Technology & Convergence In Brief:


- According to heightened interest in news around the recent general elections seems to have boosted the fortunes of a number of South African news organisations on Twitter. The SA Twitter News Ranking for May 2009 shows healthy growth for MyNews24 with the addition of 697 new followers and nearly a doubling of followers for TheTimes thanks to its successful elections news site and Twitter feed. All the sites in the Index grew their subscriber numbers and both News24 and the Daily Dispatch jumped four positions on their rivals. ITWeb joined Twitter as well and should see steady growth if it puts some effort into promoting its Twitter feed on its landing page. The SABC hasn’t updated its feed since March but remain on the index in an effort to shame them back into action. Is there place for an Afrikaans news feed on Twitter? Rapport still doesn’t seem to think so. Personally Mark suspects there is - who will grab the niche?

Senegalese journalist Tidiane Dioh recently published in France with the book publishers Khartala entitled ’’Histoire de la télévision en Afrique noire francophone, des origines, à nos jours’’(''History of television in French-speaking Africa, from the origins until today''). The work ''tries to tell nearly fifty years of history of television in French-speaking African regions - a territory of about 10 million km2, gathering a population of approximately 217 million inhabitants on seventeen States - Benign, Burkina Faso (ex-High Volta), Burundi, Cameroun, Central Africa, Congo, Ivory Coast, Gabon, Guinea, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Democratic republic of Congo (ex-Zaire), Rwanda, Senegal, Chad, Togo' ', notes the editor on the front page. The author has been a researcher and teacher, but also a journalist and international civil servant. Dioh says in the book `'singular is the saga of the small screen in French-speaking Africa through three expériences' 'and presents ''as many points of view to inform the reader' '.

Tidiane Dioh is also responsible for media programs within the International organization of the Francophonie. Dedicated to the memory of journalist Elimane Fall, disappeared on April 25, 2008 and that the author recognizes like his Master in writing, the book is prefaced by Herve Bourges which for the occasion wrote on about fifteen pages a text entitled ''Of the French-speaking televisions under dependence, pulled between identity and globalisation' '. He was a journalist with the international magazine `'Jeune Afrique' 'and with international television channel TV5 Monde.

The former Director of Senegalaise National Television Mamadou Baal has been named D-G of Action, an associatio to to encourage jobs and entrepreneurship. It produces « Citizens Match » and « Citizen Dictée » on RTS.

South African film director, Regardt van den Bergh, is to be awarded the special Ischia Global Award for his ‘extraordinary films and contribution to the art industry’ at the 7th Annual Ischia Global Film and Music Festival. Van den Bergh’s latest film based on a true story shot in the Kalahari - Tornado and the Kalahari Horse Whisperer - will be showcased at the event. Tornado is currently on circuit in South Africa.

The actor Samuel L. Jackson is to play Kenyan Andrew Mwangura in a film inspired by the life of a journalist taking part in the Seafarer's Assistance Programme (SAP), a non-profit piracy monitoring group, says Variety. Andrew Mwangura brokered the release from Somali pirates of an Ukrainian ship carrying Soviet tanks earlier this year. Samuel L. Jackson will secure the rights and co-finance the film which will show the negotiation qualities of Andrew Mwangura vis-a-vis the pirates. No filming date has been announced.

The African Audiovisual Awards (TAVA), Lagos Nigeria (9 July 2009)

In one night and under one roof, come July the 9th, 2009 at the Prestigious Shell Hall, Muson centre, Victoria Island Lagos Nigeria, African Audiovisual Awards (TAVA) will gather outstanding professionals in the showbiz world to rub minds together in order to take their industry to the next level.

From the famous Film celebrities to the glitz of Television Idols, from the dazzles of the Music Impressarios to the razzels of the Advertising Icons - Tava will honour the most outstanding indigenous African performers in 8 categories.

The theme of the event is Perfect pictures . . . Perfect sounds. . . and we request entries and nominations across Africa. The award was conceptualised by Videosonic Studios Limited but marketed and organised by Primax Global Services Limited.

For participation or sponsorship, please log on to for details. You can also call Primax on 234 01 8538389, 234 10 8936601, 0805 452 9623 or our Media Partners, DAAR Communications PLC - owners of AIT, Raypower FM and DAARSat for details.

Free film training during "Les Ecrans Noirs" in Cameroon

"Les Ecrans Noirs" association organizes the international festival of cinema of the same name.

The 13th edition will be held in Yaounde, from 30 May to 6 June 2009.

The objective is to show cinematographic creations of six countries of central Africa:

Cameroun, Gabon, Congo, Democratic republic of Congo, Central African Republic and Chad.

The topic this year will be « Cinéma et économie ». Free broadcast and fim training will be offered financed by Unesco and the French Ambassy. Participants will compete in five sections. Long métrage de fiction, Court métrage, Premiers téléfilms, Documentaire et Scénario.Contact: the president of Les Ecrans Noirs association is Bassek Ba Khobio and the festival director is Ms. Patricia Mbede.

Rwanda Film Festival, Kigali (12-28 June 2009)

The Festival will be accepting films for submission until May15, 2009.

Over the last 5 years the Rwanda Film Festival has grown steadily and become recognized as one of Africa’s largest and most unique venues for filmmakers to showcase their work. It is a rendezvous of films ranking from fiction to documentaries, and animated to shorts. It is host to both internationally acclaimed films and locally produced ones, and it is seen as a source of information, inspiration and representation of less heard perspectives and voices. The films cover a broad spectrum of issues including human rights, the environment, social and economic development, and public health; and the festival stretches across the nation. From the bustling avenues of Rwanda’s capital Kigali, to the rural communities of distant districts where films are projected on inflatable screens, the Rwanda Film Festival promises to be an original and enjoyable experience for all.

If you are at all interested in participating in this year’s film festival, or have any further questions regarding it, please do not hesitate to contact it. Emilienne Benurugo, Executive Assistant: