Monday, December 17, 2012

Madiba.. or when the sparkle begins to fade.

Dear Madiba, and through you, to my loved one, my loved ones..



Every time I hear that you have been taken to hospital, I have the same reaction. My chest gets heavy, my throat tightens, my feet drag. I literally have to swallow to be able to lighten my chest and clear my throat. I keep up late at night.. swaying between concern and worry, and praying through all of that.

I panic when the news is all over on the media. I try not to read them, but something inexorably draws me to every line, every image, every comment. This time, it is an infection, and President Zuma, originally says it is « nothing to worry about » . He says you will be okay.

But I cannot but ask myself.. How much more time.. for how long am I going to have you.. ? Against all reason and logic, I prefer to convince myself that you will be around for me, for my children and the children of my children. I dont ever want to think of the day when the fading sparkle will cease. I prefer to dream, I prefer to pray, I prefer to hope.. even when hope begins to go down like the setting sun

But my thinking part of the brain has been cautioning me lately, telling me this great truth :



Madiba is not eternal . Your loved one wont live forever.. 


Madiba, in my quiet corner, I prayed to God for you. I prayed when you were in prison. Though a yonger person then, I prayed to God for « this innocent man who is fighting for the freedom of his people ». I watched all possible media on the day you were released and danced on the streets like many other Africans. I do recall, that on the day you « took that walk », I offered a singular prayer :
« Dear Lord, please give him full 70 years, and an additional 27 years, to make up for the years he spent in prison »

I do not know if the Lord will answer « yes » to 27, but he has added 24 to the 70. I am grateful.

I am grateful that you came through Robben Island. I am grateful that you came through Robben alive. I am grateful that you had those prison years to think about the kind of leader you wanted to be, the kind of message you wanted to give to South Africa, to Africa and to the world. I am thankful to God. I am also thankful to you. Thank you for standing up tall, for preaching forgiveness instead of vengeance, for embracing and not pushing, for uniting instead of dividing, for building instead of destroying.

Most of all, thank you for leaving the presidential throne after just one term.

By willingly stepping aside from the power stool, you rose higher than presidency, you rose to a symbol, a brand. You rose from being just a South African freedom fighter to a world citizen, in fact, the greatest brand alive, greater than Coca Cola.



Madiba, I have some images of you that I have stored in the indelible part of my mind. Very few people make it to that place of my heart.. because once you make it there, you remain there. One image is that of you and Winnie.. taking that walk.. to liberty. I will cherish that one. The other one was when you were elected president and you spoke to South Africans, to Africa, to all humanity. But the image that I have tagged as « My Madiba » is of you in that cart, waving to the world.. on the opening ceremony of the FIFA World Cup 2010. You had risen over the death of your grandchild the night before and stepped out..

You stepped out in the Spirit of Sports, You stepped out in the Spirit of Umoja, You stepped out for Humanity.. I will forever be grateful for that.

Madiba, I keep praying that you will « last forever » but I know will not. So before the sparkle that is fading will shine no more, I want to let you know that :

You have been my inspiration

You have risen above so many difficulties to shine as a star

You will remain an icon, an unequaled brand for me, for many of us, for us humanity

Many more of you will rise after your sun sets

I love you, I cherish you.. and forever will.




Thank you, Madiba, thank you, my loved one, thank you, my loved ones..

Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Weird, Ironic and Hypocritical WCIT and the new International Telecommunication Regulations

I am back home after the WorldConference on International Telecommunications - WCIT, whose main job was to review the International Telecommunication Regulations. Since the official closing and signing by 89 members, I have been reading tons of comments. For me, I no longer engage in lengthy arguments these days. But I can say that Milton was spot on when he typed :


Here are a few of my own views on the « weird, ironic, and hypocritical nature of Dubai »that I would like to share :

1. Weird participation of Member States : Out of the Member States that attended, there are some who never put in a contribution, a word, an opinion or any kind of value to the whole of the meeting. They let others think, speak and act for them.

2. The stand of the African countries : Some people doing analyses seem to overlook the huge challenge that the « Africa group » posed to US, and EU. Once the MS from Africa decided to channel their position as a group, it meant they automatically had more influence than the EU and USA together

3. The Iran pioneer : No doubt, the fact that the Iranian head of Delegation was a « Master Gamer » and the spokesperson for APT was a huge game changer in Dubai. The man has 23 years of experience in ITU ins and outs.. He knows almost all the parts of the constitution by heart and knows how to use which tools in his favor. He did hold influence and he used it... real good


4. The American lobby that turned sour : For those CS folks in Baku for IGF, you recall that there was a meeting with the Kramer-led USA team. The lobbying machine was huge.. the negotiations were long and the meetings were several.. but as Hamadoun Touré explained during the I hour+ meeting he had with CS, « there is an unwritten rule that when a country wants something badly, everyone works to make sure that country does not win » Within the Africa group, the resolution on « To foster an enabling environment for the greater growth of the Internet » was not so much a big deal.. and they could have let go... but for those who were in Dubai, there was that time when Saudi Arabia made it clear that « some parties get all they want and they are not willing to compromise anything »

5. I followed WCIT12 remotely.. : Dead wrong. By the Friday of the first week, all working groups were to be reporting directly to plenary. By the second week, only informal groups were « negotiating » and coming back to plenary. Towards the end, the Chair was doing what I termed in my tweets as « inter-regional ». Here, each region was asked to choose 4 delegations to represent it. I do recall one French-speaking delegate of Africa complained that Ad Hocs  and informal group meetings were only in English.. Guess what, at the very end.. the Chair was just talking with each of the regional leads... And I can say one thing.. Ad Hoc and informal groups decide within themselves and report. If you miss a meeting or come late.. you miss. So it is quite possible that an official delegate will be in Dubai and still not be able to explain exactly what happened.. let alone someone who followed remotely

6. Compromise text : Folks seem to have forgotten this. The Chair, in presenting his "Combined Draft Proposal" reminded the plenary that this text has seen some compromise. I still hear Civil Society talking as if the « Internet » resolution just surfaced for a vote.. The initial proposal was 2000 % more serious. In fact, the first version of that proposal was withdrawn and watered down. It is not hidden agenda that some countries would love to control the Internet totally.. so you will need to read through the lines to see the huge compromise such countries made.. and ask yourself, what compromise did the « No Internet » camp make. The compromise is the text you have in the resolution.

7. Human Rights and Right to access : I do recall it took hours to come to the « Iran call for vote » on the preamble. That bit of text was negotiated for 3 straight days.. It was surreal, to see the countries that were waving the human rights flag and the ones that were opposing accessing the right of MS to a non-discriminatory access to telecommunication services. I do recall that the Africa group decided to support the HR line partly to support the person of Hamadoun Touré.. but when it came to the right to a non-discriminatory access, even when Touré said we could do without it.. they said « we have heard you but we still maintain our position ».

8. The non-discriminatory access of Member States to international telecommunication services : Yes, that was the WCIT game changer.. It led to « THE VOTE ». Maybe folks have forgotten, that line was in 7.3. It was negotiated for days on end, and its proponents lost. 7.3 was deleted. I recall working with some Member States on a possible acceptable language.. holding different meetings on that particular point and the text just had to be dropped. So when it wormed its way back to the preamble, I could easily recognise it.



9. The last 15 minutes before THE TEMPERATURE VOTE ON THE INTERNET : The Wednesday night, plenary went on till 1:40AM on Thursday.  Before then, the able Iranian Delegate has talked about « Consensus by exhaustion ».. and people laughed at the term. The chair brings up a draft resolution which, if I recall clearly, was on « Service and Privilege Telecommunications » which was proposed by the USA. That proposal did not receive any positive feedback. It was deleted and the US delegate said it was very sad that WCIT did not see things their way, and that they will resubmit that resolution in other spaces. The US has hardly « recovered from that » that the Chair pulls up the next resolution that was talking about access to the Internet. At this time is was going to 1:30.. and discussions started on who was going for or against. That was when he decided to do the temperature vote.. and the « Internet » resolution carried it. 5 minutes later.. it was « thank you and goodnight » from the Chair. I am convinced that the speech that Terry Kramer read out on Thursday night was drafted after that vote, not after the Iran-called vote on non-discriminatory access.

10. The gains and the losses : Dont be fooled, many member states had a clear goal in mind. Even me, I had certain objectives I wanted to achieve. The Treaty process was either a way to achieve one's goals or a means to make one's opponent miserable. So it is not surprising that there were many unhappy persons.. albeit, some left more miserable than others.


On a personal note, I got funding as an individual to attend WCIT about One week before opening ceremony. I had to find a Member State of a Sector Member to register me.. It took two days. Finally when I got confirmed, I tried to fill in the form provided by Pearl of Arabia for Visa. I did not see « Nigeria » as a country. For Credit/Debit card information, I could not find « Côte d'Ivoire ». So how is a Nigeria living in Côte d'Ivoire supposed to apply for a visa. I send an email containing the documents requested. But when I arrived, there was NO visa application in my name, and I had to buy an on-the-spot tourist visa for 575$

I first had a green badge as a sector member delegate. This meant that some Working Group Sessions were closed to me. But good enough, the Africa group meeting was open and I attended each and tweeted as I could. I also attended the Nigeria national consultations. When Nigeria saw I was being useful to them, they registered me as a full country delegate and that allowed me to engage on a higher level and also represent, negotiate text and influence some lighter stuff.



Thursday, November 29, 2012

What African women in ICT need

This is a feedback from African women software developers and ICT entrepreneurs to whom the question was asked: what are your needs?  The 15 priority areas are out:



1. Mentorship -  women want to be linked up and mentored.  They need "those who have been there" to advise them regularly.  This emotional and professional support ranked highest in the responses.

2. Funding - Key to making some things happen.  Especially when you are just beginning and needing seed money to be able to set the ball rolling.
3. Market share, contracts, paying jobs - the market opportunities, contrary to popular opinion, are not in favor of women, generally.  This situation is worsened in the ICT domain.
4. Meeting with software legends - Younger Africans need to ask questions and learn from more experienced legends, even if it is an opportunity that only lasts a few days.


 
5. Establishing a professional Association - This suggestion is aimed at maintaining contact among the women so that ideas can be shared on continual basis.
6. Media coverage of women's efforts - Maybe because there is no flashlights on the efforts of women who are already in the field.  Giving media attention lifts a woman in her efforts
7. Segregated (women only) training and coding rooms - Important suggestion coming from a very experienced mentor.
8. Business skills and culture -  The world of business is a rigorous, male-dominated and sometimes, even violent one. Measuring up is not easy for women.  Support is needed here
9. Management skills - Ladies accept that knowing what to do is not the same as knowing how to do it well.  Technical knowledge needs to be coupled with managerial capacity.
10. Professional certification - In the ICT domain, certifications hold sway.  They open doors and women need them.
11. Up-to-date information on cutting edge technology and how to benefit from it - Yesterday's technology is not the same as todays.  So women need to update their knowledge to remain competitive
12. Hands-on practical workshops - Seminars and workshops are needed, but not only talk shops.  Technical sessions need to be included


 
13. Personality lessons: self esteem, confidence etc - Spot on. Not many women can assert themselves and the other gender seems to expoit this in the heartless business environment that exists in Africa
14. Communication and Public speaking capacity building - Getting the opportunity is one, knowing how to use it is another.  Communication and public speaking skills are seriously in need for African ICT women
15. Marketing and public relations capacity building - Getting services and products clearly and well communicated to clients and the larger public is lacking and African women need to master the art.

So much to do...

Friday, November 23, 2012

Ça n'arrive pas qu'en Afrique



La dernière fois que François était venu au pays, c'était il y a deux ans. Novembre/décembre 2010. Son pays, la Côte d'Ivoire était en plein marasme politique, du aux résultats d'un deuxième tour d’élections présidentielles qui entraînait le pays inexorablement vers une guerre civile. François n'arrivait pas à comprendre comment et pourquoi il est toujours difficile pour « les africains » de comprendre des choses aussi simples qu'une élection. Établir une liste des électeurs, faire un rang, marquer son bulletin, le glisser dans l'urne, compter les voix, les additionner, proclamer et ensuite publier les résultats. Pour lui.. « l'homme noir, c'est pas la peine ». Il est mieux là bas, en France..

Nous sommes le 23 novembre 2012, François est en congé.. et Coulibaly vient le voir , histoire de prendre « les nouvelles de la France ». Et aussi voir comment va son ami de longue date...



Coul : Alors petit français ca va ?
Frank : Beh.. oui, on ne se plains pas. Et toi ?
Coul : On est là.. le pays reprends petit à petit..
Coul : Dis, cette affaire de l'UMP, c'est comment ?
Frank: Quelle affaire de l'UMP ?
Coul : Comment ça « quelle affaire de l'UMP » ? C'est pas ton parti en France ?
Frank : C'est bien mon parti, et alors... ce n'est qu'un truc qui va se régler .. vite
Coul : Ah bon ? Ca n'a pas l'air hein..
Frank : Que est-ce que tu veux dire par la ?
Coul : Mon ami, tu vois pas la crise qu'il y a là ?
Frank : C'est juste un truc qui va se régler.. vite
Coul : Entre temps, qui est le Président de l'UMP, qui a été élu ?
Frank : Bon, écoute.. ça finira par soit Copé soit Fillon..
Coul : Soit une scission, soit une implosion …
Frank :C'est pas du pessimisme aîgu ça ?
Coul : Non, c'est un constat..je connais le scénario..
- Vote – fraude – bourrage d'urnes – résultats – contestation – votes non prises en compte – déchirage/non acceptation des résultats – deux camps en armes – médiations à n'en point finir..
Frank : Noooon.. mais tu trouves pas que tu fais un amalgame là ?
Coul : Quel genre d'amalgame ? Dis moi, Monsieur de l'UMP, Pourquoi les votes des 3 territoires de l'Outre Mer n'ont pas été comptées ? Je me demande même si on les comptait avant.. n'eut été pour la situation qui prévaut on aurait pas su..
Frank : Mais m**de alors... vous voyez du racisme partout..
Coul : Pas si vite.. j'ai seulement demandé pourquoi...
Frank : Pourquoi.. oui pourquoi.. pourquoi vous les africains.. vous fourrez vos nez dans les affaires qui ne vous regardent pas.. l'UMP c'est juste un parti politique.. c'est pas toute la France, voyons..
Coul : Mon ami, détrompe toi, c'est la moitié de la France, ouais.. Avec ça.. on peut déjà prévoir la situation pour 2015 et 2017.. C'est ça qui est là..
Frank :Pardon... tu oses..
Coul : Ouais ouais.. ça n'arrive pas qu'en Afrique.. ou bien.. vous croyez que l'amour du pouvoir, les fraudes électorales, le déni des droit ça n'existe qu'en Afrique... mais voilà que vous vous fourrez le doigt dans l'œil.. en directe.. avec manière même..
Frank : Casse toi, pauv' con
Coul : Voilààààà

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Nouveau Gouvernement Kablan Duncan de Côte d'Ivoire

République de la Côte d'Ivoire
Gouvernement du 22 novembre 2012

  1. Premier Ministre, Ministre de l’Économie et des Finances – Daniel Kablan Duncan
  2. Ministre d'Etat ministre de l'emploi des affaires sociales et de la formation professionnel - Moussa Dosso
  3. Ministre d'Etat, Ministre du plan et du développement - Albert Mabri Toikeuse
  4. Ministre d'Etat, Ministre des affaires étrangères – Charles Koffi Diby
  5. Ministre d'Etat, Ministre de l'intérieur et de la Sécurité - Hamed Bakayoko
  6. Ministre auprès du 1er Ministre chargé de l'économie - Mme Kaba Nialé
  7. Ministre de l'intégration Africaine et des Ivoiriens de l'extérieur - Aly Coulibaly
  8. Ministre des mines du Pétrole et de l'énergie - Adama Toungara
  9. Ministre des infrastructures économique - Achi Patrick
  10. Ministre de la fonction publique et de la réforme administrative - Gnamien Konan
  11. Ministre de l'environnement de la salubrité urbaine et du développement durable - Rémi Allah Kouadio
  12. Ministre de l'éducation nationale et de de l'enseignement technique - Mme Kandia Kamissoko Camara
  13. Ministre du commerce de l'industrie et de la promotion des PME - Jean Louis Billon
  14. Ministre de l'enseignement supérieur et de la recherche scientifique - Cissé Ibrahim Bacongo
  15. Ministre des transports - Gaoussou Touré
  16. Ministre de la Poste, des Technologies de l`Information et de la Communication, porte-parole du gouvernement - Bruno Nabagné Koné
  17. Ministre des ressources animales et halieutiques - Kobenan Kouassi Adjoumani
  18. Ministre de la santé et de la lutte contre le SIDA - Mme Raymonde Goudou Koffi
  19. Ministre de l'agriculture - Mamadou Sangafowa Coulibaly
  20. Ministre de la construction du logement de l'assainissement et de l'urbanisme - Mamadou Sanogo
  21. Ministre de l'industrie - Jean Claude Brou
  22. Ministre de la solidarité , de la famille de la femme et de l'enfant Mme Anne Désirée Ouloto
  23. Ministre de la culture et de la francophonie, - Maurice Kouakou Bandama
  24. Ministre des eaux et forêts - Mathieu Daret
  25. Ministre de la communication, porte parole adjoint du Gouvernement - Mme Affoussiata Bamba Lamine
  26. Ministre du tourisme - Roger Kacou
  27. Ministre de la Jeunesse, des sports et loisirs - Mr Alain Michel Lobognon
  28. Ministre auprès du Président de la République chargé de la défense. - Paul Koffi Koffi

Sécretaire Général de la Présidence – Amadou Gon Coulibaly

Friday, October 19, 2012

Of Muhammad Ali, Kadaffi, Tiger Woods and Lance Armstrong [or the danger of 'Idol'atery]

I've been following the fall of Lance Armstrong.. and reading all the interesting reactions of his fans,  the members of his foundation and the sporting world. Barely one week after a report stating that

"The evidence shows beyond any doubt that the US Postal Service Pro Cycling Team ran the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen"

Lance Armstrong has gone from Idol to almost ragdoll. Not only has he lost contracts with reputable the Nike, he has had to step down as the Chair of his Livestrong Foundation. I read a funny article this morning of persons cutting up their Livestrong  wristbands.

No, this is not just a Lance Armstrong story.  Few months ago I had a chance to catch glimpses of Muhammad Ali, the greatest boxer who ever lived.  The one who will "Float like a butterfly and sting like a bee". It was a wow moment for me, to see him like this:

Ali  could no longer walk without assistance. Without much analysis, it is clear that no longer can he float like a butterfly, but he CERTAINLY could not sting like a bee.

The other image that comes to mind is that of  Moammer Kadaffi. I cannot bring myself to post the image of his dead body on this blog, or that video of him begging for life, or his body being dragged ont he streets.  So I am posting his "Greated UN photo".  I watched him live, give a speech in New York, "thrashing" the United Nations and literally thrashing the UN Charter.
 The list is very long.. of people rising and falling.. idols becoming ragdolls, stars that you revered turning out to be just ordinary morally-bankrupt individuals.

No wonder the Bible talks about not trusting in men, the sons of men.. and not worshiping any other  gods outside The Maker..

How many sports, cinema, fashion, religious or political "idols" have not crashed in our life time?  How many are yet to crash?  

My friend, NEVER trust anyone to be infallible. Simply put, remove all the IDOLS from your life..

Friday, October 5, 2012

ECOBANK Côte d'Ivoire: Smart cards, dumb ATMs

I was in Tanzania two weeks ago.  I go to the ECOBANK to pull cash, and my card is shown as "not activated".  I go to the bank itself to ask and I was shown the new card.  The one that has a SIM card.  I come back to Abidjan and I ask, and I was told "Yes, madam, we are changing the cards, go upstairs and collect yours.

I collect a new card and something tells me to keep the old card. The agent says I need to leave it with the back and I said 'Since the card is still valid, I'd rather be the one keeping it".

This afternoon I am coming back from Cairo and slot the new card into the ECOBANK ATM at the airport, "Impossible" is what I see. I check 2 other ATMs and I get the same result.  At the third, the security man tells me "Madam, these ATMs are yet to be configured for the new cards with SIM"

I call the 22400200, which is the ECOBANK 24/7 number and nobody picks.  Friday at 4PM.  I call the second number and the man could not find an answer to the question "Why will you circulate new cards when the ATMs are yet to be configured?".  "Why did you ask people to return the older cards when they could still be used?" 

After several "errm" "errm", I decided not to bother the man anymore. 

I decide to continue to the ECOBANK headquarters in Abidjan. On the way, I start putting one to one.  ECOBAK has been putting up new ATMs. Probably, these are actually the ones that are optimized for the new smart cards. 

At the ECOBANK Côte d'Ivoire headquarters, my suspicion was confirmed. There are 2 old ATMs and 4 new ones.  I try the smart card on the old ATM and it shows "impossible".  I went over to the new ones and I pulled cash.

I get back to the car and I start asking myself questions:
  1. Why is ECOBANK circulating the smart cards BEFORE upgrading the ATMs?
  2. Why cant ECOBANK give its clients the correct information about the dumb ATMs?
  3. Why will a service provider want you to deposit a card that works when it knows that the new one only works partially?
  4. How many ECOBANK ATMs can actually work with the smart cards?
  5. What technology will it require to put up a message informing clients, on the screen of EACH ATM, which cards it will accept, pending the time when cards and ATMs will be harmonized?
I have more questions.. but let me stop for now

Monday, August 13, 2012

The African Olympics. Les JO africains.

Have you been wondering which African countries did what during the just-ended  London Olympics?  Here is a quick table.

Vous vous-êtes demandés comment les pays africains se sont "imposés" lors des Jeux Olympique de Londres?  En voici:


Rank/Rang
Country/Pays
GOLD/OR
Silver/Argent
Bronze
Total
South Africa
3
2
1
6
Ethiopia
3
1
3
7
Kenya
2
4
5
11
Tunisia
1
1
1
3
Algeria
1




1
Uganda
1




1
Egypt


2


2
Botswana


1


1
Gabon


1


1
Morocco




1
1

Si un pays qui a participé ne se trouve pas ici, cela veut dire que ce pays a eu 0 Or, 0 Argetn et 0 Bronze.

If a participating country is not on this table, it simply means the country finished with 0 Gold, 0 Silver and 0 Bronze.

The full medal Count is here.  La liste complète des médailles est ici

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Les ivoriens sont doux-amers .. sur les réseaux sociaux

Il y avait un chanteur qui avait ce morceau.. "nous les ivoriens on est doux-amer".  Ca, c'était sur le 322.462 kmdu territoire nationale.  Mais voila que depuis "les événements que nous connaissons tous".. il y'a l'autre Côte d'Ivoire.  La Côte d'Ivoire numérique. Cette Côte d'Ivoire là, elle est en ligne, et surtout sur Facebook et Twitter.

Si toi, tu viens d'arriver sur  Facebook, ou sur les villes, pardon, les fils ivoriens sur Twitter tel que #CIV2010, #CIV2012, #CI225, #cotedivoire, #courcommune, #kpakpatoya ou sur les "salons spécialisés" comme #civedu #civtech, #civsocial, #civsport il faut connaitre certaines choses.. Si tu n'est pas au courant, le but de ce billet, est bien de "t'au courer".

La Côte d'Ivoire numérique est doux-amer dêh!!  Il faut pas dire qu'on t'a pas dit.  Moi, voila ce que je sais.. Vu que la connaissance ne reste pas seulement avec une seule personne, attends-toi à ce que les gens viennent démolir cette publication..

  1. Les doux.  Ceux là, ils n'ont pas palabres avec quelqu'un. Ils ne rentrent pas beaucoup dans les débats.  Ils donnent leur point de vue.. et n'insistent pas. Il y a le couple Roland (Christian et Sandrine), Ghislaine Atta, Alexise Evelyne Ouedraogo, et Guy-Manassé Dehe. Il y a aussi André Sylvain Konan.
  2.  Les affairistes: Celles là, tu peux compter  sur elles pour acheter ce qui est bon.  Vas sur la page de Edith Brou et toutes les Ayana.
  3. Les "publivores".  Ils se nourrisent des publicités d'Abidjan.  C'est eux qui publient Pige de Pub. Ici, tu trouvera Teecya Aude, Abdul Kader Jean Paul Dia, Lesley Lisette, John James et les gens d'AOS.  Ceux là, ils ont fini avec Arsène Ouattara et ses multiples panneaux des souhaits! 
  4. Les formateurs.  Ce sont les gens qui aiment dispenser l'expertise.  Ici, on peut compter Jean Patrick Ehouman et Yoroba.
  5. CODINORM.  Tu connais là où on verifie que les services sont de qualité? Eh bien.. il y'en qui ne font que "ça". Ils ont passé tous les services au crible.Les banques, SODECI, CIE, Orange, MTN, AVISO, RTI,  Police, FRCI etc. Ici, il faut compter Marticotivoir, Macmady, DiabyMohamed, Nnenna, Altesse77, StephanK 
  6. Les "Appuyeurs de la cour commune". En tout cas.. moi-même je n'ai toujours pas bien compris en quoi consiste un "appuyage" en ligne..ou bien c'est un truc dont il faut prendre RDV en ligne et faire hors ligne.  Je sais que Cyriaque Gbogou est le Chef dans cette affaire.
  7. Les Amouraux.  Ceux là.. ils peuvent s'aimer et se "desaimer" 1000 fois par jour. Je ne comprends plus rien dans leurs manière de faire. Je vais pas le nommer.. je leur laisse le soin de se confesser afin d'être délivré.
  8. Les Academiciens.  Non, non, non.  C'est pas les gens de Sol Béni oo. Ceux là, ils se nourissent de l'école ivorienne. Le Chef est Antoine Mian (PhD).  Il faut ajouter Fernand Dedeh, Nnenna, Denoel, PamarTalisman, Altesse et Alain Logbognon.
  9. Les Trotteurs.  Ceux là, ils se promenent.  John James, Arsene Dally et Cesc se promenet à Abidjan. Yehni Djidji et Sanders se promenent en Côte d'Ivoire, SoroKGuillaume, Nnenna et Ocomar se promenent dans le monde entier. En tout cas.. si tu dois aller quelque part.. renseignes-toi auprès d'eux. 
  10. La bande de  "je ne mets pas mon coeur sur les éléphants". Ceux là, ils sont des sportifs en l'âme, mais il parait que les Eléphants les ont montré couleur. Donc ils ont décidé que le jour où il vont croire aux éléphants, c'est le jours qu'une COUPE va atérrir à l'aéroport d'Abidjan. Frank Bayé en est le chef de fil. Mais je peux déja te dire qu'ils sont versé waaa. Ceux là je suis "contre de eux".. mais bon, ils arrivent à avoir raison..de temps en temps..
  11.  Les Corrigeurs. Pardon, je ne maîtrise pas le Français oo.  En tout cas, il s'agit des grammatologues, grammariens, ou correcteurs.  Ceux là, c'est une dame Ministre qui nous les a révélé. Ils ne font que corriger, à la virgule près, tout ce qui se dit et s'écrit en Côte d'Ivoire.  Si tu es Ministre et tu viens d'arriver.. pardon, cherche une personne pour rélire avant de cliquer "publier" sinon..
  12. La Diaspora. Mais nooooon!! Il ne s'agit pas des ivoriens vivant à l'étranger. Il s'agit des ivoriens du coeur.. ou mieux "ivoiriens du clavier".  Il faut compter Julie Owono, AnnaGueye, Gugustt, Koskoryma et Verone dedans.
  13. Les sorciers: Mhmm. Ceux là.. c'est à 22H30 qu'ils se reveillent.  Et ils opèrent entre minuit.. juskààààà. Je me demande à quelle heure ils dorment. Gugustt en fait partie! KPMG, Macmady, JusticeFK et plein d'autres. On peut pas tout dire ici oo.  Hô hô... si tu t'amuses à me demander "Mais toi même tu fais quoi à minuit en ligne.. " C'est que ta vie numérique est ménacée!! RAE.
  14. Les Guérriers.  Depuis là je cherche un nom pour ce group et je ne trouve pas. Ceux là, 80% de leurs publications sur Twitter et Facebook sont soit pour, soit contre! Il y'en a des camps LMP, d'autres de RHDP, et tout dernièrement. des Lideriens.  On trouve certains qui sont anti-Ouattara et les autres anti-Gbagbo. Ils m'étonnent par leur puissance de frappe, leur capacité de contre-attaquer et leur raisonnement dur et carré.
  15. Les Gingembrés.  Ou bien pimentés même? Ceux là, tu as intérêt à ne pas chercher leurs palabres dêh. Ils paraissent avoir la connexion 24/7. Je sais pas comment ils y arrivent. Si tu tires une balle à leur endroit, ils vont te répondre pianhoun!! Et de fort belle manière.  Ils n'oublient rien, et sont capables d'utiliser toi-même ton raissonement pour te confondre. Ici, il faut compter Claudus Kouadio, Théophile Kouamouo, Severin Kioubia,  et Alain Logbognon.   
Il  y en a même que je peux nommer les "inclassables".  Ils font tout!! Les gens comme Bacely Yoro Bi, O'Noryn Kadio .. 

Bon, voila un peu.. si tu es nouveau.. va chercher ces gens.  Si tu  es parmi "ces gens" tu peux démolir..Si tu es ni-ni, tu peux rajouter..

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

What did you buy for me?

You travel to places.  You change planes.  You rake up miles. You take pictures and put them up online. People get to know your face at the local airport. Sometimes, they get to ask you "where are you off to this time?" Some times you answer, some times you just smile.

Every trip is has its specifics.  Ups and downs. Long overlays at airports, lack of Internet Connection, luggage that does not arrive, the jetlag, eating stuff you would rather not.. but well, since you have to eat to keep alive..

All of that is not the problem of your loved ones. Friends, family, employees, colleagues, and people who think they know you.  What all of them have in common, though, is that one line "Buy/bring me something". I hear that line over and over and over again.

 You get to destination.  You are battling heat or cold, sleep, work, adapting to hotel, finishing your presentation, keeping up with the scheduled and unscheduled meetings. Depending on who you are traveling for/with, you may have a bit of financial margin to take you to the mall.  People at your destination expect you to shop anyhow.. The hotels always have those maps/brochures that show you where money can be spent.

You get 2 hours and you rush off to the mall.  You shop.  You find yourself parting with "a handful of 100s" of  $, £ or €. You  buy perfumes, shoes, bags, make up, clothing, jewelry, body care, chocolates, electronic gadgets etc.  You are calculating, not just the cash.. but also the weight.  You want to keep within the airline official weight limitation.

You get home and you begin to distribute. Everyone would love their gifts in a separate bag. If you are like me, you tell yourself that just one piece of gift item may not be nice for some loved ones.  You add a bar of chocolate to the bag, and a perfume to the shoes ... something like that. Some will collect theirs from your home, for others, you need to drop off.  In some cases, you need to arrange to have them sent.. at your own expense..

You get different feedback, depending.  The first group are exhilarated.  They thank you profusely.  You are happy that you have added value to their lives.  The second group says thanks and life continues. The third group, which is where many loved ones belong, just go quiet. You dont hear from them.  Some times, you call to find out if  "it arrived" just to double check. And they say yes. These days, I have come to accept this third group.. I dont worry about them anymore.  I just give, I dont expect them to confirm, I dont expect anything..

There is a fourth group. This is the group that you hear them say (either as an aside or as a 'behind') "So this is all s/he got for me?"  The feeling is.. you have gone all that way.. and this is all you think I am worth?  This group never cease to amaze me.  

Why do people think that when someone travels, it is "only them" that the person buys a gift for?  Why will you summarize a person's trip in the financial value of the gift the person gives you? On what grounds do you raise your expectation of gifts according to cities? When did a gift become a right?

As a frequent traveler, sometimes these things get back at you.  You are discouraged and some times, you swear never to buy gifts for anybody anymore..But as we say in Africa, loved ones (family) are like your buttocks, where ever you go, you go with them

Bon voyage!


De John Atta Mills à John Dramani Mahama - 6 heures de grands enseignements pour nous

La nouvelle est tombée hier après-midi.  Le Président de la République du Ghana, Son Excellence Prof. John Evans Atta Mills n'est plus.  Voici le résumé en bref:
  1. Vers midi, il a eu un malaise. Il est évacué à l'Hôpital Militaire (37 Military Hospital) à Accra.
  2. Il tire sa révérence à 14:15.
  3. Un peu avant 16H00, le Chief of Staff (càd le SG de la Présidence) publie un communiqué.
  4. Le communiqué est à l'attention de la Presse
  5. La communication annonce la mort du Président et le lieu de la mort.  Elle informe que le Vice-Président s'adressera à la nation en temps opportun.
  6. A 16H00, la Présidente de l'Assemblée Nationale convoque les Députés pour une séssion extra-ordinaire pour 18 heures.
  7. On annonce la prestation de serment du nouveau Président pour 20H00. A 19H45, le quorum est atteint, la Présidente "lit la loi" et en suite part chercher le Vice-Président. La prestation de serment est effectué devant la nation.
  8. Un peu avant 20H15, soit 6 heures après la mort de John Atta Mills, le nouveau Président, Son Excellence John Dramani Mahama parle à la nation.
Voci donc les questions qui ne m'ont pas laissez dormir toute la nuit.  Je les pose ici, pour nous, en Côte d'Ivoire.. mais à l'Afrique toute entière.
  1.   S'il arrivait quelque chose au Président, ira t-on à HMA? Autrement dit, quelle est la situation de nos hôpitaux?
  2. S'il arrive que le Président tire sa révérence, combien de temps faut-il pour en informer la nation? Ou bien prendra t-on un homme mort pour aller à Paris.. pour en suite constater sa mort là bas?
  3. C'est quoi le rôle du SG de la Présidence? Ce sera lui qui viendra nous annoncer cette nouvelle?
  4. Le communiqué ira t-elle tout droit à la presse ivorienne, ou ce sera à elle de fouiller, répandre les rumeurs.. en attendant le JT de 20H00?
  5. Pouvons nous accepter qu'un Grand Chef meurt, sans que son parti, son ethnie, sa réligion, sa région (ou son je-ne-sais-quoi-encore) ne se leve pour semer des troubles au pays?  Que les jeunes n'envahissent pas les villes pour piller, brûler, et vandaliser?
  6. Combien de temps faut-il au Président de l'Assemblée Nationale pour convoquer nos Députés et atteindre le quorum, en cas d'urgence?
  7. Combien de temps prendra t-il entre la mort d'un Président et l'adresse à la nation du nouveau? 6 heures?  6 jours? 6 semaines?
  8. Dites, dans cette affaire, a t-on entendu parler de l'armée?  Je n'ai toujours pas eu leur échoes.  Elle est vraiment la grande muette au Ghana..
La mort de John Atta Mills fait mal, certes, mais l'hauteur d'esprit, la sagesse, la paix et la civilité avec lesquels les ghanéens la gère rend la disparition supportable. On en tire même un genre de fierté..

Voila ce qu'on appele un peuple digne, une nation, un pays emergent!
 

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Motorola Mobile phones and Me: End of the road.

This is the last Motorola phone I bought.  It is also the last I will buy.   It has been a long story between me and Motorola, but there comes a time when we have to choose. I have chosen to say "Bye" to Motorola phones.

My first one was in the Razr days.  I still hold on to the Razr V3.  That one was a sure Legend.  I so loved it that I still cant bring myself to retire it after almost 7 years!  Phones have come and gone.. but that one.. it is a veteran of a phone.


My "divorce" with Motorola is a long story.  I will try and tell it as it is..

I am coming from one of my trips.  I am transiting through Dubai. I always go to that outlet where phones, cameras and laptops are  sold.  I go there and I see the  Motorola EX 128.  Those days, it basically met my basic needs.  I pay something in the neighbourhood of 200$ and I head home.

I spend some time customising the phone to my taste.  Until at a point, I started feeling comfortable.  One day, the phone fall off my drink table.  The low table that is half a meter high. And the vibration dies out.  I tell myself.. "Okay, you can live without a phone that 'vibrates before ringing'".  And I move on with my life.

A couple months go by. And on this fateful day, it really falls!  This time, from the dining table.  Which is over 1 meter high.  Immediately I hear the sound, my brain tells me "this time around, it may not recover".  I pick it, and try to put it on. The screen is whitish, with a line running from top to bottom.  I put it off, and on again.. same thing.

I send out an SOS on Twitter.  I get a response.. the screen's mercury has been affected. I  needed to change the screen.  They refer me to the nearest mall.  I tell myself, "okay if it can be fixed at the mall.. no worry".  I go to the place by the mall, and hand it over. I receive this response "We will call you once we get a replacement screen".  48 hours later.. I go back and no, there has not been a screen found to replace.  Maybe I can check the "mobile phone market".

In Abidjan, there are several of them. I go to the first one in Treichville, then Cocody and finally the one in Adjame.  "No madam, we dont have it".  A guy tells me  I have to order it from guys who bring in goods from Dubai.  I pay, and I wait till they go and come.

Since I had a trip to Nigeria, I told myself that if  there is a place where I can find a Motorola screen, it will jolly well be at the Lagos Computer village. So I bundled both of us.. and we went down to Lagos.

For hours.. they searched.. and no... none was found.

Next trip was to Accra, Ghana.  I went to Accra New Town.  If you know Accra, you know that is also the headquarters of  mobile phones.  We both spent hours on end.. and  you guessed right..

No Motorola screens for EX 128 were available.

So where do you think I will go to?  Dubai.  Yes.  I actually went back to "square 1" To that shop where I bought the phone.  There sure were  other EX 128s there.. and some  fancy new ones..

I explain my problem and I get the response: "No madam, we dont sell the parts here".

QUESTIONS:

I have me a few questions
  1. The Warranty shows that Motorola has centers in Algeria, Egypt, Ethiopia, Tunisa, Morocco and South Africa.  What kind of "continental coverage" is that?
  2. Can a company be said to be "doing business in Africa when it completely ignores Central and West Africa?
  3. Does anyone know the reason behind Motorola's disappearance from West Africa?  I know they used to have centers.
I wish I had answers to these questions, but no, I dont.

One thing I can say is this: if you are a mobile phone user in Africa.. think twice before you invest in a Motorola phone.

Friday, June 8, 2012

5 "Good Reasons" for which you will not be hired.

I have been wanting to put these thoughts down since end of 2011. Quick story, I am running a training for West Africa and also doing some recruitments. For the one post, I was interviewing candidates in the morning, and for the other position, interviews were in the afternoon.  So I had a full day of  people trying to convince me and the panel I was heading that they were the right persons for the right tasks!!  Then 7 PM rolls round and I am back in my hotel room, trying to ease off.  And someone knocks.

"Madam, I see you have been interviewing people, please can you also interview me"? First I am shocked, then insulted, and really offended.  But my "other brain" says.. "Cool down and get to the bottom of this".

