• Archive for June, 2009

    Vitoria Diogo, Minister of Public Service in Mozambique

    June 9, 2009 // Comments Off on Vitoria Diogo, Minister of Public Service in Mozambique

    Zero Tolerance for Poor Public Service.


    Our interest during the last weeks have been the public transport system in Maputo and how communication can maybe open up avenues and work against prejudices about the public transport. The police here is very active in stopping the chappas and checking the cars and documents. This probably leads to better services. But this news-text is lifted from the very informative website Club of Mozambique, a site in english run by expats. It is great to hear that the government is working on infrastructural issues because there is the foundation for a well performing society.

    Mozambican Public Service Minister Vitoria Diogo, declared in Maputo on Saturday zero tolerance for the rendering of poor public services.

    She was speaking during the closing session of a Conference on Public Administration, that brought together officials of the state apparatus, representatives of private business, and civil society organisations.

    Diogo stressed that guaranteeing good public service requires strengthening internal inspections and control to prevent irregularities, and to find out whether the offenses committed are intentional or result from lack of knowledge of the regulations and norms in public service.

    “Our position is zero tolerance for poor quality in the rendering of public services. Our public administration, our country, our Mozambican identity must be synonyms of merit, quality and excellence”, she said.

    She added that every citizen must participate in improving the quality of public services, by denouncing irregularities committed by state officials.

    Diogo admitted that the existing methods by which people present their complaints and suggestions are not efficient.

    “We must ensure that the citizens can blow the whistle on poor performance, because the existing system of complaint and suggestion books is weak. So we must improve matters and find better ways for the citizens to present their concerns”, she said.

    It was not tolerable that civil servants failed to provide the services which people need. Diogo stressed that the words “come back tomorrow” have no place in the vocabulary of public servants.

    “The key to success”, the Minister declared, “lies in visionary leadership, which inspires and sets free the talents that exist in our institutions, and mobilizes the energy and skills of our workers aimed towards a common objective, including the sense of mission, the mission of serving citizens”.


    Posted in DORI BLOG

    School of Crafts in Maputo

    June 8, 2009 // Comments Off on School of Crafts in Maputo


    We visited the school of traditional crafts here in Maputo last Saturday. It is a small school located behind the Museum of Modern art in Av. Ho Chi Mihn. The students (I saw no female) stay in the school for roughly three months learning specific traditional skills like wood carving, or metalwork or jewlery etc. The school has a small shop where one can buy products made by the students. At least some of the students live on site, probably coming from the wider country since they have dormitories and a communal kitchen in the yard. It was very ispiring to meet some of them (I did not pester them with practical questions about the school) and talk about the materials, where they come from and how they get them to market. Every Saturday morning there is a large crafts market here in Maputo where one can browse and buy. It is interesting that the school is located with the Modern Arts Museum sice that stimulates influences both ways. On Saturday there was a seminar at the back of the Museum. It was a part of a series of meetings of people interested in arts and design, named Z-A Interaction and we met some of them. The visiting organizor Paulo Moreira has been here in Mozambique to visit a school his grandparents were ivolved in establishing in the early 60’s.


    The images are of some of the things made there and the spirit of the works. The day after we met actually a very nice guy selling his things to tourists on the beach of Macaneta and chatted about how the school is influential in supporting crafts and souvernis industry. It is important to the locals that guests have access to the acutal things produced in the country, also embedded in the local tradition.


    Posted in DORI BLOG

    Maputo Transport Project

    June 4, 2009 // Comments Off on Maputo Transport Project

    vefsida1The project for Maputo transport that Soley is running in ENAV is, in my opinion developing really well. Especially in the perspective of the previous experience in visual communication projects the students have done. It seems that the students have good basic skills in fundamental art or drawing. There has of course been very little access to computers and they have had no access to the internet until these months when Soley has managed to push for a hub and networking all the FOUR computers in the media lab. The students are all starting first time email accounts and social networking that is so important to designers today. The students have no experience of using the sketchbook (as has been blogged earlier) for research and self reflection; no experience in field surveying and photography etc. They also have had very little teaching in the conceptualizing of  a problem out of a current situation. But it has been great to listen to their arguments in the studio, all talking at the same time, many referring to their personal experiences (what is better for a designer to understand than through own life?) and to how ‘the public’ does not use or refer to concepts, just lives. I am of the opinion that we all ‘just live’ and do not think so much about our everyday. Especially the everyday, i.e. what is happening to us while we are living. Like John Lennon said: ‘Life is what happens to you while you are busy doing other things!’


    Now, the students have really managed to define the problems that they are facing and they have defined the tasks that they can address properly as visual communicators. Of course they are not required to go into town planning or transport engineering, but to concentrate on the visual communicative aspet of the issues. They are this week working on defining and finding the most significant symbol for the main locations (stops) in the city on  the specific routes where the chappas drive through. The chappas do not really have ‘bus stops’ they stop anywhere  when there is a potential customer walking by. This is of course great because the service is so much more personal and in a way analogous as opposed to preconditioned engineered programs that nobody is allowed to divert from (like a tram driver letting in a passenger where there is not a stop in most Western cities.


    Last Friday the groups had presentations of their findings so far and I was properly impressed. Now I wait eagerly for what will happen this week. The students are now really on their home turf, meaning in their own routes, and in their own culture and within their own competence, to illustrate a situation or to collect a location and concept into a demonstrative visual image. The difference to the tradition of just making an other logo (something that is really falling out of date) but to illustrate a proper point in their life.


    More later, but I have borrowed some images from the presentations and activities of the last weeks.



    Posted in DORI BLOG, Soley work in ENAV

    The guitar hero in the family

    June 2, 2009 // 1 Comment »


    Andri went to a workshop in the American International school of Mozambique with Oliver his friend from school (They are in the Scandinavian school ). They played guitar and base in the band. Andri surprised his parents and and made them proud when he stood up and took a guitar solo! And of course we have to put it here on the web to brag about it!

    The people in the American school were very nice and the guys got to know some of the kids there. They actually decided to establish a band, which is very nice because there are so few older kids in the Scandinavian school that a band is not really a possibility.
    When moving between countries it takes a while to get friend and fill the schedule with activities. Andri has therefore had quite a good time to practice the guitar, and the internet is his main teacher.



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