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Archive December 2011

Kenyans use social media to mobilize support for drought victims

With more about $70m in the kitty, Kenyans show the rest of Africa how to use social media platforms to mobilize for a social cause, reports Africa Renewal’s Kingsley Ighobor. Julie Gichuru is an award-winning Kenyan television journalist rated by Forbes business magazine in 2011 as one of “20 youngest powerful women in Africa.”

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Climate change: waiting for the “heavens to weep”

BULAWAYO, Zimbabwe – Duduzile Sibanda takes a break from preparing her long stretch of land for her maize crop in rural Mberengwa, in Zimbabwe’s Midlands province.

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Uganda’s New Car, Nigeria’s Challenge

The launching of an electric car that the students of Makerere University made has a ringing message for Nigeria on two fronts. The car – Kiira EV – will not run on petrol; it uses batteries and the university is not on strike, but runs its shoestring research budget well.

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The Top 10 African films of 2011

Dec29

2011 was a good year for African cinema. In various cinema seats and at home, I’ve been intrigued and moved, horrified and sickened, surprised and hugely entertained by a group of industries that together we call ‘African cinema’ — a sign that what can be expected is anything but stereotypical. In the list below, I’ve chosen films that have expanded what we might think of as ‘African cinema’. Some short films, some documentary, some fiction, some a strange mix of them all.

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Africa: Obama’s African Second Term

Despite his African heritage Barack Obama appears to have done little for his father’s continent in his first term as US president. He could not match George Bush’s generous legacy of millions of dollars poured in into health in Africa. Besides, he could not be seen to be worrying about such a remote and ostensibly inconsequential continent (for Americans, anyway) while the US was under threat from Islamic militants and its economy was shedding jobs.

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2011′s Music Video Picks

Dec28

Inexplicably absent in this year’s fashionable blogs’ and magazines’ year-end lists are videos by African artists, or those videos recorded somewhere in Africa. I’ve picked ten which I think stood out. South Africans Pieter Hugo and Michael Cleary directed and shot the video for Spoek Mathambo’s ‘Control’ in Langa, Cape Town. We took issue with aspects of it when it came out in February, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t striking:

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