So I feign interest and I ask: "Please what is your name, what is your academic qualification, what are your skills, and what  kind of job are you looking for?"

That was the beginning of a long story.  Let's cut it short and make it simple.  ALL the reasons the gentleman gave me for which he should have  been considered are "good reasons" for which nobody ever gets hired.

Most common reason: I need a job.

Okay, so YOU need a job. The NEED is yours.  Here is the summary.  Your problem is not my problem.  That you need a job is your issue not mine. There are millions of people saying the same.  I get such lines at least 5 times a week.  It may seem a bit callous, but your need is yours, not mine.  That you need a job is no reason to hire you.

Reason 2: I need more money.

Quick answer.  "Same here".  I need more money.  In fact, as an employer, I most probably need more money than you do.  My social, economic, fiscal, and life responsibilities certainly outweigh yours. So in terms of cash needs, mine is greater than yours.  Give me a break.

Reason 3: I am not enjoying my job, I need excitement, enjoyment, adventure.

Seriously?  Go start your own stuff then! Do what you like.  Choose when to wake up, only do stuff that are exciting.  Never accept an assignment unless there is adventure attached to it!  Nobody will hire you to make you happy.  They will hire you to work.  Sorry, but your employer's interest comes first.

Reason 4: There is no future in this country.  I need an escape.

And you think I am stupid? If I started off like you, do you think you will be here asking for me to hire you?  It was because I believed in a future, and I committed to making the then-present better, that you are  coming up to me and thinking I will be the one to offer you a better future. You are not looking for work, you are looking for escape. Odds are, when I invest in you, you will either jump ship at the first sign of difficulty or disappear once you find another escape. I am looking for someone to solve problems with, build,  construct and ensure a better present and promising future. I do not provide platforms for escapists.

Reason 5: I like you.  You are such a wonderful person. I want you to be my boss.

Over the bar!! Because I change planes, gave  a tip, I speak with respect and I keep to time.. Or maybe because of the dressing or the "fashionable" things you see around me.  You most probably saw me after or off work. It is a mirage.  You need to work by me to see the "entrepreneur" me. I work long hours, do reports that run into 100s of pages. I lose sleep.. I stretch myself!!  You better wake up!!

== == ==

So you are asking, "what are the good reasons" for which I can be hired.  I will be brief.
  1. Every employer is looking to solve a problem.   I will hire you if you can provide a solution or can work towards providing the solution
  2. If you, by your own skills, will bring me more benefits than I am currently getting. If you can make me richer.. you are welcome
  3. If you are resourceful person.  Someone who is willing to research into solutions, make trials, accept failures and  help colleagues do better
  4. If you have a skillset or knowledge or capacity that I do not have
  5. If your network is larger, more promising and more interesting than mine.
== == ==

Conclusion, nobody will hire you because of you.  I hire because of me. So next time you come knocking ...

Think of me, not you.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

10 Reasons why your Facebook friend request is still queued

Okay, so you have sent me a Facebook friend request and since days, weeks or even months you have not heard anything. You might even have tried to send me a private message asking "Did you see my friend request?" And you did not get a reply.  Here are the 10 possible reasons your friend request is still in the queue.
  1. You do not have a profile photo.  By principle, unless I know you, I will not accept friends who do not have a profile photo
  2. The profile photo shows  off your body.  I am Christian and the God I worship does not like nudity. I think nudity belongs to your private life and should not, under any circumstances, be on Facebook, let alone as your profile photo.
  3. Other nude photos of you.  I check your photos and if I see any nude one among them, the friend request is shot
  4. Your friends. If I see that a lot of your friends have their profile photos on the nude end.. I will not accept your request.  Your friends tell me the kind of person you are
  5. We dont have any friends in common.  Especially if I have not met you before.  I am just being prudent.
  6. If you are just arriving on Facebook.  The odds are, you may not have learned  the appropriate behaviour. If I dont know you, I have never met you, and you have less than 10 friends... I will queue your request
  7. You are guy and most of your friends are ladies.  Odds are, you are "collecting ladies" and most probably, you will be more of a harassment, if not an embarrassment, to me.
  8. Your profile or photos have an exhibition of violence.  This includes guns, torture, dead bodies, any form of degrading pictures of humanity ..
  9. You are using political swags: Like a president, a political party, an opposition leader or any of these politically-motivated movements. I'd rather be friends with you and not your ideology.
  10. The friends we have in common are "suspicious".  I know which domains my friends come from.  So when I see we have 5 /6 friends in common and none of them have a common ground, I will get suspicious. Odds are, you are looking for me specifically, and you have gone round trying to get my friends so you finally land me.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

7 Reasons Jean Ping needs to step aside as African Union Commission's Chair

In January, the African Union Summit held in its very new headquarters.  The one donated by China. One of the items on the agenda was the election of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission. Since the creation of the original Organisation of African Unity (OAU) which later became AU, the election or re-election of the Commission Chair has never really been a huge issue..... because consensus has been the order of the day.  But in January, it became and issue. Jean Ping, out-going chief did not secure enough votes to ensure his re-election. And the African Union executive leadership, is facing a democracy limbo.  If you did not follow the initial story,  the Guardian has a good account here

The tussle was first between Jean Ping, incumbent AUC Chair and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zulu.  Later the tussle was between Jean Ping and nobody, and Jean ping still did not get enough votes.

This post is from an ordinary Africa who thinks it is time for Jean Ping to quit  AUC Chieftaincy.  Here are at least 7 reasons.

His role in recent conflicts: Maybe because I live in Cote d'Ivoire. But I must say that the role that the AUC played during post-election crises in the country was a sorry one. The ping-pong politics of the AU increased the loss of lives.  Were it not for ECOWAS that stood up and stood straight.. we would still be in war now. During the Libyan one, AUC slipped into the reactive mode.. accusing others who "were doing something". For Mali.. I cannot even recall what the AUC position and pro-active initiative is.. and now there is Guinea Bissau..
My gut feeling here is that African issues are moving faster than the kind of politics that Jean Ping is used to. The everyday ping-pong, stomaching nonsense, and several diplomatic meetings-type of conflict resolution.  I may be wrong, but that is my opinion.

Second reason is one that may sound "weird".  Jean Ping is Francophone.  Yes.  He is from Gabon.  He has been AUC Chair since  September 2008.  He took over from Alpha Omar Konaré of Mali, who held the position from September 2003.  Konaré took over from Amara Essy of Cote d'Ivoire who was the last OAU Commission Chief, and transitioned into the AUC.

The third reason is the democracy one. If the constituency deems that an Incumbent has done well, at least 2 out of 3 will want him back.  Incidentally, that is also the quota fixed by the AU. Even after the rival withdrew, Jean Ping still could not win the 2/3rds.  Here is my honest opinion - "Your Excellency, please walk the talk".  Take a bow, and leave. Make room, give room and let there be space for another.

Confidence is my other reason. As the days come and go, the level of confidence is dwindling.  Even some delegations that said "yes" at the beginning are now saying "no". For this kind of post, the level of trust, of confidence, of comfort from the constituency is important. I think  all of that are on the downward lane. Insisting on remaining will be  akin to telling the African people "I quit when I want, and I dont care what you think"


 Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma is the other candidate. Apart from being qualified for the job, I personally think that for the reasons above, she will have a better start.  A fresh clean start is more preferable to a rocky continuation. If it were a tussle between Jean Ping and just another political figure, maybe I would reconsider.  But Nkosazana herself is a huge reason that Jean Ping needs to step aside. You have an able leader take over.

The one other reason, which I also deem important is that the time is right for a lady to Chair the AUC. We have had enough men in that position.  Give a lady the confidence, let her in. We have a qualified lady. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has proved it. This continent needs to have more women leaders! The AUC itself is doing a good job at female Commissioners.  The time is right for a woman to be the face of AU!!  Just by the way, the next summit will happen in Lilongwe, Malawi.  In the very country where Her Excellency Joyce Banda is President of the Republic. 

