Musings on Africa, Politics, Technology, Love, Life and Trifles...

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samedi, décembre 03, 2011

3F's, customer sales viewed by IT

Find the Customer, Fuck the Customer, Forget the Customer.


Another one from our droll C.I.O and his peculiar sense of humor ;)


source: Bear is Cool

Myriam Makeba - Kulala (Live Version)

A mother laments for the death of her son who drowned in the river.
Powerful and riveting funeral poem.


Live version from Myriam Makeba's Paris concert in 1977.

dimanche, novembre 13, 2011

Success comes in CANS not CANT'S


Success comes in CANS not CANT'S
Some even contend that success comes in all forms...


Source image: Things We Forget

Mon ultime priere

« Mon ultime prière, 
                    Ô mon corps, 
                       fais de moi toujours un homme qui interroge »

Frantz FanonPeau noire et masques blancs.

samedi, novembre 12, 2011

Closeup on 8 of the Hottest Tech Apps

I was checking the latest article of Business Insider regarding the top 20 Innovative Startups in Tech and the 20 Hot Silicon Valley Startups You Need To Watch. I found some interesting tools and services, that I'd definitely see myself using or that I have already started using.


Among all the products, here are the ones that caught my attention:

  1. iDoneThis is one of the gem I've recently discovered, it introduces the concept of "to done list" (vs todo list). It's a productivity tool that work the other way round, in the sense that the diary-based information helps you track your activities and achievements on a daily basis.
  2. DropBox created a way to easily share and store files all over the web. Of all the cloud-based files storages services, this one is by far my favorite. Did I mention, it's free? yeah, it's free and it is a big plus for me.
  3. Hotel Tonight helps you make a last-minute hotel reservation from your mobile device (iOS and Android are both supported) at a discounted price. Truly neat.
  4. SkillShare : as the name says it's all about sharing your skills and learning new ones from people willing to do the same than you. The basic premise is that anyone can be a teacher. As a user of the service, you may search classes by category (learning about photoshop basics or business plan writing) but also by locating the ones nearest to you (mainly in the US, Zurich may open soon). The average class costs around $20 and SkillShare takes a 15% cut. for Mike Karnjanaprakorn, CEO, SkillShare is about using  "the Web to democratize learning and make it affordable and accessible to anyone.”
  5. TaskRabbit that provides an on-demand workforce. This service will find you people able to help you drop your laundry at the dry-cleaner or run some errands for you. Right now, TaskRabbit is available in San Francisco, New York, Boston, Los Angeles, and Chicago. Even more interesting, TaskRabbit has appointed recently Eric Grosse -former founder of Hotwire.com and President of Expedia WorldWide- as its new CEO.
  6. MoviePass lets users attend all of the movies they want in theaters for a fixed price. The pass concepts has been existing in Europe for couple of years now. It's great to see it now forging its way on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean.
  7. Simplenote and its platform Simperium helps people take and keep notes, lists, ideas etc... and access them from any web device. Simperium reproduces the sharing and accessibility concept for any other app.
  8. Storenvy makes it dead easy for anyone to set up a free e-commerce site. Setting up and customizign a storefront couldn't be more easier. This service appeals to people that do not have 
These apps are to be kept under the radar and oen must also pay close attention to the people behind all these neat products and services. Let me know if you have tried any of the aforementioned and what you think of it/these.

Cheers
L.




Is Nouriel Roubini the Nostradamus of our economically challenged time ?




Is he the Nostradamus of our economically challenged time


Back in 2006, in a blog post Nouriel Roubini was already prophetic about Italy's debt crisis and the Eurozone doom prospects. The very same year Roubini’s speech at Davos-World Economic Forum was warning that Italy may experience Debt Crisis and EuroZone Break-Up in 5 years.

He recently reposted the blog post he wrote in 2006, after speaking at Davos, and apparently offended the already-then Italian Finance Minister Tremonti, by calling for Eurozone doom.

