Tuesday, December 4, 2007

x ould y

I first started believing the hype about e-democracy when, while talking to a student from Mauritania at Gaston Berger in Senegal, West Africa about blogging, he showed me hundreds of entries of the blog x ould y downloaded onto his computer. He explained that x ould y is a blog about mauritanian news, gossip, rants, and politics.

My friend had an ancient desktop, and no internet access, yet the blog was spread through burnt CDs and USB drives among Mauritanian youth, carrying this renegade news source, at times the only consistent free media about Mauritania. He explained to me that the anonymous blogger was considered a hero to his generation of Mauritanian youth and claimed his presence had significantly contributed to recent democratic movements within the country.

My friend may have exaggerated the impact of x ould y, but its hard not to admire that just the existence of free speech on the internet would carry such an impact onto Mauritanian youth’s political awareness, even when they themselves had limited internet access. Also, since this conversation my friend has began blogging himself and decided to open an internet café in Nouadhibou after college.

At GYAN, I remember our newsletter mentioned october's connect africa summit in Rwanda. This sounds like something to follow up on...

x ould y
Connect Africa Summit

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