Skin in the game | Project Diaspora Skin in the game by TMS Ruge on April 23, 2012 [<a href=”http://storify.com/tmsruge/skin-in-the-game” target=”_blank”>View the story “Skin in the game” on Storify</a>]<br /> <h1>Skin in the game</h1> <h2>This past weekend I posed some questions on Twitter as to why the African voice isn’t yet prominent in discussions about the continent’s affairs. This question has been on my mind throughout the Kony 2012 affair. Turns out it is not about the lack of voices, but lack of a platform for these voices.</h2> <p>Storified by TMS Ruge · Mon, Apr 23 2012 23:44:03</p> <div>Starting to notice curious hole in African dev I hope to write about some time this summer: Lack of Africans in international developmentTMS Ruge</div> <div>I started of by laying the grounding observation after cracking open Amanda Taub’s brilliantly curated eBook, “Beyond Kony2012Atrocity, Awareness, & Activism in the Internet Age.” While I did write a text for the book, I noticed there were few African voices in the mix. We could hypothesize as to why it turned out that way, but that’s not the point. The book wasn’t the only assembly of ”collective intelligence” on the matter. The ”Beyond Kony 2012″ web site is another initiative that launched last week, also featuring some of International development’s heavier voices like Blattman.</div> <div>Over last few weeks we’ve all been screaming for lack of African voices on development issues, but truthfully there are few to be had.TMS Ruge</div> <div>International development discourse on/about the continent is is the holy grail of Western academics, who study & work in this field..TMS Ruge</div> <div>@tmsruge There are many African voices in intl development! Were not connected to each other.Must assert ourselves more onto natl platforms.Semhar</div> <div>@Semhar, of course, was on the ball and first to contribute to the conversation. You can’t anything past her and I loved her contributions and highlights of her with @DawnInc.</div> <div>For us Africans, we don’t look at ID as career opportunity, or few of us do. Many of us choose other career options like business, or policyTMS Ruge</div> <div>So when things like Kony 2012 come up & African academics & practitioners are needed to be part of the convo, we are nowhere to be seenTMS Ruge</div> <div>@Semhar @tmsruge Not that Africans are not speaking,it is people have made careers out of speaking for us & are keen on keeping it that wayGraciella Brunswick</div> <div>@tmsruge Which is interesting as most of them would have to have read Franz Fanon, Walter Rodney and for pleasure, Chinua Achebe.Jared Purdy</div> <div>You end up with well-meaning initiatives like http://leanpub.com/beyondkony2012 (I contributed to) & http://makingsenseofkony.org/ deficient of our contributionsTMS Ruge</div> <div>Yes @tmsruge thats just it: ID isnt a career.For many of us,its personal.We r personally invested.Media/West isnt priority till emergencies.Semhar</div> <div>Am in this field cause I chose to learn by doing & most of what I’ve learned is from hands-on work I do, that’s my classroomTMS Ruge</div> <div>As we grow in #diaspora, convinced more #African voices ie @tmsruge will emerge in Media & Advocacy,thru access & mentorship. Thats my hope.Semhar</div> <div>Question is, do we, as Africans need to do more work in ID or do we need to study it & become academic pontificators (both are valuable)?TMS Ruge</div> <div>@Coifsh I think it is a lack of visibility of those voices. I know only a handful in a space that should be choke full of African academicsTMS Ruge</div> <div>Step 1 to fixing this: Sing your own song. If a bird never sings, you’ll never look up to see it’s beautiful colors. Own your song.TMS Ruge</div> <div>@tmsruge What about James Habyarimana ? And Leonard Wantchekon? Great African academic voices.Vijaya Ramachandran</div> <div>True, but where is their voice when it is needed the most. Why r MSM conversation bout our issues, Western? @naunihalpublic @vijramachandranTMS Ruge</div> <div>True, but where is their voice when it is needed the most. Why r MSM conversation bout our issues, Western? @naunihalpublic @vijramachandranTMS Ruge</div> <div>Step 2: Connect, connect, connect. Connect with those that know more & be a connector of rising voices.TMS Ruge</div> <div>In @DAWNInc we have 180 amazing African diaspora women working on Africa’s development!Careers where we need more Africans & women! @tmsrugeSemhar</div> <div>Kony 2012 first time I’ve seen collective rise in African agency & voice. We need to do more of this & not wait for a #badaid projectTMS Ruge</div> <div>@tmsruge "international development" is always for the external player. "economic development" is more for the internal playerMaxamed Ibrahim</div> <div>@tmsruge & when the ID people come around wanting to build something the natives say talk to OUR economist, scientist, engineers etcMaxamed Ibrahim</div> <div>All revolutionary moments start as reactionary moments. #Kony2012 is one of these @tmsrugeMaxamed Ibrahim</div> <div>@tmsruge academics, policywonks, conference/media bon vivants, need to highlight, amplify the work of those at the grassroot level #RealDeal P. Mimi Poinsett MD</div> <div>@kenyanpundit @tmsruge Is that really true? Here are three voices from different angles of #development: @rakeshrajani, @cobbo3, @aeyakuzeomar mohammed</div> <div>@tmsruge glad to hear at least one innovator learning from the power of progressive and far reaching media based platform vs just bashing itRobin Nicholson</div> <div>@tmsruge necessary CONNECTIONS can be made using and learning from it n promote any agenda among any pop as it’s power/success is undeniableRobin Nicholson</div> <div>+100–> RT @texasinafrica @tmsruge Also lack of African-Americans in development. Very small cadre. Few role models for our students.TMS Ruge</div> <div>@vijramachandran @tmsruge The late Gobind Nankani was Ghanaian, and World Bank head for Africa. Not an academic, but Harvard Econ PhD.Naunihal Singh</div> <div>@Semhar @tmsruge Lack of Africans probably explains why it hasn’t worked, all this time. The prolonged, failed effort of the west: shameful.Chella Ann</div> <div>@tmsruge The voices are there! We need a new definition of development.It is more than simply being the opposite of material poverty!eric wafukho</div> <div>An African voice out front talking about his market-based solution to development: Andrew Ragusira http://videos.videopress.com/fV83RY8P/andrew-qa-session-ii-medium_dvd.mp4 #BrandUgandaTMS Ruge</div> <div>RT @ericwafukho: @tmsruge The voices are there! We need a new definition of development.It is more than simply being the opposite of material poverty!TMS Ruge</div> <div>RT @masaafur: @tmsruge "international development" is always for the external player. "economic development" is more for the internal playerLaura</div> <div>One thing that I am glad that the Kony 2012 saga revealed was that when sufficiently pushed, Africans are taking up their rightful agency to speak when it matters most. By speaking, we add our collective intelligence to the collective human intelligence known as the world wide web. What I would like to see, is us setting the agenda what the discussion should be and how it should be discussed. If we lead the discussion, then we’ll be analyzed for our intellect. If someone else tells our story, we’ll be scrutinized, marginalized and discarded like an unwanted damsel in our own stories. I hope from this moment forward, that we pick up the pen and sword. We have no need for a white horse. Our minds shall do the traveling.</div> Share this: Email Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Comments on this entry are closed. Previous post: Attention Uganda Diaspora: Please help find Suzan Kideni’s family in Uganda Next post: Beyond Kony2012: Atrocity, Awareness, & Activism in the Internet Age
Comments on this entry are closed.