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“Be brave and be bold�

No more violence against girls and women

Betty Makoni writes a new book urging all to stop violence against girls and women pages 6-7

Legal and policy framework on safeguarding children in the UK

Young Olympic Torch Bearer makes Kenyans proud

Staff Benda Bilili out to move the world

page 3

Exclusive interview with Model Menaye Donkor Muntari

pages 10-11


BME community urged to sign up to NHS Organ Donor Register

page 4

page 12

page 17

Scheme to stop domestic violence launched page 9

Fast, reliable and convenient money transfers around the world and across the UK.


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Brides of Culture

Free Multicultural Bridal Exhibition coming up in London Brides of Culture (BoC) exhibition will take place on Saturday 8th September 2012, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in East London’s trendy Docklands.

This free Afro-Caribbean wedding exhibition is the only one of its kind in London.

Its founders, Abi Laditan and Kemi Osinloye, have announced that internationally renowned Wedding & Events Specialist Seyi Olusanya of Cedar Events will facilitate two exclusive “Ask the Expert” sessions for brides & grooms to be. The Wedding Planning “Ask the

A34 to Jamaica

Family fun day in Birmingham

Expert” sessions will provide brides-to-be with an opportunity to receive invaluable tips and expert advice on “How to Plan the Perfect Wedding” from an elite wedding industry professional. With an impressive 10 years’ experience in the wedding and special events industry, Seyi has a wealth of experience gained by producing spectacular events over the years. Cedar Events has been recognised within the industry as a trendsetting company and has earned itself a reputation for delivering exceptional events. Founded in 2009, BoC aspires to be the largest AfroCaribbean focused Bridal Exhibition in the UK. Its website provides useful tips, information and advice as well as details of local and regional vendors to meet the wedding needs of a diverse mix of brides and grooms - from across Africa and the Caribbean.

Wedding & Events Specialist Seyi Olusanya will facilitate “Ask the Expert” sessions for brides & grooms to be BRIDES OF CULTURE FREE MULTICULTURAL BRIDAL EXHIBITION Crowne Plaza Hotel- London, Docklands Western Gateway E16 London 8th September 2012 From 11:00 to 18:00

BHW presents free events on history every Wednesday London Metropolitan University is hosting a series of events on history in association with Black History Walks (BHW), in honour of Mosiah (Marcus Garvey) Month, African Remembrance Day and PanAfrican Women’s Day.

As part of the Jamaica Gold season, the outdoor event A34 to Jamaica will present a cultural day of creativity aimed at children, young people and their families. The free festival will take place on 19th August 2012, from 12:00 to 18:00, in Phillip Street Park, Birmingham. It will feature activities, food stalls and a fun fair, to keep the

whole family entertained. The Drum and Barton Arms will play host to an incredible array of Birmingham’s rising musical talent, both outside and inside the venues. Developed by the Ladywood community, A34 to Jamaica will truly be a day of local pride, good spirit and a celebration of the diversity of the people and cultures that make up the local communities.

The Pan-African Women’s Day was founded as a celebration of the first Pan-African Women’s Conference in Tanzania in 1962 to honour the tremendous achievements of African women, and advocate for greater gender equality. From 8th August 2012, each Wednesday, they will have a film or presentation. Previously censored, excluded from the mainstream and forced underground, these docu-

mentaries and presentations highlight the political, economic, cultural and social condition of people of African descent. All the events will be hosted by Dr. Michelle Asantewa and

BHW and have Question and Answer sessions. Free entry to all films and presentations. Just send an email to or

AFRONEWS | My Own Media Ltd. The Old Fire Station, 140 Tabernacle Street, London, EC2A 4SD, United Kingdom | EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Stephen Ogongo Ongong'a | TEL: +44 (0)20 7300 7320 or +39 06 94354517 |Fax: 0207 253 23 06 | Email: | ADVERTISING: TEL: 020 7300 7320; 07846062331 | Email: sales@myownmedia. | DISTRIBUTION: Tojake Uk-Wade | Email: | PRINTING PRESS: Newsfax Ltd, London. | Advertiser and advertising agency assume liability for all content (including text representation, illustrations, and photographs) of advertisements printed or posted, and also assume responsibility for any claims arising therefrom made against the publisher | Supplement of Africa News, Registered at the Tribunal of Rome. Registration No. 22/2003 - 21-01-2003

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No. 10. August 2012


BME community urged to sign up to NHS Organ Donor Register death. Dr. Sally Johnson, NHS Blood and Transplant’s Director of Organ Donation and Transplantation, urged more people to sign up to the ODR and encouraged the donors to talk to their family and friends about their donation wishes. Dr. Johnson said: “If you join the ODR tell the people closest to you. Otherwise, your wishes may come as a surprise at a time when they are trying to deal with their loss. This could affect their decision to proceed with a lifesaving donation. To add your name to the ODR please call 0300 123 23 23, text JOIN 84880 or visit www.transplantweek.” Lloyd from Stevenage,

Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) community members are encouraged to sign up to NHS Organ Donor Register (ODR). Black and South Asian people are more than three times as likely to need an organ transplant than the rest of the population. However, there is a shortage with only 1.5 per cent of people on the Register of South Asian origin, and 0.4 per cent of Black origin. This means that South Asian and Black people

have to wait much longer for a transplant, on average twice as long as a White person. The annual UK-wide awareness week which was held from 9th to 15th July 2012, was meant to increase understanding of organ donation and encourage more people to join the NHS Organ Donor Register. Hollyoaks actor, Sikander Malik said: “Raising awareness of the importance of organ donation is something that I am truly passionate about, especially within the ethnic minority community where currently there is a

severe shortage of donors for Black and Asian patients. It is crucial that people not only sign up to the NHS Organ Donor Register and support this great cause, but also that they make their wishes known by passing this information on to their friends and family.” The theme of this year’s Transplant Week was ‘Pass it On’ - focusing not just on signing up to the ODR but also the importance of people talking about their wishes to family and friends so they know what they would like to happen after their

whose father is from the West Indies, is acutely aware of the need for more people from BME communities to join the register. He sadly lost his sister Jane, aged 29, to a road traffic accident. When his sister passed away himself and his family agreed to donation as they didn’t want her to die for nothing. “Jane had already discussed with us about how she supported organ donation and would wish her organs to be used to help someone else live if anything happened to her. This helped us to make our decision to donate. Her gift helped four people to have a second chance to live, and this really helped me and our family to make sense of the tragedy,” Lloyd said.

“If you join the ODR tell the people closest to you. Otherwise, your wishes may come as a surprise at a time when they are trying to deal with their loss. This could affect their decision to proceed with a life-saving donation. To add your name to the ODR please call 0300 123 23 23, text JOIN 84880 or visit” Dr. Sally Johnson, NHS Blood and Transplant’s Director of Organ Donation and Transplantation

Nigeria Diaspora Youth Leadership Summit taking place in London Students’ Association of Nigerians Abroad will host the Nigeria Diaspora Youth Leadership Summit in London on 18th and 19th August 2012.

The Summit which will be held at the Kings College London, will bring together young Nigerian leaders, youth and students. Participants at the Summit will reflect on Nigeria’s past, present and future leadership from political, economic, social, and cultural perspectives. The Students’ Association of Nigerians Abroad said the Summit will be a perfect opportunity to empower and sensitize partici-

pants about the need for young people to take leadership roles and lead change in Nigeria, using their talents, skills and advanced knowledge. The Summit will include workshops, presentations, panel discussions/debate, keynote addresses and will be attended by high profile public leaders, academics, diplomats and policy administrators. A special feature of this Summit will be the Mentoring Cafe, a unique programme that will bring together 100 selected Nigerian youth and potential leaders to interact with public office holders, present their ideas for development in Nigeria, learn and

network. Participation to the Summit is free. “We welcome interested Nigerians who believe they have a stake in the building of the Nigeria

we desire to participate in this Summit. Unfortunately because of space constraints, participation is limited, so early registration is advised to guarantee a place,” the

Students’ Association of Nigerians Abroad said. For more information and to register, please visit


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Henry Ochieng’

Young Olympic Torch Bearer makes Kenyans proud ©Njehu/AEP

which are my main sports alongside athletics. I play football for West Ham United Academy and represent England internationally at Under 14 level. For athletics, I represent Redbridge as my borough and also Essex in most events in athletics. This summer I have a tight schedule full of cricket, football and athletics which are all competitive. You seem very busy with 60 trophies and over 90 medals, when did start getting involved in sports? I started getting involved in sports when I was in year 2/3 which is about age five or six years. I played all sports but preferred football, cricket and athletics. What are your hobbies outside sports?

Henry Ochieng’ carrying the Olympic Torch Henry Ochieng’ made Kenyans in the UK proud as he carried the Olympic Torch on 22nd July 2012 from 119 Rainham Road A125, RM13 7QX, to Victory Road, in the London Borough of Havering.

Henry, 13, is the son of Sam Ochieng’ and Perez Ochieng’, Kenyans who run the Sahara Communities Abroad (SACOMA), in Ilford, Essex. The young boy’s father who could not contain his joy, said: “Henry has made us

very proud as a family and as Africans, and we congratulate Henry for his hard work.” Pauline Long caught up with Henry for a quick interview, but the biggest shock she received was the content of his trophy cabinet. With over 60 trophies and 90 medals won the inspirational teenager is headed for greatness. Henry, tell us a bit about yourself. I love sport. I play football and cricket

My hobbies are mainly hanging round with friends when I get some free time because I rarely get to see them with my tight sport schedule. This is definitely a dream come true for you. How do you feel about making history being an Olympic Torch bearer especially at a tender age of 13? I feel amazed, humbled and very honoured for carrying the Olympic Torch at this young age. Looking at what I have achieved in my short life is amazing, how-

ever it is awesome to receive acknowledgement from people and from professionals in the sports industry. What would you like to be when you are older? I would love to be a professional football player in the premier league when I’m older. You are multi-talented, what else do you like apart from sports? I love entertainment as well. I have been in school productions and the West End Musical called ‘Thriller live’ which evolves around Michael Jackson and his life. I also like watching theatrical entertainment and musicals and movies. Where does your inspiration to achieve come from? My greatest inspirations come from the people around me and myself driving me on to do the best I can and achieve great things. For more information about this brilliant student, please visit By Pauline Long

The Sportsman sponsors rising judo star Awiti-Alcaraz The Sportsman Casino will limited opportunities,” Awiti-Alcaraz sponsor Philip Awiti-Alcaraz, a said. “Thanks to The Sportsman’s support, I now stand a better chance of young judoka from Enfield. Awiti-Alcaraz, 18, will receive a £1,000 bursary from The Sportsman Casino. He recently won gold medals at the 2012 Junior European Cup in Portugal and the 2012 Commonwealth Judo Championships. Over the next year, Awiti-Alcaraz’s goals are to achieve a top 5 European ranking, grab a medal at the 2012 Under 20 European Championships and be selected for senior European Cups. Ultimately, he aims to take part in the 2016 Olympic Games. Young athletes typically train more than 15 hours a week on top of school or college commitments, travel 650 miles a month to train and compete, and spend more than £6,400 a year on their sport. At a time when sponsorship deals are hard to find, most athletes rely entirely on their family. “The financial pressures we face as young athletes today means we’re left with

fulfilling my dream to become a world judoka champion.” Neil Howells, Director of The Sportsman Casino said: “These athletes are amongst Britain’s brightest hopes for future Olympic and Paralympic success and it’s an honour to be able to support them in any way we can. Philip is extremely talented and has huge potential; we hope that our sponsorship will provide him with the necessary tools to achieve success.” The Sportsman’s sponsorship of Awiti-Alcaraz reflects the casino’s sporting heritage. Established in 1968, The Sportsman was regularly frequented by sporting icons such as Muhammad Ali, top jockey Lester Piggott and great footballers like Dave Mackay. As part of its legacy, The Sportsman is keen to spot and support the new sporting champions of the future.

Rising Judo Star Philip Awiti-Alcaraz and Neil Howells, Director of The Sportsman Casino


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New inspiring book

Makoni: Stop violence against girls and women Betty Makoni’s new book is an autobiography that echoes the message she has dedicated her life to preach: no more violence against girls and women.

Ms. Makoni is the founder of Girl Child Network Worldwide and a globally recognized girl child rights activist. The book titled “Never Again: not to any woman or girl again” is a powerful campaign tool urging all to do everything possible to defend girls and women from violence. “I declare never again to abuse of women and girls. We must unite against those who attack defenceless babies and young girls and enslave them sexually,” Ms. Makoni said. “We must feel it within our hearts that we must speak out against rapists and abusers. We must speak to ourselves about ways to protect the most vulnerable.” The book exposes in a very clever manner, abuse against girls and women while at the same time giving hope to those who have been victims of violence, reminding them that they will heal. Ms. Makoni has inspired millions around the world to repli-

cate the Girl Child Empowerment Model that she developed. Besides her work with Girl Child Network Worldwide and building many Girl Child Networks in Africa and throughout the world, Ms. Makoni is a mentor, coach, and trainer for women and girls who want to do similar work. “After going through a life time of pain and trauma as a result of childhood rape, poverty, physical and emotional abuse as well as domestic violence that claimed the life of my mother when I was nine, I triumphed,” Ms. Makoni said explaining why she wrote the book. “It is the vicious cycle of poverty and violence that I broke that gave me courage to go back into my poor neighbourhood and declare victory and not victimization to over 300,000 girls I empowered through Girl Child Network in Zimbabwe.” The book tells Ms. Makoni’s story of “emerging from zero to hero” and helping thousands of girls to be empowered, with an objective of inspiring many others to do the same. “Many tragedies befell me and I could not have existed like millions of other women and girls who due to poverty, disease and violence perish in silence and never get accounted for,” Ms. Makoni said. Her book “ N e v e r again: not to any woman or girl again”, unveils a new energy that must take the whole world to action and a new vision of what must be done to save women and girls wherever they are. She uses the new book to make a personal declaration to end violence a g a i n s t women and girls at per-

sonal level and in the home, school, community, country, continent and the whole world. The book celebrates courage, determination and perseverance amidst adversity. “Never again: not to any woman or girl again” presents several main characters who have worked, lived, played, danced, argued, quarrelled, cried and walked with Ms. Makoni who is the main character. It begins with the death of Ms. Makoni’s mother who remains a mystery character who inspires her activism and whatever she does to help women and girls. “Many times I felt her in spirit urging me to soldier on. She is known to have silenced me from speaking out on violence I saw happening in our home and little did she know she was evoking the spirit of activism in me at early stage,” Ms. Makoni said. The book is coloured purple, Ms. Makoni said, to make every reader feel royal. “The feeling of being uplifted, empowered, encouraged and appreciated injects the positive energy to many in the world who have otherwise given up or resigned from pursuing their dreams,” she said. From the very beginning of the book, when Betty Makoni is portrayed as a traumatised child to the end when she is a global hero, she passionately takes the reader through an empowerment process where at every stage she presents victory over victimization. There is no part of the book where the reader would stop because Ms. Makoni never stops, never resigns and never looks back. She keeps her life momentum consistent, making her positive energy appeal to the reader. Throughout the book, Ms. Makoni gives an opportunity to the reader to self-empower and take charge of themselves. The imagery, symbolism, simplified and yet powerful expressions of situations, people, places and even those things we take for granted, bring the ordinary reader to also feel extraordinary. Asked the relevance of her book in today’s society, Ms.

Makoni said: “The world has Asked what she’d like readacknowledged that violence ers to learn from her book, Ms. against women and girls is a Makoni said: “I want readers to scourge and pandemic claiming make any aspects of my story lives of millions. The book theirs as I know issues I am launches a new era, a new breed bringing are universal issues. of women and girls and men and There are so many stories not yet boys of quality and equality who told to facilitate healing, reconwill not watch as women and ciliation, peace and love in the girls perish like what happened homes and families. This is an in past decades. A one woman atomic bomb that they can take and moneyless strategy is hereby and throw on family taboos, presented so that it ignites activ- myths, harmful cultural practices ists to come out and launch their and just anything that makes life own strategies. Millions of strat- get stuck. I want readers to refuel egies to combat gender based and rejuvenate for activism that violence exist and these have not brings meaningful change in been effective and yet they have people`s lives. I want readers to galloped millions of dollars.” have a new culture of prevenIn her book, Ms. Makoni tion. For young women followpresents a one woman strategy ing my footsteps, I want you to that ends up mobilising not only know leadership is within you her community but the whole and so unleash your potential.” world with each girl being Ms. Makoni’s book is entireempowered into a woman leader. She redefines activism in simple actions at personal and family level, something often overlooked as basis of meaningful change. about and from In a world where the Black Community many more organisations in the UK on are being formed, Ms. Makoni urges individuals and families to be strongly founded on principles of self-empowerment. Ms. Makoni’s book is the first of its own kind by a once poor, invisible and often forgotten African girl child turned global hero.

