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Three women's rights activists P14 share Nobel Peace Prize

Ghana’s middle income status is voodoo economics - Akosa P5

Cape Verde's Pires wins African governance ($5 mln Mo Ibrahim) award P10

Insightful and Comprehensive AFRICAN Diaspora New Source

October 15, 2011


The Accra floods of 2011 A brief analysis of the October 2011 floods in Accra Discussions around the severity of the October 2011 flooding in slum urban communities in Accra, particularly around the area called Sodom and Gomorrah, are controversial. Majority of the media coverage blamed poor drainage and solid waste management systems in the capital as the culprit, while others linked the intensity of the rains to climate change. While these attributions can't be dismissed outright; they are also incomplete. It is dangerous to downplay the socio-economic factors that make poor urban communities vulnerable to flooding in the first place. A look at the interplay between cli-

mate, development, and society will help us understand that it is not purely incidental that the flooding happened in the poorest parts of Accra. Rainfall over Accra – similar to that in most of the semi-arid climate zones of the globe – is subject to extreme variations. The seasonal cycle of rainfall in Accra is considered bimodal, i.e. it shows two peaking periods (see figure 1) and a gradual increase from March, which peaks during May and June. Thereafter, the rainfall decreases dur-


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Eight people were reported dead but the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) confirmed only two, as at the time of writing this post. National Coodinator of NADMO Kofi Portuphy, told journalists one of the two dead persons died in the floods whilst the other died from electrocution. by Atiku Iddrisu

Islamists claim win in Tunisia's Arab Spring vote (Reuters) - Moderate Islamists claimed victory on Monday in Tunisia's first democratic election, sending a message to other states in the region that long-sidelined Islamists are challenging for power after the "Arab Spring."

Occupy Wall Street minority protesters P7

Mindful that some people in Tunisia and elsewhere see the resurgence of Islamists as a threat to modern, liberal values,

Official results have not been announced, but the Ennahda party said its workers had tallied the results posted at polling stations after Sunday's vote, the first since the uprisings which began in Tunisia and spread through the region. "The first confirmed results show that Ennahda has obtained first place," campaign manager Abdelhamid Jlazzi said outside party headquarters in the center of the Tunisian capital.

New approach needed on hunger in Africa P2

singing the Tunisian national anthem.

As he spoke, a crowd of more than 300 in the street shouted "Allahu Akbar!" or "God is great!" Other people started

party officials said they were prepared to form an alliance with two secularist parties, Congress for the Republic and Ettakatol. "We will spare no effort to create a stable political alliance ... We reassure the in-

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Robert Johnson, First Black American Billionaire, Proposes Plan to Reduce Black Unemployment As Congress weighs the Obama administration's jobs package, RLJ Companies CEO Robert Johnson is pushing a proposal that he says marshals the capacity of the nation's biggest companies to significantly reduce black unemployment. Johnson has dubbed his idea the "RLJ Rule." It calls on Fortune 1000 companies to voluntarily consider a more diverse pool of qualified candidates when filling senior level job openings and hiring contractors. Johnson has described it as the business version of the National Football League's Rooney Rule, a 2003 mandate that required teams to consider diverse candidate pools when filling senior positions. Johnson, the United States' first black billionaire, has been critical of the way that the Obama

administration and Congress have tried to address the nation's stubborn unemployment problem. He believes businesses can create solutions to social problems. "You can't have a society where more than 42 million people are falling backwards," he said of the black population in the U.S.

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"There are over 500 million small-scale farmers in Africa who don't know how to plant properly, they cannot access them, oftentimes they cannot afford them, they may not even know what they need," - Howard Buffett -


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Warren Buffett:

New approach needed on hunger in Africa (AP) OMAHA, Neb. — The world needs to focus on the needs of African farmers and not impose on them what works on American farms if a solution to hunger in subSarahan African is to be realized, Howard Buffett said Wednesday at the World Food Prize symposium in Des Moines, Iowa.

said, referring to Borlaug's work with hybrids. "We need a brown revolution," focusing on soil types. He noted two previous reports, one in 2004 commissioned by the United Nations and one in 2008 from the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology, support his view that multiple approaches and improving soil quality were keys to fighting hunger in Africa.

Buffett said he does not oppose technology and what it can do to increase crop yields, but that genetically modified seeds are only one part of the system. Instead, he said, a variety of approaches are needed and more attention must be given to soil conditions.

But he was critical of the lack of attention governments have given to the reports and the lack of progress being made in the fight against hunger in Africa.

"There are over 500 million small-scale farmers in Africa who don't know how to plant properly, they cannot access them, oftentimes they cannot afford them, they may not even know what they need," Buffett said. He said using bio-tech seeds requires special training. He also said farmers frequently see the results and sacrifice crop diversity. "That crop diversity is critical to the survival of many of those farm families," he said. He said simply putting synthetic fertilizer on depleted soil is not enough. "It's amazing that we continue to hear technology is the solution and that's it's the closest thing to a silver bullet," he said. "It's a very important contributor, but if viewed as the single solution we're never going to succeed." He said success is not possible without a biological-based, sustainable soil management plan, education and training, and serious, long-term commitment from government, fertilizer and seeds will not reduce hunger. "You can't just distribute seeds and walk away and expect things to work. It's just not that simple," Buffett said. Buffett said he's seen how important soil differences can be on land he farms in Illinois, Nebraska and South Africa. Africa has hundreds of soil types in 54 countries. While fertilizer and better seeds might help in some places, most small farmers in Africa can't afford that, so aid groups also need to offer

Howard Buffett other solutions, such as teaching farmers to use cover crops and no-till techniques, he said. The World Food Prize was founded by Norman Borlaug, an Iowa native who won the Nobel Peace Prize for efforts to reduce hunger with the use of genetically modified crops. Borlaug, who died in 2009, was known at the father of the "Green Revolution." The event Borlaug founded draws agriculture officials from around the world each year to talk about what can be done to fight hunger. Buffett acknowledged his message about the complexity of Africa's problems isn't entirely new, but he hopes his famous last name and decade of experience at his foundation will help it get attention. It doesn't hurt that his foundation is in the process of giving away $1 billion of the fortune earned by his father, Warren Buffett. "A 'Green Revolution' really won't work for the majority of African farmers," Buffett

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His interest in helping farmers there runs deep, partly because of his own background as a farmer and the amount of time he's spent in the developing world. Buffett has visited more than 95 countries to document the challenges of preserving fragile resources as a photographer. And he travels regularly with his philanthropy. He hopes to at least influence a few key players, and his name has helped open doors with at least one other major charity focused on fighting hunger. His father is giving the bulk of his roughly $41 billion Berkshire Hathaway fortune to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation over time. "I've been really encouraged by some of the conversations I've had with folks at the Gates Foundation," Buffett said. This week's conference in Des Moines also will honor the former presidents of Brazil and Ghana, who successfully halved the number of people in their countries suffering from hunger and poverty. Luis Inacio Lula da Silva, who was Brazil's president from 2003 to 2010, and John Agyekum Kufuor, who served as Ghana's president from 2001 to 2009, will share this year's $250,000 World Food Prize.

US launches drones from Ethiopia Defence department says unarmed drones are being used to conduct missions over Somalia from a remote civilian airfield.

litical issue there, and American officials are anxious to downplay the role of the military and intelligence agencies across the region.

The White House has confirmed that the US military has unmanned drone aircraft in Ethiopia but says no strike missions are being launched from the east African country.

"There are no US military bases in Ethiopia. It's an Ethiopian airfield," Kirby said.


November 15, 2011

lia are also based. Unarmed Reapers reportedly also fly from another base in the Seychelles in the Indian Ocean to monitor pirates.

"The US has unarmed and unmanned aircraft at a facility there to be used only for surveillance as part of a broad, sustained, integrated campaign to counter terrorism," Captain John Kirby, a US defence department spokesman, said on Friday. "These unmanned aircraft are being used only for surveillance and not conducting strike missions." The White House confirmed the drone flights out of an airfield in the city of Arba Minch after the Washington Post newspaper first reported the operation late on Thursday. The Post, citing unnamed officials, reported that the MQ-9 Reaper drones flying out of Arba Minch were armed, but the US government on Friday denied that they were. Reapers are roughly the size of jet fighters and can be armed with bombs and missiles. They fly twice as fast and high as the more well-known Predators. US presence The US presence in Ethiopia is a delicate po-

In support of Ethiopia's 2006 invasion of Somalia, US warplanes carried out attacks from a base in Ethiopia. The government ended the arrangement once it became public. The US also operates Camp Lemonnier, a permanent military base in Djibouti, and an air base in Manda Bay, Kenya, where counter-terrorism experts believe armed drones that have carried out strikes in Soma-

Chasing al-Shabab Kenya sent forces into southern Somalia this month to chase fighters from al-Shabab, Somalia's biggest armed anti-government group, but has denied the US or other Western countries are actively involved in the operations.

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October 15, 2011

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Obama Sends 100 US Troops to Uganda to Help Combat LRA ABC News’ Jake Tapper and Luis Martinez report: Two days ago President Obama authorized the deployment to Uganda of approximately 100 combatequipped U.S. forces to help regional forces “remove from the battlefield” – meaning capture or kill – Lord’s Resistance Army leader Joseph Kony and senior leaders of the LRA. The forces will deploy beginning with a small group and grow over the next month to 100. They will ultimately go to Uganda, South Sudan, the Central African Republic, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, with the permission of those countries. The president made this announcement in a letter to House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, Friday afternoon, saying that “deploying these U.S. Armed Forces furthers U.S. national security interests and foreign policy and will be a significant contribution toward counter-LRA efforts in central Africa.”

U.S. Major General David Hogg inspects Ugandan troops (Photo: 1st Lt. Ryan Sutherland)

He said that “although the U.S. forces are combat-equipped, they will only be providing information, advice, and assistance to partner nation forces, and they will not themselves engage LRA forces unless necessary for self-defense.” The president said that for more than two decades the LRA has been responsible for having “murdered, raped, and kidnapped tens of thousands of men, women, and children in central Africa” and continues to “commit atrocities across the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and South Sudan that have a disproportionate impact on regional security.” A senior Defense official says the 100 military personnel will be mostly Special Operations Forces and that they “will be traveling out to field locations in the areas affected by the LRA where they can interact with and advise those forces that are actively pursuing the LRA.” The official stressed, “they will not be engaging in direct combat against the LRA.” The US has been helping the four African nations counter the LRA for several years by providing local militaries with training and equipment. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo the US helped train a light infantry battalion deployed to fight the LAR and over the last three years in Uganda the US has

provided $33 million to help Uganda’s military. As for how long the US troops will be in the region, a spokesman at US Africa Command says he could not provide specifics, “but our forces are prepared to stay as long as necessary to enable regional security forces to carry on independently. The president in his letter noted that Congress passed “the Lord’s Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act,” signed into law on May 24, 2010, in which, the president said, “the Congress also expressed support for increased, comprehensive U.S. efforts to help mitigate and eliminate the threat posed by the LRA to civilians and regional stability.” When the president signed that letter in May 2010, he said the bill “crystallizes the commitment of the United States to help bring an end to the brutality and destruction that have been a hallmark of the LRA across several countries for two decades, and to pursue a future of greater security and hope for the people of central Africa. The Lord’s Resistance Army preys on civilians – killing, raping, and mutilating the people of central Africa; stealing and brutalizing their children; and displacing hundreds of thousands of people. Its leadership, indicted by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity, has no agenda and no purpose other than its own survival. It

Libya to try Kadhafi killers as UN ends mandate BENGHAZI, Libya — Libya's new leaders vowed on Thursday to bring Moamer Kadhafi's killers to justice in a sharp break with their previous insistence he was caught in the crossfire with his own loyalists.

