Archive for the ‘Freedom of speech’ Category

As an activist blogger who fights all forms of social injustice and poverty, active in the fight against climate change, I don`t hesitate to say out loud what others think in silence.

Pakysse is my nickname (Type in Google and you will find my name) and my passion for citizen engagement started in the 90s when I was only a teenager eager for adventure within the Antilin’i Madagasikara (Catholic scouting) for many years.

I would like to pay tribute to my paternal grandparents for their experience, courage and self-sacrifice which, for the little story have always contribute to social transformation. My grandmother was one of the secretary of state in charge of the promotion of women during the Tsiranana`s regime. As for my grandfather, although he was trained as a civil administrator, he worked in trade union for the welfare and rights of workers as the Secretary General of the Confederation of Workers of Madagascar and the Comoros (union entity of the 50s and 60s). Their story has allowed me to develop my passion and desire to know myself and why I must help others.

In 2007, thanks to an open opportunity I was able to put in place the first and only association of citizen journalists (Blogging) in the country: FOKO MADAGASCAR, which is a full member of GlobalVoicesOnline bringing together bloggers, translators and journalists who follow and cover the news of the global blogosphere. This is mainly to promote the smooth running of democracy and freedom of expression, using new technology as a weapon of war.

During the popularization of this new mode of communication in Madagascar, opportunities came up again and again and I had the chance to attend the summit on climate change in New York at the United Nations headquarters and at the G20 summit in Pittsburgh with « Oxfam’s voices blogger » in 2009. In 2010, my international activist network reached out to me asking if I wanted to be one of the few contributors (blogger) for The Guardian newspaper in England tackling on climate change issues. In 2012, I went to Canada where I was able to attend the CIVICUS World Assembly in Montreal. In 2015, still in Canada, I followed the Canadian federal election closely and had the opportunity to participate in the activism walk with political activist bloggers. Recently, in March, I was in Ghana to report on the project implementation of the mechanism of emission reduction from deforestation and forest degradation as well as to support my African activists fellows within a strong Pan African climate and environmnetal justice network of civil societies that organized a march against global warming and climate change during the UNFCCC’s Climate Week in Accra ( on a side note, this was my very first experience on the African continent).

Beyond networking and activism at international level. We do not forget that in Madagascar, I organized the first flash mob protesting against practice of dirty politics, initially the mobilization started through sensitization and awareness raising on Facebook, I worked a lot with volunteers from various organizations and Peace Corps volunteers, United Nations Information Center, the US Embassy Press Center, UNICEF with the T4D-M4D Project, the UN Club (CPO), geeks, journalism schools like the ESSVA of Antsirabe thanks to you Randy or that of Mahanjanga which, unfortunately, does not exist anymore according to what some people said.

I organized a lot of training and conferences on blogging for business executives, students, entrepreneurs, organizations, NGOs, traditional journalists, military, etc.

From North to South and from East to West, hundred of people have benefited from this knowledge of 2.0 through the use of blogs and social networks.

This year, the calendar remains busy because we have a lot in the plate such as to organize a climate event called ConnecClimate, to facilitate training and capacity building on leadership, lead sharing and exchange sessions in Malagasy about the positive and negative impacts of social networks.

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Barcamp 2009 @ Ivotel Ambohidahy

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Barcamp 2008 @ Ivotel Ambohidahy

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Barcamp 2008 @ Palais des sports Mahamasina/Ebit

Historically, Barcamp started in the North America, precisely the first Barcamp was held in Palo Alto in 2005. BarCamp was inspired by the Foo Camp concept ( Foo Camp is an annual hacker event hosted by publisher O’Reilly Media) that puts criterias of selection on participation. Consequently  Barcamp supports the idea of an open-to-the-public initiative without criterias and selections that rather relies on open-free participation of all. Only one week of preparation is spent in organizing it and it reached out around 200 participants.

What is Barcamp ?  For who is it for ? how does it work ?

Simply put, it is an open space gathering « democratic and unconference’ for public, without criterias selection or official invitation. Any individual, regardless of age, who has experiences and skills focused on common gains and benefits. It is most importantly linked to the use of technology web 2.0 as its sources of dissemination and sharing is very welcome.

The formula is EASY : you come, you share, you network, you gain experiences and exposed to networking with mindful spirit. Nobody is allowed to be a spectator.

Presentation should be short and is not subject to profile organization or institution profits. Barcamp is not a place for business marketing but rather a place of sharing among tech and open source users and developers. Beyond sharing extend, it also drives the spirit of brotherhood/sisterhood and solidarity.

10-year throwback journey

The very first BarCamp in Madagascar was initiated by Joan Razafimaharo. Easily the concept was understood and adopted by many and we had a lot of participants at that time . This first wave of BarCamp targeted mainly geeks, bloggers, internet users and any related area to those fields. We had the privilege of  welcoming a representative of Rising Voices ( a branch organization of Global Voices), there was also a participant from Voices Bolivia, which is a part of the same network as Foko Madagascar that came and shared with us. Just as a fresh reminder Foko Madgascar was the first platfrom that had promoted citizen journalism/blogging in Madagascar. The Second edition took place in 2009 and it was particularly focused on freedom of speech and expression and again we had a diversed participants pool of  social media users such as bloggers-geeks, simple citizens bringing up new and innovative ways to develop communities in their own perspectives.

What is next ?

You come on the 13th October and participate

When you come, be prepared to share with barcampers

 

 

Image

Photo source: AFP

I am the winner 

Madagascar’s historically awaited 20th of december election day took place in a calm atmosphere. It was the day of the run off between the two candidates, Hery Rajaonarimampianina and Jean Louis Robinson. They are backed by the two titans of Malagasy politics President Andry Rajoelina and ousted former President Marc Ravalomanana.

There were reports of violence in the South, namely in Ikalamavony, Betroka and Midongy Atsimo. Dahalo, bandits, threatened a member of the CENIT and destroyed ballot boxes. Apart from a few incidents of violence the rest of the island was peaceful. The streets of the capital was deserted as citizens walked to their election point to cast their votes. In the evening, both candidates celebrated early victory when the first results were announced.

The suicidal debate

The last day of campaigning was concluded by a heated debate between the two candidates. At the time, Robinson was ahead by a few percentage not much but still ahead. Sadly, for Robinson he was attacked by a question leading him to reveal that he is a Free Mason. Thus committing political suicide. The majority of Malagasy have an unforgiving policy toward Freemasonry. The end of the debate left many focused on that one and only slip up, especially since Robinson benefited from a strong christian support. Many share the view that it was a setup. A fact we cannot confirm but only suspect.

The day following the elections were still peaceful, though presence of police and gendarme noticeably increased. International observers report a transparent elections yet rumors of pre-ticked ballots for the candidate Hery Rajaonarimanpianina worry many voters.

 In the name of transparency

 At present the real results of the presidential run-off remain unknown. Those of the legislatives are slowly revealed. The atmosphere remain calm but somewhat tense. Four days following the elections, Robinson, the candidate backed up by ousted former President Ravalomanana complained of election fraud. According to him and his political party they have won approximately 60%. A result he claims he can prove. He warned against illegal acts perpetrated by incumbent President Andry Rajoelina to influence the polls. He announced that they are manipulating the choice of the Malagasy people.

 The Independent National Electoral Commission of the Transition, CENIT, which is an independent electoral body funded by the United Nations supervised the 20 115 polling stations in the country. The Southern African Development Community, SADC deployed 256 observers dispatched in 22 regions of Madagascar. The EU Election Observation Mission, UE-EOM deployed 42 long-term observers and sent teams composed of their observers and national observers covering several regions including remote areas of the country.

 CENIT is in it

Robinson denounces that the CENIT is involved in the fraud and that he has proof of his victory. He threatens criminal prosecution of those who perpetrated the fraud. He requests the resignation of Beatrice Attalah head of the CENIT. In the alternative that she be assisted by a “co-head”. As for the rest of Robinson’s political party, they refuse to be inactive. Their headquarter continued to receive minutes of the results. On the 24th they reported 57,37 % to Robinson and 42,65% to Rajaonarimampianina. That been said the official results will be that communicated and counted by the CENIT to be validated by Madagascar’s Electoral Court, CES.

 The battle of the numbers continues. Once again the population feels manipulated by their own leaders. The elections were meant to be an exit, an end of political crisis not the spark of another one. Where are we heading if our next President comes to power through a malicious process?

In the hope that the choice of the people will be respected, that there were no such massive electoral fraud. The people voted, let their voices be seen through the true results. In spite of these rumours and worries; knowing the Malagasy population, christmas is a day of celebration and fihavanana.

 Merry Christmas and not Crisemafy Malagasy brothers and sisters ! 

 Michaella




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