Here is an ominous extract of what the US economist contended at the time:
"And unfortunately, the lack of serious economic reforms in Italy implies that there is a growing risk that Italy may end up like Argentina. This is not a foregone conclusion but, if Italy does not reform, an exit from EMU within 5 years is not totally unlikely."
Read more on the topic:
Sources images: Nouriel Roubini Blog  & L'Internaute

vendredi, novembre 11, 2011

2011 Cameroonian presidential run-off's infographic



Thanks to @titaleslie for the infographic depicting 
the 2011 Cameroonian presidential run-off.

Numbers in a nutshell to set the scene
  • 23 candidates were contending for the top spot, 10 of whom had run in previous elections
  • Almost 7,5 million people were registered to vote
  • Only less than 5 million people actually voted

As for the campaign budgets:
  • incumbent President Paul Biya'a Bi Mvondo was largely ahead of the others with nearly 3 Billion CFA francs,
  • Ni John Fru Ndi of the Social Democratic Front spent 600 million CFA,
  • SDF spinoff Ms Edith Kahbang Walla (Kah Walla) was able to raise - quite surprisingly - 300 million despite her newcomer and outsider status.

 




As for the results, you know the drill : Paul Biya was reelected with ~78% of the votes. One must note that the Septentrion, the Northwest & Southwest did honorable scores through their respective candidates, who arrive first in their native region' polls.



Thanks to @titaleslie and to all the people who made the election so lively through their comments on twitter special canal #cmr11.

Infographic source: Leslie Tita's Tumblr

Tie the knot and pay up the price!

A wedding is supposed to be one the most memorable moments of one's life, especially when the sweet of the love turns to the sour of the bill.

Source : businesscreditcards.com (no pun intended) 
CLICK TO ENLARGE THE PICTURE

The Business of Getting Hitched
Via: Business Credit Cards Guide

mardi, novembre 08, 2011

Evanescence

credit photo: Djamel Kadi



Evanescence
Ou sont nos belles annees allées?
Fragiles, légères, fugaces nos heures s'égrènent
La caresse du temps sur nos joues se veut douce ou âpre
Sur une photo jaunie par le temps, les souvenirs éphémères
Les joies et les peines d'une insouciance antédiluvienne.

Evanescence d'un temps qui s'enfuit et n'en revient jamais!




dimanche, novembre 06, 2011

My mind is in Douala....



source : unknown

mardi, novembre 01, 2011

You would never

You would never know
If you could ever be
If you never try
You would never see

 
—Lupe Fiasco, All Black Everything

mercredi, octobre 05, 2011

Week-end readings : Kweku Adoboli, Power, Bourgi


  • The tale of two Britons from African descent : Mo Farrah and Kweku Adoboli (Sahara Reporters)

  • The 20 Youngest Power Women in Africa and the 10 Youngest Power Men in Africa : we'd wish to have more people from francophone Africa and less US educated fellows. Kudos to Ory Okolloh (Kenyan Pundit) and Acha Leke (McKinsey Partner) for making the list and working hard on improving the continent. As for Kabila and Rajoelina, these two are highly debatable picks from Forbes.

  • The Bourgi's scandal shook France's political class. (Canal Plus)

mercredi, août 17, 2011

Quote of the day - 17-08-11

But he who dares not grasp the thorn Should never crave the rose.
 

mercredi, août 10, 2011

When fear and doubt come into play, lead with possibility

Quote of the day:

"When fear and doubt come into play, lead with possibility." Laura Guido-Clark

source: 99% conference

mardi, août 02, 2011

Before borrowing money from a friend....

lundi, mai 16, 2011

How to spot a liar?

dimanche, mai 15, 2011

Amazon.com : l'Empire cache

Amazon.com : l'Empire cachéFabernovel décrypte le succès d'une des plus belles marques du eCommerce : Amazon.com. Enjoy :)

 

View more presentations from faberNovel

mercredi, mai 11, 2011

Buying In : the rise of a middle class in Africa

source : Wall Street Journal


According to the African Development Bank Group, the middle class now accounts for  nearly 34% of the total population, which represents 313 millions people. It's a great uptick (more than 60%) since the beginning of the last decade, but major improvements remain to be done to enlarge further this group and include more the too many people that remain standing at the bottom of the pyramid.

