Ugandan IT successes

Blogret* and technology entrepreneur Jon Gosier was interviewed by Jonathan Marks at SXSW this month. Marks writes:
I'm very impressed with the work of Jonathan Gosier, not only because of the pioneering work he is doing in the fledgling IT sector in Kampala, Uganda, but also because of the quality of his contributions to his blog He believes that building sustainable businesses and using local talent is key - so obvious, yet so often missing in daily practice.
Check out the video:

Ugandan IT Successes - Jonathan Gosier from Jonathan Marks on Vimeo.

*blogren, masculine, singular

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mobile activism in african elections

A paper I wrote for Anne Nelson's New Media in Development Communications class last semester was published this week on DigiActive and reviewed by Pambazuka News. The abstract:
The proliferation of mobile phones in Africa is transforming the political and social landscape of the developing world, empowering people to source and share their own information and to have a greater say in what comes to international attention. This paper compares the use and impact of mobile technology in three recent African elections: Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Kenya.

In Nigeria’s April 2007 presidential election, a local civil society organization used free software to collect over 10,000 text message reports from voters around the country, boosting citizen participation in a political process many Nigerians doubted. In Sierra Leone’s August-September 2007 elections, trained local monitors used mobile phones to collect data from designated polling sites, enabling the independent National Election Watch to compile and release an accurate, comprehensive analysis of the election almost two weeks before the official report. And in Kenya’s December 2007 election, a group of local digital activists developed and implemented a citizen reporting platform to allow Kenyans to report and track post-election violence during a month-long media blackout, collecting and publishing a comprehensive account of riots, displacement and human rights abuses that serves as one of the best available records of the crisis.

You can read the whole paper here.

Katrin Verclas posted a critique on Many of her comments are spot on, and she sheds valuable light on the role the December 2008 elections in Ghana play in this discussion.

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goodbye, haloscan

Some of you may notice that all the posts here are now sans comments. It's not because I suddenly got defensive about Rev's ribbing or because I wanted to get rid of Martin Ssempa's famed tirade.

It's part of a grand WordPress rollover that will happen sometime in the Or so? And having all new comments in Blogger will make preserving all of your lovely thoughts much, much easier.

So: goodbye, Haloscan, and hello, brave new world.

Global Voices Uganda: The Literary Blogren

My next piece is up at Global Voices Online:
Uganda's bloggers are increasingly using their blogs as forums for literary expression, and online poems, short stories and multi-part novellas are becoming increasingly popular.

Carsozy is one of the blogren's most prolific creative writers. His series, The Devil's Bonfire, is the story of Simon Katende, a young Kampalan who leaves the city to visit his grandfather and gets mixed up in things he doesn't understand:
He was halfway to the bar when he saw her, his entire body froze and his mouth opened in shock, the glass slipped from his fingers and fell to the ground.

Read more »

Featured in the piece are Carsozy, Jon Gosier and Gay Uganda.

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