M-Pesa (M for mobile, pesa the Swahili word for money) is one of Africa’s most famous home-grown technologies having revolutionised banking in Kenya, where it already boasts more than 17 million users. Another six million people in Kenya use competing products that have sprung up in the wake of M-Pesa’s success.

Want to know where you can get the cheapest petrol in town, well if you live in the Ugandan capital, Kampala – where fuel can be astronomically expensive and where prices vary widely – it’s easy. You simply open up the Mafuta Go application on your smartphone and search for the station where you’ll get the most fuel for your money.

The Paradox of Unequal Growth

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While the Spear debate raged recently, a group of activists and academics convened in Cape Town to discuss the very issues that the controversial artwork sought to raise. The OpenForum, provocatively titled “Money, Sex and Power: The Paradox of Unequal Growth” brought back a flood of memories for me – memories of the way activism once was in South Africa.

OpenForum on the theme of Money, Power and Sex: The paradox of unequal growth. Taking place at the International Convention Centre in Cape Town, the OpenForum will represent the first event of its kind and will provide a space for activists, academics, businesspeople and policy-makers to talk about the economic, social and political implications for Africa of the emerging world order.

On the day before the OpenForum begins, the four Open Society Africa Foundations will be convening a Youth Summit with around 60 participants coming from more than 20 African countries. An underlying theme throughout the OpenForum will be that of ‘game-changing’.

The competition was based on the theme of the OpenForum - Money, Power and Sex: The Paradox of Unequal Growth - and received entries from across the continent. These were judged by a jury composed of some of the world’s most renowned documentary photographers. Convened by the Pulitzer Prize-winning South African photographer, Greg Marinovich, the jury included Jodi Bieber, Boniface Mwangi, Ricardo Mazalán, Yunghi Kim, David Dare Parker, Munem Wasif and Rankin.


Looking back at the OpenForum

It started on a sexual note at the auditorium of the International Convention Centre Cape Town. Kim Kardashian and her sisters in the black, stylish, super sexy bikinis on display via the big screen to a stunned audience got the energy and adrenaline of the delegates jumpstarted on what this particular conference was all about ; no words minced, no holds barred, just plain unadulterated Money, Power and of course Sex – the talk if not the act.

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