Monday, 13 May 2013

Our Madiba Deserves Better

If you scrutinize the reasons behind the hiding of health information regarding African leaders, in most  cases there are dirty reasons. In Malawi, when President Bingu wa Mutharika died of a heart attack in his office, his body was flown to South Africa while his brother was manoeuvring to take reign of the country by force. If it wasn’t for the South African government that pressured the family to say the truth, President Mutharika might be still purported alive, being treated in South Africa. In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), when Kabila was mysteriously assassinated by one of his bodyguards in his presidential palace in Kinshasa, it was said that he died at the scene but was flown to Zimbabwe to allow sometime for the planning of unconstitutional succession by his son, Joseph Kabila, the current DRC President.

Few months ago I read an article of Dr Adekeye Adebajo of the Centre for Conflict Resolution in the Mail Guardian in which he broke the news of the passing of the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Meles Zenawi. To verify the news, a colleague of mine phoned the Ethiopian embassy in Pretoria; they couldn’t confirm nor deny the news. It took them four hours to say that they don’t know. I kept on asking myself how the well-respected Dr Adebajo made a big mistake and announce that Prime Minister Zenawi had passed on without proof, but it seems he knew what he was talking about.  It was after months that Zenawi was declared officially dead.  It is then that I understood that African leaders die twice. There is the first death which they die but their deaths are kept a secret while their family members or allies are exploring ways to disrespect constitutional institutions; the second death is the real one when the machine is already set and the news is broken out and they lie that the President died last night while their families have been mourning for days or weeks. Commenting on the murmuring  of the Ethiopian Government on  Meles Zenawi ‘s whereabouts,  Afua HirschIt of the Guardian said that it is not the first time that an African government has failed to confirm the illness or death of a leader in office, prompting periods of mysterious absence.             

Recently, when I was watching news, I was shocked to see the images of our beloved Mandela. What shocked me is not actually his image; it is what President Zuma said. “As you can see Madiba is up and about”, Zuma added that Madiba was in good spirit. After the news, my 14 years old nephew asked me what does  “to be up and about” mean? I told him that it means to be strong. He doubted.  We went to check the dictionary (English is neither our first nor our second language) and find out that “An example of up and about is someone who was ill for a while and confined to her bed, but who is now able to go places and do things again.” My previous definition was almost right, but the boy disputed that the image was not corresponding to what we have just seen and heard from our President. No one expects Mandela at his age to be dancing like Zuma does, but also lying about his health is not helping ANC or anyone. Madiba left politics long-time ago, why do we need SABC camera when visiting him. He deserves better.  If we lie about his health now, what will happen when the inevitable arrives? I guess the government will do as our African countries do. Hiding for months!!!

Looking at the footage of ANC top leaders at Madiba’s home, it looked like a Photoshop image. My nephew still argues that images seen were not consistent, and he kept asking why we never see Madiba’s wife. It is being rumoured that she is also being side-lined when it comes to her husband’s health issue. South Africa should be a good example in EVERYTHING to the rest of Africa.


Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Win a grant of R1 000 000.00 for your innovative project!!!Deadline is TODAY

The SAB Foundation Innovation Awards has been established with the objective of rewarding and upscaling innovative sustainable solutions to the pressing daily challenges facing low-income people, specifically women, the youth, people with disabilities, and people living in rural areas in order to improve economic growth and prosperity and the quality of life of all South Africans.
The main award is a grant of R1 000 000.00 (one million Rand) to the winner, and there are 2 runners-up awards of a R500 000.00 (five hundred thousand Rand) grant each.
In addition, several seed grants will be awarded. Additional categories of awards exist for entries from women, youth, people in rural areas and people with disabilities. The grant includes funding for the upscaling and commercialisation of the innovation solution, a process which will be supported
by the SAB Foundation over a period of two years or longer, as needed.
During the final application stage, shortlisted applicants need to present an indicative budget of how they would spend this grant money along these lines. The size of the grants is designed to allow for substantive progress to be made by the winners.
Entries for the Innovation Awards 2013 are welcomed from (but not limited to) individual innovators, entrepreneurs, NGOs, corporate foundations, Corporate Social Investment professionals, consulting firms and university departments.  
The closing date for entries is midnight on Tuesday 7th May 2013. Entries can be directed to or delivered to SAB Central Office, 65 Park Lane, Sandton c/o Zanele Ngoqo or couriered to SAB Foundation, 65 Park Lane, Sandton, 2146 c/o Zanele Ngoqo. To download the forms click on the following link:
Kindly note that the closing date is today midnight

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Trains in China

GSMA mWomen Innovation Fund

The GSMA represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide. Spanning more than 220 countries, the GSMA unites nearly 800 of the world’s mobile operators with more than 230 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset makers, software companies, equipment providers and Internet companies, as well as organisations in industry sectors such as financial services, healthcare, media, transport and utilities. The GSMA also produces industry-leading events such as the Mobile World Congress and Mobile Asia Expo.

GSMA is calling for concept notes for its mWomen Innovation Fund grants for non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

The goal of the GSMA mWomen Programme is to promote greater mobile access and usage by resource-poor women in low- and middle-income countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa and the Middle East, and Asia Pacific.

The objectives of the Innovation Fund for NGOs are to provide seed funding in order to:
  • Accelerate the use of mobile technology to achieve development-related goals, specifically the empowerment of resource-poor women;
  • Provide solutions to the barriers to women’s adoption and use of mobile phones and VAS;
  • Generate lessons and models of success which can be shared with the wider development community, as well as mobile operators; and
  • Stimulate productive partnerships between NGOs and mobile operators in order to achieve these objectives at scale.
This round of grants is dedicated to NGOs (including social enterprises), working in partnership with mobile network operators.  Its objectives are to:
  • Provide seed funding to support the design and launch of innovative products, services, marketing approaches and distribution mechanisms aimed at increasing women’s access to mobile and use of life-enhancing mobile services;
  • Generate lessons and models of success which can be shared with the wider development community and the mobile industry; and
  • Stimulate productive partnerships between NGOs and mobile network operators.
This round of grants is open only to NGOs.

The next round of grants for mobile network operators will be launched in the second half of 2013.

This round is comprised of three matching grants, valued up to US$140 000 for projects up to ten months long. The grants are intended to provide seed funding for NGOs, working in partnership with mobile network operators, to design and launch products, value added services, marketing campaigns and/or distribution mechanisms (‘offerings’) that will increase women’s access to and use of mobile and life-enhancing services.
For more about the mWomen Innovation Fund, refer to: