And 20 minutes later at 9:14 p.m., a 29-year-old man was outside near 26th and Bryant when he was approached by a 25-year-old man. The suspect threw the victim against the wall and brandished a knife, demanding the victim’s property. The suspect then punched the victim and fled on foot with a wallet full of cash and the victim’s cell phone. The victim had a cut lip but did not seek medical treatment.Crime is trauma and the county offers different services. Here is a link to a page of services.Victims of violent crime can also contact the Trauma Recovery Center at UCSF. 0% Robberies, a carjacking, and a random act of violence with a skateboard occurred yesterday in the Mission, leaving victims with busted lips and noses.On Thursday morning at 3:35 a.m., a 34-year-old man was drunk near the corner of 16th and Mission when he was approached by a man in his 20s on a bicycle. The suspect then jumped off his bike and hit the victim in the face, rifling through his pockets once he had fallen to the ground. The victim had a cell phone stolen and was transported to the hospital for a nose injury.Later on Thursday at 6:00 p.m., a 21-year-old woman was standing outside her car near Cesar Chavez and Harrison when an 18-year-old man approached her and demanded her keys. The woman refused to hand them over and the male suspect then punched her in the face and stole her keys, driving away with her car. The victim did not seek medical treatment.At 8:55 p.m. later that day, a 26-year-old man was walking to his bicycle and began riding it away near 17th and Hoff when he was approached by a man in his early 20s who hit the victim with a skateboard. The suspect fled the scene without stealing anything from the victim, who suffered some cuts to the hand but did not seek medical treatment. Tags: crimes • robbery Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%
In what they called a “direct response to gentrification,” at least 100 people gathered in Dolores Park to celebrate 415 Day, or Frisco Day. The celebration was called by a group of loosely affiliated residents under the name Solidarity Forever. It was created specifically for San Francisco natives and long-term residents, who arrived to watch Aztec dancers open the event with a ceremonial dance at exactly 4:15 p.m. The celebration was also meant to reclaim Dolores Park for people who have roots in the city or have been pushed out by rising costs of living, evictions, and gentrification. “I’m here in solidarity with my fellow SF natives,” said Emmanuele Hodgson. “I went to support the movement. And I love that today I’m surrounded by a lot of beautiful people of color.” 0% Tags: dolores park • history Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% Dolores Park was the chosen venue in part because its newly updated veneer is unappreciated by many long-term residents of the neighborhood. “Mission Dolores is a symbolic place because we feel like it was taken from us,” said neighborhood organizer and activist Oscar Salinas. “Over the years it was beautified, but not for us.”“Dolores Park is the epicenter of gentrification…this is on Indian burial ground,” said Ahkeel Mestayer, a native who plays in the local band Soltron and helped organize the event. So who are the gentrifiers that have taken over the park? “They don’t look at you when you walk by,” Mestayer said. “They come in here and act like you don’t exist.”Change, said one local, is inevitable – but can be subversive.“It’s kind of like when you gain or lose weight and you don’t see it because you see yourself in the mirror every day,” said Larry Dorsey. “But when you have that moment to reflect, you can see that you’re different.”Larry Dorsey (left). Photo by Laura WaxmannDorsey said while he’s not against change per se, he wanted to support those that have been displaced or are fighting to stay in the city.Many who attended were not necessarily natives, and their tenures in the city varied widely.“Being a native means everything,” said Kay Smith. “I’m here to represent my city because it’s being destroyed. I’ve been here since I was six years old.”From Monterrey, 26-year-old Musician Hi/Lo arrived in San Francisco at age 18, and reveled in its diversity, both ethnic and economic. “There was a strong middle class. A lot of artists were able to develop themselves, there was a lot of mentorship for me from the get go. This city was full of a lot of talented hustlers,” he said. “I was so blessed to be exposed to that. Now, it seems to be shadowed by all the wealth.”A 415 Day reveler shows off his tattoo of the New Mission Theater marquee. Photo by Laura Wenus“This is a celebration of a San Francisco that has been under assault by gentrification and cultural imposition for quite some time now,” said Jeremy Miller, who grew up in the Bay Area and has lived in San Francisco for 16 years.Rhaven Innis, a San Francisco State University student, has only been in San Francisco for one year, but was at the park to support the gentle pushback against displacement. “I want to show my support. A lot of people don’t know, or choose not to recognize, what’s happening,” she said. “Having visibility…lets people know who don’t want to pay attention that we’re here and we’re still fighting.”Her friend Shelby Baizar, another San Francisco State student with two years in the city under her belt, saw the city’s dwindling minority numbers reflected in the school’s curriculum.“I just feel like what’s happening to this city is also happening to SFSU,” Baizar said, referring to funding woes of the college’s Ethnic Studies program.A dancer helps begin the 415 Day celebration. Photo by Laura WenusOne 415 Day reveler did voice some chagrin at the presence of so many non-natives. “Someone who’s only been here for a year coming to it is like a straight person going to a gay bar: You know, I’m not going to throw you out, but it’s not exactly for you,” said Joe Fitz Rodriguez, a reporter and columnist for the San Francisco Examiner – off duty for the day. “It’s to tell each other that we’re here, that we’re not all gone. Every other day can be for you,” Rodriguez added.A sentiment not shared by Salinas, who could be seen throughout the afternoon passing through the crowd greeting people and collecting trash. “I’ve been walking around welcoming people, not saying, no, you can’t come here,” Salinas said. He said the event was also to show other parkgoers that long-term residents are not dangerous or threatening. “This is who we are, we’re not scaring people. You don’t have to call the police when you see me,” he added.Six or seven officers had indeed lined up atop a ridge in the park and observed the celebration from a distance, a practice one staff member at Mission Station later said was routine for large gatherings.Darryll Rodgers at 415 Day. Photo by Laura WaxmannBut the gathering was less of a protest and more of an easygoing afternoon in Dolores Park – a chance to be visible, but also to have a good time in a period of change and tension.“Every time we see each other we meet in grief. It comes to a point when we have to find little outlets like this to experience joy,” said Darryll Rodgers, who is part of the Justice for Mario Woods Coalition, a group organizing around the police shooting of a Bayview man last December. “If not, people start doing things solely out of grief, and that’s problematic.”“I’ve had a heavy heart these past two weeks. But today is not about speeches. It’s about music and talking to each other and connecting,” said Mission activist Benjamin Bac Sierra.“It’s a celebration of love. Love for our city, our community and love for Mother Earth,” said Hurricane Gomez, a poet and 40-year-resident. “Things are changing a lot, but by getting to know each other we have a collective memory of how things were.”
0% At 12 p.m., police officers on scene at 1803 Folsom St. between 14th and 15th streets were “waiting it out” because the man was thought to be unarmed and were in communication with the man through his apartment door.“We are giving him time and space and waiting it out,” said Perea, adding that the SWAT team was necessary “in case he sets building on fire or something like that.”The 30-year-old man, who was unidentified by police officers, was reportedly involved in a domestic violence dispute on Thursday night with his wife, who called the police on him last night after she was injured, according to Perea.The man then fled their apartment after the police showed up to arrest him, Perea said. His wife went with the police, who put her up in an crisis shelter for battered women after deeming it was unsafe for her to stay at home.On Friday morning, the wife — who is around the same age as her husband — went back to their apartment at 1811 Folsom St. to retrieve some belongings and found her husband at home.“Upon entering she found her husband there,” said Perea. “She then flagged down cops fearing for her safety.”“The guy left last night and she probably thought he wasn’t coming back,” he added.The wife flagged down a passing squad car and police officers told her not to go back inside the building. More officers arrived on scene and attempted to arrest the man for felony domestic violence when he locked himself in his apartment, refusing to come out.Other residents inside the single-story, multi-unit building were allowed to remain inside their apartments. Two officers inside the building were speaking to the man and monitoring the situation.The man was “known to police” previously, according to Perea. The wife of the man was also on scene in a squad car in case he makes demands to speak with her, Perea added.Peter McTigue, a resident of the building, said he and other neighbors have heard arguments coming from that apartment before, including last night.“Last night my girlfriend heard them arguing and banging on things,” he said. “They have a weird dynamic, he always seems a little strange.”“I left to get coffee and I heard the officers talking to him through the door, but he was refusing [to come out],” he said. “I’m surprised at the escalation of this because it seems like he’s not a immediate danger if he’s not armed.”Chris Diaz, the general manager at Alioto’s Garage down the block, said he was concerned for his workers.