Tech Talk: Disconnected

When your Wi- Fi acts up, it can usually be fixed by grabbing a pen & depressing a small reset button on the back of your router.

Now imagine losing your internet connection…
yeah

we know that’s tantamount to hell for most of you.

& don’t worry, because we even get it.

So what happens when you discover your entire country –or region– is dealing with the exact. Same. Problem.
NO INTERNET

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Even worse?

It was ordered by an oppressive government or an overzealous leader.

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Today we will be discussing internet shutdowns & its role as a strategic tool in preventing the spread or access of information to the general masses.

But first;

let us talk about the internet. Specifically, social media & its effect on our society.

Whatever it is, you name it; there’s probably a blog post, picture, video or tweet about it. If you can type it then it’s somewhere on the internet.

Have any random off the top of your head questions?
Google or Wikipedia is your friend & will quickly link you with an answer. So let’s say you are part of the diaspora & your mom –like alot of us– is back home. It’s the holidays & you need to wish her a Happy New Year. In the past a calling card of some sort would be required or any other arbituary just as stressful method.

Thankfully in the modern age Facetime & WhatsApp (WozUpp) now exist & it is generally the go to means of communicating with your family accross the pond.

The internet has also changed the way we do business. Bank transfers can now be completed via mobile devices. Goods can be obtained without leaving the comfort of your home thanks to new age entreprenuers with services like Jumia. It’s difficult to find an industry that has not been altered by the modern phenomon that is the internet.

So what is the real deal with these internet shutdowns happening all across Africa?

Ever heard the phrase “Pictures or it didn’t it count“,

basically to say: if there is no photo evidence then the event never occured.

This is now true, more than ever before in this digital age.

Still here?

Say you’re commuting using public transport back home from a long day at work.

Your stop is approaching & you’re upto of your game. So you inform the driver of said stop by pulling on the stop request cord. For some unknown reason the cord malfunctions & the driver passes your stop before you even have the chance to protest. Now you are a mile from your intended stop with a long walk home.

African leaders are participating in a similar game.

But this game is riggered & the cord was purposefully disconnected.

In this game, business are missing out on profits & opportunities.

In this game, citizens are denied access to information, contributing even further to the digital divide.

The spread of information on the internet has made it more difficult to isolate, & oppress people while remaining unnoticed.

African leaders are now under pressure from citizens to become more transparent with the inner workings of their respective governments.

The people are demanding accountability. Now more than ever.

These are how some government’s are responding:

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It has become an new trend for African world leaders to turn off the “router” in their country, leaving millions of their citizens in cyber darkness without access to internet & information consequently detering foreign investors.

Their rational…

If the people can’t tweet about it then it didn’t happen. Evidence of government oppositions, videos depicting aggressive military actions, or solidarity from shared experiences are stifled.

If no information gets out then the world can’t be outraged.

Right?

Share it! Retweet it! Upload it!

Talk about it within your communities, in person and online. Your voices can’t be stiffled & we all know the internet is all about shooting your shot these days. Allow yourself to be heard.

No reason to suffer in silence.

Although it seems like a gloomy political atmosphere in the bountiful continent, here are some examples of why your voice matters.

Movements, organizations, & individuals speaking up on the web.

#ZumaMustFall

Backlash from the public due to the firing of Nhlanhla Nene; the Minister of finance. The public felt duped & resentment towards former South African President Jacob Zuma for paying off his private homes using state funds. They banned together & their voices were heard under the movement & hastag #ZumaMustFall.

#MenAreTrash

Sums up multiple protests denouncing misogyny & the underwhelming response to violence against women worldwide.

#MyFlag

Zimbabwean pastor & democratic activist; Evan Mawarire, posted a video of himself wearing the Zimbabwean flag around his neck while speaking against the state of public services, Zimbabwean economy & its effect on his community.

The video went viral, ganering so much attention that soon after others began sharing their shared experiences of hardship while wearing the flag arround their neck as a sign of solidarity & protest.

