Africa Blog Roundup: Mobile Phones, Cote d’Ivoire, Kenyan Drought, Sudan, and More

The Central African Republic is holding presidential and legislative elections today.

The Road To the Horizon looks at mobile phone usage among farmers in West Africa:

Helene, in Burkina explained how she called around to colleague farmers in different areas to check on the market prices for vegetables. Andrew in Ghana uses his mobile phone to get in regular contact with his extension worker. During the planting season, Petri uses his GSM to trace the contractor who has a tractor. And during a visit to a studio from a farmer’s radio in North Burkina, I saw how different farmers from all over the region called into a live programme, with advise on a particular problem a farmer had with pests in his tomatoes. Using their mobile phones.

Definitely an interesting piece.

Elizabeth Dickinson on Cote d’Ivoire:

Across the board, the rhetoric on the Ivory Coast is escalating. The West African economic community, ECOWAS, says it is set to intervene militarily to unseat should-be-outgoing President Laurent Gbagbo. African Union mediator and Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga left Abidjan without making progress earlier this week, saying that mediation was failing. On Jan. 19, the United Nations’ Security Council unanimously approved boosting the number of peacekeepers in the country up by 2,000. And on the same day, U.N. officials expressed concern about possible “genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and ethnic cleansing in Cote d’Ivoire.”

Wait, so if all this is to be believed, are West Africa and the United Nations about to intervene militarily to prevent a genocide?

No.

Reuters Africa Blog speculates about the economic impact of drought in Kenya.

Andrew Harding asks whether Tunisia’s revolution could spread to Sudan.

Zack Vertin of the International Crisis Group assesses the challenges ahead for South Sudan post-referendum, especially the task of implementing the rest of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and the imperative of “a genuine opening of political space” in the South itself.

At Jihadology, Daveed Gartenstein-Ross continues a conversation about “linkage[s] between Islamist ideology and behavior.”

Finally, congratulations to Loomnie, who defended his Ph.D dissertation this week!

One thought on “Africa Blog Roundup: Mobile Phones, Cote d’Ivoire, Kenyan Drought, Sudan, and More

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