"We had issued a statement saying that any violations of human rights will be investigated by the NTC. Whoever is responsible for that (Kadhafi's killing) will be judged and given a fair trial."

Meanwhile, the UN Security Council unanimously voted to end the mandate for international military action in Libya, ending another chapter in the war against Kadhafi's toppled regime.

Ghoga, who spoke in Arabic and whose remarks were translated by an official interpreter, was responding to specific questions about Kadhafi's death and potential abuses. Until now, the NTC had adamantly claimed that Kadhafi was killed in crossfire after he was captured in Sirte, his hometown and final bastion. Disquiet has grown internationally over how Kadhafi met his end after NTC fighters hauled him out of a culvert where he was hiding following NATO air strikes on the convoy in which he had been trying to flee his falling hometown. Mobile phone videos show him still alive at that point. Subsequent footage shows a now-bloodied but walking Kadhafi being hustled through a frenzied crowd, before he disappears in the crush and the crackle of gunfire can be heard.

"With regards to Kadhafi, we do not wait for anybody to tell us," Abdel Hafiz Ghoga, vice chairman of the ruling National Transitional Council (NTC), told a news conference in Benghazi.

In New York, meanwhile, a Security Council resolution ordered the end of the authorisation for a no-fly zone and action to protect civilians from 11:59 pm Libyan time (2159 GMT) on October 31.

"We had already launched an investigation. We have issued a code of ethics in handling of prisoners of war. There were some violations by those who are unfortunately described as revolutionaries. I am sure that was an individual act and not an act of revolutionaries or the national army," the top interim official said.

Security Council Resolution 2016 also eased an international arms embargo, freezes on the assets of the Libyan National Oil Corp and virtually all restrictions on the central bank and other key institutions. It also ended the ban on international flights by Libyan registered planes.

October 15, 2011

BRIEF NEWS BRUSSELS - Euro zone leaders struck a deal with private banks and insurers for them to accept a 50 percent loss on their Greek government bonds under a plan to lower Greece's debt burden and try to contain the two-year-old euro zone crisis. ---WASHINGTON - Democrats are proposing to slash huge U.S. budget deficits by up to $3 trillion, aiming high to repair the country's fiscal mess even as Republicans show early signs of resisting the proposals. ---TRIPOLI - Saif al-Islam Gaddafi wants to turn himself in to The Hague war crimes court, a senior Libyan official told Reuters. ---AMMAN - At least 20 people died in clashes and strikes paralysed parts of Syria on Wednesday as President Bashar alAssad held an inconclusive meeting with Arab ministers seeking to end months of violence. ---DUBAI - Saudi Arabia ends a mourning period for Crown Prince Sultan Thursday, opening the way for King Abdullah to appoint his new heir who is widely expected to be the veteran interior minister. ---TUNIS - Tunisia's moderate Islamist party said on Wednesday it would put forward one of its officials for the prime minister's job, after it scored a resounding victory in the first election after the ¿Arab Spring" uprisings. ---BANGKOK - Residents fled Thailand's capital, Bangkok after authorities warned the city would soon be flooded and called a special five-day holiday to let people escape. ---WASHINGTON - Fourteen U.S. lawmakers called on President Barack Obama to delay a decision on the Canada-to-Texas Keystone oil sands pipeline, while Obama was interrupted in Denver by a protester opposing TransCanada Corp's project. ---DENVER - With Hispanic voters upset at Republican presidential candidates over immigration, President Barack Obama played to a Latino audience on a trip to the West this week to shore up support from a group that is key to his re-election hopes. ---DUBLIN - Ireland's presidential election on Thursday pitches a former guerrilla commander against a television reality show star and a politician turned poet. ---BRASILIA - Brazil's sports minister resigned on Wednesday over a corruption scandal, reviving concern about President Dilma Rousseff's unstable coalition and the country's lagging preparations for the 2014 soccer World Cup. ---OAKLAND, Calif - Over 1,000 activists protesting economic inequality and corporate greed massed on Wednesday night in a downtown Oakland plaza from which they had been evicted a day earlier in clashes with police that left 85 people arrested and one critically hurt. ---LIMA - Supporters of Abimael Guzman, the jailed leader of Peru's brutal Shining Path insurgency, filed thousands of signatures on Wednesday to form a political party as part of an improbable push to get him out of prison. (Reporting By Ralph Gowling)

October 15, 2011

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AFRICAN Continental News Libya's liberation:

Tensions Fester in East Africa

Interim ruler unveils more radical than expected plans for Islamic law

As Kenya moves towards war with alShabaab in Somalia, citizens try to navigate a corruption-laden security crackdown.

Libya's interim leader outlined more radical plans to introduce Islamic law than expected as he declared the official liberation of the country.

“The police came to do their operations in the custom yard, and they arrested almost anybody who was there, at least 300 people in total. They took them to the station and asked for ID cards. Eighty people are still detained,” he said.

Mustafa Abdul-Jalil, the chairman of the National Transitional Council and de fact president, had already declared that Libyan laws in future would have Sharia, the Islamic code, as its "basic source".

Ellioms was tipped off by a friend minutes before the arrests occurred, and hid inside a nearby shop to watch the proceedings. “The people they took were locals. They are the ones selling water and bananas to the trucks,” said Ellioms.

But that formulation can be interpreted in many ways - it was also the basis of Egypt's largely secular constitution under President Hosni Mubarak, and remains so after his fall. Mr Abdul-Jalil went further, specifically lifting immediately, by decree, one law from Col. Gaddafi's era that he said was in conflict with Sharia - that banning polygamy. In a blow to those who hoped to see Libya's economy integrate further into the western world, he announced that in future bank regulations would ban the charging of interest, in line with Sharia. "Interest creates disease and hatred among people," he said. Gulf states like the United Arab Emirates, and other Muslim countries, have pioneered the development of Sharia-compliant banks which charge fees rather than interest for loans but they normally run alongside western-style banks. In the first instance, interest on low-value loans

Mustafa Abdul-Jalil, the chairman of the National Transitional Council would be waived altogether, he said. Libya is already the most conservative state in north Africa, banning the sale of alcohol. Mr Abdul-Jalil's decision - made in advance of the introduction of any democratic process - will please the Islamists who have played a strong role in opposition to Col Gaddafi's rule and in the uprising but worry the many young liberal Libyans who, while usually observant Muslims, take their political cues from the West.

Jacob Zuma sacks two ministers and suspends police chief in anti-corruption drive

Gwen Mahlangu-Nkabinde, the public works minister, and Bheki Cele, the police chief, are accused of leasing a new police headquarters at a massively inflated price. Mr Cele has been sus-

The Kenyan government made an abrupt foreign-policy shift on Oct. 15, when Internal Security Minister George Saitoti declared war on al-Shabaab, the Islamist militant group that controls much of Somalia. The announcement came after Somali raiders kidnapped four foreigners in three separate attacks near border areas. Two women (one British and the other French) were seized by pirates in the north coast region of Lamu on Sept. 11 and Oct. 2, respectively, and two Spanish aid workers were kidnapped at the Dadaab refugee camp on Oct. 13. On Oct. 16, Kenyan and African Union troops stormed the Somali border at Liboi

A former Director General of the Ghana Health Service has rubbished Ghana’s middle income status, saying it is misleading.

Mr Zuma himself was once implicated in the 1999 scandal but escaped prosecution shortly before becoming president. Supporters said he was the victim of a political smear campaign.

On Monday, Mr Zuma sacked Sicelo Shiceka, the local government minister, who allegedly spent R547,000 (£43,000) of public money on visiting a convicted drug dealer girlfriend in prison in Switzerland. Mr Shiceka was found by Mrs Madonsela to have spent a total of R1m (£85,000) of public money on private, first-class air travel and five-star hotels. He has been on sick leave for eight months and denies any wrongdoing.

In the wake of Kenya’s war against alShabaab terrorists in Somalia, increased security measures and police crackdowns are making life difficult for both travellers and residents in the country. Kidnappings and a pair of recent grenade attacks in Nairobi have dealt a major blow to Kenya’s tourism industry, and to the country’s reputation, but some say Kenya’s military and police response has been misdirected, excessive, and rife with corruption.

and Mandera, aiming to create a 100-km buffer zone and wipe out key al-Shabaab strongholds in Mogadishu, Afmadow, and Kismayo. Since then, police and military have ramped up security at borders and airports. Kenyan MPs have complained of excessive security measures for flights coming in from the Wajir District in the country’s northeast. In Nairobi’s Eastleigh neighbourhood (also known as Little Mogadishu for its high population of Somali immigrants), roadblocks await near the Starehe Boys’ Centre. Matatu minibus passengers are routinely pulled from the vehicle for questioning and, some say, harassment and extortion. In this new war on terror, anyone can be made a suspect. “They don’t discriminate, Kenyan or Somali. If you don’t have ID on you, they put you in chains,” said Chris Muthutho, who lives in Eastleigh’s District 3. At Malaba, police spokesperson Elvas Korir said Tuesday’s customs yard roundup was routine police work. He said only 30 people were detained, and that the entire operation lasted only a few hours. “What we are seeing now is that in Nairobi there are big searches being conducted, so people are trying to flee from Nairobi towards Uganda, and we are here to intercept them,” he said.

Ghana’s middle income status is voodoo economics - Akosa

Mr Zuma also named a panel of senior judges to investigate a $5 billion (£3.1 billion) arms deal in which European companies including BAE Systems were alleged to have paid bribes in return for contracts. BAE has consistently denied the claims.

The moves are seen as part of an attempt by the ANC president to consolidate his position ahead of the party’s leadership conference next year. Both ministers and the police chief have been the subject of damning reports by Thuli Madonsela, the anti-graft ombudsman.

