#AfricaBlogging – Political bloggers in Sub-Saharan Africa

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#AfricaBlogging – Political bloggers in Sub-Saharan Africa
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Africa has the largest growth of internet distribution in the world. With the increasing spread of the internet, social media has become more important in every-day life of African people. In a region where traditional media lacks - due to the absence of infrastructure, corruption, State influence or poor wages – relevant quality for being a real pillar of democracy, social media activists become an increasingly important source of information; they also contribute to the diversity of opinion.
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a long time I and
mn and a warm
welcome on behalf of the panel um
we're very happy that we can facilitate this panel together with the Republika we have to connect to cannot out and are Fundación whereas the headquarters cluster bomb but also in Berlin so we're somewhere in
between maybe um we would like to give a little background why we thought this would be an important topic for the kind while so this is an important topic for all work the cannot out in our Foundation supports democratization around the world so I'm with them 80 officers of them in mind reactive from about 100 countries and so in in the parts of this work is a global media program uh um which also effective in Sub-Saharan Africa it's the program that I'm running the media program for sub-Saharan Africa and to them it's very hard to talk about Sub-Saharan Africa in general because there's no Sub-Saharan Africa in general this many different languages there's many different cultures there's many different stages of development and we still Davis title and what we are trying to do within the next hour is to give an overview on the situation of robbing especially of political blogging in this region in Sub-Saharan Africa the reason why we use the media program are active and are trying to support political blogger from the region is because we see that the media in most of the southern African countries are quite weak where the situation where the mainstream media often it's
very close to the States too close to the state you go state controlled or owned by politicians who are in the state
leadership in government and you have an independent media which underfinanced and understaffed underskilled and in this situation that select of uh brought a variety of opinions and professional information uh when it comes to the media landscape and we feel that progress can actually jump into the gap and can support African societies
Travis broader discussions have an exchange of opinions and that's why we use them um asked a few of them to to come together to a workshop in Nairobi last in October and
we created the network in which we called Africa blogging so and it's a network which is supposed to support the political bloggers and subset
Africa to train them to give them the possibility to network and we a few weeks away from a website launched
real officially trees samples bloggers and also give an overview and of for their blogging uh pick pick a
few of the blog posts and publish them on this joint page so please keep this name in minds and look it up uh I think Jewish should be run in June July and we hope that this will give you an even broader idea from the discussion that from the this discussion today and on what bloggers in Africa can do
and what that um I would like to say that I'm very happy that we brought 3 bloggers from southern Africa not all of them are part of the network that they represent actually different networks but I'm I think it's always but not to only in the projects that yourself doing but also true what what's happening um elsewhere since they are bloggers and I would like to introduce them with a small excerpts of recent blog posts that they posted I think this will give you a nice idea of a little bit of what they're thinking about what the topics are and so on young just just the way they're writing and it's all beautiful blocks and um I'm actually sorry that only a made hour for your introduction to read like 1 minute of it but I hope you will be encouraged onto a 2 is the blocks and together the bigger picture I will start with the rules reasoning are from Uganda she sits in the middle and certainly her reasons 1 of a recent blog posts deals with the xenophobic violence in South Africa I guess most of you um have gotten the new suppose actually lower in use uh there were quite a few people killed them fortunately it seems to be a little quieter now but the rules of the road about the final 4 wikitext and she wrote I've been thinking a very long way to go as Africa before we are able to stands tall but that
doesn't mean that we are not getting there what is happening in South Africa said as it may be in a way had to happen and before you pick up stones and begin to throw them at me you me out it is not a good idea to sleep your house and had the dirt under the carpet never have been because with time the bird will come to the surface by way of making you sick smell about being discovered and when that happens it's never pleasant and I think that that's what happening in South Africa right now it is at the point when stuff comes out from under the carpet
for all individuals people organizations companies countries establishments wherever they may be you have issues there's no floor free anything how we deal with our issues is what sets us apart go to see a shrink resort to substance abuse hire consultant find refuge in religion and so on and I'm hoping that of africa the people the nation will work together and find a solution because they need to 1 come to roost I'm very happy that you're um
I think the firm that you saw that
already dealing with the history thinking about the history of South African setting it in context to the summer from requirements is actually something that didn't happen too often in the traditional media so I think we got a very valuable perspective you already move this journalist blogger and social media trainer from Uganda um apart from her own block depth which also writing for use of Africa future challenges and the knowledge
of the topics are tech society politics gender and you the and with that I would like to go right next to mu
tual Brenda rumbly from Kenya and me and I really it's a reflection of this which I think perfectly fits the panel um it's about on the the culture of online discussion um and the
problems we we are dealing with in Sub-Saharan Africa she referred to a lecture on race culture and art from 97 1975 has by Toni Morrison and them in her conclusion she wrote power structures have been built over decades centuries even and only sustains organized efforts can bring them down thankfully in modern tools and show that bringing them down happens much faster than how long it took to
build them but much work is still required which is why I would not stray myself online processing and discussing stand laughter gamble attempting to teach sexist from homophobes
all investing Kenyan leaders they are counting on that's instead I'm working to fight the disease at its root at its roots to teach younger people for whom there is still some hope much better than we were taught to create better structure for the near and far future to support other in their struggles this is not to say that there is no space for teaching of of Rogers face greater work thank 4th of those wife tweets just do not waste any of your precious time really dating yourself to oppressive instead speak to empower your fellow pressed that a
thread the room for empowerment lies and only once we are empowered can we fight these toxic structures Brenda welcome on the a
you can you can read more like that in her
blog brainstorm but you Co-funded together with other opinion bloggers um it's an online journal for culture philosophy and social political affairs she's doing research on the topic and to remain topics are coach of Feminism LGBT I and policies and with that I would like to move to our
last panelists there injury Wangari from Kenya and she's poets and say I don't think that I could recite a poem so so that she could do so I will hand over to her and she will result from of
poems which deals with how
digital has changed our way of behavior yeah yeah right thank aggression and so that 1 is called little hearts there was a time when a
mouse I is that touch it was essential that the conversation humans were more in touch with 1 another and with a chair watching listening touch a site of migrating birds made an approaching storm change in seasons looming danger the trees whisper of calls sounds so strong minding to piece the crackling fall of a branch singing but music made love to our souls depending on board with the what is real now instead of facing each other we faced Pocock voices have become key that we punch and people . 2 miles an emotion that become Smiley's anymore to cones I will have no longer constantly antagonize ellipse to say I love you was simply shut textile messages from what happened lines long enough to me what we're saying but short enough not to exceed 160 characters or 140 characters depending on which company using we no longer plot plotting persuasive soothing floor was this meet invoices our fingers no longer have subjected the feeling that our lips eyes and a face could never fit in a book to called machines making a simulator Robinson the only difference being we see 2 behind actual reports we have bearing on knives captured monitored souls to the digital world strangers when they would never buy right into our homes now see the bottom of what they the
inside the war news in the leads to fantasize masturbating stock or digitized cell like a spider web that in time flight to its demise we have gotten ourselves caught up in these wild we have yet this connected Waldo of digital bits and bytes we lost our heart beats and born into got is to substitute our 5 senses asked you how we
connected with each other or only connected with technology for we are losing our human touch somewhere the zeros and ones of these digital age thank you few
and maybe and that is the Christian introduces me that is a point that I had not only to go
to new heights backpacking was the wrote
unless all the links you know that the sometimes me forget that technology is up to you to keep us connected and we become absorbed in the I In the of thinking thank you very much and welcome to the
States injury injury as and the director of the block Association of Kaneohe Bay of the short form and she's the director of offered training and outreach programs in that capacity she's the head of the truck in your monitor which of the citizen journalist
should also a poet uh you can find other works the 1st on Canyon poets and you also writes far from uh block which deals with education and mainly her topics of poetry often culture tech entrepreneurship we took a little more time for this introduction because I really wanted to get you interested in most blocks I think they're on amazing and I really want you to go home after that or wherever you want to go and term gets get more information about postmodern summary more but obviously we are here to discuss the topic and I would like to go into that topic with the five-minute statements from our panelists and they will tell us a little bit about the challenges that they are facing and as a political blogger forest Morrison general in Sub-Saharan Africa there will also tell us a little bit about the relationship between traditional media and digital media and 1 very important point that you have to talk about false or the question of rules and regulations and some of you might know about the so 9 bloggers and if you go out there in general for a little over a year still waiting for the trial follows topics will be touched and in the Quixote short statements and then we will have a little time for discussion the panel and then obviously I will open the pan also for questions from the audience so
all I think we will start with an Jerry and so before approaches thinking about I think it's only fair for us to start the the history of locking in Sub-Saharan Africa and then the interesting thing
to note is that govern the African blogsphere has been very much dependent on 3 thinks that is an literacy knowing how to read and write computer literacy which is closely followed by that availability of electricity or power and availability of internet and so what we see is that those countries that have been able to get that those countries that have literacy levels the height is limited literacy is that most of the places are connected to the national grid and there is internet connectivity those of the same country that we have seen the growth of the Bloch sphere and those countries happen to be in Nigeria which had the fast block only in 2002 closely followed by South Africa and in 2003 now looking at some of the things that those that the bloggers in there in in those 3 countries what they were looking to address the is that in the blogs and there were quite a number of blogs that was not it around that time focusing on other things 1 of them being politics so and other things being the like in the past were as we see most of this and was so this
Africans will blogging will mostly and what's not that within the continent and what we see is that most played a very crucial role in the politics of that country and a very good example is candidate other there on up to the
2007 elections that is the time that I'm as just before that we had actually actually 2000 the election sorry about that and this is the time that we still have
the fasting and blogger node you area who started a blog just to write on the things that he was not seen in the mainstream media the ended that's a sign that we so that the rise
of block like uh doubt Doty where as in Auriol quote and various others in Nigeria the same the animals so that in the in the run-up to this to this year's election and of Africa that's when we saw the rise of mothers like that to me is all and that divorced now the importance of of this bloggers is that in a space where as Christian has stayed with not with thing very partial press freedom and mostly in this day and age where I guess that they have more people who are connected to the Internet mostly by more by on end to what is happening is that a lot of a lot of Africans the scene that the mainstream media the traditional media long name partially in their reporting and we have had instances in the incan in particular where there their own up to the 1st 2007 election the mainstream media actually admitted that the what beached entrusting of the electoral body that of course is is run by the government and so the is very important and crucial role that political bloggers are playing in sub-Saharan is being able to give that critical and be able to offer the world can be a little at the critical of the of the of the of the of the current government and that as their Brenda will we will touch on that's that's this is
posing a challenge to at the safety of those brothers and I think with that as something that and then and then let the brain it up on that thank you very much yes we we go over to the next can inferred uh Brenda them and you would have little bit about the number of of the relationship between traditional media and social media and so on something that inspires me as thing that inspires me
as I do my work is until the lions have their own historians tails of the hunt will continue to glorify the hunter which is a situation that occurs every place where minorities are unable to speak so the importance of my writing and other writing political blogging especially is that it gives the people who are no money not heard of voice so 1 of the 1st things before I speak about the relationship between traditional media and new media is we had to focus a lot on formal networks but for me the more important networks that have have impacted my work have been the informal informal blogger meetups informal blog networks where we sit and we discuss and we actually you know we form the foundations of the work we do so support some of the challenges we have is that new media because of the amount of influence it allows a regular person to have has
created a lot of conflict but between bloggers and traditional journalism actually been on a panel in Kenya where we were told you were coming to speak about our
work but and it ended up being a 45 minute attack how our being and regulated so traditional media does and and I'm speaking from experience as I can and look at traditional media destined to be a bit resentful because because have more you really have more access and actually that what's is that they're able to do more with their online presence is than traditional journalism be able to do so there's a bit of almost of relationship that and when it comes to the low especially because you will find that traditional media does push for blocks to be regulated in the same way as journalists we have had pushes in Kenya to have people with over 5 thousand followers on Twitter treated as journalists being subjected to the same media laws that genome would be subjected to so a question we ask is as a following a 5 thousand people on Twitter equal to the sinful is is equal to a following for a newspaper for example so there's a lot of there's a lot of discussion around regulation for media but to me it's a push back because of the power that bloggers have been proven to yield and their their power driving conversational just on their websites but on that printer and on on on that today and Facebook pages as well yes yeah so all another challenge
sorry before I close I'm other than other than the push for regulation which is actually a push to clamp down on drug as is the lack of
resources ends this is easy to see because they don't have the same access to research the same access to funds as traditional media does but they actually do better reporting because people actually just speak for themselves in this because the what see so 1 of the challenges we have is definitely resources thank you thank you very much and I will hand over
to rules for the last introductory
statement and it's the pleasure to be
here 1 of the things that have been asked to talk
about is and regulation in Sub-Saharan African gets to form and content of which the list includes the bloggers can we have a very interesting case which is is 0 9 and brokers from Ethiopia who up to now have not received justice they're being held think against their will but also against the law but what we have seen also in Kenya and Uganda in the last 2 years we had materials that have been put up a lot of views that tabled impediment and they have gotten past almost immediately as when the error rate in Uganda you have a history of up to I think 2 to 3 years before you puts abelian in in in the parliament and it is rated and discussed but for some of these laws they get passed almost immediately and sometimes the problem is that even when the Active mining for regulation we so we see what we have seen in that the Burundi for example Brody has what 20 % of people on line but the fasting thing that was shut down is the social media when the riots began and there you see you so my question usually is do these people understand what it is that the are doing was so that it they gonna make it shut down uh I think that was 20 2013 what we have 1 of the major
houses shut down and we'll covering it and treated but then sometimes you see that when call for regulation we do not know
what it is that we're doing we do not understand what social media easily do this and whatever crimes act and they fuse hide have to be able to you know have regulations put in place in our countries and the other thing is that usually Africans have something about you know something about for early we have we we have something about competing with people have done and we also don't see much and all the examples in regards to uh democracy and then all on-line freedoms and how these have been regulated in the past years we can look to Europe and America and all those other countries but we also know that the situation is totally when it comes to addressing and on-line and publicity and even in the in Sub-Saharan Africa now on the other thing about it is Uganda has had quite a number of journalists who have been frustrated and then have had to leave the country and when they leave the country and they start and or nite and we see each other noble ball with the barrier kind that keep all those i in the currently you know living in a in Kenya they work for the Nation media group but they also say right and what about you kind of the actually contributes and date even that we see to what is published in the papers but also that content is put online and then we have something called the team with the Colegio i think still has an outstanding and deformation of some case in the in Uganda even in them in the courts of law that has it that is in regard to putting content on line and things that was Satan when said so while the regulation is there why they're pushing the government the pushing so much to have you know on an Quentin to regulated is also the fact that they do not know what it is that social media is used for and that the and to you I think 2 years ago and well I think you of a couple of months ago our president was the online wasn't using 3 died only the desert himself
