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Kagame of Rwanda, the current Western-favoured African leader, in landslide win of presidential election, taken his 17-year rule into mid-2020s

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Photo from Flickr: President Kagame and Christine Lagarde, MD of IMF. President Paul Kagame of Rwanda is seen as a strong and reforming African leader who has led his country to paths of peaceful recovery following a 2004 genocidal campaign.

Editing contributed by Yusuf Zango (NAN)

Rwanda’s sitting president has won another landslide election that will extend his 17-year rule to 2024.

To his Western backers and admirers, President Paul Kagame of Rwanda, (pronounced Randa) is a strong leader who has enthroned strong accountability, reforms and economic recovery in Rwanda following a 1994 genocide in which nearly one million Rwandan people were hacked or gunned down by an ethnic inspired militia.

While to his accusers and critics back home and elsewhere, Kagame has transformed into an opposition-intolerant dictator, who have driven those who oppose him into exile or untimely death through secrete executions and imprisonment.

He is also accused of media censorship, widespread human rights abuses, muzzling of independent media and suppression of political opposition.

With 80 per cent of votes accounted for, the 59-year-old former guerrilla leader secured 98.66 percent, the National Electoral Commission’s Executive secretary Charles Munyaneza told a news conference.

“We expect that even if we get 100 percent of votes, there will not be any change,” he said.

Kagame, who cast his vote in Kigali’s Rugunga polling station earlier on Friday, said he would work to sustain economic growth in the tiny nation.

“This is another seven years to take care of issues that affect Rwandans and ensure that we become real Rwandans who are (economically) developing,” he said in a speech broadcast live on television.

Under his rule, some dissidents were killed after they fled abroad, in cases that remain unsolved. The government denies any involvement.

Kagame, a commander who led Tutsi rebel forces into Rwanda to end the 1994 genocide, banned the use of tribal terms after becoming president.

He won the last election in 2010 with 93 per cent of the vote and during this campaign for a further seven-year term, said he expected an outright victory.

Habineza, who has so far won 0.45 percent of the early count, had promised to set up a tribunal to retry dissidents whose convictions by Rwandan courts have been criticized as politically motivated.

Another would-be opponent, Diane Rwigara, was disqualified by the election board despite her insistence that she met all the requirements to run.

“To me I see this as a one-man race. I simply did not go to vote,” said one man in Kigali who asked not to be named.

Paul Kagame is strongly favoured as a strong and exemplary leader in Africa by several Western leaders, particular leaders of the Tony Blair and Bill Clinton era, and have provided strong backing and defending whenever issues are raised against Kagame.

An African politics observer in London told Angle 90 News that Kagame’s favourable rating in Western countries is akin to the position Mr. Mugabe occupied many years ago.

Observing that while Mandela was in prison, president Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe was the African darling president in the West. When asked to elaborate on the reason he thought that was the case, he responded-

“Well Mugabe’s government allowed minority white land owners to hold on to their lands after the Rhodesia war, against agitation from the ruling party, the Zanu PF. At that time, the Apartheid regime in South Africa, held Mr. Mandela in prison as a terrorist, with backing from European and American governments. So, while Mandela was a terrorist in the eyes of the West, Mugabe was a hero.”

Photo by alamy: President Paul Kagame of Rwanda was received by German President Horst Koehler during a State Visit

The narrative changed after Mr. Mandela’s release from prison and he went ahead to pardon atrocities-committing members of the apartheid government, meanwhile, President Mugabe’s disagreement with the British government over land reforms ensued.

What we saw within time from these ensuing episodes is a swap of places between Mugabe and Mendela.

Former ‘terrorist and prisoner’, Mandela, became a hero, worthy of a life-size statue in Westminster, while former hero, Robert Mugabe, was transformed over-night by Western governments and media to a ‘corrupt and brutal dictator’ deserving to be removed from power.

Zimbabwe was placed under severe economic sanctions that crippled a once vibrant economy.

In response to Western backed regime change angender I Zimbabwe, Mugabe and his Zanu PF party dog in, holding on to power at all cost, well into a 90+ years age, to the detriment of his country, for fear of prosecution, or as his supporters say, fear or persecution if he handed over power.

We hope Mr. Kagame of Rwanda approaches power without arrogance, keeping in mind that Western support only last as long.

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Akon breaks it down at the African YouthConnekt Conference 2017

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Akon breaking it down at Youthconnekt Africa summit 2017

On series of twits, British boxer Amir Khan threatens to divorce his wife over affairs with newly-crowned heavy weight champ Anthony Joshua

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Photos from Khan's and Joshua's twitter handles: Left- Heavy Weight Boxing Champion Anthony Joshua. Right-Amir Khan and his 'Not-BBW' wife, Faryal Makhdoom. Anthony Joshua is accused of involvement with Faryal via Khan's twitter postings.

Is it real or the work of hackers? On series of twits, British boxer Amir Khan threatens to divorce his wife over affairs with newly-crowned heavy weight champ Anthony Joshua

On what is suspected to be a hacking hijack of former teen boxing Olympic gold medallist twitter account, Amir Khan threatened to divorce his wife on accusation of behaviour bordering on infidelity with boxer, Anthony Joshua.

Khan and his wife Faryal Makhdoom have been reported of having a troubled marriage not long after their celebrity wedding in 2013.

The suspicious messages on Khan’s twitter account, if truly emanated from him, reveals animosity towards Anthony Joshua, who recently was crowned World Heavy Weight Boxing Champion after an 11th round flooring of long running champion, Wladimir Klitschko, in a Wembley Stadium bout in April.

The twits from Amir Khan insinuate that Joshua is involved in an affair with his wife.

“Mans like Joshua can have my left overs”, the twits remarked.

The boxer also revealed his family had not been in support of his marriage to Faryal Makhdoom, whom he wedded in New York.

“Left my family and friends for this Faryal. I’m not hurt but another fighter. I’m making it public. You getting the divorce #Golddigger”.

“Lol moved up in the weight classes lol. Trust me I ain’t the jealous type. No need to send me pictures of the men your talking to #disgusted”.

“Faryal moved on quick. Always mentioned to me how much she wanted to be with another guy, from all people another boxer 🙄 @anthonyfjoshua”.

“So me and the wife Faryal have agreed to split. I’m currently in Dubai. Wish her all the best”, twitted Khan.

Anthony Joshua was calm and cool about the accusation.

Through a succinct twitter response and posting of Shaggy’s “It Wasn’t Me” music video, he denied the accusation, twitting-

“Bantz aside, I hope you guys can resolve your situation or this is a hack as we have never even met! Plus I like my women BBW #ItWasntMe”

Anthony Joshua tells that he has never met Amir Khan’s seemingly estranged wife. And if he had, he would not find her attractive. He is attracted to Big Beautiful Women-BBW. Faryal Makhdoom is obviously not fleshly endowed enough to warrant a wooing move from the heavy weight champion.

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In Xi’s address to the PLA, Chinese ambition for global peace takes center stage as the eastern power spreads its tentacles across the world

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Photo collage by Angle 90 News: Source- Xinhua News Agency. China on Sunday held a grand military parade to mark the 90th founding anniversary of the People's Liberation Army

As China’s economic and soft power stretches to every corner of the globe through resource extraction and infrastructure investments, soft loans to poorer nations, investment in technology and trade, her ambition for the Peoples Liberation Army (PLA), is also pivoting towards participation in military campaigns abroad to protect global peace. 

While instructing the PLA to follow the absolute leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC), during a parade to mark the 90th anniversary of the army, President Xi Jinping of China invoked the army to build readiness to defeat invaders and to safeguard global peace.

 

In his address to the PLA in the Chinese region of Inner Mongolia, Xi was quoted by Xinhua news agency saying, 

“China needs a strong military more than ever”. 

And admonishing for “building the People’s Liberation Army into world-class armed forces with confidence and capability to defeat all invading enemies and safeguarding world peace.” 

Acknowledging the turmoil that rages across the world and perhaps emerging global threats to which China and her global ambition faces, he stated that “The world is not all at peace, and peace must be safeguarded,” 

“Today, we are closer to the goal of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation than any other time in history, and we need to build a strong people’s military more than any other time in history.”

 

In what many see as a signal that China is readying her army for expanded participation in military campaigns abroad, to promote global peace, the president acknowledged, like all super and emerging super powers do, that peace at home is anchored on readiness to fight for peace abroad. 

He said, “enjoying peace is a bliss for the people while protecting peace is the responsibility of the people’s army”. 

He praised the Chinese army for defeating all enemies and safeguarding China. He was quoted as saying, “Bathed in blood while forging ahead, they have defeated all the enemies, overcome all sorts of challenges, and made immortal feat to help the Chinese people stand up and prosper”

 

Praising the army for loyalty and demanding unceasing absolute loyalty to the Communist Part, he said

“History has proved that the PLA is a heroic force that has followed the Party’s command, served the country with loyalty, and fought for the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation”

 “The Party and people of all ethnic groups in China take great pride in having such a heroic army,”.

 “Officers and soldiers, you must unswervingly stick to the fundamental principle and system of the Party’s absolute leadership over the army, always listen to and follow the Party’s orders, and march to wherever the Party points to,” he said.

 

As China fills the trade, investment and development aid gaps vacated by a receding United States around the world- a withdrawal being hastened by ‘America first’ president Trump, and coupled with China’s own global ambitions, the world should be ready for a more assertive China, willing and ready to take up military campaigns abroad, to safeguard it investment and national interest.

 

Xinhua News reports that this is the first time China has marked the anniversary of the People’s Liberation Army with a parade since the founding of New China in 1949.

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Court dissolves 7 year old Lagos marriage because wife demands £1.20 (500 Naira) payment per bout, before letting husband have sex

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Marriage of 500 Naira per sex

(Reuters/NAN)

In a Lagos court proceeding monitored by the News Agency of Nigeria earlier today, a housewife, Mrs Mutiatu Olaosebikan,  lost her seven-year-old marriage for demanding money from her husband before sex.

In delivering judgment, the President of the court, Mr Adegboyega Omilola, said from all indications it appeared that the estranged couple were tired of the marriage and all efforts to reconcile them had failed.

“Since both parties had consented to the dissolution of their marriage, this court has no choice than to dissolve the marriage.

“The court pronounces the marriage between Mr Sunday Olaosebikan and Mrs Mutiatu Olaosebikan dissolved today, both parties henceforth cease to be husband and wife.

“Both are free to go their separate ways without any hindrance or molestation,” the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) quotes Omilola as saying.

The court also granted the custody of the only child of the marriage to the mother.

Earlier, Mr Sunday Olaosebikan, had told the court that his wife had always refused him sex until she collected at least N500 (£1.20) and that he was tired of paying N500 per bout before having sex with his wife.

He also told the court said that Mutiatu had threatened to kill him, and that she stabbed him with dangerous weapons whenever they had misunderstanding.

“My lord, she once stabbed me with a broken bottle on my head and I bled heavily which landed me in the hospital.

“Mutiatu places her kitchen knife under her pillow and when I queried her, she said her pastor instructed her to use it anytime he had bad dreams.

“But whenever I requested for sex or during argument, she brings out the knife threatening to stab me,’’ he said.

He described his wife as an aggressive and violent person, saying “she may kill me if I continue with the marriage.”

“I ran away from the house to avoid untimely death.

“Also because of her bad behaviour, she could not get a steady job.”

The 42-year-old businessman begged the court to terminate the union on grounds of lack of love.

However, Mutiatu, said her husband, Sunday, usually discharged his sperm on the floor during sexual intercourse (withdrawal method).

 

“My husband no longer releases sperm into me when we had sex. He is in the habit of pouring his sperm on the floor, he does not want me to get pregnant again.

“He started this withdrawal method five years ago; I only have one child who is six years old; now, he can go more than six rounds, but will never release the sperm into me, instead he pours it on the floor.

“Whenever I queried him about the withdrawal method, he could not give a satisfactory answer,’’ she said.

The respondent said her husband was an “untamed chatterbox,’’ who cannot keep the family secrets.

She said he has a habit of sharing their family issues with his relatives, friends and even, the public.

“There was a day I was attacked spiritually and blood was gushing out of my eyes, nose and mouth.

“When I was rushed to a prayer house, I was told that my husband caused the sickness because he talks too much about our affairs in the public,’’ she said.

The 34-year-old trader also described her husband as tight-fisted as she has been the one taking care of their baby from birth.

“My husband turned me into a punching bag that anytime we had misunderstanding, he would beat the hell out of me.”

She urged the court to grant her husband’s request for the dissolution of the marriage as she was also tired of the union.

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EU votes to reduce cancer causing Acrylamide in fried, roasted or baked potatoes, parsnips, and other root vegetables

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popular food preparation processes including frying in hot oil lead to release of cancer causing Acrylamide

Editing contribution by Edited by Abigael Joshua, Brussels, July 19, 2017 (dpa/NAN

EU votes to reduce cancer causing Acrylamide in fried, roasted or baked potatoes, parsnips, and other root vegetables

The UK Food Standard Agency isn’t categorical on the carcinogenic properties of Acrylamide.

A front-page slider on the Agency’s website boldly states “Acrylamide is a probable carcinogen”.

Notwithstanding that inconclusiveness, the presence of Acrylamide in our best loved energy food varieties has caused enough concern to warrant a vote at the European union on its ban.

Member states of the European Union voted on Wednesday in favour of a commission proposal to reduce the presence in food of the chemical acrylamide, which is linked to cancer.

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) confirmed in 2015 the cancer-inducing nature of acrylamide, a substance that forms when potato, cereal or coffee-based products are processed at a high temperature such as frying, roasting and baking.

According to EFSA, the most important food groups contributing to acrylamide exposure are fried potato products, coffee, biscuits, crackers, crisp and soft bread.

The EU decided to act because “the present levels of dietary exposure to acrylamide across age groups indicate a concern with respect to its carcinogenic effects,’’ according to the new EU regulation that would require food businesses to reduce the presence of acrylamide.

One way of reducing the amount of acrylamide in potato fries would be to cut thicker fries that are then blanched in water, before being deep fried.

The draft caused a stir in Belgium, the country that claims to have invented potato fries, which are traditionally fried twice.

The draft regulation now faces several institutional hurdles, including adoption by the EU parliament, before final adoption envisaged for spring 2019.

According to a narrative published on the UK Food Standard Agency’s website, Acrylamide is a chemical substance formed by a reaction between amino acids and sugars.

It typically occurs when foods with high starch content such as potatoes, root vegetables and bread, are cooked at high temperatures (over 120°C) in a process of frying, roasting or baking.

Acrylamide is not deliberately added to foods, it is a natural by-product of the cooking process and has always been present in our food.

Laboratory tests show that acrylamide in the diet causes cancer in animals.

While evidence from human studies on the impact of acrylamide in the diet is inconclusive, scientists agree that acrylamide in food has the potential to cause cancer in humans as well and it would be prudent to reduce exposure. 

Common food varieties in which Acrylamide is found are wide ranging, and include roasted potatoes and root vegetables, chips, crisps, toast, cakes, biscuits, cereals and coffee. 

Reducing the amount of the substance produced through our food processing and preparation is key to controlling its intake.

The Food Standard Agency recommends as a general rule of thumb, to “aim for a golden yellow colour or lighter when frying, baking, toasting or roasting starchy foods like potatoes, root vegetables and bread”

It also recommends. “don’t store raw potatoes in the fridge if you intend to cook them at high temperatures (e.g. roasting or frying).

Storing raw potatoes in the fridge may lead to the formation of more free sugars in the potatoes (a process sometimes referred to as ‘cold sweetening’) and can increase overall acrylamide levels especially if the potatoes are then fried, roasted or baked.

Raw potatoes should ideally be stored in a dark, cool place at temperatures above 6°C”

It advices that while we can’t completely avoid risks like acrylamide in food, eating a healthy, balanced diet that includes basing meals on starchy carbohydrates and getting your 5 A Day will help reduce your risk of cancer.

The duration and temperature of cooking determines the amount of acrylamide produced: long durations and higher temperatures form more acrylamide than short durations and lower temperatures.

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R. Kelly in fresh accusations of holding young women in ‘cult like’ sex captivity, but one of the women says ‘I am fine don’t bother me’ to police phone call

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Photos from R K Instagram: Don't get Trap in the Closet R Kelly

R n B singer super start R. Kelly is reported by BuzzFeed of holding six women against their will in a cult-like sex captivity.

The singer who once faced accusations of sex with minors is said to be keeping a group of women in his homes in Atlanta and Chicago, in the USA states of Georgia and Illinois respectively, holding them in a state in which he is in ‘control of every aspect of their lives’ according to the reports.

Parents have not seen their daughters for more than one year.

He is accused of inviting women into his immediate environment with promises of helping develop their singing and music careers.

He then assumes sexual relationship with the young women, getting them into situations in which they begin to call him ‘daddy’ and would require his permission to leave rooms assigned to them.

Kelly is also accused of filming his sexual jaunts with the young women of consenting ages, and shares the filming with close circle of friends. The girls’ communication with the outside world is monitored.

According to the report, “You have to ask for food. You have to ask to go use the bathroom,” his former personal assistant, Cheryl Mark is quoted to have said. “Kelly is a master at mind control…… He is a puppet master” Cheryl Mark is claimed to have continued.

Mark is also reported to have confirmed that R. Kelly punishes any of the women who disobeys his rules, physically and verbally.

Another member of Kelly’s inner circle, Kitty Jones, appears to have confirmed accounts rendered by Cheryl Mark.

However, there is a twist in the narratives. The report says that “One of the women in question, a singer from Georgia, was contacted by the police at her parents request for a “well-being check.”

She reportedly told the officers that she was “fine and did not want to be bothered”

We recall that R. Kelly is not fresh to accusations of sexual misbehavior with under-age females.

About 12 women have come forward sine 2000 to accuse the singer of ruining their lives. A videotape of Kelly allegedly having sex with a 14-year-old surfaced years ago, but the singer was acquitted of 14 sexual charges in 2008 and of charges of making child pornography.

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Africa History Researchers discredit DNA analysis of Egyptian Mummies by Johannes Krause of Germany’s University of Tübingen

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Photo by Getty images from lisapoyakama.org: Queen Ndjemt, daughter of Pharaoh Ramesu Kha-m-Waset (Ramesses XI) and wife of pharaoh-priest Heri Horo. Her father was one of the last pharaohs of the great indigenous Egyptian dynasties, around 1070 BC. As you can see, she was undoubtedly African. Most likely her hair had been involuntarily straightened during the mummification process, as we have shown here

A strong trend has emerged in recent years whereby Africa’s researchers seem ever ready to interrogate and question research reports about the African continent, her people and history, by individuals and organisations around the world, that people of the continent view as ill-motivated, bias or incorrect.

Two months ago, a Nigerian artist raised objections on social media to British artist, Damien Hirst’s act of copying of an African Terracotta artifact without due credit to its origin.

The anger generated across the continent over the copied terracotta tagged ‘Golden Head Female’ by the British artist went viral on social media, forcing the artist into a situation in which he had to publicly defend himself.

Media reports of a recent research publication on DNA analysis of select Ancient Egyptian mummies, which claims that the Ancient Egyptians were closer to of European and Asian stock, has led to accusations of flawed research procedures, bias and outright racism against Johannes Krause of Germany’s University of Tübingen, who led the research.

We publish below, an article by an African history researcher- Lisapo Ya Kama, which  appeared on, http://www.lisapoyakama.org in response to Johannes Krause’s claims.-

On the left Tutankhamen and his wife Queen Ankh-Sen-Imana, daughter of Akhenaten and Nefertiti ; On the right the great pharaoh Imanahotep Hekawaset (Amenhotep III), father of Akhenaten.

On May 31st 2017, all the media of the Western world announced that the DNA of 90 Egyptian mummies have just been finally deciphered. They all seem to be of Middle Eastern and European origin.

The information goes around the world, delights the supporters of a white Egypt and shakes the Africans and the African diaspora, who had already taken ownership of this civilization.

We have got the report of this study in our possession and we will demonstrate here that it is dishonest from the beginning to the end, and that the Egyptian civilization belongs – if proof still needed – strictly to the Black African world.

How to determine which people are at the origin of a civilization?

The choice of sites 

Imagine today that the French civilization has disappeared and that in 2000 years we try to determine which people were at its origin.

The first thing we should do is to consult the documents of the time period to find out what were the important places of this ancient territory.

Then we would realize that the greatest people of France were buried in royal tombs in the Parisian Region and also at the Panthéon in Paris. After excavating the remains it would be easy to determine that the French civilization was the work of the white people.

If, on the other hand, one were to go to Marseilles in the south, so many Berbers and Arabs would be found in the cemeteries, and one would falsely conclude that France was the work of the Berbers and the Arabs.

It is the same with the American civilization today. You would have to go to the Arlington Cemetery in Virginia and not to any cemetery in Miami filled with Puerto Ricans, Cubans, Venezuelans, Nicaraguans etc…

The choice of the Time Period

In the same way, the historical documents would show that there was an influx of Arabs and Berbers in the city of Marseilles during the middle of the 20th century.

If we insist on knowing who were the founders of the city, the older remains, those of the lower antiquity, would be indicative.

Therefore, to determine the people at the origin of a civilization, we should begin with the historical documentation, to know which sites to search and what time period to take into account.

What do the Egyptian historical documents say?

They say this :

4000 BC: birth, between Sudan and southern Egypt, of the very first dynasty; which will eventually conquer the whole north around 3300 BC.

From 3300 BC to 1730 BC ruled only by these dynasties originating from southern Egypt and Sudan.

Between 1730 BC and 1540 BC, a dynasty of invaders, called Hyksos, probably white, conquered the north of Egypt. The indigenous kings withdrew to their original bastion, the south.

Between 1540 BC and 1070 BC, the indigenous dynasties conquered the north and ruled over the whole kingdom again.

Between 1070 BC and 663 BC, black Libyans associated with Whites ruled over the north, the indigenous authority retreating, once again, to the south. Then the Sudanese came and ruled over the whole territory.

Between 663 BC and 332 BC, a chaotic succession of white Persian invaders and Egyptians ruled the country.

From 332 BC to 641 AD, the Greeks and the Romans, who entered by the north, dominated.

And from 641 AD to the present day we have an Arab domination, with Turkish and British intervals.

What does that mean? It means that if we want to accurately genetically determine who the ancient Egyptians were, we should take the remains of the Kings from the south, at the Valley of the Kings, in Luxor.

And top priority should be given to the remains that dated between 4000 BC and 1730 BC and those dated between 1540 BC and 1070 BC. This has already been done.

DNA Tribes Results : Index of genetic compatibility of 326 with Southern Africa, 323 with Great Lakes and 83 with Central Africa and West Africa. This study is the absolute reference in genetics to ancient Egyptians.For comparison, the Semitic whites, European or Berbers are between 3 and 7 of compatibility.

 

 

Who/What has actually done the study that makes so much noise today?

The study by Johannes Krause of the Max Planck Institute in Germany pre-selected 91 mummies found in one (1) cemetery in northern Egypt. It is a single site.

Was Professor Johannes Krause afraid to fetch the Egyptians in the South, where they are crowded?

But that’s not all. Of these 91 mummies, how many are dated in the time periods we are interested in (4000-1730, 1540-1070)? Well! simple answer: 4. 4 mummies out of the 91 selected date from the great periods of ruling by native Egyptians.

Only 4 mummies date from the time period before 1070 BC. All the others are recent.

And how many of these 91 date from the domination of the Greek and Roman whites? 48! i.e most of them.

This sample is then invalid and cannot determine the origin of the ancient Egyptians. Should we continue our critic of this study?

We can stop here. But let’s be kind and continue.

Of the 91 mummies how many were actually genetically analysed to determine who the ancient Egyptians were? Get this : 3.

Johannes Krause begins by saying: “Here we present 90 mitochondrial genomes as well as genome-wide data sets from three individuals obtained from Egyptian mummies”.

The study that makes so much noise all over the world today and which is supposed to have determined who the Egyptians were is based on only 3 mummies. 3 !

Of these 3 mummies, how many date from the great ruling by the native Egyptians? Simple answer: 0.

The mummy JK2134 dates from between 776 BC and 669 BC, the mummy JK2911 dates from 769-560 BC.

The mummy JK2888 dates from 97-2 BC. All these mummies date from the time when Egypt in the north was dominated by white foreigners or had a large white immigrant population.

These mummies cannot, in any way, be representative of the people or the kings of ancient Egypt.

Here is, in north of Egypt, the place where the mummies of Johannes Krause come from. This image comes from his own paper. Look far at the bottom right, it is Luxor, where the Pharaohs are buried. Even when the pharaoh died to the north, his body was taken to the south, just as today, people still prefer to be buried in their villages. The Egyptians knew perfectly well that they came from the south.

 

 

A summary of of the report of the DNA analysis by Johannes Krause of Germany’s University of Tübingen.  The study in question. 3 mummies!

In short, the sample mummies are selected in such a way that the result will say the Egyptians were white:

  • Come from a single and irrelevant site.
  • Were taken in the north of Egypt which was repeatedly under the rule of white foreigners and partly
  • populated by white immigrants.
  • Are only 3, which is ridiculously small.
  • Do not date, for any of them, from the ruling of the great indigenous Egyptians.
  • All of them date from the late period, that is a period of decline and occupation, where the whites had infiltrated from the north.

This sample has therefore zero value. And there’s no point in continuing to discuss it. So do the Westerners want to pride themselves on the fact that they found 3 whites out of 10 million ancient Egyptians?

They can have those. We are not stingy. According to their heretical logic, in 2000 years from now Jamaicans will be found in the British tombs and it will then be concluded that Queen Elizabeth II and the English were black.

In 2000 years, Indian people will be found in the Tanzanian tombs. It will also be concluded that Julius Nyerere and the Tanzanians were Indian. That’s not how history should be made.

Moreover, the University of Tübingen, in Germany, to which is attached Mr Krause, has been talked

about recently. They pretended that a European monkey with premolars tied is the first hominid in the world, meaning that humanity was not born in Africa. We are therefore dealing here with racist ideologists.

The West really thought we were going to stop at the sensational title of this study and not go deep into it. This is terrible misjudgement of the new African generation Cheikh Anta Diop has created.

We want to say that nothing and no one will ever put us back in the mental condition of eternal slavery again.

With science, we will have no concession and no pity, with those who dare to put themselves through our indestructible bond with our glorious ancestors. Our determination is total.

No one underestimate the unshakable determination of a child who wants to find his parents that have been hidden away from him. We will not bend our heads any more. We will carry no more complexes.

We will not feel inferior again. We will no longer return to the state of shame and self-hate the occupant has taught us and in which we were painfully dwelling before we discovered our history. We are going to make these feelings history.

Black Africans are the civilizers of humanity and they will never come down from this historic pedestal anymore. They invented civilization, in Africa, and introduced it to Asia, America and Europe.