Expanding from the data of the African Development Group, the Wall Street Journal contends that      A New Class of Consumers Grows in Africa.

"Sustained economic growth in Africa has produced for the first time a broad middle class, one that cuts across the continent and is on par with the size of the middle classes in the billion-person emerging markets of China and India. The rise of a middle class in the world's poorest continent is a dramatic marker for the global economy. At a time when the U.S., Europe and Japan are struggling to grow, Africa is beginning to beckon as a consumer of what other nations produce, thanks in part to a young population more upwardly mobile than ever before."

If we look closely at the numbers presented, middle class is defined by people living with a revenue ranging from $2 to $20 per day. With the exchange rate, that makes a disposable income ranging from XAF  (CFA Francs) 1,000 to XAF 10,000 per day that equate to a monthly income of XAF 30,000-300, 000. It's relatively little, but it's enough to generate demand for laptops, cars, brand new smartphones, private schools etc... Therefore one can observe an afflux to the last frontier of  multinationals telecoms and retailers alike. These companies have diverse market entries strategies, ranging from direct presence like Vodaphone or Yum Brands (KFC), Microsoft or Google or through buying stakes in local companies like Wal-mart. Another upside of this new trend is the impact this new demand has on growth in return.

"These new consumers are credited with cushioning Africa from the recent global economic crisis. The International Monetary Fund projects that sub-Saharan Africa, a collection of 47 countries, will grow 5.5% this year and 6% in 2012"

But the picture is not so rosy, forasmuch as the vast majority of Africans do not have access to these goods and poverty remains prevalent. Disparities also persist : not all countries could be properly documented (Equatorial Guinea is a notable exception amongst others), consumption habits are not the same in Kampala or in Timbuktu, in subsaharan Africa for example, only Gabon has more than 60% of its population belonging to the middle-class cushion, compared to the average 34% for the rest of the continent.
"About 100,000 of the richest Africans had a collective net worth totaling 60% of the continent's gross domestic product, according to the report, citing 2008 figures."
Unfortunately the last frontier still carries some risks that are the corollary of big benefits than could be reaped from this relatively untapped market. "A series of violent elections in some of the continent's biggest markets, for instance, threatens to reverse nascent economic gains for millions of Africans."

To mitigate the possible adverse impacts at the very moment when we can see the light at the end of the tunnel, every government across the continent must address aggressively these issues by crafting policies that re-assure citizens and foreign investors alike, that create transparency and open markets even further, that nurture a climate of confidence for business. That is both an absolute necessity and an imperative.

Last, to sustain the trend and not have it subsume in yet another step backward, this new "wealth" needs to be spread even more uniformly. Let us all aspire and strive to make it happen for the greater good of the vast majority. Remember the words that I shared with you in the previous post "our aspirations are our possibilities."


affaire a suivre...

Dear People...Sincerely, Grammar

Citation du jour 11-05-2011


 Our aspirations are our possibilities. 
— Robert Browning
via Forbes

dimanche, mai 08, 2011

Are you a Mac person or a PC person?

Great dilemma when it comes to take sides and adopt one of the two. 23% of the population in the world are said to have mac computers according to ChaCha. (name your own figure, the figure presented below is even higher) I happen to be one of them and do consider myself a Mac person.

According to the guys of Cre8ive Commando 
"There’s always been a battle between Mac and PC. PC users have always dominated the market but things are starting to change.[…] We’ve all seen the stereotypical Mac and PC guys from the Apple Mac commercials a while back, but this infographic gives us some actual statistics about Mac and PC people’s personalities, fashion sense and differences."
Check this great infographic by Hunch. Sociological analysis or mere compilation of stereotypes? I'd let you decide. I must admit that I did recognize myself in some of the data below. 

Characteristics and differences between Mac and PC users

So my question to you, fellow reader, are you a Mac person or a PC person?


