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December, 2006

A library you can hold: Measuring just 2x5x8 inches, the eGranary, is an educational digital library, holding literally millions of documents on an external drive. Frank Mitchell delivered one this month to Bwiru Girls HS in Tanzania. Its interface provides the look and feel of being on an internet confined to "high quality educational content: no pornography, no viruses, no adware..." while also avoiding line charges and waiting-times - both substantial in the East African Internet situation.

Coming in January, the new eGranary 500 boasts double the capacity and content - 500 gigabytes or half a trillion characters - but the same physical size. TEAA has ordered 8 of them for distribution to schools all around Lake Victoria by Ed Schmidt and Henry Hamburger in February. Its 5 million documents will include the entire Wikipedia, classic literature from Project Gutenberg, the complete OpenCourseWare from MIT and over 1,000 Web sites.

Books you can hold: Enlightened policy at Nganza Girls' HS in Mwanza, Tanzania permits students to take these books home to study over the end-of-year break. At right is our teacher liaison, Dominician Mkama.

120 TEAA Computers are starting to arrive at East African schools, mostly in pallets of twenty. One pallet has arrived at a Kenya school, two are en route to Tanzania and three more will leave the US for Uganda in early 2007. All are shipped in container-loads by our partner, the World Computer Exchange; they write: "All of your equipment [for Tanzania] was recently tested including its hard drive being present and working - by our volunteers in the DC area."  More info at: .
Going with the flow: Oil just sits there, but water moves. We are taught that ancient Egypt used Nile floods to raise crops, but what about alternative uses of that water by those living closer to its source? England bargained away East African water rights decades ago. Now, with a half-century of explosive population growth in Ethiopia, Kenya and other upstream countries, and as global warming and desertification weigh in, serious disagreements arise.
    • 9 nations edge toward deal: more.  
    • Colonial treaty scrapped: more.  
    • Egyptian perspective: more.  
    • East African perspective: more.  
    • Population growth as culprit: more.  
    • Aswan blocks silt benefit: more.  
November, 2006

Reading the newspaper in the local language is a popular activity for these multilingual students at the Kitengesa Community Library, which sits on the grounds of their secondary school. Photo is from TEAA-er and Uganda literacy leader Kate Parry who writes "we have just raised $4,300 for the library from the benefit announced in the attached newsletter." more
Fulfilling stated needs of schools in Uganda and Tanzania, we have just sent books assigned for 2007 national literature exams and several cartons of carefully screened science books.
One Laptop per Child (see OLPC) has created a "potent learning tool ... for the world's poorest children." Its unusual business model for philanthropy is analyzed in three parts at: I II III Broadband cable, extending almost 6,000 miles, from South Africa to Sudan is to involve 23 countries, including Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya. more
Climate change: World "must act now or Africa will go 'up in smoke'" more
Nairobi conference: Kofi Annan assails "frightening lack of leadership." more
US CO2 emissions are twice Europe's per capita and 7 times China's. more
Flamingos and lake are dying. Massive destruction of the catchment area is drying up Lake Nakuru and decimating its flock. more
Uganda truce creates buffer zones, to allow safe assembly of LRA troops. Talks in Juba are "rekindled." BBC
Africa, oil, China more Africa, trade, aid, China more
October, 2006
Computer maintenance... has just taken a leap forward in the Internet Cafe at Bwiru Boys HS in Tanzania. Recent graduate Willy Andrew carried out maintenance tasks in long-distance coordination with Frank Mitchell, the founder and funder of the cafe. Willy's efforts included an all-night session. "Many students started watching him do the maintenance and three stayed up all night with him," writes Frank, who hopes these three will now be able to carry on with the regular maintenance that is crucial for a successful computing facility and had been lacking.
A more comprehensive approach... to the above computing facility issues is reported by Keith Schuchard: "We just brought over to Emory [University] the Meru [Boys HS] computer lab manager in order to train him in maintaining, upgrading, rebuilding, etc., the computers that we are sending. We've talked to people at other projects, and they all repeat the same caveat--to supply the computers without an adequately trained lab manager leads to disaster (as Meru's lab almost became a computer graveyard)."

Ugandans vote with their feet: 300,000 have left refugee camps and headed home, hoping government-LRA talks will succeed. Cooking pots in camp (right) are cropped from AFP photo. - BBC.
East African Federation: Consultations are to begin in all three countries and continue until next June. - AllAfrica   more - in new window Zanzibar fights malaria ... with indoor spraying. "Until recently, the virus was the leading health problem in Zanzibar." - UN/IRINNEWS. more
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