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“Each time I fell into a tragedy I told myself I would not let the same pain befall a woman or girl again. From age six I told myself no woman would be reduced to a punching bag by males in the homes like what happened to my mother and many women” Ms. Betty Makoni, Author of “Never Again: not to any woman or girl again” ly based her real life experiences. She developed her conviction to write the book from the numerous cases of raped girls she assisted. “Each time I fell into a tragedy I told myself I would not let the same pain befall a woman or girl again. From age six I told myself no woman would be reduced to a punching bag by males in the homes like what happened to my mother and many women,” Ms. Makoni said. She is appealing to all to

never again let any girl or woman suffer violence. “Never again will a girl or woman get raped, killed, drop out of school, be harmed by our culture or be sexually enslaved,” this is the world she dreams of and spends


each day of her life working for. Ms. Makoni is CNN Hero 2009 for Protecting the Powerless. She has 28 global awards for innovation, commitment and passion for her work to protect hundreds of thousands of girls worldwide. Last year Ms. Makoni received the Honorary Decade Child Rights Hero Award, alongside former President of South Africa Nelson Mandela. Partial proceeds from the sale of “Never again: not to any woman or girl again” goes into the Girls Empowerment and Education Fund. Since the book is written to inspire girls, the author would appreciate the gesture of anyone purchasing her books with the intention of giving them to girls who are not financially able to purchase them. You can purchase a copy of “Never again: not to any woman or girl again” from http://www. B008HKS07U.



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Police in Gwent and Wiltshire are the first to start piloting the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme, also known as Clare’s Law.

Under the scheme women will have the right to ask the police whether a new or existing partner has a violent past. If police checks show that a person may be at risk of domestic violence from their partner, the police will consider disclosing the information. The pilot will also look at how the police can proactively release information to protect a person from domestic violence where it is lawful, necessary and proportionate to do so. Both processes can be implemented within existing legal powers but new guidance developed for the pilot will help ensure that recognised and consistent processes are in place. Forces in Nottinghamshire and Greater Manchester will join the pilot, which runs until 2013, in September. “Domestic violence is a dreadful crime which sees two women a week die at the hands of their partners, and millions more

There have been positive and unintended negative consequences for young people whose age has been disputed by the UK Border Agency and local authorities since a Supreme Court judgment in 2009, a new report by Maggie Atkinson, the Children’s Commissioner for England has revealed. In her review of case law and local authority practice of age assessments of young people in the asylum system, the Children’s Commissioner called for a “consensual, clear, scientifically sound way forward” in order that the situation improves. Reacting to the report, Donna Covey, Chief Executive of the Refugee Council said: “The report shows that an inconsistent approach and an adversarial process has not always resulted in better outcomes for children and young people. This reflects the experiences of many separated children we work with who have their ages disputed by the UK Border Agency and local authorities. “The report summarises the difficulties in accurately assessing the age of a young asylum seeker. We have consistently argued that benefit of the doubt must be applied as well as calling for improvements to policy and practice in this area.”

is intended to empower people to make informed decisions to protect themselves and their children when getting involved with a new partner.

“It will also allow the police to act in the best interests of people they believe could be at risk of violence by sharing information of a partner’s violent past.”

TUC: Workers forced to pay for protective safety equipment Despite laws which say employers must give their staff personal protective equipment (PPE) free of charge, more than one in five workers are being forced to pay for it out of their own pocket, a new TUC survey has revealed.

PPE includes protective clothing, helmets and goggles designed to protect workers from injury, electrical hazards, heat, chemicals, and infection. More than one in 10 (11.6 per cent) of those who responded to the TUC questionnaire said that although their work required them to wear safety equipment of some kind, their employer failed to provide or pay for this. A further 8.9 per cent were made to pay for any replacement equipment if their original PPE was damaged. In total more than one in five (20 per cent) of respondents to the survey said that they had to pay for providing or replacing all or some of the equipment they needed for their work. Women workers were even less likely than men to have their safety equipment provided, with more than 15 per cent having to provide all or some of their own attire - usually foot protection or overalls - compared to 10.5 per cent of men. The TUC was shocked to find that even where the employer provided PPE, the worker usually had to clean the equipment themselves or pay for it to be cleaned. Of those whose equipment needed cleaning, more than three in five (60 per cent) claimed that their employer made no arrangements for provid-