Udeme.ng

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https://udeme.ng/

Udeme is a platform designed to hold the Nigerian government accountable for how funds for capital projects are spent. Their goal is to inform & educate citizens on what part of the nations budget is set aside for developmental projects in their community. Empower Nigerian citizen with information to track, investigate & report corruption in the processing of projects funded by government budgets. Click this link to follow them on twitter.

Adeola Fayehun

Adeola Fayehun.jpg

Adeola Fayehun is a Millennial Political reporter, she brings you breaking african news with satirical commentary that is digestable intended to keep you engaged & informed. Check her out for yourself.

The internet or access to it does not create political unrest –cause African world leaders swear it does. It can however, aid expression, contribute to the distribution & transfer of information. Provide an escape & still serve as a safe space to find all your vested interests.

When used properly the internet is a tool for sharing new ideas & views. It has been viatal for understanding the black diaspora relations & for keeping up with the current state of the African experience.

How will you use it?

What will you share?

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A Week In Color

IMG_4531Your Weekly Black Newsletter 


Kenya 

President Uhuru Kenyatta arrived in China for the country’s first ever International Import-Export Expo. Held from November 5th – November 10th. 

  • Among all the 100 countries & many corporations set to attend; Chinese President Xi Jinping also extended the invitation to President Uhuru Kenyetta.  
  • The Expo is hoping to expand & promote even more of a seamless trade between the two countries. This could also encourage cooperation towards mutual prosperity between the two nation
  • President Uhuru Kenyatta & Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi were the only African presidents that gave opening speeches. In which; President Kenyetta, asked for a reduction on the tariffs placed on African countries by China as to promote growth in Africa’s export industries.
  • All we have to say is: Hmmm. We will be watching China super closely. 

In The U.S 

Almost 1.5 million people got their rights back in Florida with the passage of the Constitutional Amendment 4. Previously, a former felon in florida would have to petition for their rights, from the board of clemency. 5 years after they’ve already served their sentence.

  • A huge win for us. Considering the privatization of prisons & the obvious disparity of the American prison system when dealing with people of color.

The US just went through & is still going through their 2018 Midterm elections. Da block is hot. 

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  • With almost a 50/50 representation between the Republicans & the Democrats. It seems these two parties might actually have to work together in order for any legislation to be carried out in the near future.
  • Although it’s important to not get caught up in the two-party system; & having to choose between one of the lesser evils. For now it seems the democrats have our ears.

The margins for the races in positions like the Governor’s office or the Senate where so close in some states; an immediate recount has been requested. 


Cameroon 

“If the Cameroonians are not coming the hotel will close down”

If you’re looking for Paul Biya; Cameroon’s recently “re-elected” President. You should try Switzerland. Or Cameroon’s presidential office; since this is Paul Biya’s SEVENTH –seven-year long– term.

  • Recently reelected –& we use that word very loosely–  President; Paul Biya, shows us anything is possible despite unfavorable margins when you “tighten up security in the polling places that weren’t going to favour you. 
  • Cameroonians know it’s a case of voter’s suppression. Paul Biya is the highest paid African leader earning a lavish annual salary of $610,002.
  • But that’s not enough for his room & board!  If you want to know where most of Cameroons public funds are assumed to be? Ask the Intercontinental hotel in Geneva, Switzerland. & use code name “Him” and “Her”. 
  • All hail king Paul Biya, may his rule reign supreme! Cause who are we fooling. Cameroon is definitely not a democracy. 

Nigeria 

Meanwhile on this saga of ;keeping up with Nigerian politics.

  • Is Nigeria’s current President; Muhammadu Buhari taking a page out of North Korean’s; Kim Jong Un’s book? The president’s official party’s page; APC spreads propaganda with the Nigerian pledge. 
  • After uproar from Nigerians the post was later deleted but not before We got our grubby hands on it. 
  • As usual the loud & wrong mediocre government never fails to disappoint

Ethiopia 

Ethiopia keeps on showing the girls how it’s really done. Ethiopia recently appoints the first female to head the country’s Federal Supreme CourtHuman rights lawyer & woman rights activist Meaza Ashenafi was sworn in on thursday last week. 

