I sadly have been getting behind on my posting here. There has been a lot of activity for Tanzania lately and this post has some fresh links to share.
- There is now an Ushahidi Election Violence, Issue and Rioting Reporting Map instance up for the Tanzanian elections taking place next Sunday. You can also apply as an ushahidi voluntia translator and verifier at this Google Form. As of last week, one of four polls suggests opposition may have an edge. I do not take a position for any party in the elections but I do hope that they are carried out peacefully. I especially hope that my friends in country, Watanzania and Wamerikani alike, are safe. (As Pernille points out, UCHAGUZI is a collaborative initiative between TACCEO, Tanzania; HIVOS, Netherlands; Haki Elimu , Tanzania; the biggest Tz national ICT community Jamii Forums, Tanzania; Rakesh Rajani’s TWAWEZA , CRECO, Kenya in association with USHAHIDI and SODNET, Kenya as technology & strategy partners. Wengi wameunga kuhifadhi taifa, Jamani! vz)
- Beyond the election questions, there are other really bright people: Mtanzania Silicon Valley Diaspora Entrepreneur Mbwana Alliy has an insightful guest article covering no fewer than 5 different promising Tanzanian+Silicon Valley and Tanzanian nzima initiatives. Lete Maendelo! He suggests that the reason you don’t associate Tanzania and the modern tech scene is mostly just a lack of reporting of things south of Lake Victoria. He calls for more coverage.
- One mentioned startup was Envaya, a website to help government offices and NGOs in Tz and East Africa communicate with constituents easily on mobiles and the internet, cofounded by a returned ICT Peace Corps Volunteer who served in Pemba in 2007. Also see Kabissa.org and Maneno. Each site has similar goals but different approaches.
- Word on the ground is that Tanzania Beyond Tomorrow (touched on in this post) is looking at leveraging Moodle-based BrainHoney as a part of the software foundation for the initiative. Chisimba (+ one of their rockstar developers on twitter) also seems a good related Africa-oriented e-learning platform to follow.
- Google Baraza African oriented Question and Answer site is doing an initial community launch. You can apply for an invite here. A Ghanaian Blogger’s ideas are here, Peace Corps colleague Jon McLean here, but do not miss Google’s cute video on the service here if your modem can handle the download. Grab and answer your question for Africa as soon as possible! So far it seems to be successfully bridging East and West Africa as I’ve not seen in a website, though there is little South African participation to date. See also Majibu.com, the preexisting East African Q&A startup.
- WhiteAfrican has just posted an up to date Snapshot of mobile data rates across East Africa that follows on my own Snapshot from 2009.
As an administrative note: I have broken out my Peace Corps-relevant posts into a separate category that you can visit using the link along the top. They won’t appear on the front page but will appear in my RSS feeds. I’m gratified that my last post was picked up and republished in the Peace Corps newsletter, I hadn’t thought of that! Thanks Aron. Ultimately though, I don’t want to weaken my main practical themes on the blog.
- Facebook Arrives in Tanzania (insidefacebook.com)
- Tanzania approves new highway across Serengeti (gadling.com)