Only one place to start this week in review, and that is in Libreville where Zambia defeated Cote d’Ivoire on kicks from the spot at the end of extra time. I remember reading about the Zambian air tragedy when their entire soccer team went down in the Atlantic after taking off from Libreville, and was it was interesting that Soccernet.com picked up on this before the tournament and interviewed Emmanuel Mayuka who became Zamibia’s talisman during the tournament. It is terrible that the tournament was not shown on American television, as the story lines in the tournament would have made for a great example of an African redemption story.
- So, I found myself rooting for Zambia on Sunday, despite telling anyone that would ask (and some that didn’t) that this was Cote d’Ivoire’s year to win the Africa Cup of Nations. In the end, the braver team won (but perhaps it was preordained?). If you looked into the eyes of the Ivorian penalty takers, they were scared to miss more than the Zambians. Now, Drogba’s missed penalty in normal time certainly didn’t help the confidence, but in the biggest game on the African continent, you have to be ready to psych yourself up to take a kick from the spot. Anyone could see that Gervinho kept looking to the ground, and made no eye contact with anyone during the kicks. Some might say that when it comes to the 9th taker, you can’t blame the guy because he was forthright in saying he didn’t want to take a kick. But when you’re a star player on the 15th ranked team in the world, you need to be ready to step up in the crucial moment for your country….
- Check out the video highlights of the kicks from the spot on youtube while Eurosport leaves them up! via Football is Coming Home
- Below is a breakdown by The Economist on the possible influence (or lack thereof) by European based African players.
- Tragedy struck DR Congo where the chief advisor to President Kabila was killed in a plane crash. My sources tell me that Augustin Katumba Mwanke was a critical resource for NGO work in the Katanga province and that his death is a massive loss for development in the DRC.
- Nigeria recaptured the primary suspect in the Christmas Day attack that Boko Haram claimed responsibility for in the days following. Amazingly, the suspect escaped police custody (faring better than Mohammed Yusuf did while detained), but the Nigerian security forces declined to say how they found him! The spokesperson for the State Security Service basically said, “Ya, we found him, that isn’t enough? How we did it is none of your business”. Nigeria 1, Transparency 0
- Angola’s ‘democracy’ looks to see a continuation of the leadership by Jose Eduardo dos Santos. Elections are set to take place in the fall (against no opposition ‘officially’), and will be interesting to watch to see if any of the protests that have been seen against Museveni or Wade (analysis of Anti-Wade violence here) will flare when the MPLA undoubtedly wins the elections.
- A good overview of the future elections on the continent in 2012, as well as the outcomes of others, are written up in the Christian Science Monitor that gives recap of events in DR Congo, Zimbabwe (but not Mugabe’s USD 1 million birthday party!), Senegal, and Malawi (and some of the consequences that Malawi has suffered since their decided to go down the path of international relations idiocy, including ruining the brand of the ‘warm heart of Africa’)
- The strategies of protesters in Egypt are being replicated in Dakar, where students planned a sit-in at a square in the capital. But that didn’t ever come to be as anti-riot police prevented the takeover of the square. Anti-government forces need to realize that they will need to adapt their strategies at an increasing rate, because everyone government around the world is watching these opposition movements and planning out their own reactions in their countries. What works in one place cannot be duplicated with much success in the networked society.
- I will not cover much health news here, because I lack the academic background to make commentary, but because HIV/AIDS is so intertwined to politics in South Africa, this study is quite illuminating on the effects that condoms can have.
- President Zuma’s plan for infrastructure development is said to be modeled on the fast-track efforts that were put in place for the World Cup. At least there’s some urgency in the government’s efforts now. I almost wish the government had been more aggressive in building World Cup infrastructure even if it had not been completed in time, at least they’d be coming online for the locals to use (whose use is going to determine is success, obviously)
- Is there a new acronym on the rise for emerging powers? IBSATI is what The National Interest calls the grouping of India, Brazil, South Africa, Turkey, and Indonesia. It is a great analysis by Brookings research on these rising democracies in a international relations perspective. It looks at how their commitment to human rights may be rewriting the international system. To compare it to an analyst of the lessons from the BRIC countries here’s a story from The Atlantic.
- There’s a great story on ‘coloured-ness’ in South Africa in the New York Times. I still get weird looks whenever I say ‘coloured’ in the US when referring to that community, even by other academics. As the article shows, there needs to be an acceptance of racial boundaries based on historical facts, and talk about them without the constraints of a non-racialized society.
- Here’s a story that was in last week’s AWIR that got picked up by the Washington Post. That Kenya twittering chief is gonna get a lot of play in western media. You’re welcome for the heads up!
- ITNewsAfrica, one of the better IT website for the continent runs down the top 8 mobile providers on the continent.
- Cool tech out of South Africa in the form of a digital drum computer originally made of the Uganda market. Billed as a robust computer system thats aimed at improving literacy, it made Time’s and UNICEF’s list of top tech. The best part of it is that it is made from locally sourced materials. That has to be the future of the African tech market as that will fuel employment opportunities and give African ICT firms a product to export.
- How awesome would this be? Telcoms setting up their own internet cafes, not to profit from users, but to showcase their tech and their services. Could make the internet cafe experience that much better for travelers.
- There have been a lot of top 10 lists going around lately of African tech. Here’s a roundup of Forbes’ (who apparently restrict my access).
- Nice analysis of African social networking by the Afrinnovator. Any one interested in Social Media on the continent NEEDS to read this.
- That Kenyan tech is on the rise is a surprise to no one who is tapped into the continent, and this commitment by the government is a great step into solidifying Kenya as the tech hub on the continent.
Blog Post of the Week:
Infographic of the Week: