Posts Tagged ‘Mali’

Off-topic: US arms Mali to battle al-Qaeda

Posted in Xyz on October 31st, 2009 by Edward Bussa – Be the first to comment

This story highlights the strategic importance of Mali’s stability.  The country has vast areas of remote desert that could be used in efforts to radicalize and train muslims for jihad. With this monetary aid and ongoing training, hopefully these areas can be patrolled, and al-Qaeda efforts disrupted:

US arms Mali to battle al-Qaeda

Some 37 Land Cruisers were handed over to the Malians

The US is preparing to give Mali’s army millions of dollars worth of military hardware to help them fight al-Qaeda’s North African branch.

Trucks, powerful communication devices and clothing are among $5m (£3m) of equipment being handed over.

Mali is already being helped to fight the Islamists by Algeria and Libya.

Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb emerged in 2007 from an Algerian Islamist group and has since claimed responsibility for dozens of attacks in the region.

The US ambassador to Mali told the BBC’s Focus on Africa programme there was growing concern over the actions of the group.

“We applaud the fact that the government of Mali has taken a firm stance and wants to be as effective as possible in combating that problem,” Gillian Milovanovic said.

The military equipment is intended to ensure that the country can protect its own borders, she said.

Read more via BBC NEWS | Africa | US arms Mali to battle al-Qaeda.

Ed.

Fashion for a Cause – ndomo

Posted in West Africa on October 21st, 2009 by Edward Bussa – Be the first to comment
ndomo gallery

click to view ndomo gallery

One of the first things we did upon arriving in Segou is visit a place called “ndomo” where various natural techniques are used to dye and stylize cotton cloth.  Traditional and innovative natural techniques use mud, leaves, vegetables and minerals to provide color and pattern on cotton cloth.  Although ndomo seeks to document and preserve these techniques, their primary mission is to use these activities to provide direction and socialization to disadvantaged young men.  read more »

The price of convenience in Mali

Posted in West Africa on September 3rd, 2009 by Edward Bussa – Be the first to comment

In the last post from West Africa, I introduced you to Emmanuel Kamate of Mali. Emmanuel runs a convenience store in the capital city, Bamako. The store has everything you might need to get you through the day; eggs, sugar, cooking oil, powdered milk and bread (in bags on the counter).

kamate-9815

Emmanuel Kamate and his son Abel


An introduction in Mali is only complete after everyone has been given a good humored ribbing over their traditional background, revealed by their last name. The name Kamate comes from an ethnic group known as the Bobo who are farmers by tradition. Emmanuel was born in 1972 and went to school through the sixth grade. read more »

Meet Emmanuel

Posted in West Africa on June 28th, 2009 by Edward Bussa – Be the first to comment

Back to Africa

Well, I’m still not done with Week 3!  Actually, far from it.  I have one more post from Segou, which was only our first stop that week. After Segou comes our tour of  Dogon, a wedding in Sangha, our adventurous return navigating across the desert by GPS and an evening by the river in Mopti.  Before we get to all that however, I want to illustrate everyday working life in Mali.  This is the first of two seperate interviews with two men living and working in the capital city of Bamako, Mali.

Emmanuel Kamate

Emmanuel Kamate

Emmanuel Kamate prepares for portrait

Emmanuel Kamate  is a business man.  He runs a small store in the capital city of Bamako. Our equivalent would be called a convenience store, the French equivalent might be called a boutique. If you look closely, you can see that neither description probably fits.  The way most Malians purchase certain supplies is quite different than what we are accustomed to. But that is only part of this story – the part that outlines our differences.  The rest of the story is about Emmanuel, his family, and his friends. The story of a man providing for his family and for his children. That story has been told many times.  But because the story is so common, I think it brings the power of perspective into our own lives. I think it speaks to why sometimes we do things we don’t want to do – because others are counting on us.  For most of us, we wouldn’t have it any other way either.  So stay tuned for more about Emmanuel and his family and his friends in the next post…

Stay Committed!

Ed.

I Promised Pizza

Posted in West Africa on May 8th, 2009 by Edward Bussa – 6 Comments

niger-nights-pizza-8522

In the post Road to Segou, I concluded with us retiring to the river for some pizza and quiet night life.  Before shoveling down our pizza, my travel buddy and I went down to the shore and passed some time just relaxing.  While he put-a-shout-out to friends via facebook,  I wandered around capturing images of Niger River nightlife.  The sun set early because of a meterological phenomenon called “Harmattan” that had created a dirt red haze on the horizon.

read more »