Hello World!

Welcome to the virtual location of the KUKU Trust. 🙂

In the real world our site is the city of Dar es Salaam at the East African coast. The name “Dar es Salaam” has Arabic roots and means “haven of peace”. And indeed: I have hardly met more friendly and humble people anywhere else.

“Kuku”, a word of their Kiswahili language, is the unisex name for poultry. Eating is a popular activity around here and kuku the favourite dish of the most. 😉
KUKU logoIn our case though, KUKU is the abbreviation of “Kompyuta ya Umma Kiswahili Uhuru”. Kompyuta ya Umma is “the people’s computer”. Uhuru means freedom. Uhuru is also our name for an operating system in Kiswahili language. KUKU outlines the objective of our activity:

Helping Tanzania to overcome the Digital Divide by her own means

“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
Richard Buckminster Fuller


Computing Easter

The 1st day of April is also known as April Fools’ Day. People in the West have become accustomed to play jokes and pranks on each other, trying to exploit others’ gullibility for making them take most unbelievable things for real.

Arguably one of the biggest April-pranks of all times, is the Christian fixation of the Easter date, which is set to the first Sunday after full moon during Spring Equinox. Continue reading

2016: Digital Dividends or Increasing Divide?

The economics of the internet favor natural monopolies, and some platforms now dominate their markets. They enjoy such high profits that they can quickly capture new markets by buying out competitors or developing a rival service; local startups, including those in developing countries, are left with tiny niche markets.
World Development Report 2016: Digital Dividends, Page 16, [emphasis added].


“A new World Bank report says that while the internet, mobile phones and other digital technologies are spreading rapidly throughout the developing world, the anticipated digital dividends of higher growth, more jobs, and better public services have fallen short of expectations, and 60 percent of the world’s population remains excluded from the ever-expanding digital economy.” – World Bank press release [emphasis added].

So where is the money?

Currently Oracle Corp.’s copyright lawsuit against Google Inc. is revealing some interesting business secrets:

Which cut can Tanzania expect? The orange-coloured intersection between the big cycle and the small cycle, which the World Bank named 😈 ‘tiny niche market’?

Continue reading

Telegram: the better WhatsApp

In the course of my investigations against Facebook and WhatsApp for the article “Digital Tyranny“, I wanted to install WhatsApp on my laptop to gain some hands-on experience. Alas the Download WhatsApp-page informs, that there is a limitation: “WhatsApp Messenger is a cross-platform mobile messaging app which allows you to exchange messages without having to pay for SMS. WhatsApp Messenger is available for iPhone, BlackBerry, Windows Phone, Android and Nokia.” smallphones Please note, that WhatsApp Inc. exclusively allows1 the installation of their messenger on that type of computer, which is designed to take the administrator-rights away from its users!

Ambush-tactics as business model
Continue reading

The White Man’s Burden

Casting Facebook’s data efficiency plan as “the savior of the developing world” is “hard to swallow.”
– David Talbot, MIT Technology Review

The father of this nation, the late President Nyerere, studied history and political economy for his Master of Arts at the University of Edinburgh. Most probably he would have commented on Facebook Inc.’s present initiative to help the developing world “to get connected”, by looking back into the history of African experiences with Western “good-will” intervention.

One of the most popular writers in the age of Victorian Great British Empire published a poem in 1899, which started like this:

Take up the White Man’s burden—
Send forth the best ye breed—
Go, bind your sons to exile
To serve your captives’ need;
To wait, in heavy harness,
On fluttered folk and wild—
Your new-caught sullen peoples,
Half devil and half child.
The White Man’s Burden, Joseph Rudyard Kipling1

Continue reading

Colonialism 2.0

“The mission of the United States is one of benevolent assimilation.”
William McKinley, 25th President of the USA

Assimilation describes the process whereby foreign peoples are absorbed into a dominant culture, society or economy. The added attribute benevolent (Latin: “well-wished”) characterises such assimilation as an act of charity (Latin: “unconditional love for others”) or philanthropy (Greek: “love of humanity”).

In reaction to our recent article “Digital Tyranny“, many readers requested more details about how exactly the global internet-economy might affect the lives and livelihoods of African people?

Continue reading

Digital Tyranny

 “The secret of freedom lies in educating people, whereas the secret of tyranny is in keeping them ignorant.”
– Maximilien de Robespierre (1758 – 1794)

The origins of modern Western Civilisation date back 2400 years to ancient Greece, where philosophers like Plato and Aristotle developed concepts of government. They formulated our ideas about “democracy” (rule by the people), “oligarchy” (rule by money)1, and “tyranny” – the arbitrary and oppressive exercise of power, unrestrained by rule or law. Characteristic features of a tyranny are a charismatic leader, the tyrant (dictator), at the top of a police-state which suppresses any opposition.

Can two check-marks change the way societies interact?

In October 2014, the millions of users of the Instant Messenger application “WhatsApp” discovered that a new feature appeared alongside their texts:

WhatsappThese two blue ticks hadn’t been there before! On its website the company explained:

Continue reading

A True Conspiracy

“The first truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is Fascism—ownership of Government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power.”
Franklin D. Roosevelt, 32nd President of the United States; “Message to Congress on Curbing Monopolies.,” April 29, 1938.

The most interesting discovery in the field of Information and Communication Technology for 2013 was, that the international community obtained the certainty, that a small Anglo-American elite is in almost global and total control of all ICT facilities. Thanks to Mr. Edward Snowden, a former executive controller who started to realise the monstrosity of the plot to keep the world-population under continuous surveillance, the deprivation of privacy for the most, in the interest of a few, is no longer a secret, but a well-documented fact.
Continue reading

US Plan to destruct online Privacy Rights everywhere

“… we reserve the right to act unilaterally, as we have done relentlessly since I took office […] while making sure that other nations play by the rules …”
– Barack Hussein Obama II, 44th US-President, January 20, 2015

The US-magazine “Foreign Policy”, which claims to be “reporting [from] inside the foreign policy machine”, on 20/11/13 published an article titled: “Exclusive: Inside America’s Plan to Kill Online Privacy Rights Everywhere“. It discloses the United States’ strategy to prevent, that the 193 members of the United Nation’s General Assembly will vote for an universal human right to online privacy in coming December.

Brazil and Germany had introduced to the UN General Assembly their draft resolution in early November and it became co-sponsored by 55 countries, so it seemed guaranteed that the resolution would pass – wouldn’t it?
Continue reading

Brazil, Germany to defend Digital Privacy at UN

On Thursday 07/11/13 Brazil and Germany formally introduced this resolution to the U.N. General Assembly urging all countries to extend internationally guaranteed rights to privacy to the Internet and other electronic communications.

“Today, there seem to be hardly any technical limitations for accessing, storing or combining personal data. But should everything that is technical feasible also be allowed? Where do we draw the line between legitimate security concerns and the individual right to privacy? And how do we ensure that human rights are effectively protected both offline and online?”
– German Ambassador Peter Wittig

Continue reading