Lova Rakotomalala Using Twitter To Raise Awareness Of Political Turmoil In Madagascar

Posted Mar 16, 2009

Across the ocean in the continent of Africa, Madagascar has been in political turmoil.  Many of us don’t know about it because by word association, when we think of Madagascar we think of animated animals singing “I Like To Move It.”

Lova Rakotomalala, a resident of West Lafayette, Indiana is working on ways to promote the awareness of this turmoil taking place overseas, especially since there aren’t any media outlets on the island.  Rakotomalala is a research assistant at Purdue University.  He is also the author and editor of Global Voices Online.

Rakotomalala is using Twitter to translate news reports published from Madagascar and tweeting it out.  Rakotomalala emigrated from Madagascar 10 years ago.  Madagascar’s population is about 20 million and the country has recently seen 120 lives taken since January because of political turmoil.  Government troops have been opening fire on protestors.

To further push his cause, Rakotomalala partnered with a lawyer by the name of Andry Rakotoniaina.  Andry attended a speech by the mayor of Madagascar and held his phone up so his wife could hear what is happening. Andry’s wife then tweeted out what she was hearing over the phone.

At that same meeting, gunfire was shot at the crowds as people scrambled away out of fear.  Andry got away safely just in time.  “Before, when you Googled my country, you just got the movie,” stated Rakotomalala.  “We are correcting that.”

[via WSJ]