Théophile Kouamouo, one of Francophone Africa's leading bloggers, wrote in his successful ‘why I blog about Africa‘ meme:
“I blog on Africa with joy because I believe it is our individual voices that emerge and mixed African renaissance will happen as surely as the dream of Martin Luther King became reality Forty years later.”
And Théophile did not stop there. With the help of a community of experienced bloggers he went on with his dream to promote Ivorian individuals voices by teaching them how to blog. Based on his idea on arranging a blogcamp in Africa, he had applied for a Rising Voices micro-grant and the project “Abidjan Blog Camps” has been selected as one of the grantees of the latest round.Image by Oluniyi David Ajao from Flickr, used under a Creative Commons License
We have discussed with Théophile about the preparations for the Abidjan blog camps:
RV: Who are your target participants? Have you selected them?
Théophile Kouamouo: We are targeting communities that will naturally gain by expressing themselves through the citizen media tools. Artists, craftsmen, who would like to show their talent; activists and associations that would like to plead their cause; the groups of young people who would like to speak. We have not selected them yet. We will invite some of them to share with them about the program, and we will select the most interested communities.
RV: When will the workshop start? What will be taught? Have you prepared the curricula?
Théophile Kouamouo: The workshops will start in one month. We will teach how to create a blog, how to make podcasts (audio and video), how to promote a blog by links and communities like Facebook and Twitter, how to write on a blog more efficiently and how to build a community. We are working on the curricula.
RV: Who will be the trainers? Have you recruited them?
Théophile Kouamouo: Some of them are known, like me, Nadine Tchaptchet-Kouamouo and Israël Yoroba, winner of the BOBS 2008 price of the best blog in French. We are in contact with Etum and Djé and are open to other potential trainers.
RV: Have you selected the venue? What will be the facilities there?
Théophile Kouamouo: Not yet. But we have identified some.
RV: How long will the training continue?
Théophile Kouamouo: Two days by session.
RV: How will you keep the participants motivated?
Théophile Kouamouo: We will be in contact with them by mailings and phoning and we will display their work on our collective blog.
RV: What do you feel that the Ivory Coast bloggers lack?
Théophile Kouamouo: I think that they need to learn how to use some means like podcasts and photos to express themselves. And the local blogosphere needs more diversity.
RV: Do you have any plan to post English translations of you selected contents for the world readers?
Théophile Kouamouo: We will try to translate our best content but we'll need to have some translators working for free.
Israël Yoroba writes about “La Toile d'Or” (Feast of the Internet) in Ivory coast which was held from 27th of April to 1st of May 2009. This year's theme was “what to do with Internet”.
The Abidjan Blog Camps will surely guide Ivorians how to make proper use of Internet and bring them to the blogosphere to initiate a change.
Have a nice blogging experience friends!
Congratulations! Have fun – we’ll be waiting with your blog posts! :)
Best of luck!
Thanks for your support…
Have you thought about asking the Gates Foundation for support? The Canadian group IDRC is in charge of a $5 million project about tobacco control in Africa that could use more communication via blogs.
we are trying to get Ivorians to visit our website which focuses on African football. And since they have the biggest African star at the moment we miss their company. Visit http://www.africaplays.com and join a great African football community
The NGO sector prttey much poisoned the well in terms of blogging in Africa. When you pay people to blog (or even if there is just one site that pays people to blog) all incentive is lost.That and the Francophone relationship to blogging is strained due to inherited ideas about the formality of the press. I bring up a number of these issues .Much like how no one in Bamako will ever see a wired DSL connection, I doubt that blogging will catch on in Francophone African spheres like it has in some Anglophone spheres (Kenya and SA basically). I very seriously hope to be proven wrong as if there is an area in Africa that could use blogging, it’s the Francophone countries.