or if he has a whole team that is to get claims for him and and because of that and you see the government institution those of reluctant to take on social media why should there be a entweder what shouldn't be on on Facebook but now that the Committee Elections we see a little you know by as with the president of the coverage of everything that he does and so that's what happens that because there's no definition of what the these internet based on line
this whatever it is in the government then be why was supposed to be regulating it was able when unable to do so because we do not understand what it is that we're talking about thank you very
much that they with the topic of where rules and regulations so therefore for for another round and I always have a feeling that um obviously African governments many f African governments are attempted to get as much control as possible over public opinion
and in doing so they are more looking to Asia and that the concepts that Asian governments make use of like restrictive laws training of of bloggers even do you do share that feeling do you think it's it's there may be an influence that uh that comes from Asian side or where would you say is that the main motivation for this new rules and regulations I mean obviously the I don't
know I know that for example in in the time that we were looking at the concession in
Uganda and therefore not that it had been a copy and paste some of the critics have been a copy and paste what was happening in Thailand at that time that was about 10 years ago I mean talent has moved forward but again the way way is that the thing about copying and pasting of some of these regulations and laws is they do not want because the environment at different and because that the literacy levels and access levels are totally different so while it may be possible that there is a copy and paste but then the dynamics of the country's at different we attain democracy in different ways and this is also the understanding of what politics and democracy is also different it cuts across the board depending on a country's soul it's understandable that they would want to copy and paste was then it's easier for the people that are making the most to just go get a document and you don't have to think through so what other people in their constituency saying as it is easier that
way and sometimes you get not even that to understand we don't treat the documents alternative and hold them accountable so they in that should get easier for them and they get away will be easily but then realize that if you have if that's 1 of the things than I mean we in deep trouble because then these policies and regulations that definitely not thought
through uh Brenda uh TinyOS and I think
it's still to deal with that trauma from the 2007 elections with the past violence and that led to the reporting during the last election which was very defensive Marie neutral um even the road as masses restraints on on hate speech so and some of them were actually actually sensor for how ordered that influence the the king in blogosphere I'm actually and
understand request if I can decide when to water was speaking about I'm I think another thing that happens with many African countries that we have to remember is that most of them have been independent for only 50 to 60 years yeah so most of the people who actually need all countries fought for independence and they fought very all oppressive governments so they do not have in my open your much experience of democracy because they fought colonizers and then they took power and then they expected to run their countries the same way countries like this 1 have been around for years they understand what I mean as in these are young democracies so this of course or there's supposed to be and must be relation to better standards but I feel like the reason these early does behave this way is because this is what they used to like this is what they saw happened yeah people who were there before we wouldn't totalitarian power now I'm in power so I should also used totalitarian power when you ask me to tone it down and
the Democratic I don't understand what you're talking about I think there's a lot of so our back to the 2007 2008 elections actually um bloggers as of
some of the people who covered that crisis very well because all of this does us feeling there's a general feeling in the Kenyan population that the media cooperated with the government in the silencing of the people right so people are killed but the didn't she bought it acts as accurately the boringness of the working was actually minimized so you'd watch it on the news and then they'd be like that they would not show images the order would be cut after some time so in that sense even though they wanna directly the media was not directly cooperating with the government it could be said to be invariant incorporating by minimizing the in minimizing their the way the damage looked but as are able to come to talk about it on the blocks of audio collection he became very popular that time because of the coverage should give it on her blog and that actually spawned 1 over 10 as the leading companies which he dealt leading products which i he the which is used to crowd map out to crowd market crises so the block the blogosphere directly contributed to the reporting on the violence even right now when you do a
search you find very many genome blocks cover that situation much better than media houses here on during the period could also add on to that and something I also something very interesting happened around that time that this is the time that the Brenda correct me if I'm wrong but it was around that time warp slightly before that we had learning of the fiber of the fiber cable and so what happened is that that's what a lot of
groove there and uh in the number of people who were easily able to access the internet and so what we what we saw is that there was a larger population of Kenyans were overexpressed people build eons of the editing and that is that there's a study that an interesting study that was done by by Pew Research and this was the this was released in in 2013 and to what in L 1 of finding is that came out wrong statistics of direct onto the 2nd after that is well known them with 67 per cent on new people being able to express their political beliefs using social media that's Facebook and beta and that just gives you an idea of how outspoken um people are in the run-up to the 2007 election than that so we had a lot of instances where out in comments were made on on Facebook when treated that the 2 words that what's hate speech and is some of the things that I informing them the Kenyan government on their you know of or no posted uh prosecution of of various bloggers because now we have we have laws that