“I keep walking out periodically to check if things have settled down and I told my employees to stay inside for their lunch breaks,” he said, adding that the cops informed him he and his employees were not in danger. Diaz said he saw the situation escalate as the initial squad car was joined by more and more throughout the morning, saying the cars eventually lined the block.He didn’t himself see anything happen within the building, but said he heard loud sounds.“I didn’t see anything and I don’t know who lives in the building,” he said. “But I did hear noises this morning that sounded like someone yelling and banging.”Captain Daniel Perea. Photo by Lola M. ChavezPhoto by Lola M. ChavezPhoto by Lola M. ChavezSWAT stand by. Photo by Lola M. ChavezPhoto by Lola M. ChavezSuspect taken into custody Friday at 3:18 p.m. Photo by Lola M. Chavez A domestic violence suspect barricaded himself inside his Mission District apartment at 9 a.m. on Friday after police officers came to arrest him for an incident with his wife the night before, resulting in an hours-long standoff with police and lockdown of the apartment building.At 3:18 p.m., the man was arrested for felony domestic violence by police officers after six hours of negotiations.“They came up with an agreement the guy could live with,” said Captain Daniel Perea of the Mission Station without going into details.Dozens of police officers and some 10 squad cars had cordoned off Folsom Street between 14th and 15th streets for hours on Friday, and a SWAT team in a nearby alleyway was on hand in case the situation escalated. Tags: crimes Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%
Oomingmak will be open until July 1. Linder, who runs the gallery, lives in the Mission and is also a curator at the David Ireland House at 500 Capp St.Meanwhile, Ratio 3 is in its fourth phase of The Present Tense series with this exhibition showing work by Brooklyn-based artist Zach Bruder and ceramic sculptures by Ben Peterson. It runs until June 1 and is well worth catching.The Present Tense, according to the program, “emphasizes the perpetual nature of artistic thought and production. It is a platform to introduce new practices,reinterpret familiar bodies of work,and respond immediately to artists in an urgent moment.”The pairing of Bruder and Peterson addresses “a range of mythologies” according to the program.The Cleveland-born Bruder, who is 33, has some lovely and whimsical small paintings. Seek Redress, an acrylic, fills the canvas with the image of a two-headed creature that possibly references Orthoros, the two-headed dog slain by Hercules.Zach Bruder,Seek Redress, 2017.Acrylic and flashe on canvas, 16 x 20 inches.Courtesy of the artist and Ratio 3, San Francisco. Ratio 3 has been showing art at 2831A Mission St. since October, 2012, but the gallery has been around since 2004.This show ends on June 1. Ratio3’s Present Tense series will feature three more parings:The Present Tense: Zach Bruder / Louise BourgeoisJune 3 – June 22, 2017The Present Tense: Louise Bourgeois / R. CrumbJune 24 – July 13, 2017The Present Tense: Crumb / Barry McGeeJuly 15 – August 4, 2017Ratio 3 2831A Mission StreetHours: Tuesday – Saturday11am – 6pm and by appointmentCapital , 26 Lilac Street San Francisco, CA 94110Hours: Thursday – Saturday 12 – 5pm and by appointment.Mission Galleries Capital’s show opens Friday (tonight) from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and featured four artists in, Oomingmak, an exhibition curated by Jeffrey and Misako Rosen who own Misako and Rosen Gallery in Tokyo.In addition to Japanese artists including Shimon Minamikawa and Yuki Okumura the show features a collage piece by the late Dutch artist Daan van Golden (1936-2017), as well as work by California artist Mark Roeder and Margaret Lee, a Korea-American artist who has worked as a gallery owner and assistant to Cindy Sherman.Shimon Minamikawa, 4 paintings, two legs, 2016.Spray pint on stainless steel,10 2.5 x 20 x 20 .5 inches.Courtesy of CAPITAL and Misako & Rosen. 0% Bruder’s creature looks more scared than menacing as one of the heads looks forward with a get-the-hell out of Dodge expression. The other head looks back, mildly interested in and suggestive of a scene we cannot see.Nearby in Supplemental Guarantee, a molded, horizontal urn filled with flowers floats on the canvas.Zach Bruder,Supplemental Guarantee, 2017.Acrylic and flashe on linen,24 x 24 inches.Courtesy of the artist and Ratio 3, San Francisco. The door to Ratio 3 opens from Mission Street, near McDonald’s, offering a juxtaposition of art and urban pop. Flow through the gallery and another door connects to Capital, a three-month old gallery with an entrance on Lilac Alley.The new space opened when Chris Perez, the owner of the Ratio3, decided to rent a portion of his 5,000 square feet of gallery and office space to Bob Linder, a curator he has known for years, he said.“There’s is a great dialogue happening between both galleries, they’re showing young contemporary art which is what we are doing and we have similar audiences,” said Perez, a graduate of the California College of the Arts.Both have terrific shows up now. Peterson’s spare sculptures reference urban architecture and archeological sites including T.R.O.Y and Arecibo from 2015. The first is a ceramic with two shafts and many openings and the second is a ceramic with a plinth like bottom topped by an open sphere.Left: Ben PetersonT.R.O.Y., 2015Ceramic, paint17 ¼ x 8 ¾ x 10 ½ inches. Right: Ben PetersonArecibo, 2015Ceramic, paint16 ¼ x 11 x 5 ¾ inches. Courtesy, Ratio3. Tags: artnotes • arts • galleries Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%
