Thursday, February 01, 2007

Africa Bloggers Appreciation

This post is dedicated to all of the Africa bloggers out there. Whether you blog about entertainment, business, politics, travel, or sports if it pertains to Africa this blogs (post) for you! You guys deserve much, much credit and recognition. I say this because the Africa bloggers out there are really beginning to change the world perceptions and expectations of Africa. It has been so unscripted and so fresh that I don't believe that anyone saw it coming. But, you all are writing about the things that many more conventional media forms are, for whatever reason, unable or unwilling to cover. To the extent that now Africa Blogs are more and more becoming sources that mainstream media are beginning to turn towards for additional views and resources.

While doing this your community or our community has begun to shrink cultural and national barriers in the process. For this I am glad and say, Thank you! While I sincerely wish that I could thank each and everyone Africa-blogger individually and one by one, that would be nearly impossible for me to do in one sitting. So, instead, what I will do is try to briefly highlight the Africa blogs which have touched me, personally. Whether you as an Africa blogger have commented on my blog, discussed by blog in one of your posts, answered one of my many questions, given me advice added me to your blog roll, or even just provided me a a wonderful read-you will be listed below (in no particular order):

One more thing to any Africa blogger that I have missed, please forgive me. Please also note that in the coming weeks there will be more posts highlighting various Africa bloggers. If you know of anyone that you would like to see highlighted in one of these posts please let me know, so that we may do that. To you Africa bloggers that are mentioned above, I really appreciate what you are doing, please keep it up, and I look forward to us continuing to build this space that we call home-the Africa blogosphere.

Of course, I love your comments. But, if you can't comment at this particular time- but would like to let us know that you were here; please sign and View my guestbook


Kaunda said...

It's embarrassing to see Bazungu Bucks listed because what do I know? The blog started out as a way to communicate with friends, to tell them a story about why I was interested in a particular community based organization in Uganda and suggest they might be too. It turned out that none of my friends read the blog anyway. The big advantage for me has been the opening up of the world of African blogs and the many stories there. Your Feb 2 post--right above this one--is so interesting partly because it tells your story about the blog.

Stories are very important and now people are able to share them much more broadly. That's one of the really new things about Kiva's micro-finance platform. And I am so impressed that Matthew Flannery of Kiva said on the PBS program about it that the real revolution will come when Africans are investing in African business with a platform like Kiva.

The current definitions of business sometimes makes social entrepreneurship seem in opposition to business. Current thinking doesn't adequately take into account nor exploit the potential of peer-production.

In today's newspaper is an article about a local (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania USA) university, CMU's Institute for Social Innovation . Also locally here's a page about a successful local social entrepreneur

I'm sorry for babbling on so. My point is that the peer production, like blogs, are important for the African business sector. Peer production complements and is not opposed to business despite how the focus on a single bottom line, profit, tends to make us think. Businesses all over must change towards a "triple bottom line" where profit,social and environmental effects are seen as important. Business in Africa can lead the world in this necessary change of view.

Benin "Mwangi" said...


Your blog highlights some good happenings in Uganda and I am happy to happy bumped into your blog and proud to have it listed here.

Honestly, with my background in economics and heavily swayed orientation towards market based institutions, it has always been difficult for me to embrace the more social forms of capital expression. That is until now, blogs and even peer oriented finance websites have changed a lot-esecially in Africa.

Now, as far as more socially based organizations in Africa like the co-ops, I have not really come to a conclusion, yet on whether their benefits outweigh the costs. I can tell you that I am more in favor of the one's which are run by lbusiness people, as opposed to their government run counterparts. But really, the real jurors in this matter would be the participants and likely beneficiaries-so who am I to say, you know?

Anyhow, my tendency is to continue ranting on these types of topics, too. So you've got friend, here. Look forward to chatting again!

Kaunda said...

I came to your blog tonight via The Sudanese Thinker. I wanted to tell you how grateful I was for your exchange and I thought maybe of giving you a shout out at MyBlogLog. But then scrolling up I saw your response to my comment. You are such a catalyst.

I do understand your market orientation and by the way think it very important. It interested me that CMU's Institute for Social Innovation is part of their business school. What that said to me is that the intersection of the social web and business is getting the attention of serious market-minded folks.

Google is trying a model of philanthropy as a for profit structure and Matthew Flannery of Kiva writes about wrestling with the structure of Kiva.

My esteem for you was already high, but got raised up a notch with your exchange with Drima who I hold in high esteem. When you start a new business venture having to do with Africa, I'll pay attention, same holds with Drima's business adventures. Now my attention isn't very important, but attention in general is.

By way of Idea City is a great short video about Web 2.0 by anthropologist Michael Wesch. The conclusion is that we have to rethink somethings. Rethinking business isn't one of the things mentioned on his list, but everything on his list touches the way we think about business.

Sorry to blather so. What I most want to do is to thank you for your great blog.

Benin "Mwangi" said...


Thanks for your kind words and for those resources. You are very accurate, it seems like we are witnessing history in the making on the social innovation movements.

This is something which I think that many people will welcome with open arms and rightfully so.

No problem, on the verbosity. As you know by now, we share that in common. ordinarily, my personality is reserved and quiet. But ask anybody what happens when you get me on a subject that interests me...oh, the conversation can get reallly long.

Anyhow, I am happy that you came back and hope to see you some more here.

Joshua said...

Whenever change comes (hopefully positive), it happens when no one is looking and it is fresh. I have felt for a while that this is the case with Africa.

When I read "The World is Flat", I thought it was a rallying cry for what is happening. By the way, this was before I had thought of blogging in Africa.

On getting to the blogosphere and finding all this activity centered around the motherland, I was just astounded. The blogs you have mentioned and much more are providing means and ways to get Africa on the map. The thing that I see as most important though is that our thought leaders are now reaching a lot more people without having to spend too much money (or compromising) to get the message out. You no longer need huge donations or big corporations to back you up--the world is flat.

Benin "Mwangi" said...


That's a good way to put it.

Indeed, as far as doing business in Africa is concerned good change has been occuring without attracting too much stir.

Zero cost advertising at it's best-this blogging adventure, that is...One more thing, something tells me that what we have seen so far is just the beginning. So there will definitly be many more stories coming from the Africa blogosphere. RIght now, you'll hear every now and again a popular news source reference something that an Africa blogger said. But, I can see a time coming, when this will be the norm!

Anonymous said...

I noticed on your various lists of African bloggers you only have one woman listed - Mshairi. Knowing Mshairi well I think she would agree that tt is a shame that amongst the many many African women blogging you could only manage to list one! For more on African women bloggers see:

PS. your blog post on "Africa open for business is included in this weeks Pambazuka blog roundup

Benin "Mwangi" said...


You know, I am glad that you pointed that out. Thanks for doing this, I plan to check out the link that you have provided and give this matter urgent attention.

African women bloggers:

Please accept my apologies, leaving you off of this post wasn't my intention. But now that it has been brought to my attention, this will be corrected. Thanks for your support, this goes for you too Sokari and I sincerely appreciate the visit.


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