El Ellioms is lucky to be a free man today. The 30-year-old money changer, who lives at the Malaba border crossing between Kenya and Uganda, said he was barely able to escape a police roundup at the customs yard on the Uganda side of the border on Tuesday.

Prof. Agyemang Badu Akosa explained the new status announced last year does not reflect the true situation of the average Ghanaian.

Jacob Zuma, South Africa’s president, has sacked two ministers and suspended his national police chief in an attempt to dispel criticism that he is soft on corruption. pended on full pay pending the results of a public inquiry. Allister Sparks, the political commentator and novelist, said: “The ANC is riddled with corruption and Jacob Zuma may be making an effort but he can’t shake the monkey off his back because he never faced his own corruption charge.” Jacob Zuma speaks during a media briefing at the Union Building in Pretoria Photo: REUTERS --By Aislinn Laing, Johannesburg

“On our human development, we are not doing well and we should stop using the fact that telecom companies and oil companies have jagged up our GDP so we are happy to say we are a middle income country.

On the contrary, he said, majority of Ghanaians are living in squalor, and harsh economic conditions, demanding that the true measure of middle income must be human-based and not meaningless figures. He was speaking at a forum organized by the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology to commemorate the 60th Anniversary of institution from where Luv FM's Elton John Brobbey reported, the failed CPP flagbearer in the 2008 elections as saying, “Our burden of disease is so high and it is because we are not fixing the wider social determinant. Nobody is fixing environmental sanitation; nobody is fixing personal hygiene; nobody is fixing safe water; nobody is fixing air quality; nobody is fixing the problems of the road, the problems of transportation so the health service sadly feels the pinch from all these areas,” he said. He said the country must take a bold decision to ensure that there is a minimum standard below which no Ghanaian will fall.

Prof. Agyemang Badu Akosa “I am saying let us use our living standard to measure whether we are a middle income country or not and as far as I am concerned, on a human development index, we are not a middle income country," he stated.

October 15, 2011

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AFRICAN D i a s p o r a Harlem arts/culture center back on track After a multi-month effort, financing is secured to build a 20,000-square-foot African and Hispanic arts and culture center in ground-floor space on West 116th Street. A long-planned African and Hispanic arts and culture center in Central Harlem is a go after all. Developer, Full Spectrum of NY, and its partner, My Image Studios Inc., recently closed on the financing to begin construction of the 20,000-square-foot center dubbed MIST, which stands for My Image Studios, said Roland Laird, CEO of My Image Studios. BRP Community Development agreed to allocate $21 million in New Market Tax Credits to build the center, which will be located on the ground-floor retail space at the Kalahari Condominium, a 249unit affordable housing development at 40 W. 116th St., between Lenox and Fifth avenues. New Market Tax Credits are designed to stimulate private investment in distressed urban and rural areas. Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group bought the tax credit and as a result provided debt and equity financing for the project. In addition, the Prudential Insurance Company of America also provided a loan, he said. Last year, the developers had hoped to get funding from city stimulus funding via the Recovery Zone bond program but that

ance spaces that will have a total of 317 seats as well as post-production facilities and a state-of-the-art, 7,000square-foot restaurant and lounge. Mr. Laird said he is in discussions with Telemundo, the Spanish language television network, and other media companies about programming at the space.


Caribbean News in Brief Justice minister resigns amid scandal of jailed deputy PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — A presidential spokesman says Haiti's justice minister has stepped down. National Palace spokesman Lucien Jura says Justice Minister Josue Pierre-Louis handed in his resignation.

“Investing in this retail space is a continuation of the Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group's commitment to the Kalahari and the neighborhood,” said a Goldman Sachs spokesman in a statement.

deal fell through. “It has been a long process and we hope this center will be a transformative project in Harlem,” said Mr. Laird. “We can't wait for it to open.” Construction work is expected to begin Wednesday. The developers hope to open the new center in April of next year. It is expected to create 80 permanent jobs and 140 construction jobs.

By Amanda Fung crainsnewyork

The center will feature three perform-

Dear white America:

It looks different in black America I write to you as a fellow member, disturbed by a new development in our ranks.

The view looks very different, however, in black America.

The recent recession widened these gaps. In the 20th century, most blacks had trouble getting mortgages. Banks discriminated against poor black neighborhoods. During the housing bubble, this discrimination took the opposite form: predatory lending. The void left by mainstream lenders was filled by pawn shops, payday lenders, and check cashing services that charged high fees and usurious interest rates.

Blacks were far more likely to receive subprime loans and then to experience foreclosure. Even if a black household had the same creditworthiness, default risk, employment, income, and demographics as a white household, the black household usually received much riskier, more expensive loans. But it's not just the recession. The unemployment gap has existed as long as blacks have been free to find jobs, even among blacks and whites with the same education level. Employers are far more likely to call back job applicants with

"That's just not sustainable. You can say that [the problem is] education or globalization. But you can also point to the fact that corporations are either not reaching out aggressively enough or are actively blocking the door." Johnson is perhaps best known for founding Black Entertainment Television, in the 1980s. He promoted the network as a vehicle for airing and addressing black community interests. But, critics said BET televised a shrinking slate of news in favor of an expanded selection of syndicated sitcoms and music videos. In 2000, Johnson sold the network to Viacom for a reported $3 billion. Johnson founded what would become the RLJ Companies in 2005, and says its divisions have implemented the RLJ Rule. The rule would have companies consistently -- but voluntarily -- consider at least two black candidates when filling job openings at the vice president level. Johnson also wants the

They believe Pierre-Louis was one of several officials who ordered Belizaire's detention.

KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) — Jamaica's prime minister on Tuesday promised an independent review of a sprawling $400 million economic development program mostly funded with loans from China that has stalled under a cloud of alleged mismanagement. Prime Minister Andrew Holness said an independent evaluation will be completed quickly of work undertaken by the Jamaica Development Infrastructure Program, a five-year initiative launched in 2010 to stimulate economic growth and upgrade the country's long rutted roadways.

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Robert Johnson, First Black American Billionaire, Proposes Plan to Reduce Black Unemployment (continue from page 6)

The lawmakers were outraged that police jailed Belizaire even though he enjoys immunity as an elected official and there was no formal request to lift his immunity.

PM vows review of troubled roadway program


In black America, the unemployment rate is 16.8 percent, twice the unemployment rate in white America. 35 percent of black households have zero or negative net wealth, compared with 15 percent of white households - and the gap is growing. The average white household is 20 times richer than the average black household - the largest gap since the government started recording this data a quarter century ago.

The resignation comes after the Chamber of Deputies asked for his dismissal following the overnight lock up of Dep. Arnel Belizaire in October.

Belizaire was detained one week after Pierre-Louis took his post along with the rest of Haiti's new Cabinet.

According to the latest polls, most of you believe that antiwhite racism - or "reverse racism," as many of you refer to it - is now a bigger problem than anti-black racism. That, apparently, is the majority view in white America.

Holness said no new work orders will be issued for the infrastructure program until the review is finished.

country's largest companies to consider at least two blackowned businesses when contracting out work or buying supplies.

Jamaica's auditor general issued a report last week raising numerous concerns about deficiencies in program planning, record keeping, quality control and monitoring.

"Right now, when jobs at that vice president and above level come up, the senior VP or president goes out to dinner, maybe the golf course, and mentions, 'We are looking for a VP of this or that,'" said Johnson. "Before you know it, someone mentions a name, the job is filled and nobody feels they have done anything wrong."

The program is primarily funded with $340 million in loans from the state-owned Export-Import Bank of China, which handles most of Beijing's overseas aid loans.

"But if that's the way that most opportunities flow," Johnson continued, "then in most cases that's an opportunity stream that doesn't include many African Americans. So, consciously or unconsciously, what happens is a perpetuation of privilege and disadvantage that just goes on and on. "

Among the breaches identified, the auditor general uncovered the apparent siphoning of $1.2 million by the National Works Agency to renovate its office headquarters without the approval of the island's contracts commission.

Janell Ross

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (AP) — Dominican authorities said Tuesday they are investigating the background of an immigrant accused of plotting to attack police stations and post offices in New York. Police Chief Jose Armando Polanco said the investigation is ongoing even though suspect Jose Pimentel Sosa left the Dominican Republic at a young age and has no criminal past in the Caribbean country. U.S. authorities have said that Pimentel, who faces terrorismrelated charges, is an "al-Qaida sympathizer" who converted to Islam in 2004 and went by the name Muhammad Yusuf. He was born in the Dominican Republic but lived most of his life in Manhattan.

Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group, along with Full Spectrum and L+M Equity Participants, developed the Kalahari Condominium, which was completed in 2008. Full Spectrum of NY and My Image Studios Inc. closed on financing to begin construction of an arts and culture center in Harlem. Photo by CoStar Group.

Authorities investigate US bomb plot suspect

His father, Juan Jose Pimentel, told Dominican TV News SIN that he believes his son is innocent and the victim of bad luck. New York authorities said Pimentel was overheard talking about attacking police patrol cars and postal facilities, killing soldiers returning home from abroad and bombing a police station in Bayonne, New Jersey. Foster home owner charged with abuse SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — The government of Puerto Rico has shut down a foster home and accused the female owner of sexually abusing one of the teenage residents for three years. The Department of Justice said in a statement that Yaitza Crespo Cruz faces 12 charges of sexual assault and is being held on a $130,000 bond. Authorities accused Crespo of abusing the boy from age 12 to 15. It was not immediately clear whether Crespo had an attorney. The foster home was located in the city of Carolina just east of the capital of San Juan. Government workers protest job cuts, demand more severance pay PROVIDENCIALES, Turks and Caicos (AP) — Hundreds of government workers in the Turks and Caicos Islands are protesting upcoming job cuts. Teachers, immigration agents, doctors and government clerks are among the more than 200 people who marched in Providenciales on Tuesday to also demand bigger severance packages. The government has said it will cut 300 public sector jobs by Dec. 9 to trim costs and eliminate what it says are overlapping positions. Civil service union president Rufus Ewing says protesters might launch a second strike on Wednesday. The government said late Monday it was surprised about the decision to protest because it had already agreed to increase severance packages after negotiations with the union.




November 15, 2011

Attention Black America:

Occupy Wall Street Is About You, Too Occupy Wall Street has officially entered its fourth week and African-American supporters are saying that their communities, more than anyone, need to be showing their support. “If any other community needs a bailout, it’s the African-American community,” says hip hop artist Jasiri X, who has joined the protesters in Lower Manhattan. “Not only do we have a foreclosure crisis, but we have abandoned homes, we have poverty problems, we have young Black male unemployment.” Jasiri X traveled from Pittsburgh, which was recently named the poorest Black community in the country, to Occupy Wall Street, the movement that is demanding that the government support education, infrastructure and jobs, get rid of corporate tax loopholes, and strengthen democracy. He says that he’s in New York to make sure that the voices of the Black communities are heard. “I think that as African-Americans, the economic bailout on Wall Street and the foreclosure crisis has hit our community the worst. We’re like the 99 [percent] below the 99 in our communities, so I think that it’s important for us to be here and be counted and make sure that as we are holding Wall Street accountable,” he says. Jasiri X has previously composed and performed political hip hop, with songs about the Jena 6 and the Tea Party. But his new track

“We the 99” has been live-streamed for the past few weeks on numerous sites covering the downtown protests. In it he speaks of the majority being deceived, of the economy collapsing and how it’s time for citizens to stand for what they believe is fair.

He declares that African-Americans are the last to be helped and the most frequently overlooked, and he wants them to be more aware and more involved.

Occupy Wall Street minority protesters say that African-Americans need help more By Danielle Wright

“I think a lot of us are disconnected to what’s than anyone. happening on a worldwide level because a lot of time in our communities we are working two to three jobs, taking care of our communities, just to make ends meet,” he says.

Like Jasiri X, Caren Daley also wishes more Blacks would support. Daley, a mother, college

The Accra floods of 2011 (continue from page 7) figure 1) and a gradual increase from March, which peaks during May and June. Thereafter, the rainfall decreases during July-August, and then increases again during September to October. The bimodal nature of Accra's rainfall is modulated by the passing of the rainfall band, linked to the Inter-tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ). The Accra airport weather station, recorded 156 mm of rain in just two days on 2425 October 2011. This is as much rain as what is normally experienced during the entire wettest month of the year (June). In other words, while the amount of rainfall was well within the range of what Accra normally receives during the peak rainy season (June), it is the distribution of the rainfall that was highly problematic and triggered the flooding disaster. Although such singular rainfall episodes cannot be directly linked to climate change, the contribution of global warming cannot be ruled out. However, the role of sea surface temperatures, both in the adjacent Atlantic and the Indian Oceans are also important factors, as were perhaps the prevailing La Niña conditions in the Pacific. Intense rain spells, such as what occurred recently, can trigger massive water flows at hazardous levels. But as we have witnessed, what transforms a natural hazard into a disaster has more to do with reasons that are not natural and in this event, the inability of urban infrastructure (particularly drainage and sewage systems) to cope with rapid urbanization. Whatever drainage is available was blocked by solid waste. A 2007 Ghana Country Environmental Assessment report by the World Bank estimated that only 40 percent of urban residents in Accra were served by solid waste collection services in 2004. A long-term solution to Accra flooding, therefore, involves improving the solid waste management system, constructing more and improved drains, and planning infrastructure/settlement development in a way that do not block the natural waterways. Furthermore, since we are likely to experience more and more intense rainfall events over a short duration in a warming world, investment in developing a credible early warning system, embedded within a flood management system from national to local levels, is both urgent and critical more than ever. Rainfall spells events, such as the ones that cause the October flooding over Accra, can be predicted 3-5 days in advance. With the aid of robust monitoring systems, the skill in estimates of the intensity of rainfall can also be improved to provide reason-

ably accurate rainfall forecasts to enable early warning. Institutions like the National Disaster Management Organization and Accra Metropolitan Assembly need warning information about abnormally high or untimely rainfall to enable them to mobilize in advance. If communicated and understood properly, early warning system could help make contingency planning and evacuation more precise and lives saved. However these technical solutions will not be enough. It is important to address flooding and other climate risks within a broader development context by linking efforts to considerations of poverty reduction and rural development. The settlement history of Accra shows that slum communities that are highly exposed to flooding events are created by economic migrants who had to find accommodation in the informal housing sector in the fringes of the city where rent is less expensive and construction of houses is poorly regulated. While the reasons for migration are complex, climate is one of the strong push factors, as demonstrated during the Sahelian drought of 1995. To identify the populations at risk to flooding in Accra, a recent study commissioned by UN HABITAT (2011) tried to predict which drainage channels would overflow given a certain amount of rainfall. The findings indicate that a large portion of the population that are most exposed to flooding tend to be those living in areas with high slum index. The poor state of housing and infrastructure in these areas, as well as the encroachment of dwellings into the waterways, all contribute to increasing the risk of flooding. The development choices of a country can either enhance or diminish its capacity to adapt to adverse climate impacts, such as flooding. Having registered impressive economic growth in recent years, Ghana is at a significant crossroad of economic development and has an enormous opportunity to get things right. While more money will allow it more choices, careful planning and strong political leadership are needed in order to develop in a way that avoids exacerbating exposure and vulnerability to climate change impacts. Addressing the vulnerability of places like Sodom and Gomorrah means addressing the root causes that create these blighted places in the first place. A development that does not take into consideration the plight marginalized segments of its population runs the risk of creating massive swaths of communities that have to constantly live through the horrors of disasters.

graduate and breast cancer survivor, has been homeless for two years. “My children are asking me constantly, ‘Why are we living like this, mommy?' And I have to tell them America is suffering. The government is helping everybody else but is not helping the poor,” she says.

Both Daley and Jasiri X say they’re there representing their communities, and they both hope that America listens to the cry of the people. “We need help. We need change,” Daley says. To contact or share story ideas with Danielle Wright, follow and tweet her at @DaniWrightTV.

Obama Announces Student Loan Relief Help is on the way for students burdened with loan debt. It’s a benchmark that nobody is excited about reaching. By the end of the year, the total amount of college loan debt in the U.S. will near the $1 trillion mark. That’s according to FinAid, a web-based source of student financial aid information.

By Andre Showell The president, speaking to students at the University of Colorado’s Denver Campus, announced a new proposal that would tackle the student loan crisis on two fronts. Starting in 2014, student loan payments will be reduced to 10 percent of a borrower’s discretionary income. Also, student borrowers will have the option of consolidating their federal student loans at lower interest rates. Student loan debt is a familiar topic for the first family. President Obama told the audience that he and the first lady had a combined $120,000 in college loan debt when they graduated. He said, “Look, obviously we were lucky to have gotten a great education and we were able to land good jobs with a steady income. But it still took us almost 10 years to finally pay off all our student debt. And that wasn’t easy.” The non-profit group, The Institute for College Access and Success estimates that seniors graduating in 2009 carried about $24,000 in student loan debt, a six percent increase from 2008. “We want you in school. But we shouldn’t saddle you with debt when you’re starting off,” Obama said. Graduating senior Christina Santiago is bracing for the time when those student loan bills start pouring in. The American University student said, “My parents don’t help me financially at all and it’s stressful knowing that I’ll have to pay off all my loans. Going to college is difficult enough, especially if you’re already financially

disadvantaged.” With an employment picture that is already bleak, student loan debt adds another barrier. Marissa Moncrieffe, a graduating senior at Sienna College in Albany New York, is constantly worried about paying back nearly $15,000 in loans. She said, “I’m thinking about grad school so when I consider the cost of that, plus my school loans, plus paying my bills, it can be burdensome.” The new changes will go into effect next year and, according to the White House, could help 1.6 million Americans see their payments decrease by hundreds of dollars a month. “So these changes will make a difference for millions of Americans. It will save you money. It will help more young people figure out how to afford college. It can put more money in your pocket once you graduate,” said Obama. Santiago believes the proposals will lure more students onto college campuses. “A lot of times people don’t go to college because they don’t know how to pay for it, so this would push them to make the step,” she said. (Photo: JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)


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October 15, 2011

HEALTH/NUTRITION HEALTH Rising Global Smoking Rates Could Add Millions of TB Deaths Even a small drop in smoking rates could prevent many from dying from the infectious lung disease, researchers say (HealthDay News) -- There could be 18 million more tuberculosis (TB) cases and 40 million more TB deaths worldwide over the next 40 years if smoking rates stay at their current levels, a new study warns.

The researchers used World Health Organization data to predict the number of TB infections and deaths among smokers between 2010 and 2050.

"Tobacco control is tuberculosis control," senior author Stanton Glantz, a professor of medicine and director of the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education at UCSF, said in a university news release. Currently, nearly one-fifth of the world's population smokes tobacco or uses other tobacco products. That rate is expected to rise in many poor countries that don't restrict tobacco marketing. Most of the world's smokers live in countries with high TB rates, Basu noted. "The tobacco industry has spent decades working to con-

vince developing countries as well as funding agencies that they should not 'waste' their time on tobacco control, but rather focus on infectious diseases like tuberculosis at the same time that the multinational tobacco companies were expanding aggressively in those very countries," Basu said in the news release. "This paper shows that, because smoking and passive smoking facilitate the spread of TB and the transition from infection to active TB, reducing tobacco use is an important key to achieving the millennium development goals for TB," Basu said. The millennium goal was to slash the TB death rate in half between 1990 and 2015 through programs focused on detection and treatment of active TB cases. The study was published online Oct. 4 in the British Medical Journal.


Cholera thriving two years on DAKAR, (IRIN) - Three simultaneous cholera epidemics have affected 24 countries in West and Central Africa, with 85,000 infections and 2,466 deaths since the beginning of 2011, according to the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF). Three multi-country epidemics are ongoing - each with separate strains: the Lake Chad Basin, affecting Chad, Cameroon, Nigeria and Niger; the West Congo Basin, with impacts in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the Central African Republic; and Lake Tanganyika which encompasses DRC and Burundi. In Chad and Nigeria, the epidemic started in 2010.

areas are so remote, with few health facilities, and tend to be far from the nearest administrative capitals (Abuja, Yaoundé and N’djamena, respectively). Some remote areas, such as north and northwest Cameroon, have very high case fatality rates of up to 22 percent, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Chad According to WHO, five countries - Ghana, DRC, Nigeria, Cameroon and Chad -account for around 90 percent of the total number of cases and deaths. The epidemic is the worst in Chad’s history, with 16,000 cases and 433 deaths. The country’s vast territory, and large-scale population movements, makes it hard to respond to each and every case, said Michel-Olivier Lacharité, programme director for Chad at Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) France. In remote health districts where there are only two or three cases, MSF, which alongside the government has treated 11,000 people thus far, may have to forgo treating them, prioritizing higher-density caseloads.

Why so persistent? “If something is not working, you have to question if the response is appropriate,” said David Delienne, water and sanitation adviser at UNICEF’s West Africa office. “To stamp out cholera you need good surveillance systems to identify the epicentres of the disease - these do exist but it in some places surveillance is not systematic enough.” Surveillance systems along the (very long) Nigeria, Cameroon and Chad borders are generally quite patchy, said Grant Laeity, emergency head for UNICEF, as the

Some bone marrow donors can now receive compensation for their donations without committing a felony, a federal appeals court ruled on Thursday. The court said that new technologies for transplanting bone marrow make the tissue more like blood and less like an organ. The National Organ Transplant Act prohibits compensation for human organs, such as kidneys, but allows payment for renewable tissues such as blood.