“The fact that so many employers are flaunting the law is an absolute scandal. Far too many workers are being forced to provide their own safety protection, whether footwear, boiler suits, overalls or gloves, and this abuse is widespread across a wide range of industries ranging from construction to catering. Even when equipment is provided it is often expected that the worker cleans it or replaces it if damaged”


Commissioner: Age assessment still an issue

suffer years of abuse in their own homes,” Home Secretary Theresa May said. “That is why we are constantly looking at new ways of protecting victims by giving them the support they need.” Calls for the introduction of a national disclosure scheme gained momentum following the tragic case of Clare Wood, who was murdered by her former partner in Greater Manchester in 2009. Her partner had three previous convictions under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997. The pilot scheme follows a successful public consultation which received more than 250 responses from a wide range of high profile statutory and voluntary organisations. “This pilot is designed to prevent tragic incidents from happening, such as that of Clare Wood, by ensuring that there is a clear framework in place with recognised and consistent processes for disclosing information to the public,” Ms. May said. The Association of Chief Police Officers’ lead on domestic abuse, Chief Constable Carmel Napier, said: “A key part of policing is to protect people from harm. The Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme


Pilot scheme to stop domestic violence launched

Brendan Barber, TUC General Secretary ing, or paying the cost of cleaning. It is illegal for an employer to charge for any safety equipment. The law also says that every employer has to ensure that any PPE provided to their employees is maintained (including replaced or cleaned as appropriate) in an efficient state, in efficient working order and in good repair. “The fact that so many employers are flaunting the law is an absolute scandal,” said TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber. “Far too many workers are being forced to provide their own safety protection, whether footwear, boiler suits, overalls or gloves, and this abuse is widespread across a wide range of

industries ranging from construction to catering. Even when equipment is provided it is often expected that the worker cleans it or replaces it if damaged.” Mr. Barber noted that while safety equipment is needed to ensure that workers are protected from injury or disease, there appears to be very little enforcement of the law. “As a result many workers - often those in low-paid service jobs like catering and cleaning - are having to fork out from their own pocket, or go without. This must stop. With the government’s cutback of proactive inspections in the workplace this abuse can only grow.”

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Are workers entitled to speak in their first language? In recent months the Employment Tribunal and Appeals Tribunal has issued two welcome decisions in respect of employees speaking their first language in the workplace.

In April 2012 the Tribunal heard the case of Griffin v Hyder Brothers Ltd, in which a sales assistant employed at a petrol station, brought a race discrimination claim complaining about a number of incidents. One of these was that the owner of the franchise and colleagues and other persons connected to the employer often spoke in Punjabi or Urdu at work. He alleged that this occurred in a way that excluded him and made him uncomfortable. The Employment Tribunal dismissed his claim. They acknowledged that conversations in a language used deliberately to exclude an employee from participating in the conversation, or nevertheless having that effect, could amount to ‘any other detriment’ for the purposes of a discrimination claim. However, whilst the employee here was clear that the conversations in Urdu/Punjabi made him uncomfortable, the Tribunal held that the way the conversations occurred did not amount to a detriment in his case. “They were not designed to exclude him or otherwise upset him and should not, in the circumstances, reasonably have that effect. The fact that the Claimant did not like others having private conversations in their first language, which he did not understand, cannot be described in the view of the Tribunal as a detriment unless there are

aggravating factors.” The Tribunal went on to suggest that “either an intent or inadvertent effect of violating the Claimant’s dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for him” could be an aggravating factor. A later decision from the Tribunal, whilst in relation to a different type of claim, brings further protection from discrimination for those wishing to speak their first language. In the case of Dziedziak v Future Electronics Ltd the employee, a Polish national, worked for the employer for approximately three years. She was dismissed by reason of redundancy and brought claims in respect of her dismissal; this claim was dismissed for a number of reasons but, Ms. Dziedziack was successful in bringing a race discrimination claim. This claim was in respect of an incident in which her line manager reprimanded her for speaking Polish in a work-related conversation at work with a Polish colleague. The Employment Tribunal upheld the employee’s claim of race discrimination on the basis that she had been instructed not to speak “in her own language” whereas no other employees of other nationalities had been subjected to the same restriction. The case also illustrates the shifting burden of proof in action: the employee had established facts from which the Tribunal could conclude that she had been subjected to discrimination on grounds of her Polish nationality, and this left the employer to

provide an adequate non-discriminatory explanation for their instruction not to speak Polish, a challenge they failed to rise to. On appeal, the EAT upheld the Tribunal’s decision; the use by the employer of the phrase “own language” was intrinsically linked to her nationality. Interestingly, had all staff been directed to speak in English, her claim would have needed to be brought as an indirect discrimination claim instead of the direct dis-

crimination claim that succeeded. A claim of indirect discrimination would open up the possibility of the employer objectively justifying its instruction. Hopefully these decisions will serve to encourage employees, subject to discrimination to challenge the actions of their employers. By Fiona Hamor, Expert Employment Law Solicitor, Pannone LLP.