Week-end's readings: TechCrunch, Flirting, internet in China, French politics, the “Facebook Class.”

  • The new start-up that the Valley is all excited about LAL.com, a flirting-facilitator platform (or FFP, for advanced users). Yup, that's right, check it out yourselves...(Paul Kedrosky)
  • Sleeping in Internet Cafes: The Next 300 Million Chinese Users (SXSW talk on slideshare)
  • France's National Front Le Pen, mightier than the sword? (the Economist)
  • The "Facebook Class" That Built Apps, and Fortunes (NYTimes)

samedi, mai 07, 2011

Internet : how fast is too fast?





How fast is the Internet at Google? by thenextweb. Via Loic Le Meur tweet. Mind blowing especially when you know that the fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) internet is making its way in subsaharan Africa only now. Some fortunate clients of Kenya Jamii Telecom will access a network that will be able to deliver "2.4 Gbps downstream and 1.25 Gbps upstream" (Mybroadband.co.za news).

The good side of it, you get your request at light-speed, the flip side,  you become even more impatient. And it has been proven that perceived long downloading times of a given webpage are a show-stopper for may surfers, the issue becomes even more pressing when it comes to e-commerce since this accounts for a great percentage of abandonment of the shopping process.

Right now @ home, I have a triple-play offer and I get 11Mbps downstream and approximatively 1Mbps upstream. It's ok for my use, despite that lags can occur, but it's rare and this is when I have all my toys running at the same time (2 Macbooks, 1 iPad, TV on with VOD and gossip with a friend over the phone).

Again, who needs all of that? Will I succumb to one of these FTTH offerings? We shall see, if I do, it would be only pure vanity at play!

mardi, mars 29, 2011

O Cameroun, berceau de mes ancetres -Rumta-Pam Pam Bé

dimanche, mars 27, 2011

Citation du jour 27-08-2011

 "L'Homme se découvre quand il se mesure à l'obstacle" (Saint Exupéry)

mercredi, mars 09, 2011

Timothy Bloom - 'Til The End Of Time ft. V

Black love is beautiful

jeudi, février 10, 2011

Afrilabs Links Entrepreneurs, Startups, Tech Communities in Africa


"Erik Hersman, director of operations at the non-profit Ushahidi, today announced the launch of a network of startup incubators and tech communities throughout Africa. Dubbing the new venture Afrilabs, the network is meant to connect a thriving scene of tech entrepreneurs involved in such outfits as iHub in Kenya, Hive Colab in Uganda, ActivSpaces in Cameroon, Nailab in Kenya, and Banta Labs in Senegal. In addition to integrating incubators throughout the continent, Hersman and his colleagues are also in the process of starting an investment fund for seed capital investments "that are accessible to startups that come through the different labs," Hersman tells Fast Company."

A great initiative that shouldn't go unnoticed. This is the first collaboration of tech incubators on the continent, as far as I recall. It would help connect the actors (investors and innovators included) of the African technology community.

more on this here.

lundi, février 07, 2011

How to improve health and reduce poverty in Africa ? The View from Seattle



The latest post from Bill Gates on The Economist's blog dedicated to Africa, Baobab explains the vision of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the tremendous work they are carrying out in Africa to solve some of its biggest challenges regarding the eradication of malaria, AIDS and the reduction of poverty and hunger through a better usage of the farmland on the continent.



The view from Seattle gives a good snapshot of the they are doing is stunning and humbling at once. Let's hope, many more follow their example.
Excerpt:


"Since our first visit, many African countries have made striking advances, driven by wise government investments in health and education and agriculture. Incomes have risen.  Poverty has fallen. Trade and investment have doubled. Childhood deaths are down. Africa is on the rise. When a country has the skill and self-confidence to take action against its biggest problems, it makes outsiders eager to be a part of it. That is why Melinda and I are so optimistic about our work on the continent. We see the promise."


Image Sources: 
By U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Johansen Laurel [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


By informant (Flickr: Space Needle From Biplane) [CC-BY-2.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons