Macjordangh.com Finally Launched


If you haven’t noticed, I haven’t been blogging here very much recently. I bought the domain; http://macjordangh.com  from Web4Africa Web Services.

Somewhere last month, I moved all contents from my free hosted blog: https://macjordangh.wordpress.com onto the new domain: http://macjordangh.com below.

Macjordangh.com

Macjordangh.com

 

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Google Launches Google+, a Facebook Look-alike.


Yesterday, while tweeting my heart away as I normally do in the mornings, I came across an interesting link referring to a new social networking service from the search-engine giant; Google called Google+.

Google+ is the search giant’s all-in attempt to add a social layer onto their other products, and the engineers in charge describe it as an extension to what Google’s already doing in the social scene. They are emphasizing on privacy in differentiating the new social service from the rest of other networks.

We all know, Google have tried several times to come up with services/innovations that could over-take the leading social networking site; Facebook but haven’t succeeded in any of their attempts. Remember Google Wave? What about Orkut, or Google Buzz? What happened to all of them?

An interesting point raised in the New York Times by Claire C. Miller draws my attention to the fact that, the new service “happens to look very much like Facebook,” but it works differently. The guiding principle behind Google+ is the notion that users want to share different kinds of things with different groups of people.

A feature in Google+ called “Circles” allows users to put group their friends and share to the groups. Other unique features include “Hangouts,” a group video chat feature; “Sparks,” an automated feed of videos and articles custom-tailored for the user; “Huddle,” a text message-powered group chat; and “Instant Upload,” an automatic photo uploader for mobile phones.

But Google+ may already be too late. In May, 180 million people visited Google sites, including YouTube, compared with 157.2 million on Facebook, according to comScore. But Facebook users looked at 103 billion pages and spent an average of 375 minutes on the site, while Google users viewed 46.3 billion pages and spent 231 minutes.

Google+ users will start by selecting people they know from their Gmail contacts (and from other services, once Google strikes deals with them). They can drag and drop friends’ names into different groups, or circles, and give the circles titles, like “Accra Peeps”, “Taadi Folks” or “Honey Suckle Peeps.” Then they can share with these groups or with all of their friends.

Unlike on Facebook, people do not have to agree to be friends with one another. They can receive someone’s updates without sharing their own.

So now the question arises, Will It Be Able To Take On Facebook? Will It Prove To be A Facebook Killer?

Analysts say that Facebook users are unlikely to duplicate their network of friends on Google+ and post to both sites, but that they could use them for different types of communication. Google+ could also attract Facebook holdouts that have been uncomfortable sharing too publicly.

So will Google+ do to Facebook what Facebook did to MySpace? Does this new service from Google look more attractive than Facebook? Are you willing to abandon Facebook for Google+?

You can try your hands on the Interactive Demo here.

 

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2 Ghanaians For CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Awards


CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Award 2011

Finalists in the prestigious CNN MultiChoice African Journalist awards for 2011 have been announced by Joel Kibazo, Chair of the independent judging panel. The competition is now in its 16th year and this year, Ghana has two journalists vying for laurels in the prestigious competition.

They are Kofi Akpabli, Freelance for the Daily Graphic and Portia Solomon for TV3 News.  Kofi Akpabli won the prize for Art and Culture in 2010 for his beautiful piece on soups.

Announcing the finalists, Joel Kibazo said:

“African journalists are becoming noticeably more challenging, showing greater courage and strength which would have been unimaginable just a few years ago. Entries this year have demonstrated this – bolder, more determined on their home patch and with a new found zeal to cover countries beyond their own borders.”

This year the competition received entries from 42 countries across the continent, including French and Portuguese speaking Africa. There are 27 finalists from 13 countries:

  • Kofi Akpabli, Freelance for  Daily Graphic, Ghana
  • Claudine Efoa Atohoun, ORTB, Benin
  • Rabin Bhujun, L’Express Dimanche, Mauritius
  • José Bouças de Oliveira, Televisão Santomense, São Tomé
  • Sylvia Chebet, Citizen TV, Kenya
  • DispatchOnline Team, Daily Dispatch, South Africa
  • Kimani Githae, Citizen TV, Kenya
  • Lamia Hassan, Business Today, Egypt
  • Virgil Augustin Pascal Houesson, L’événement Précis, Benin
  • Mahamud Abdi Jama, Waaheen, Somalia
  • Norman Katende, Freelance for The New Vision, Uganda
  • Farouk Kayondo, UBC, Uganda
  • Mark Klusener, eNews Africa, South Africa
  • Selma Marivate, Record, Mozambique
  • Melini Moses, SABC, South Africa
  • Lindile Mpanza, e.tv, South Africa
  • Kamau Mutunga, DN2 Magazine, Daily Nation, Kenya
  • Nigel M. Nassar, The New Vision, Uganda
  • Fatuma Noor, The Star, Kenya
  • Oluwatoyos Ogunseye, Sunday Punch, Nigeria
  • Nnamdi Okosieme, Next Newspaper, Nigeria
  • Benon Herbert Oluka, Sunday Life Magazine, Sunday Monitor, Uganda
  • Beryl Ooro, K24 TV, Kenya
  • Sonny Serite, Freelance for The Sunday Standard, Botswana
  • Portia Solomon, TV3 News, Ghana
  • Kipchumba Some,  The Standard, Kenya
  • Nkula Zau, Televisão Pública de Angola

This year the recipient of the Free Press Africa Award is Mahamud  Abdi Jama, Editor of Waaheen, an independent private newspaper published in Somaliland.  Waaheen, part of the Waaheen Media Group, is known for its critical coverage of the Government. Mahamud was sentenced to three years in prison and fined in connection with a story alleging public corruption.  After pressure on the Government Mahamud was granted a Presidential pardon and released after spending over a month in prison.

He is awarded this prize for working under stressful conditions, and in the face of opposition and providing the public with important information, regardless of the consequences to himself.

The winners of the competition will be announced at an Award Ceremony and Gala Evening in Johannesburg, South Africa on Saturday 25 June 2011. The hosts for the evening will be Isha Sesay, presenter of CNN International’s weekly programme ‘Inside Africa’ and Robert Marawa, the face of one of DStv’s SuperSports channel and regular host of Metro FM’s Discovery Sports Centre.

EduNet Africa Conference 2011 – Lagos, Nigeria


From June 07 – 08, 2011; a group of young, enthusiastic  and tech-savvy Nigerians are putting together a technology-focused event dubbed: EduNet Africa 2011 aimed at –

“Exploring the Opportunities of a Connected Tertiary Institution to Pioneer Digital Revolution in Africa.”

About EduNet Africa:

EduNet Africa conference is the leading internationally recognized conference for Higher Education community in Africa. It is being hosted annually in different tertiary institutions across the continent. This event is meant to create an environment to learn, network with stakeholders in the ICT industry,  share ideas that will enhance the effective use of the internet facilities and the new technologies in the Universities and Institutions of higher learning in Africa.

One of the unique features of EduNet Africa Conference is the opportunity it offers African Start-ups to showcase their product and services through the African Startups Showcase (ASS) at the event. African Startups will have opportunities and exposure to venture capitalists, partnership, loans, grants, scholarship etc. at the conference. They will be given opportunities to be part of International events like the World Summit Youth Awards organized by the United Nations.

 

EduNet Africa Conference 2011

Objectives

-To explore the opportunities and possibilities the internet, mobile and new technologies provide within the academics in the areas of e-learning, business, communication and social changes (ICT4D).

-To educate and empower our teaching, learning and Training community with Internet education that will improve the quality of teaching, learning, e-collaboration, research and development in Africa.

-To spark up “net-preneurship” and digital revolution in Africa by creating opportunities for our institutions to develop applications that will compete favorably globally. It is an event that encourages African Startups through the African Startup Exhibitions.

This would  serve as the largest gathering of leading IT Professional in Africa who have interest in the educational sector, Internet based professionals, Service providers, Web strategists, Equipment manufacturers, University dons, students; this offers the best opportunity to network.

Speakers:

Speakers include; Professor Charles Uwadia – University of Lagos; Ms. Dorothy K. GordonKofi Annan Centre of Excellence in ICT, Ghana; Guy Berger – Rhodes University, South Africa; Sarah Chiumbu – Wits University;  South Africa; Professor Raymond Akwule -Digital Bridge Institute, Nigeria; Engr Titi Omo-Ettu -ATCON, Nigeria; Chris Uwaje – ISPON, Nigeria and a host of others.

 

Who Should Attend this Event?

-Senior and young academics and researchers from universities and Higher Education Communities.

-ICT coordinators and Managers. Media, PR and Brand experts, Digital Marketers

-Education administrators, Consultants and training practitioners

-Corporate training and Development Executives, company representatives

-Technology and Service Providers, Content providers, Web Masters, Publishers

-Web and Mobile application developers

-Entrepreneurs, Startups & anyone interested in leveraging the opportunity the internet providers.

Registration for the event is online via www.edunetafrica.com

 

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Is the UN’s Approval For A “No-fly zone” On Libya An Euphemism For War?


Cross-linked at Future Challenges Organization‘s blog

Heads of States, World Leaders, NGO’s & Civil Organizations around the world are vigorously debating the recommend-ability of establishing a No-Fly Zone resolution to stop the violence unfolding in Libya.

One might want to ask. What is a “No-Fly Zone“? In short and simple explanation:

A no-fly zone (or no-flight zone) is a territory over which aircraft are not permitted to fly. Such zones are usually set up in a military context, somewhat like a demilitarized zone in the sky. (Wikipedia)

If you cast your mind back, somewhere in the mid-90, Rwanda faced a similar situation where Former President Bill Clinton later expressed regret for not acting to save innocent Rwandan lives. Looking at the whole MENA (Middle East & North Africa) revolution today, the stakes in Libya today are more appropriately underscored by the tragedy in Iraq during the Persian Gulf War some 20-years ago.

 

United Nations Security Council Resolution

Earlier yesterday, the United Nations Security Council has approved a resolution authorizing a No-Fly Zone over Libya and other military actions against Libya as the President Obama administration worked to ready plans to enforce this action with help from the Arab and European allies.

UNSCR was backed by 10 countries, enough to pass it this law, while 5 other countries – including Russia, China and Germany – chose to abstain. None of the UN Security Council members voted against the Resolution.

In addition to a no-fly zone, the measure opens the door to any actions short of a ground invasion to halt attacks that could result in civilian fatalities.

The U.S. government has faced criticism for not moving more aggressively to help the rebels trying to topple Qaddafi, but has finally obtained international support for this effort. The measure passed just as Colonel Qaddafi warned residents of Benghazi, Libya, the rebel capital, that an attack was imminent.

The United States, France and Britain pushed for speedy approval because Muammar al-Qaddafi‘s forces are advancing toward opposition-held Benghazi. The Libyan leader vowed Thursday night to oust the rebels from their eastern stronghold.

French Prime Minister Francois Fillon said if the resolution was approved (now approved), France would support military action against Qaddafi and his forces within hours. The U.S. said it was preparing for action.

According to Susan Rice; U.S. Ambassador to the UN;

“This resolution was designed to do two important things; Protect civilians as well as strengthen the pressure on the Qaddafi regime through a substantial tightening of sanctions.”

Also, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said; a U.N. no-fly zone over Libya

“requires certain actions taken to protect the planes and the pilots, including bombing targets like the Libyan defense systems.”

Questions worth pondering over for comments and opinions:

What does this new resolution mean for the innocent Libyan people? Is this the step in the right direction? How long will this resolution last? Why did some countries abstain from the voting process? What is the future of Qaddafi & his forces? Would this force him to resign?

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Database of Social Conflicts in Africa Launched.


ongoing conflicts would map

Image via Wikipedia

Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of North Texas. and also an affiliate of the Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law at UT Austin; Idean Salehyan announced the launch of the Social Conflict in Africa Database (SCAD)

The database is a resource for conducting research and analysis on various forms of social and political unrest in Africa. It includes over 6,300 social conflict events across Africa (including North Africa) from 1990 to 2009, including riots, strikes, protests, coups, and communal violence. By tracking forms of conflict not covered in traditional datasets on civil and interstate war, SCAD gives policymakers and researchers new tools to analyze conflict patterns.

The Social Conflict in Africa Database (SCAD) will provide information on over 6,300 social conflict events across Africa, including strikes, riots, protests, coups and communal violence dating from 1990 to 2009.

For more information; access the database here also the press release can be here too…

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How To: LIVE-Blog or Tweet From A Global Event/Conference!


Whiles in Johannesburg, South Africa; Live-blogging from the “Sub-Saharan Africa Freedom of Expression & Internet Workshop”; a colleague whom I’ve known for a long time, joined twitter not long ago and I’m sorry to say; not too ICT-inclined sent me a message on Facebook asking;

What are those stuffs you keep saying on Twitter? What is RT? Where do you get your links from? Do you have any special protocols that you use? Is this very difficult to do? How exactly do you go about LIVE-blogging from global events? I’m sorry to bother but I really want to become like you. Thanks.

 

@MacJordan & @dotKwame Live-blogging from #TEDxYI

This isn’t the first time, I’ve received such a message; therefore I took it upon myself to write a post covering: LIVE-Blogging from Events/Conference and Workshops/Seminars.

CEO & Founder of Web4Africa; David Ajao once said;

“It looks like; Twitter was specially made for him (Mac-Jordan) because; the speed with which he tweet/update is just too awesome.

I won’t call myself a PRO in this New Media field yet as I’m still learning from my mentors (Erik Hersman, Jillian C. York & Ethan Zuckerman). I’m just very passionate for anything new media that helps in information dissemination in real time. Below are some ideas that should get you started to LIVE-blog from any event or workshop you find yourself.

Pre-Event Preparations

  • Get Accreditation / Press Pass: In recent times, more PR & Media companies are beginning to treat and recognize bloggers & social media activists as “New Media Press”. If your intention is to cover the event for your online audience; be sure to emphasize your reach, influence and network effect.
  • Wi-Fi/Cell Coverage: Be very sure to check on the presence of Wi-Fi at the venue. Ask whether the venue has either free Wi-Fi or strong cell reception. Make necessary provision for internet modems from any of the Telcos in case there is no Wi-Fi or internet connectivity.
  • Confirm The Hashtag: As opposed to creating your own, ask the conference organizers if there is an official Hashtag e.g. (#MFA10Maker Faire Africa 10; #BCGhana Barcamp Ghana; #FC_Org – Future Challenges Org; #GVOGlobal Voices Online) for the event. If they don’t understand the words coming out of your mouth and think a “hashtag” is some sort of drug label, feel free to get creative.
  • Configure Your Applications: Whether you intend to use your laptop or smart phone, please be sure to pre-program your tools (such as TweetDeck, HootSuite or Twitterrific) with the appropriate hashtag.
  • Bring Your Charger & Power Plug(s): I know this one is painful and it’s happened to me more than once. (I traveled to  Casablanca, Morocco on the invitation of a friend to attend & share my views on New Media & Development in Africa; & I totally forgot my chargers. That is not happening ever again). Do not forget your charger(s). Make sure, you bring all of your gadget chargers from laptop; Digi-cam & smart-phone.

Live At The Event/Conference

The keynote is about to begin and it’s time to get to work. The Chair of the event is ready! What’s the best way to cover the event?

  • Be A Back-Log Flower: Like it or not, most traditional conference attendees will think you’re being extremely rude by clicking away during the presentation. Shy away from the front tables and instead choose a spot toward the back of the room. You’re more likely to find power plugs and won’t disturb those around you.
  • Set The Stage: Just like BBC/CNN, your followers may tune in to your Twitter stream at various points throughout the day. Level set with a tweet or two every few hours that describes the event’s purpose, location and name. e.g. (Tweeting LIVE from Bar-Camp Ghana in Accra. Follow us for more with the hashtag: #BCGhana)
  • Share Live Photos: There are various photo sharing apps on the micro-blogging platform these days. Take a snap of the conference whiles in section and attendees; share it on Twitter via either Twitpic, yFrog or Plixi
  • Use Attribution: If someone says something interesting, either use “– per [name]“, actual quotation marks and/or a reference to their firm. If you don’t explicitly state the source, your followers will be confused and may take the statement out of context.
  • Follow Others: Check the hashtag with some level of frequency to determine if anyone else in the room is covering the event as well. This is a good way to connect in real life and potentially divide and conquer across simultaneous tracks.
  • Perpetuate The Conversation: Although this can be difficult, watch for those statements that triggered interest among your followers. To the extent possible, reply to their comments, re-tweets and thoughts during breaks or the sessions themselves.

Post-Event Wrap Up

The curtain drops and another event is in the can. Now it’s time to head home and make sense of it all. What’s next?

  • Measure Your Success: Use sites such as What the Hashtag?! to find some amazing statistics on the event, including the number of tweets, contributors, tweets per day, re-tweets and the like. This helps to justify your impact the next time you ask for a free conference pass.
  • Blog Content: For the past three events I covered, nearly every cogent thought and worthwhile nugget was tweeted. Upon my return I used tools like Twitter search to revisit the hashtag driven-content as source material for my blog posts.
  • Thank Your Hosts: If you want to be invited back, but sure to tip your hat to the hosting organization. This is another no-brainer that I have seen my new media colleagues neglect time and time again.
  • Thank Your Followers: Also thank those who participated in the conversation and helped get the message out. Remember that without them you wouldn’t be there at all.

If you follow these simple rules I’m confident that conference organizers, your fellow attendees and online followers will be pleased with the results.

Did I forget anything? I’m very sure; there are other wonderful ideas with LIVE-blogging from conferences/events; please share your tips and tricks and let’s keep the conversation going.

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Nokia E7 Ready For West African Market April, 2011


I’ve always been a big fan of Nokia phones. As a matter of fact; my first phone I ever bought was a Nokia 1110 and later came the Nokia E71. In a previous review on; My Sleek Nokia E71; I actually described how I fell in love with Nokia’s innovations when it comes to manufacturing durable, sleek and portable phones that could do just anything any other smart-phone wasn’t doing.

Nokia is set to give its competitors in the making of smart-phones with the global launch of Nokia E7 a hard time. With its tilting 4 inch Clear Black display, full keyboard and a fast access to a wide variety of apps directly on the home-screen, the Nokia E7 is the key to having a successful day in or out of the office.

Importantly, the device supports business applications from leading enterprise technology partners including Microsoft and IBM. From all indications, the device would hit the West African market, first week in April at the very latest.

“People are continuing to look for solutions that suit both their work and personal life; in business circles this is known as the ‘consumerization’ of IT. The Nokia E7 gives people the confidence to bring their own smart-phones to the workplace to connect securely to corporate messaging servers,” said Spokesperson, Nokia.

“On the other hand, whether you are an artist, entrepreneur, university student or aspiring world traveler, the Nokia E7 is the only smart-phone you will need to get the world’s best mobile navigation and mapping application, thousands of apps, millions of music, and a rich messaging experience.”

For business users, Nokia E7 provides direct, secure and real-time access to email, calendar, contacts, tasks and the corporate directory through Microsoft Exchange servers, as well as Office Communicator Mobile, developed by Microsoft for Nokia smart-phones, which brings presence and corporate instant messaging.

The Sleek Nokia E7

Additionally, a wide range of entertainment and social services available on the Nokia E7 make it the perfect off-duty companion, and the Ovi Store offers a wealth of apps such as Bloomberg, Angry Birds and Sports Tracker.

The new arrival offers drive or walk navigation in 80 countries. The latest commercial version of Ovi Maps, available immediately via Ovi Store or Ovi Suite, adds visibility to subways, trams and trains, real-time traffic, safety alerts, visibility to parking and petrol stations, speed limit warnings, and improved search and location sharing capabilities.

The All New Nokia E7

Here are more reasons why the Nokia E7 is the all-in-one business smart-phone:

Easy access to private and business email

Create, edit and share office documents and view PDF files with Adobe Reader

Fast, secure intranet access with the built-in VPN

High-resolution photos and HD video with the 8 megapixel camera and dual LED flash

HDMI connectivity to project files, videos and images onto large screens

16 gigabytes of on-board flash memory

USB-On-The-Go, enabling easy file sharing by connecting USB a stick to the smart-phone.

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Call For Applications: DABRA 2011


The 2011 DIAGEO Africa Business Reporting Awards (DABRA) which was launched last week in Nairobi, Kenya is currently accepting entries into the various categories. The 2010 awards attracted 750 entries that were narrowed down to the finalists.

Invitations are welcome from all African countries. Entries must reach the secretariat by 21 March 2011. The Awards ceremony will be held in Central London on June 30, 2011. Remember there are no participation fees.

About DABRA:

The DABRA recognize journalists and editors who provide high quality coverage of the business environment in Africa. Since the Awards’ inception in 2004, Africa is a different place and is home to some of the world’s fastest growing economies. Against this backdrop, the Awards continue to seek out, recognize and reward excellence in business journalism.

The Awards recognize the fact that more and better business journalism plays an important role in Africa’s investment flows. We believe that better and more accurate reporting generates more business interest on the continent.

General Guidelines:

To qualify for the Diageo Africa Business Reporting Awards 2011 all submissions must have been published or broadcast in the period 18 April 2010 – 20 March 2011. Submissions in all media are welcome, including blogs, podcasts, online content, print, radio and TV entries. Entries must reach the secretariat by 21 March 2011.

The various Award Categories are:

1. Best ICT feature

2. Best Finance feature

3. Best Infrastructure feature

4. Best Agribusiness / Environment feature

5. Best Tourism feature

6. Best use of New Media in a story

7. Best Business News story

8. Best Business Feature story

9. Best Newcomer

10. Media of the Year; and

11. Journalist of the Year.

For more information, please visit www.diageoafricabusinessreportingawards.com. Apply via the Online Application Form here: DABRA 2011 Awards. For Francophone Journalists & Reporters; please Click here to download entry guidelines in French

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Why Africa Is Your Best Investment Destination.


According to Michel Bézy; in the last decade, things have been changing in Africa. Better governance, investments by Eastern countries, the end of wars, and the resolution of the debt crisis have all resulted in significant progress in supporting businesses and the resulting maturation of the business climate.

An interesting interactive graphic “The New Gold Rush” recently published by The Wall Street Journal shows how the rise of a new consumer class is shifting the balance in Africa.

WJS's Infographic on Africa: "The New Gold Rush"

You will find more than 9 million search results from Google by typing “investing in Africa.” But beyond interesting anecdotes many noteworthy papers and books have been published on the subject of “investing in Africa” in the recent years, including:

  • Paul Collier, author of the influential book, “The Bottom Billion,” published “Now’s the Time to Invest in Africa” in Harvard Business Review in 2009.
  • The McKinsey report Lions on the Move notes: “Today the rate of return on foreign investment in Africa is higher than in any other developing region”.
  • The annual flow of foreign direct investment (FDI) into Africa in 2008 increased to $62 billion, from $9 billion in 2000.
  • Wal-Mart Stores announced a cash offer of over 2 billion USD for a majority stake in the South African retail company Massmart Holdings, one of South Africa’s biggest retailers.
  • The CEO of the Rwanda Development Board makes the case for Rwanda in the Independent, a local media: Rwanda is now open for business.
  • My friend Ryan Allis, CEO of iContact, speaks about Why invest In Africa? in his Dare Mighty Things blog and provides good links for investments in Africa.

Ghana is also named amongst 17 other countries in Steven Radelet’s book: Emerging Africa – 17 Countries Are Leading The Way which provides a more in depth view of the success of some countries tagged as Emerging Countries. From; Growth, Governance and Good News in Africa (Next billion);

These countries (including Ghana) are putting behind them the conflict, stagnation, and dictatorships of the past and replacing them with steady economic growth, deepening democracy, improved governance, and decreased poverty.

Five fundamental changes are at work:

(1) more democratic and accountable governments;

(2) more sensible economic policies;

(3) the end of the debt crisis and changing relationships with donors;

(4) the spread of new technologies; and

(5) the emergence of a new generation of policymakers, activists, and business leaders.

The 17 Emerging Countries are: Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Ethiopia, Ghana, Lesotho, Mali, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Sao Tome & Principe, Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia.

Question: Why isn’t the oil exporting giants; Angola and Nigeria not included in this list?

 

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