have and make it illegal or it unlawful for which hate speech and so what we're seeing is that now this and blanket of generalization of of anyone online anyone on social media the cell into it a bit on Facebook Randy they're running a blog the all the bundled up and then called bloggers and so we have very select even outdated laws that are now being applied to sort of quiet and dissident voices so you'll find that that
we had an instance I think and about a couple of a couple of months ago where a certain blogger was pretty critical of form of the government and whatever charge was the leader and he was that that he was protecting his speech so we will see with a about and some of the laws that and some of the bills that have been tabled in parliament you have uh we have I think about tubules that have a reading in their environment and they could just mention that we have a better protection Beal and was have a cybercrime and computer-related crimes meal and there's the some of the bills that we're seeing that that really cool father in ensuring that we do not have eaten it for you
injury with your project for citizen journalists and your of your very close the basics of social you can do in regards to media news for its review local journalism when dealing with local topic how
hard people reacting to through your editors where are they accepted other thing of journalists of if you have trouble makers could you tell us a little bit of uh how how we can imagine with something the question because it's Secchia very interesting project we started because goes out having been at various forums where and we'll be often ask take a block destined to become journalists and that you know what's and what what what is it that we're seeing so there is a lot we started can monitor that was about the we used tool arise in citizen journalism in the country we have seen a blog the able to offer information that the mainstream media could not in a very good example was the case that I can share it gets had about the very that tax and what happened is that mainstream media before they got to know exactly what was happening and to some extent the war co-opted by the government such that and the actual number of
students who died during the barriers attack was not disclosed by mainstream media but somehow bloggers got to know about this and this was disclosed so what what we're seeing is a rise in citizen journalism and so that is what he informed opposition to come up with a platform of you wanted to and the reason as 1 of the things that we set out to do it is we were recruiting editors because the structure is that we have the editors in every of the 47 counties in Kenya 1 of them will have different contributors of bloggers from the different regions we set out to get people who have an experience in journalism even if there some after some of the accreted denied this and they're also block so it's a very interesting mix and so when the go for 400 people is an interesting debate on now you are blocked variant and understand the both vertical and so what we're seeing is that varies theories of there is there is a growing gap that is being created by the mainstream urban mainstream media and that is the cup that was seeking to feel but is also now and the year of of the safety of political
bloggers or anyone who was very critical of the government and and that's the reason why we started as a program called at internet freedoms so I freedoms is now to highlight stories in cases of bloggers who were being harassed would be intimidated will be thrown in jail and and and also providing training on how can have bloggers as it will be able to to still continue writing what they're writing without intimidation and still be and still be the good Bremer brainstorm started this was to you for grown on durable to you forgot error might think what what's interesting for for many in the room was the question if you establish a new block
uh part of a broader audience are or what you read each can you from a clue by correct beyond proceeding surround on effects of your problem OK so Princeton much started the other 2 tokenization soul in 2013 can have a lot of tablets that came out there was 1 called flat and after that there was in the energy and then there was a slew of others that this became popular out of nowhere so every time you come on the Internet to be assaulted with links to people's 4 doors that you don't you get to see and we asked ourselves there's all this tablet tablets stone writing was doing serious writing about the issues that really affect us and you not going find it in mainstream media because they have been co-opted by government and in upon offended in the tabloids so my friends and I had been complaining Falwell so someone who actually called Michael my partner Michael C. C. me and said that instead of talking about this all the time when 2 tolerant read write about it so we had a lot of demands a lot of Ethiopian food and after a month of the set of bring some that was in June 2013 of 1st post went up in July 2013 so
initially we expect nobody to read as we just did it for ourselves so that when someone comes and asks for why does no 1 talk about serious things on the Internet will be like and actually we do this the so so that's when started it but be well actually very surprised because the 1st as route was about what I was um sorry the the first one what is about can an indication of the 2nd 1 was about feminism and the 3rd 1 was about why I hate the word Africa and in that 1 month because we publish every week we had 8 thousand really does it doesn't uniquely does and what might well people actually reading this thing in its 1st month or so after 8 months of operation the won an award want from you of what it does can as best politics block but they do like to think of ourselves is greater than the politics blog think social political and the other types as I've yesterday last time I checked is being driven by 113 thousand unique people in the past 6 months so for us it's very encouraging because we publish once a week because we think that the Internet is a bit too fast so if you to publish anything will 20 to take time and you also need people to take time to read it and it's been very interesting we've read write a lot about women's issues LGBT QI issues political issues basically we love everyone the wrong way yeah and they're still alive