Ethiopia also recently opened up their boarders to all their African brother & sisters.WhoToldYou is all about Pan- Africanism between all our brothers & sisters of the negro race. 


Zimbabwe

Hatifari Munongi is working to preserve culture in Zimbabwe. The 80 year-old teacher built a replica village in order to teach young people about their heritage & traditional life.

As urbanization  *coughs* –not to be confused with gentrification– takes over Harare, Zimbabwe. 

  • The replica village consists of a traditional round hut, cattle pens, rabbit runs & ancient artifacts.  Hatifari teaches the 100s of children that already visit the village through folktales & songs. 
  • Hatifari got a second degree at the age of 78 because she said she wanted to “motivate women to dream for themselves”. She’s hoping these teachings of traditional culture & ways of life could be incorporated into Zimbabwe’s education curriculum. 
  • Why don’t most countries –especially the black & previously colonized ones– ever take back the control in their school curriculums by teaching their promising youth all the forgotten heritage & history? Sigh. Instead we continue to regurgitate what the west left behind. 

Rwanda 

After spending over a year in jail without trial; Diane Shima Rwigara & her mum; Adeline Rwigara were released on bail

  • Diane Rwigara is a well known & prominent government critic.
  • On Thursday; November 7th Diane Rwigara was charged in a Kigali High Court for forging official electoral documents. This conveniently disqualified her from the 2017 Presidential race against Rwandese President Paul Kigame. She was also charged with creating an uprising against the government. 
  • The prosecutor is requesting Diane Rwigara be locked up for 22 years, however the 37 year-old activist is standing her ground & maintaining her innocence. The High Court set the ruling date for December 6th, we will be watching to see if Rwanda truly is a democracy. 

The Congo

Rest in peace to the admirable, brave, resilent & inspiring activist leader;  Luc Nkulula. Luc Nkulula was one of the leaders of LUCHA; an organization aimed to get the youth involved in politics & keeping the environment clean.


Third World Mindset

3RDworld

Zimbabwe | Nigeria | Rwanda


Location: Southern Africa.
(Landlocked)

Capital: Harare

Neighboring Countries:
Zambia Botswana
Mozambique

Population: 16,913,261
Ethnic Group: 99.4% Black
African (Northern Ndebele,
Shona, Zulu, Tsonga, San,
Lemba, Ndau, Venda,
Kalanga, Vadoma, Kunda,
Nambya, Gokomere,
Manyika) 0.2% White African
(British diaspora in Africa),
0.4% “Others” (Goffal,
Chinese, Indian)

Demonym: Zimbabwean
Zimbo
GDP Annual Growth Rate:
2.85%
Currency: Zimbabwean
Dollar (Discontinued in
2009)
Exchange Rate ($1):
50 Billion Zimbabwean
Dollars

2000px-Flag_of_Zimbabwe

• Right After Independence:
0.67 Zimbabwean Dollar

Adult Literacy Rate: 88.69%
Unemployment Rate: 95%, 6
or 11% (Inconclusive)
Internet Users: 15.7%
Poverty Rate: 70%
Language
Aside from English (due to colonization), Shona & Ndebele are the most widely spoken languages. Others include; Tswana, Xhosa,Venda, Chew, Tsonga, Tonga, Southern Sotho & sign language.
Ideology
Christianity 87% (76%
Protestant), Islam 0.9%,
Traditional 3.8%
Exports/Natural
Resources
coal, platinum, gold, copper,
nickel, chromite, timber and
groundwater

There really is no real “Third World” –correct term is developing country– the world
truly is just one big secondary school. The popular countries choose who is “cool” and what’s
acceptable. Until Africans –every single black person on

mapofafrica

the planet– unite. And realize, no one
will save you other than your own; we will continue to look to the
west for the standard.

The Republic of Zimbabwe

“Oh lift high the banner, the flag of Zimbabwe The symbol of freedom proclaiming victory;”

(translated from Shona; excerpt from Zimbabwean National Anthem)

Robert Gabriel Mugabe, the recently overthrown President-Dictator of the Republic of Zimbabwe would say the country
which he governed was always a Democratic state. However, his 37 year run portrayed otherwise. A
dictator is a political leader who possesses absolute power for a duration of time and Mugabe did
just that. He ruled and retained power, while “taking care” of the competition as we all passively
watched. At the peak of Robert Mugabe’s shenanigans, the Zimbabwean economy was in shambles this lead to HYPERINFLATION: The rapid general increases in prices coupled with rapid decline in the purchasing value of the country’s money.

Consequently causing the devaluation and discontinuation of the country’s official currency, the
Zimbabwean dollar. Misappropriation of government funds, with a lack of foreign investors
and the falsification of inflation rates by government officals also placed a huge strain on the already volatile Zimbabwean dollar.
Hyperinflation eventually won the race. The Zimbabwean Dollar lost so much value that it became
virtually worthless and
ceased to exist as a form of legal tender on April 12 2009 .

What a shame!

Zimbabweans lost some pride associated with being part of a country; a sole unit, because their government failed
them. Politics 3African leaders across the continent make a deliberate effort to do nothing for patriotism.
Viewing the actions of Mugabe and the caucus of selfish self appointed
politicians –like former first lady; Grace Mugabe who is currently on trial facing multiple charges
stemming from abuse of power– it is jarringly obvious this was Zimbabwe’s inevitable economical
situation.

But, Who really cares right?

What does the future hold ?
In recent day, Zimbabwe had her first “seemly” free and fair
elections with the opposition winning by a very narrow gap. On
July 30th 2018 President Emmerson Mnangagwa, the man who ousted
Mugabe from office, was elected. Morale was high, Zimbo’s were
celebrating. And the atmosphere in the air was hopeful. This
positive guileless outlook barely lasted a couple days. As many feared; Mugabe’s camp wasn’t willing to bow out gracefully.

Politics4

Zimbabwe’s economy currently is still at a negative; a report shows that Zimbabwe would need a hundred years to grow back it’s worth. Access to constant electricity still plagues Zimbabwe; Hwange –the country’s only functionally power plant is owing a billion dollars to China from a loan received in 2015 to rectify this very issue.

So, how optimistic are Zimbo’s you may ask?

Well, the now sitting President was Robert Mugabe’s right hand man and the US hasn’t removed any of their numerous economy crippling sanctions on them.

So for now, only time would tell.



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The Federal Republic of Nigeria

Popularly referred to as the “Giant of Africa” albeit mostly in reference to it’s enormous population size, there are a lot of things to celebrate about the Nigerian people in spite of the effects of the corrupt and callous government.

Majority of the current government officials in Nigeria have been office since the 80s. Nigeria had her independence in 1960. Really put that in context. They change party affiliations, job descriptions and titles as they see fit; reasons that are usually motivated by their selfish self interest. Tongue twister!

Seeing all the self appointed benefits it’s no wonder these greedy officials became so covetous. With perks such as the Politics6Security Vote which are budgeted funds distributed to state, federal and local government officials, to spend/allocate at their discretion. These include taking their children and their friends on lavish all expense paid trips to locking or mummifying billions of American dollars in Swiss or offshore accounts. Oluwatoyin Sakari; wife of Senator and president aspirant Bukola Sakari was caught in the 2016 Panama Paper Scandal.A huge money laundering scheme that shook World Headlines and was bad news for any other politcal leader found associated in it in other countries but the same rules don’t apply to Nigeria. Not suprising for a society where the older generation in control actively celebrates corruption with everyone waiting for their turn to eat in the “National Cake”.

Technically, the Security Vote fund is for “security related reasons” but considering the increasing constant civil unrest even a fool can see that funds are being redistributed to other self favoring places.