Tuberculosis is a bacterial infection of the lungs. Smoking raises the risk of contracting TB and of dying from the disease, explained lead author Dr. Sanjay Basu of the University of California, San Francisco.

Along with their alarming finding about the increased numbers of smoking-related TB cases and deaths, the researchers also concluded that strict tobacco control that leads to a 1 percent annual drop in a country's smoking rates could reduce the death toll by 27 million over the next 40 years.

HEALTH BRIEFS Donors of bone marrow can be paid, court rules

But even a small number of cases can cause the disease to spread further. “If it were a camp for displaced people, where no one was going anywhere, it would be a lot easier to contain,” Lacharité pointed out. Over half of Chad’s health districts have been affected thus far. Paradox “This disease is a paradox,” said Lacharité, “as it is very easy to treat with generic antibiotics and rehydration fluids.” But equally, it is very easy to spread, particularly since carriers often do not know they are infected, he said.

Court of Appeals disagreed. The court found that new methods of harvesting stem cells from the donor's blood stream rather than the bone did not amount to an organ transfer. "Once the stem cells are in the bloodstream, they are a subpart of the blood, not the bone marrow," Judge Andrew Kleinfeld wrote on behalf of the three-judge panel. Charles Miller, a spokesman for the

A California nonprofit, parents of sick children, and a physician sued U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder in 2009, challenging the ban on compensation for bone marrow donations. They argued that allowing financial incentives for bone marrow donation was crucial because of the extreme difficulty of finding a genetic match. The suit said the ban violated the U.S. Constitution because it treated bone marrow as a "human organ" while allowing payments for blood, sperm and eggs. The government said that payments could lead to exploitation of people in financial need. A California district court sided with the government, but the 9th Circuit

Justice Department, declined to comment on the litigation. "This decision fundamentally changes how deadly blood diseases will be treated in America," said Jeff Rowes, a senior attorney at the Institute for Justice and lead attorney for the plaintiffs. He said one of the biggest challenges has been encouraging people identified as a rare match to go through with the donation.

Coffee linked with lower depression risk in women Women who drink four cups of coffee a day are 20 percent less likely to become depressed than women who rarely drink coffee, U.S. researchers said on Monday. Caffeine is the most frequently used central nervous system stimulant in the world, and coffee consumption accounts for about 80 percent of caffeine use.

fee they drank and followed them for an additional 10 years. "We found that those women who regularly drink four or more cups of coffee a day have 20 percent lower risk of developing depression than those who rarely or never drink coffee," Ascherio said.

Drinking coffee offers a boost of energy and a lift in well being, said Alberto Ascherio of Harvard School of Public Health. "This short-term effect is what drives the consumption of caffeine," said Ascherio, whose study appears in the Archives of Internal Medicine. "Here we are looking at long-term chronic use of caffeinated coffee," Ascherio said in a telephone interview. His team studied more than 50,000 women enrolled in a health study of nurses. The women had an average age of 63, and none were depressed when they enrolled in the study. Ascherio's team measured coffee consumption based on data on the women for 14 years dating back to 1976. They then classified the women according to how much cof-

The team focused specifically on coffee, but they had similar findings when they looked at overall caffeine consumption, including caffeinated soft drinks and chocolate. They found that women who were in the top fifth of caffeine consumption had a 20 percent lower risk of depression than women in the bottom fifth. The team built a two-year gap or latency period between when they measured caffeine consumption and their assessment for depression to make sure they were not just capturing women who were too depressed to be regular coffee drinkers.

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October 15, 2011


The Accra floods of 2011

President of Ghana (r) and regional minister (l), Gomoa East, Ghana --pics by Vicky McNaught-Davis

Severe flooding has hit Ghana’s capital city of Accra and its surroundings Wednesday morning following a heavy downpour last night. Property worth thousands of Ghana Cedis have been destroyed and the num ber of missing and dead is unreliable. Eight people were reported dead but the National Disaster Man agement Organisation (NADMO) confirmed only two, as at the time of writing this post. by Atiku Iddrisu, The Daily IIJ

October 15, 2011


Page 10


African airlines starting to compete in long-range traffic, Boeing ups market forecast African airlines are acquiring new widebody airliners at a greater rate than the global airline average. Last year, 32% of African airline demand was for widebodies, as against 23% for the global industry. “This is mainly because of the markets that the [African] airlines are going after – long-range, nonstop, point-to-point international routes,” explained Boeing VP sales: Latin American, Africa and Caribbean Van-Rex Gallard in Johannesburg on Thursday.

mestic product growth rate of 4.4%. Of course, this growth in traffic will vary from market segment to market segment. Thus, Africa-South Asia (effectively, India) air traffic is predicted to rise by 9.7%, Africa-China traffic by 9.5%, Africa-South East Asia by 7.5%, Africa-Middle East and Africa-North America both by 6.4%, Africa-South America by 6%, Africa-Oceania (mainly Australia) by 5.3% and Africa-Europe by 4.6%. Intra-African air traffic is expected to increase by 5.1%.

In turn, African airlines are able to do this because of the development of very long range airliners, such as Boeing’s 777-200LR. With these new aircraft, routes that previously needed a refuelling stop can now be flown non-stop. As a consequence, new route development is happening fast. For example, in 2006, there were only 32 weekly flights involving just eight city pairs between the whole of Africa and the US. By last year, these figures had jumped to 67 weekly flights between 14 city pairs. And a lot of these flights were by African airlines. In sharp contrast, African airlines have only a 35% share of air travel between their own continent and Europe. African airlines need new widebodies to increase their share in this traffic and to significantly entrench themselves in the rapidly growing AfricaMiddle East, Africa-China, Africa-India and AfricaSouth East Asia markets. By: Keith Campbell Engineering News

Gallard was in Johannesburg to present the latest update of Boeing’s 20 year forecast for the African airliner market. The aerospace group expects the African air traffic market to grow by an annual average of 5.1% between now and 2030. This is a little greater than the continent’s forecast annual gross do-

Picture by: A Boeing 777-200LR airliner of Réunion-based airline Air Austral 3) With this strong growth in demand and with 45% of Africa’s airliners more than 15 years old, Boeing says that African airlines will require 800 new aeroplanes by 2030. This is an increase of 12% over last year’s forecast of 710 new aircraft. Of these 800 new aircraft 6% would be regional airliners, 64% would be single-aisle airliners, 29% widebodies and 1% large aircraft, while 270 (or 34%) would be needed to replace existing aircraft and 530, or 56%, would represent growth in the market. Add in 410 aeroplanes already in service and this would give a total African fleet of 1 210 airliners in 2030.

It has also announced plans to open in Angola, Africa's biggest oil producer after Nigeria, as part of an overall attempt to double its African footprint in the next three years.

Woolworths , which sells clothing and upmarket food similar to Britain's Marks and Spencer , said on Wednesday it had signed a joint venture with Nigeria's Chellarams and hoped to open seven further stores in the west African state over the next two years.

"The country has a large population with significant and growing middle and upper-income groups."

In anticipation of a Wal-Mart squeeze, established South African retailers such as Massmart rivals Shoprite and Pick n Pay have rushed to lay out continental expansion plans. Massmart has 288 stores in 12 sub-Saharan African countries through its various wholesale and retail chains, although the continent's biggest grocery seller remains Shoprite, with outlets in 15 countries outside South Africa. Woolworths is now in 10 frontier African countries - Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho, Swaziland, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Mozambique.

The Federation of East African Freight Forwarders Association (FFEAFFA) has developed an electronic system containing information about the existing rules, procedures and documentations required by regional exporters and importers. The e-portal is expected to cut down costs and time of doing business in the region by facilitating clearance and forwarding agents with instant and relevant documents, rules and procedures governing trade in each East African Community (EAC) country.

He said that the e portal will provide traders with the required information without delay so that they can move their goods swiftly with lesser barriers. Josephine Nyebaza, the second Vice President of the Association of Clearing Firms in Rwanda (ADR), said in a press briefing that the portal will become a critical point of reference for exporters and importers within the region. "The facility will ease access to trade information and provide freight forwarders and other stakeholders with timely and relevant information on taxes, duties payable and required documentation on

Even though African per-capita incomes are among the lowest in the world, a decade of strong economic growth and rapid population expansion have attracted the attention of global service industry executives. According to a study by management consultancy McKinsey, African consumer spending is set to grow from $860 billion in 2008 to $1.4 trillion in 2020. Rapid urbanisation across the continent is also making it easier to serve African markets. Woolworths shares were up 1.4 percent at 1227 GMT, narrowly stronger than the Johannesburg stock exchange's top-40 blue-chip index .

the trade of specific products into and out of East Africa," she said. Ben Kagarama, the Commissioner General of Rwanda Revenue Authority, commended FEAFFA for their initiative, citing its relevance in improving tax collection within the region. "Traders are usually exploited by corrupt clearing agents just because they do not have information or access to it, regarding the procedures of clearing their goods. Now that the traders can access the relevant information by a click of a mouse or on their mobile phones, they will not have to pay unnecessary charges fixed by these individuals," he said. "In short the FEAFFA e-portal is expected to become an important tool for traders before submission of the required traders documents making them better informed about import and expert procedures in the region," John Mathenge, the Regional Executive Officer of FEAFFA, said.

Cape Verde's Pires wins African governance award JOHANNESBURG | Former Cape Verde president Pedro Verona Pires won the $5 million Mo Ibrahim award for African leadership Monday for shepherding his tiny Atlantic Ocean island state from autocracy to prosperous democracy. Organizers of the award, established in 2006 by Sudanese telecoms tycoon Mo Ibrahim to improve the quality of African governments, also praised Pires for his decision this year not to run for office again after the expiry of his second term.

"We are confident about our investment in Nigeria and ... the growth prospects of the Nigerian market," said John Fraser of Woolworths' international division.

Wal-Mart completed its $2.4 billion purchase of a 51 percent stake in South African retailer Massmart in June, giving it a platform for expansion in a continent that will be home to 2 billion people by 2050.

New Database to Ease Doing Business in EAC

"EAC has endeavoured to improve intraregional trade but because there is a mountain of barriers along many corridors, trading across East African borders is still one of the worst ranked in the world," the Minister of Trade and Industry, Francois Kanimba, said at the launch of the e-portal in Kigali on Wednesday.

S.Africa's Woolworths sets up shop in Nigeria (Reuters) - High-end South African supermarket chain Woolworths is to open three stores in Nigeria in December, its first foray into Africa's most populous nation as it counters a move into the poorest continent by the world's biggest retailer, Wal-Mart.

East Africa:

"Throughout his long career, President Pires has been dedicated to the service of his people, including those in the diaspora, while retaining his humility and personal dignity," the award committee said in a statement. Previous winners of the prize, which can only be awarded to an African head of state who has peacefully left office, include Mozambique's Joaquim Chissano and Botswana's Festus Mogae. There were no winners in 2009 and 2010 because of a lack of suitable candidates, Organizers said.

Massmart and Shoprite shares were down 0.1 percent and 0.5 percent respectively, while Pick n Pay stock was up 1.1 percent.

Pires was prominent in Cape Verde's struggle for independence from Portugal, and became prime minister in 1975, a position that allowed him to pave the way toward the first democratic elections in 1991.

--By Ed Cropley, Reuters

Cape Verde, which has a population of

500,000, also fared well in the "Ibrahim Index" of African governance released alongside the leadership award. The five best-ranked countries were Mauritius, Cape Verde, Botswana, Seychelles and South Africa, while the bottom five were Somalia, Chad, Zimbabwe, Democratic Republic of Congo and Central African Republic. Significant gainers were Liberia and Sierra Leone, climbing to 36th and 30th spots respectively as both West African states continued to distance themselves from civil wars that ended less than a decade ago. The biggest loser was in the Indian Ocean island of Madagascar, which slipped to 33rd, reflecting the political and economic upheaval that has persisted since a 2009 coup. Africa's two areas of poorest progress were "Safety and the rule of law" and "Participation and human rights." Just 14 countries moved up the scale in the latter category -- a finding Ibrahim said meant Africa would remain fertile ground for the spread of north Africastyle uprisings. "That reversal in the rights of citizens must be stopped," he told a news conference. "If you don't believe me, just look at (Cairo's) Tahrir Square."

October 15, 2011


FAITHS&RELIGION Cameroon jails men over gay sex Three men in Cameroon have been sentenced to five years in prison for homosexual acts, which are illegal in the central African nation.

'Homophobic innuendos' Continue reading the main story “Start Quote

Two of the accused were in court in the capital, Yaounde, but a third man was sentenced in absentia as he had jumped bail.

Amnesty International considers these men to be prisoners of conscience who are being punished solely because of their perceived sexual orientation” Jean-Eric Nkurikiye Amnesty's Central Africa campaigner He says as well as the five-year jail term, the men were each fined 200,000 CFA francs (about $400; £260) - both the maximum penalties for homosexual acts in Cameroon. One of men's other lawyers, Michel Togue, said it was a bad ruling and he accused the judge of peppering the hearing with homophobic innuendos, AFP news agency reports.

Homosexual acts are banned in many African countries

The two men who were in court were denied bail in August. The third defendant was granted bail after their arrest in July and never appeared in court for the trial.

Police said the men were arrested for having oral sex in a car.

Amnesty International has said Cameroon's homosexuality law is draconian and discriminatory and should be scrapped.

They denied the allegations and their lawyer Alice Nkom told the BBC they were arrested for looking feminine. "How can people be jailed just for dressing like women?" she said, adding that her clients would appeal. "This is really an embarrassment for Cameroon," said Ms Nkom who also runs Cameroon's Association for the Defence of Homosexuals. At the start of the trial, she told the BBC the case was a "crime of fashion, not homosexuality". The BBC's Randy Joe Sa'ah in Yaounde says homophobia is widespread in Cameroon, as in most African countries.

"Amnesty International considers these men to be prisoners of conscience who are being punished solely because of their perceived sexual orientation," Amnesty's Central Africa campaigner JeanEric Nkurikiye told the BBC in a statement. "The use of criminal law to punish private sexual activity between consenting adults contravenes international human rights laws that Cameroon has signed and ratified." Our reporter says it is not common for men to be taken to court over homosexual acts but in March, a man was jailed for three years on such charges. Homosexual acts are banned in most African countries. In neighbouring Nigeria, MPs are currently debating proposed legislation to tighten homosexuality laws, including a ban on same-sex marriages.

Islamists claim win in Tunisia's Arab Spring vote (continue from page 1) vestors and international economic partners," Jlazzi said. Sunday's vote was for an assembly which will sit for one year to draft a new constitution. It will also appoint a new interim president and government to run the country until fresh elections late next year or early in 2013. The voting system has built-in checks and balances which make it nearly impossible for any one party to have a majority, compelling Ennahda to seek alliances with secularist parties, which will dilute its influence. "This is an historic moment," said Zeinab Omri, a young woman in a hijab, or Islamic head scarf, who was outside the Ennahda headquarters when party officials claimed victory. "No one can doubt this result. This result shows very clearly that the Tunisian people is a people attached to its Islamic identity," she said. REVOLUTION INSPIRED UPRISINGS Tunisia became the birthplace of the "Arab Spring" when Mohamed Bouazizi, a vegetable seller in a provincial town, set fire to himself in protest at poverty and government repression. His suicide provoked a wave of protests which, weeks later, forced autocratic president Zine alAbidine Ben Ali to flee to Saudi Arabia. The revolution in Tunisia, a former French colony, in turn inspired uprisings which forced out en-

trenched leaders in Egypt and Libya, and convulsed Yemen and Syria -- re-shaping the political landscape of the Middle East. Ennahda is led by Rachid Ghannouchi, forced into exile in Britain for 22 years because of harassment by Ben Ali's police. A softly spoken scholar, he dresses in suits and open-necked shirts while his wife and daughter wear the hijab. Ghannouchi is at pains to stress his party will not enforce any code of morality on Tunisian society, or the millions of Western tourists who holiday on its beaches. He models his approach on the moderate Islamism of Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan. The party's rise has been met with ambivalence by some people in Tunisia. The country's strong secularist traditions go back to the first post-independence president, Habiba Bourguiba, who called the hijab an "odious rag." Outside the offices of the commission which organized the election, about 50 people staged a sit-in demanding an investigation into what they said were irregularities committed by Ennahda. Election officials said any problems were minor. "I really feel a lot of fear and concern after this result," said Meriam Othmani, a 28-year-old journalist. "Women's rights will be eroded," she said. "Also, you'll see the return of dictatorship once Ennahda achieves a majority in the constituent assembly."

Page 11


Muslim Clerics Condemn Practice of Female Genital Mutilation The Kenya Council of Imams and Ulamaa has castigated Female Genital Mutilation saying it is against the Quran teachings and will fully support implementation of all FGM related laws. Islamic scholars Sheikh Ibrahim Lethome and Mohamed Swalihu under KCIU called upon mosques and Muslim institutions to fight the practice. "There is no authentic or relevant Islamic evidence allowing FGM in all its forms and the practice is harmful and violates freedom, privacy, health and dignity of the Muslim woman," KCIU said in the statement. They added that Quran teachings and practices of the prophet are against any practice that causes any form of harm to human beings and FGM interferes with the Muslim woman's full realisation of her 'ibadah' (total worship of Allah). The consensus building meeting held at Garden Hotel in Machakos brought together Muslim scholars and leaders from Tana River, Nairobi,

Kajiado, Machakos, Wajir, Garissa, Maragua, Isiolo and Moyale. They resolved to collectively support and strengthen the national advocacy campaign in order to enable delivery on key interventions to stop the practice. "To this end, KCIU undertakes to mobilise resources over the next five years to support advocacy and other interventions and call upon development partners to continue supporting us," they said. They added that they will embark on a continuous awareness program to educate the community on FGM and its adverse negative effects on girls, women and other members of society. Though illegal, FGM is still practiced in many areas of Upper Eastern and North Eastern provinces predominantly Muslim areas. --Nairobi Star (Nairobi)


Reintegrating the nation’s “witches” ACCRA, (IRIN) - Ghana’s government is looking at ways to support people accused of witchcraft - mainly women and children banished by their communities to “witches’ camps” in the north - and to reintegrate them in their home villages. Currently around 1,000 women and 700 children are living in six camps in northern Ghana, where they have found refuge from threats and violence from people in their home communities after being labelled witches and blamed for causing misfortune to others. In most cases the residents were taken to the camps by family members. A small number of men are also banished to the camps as “wizards”, according to Hajia Hawawu Boya Gariba, Ghana’s deputy minister for women and children’s affairs.

NGOs and doctors in Accra on 8 September considered what action should be taken to improve the situation for camp residents. Gariba said the government was working with the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) to improve conditions in the camps by providing food and other support to the inmates, then in the longterm the government would look at repatriating the residents to their home villages

Belief in witchcraft is widespread in Africa - and other parts of the world - but in subAccused “witches” gather at Nabuli camp in northern Saharan Africa accusations Ghana - Samuel Darko Appiah/IRIN against children are a recent and growing phenomena, according to a UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and shutting down the camps. report released last year. This will include educating communities back home so they understand the banished The camps are located in remote areas and women are not actually witches, said the residents usually live in basic conditions Gariba, who has also suggested drafting legin mud huts without electricity, with limited islation to make it illegal to accuse people of access to food, water or medicine. Local re- witchcraft. ports detail women going hungry, residents having to walk kilometres to collect water, Akwasi Osei, the chief psychiatrist in and children being unable to attend school. Ghana’s national health service, who helped The camps are run by managers - usually initiate the meeting, emphasized the need the people who founded them - who rely on for community education. “Right now if you funding from NGOs and private donations [repatriate accused witches] you can be sure to operate the facilities. Sometimes camp they will be lynched when they go back managers also take payment such as food home,” he said. “You have to prepare [their] society and help them understand that it’s from residents. not these women who were the causes of While the issue of “witches’ camps” is noth- [misfortune].” ing new - they have been around for decades - recent media reports have spurred the A second meeting later this month will firm government to action. “As a government we up a plan of action to eventually disband the are embarrassed that we have these camps camps, Gariba said. in our country - especially as our human rights record will be scrutinized as far as Reluctant to leave this is concerned,” Gariba said. Not everyone thinks trying to close the camps is a good idea. Bilabim Jakper, 60, Stigma has lived in the Nabuli “witches’ camp”, A meeting of government officials, accused Gushegu District, northern Ghana, for the women from the camps, camp managers, past nine years and says she wants to stay put.

October 15, 2011


Page 12



Mixed responses to mixed migration in Africa

IMMIGRATION Foreign lovers face great hurdles getting to the USA Writer Richard Bach once wrote, “If you want to be with someone you love, aren't you already there?” Not if your girlfriend or boyfriend is a foreign citizen – and getting them here is no easy feat. Universal Internet access has dissolved borders worldwide for those in search of boundless love. United States citizenship and immigration services, however, maintains increasingly strict guidelines and procedures, which limit foreign citizens from entering the country, for love or any reason.