The last reason why Jean Ping should not be re-elected is Jean Ping himself. In my consultations for this blog, a reliable source told me the following story. "Jean Ping is the one who came to South Africa, and canvassed for a South African candidacy.  He informed the government of South Africa that he was retiring and it would be a great thing for him to be replaced by someone from South Africa"

Whatever happened between the Jean Ping trip to South Africa and the elections is a story that Africans have a right to hear.

Suffice it to say.. that there are at least 7 reasons that Jean Ping should step aside as AUC Chairperson in July.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

L'OBV des JNTIC 2012


 Les journées internationales des technologies de l'information et de la communication battent leur plein à Abidjan. Après 3 jours, soit on y est allé, soit, on suit sur les réseaux sociaux. Un petit mot de ma part.. pour relever ce que j'appelle l'OBV de ces choses. L'Orange étant pour des signes avant-coureurs des dangers, le blanc étant pour les parties plates.. ou bien mi-figue-mi-raisin et le vert pour "Yes"!!

L'ORANGE

 Il y a au moins 3 qui n'ont pas marché. Je ne sais pas exactement ce qu'il s'est passé, mais de l'arrivée à la possession de son badge.. en tout cas ça a foiré! J'aurais voulu le dire autrement. ICS, UNETEL, Sécurité.. je sais pas, moi.. mais. Le mardi matin, à 9 heures Il y avait toutes sortes d'explication. Sauf les badges des conférenciers sont avec UNETEL. Il faut aller au stand ICS. Le système d'ICS ne marchent pas. Entre temps, on doit gagner la salle plénière .. et là, il faut avoir son badge!

La connexion Internet!! Safroulaye!! Au début il n'y avait pas des réseaux détectables.. ensuite: MTN-JNTIC, Orange Wifi, MTN wifi, VISITEURS-JNTIC, EXPOSANTS-JNTIC.. Toutes ces ethnies là..Zéro Bi pointé.Meme mon 3G sur le portable aussi avait du mal à démarrer.. Après avoir fait tout un boucan autour de JNTIC 2012.. moi, je me croyais en droit d'espérer ce qu'on appelle .. "paradis de bande passante" mais que.. NON. J'étais annoncée pour Abuja.. et pour Genève. Je me disais qu'une fois connectée.. j'allais pouvoir gérer.. J'ai joué bidé!

Je me suis laissée convaincre qu'à l'ère d'ADOSOLUTIONS, on avait pris l'habitude de respecter l'heure.  Pour dire vrai, le gouvernement respecte l'heure. Nos ministres respectent l'heure.. mais.. pour JNTIC de cette année là.. je sais pas.  La chose n'était meme pas un lundi.. au moins on aura pu dire que les gens étaient en weekend.. Mais, pour moi, vois les gars d'ALLIGATOR monter les tentes devant moi à 9:30..  et toute la journée de mardi.. bon, bref!

LE BLANC

Les filles! Les filles ooooo!! Les filles. Les filles. Les belles filles. Les filles minces. Et comme le Dr  Antoine Mian me le dit, il faut préciser que ce sont les filles "minces minces". A mon arrivé le mardi matin.. je me suis demandée.. "Dis, Nnenna, tu t'es pas trompée de lieu? Parait que c'est un casting de JCS pour Star Tonnerre". C'est moi seule qui me suis déçue.  Je me disais qu'au moins cette année.. comme c'est "Les Femmes et les Filles  dans les TIC" on  les verra autrement..que dis-je, on NOUS verra autrement.  Mais non, les filles étaient là, pour servir de props, hotesses, décoration".. comme d'habitude.

INSECDAYS aussi. On y avait placé beaucoup d'espoir.  J'ai vu que pour sa plénière, la salle Christian Lattier était archi-comble. Même les  places debouts, on en trouvait pas.  Mais bon, les autres étapes n'ont pas très bien marchées. On y arrivera.. un de ces jours.  On  va tiré la léçon et mieux faire.

La pluie du mardi!! Comment!!? Comme le disait un participant, c'est le ciel "qui a versé sur nous quoi". Vraiment il a plu. Avec mannière! Vers la fin de la journée de mardi, tout le monde mettait son problème et son manquement du jour sur le dos de la pluie.

LE VERT

Il y avait du monde.  Du beau monde, oui. La mobilisation a été bien faite. Si on se plaind, c'est parce qu'on y était. C'est bizarre mais c'est vrai.  La communauté TIC, le réseau AKANDEWA, les blogguers, tout ceux qui étaient à Google Days.. les écoles.. tout le monde y étaient.  La "communauté internationale aussi. Les participants d'un peu partout dans le monde.. Verone Mankou de VMK avec sa tablette WAY-C.. Fatou de Sénégal. En tout cas, bravo.

Les stands et les exposants.  Il y'en avait  de tous bords.  Chaque année, la partie expo s'améliore.  C'est un plus. Mais pas seulement le nombre des exposants mais aussi le niveau de la technologie.  Ce sera important de garder l'oeil sur les nouveautés de chaque année.  Les JNTIC devront nous  servir à mesurer la croissance tech du pays.

La réconciliation. Pour ceux [ou nous autres] qui ne savent  pas, il n'ya pas eu JNTIC en 2011. Les banques venaient à peine de rouvrir, on pansait les plaies, on essayait de revoir les habitations brulées.  Je me souviens que j'avais tout un tas de facture  à payer.. après  6 mois d'exile forcé. La Cote d'Ivoire est de retour. Bien que le Ministre Koné Bruno soit venu, car il était de sa responsabilité, le Minstre Hamed Bakayoko est venu.  Laurent Dona Fologo aussi.  Comme j'étais assise devant, en haut là bas.. sur la table des VIPs.. j'ai pris un moment pour regarder les visages de ceux qui sont en face de moi.

Je n'ai pas vu la peur, je n'ai pas vu la haine.  J'ai vu un peuple réuni, un peuple qui croit en lui-meme.  Une Cote d'Ivoire    qui est décidée de se reconstruire. De se tirer de la guerre.. et de batir.. une nation forte, avec les TICS.

J'ai vu les jeunes.. garçons et filles. Les ainés.. les tanties, les tontons. C'était pas une affaire des TICs seulement.  C'est une affaire d'une nation qui se lève, qui se dit..

Oui, il y a encore des failles, 


des hauts, et des bas..


 mais nous y arriverons.

C'est pour quoi demain, je vais repartir.. et si le Bon Dieu m'accorde la vie..

Je serai aux JNTIC 2013!


Thursday, February 16, 2012

MAG: To be or not to be?

I am reading Ginger's "actions call" for MAG self/nominations. And it is so spirited that I have decided to write down my "thoughts" here as a blog. Will be my third blog of the day.. Looks like I'm in a bloggy mood.. if ever such a word exists.

In reading the scoring, I see that I actually have a "BIG FAT" chance. Here is the way I see it:

1. I will get a 10% for being in Côte d'Ivoire, a country that has yet to be on the MAG

2. I will get another 10% for being from a developing country

3. And another 10% for not being male.

If I add that I have been active in my national IGICI and the West Africa IGF - WAIGF and also the AfIGF that is taking shape.. I sure will get some extra points.

Then I will add a 10 year history in WSIS and its related activities, and a formal training in International relations and linguistic diversity etc

So I think I will be around something like 70 or 80%

The question, therefore, that warrants this blog is "so why are you not nominating yourself or seeking someone to do so? Even despite the fact that you have received solicitations asking you to do so?"

To be or not be.

Here is my shot: Thanks, but NO, thanks. I will pass on this one. Why? Well for at least 5 reasons:

1. I am busy. I wish I could get 30 hours a day, but no, I dont have it. I am doing this blog at about 100 minutes to midnight! I would love to spare myself the MAG work.

2. I have downgraded ALL unpaid trips to anywhere outside of Africa. I cannot spend 3 days running visa, spend at least 200$ in the case of a Schengen one, and not get paid for that. Especially now that the ECOWAS passport is 32 pages instead of 48.