somehow so that's that's pretty encouraging the the fewer you also interact with your readers Mr. like you should start a discussion on Twitter for is a lot of discussion of you just put your for people you with yes so all it depends on whether has written the article if you feel like engaging people in the comments it's up to you but we always linked to their authors Twitter account so if anyone wants to come in and get during the baby can on it so we are we
talk a lot about we actually engage on he does a lot of traders sometimes in the comments but sometimes you have a comment that you have opposed think 80 Common Sense it's really impossible to come and interactive everybody directly so if you felt like there's 1 that was particularly touched you always have the right as in an address and you can directly engage them gap so even if this is quite an impressive stories and and even
if there are political blocs Encaenia which we regularly win awards I think the last 1 was that the the baker warts uh Parliament watch block where
O'Connell um but when it comes to the continental level to the African blocking awards there were 30 in about 30 submissions lasted for best political block and the jury decided not to give the waterway because they didn't the expectations weren't met for best block in Africa so rules can you can understand this do you think that still needs to be some improvement and cost to the quality of the block of course that they needs to be
improvement because we know it's a learning culture opinion and also we have fast um it's a fast generation of so so they improvement in people at me and they say that everyone has got the attention span of a goldfish so which means you look at that your 9 but you looking at stuff that you know about 3 4 seconds win if it doesn't interest you move
on and that's the truth because you'd be looking at at 2 different sample or at and it just keeps going through with that and it has got to make sense we to stop Creek you know of it and and and then you look at it as well and I think that have all this the the quality is something that we talk about a some of the work that I do is we the the and and organization which is run with the buying everyone that book states and the fatty and is called parliament watch and what happens is young people go to parliament and using social media that we just tweets and face is sent facebook stuff and then how about what's going on in Parliament a few up to go to the site right now you find out how many committees that how many
settings they have had how many bills aimed parliament and also blogs about what's going on and my taste every other week and yes it it's quantity as well but it's little confidence to be able to tell your story and I think that while we know that there's a little prosecution happening this also um people get intimidated even before the to tell their stories and I think that this we need to be that culture load as well for people to say I'm importance I have an opinion and when they get it out there it will be respected note but everyone is
up to that standard unit to be able to to right opinions and stuff like that and and in the most of the people that I have seen that a really interested in these things that have stories to assume that able to open up a block for example and they is a lot of what it is you know these things like that but I mean but of the training which is why after trade to tell people you have something to say you have the ease that has you like making your oneself so you have got something to say so try and frame it in about 300 to 500 words and that's that then the how the conversation goes and the but I
take it all actually love and after that they keep coming back and make is excited that they have invested out the fast tweets and they're able to connect to the what out they all that they have written the 1st and people have shared it and like it and make an and I think that um there's room for growth there's room for quality but is a so um um was on and then the readership is going as well because there's so many people that are interested in what's going on in Africa and or even in different countries especially those that are leaving your desk or and those that have decided to have to call you know elsewhere all 4 walk willful possible issues and this do you want to do so hardware connect with the elections outlet connect to for example what was happening came with case and all those things and once they find that information online the able to share it and consume it and I think that and it goes both ways of and the quality of this has got to be the growth is going to be the abuse of his readership so there's an audience interior I wanted to ask you you
rumba training outreach program for the URL graph fusion of Korea so what what are you
doing with or what are you focusing on when it comes to the tree and just before I answer your
question and also like to and uh so give my 2 cents for on on the question that you had asked area and to see that have to use the African blogger awards as them as a measure and and their decision not to award and it would be a beat and unfair because they are out there looking at the process because
it is it the process what to be a submission so if you block is not submitted and you do not submit to 1 block then you do not get to and you don't get into the race and and so but they have very good political block that out their chances are probably never entered the competition and so the bidding get to be known and this is a like a Brenda mentioned varies them their Lendl that call from can we have questioned speaking and what you the from South Africa and will have another block all that Africa is a country so the sum of the blogs that that spring to mind that are a you are doing when they're on the politics and in the in the various countries and who local part of the question and on and yes there is a there is that there is room for growth we have not seen that kind of uh we haven't seen that kind of maturity that we would
want with political bloggers reason I say that is uh goes on to give an example of Kenya we have seen instances where in the run-up to the elections was for the plot political bloggers way that need to block all paid not to blog which either 1 or intimidating and so on and what we know many I do during our training is is that at the training that we carry out is to encourage as many people to uh to to go line and that blogs as possible and this submitting by going around the country and and and training and people on their on on blocking which is free training that we offer and we believe that is something that is going to increase not just to the uh the quantity of of bloggers that we have in Canada but even the that we are going to see from this from this from this places and that the training that we all parties or not and
