Recent News & Press Updates
The past month, though less jam-packed with travel than others, has nonetheless been another inspiring and busy month in east Africa. Since returning from Kenya, I’ve spent the majority of my time in Dar es Salaam, exploring more story ideas, publishing a few pieces, and cultivating several media partnerships for BoP content. I’m excited to announce that you’ll be seeing The (BoP) Project contributing regularly to Dowser.org and NextBillion.net, two prominent online resources and outlets for news, insights, and media in the Social Enterprise field.
Meanwhile, I’ve been working with Kujali International in Dar es Salaam to set up a solar kiosk for students of HOCET Secondary School, where students will run a solar kiosk in a rural, off-grid village, selling small-scale solar products from companies such as D.Light, Barefoot Power, Sunny Money and others, while also offering phone charging and energy-related services that are currently under-provided in the area. It’s been keeping me rather busy, but in the next month or two we should finish the planning and launch the business-and from there I’ll be most likely moving on from Dar es Salaam to base myself in my favorite east African city- Nairobi.
I’m continuing to experiment with the theme of documenting “potential” over “poverty” through the BoP Project, and trying to bring the point up in discussions more with east Africans. Do they feel the media is fairly portraying the region’s development? What are the negative effects of coverage of nonprofit’s work, and nonprofit’s own projection to the rest of the world of their own work? At the same time, I’m trying to understand the true perception of social enterprises among locals. There are many western-based social enterprises operating in east Africa, and I feel it’s important to get to know how locals view the notion of a “social businesses”, especially headed by expats, and what the perceived advantages over NGO’s are. I will hopefully have something up about this soon!
Anyways, here are a few pieces I’ve published or contributed to in the past month. Hope you enjoy!
NextBillion.net: “The BoP In Pictures: One Beekeeper, Many Hives In Kenya” http://www.nextbillion.net/blog/2011/04/28/the-beekeeper-joyce-kavinya-motunga
Dowser.org: “How Mafuta Sasa is turning waste cooking oil into clean-burning biodiesel in East Africa” http://dowser.org/bringing-biodiesel-to-africa/
Dowser.org: “BoP Slideshow: KOMAZA, innovations in microforestry and sustainability in Africa” http://dowser.org/bop-slideshow-komaza-innovations-in-microforestry-and-sustainablity-in-africa/
“On The Ground” (Kristof’s New York Times Blog): “Where The Grid Will Not Go”, By Josh Ruxin. Tuesday, March 29th, 2011 (The (BoP) Project Photo Credit) http://kristof.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/03/29/where-the-grid-will-not-go/
PhotoPhilanthropy: “Documenting Potential Over Poverty” http://photophilanthropy.org/2011/04/06/documenting-potential-over-poverty/
The Star (Kenya): “On The Coast, Money Grows On Trees” The Star Newspaper, Thursday March 17th, 2011
The Star (Kenya): “If There Is Sunshine, There Will Be Water” The Star Weekend Edition, Saturday, March 5th, 2011