LEE Gaskell’s conversion off the touchline handed Saints a dramatic last gasp 24-23 win over Widnes Vikings.A rollercoaster and somewhat controversial match saw the lead swap sides several times before the youngster came of age.Cameron Phelps looked to have booked Widnes two points after he finished off a fine passing move to push his side five points to the good with less than three minutes on the clock.But Saints won the ball back from the restart, threw it around to send Josh Jones over and Gaskell showed his increasing maturity to nail the two-pointer right between the uprights.There have been times in the past Saints have dug deep to claim an unlikely win and once again they proved no one can write them off.And like the countless other occasions, this one was just as dramatic.An error strewn but enjoyable first 40 saw the game tied at 6-6.Saints dominated the majority of the half but failed to convert a number of chances.Lance Hohaia was cruelly denied by referee Robert Hicks when he clearly put the ball down but with seven minutes left his chip through saw Sia Soliola gets Saints on their way.Moments later Patrick Ah Van replied after the visitors failed to deal with a simple kick.In the second half, Jon Wilkin prised open the defence within three minutes, but former Saint Chris Dean reduced the arrears to just two points before Ah Van added his second.Michael Shenton replied immediately but Ah Van got his third – just as Saints were looking to kill the match off.Rhys Hanbury added a drop goal on 73 minutes to edge Widnes ahead once more before Phelps’ superb team effort looked to send the points the home side’s way.But up popped Jones for his 11th in twelve games and the rest, as they say, is history.Saints made two changes from the side that beat Hull KR – Gaskell coming in for the injured Jonny Lomax and Andy Dixon replacing Mark Flanagan on the bench.And following on from their hammering of Castleford last week, Widnes were unchanged.After kicking off, Saints almost made the perfect start. Tommy Makinson was taken high and from the penalty a great flat ball from Tony Puletua almost put Paul Wellens over.Moments later, Makinson produced a mazy run that unfortunately no-one could finish off.And on 20 minutes Josh Perry lost the ball over the line after a superb powerful run.Lance Hohaia had a perfectly good try disallowed on 27 minutes as he jinked through and put down only for referee Robert Hicks to claim he’d knocked on.Perplexed, the Kiwi fumed at the decision and was penalised seconds later for arguing with the official.Saints did get the breakthrough though and it came from Sia Soliola. Only on the field a matter of seconds he put in a monster hit, then a massive drive and on his next play managed to mop up Hohaia’s cheeky chip that Widnes couldn’t defend.Lee Gaskell with the extras.But Patrick Ah Van replied immediately after Makinson failed to deal with a long kick; goaled by Rhys Hanbury to leave it tied 6-6 at half time.Saints didn’t waste much time readdressing the balance – just three minutes into the second half.It was started by Meli’s blast up the field off his own twenty and finished, after a penalty, by Jon Wilkin following Roby’s line pass.But on 51 minutes Widnes hit back as they punished Saints’ ill-discipline. The Vikings gained good yards then Chris Dean got on the outside of Lee Gaskell to bring them to within two.Ah Van clocked up his second of the game from the restart.The lead was short-lived as Saints won a penalty and from the tap the ball went through hands for Michael Shenton to score in the corner.Gaskell with a magnificent conversion.But with 15 minutes to go and Saints looking to increase their lead Andy Dixon threw an interception and Ah Van went 80 yards to level it up.Hohaia had a drop goal attempt charged down as the game entered its final ten, then Rhys Hanbury slotted over an easier attempt.With Saints on the rack Cameron Phelps crossed next, taking advantage of weak defending down the left hand side.Crucially, Stefan Marsh missed the conversion – as was Widnes problem all afternoon but they would probably claim that at least one of Hanbury’s efforts went over despite both touch judges ruling it out.With less than two minutes to go Saints needed a slick a luck and got it when Widnes knocked on from the kick off. That saw them passing