is in part a response in the responsible blocking because of something that you have been hammered on so much that no you bloggers adjusted their you know your list spreading hate speech and things like that and so 1 of the things that to me make sure is we train on social media educational just on blogging but how do you carry yourself as online in that scene that we addressed a crowd of young people when they're young they're very at carefully he they don't really care about the images that are posting about themselves online so it took a lot a lot about what is your digital footprints some of the pictures that you putting up on on Facebook and the things that will come public come to haunt you uh you know 5 10 years later when you when you up there looking for a job so that some of the things that that we go between on and some of the training that we do our thing would classify them into 3 sections we do begin as it is basically Introduction to blocking introduction to social media intermediate which is becoming a better blocker and advanced can people actually make money from from blocking so uh
with a little more than 10 minutes left for the panel and their associated with that to open the discussion of for the audience I don't know whether we have a microphone for the room or revived to come to you wear a microphone for the room excellent and never 1st question well the gentleman in front for peace no thank you very much for your talk of mining so science and the journalist who we had had a lot of about a whole compartment mobile devices sign Africa desk this influence your prodding there
is a to use mobile devices to do your sorting and do you find you Rios through mobile provenance of has initiatives like Internet AUC of influence on you all of us here thank you I would take 2 more questions about any more questions OK
another gentleman in front and the lady behind on aluminum story that's the sort of question we're it's really important that Morris 1 to be found in Africa and is really important for them for people to find 2 blocks so you mentioned that you create a platform for a blogging in Africa so I would like to know more about it like with blood from the slide whole polyol you'd to find Bronx new platform and then again maybe from the brothers holiday think this
platform can benefit the property the yeah thank you and 3rd question and I think we use you mentioned in the beginning that and more and more print the president and the government in Kenya now go on on social media to promote the elections and I would like to know and to see a chance error that's social media could have to foster democracy the OK so if the mobile devices once on foment Brenda
so actually I have been in touch of the because Internet good AUC and political bloggers will not feature on that platform because they're looking most of the devices sold mostly they have lifestyle type of sites they've underlie websites actually so yes it would be happening any time soon but on mobile devices actually like my website is 80 per cent access from mobile so 1 of the things you have to do when you run a blog in most of sub saharan Africa is have a mobile-friendly website and we are seeing that is that by 2020 80 per cent of the people to access the internet in Africa will be doing so from a mobile device so it is very important to get for that audience the so yeah um also so about access the mobile devices if I have the questions and the thing about mobile devices and think that the features more especially when you come to sub-Saharan Africa reason being that everyone is to the business right now of creating and making a mobile devices that are user-friendly but also cheaper because I think that has been the biggest problem in eyes of Africa that and while these iPhones and there's some some devices that are very expensive but we still have people we have said companies that technology of companies like of a think they're very many Indian and Asian of best the companies that have come up with a small cheap but able to get you know the information for someone that they that they need so it's very important but then the other thing is to also have I we have got to have that in mind because we know that and at the end of the day people will have access to mobile phones are able to to access most of the services and we can be especially when you go to Kenya and see with mobile money has done and when you come to you can as well as mobile devices are becoming that all around something that you've got to have a new just because you went blogs and social media but because things like uh banking systems that incorporated we feel that the mobile devices this down if you get something and if you get my a great prettier conjugated mes-a-mes have that passed what the mobile money banking history we have we have the blogging and whatever the very and it is important we we have very knowledgeable of the fact that with the fact that mobile devices and the way to go so whatever it is that you create has got to be mobile compact now about um about your
question and do I see of in Uganda and its social media Influence indicates to and democracy in and the fact that if a little bit with the collapse of the country but the thing to put it is that how you got there as a political as feature is
is very at predictable to an extent because it and the year 17 leaving anytime soon and I don't think that social media is is 1 of those things that is going to take a moment because lectures said visible came to power by the data so the anyone else that's the tries to see you always know become against and the fight with a gun and that is what is so this year when he came back from exile in 2000 and to elections and also 2 thousand I think it was 11 elections and yeah we are getting there I think that there will be a time when we're able to express opinions that will be respected by everyone in Augusta social media old that the guy would be able to collect but we need to use force against the government we are getting there but have 26 data that is definitely not going to happen and I think that was a common was saying that you know we have so many companies that have come in and governments that we thought that the internet was going to bring you know democracy to us but now we also know that it's almost the and enhancement of what's going going on on the on the ground so publicizes what is illegal in the graph and what you have on the ground is that and you have a lot of people that are disgruntled yes that I do not think that but the needs that do not think that they can have it they get they can be you know anymore with the government but they also do not have alternatives and socially is a good great that alternative place just going to voice opinions and stuff like that but do not create alternative that will then have the means and access
