by Ruth Aine - 01 September 2016
One morning last week I participated in a WhatsApp group conversation that was very eye-opening. This group has members from about 14 African nations. We got word that the Nigerian president had tabled a bill before Parliament on tourist visas. The bill, if passed into law, will allow people to receive visas on arrival and the rest will take 48 hours to process. This is obviously very good news for the African populace. While a Nigerian visa is not hard to get, the requirements are somewhat excessive. So, we all went ahead to share what our experiences in obtaining Nigerian visas have been like.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 31 August 2016 12:33
by Ruth Aine - 01 August 2016
I have been a member of Facebook groups but none have influenced me much to an extent that I get to change my lifestyle. However, there is this group on Facebook that I have been a part of for about three months now where I have learned so much about my health and how I to better it.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 31 August 2016 12:29
by Ruth Aine - 01 July 2016
April brought with it great tidings. It gave birth to the futuristic Global Work/Technology 2050 scenarios. These scenarios are very much part of the work that we do in the foresight community. What was really interesting, is watching the current trends, because they resemble significantly to what we could expect in the next 34 years. Everything has a foundation that is being laid. This is why we cannot afford to disregard these scenarios. By paying attention, we can create the best for us and for our children. It is important that we learn, it is important that we prepare for the future.
Last Updated on Thursday, 30 June 2016 13:19
by Ruth Aine - 01 June 2016
It is 2016 and we are still having rather weird and 'awkward' conversations about inclusion of women and girls into 'the big picture'. And I find it absurd and shameful. Because, truth is, we are not there - not as a continent, not as a world. A woman making it big in whatever field still makes headline news. While the stage in most cases has been set, the playing field is not yet leveled. However, there are efforts to change that. STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics] education is one of them.
Last Updated on Thursday, 30 June 2016 13:17
by Ruth Aine - 01 May 2016
When it comes to financial systems in Africa, we can all agree on a couple of things. The most important being that Africa, especially Sub-Saharan Africa, is leading in regards to mobile money. The banks are adapting, the people have adapted and so have the telecom companies.
Last Updated on Sunday, 01 May 2016 16:07
by Nirmala Nair - Director: School of Practical Sustainability - 04 April 2016
As Sustainability discourses become a buzz word, a household topic, it has become more confusing - removed from ordinary people’s perspective.
Yet the very essence of sustainability lies in its simplicity, and its accessibility to any lay person.
We are living in an extremely specialized world where the simple stuff is often forgotten. The way of commonsense is pushed aside for an apparently more sophisticated product approach to life - like the organic insect spray in a fancy plastic bottle instead of the good old garlic-chili mixture, and marigolds and companion planting to maintain insect free veggie patches.
Last Updated on Monday, 04 April 2016 12:48
by Ruth Aine - 01 March 2016
The World Government Summit took place in the United Arab Emirates on 8-10 February 2016. Presented for the fourth time, this was the first time it opened up to the rest of the world. The theme of this event was “The Future of Governments”. I was obviously thrilled to be a part of such an interesting and unique conversation. Unique, because we don’t hear of governments, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa, being the champions of change, apart from Rwanda of course, which has been amazingly exemplary.
Last Updated on Saturday, 05 March 2016 15:41
by Ruth Aine - 01 February 2016
A few months ago I visited South Africa and stayed at a B&B in Melville, a really cool place, small and cozy. I loved it.
I was there for about five days. On the second last day there was a water shortage. In the past year South Africa, more so Johannesburg, have been experiencing water and power shortages.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 02 February 2016 12:25
by Ruth Aine - 01 January 2016
I live in the capital of Uganda, Kampala. The city is relatively fast-paced as any city could be. My mother lives and works up country but once in a while she will visit or rather come to see how the home is ‘faring’. She was home recently and I noticed something. We have cooking gas in the house as it’s fast, safe and easy to use to cook with. The price for the smallest gas canister I would say were ‘manageable’ but those have increased in the recent past due to the strengthening of the dollar against the weakening Ugandan shilling. However, my mother, an accomplished lady in her own right, will insist on lighting a charcoal stove and use it to cook while around. Her argument – it is cheaper. Charcoal is cheaper than gas. Also reminds me of how my grandmother has never agreed to use a charcoal stove but would rather use firewood to cook. Her argument – firewood cooks faster – and I must admit grandmama’s food tastes better with the aroma of firewood.
Last Updated on Sunday, 03 January 2016 13:08
by Ruth Aine - 01 November 2015
There are so many words whose definitions I struggle with – however, top of that list is ‘sustainability’. While I am a fan of the word (I think all millennial development professionals are), I still find myself musing at what the best possible meaning of this word could be. It also turns out that I am not the only one that thinks so – there is an author who wrote a paper on why they believed that the definition of sustainability was flawed. Now this is a ‘troubled’ word.
Last Updated on Monday, 02 November 2015 12:54
by Ruth Aine - 01 October 2015
In the present-day world, families continue to be an important part of society, but not as important as they were 10 years ago. But then also, that theory of thought depends on how we define families.
When I was about three or four years old, we used to play a game called Mama na Tata (loosely translated as Mummy and Daddy). I don't know how and why - but we always imagined that all you needed to do was grow older and taller to become a mother and a father. And so we would set up a family in the sand - barefoot while innocently playing roles - basically imitating what we see our parents do.
Last Updated on Thursday, 01 October 2015 15:11
by Ruth Aine - 01 September 2015
Africa and the world continue to be in a ‘prison dilemma’. There are ‘too many people incarcerated than what our prison facilities can handle and the judicial system seems to be doing little to save the situation.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 02 September 2015 15:29
by Ruth Aine - 01 August 2015
Tugume, a 33-year old Ugandan gentleman, is a budding entrepreneur. His typical day starts with going to his ‘day job’ in the morning like everyone else. He is working in the banking sector in Kampala,Uganda. He has been doing this job since he left university and because of his great work ethic, he was able to rise and get promoted sooner than most.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 04 August 2015 07:37
by Ruth Aine - 01 July 2015
A few weeks ago, I was at home when I tried to pick something off the floor and hit my head on a door by accident. I ended up with a bleeding cut just below my spectacles. It was about 1:00 AM and I was just about to hit the road for a trip. I was confused. I did not know what to do. Do I go and see a doctor at this time? What clinics are open for walk-in patients at this time? Will I be allowed to get onto my flight? What if I have a concussion? There were so many questions; very few answers at that time. Interestingly though – within a few minutes my cut began to dry up. So, I figured, since I did not have a headache, I would go ahead as planned and if there was anything, I would face it as it happened.
Last Updated on Thursday, 02 July 2015 10:30
By Aya Chebbi - 01 July 2015
The Forum for Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) had been just an idea a few years ago. However, last week, during its 2015 Annual Meeting in Abidjan, the African Development Bank hosted a full day of panel discussions dedicated to CSOs. The CSO Forum is aiming at promoting closer cooperation and engagement among CSOs, the Bank, and regional member countries in order to optimize development results and sustain development impact.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 07 July 2015 11:20
by Ruth Aine - 01 June 2015
Prosperity is that kind of word that you hear once in a while, listen to and nod to, without necessarily taking note. I don’t know why. Maybe because it is associated with things that we think are exaggerations, but we still use them. Its meaning has been abused. A case in point is that of Christmas cards: We wish you a merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year. That is the standard message across the board – the kind that you never pay attention to. I don’t remember the last time that I actually wrote or sent out a Christmas card. Another example is that of the pastors in Pentecostal churches who overly use the word prosperity, hence their message being called the ‘prosperity gospel’. One more example is elections in Uganda: Yoweri Museveni‘s slogan or tagline for a while contained the word prosperity.
Last Updated on Monday, 01 June 2015 10:37
By Aya Chebbi - 01 May 2015
Over the past years, our African unity has been tested constantly to realize that unity is not a one-day celebration or a mere occasional response to threatening events happening across the continent. Unity, instead, shall be a continuous collective struggle and solidarity.
For the past year, Africa has not healed from pain, bloodshed and diseases. From Ebola outbreak in West Africa to the recent crimes in South Africa, and the disaster of endless deaths of Africans sinking in the middle of the Mediterranean; from Al Shabab attacks in Kenya, to the Islamic State killings in Libya, and to Boko Haram massacres in West Africa - a similar pattern of extreme brutality spreading across.
Last Updated on Monday, 04 May 2015 10:10
by Ruth Aine - 01 May 2015
This month we get to celebrate Africa Day. Designated by the African Union as an annual day of celebration of the continent’s unity, it seems to be observed a lot more outside the continent than on the continent. Over the past years celebrations have been noted in cities like New York, London and Dublin, but not so much on the continent itself. Maybe the date needs to be declared as a continental holiday, but I think that we may need a statute and convention to put that in place, if they don’t already invisibly exist.
Last Updated on Monday, 04 May 2015 10:00
By Aya Chebbi - 01 April 2015
In 2013, I was shooting a documentary called “Kenya’s Conscious Transformation” under the Africa Inspire Project, when Kenya witnessed the Westgate attack. At least 67 people have died.
Following the peaceful 2013 general elections, I decided to explore and highlight the role of youth and women in the peace process that transformed its previous 2007/2008 volatile post-election violence. On my last day in Nairobi, a few hours before heading to the Westgate shopping mall, I heard about the Al Shabab attack. It was a tragic and sad day, waiting for the fate of the hostages and praying for the victims.
Last Updated on Saturday, 04 April 2015 18:16
by Ruth Aine - 01 April 2015
Every time we think about the future of this continent, we are thinking about policy, the youth, our leaders, climate change and so on. This is understandable because we are a young continent, hence we have got to think a lot about the young generation and how we employ them, and create policy that is youth–friendly. However, there is an aspect of society that was highlighted in the recently concluded roundtable discussion hosted by the South African Node of the Millennium Project. This aspect is the role of women in society which is very crucial and translates to a secure future of the continent.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 01 April 2015 15:47