the ball left and right and Francis Meli taking on the line to feed Josh Jones.It could have been a mere consolation but Lee Gaskell, impeccable with the boot, banged over the conversion from the touchline to send the Saints’ fans wild.Match Summary:Widnes:Tries: Ah Van (3), Dean, PhelpsGoals: Hanbury (1 from 4), Marsh (0 from 1)Drop: HanburySaints:Tries: Soliola, Wilkin, Shenton, JonesGoals: Gaskell (4 from 4)Penalties:Widnes: 9Saints: 8HT: 6-6FT: 24-23REF: Robert HicksATT: 7023Teams:Widnes:18. Cameron Phelps; 4. Willie Isa, 20. Stefan Marsh, 3. Chris Dean, 5. Patrick Ah Van; 34. Joe Mellor, 7. Rhys Hanbury; 8. Ben Cross, 13. Jon Clarke, 17. Steve Pickersgill, 11. Frank Winterstein, 21. Dave Allen, 12. Hep Cahill.Subs: 10. Ben Davies, 18. John Kite, 35. Paul McShane, 36. Eamon O’Carroll.Saints:1. Paul Wellens; 21. Tommy Makinson, 3. Michael Shenton, 26. Josh Jones, 5. Francis Meli; 20. Lee Gaskell, 6. Lance Hohaia; 8. Josh Perry, 9. James Roby, 14. Anthony Laffranchi, 13. Chris Flannery, 11. Tony Puletua, 12. Jon Wilkin.Subs: 4. Sia Soliola, 10 Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 16. Paul Clough, 19. Andy Dixon.
MORE than 70 Junior Saints have enjoyed a super free fun morning at Langtree Park.The members were put through their paces by community coaches and played rugby based games as well as other various skills drills.After that they watched their heroes complete their pre-match preparations under the watchful eye of head coach Nathan Brown – before they chatted to the players and coaches, getting plenty of autographs and photographs.Club mascot Boots was also on hand to give out Easter eggs that had been kindly donated by The Co-operative supermarket on Chain Lane in Blackbrook.Community Coach Gareth Friar commented: “It was great to see so many youngsters enjoying themselves at Langtree Park and the event was the latest in the line of free members’ events. They are growing as the number of Junior Saints increase.”One junior member commented: “It was great the see the players training and even better to meet Nathan (Brown) and my favourite players.”You can find out more about Junior Saints by clicking here.
SAINTS were literally seconds away from booking their place in the Grand Final before conceding the game winning try to a Warrington side which finished with 12 men after a cynical late hit on play maker Dave Hewitt with three minutes to go, writes Graham Henthorne.But this is more a tale of chances missed from Derek Traynor’s side who could and probably should have been 20 points clear shortly after the break.Before the interval, both down the right hand side, Chris Worrall chose to take on the lone full back instead of the easier option out wide and Matty Fleming gave his winger the ball too early giving him little space to work in.Saints were the first on the board when quick hands down the blind side gave Lewis Galbraith enough space to score.But the Achilles heel all day, poor defence, allowed the home side to take the lead with two quick tries.Back came the Saints to level the game with a try from blockbusting forward André Savelio who looked to be finding some form again leading from the front. The Saints were awarded a penalty for a late hit on Danny Richardson and from the tap Savelio charged onto the ball to score.From the restart two good drives put the Saints on the front foot and allowed Richardson to show his paces with an arcing run which spilt the defensive line. He fed it on to the aforementioned Worrall who bombed the try but three tackles later Olly Davies’ miss pass gave Galbraith his second try and the Saints the lead again.Savelio was certainly putting himself about and the home side couldn’t handle it giving away a penalty in front of the sticks for punching after a rib-tickling tackle. Charnock converted and the Saints went in eight points to the good.The second half opened with the Saints again on the attack but two poor passes let the chances go. To compound the errors poor tackling allowed the home prop to trundle 60 metres down the middle to put them right back in it.A big hit from Matty Fleming forced the knock on in the Wolves 10 metre line and five tackles later Jonah Cunningham dove over into a yawning gap at dummy half to stretch the lead.Poor handling in our own half gifted a try to the Wolves and the Saints failed to convert territory into pressure or points with a knock on 15 metres out.The Wolves again gave the Saints possession and after Galbraith had been held short twice the ball was spread wide on the last and Davies arrowed a three man miss pass out to Adam Saunders on the wing who took it over his head and dove over Makinson style to touch down.But the Saints couldn’t put the home side away and after a suspicious knock on at a play the ball had been missed they again pulled close with a try on the last from a high kick that the Saints should have closed down.It was nip and tuck for the last ten minutes but as the Wolves threw everything at the Saints in the final minute they got a crucial fourth tackle penalty for holding down from