. Miongoni mwa mambo mengi ambayo nimejaribu kuyajadili nimekuwa nikisema kwamba sisi Waafrika bado hatujejenga uelewa wa kutosha wa kujua ni nini maana ya uchaguzi.

Bado tunaenenda, hasa tukiwa madarakani au tukiwashabikia walio madarakani, kama vile uchaguzi ni kitu kibaya ambacho hata hivyo hatuna budi kukivumilia kwa sababu, kutokana na sababu zisizozuilika, hakiepukiki. Hii ni sawa na kung’oa jino lililooza.

Ndivyo ilivyo katika nchi zote za Kiafrika. Uchaguzi ni jambo tunalokubali kuliingia shingo upande kwa sababu hivi sasa, katika dunia ya leo, hatutaeleweka duniani kote, na hasa kwa “wafadhili” ambao wanatuambia hatuna budi kuonyesha kwamba tunajali misingi fulani ya demokrasia.

Kama Waafrika, tunachoogopa hasa ni hatari ya kukosa misaada iwapo tutaonekana kama hatutaki kufanya uchaguzi. Tutanyimwa misaada, na kisha tutazomewa kila tuendako Ulimwenguni. Tutaonekana kuwa watu wa ovyo, watu wa zamani mno, watu wasio ‘poa.’

Kama isingekuwa mambo hayo mawili, naamini kwamba watawala wetu wangekuwa wamekwisha kutafuta lugha laini ya kutueleza kwamba uchaguzi ni jambo la hatari lililoletwa na wageni kwa lengo la kutuzuga na kutudumaza kwa kutufanya tuzame katika malumbano yasiyoisha ya kisiasa na tusahau mambo muhimu yanayohusu maendeleo yetu… kama kilimo.

Labda, wangeweza kuogopa kwamba wanasiasa wenzao katika upinzani wasingeikubali lugha hiyo na mantiki hiyo na wangeziingiza nchi katika migomo isiyoisha na ingewezekana hata kukatokea maasi kutokana na wananchi kuchoshwa na kundi linalong’ang’nia kuwa madarakani kwa kutumia kila hila ingawa ni dhahiri kwamba limeshindwa kufanya kazi ya kuwaletea maisha bora wananchi wao.

Endelea kusoma hapa...