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Annansi Notes: Fall Out Boy, Mandela, Clint Eastwood, African babies, Facebook in Kenya

  • Fall Out Boy head to Africa….Uganda really (What’s a rock band’s image without an African charity connection. Shout out to director extraordinaire Alan Ferguson) )
  • Clint Eastwood will direct Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon in a new Nelson Mandela movie “The Human Factor” (The Hollywood/Africa trend grows. They should expect a call from some concerned Africans real soon.)
  • Facebook is the new office fashion in Kenya (Rupert Murdoch needs to get the Myspace/Wall Street Journal thing sorted out fast)
  • Actress Mary-Louise Parker adopts a child from Africa (Can all these African childrens’ biological families get visitation visas now?)
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Video: Journalist Andrew Mwenda on the dark side of African aid

September 26th, 2007 | No Comments | Posted in Business, Charity, Events, General, Politics

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Egypt, Ghana, Kenya among top 10 reformed business economies says World Bank report

September 26th, 2007 | No Comments | Posted in Business, General, Politics, Travel
World Bank top reformers

The World Bank has released its annual ranking of the ease of doing business in 178 economies. The newly released Doing Business 2008 Project “provides objective measures of business regulations and their enforcement across 178 countries. The team works closely with thousands of professionals around the world”. While the report gives a worldwide view on where to do business within various categories including starting a business, registering property, and enforcing contracts, of particular interest are the economies which continue to rise by offering new incentives and steamlining business processes. Of the top 10 reformed economies for 2006/07, three African countries – Egypt, Ghana, and Kenya – show some serious potential. This is particularly good news for Ghana as it will attempt to raise $750m on the international market this Thursday by having the “first ever listing of Ghana’s sovereign bonds on the international capital market”. With a one week listing on the London Stock Exchange beginning Thursday, September 27th, Ghana will be only the second sub-Saharan African nation, after South Africa, to be allowed to issue bonds on the international market as a means of raising funds to finance national projects.

The Doing Business 2008 Report is a great starting point for individuals and companies looking to spread their wings and enter one of the many attractive emerging African markets. The Doing Business website offers in depth explanations as well as an interactive chart where users can specify their region of interest and sort data by business concerns.

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Growing African film and African-American talent

September 24th, 2007 | 2 Comments | Posted in Business, Film/Television, General, Travel

No. 1 Ladies� Detective Agency production stillIn the years I’ve been lending my expertise to the growth of the African film industry I have gotten a chance to understand the complexities that exist behind the scenes. As a moviegoer, I’ve always detested the role Africa plays in film. Working behind the scenes, I have come to understand what drives the movie studios to continue to make these kinds of films. In trying to change the final product (movies), the studios’ bottom lines (financial rewards) plays a major part. Simply put, movie studios are have to see the possibilities of a financial reward in producing Africa-related films the “right way”. While I cannot say it’s an easy task, I am always inspired by the small changes I continue to see. In my opinion, one of the ways which will change the process of making African films for Western audiences is to tie the African film industry to the strong African-American film community. While the film industry at large struggles to make a return on the production costs, with blockbusters not making the numbers they used to, the African-American film community has a great opportunity to align with the African film community and continue to grow professionally and financially. But creativity and authenticity is the real key. One of the first of what is sure to be a slew of African-American/African film projects looks to be the film adaptation of Alexander McCall Smith’s bestselling book “The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency”.

The NY Times gives some background about the efforts to make “The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency” in Botswana. With a primarily African-American and African cast including Jill Scott, Idris Elba, and Anika Noni Rose, the film is an example of the African stories which can finance African growth, and breath new life into the American film industry while allowing African-American filmmakers to share in the possible successes.

…in the end the government of Botswana sealed the deal to make “The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency” on location and not in a Johannesburg back lot, contributing $5 million to finance it. In return Botswana received not only the economic benefits of housing and servicing a major film but also hands-on training in moviemaking that officials hope will sow the seeds of a film industry. Botswana is also counting on a tourism benefit from the film: the Kgale Hill set that includes Mma Ramotswe’s (the lead character) office is being preserved and will become part of a “Ladies’ Detective Agency” tour for those drawn to Botswana by Mr. Smith’s stories.

