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".
Mercy describes the latest challenge taken on by Fantsuam Foundation
Introducing communal stategies close to home
Fantsuam Foundation is the North West Zonal HQ for the Water and Sanitation Network of Nigeria, NEWSAN. Supported by UNICEF we have been involved in promoting communal hygiene in the states of Bauchi and Jigawa so we decided it was time we introduced some of the communal hygiene strategies to our host community, BayanLoco in Kafanchan.
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.)
Mercy from Fantsuam Foundation in Nigeria describes the challenges of internet access in Nigeria.
A regular Dadamac meeting
The Dadamac meeting is scheduled for 9am (GMT) every Tuesday with Pamela and Frances in the UK and the Fantsuam team in Kafanchan, via Skype. A recent meeting is an example of what it takes to stay connected across the digital divide.
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).
Diogenes was a man who unquestionably "walked his talk". Tim Rayner wrote a great blog about him "Cynic simplicity: the courage to think".
It made me think of people today who are living courageous, and at times lonely, lives because of what they think and the authenticity of their actions.