Apr 30, 2010

This Week

Sierra Leone has launched a free healthcare programme for pregnant women, breast-feeding mothers and children under five-years-old. In a country that, according to the UN, has the highest mortality rate in the world for children under five this is a first step in the right direction. Obstacles such as inadequate utilities, personnel shortages, and compensation still remain but if addressed competently, this plan has a chance of succeeding. 

Nigeria’s interim president, Goodluck Jonathan, has sacked the country’s election chief, Maurice Iwu. Iwu faced much criticism and widespread protest after the last election in 2007 which was widely seen as fraudulent. There have rallying calls for his ouster since then. 

Botswana’s leader is facing continued criticism from former members of his party, the media and others for eroding democratic principles. He is accused of “shutting out” those who disagree with him and deep divisions remain on the media practitioner’s law, passed in 2008 – which is seen as a means to undermine independent media.

The development blogsphere and twitter-sphere blew up this week with the launch of the 1MillionShirts campaign. In a nutshell here’s the idea – a young American entrepreneur is using social media to get people to send in their unneeded t-shirts along with a $1 donation (to help offset shipping costs). These shirts will then be shipped to Africa (not sure which country) to “kids and families who don’t have shirts to wear”. Needless to say a lot of people have chimed in as to why this is a poor idea and there’s been no shortage of good reading material. Here’s a well thought out response to this campaign that I really appreciated. 

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