All posts by Edwin Muhumuza

Am a journalist!

I AM AFRAID AS A GROUP OF AFRICAN TIGERS COULD LEAVE US BEHIND AGAIN!

As the country dilly-dallies on having local council one elections,I would like to prophesy that forty years from now, we shall be regretting why this small yet so important facet in nation buildin…

Source: I AM AFRAID AS A GROUP OF AFRICAN TIGERS COULD LEAVE US BEHIND AGAIN!

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I AM AFRAID AS A GROUP OF AFRICAN TIGERS COULD LEAVE US BEHIND AGAIN!

As the country dilly-dallies on having local council one elections,I would like to prophesy that forty years from now, we shall be regretting why this small yet so important facet in nation building and development, was ignored. Already we are paying a price following the wave of insecurity that has struck the nation most specifically in the central region. However, my thoughts regarding what we might be missing out knowingly or unknowingly, on the absence of Local Council 1’s are economically driven.

Scholars and economists in Uganda have given numerous reasons why we were’ left behind’ by the Asian tigers;including the detriments of political instability from the late 60’s up to the early 90’s inclusive of the Kony war in Northern Uganda that lasted over 20 years. Also, I would like to agree that the destruction of cooperatives was uncalled for owing to the fact that farmers were doing well then compared to how they are fairing today. Already holes have been poked in the method government has employed in fighting army worms due to a lack of coordination at the grass roots. National Agricultural Advisory Services(NAADS),Bonna Bagagawale and operation wealth creation are also victims.

My father was a District Cooperative Officer and I was mature enough to notice the merits of the system,however, he too complained about government negligence towards that sector. Let me focus on LC1s,Uganda has not conducted elections for LCI (village) and LCII (parish) for the last 15 years, the last one having been held in 2001 before the country shifted from the one-party Movement system to the multiparty system of governance and this is why we are paying dearly economically!

According to a paper authored by the World Bank on social mobilization and enhancing livelihoods Social mobilization, along with economic empowerment and graduation, should be at the heart of the rural livelihood development strategy. By far the most dramatic growth and consequent shift in poverty has occurred in China. The World Bank, looking at several countries during the quarter century between 1981 and 2005, concluded that poverty rates for China went from 84% to 16% a drop of 81%, and for India from 60% to 42%—a drop of 30%. At the beginning of this period (1981) only four countries had a worse poverty rate than China—Cambodia, Burkina Faso, Mali, and Uganda. But decades later these four countries remain more or less where they were, while China moved ahead. Why? India began to move ahead rapidly after 1991. Why?

The benefits of broad economic growth trickle down very slowly when the poor have little access to key physical, social and financial endowments. To overcome highly unequal distribution of these endowments and achieve rapid pro-poor growth, poor people need new opportunities to organize, to generate business and to link with mainstream development activities.
Social mobilization,(local councils) as a way to develop institutions of the poor as opposed to institutions for the poor, is a central component of effective rural livelihood development.

Mobilizing poor people provides them with the “voice” and the scale required to more effectively engage with the range of institutions and individuals providing public and private services. A second component, economic empowerment, through micro-credit, grants or skills training, facilitates access to assets, increases income, and demonstrates creditworthiness of individuals and groups. Ultimately these self-help groups may graduate to form other federative and associative movements involved in income-earning activities including public-private partnerships, various types of franchising and contract farming arrangements

With only 7431 parishes and 57, 842 villages in 1403 sub-counties,why should rapid economic development take us ages ?The answer is complex—a mix of culture, changes in government policy, and changes in arrangements in the political economy.

MEN ON WHY THEY PREFER MAIDS TO THEIR WIVES

HELPERS, bless them, they cook, clean and wash for us. They know some of our deepest secrets, and even know what the hubby’s  boxers look like. Without them, some families would be in chaos.

Today domestic workers are becoming so powerful that many marriages and relationships are threatened.

Some men are sleeping with their helpers, and one in five cases of infidelity in Uganda in the past year has involved a helper.

These women are often younger, stylish, enlightened, single and struggling with financial issues, and many of the men they sleep with are doing well financially. With money and power comes a sense of entitlement. Psychologists have found out that men like to use their masculinity to advance their power by picking on weaker people such as maids and young girls.

