Isn't it wonderful when someone puts into words something that you know but can't explain. That's exactly my feeling from watching Eliza Anyangwe of the Guardian interviewing Kenyan writer Binyavanga Wainaina. They discuss aid, power and the politics of development in Africa (video link)
The most important breakthrough last week was the "Aha!" moment that happened when I was reading "A travelogue of 100 laptops". It gave me an insight into why I can't easily answer the question "What to you do?" (See A PhD Thesis About OLPC Asks: What are we doing? What are we bringing? and the comment at 10.54am on March 9th.)
On March 17th we'll be holding our sixth, monthly meeting of the GlobalNet21 and Africa group so it makes sense to review progress so far and share possible future directions.
The latest channel for UK-Africa communication that I've set up is the International Development (Africa) group at Impact Hub Westminster in London (a group limited to HubW members).
Reasons for setting up this group:
I became an unintentional UK-Africa social innovator in 2000, through my friend the late Peter Adetunji Oyawale and his untimely death.
Collaboration seems fine in theory. It's comparatively easy to agree about "what we all want to do".
The practicalities of collaboration ("how we're going to do it") are more problematic, especially if the people involved have different ideas of "how things are usually done". Our own cultural norms seem perfectly normal to us, so normal that we don't even notice or question them. When we collaborate across cultures we find other people start doing things differently, and it can seem they are "being difficult".
This year I'm scaling up the work of Dadamac by extending the reach of Dadamac Foundation. This post from Smart Monkey TV newsletter touches on some of the reasons why Dadamac needs to be more visible and influential in the ICT4D arena.
I won't explain the connection here. I just offer the link to the full post, and some highlighted extracts. (Hint - Dadamac is about on-the-ground realities, needs-led integrated community development, relevant use of ICTs, and effective use of resources.)
Latest news from the Dadamac communications officer at Fantsuam
Anyone who has suffered the frustrations of online conferences has every reason to prefer face-to-face. (The video link below the advertisement at A Conference Call in Real Life - is an excellent send-up of the frustrations of high bandwidth conference calls).