Photo: UNICEF/Riccardo Gangale Many Horn migrants begin their journeys at refugee camps in northern Kenya JOHANNESBURG, 28 September 2011 (IRIN) Abdul worked as a journalist in Somalia before death threats from Al-Shabab militia drove him to leave his native country and head for Mozambique where friends told him he would receive help at Maratane refugee camp in Nampula Province. The boat he boarded in Mombasa had 110 other passengers - some Somalis with stories similar to his own, and others Ethiopians, either fleeing their own armed conflicts or drought or both - all crammed together in one vessel by a smuggler aiming to maximize profits. Now Abdul and his fellow passengers are all being detained in the same prison in southern Tanzania. Neither the Mozambican police who arrested them in the northern town of Palma and then violently deported them to the Tanzanian border, nor the immigration officials who found them there - naked and stripped of all their belongings - attempted to determine which of the migrants were asylum-seekers entitled to receive protection and assistance, and which were economic migrants subject to immigration laws. Countries like Tanzania are starting to realize that their immigration laws are not adequate to deal with the phenomenon of “mixed migration” whereby refugees, asylum-seekers, economic migrants and even victims of human trafficking may be using the same routes, means of transport and smuggling networks to reach a shared destination, but are driven by different motives and have different claims to protection and humanitarian assistance. “It has become incredibly difficult to distinguish between different streams of migrants,” commented Vincent William, programme manager for the Southern African Migration Programme at the South Africa-based Institute for Democracy in Africa (IDASA). “There’s just a lot of uncertainty about how to manage mixed flows and concerns about not allowing people to abuse the asylum system.” While much of this movement is originating from the Horn of Africa, the cycle of violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has also generated large numbers of refugees as well as those simply seeking better employment and educational opportunities. Meanwhile, Zimbabwe’s complex and inter-linked political, social and economic crises of recent years have created the region’s largest cross-border movement with recipient countries struggling to distinguish between those fleeing political persecution, those in search of a livelihood and those driven by a combination of factors. For many the preferred destination is South Africa, the country that not only offers the best prospects for employment, but also has the region’s most progressive refugee laws. While there are few legal channels for unskilled migrants to enter South Africa, foreign nationals who apply for asylum can remain in the country for as long as it takes to process their claim and during that time they enjoy freedom of movement and the right to work. The result is an asylum system that has been overwhelmed by more applications than

any other in the world, according the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). Roni Amit, a researcher at the African Centre for Migration and Society at Witwatersrand University in Johannesburg, said South Africa's Department of Home Affairs has dealt with the backlog of asylum applications mainly by rejecting more people. “The rejection rate is now something like 96 percent," she told IRIN. "Decisions are very cut and pasted and not really individualized.” Business booming for smugglers Under the UN Refugee Convention, refugees are defined as individuals who are forced to remain outside their country of origin because of a wellfounded fear of persecution. The Organization of African Unity (now renamed the African Union) definition is slightly broader and includes people compelled to leave their country due to “events seriously disturbing public order”. Most countries rely on the UN definition, but in countries like Tanzania, immigration officials lack the training or the resources to screen large groups of migrants. “Every migrant is treated like a criminal so the same treatment is given to the migrants and their smuggler,” said Monica Peruffo of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), which recently conducted an assessment of Tanzania’s immigration procedures and facilities. The job of immigration officials is not made easier by the fact that migrants like Abdul, who have genuine claims to asylum, often delay applying for it until they have reached their chosen destination. Not only does this make them vulnerable to being treated as illegal immigrants in the countries they travel through, it can also harm their chances of being admitted to South Africa. In recent months, South African border officials have started denying entry to asylum-seekers based on the principle that they should have sought asylum in the first safe country they reached. Although no such principle exists in international or domestic law, it has not prevented South Africa from using it as a basis to turn away asylum-seekers from the Horn of Africa. "If you try to enter through an official border post and you’re denied entry, then your next step is to enter the country illegally and that’s where smugglers come in," said Witwatersrand University’s Amit. Sheik Amil of the Somali Community Board, which represents the interests of Somalis in South Africa, confirmed that business was flourishing for smugglers who charge up to US$3,000 to bring Somalis to South Africa from Kenya, where many begin their journeys at the refugee camps near the border. "They have to get half the money before they leave and the other half when they arrive," said Amil, adding that migrants who failed to come up with the second instalment were often held hostage by their smugglers until a friend or relative produced the cash.

A common assumption is that a foreign citizen may apply for a B1/B2 tourist visa, or enter on the visa waiver program, then marry a US citizen and remain in the US. This appears to be an easy route, because a visitor visa is rather inexpensive and quickly approved. Visitor visas, however, are not easily granted. The foreign citizen must show “strong ties” to their country, which overwhelmingly demonstrates that they have something to return home for. Strong ties include holding property, working a high-paying and respected job, having young children, etc. Even with strong ties, the denial rate is high and nearly impossible in some countries. Taking this route is also problematic, because the government does not like it when visa applicants break their promises. When issued a tourist visa, or entering the US on the visa waiver program, the foreign citizen gives their sworn promise that they will return home in the allotted time. Marriage to a US citizen implies that the foreigner has changed their story and will not return home anymore. In some cases, marrying on the tourist visa may be considered visa fraud by the Department of State (DOS) and United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). While the government does not want to break up families, if they decide that someone commits visa fraud, that individual can be removed and banned from the US. For these reasons, US citizens who want to

bring a girlfriend or boyfriend to the US should consider the K1 Fiancé(e) Visa route. This option takes up to eight months to be approved and costs approximately one thousand dollars in government fees. It also requires an in-person meeting (meaning the US citizen must first travel to the foreigner’s country or a mutual country) before filing the petition. When it is approved, the foreign citizen will have 90 days to test out the relationship and living situation before marriage. f the relationship progresses, they may marry here and file for their permanent residence to remain in the US. If the relationship fails, they simply return home within the 90 days, making this a flexible and viable visa option.

For US citizens interested in starting their lives with a foreigner it is important to understand the bureaucracy, time, and paperwork involved in the visa process. One misstep can be costly financially, in time spent, or even worse lead to serious immigration repercussions. Those considering bringing a girlfriend or boyfriend to the US should consider the K1 Fiancé(e) Visa and consult a certified immigration consultant like Easy Fiancé Visa ( or an attorney (try American Immigration Lawyers Association --at Source:


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African (Diaspora) Marketplace

October 2011

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Africa's emerging leaders launch 2020 growth vision


diverse group of young emerging leaders from all across Africa and the diaspora has come together to promote a unified vision for the continent and devise ways to move it forward.

Dubbed Africa 2.0, the advocacy group recently met in Mombasa, Kenya, to bring together some 250 young businessmen, social entrepreneurs and opinion leaders from nearly 40 African countries to work toward a strategy that could help

By Isha Sesay and Teo Kermeliotis, CNN the continent leapfrog and accelerate its development. "If you think about it, China has an agenda for Africa. India has an agenda, Europe, America. It's about time we Africans set an agenda for ourselves." says Mamadou Toure, founder of Africa 2.0. The move comes as Africa undergoes a period of economic transformation, becoming increasingly attractive to international investors -- last year, the continent's economy grew by nearly 5% while six of the 10 fastest-growing economies in the world are currently from Africa. World Bank economist Vera Songwe says the initiative is bringing together young Africans who want their continent to achieve growth and are interested in spreading the message that "Africa is a different place to do business." The group has set the target of achieving a prosperous and inspiring Africa within the next 20 years. It has marked 2020 as a key milestone and works on a manifesto to raise awareness of what needs to be done until then. Toure calls Africa 2.0 a social contract between the private sector, civil society and governments. He says the strategy for the group's vision is based on four axis: uplifting Africans, creating and sharing the wealth, upgrading the infrastructure and setting up a growth-enabling environment. The group's agenda includes pushing for the proposed Africa free trade area, a bloc that would span 26 countries, as well as a plan for better governance and boosting entrepreneurship. "Ultimately, Vision Africa 2020 is the legacy of a generation on how they see the future of this continent and how they believe we can take it to the next level," says Toure.

Some 250 young Africans from nearly 40 countries gathered in Mombasa, Kenya, for Africa 2.0's leadership symposium "We view ourselves also as a voice from the people who will ultimately inherit this continent." Toure, who is also an investment and development officer at the International Finance Corporation, says that one of the main challenges today is the willingness and acceptance of current decision makers to make a space for the youth. He adds that changing the mindset is crucial for the future prospects of the continent. "It's about building an African 'can-do' attitude that would get Africans to take ownership of their own future and to start rolling their sleeves to actually face the challenge ahead," he says. Toure says Africa 2.0, which will hold its next symposium in Nigeria next year, is not just another initiative that's hung up on endless discussions. Instead, he calls it a 'Dink Dank'-- a terminology coined to describe a think tank that does things -- which aims to get their ideas endorsed by government leaders and put plans in place to execute them.

"We are action-driven," he says. "We are committing to implement it and we invite whoever believes in that to step in -- it is the responsibility of all and the society we are entering now in this 21st century and it is a society where everyone can be a leader," he adds. While there's still much to be improved before the group's goals are implemented, some say that change is on the way. "We've now just seen good elections in a couple of countries. We saw in a couple of countries they've changed regulations. Many more are doing better on the Better Business Index, which means institutions are strengthening because in the end, that is what governance means," notes Songwe. "Governance means building strong institutions that are sustainable and survive long after leaders that created them have left. I think in that case we are doing well," she adds.

It looks different in black America (continued from page 6) than black job applicants without a criminal record. In black America, infants are twice as likely to die as in white America. That gap has also grown over the last three decades. Even if blacks had the same background characteristics as whites - maternal age, educational attainment, etc. - two-thirds of that gap would still exist. If black America were its own country, it would rank 67th in infant mortality, just below Qatar and Uruguay. In black America, 4 percent of the male population is in jail, compared with 0.7 percent of men in White America. Blacks comprise 40 percent of prisoners in America, though they comprise only 13 percent of the general population. And it's not because they're more likely to commit a crime. According to recent research, blacks are significantly more likely to be arrested than whites for the exact same crime. On average, a black criminal who murders a white victim will receive a significantly harsher punishment than if the murder had been committed by a white criminal, regardless of the characteristics of the victim or the quality of legal counsel. White drug users outnumber black drug users four-to-one. According to one study, "White students use cocaine at seven times the rate of black students, use crack cocaine at eight times the rate of black students, and use heroin at seven times the rate of black students." Another study reported that "white youth aged 12-17 are more than a third more likely to have sold illegal drugs than African American youth." Yet blacks are three times more likely to be arrested on


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drug charges. As a result, blacks are unfairly disenfranchised more than whites. In the recent case Farrakhan v. Locke, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals openly admitted that "the statistical disparity and disproportionality evident in Washington's criminal justice system arise from and result in discrimination," yet they did not uphold the Constitution's prohibition of racial discrimination in voting. No wonder Congress won't take their calls. Literally. Just like employers, legislators are less likely to respond to requests from blacks than from whites. And they need to be heard. In a country where 13 percent of the population is black, only 10 percent of the House of Representatives is black, and there are zero black Senators. In black America, equal representation, the cornerstone of democracy, does not exist. So while I understand your distaste for affirmative action and other diversity programs that seem like "reverse racism," I urge you to remember that whites receive affirmative action too - only, we call it by a different name: everyday life in America. Your fellow white American, Anthony W. Orlando Anthony W. Orlando graduated from MMI Preparatory School in Freeland, PA. He is a graduate of the Wharton School of Business and the London School of Economics. He runs a blog at

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October 15, 2011

Page 14


LifeStyle CULTURE E N T E R TA I N M E N T Sensational creations from the Design School Southern Africa The Design School Southern Africa (DSSA), a private Higher Education institute for creatives pursuing a career in Fashion, Graphic or Interior Design, finished off their year with a show stopping fashion production at Swan Lake Lodge in Centurion. The evening encompassed ranges from DSSA's first, second and third year students, with the main emphasis being placed on DSSA's final year students who will be graduating at the end of this year. The Design School had a panel of highly es-

teemed professionals from the design and fashion world who were tasked with the onerous job of choosing the top five final-year designers at the end of the evening. They were Nadja Seal (Make-up Artist & Fashion Stylist), Hildegardt Whites (7de Laan actress), Lucinda Schoeman (Fashion Co-ordinator) and Cristal Jacobs (Fashion Designer). The winning designers on the night, Farai Chingoka, Marne Nelson, Naomi Wiid, Cecilia Jonker and Gerty Cronje were awarded with the exhilarating opportunity to go on to show case their designs at Saturday's Sansui Summer Cup at Turffontein Race Course. A fitting platform for any young designer looking for a captive audience of fashion loving enthusiasts; after all the Summer Cup is all about "Hot Fashion, hot races and hot party!" The Design School are not new to the concept of races and fashion together as two of their second year students were both regional finalists in this year's Vodacom Durban July Young Designer Awards. "We will definitely look to continue our partnership with the Sansui Summer Cup as it continues to gain momentum each year". The Design School Southern Africa is registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training as a higher education institution and is owned by The Independent Institute of Education (Pty) Ltd. With campuses in Brooklyn (Pretoria) and Bordeaux (Joburg), DSSA attracts those creatively gifted looking to enrich their future with a BA Degree in Fashion Design, Graphic Design or Interior Design. And for those new to design forefront, DSSA also offers a 1 year Foundation Art and Design Course which is targeted at improving students' technical drawing skills. -- Vegas School

Many Africans Know How to Prevent HIV/AIDS But their safe-sex behaviors are out of sync with their knowledge WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Gallup surveys in 19 sub-Saharan African countries -- where almost two-thirds of the world's HIV-infected population lives today -- show majorities of adults know how to prevent the spread of the virus.

These findings -- based on Gallup surveys conducted in 2009 and 2008 -- underscore how important efforts to raise awareness about HIV and AIDS, such as World AIDS Day on Thursday, are to combating the spread of the virus and disease in the region. According to a recent UNAIDS report, the number of new infections in sub-Saharan Africa decreased about 26% between the peak of the epidemic in 1997 and 2010 partly because of better access to antiretroviral drugs. The UNAIDS report also cites changes in behavior, including reducing the number of sexual partners, increasing condom use, and waiting longer to become sexually active, as spurring the decline. Many Agree People Should Use Condoms, but Fewer Report Using Them

Medians of more than 8 in 10 agree that abstinence and that monogamy with an uninfected partner reduce one's chance of getting HIV/AIDS and that drug users should not share needles. In addition, while a median of more than 7 in 10 agree that people should use condoms every time they have any kind of sex, they are less likely to agree with this statement than the other prevention measures tested in the poll. Percentage who agree with the HIV/AIDS statements

A median of 72% in the countries surveyed agree people should use latex condoms every time they have sex. But agreement ranges from 92% in South Africa to 30% in Niger. In general, knowledge about different ways to prevent HIV transmission, including condom use, is most widespread in countries where HIV infections are highest such as in Botswana and South Africa. However, reported condom use is far lower. A median of 40% say they have ever used one, ranging from 64% in South Africa to 12% in Niger. In most countries surveyed, the gap between agreement that people should use condoms and reported use is at least 15 percentage points.

(L-R) Yemen's Arab Spring activist Tawakkul Karman, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and activist Leymah Gbowee

Three women's rights activists share Nobel Peace Prize Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, activist Leymah Gbowee of Liberia and rights activist Tawakkul Karman of Yemen share this year's Nobel Peace Prize, the Norwegian Nobel Committee announced Friday. They were chosen "for their nonviolent struggle for the safety of women and for

women's rights to full participation in peace-building work," the committee said in Oslo, Norway. "We cannot achieve democracy and lasting peace in the world unless women obtain the same opportunities as men to influence developments at all levels of society."



October 15, 2011


Leaders on course in Algeria, Morocco SuperSport United had their unbeaten start to the new South African season halted in dramatic fashion by the defending champions, while in Morocco FUS Rabat opened up an eight-point gap by beating the title holders. Elsewhere, Asante Kotoko and Berekum Chelsea continue to tussle in the Ghanaian Premier League as USM Alger stayed top in Algeria. South Africa Premier League: Run ended Leaders SuperSport United lost their unbeaten record in their 13th game of the season as they went down 3-0 to champions Orlando Pirates on Saturday night. It provided Mamelodi Sundowns the next afternoon with a chance to close a three-point gap and go top, but they lost at home to Kaizer Chiefs, who are now in a threeway tie in third place with Free State Stars and Moroka Swallows. Big game: SuperSport, who have won three of the last four championships, were threatening to establish a runaway lead before the halfway mark of the season but were pulled back firmly by Pirates. Veteran Benni McCarthy converted an early penalty followed by goals from Isaac Chansa and Ndumiso Mabena. The score was ultimately flattering, but SuperSport were the first to concede they had left their scoring boots at home. Headline-grabbers: Tough tacking Zimbabwean international Thomas Sweswe rarely ventures out of his own half, but he headed home a free kick after 12 minutes for his first goal in the South African Premier League. It proved enough for Chiefs to beat Sundowns in Pretoria, although 39-year-old Chiefs goalkeeper Arthur Bartman was the star of the game after making some heroic stops to keep Sundowns at bay.

half-hour mark after he was first to a rebound from a 20-metre effort had been blocked, and Badr Kachani added a second half penalty as FUS Rabat put on a competent showing to dismiss the champions. Kachani is now second in the scoring charts with six for the season. Headline-grabbers: Former African champions FAR Rabat have finally got their first win of the season but remain in deep trouble near the foot of the table. A 1-0 away win over JS Massira, courtesy of a goal on the hour mark from El Mahdi Azim, snapped a nine match winless streak since the start of the season, but the Royal Armed Forces are still second from bottom and in the relegation zone. Ghana Premier League: Kotoko open up two point lead Asante Kotoko temporarily lost top spot in the league but regained it back after 24 hours from champions Berekum Chelsea. Kotoko’s 1-0 win over Ebusua Dwarfs gives them a two point lead after Chelsea had earlier beaten Bechem United. Hearts of Oak slipped three points off the lead after losing a derby to Liberty Professionals Big game: Dwarfs were always going to be a tough opponent for Kotoko, coming into the game on a nine-game unbeaten run and seeking to inflict on the leaders a second defeat of the season. It took an hour for Kotoko to break down their visitors’ defence before Daniel Nii Adjei scored the only goal of the game. Headline-grabbers: James Abban scored twice to emerge as the hero as Liberty Professionals upset Hearts, who had to play the entire second half down to 10 men after Owusu Sefa was sent off just before the interval. Abban opened the scoring after 64 minutes and then made sure in stoppage time of a second after snapping up Michael Helegbe’s corner kick.

Morocco Botola: Leaders show their credentials Surprise leaders FUS Rabat reinforced their credentials as they seek a first-ever title by handing champions Raja Casablanca their second defeat of the season. FUS Rabat are now eight points clear at the head of the Botola standings although they have played two more matches than second placed MA Tetouan. Raja remain back in fifth spot, nine points behind FUS Rabat and with no games in hand.

Algeria Premier League: New coach wins second game New USM Alger coach Didier Olle-Nicolle has won a second game since taking over and kept the club from the capital at the top of Ligue 1. USMA beat NA Hussein-Dey 2-0 and are two points ahead of CR Belouizdad, who won by the same score line over MC Alger. Entente Setif slipped back to third after a 2-2 draw at JS Kabylie.

Big game: Brahim Bahri scored just before the

Big game: After last weekend’s derby defeat,

Olle-Nicolle was keen to get his side back on track again but had to wait until the last 15 minutes to be sure of the win. Noureddine Daham scored twice at the end to ensure the win for USMA, although they did have striker Fares Hamiti sent off on the stroke of full time. Headline-grabbers: Clashes between JSK and Entente Setif are always eagerly awaited affairs but rarely do they produce four goals in a game. Setif were 2-0 up after 50 minutes through Abderahmane Hachoud and Mohamed Amine Aoudia before their hosts launched a comeback with a goal from Salim Hanifi and a penalty converted by Saad Tedjar to even the score.

Elsewhere Three sides still remain unbeaten after the first five rounds of the new season in Mauritania but CF Cansado are alone at the top. Mochudi Centre Chiefs have opened up an eight point lead at the halfway point of the Botswana’s Premier League Fomboni Club ended Comoros' championship play-off with a 2-0 win over Coin Nord, but it was not enough to stop their opponents from being crowned champions.

US launches drones from Ethiopia (continued from page 13) White House spokesman Jay Carney said the US was determined to press ahead with counterterror efforts, which have increasingly focused on al-Shabab and al-Qaeda's network of offshoots in the Arabian peninsula. In July, a US drone, possibly flown from Manda Bay, was reported to have killed two senior members of the movement. "We are harnessing every tool of American power - military, civilian and diplomatic. The United States is strengthening its intelligence, military and security capabilities and drawing from the full range of enforcement tools in coordination with partners around the globe," Carney told reporters. Under President Barack Obama, the US has in-

creasingly relied on drones to carry out covert strikes against al-Qaeda, the Taliban and others in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. The raids are conducted under the authority of the Central Intelligence Agency, not the military, but special operations forces and drone aircraft can be assigned to the spy agency for the strikes. The covert strikes are an open secret but senior US officials decline to publicly acknowledge the raids. Administration officials declined to comment on whether the drone surveillance flights out of Ethiopia were focused on Somalia. But a defence official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said: "We're obviously very concerned about instability in Somalia." --Source: Agencies

October 15, 2011

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The Gold Star Herald is Comprehensive, quality, and insightful news source of the African Diaspora—targeting the African, African-American,...

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