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News hole: Microsoft man takes over Mali and hardly anybody cares

Cheick Modibo Diarra

As some of you more astute international news observers may have noted, the usually stable West African nation of Mali recently experienced a military coup with arrests of politicians continuing.

And as Columbia University’s Gregory Mann has noted, hardly anybody in the news media is reporting on this. So Mann did his own report and analysis. In fairness, Voice of America has done a good job covering what’s going on in Mali (only available to Americans on the web, by law….) and the mainstream media did note today the former President has arrived in Senegal.

Cheick Modibo Diarra

What few media have covered is what interests me most — the fact that the former head of Microsoft Africa and genuine rocket scientist Cheick Modibo Diarra is now acting Prime Minister.

Britain’s Independent has done a brief profile of him and his ‘daunting challenge,’ but that’s all I’ve seen. The paper says of Diarra:

Inside the tech giant the job was widely dubbed “Microsoft’s ambassador to Africa” but colleagues credit the astrophysicist with turning that around to become Africa’s ambassador to Microsoft.


About Author

Tom Paulson

Tom Paulson is founder and lead journalist at Humanosphere. Prior to operating this online news site, he reported on science,  medicine, health policy, aid and development for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Contact him at tom[at] or follow him on Twitter @tompaulson.