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The Culture of Connectivity: A Critical History of Social Media by Jose van Dijck

The Culture of Connectivity: A Critical History of Social Media by Jose van Dijck | NGOs in Human Rights, Peace and Development | Scoop.it

The first critical history of social media Offers a new look at well-known platforms like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Wikipedia, and Flikr Provides a comprehensive view of the larger social and cultural trends underpinning social media Develops a new framework for understanding social media as a techno-cultural and socio-economic phenomenon

Social media has come to deeply penetrate our lives: Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and many other platforms define many of our daily habits of communication and creative production. The Culture of Connectivity studies the rise of social media in the first decade of the twenty-first century up until 2012, providing both a historical and a critical analysis of the emergence of major platforms in the context of a rapidly changing ecosystem of connective media. Such history is needed to understand how these media have come to profoundly affect our experience of online sociality. The first stage of their development shows a fundamental shift. While most sites started out as amateur-driven community platforms, half a decade later they have turned into large corporations that do not just facilitate user connectedness, but have become global information and data mining companies extracting and exploiting user connectivity.
Author and media scholar José van Dijck offers an analytical prism to examine techno-cultural as well as socio-economic aspects of this transformation. She dissects five major platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, and Wikipedia. Each of these microsystems occupies a distinct position in the larger ecology of connective media, and yet, their underlying mechanisms for coding interfaces, steering users, and filtering content rely on shared ideological principles. At the level of management and organization, we can also observe striking similarities between these platforms' shifting ownership status, governance strategies, and business models.
Reconstructing the premises on which these platforms are built, this study highlights how norms for online interaction and communication gradually changed. "Sharing," "friending," "liking," "following," "trending," and "favoriting" have come to denote online practices imbued with specific technological and economic meanings. This process of normalization, the author argues, is part of a larger political and ideological battle over information control in an online world where everything is bound to become social. Crossing lines of technological, historical, sociological, and cultural inquiry, The Culture of Connectivitywill reshape the way we think about interpersonal connection in the digital age.

 

 

Readership: Students and scholars of: media studies, technology studies, music technology, cultural studies, anthropology, and sociology.

 

Source: http://ukcatalogue.oup.com/product/9780199970780.do

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Food security alarm for east, central Africa

Food security alarm for east, central Africa | NGOs in Human Rights, Peace and Development | Scoop.it

Some 20 million people are facing acute food insecurity in eastern and central Africa, with most of them being at “crisis” and “emergency” levels, according to aid agencies. This figure compares unfavorably with 15.8 million people in July 2013.

The affected countries include Somalia, Uganda, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Central Africa Republic (CAR), Sudan, Kenya, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Tanzania.

“The overall nutrition situation in the region has deteriorated precipitously and, according to survey results, the Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) levels are higher than 20 percent, exceeding the World Health Organization’s emergency threshold of 15 percent, especially in parts of South Sudan, CAR, Somalia and northern Kenya,” said the East and Central Africa Food Security and Nutrition Working Group (FSNWG), a multi-stakeholder regional forum chaired by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)....


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Ghana ranked 138th on 2014 Human Development Report - Citifmonline

Ghana ranked 138th on 2014 Human Development Report - Citifmonline | NGOs in Human Rights, Peace and Development | Scoop.it
Ghana ranked 138th on 2014 Human Development Report
Citifmonline
The rankings are based on a country's development of its people in the areas of Education, Health and livelihood.
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A Paradigm Shift for Student Engagement

Even more interesting is that, according to research, children will play video games for several hours, yet fail as much as 80% of the time at those games, all the while continuing to persevere with an almost irrational determination.


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Nik Peachey's curator insight, August 14, 1:02 AM

Interesting article about making learning into a kind of computer game.

Edgar Mata's curator insight, August 15, 7:40 AM

Un buen artículo.

 

Tiene razón: Los niños y jóvenes pueden pasar horas con un vídeo-juego a pesar de que fallarán el 80% de las ocasiones y "perseverarán con  una determinación casi irracional", algo de esta perseverancia y determinación sería útil en el salón de clases.

 

Sin embargo, las críticas a su propuesta de usar juegos en la clase también tienen sentido:

"¿Qué pasará el próximo año cuando asistan a una nueva clase y se den cuenta que la escuela es trabajo y no 'juego y diversión'? Los estás preparando para una decepción."

 

Un interesante debate. 

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Putin addresses Russia's parliament in Crimea - Aljazeera.com

Putin addresses Russia's parliament in Crimea - Aljazeera.com | NGOs in Human Rights, Peace and Development | Scoop.it
Aljazeera.com
Putin addresses Russia's parliament in Crimea
Aljazeera.com
... are seeing as a sign to the people of the recently annexed region that they have not been forgotten.
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Sadc bows to Zimbabwe pressure on tribunal - Bulawayo24

Sadc bows to Zimbabwe pressure on tribunal - Bulawayo24 | NGOs in Human Rights, Peace and Development | Scoop.it
Sadc bows to Zimbabwe pressure on tribunal
Bulawayo24
Regional socio-political and economic grouping Sadc has buckled under pressure from President Robert Mugabe's government to come up with a tribunal based on a new protocol.
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Why USA-Africa Business Strengthens Africa’s Bargain With China

Why USA-Africa Business Strengthens Africa’s Bargain With China | NGOs in Human Rights, Peace and Development | Scoop.it

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Rusizi: Local leaders urged to promote peace - News Of Rwanda Group

Rusizi: Local leaders urged to promote peace - News Of Rwanda Group | NGOs in Human Rights, Peace and Development | Scoop.it
News Of Rwanda Group Rusizi: Local leaders urged to promote peace News Of Rwanda Group The call was made by the vice mayor for social affairs in Rusizi district Basile Bayihiki during a training organized by Rwanda Peace Education Program (RPEP), a...
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It's time for the international criminal court to rule on the conduct of the Israeli army

It's time for the international criminal court to rule on the conduct of the Israeli army | NGOs in Human Rights, Peace and Development | Scoop.it
This article was jointly written with Mark McDonald, deputy head of Mansfield Chambers and founder of Labour Friends of Palestine.

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Local staff and aid effectiveness: does integration matter? | Devpolicy Blog from the Development Policy Centre

Local staff and aid effectiveness: does integration matter? | Devpolicy Blog from the Development Policy Centre | NGOs in Human Rights, Peace and Development | Scoop.it

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Dr Lendy Spires's curator insight, August 14, 8:55 PM


Much has been written on this blog and elsewhere about the potential impacts of the DFAT-AusAID merger. Some have emphasized the positives: the aid program will more closely align with our foreign policy agenda and be more accountable, and even that it might use less jargon. Others have suggested that it could lose direction, and that DFAT could lose its capacity to implement a quality aid program.


Robin Davies wrote about the need to reconcile two different workplace cultures, and hold onto the wealth of experience from AusAID whilst adjusting to the realities of the new DFAT aid architecture and organizational culture. While integration is still a work in progress, it’s interesting to consider the consequences beyond Australia and how this change will impact locally engaged staff – the backbone of AusAID.


In DFAT, local staff are decidedly subordinate to Australian diplomatic staff (‘A-based’ personnel). In recent years, this was not always the case with AusAID. But the changes that have taken place since the AusAID-DFAT merger have seen the aid program return to the sorts of structures used typically in foreign ministries – with local staff mainly in clerical, administrative and logistical roles, and certainly not supervising A-based staff or speaking on behalf of Australia.


There are early indications from Indonesia that as a result of this, local staff are looking for, and finding, alternative options. Their departure in substantial numbers, which looks very likely, could compromise the quality of aid delivery and thus reduce the claimed foreign policy dividends from the merger.

Anyone who has worked in international development understands the critical contribution that local staff make. An independent audit [pdf] of the Australian aid program by the ANAO in 2009 pointed out that local staff brought context-specific knowledge and language skills, and provided a degree of continuity with regard to corporate knowledge that posted Australian staff could not.


According to a Boston Consulting Group report on aid to middle-income countries, to be successful, donors need to strengthen their skill set beyond the traditional talent pool of aid administrators. Staff need experience working within national governments and the ability to credibly engage with government authorities, build relationships and gain access to stakeholders. This is what local staff bring to the aid program.

Recognising this reality, James Gilling, Mark Baird, and Hal Hill argued [pdf] in a 2008 ODE assessment that the sort of aid program needed to score serious diplomatic points in middle-income Indonesia required staff with a deep knowledge of national development issues and capacities. They concluded that AusAID would ‘need to invest far more systematically in the capacity of staff in Australia and overseas, and take much greater advantage of the excellent skills and experiences of locally recruited staff.’

And AusAID did just that.


Prior to the DFAT merger, AusAID was widely regarded as one of the best places for an Indonesian to work in the development sector, if not the best. As part of the changes introduced, locally-engaged staff were taking on increasing responsibilities and being empowered to drive and run a cutting-edge aid program. AusAID also engaged a cadre of local hires (including some international experts resident in Indonesia) to advise AusAID staff on program decisions, convene groups of local stakeholders to push for policy reforms, and open doors with government officials. The increasing responsibility given to local AusAID staff was reflected in levels of pay and conditions sufficient to ensure that AusAID could attract the ‘best and brightest’. The large size of the aid program and the cutting edge program being delivered in Indonesia meant that AusAID quickly became the envy of other bilateral donors (USAID, DFID) and multilaterals (the UN and the World Bank), which had traditionally had their pick in terms of local staff.


AusAID’s local staff were the ‘cream of the crop’, graduating from leading universities in Indonesia, Australia, Europe and the United States. Even some of Australia’s top Indonesian aid experts were supervised by Indonesian staff. They brought extensive experience working for other aid organisations and a wealth of experience from other sectors. Many managed some of AusAID’s most innovative programs, overseeing teams of staff – Australians and locally-engaged alike – and large budgets.


So why should Joe Bloggs care?


Australia’s $500m aid budget to Indonesia is a sizeable investment that has had some very positive results [doc]. Countless visiting Australian officials can attest to how well it is has been received and you could go anywhere in Indonesia from Aceh to West Papua and hear about the great work of AusAID – exactly the sort of value-for-money foreign policy objectives an Australian Government is keen to see. The high quality aid program is one of the strongest pillars of our close bilateral relationship with Indonesia.


The high quality of local and international expert staff and the quality of the programs they managed in Indonesia were in large part responsible for these significant benefits to Australia’s image in Indonesia. Where there have been differences between the two governments, they were often the ones to bridge cultural gaps and perceptions. Through their vast networks, they were often able to gain access to senior government officials and their staff. Some were even on a text-message basis with very senior Indonesian government counterparts. During one of the lowest points of the Australia-Indonesia relationship – the spying allegations in 2013 – it was local staff who maintained communication with Indonesian officials when this was not possible for DFAT representatives.


There is no doubt then that local staff add significant value to the aid program. This suggests that DFAT should think carefully about the implications of the recent merger for local staff. Unless handled very carefully, the changing conditions brought by it will inevitably affect the quality of the aid program. It may be possible to access some degree of local knowledge and expertise through contractors and other development partners. But serious questions need to be asked about the extent to which contractors can really be a suitable replacement for this embedded institutional capability.

