Archive

Monthly Archives: August 2016

The world’s first self-driving taxi service was recently launched in Singapore. Here is an abridged version of how The Guardian (international) reported on this world-first.

3540

A nuTonomy car vehicle. Photo-credit: Yong Teck Lim/AP.

“The world’s first “self-driving” taxi service has been launched in Singapore – albeit with a human backup driver and co-pilot on board for the time being.

While multiple companies, including Google and Volvo, have been testing self-driving cars on public roads for several years, nuTonomy said it would be the first to offer rides to the public, beating Uber, which plans to offer rides in autonomous cars in Pittsburgh, by a few weeks.

The service would start with six cars, growing to a dozen by the end of the year, said nuTonomy, adding that it aimed to have a fully self-driving taxi fleet in Singapore by 2018. Read More

Advertisements
Rhythmic Revolution: Captain Sankara on his guitar, one of the few things he owned

Rhythmic Revolution: Captain Sankara on his guitar, one of the few things he owned

EARLIER THIS month, the people of Burkina Faso celebrated the anniversary of the August 4 Revolution that brought Captain Thomas Sankara into power. Given recent developments in the country – the ouster of long-ruling president, Blaise Compaore – and subsequent attempts at destabilising the transition government, the occasion was marked with great reflection.

The memory of Sankara is not only for the Burkinabe to hold. As a committed pan-African, Sankara’s contributions towards the shaping of African consciousness are not only enormous, but they have also stood the test of time. From renaming Upper Volta to Burkina Faso – Land of the Upright People – to challenging practices of post-colonial States in relation to the colonising presence, Sankara set a solid and futuristic framework for thinking about governance and development. And, he was not just about the talk!

“We must make every effort to see that our actions live up to our words and be vigilant with regards to our social behaviour so as not to lay ourselves open to attack by counter-revolutionaries lying in wait. If we always keep in mind that the interests of the masses take precedence over our personal interests, then we will avoid going off course,” once thundered Sankara. Read More

TO UNDERSTAND the crisis of public leadership in Malawi, you have to look no further than Grace ‘Obama’ Chiumia, a cabinet minister whose open mouth and shut mind perfectly encapsulate the malaise afflicting Malawi.

In July 2014, the month of our golden jubilee as a nation, this minister urged young sports persons in the country to adopt the names of world-famous superstars as a way of bringing sporting success to Malawi. In the same breath, she mentioned that her adoption of US president, Barack Hussein Obama’s surname had brought her much success in politics. She equated herself to the real Obama!

“If you adopt names of famous tennis players such as Serena Williams and Rafael Nadal, you will succeed in this particular sport discipline just like them. Try it!” she advised, with no sense of irony or shame at all.

And, just when one thought Chiumia could not get any dumber, outdo herself and sink even lower to reveal just how much of an airhead she is, another bombshell was dropped this past week with her invoking Malawi’s painful past of the life presidency. Read More

(Editor’s Note: the first section of this article is written by Levi Kabwato)

AROUND THE WORLD, Empathy is in short supply. Our ability to move past tragedy and forget them is quite alarming. The hashtags on social media have not made things easier as well. You can simply hashtag your message and feel you have done enough so you can move on with your life. Perhaps this should be fine, if you consider that a lot more goes ignored because, well, most people just do not have the time or strength to devote to every problem of the world.

Surely, however, there are things that can be done at a local level. There are various actions that can be taken in order to deal with social ills and other malaise in the pursuit of justice. It does not have to be earth-shattering – just simple expressions of Empathy that reveal what our African-ness is all about – Ubuntu/Umunthu.

I am because you are. Read More

Earlier this week, a report from the South African Police Service (SAPS) made for sad reading. Some Malawians were busted for human trafficking in the North West province.

13731847_1420007938026144_8363553764848714688_o

PHOTO CREDIT: SOUTH AFRICAN POLICE SERVICES

“On investigation, and during the search,” the report said, “fifty-seven (57) undocumented children aged between eleven (11) and twenty-one (21) years were found in the back of a delivery truck which is without windows. Eighteen (18) of these children are girls (females) while thirty-nine (39) of them are boys (males). These children were transported by the three adult occupants including the driver who are Malawian nationals. These adults could not provide a satisfactory account on the status of all the children. The driver and his two companions were arrested for human trafficking. Further probe has revealed that all children were also Malawian nationals.” Read More