The Daily Nebraskan: UNL ‘African Digital Portal’ will give students access to African poetry, artifacts . “University of Nebraska-Lincoln students will soon be able to feel much closer to Africa through an online portal to the world of African poetry. English professor Kwame Dawes is developing an online database for African poetry and artifacts. ‘The African Digital Portal’ will launch in 2019 and will feature artifacts, newspapers and manuscripts related to African poetry, dating from the 19th century to the modern era.”
This was on CNN at the beginning of January and I 100% missed it: Meet the scientists immortalizing African heritage in virtual reality. “The archaeological wonders of the world offer a rich window into the past. But many are crumbling, weed-laden and victim to vandalism and conflict. UNESCO World Heritage Sites, such as those in Libya and Mali, have been caught in the crossfire of regional disputes. Concerned with the decay of African heritage sites, The Zamani Project, based at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, is seeking to immortalize historic spots in three-dimensional, virtual reality-ready models.”
TechFinancials: A New Social Media Platform, Chomi, to Promote South African Languages. “Chomi, a new South African-based social platform to promote South African languages, has entered the social scene and creating a community that utilises all local languages to chat and share what’s happening in their world. The new social platforms, such as USSD, Chomi.mobi and Chomi App, are available in all official SA languages.”
Michigan State University: MSU To Host World’s Largest Research Hub On China-Africa Engagement. “Michigan State University will host the world’s largest independent, interdisciplinary research network dedicated to China-Africa engagement. After being housed at the Social Science Research Council for the last four years, the China-Africa Knowledge Project Resource Hub will be maintained and further developed by MATRIX, the Center for Digital Humanities and Social Sciences at MSU, which is devoted to the application of new technologies for teaching, research and outreach.”
GeoPoll: The rise of Facebook groups could be a threat to Jumia’s e-commerce dominance in Africa, new poll finds. “Informal transactions through Facebook groups are threatening the success of e-commerce giants in Africa according to a recent straw poll on the impact of the Black Friday sale promotion on this fledgling industry. According to our Black Friday Straw Poll, which ran in December 2017 among 2,031 respondents in Nigeria, South Africa, and Kenya, Jumia still remains the most preferred e-commerce vendor. Fifty-six percent of our poll respondents have shopped on Jumia before. Interestingly, a significant number of online shoppers utilize Facebook groups. ”
The Next Web: Uganda is making its own local Facebook and Twitter clones. “In an interesting statement towards the end of 2017, Godfrey Mutabazi, Executive Director at the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) said that they are working on launching their own versions of popular social media platforms like Twitter in 2018. One report quotes Mutabazi as saying that the UCC already has an investor who will assist with bringing the social media platforms to life.” I suspect we’ll be seeing a lot of this.
Smithsonian Magazine: Big Data Traces the World’s Most Distinctive Musical Traditions. “From Tuvan throat singing to Chinese Opera, there are a lot of different types of music in the world. While musicologists have spent the last century or so collecting and preserving folk music traditions from around the globe, comparing such a vast number of sounds has been no easy task. But thanks to the help of cutting-edge computational analysis, a team of researchers have now sorted through thousands of recordings in an attempt to reveal which world music traditions are the most unique.”