Monday, 4 October 2010

WHY I BLOG ABOUT AFRICA? [R]*

I was tagged by Cho in this current going around about our reasons to blog about Africa.
Let me see:

• First and foremost, because I am African and there is nothing I can, want or will do about it.

• Second, because having lived, worked and traveled in and around Africa, I have come across a number of situations that made me aware of the importance of information, communication and understanding between Africans of different nationalities in conflict prevention and improvement of relations at all levels between African nations. The particular circumstance of coming from Angola, one of the few countries in Africa with Portuguese as official language, made that awareness even more acute in me. So, being able to communicate in the other two most prevalent official languages in Africa, English and French, I thought that I could use that ability to contribute somehow to bridge that divide by facilitating the dialogue between the African community in and around the blogosphere.

• Third, I am particularly sensitive to the way (mis)perceptions and (dis)beliefs about Africa and Africans are formed around the world and how important it is that each individual who has any experience or knowledge about the different African realities shares these with the rest of the world. I think that blogging is the ideal vehicle to do that.

That’s essentially why I blog about Africa. And with this I tag:


Jewels in The Jungle

Nigerian Curiosity

Desenvolver Mocambique



*[First posted 22/12/08]
I was tagged by Cho in this current going around about our reasons to blog about Africa.
Let me see:

• First and foremost, because I am African and there is nothing I can, want or will do about it.

• Second, because having lived, worked and traveled in and around Africa, I have come across a number of situations that made me aware of the importance of information, communication and understanding between Africans of different nationalities in conflict prevention and improvement of relations at all levels between African nations. The particular circumstance of coming from Angola, one of the few countries in Africa with Portuguese as official language, made that awareness even more acute in me. So, being able to communicate in the other two most prevalent official languages in Africa, English and French, I thought that I could use that ability to contribute somehow to bridge that divide by facilitating the dialogue between the African community in and around the blogosphere.

• Third, I am particularly sensitive to the way (mis)perceptions and (dis)beliefs about Africa and Africans are formed around the world and how important it is that each individual who has any experience or knowledge about the different African realities shares these with the rest of the world. I think that blogging is the ideal vehicle to do that.

That’s essentially why I blog about Africa. And with this I tag:


Jewels in The Jungle

Nigerian Curiosity

Desenvolver Mocambique



*[First posted 22/12/08]

11 comments:

Sailor Girl said...

You are SO right, my dear Friend!...

(I wish I had more time to post more about how Angola touched me and marked me so much as a child... and how I miss Kuando Cubango, the skies, the scent of the land, the view of so many wild animals and some friends I met there and never heard about since a long time ago. I missed so much Angola that in 1998 I immigrated to Mozambique, but... it was different. But I still have a Dream... and YES, I CAN!!!)

(I wish I had more time in genneral, lately I have been posting on an automatic basis through blogger, otherwise even Atlântico Azul would be... empty!)

I wish you all the Best!!!! You are a great Friend!!!

KANDANDOS!!!!

Koluki said...

Oh SG, you just leave me without words...
Didn't I tell you once that we will meet at the river one day?! The river can be either one: Kuando or Kubango, or any other African river for that matter!
Yes, that's a Dream, but... YES WE CAN!
Don't worry about the time, it's always scarce and I also wish I had more of it, for everything really. But I always think that timeless friendships are not too time-demanding...
And you are a great friend too!
Cheers!

Sailor Girl said...

YES! You are so right! And YES WE CAN!!!

(you MUST buy the CD I described in Luanda Azul)

Kandandos!!!!

BRE said...

You expressed your reasons for writing about Africa at your blog in a most eloquent manner. We who are very interested in learning more about Africa and Africans are richer in knowledge thanks to people like yourself.

I've already covered the subject of this meme in an earlier post (Seven Questions) but will re-address the question at the beginning of the coming new year.

I also hope to get a chance to meet you on the river someday in my hometown (the Mississippi River at St. Louis, MO.).

Koluki said...

SG: OK, I'll buy it when/if I find it. Kdds.

BRE: Hello stranger! Thanks for passing by and for the comment.
Yes, you are right, you've already covered at considerable length in our 7-Q, but this is also a way to keep the current going, so that you can tag someone else too. Plus... it's a way of reminding you of that missing/elusive answer of yours...

Meeting you at the Mississipi?! I'm already there!!! ;-)
You can also meet me at the Kwanza - I'll let you know.

All the best for 2009!

Cho said...

Koluki,

Happy New Year!

Thanks for accepting the tag!

By the way, I was wondering...it possible for you to share more light about how the Angola diaspora vote on my blog below :

http://zambian-economist.blogspot.com/2009/01/is-this-solution-for-competitive.html

I am curious about the feasibility of such voting systems e.g. susceptibility to corruption, expense and so forth.

Thanks!

Koluki said...

Cho, my friend, I'm sorry to disappoint, but the fact is the Angolan diaspora wasn't even allowed to register, let alone vote! Unless I am seriously, seriously misinformed, which I don't think I am...
There are a number of dispositions on paper that in practice are pure and simply forgotten about - that's politics, isn't it? In the particular case of voter registration among the diaspora in the last legislatives, what the National Electoral Commission and other official bodies said was that technical conditions to do it were not yet met (check it here: http://www.angonoticias.com/full_headlines.php?id=17066).
There were a number of public protests, particularly by the diaspora in Portugal, but, as I said, there was neither registration nor voting by the Angolan Diaspora.
In general terms, the Angolan registration system might be the most sophisticated one in Africa and probably the world, as some say, but the reality is it didn't work perfectly in the last elections.
I have posted on my blog a comprehensive report by UNITA recently published, as well as the final report by the EU observing mission, which shed some light on the issue:

http://koluki.blogspot.com/2008/12/destaques-irresistiveis-das-ultimas.html

As far as the extintion of parties with less than 0,5% of the vote, there was the interesting case of the FpD (Frente para a Democracia) which was predicted to come in 3rd place before the election but in the end came up in 10th place with less than the required 0,5% of votes to remain in existence. To avoid this, a couple of weeks after the results were announced and before they were officially extinct, they extinguished themselves and refounded with the same name, symbols, etc.
Furthermore, the law allows any party that gets 'killed' by this rule to reapper under a different name, so there is no real compulsory incentive to force them into coalitions... In fact, the experience of political coalitions in Angola has been dismal since the 1992 elections. As an example, the FpD is part of what in 1992 was an apparently viable coalition (AD-Coligacao) but even in the face of the 2008 fiasco didn't take the coalition route again...

Regards.

Koluki said...

P.S.: I just came across this news that clearly states that the electoral registration of the diaspora will only take place for the first time this year:

http://www.angonoticias.com/full_headlines_.php?id=22171

SOLOMONSYDELLE said...

I have been travelling and just returned to see that I have been tagged. Thanks so much!

"I am particularly sensitive to the way (mis)perceptions and (dis)beliefs about Africa and Africans are formed around the world and how important it is that each individual who has any experience or knowledge about the different African realities shares these with the rest of the world."

I feel the same way. Our voices are needed in a world full of misperceptions and stereotypes about the land we love.

Thanks for the tag!

SOLOMONSYDELLE said...

wow, I just wrote a very long comment only to lose it.

I do agree that our African voices are surely needed to dispel the myths and misrepresentations about the land we love. If we don't do it. None will.

Thank you for the tag and sorry to just be leaving my comment. I was traveling the last 3 weeks.

Koluki said...

Thanks for accepting the tag, Solomonsydelle!
It's good to know that we are on the same wavelength where it comes to blogging about Africa.
All the best for 2009!