In fact, these days the helpers – unlike the old mamas who used to do domestic work in berets, overalls and uniforms – are younger, wear stylish clothes, are sexier, more educated and because of their age they are very vulnerable and available to their male bosses.

This is made worse by television and other media that sexualizes women in subservient and submissive positions. By nature power is attractive and maids are at risk because they may also be attracted to the allure of male power.

However, the power dynamic works both ways because maids are also privy to the private lives of those who pay them. Maids get to see their secrets. So, in a way, the bosses are beholden to the maid, who now has power over them. Another thing that makes domestic workers attractive,in my view, is that the excitement of the forbidden fruit can be erotic and edgy.

What is happening? Are men threatened by empowered women? A friend of mine here in the Newsroom says, “The biggest reason men are playing hanky- panky with the maid is emotional dissatisfaction”. Studies by marriage counselor Gary Neumann seem to support his argument, also showing that 48% of men rated emotional dissatisfaction as the primary reason they cheat. He says men are emotionally driven beings who want their wives to show them that they’re appreciated.

From this observation, it is as though professional women have become so masculine, distant and aggressive that they’ve become a turn off to men. Many women use their salary and position at work to transform themselves from the beautiful feminine woman they are into becoming more masculine at home. This makes feminine and submissive maids at home very attractive to men.

What attracts men to women is women’s femininity. This is the same way women find masculinity attractive in men.

On Personal Branding,here are some tips I found.

PERSONAL BRANDING

In the past few years personal branding has been discussed exhaustively throughout the Net. The difference between today and over ten years ago when it was first mentioned by Tom Peters, is the rise of social technologies that have made branding not only more personal, but within reach.

From the corporate brand (BMW), to the product brand (BMW M3 Coupe) and down to the personal brand (car salesman), branding is a critical component to a customer’s purchasing decision. These days, customer complaints and opinions are online and viewable through a simple search, on either Google or through social networks. There is no hiding anymore and transparency and authenticity are the only means to survive and thrive in this new digital kingdom.

Many people think that personal branding is just for celebrities such as Paris Hilton, Britney Spears, Denzel, Ronaldo, Wahu, Nameless, Jeff Koinange, Bob Colleymore and the like-yet each and every one of us is a brand. Personal branding, by definition, is the process by which we market ourselves to others. As a brand, we can leverage the same strategies that make these celebrities or corporate brands appeal to others. We can build brand equity just like them.

We can also have just as much presence as most startups and mid-size companies and products. Social media tools have leveled the playing ground and have enabled us to reach incredible heights, at the cost of our time. Today, I want to share the personal branding process, so you can start to think about what face you want to show to the world and how you want to position yourself for success!

1. Discover your brand The single biggest mistake people make is that they either brand themselves just for the sake of doing it or that they fail to invest time in learning about what’s in their best interests. The key to success, and this isn’t revolutionary, is to be compensated based on your passion. In order to find your passion, you need a lot of time to think, some luck and you need to do some research online to figure out what’s out there.

Brand discovery is about figuring out what you want to do for the rest of your life, setting goals, writing down a mission, vision and personal brand statement (what you do and who you serve), as well as creating a development plan. Have you ever been called intelligent or humorous by your peers or coworkers? That description is part of your brand, especially if you feel those attributed pertain to you. To know if you’ve discovered your brand, you need to make this equation equal:

Your self-impression = How people perceive you

Before you enter the next step in the personal branding process, you’ll want to select a niche, whereby you can be the master of your domain. For example, Joel Comm has mastered the Google Adsense niche and brands himself using his name, and Brian Solis owns the social media PR niche with his PR 2.0 blog (under his name). When I say domain, I mean an area where there aren’t many competitors and literally, your online domain name. Once you sort this all out, now it’s time to create your brand.

2. Create your brand Now that you know what you want to do and have claimed a niche, at least in your mind, it’s time to get it on paper and online. The sum of all the marketing material you should develop for your brand is called a Personal Branding Toolkit. This kit consists of the following elements that you can use to highlight your brand and allow people to easily view what you’re about:

1. Business card:

It doesn’t matter if you’re a college student, CEO, or a consultant, everyone should have their own business card. The card should contain your picture, your personal brand statement (such as Boston Financial Expert), as well as your *preferred* contact information and corporate logo if necessary. You can create your own business card and share it through your mobile phone using mydropcard.com or rmbrme.com. On the web, BusinessCard2.com is a great social network for creating and distributing your person business card.

