In Ivory Coast, Théophile Kouamouo's journey to bring many more of his countrymen and women to the blogosphere has progressed further as the Rising Voices grantee Abidjan blog camps conducted its second “blog camp” last week.
The event took place on the 14th of November 2009 at the Fondation Les Amis de l'Excellence in Abidjan, the capital of Ivory Coast. Information about the program and participants can be found here [fr].
The project leader of Abidjan Blog Camps Théophile Kouamouo wrote [fr] about the expected participants in an invitation published in his blog:
The target? People who already blogging and want to share their more experienced “tip”. Stakeholders? Those who have a theme to develop in twenty minutes, and who are willing to distinguish themselves through a comment below this post.
He listed [fr] the program:
There will be four speakers:
– Nadine Kouamouo, who will speak of liveblogging, notably about Twitter and CoveritLive.
– Israël Yoroba of Le Blog De Yoro, who will speak about referencing and maintaining a blog over time.
– Manassé Dehe (cartunelo) will show how to produce audio podcasts and video and publish them.
– Theophile Kouamouo (myself). I will speak of blogging in the workplace.
Register by clicking this link: http://abidjanblogcamp.eventbrite.com
10 participants with blogging experience attended the blog camp. However, Nadine Kouamouo mentions [fr] that they had hoped of more participants. This event was live blogged by Nadine [fr]. The transcript tells that there was a bonus for the participants – a discussion on blogging under pseudonyms.
Here is a video [fr] of an interview with Israël Yoroba, who talks about the blog camp:
Theophile looks back [fr] at the success of the workshop and announces future plans of the project:
It seemed important at the outset to educate journalists, opinion leaders and influential, who have the habit of writing, the practice of the blog. We subsequently created the framework for cross-training of those who are already blogging – and will continue to meet and learn from each other within the BlogCamps.
Now it is for us to go to groups less naturally well disposed but which would benefit from blogging. We want to start by artists, writers and musicians. Perhaps in a single session, perhaps two, depending on enrollment.
We expect bloggers, blog readers and members of these groups they help us to have contacts with writers, musicians, agents and managers. This will help them share our project and to organize the next BlogCamp in early December.
In a recent post Theophile wrote about the linguistic barrier which divides the African web (bloggers, developers, entrepreneur) like the “Berlin Wall”.
Global Voices author Elia Varela Serra is currently visiting Ivory coast and she introduces us to Ivorian cuisine and Ivorian wedding in her blog posts. She also writes about the Abidjan lagoon:
It may seem almost impossible to read afro-bloggers who write in a language we do not know – although a friend pointed out to me that Google Translate is not for dogs ;)
Beyond what can be considered like interpersonal communication problems, it seems that the linguistic challenge is also a technological and economic challenge for us. For example, large platforms like Facebook and Google are safe to translate their interfaces in as many languages as possible, simply because they want to expand their user base and their financial value, simply.
Should we not do the same? How many Kenyan or South African start-ups are interested by developments in Côte d'Ivoire and Gabon? How many Cameroonian startups would benefit to cross the border and conquer Nigeria? I think that investor’s interest would increase if we could develop online brands which go beyond language barriers. In this regard, the blogging platform Maneno shows the path.
It's really a shame that the Abidjan lagoon (named Ebrie), is now extremely polluted and in some parts of the city it stinks like a dumpster. But at night, when you can't see the fowl color of the water and the trash littering its banks, it's really quite a lovely view to enjoy sit on a terrace next to it sipping a beer.
Now let us look at some posts from Ivorian blogs [fr]:
Euclid Okolou writes about the spread of scams via sms to mobile phones instead of emails.
Israël Yoroba informs that Avenue 225, a local radio station has launched the first ever radio webcast in Ivory coast. Yoroba also writes about a debate which took place in the Deutsche Welle akademie titled “New Media for a New World: Democracy and Development“:
Roger Kasse writes a multi part report on the ill practices of private medical clinics and shops in Vavoua region. He also writes about the challenges the African bloggers face to blog – the internet is slow and costly, it takes time to blog, tools like pc and camera are not easily available etc.
Richman posts this interesting picture with the apt title “Sustainable development”:
While it can run, let's go. The decor is done with the resources available. It is also sustainable development.
Nadine Kouamouo writes about a local geek who engaged in the community service voluntarily and helped many:
I have learned through Facebook this morning. My friend Manasseh Dehe was made available to all for providing help on how to use the WAP service for mobile phones. [..] He was happy to help twenty people today [..] and I too can now “twitter” on my phone.
Telecommunications companies should support such initiatives. Those of who opens the eyes of users on specific applications. It is not enough to just note that the “customers” do not use many applications available to them by the operators. We must help those who are willing to “educate” … only “glamorous” advertising campaigns are not enough.