Everyone will learn to get back to his place in history. It is with this new pride, this infinite confidence in our capacities, that we will rebuild Africa.

That being said, considering the shock wave this study has created in the black communities, we believe that the maximum number of Africans must acquire solid scientific knowledge in order to be able to decipher the lies contained in the scientific literature.

The full article can be read at http://www.lisapoyakama.org/en/the-egyptian-dna-case-truth-and-lies

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Is Morocco’s application to join West Africa’s regional body-ECOWAS a push by the EU to gain free market access to the region?

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Photo by Graphic.com.gh: Ghana's president Akufo-Addo and King Mohammed VI, of Morocco

Why does Morocco, a country that once severed relationship with Africa, and a country culturally and geographically, hundreds of miles separated from West Africa, in a sudden high-pressure pump of adrenaline desire to join ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States)?

While Morocco literally refused any attempt or effort to tread across the Sahara, allowing the scorching desert to do its natural job of extricating her from other regions of the continent for more than 3 decades, its monarchical government built ties with Europe, worked on stability of its politics and granted more powers to its parliament, following the Arab spring uprising.

Taking advantage of her proximity to European market, Morocco drove to attract European manufacturing, from textile, aerospace component, to automotive manufacturing.

As a former French colony, French speaking and about 3 days of sea-shipping time to France, and mere hours to Spain, from which European road distribution links can be accessed, French manufacturing was quick to move to Morocco.

Outside South Africa, Morocco is home to more European manufacturing, perhaps, than any other country in Africa.

Products by Morocco based European manufacturing companies are not able to contend favourably with Chinese manufactured products outside mainly, the manufacturers’ home regions of Europe.

Having no regional ties with Africa, its manufacturing is not able to compete with influx of Chinese products in the continent either. Morocco is therefore, in need of export market for her European manufacturing.

After more than 30 years of self-isolation, it returns to Africa.

Photo by Oxford Business Group: Morocco’s stability and proximity to Europe has attracted auto manufactures such is Renault

Europe has been pushing for a comprehensive trade deal with West Africa for more 10 years and reached Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) deal in 2014, without the full buy-in of the region’s major economies, including Nigeria.

Prominent functionaries of Nigeria’s last administration headed by former President Goodluck Jonathan were critical of the deal reached between the European Union Commission and the ECOWAS.

Nigeria and other main member states of the regional body had played little roles in the negotiations, leaving it to the regional body’s administrative office- the ECOWAS Commission.

Having taken a back seat in negotiations, they also failed to approve the reached agreement.

Nigeria sees the EU trade deal as detrimental to her own industrial aspiration and therefore, unwilling to cut back from local manufacturers, needed protection the EU trade deal would inevitably dismantle.

Nigeria’s former Central Bank Governor, a fierce critic of the Jonathan’s administration, who was credited for far-reaching financial services reforms a decade ago, found room to praise the administration for refusing to sign the EPA.

“For President Jonathan, I find it shocking that the most important initiative of his government to secure the future of the economy by Nigeria refusing to sign the ruinous Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union is not even being mentioned” he commented.

“President Obasanjo saved Nigeria from the potential ruin of an ECOWAS single currency while to his credit Jonathan safeguarded our industrial sector/economy by refusing to sign the EPA

Or does the government not understand the import of that?” Prof. Soludo asked, in runup to Nigeria’s 2015 elections.

Europe has not been able to reach or sign trade agreements with any of the world’s major power blocks or economies. It has failed to reach a trade deal with the USA or China. It narrowly reached a deal with Canada, a country on equal technology, infrastructure and manufacturing footing with major EU nations, and with extensive shared-culture and history, only after 7 years of negotiation.

So why is the EU so pressed to sign a deal with West Africa, a region whose nascent manufacturing industry cannot withstand the influx of manufactured European products a deal will usher in?

Given the EU’s growing manufacturing in the North African country, Morocco’s membership to ECOWAS will open a back door to West Africa’s market, the front door having been closed by Nigeria’s unwillingness to support the current EPA.

It is no coincident that ECOWAS member states positively disposed to Morocco’s membership of the body are mostly former French colonies in the sub-region, led by Ivory Coast.

These are also countries that were most willing to sign the EU trade deal. French influence in her former African colonies is entrenched and remain almost undiluted more than 50 years after it granted independence.

French interest and influence in Morocco is far more extensive. The major European manufacturers that have set up plants in Morocco are French, including Renault, with a recent $1.5B investment in auto manufacturing.

Morocco, the North African country’s application to join West Africa’s regional grouping, the Economic Community of West African States was confirmed on Tuesday, 7 March 2017 by the regional body, with an ‘agreement in principle’ already reached, towards it joining, pending confirmation by heads of member states in a December 2017 gathering.

The king of Morocco has recently been traveling across Africa, rebuilding ties it once severed, in preference to her Europe-wards look.

It returned to the AU as a member state in January after winning the backing of 38 out of the 54 nation member states of the AU.

The king had embarked on major tours of charm offensive to many countries in the region, including Nigeria. First, he ‘cosied-up’ to president Buhari of Nigeria, having provided support to candidate Buhari during Nigeria’s 2015 elections against the incumbent Jonathan, who was opposed to damaging EU trade agreement proposals with ECOWAS.

Amongst the few world leaders who have spoken to ailing Nigeria’s president Buhari in a London hospital is the Moroccan King.

Still in pursuant and preparatory to the meeting of regional heads, where ECOWAS admission will either be rectified or rejected, Morocco has signed a gas pipeline deal with Nigeria, and bilateral trade deals worth $2B with Ghana.

And still, Morocco’s ECOWAS membership ambition is not a done deal yet.

Strong opposition to her admission to the body is growing among Nigeria’s diplomatic and international relations specialists.

Professor Bolaji Akinyemi, Nigeria’s former foreign Affairs Minister and the country’s respected international relations expert, has raised objections to Morocco’s ECOWAS membership ambition.

In advising Nigeria’s government to block Morocco’s admission, he admonished the country to withdraw her membership of ECOWAS if she fails to obtain enough support from other heads of state to reject the application.

Prof. Akinyemi argues that the main reason for Morocco’s application is her desire and that of her friends to whittle-down Nigeria’s influence in the sub-region.

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Nigeria Government’s Agriculture revival policy is threatened by snake bites as the venomous reptiles ambush bootless farmers who heed calls to help grow crops for export in midst of vaccine shortage

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Photo by Livescience: The fearsome African mamba holds many records. It is one of the most venomous and deadliest snakes in the world. It is the fastest land snake in the world, and the longest species of venomous snake in Africa and the second longest in the world.

As Nigeria looks to revival of agriculture in efforts to diversify sources of foreign exchange earnings, its agricultural revival policy is being threatened by venomous slithering reptiles that ambush shoeless farmers, leaving them injected with doses of killer venoms.

There is a rising prevalence of snake bites in many states in the country’s majority Muslim North. “Victims of the reptiles are the people who will actualise government goal: the farmers, cattle grazers, hunters, miners, rat-hunting youths and other active members of the society on the fields” stated a report by the News Agency of Nigeria.

The World Health Organisation says an estimated five million people are bitten by snakes each year globally, resulting into 100,000 deaths.

Records from hospitals in the region showed that between 2005 and 2010, a total of 12,398 snake bites were reported, with 55 deaths recorded. Many of the victims were from Gombe, Bauchi, Taraba and Adamawa States.

The situation is worse at the Zamko Comprehensive Centre, Langtang, a rural outreach health unit established by the Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH).

According to Nyam Azi, a medical doctor, on posting to Zamko, cases of snake bites get higher during harvests as most farmers go about barefooted.

“In November 2016, for instance, we recorded 280 cases. The situation keeps getting worse,” he said.

Photo by Livescience: The ocellated carpet viper,  is a common snake in the African savannah. A bite from this snake can cause hemorrhaging and death.

Azi said that the number of victims could be higher because some of the victims consult traditional medicine men.

Most victims who visit the herbalists, he said, could not afford  the anti-snake venom that costs an average of N27,000 a vial-  roughly £60.00 in a region where minimum wage is in the region of £40.00.

“Some usually require two, three or more vials, but since they cannot afford the cost, they seek alternative treatments. That is always dangerous because it could worsen their situation and lead to complications and even death, but they appear helpless,” he said.

He said that vials provided by government were not enough to meet the demand.

“Sometimes, 100 vials are sent to us, but we can exhaust that quantity in less than five days during the hot season,” he said.

Dr. Nandul Durfa, Managing Director, EchiTAB Study Ltd, distributors of EchiTAB Anti-Snake Venom (ASV) in Africa, has said that bringing down the cost of ASV is only possible if the Federal Government establish an ASV producing factory.

Durfa told newsmen in Jos recently that a local factory would make the product cheap and available, and reduce mortality from snake bites.

“We sell a dose at N30,000 to clients who, in turn, sell to the patients at their own rates,” he said.

“If the ASV is produced in Nigeria, a dose could go for as low as N5,000,” the pioneer Chief Medical Director of the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, said.

Durfa said that the ASV was produced in United Kingdom and had remained expensive because of the processes involved in manufacturing and importing it.

“Normally, we take the live snakes to Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine where they are killed and their venom extracted and sent to the manufacturing sites in Wales and Costa Rica. The drugs are produced there and brought to Nigeria.

“Aside the transport, the weather is different; we must ensure that the snakes are kept in a regulated temperature similar to what they are used to in Nigeria, so that they will not die.

“If we produce at home, we shall also ward off the heavy amounts paid in foreign exchange to technicians in the UK, because salaries are lower here,” he said.

Durfa explained that local production of ASV would be “very easy” in Nigeria because the consultants had expressed their readiness to transfer the technology to the country.

“The consultants are willing to transfer the technology and also train local personnel to handle the processes. Nigeria must take full advantage of this kindness,” he added.

With World Health Organisation records indicating an estimated five million people bitten by snakes each year, and an average of 100,000 deaths, it is indeed time for Nigeria to establish a factory for ASV.

 

Editing ad analysis contributed by Ephraims Sheyin (NAN)

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In a win-win for Africa and China, earnings by Chinese companies operating in Africa to rise from USD180B to USD440B by 2025- McKinsey report

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Photo by Africa Review: The recently opened $4 billion Addis Ababa–Djibouti railway, Africa’s first fully electrified railway, was financed through the Export-Import Bank of China. China is by far the largest infrastructure financier in Africa- says McKinsey & Company

In the report, the global consultancy firm says “In two decades, China has become Africa’s most important economic partner. Across trade, investment, infrastructure financing, and aid, no other country has such depth and breadth of engagement in Africa. Chinese “dragons”—firms of all sizes and sectors—are bringing capital investment, management know-how, and entrepreneurial energy to every corner of the continent. In doing so they are helping to accelerate the progress of Africa’s economies.”

China has genuinely and committedly performed the role of a continental enabler to Africa, delivering to many nations in the continent of Africa exactly the infrastructure financing support needed to kick start their economies, placing them in sustained growth trajectory.

The manifestation of this commitment is what we are seeing today. And for the support, Chinese firms are reaping handsome rewards. It is certainly a win-win situation for Africa and China.

Sinoma International Engineering Co. Ltd, a Chinese construction company supported a $4.34 billion project for expansion of Dangote Cement Plc into Nigeria, Ethiopia, Kenya, Zambia, Senegal, Mali, Cameroon and Ivory Coast. This will increase cement production by 25 million metric tonnes and boost the overall production to over 70 million metric tonnes annually.

The latest report on Africa-China economic partnership by McKinsey & Company, a global management firm, found that there were more than 10,000 Chinese firms operating in Africa.

The report is the outcome of a study conducted across eight countries that, together, make up about two-thirds of Sub-Saharan Africa’s GDP.

Interestingly, the report found, in contrast to heavy involvement of Chinese state owned financial corporations that provide the bulk the infrastructure financing, 90 per cent of the firms were private, operating in different sectors, while one-third of the companies were manufacturing.

The study also found that a quarter of the firms was services, a fifth in trades, construction and real estate. It shows also that Chinese firms handled 12 per cent of Africa’s industrial production valued at USD500 billion a year in total.

The survey also found that Chinese firms had dominated 50 per cent of Africa’s international engineering, procurement and construction market.

According to the report, nearly a quarter of the 1000 firms surveyed said they covered their initial investment within a year or less.

One-third of the firms recorded profit margins of more than 20 per cent while 74 per cent said they were optimistic about their future in Africa.

The report showed that China-Africa relationship had improved with trade growing at 20 per cent per annum and an annual FDI growth rate of 40 per cent.

“China’s financial flow to Africa is 15 per cent larger than official figures suggest when non-traditional flows are included.”

China brings benefit to the continent

Africa’s benefits from Chinese investments included job creation and skills development.

Out of the 1000 firms surveyed, 89 per cent of the employees were local.

The research suggested that Chinese firms employ several million Africans with nearly two-thirds of the firms providing skills training to their workers.

Other benefits outlined were transfer of knowledge and modern technology, financing and infrastructure development.

The Modderfontein New City Project, being built on the outskirts of the country’s capital, Johannesburg. The project, worth $ 7 billion, is one of the biggest real estate projects undertaken by a Chinese firm in the country. A Chinese company, Shanghai Zendai, is building the city which will be home to at least 10,000 residents upon completion

Improvement are need in some areas

The report revealed that moving local to management positions is lagging.

“By value, only 47 per cent of Chinese firms’ sourcing was from local African firms, which is lost opportunity for these firms to benefit from Chinese investment.

“Too few locals are in managerial positions—only 44 per cent today.” 

Chinese engagement in Africa will get bigger and bigger

Kartik Jayaram, a senior partner and co-author of the report said that Chinese engagement with Africa was “set to accelerate”.

“By 2025 Chinese firms could be earning revenues worth 440 billion dollars, from 180 billion dollars today.

“Additional industries could be in play for Chinese investment, including technology, housing, agriculture, financial services and transport and logistics.

Recommendations

Jayaram said the report had identified 10 recommendations for Chinese and African governments and the private sector to maximise their economic partnerships.

“To highlight two key ones—African governments should have a China strategy and the Chinese government should open financing and provide guidance to Chinese firms.

He added that providing guidance on responsible business practices to Chinese private sector firms in Africa would accelerate sustainable investment.

The McKinsey study brings into context and more focal perspective the claims and accusations of Chinese extreme mercantile attitude to its dealing with Africa. At best, these claims are not only exaggerated, they are alarmist and contain elements of jealousy.

 

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Serena Williams scores a match point on ‘vanity grand slam’ with naked pregnant photo of her self on Vanity Fair Mag

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Photo by: Vanity Fair magazine. Tennis All-time champion Serena Williams shows off her bump fully unclothed for magazine

Women’s tennis all-time grand slam champ and super star Serena Williams, has scored another ‘match point’ but this time, off the court by posing completely bare, showing-off a very pregnant self in a photograph published by Vanity Fair magazine.

The tennis pro has joined the likes of super models, Cindy Crawford and Claudia Schiffer, movie star Demi Moore and pop queen Beyonce in revealing the coolness of a female pregnant body in front of cameras for magazine covers and social media.

The photographs are published in Vanity Fair August issue cover, and the 35-year-old women’s tennis record holder and model held nothing back, revealing the beautifully-framed body the world is used to seeing only glimpses of,  when she displays power and formidability on tennis courts around the world

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The Igbo should forgive other Nigerians, Nigeria cannot survive without them, but they have the worst politicians in the country – Femi Aribisala

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Photo by: Channels Television. 'Forgive other Nigerians' Femi Aribisala tells the Igbo

This article first appeared on Nigeria Vanguard of June 14, 2017

Out of the three major ethnic groups in Nigeria, the Igbo have by far the worst politicians. Among the different ethnic groups in Nigeria, the Igbo are without a doubt, one of the most remarkable.

So remarkable, indeed, that some have even traced their ancestry to biblical Israel, as the far-flung descendants of Jacob, the Jewish patriarch.

Gad, Jacob’s seventh son, is said to have had three sons who settled in South-eastern Nigeria.

These sons; Eri, Arodi and Areli, are believed to have fathered clans in Igbo-land and to have founded such Igbo towns as Aguleri, Arochukwu, Owerri and Umuleri.

Igbo genius

Even the bitterest adversaries of the Igbo cannot but admit that, as a people, they are very resourceful and ingenious.

Indeed, this has often been the cause of their envy and dislike by others.

However, more enlightened non-Igbo Nigerians see this as a cause for celebration.

While today, the centre-point of Nigeria’s manufacturing is situated in the Lagos/Ogun axis, there is no doubt that the real locomotive of Nigeria’s indigenous industrialization lies farther afield in Aba and in the mushrooming cottage-industries of the Igbo heartland.

In one of the paradoxes of Nigerian history, the terrible civil war provoked homespun industrialization in the South-East.

Military blockade left the Igbo with little alternative than to be inventive in a hurry.

While Nigeria as a nation failed woefully to harness this profitably after the war, it has nevertheless ensured that the Igbo are at the forefront of Nigeria’s economic development today.

Indeed, the way we disregard “made in Aba” today is the same way we disregarded “made in Japan” yesterday.

For those of us who believe against the odds that Nigeria is the China of tomorrow, we equally recognize that the ingenuity of the Igbo is an indelible part of the actualization of that manifest destiny.

Hall of fame The Igbo have been a great credit to Nigeria.

They have given us a great number of our favourite sons, including international statesman Nnamdi Azikiwe; military leader Odumegwu Ojukwu; regional leader Michael Okpara; vice-president Alex Ekwueme; mathematical genius Chike Obi; literary icon Chinua Achebe; world-class economist Pius Okigbo; world boxing champion Dick Tiger; international statesman Emeka Anyaoku; and world-class artist Ben Enwonwu.

Pemit me to include in this illustrious list even some of my very good Igbo friends: Pat Utomi, Ojo Madueke, Olisa Agbakoba, Joy Ogwu, and Stanley Macebuh.

Let us get one thing straight: Nigeria would be a much poorer country without the Igbo. Indeed, Nigeria would not be Nigeria without them.

Can you imagine the Super Eagles without the Igbo? Not likely! Who can forget Nwankwo Kanu, Jay Jay Okocha and our very own Emmanuel Amuneke?

Can you imagine Nollywood without the Igbo? Impossible! Just think of Stella Damascus-Aboderin; Rita Dominic and Mike Ezuruonye.

And then there are the diaspora Igbo who many are unaware are of Igbo descent, including concert singer and actor Paul Robeson; Oscar award-winner Forest Whitaker; mega-pastor T.D. Jakes; Olympic champion Christine Ohuruogu; and BAFTA actor award-winner Chiwetel Ejiofor.

You may well wonder why I have found it necessary to present this small litany of Igbo who-is-who.

I think it is important to emphasise how the Igbo have been very vital to the Nigerian project. They have more than represented Nigeria creditably in virtually all walks of life.

This makes it all the more absurd that this same people have been consistently denied the position of executive president of the country in all but six months of Nigeria’s 54 year history.

Civil-war legacy Of course, a major reason for this was the 1967-1970 civil-war which had the Igbo on the losing side. But that was over 40 years ago.

If there is really to be “no victor, no vanquished” in anything more than mere rhetoric, then the rehabilitation of the Igbo back into post civil-war Nigeria will not be complete until an Igbo man finally becomes president of the country.

That imperative should be of interest to every Nigerian nationalist, committed to the creation of one Nigeria where everyone has a deep sense of belonging.

The problem, however, is that the Igbo themselves seem to be their own worst enemies in this regard.

They appear to be doing their very best to ensure that this inevitable eventuality continues to be denied and delayed.

The Igbo need to forgive Nigerians. No one who lived through the horrors that precipitated the secession of Biafra and led to the civil-war cannot but admit that the Igbo were abused and mal-treated in one of the worst pogroms ever.

It was not just that they were senselessly massacred in their own country; it was that they were butchered.

I remember vividly gory pictures of scores and scores of the Igbo with hands chopped up and with legs amputated.

And then there were the ravages of the three-year civil-war itself, resulting in the death of millions of Igbo; many through starvation and attrition.

The end of the war brought no respite, as the Igbo were pauperized by fiscal decrees that wiped out their savings and their properties were blatantly sequestered by opportunists.

All this is more than enough to destroy the spirit of any group of people. But God has been on the side of the Igbo.

It is a testament to their resilience that, in spite of this terrible affliction, they have survived, bounced back and have even triumphed in Nigeria.

Forty years have now gone by. The Igbo may never forget what happened to them and, indeed, should never forget. But it is past time for them to forgive.

We are sorry This is one voice in the Nigerian wilderness saying to the Igbo from the depth of his heart: we are sorry.

We are sorry for the way we mistreated you. We are sorry for the way we abused you. We are sorry for starving your children to death.

We are sorry for killing your loved ones. We are sorry for stealing your properties. We are sorry for making you feel unwanted in your own country.

Please forgive us. It is time to forgive us. It is way past time for the Igbo to forgive Nigerians. We beg you in the name of God.

There was a civil war in the United States, but the defeated South rose from the ashes.

Five of the last nine presidents of the United States have been from the South, including Jimmy Carter from Georgia, George Bush from Texas and Bill Clinton from Arkansas.

The time is overdue for an Igbo president of Nigeria, but it is not going to happen as long as the Igbo continue to hold a grudge against Nigeria and Nigerians. There is no question about it: the Ibos cannot elect a president of Nigeria on their own.

To do so, they have to join forces with others. They have to form alliances with people from other parts of Nigeria. That is not going to happen as long as the Igbo continue to bear a grudge against practically everybody else. The Igbo have a gripe against virtually all the people they need.

They have this tendency to antagonise their possible alliance partners. They keep dredging up the past, refusing to let sleeping dogs lie. Until they drop these gripes, they are not likely to realise their dreams.

Demonising Yorubas. For example, the Igbo have this tendency to demonise the Yorubas.

It is alarming when reading the Vanguard blogs today to see the animosity often expressed between Igbo and Yoruba contributors. The hatred is most unhealthy. Insults are traded with abandon.

What is the point of this? For how long will the Igbo demand emotional retribution from every Yoruba for the betrayal of Awolowo?

Most of the contributors were not even born when the civil-war took place more than a generation ago.

There is now even transferred aggression against Babatunde Fashola, who made the blunder of repatriating some destitute Igbo from Lagos back to their home-states. The man has apologised for the infraction.

He should be forgiven. Blunders are not the exclusive preserve of the non-Igbo. The Igbo have made more than a few themselves and will yet make others.

Paradoxically, the redemption of the Igbos to prominent national office moved apace under President Obasanjo; a Yoruba man.

Recognising that Igbos are some of the most seasoned, competent and experienced public-servants, Obasanjo relied heavily on their expertise.

Thanks to him, we got Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala at Finance, Charles Soludo at Central Bank, Obiageli Ezekwesili at Education, Ndidi Okereke at the Stock Exchange, and Dora Akunyili at NAFDAC.

Indeed, Igbo statesmen came into more prominence under Obasanjo than did Yoruba statesmen. But for some strange reason, this does not seem to have succeeded in assuaging the ill-feeling of the Igbos toward the Yorubas.

Bad politicians within the framework of Nigerian politics, the Igbo also have a fundamental problem. Out of the three major ethnic groups in Nigeria, the Igbo have by far the worst politicians.

They have no recognizable leaders, and have no discernible strategy as to how to negotiate power at the center. As a result, the Igbo have tended to be short-changed at the federal level.

Traditionally, the inconsequential ministries, such as the Ministry of Information, have been zoned to them. The Igbo need to work out a plan that will take them to Aso Rock.

First, they need to choose and groom a de-tribalised leader of the Azikiwe mould who can be sold to non-Igbos. Then, they need to give him undiluted support.

At the moment the internal politics of the Igbo militates against this. The Igbo seem to hate themselves as much as they hate others. They seem to fight themselves with as much venom as they fight others.

Every potential Igbo leader seems to have more enemies within than without. This must not be allowed to continue. The Igbo need to help themselves in order that their friends can help them.

In this centenary of Nigeria’s amalgamation, as we embark on the arduous process of crafting our future through a National Conference, we salute the Igbo for their fortitude and implore them to stake their claim in Nigeria.

Nigeria cannot survive without the Igbo.

 

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Nigeria’s ‘Kissinger’ and respected former Foreign Minister, Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi’ objects to Morocco’s admission in ECOWAS

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Former Nigeria Foreign Minister Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi objects to expansion of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to the Mediterranean to admit Morocco .

Editing contributed By Victor Asije (NAN)

 

Nigeria’s respected and influential former External Affairs Minister, Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi, said on Thursday that the recent admission of Morocco into ECOWAS was meant to whittle down Nigeria’s influence in the sub-regional body, and by
extension, the world.

Professor Akinyemi, regarded by many as Nigeria’s own version of former US secretary of State, Mr. Henry Kissinger, on account of his intellect and respect across Africa had this to say,

“Having failed to find any rational benefit to ECOWAS by expanding membership to Morocco, I can only conclude that the move is to whittle down Nigeria’s influence in ECOWAS.

“And by extension, in the world, as Nigeria’s status as a regional power is facilitated by its role in ECOWAS. “Nigeria has only one option. Let the West African Heads of State and Presidents drop this whole issue of expansion to the Mediterranean,’’ Akinyemi said in a statement in Lagos.

“Or Nigeria should serve notice that it would terminate, not suspend, but terminate her membership of ECOWAS,’’ he said.

According to him, this issue is the biggest challenge to Nigeria’s Foreign Policy since the civil war. Akinyemi noted that Morocco’s admission into ECOWAS would now make her benefit from the Arab League quota, as well as from the West African
quota.

“The United Nations, the African Union and all international institutions now use the concept of regionalism in the distribution of both appointive and elective posts. “ECOWAS cannot unilaterally expand the boundary of West Africa to the Mediterranean,’’ he stressed.

The Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, earlier in the week announced that it had in principle, agreed to Morocco’s membership application. But ECOWAS leaders who met in Liberia earlier in the week said the implications
of its membership still needed to be considered before Morocco could formally join.

King Mohammed VI was not at the summit because Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had been invited. Morocco’s application was filed after it rejoined the African Union in January.

The North African nation left the continental body in 1984 after it recognised the independence of Western Sahara. Morocco regards Western Sahara as part of its historic territory and has spent much of the last three decades trying to strengthen ties with Europe, at the expense of relations with Africa.

Morocco’s King Mohammed VI is now strengthening his country’s ties with the rest of Africa.

Ivory Coast President Alasanne Ouattara has confirmed that the decision had been agreed in principle but the details still had to be worked out.

Morocco, along with Tunisia which is seeking observer status with the organisation and Mauritania, which wants to return to the body, will be invited to the next meeting of heads of state in Togo in December, a senior ECOWAS source said.

ECOWAS is made up of 15 West African nations, none of which shares a border with Morocco. Members enjoy free trade and movement of people. King Mohammed VI last week announced he would not be attending the summit in Liberia, because of the presence of Israel’s prime minister.

Morocco does not have diplomatic ties with Israel. Mr Netanyahu addressed West African leaders on Sunday saying: “Israel
is coming back to Africa and Africa is coming back to Israel. “I believe in Africa. I believe in its potential, present and future.
It is a continent on the rise.’’

While in Liberia for the summit, his bodyguards scuffled with those of Togo’s President Faure Gnassingbe, according to reports in the Israeli media. This trip comes nearly a year after Mr. Netanyahu was in East Africa as part of his efforts to strengthen ties between the continent and Israel.

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Drones and mobile signal blockers deployed in bid to deter youngsters who take extreme measures to cheat in crucial Chinese entrance exams

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Photo by REUTERS/Stringer: Left-university entrance exams in China are high stake competition. Right-Staff members set up wireless detection system at an examination venue outside a high school, on the first day of China's national college entrance exam known as 'gaokao', in Xuchang, Henan province.

(Reuters/NAN)

China’s astronomical advances in technology and its application in various aspects of Chinese society continue to manifest in unusual areas.

In latest display of high tech prowess, China’s education authorities have deployed metal detectors, facial and fingerprint recognition technology, mobile phone signal blockers, wireless detectors and drones in battle against exam cheats.

Annual university entrance exam, the ‘gaokao’ in China is seen by youngsters as a high stake opportunity to landing lucrative city jobs in Chinese big cities.

Students resort to extreme measures to beat the competition for places and Authorities said over the years, students have used wireless cheating devices disguised as erasers, belts and watches in attempt to get ahead of the competition.

Some also use tiny earpieces to communicate with accomplices helping them outside the exam room.

The innovations have forced authorities to step up their game in response.

Even before the exam kicked off in earnest on Tuesday, security officers had arrested 52 people nationwide. Cheaters and their accomplices face up to seven years in jail.

In Chinese Shandong province, universities have bared students from leaving campuses or holiday travels on Tuesday and Wednesday, scheduled entrance exam dates, to forestall their recruitment as exam stand-ins, the Xinhua news agency reported on Wednesday.

Photo by REUTERS/Stringer : A woman holds a pair of earpieces used by cheats in exam halls during a presentation to the media in Taiyuan, Shanxi province, China

 

Cheating is more common for papers that include multiple choice questions such as mathematics and English.

Essay-writing is an important section of the Chinese paper, and topics vary from province to province. Essay-writing, the report stated, confound the cheats.

Essay topics in Beijing this year asked students to write about either their vision of China in 2049, the centennial of the foundation of the People’s Republic of China, or about relationships.

In other provinces, test of students’ knowledge of economics and trends required then to use key words such as “Belt and Road initiative”, “bike-sharing”, “high-speed railway” or “mobile payment” to introduce China to foreigners.

 

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Billionaire Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg meets Nigerian founder of secrete Facebook group- Female in Nigeria (FIN)

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Photo by Facebook: Left Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Lola Omolola, Nigerian founder of FIN. Right Female IN members in one of the group's gathering.

Editing contribution by Ekemini Ladejobi and Ese E. Ekama (NAN)

Lola Omolola, founder of a women-only Facebook group Female in Nigeria, popularly known as FIN met with Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder on Tuesday.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that FIN was founded in 2015 by Omolola, a movement of women focused on building compassion and providing support for one another, with the goal of having up to 1000 members in the group. However, the group had exceeded its target as it recently hit one million members.

According to Zuckerberg’s Facebook page on Tuesday, he will be meeting with Lola and a few hundred of other top Facebook group admins in Chicago later in the month for the first ever Facebook Communities Summit.

“Over the past few weeks, I’ve been meeting group admins across the country that are building meaningful communities on Facebook and will be at the summit.

“This photo is with Lola, who lives in Chicago and is originally from Nigeria.

“Two years ago, she founded a secret Facebook group called Female IN, or FIN,’’ Zuckerberg said.

Zuckerberg said FIN is “a no-judgment space where more than a million women come to talk about everything from marriage and sex to health issues and work problems’’

“It is helping to end the culture of silence that exists for women in some parts of the world.’’ He said for the past decade, Facebook had been focused on making the world more open and connected.

“One of the best ways to do that is by helping people build community, both in the physical world and online. I have written and talked about these themes throughout this year, especially in my community letter in February and at Harvard Commencement in May”

“The Chicago summit will be the next chapter and we’ll discuss more of what we’re building to empower community leaders to bring the world closer. I’m looking forward to meeting more admins like Lola and talking about how we can help them do even more to build community” he said.

“I’ll share more info on the summit as we get closer, and I’ll stream the event live from my profile later this month.’’ The post on the techpreneur’s Facebook page stated.

FIN members meet in their thousands in cities all over the world.

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Of every 100 people murdered in Brazil, 71 are Black people even though blacks are only 7.6 percent of the population-a study in Brazil shows

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Image source- Reddit: Brazil has more people murdered per year than all of the blue spots on the map combined and most are black people

Editing contributed by Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)

 

Although blacks, outside of mixed black and white populations, make up only 7.6 percent of Brazil’s population, details of a 2017 report of a study published by the Brazilian Public Security Forum and the Institute for Applied Economic Research revealed on Tuesday that black citizens in Brazil are 23.5 per cent more likely to be murdered than non-blacks.

According to the report 2017 Atlas of Violence, the murder rate among black citizens tracked over a 10 year period between 2005 and 2015 rose by 18.2 percent.

Among non-blacks, the rate fell by 12.2 per cent over the same period.

Also reflective in the figures are inequality between black and non-black people in Brazil.

According to the study, of every 100 people murdered in Brazil, 71 are black.

“We not only have a sad historical legacy of discrimination by skin colour, but also, when it comes to lethal violence, we have an open wound that keeps getting worse in (the) latest years,’’ the study stated.

 

Image source-NPR: In Brazil, race is a matter of life and violent death

Report says there is a significant variation in the murder rate among Brazilian states.

The three states with the sharpest rises in the murder rate of black citizens from 2005 to 2015 were all in the north-eastern region, Rio Grande do Norte (331.8 per cent), Sergipe (197.4 per cent) and Ceara (149.7 per cent).

On the other hand, the states with the sharpest falls in the murder rate of black people were Sao Paulo (50.4 per cent) and Rio de Janeiro (41 per cent), both in the south-eastern region.

According to the atlas, among cities, there is also a significant change: only 2 percent of Brazilian cities, 111 out of over 5,000 municipalities, witnessed half of the murders that occurred in Brazil in 2015.

The CIA World fact book lists Brazil as a country made up of 47.7% white population, 43.1 percent mixed white and black, the so called mulatto, 7.6 percent blacks and 1.1 percent Asian.

Only 0.4 percent of Brazil’s indigenous population has survived the upheaval and changes brought to bear on the country since the arrival of Europeans in the 16 century.

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They buzz around in our ears, suck our blood, give us deadly malaria, in the Americas they bite off flesh, but a Nigerian professor said Mosquitoes are our friends, we should stop killing them

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Mosquitoes are our friends and need our blood to survive and raise offspring. Do not kill them says a University Professor in Nigeria

Adeolu Ande, a Professor of Entomology at a central Nigerian University, the University of Ilorin, admonishes humans to show more understanding and more love towards mosquitoes.

He said insects are friends to humans that deserved to be properly managed.

In a paper titled ‘Consider the ways of Ants and be wise’ presented at a public seminar at the University on Monday, the entomologist described insects as the “most successful and influential group’’ of organisms in the biosphere.

 

He said that humans had a lot to learn from insects in order to be wise.

“Human life is beset with inevitable associations with insects that have over the years influenced human destiny positively and negatively”

Negative influences, such as

  • disease transmission
  • crop losses
  • food spoilage

The professor stated that economic losses and nuisance value caused by less than 5 per cent of insect species have been exaggerated by man while their positive influences are unappreciated and downplayed. He listed some of the benefit humans derived from insects as-

  • pollination of flowers
  • waste recycling and sustenance of the ecosystem
  • sources of silk, shellac, cochineal, therapeutic agents, aesthetics, biological control agents and
  • food source.

 

The don said that man deliberately misunderstood the role of mosquitoes and frequently described them as causing the diseases they transmit.

“in the actual sense, mosquitoes are equally sick but inadvertently and unwillingly convey pathogens that are the real causal agents of these diseases” he said, and that

“The female mosquito could be described as an example of a true mother who is forced to undertake suicide mission in its bid to provide for its unborn children”

He stated further that adult female mosquitoes have exceptional value for child raising hence the level of commitment and risk they take on the mission that entails decision between life and death.

“The after effect of this commitment is a well thought out plan that forestalls most of the factors that may stand in the way of raising good children.

I am sure most human females will not take comparable decision in the face of similar attendant risks.

It is however certain that children born after well thought out and risky conditions are better posited for quality living than those produced carelessly”, he told the audience.

Ande said that mosquitoes had proved over the years that they are our friends and allies, adding whether we like them or not, they would exist and continue to source blood from humans.

The professor called for improvement in Zoology curriculum to ensure better focus on organisms that feature prominently around man.

Malaria, a disease spread by mosquitoes is among the top five causes of death in Africa and other tropical regions according the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Prevention of malaria, listed among top child-killers in tropical Africa and parts of Asia, alongside diarrheal, is mainly focused on eradicating mosquitoes or preventing their bits with nets and insecticides.

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Bodies of 7 African migrants who died in a refrigerated truck abandoned by smugglers in Libya discovered by officials

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Black people biding to cross the Mediterranean into Europe through Libya face death and enslavement in Libya

In persistent calamity that have befallen Libya, African migrants in the country and those using the country as a gate way to Europe since the toppling and killing of former Libyan president Gadhafi, Libyan officials say they have discovered seven bodies of African migrants who died from suffocation after being locked for two days in a refrigerated truck that was abandoned by people smugglers on the Libyan coast.

Adel Mostafa, an anti-illegal migration official in Tripoli, said that 28 others, including five women, were rescued on Sunday when the truck was discovered at Garabulli, a town some 50 km east of Tripoli that is a common departure point for migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean to Italy.

“We got a call from a civilian who reported that he could hear voices coming from a truck, which he believed contained Africans, based on their language,” Mostafa said.

The survivors said they had been left there by smugglers, according to Hosni Abu Ayana, a second official at the Tripoli detention Centre to which they were brought.

The migrants said the truck driver left the vehicle at the side of the road after unknown gunmen began shooting at the vehicle’s tyres.

Libya is the main gateway for migrants trying to reach Europe by sea.

The North African country slipped into turmoil after its 2011 uprising and migrant smugglers operate with impunity, packing people onto ill-equipped boats that often sink or break down.

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Nigeria’s food and medicines regulator says EU rejected 24 Nigeria exported food products in 2016 due to poor standards

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Photos by Amen Mori Photography, Nigeria. Nigeria's former Food and Drug Law enforcement success story, late Prof. Dora Akunyili signs copies of her book: The War Against Counterfeit Medicine, My Story, during the book launch in 2010. Before then the country was plagued by proliferation of fake medicines and food product to an estimate 60 percent

Editing contributed by Mustapha Sumaila Tola (NAN)

 

Unless Nigeria improves on standards of its export agricultural produce, improved exporting to international markets will continue to elude the country, despite recent drive by her government to expand the food production industry to feed her bulging youth population and diversify away from oil.

The country’s food and drug regulator, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), says European Union (EU) rejected 24 exported food products from Nigeria in 2016 for failing to meet standards.

NAFDAC spokesperson, Dr Abubakar Jimoh made the disclosure while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Abuja.

According to Jimoh, the five major products are groundnut, palm oil, sesame seed and beans that were illegally exported to the EU.

He noted that groundnut was rejected because it contained aflatoxin, which made the quality substandard.

“The exported palm oil did not scale through the EU’s test either, because it also contained a coloring agent that was carcinogenic”

Beans was banned by EU about 2 years ago for a period of one year with stipulations that should be met to enable the country’s beans return to the export market.

It failed to make the improvements on preservation and control at the end of the one year, leading to extended ban of another 2 years. The current ban expires next year.

“NAFDAC and other regulatory agencies of the government are working round the clock to ensure that when the ban is lifted, we can then begin to export more agricultural products to EU,” Jimoh, who is also the NAFDAC Director Special Duties, said.

He said the products that were smuggled out were not certified by the agency and the Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Services stationed at export terminal facilities.

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3 days after London Bridge attacks, campaign for June 8 elections back in full swing, in show of defiance to extremist desire

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Photos by REUTERS/Peter Nicholls: Commuters walk across London Bridge after is was reopened following an attack which left 7 people dead and dozens of injured in central London

Editing contributed by Sadiya Hamza – United Kingdom, Source (Reuters/NAN)

Political leaders in Britain resumed campaigning for UK’s 8 June general elections on Monday after a deadly militant attack on London Bridge.

Theresa May, second ever female Prime Minister of Britain after Margaret Thatcher said Britain must be tougher in stamping out Islamist extremism after three knife-wielding assailants rammed a hired van into pedestrians on London Bridge and stabbed others nearby, killing seven people and injuring 48.

After the third militant attack in Britain in less than three months, May said Thursday’s election would go ahead but said Britain had been far too tolerant of extremism.

“Violence can never be allowed to disrupt the democratic process,” May, who served as interior minister from 2010 to 2016, said outside her Downing Street office.

Islamic State, which is losing territory in Syria and Iraq to an offensive backed by a U.S.-led coalition, said its militants were responsible for the attack, according to the group’s media agency Amaq.

Islamist militants have carried out scores of deadly attacks in Europe, Russia, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and the United States over the past two years.

In an early morning raids in east London, British counter-terrorism police detained more people on Monday.

Police arrested 12 people in the Barking district of east London following the attack, though one was later released.

Police have not released the names of the attackers and British newspapers refrained from identifying the men.

It was not immediately clear how the attack would impact the election, though the issue of security has been thrust to the forefront of the campaign after the London Bridge and Manchester attacks.

The campaign was suspended for several days last month when a suicide bomber killed 22 people at a concert by Ariana Grande in Manchester.

Grande gave an emotional performance on Sunday at a benefit gig in the city for the victims of the attack, singing with a choir of local schoolchildren, including some who had been at her show.

Before the London Bridge attack, May’s gamble on a June 8 snap election had been thrust into doubt after polls showed her Conservative Party’s lead had collapsed in recent weeks.

While British pollsters all predict May will win the most seats in Thursday’s election, they have given an array of different numbers for how big her win will be, ranging from a landslide victory to a much more slender win without a majority.

Some polls indicate the election could be close, possibly throwing Britain into political deadlock just days before formal Brexit talks with the European Union are due to begin on June 19.

May called the snap election in a bid to strengthen her hand in negotiations on Britain’s exit from the European Union, to win more time to deal with the impact of the divorce and to strengthen her grip on the Conservative Party.

If she fails to beat handsomely the 12-seat majority her predecessor David Cameron won in 2015, her electoral gamble will have failed and her authority will be undermined both inside the Conservative Party and at talks with 27 other EU leaders.

May said the series of attacks were not connected in terms of planning and execution, but were inspired by what she called a “single, evil ideology of Islamist extremism” that represented a perversion of Islam and of the truth.

As a former interior minister, May’s record on security is also under scrutiny, she reduced police numbers and oversaw the domestic intelligence agency, MI5.

Opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn criticised May, who was interior minister from 2010 to 2016, for cutting police numbers during her tenure in charge of the interior ministry.

“The mass murderers who brought terror to our streets in London and Manchester want our election to be halted. They want democracy halted,” Corbyn said in Carlisle, northern England.

“They want their violence to overwhelm our right to vote in a fair and peaceful election and to go about our lives freely.”

“That is why it would be completely wrong to postpone Thursday’s vote, or to suspend our campaigning any longer.”

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As Zuma survives vote of confidence, the battle shifts against his ex-wife seen as his favoured candidate for president

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Photo by Buzz South Africa: Mr. Zuma's government faces another investigation for providing his ex-wife state security during her campaigns

For providing protection services to Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, former chair of the African Union (AU) Commission and a former wife of South Africa’s sitting President Jacob Zuma, the government of South Africa faces another investigation by the country’s anti-corruption watchdog.

Dlamini-Zuma is seen as the front-runner in next year’s contest to succeed her former husband, President Jacob Zuma.

She has been tipped by several watchers of South African politics both in and outside of Pretoria, including powerful regional ANC leaders to become next president.

One of her main supporters, Sihle Zikalala, defeated the candidate backed by her major rival for the country’s big post, Cyril Ramaphosa, a fierce critic of Zuma, who is also the country’s deputy president, in 2015 ANC chair election in KwaZulu Natal province.

Former Mrs. Zuma is a strong contender for South Africa president

If the ANC were to follow its tradition some say, Mr. Ramaphosa, a billionaire businessman and South Africa’s powerful deputy to Zuma, would step in as ANC leader in conventions scheduled for December 2017.

However, Cyril Ramaphosa has had running battles against Jacob Zuma and made several attempts to force him out of power through accusations of corruption and subsequent trigger of several investigations.

A successful businessman and among the few black people within the white-minority dominated 18 percent of South Africans, who control about 80 percent of the country’s wealth, Mr. Ramaphosa backed the former finance minister, Pravin Gordhan, and had attacked Zuma for removing him from the position of finance minister, describing his removal as unacceptable.

The mere removal of Pravin Gordhan and the appointment of Malusi Gigaba, a social reform minded former home affairs minister as his replacement earned South Africa a rating downgrade by almost all Western based rating agencies to ‘junk’, even before the new finance minister had made any policy pronouncement.

The decision to tag south Africa’s capital market and economic outlook as ‘junk’ by rating agencies on the ground of a mere removal of a finance minister led many to believe the rating agencies preferred economic statuesque in South Africa, and are opposed to social reforms in the country.

The president himself has debunked any suggestion of a tradition of deputies succeeding presidents. Mr. Zuma told interviewers from South Africa Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) early in the year that it was not ANC policy or tradition that a deputy president automatically replaces a president during an elective conference.

Photo by Lindiz van Zilla/ANA: South Africa’s Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa ( from left) with, his fired Hench man, former Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel, and Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies, in Davos, Switzerland.

An investigation into Dlamini-Zuma, is bad news for the scandal-plagued president who survived a no-confidence vote by his own party’s highest body on Friday.

The Democratic Alliance (DA), the largest opposition party, in April complained that Dlamini-Zuma is enjoying protection services afforded to visiting heads of state or elected representatives, while she holds no official position.

“Dlamini-Zuma is a clear candidate in the ANC leadership succession race, and her use of VIP Presidential Protection as she campaigns is clearly another ANC abuse of public money,” the Democratic Alliance said in a statement on Sunday.

The Public Protector’s spokesperson, Cleopatra Mosana, said the anti-graft watchdog will investigate Dlamini-Zuma’s use of VIP protection services.

“Yes it will,” she said, without elaborating.

The African National Congress’ women’s league endorsed the party veteran and former minister as presidential candidate in January, though the ruling party has not officially given the go-ahead to campaign for an elective conference in December.

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Africa’s foremost trade bank, African Import Export Bank (AFREXIM BANK) announces closure of record $632.9 Million and Euro 499.6 Million Syndicated Term Loan Facility on Saturday

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A single continental market for #Africa & free movement of people & investments will be the driving force behind Africa’s industrialisation-Afrexim Bank

Africa’s foremost trade bank, Africa Import Export Bank (AFREXIM BANK) announces closure of record $632.9 Million and Euro 499.6 Million Syndicated Term Loan Facility on Saturday

African Export-Import Bank (Afrexim Bank) reported a successful closure of a record USD632.9 million and Euro499.6 million dual-tenor dual-currency syndicated term loan facility on its website on Saturday.

In the statement, the Heliopolis, Egypt, based pan Africa foremost trade bank said that the general syndication stage of the $632,900,000 and Euro 499,552,000 facility, which the Bank raised in the Eurocurrency Loan Market, was originally signed on 12 May.

General syndication lenders signed into the agreement on 30 May, making the facility the largest ever such facility for the Bank.

According to the Bank, the fact that the facility attracted a wide base of lenders from around the globe, but particularly from Asia and the Middle East, is evidence of the confidence which lenders have in Afrexim Bank.

Denys Denya, Afrexim Bank’s Executive Vice President in charge of Finance, Administration and Banking Services, said that 70 per cent of the facility commitments came from Asia and the Middle East lenders, and would greatly enhance the bank’s drive to diversify its liability book by geography.

“Afrexim Bank would use the funds to repay existing debt but would also apply it to funding trade finance and to meeting general corporate purposes”, he said.

The announcement also stated that the Facility is structured as a dual-currency (Euro and US Dollar) and dual-tenor (two-year and three-year) syndicated facility, with about 80 per cent of the total amount falling into the three-year tranche, helping the Bank to lengthen its liability profile in the Eurocurrency loan funding space.

The facility attracted aggregate commitments amounting to the equivalent of $1.36 billion which, following a scale-back, resulted in a final facility size equivalent to $1.16 billion, with 35 banks joining.

The statement confirmed that Standard Chartered Bank served as coordinator, book runner and agent for the facility.

Another 13 initial mandated lead arrangers and book runners were also listed in the statement as involved in the deal closure. They are:

  • Bank ABC (Arab Banking Corporation B.S.C.)
  • Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank PJSC
  • The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd
  • Barclays Bank Mauritius Limited
  • Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation Europe Ltd
  • Commerzbank Aktiengesellschaft Filiale Luxemburg
  • Emirates NBD Capital Limited
  • Rand Merchant Bank, a division of FirstRand Bank Limited (London Branch)
  • HSBC Bank plc
  • ICBC (London) plc
  • Mizuho Bank Ltd
  • National Bank of Abu Dhabi PJSC and
  • The Standard Bank of South Africa Limited, Isle of Man Branch.

Afrexim Bank has branches in Abuja, Nigeria and Abidjan, Ivory Coast, representing the West Africa region, Harare in Zimbabwe representing the Southern Africa region, and Nairobi, Kenya, for the East Africa region. The bank is headquartered in Heliopolis, Cairo, Egypt.

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“If my wife divorces me, her children will not inherit my property dead or alive” accused wife batterer tells court

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Photo by Jide odukoya Photography: In many parts of Africa, a couple may have 3 weddings (Traditional, Religious and Court) for a complete nuptial consummation

Editing contributed by Folorunso Poroye/Dele Akinsola(NAN)

 

“My children will never inherit my property either dead or alive if my wife divorces me’’

39-year-old fruit vendor, Amidu Olalere, told a Lagos Customary Court on Friday. He said this while responding to a divorce suit filed by his wife, Adeola, for the dissolution of their 11-year-old marriage on grounds of constant battering.

Olalere, who accused his wife of starving him of sex, said, “My wife is always denying me sex, and whenever I reported her
to her mother, she will ask me how many times will I be having sex with her daughter”

“She would ask me not to kill her with sex, instead of admonishing her”

 

Customary courts in Nigeria and many parts of Africa started as native courts before the arrival of colonial jurisprudence.

Customary courts are created by states or regional governments to cater for the needs of the indigenous people of the area, based on their history and tradition.

They are noted for not needing to rely on the Evidence Act or other statutory laws to exercise judicial responsibility, avoiding or limiting expensive rigours required in application of common law in order to dispense justice speedily.

Majority of nuptials in Nigeria are consummated through traditional marriages first. That may then be followed by Christian or Muslim wedding, and then for the urbanised, court wedding. For couples who had gone no further past the traditional happy day, a legal dissolution of such marriage fall within the jurisdiction of customary courts.

The respondent said his wife moved out of the family home with their four children in January to stay with her mother and that whenever he called her, her mother would rain curses on him.

“There was a day my mother-in-law cursed me, and I also cursed her that thunder will kill her”. He told the court.

He said his mother-in-law was always accusing him of planning to use her daughter for ritual.

On whether the children are his, Olalere said that he doubted the paternity of the four children.

“Whenever my wife and I quarrel, she tells me that the children are not mine so, I am confused if truly the children belong to me”, he said.

The husband however, pleaded with the court not to dissolve the marriage, saying in spite of her shortcomings he still loves her.

Earlier, the wife had accused her husband of beating her on the slightest provocation.

“He once beat me to the point that I fainted and I was hospitalised for four days and when I was on admission, none of his family members came to see me since we all live in a family house and my husband also refused to pay the bills”, she told the court, urging the court to terminate the marriage.

“I am no longer interested in the marriage”.

After listening to their submissions, the President of the court, Mr Adegboyega Omilola, adjourned the case until July 25 for judgement.

Keeping love alive it appears is sometimes a tough call for many couples, even for those with many years of post-nuptial experience.

Despite acute Air transport Infrastructure shortage, Africa’s airlines were global leaders in passenger traffic growth in April

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Photo by Angle 90 News: clear skies above 'Africa's airlines cloud' as the region lead the world in air traffic growth

Editing contributed Adekunle Williams and Solomon Asowata (NAN)

 

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has announced global passenger traffic results for April 2017. The results released by IATA shows that Africa’s airlines, despite acute air transport infrastructure deficiency across the continent, led other regions in passenger growth with a 17.2 per cent traffic increase compared to a year ago.

The Geneva-based apex aviation body made the announcement in a statement signed by its Director General, Mr Alexandre de Juniac and obtained by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Thursday.

De Juniac said the result was the highest demand recorded by African carriers in more than five years. Saying, ”This follows a recovery in demand on the key market to Europe. Conditions in the continent’s two largest economies are diverging however, with business confidence rising in Nigeria, while political uncertainty remains heightened in South Africa”

” Capacity rose just 6.1 per cent, with the result that load factor soared 6.9 percentage points to 72.5 per cent”.

According to him, “European carriers saw demand rise 14.4 per cent in April, supported by growing momentum in the region’s economy, while Asia-Pacific airlines’ April traffic increased 10.9 percent compared to the year ago, a 14-month high. Traffic on Asia-Europe routes continues to recover from the terrorism-related slowdowns last year”

“North American airlines posted a 10.3 per cent demand increase compared to April a year ago, while Latin American airlines experienced a 16.1 per cent rise in April demand compared to the same month last year, which was the fastest rate for the region’s carriers since December 2011.”

De Juniac noted that the overall global passenger traffic rose by 10.7 per cent compared to April 2016. Stating that strong performance was supported by a pick-up in global economic activity and lower airfares.

“After adjusting for inflation, the price of air travel in the first quarter was around 10 per cent lower than in the year-ago period. IATA estimated that falling airfares accounted for around half the demand growth in April”

” However, the cabin ban on the carriage of large portable electronic devices (PEDs) from 10 Middle Eastern and African airports to the US appears to have weighed down Middle East-North America passenger traffic”

“April showed us that demand for air travel remains at very strong levels. Nevertheless there are indications that passengers are avoiding routes where the large PED ban is in place,” de Juniac noted

In another political miscalculation, Mrs. May may lose conservatives’ majority in June 8 polls according to YouGov projection.

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Photo by REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth

Sadiya Hamza, London, May 31, 2017(Reuters/NAN)

 

Like her predecessor’s, former Prime Minister David Cameron’s big-time miscalculation in calling for unnecessary referendum on Brexit, which he lost, leading to a pre-mature termination of his prime ministership, Prime Minister Theresa May could lose control of parliament in Britain’s June 8 election, according to a projection by polling company YouGov.

In stark contrast to opinion polls that have until the past week shown May on course for a big win in the snap election she called, the YouGov model suggested May would lose 20 seats and her 17-seat working majority in the 650-seat British parliament.

The YouGov constituency projection, based on 50,000 interviews over the course of a week, showed May would win 310 seats, down from the 331 seats won by her predecessor David Cameron in 2015.

The opposition Labour Party could win 257 seats, up from 232 seats in 2015, YouGov said. Smaller parties, including the Scottish National Party and Northern Irish parties, could win 83 seats, The Times newspaper quoted YouGov as predicting.

If the YouGov model turns out to be accurate, May would be well short of the 326 seats needed to form a government in June, when formal Brexit negotiations are due to begin.

May called the snap election in a bid to strengthen her hand in negotiations on Britain’s exit from the European Union, to win more time to deal with the impact of the divorce and to strengthen her grip on the Conservative Party.

If she does not beat the 12-seat majority Cameron won in 2015, her electoral gamble will have failed and her authority could be undermined just as she tries to deliver what she has told voters will be a successful Brexit.

When May stunned politicians on April 18 with her call for a snap election, opinion polls suggested she could emulate Margaret Thatcher’s 1983 majority of 144 seats or even threaten Tony Blair’s 1997 Labour majority of 179 seats.

Polls had shown May’s rating slipping over the past month and they fell sharply after she set out plans on May 18 to make some elderly people pay a greater share of their care costs, a proposal dubbed the “dementia tax” by opponents.

A total of seven polls carried out since the May 22 Manchester suicide attack have shown May’s lead over the Labour Party narrowing, with some suggesting she might not win the landslide predicted just a month ago.

The polls painted a complicated picture of public opinion, with voting intentions being influenced by both the deadly Manchester attack and May’s unpopular social care proposals.

In contrast to YouGov’s model, other projections suggested May would win soundly.

The Electoral Calculus website, which predicts the results based on polls and electoral geography, said May would win 371 seats and Labour 205 seats.

Betting markets give a more than 80-per cent probability of May winning an overall majority, though betting markets were wrong ahead of the unexpected Brexit result in the June 23 referendum.

The Times said YouGov acknowledged that its predictions were controversial and allowed for a wide margin of error.

YouGov Chief Executive Stephan Shakespeare told The Times that the model had been tested during the run-up to the EU referendum last year and that it had consistently put the Leave campaign in the lead.

The YouGov research allowed for big variations in the outcome of the election, ranging from as high as 345 seats for the Conservatives, 15 more than their current number, to as low as 274, The Times said.

The model allowed YouGov to assess the intention of every type of voter, from where they live to how they voted on Brexit, their age and social background, in order to weight the results.

Shakespeare said the figures could change dramatically before June 8.

“The data suggests that there is churn on all fronts, with the Conservatives, Labour and the Liberal Democrats likely to both lose and gain seats,” he was quoted as saying

Is this liberal madness? Charity calls for ‘period emoji’ to help girls overcome menstruation taboo

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Photo by Plan International: Period emoji

Editing by sadiya.hamza – United Kingdom

 

London, May 30, 2017(Reuters/NAN)

Plan International, an international child rights group  on Tuesday called for a ‘period emoji’ on mobile devices to help break the taboo of menstruation.

The charity organisation said menstruation is still taboo in many countries around the world, where it’s often considered embarrassing or shameful.

Women refer to periods using some 5,000 euphemisms, such as “on the rag” and “Bloody Mary”, a 2016 survey of 90,000 people in 190 countries found.

“Girls and women have told us about the embarrassment and shame they suffer when it’s their period. We need to make it easier to talk about something that is part of everyday life,” said Danny Vannucchi, Plan International’s campaigns manager.

While there are symbols for avocado, a telescope, and even a unicorn, menstruation is not represented as an ’emoji’, a small icon on smartphones and tablets commonly used to express emotions or physical things.

But that is something Plan International wants to change.

The charity on Friday launched five ‘period emojis’ and invited the public to vote for their preferred icon.

It said that as of Monday, more than 15,000 people had voted.

The winning design will be submitted to coding consortium Unicode for consideration, which distributes emojis across mobile devices.

“We’re not saying that an emoji would solve all of these problems, but it will start a conversation, and raise awareness of the challenges women and girls face worldwide and that can only be a good thing,” Vannucchi told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

He said issues related to reproduction and the sexual health of girls are often considered “dirty”, so girls are forced to keep quiet about menstruation which adds to the taboo.

He said: “It’s completely normal, but in many settings there is still a false belief that menstruation is dirty and shameful.

“These taboos can have a damaging impact on the lives of girls and adolescents, from missing school because they face bullying or unfair treatment, to causing infections due to a lack of menstrual hygiene education and products.”

On any given day more than 800 million women between 15 and 49 have their period. However, globally 1.25 billion women do not have access to a toilet during menstruation, according to the charity WaterAid.

The UN estimates that due to a lack of facilities, one in 10 girls in Africa will miss school during their period and will eventually drop out of school as a result.

In what may amount to a set-back in intra-Africa trade, Nigeria’s government threatens to shut land borders against persistent cross-border smuggling

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Nigeria Customs have had to acquire surveillance helicopters to combat cross- border smugglers

Nigeria’s Federal Government has threatened to shut its land borders if the smuggling of rice through neighbouring state borders and its negative effect on government’s current efforts to make Nigeria self-sufficient in rice production, and protect local and international investors who have invested in Nigeria’s rice value chain, in response to government invitation, continues unabated.

Mr. Audu Ogbeh, Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, gave the warning on Monday while speaking to newsmen in Abuja, the nation’s capital, on the achievements in the agriculture sector in the two years, since the administration of health-troubled president Buhari took office,

Items smuggled into Nigeria through land borders sometimes include fire arm

“We believe they are determined to sabotage the efforts that we are making to guarantee self-sufficiency in rice and to save foreign exchange which we don’t have”

“They insist on bringing in rice through the land borders, avoiding the duties and the levies we put on them and they are definitely bent on sabotaging our efforts and we are getting increasingly unhappy with them”

“And I must say that very soon, if they persist, we will take very nasty measures against them. We will like to advise our neighbours, who believe

Photo by Nigeria Customs: Smuggling rice into Nigeria can be a desperate situation through vast and remote border tracks to avoid been seen by Customs patrol vehicles and surveillance helicopters

that the ECOWAS treaty means that Nigeria is a volunteer nation for economic suicide that, we have no such plans, destroying our own economy to make any neighbour happy”

“The ECOWAS treaty number two  does not suggest that any country can be an avenue of smuggling foreign goods not produced in that country for dumping in neighbour’s territory.

“If they insist, I do not think that government is far away from considering permanently closing certain borders very near us and when we do, nothing will make us change our minds on the issue, ECOWAS treaty or not,’’ Ogbeh warned.

Foreign nationals, mostly of Indian, Lebanese and Chinese merchants use Nigeria’s neighbouring countries of Benin, Chad and Niger as transit points for cheap imports from their countries, destined to Nigeria, the region’s main market, mostly through smuggling.

Rice is a major staple of Nigeria’s population and rice merchants make a kill getting rice into the country anyway they can.

Government imposed higher tariffs on imported rice to encourage local production and the policy has attracted billions of Dollars in fresh investment from local and international investment.

The government will like to protect this investment in order to encourage more.

To dodge the tariff regime, these importers transit their ware through less-restrictive neighbouring countries in the ECOWAS region (Economic Community of West African States), recruit locals, who then smuggle them across the borders.

The regional body aims for free movement of goods and persons across member states borders and foreign importers strive to take advantage of the regional trade treatise to dump products Nigeria.

The minister said that the importation of rice reduced from 580,000 tons in 2015 to 58,000 tons by 2016.

According to him, “by the end of this year, we will eliminate the difference because more people are growing rice in the country”.

He said the Federal Government would distribute no fewer than 200 rice mills to millers across the states of the federation to encourage fresh milling of locally produced rice in order to make them more palatable than the imported ones. About three months ago, there was this cry about Nigeria going to starve and we told them that there will be no such thing”

“We have never produced as much grains as we did in the last two years in this country’s history”

Photo by Nigeria Ministry of Agriculture: Nigeria’s Agric and rural development Minister, Audu Ogbe

“We have fed not only Nigeria, we have fed West Africa and there are still thousands of tons in people’s warehouses. Those who bought grains and stored believing that starvation was near and they will make a killing they are now begging us to take off the grains from them because they are getting stock”

“The only shortfall we have is maize because of the disease called the armyworm.

“We are dealing with that and this planting season, we are going to support farmers to make sure that we bring that disease under control. We have done amazing things in agriculture in two years, we are still going,’’ Ogbeh said.

Nigeria was trumpeted a few months ago as a nation facing starvation, particularly in the North east of the country, by the UN and aid agencies in Europe and America, having been named alongside South Sudan, Yemen and Somalia as countries in dire need of food aid.

International appeals by humanitarian agencies for aids to feed Nigeria was received with shock by people who know Nigeria, the extent of the nation’s vast network of grain silos and the size of its emergency food reserves.

Nigeria is indeed one of the most densely populated nations in the world that has been able to feed itself.

Ebola in remote areas of the Congo: WHO deploys new technology for rapid diagnosis

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Right: A GeneXpert diagnostic testing set-up in the INRB lab in Kinshasa. Left: Ebola testing centre INRB in Kinshasa, DRC. Patient samples from suspected cases of Ebola are sent here for testing. Source-WHO/A. Clements-Hunt

Editing contributed by Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)

 

The World Health Organisation (WHO) said it had deployed new technology that allowed for rapid diagnosis of Ebola virus in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

In a released statement, the agency said it has, in collaboration with the DRC’s Ministry of Health and partners, set up a rapidly  intensified field alert and response system resulting in early identification of suspect cases detected in the affected zone.

The DRC is using these new tools, as well as classic ones, to respond to an ongoing outbreak of the virus in a very remote area of the north east of the country, enabling Congolese scientists to rapidly gather samples and ship them to Kinshasa for testing at the National Institute of Biomedical Research (INRB).

The statement on WHO website stated,

“one of the technologies being used to detect Ebola in DRC is GeneXpert, which was primarily developed to detect cases of tuberculosis, but has been adapted to enable rapid testing of many pathogens – HIV, malaria, STIs, and Ebola”

“At the INRB laboratory in Kinshasa – with support from USAID, WHO, Canada, the Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network (GOARN) and the Emerging and Dangerous Pathogens Laboratory Network (EDPLN) – technicians can use GeneXpert to test for the Zaire strain of Ebola in just one hour. For samples that are negative, further testing is then undertaken to check for other strains of Ebola, other viral haemorrhagic fevers, or other diseases”

The global agency said it also deploys other tests developed during the West African outbreak such as, OraQuick – a rapid diagnostic test, developed with the support of the U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention and GOARN. It said OraQuick can test blood or saliva samples for Ebola in just half an hour.

According to the statement, the current outbreak is the eight of the Ebola virus disease in the DRC since the disease was discovered in the Congo, in the 1970s.

Authorities in the country are recognised throughout the African region and the world as experts in responding to outbreaks of this disease. Since the major outbreak in West Africa in 2014, an increasing number of diagnostic tools have become available to perform rapid initial testing of samples, the UN agency said.

 

In search of black votes, Mrs May worships at UK’s largest African Pentecostal Church- Redeemed Christian Church of God, as Corbyn surges in the polls

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British Prime Minister Theresa May visits RCCG in Jesus house, London

Photos by FWD@jesushouseuk

 

In photographs released by FWD@jesushouseuk and published by a Nigerian news website, Thecable, British Prime minister, Theresa May, whose two-digit poll lead in the coming UK general election over labour party leader halved in the last weeks, was shown with the leader of Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), pastor Irukwu, at Jesus House, 112 Brent Terrace, London NW2 1LT, UK.

Former Prime Minister David Cameron took same step before the 2015 General election when he visited RCCG in what many considered a Tory party recognition of a major demographic change in the UK, which has seen a rapid growth in the population of individuals who identify themselves as black Africans

in a growing black middle class Britain, many within this demographic identify with elements of Tory traditional view of moral conservatism, ownership and education as pathway to escaping the crutches of poverty, a path their Asian counterparts seem to have trudged successfully to join the British mainstream in business, the professions and industry.

However, many are not deceived by politicians’ frolics during elections and many in the black community we spoke to say they don’t trust the prime minister and would not vote for a Tory candidate. They recall how victory for Cameron resulted in consolidation of power and further cuts to social services expenditure, which has left many families, including those within the black community far worse off.

 

On the contrary, others see a repeat visit to the largest African Pentecostal church by a British Prime Minister as a clear recognition of the community and one of the signs of a re-evaluation of its role in a positive way, by political leadership, paving the way for a seemingly inevitable entry and welcome of high profile black leadership into UK’s main stream, in commerce and industry, as well as in political leadership, beyond what currently obtains.

Whatever the case is, 8 June is around the corner, and the country will find out if the prime Minister’s visit  and worship at Redeemed Christian Church of God pays electoral dividend.

Rastafarians are right! Medicinal Cannabis is effective treatment for severe epilepsy -Australian study

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Th world is just discovering something Rastafarians have known for more than half a century i.e, cannabis as a potent medicine against several illnesses

Fatima Sule/Maharazu Ahmed (Xinhua/NAN)

 

Although Rastafarians have preached the medicinal values of cannabis for half a century, an Australian study has only just found that medicinal cannabis can reduce seizures in children with severe epilepsy.

The study, published by The University of Melbourne on Thursday, found that cannabidiol, a medical component of cannabis, can reduce seizures in more than 40 per cent of children with a severe form of epilepsy.

The trial took place over 14 weeks with 120 children with Dravets Syndrome, a severe potentially lethal form of epilepsy, participating, 60 of whom were given a placebo and the other 60 given cannabidiol. Ingrid Scheffer, the lead author of the study, said it was a major milestone in using cannabis products to treat epilepsy.

“This is the first high-level evidence that shows that cannabidiol works for epilepsy,” Scheffer said on Thursday.
“It’s as good as some of our other drugs, it doesn’t look like it’s better than our other drugs because it’s not going to cure.
“It’s not a panacea, but it’s going to be very valuable for these children with severe life-threatening epilepsy.”

Of the 60 children who were given cannabidiol, 43 per cent had their frequency of seizures at least halved from an average of 12.4 convulsions per month to an average of 5.9 per month.

Overall, a vast majority of the group exhibited a reduction in the number of seizures while three children did not have any seizures after taking the drug. Comparatively, the average number of seizures in the placebo group went from 14.9 per month to 14.1.

“These responder rates of 43 per cent, and five per cent seizure free, are what you see across many epileptic drug trials and we always try them in patients with uncontrolled epilepsy because they’re the ones who need to try something new the most,’’ Scheffer said.
“If it makes you seizure-free, as it did for three children in the clinical, it is life-changing.’’
Cannabidiol was recently reclassified by the Victorian government to a schedule four substance, making it a legal prescription drug.
Scheffer said that a number of studies were underway across Australia testing cannabidiol as a treatment for other forms of epilepsy.

 

UN Scribe asks developed nations to support Africa’s Agenda 2063 framework for sustainable deveolpment

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World leaders at the G7 summit in Italy. Five African leaders were invited

The 43rd Group of Seven (G7) Summit in Italy focused attention on Africa over the opportunities and challenges in the continent as well as implications for the international community.

On Saturday, five African leaders – Nigeria’s Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya, Beji Essebsi of Tunisia, Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger and Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn of Ethiopia – joined the world power leaders to discuss their continent’s potential.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres, in his address at the Summit, called on world leaders to invest in technology, education and capacity building of youths in Africa.

Speaking at a session on ‘Reinforcing the Partnership between the G7 and Africa’, the Secretary-General noted that the international community has a role in helping the continent adapt as it heads for a new wave of industrialisation.

“Failing to do so might have dramatic consequences on the well-being of the people of Africa; increase fragility, causing massive displacement and risking to boost unemployment, especially for young people,” Guterres said.

He said at the two-day meeting in Taormina, Italy, that a majority of African countries have improved their competitiveness and business environments.

The UN chief stressed: “Our shared challenge is to build on these gains and to change the narrative about Africa – from crisis-based narrative to an opportunities-based narrative.

“We know that the full and true story of Africa is that of a continent with enormous potential for success.

“Africa has the fastest growing youth population in the world, which must be supported with education and training in tomorrow’s jobs.

“High levels of youth unemployment are not only a tragedy for young people themselves, but can also undermine development and generate frustration and alienation.

“That, in turn, can become a threat to global peace and security,” Guterres cautioned in his statements to leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the U.S.

According to him, investment in youth must include education and training for girls and women.

“Gender inequality is costing sub-Saharan Africa 95 billion dollars a year, which is at six per cent of the region’s gross domestic product – a needless loss of inclusive human development and economic growth,” the UN chief said.

He also called for moving manufacturing and traditional activities, such as agriculture, higher up the global value chain, as well as investing in infrastructure that links regions, countries and communities.

“Smart digital platforms, smart grids, smart logistics infrastructure can link urban and rural, and better connect the people of Africa to each other and the world,”. Guterres stated.

He added that more than just the transfer of technology, the continent needs to maximize the power of innovation for the people of Africa.

According to him, such support and innovation will help to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and Africa’s framework for socio-economic transformation, known as Agenda 2063

Report by Prudence Arobani –  (NAN, USA)

Nigeria’s super star Dbanj welcomes new baby but unveils picture of baby’s hands only

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Fans can only see baby's hands in picture revealed by Dbanj's

Nigeria’s music superstar Danj (Oladapo Daniel Oyebanjo ) and his wife Didi Lineo, have welcomed their first child. Dbanj took to his Instagram handle on Friday to share the first photo of their baby – a son named Daniel Oyebanjo III.

According to media reports, Dbanj, an entrepreneur and TV host, is currently in the USA where Didi delivered their baby.

In 2016, the singer reportedly held a secret wedding with his girlfriend Didi, at a low key ceremony both in Lagos and Abuja.

Dbanj in a recent comment had said that his marital status was no body’s business.

“My marriage is my business and it is none of your business. Whether I am married or not, mind your business. If you ever see a wedding ring on my finger, fine, but if you don’t, fine.”

“The truth about it is that it is very important to know what you want as a brand. As a brand, I wanted to focus on the business side and keep my family and private life, private and concentrate on CREAM.”

The Koko master crooner has won several music awards, including the awards for Best African Act at the MTV Europe Music Awards 2007, Artist of the Year at the MTV Africa Music Awards 2009.

He also won Best International Act: Africa at the 2011 BET Awards, and Best-selling African Artist at the 2014 World Music Awards, Evolution award at the 2015 MTV Africa Music awards.

Original story by Ladejobi Ekemini – NAN

In the line of fire: Former US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton aims the salvo at President Trump’s ‘Cruelty’ cuts

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Mrs. Hillary Clinton delivers the Commencement Address at Wellesley College Massachusetts, U.S., May 26, 2017.Photo by REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Washington, May 26, 2017 7 by  Fatima Sule – United States of America (Reuters/NAN)

 

Hillary Clinton assailed the man who beat her to the White House, slamming as “unimaginable cruelty” President Donald Trump’s proposal to cut 3.6 trillion dollars in government spending over the next decade in a speech on Friday.

The defeated Democratic candidate did not name the Republican president in her remarks to the graduating class at her alma mater, Wellesley College.

But she took several veiled swipes at the businessman-turned-politician, whose budget proposal earlier this week hinted sharp cuts in programmes for healthcare and food assistance.

“Look at the budget that was just proposed in Washington. It is an attack of unimaginable cruelty on the most vulnerable among us”, Clinton told a crowd at the all-women’s college, located in Boston’s suburbs.

“It grossly underfunds public education, mental health and even efforts to combat the opioid epidemic.”

White House officials have described the proposed budget as providing tax cuts that they say would stimulate economic growth and create more private-sector jobs.

As with all presidential budgets, the proposal was more of a wish list that is unlikely to be approved in its current form by Congress.

Clinton, a former Secretary of State, warned against an erosion of accepted standards of truth in U.S. public discourse, and also appeared to be attacking Trump on this issue.

“You are graduating a time when there is a full-fledged assault on truth and reason.

“Just log on to social media for 10 seconds, it will hit you right in the face”, she said, citing hoax online reports that her campaign was tied to a Washington pizzeria that operated a child sex ring.

“When people in power invent their own facts and attack those who question them, it can mark the beginning of the end of a free society”, Clinton said.

“This is not hyperbole, it is what authoritarian regimes throughout history have done.”

Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton delivers the Commencement Address at Wellesley College, Massachusetts Photo by REUTERS/Brian Snyder

She also urged graduates of the liberal-leaning school, which is located in one of the most Democratic states in the country, not to retreat into their own partisan echo chambers.

“Your learning, listening and serving should include people who don’t agree with you politically.”

Clinton has had a long public career since graduating in 1969 from Wellesley.

She was first lady during her husband Bill Clinton’s two terms in the White House and was later elected to the U.S. Senate representing New York State.

She made an unsuccessful presidential run in 2008 before serving as the country’s top diplomat during President Barack Obama’s first term.

Clinton, 69, has gradually returned to the public eye since her upset November defeat, saying that she will not run for office again but will serve as an activist citizen.

Chinese President Xi’s special envoy heads to Africa to mark completion of first stretch of the East African Railway

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The first stretch of the East Africa Railway built by China

BEIJING, May 26 (Xinhua/NAN) –

Chinese State Councilor Wang Yong will attend a ceremony in Kenya to mark the completion of the railway linking Mombasa and Nairobi, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said Friday, in a Xinhua news report monitored by NAN.

Described as the most ambitious construction project in Kenya since 1963, the project was cost is put at $13.8 Billion and was initially planned to run from Kenya’s port city of Mombasa to the capital Nairobi, before been extended 2 years ago to Naivasha, the tourist haven, known for its famous Hell’s Gate National Park, the venue where the Lion King was shot.

At the invitation of the Kenyan government, Wang will be in Kenya from May 30 to June 1 as the special envoy of Chinese President Xi Jinping, spokesperson Lu Kang said at a daily press briefing.

The railway from Mombasa to Nairobi is the first stretch of the proposed East Africa Railway. The flagship project of China-Kenya practical cooperation, will be open to traffic on May 31, Lu said.

He said China is ready to work with Kenya to implement the outcomes of the Johannesburg summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, push forward the Belt and Road Initiative and capacity cooperation, strengthen friendly cooperation of mutual benefit in various fields, and bring bilateral ties to a new high.

The project is expected to reduce journey time from Mombasa to Nairobi to 4 hours, from the present grueling 12 hour journey. Trains will travel at a speed of 120 kilometers per hour, and freight trains will be able to carry 25 million tons per year of import and export cargo from the land-locked cities in East Africa to the region’s major port of Mombasa, as anticipated, spurring further economic growth for the high growth African region.

When the whole stretch of the track is completed, it will connect the cities of Kampala, in Uganda, Juba, in South Sudan to port of Mombasa, via Nairobi according to the master plan.

Wang will also visit Niger, Angola and Zambia from June 1 to June 9 at the invitation of the three countries’ governments, Lu said.

Source: Xinhua

“Thank you Bush”. Reminiscing Former President G W Bush’s Legacy on Africa

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President G.W Bush has strong faith in Secretary of State Colin Powell's leadership on Africa

“Thank you Bush” the 3-words phrase  that encapsulates the emotional gratitude a South Sudanese felt towards former President George W. Bush on the day the South Sudan national flag was hoisted in Juba, marking the birth of the world’s newest nation, as reported by the New York Times on July 9, 2011

In the unfolding world of Trump, Marien Lopen and Brexit, and the dramatic turn of events in the west as its populations, through their votes, exhibit quivering faith in the mantra of globalisation and internationalism, that have been the sermons from the ‘pulpits’ of western political and social-economic temples in the last 25 years- since the Bill Clinton and Tony Blair-Gordon Brown era, one is forced to reminisce on George W. Bush administration’s legacy on globalisation and its positive impact on Africa.

In the last 15 years, the world rehearsed and celebrated economic growth good-news coming from Africa, and on the back of that news, to which many attributed to rise in commodity price, triggered and sustained by the rise of China and her production fuelled astronomical economic expansion. However, one thing that was mentioned, but barely, as far as Africa and her path to inclined economic path is concerned, was G.W Bush’s contribution to firmly place Africa on that pathway

Unpopular at home hero in Africa

George W. Bush, at home, was little celebrated. Stuck on him were unsung tags- Middle East wars, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld. In Africa however, all of those tags are speedily stripped off him.

He is, across the African continent until this day, regarded as an ender of wars in the continent, a saver of lives from the crutches of HIV/AIDS through massive deployed of resources-funds and vaccine, an opener and expander of opportunity to the continent-through the Africa Growth and Opportunity Enhancement Act (AGOA Enhancement Act), which expanded continuity of preferential tariff-free access to the US market to many African countries, whose economies would otherwise, never able to compete in the global market.

And to cast the impact of his enduring legacy in the continent in granite, Bush has returned to the region over and over again, with his wife Laura Bush, since leaving office, helping in rebuilding hospitals, and installing cancer screening equipments, particularly, cancer of the cervix, which is on an alarming increase in the region. His administration was also instrumental in brokering a G-8 plan to train 75,000 new peacekeepers in Africa and elsewhere as at 2010.

The Bush children are not left out either. Bush’s two daughters, Jenna and Barbara, who, with Dave Ryan, a former Executive Director of FACE AIDS, co-founded the charity organisation, Global Health Corps and through the organisation, have been actively recruiting and developing impactful leadership on health care delivery across Eastern and Southern Africa.

Remember the hug that went viral and Bush on Africa Safari

Articulated Policy and and Systematic Delivery

Bush’s policies on Africa was captured in his Africa speech on June 26, 2003, less than 2 week before his African travels from July 7-12, visiting Senegal, South Africa, Botswana, Uganda, and Nigeria. In that speech, Bush stressed three themes: establishing peace and security, fight against HIV/AIDS, and economic development through aid and trade.

As a former administration official explained to the New York Times in 2015, the G.W Bush administration came into power when there was wars in Sudan, Congo, Angola, Liberia, Sierra Leone,  and was able to develop a solid strategy on dealing with the problems at hand in Africa, with deliberate efforts made towards ending these wars. The efforts paid off, as at the time the administration’s first term ended, the wars were also ended.

Bush’s support for South Sudan’s independence from Kabul ended decades of brutal conflict that saw the rise of a murderous Janjaweed militia, whose antics and modus-operandi seem to have been copied by another murderous ethnic militia in Nigeria, the Fulani cattle headers militia, that is currently killing and terrorising farming communities across central and southern Nigeria.

The end of wars enabled the administration to roll out development projects and programmes, starting with the struggle against HIV/Aids, pouring in a whopping $15B through the Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, (PEPFAR) over a five-year period, $9Billion of which was new money.

Following PEPFAR was the administration’s proposal in 2004, for 100% debt cancellation for the so-called heavily indebted poor countries, of which many African countries benefited, in fulfilment of the path laid out before his presidential Africa travels.

What then was President Bush’s motivation for support to Africa, far and above many of his predecessors, and to many also, the successor administration?

Whereas many in the human rights community think it was all because of war on terror, criticising the administration for ignoring human right issues in many African countries, same argument which, contributed to decades of warped and unproductive policies that had denied Africa needed foreign investment and participation in fair global trade.

Fellows of Global Health Corps Co-founded by the Bush daughters

Under Bush, US national security interest was accurately tied to nation building and prevention of failed state

On the contrary, other factors stood shoulder to shoulder with the policies of war on terror, to shape the administration’s foreign policy objectives. As captured in a research by the Centre for Global Development and presented by Lawrence MacDonald in a paper titled ‘President Bush’s Second Term and Development:

Five Issues Worth Watching, the issues of weak states, trade, debt relief, the Millennium Challenge Account, and HIV/AIDS were identified as issues that posed National Security threat to the United States.

It then clearly reveals the major policy motivation- the challenge of weak states, unlike strong states, require nation building and development efforts to tackle, rather than armament and war. A common ground between development needs and U.S security emerged, providing anchor to policy development for the Bush administration second term, and from which Africa was to benefit.

Therefore, fingers had to point to individual administration actors whose roles in policy formulation and coming forth with policies that would eventually benefit Africa, and most importantly, presenting these policies in such a manner that gained the president’s approval and buy-in.  In that sense, one has to look at President Bush’s appointments.

Firstly, Bush was a staunch proponent of Compassionate Conservatism. Secondly, like his father, he had made two important ‘first’ African-American appointments, in the person of General Colin Powell as Secretary of State, and Condoleezza rice as National Security Adviser in the first term, and Secretary of State in the second. Both appointments were firsts of their kinds for African Americans.

Long after leaving office G.W Bush returned to Africa many times to support development efforts

Colin Powell provided strong leadership and laid the foundation for 2nd term achievements

General Powell’s appointment in the president’s first term will turn out to be a profound decision in American government disposition towards helping channel resources; human and material, towards Africa related matters of development and security.

Although General Powell’s work and leadership in shaping the administration’s policies towards Africa had gone on behind closed doors, we were to learn of its efficiency and success from the president himself. On the occasion of the signing into law, AGOA Acceleration Act of 2004, the president proclaimed

“Mr. Secretary, thank you very much for your leadership. Secretary Powell is a strong believer in the potential of the continent of Africa, and so am I.  From the president’s own testimony, General Powell provided strong leadership on Africa.

Although he was not to be in government to see-out the implementation and realisation of some of the policies, the foundation was laid in the first Bush term.

Subsequently, another formidable Bush administration quiet achiever, as we saw by her dexterity in resolving the decade’s long nuclear conundrum, and normalising relations with Gadhafi’s Libya without violence, Condoleezza Rice succeeded Colin Powell as secretary of States, helping to drive through to fruition, the Administration’s Africa policy.

Therefore, In echoing the South Sudanese sentiment, Thank you Bush!

Group petitions African Union demanding dual citizenship across the continent for descendants of former enslaved Africans

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Dreamt of, more than half a century ago by Africa’s decolonisation pioneers and  post-colonial leaders like, Jamaican born pan-Africanist and founder of the Universal Negro Improvement Association, Marcus Mosiah Garvey, and Ghana’s first president, Kwame Nkrumah, an African-American, is giving the ‘Africa for all Africans’ campaign,a modern day resurrection through an online petition to the African Union (AU), urging the pan-continental body to work towards dual citizenship for Africa’s diaspora across nations of the continent, particularly, to black people whose ancestors were uprooted against their will from the continent centuries ago, and enslaved in the Americas and parts of Europe. 

In the petition initiated by Hue Logistics on the internet petition platform, change.org, and titled Dual Citizenship, Akbar Muhammad, who received Ghana’s citizenship,  alongside his fellow African American, Earl 3X Reddix from Las Vegas, from the former Ghanaian president John Mahama, wrote- 

“In light of the world situation and instability of the political climate in the East and the West, Dual Citizenship offers an opportunity for people to have the freedom of movement without ending up with a refugee crisis as we see not only in the Middle East but Africa and others parts of the world.

Dual Citizenship would allow the movement of individuals across Africa and to be able to use their skills and talent to help better societies. We feel that the African Union Commission should encourage the African Nations to consider Dual Citizenship for Africans in the Diaspora. This petition would call for a Commission to meet and discuss the viability of it and the benefits for both sides.” 

First African Union Consultation Meeting with the Diaspora on the African Union Agenda 2063 Oct. 8th – 10th 2013

Petitioners are allowed to state their petition statements and more than 230 signatures has been gathered since its opening. 270 more are required to reach the 500 signatures needed to trigger a debate at the  African Union Commission.

Statements so far put forward by supporters reveal deep-down desires of a new generation of diaspora Africans to connect with the continent. A New York based petitioner who identified himself as Forrester Parker puts his petition this way-

“It’s only fair that a kidnapped people who’s slave labor, rapes, brutalizations and forced imprisonment be allowed to have dual citizenship in the home of their Ancestors”

 Another in London, Prophet Jah B petitions the AU as thus-

I petition the unfettered Right to return home from slavery.
Repatriation Restitution Reparation
Through the African Union,
Universal Declaration of Human Rights
In Brotherly and Sisterly love
As the AlmIghty intended us to show.
One God 
One Aim
One Destiny
United State of Africa

Natasha Powell, who is also based in the UK wrote-

“We the offspring of those who were kidnapped, imprisoned and sold into slavery should be free to return home without conditions as our Ancestors were removed against their. They through us have the right of return” 

 And Shanice Lindsay in the UK wrote –

“The diaspora is the heart that was ripped out of Africa 400 years ago. We fought long and hard for our freedom. Rivers of blood was shed. There ought not to be any restrictions or conditions on our return”.

 She went further in another comment saying,

“We need to build bridges between the diaspora and our African family at home. Cultural bridges, economic bridges, technological bridges, skills and knowledge sharing bridges. Towards achieving this I believe all African diasporas should have dual citizenship and encouraged to visit and invest in our mother land”

It is not just the diaspora who have signed the petition. Many in the continent appear to be in support already. Jacques Sotero AGBOTON in Senegal, West Africa, posted a comment in support of the petition but advised that initial steps first be taken preparatory to full citizenship, in the form of organised travels and regular returns to the continent by the diaspora, offering to help in organising such travels.  His petition was put this way-

“It is time the Diaspora organizes itself with repeated returns to the motherland until each country provisions a hospitality base with all amenities for settlement to the African Diaspora. Let us hope this initiative is more efficient. I shall endeavor to contribute in this effort when called upon”

Discussions and papers on Africa’s diaspora usually centre on Africans who freely immigrated to other region of the world, peeling-off from the core of the diaspora, those whose ancestors were forcefully removed from the continent for enslavement elsewhere. Whereas, these are in every sense, part of the African diaspora, research authors and opinion writers usually count them out, in furtherance of expanding the disconnection between this group of Africans and the continent.

The 28TH Ordinary Session of the AU Summit, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 30 January 2017

For many years, Africa endeavoured to attract her diaspora; a population that beyond remittances, represents a huge reserve of untapped development resources that can propel the continent from mineral extraction dominated economic growth, to value addition, not only to the extracted commodity, but in technology, finance, human resources development, and productivity, and most importantly, the resultant acceleration of reforms and attitudinal changes that will be, engendered.

Learning from India’s success at utilising its diaspora for development, these efforts were sped up in many African countries in 2013, with only a minimum yet, achieved.

It is these images, created by global charity organisations, television and main stream media in the west, and incessantly beamed into homes, that have done, more than any government deficiencies in the continent, the greatest harm of turning the African diaspora away from the continent.

Time has changed it seems.  Awareness of the continent is growing within the Africa diaspora community all over the world and a surge in level of interest is emerging, in a manner quite unlike any since the days of decolonisation campaigns and civil rights movements. Digital Native youths are in the vanguard of this change and many are able to filter through images and stories and are able to surf the net to discover better representative and unedited information about the continent.

They see the vibrancy of the art, culture and wealth beyond what is portrayed, and how other groups scramble for and exploit the rich resources and wealth of Africa, at the same time, give a picture of the continent in the worst possible image, thereby keeping her western diaspora population confused and uncertain on whether to identify with the continent or not.

Chinese immigrants in Kenya heralds Kenya’s new railway with group wedding

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Grouping wedding to celebrate the East Africa Railway built by China

NAIROBI, May 22 (Xinhua) — Work at the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) Nairobi Terminus on Saturday momentarily came to a halt when Kenyan workers joined their Chinese peers to witness a group wedding of four Chinese couples.

The ceremony, conducted according to Chinese traditions, marveled many Kenyans who work for the China Roads and Bridges Corporation (CRBC), the contractor of the SGR.

The date of the wedding, May 20, was both symbolically chosen for its similar pronunciation to “I love you” in Chinese, and to mark the coming commissioning of the railway.

“Our Chinese counterparts will never cease to amaze. The wedding ceremony was astonishingly brief but colorful,” Chris Musyoki remarks on the one-and-half-hour ceremony.

The wedding started with the grooms kneeling down and presenting flowers to their brides. The couples were then declared as man and wife, after which they uncorked champagne and gave short speeches as in a typical modern Chinese wedding.

They later treated their guest to a luncheon at SGR Camp 8, where people ate and drunk to their fill.

“I met my future wife three years ago during a train ride in Hunan Province back home in China after which we exchanged numbers. That brief meeting and my bravery has now resulted into us tying the nuptials today,” Li Bosheng, 26, a public relations officer with CRBC, told Xinhua.

“My wife Jiao Yang is a graduate student in China and we will travel back home after the commissioning of the railway,” he noted.

The railway linking the port city Mombasa and Kenya’s capital Nairobi is expected to be commissioned by Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta soon.

Wang Xiaoyu, who works as a technical supervisor at the Nairobi Terminus and his newly-wedded wife Zhang Weiping, who also works for CRBC as an accountant, associated their love and marriage to the new railway.

“We met here in Kenya and got married in this beautiful country. Kenya will always remain etched in our minds wherever we shall be. It is a country we cherish and whose people are very hospitable,” they said.

Source: Xinhua

Does Damien Hirst’s action smirk of attempt at de-Africanisation of Ancient Ife Terrecotta?

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On the left is Ife Terracotta at the British Museum. On the right is the copy by Hirst, on exhibition in Venice until December 2017

Social media rage was evoked two weeks ago by renowned British Artist, Damien Hirst for making and exhibiting a copy of a terracotta artefact of Ancient West African Kingdom of Ife (pronounced ee-feh or ee-fah), in modern day south west Nigeria, without attribution to the origin, at least, in the labelling of his copy. His designation of the object had no reference to its origin, unlike other copied objects also in exhibition by the famous British artist at the Palazzo Grassi.

The region was alerted by a member of the Nigerian art contingent at the Venetian classical style edifice, the Palazzo Grassi art exhibition in the Italian city of Venice. Victor Ehikhamenor, an award-winning Nigeria visual artist who was exhibiting another work of traditional sculptor of Ancient African kingdom of Benin and the ‘effect of colonialism on African cultural heritage’, raised the alarm to which his fellow country men and women latched on to vent their anger on what they saw as another attempt by a star-national of a former coloniser to steal what is left of their heritage and pass it off as original work.

 Ife terracotta head was not the only object of artefact copied by the artist

Although the Ife famous Terracotta Head is not the only copied work in exhibition by Mr. Hirst on his nearly 10-year work titled TREASURES FROM THE WRECK OF THE UNBELIEVABLE, his copy of the Ife Terracotta Head, titled, Golden Head (Female) has no conspicuous accrediting narrative that clearly identifies the origin of the object to a viewing public, triggering Victor Ehikhamenor’s alarm. The Nigerian wasted no time hitting the social media. In his Instagram handle he wrote-

“The British are back for more from 1897 to 2017. The Oni of Ife must hear this. “Golden heads (Female)” by Damien Hirst currently part of his Venice show “Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable” at Palazzo Grassi.

For the thousands of viewers seeing this for the first time, they won’t think Ife, they won’t think Nigeria. Their young ones will grow up to know this work as Damien Hirst’s. As time passes it will pass for a Damien Hirst regardless of his small print caption. The narrative will shift and the young Ife or Nigerian contemporary artist will someday be told by a long nose critic “Your work reminds me of Damien Hirst’s Golden Head”. We need more biographers for our forgotten”.

Damien Hirst also made a copy of the Sphinx at Giza, Egypt and named it Sphinx

The exhibition is reported to be the artist most complex till date

The Ooni of Ife (pronounced Ọọ̀ni of Ifẹ̀) is the modern king of Ife in today’s Nigeria. The Ooni is the custodian of the Kingdom’s history.

Reading Ehikhamenor’s account on his Instagram post, victorsozaboy, which displays more than 450 likes and hundreds of comments, reveals that Damien Hirst also made postcards of the ‘golden head’ (female) of which Victor Ehikhamenor also commented on saying,

“This postcard of “Golden heads (Female)” by Damien Hirst with no reference to Ife and great artists that originally made this timeless classic will travel far and wide. Once again the hunter has glorified his tale in the absence of the lion.”

The on-going exhibition by Damien Hirst and curated by Elena Geuna is being described by many as his most complex till date and runs until December 2017. Whereas the Ife terracotta is not the only copied artefact on show by Hirst, it appears he gave due attribution to the others, except, the one he titled ‘The Golden Head (Female).

Nok Terracotta head with intricate hair style and the Igbo-Ukwu roped pot

On exhibition also as part of the “Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable” is a copy of another Ancient African majestic monument, the Sphinx, the artist recognised and titled, ‘Sphinx’. Damien Hirst’s ‘sphinx’ depicts a Sphinx covered with corals and sea growth.

Another is the severed head of Medusa, equally recognised and titled ‘Medusa’. Damien Hirst has obviously not followed this naming pattern through to the Ife Terracotta, in recognition of its origin.

One angered commentator who spoke to Angle 90 News reporter put it this way, “why didn’t Damien Hirst titled the Ife Terracotta as, ‘Ife Golden Head (Female)’, just like he did with Medusa and Sphinx. You know, once anyone hears and reads the name Sphinx, the image of the ancient monument, the great Sphinx of Giza Plateau, Egypt, comes to mind.

Likewise, the Medusa, no one will attribute the Medusa tag to anything or anyone other than the Medusa of the Greek mythology story.  But by removing any reference of Ife in the title of the ‘Golden Head’ Damien Hirst has attempted to claim ‘originator’ rights to this important object of ancient African history created by master craft men and metal workers of Ife to himself. This is what is fueling people’s anger”.

 

A philosophy and anthropology lecturer at the University of Nigeria Nsuka was not surprise at the reaction of his countrymen and women over the issues. What surprised him though is the spontaneity of the reactions. To him, Damien Hirst was only continuing what he described as “de-Africanisation of African creations that has been happening for centuries, starting with the Ancient Greeks”.

“Until now”, he told our reporters, “and until the internet age and social media, no real serious effort was made at telling the stories of how African symbols and creations were copied and presented as ‘Greek or ‘Roman’ in the past.

The Nigerians also vented anger on their governments for allowing this kind of situation to occur in the first place.

Ancient West Africa metal and ceramic works of art, particularly the Ife, Benin and Igbo-Ukwu Kingdoms, all in modern day Nigeria are found all over Europe in national museums. Many of them arrived Europe as conquer-bounties and looted artefacts. The British Museum alone boasts of a record number of them.

In an art exhibition in 2010, a first of its kind dedicated to Ancient Ife sculpture anywhere in the world, Richard Dorment, who had made close observation to loaned terracotta work on display from Nigeria, and reporting for the Telegraph had observed that “the artist who in the early 14th century created the naturalistic bronze seated figure found in the village of Tada had an understanding of the musculature of the human body that would not be seen in European sculpture until Donatello and Lorenzo Ghiberti more than a century later”.

Africans of the Bantu sub-group of which Ancient Ife, Benin, Dahomy, Igbo, Igala, Ijaw, and a host of many other groups are part of, are known to have worked metal 2 Thousand years before the arrival of Europeans.

The Nok culture, an early iron-age population located in the Guinea Savana, in present day central Nigeria state of Kaduna, smelted and forged iron for tools long before 1000 BC. Artefacts of their work survive in metal Terracotta heads of both men and women, but more awe inspiring is the preservation of intricate and complex hair styles of Ancient African women, some of which we still see today, revealing that the African woman’s battle to craft her hair, has been long raging.

Having the foregoing behind in mind, and given the role race, stereotyping, resurgence of nationalism in Trump’s America, Brexit and Marine Le Pen’s Europe, and adding to this mix, the known stories told and written of colonial loot and plunder of African Artefacts, may partly explain the anger Damien Hirst’s act of copying without a satisfactory reference to provenance has triggered across Nigeria and West Africa, especially among social media savvy young people.

Africa History Researchers discredit DNA analysis of Egyptian Mummies by Johannes Krause of Germany’s University of Tübingen

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Photo by Getty images from lisapoyakama.org: Queen Ndjemt, daughter of Pharaoh Ramesu Kha-m-Waset (Ramesses XI) and wife of pharaoh-priest Heri Horo. Her father was one of the last pharaohs of the great indigenous Egyptian dynasties, around 1070 BC. As you can see, she was undoubtedly African. Most likely her hair had been involuntarily straightened during the mummification process, as we have shown here

A strong trend has emerged in recent years whereby Africa’s researchers seem ever ready to interrogate and question research reports about the African continent, her people and history, by individuals and organisations around the world, that people of the continent view as ill-motivated, bias or incorrect.

Two months ago, a Nigerian artist raised objections on social media to British artist, Damien Hirst’s act of copying of an African Terracotta artifact without due credit to its origin.

The anger generated across the continent over the copied terracotta tagged ‘Golden Head Female’ by the British artist went viral on social media, forcing the artist into a situation in which he had to publicly defend himself.

Media reports of a recent research publication on DNA analysis of select Ancient Egyptian mummies, which claims that the Ancient Egyptians were closer to of European and Asian stock, has led to accusations of flawed research procedures, bias and outright racism against Johannes Krause of Germany’s University of Tübingen, who led the research.

We publish below, an article by an African history researcher- Lisapo Ya Kama, which  appeared on, http://www.lisapoyakama.org in response to Johannes Krause’s claims.-

On the left Tutankhamen and his wife Queen Ankh-Sen-Imana, daughter of Akhenaten and Nefertiti ; On the right the great pharaoh Imanahotep Hekawaset (Amenhotep III), father of Akhenaten.

On May 31st 2017, all the media of the Western world announced that the DNA of 90 Egyptian mummies have just been finally deciphered. They all seem to be of Middle Eastern and European origin.

The information goes around the world, delights the supporters of a white Egypt and shakes the Africans and the African diaspora, who had already taken ownership of this civilization.

We have got the report of this study in our possession and we will demonstrate here that it is dishonest from the beginning to the end, and that the Egyptian civilization belongs – if proof still needed – strictly to the Black African world.

How to determine which people are at the origin of a civilization?

The choice of sites 

Imagine today that the French civilization has disappeared and that in 2000 years we try to determine which people were at its origin.

The first thing we should do is to consult the documents of the time period to find out what were the important places of this ancient territory.

Then we would realize that the greatest people of France were buried in royal tombs in the Parisian Region and also at the Panthéon in Paris. After excavating the remains it would be easy to determine that the French civilization was the work of the white people.

If, on the other hand, one were to go to Marseilles in the south, so many Berbers and Arabs would be found in the cemeteries, and one would falsely conclude that France was the work of the Berbers and the Arabs.

It is the same with the American civilization today. You would have to go to the Arlington Cemetery in Virginia and not to any cemetery in Miami filled with Puerto Ricans, Cubans, Venezuelans, Nicaraguans etc…

The choice of the Time Period

In the same way, the historical documents would show that there was an influx of Arabs and Berbers in the city of Marseilles during the middle of the 20th century.

If we insist on knowing who were the founders of the city, the older remains, those of the lower antiquity, would be indicative.

Therefore, to determine the people at the origin of a civilization, we should begin with the historical documentation, to know which sites to search and what time period to take into account.

What do the Egyptian historical documents say?

They say this :

4000 BC: birth, between Sudan and southern Egypt, of the very first dynasty; which will eventually conquer the whole north around 3300 BC.

From 3300 BC to 1730 BC ruled only by these dynasties originating from southern Egypt and Sudan.

Between 1730 BC and 1540 BC, a dynasty of invaders, called Hyksos, probably white, conquered the north of Egypt. The indigenous kings withdrew to their original bastion, the south.

Between 1540 BC and 1070 BC, the indigenous dynasties conquered the north and ruled over the whole kingdom again.

Between 1070 BC and 663 BC, black Libyans associated with Whites ruled over the north, the indigenous authority retreating, once again, to the south. Then the Sudanese came and ruled over the whole territory.

Between 663 BC and 332 BC, a chaotic succession of white Persian invaders and Egyptians ruled the country.

From 332 BC to 641 AD, the Greeks and the Romans, who entered by the north, dominated.

And from 641 AD to the present day we have an Arab domination, with Turkish and British intervals.

What does that mean? It means that if we want to accurately genetically determine who the ancient Egyptians were, we should take the remains of the Kings from the south, at the Valley of the Kings, in Luxor.

And top priority should be given to the remains that dated between 4000 BC and 1730 BC and those dated between 1540 BC and 1070 BC. This has already been done.

DNA Tribes Results : Index of genetic compatibility of 326 with Southern Africa, 323 with Great Lakes and 83 with Central Africa and West Africa. This study is the absolute reference in genetics to ancient Egyptians.For comparison, the Semitic whites, European or Berbers are between 3 and 7 of compatibility.

 

 

Who/What has actually done the study that makes so much noise today?

The study by Johannes Krause of the Max Planck Institute in Germany pre-selected 91 mummies found in one (1) cemetery in northern Egypt. It is a single site.

Was Professor Johannes Krause afraid to fetch the Egyptians in the South, where they are crowded?

But that’s not all. Of these 91 mummies, how many are dated in the time periods we are interested in (4000-1730, 1540-1070)? Well! simple answer: 4. 4 mummies out of the 91 selected date from the great periods of ruling by native Egyptians.

Only 4 mummies date from the time period before 1070 BC. All the others are recent.

And how many of these 91 date from the domination of the Greek and Roman whites? 48! i.e most of them.

This sample is then invalid and cannot determine the origin of the ancient Egyptians. Should we continue our critic of this study?

We can stop here. But let’s be kind and continue.

Of the 91 mummies how many were actually genetically analysed to determine who the ancient Egyptians were? Get this : 3.

Johannes Krause begins by saying: “Here we present 90 mitochondrial genomes as well as genome-wide data sets from three individuals obtained from Egyptian mummies”.

The study that makes so much noise all over the world today and which is supposed to have determined who the Egyptians were is based on only 3 mummies. 3 !

Of these 3 mummies, how many date from the great ruling by the native Egyptians? Simple answer: 0.

The mummy JK2134 dates from between 776 BC and 669 BC, the mummy JK2911 dates from 769-560 BC.

The mummy JK2888 dates from 97-2 BC. All these mummies date from the time when Egypt in the north was dominated by white foreigners or had a large white immigrant population.

These mummies cannot, in any way, be representative of the people or the kings of ancient Egypt.

Here is, in north of Egypt, the place where the mummies of Johannes Krause come from. This image comes from his own paper. Look far at the bottom right, it is Luxor, where the Pharaohs are buried. Even when the pharaoh died to the north, his body was taken to the south, just as today, people still prefer to be buried in their villages. The Egyptians knew perfectly well that they came from the south.

 

 

A summary of of the report of the DNA analysis by Johannes Krause of Germany’s University of Tübingen.  The study in question. 3 mummies!

In short, the sample mummies are selected in such a way that the result will say the Egyptians were white:

  • Come from a single and irrelevant site.
  • Were taken in the north of Egypt which was repeatedly under the rule of white foreigners and partly
  • populated by white immigrants.
  • Are only 3, which is ridiculously small.
  • Do not date, for any of them, from the ruling of the great indigenous Egyptians.
  • All of them date from the late period, that is a period of decline and occupation, where the whites had infiltrated from the north.

This sample has therefore zero value. And there’s no point in continuing to discuss it. So do the Westerners want to pride themselves on the fact that they found 3 whites out of 10 million ancient Egyptians?

They can have those. We are not stingy. According to their heretical logic, in 2000 years from now Jamaicans will be found in the British tombs and it will then be concluded that Queen Elizabeth II and the English were black.

In 2000 years, Indian people will be found in the Tanzanian tombs. It will also be concluded that Julius Nyerere and the Tanzanians were Indian. That’s not how history should be made.

Moreover, the University of Tübingen, in Germany, to which is attached Mr Krause, has been talked

about recently. They pretended that a European monkey with premolars tied is the first hominid in the world, meaning that humanity was not born in Africa. We are therefore dealing here with racist ideologists.

The West really thought we were going to stop at the sensational title of this study and not go deep into it. This is terrible misjudgement of the new African generation Cheikh Anta Diop has created.

We want to say that nothing and no one will ever put us back in the mental condition of eternal slavery again.

With science, we will have no concession and no pity, with those who dare to put themselves through our indestructible bond with our glorious ancestors. Our determination is total.

No one underestimate the unshakable determination of a child who wants to find his parents that have been hidden away from him. We will not bend our heads any more. We will carry no more complexes.

We will not feel inferior again. We will no longer return to the state of shame and self-hate the occupant has taught us and in which we were painfully dwelling before we discovered our history. We are going to make these feelings history.

Black Africans are the civilizers of humanity and they will never come down from this historic pedestal anymore. They invented civilization, in Africa, and introduced it to Asia, America and Europe.

Everyone will learn to get back to his place in history. It is with this new pride, this infinite confidence in our capacities, that we will rebuild Africa.

That being said, considering the shock wave this study has created in the black communities, we believe that the maximum number of Africans must acquire solid scientific knowledge in order to be able to decipher the lies contained in the scientific literature.

The full article can be read at http://www.lisapoyakama.org/en/the-egyptian-dna-case-truth-and-lies

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Akon breaks it down at the African YouthConnekt Conference 2017

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Akon breaking it down at Youthconnekt Africa summit 2017

Kagame of Rwanda, the current Western-favoured African leader, in landslide win of presidential election, taken his 17-year rule into mid-2020s

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Photo from Flickr: President Kagame and Christine Lagarde, MD of IMF. President Paul Kagame of Rwanda is seen as a strong and reforming African leader who has led his country to paths of peaceful recovery following a 2004 genocidal campaign.

Editing contributed by Yusuf Zango (NAN)

Rwanda’s sitting president has won another landslide election that will extend his 17-year rule to 2024.

To his Western backers and admirers, President Paul Kagame of Rwanda, (pronounced Randa) is a strong leader who has enthroned strong accountability, reforms and economic recovery in Rwanda following a 1994 genocide in which nearly one million Rwandan people were hacked or gunned down by an ethnic inspired militia.

While to his accusers and critics back home and elsewhere, Kagame has transformed into an opposition-intolerant dictator, who have driven those who oppose him into exile or untimely death through secrete executions and imprisonment.

He is also accused of media censorship, widespread human rights abuses, muzzling of independent media and suppression of political opposition.

With 80 per cent of votes accounted for, the 59-year-old former guerrilla leader secured 98.66 percent, the National Electoral Commission’s Executive secretary Charles Munyaneza told a news conference.

“We expect that even if we get 100 percent of votes, there will not be any change,” he said.

Kagame, who cast his vote in Kigali’s Rugunga polling station earlier on Friday, said he would work to sustain economic growth in the tiny nation.

“This is another seven years to take care of issues that affect Rwandans and ensure that we become real Rwandans who are (economically) developing,” he said in a speech broadcast live on television.

Under his rule, some dissidents were killed after they fled abroad, in cases that remain unsolved. The government denies any involvement.

Kagame, a commander who led Tutsi rebel forces into Rwanda to end the 1994 genocide, banned the use of tribal terms after becoming president.

He won the last election in 2010 with 93 per cent of the vote and during this campaign for a further seven-year term, said he expected an outright victory.

Habineza, who has so far won 0.45 percent of the early count, had promised to set up a tribunal to retry dissidents whose convictions by Rwandan courts have been criticized as politically motivated.

Another would-be opponent, Diane Rwigara, was disqualified by the election board despite her insistence that she met all the requirements to run.

“To me I see this as a one-man race. I simply did not go to vote,” said one man in Kigali who asked not to be named.

Paul Kagame is strongly favoured as a strong and exemplary leader in Africa by several Western leaders, particular leaders of the Tony Blair and Bill Clinton era, and have provided strong backing and defending whenever issues are raised against Kagame.

An African politics observer in London told Angle 90 News that Kagame’s favourable rating in Western countries is akin to the position Mr. Mugabe occupied many years ago.

Observing that while Mandela was in prison, president Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe was the African darling president in the West. When asked to elaborate on the reason he thought that was the case, he responded-

“Well Mugabe’s government allowed minority white land owners to hold on to their lands after the Rhodesia war, against agitation from the ruling party, the Zanu PF. At that time, the Apartheid regime in South Africa, held Mr. Mandela in prison as a terrorist, with backing from European and American governments. So, while Mandela was a terrorist in the eyes of the West, Mugabe was a hero.”

Photo by alamy: President Paul Kagame of Rwanda was received by German President Horst Koehler during a State Visit

The narrative changed after Mr. Mandela’s release from prison and he went ahead to pardon atrocities-committing members of the apartheid government, meanwhile, President Mugabe’s disagreement with the British government over land reforms ensued.

What we saw within time from these ensuing episodes is a swap of places between Mugabe and Mendela.

Former ‘terrorist and prisoner’, Mandela, became a hero, worthy of a life-size statue in Westminster, while former hero, Robert Mugabe, was transformed over-night by Western governments and media to a ‘corrupt and brutal dictator’ deserving to be removed from power.

Zimbabwe was placed under severe economic sanctions that crippled a once vibrant economy.

In response to Western backed regime change angender I Zimbabwe, Mugabe and his Zanu PF party dog in, holding on to power at all cost, well into a 90+ years age, to the detriment of his country, for fear of prosecution, or as his supporters say, fear or persecution if he handed over power.

We hope Mr. Kagame of Rwanda approaches power without arrogance, keeping in mind that Western support only last as long.

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On series of twits, British boxer Amir Khan threatens to divorce his wife over affairs with newly-crowned heavy weight champ Anthony Joshua

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Photos from Khan's and Joshua's twitter handles: Left- Heavy Weight Boxing Champion Anthony Joshua. Right-Amir Khan and his 'Not-BBW' wife, Faryal Makhdoom. Anthony Joshua is accused of involvement with Faryal via Khan's twitter postings.

Is it real or the work of hackers? On series of twits, British boxer Amir Khan threatens to divorce his wife over affairs with newly-crowned heavy weight champ Anthony Joshua

On what is suspected to be a hacking hijack of former teen boxing Olympic gold medallist twitter account, Amir Khan threatened to divorce his wife on accusation of behaviour bordering on infidelity with boxer, Anthony Joshua.

Khan and his wife Faryal Makhdoom have been reported of having a troubled marriage not long after their celebrity wedding in 2013.

The suspicious messages on Khan’s twitter account, if truly emanated from him, reveals animosity towards Anthony Joshua, who recently was crowned World Heavy Weight Boxing Champion after an 11th round flooring of long running champion, Wladimir Klitschko, in a Wembley Stadium bout in April.

The twits from Amir Khan insinuate that Joshua is involved in an affair with his wife.

“Mans like Joshua can have my left overs”, the twits remarked.

The boxer also revealed his family had not been in support of his marriage to Faryal Makhdoom, whom he wedded in New York.

“Left my family and friends for this Faryal. I’m not hurt but another fighter. I’m making it public. You getting the divorce #Golddigger”.

“Lol moved up in the weight classes lol. Trust me I ain’t the jealous type. No need to send me pictures of the men your talking to #disgusted”.

“Faryal moved on quick. Always mentioned to me how much she wanted to be with another guy, from all people another boxer 🙄 @anthonyfjoshua”.

“So me and the wife Faryal have agreed to split. I’m currently in Dubai. Wish her all the best”, twitted Khan.

Anthony Joshua was calm and cool about the accusation.

Through a succinct twitter response and posting of Shaggy’s “It Wasn’t Me” music video, he denied the accusation, twitting-

“Bantz aside, I hope you guys can resolve your situation or this is a hack as we have never even met! Plus I like my women BBW #ItWasntMe”

Anthony Joshua tells that he has never met Amir Khan’s seemingly estranged wife. And if he had, he would not find her attractive. He is attracted to Big Beautiful Women-BBW. Faryal Makhdoom is obviously not fleshly endowed enough to warrant a wooing move from the heavy weight champion.

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In Xi’s address to the PLA, Chinese ambition for global peace takes center stage as the eastern power spreads its tentacles across the world

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Photo collage by Angle 90 News: Source- Xinhua News Agency. China on Sunday held a grand military parade to mark the 90th founding anniversary of the People's Liberation Army

As China’s economic and soft power stretches to every corner of the globe through resource extraction and infrastructure investments, soft loans to poorer nations, investment in technology and trade, her ambition for the Peoples Liberation Army (PLA), is also pivoting towards participation in military campaigns abroad to protect global peace. 

While instructing the PLA to follow the absolute leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC), during a parade to mark the 90th anniversary of the army, President Xi Jinping of China invoked the army to build readiness to defeat invaders and to safeguard global peace.

 

In his address to the PLA in the Chinese region of Inner Mongolia, Xi was quoted by Xinhua news agency saying, 

“China needs a strong military more than ever”. 

And admonishing for “building the People’s Liberation Army into world-class armed forces with confidence and capability to defeat all invading enemies and safeguarding world peace.” 

Acknowledging the turmoil that rages across the world and perhaps emerging global threats to which China and her global ambition faces, he stated that “The world is not all at peace, and peace must be safeguarded,” 

“Today, we are closer to the goal of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation than any other time in history, and we need to build a strong people’s military more than any other time in history.”

 

In what many see as a signal that China is readying her army for expanded participation in military campaigns abroad, to promote global peace, the president acknowledged, like all super and emerging super powers do, that peace at home is anchored on readiness to fight for peace abroad. 

He said, “enjoying peace is a bliss for the people while protecting peace is the responsibility of the people’s army”. 

He praised the Chinese army for defeating all enemies and safeguarding China. He was quoted as saying, “Bathed in blood while forging ahead, they have defeated all the enemies, overcome all sorts of challenges, and made immortal feat to help the Chinese people stand up and prosper”

 

Praising the army for loyalty and demanding unceasing absolute loyalty to the Communist Part, he said

“History has proved that the PLA is a heroic force that has followed the Party’s command, served the country with loyalty, and fought for the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation”

 “The Party and people of all ethnic groups in China take great pride in having such a heroic army,”.

 “Officers and soldiers, you must unswervingly stick to the fundamental principle and system of the Party’s absolute leadership over the army, always listen to and follow the Party’s orders, and march to wherever the Party points to,” he said.

 

As China fills the trade, investment and development aid gaps vacated by a receding United States around the world- a withdrawal being hastened by ‘America first’ president Trump, and coupled with China’s own global ambitions, the world should be ready for a more assertive China, willing and ready to take up military campaigns abroad, to safeguard it investment and national interest.

 

Xinhua News reports that this is the first time China has marked the anniversary of the People’s Liberation Army with a parade since the founding of New China in 1949.

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Court dissolves 7 year old Lagos marriage because wife demands £1.20 (500 Naira) payment per bout, before letting husband have sex

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Marriage of 500 Naira per sex

(Reuters/NAN)

In a Lagos court proceeding monitored by the News Agency of Nigeria earlier today, a housewife, Mrs Mutiatu Olaosebikan,  lost her seven-year-old marriage for demanding money from her husband before sex.

In delivering judgment, the President of the court, Mr Adegboyega Omilola, said from all indications it appeared that the estranged couple were tired of the marriage and all efforts to reconcile them had failed.

“Since both parties had consented to the dissolution of their marriage, this court has no choice than to dissolve the marriage.

“The court pronounces the marriage between Mr Sunday Olaosebikan and Mrs Mutiatu Olaosebikan dissolved today, both parties henceforth cease to be husband and wife.

“Both are free to go their separate ways without any hindrance or molestation,” the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) quotes Omilola as saying.

The court also granted the custody of the only child of the marriage to the mother.

Earlier, Mr Sunday Olaosebikan, had told the court that his wife had always refused him sex until she collected at least N500 (£1.20) and that he was tired of paying N500 per bout before having sex with his wife.

He also told the court said that Mutiatu had threatened to kill him, and that she stabbed him with dangerous weapons whenever they had misunderstanding.

“My lord, she once stabbed me with a broken bottle on my head and I bled heavily which landed me in the hospital.

“Mutiatu places her kitchen knife under her pillow and when I queried her, she said her pastor instructed her to use it anytime he had bad dreams.

“But whenever I requested for sex or during argument, she brings out the knife threatening to stab me,’’ he said.

He described his wife as an aggressive and violent person, saying “she may kill me if I continue with the marriage.”

“I ran away from the house to avoid untimely death.

“Also because of her bad behaviour, she could not get a steady job.”

The 42-year-old businessman begged the court to terminate the union on grounds of lack of love.

However, Mutiatu, said her husband, Sunday, usually discharged his sperm on the floor during sexual intercourse (withdrawal method).

 

“My husband no longer releases sperm into me when we had sex. He is in the habit of pouring his sperm on the floor, he does not want me to get pregnant again.

“He started this withdrawal method five years ago; I only have one child who is six years old; now, he can go more than six rounds, but will never release the sperm into me, instead he pours it on the floor.

“Whenever I queried him about the withdrawal method, he could not give a satisfactory answer,’’ she said.

The respondent said her husband was an “untamed chatterbox,’’ who cannot keep the family secrets.

She said he has a habit of sharing their family issues with his relatives, friends and even, the public.

“There was a day I was attacked spiritually and blood was gushing out of my eyes, nose and mouth.

“When I was rushed to a prayer house, I was told that my husband caused the sickness because he talks too much about our affairs in the public,’’ she said.

The 34-year-old trader also described her husband as tight-fisted as she has been the one taking care of their baby from birth.

“My husband turned me into a punching bag that anytime we had misunderstanding, he would beat the hell out of me.”

She urged the court to grant her husband’s request for the dissolution of the marriage as she was also tired of the union.

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EU votes to reduce cancer causing Acrylamide in fried, roasted or baked potatoes, parsnips, and other root vegetables

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popular food preparation processes including frying in hot oil lead to release of cancer causing Acrylamide

Editing contribution by Edited by Abigael Joshua, Brussels, July 19, 2017 (dpa/NAN

EU votes to reduce cancer causing Acrylamide in fried, roasted or baked potatoes, parsnips, and other root vegetables

The UK Food Standard Agency isn’t categorical on the carcinogenic properties of Acrylamide.

A front-page slider on the Agency’s website boldly states “Acrylamide is a probable carcinogen”.

Notwithstanding that inconclusiveness, the presence of Acrylamide in our best loved energy food varieties has caused enough concern to warrant a vote at the European union on its ban.

Member states of the European Union voted on Wednesday in favour of a commission proposal to reduce the presence in food of the chemical acrylamide, which is linked to cancer.

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) confirmed in 2015 the cancer-inducing nature of acrylamide, a substance that forms when potato, cereal or coffee-based products are processed at a high temperature such as frying, roasting and baking.

According to EFSA, the most important food groups contributing to acrylamide exposure are fried potato products, coffee, biscuits, crackers, crisp and soft bread.

The EU decided to act because “the present levels of dietary exposure to acrylamide across age groups indicate a concern with respect to its carcinogenic effects,’’ according to the new EU regulation that would require food businesses to reduce the presence of acrylamide.

One way of reducing the amount of acrylamide in potato fries would be to cut thicker fries that are then blanched in water, before being deep fried.

The draft caused a stir in Belgium, the country that claims to have invented potato fries, which are traditionally fried twice.

The draft regulation now faces several institutional hurdles, including adoption by the EU parliament, before final adoption envisaged for spring 2019.

According to a narrative published on the UK Food Standard Agency’s website, Acrylamide is a chemical substance formed by a reaction between amino acids and sugars.

It typically occurs when foods with high starch content such as potatoes, root vegetables and bread, are cooked at high temperatures (over 120°C) in a process of frying, roasting or baking.

Acrylamide is not deliberately added to foods, it is a natural by-product of the cooking process and has always been present in our food.

Laboratory tests show that acrylamide in the diet causes cancer in animals.

While evidence from human studies on the impact of acrylamide in the diet is inconclusive, scientists agree that acrylamide in food has the potential to cause cancer in humans as well and it would be prudent to reduce exposure. 

Common food varieties in which Acrylamide is found are wide ranging, and include roasted potatoes and root vegetables, chips, crisps, toast, cakes, biscuits, cereals and coffee. 

Reducing the amount of the substance produced through our food processing and preparation is key to controlling its intake.

The Food Standard Agency recommends as a general rule of thumb, to “aim for a golden yellow colour or lighter when frying, baking, toasting or roasting starchy foods like potatoes, root vegetables and bread”

It also recommends. “don’t store raw potatoes in the fridge if you intend to cook them at high temperatures (e.g. roasting or frying).

Storing raw potatoes in the fridge may lead to the formation of more free sugars in the potatoes (a process sometimes referred to as ‘cold sweetening’) and can increase overall acrylamide levels especially if the potatoes are then fried, roasted or baked.

Raw potatoes should ideally be stored in a dark, cool place at temperatures above 6°C”

It advices that while we can’t completely avoid risks like acrylamide in food, eating a healthy, balanced diet that includes basing meals on starchy carbohydrates and getting your 5 A Day will help reduce your risk of cancer.

The duration and temperature of cooking determines the amount of acrylamide produced: long durations and higher temperatures form more acrylamide than short durations and lower temperatures.

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R. Kelly in fresh accusations of holding young women in ‘cult like’ sex captivity, but one of the women says ‘I am fine don’t bother me’ to police phone call

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Photos from R K Instagram: Don't get Trap in the Closet R Kelly

R n B singer super start R. Kelly is reported by BuzzFeed of holding six women against their will in a cult-like sex captivity.

The singer who once faced accusations of sex with minors is said to be keeping a group of women in his homes in Atlanta and Chicago, in the USA states of Georgia and Illinois respectively, holding them in a state in which he is in ‘control of every aspect of their lives’ according to the reports.

Parents have not seen their daughters for more than one year.

He is accused of inviting women into his immediate environment with promises of helping develop their singing and music careers.

He then assumes sexual relationship with the young women, getting them into situations in which they begin to call him ‘daddy’ and would require his permission to leave rooms assigned to them.

Kelly is also accused of filming his sexual jaunts with the young women of consenting ages, and shares the filming with close circle of friends. The girls’ communication with the outside world is monitored.

According to the report, “You have to ask for food. You have to ask to go use the bathroom,” his former personal assistant, Cheryl Mark is quoted to have said. “Kelly is a master at mind control…… He is a puppet master” Cheryl Mark is claimed to have continued.

Mark is also reported to have confirmed that R. Kelly punishes any of the women who disobeys his rules, physically and verbally.

Another member of Kelly’s inner circle, Kitty Jones, appears to have confirmed accounts rendered by Cheryl Mark.

However, there is a twist in the narratives. The report says that “One of the women in question, a singer from Georgia, was contacted by the police at her parents request for a “well-being check.”

She reportedly told the officers that she was “fine and did not want to be bothered”

We recall that R. Kelly is not fresh to accusations of sexual misbehavior with under-age females.

About 12 women have come forward sine 2000 to accuse the singer of ruining their lives. A videotape of Kelly allegedly having sex with a 14-year-old surfaced years ago, but the singer was acquitted of 14 sexual charges in 2008 and of charges of making child pornography.

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Is Morocco’s application to join West Africa’s regional body-ECOWAS a push by the EU to gain free market access to the region?

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Photo by Graphic.com.gh: Ghana's president Akufo-Addo and King Mohammed VI, of Morocco

Why does Morocco, a country that once severed relationship with Africa, and a country culturally and geographically, hundreds of miles separated from West Africa, in a sudden high-pressure pump of adrenaline desire to join ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States)?

While Morocco literally refused any attempt or effort to tread across the Sahara, allowing the scorching desert to do its natural job of extricating her from other regions of the continent for more than 3 decades, its monarchical government built ties with Europe, worked on stability of its politics and granted more powers to its parliament, following the Arab spring uprising.

Taking advantage of her proximity to European market, Morocco drove to attract European manufacturing, from textile, aerospace component, to automotive manufacturing.

As a former French colony, French speaking and about 3 days of sea-shipping time to France, and mere hours to Spain, from which European road distribution links can be accessed, French manufacturing was quick to move to Morocco.

Outside South Africa, Morocco is home to more European manufacturing, perhaps, than any other country in Africa.

Products by Morocco based European manufacturing companies are not able to contend favourably with Chinese manufactured products outside mainly, the manufacturers’ home regions of Europe.

Having no regional ties with Africa, its manufacturing is not able to compete with influx of Chinese products in the continent either. Morocco is therefore, in need of export market for her European manufacturing.

After more than 30 years of self-isolation, it returns to Africa.

Photo by Oxford Business Group: Morocco’s stability and proximity to Europe has attracted auto manufactures such is Renault

Europe has been pushing for a comprehensive trade deal with West Africa for more 10 years and reached Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) deal in 2014, without the full buy-in of the region’s major economies, including Nigeria.

Prominent functionaries of Nigeria’s last administration headed by former President Goodluck Jonathan were critical of the deal reached between the European Union Commission and the ECOWAS.

Nigeria and other main member states of the regional body had played little roles in the negotiations, leaving it to the regional body’s administrative office- the ECOWAS Commission.

Having taken a back seat in negotiations, they also failed to approve the reached agreement.

Nigeria sees the EU trade deal as detrimental to her own industrial aspiration and therefore, unwilling to cut back from local manufacturers, needed protection the EU trade deal would inevitably dismantle.

Nigeria’s former Central Bank Governor, a fierce critic of the Jonathan’s administration, who was credited for far-reaching financial services reforms a decade ago, found room to praise the administration for refusing to sign the EPA.

“For President Jonathan, I find it shocking that the most important initiative of his government to secure the future of the economy by Nigeria refusing to sign the ruinous Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union is not even being mentioned” he commented.

“President Obasanjo saved Nigeria from the potential ruin of an ECOWAS single currency while to his credit Jonathan safeguarded our industrial sector/economy by refusing to sign the EPA

Or does the government not understand the import of that?” Prof. Soludo asked, in runup to Nigeria’s 2015 elections.

Europe has not been able to reach or sign trade agreements with any of the world’s major power blocks or economies. It has failed to reach a trade deal with the USA or China. It narrowly reached a deal with Canada, a country on equal technology, infrastructure and manufacturing footing with major EU nations, and with extensive shared-culture and history, only after 7 years of negotiation.

So why is the EU so pressed to sign a deal with West Africa, a region whose nascent manufacturing industry cannot withstand the influx of manufactured European products a deal will usher in?

Given the EU’s growing manufacturing in the North African country, Morocco’s membership to ECOWAS will open a back door to West Africa’s market, the front door having been closed by Nigeria’s unwillingness to support the current EPA.

It is no coincident that ECOWAS member states positively disposed to Morocco’s membership of the body are mostly former French colonies in the sub-region, led by Ivory Coast.

These are also countries that were most willing to sign the EU trade deal. French influence in her former African colonies is entrenched and remain almost undiluted more than 50 years after it granted independence.

French interest and influence in Morocco is far more extensive. The major European manufacturers that have set up plants in Morocco are French, including Renault, with a recent $1.5B investment in auto manufacturing.

Morocco, the North African country’s application to join West Africa’s regional grouping, the Economic Community of West African States was confirmed on Tuesday, 7 March 2017 by the regional body, with an ‘agreement in principle’ already reached, towards it joining, pending confirmation by heads of member states in a December 2017 gathering.

The king of Morocco has recently been traveling across Africa, rebuilding ties it once severed, in preference to her Europe-wards look.

It returned to the AU as a member state in January after winning the backing of 38 out of the 54 nation member states of the AU.

The king had embarked on major tours of charm offensive to many countries in the region, including Nigeria. First, he ‘cosied-up’ to president Buhari of Nigeria, having provided support to candidate Buhari during Nigeria’s 2015 elections against the incumbent Jonathan, who was opposed to damaging EU trade agreement proposals with ECOWAS.

Amongst the few world leaders who have spoken to ailing Nigeria’s president Buhari in a London hospital is the Moroccan King.

Still in pursuant and preparatory to the meeting of regional heads, where ECOWAS admission will either be rectified or rejected, Morocco has signed a gas pipeline deal with Nigeria, and bilateral trade deals worth $2B with Ghana.

And still, Morocco’s ECOWAS membership ambition is not a done deal yet.

Strong opposition to her admission to the body is growing among Nigeria’s diplomatic and international relations specialists.

Professor Bolaji Akinyemi, Nigeria’s former foreign Affairs Minister and the country’s respected international relations expert, has raised objections to Morocco’s ECOWAS membership ambition.

In advising Nigeria’s government to block Morocco’s admission, he admonished the country to withdraw her membership of ECOWAS if she fails to obtain enough support from other heads of state to reject the application.

Prof. Akinyemi argues that the main reason for Morocco’s application is her desire and that of her friends to whittle-down Nigeria’s influence in the sub-region.

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Nigeria Government’s Agriculture revival policy is threatened by snake bites as the venomous reptiles ambush bootless farmers who heed calls to help grow crops for export in midst of vaccine shortage

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Photo by Livescience: The fearsome African mamba holds many records. It is one of the most venomous and deadliest snakes in the world. It is the fastest land snake in the world, and the longest species of venomous snake in Africa and the second longest in the world.

As Nigeria looks to revival of agriculture in efforts to diversify sources of foreign exchange earnings, its agricultural revival policy is being threatened by venomous slithering reptiles that ambush shoeless farmers, leaving them injected with doses of killer venoms.

There is a rising prevalence of snake bites in many states in the country’s majority Muslim North. “Victims of the reptiles are the people who will actualise government goal: the farmers, cattle grazers, hunters, miners, rat-hunting youths and other active members of the society on the fields” stated a report by the News Agency of Nigeria.

The World Health Organisation says an estimated five million people are bitten by snakes each year globally, resulting into 100,000 deaths.

Records from hospitals in the region showed that between 2005 and 2010, a total of 12,398 snake bites were reported, with 55 deaths recorded. Many of the victims were from Gombe, Bauchi, Taraba and Adamawa States.

The situation is worse at the Zamko Comprehensive Centre, Langtang, a rural outreach health unit established by the Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH).

According to Nyam Azi, a medical doctor, on posting to Zamko, cases of snake bites get higher during harvests as most farmers go about barefooted.

“In November 2016, for instance, we recorded 280 cases. The situation keeps getting worse,” he said.

Photo by Livescience: The ocellated carpet viper,  is a common snake in the African savannah. A bite from this snake can cause hemorrhaging and death.

Azi said that the number of victims could be higher because some of the victims consult traditional medicine men.

Most victims who visit the herbalists, he said, could not afford  the anti-snake venom that costs an average of N27,000 a vial-  roughly £60.00 in a region where minimum wage is in the region of £40.00.

“Some usually require two, three or more vials, but since they cannot afford the cost, they seek alternative treatments. That is always dangerous because it could worsen their situation and lead to complications and even death, but they appear helpless,” he said.

He said that vials provided by government were not enough to meet the demand.

“Sometimes, 100 vials are sent to us, but we can exhaust that quantity in less than five days during the hot season,” he said.

Dr. Nandul Durfa, Managing Director, EchiTAB Study Ltd, distributors of EchiTAB Anti-Snake Venom (ASV) in Africa, has said that bringing down the cost of ASV is only possible if the Federal Government establish an ASV producing factory.

Durfa told newsmen in Jos recently that a local factory would make the product cheap and available, and reduce mortality from snake bites.

“We sell a dose at N30,000 to clients who, in turn, sell to the patients at their own rates,” he said.

“If the ASV is produced in Nigeria, a dose could go for as low as N5,000,” the pioneer Chief Medical Director of the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, said.

Durfa said that the ASV was produced in United Kingdom and had remained expensive because of the processes involved in manufacturing and importing it.

“Normally, we take the live snakes to Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine where they are killed and their venom extracted and sent to the manufacturing sites in Wales and Costa Rica. The drugs are produced there and brought to Nigeria.

“Aside the transport, the weather is different; we must ensure that the snakes are kept in a regulated temperature similar to what they are used to in Nigeria, so that they will not die.

“If we produce at home, we shall also ward off the heavy amounts paid in foreign exchange to technicians in the UK, because salaries are lower here,” he said.

Durfa explained that local production of ASV would be “very easy” in Nigeria because the consultants had expressed their readiness to transfer the technology to the country.

“The consultants are willing to transfer the technology and also train local personnel to handle the processes. Nigeria must take full advantage of this kindness,” he added.

With World Health Organisation records indicating an estimated five million people bitten by snakes each year, and an average of 100,000 deaths, it is indeed time for Nigeria to establish a factory for ASV.

 

Editing ad analysis contributed by Ephraims Sheyin (NAN)

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In a win-win for Africa and China, earnings by Chinese companies operating in Africa to rise from USD180B to USD440B by 2025- McKinsey report

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Photo by Africa Review: The recently opened $4 billion Addis Ababa–Djibouti railway, Africa’s first fully electrified railway, was financed through the Export-Import Bank of China. China is by far the largest infrastructure financier in Africa- says McKinsey & Company

In the report, the global consultancy firm says “In two decades, China has become Africa’s most important economic partner. Across trade, investment, infrastructure financing, and aid, no other country has such depth and breadth of engagement in Africa. Chinese “dragons”—firms of all sizes and sectors—are bringing capital investment, management know-how, and entrepreneurial energy to every corner of the continent. In doing so they are helping to accelerate the progress of Africa’s economies.”

China has genuinely and committedly performed the role of a continental enabler to Africa, delivering to many nations in the continent of Africa exactly the infrastructure financing support needed to kick start their economies, placing them in sustained growth trajectory.

The manifestation of this commitment is what we are seeing today. And for the support, Chinese firms are reaping handsome rewards. It is certainly a win-win situation for Africa and China.

Sinoma International Engineering Co. Ltd, a Chinese construction company supported a $4.34 billion project for expansion of Dangote Cement Plc into Nigeria, Ethiopia, Kenya, Zambia, Senegal, Mali, Cameroon and Ivory Coast. This will increase cement production by 25 million metric tonnes and boost the overall production to over 70 million metric tonnes annually.

The latest report on Africa-China economic partnership by McKinsey & Company, a global management firm, found that there were more than 10,000 Chinese firms operating in Africa.

The report is the outcome of a study conducted across eight countries that, together, make up about two-thirds of Sub-Saharan Africa’s GDP.

Interestingly, the report found, in contrast to heavy involvement of Chinese state owned financial corporations that provide the bulk the infrastructure financing, 90 per cent of the firms were private, operating in different sectors, while one-third of the companies were manufacturing.

The study also found that a quarter of the firms was services, a fifth in trades, construction and real estate. It shows also that Chinese firms handled 12 per cent of Africa’s industrial production valued at USD500 billion a year in total.

The survey also found that Chinese firms had dominated 50 per cent of Africa’s international engineering, procurement and construction market.

According to the report, nearly a quarter of the 1000 firms surveyed said they covered their initial investment within a year or less.

One-third of the firms recorded profit margins of more than 20 per cent while 74 per cent said they were optimistic about their future in Africa.

The report showed that China-Africa relationship had improved with trade growing at 20 per cent per annum and an annual FDI growth rate of 40 per cent.

“China’s financial flow to Africa is 15 per cent larger than official figures suggest when non-traditional flows are included.”

China brings benefit to the continent

Africa’s benefits from Chinese investments included job creation and skills development.

Out of the 1000 firms surveyed, 89 per cent of the employees were local.

The research suggested that Chinese firms employ several million Africans with nearly two-thirds of the firms providing skills training to their workers.

Other benefits outlined were transfer of knowledge and modern technology, financing and infrastructure development.

The Modderfontein New City Project, being built on the outskirts of the country’s capital, Johannesburg. The project, worth $ 7 billion, is one of the biggest real estate projects undertaken by a Chinese firm in the country. A Chinese company, Shanghai Zendai, is building the city which will be home to at least 10,000 residents upon completion

Improvement are need in some areas

The report revealed that moving local to management positions is lagging.

“By value, only 47 per cent of Chinese firms’ sourcing was from local African firms, which is lost opportunity for these firms to benefit from Chinese investment.

“Too few locals are in managerial positions—only 44 per cent today.” 

Chinese engagement in Africa will get bigger and bigger

Kartik Jayaram, a senior partner and co-author of the report said that Chinese engagement with Africa was “set to accelerate”.

“By 2025 Chinese firms could be earning revenues worth 440 billion dollars, from 180 billion dollars today.

“Additional industries could be in play for Chinese investment, including technology, housing, agriculture, financial services and transport and logistics.

Recommendations

Jayaram said the report had identified 10 recommendations for Chinese and African governments and the private sector to maximise their economic partnerships.

“To highlight two key ones—African governments should have a China strategy and the Chinese government should open financing and provide guidance to Chinese firms.

He added that providing guidance on responsible business practices to Chinese private sector firms in Africa would accelerate sustainable investment.

The McKinsey study brings into context and more focal perspective the claims and accusations of Chinese extreme mercantile attitude to its dealing with Africa. At best, these claims are not only exaggerated, they are alarmist and contain elements of jealousy.

 

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Serena Williams scores a match point on ‘vanity grand slam’ with naked pregnant photo of her self on Vanity Fair Mag

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Photo by: Vanity Fair magazine. Tennis All-time champion Serena Williams shows off her bump fully unclothed for magazine

Women’s tennis all-time grand slam champ and super star Serena Williams, has scored another ‘match point’ but this time, off the court by posing completely bare, showing-off a very pregnant self in a photograph published by Vanity Fair magazine.

The tennis pro has joined the likes of super models, Cindy Crawford and Claudia Schiffer, movie star Demi Moore and pop queen Beyonce in revealing the coolness of a female pregnant body in front of cameras for magazine covers and social media.

The photographs are published in Vanity Fair August issue cover, and the 35-year-old women’s tennis record holder and model held nothing back, revealing the beautifully-framed body the world is used to seeing only glimpses of,  when she displays power and formidability on tennis courts around the world

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The Igbo should forgive other Nigerians, Nigeria cannot survive without them, but they have the worst politicians in the country – Femi Aribisala

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Photo by: Channels Television. 'Forgive other Nigerians' Femi Aribisala tells the Igbo

This article first appeared on Nigeria Vanguard of June 14, 2017

Out of the three major ethnic groups in Nigeria, the Igbo have by far the worst politicians. Among the different ethnic groups in Nigeria, the Igbo are without a doubt, one of the most remarkable.

So remarkable, indeed, that some have even traced their ancestry to biblical Israel, as the far-flung descendants of Jacob, the Jewish patriarch.

Gad, Jacob’s seventh son, is said to have had three sons who settled in South-eastern Nigeria.

These sons; Eri, Arodi and Areli, are believed to have fathered clans in Igbo-land and to have founded such Igbo towns as Aguleri, Arochukwu, Owerri and Umuleri.

Igbo genius

Even the bitterest adversaries of the Igbo cannot but admit that, as a people, they are very resourceful and ingenious.

Indeed, this has often been the cause of their envy and dislike by others.

However, more enlightened non-Igbo Nigerians see this as a cause for celebration.

While today, the centre-point of Nigeria’s manufacturing is situated in the Lagos/Ogun axis, there is no doubt that the real locomotive of Nigeria’s indigenous industrialization lies farther afield in Aba and in the mushrooming cottage-industries of the Igbo heartland.

In one of the paradoxes of Nigerian history, the terrible civil war provoked homespun industrialization in the South-East.

Military blockade left the Igbo with little alternative than to be inventive in a hurry.

While Nigeria as a nation failed woefully to harness this profitably after the war, it has nevertheless ensured that the Igbo are at the forefront of Nigeria’s economic development today.

Indeed, the way we disregard “made in Aba” today is the same way we disregarded “made in Japan” yesterday.

For those of us who believe against the odds that Nigeria is the China of tomorrow, we equally recognize that the ingenuity of the Igbo is an indelible part of the actualization of that manifest destiny.

Hall of fame The Igbo have been a great credit to Nigeria.

They have given us a great number of our favourite sons, including international statesman Nnamdi Azikiwe; military leader Odumegwu Ojukwu; regional leader Michael Okpara; vice-president Alex Ekwueme; mathematical genius Chike Obi; literary icon Chinua Achebe; world-class economist Pius Okigbo; world boxing champion Dick Tiger; international statesman Emeka Anyaoku; and world-class artist Ben Enwonwu.

Pemit me to include in this illustrious list even some of my very good Igbo friends: Pat Utomi, Ojo Madueke, Olisa Agbakoba, Joy Ogwu, and Stanley Macebuh.

Let us get one thing straight: Nigeria would be a much poorer country without the Igbo. Indeed, Nigeria would not be Nigeria without them.

Can you imagine the Super Eagles without the Igbo? Not likely! Who can forget Nwankwo Kanu, Jay Jay Okocha and our very own Emmanuel Amuneke?

Can you imagine Nollywood without the Igbo? Impossible! Just think of Stella Damascus-Aboderin; Rita Dominic and Mike Ezuruonye.

And then there are the diaspora Igbo who many are unaware are of Igbo descent, including concert singer and actor Paul Robeson; Oscar award-winner Forest Whitaker; mega-pastor T.D. Jakes; Olympic champion Christine Ohuruogu; and BAFTA actor award-winner Chiwetel Ejiofor.

You may well wonder why I have found it necessary to present this small litany of Igbo who-is-who.

I think it is important to emphasise how the Igbo have been very vital to the Nigerian project. They have more than represented Nigeria creditably in virtually all walks of life.

This makes it all the more absurd that this same people have been consistently denied the position of executive president of the country in all but six months of Nigeria’s 54 year history.

Civil-war legacy Of course, a major reason for this was the 1967-1970 civil-war which had the Igbo on the losing side. But that was over 40 years ago.

If there is really to be “no victor, no vanquished” in anything more than mere rhetoric, then the rehabilitation of the Igbo back into post civil-war Nigeria will not be complete until an Igbo man finally becomes president of the country.

That imperative should be of interest to every Nigerian nationalist, committed to the creation of one Nigeria where everyone has a deep sense of belonging.

The problem, however, is that the Igbo themselves seem to be their own worst enemies in this regard.

They appear to be doing their very best to ensure that this inevitable eventuality continues to be denied and delayed.

The Igbo need to forgive Nigerians. No one who lived through the horrors that precipitated the secession of Biafra and led to the civil-war cannot but admit that the Igbo were abused and mal-treated in one of the worst pogroms ever.

It was not just that they were senselessly massacred in their own country; it was that they were butchered.

I remember vividly gory pictures of scores and scores of the Igbo with hands chopped up and with legs amputated.

And then there were the ravages of the three-year civil-war itself, resulting in the death of millions of Igbo; many through starvation and attrition.

The end of the war brought no respite, as the Igbo were pauperized by fiscal decrees that wiped out their savings and their properties were blatantly sequestered by opportunists.

All this is more than enough to destroy the spirit of any group of people. But God has been on the side of the Igbo.

It is a testament to their resilience that, in spite of this terrible affliction, they have survived, bounced back and have even triumphed in Nigeria.

Forty years have now gone by. The Igbo may never forget what happened to them and, indeed, should never forget. But it is past time for them to forgive.

We are sorry This is one voice in the Nigerian wilderness saying to the Igbo from the depth of his heart: we are sorry.

We are sorry for the way we mistreated you. We are sorry for the way we abused you. We are sorry for starving your children to death.

We are sorry for killing your loved ones. We are sorry for stealing your properties. We are sorry for making you feel unwanted in your own country.

Please forgive us. It is time to forgive us. It is way past time for the Igbo to forgive Nigerians. We beg you in the name of God.

There was a civil war in the United States, but the defeated South rose from the ashes.

Five of the last nine presidents of the United States have been from the South, including Jimmy Carter from Georgia, George Bush from Texas and Bill Clinton from Arkansas.

The time is overdue for an Igbo president of Nigeria, but it is not going to happen as long as the Igbo continue to hold a grudge against Nigeria and Nigerians. There is no question about it: the Ibos cannot elect a president of Nigeria on their own.

To do so, they have to join forces with others. They have to form alliances with people from other parts of Nigeria. That is not going to happen as long as the Igbo continue to bear a grudge against practically everybody else. The Igbo have a gripe against virtually all the people they need.

They have this tendency to antagonise their possible alliance partners. They keep dredging up the past, refusing to let sleeping dogs lie. Until they drop these gripes, they are not likely to realise their dreams.

Demonising Yorubas. For example, the Igbo have this tendency to demonise the Yorubas.

It is alarming when reading the Vanguard blogs today to see the animosity often expressed between Igbo and Yoruba contributors. The hatred is most unhealthy. Insults are traded with abandon.

What is the point of this? For how long will the Igbo demand emotional retribution from every Yoruba for the betrayal of Awolowo?

Most of the contributors were not even born when the civil-war took place more than a generation ago.

There is now even transferred aggression against Babatunde Fashola, who made the blunder of repatriating some destitute Igbo from Lagos back to their home-states. The man has apologised for the infraction.

He should be forgiven. Blunders are not the exclusive preserve of the non-Igbo. The Igbo have made more than a few themselves and will yet make others.

Paradoxically, the redemption of the Igbos to prominent national office moved apace under President Obasanjo; a Yoruba man.

Recognising that Igbos are some of the most seasoned, competent and experienced public-servants, Obasanjo relied heavily on their expertise.

Thanks to him, we got Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala at Finance, Charles Soludo at Central Bank, Obiageli Ezekwesili at Education, Ndidi Okereke at the Stock Exchange, and Dora Akunyili at NAFDAC.

Indeed, Igbo statesmen came into more prominence under Obasanjo than did Yoruba statesmen. But for some strange reason, this does not seem to have succeeded in assuaging the ill-feeling of the Igbos toward the Yorubas.

Bad politicians within the framework of Nigerian politics, the Igbo also have a fundamental problem. Out of the three major ethnic groups in Nigeria, the Igbo have by far the worst politicians.

They have no recognizable leaders, and have no discernible strategy as to how to negotiate power at the center. As a result, the Igbo have tended to be short-changed at the federal level.

Traditionally, the inconsequential ministries, such as the Ministry of Information, have been zoned to them. The Igbo need to work out a plan that will take them to Aso Rock.

First, they need to choose and groom a de-tribalised leader of the Azikiwe mould who can be sold to non-Igbos. Then, they need to give him undiluted support.

At the moment the internal politics of the Igbo militates against this. The Igbo seem to hate themselves as much as they hate others. They seem to fight themselves with as much venom as they fight others.

Every potential Igbo leader seems to have more enemies within than without. This must not be allowed to continue. The Igbo need to help themselves in order that their friends can help them.

In this centenary of Nigeria’s amalgamation, as we embark on the arduous process of crafting our future through a National Conference, we salute the Igbo for their fortitude and implore them to stake their claim in Nigeria.

Nigeria cannot survive without the Igbo.

 

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Nigeria’s ‘Kissinger’ and respected former Foreign Minister, Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi’ objects to Morocco’s admission in ECOWAS

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Former Nigeria Foreign Minister Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi objects to expansion of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to the Mediterranean to admit Morocco .

Editing contributed By Victor Asije (NAN)

 

Nigeria’s respected and influential former External Affairs Minister, Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi, said on Thursday that the recent admission of Morocco into ECOWAS was meant to whittle down Nigeria’s influence in the sub-regional body, and by
extension, the world.

Professor Akinyemi, regarded by many as Nigeria’s own version of former US secretary of State, Mr. Henry Kissinger, on account of his intellect and respect across Africa had this to say,

“Having failed to find any rational benefit to ECOWAS by expanding membership to Morocco, I can only conclude that the move is to whittle down Nigeria’s influence in ECOWAS.

“And by extension, in the world, as Nigeria’s status as a regional power is facilitated by its role in ECOWAS. “Nigeria has only one option. Let the West African Heads of State and Presidents drop this whole issue of expansion to the Mediterranean,’’ Akinyemi said in a statement in Lagos.

“Or Nigeria should serve notice that it would terminate, not suspend, but terminate her membership of ECOWAS,’’ he said.

According to him, this issue is the biggest challenge to Nigeria’s Foreign Policy since the civil war. Akinyemi noted that Morocco’s admission into ECOWAS would now make her benefit from the Arab League quota, as well as from the West African
quota.

“The United Nations, the African Union and all international institutions now use the concept of regionalism in the distribution of both appointive and elective posts. “ECOWAS cannot unilaterally expand the boundary of West Africa to the Mediterranean,’’ he stressed.

The Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, earlier in the week announced that it had in principle, agreed to Morocco’s membership application. But ECOWAS leaders who met in Liberia earlier in the week said the implications
of its membership still needed to be considered before Morocco could formally join.

King Mohammed VI was not at the summit because Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had been invited. Morocco’s application was filed after it rejoined the African Union in January.

The North African nation left the continental body in 1984 after it recognised the independence of Western Sahara. Morocco regards Western Sahara as part of its historic territory and has spent much of the last three decades trying to strengthen ties with Europe, at the expense of relations with Africa.

Morocco’s King Mohammed VI is now strengthening his country’s ties with the rest of Africa.

Ivory Coast President Alasanne Ouattara has confirmed that the decision had been agreed in principle but the details still had to be worked out.

Morocco, along with Tunisia which is seeking observer status with the organisation and Mauritania, which wants to return to the body, will be invited to the next meeting of heads of state in Togo in December, a senior ECOWAS source said.

ECOWAS is made up of 15 West African nations, none of which shares a border with Morocco. Members enjoy free trade and movement of people. King Mohammed VI last week announced he would not be attending the summit in Liberia, because of the presence of Israel’s prime minister.

Morocco does not have diplomatic ties with Israel. Mr Netanyahu addressed West African leaders on Sunday saying: “Israel
is coming back to Africa and Africa is coming back to Israel. “I believe in Africa. I believe in its potential, present and future.
It is a continent on the rise.’’

While in Liberia for the summit, his bodyguards scuffled with those of Togo’s President Faure Gnassingbe, according to reports in the Israeli media. This trip comes nearly a year after Mr. Netanyahu was in East Africa as part of his efforts to strengthen ties between the continent and Israel.

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Drones and mobile signal blockers deployed in bid to deter youngsters who take extreme measures to cheat in crucial Chinese entrance exams

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Photo by REUTERS/Stringer: Left-university entrance exams in China are high stake competition. Right-Staff members set up wireless detection system at an examination venue outside a high school, on the first day of China's national college entrance exam known as 'gaokao', in Xuchang, Henan province.

(Reuters/NAN)

China’s astronomical advances in technology and its application in various aspects of Chinese society continue to manifest in unusual areas.

In latest display of high tech prowess, China’s education authorities have deployed metal detectors, facial and fingerprint recognition technology, mobile phone signal blockers, wireless detectors and drones in battle against exam cheats.

Annual university entrance exam, the ‘gaokao’ in China is seen by youngsters as a high stake opportunity to landing lucrative city jobs in Chinese big cities.

Students resort to extreme measures to beat the competition for places and Authorities said over the years, students have used wireless cheating devices disguised as erasers, belts and watches in attempt to get ahead of the competition.

Some also use tiny earpieces to communicate with accomplices helping them outside the exam room.

The innovations have forced authorities to step up their game in response.

Even before the exam kicked off in earnest on Tuesday, security officers had arrested 52 people nationwide. Cheaters and their accomplices face up to seven years in jail.

In Chinese Shandong province, universities have bared students from leaving campuses or holiday travels on Tuesday and Wednesday, scheduled entrance exam dates, to forestall their recruitment as exam stand-ins, the Xinhua news agency reported on Wednesday.

Photo by REUTERS/Stringer : A woman holds a pair of earpieces used by cheats in exam halls during a presentation to the media in Taiyuan, Shanxi province, China

 

Cheating is more common for papers that include multiple choice questions such as mathematics and English.

Essay-writing is an important section of the Chinese paper, and topics vary from province to province. Essay-writing, the report stated, confound the cheats.

Essay topics in Beijing this year asked students to write about either their vision of China in 2049, the centennial of the foundation of the People’s Republic of China, or about relationships.

In other provinces, test of students’ knowledge of economics and trends required then to use key words such as “Belt and Road initiative”, “bike-sharing”, “high-speed railway” or “mobile payment” to introduce China to foreigners.

 

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Billionaire Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg meets Nigerian founder of secrete Facebook group- Female in Nigeria (FIN)

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Photo by Facebook: Left Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Lola Omolola, Nigerian founder of FIN. Right Female IN members in one of the group's gathering.

Editing contribution by Ekemini Ladejobi and Ese E. Ekama (NAN)

Lola Omolola, founder of a women-only Facebook group Female in Nigeria, popularly known as FIN met with Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder on Tuesday.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that FIN was founded in 2015 by Omolola, a movement of women focused on building compassion and providing support for one another, with the goal of having up to 1000 members in the group. However, the group had exceeded its target as it recently hit one million members.

According to Zuckerberg’s Facebook page on Tuesday, he will be meeting with Lola and a few hundred of other top Facebook group admins in Chicago later in the month for the first ever Facebook Communities Summit.

“Over the past few weeks, I’ve been meeting group admins across the country that are building meaningful communities on Facebook and will be at the summit.

“This photo is with Lola, who lives in Chicago and is originally from Nigeria.

“Two years ago, she founded a secret Facebook group called Female IN, or FIN,’’ Zuckerberg said.

Zuckerberg said FIN is “a no-judgment space where more than a million women come to talk about everything from marriage and sex to health issues and work problems’’

“It is helping to end the culture of silence that exists for women in some parts of the world.’’ He said for the past decade, Facebook had been focused on making the world more open and connected.

“One of the best ways to do that is by helping people build community, both in the physical world and online. I have written and talked about these themes throughout this year, especially in my community letter in February and at Harvard Commencement in May”

“The Chicago summit will be the next chapter and we’ll discuss more of what we’re building to empower community leaders to bring the world closer. I’m looking forward to meeting more admins like Lola and talking about how we can help them do even more to build community” he said.

“I’ll share more info on the summit as we get closer, and I’ll stream the event live from my profile later this month.’’ The post on the techpreneur’s Facebook page stated.

FIN members meet in their thousands in cities all over the world.

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Of every 100 people murdered in Brazil, 71 are Black people even though blacks are only 7.6 percent of the population-a study in Brazil shows

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Image source- Reddit: Brazil has more people murdered per year than all of the blue spots on the map combined and most are black people

Editing contributed by Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)

 

Although blacks, outside of mixed black and white populations, make up only 7.6 percent of Brazil’s population, details of a 2017 report of a study published by the Brazilian Public Security Forum and the Institute for Applied Economic Research revealed on Tuesday that black citizens in Brazil are 23.5 per cent more likely to be murdered than non-blacks.

According to the report 2017 Atlas of Violence, the murder rate among black citizens tracked over a 10 year period between 2005 and 2015 rose by 18.2 percent.

Among non-blacks, the rate fell by 12.2 per cent over the same period.

Also reflective in the figures are inequality between black and non-black people in Brazil.

According to the study, of every 100 people murdered in Brazil, 71 are black.

“We not only have a sad historical legacy of discrimination by skin colour, but also, when it comes to lethal violence, we have an open wound that keeps getting worse in (the) latest years,’’ the study stated.

 

Image source-NPR: In Brazil, race is a matter of life and violent death

Report says there is a significant variation in the murder rate among Brazilian states.

The three states with the sharpest rises in the murder rate of black citizens from 2005 to 2015 were all in the north-eastern region, Rio Grande do Norte (331.8 per cent), Sergipe (197.4 per cent) and Ceara (149.7 per cent).

On the other hand, the states with the sharpest falls in the murder rate of black people were Sao Paulo (50.4 per cent) and Rio de Janeiro (41 per cent), both in the south-eastern region.

According to the atlas, among cities, there is also a significant change: only 2 percent of Brazilian cities, 111 out of over 5,000 municipalities, witnessed half of the murders that occurred in Brazil in 2015.

The CIA World fact book lists Brazil as a country made up of 47.7% white population, 43.1 percent mixed white and black, the so called mulatto, 7.6 percent blacks and 1.1 percent Asian.

Only 0.4 percent of Brazil’s indigenous population has survived the upheaval and changes brought to bear on the country since the arrival of Europeans in the 16 century.

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They buzz around in our ears, suck our blood, give us deadly malaria, in the Americas they bite off flesh, but a Nigerian professor said Mosquitoes are our friends, we should stop killing them

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Mosquitoes are our friends and need our blood to survive and raise offspring. Do not kill them says a University Professor in Nigeria

Adeolu Ande, a Professor of Entomology at a central Nigerian University, the University of Ilorin, admonishes humans to show more understanding and more love towards mosquitoes.

He said insects are friends to humans that deserved to be properly managed.

In a paper titled ‘Consider the ways of Ants and be wise’ presented at a public seminar at the University on Monday, the entomologist described insects as the “most successful and influential group’’ of organisms in the biosphere.

 

He said that humans had a lot to learn from insects in order to be wise.

“Human life is beset with inevitable associations with insects that have over the years influenced human destiny positively and negatively”

Negative influences, such as

  • disease transmission
  • crop losses
  • food spoilage

The professor stated that economic losses and nuisance value caused by less than 5 per cent of insect species have been exaggerated by man while their positive influences are unappreciated and downplayed. He listed some of the benefit humans derived from insects as-

  • pollination of flowers
  • waste recycling and sustenance of the ecosystem
  • sources of silk, shellac, cochineal, therapeutic agents, aesthetics, biological control agents and
  • food source.

 

The don said that man deliberately misunderstood the role of mosquitoes and frequently described them as causing the diseases they transmit.

“in the actual sense, mosquitoes are equally sick but inadvertently and unwillingly convey pathogens that are the real causal agents of these diseases” he said, and that

“The female mosquito could be described as an example of a true mother who is forced to undertake suicide mission in its bid to provide for its unborn children”

He stated further that adult female mosquitoes have exceptional value for child raising hence the level of commitment and risk they take on the mission that entails decision between life and death.

“The after effect of this commitment is a well thought out plan that forestalls most of the factors that may stand in the way of raising good children.

I am sure most human females will not take comparable decision in the face of similar attendant risks.

It is however certain that children born after well thought out and risky conditions are better posited for quality living than those produced carelessly”, he told the audience.

Ande said that mosquitoes had proved over the years that they are our friends and allies, adding whether we like them or not, they would exist and continue to source blood from humans.

The professor called for improvement in Zoology curriculum to ensure better focus on organisms that feature prominently around man.

Malaria, a disease spread by mosquitoes is among the top five causes of death in Africa and other tropical regions according the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Prevention of malaria, listed among top child-killers in tropical Africa and parts of Asia, alongside diarrheal, is mainly focused on eradicating mosquitoes or preventing their bits with nets and insecticides.

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Bodies of 7 African migrants who died in a refrigerated truck abandoned by smugglers in Libya discovered by officials

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Black people biding to cross the Mediterranean into Europe through Libya face death and enslavement in Libya

In persistent calamity that have befallen Libya, African migrants in the country and those using the country as a gate way to Europe since the toppling and killing of former Libyan president Gadhafi, Libyan officials say they have discovered seven bodies of African migrants who died from suffocation after being locked for two days in a refrigerated truck that was abandoned by people smugglers on the Libyan coast.

Adel Mostafa, an anti-illegal migration official in Tripoli, said that 28 others, including five women, were rescued on Sunday when the truck was discovered at Garabulli, a town some 50 km east of Tripoli that is a common departure point for migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean to Italy.

“We got a call from a civilian who reported that he could hear voices coming from a truck, which he believed contained Africans, based on their language,” Mostafa said.

The survivors said they had been left there by smugglers, according to Hosni Abu Ayana, a second official at the Tripoli detention Centre to which they were brought.

The migrants said the truck driver left the vehicle at the side of the road after unknown gunmen began shooting at the vehicle’s tyres.

Libya is the main gateway for migrants trying to reach Europe by sea.

The North African country slipped into turmoil after its 2011 uprising and migrant smugglers operate with impunity, packing people onto ill-equipped boats that often sink or break down.

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Nigeria’s food and medicines regulator says EU rejected 24 Nigeria exported food products in 2016 due to poor standards

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Photos by Amen Mori Photography, Nigeria. Nigeria's former Food and Drug Law enforcement success story, late Prof. Dora Akunyili signs copies of her book: The War Against Counterfeit Medicine, My Story, during the book launch in 2010. Before then the country was plagued by proliferation of fake medicines and food product to an estimate 60 percent

Editing contributed by Mustapha Sumaila Tola (NAN)

 

Unless Nigeria improves on standards of its export agricultural produce, improved exporting to international markets will continue to elude the country, despite recent drive by her government to expand the food production industry to feed her bulging youth population and diversify away from oil.

The country’s food and drug regulator, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), says European Union (EU) rejected 24 exported food products from Nigeria in 2016 for failing to meet standards.

NAFDAC spokesperson, Dr Abubakar Jimoh made the disclosure while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Abuja.

According to Jimoh, the five major products are groundnut, palm oil, sesame seed and beans that were illegally exported to the EU.

He noted that groundnut was rejected because it contained aflatoxin, which made the quality substandard.

“The exported palm oil did not scale through the EU’s test either, because it also contained a coloring agent that was carcinogenic”

Beans was banned by EU about 2 years ago for a period of one year with stipulations that should be met to enable the country’s beans return to the export market.

It failed to make the improvements on preservation and control at the end of the one year, leading to extended ban of another 2 years. The current ban expires next year.

“NAFDAC and other regulatory agencies of the government are working round the clock to ensure that when the ban is lifted, we can then begin to export more agricultural products to EU,” Jimoh, who is also the NAFDAC Director Special Duties, said.

He said the products that were smuggled out were not certified by the agency and the Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Services stationed at export terminal facilities.

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3 days after London Bridge attacks, campaign for June 8 elections back in full swing, in show of defiance to extremist desire

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Photos by REUTERS/Peter Nicholls: Commuters walk across London Bridge after is was reopened following an attack which left 7 people dead and dozens of injured in central London

Editing contributed by Sadiya Hamza – United Kingdom, Source (Reuters/NAN)

Political leaders in Britain resumed campaigning for UK’s 8 June general elections on Monday after a deadly militant attack on London Bridge.

Theresa May, second ever female Prime Minister of Britain after Margaret Thatcher said Britain must be tougher in stamping out Islamist extremism after three knife-wielding assailants rammed a hired van into pedestrians on London Bridge and stabbed others nearby, killing seven people and injuring 48.

After the third militant attack in Britain in less than three months, May said Thursday’s election would go ahead but said Britain had been far too tolerant of extremism.

“Violence can never be allowed to disrupt the democratic process,” May, who served as interior minister from 2010 to 2016, said outside her Downing Street office.

Islamic State, which is losing territory in Syria and Iraq to an offensive backed by a U.S.-led coalition, said its militants were responsible for the attack, according to the group’s media agency Amaq.

Islamist militants have carried out scores of deadly attacks in Europe, Russia, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and the United States over the past two years.

In an early morning raids in east London, British counter-terrorism police detained more people on Monday.

Police arrested 12 people in the Barking district of east London following the attack, though one was later released.

Police have not released the names of the attackers and British newspapers refrained from identifying the men.

It was not immediately clear how the attack would impact the election, though the issue of security has been thrust to the forefront of the campaign after the London Bridge and Manchester attacks.

The campaign was suspended for several days last month when a suicide bomber killed 22 people at a concert by Ariana Grande in Manchester.

Grande gave an emotional performance on Sunday at a benefit gig in the city for the victims of the attack, singing with a choir of local schoolchildren, including some who had been at her show.

Before the London Bridge attack, May’s gamble on a June 8 snap election had been thrust into doubt after polls showed her Conservative Party’s lead had collapsed in recent weeks.

While British pollsters all predict May will win the most seats in Thursday’s election, they have given an array of different numbers for how big her win will be, ranging from a landslide victory to a much more slender win without a majority.

Some polls indicate the election could be close, possibly throwing Britain into political deadlock just days before formal Brexit talks with the European Union are due to begin on June 19.

May called the snap election in a bid to strengthen her hand in negotiations on Britain’s exit from the European Union, to win more time to deal with the impact of the divorce and to strengthen her grip on the Conservative Party.

If she fails to beat handsomely the 12-seat majority her predecessor David Cameron won in 2015, her electoral gamble will have failed and her authority will be undermined both inside the Conservative Party and at talks with 27 other EU leaders.

May said the series of attacks were not connected in terms of planning and execution, but were inspired by what she called a “single, evil ideology of Islamist extremism” that represented a perversion of Islam and of the truth.

As a former interior minister, May’s record on security is also under scrutiny, she reduced police numbers and oversaw the domestic intelligence agency, MI5.

Opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn criticised May, who was interior minister from 2010 to 2016, for cutting police numbers during her tenure in charge of the interior ministry.

“The mass murderers who brought terror to our streets in London and Manchester want our election to be halted. They want democracy halted,” Corbyn said in Carlisle, northern England.

“They want their violence to overwhelm our right to vote in a fair and peaceful election and to go about our lives freely.”

“That is why it would be completely wrong to postpone Thursday’s vote, or to suspend our campaigning any longer.”

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As Zuma survives vote of confidence, the battle shifts against his ex-wife seen as his favoured candidate for president

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Photo by Buzz South Africa: Mr. Zuma's government faces another investigation for providing his ex-wife state security during her campaigns

For providing protection services to Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, former chair of the African Union (AU) Commission and a former wife of South Africa’s sitting President Jacob Zuma, the government of South Africa faces another investigation by the country’s anti-corruption watchdog.

Dlamini-Zuma is seen as the front-runner in next year’s contest to succeed her former husband, President Jacob Zuma.

She has been tipped by several watchers of South African politics both in and outside of Pretoria, including powerful regional ANC leaders to become next president.

One of her main supporters, Sihle Zikalala, defeated the candidate backed by her major rival for the country’s big post, Cyril Ramaphosa, a fierce critic of Zuma, who is also the country’s deputy president, in 2015 ANC chair election in KwaZulu Natal province.

Former Mrs. Zuma is a strong contender for South Africa president

If the ANC were to follow its tradition some say, Mr. Ramaphosa, a billionaire businessman and South Africa’s powerful deputy to Zuma, would step in as ANC leader in conventions scheduled for December 2017.

However, Cyril Ramaphosa has had running battles against Jacob Zuma and made several attempts to force him out of power through accusations of corruption and subsequent trigger of several investigations.

A successful businessman and among the few black people within the white-minority dominated 18 percent of South Africans, who control about 80 percent of the country’s wealth, Mr. Ramaphosa backed the former finance minister, Pravin Gordhan, and had attacked Zuma for removing him from the position of finance minister, describing his removal as unacceptable.

The mere removal of Pravin Gordhan and the appointment of Malusi Gigaba, a social reform minded former home affairs minister as his replacement earned South Africa a rating downgrade by almost all Western based rating agencies to ‘junk’, even before the new finance minister had made any policy pronouncement.

The decision to tag south Africa’s capital market and economic outlook as ‘junk’ by rating agencies on the ground of a mere removal of a finance minister led many to believe the rating agencies preferred economic statuesque in South Africa, and are opposed to social reforms in the country.

The president himself has debunked any suggestion of a tradition of deputies succeeding presidents. Mr. Zuma told interviewers from South Africa Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) early in the year that it was not ANC policy or tradition that a deputy president automatically replaces a president during an elective conference.

Photo by Lindiz van Zilla/ANA: South Africa’s Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa ( from left) with, his fired Hench man, former Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel, and Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies, in Davos, Switzerland.

An investigation into Dlamini-Zuma, is bad news for the scandal-plagued president who survived a no-confidence vote by his own party’s highest body on Friday.

The Democratic Alliance (DA), the largest opposition party, in April complained that Dlamini-Zuma is enjoying protection services afforded to visiting heads of state or elected representatives, while she holds no official position.

“Dlamini-Zuma is a clear candidate in the ANC leadership succession race, and her use of VIP Presidential Protection as she campaigns is clearly another ANC abuse of public money,” the Democratic Alliance said in a statement on Sunday.

The Public Protector’s spokesperson, Cleopatra Mosana, said the anti-graft watchdog will investigate Dlamini-Zuma’s use of VIP protection services.

“Yes it will,” she said, without elaborating.

The African National Congress’ women’s league endorsed the party veteran and former minister as presidential candidate in January, though the ruling party has not officially given the go-ahead to campaign for an elective conference in December.

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Africa’s foremost trade bank, African Import Export Bank (AFREXIM BANK) announces closure of record $632.9 Million and Euro 499.6 Million Syndicated Term Loan Facility on Saturday

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A single continental market for #Africa & free movement of people & investments will be the driving force behind Africa’s industrialisation-Afrexim Bank

Africa’s foremost trade bank, Africa Import Export Bank (AFREXIM BANK) announces closure of record $632.9 Million and Euro 499.6 Million Syndicated Term Loan Facility on Saturday

African Export-Import Bank (Afrexim Bank) reported a successful closure of a record USD632.9 million and Euro499.6 million dual-tenor dual-currency syndicated term loan facility on its website on Saturday.

In the statement, the Heliopolis, Egypt, based pan Africa foremost trade bank said that the general syndication stage of the $632,900,000 and Euro 499,552,000 facility, which the Bank raised in the Eurocurrency Loan Market, was originally signed on 12 May.

General syndication lenders signed into the agreement on 30 May, making the facility the largest ever such facility for the Bank.

According to the Bank, the fact that the facility attracted a wide base of lenders from around the globe, but particularly from Asia and the Middle East, is evidence of the confidence which lenders have in Afrexim Bank.

Denys Denya, Afrexim Bank’s Executive Vice President in charge of Finance, Administration and Banking Services, said that 70 per cent of the facility commitments came from Asia and the Middle East lenders, and would greatly enhance the bank’s drive to diversify its liability book by geography.

“Afrexim Bank would use the funds to repay existing debt but would also apply it to funding trade finance and to meeting general corporate purposes”, he said.

The announcement also stated that the Facility is structured as a dual-currency (Euro and US Dollar) and dual-tenor (two-year and three-year) syndicated facility, with about 80 per cent of the total amount falling into the three-year tranche, helping the Bank to lengthen its liability profile in the Eurocurrency loan funding space.

The facility attracted aggregate commitments amounting to the equivalent of $1.36 billion which, following a scale-back, resulted in a final facility size equivalent to $1.16 billion, with 35 banks joining.

The statement confirmed that Standard Chartered Bank served as coordinator, book runner and agent for the facility.

Another 13 initial mandated lead arrangers and book runners were also listed in the statement as involved in the deal closure. They are:

  • Bank ABC (Arab Banking Corporation B.S.C.)
  • Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank PJSC
  • The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd
  • Barclays Bank Mauritius Limited
  • Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation Europe Ltd
  • Commerzbank Aktiengesellschaft Filiale Luxemburg
  • Emirates NBD Capital Limited
  • Rand Merchant Bank, a division of FirstRand Bank Limited (London Branch)
  • HSBC Bank plc
  • ICBC (London) plc
  • Mizuho Bank Ltd
  • National Bank of Abu Dhabi PJSC and
  • The Standard Bank of South Africa Limited, Isle of Man Branch.

Afrexim Bank has branches in Abuja, Nigeria and Abidjan, Ivory Coast, representing the West Africa region, Harare in Zimbabwe representing the Southern Africa region, and Nairobi, Kenya, for the East Africa region. The bank is headquartered in Heliopolis, Cairo, Egypt.

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“If my wife divorces me, her children will not inherit my property dead or alive” accused wife batterer tells court

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Photo by Jide odukoya Photography: In many parts of Africa, a couple may have 3 weddings (Traditional, Religious and Court) for a complete nuptial consummation

Editing contributed by Folorunso Poroye/Dele Akinsola(NAN)

 

“My children will never inherit my property either dead or alive if my wife divorces me’’

39-year-old fruit vendor, Amidu Olalere, told a Lagos Customary Court on Friday. He said this while responding to a divorce suit filed by his wife, Adeola, for the dissolution of their 11-year-old marriage on grounds of constant battering.

Olalere, who accused his wife of starving him of sex, said, “My wife is always denying me sex, and whenever I reported her
to her mother, she will ask me how many times will I be having sex with her daughter”

“She would ask me not to kill her with sex, instead of admonishing her”

 

Customary courts in Nigeria and many parts of Africa started as native courts before the arrival of colonial jurisprudence.

Customary courts are created by states or regional governments to cater for the needs of the indigenous people of the area, based on their history and tradition.

They are noted for not needing to rely on the Evidence Act or other statutory laws to exercise judicial responsibility, avoiding or limiting expensive rigours required in application of common law in order to dispense justice speedily.

Majority of nuptials in Nigeria are consummated through traditional marriages first. That may then be followed by Christian or Muslim wedding, and then for the urbanised, court wedding. For couples who had gone no further past the traditional happy day, a legal dissolution of such marriage fall within the jurisdiction of customary courts.

The respondent said his wife moved out of the family home with their four children in January to stay with her mother and that whenever he called her, her mother would rain curses on him.

“There was a day my mother-in-law cursed me, and I also cursed her that thunder will kill her”. He told the court.

He said his mother-in-law was always accusing him of planning to use her daughter for ritual.

On whether the children are his, Olalere said that he doubted the paternity of the four children.

“Whenever my wife and I quarrel, she tells me that the children are not mine so, I am confused if truly the children belong to me”, he said.

The husband however, pleaded with the court not to dissolve the marriage, saying in spite of her shortcomings he still loves her.

Earlier, the wife had accused her husband of beating her on the slightest provocation.

“He once beat me to the point that I fainted and I was hospitalised for four days and when I was on admission, none of his family members came to see me since we all live in a family house and my husband also refused to pay the bills”, she told the court, urging the court to terminate the marriage.

“I am no longer interested in the marriage”.

After listening to their submissions, the President of the court, Mr Adegboyega Omilola, adjourned the case until July 25 for judgement.

Keeping love alive it appears is sometimes a tough call for many couples, even for those with many years of post-nuptial experience.

Despite acute Air transport Infrastructure shortage, Africa’s airlines were global leaders in passenger traffic growth in April

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Photo by Angle 90 News: clear skies above 'Africa's airlines cloud' as the region lead the world in air traffic growth

Editing contributed Adekunle Williams and Solomon Asowata (NAN)

 

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has announced global passenger traffic results for April 2017. The results released by IATA shows that Africa’s airlines, despite acute air transport infrastructure deficiency across the continent, led other regions in passenger growth with a 17.2 per cent traffic increase compared to a year ago.

The Geneva-based apex aviation body made the announcement in a statement signed by its Director General, Mr Alexandre de Juniac and obtained by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Thursday.

De Juniac said the result was the highest demand recorded by African carriers in more than five years. Saying, ”This follows a recovery in demand on the key market to Europe. Conditions in the continent’s two largest economies are diverging however, with business confidence rising in Nigeria, while political uncertainty remains heightened in South Africa”

” Capacity rose just 6.1 per cent, with the result that load factor soared 6.9 percentage points to 72.5 per cent”.

According to him, “European carriers saw demand rise 14.4 per cent in April, supported by growing momentum in the region’s economy, while Asia-Pacific airlines’ April traffic increased 10.9 percent compared to the year ago, a 14-month high. Traffic on Asia-Europe routes continues to recover from the terrorism-related slowdowns last year”

“North American airlines posted a 10.3 per cent demand increase compared to April a year ago, while Latin American airlines experienced a 16.1 per cent rise in April demand compared to the same month last year, which was the fastest rate for the region’s carriers since December 2011.”

De Juniac noted that the overall global passenger traffic rose by 10.7 per cent compared to April 2016. Stating that strong performance was supported by a pick-up in global economic activity and lower airfares.

“After adjusting for inflation, the price of air travel in the first quarter was around 10 per cent lower than in the year-ago period. IATA estimated that falling airfares accounted for around half the demand growth in April”

” However, the cabin ban on the carriage of large portable electronic devices (PEDs) from 10 Middle Eastern and African airports to the US appears to have weighed down Middle East-North America passenger traffic”

“April showed us that demand for air travel remains at very strong levels. Nevertheless there are indications that passengers are avoiding routes where the large PED ban is in place,” de Juniac noted

In another political miscalculation, Mrs. May may lose conservatives’ majority in June 8 polls according to YouGov projection.

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Photo by REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth

Sadiya Hamza, London, May 31, 2017(Reuters/NAN)

 

Like her predecessor’s, former Prime Minister David Cameron’s big-time miscalculation in calling for unnecessary referendum on Brexit, which he lost, leading to a pre-mature termination of his prime ministership, Prime Minister Theresa May could lose control of parliament in Britain’s June 8 election, according to a projection by polling company YouGov.

In stark contrast to opinion polls that have until the past week shown May on course for a big win in the snap election she called, the YouGov model suggested May would lose 20 seats and her 17-seat working majority in the 650-seat British parliament.

The YouGov constituency projection, based on 50,000 interviews over the course of a week, showed May would win 310 seats, down from the 331 seats won by her predecessor David Cameron in 2015.

The opposition Labour Party could win 257 seats, up from 232 seats in 2015, YouGov said. Smaller parties, including the Scottish National Party and Northern Irish parties, could win 83 seats, The Times newspaper quoted YouGov as predicting.

If the YouGov model turns out to be accurate, May would be well short of the 326 seats needed to form a government in June, when formal Brexit negotiations are due to begin.

May called the snap election in a bid to strengthen her hand in negotiations on Britain’s exit from the European Union, to win more time to deal with the impact of the divorce and to strengthen her grip on the Conservative Party.

If she does not beat the 12-seat majority Cameron won in 2015, her electoral gamble will have failed and her authority could be undermined just as she tries to deliver what she has told voters will be a successful Brexit.

When May stunned politicians on April 18 with her call for a snap election, opinion polls suggested she could emulate Margaret Thatcher’s 1983 majority of 144 seats or even threaten Tony Blair’s 1997 Labour majority of 179 seats.

Polls had shown May’s rating slipping over the past month and they fell sharply after she set out plans on May 18 to make some elderly people pay a greater share of their care costs, a proposal dubbed the “dementia tax” by opponents.

A total of seven polls carried out since the May 22 Manchester suicide attack have shown May’s lead over the Labour Party narrowing, with some suggesting she might not win the landslide predicted just a month ago.

The polls painted a complicated picture of public opinion, with voting intentions being influenced by both the deadly Manchester attack and May’s unpopular social care proposals.

In contrast to YouGov’s model, other projections suggested May would win soundly.

The Electoral Calculus website, which predicts the results based on polls and electoral geography, said May would win 371 seats and Labour 205 seats.

Betting markets give a more than 80-per cent probability of May winning an overall majority, though betting markets were wrong ahead of the unexpected Brexit result in the June 23 referendum.

The Times said YouGov acknowledged that its predictions were controversial and allowed for a wide margin of error.

YouGov Chief Executive Stephan Shakespeare told The Times that the model had been tested during the run-up to the EU referendum last year and that it had consistently put the Leave campaign in the lead.

The YouGov research allowed for big variations in the outcome of the election, ranging from as high as 345 seats for the Conservatives, 15 more than their current number, to as low as 274, The Times said.

The model allowed YouGov to assess the intention of every type of voter, from where they live to how they voted on Brexit, their age and social background, in order to weight the results.

Shakespeare said the figures could change dramatically before June 8.

“The data suggests that there is churn on all fronts, with the Conservatives, Labour and the Liberal Democrats likely to both lose and gain seats,” he was quoted as saying

Is this liberal madness? Charity calls for ‘period emoji’ to help girls overcome menstruation taboo

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Photo by Plan International: Period emoji

Editing by sadiya.hamza – United Kingdom

 

London, May 30, 2017(Reuters/NAN)

Plan International, an international child rights group  on Tuesday called for a ‘period emoji’ on mobile devices to help break the taboo of menstruation.

The charity organisation said menstruation is still taboo in many countries around the world, where it’s often considered embarrassing or shameful.

Women refer to periods using some 5,000 euphemisms, such as “on the rag” and “Bloody Mary”, a 2016 survey of 90,000 people in 190 countries found.

“Girls and women have told us about the embarrassment and shame they suffer when it’s their period. We need to make it easier to talk about something that is part of everyday life,” said Danny Vannucchi, Plan International’s campaigns manager.

While there are symbols for avocado, a telescope, and even a unicorn, menstruation is not represented as an ’emoji’, a small icon on smartphones and tablets commonly used to express emotions or physical things.

But that is something Plan International wants to change.

The charity on Friday launched five ‘period emojis’ and invited the public to vote for their preferred icon.

It said that as of Monday, more than 15,000 people had voted.

The winning design will be submitted to coding consortium Unicode for consideration, which distributes emojis across mobile devices.

“We’re not saying that an emoji would solve all of these problems, but it will start a conversation, and raise awareness of the challenges women and girls face worldwide and that can only be a good thing,” Vannucchi told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

He said issues related to reproduction and the sexual health of girls are often considered “dirty”, so girls are forced to keep quiet about menstruation which adds to the taboo.

He said: “It’s completely normal, but in many settings there is still a false belief that menstruation is dirty and shameful.

“These taboos can have a damaging impact on the lives of girls and adolescents, from missing school because they face bullying or unfair treatment, to causing infections due to a lack of menstrual hygiene education and products.”

On any given day more than 800 million women between 15 and 49 have their period. However, globally 1.25 billion women do not have access to a toilet during menstruation, according to the charity WaterAid.

The UN estimates that due to a lack of facilities, one in 10 girls in Africa will miss school during their period and will eventually drop out of school as a result.

In what may amount to a set-back in intra-Africa trade, Nigeria’s government threatens to shut land borders against persistent cross-border smuggling

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Nigeria Customs have had to acquire surveillance helicopters to combat cross- border smugglers

Nigeria’s Federal Government has threatened to shut its land borders if the smuggling of rice through neighbouring state borders and its negative effect on government’s current efforts to make Nigeria self-sufficient in rice production, and protect local and international investors who have invested in Nigeria’s rice value chain, in response to government invitation, continues unabated.

Mr. Audu Ogbeh, Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, gave the warning on Monday while speaking to newsmen in Abuja, the nation’s capital, on the achievements in the agriculture sector in the two years, since the administration of health-troubled president Buhari took office,

Items smuggled into Nigeria through land borders sometimes include fire arm

“We believe they are determined to sabotage the efforts that we are making to guarantee self-sufficiency in rice and to save foreign exchange which we don’t have”

“They insist on bringing in rice through the land borders, avoiding the duties and the levies we put on them and they are definitely bent on sabotaging our efforts and we are getting increasingly unhappy with them”

“And I must say that very soon, if they persist, we will take very nasty measures against them. We will like to advise our neighbours, who believe

Photo by Nigeria Customs: Smuggling rice into Nigeria can be a desperate situation through vast and remote border tracks to avoid been seen by Customs patrol vehicles and surveillance helicopters

that the ECOWAS treaty means that Nigeria is a volunteer nation for economic suicide that, we have no such plans, destroying our own economy to make any neighbour happy”

“The ECOWAS treaty number two  does not suggest that any country can be an avenue of smuggling foreign goods not produced in that country for dumping in neighbour’s territory.

“If they insist, I do not think that government is far away from considering permanently closing certain borders very near us and when we do, nothing will make us change our minds on the issue, ECOWAS treaty or not,’’ Ogbeh warned.

Foreign nationals, mostly of Indian, Lebanese and Chinese merchants use Nigeria’s neighbouring countries of Benin, Chad and Niger as transit points for cheap imports from their countries, destined to Nigeria, the region’s main market, mostly through smuggling.

Rice is a major staple of Nigeria’s population and rice merchants make a kill getting rice into the country anyway they can.

Government imposed higher tariffs on imported rice to encourage local production and the policy has attracted billions of Dollars in fresh investment from local and international investment.

The government will like to protect this investment in order to encourage more.

To dodge the tariff regime, these importers transit their ware through less-restrictive neighbouring countries in the ECOWAS region (Economic Community of West African States), recruit locals, who then smuggle them across the borders.

The regional body aims for free movement of goods and persons across member states borders and foreign importers strive to take advantage of the regional trade treatise to dump products Nigeria.

The minister said that the importation of rice reduced from 580,000 tons in 2015 to 58,000 tons by 2016.

According to him, “by the end of this year, we will eliminate the difference because more people are growing rice in the country”.

He said the Federal Government would distribute no fewer than 200 rice mills to millers across the states of the federation to encourage fresh milling of locally produced rice in order to make them more palatable than the imported ones. About three months ago, there was this cry about Nigeria going to starve and we told them that there will be no such thing”

“We have never produced as much grains as we did in the last two years in this country’s history”

Photo by Nigeria Ministry of Agriculture: Nigeria’s Agric and rural development Minister, Audu Ogbe

“We have fed not only Nigeria, we have fed West Africa and there are still thousands of tons in people’s warehouses. Those who bought grains and stored believing that starvation was near and they will make a killing they are now begging us to take off the grains from them because they are getting stock”

“The only shortfall we have is maize because of the disease called the armyworm.

“We are dealing with that and this pl