2. Resume/cover letter/references document:

These are typical documents that you need for applying for jobs and when you go on interviews (something over 2 million job seekers will be doing as we speak). Be sure to prioritize each document with information custom to the target position. Take your resume online and add social features to it to make the ultimate social media resume, promoting your personal brand to the world and making it shareable.

3. Portfolio:

Whether you use a CD, web or print portfolio, it’s a great way to showcase the work you’ve done in the past, which can convince someone of your ability to accomplish the same results for the future. Figdig.com and carbonmade.com are social networks for people who want to show off their creative skills to the world.

4. Blog/website:

You need to own yourname.com or a website that aligns with your name in some fashion. Depending on who you are, how much time you have on your hands and if you can accept criticism, you should either start a blog or stick with a static homepage. Those who blog will have a stronger asset than those who don’t because blogs rank higher in search engines and lend more to your expertise and interest areas over time.

5. LinkedIn profile:

A LinkedIn profile is a combination of a resume, cover letter, references document and a moving and living database of your network. Use it to create your own personal advertising, to search for jobs or meet new people. 6. Facebook profile: Over a Billion people have profiles, but almost none of them have branded themselves properly using this medium. Be sure to include a Facebook picture of just you, without any obscene gestures or unnecessary vodka bottles. Also, input your work experience and fill out your profile, while turning on the privacy options that disable the ability for people to tag you in pictures and videos (allowing people to see the ones tagged of you).

7. Twitter profile:

Your Twitter profile should have an avatar that is carved out of your Facebook picture and used in your LinkedIn profile. You need to use a distinct background, fill out your profile and include a link to either your blog or LinkedIn profile. Twitterbacks.com, developed by internet mogul Jim Kukral, has templates you can use to sculpt your very own Twitter background (Photoshop skills not included). Twitbacks.com is another solution that also lets you promote your Twitter profile.

8. Video resume:

A video resume is a short video of you talking about why you are the best for a specific job opportunity. You get about a minute or so to communicate your brand and are able to send the link, once you upload it to YouTube, to hiring managers.

9. Wardrobe:

Your personal style is tangible and is extremely important for standing out from the crowd. Select clothing that best represents you because it will be viewable through your pictures/avatars online, as well as when you meet people in reality.

10. Email address:

Don’t overlook your email address as not being a significant part of your toolkit. Most people use email over all social networks and when you connect with someone on a social network, you are notified via email, so get used to it. Your email address poses a great opportunity for your brand. I recommend using gmail because of the acceptance of Google and since GTalk allows you to form tighter relationships with others. For your address, use “firstname.lastname@gmail.com.”

10 YEARS OF FACEBOOK(ING). WHAT IS IN IT FOR THE AFRICAN YOUTH?

Recently, I went to an internet café.Upon entering,while looking around for the cashier,my attention was captured by close to 20 computers  logged in to Face book.Majority of the clients being youth.That is  the power of a brand and the ingenuity of founder Mark Zuckerberg,that all over the world,the number of facebook users is hitting the roof.In 2008 Facebook had 100 million users and as of March 2013 had 1.11 Billion but as of right now,the figure stands at 1.23 billion users.

Away from all those statistics,and as I scroll down on my facebook page,here is what i discover,that most of  the people requesting me for friendship do not have profile pictures-a major requirement from me to accept a friend request.This scenario means that either they are new members who do not own smart phones, they do not know how to use them or that,these friendship- seekers have a goal of winning me over nonetheless.This is not to sound arrogant but in trying to express the struggle and commitment the youth demonstrate on the various social media sites as well.

That experience,implies that youth will do anything to achieve their goals.Remembering also that the Arab spring was catalyzed by social media to effect political change and revolution,one is left wondering what the youth in Uganda and other parts of the world use it for.With Facebook pages like,’ Tusaba Gavumenti Etuyambe-TGE implying in English, ”we request for government intervention/help’’one cannot see its influence a year down the road save for sarcastic posts requesting for government help on un-serious issues.Now that TGE is defunct,let us resolve to pull our resources together,however small,to start up world changing businesses and corporations and maybe we can maximize Facebook to discuss and share ideas that profit us,after all government tends to help groups and not individuals.