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World peace? These are the only 11 countries in the world that are actually ... - The Independent

World peace? These are the only 11 countries in the world that are actually ... - The Independent | NGOs in Human Rights, Peace and Development | Scoop.it
The Independent
World peace? These are the only 11 countries in the world that are actually ...
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Smith Regime's Slaughter House - The Herald

Smith Regime's Slaughter House - The Herald | NGOs in Human Rights, Peace and Development | Scoop.it
Smith Regime's Slaughter House
The Herald
The Rhodesian army was brutal, especially the notorious Selous Scouts, in thwarting any support for the freedom fighters.
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Had a different person been voted as President in 1980, would Zimbabwe - Bulawayo24

Had a different person been voted as President in 1980, would Zimbabwe - Bulawayo24 | NGOs in Human Rights, Peace and Development | Scoop.it
Had a different person been voted as President in 1980, would Zimbabwe Bulawayo24 When I look at the state of Hospitals, the Roads, Corrupt Police, Partisan Justice, Partisan National Army, Decayed Universities, the Zimbabwean Dollar, Public...
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The Prophecy That Delivered Zimbabwe - The Herald

The Prophecy That Delivered Zimbabwe - The Herald | NGOs in Human Rights, Peace and Development | Scoop.it
The Prophecy That Delivered Zimbabwe The Herald ON April 27, 1898, the district surgeon of Salisbury wrote: "I certify that I have examined the body of Nianda, upon whom sentence of death has been executed, and that life is extinct." "Nianda was...
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Scientists racing to test Ebola vaccines in humans - Alabama's News Leader

Scientists racing to test Ebola vaccines in humans - Alabama's News Leader | NGOs in Human Rights, Peace and Development | Scoop.it
Scientists racing to test Ebola vaccines in humans
Alabama's News Leader
Here's a look at experimental Ebola vaccines and treatments: EXPERIMENTAL VACCINES.
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How to Get the Most Out of Student-Owned Devices in Any Classroom

How to Get the Most Out of Student-Owned Devices in Any Classroom | NGOs in Human Rights, Peace and Development | Scoop.it

Technical issues with devices can be a headache, so setting some ground rules for device management helps mitigate some hiccups. Mills recommends making it clear that it is students’ responsibility to bring their device to school charged and ready to go. Designating a spot on student desks or tables where devices go when they aren’t being used for a specific assignment is also a great way to deter students from succumbing to distraction.


Via Nik Peachey
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Mlle_Prof's curator insight, August 15, 7:27 AM

So many teachers shy away from tech, here are some great tips for making the most of what's available to you.

Claudia Estrada's curator insight, August 16, 3:19 PM

Glad to see that some of the recommendations that we have already discussed with teachers are stated in here.  

Gameimax's comment, August 20, 12:49 AM
Car Garage Fun Game for Kids http://goo.gl/Hvzyk2
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A Paradigm Shift for Student Engagement

Even more interesting is that, according to research, children will play video games for several hours, yet fail as much as 80% of the time at those games, all the while continuing to persevere with an almost irrational determination.


Via Nik Peachey
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Nik Peachey's curator insight, August 14, 1:02 AM

Interesting article about making learning into a kind of computer game.

Edgar Mata's curator insight, August 15, 7:40 AM

Un buen artículo.

 

Tiene razón: Los niños y jóvenes pueden pasar horas con un vídeo-juego a pesar de que fallarán el 80% de las ocasiones y "perseverarán con  una determinación casi irracional", algo de esta perseverancia y determinación sería útil en el salón de clases.

 

Sin embargo, las críticas a su propuesta de usar juegos en la clase también tienen sentido:

"¿Qué pasará el próximo año cuando asistan a una nueva clase y se den cuenta que la escuela es trabajo y no 'juego y diversión'? Los estás preparando para una decepción."

 

Un interesante debate. 

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SADC Council of Ministers meeting kicks off in Zimbabwe - StarAfrica.com

SADC Council of Ministers meeting kicks off in Zimbabwe - StarAfrica.com | NGOs in Human Rights, Peace and Development | Scoop.it
SADC Council of Ministers meeting kicks off in Zimbabwe StarAfrica.com Malawian Foreign Minister George Chaponda on Thursday officially handed over the chairpersonship of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Council of Ministers to his...
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Why partnering with the private sector is key to inclusive growth

Why partnering with the private sector is key to inclusive growth | NGOs in Human Rights, Peace and Development | Scoop.it
By Lakshmi Venkatachalam, Vice-President of Private Sector and Cofinancing Operations, Asian Development Bank   Over the past couple of decades, no one can deny that the Asia and the Pacific r...

