Showing posts from 2017

Fare thee well, Boukary

Photo courtesy of Suzanne Lehn Boukary Konaté , 1977 (?) - September 2017 He left us much too soon. Around early 2009, as I was still new on Twitter, I looked for Africa-centric communities and found  Global Voices , and then Claire Ulrich , Anna Gueye , and finally Boukary Konaté  from Bamako, Mali. We became quite friendly - albeit online - and I admired his desire to further his own education as well as promote and safeguard Malian culture, and bring the internet to rural areas. A group of his online friends, led by First World Music 's Akenataa Hammagaadji, in New York, sent him a solar backpack for that purpose. Boukary was a teacher in a Bamako high school. He wrote one of the rare blogs in Bambara, in fact one of the rare blogs in any African language in general: Fasokan . The blog won a Bobs (Best of the Blogs) award in 2012. In 2014, he created a blog and Facebook page called " Quand le Village se réveille " (When the village awakes), that showcased t

The CFAO - an Interview with Cameroon Technology Director, Joël Roux

Thanks to the professional social networking platform, LinkedIn, I connected with Joël Roux, General Director of CFAO Technology Cameroon. Later, during a stay in Douala, I had the pleasure of meeting him in person. Many of us wonder about the information technology and especially web access capacity of Sub-Saharan Africa. A while back, I wrote about IBM in Africa but was still searching for more in-depth information. Mr. Roux kindly accepted my request for an interview. Of course, he, also, is bound by his organization's confidentiality clauses, but he offered some additional insight. Joël Roux in his Douala office First of all, what is CFAO and its history? Formerly known as SCOA, the company was founded in 1881 in St. Louis, Senegal. It used to be a trading company  between Africa and France. It was renamed CFAO in 1887. In the meantime the company grew to be a multinational conglomerate represented in 34 African countries, 7 French overseas territories, Vietnam and

Five English-language novels by African women

These past months, I read five novels, all written in the last ten years by African women from different English-speaking countries/regions. Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Knopf Doubleday, 2013) Ghana Must Go  by Taiye Selasi (New York Penguin Press, 2013) Behold the Dreamers  by Imbolo Mbue (Penguin Random House, 2016) Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi (Penguin Random House, 2016) The Book of Memory by Petina Gappah (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2016) They were all interesting and engrossing, and cover a large swath of issues, especially the relationship between Africa and the United States of America (more directly in three of the novels).     Americanah and Ghana Must Go both feature protagonists who live and/or have lived in the United States and in their African home country, in the United States for a long enough time to have enjoyed American success stories. Americanah describes especially well the tensions in the relationships: between Africans from t