to a different set tools that will then enable them to run for president Old Dreadful that's not gonna happen but we see that a lot of it because we I think that began as a becoming more aware of what it is that they want as the people and they of becoming more aware of what the government ease and what it can do but then for them to be able to use the internet to how would we have had a major role in the Arab spring I don't think that is about to happen but I think that there's a little of awareness that the Internet exists that Social Media exists and because it has said they did a very many times in this respect for it but not to the extent that everyone with trusted to you know bring democracy we have democracy because of what good yeah she yeah and I just like to add a
few comments as mentioned in the question that you asked on the internet that arc are it's interesting that know was the 2nd country after Zambia in Africa uh for the Internet at all to be launched and that according to a recent uh it uses that um it is facing some opposition media because of the net neutrality and the same concern has been raised by
cannonball go that and it's only a select number of blogs that actually I don't think we have any block that are that are appearing on the on the conversion of it and it's not all and so that
raises the con science we forget what is the motive behind yes we know that the mayor the main motive is to get them the huge percentage of of the population in Canada but do not have access all cannot afford an intended connectivity on their phones or cannot afford their smartphones to be able to add gain access to some of the very good features on the internet but it again if you look at the selection of some of the sites that no 1 has access to when we have the internet does although application on the phone is applications like Facebook and things like that so that is the question on Internet neutrality now the other question on now social media in fostering democracy that that you had asked and this is something very interesting that is happening thinking at the moment we are seeing that the government has become very keen on what is happening on social media and there or what we're seeing is that and then we like using like using this phrase that making government is is that I'm using hashtags because we normally have a government that kind of the hashtag for everything and and and the and the good side of it is that they're aware that there are the majority of probably the middle class because we do not have the whole population on now on the internet but those who whose voices are harder on the internet and and and the they're holding conversations and and or what what we're seeing is that yes we have a government that is very cognizant of the fact that they're out of King and they using social media to that they have at their grievances with the with the current ruling government a very good example is the recent a hashtag that was created to set of which 2 years of success so since the current ruling party with it has been 2 years and so they decided to use the hashtag 2 years of success and so what we saw is that perhaps that was hijacked to just any issues that people wear very early dissatisfied with the with the current government yet the government was about talking about success so what we're seeing is a very interesting
dynamic that is happening on social media and so what is happening is that they are is a push by the governments to serve quite in the dissident forces in that space so I talked about and the use of such laws and as is the national cohesion integration not that that have have a close on on hate speech and so you find anyone critical of the government and aid whether it's a defamation case it somehow makes to lead to a new becoming I hate speech case and so we have and we have we have a social media users will well and also from the diesel was thrown in jail we have I had quite a number of cases of people who have been and a lot of being um who have been arrested and uh because of that I just referred to 2 questions and then maybe we can also say something about them and sorry yeah I would say from the could 1 also and the use of mobile Internet if you look at the the world average of Internet traffic mobile users it's a 30 per cent in Africa 40 % in Asia 42 so you can see that Africa in that regard it's really you perhaps off of the world average which I think you really have to emphasize this the question of Ahmed assumes that the the the technology is there the cheaper feature of there and but the the at time the
data package of us the very valuable and especially for people in rural areas and it's it's got it's very expensive to be online and that's why I think that the question is what of the Internet used for so world it's useful communication and it's it's used for exchange but that's I think I'm projects like Wikipedia BGPs hero of important people can access wikipedia for free in several countries so that this is just the very interesting off I think and especially for Africa and then the question on on Africa blogging and that we we had the 1st workshop last in Nairobi and we brought sermon around 15 bloggers together and they're not looking in to make the network began to launch the web page and by June and what you wanna do then it's just and give them more visibility and ask them to contribute 1 post post blog post per month and to the platform so that the 1 from outside can can good like an overview of what they're doing and and obviously extend the network and bringing trainers from Africa from Europe and to discuss several topics like marketing like affixation but for important as well and we mentioned grief that text in some of the pictures which were shown on blocks uh were definitely not within certain ethical limits for those are the questions that we would like to discuss with a group of blood and with that and autumn I think that the
importance of netbooks like Africa blogging and a few that have been part of all of the like feature challenges is that you just have so many people do you realize that as a broker of emotion on that unit speaking up because I realize that the things that young people go through in the country in different countries and in different areas actually the sentences that they never talked about and because they never talked about and the like and the 1 you want it to be the press like you make them more than just going through this and those are the things that this would not help us to be able to and have a mass approach to how we deal with issues by
looking at the different uh cultures and aspects that you know the different brokers a covering and I think that is very important was that it gives 1 a wholesome overview of of what the the she's yeah we had a it's not really a bad but we had this discussion going rather a German moderator in 3 African panelists would be able to finish in time I think I lost this but by a minute but I was the kind of property on on on the job I think you very much for for listening to us for your questions for following us and our 1st and foremost thing go through 1 of panelists for sharing their experiences and giving some insight in subset blowing so thank you very much
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