Via Dr Lendy Spires
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Dr Lendy Spires's curator insight, August 14, 8:39 PM


Over the past couple of decades, no one can deny that the Asia and the Pacific region has represented a remarkable success story. Absolute poverty levels have fallen significantly and the region is on course to achieve a number of Millennium Development Goals(MDGs).


But more than 1.6 billion people in the region continue to live on less than USD 2 a day and remain vulnerable to shocks — whether economic or environmental. The region is also confronting widening inequalities and the challenge of enabling a decent quality of life.

A strong need remains for both dedicated knowledge support and for financing to address the region’s social and infrastructure gaps, including urgent measures to address climate change.


Over the past few years, policymakers and development finance institutions (DFIs) have increasingly looked to the private sector to help meet these financing needs. In the right investment climate, the private sector can support the inclusive and environmentally sustainable growth that is at the heart of the global development agenda.


A key contribution of the private sector is in promoting economic growth, which it does through investments, knowledge transfer, and enhanced productivity. By creating new markets, fostering competition, and making investments, the private sector helps allocate resources productively and efficiently, improving prospects for economic growth. Economic growth generates resources that can be used for future investment as well as social development.

According to the World Bank, the private sector is the source of nearly 90% of the world’s jobs. So by providing direct employment, as well as finance to the sectors and geographic regions where it is most needed, the private sector promotes not just growth — it promotes inclusive growth.


The private sector also helps to boost living standards. This extends beyond extreme poverty as captured in the MDGs to areas such as the availability and quality of goods and services such as housing, infrastructure, health, and education. In this context, the private sector also plays a critical role in improving service delivery through public-private partnerships. These are particularly relevant in the case of infrastructure, as they allow for risk sharing, and are benefitting from improved institutional capacity and clearer legal and regulatory frameworks.


The private sector can also promote the adoption and/or retrofitting of environment-friendly technologies. This is valuable in the face of climate change, which can adversely impact many critical development goals such as food security, health, and water. The largest mitigation opportunities, especially for energy efficiency, remain in middle income countries.

Lastly, the private sector is a reliable source of revenue for government operations through its contributions to taxes and duties.


Given these advantages, it is not surprising that DFIs have come together relatively quickly to agree on a core set of principles that would guide support for private sector initiatives. These include commercial sustainability, promotion of high standards and additionality – that is, the extent to which a new input or action can add to already existing ones. More importantly, the private sector itself, not least due to the fall-out from the global financial crisis, has begun to reexamine its role in promoting economic growth as well as its responsibility to society. It is therefore increasingly open to engagement on these issues, particularly with DFIs.

Asia and the Pacific’s financing needs are indeed daunting. We, the multilateral development banks, need to engage the private sector on all fronts to an even greater extent than we currently do, to leverage both finance and knowledge.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has long recognised the private sector as a key driver of change in attaining its three long-term strategic agendas of inclusive growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. In line with our commitment to transparency, ADB publishes the annual Development Effectiveness Review, with 89 performance indicators to assess progress in implementing these priorities. The dedicated 2013 private sector operations Development Effectiveness Report was published on July 25th.


With $1.8 billion approved in 2013, our Private Sector Operations Department provides comprehensive financial assistance including loans, equity investments, guarantees, cofinancing and technical assistance. Our clients are private companies, banks and financial institutions, investment funds and state-owned enterprises. All our private sector interventions are aimed at maximising development impact. In doing so, our aim is to supplement or complement commercial finance, particularly in areas where perceived or persistent market gaps are inhibiting private investments.

