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Cake day: Oct 29, 2020

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Foundational Digital Infrastructure Report

This pioneering collaborative work was made possible with the support of the Monetary Authority of Brunei Darussalam, National Bank of Cambodia, Bank of Ghana and the Central Bank of Kenya as well as Mastercard. …


Tewelde Goitom, known as “Welid”, operated in Libya between roughly 2014 and 2018 and is thought to have been at the heart of a highly lucrative and brutal trade trafficking desperate migrants trying to reach Europe…


As major polluters reframe the conversation and act as the guardians, it is likely they will come to places like Mbenje to show them how to protect the environment. Please keep documenting this.


All 15 of the large companies Reuters spoke to this week said that they now had vaccination schemes in place. Several outlined COVID-19 “war-rooms” they had launched to support staff and secure oxygen and other supplies. …


At the city’s Bhadbhada Vishram Ghat crematorium, workers said they cremated more than 110 people on Saturday, even as government figures in the city of 1.8 million put the total number of virus deaths at just 10…


By a truly unbelievable coincidence, I was recently out for a walk when I saw a small package fall off a truck ahead of me. As I got closer, the dull enterprise typeface slowly came into focus: Cellebrite. Inside, we found the latest versions of the Cellebrite software, a hardware dongle designed …


One point the video made which I found interesting is the idea that statelessness was not just a pre-state stage, but in some cases a post-state state by design. These are communities that had lived under empires and revolted against centralized power. Statelessness by design.

James C Scott was also making almost the same argument here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Art_of_Not_Being_Governed


If public information was actively put in the public (say through timely website updates that serve rss), most of these services would lose their brokerage lordship. They fill the structural hole left by weak public information networks.



Change on this things cannot be led by the same ideologies that put us in them. Most folks leading government and businesses are led by ideas of centralization and winner-takes-all, while open standards seek to flatten the field, as much as possible. So sad it failed not because of the weakness of the idea but by the implementation process.




This community is reserved for announcing new communities and admin tasks. Consider c/privacy, may be? You should also link to the original article. Your link here is to a copy-pasta website.



There is a much bigger argument that was being made in that article – that most of the public prosecution of RMS is driven by corporates who would want to see a weakened argument against surveillance but open-source stuff. You will notice most of the organizations and individuals taking a stand on this so passionately say almost nothing when Facebook and Google and Amazon commit all manner of ongoing atrocities around the world. RMS and the sexual consent contest is a major issue and deserves everyone’s attention – but we can also do both things; fight for kid’s safety + fight for free software/society. Both are mutually inclusive, but the pitchfork public prosecutors would want to use the kids issue to argue that anything RMS has touched is dirty – and that is how these money people win the public.


She said that neighbours described seeing armed men in plain clothes take her husband away in a vehicle known in Uganda as a “drone” – a van with blacked out windows and no number plate…


Moody's places Ethiopia's B2 ratings on review for downgrade

It is therefore clear that the risk has risen that private sector creditors will incur losses, although it remains unclear how far that risk has risen. Ethiopia will be required to engage with private creditors, but the decision on whether to enforce comparability of treatment will ultimately rest…


The contradictions of highly centralized self-appointed invisible hands in free markets. …


“Kenya, the Maldives and like-minded coastal nations only fish in the Indian Ocean, so if the stocks get depleted we are the ones who suffer,” said Stephen Ndegwa, assistant director of fisheries at Kenya’s agriculture ministry. “We will have nothing for future generations.

“The foreign fishing vessels, like the EU vessels, will move to other oceans, but we won’t be able to move – and we will be stuck with no fish.”


A state in name only leads to unnecessary pain for individuals. …




Indeed. They also maintain a firm grip on the countries they ravaged, by propping dictators. See Senegal protests this week against French companies: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/3/7/pressure-mounts-on-senegals-president-after-deadly-protests


“The referendum outcome means Switzerland will follow France, which banned wearing a full face veil in public in 2011. Full or partial bans on wearing face coverings in public are also in place in Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark and the Netherlands.”…


What existing renewables are in production mode? I remember this partnership in Nairobi, where Strathmore University uses its campus buildings to harvest solar and sell to the national grid: https://www.strathmore.edu/news/strathmore-university-and-kenya-power-sign-solar-energy-purchase-deal/


Very relevant with the so called ‘health passport’ (unhealthy is more in line). I recently read this interesting paper on the emergence of the passport from the Cholera conferences which makes an aligned argument:

Valeska Huber, “The Unification of the Globe by Disease? The International Sanitary Conferences on Cholera, 1851-1894”


This is very promising – the post office system is quite extensive in some of these countries. Some of the pressing e-commerce demands may not work with this (like night time food delivery, or e-taxi). Perhaps all this goes to show individual efforts at maintaining privacy can only work minimally. This is a structural issue needing collective effort.


Pretty interesting It also seems that if the words are not changing, it can be easily converted to a fixed GPS location (one hop away from the real GPS address).


The conversion part is the tricky bit. If a third party decides to use their own system to convert GPS location to deliveries, that is out of your control. But you can perhaps use delivery locations that do not necessarily point to your exact location. It is a hard problem to both have a fixed location address and still keep some privacy.


I did not know of Plus Codes but I do know of GhanaPostGPS. I see how this can be worked on to offer a better addressing system without taking too much information away from the individual. Something like a GPS location that is hashed. Then time-sensitive address tokens can be used depending on use case. If you buy a product and should be delivered in three days, you can give a token with one week expiration. That way, the company cannot use your purchase details to link to your address since the token has not real GPS location on it. But there are many loopholes that can be exploited in many ways.


That is the claimed dilemma – how do you facilitate e-commerce and government service delivery without reliable location precision.

I think it is a good thing that such addressing systems do not exist in some of these countries but the reality is that their non-existence is not a conscious decision to uphold privacy but rather an institutional delay to implement them. The pandemic seems to have revitalized the need to have national addressing systems. My worry is that they may get too invasive compared to existing ones since they may be linked digitally to more characteristics at the point of initial addressing.

Postal services are popular but not as active in e-commerce. The government uses them now for service delivery (renewing documents etc).


Anyone knows of any privacy preserving National Addressing Systems (ZIP codes and such)

A lot of countries in Africa do not have addressing systems and there is a push to have them adopt these granular forms of addressing for e-commerce and government service delivery. But existing addressing systems are structured to precisely link occupants to specific identity. I am reading more on …


“The findings, compiled from government sources, mean an average of 12 migrant workers from these five south Asian nations have died each week since the night in December 2010 when the streets of Doha were filled with ecstatic crowds celebrating Qatar’s victory.”…


Exhumed Bodies: Reburials and Cultural Resistance in Covid Times | African Arguments

“Nolusapho, Thembisile’s widow, said that within weeks of the funeral, family members started to see Thembisile appearing in their dreams complaining of suffocation caused by the plastic wraps around his body.”…




“The app’s verification of negative Covid-19 tests and generation of a certificate is only compatible with AOK Pass partner laboratories, which in France include Cerballiance and Biogroup.”

I wonder how these apps are supposed to actually mitigate asymptomatic transmission and future unknown mutations. I smell a lot of layered tech + bureaucratic solutions that are really about ‘opening’ the economy without much worry about what will happen with these programs.



MUHURI protests M-Pesa-only payment at Likoni ferry

MUHURI activists protest against cashless-only payments at a public ferry service in Kenya. …