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Africa Enterprising articles part 4

African Enterprising logoThe 4th edition of the The Carnival of African Enterprising has launched at Nii Simmonds’ Nubian Cheetah blog. As with the previous 3 installments of ideas, this edition highlights some of the best posts from the African business/entrepreneurship blogosphere. I’m happy to see that as the carnival continues, there are new names and perspectives being added. This edition covers Blogging Trade & Investment Forums, Business in Africa, Entrepreneurship in Africa with posts on:

  • TED Global 2007: Afterglow (David McQueen)
  • Idea Exchange: sponsors & links (Bankelele)
  • TED Global, Africa: The Next Chapter (Jen Brea)
  • Vote to add Africa 2.0 panel to SXSW festival schedule (G. Kofi Annan)
  • IBM Thinks Africa (Benin Mwangi)
  • Hear IBM Vice President’s view on Africa’s present market opportunities (African Path)
  • Kenyans in the Diaspora Conference Final Thoughts (Joshua Wanyama)
  • Planting Seeds: TED Global (Emeka)
  • The Power of a TED Talk (Erik Hersman)
  • Tanzania diminishes chances of regional integration (Ken Teyie)
  • In the media: Khartoum, the Dubai of Africa (Africaincorp)
  • Want Financial Freedom? Start your Own Fashion Business (Uduak Oduok)
  • Ideas to grow the informal sector in Africa (Nii Simmonds)
  • Meso Finance: the next area of financing for SME’s in Africa (Nii Simmonds)
  • From China to Virtual Africa: How Can Participatory Media Benefit the World? (Alanagh Recreant)

Head over to the Nubian Cheetah blog for the post description and links.

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Where I’ve been

September 24th, 2007 | 1 Comment | Posted in Editor's Note, General

As I mentioned in my previous post it’s been a hectic couple of weeks. I’ve been dealing with both personal and professional changes but alas, I have sorted everything out to allow for a bit of normalcy. Here’s a recap of some of the events which have made the past couple of weeks so crazy.

New schedule, New projects, New website: A announcement is that I am no longer at my day job and am currently working independently. While I have never really talked about my day job here, those of you who I have had the pleasure of interacting with behind the scenes are familiar with my former position. While I never mentioned my 9 to 5 here, I feel it’s necessary to do so now to express how excited I am that I will be able to focus on the subjects I have been following and reporting about here on Annansi Chronicles. In the time it will take me to secure another full time position, I will be pushing full steam ahead with some of the projects which have been delayed due to my other responsibilities. Some initial projects include organizing a mini conference/roundtable, completing a proposal for my next book, and implementing a sales schedule for my clothing line. With my new working schedule, I am excited to be able to better contribute to the growth of African blogging/marketing/fashion/business community. If anyone wants to find out more about the projects I’m working on or would like to work together or just network check out my NEW website and feel free to contact me.

$10, 000 in book sales: While I was away from blogging, my current book project, “The Age of Conversation”, past $10, 000 in sales. Amazing!!! When I decided to contribute to the authoring of “The Age of Conversation, I never imagined the impact it would have. In the months since it’s release I have had a chance to meet and befriend some inspiring individuals. As the book sales move quickly past $10K, the effect continues to be felt within the marketing community. If you haven’t already done so, make sure you purchase a copy of The Age of Conversation.

Thanks to all for reading, commenting, and linking to the Annansi Chronicles.


In Transition

September 11th, 2007 | No Comments | Posted in Editor's Note, General

Sorry for the lack of updates folks. I have been sidetracked by a ton of events and changes. Among them is moving to a new town, getting my businesses in order for the fall/winter, settling into a new working schedule, and getting caught up in the action at NY Fashion Week. The good news is I’m almost settled in for the fall/winter. I will be back up in a couple of days. You can join me on Facebook to interact, or just shoot me an email to connect.

at NY Fashion Weekat Joanna

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