What can ADB contribute to effective development co-operation with the private sector? Firstly, we are an Asian institution with a long and stable relationship with developing countries in the region. Based on the foundation of our strong infrastructure and financial sector exposure, we are increasingly entering sectors where we see promising potential for sustainable inclusive business models, such as agribusiness, education and health. Our strength lies in the synergies we derive from our sovereign operations in the core areas of policy and regulatory support.


Our private sector portfolio has more than doubled since 2006, totaling $6,219 million in 2013, comprising 155 accounts and 140 projects in 20 countries. Aligned with ADB’s core specialisations and sector priorities across individual member countries, 96% of the portfolio supports infrastructure, environment, and finance sector development.

Asia and the Pacific’s financing needs are indeed daunting. We, the multilateral development banks, need to engage the private sector on all fronts to an even greater extent than we currently do, to leverage both finance and knowledge.

Lakshmi Venkatachalam is the Vice-President (Private Sector and Cofinancing Operations) of Asian Development Bank since June 2010, leading ADB’s private sector initiatives and cofinancing activities. Based on the Midterm Review of its Strategy 2020, ADB’s activities in private sector development and private sector operations are targeted to reach 50% of its annual operations by 2020.

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Kony's LRA still holding on in Central Africa

Kony's LRA still holding on in Central Africa | NGOs in Human Rights, Peace and Development | Scoop.it

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Govt Should Bail Out Economy - AllAfrica.com

Govt Should Bail Out Economy - AllAfrica.com | NGOs in Human Rights, Peace and Development | Scoop.it
Govt Should Bail Out Economy AllAfrica.com On Heroes day, President Mugabe promised the nation that government had "begun in earnest to implement the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation" to fulfil his party's electoral...
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Cambridge Journals Online - Journal of Social Policy - Fulltext - Building the Eco-social State: Do Welfare Regimes Matter?

Cambridge Journals Online - Journal of Social Policy - Fulltext - Building the Eco-social State: Do Welfare Regimes Matter? | NGOs in Human Rights, Peace and Development | Scoop.it
Authors such as Dryzek, Gough and Meadowcroft have indicated that social-democratic welfare states could be in a better position to deal with development of the or state, and the intersection of social and environmental policies, than...
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U.S. to support African countries in peacekeeping operations: FM - GlobalPost

U.S. to support African countries in peacekeeping operations: FM - GlobalPost | NGOs in Human Rights, Peace and Development | Scoop.it
U.S. to support African countries in peacekeeping operations: FM GlobalPost She said "the African Peacekeeping Rapid Response Partnerships, which is a new investment of 110 million dollars a year for three to five years, is to build the capacity of...
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Investing In Africa Climate Adaptation Also Aids Development - CleanTechnica

Investing In Africa Climate Adaptation Also Aids Development - CleanTechnica | NGOs in Human Rights, Peace and Development | Scoop.it
Investing In Africa Climate Adaptation Also Aids Development
CleanTechnica
The United Nations Environment Programme released a report yesterday that responds to a 2013 report on the potentially crippling costs of climate change in Africa.
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The 9 heroes that divided Zimbabwe - Nehanda Radio

The 9 heroes that divided Zimbabwe - Nehanda Radio | NGOs in Human Rights, Peace and Development | Scoop.it
Nehanda Radio
The 9 heroes that divided Zimbabwe
Nehanda Radio
Gukurahundi saw the extermination of at least 20 000 civilians, mostly-PF Zapu members, by a combined operation involving criminal elements in both Zanu-PF and the Rhodesian army.
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Prophet Magaya faces $500k adultery suit - Chronicle

Prophet Magaya faces $500k adultery suit - Chronicle | NGOs in Human Rights, Peace and Development | Scoop.it
Chronicle
Prophet Magaya faces $500k adultery suit
Chronicle
Magaya's Healing and Deliverance Ministries is one of the fastest growing churches in Zimbabwe, with claims that he can perform miracles.
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