Because Fatoumata Diawara mixes Wassoulou sounds from the southwest of Mali with bluesy folk beats to deliver big, vibrant sounds:
1. Race car driver Jeff Gordon to start new foundation in Rwanda, “One Racecar per Child.”
2. Hindi channel UTV introduced into Burundi in order to meet UN human right requirement of equal access to bollywood for all human beings.
3. Twin baby mountain gorillas to be named in Rwanda; rumors cite potential names as Rwandan translation of “Future-full-of-amazing-hope” and “Infinite-sunshine-and-development”.
4. Tin sales drop by 90% in the Kivus as companies look for conflict free minerals and better goat meat.
5. Rwandan political dissidents targeted by Government of Rwanda for assassination in Britain; Rwandan government shrugs shoulders in face of accusation and claims, “assassinations encourage growth”.
Paul Gready on civil society in Rwanda:
“One could conclude, with Filip Reyntjens, that ‘”civil society'” is controlled by the regime’. However, this is too sweeping; there remain occasional spaces – created by electoral politics, progressive development initiatives, and the dependence of the government on other actors – that need to be identified and exploited by donors and civil society. As noted earlier, the problem is that the spaces are ad hoc and personalized, rather than based on institutional relationships between society and the state in which individuals and groups can demand access to rights as citizens.”
In his article, “You’re either with us or against us: Civil Society and policy making in post-genocide Rwanda,” Paul Gready, Director of the Centre for Applied Human Rights at York University, provides a counter to the emerging academic mainstream on Rwandan politics that focuses on autocracy and oppression within the country. Check his article out.
Apparently, 30,000 goats that belong to the Government of Uganda have gone missing in the largest ever accidental misplacement of goats. According to the East African:
The office expressed concerns about the possibility of a major scam involving officials in the Ministry of Agriculture.
The missing goats were meant for the implementation of a pilot breeding project for strategic export under President Yoweri Museveni’s poverty reduction programme in Sembabule District. The Support for Export Breeding and Production Project was to benefit more than 100 farmers.
Under the goats deal, a memorandum of understanding was signed between the Ministry of Agriculture and Sembeguya Estates Ltd, a private firm, on March 22 .
At a cost of about $460 (Sh1million) per goat, it’s estimated that taxpayers could have lost more than $126,000 (Sh302.3 million) for the missing goats. Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Vice Chairperson Oduman Okello (Bukedea) said the committee will open fresh investigations into the circumstances under which the goats disappeared from the farm and who were the officials responsible for the loss.
“This is yet another case of abuse,” Mr Okello said. “We would like to know who took government goats and those responsible should prepare to pay for the loss. This is taxpayers’ money we are talking about and the amounts involved are huge.”
While ministry officials remain tight lipped on the matter, claiming they had not yet read the report, the Auditor General has told PAC that he had advised the Accounting Officer, Mr Vincent Rubarema, to pursue the accountability for the goats produced in the five years.
The Very Best, a band from Malawi that lives up to their name and has continued to put out funky dancehall African music, is coming out with a new mixtape this Monday, Super Mom. Click on this link to have the free mixtape sent to you bright an early Monday morning and check out the new pre-released single here. Until Monday morning, enjoy this Friday Afternoon version of their last mixtape hit, Julia:
1. The trial of top-level FDLR officials in Europe begins; tea and cucumber sandwiches served to show solidarity with the judicial system in the Great Lakes.
2. President of Burundi announces 5,000 fake ‘ghost’ civil servant have been detected in the national system; dismisses commonality of last name with majority of ghost workers as coincidence.
3. Rwanda announces it will eventually summon American lawyer Erlinder to report ford defending opposition leaders and breaking bail, displaying its prowess of international diplomatic bluffing techniques.
4. Kabila sacks Minister of Transportation after horrific boat accident last week; Minister decides to take car home instead of traveling by river.
5. Opposition leader in the DCR Etienne Tshisekedi calls for civil disobedience and a Kinshasa-based reality TV show if Kabila doesn’t stand down after his mandate finishes.
Because the Angolan music scene is consistently putting out some to the best music on the continent, which Cabo Snoop is fueling with his bumping kuduro beats:
1. Fifa to inspect DRC’s soccer stadiums in June; concerned that seats might be made of non-certified blood minerals.
2. Burundi adopts law that severely restricts political opposition; requires organizing parties to have proof of 50,000 founding members, all of whom must have competed in a banana eating contest.
3. Brazil donates 1,562 cows to DRC in biggest international cattle dowry ever documented.
4. Rwandan envoy to British Royal wedding uses invitation to harass dubious Rwandans in the diaspora, country officially claims that a wedding is the perfect time to take dissidents by surprise.
5. Excitement abounds around DRC and Rwanda’s announcement to look into potentially building a power plant fueled by methane gas in Lake Kivu; currently raising money to see if they can afford a feasibility study on how feasible studies of energy production are in the Great Lakes.
Le Monde Diplomatique maps out the distribution of energy in Africa, which is inherently cool because of its use of subway graphics and because highlights many of the geo-political regional power struggles throughout the continent:
The Sierra Leonian Deputy Minister of Information on Rwanda:
Notwithstanding, the Deputy Minister is positive that Sierra Leone now has what it takes to match Rwanda’s record and even overtake it: “The age-old problem of Sierra Leone was that of leadership. But by all indications, we now have a committed and development-oriented leadership in President Ernest Bai Koroma. You can see that his style of leadership bears the marks of President Kagame’s, and it’s no wonder that the former Prime Minister of Britain Tony Blair has openly said the two Presidents are the best in Africa. However, I am very optimistic that Sierra Leone will overtake Rwanda under President Koroma’s leadership.”
Watch out Rwanda, here Sierra Leone comes. While leadership is key to re-constructing a legitimate and effective post-conflict government, the structural dynamics of the country and the political landscape matter much more than one figurehead. Moreover, Paul Kagame is a brutally effective leader, but his success is largely a function of the deep and cohesive RPF apparatus he has constructed. Fetishizing leadership misses the larger picture of political and economic development in post-conflict countries, but it does facilitate absurd ministerial challenges towards who will win the future.