the otherwise impressive Davies which gave them just enough field position to commit the Saints down the middle before spreading it wide left and going in on the overlap for the win.In truth the Saints didn’t play well but having got so close it was an agonising way to lose.Next week will see the Saints play the winners of the third/fourth place play off at Langtree for the right to go back to play Warrington again in the Grand Final. But everyone will have to improve massively for that to happen.Match Summary:Wolves U19s:Tries: Jack Johnson, Toby King, Declan Kay, George King, Joe Philbin, Tom WalkerGoals: Harvey Livett 6Saints U19s:Tries: Adam Saunders, Lewis Galbraith 2, André Savelio, Jonah Cunningham.Goals: Lewis Charnock 6Half Time: 20-12Full Time: 32-36Teams:Wolves:1. Jack Johnson; 2. Jake Eccleston, 3. Harvey Livett, 4. Toby King, 5. Declan Kay; 6. Declan Patton, 7. Louis Jouffret; 16. Daniel Murray, 9. Sean Kenny, 10. George King, 31. Joe Philbin, 12. Sam Wilde, 32. Tom Walker. Subs: 14. Robert Holroyd, 15. Andy Philbin, 17. James Jones, 18. Ryan Maneely.Saints:1. Ricky Bailey; 2. Adam Saunders, 4. Matty Fleming, 3. Jake Spedding, 5. Lewis Galbraith; 6. Danny Richardson, 7. Dave Hewitt; 8. Phil Atherton, 9. Lewis Charnock, 10. Matty Fozard, 11. Olly Davies, 12. André Savelio, 13. Morgan Knowles. Subs: 14. Jonah Cunningham, 15. Chris Worrall, 16. Liam Cooper, 17. Joe Ryan.
Advertisement In the world of hacking everything is possible, and by everything I mean, Identity theft, cyberstalking, phishing scams the list goes one. Well this Morning 6/13/2014 the victim of one of these crimes is the Makerere College of Information Science mobile site (www.cis.mak.ac.ug) .The mobile site has been hacked and it now redirects to an Adult Content site (Porn site). Now am going to give you a disclaimer before I go on. Please stop reading now if you are below 18. I take it from this point you are mature enough to read on. To be able to see this hack you need to access the site via a mobile device. Following the link above, the PC version seems to be fine.Well try it for yourself and see. An advice to the Admin, please take down the site. – Advertisement –
Advertisement In one of the most sophisticated cyber-attacks ever launched against USA’s government networks, Russian hackers have accessed President Obama’s private schedule.US officials have revealed that only unclassified information was accessed, and that the attack has been mitigated.The officials say that the breach actually began months ago when the hackers broke into the State Department by way of a simple phishing attack. – Advertisement – An employee clicked on a bogus link in an email that appeared to refer to administrative matters and loaded malware onto the computer.The malware allowed the attackers to penetrate the State Department’s network spanning thousands of systems across the US and its outposts.President Obama’s deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes said the White House uses a separate system for classified information.Via TNW
Three of Uganda’s leading 2016 presidential candidates, Rt. Hon. Amama Mbabazi, Rt. Col. Dr. Kizza Besigye and Incumbent President Yoweri Museveni Advertisement After previously despising the presidential debate as a high school “speaking competition”, Uganda’s incumbent President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni attended the second presidential debate of this year’s State House race on Saturday, along with the other seven presidential candidates.The debate had been intended to focus mainly on “peace and security, foreign relations, East African integration, the Great Lakes region and terrorism,” according to a post on the State House website late Saturday.It had been scheduled as a follow up to the first debate that mainly dealt with the public sector, i.e. education, youth, health and the economy. The latter is what this article would like to investigate. – Advertisement – When asked what the candidates’ plans were to boost Uganda’s economy, some answers were eradicating corruption, capitalizing on Uganda’s over 77% youth, enhancing infrastructure to increase efficiency and hence profit, and lastly and predominantly investing in agriculture such that Uganda can blossom into a strong competitor as an exporter on the global trade market.This World Bank report explains that agriculture still accounts to an average 25% to GDP in developing countries and that growth in the agriculture sector is necessary for overall growth in economies at their early stages of transformation. However, although agriculture has accounted for about one-third of growth in Sub-Saharan Africa over the past 15 years, World Bank has observed that “as GDP per capita rises, agriculture’s share in GDP declines, and so does its contribution to growth”.One sector that remained unmentioned was Information and Communications Technology (ICT). With Uganda’s presidential elections now just hours away, we wanted to look at how the candidates have addressed this in their manifestos and find out what