Nigeria made world news headlines when Boko Haram; a terrorist group allegedly associated with ISIS kidnapped 276 young Chibok girls from their school in the Northern part of the country. Multiple kidnappings still occur with some of the children forced into suicide bombers themselves; used to spread Boko Haram’s evil agenda that never seems to have a set motive. Oil leakages, gas flares and explosions cause land and water pollution depleting the land of it’s fertility while robbing farmers and fishers of their livelihood.
Fulani (a historically nomadic ethnic group) herdsmen continue to massacre farmers on their farm land without sitting President Muhammad Buhari (of Hausa ethnicity) having a stern stance condemning their actions. This is fueling resentment and adding more strain to already fragile inter-tribal relationships.

Nigeria is at the top of the poverty index bumping India while

simultaneously having a rapidly rate of population growth with no credible internal efforts by the government to address population control.
The Giant of Africa is woefully failing at providing majority of their citizens with access to standard basic education, having an Adult Literacy rate of only 51%. That’s a lot of citizens without the basic knowledge to read and write. A huge L considering Nigeria’s braggadocios persona.
As Africa’s Largest oil producing country, Nigeria has had access to billions of dollars making the education problem confusing and plausibly sinister. One could draw the heartbreaking conclusion that the government purposely keeps their citizen in the dark because “you have to learn your rights to fight for them”.
Popular Nigerian musician and activist Femi Kuti voiced concerns parallel to this to the French President Emmanuel Macron during his visit to Nigeria.The road leading to popular Nigerian High life/Juju live music spot the Afrika Shrine –one of Macron’s destination– was repaired over night by orders of the state government officials. If roads can be built overnight, why do thousands of Nigerians lose their lives commuting interstate on many of the country’s dilapidated roads; here is a documented video of now Senate President -but also 2019 Presidential Aspirant- Bukola Sakari boasting about hindering construction of the infamous Lagos-Ibadan expressway that claims multiple Nigerian lives annually.
Here’s the other catch;
Nigeria also barely invests in emergency rescue services.
The government
simply put,
could care less.

The 4-year dance

Government officials only feign concern once every 4 years, right around…

That’s right

You guessed it!

Election season.

They go to impoverished villages/towns with minimal access to electricity, healthcare and education, bearing gifts like bags of rice or shoe cleaning supplies to solicit votes.They essentially cajole votes from the very citizens they constantly compromise and are praised while doing so. Corruption in Nigeria is sickening and the politicians aren’t shy about their stolen spoils. Their love for the extravagant lifestyle –which only the 1% of the Nigerian population can affordis plastered all over social media for the very poor masses viewing pleasure. Wealthy porn.  Nigerian politicians just don’t give a flying fuck.

But why are the masses so docile?

Location: West Africa,

Capital: Abuja

Neighboring Countries:
Benin Niger Cameroon

Population: 190,886,311
Ethnic Group: 99.9% Black
African (Yoruba, Hausa, Igbo,
Fula, Hausa-Fulani, Ijaw, Tiv,
Ibibio, Kanuri, Edo, Nupe,
Efik, Urhobo, Igala, Itsekiri,
Jukun, Idoma, Berom, Gbayi,
Ogoni, Anaang, Esan, Ekoi,
Ebira, Chamba, Mumuye,
Tarok, Afusari, Kilba, Ogu,
Kuteb, Atyap, Longuda,
Buduma, Owan, Kamuku,
Bariba, Ikwerre, Fon, Zarma,
Mafa, Egba, Igede, Saro,
Kotoko, Estako, Dendi,
Ekpeye, Kirdi, Kofyar,
Nigerian Americans)

Demonym: Nigerian
GDP Annual Growth Rate:
-1.5%
Currency: Naira (₦) (NGN)
Exchange Rate ($1):
₦360

Right After Independence:
₦0.5445

Adult Literacy Rate: 51%
Unemployment Rate: 18%
Internet Users: 28%
Poverty Rate: 44-50%

2000px-Flag_of_Nigeria.svg
Language
Nigeria’s national language is
English a direct effect from
colonization, Igbo,Yoruba &
Hausa are the most widely spoken
languages. Others include
Fulfulde, Kanuri, Ibibio, Tiv, Ijaw,
Edo & Pidgin English.
Ideology
Christianity 51.9% (30% Protestant),
Islam 47%, Traditional 0.8%
Exports/Natural
Resources
Crude Petroleum, Petroleum Gas,
Cocoa Beans, Gold & Refined, Tin
Petroleum Petroleum, Rubber &
Timber


Location: Central East Africa.
(Landlocked)
Capital: Kigali
Neighboring Countries:
Uganda Tanzania Burundi

Population: 12,535,646
Ethnic Group: Black Africa
100% (Hutus, Tutsis, Twa)
(Rwandese people prefer no
labels due to their history)

Demonym: Rwandan
Rwandese
GDP Annual Growth Rate:
10.60%
Currency: Rwanda Franc R₣
(RWF)
Exchange Rate ($1):
863.715
RWF

• Right After Independence:
262.20 RWF

Adult Literacy Rate: 68%
Unemployment Rate: 16%
Internet Users: 12.4%
Poverty Rate: 39.1%

2000px-Flag_of_Rwanda

Language
Kinyarwanda a dialect of the
Rwanda – Rundi language is
the national Rwandese
language. French & English
are also very widely spoken
due to colonization.
Ideology
Christianity 94% (56.9%
Roman Catholic), Islam 4.6%,
Others 1.4%
Exports/Natural
Resources
Cassiterite, Wolframite,
Methane, Coltan, Coffer, Tea,
Tungsten ore, Tin ore.

The Republic of Rwanda

Rwandan-President-Paul-Kagame

The story of Rwanda is a remarkable one to say the least; now considered one of the fastest growing economies in Africa, it seems far fetched to think that just 23 years ago this beautifully resilient landlocked country lost nearly half of its population in a brutal genocide. On April 6th, 1994 after years of ethnic tension, the senseless massacre of innocent Tusti (ethnic group) commenced.

Sitting President Paul Kagame fought alongside the Rwandese Patriot Front –with a little help from Yoweri Museveni, Pre-Dictator– to get control of the country putting a stop to the genocide and restoring peace however, he didn’t end there.

In order for Rwanda to truly move forward Kagame knew Rwandese people had to adopt a culture of love and accountability to build a better Rwanda fueled without hate.Politics9

In present day, Rwanda is at the forefront of Women’s political equality –if you a align with Kagame– and Rwanda is considered the No 1 country in the world for women in politics. Rwanda also has the most women in office in the world and one of Africa’s lowest corruption rates.

Rwanda is extremely environmentally friendly and carries out legislation to protect it. An example is; the use of non-biodegradable plastic bags being an offense punishable by law with up to 6 months of jail time. Plastic traffickers beware! Policies like that contribute to the reasons why Rwanda is considered one of the cleanest African Countries. Western metropolises could take a few pointers.

In 2016, Kigali (the capital of Rwanda) increased tariffs on imported secondhand/used clothing in an attempt to grow Rwanda’s domestic textile industry.

Good

for them,

but not the US. This ban resulted in a trade war; the United States suspended Rwanda’s eligibility for foreign aid. A huge reaction from the world power considering they were favorably mute during the devastating genocide.rwandan-genocide_o_6659531

It’s not a mindset

Rwanda took an amazing turn in front of our very own eyes. Paul Kagame is currently unconventional serving his third term as Rwanda’s president. Rwanda’s presidential term length was officially seven (7) years and a president previously was only able to serve two terms. However, due to a referendum abolishing term limits –back by the alleged popular votes from the masses– Kagame was chosen as the best candidate for the job again.

On the flipped side; musings of Kagame’s government’s abuse of power have finally bubbled to the surface, headlining world news. Candidates that run against Kagame in elections are said to be unlawfully targeted and imprisoned. Diana Rwigara is one of them. Multiple protest have begun to ensue with the public speaking out and against abuse of power or dictatorship. Popular Ugandan activist and government official Bobi Wine is a known face working hard to attain a fair and free East Africa.  We will be watching the story of Rwanda continue unfold.

-The Town Crier