3. Anybody knows where a Nigerian living in Côte d'Ivoire will get a visa for Azerbaijan? I may probably need to do a trip to one other African country first.. Okay, enough with the visa thing..You only get a visa problem when THE FUNDING problem itself has been resolved. And the song around "civil society participation", "gender balance" and "participation from developing countries" is beginning to tire my Spirit.

4. I want to invest locally and if possible invest in action. I am a development-oriented African. Though words are of the legal profession and the whole of the "activism" thing is great.. but you know what? Over the years I have grown wider but also wiser. I want action, change, things done. At this age and weight.. I have a leaning for "less talk, more action"

5. I have 512 KBPS on wifi at home here. Add to that, that little tiny thing that if groomed well will come in handy for folks like me.. Remote Participation. I'd rather be reclining on my couch in my sitting room with this netbook of mine, eating my own kitchen food, enjoying the warm and airy Abidjan weather while connected remotely than to be trudging in any Geneva cold paying 15$ for ugly sandwiches!

MAG: To be or not to be?

Aint no question for me.. I will PASS! Maybe some time later, if/when things change.

Les 5 ivoiriens que tu dois croiser au quartier. 1 sur 5: Le titro-socio-politico-psycho-LOGUE

Il n'y a pas mal de temps que je comptais écrire ce billet de blog. Il s'agit des gens qui se trouvent dans nos quartiers, en tout cas, ici, à Abidjan.

Pour ma part, je suis issue de la belle commune de Cocody. J'en suis à ma 15è année. J'ai eu à faire plusieurs quartiers de la commune. Ces gens là, je le trouve dans chaque quartier. Pour ne pas nous éparpiller dans la conjugaison de il ou elle,(ce qui rend l'écriture d'un billet de blog difficile d'ailleurs) nous allon nous en tenir à un genre pour chaque personnalité.

Bon, découvrons:

Le titro-socio-politico-psycho-LOGUE

Ne comptes pas sur moi pour sa photo! Celui là, d'abord, il se croit un grand intellectuel. Il est le premier au carréfour pour faire la titrologie. Voila des années qu'il fait "ça". Il a bonne mémoire de chaque ministre, de chaque Dirécteur Général de chaque société d'état, de chaque Président de la FIF (Fédération Ivoiriènne de Football), de chaque Président du club au pays. Il les connais depuuuuuisssss!


Lui, il maitrise la politque de la France, du Nigeria, du Sénégal, de l'Oncle Sam, il a fini avec la Chine, le Japon, la Malaysie etc. Il te dresse un bon tableau de "pourquoi le Dubai est devenu ce qu'il est de nos jours". Il a son opinion sur Boko Haram, sur YENAMARRE,ETA en Espagne, la démocratie à la Poutine et l'état des choses en Birmanie.

Il faut tout de même reconnaitre que le type connait un peu. Il a une opinion sur tout et tous. Et comme il arrrive à peindre tout un tableau avec des mots et des chiffres, personne au quartier ne trouve assez de courage pour lui tenir tête. Et comme il a aussi fait un peu d'études, il arrive à confondre les gens avec les mots tirés de la psychologie,astrologie, antropologie, sociologie, et toutes autres logies que seul le Bon Dieu connait!

S'il commence une analyse politique et que tu t'arrêtes pour écouter.. ce que ta course de la journée est déjà foutue! Car lui, il est capable de démontrer comment Houphouet Boigny a vendu le pays à la France, comment l'UEMOA va s'écrouler sans la Côte d'Ivoire, pourquoi Barrack Obama sera re-élu, et où vont les Triples A de l'Europe.

Lui, c'est un "connaisseur" d'hommes de la politique et de la chose sociale..

Tu le connais?

Sunday, February 5, 2012

AWUNSEM : Word-Weaving – An almost-extinct profession from the old Ashanti Kingdom



I spent a wonderful weekend in Ghana recently. I met Selina Amanquanor., who captivated me. Rarely do I fall head over heels in love with anybody.. but this time, I was really star-struck..

No, I did not fall in love with the Amanquanor woman herself, but with her work. She practices a profession that I know from the first minute I heard that “Hey! This is what I should have been doing for a living!”

So what is Selina's profession? I actually had to ask around.. then finally decided to gather my courage to ask for an interview with the lady.

AWUNSEM. That is the Akan word for it. It translates into English as “Poetry”. But no, that is not what it means. Selina said there is no other language equivalent for this Akan expression. Here is the way she expressed the meaning of AWUNSEM:

Awunsem is like weaving a basket. It is the use of words to make a humanity basket. If there is Kofi and there is Kwame, you must bring Kofi and Kwame to a moral, psychological and social equity, equality and humanity with the use of words. You must give existence, sense, focus, meaning and direction to human life in a poetic, rhythmic and harmonious manner!

Wow.. what a profession!

Since I met Selina during the funeral services of a certain key figure in Ghana, I asked if this is done only during deaths. She said no. You have Awunsem at all human events – deaths, births, marriages, every and all kind of human events and gatherings.

So what exactly does an Awunsem do? Here is what I saw:

On Friday night, there was laying in state of the body of the deceased at her residence. The body lay till Saturday morning when it was lifted to the church and a Christian service was held. All through the Friday/Saturday night, the Awunsem wove words. Some times, she spoke to groups of people, at other times, she spoke to the children of the deceased individually. Early Saturday morning, she changed clothes and sat in a very strategic place – between the gate and the room where the body lay in state.

She wove words.

And weave words, she did! She spoke in about 3 Ghanaian languages, and in English. She reminded us of who the deceased was, what she had done in her life time.. her likes and dislikes, her vision and her accomplishments. While she spoke about the deceased, I felt she was talking to me. I felt thoroughly woven in, I felt part of it.

Then I relaxed.. the sadness of mourning gave way into a more relaxed thinking. Awunsem puts death into its right perspective. It is not a tragedy, we shall all die. Awunsem questions your being, your motives, your raison d'être, digs deep into your very being and unearths hidden and fearful thoughts. Awunsem helps you confront your fears, links you to the others, gives you comfort, levels you into the sea of humanity and raises you on the waves of global brotherhood (and sisterhood).

At a point, you feel one with others, you surf on the wave of words, on the sea of humanity, ready to brave the storms of life.

In church, Awunsem made her entrance in a traditional flute which she was blowing herself! She read out a dirge in Twi, the native Akan language. I did not understand all the words, because they were deeper than the everyday Twi which I know. It was rhythm, harmony and rhymes. She read with voice inflexions worthy of a grand master in the art and science of phonetics. She spoke about the deceased in terms that challenged the living.. that challenged the lives of the living.

While the daughter of the deceased read out a biography, Awunsem stood by, playing that wooden flute in subtle tunes.. It was captivating. It was... a rare moment, a breath-taking rare moment.

After the interment, Awunsem came back with the family to the residence and exhorted the guests one more time. She praised God in His numerous names: Odumankuman, Tweduampon, arousing His greatness, His supremacy, His omnipotence. She praised God for the gift of the life of the deceased, a life she reminded us was a gift to us. She spoke about her birth, character, children, grand children, defunct husband, her friends, her favorite things...

By the time the Sunday service rolled round, hearts and minds were ready to actually do a thanksgiving service. It was dancing, it was offering, it was gratitude to God for the life of the one who has passed on. It was a clean fresh sense of a mission for most of us. A mission to lead a better life, to focus on what matters, to be reverent to Odumankuman, and to be part of the solidarity of the human race.

Yes. That is what an Awunsem does. That is what I would love to do. The profession is rare and almost extinct. With our native African languages on the decline and individuals embracing the literary profession far and few between, how many Awunsems will we have in 20, 30, 50 years' time?

You may have read of Prempreh, Son of Ashanti, the Ashanti kingdom, or maybe recently, of Kwame Nkrumah.

Here is a photo of Selina … one of the very last in a dwindling line of Awunsems. The Word-Weaving experts.




An almost-extinct profession from the old Ashanti Kingdom