advancements Ugandans can look forward to pertaining to the ICT sector.To some degree, this general tendency to not pay attention to ICT is reflected when you think of the campaign rallies held so far as well as when looking at the candidates’ manifestos. For this article, only four of the presidential candidates’ manifestos were examined, as they were the only ones we could find online.Three of Uganda’s leading 2016 presidential candidates, Rt. Hon. Amama Mbabazi, Rt. Col. Dr. Kizza Besigye and Incumbent President Yoweri MuseveniYoweri Museveni:The NRM manifesto outlines the achievements that have been celebrated in the past years of its governance and then elaborates on how these will be built upon, as well as what new milestones are set to be reached.NRM celebrates the development of the National Backbone Infrastructure (NBI) which is said to have increased operational efficiency in service delivery “tremendously” by connecting districts, ministries, public office sites and universities in terms of data sharing and communication. Further achievements are the reduction of the average unit cost of internet bandwidth reduced from $650 per MB per month to $300, and the establishment of several ICT Innovations Centres through cooperation with foreign or private investors e.g. the Korean Government and the Ugandan ICT umbrella organisation. It should be noted that there is currently no ICT Innovation center that is government-owned.The manifesto paints a very rosy picture of NRM’s contribution to ICT. However as one Ugandan asked on Twitter, questions have been raised about how much of the said ICT growth has been a direct result of government effort.How much of this #ICTGrowth is directly a result of government effort? https://t.co/Lrwwfn559r— Stand up; be counted (@albertmuc) February 11, 2016NRM promises support for existing innovation hubs and the creation of more, but what would also be interesting to know is what the party envisions for the everyday Ugandan pertaining to the field of ICT, especially with regards to access and affordability. Seeing that the more people are connected, the wider information can be disseminated and the more people are able to be motivated to participate in discussions and activities surrounding ICT as well as the innovation process as a whole, thus increasing the potentials for growth in the sector.The ruling party actually points to its coorperation with Uganda’s ICT Association (ICTAU) – a private sector-led umbrella organization – as a key milestone over the last five years, a relationship they pledge to consolidate.“I am pleased that the NRM recognizes this and intends to strengthen such collaboration. But the sectoral challenges are numerous – ranging from skills gaps to inadequate budget allocations. Real ICT development goes beyond connectivity of government departments onto a fast internet connection. The end-to-end delivery of e-services is a question that still needs to be answered,” said Albert Mucunguzi, a founding member of the Association who worked as its Secretary General between 2013 and January 2016.“We worked closely with the National Information Technology Authority (NITA-U) and the Ministry of ICT, and were able to aid the government’s planning processes, specifically regarding the ICT Ministry’s Master Strategic Plan in 2014,” Mucunguzi added.Nevertheless, Albert Mucunguzi notes that when announcing the 2015/16 budget, Government stated that “as part of the ICT sector reforms, plans are set to establish a one stop center for investment linking National ID, the integrated Financial Management System, Government Payroll System, and Computerized Education Management System (CEMAS), among others.”As presented in the NRM manifesto, a national ICT Park and Innovation Centre was also to be constructed at the Namanve Industrial Park.“That is a sign that there is some commitment by government to develop the sector”, Mucunguzi says.Dr. Kiiza BesigyeBesigye and the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) barely address ICT in their plan “to trigger our economy to leap forward.” The party says it aims to accelerate the pace of development to create equal opportunity and shared prosperity by ensuring high levels of public investment in five key sectors of the economy: education, agriculture, energy, transport, industry and urbanization. ICT is left out here and even in further elaborations, it is not mentioned.Only modest allusions to ICT can be observed in the section on “Quality Education and Accumulation of Skilled Human Capital”. FDC’s plan is to adopt measures, including financing arrangements, to increase the number of students enrolled in science, technology and engineering courses to at least 40 percent within five years.At least this would train talent from an early stage, that can then develop into innovators and human resource to be employed in the ICT sector. But where and how will they find jobs if the sector is not being cultivated and the necessary resources are not put in place?Dr. Abed BwanikaPresidential Candidate Dr. Abed BwanikaGoing