GVO Uganda: Citizen Uganda: Smart and very, very pretty

My next piece is up at Global Voices Online:

To scroll down the main page of Citizen Uganda is to indulge in a visual symphony: carefully selected photos align harmoniously with well-crafted blocks of text. Thick lines in complementary colors separate commentary from current events. Trios of links gracefully rotate, gliding from entertainment tips to featured blogs to Africa-focused videos and back again with the ease of a concert harpist trailing her fingers over the strings.

In short: Citizen Uganda is the best new online source of information about Uganda, and it's also very, very pretty.

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Anne Applebaum on Kenya

From Slate: Kenya's Problems Aren't Uniquely African: It's not just "tribal enmity plus poverty equals violence."

Uganda, Rwanda, Liberia, Somalia, Sudan, Sierra Leone—tribal enmity plus poverty equals violence. Kenya is another country evolving into a failed state. Doesn't it prove, once again, that Africa is an exception to all the rules about global development, democratization, and "progress"?

Actually, it doesn't. In fact, the closer one looks at Kenya, the less exceptional Africa seems. What was most striking to me about the recent violence in Kenya was not how much the country resembles Rwanda, but rather how much it resembles, say, Ukraine in 2004 or South Korea in the 1980s.

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2007 Uganda Best of Blogs

Over at The Kampalan, Dee has just announced the 2007 Uganda Best of Blogs awards. Check out her post for the nomination specifics, but here are the categories:

Ugandan blog of the year — open to any blog written by a Ugandan or focusing on Uganda

Best post — The single best piece in the Ugandan blogosphere

Best blog in Uganda — Written by anyone living in Uganda in 2007

Best overseas Ugandan blog — Any Uganda-focused or Ugandan-authored blog written in a foreign country

Best writing — Intelligent, witty, feisty, eloquent or just plain funny

Best design — Best overall design and layout

Best photography — Best photo taken by a Ugandan blogger and posted on his or her blog

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thoughts on martin ssempa

A bit of a graduate school application essay that was too snarky to keep (and also works better with accompanying illustrations):

Ssempa is wildly popular in Uganda, revered for his admittedly successful work to stem the country's tide of HIV/AIDS. Liberal thinkers, however, see him as prone to radical conservatism, which extends to vitriolic attacks on the homosexual community and the public burning of condoms in order to encourage abstinence. I see him as the kind of man who has divided each page of his web site evenly in half: text on the left and a variety of large, softly-lit portraits of himself on the right.

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Ushahidi: report acts of violence in Kenya

Via Pernille:
White African and Kenyan Pundit are presenting a new tool to chronicle the incidents of violence happening around Kenya. Check it out here: www.ushahidi.com. Ushahidi means witnessing in Kiswahili, and the website itself is quite and interesting way of using the Internet.

Report Acts Of Violence In Kenya

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RSF 2007 Press Freedom Round-up released

Yesterday Reporters Without Borders released their Press Freedom Round-up 2007. Some highlights for Africa:
  • 12 journalists killed
  • 162 arrested
  • 145 attacked or threatened
  • 1 kidnapped
Eight of those killed were in Somalia, where violent conflict between U.S.-funded Ethiopian troops and supporters of the Islamic Courts Union has caused hundreds of deaths in the past two years.

Also worth noting are the statistics on online journalism: 37 bloggers arrested, 21 physically attacked, 66 cyberdissidents arrested and 2676 websites shut down or suspended.

In other news, Uganda's ranked 97th in the worldwide press freedom index, above Rwanda (147) and Burundi (127) but below Tanzania (55) and Kenya (78) — I'm curious to see how that changes in light of the media blackout surrounding the Kenyan elections.