by the information available on the official website of the Electoral Commission, the People’s Democratic Party and their candidate Dr. Abed Bwanika omit ICT altogether, there’s merely mention of establishing a National Intelligence and Acumen Centre as a means of utilizing the best human resource in guiding the country in research, design and analysis, which is to serve as an “official Think Tank of the nation within the best brains in the country.”What topics this centre’s research and knowledge delivery will focus on is, unfortunately, unspecified.Amama MbabaziAmama Mbabazi‘s Go Forward camp seems to be the only one that takes a comprehensive and all-encompassing approach to ICT in their manifesto. They believe “that Information Communication and Technology is a public good and that all Ugandans have a right to it,” and thus plan to “transform our economy, education, government and society through radical ICT interventions.”The goals for ICT are defined in a trifold: creating a knowledge and information-based educated society that is globally competitive and productive; strengthening existing legal frameworks and policies supporting the sector; and lastly promoting enhancement of Uganda’s ICT sector to level up to 21st century standards.A model for the Advanced Sub-County (ASM); as depicted in Amama Mbabazi’s manifesto.Borrowing from international best practices, Go Forward hopes to incorporate ICT in various fields ranging from education, healthcare systems management, agricultural and commodity exchange, tourism, taxation, business, land and property registration as well as business, financial services delivery and governance. An example is their Advanced Sub-County Model (ASM) – referred to as “the crux of our development programme” which aims to strengthen the interface between government and citizens. In this model they propose a computerised Community Information Management System and the establishment of community centres with at least 10 computers each, including libraries and reading areas with free Wi-Fi internet access.In contrast to Museveni, Mbabazi’s plans, albeit topline, seem to cater to the ICT needs of the everyday Ugandan.However, what is missing here are the meticulous details seen in the NRM manifesto concerning implementation. How the transformation will be achieved in concrete terms, how it will be funded, who the key actors or partners from the various sectors will be are questions that remain unanswered.ICT Momentum in Sub-Saharan AfricaGlobally much impact on economies is attributed to the ICT sector, for instance with each 10% increase in high speed internet connections, there’s a 1.3% percent increase in economic growth, “a report by World Bank found. Taking this into consideration, this reflects poorly on the presidential candidates who make no mention of the ICT sector or merely do so in a by the way manner; and should in general make us Ugandans critical to see the sector not receive the attention it deserves.Moreover, in this age of start-ups and big data, digital connectivity is becoming increasingly important – if not even essential for societies to function and advance. Hence, the role of the ICT sector too, is gaining significance. ICT has not only become an almost indispensable part of modern societies but also harbours immense potentials for development, in particular in Sub-Saharan Africa where we have seen a mobile explosion over the past 5 – 10 years.Mobile money, for example, is helping provide alternative means of financial inclusion for Sub-Saharan Africa’s unbanked population while Kenya has implemented an e-government system facilitating mobile access to public government documents and services, thus elevating transparency, convenience and productivity.In Uganda apps like Brainshare are helping create a more integrated and centralised school curricular as well as enabling higher education to people in rural areas through mobile or e-learning. In general mobile connectivity and the internet are contributing to a more convenient, easier and efficient lifestyle. What’s more is there are several prospective facets of ICT still untapped for instance in public administration, public health management and many others which could benefit Uganda and propel further development.Yes, Uganda has other more acute battlegrounds like corruption, peace, security and infrastructure. Nonetheless, it is important to balance ironing out issues and seizing opportunities. While one deals with problems, one cannot forget to ensure the nation is growing and competitive at both regional and global level. In the age of exponentially surging tech connectivity, one cannot sleep and miss the momentum to claim a fair share of the digital (r)evolution.It was a shame we did not see the candidates touch on the subject during the second presidential debate either but let’s hope that whoever emerges as Uganda’s President after the elections on Thursday, will have an extensive vision and strategies to strengthen and advance Uganda’s ICT sector during their five-year term in office.