Interview system for foreign students introduced UK Border Agency officers have been given new powers to interview international students and refuse visas if they are not satisfied the applicant is genuine, Immigration Minister Damian Green has said.

The targeted interview system was introduced on 30th July 2012, ahead of the summer surge in student applications. Officers will concentrate on uncovering abuse in countries where it has been most prevalent, UK Border Agency said. Across the globe high-risk applicants will be identified and asked a number of questions about their immigration and education history, study and post-study plans, and financial circumstances. The Agency is expected to carry out up to 14,000 student applicant interviews next year. “With more interviews and greater powers to refuse bogus students we will weed out abuse and protect the UK from those looking to play the system,” Mr. Green said. The previous system didn’t allow UK Border Agency officers to refuse some applications even if they doubted the credibility of the students. “We are toughening up the system to keep out the fraudulent

and unqualified while ensuring genuine basic questions in English without the aid cants were coming to study at a private students benefit from our country’s excel- of an interpreter - despite stating on their higher or further education college, and 14 lent education sector,” Mr. Green said. application forms that they had the neces- per cent at a university. “Britain is open for business to the bright- sary language qualifications to study at Other government measures to tighten est and the best migrants but the message higher and further education institutions in up the immigration system have driven up is clear – if you try to hide your true moti- the UK. the quality of the institutions wishing to vation for coming to the UK then you will Agency officials indicated that they bring in international students. Over 450 be found out and refused a visa.” were concerned about the legitimacy of 32 colleges are no longer able to bring in stuLast year the UK Border Agency car- per cent of the rest of those interviewed dents from overseas. ried out an interviewing pilot to tackle and could have turned down the visa if the The number of student visas issued has concerns about the legitimacy of some power to refuse on genuineness was avail- fallen by 21 per cent over the last year, UK applicants. More than 2,300 student visa able. Around 60 1per cent of these appli- Border Agency said. 02/12/2011 11:21:52 applicants were interviewed in 13 overseas posts with the aim of testing how effective face-toT-TALK face interviews and new International Calls from your mobile refusal powers would be – in addition to existing strict application processes that consider fraud and other factors. Same rates 24/7 ! Under the pilot Use your existing pay around a fifth of applimonthly or PAYG SIM. cants were refused entry to the UK following their For more details visit interview. One of the main issues was the inability of interviewees to display the required level of English. Some Helpline: 020 8497 4622 were unable to answer

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“Be brave and be bold” Exclusive interview with Model Menaye Donkor Muntari African fashion is increasingly becoming recognised worldwide because of new talented African designers whose bold designs “really embody the strength of the true African women and show everyone what we are about,” says Menaye Donkor Muntari.

The amazingly beautiful and charming model and actress, was the Africa Fashion Week London (AFWL) 2012 Ambassador. The two-day fashion show which took place at the London Spitalfields Market on 3rd and 4th August, celebrated the work of African and African inspired designers in the UK. Ms. Donkor Muntari is also a philanthropist who has been an advocate for education and HIV/AIDS awareness since her time as Miss Universe Ghana 2004. Her Menaye International School in Ghana, provides free education to over 150 primary school students. Along with her husband AC Milan midfielder Sulley Muntari, they are in the forefront of supporting and funding education, arts and sports programmes in their native Ghana and the UK. Ms. Donkor Muntari, who has just been appointed the face of Ghanaian print company Printex, is a firm supporter of African fashion. She is keen to make the dreams of young fashion designers from Africa come true and to promote their designs internationally.

Here’s an exclusive interview she granted The AfroNews. Ms. Donkor Muntari, you were the Africa Fashion Week London 2012 Ambassador. Why did you accept this role? I was honoured to be chosen to be the ambassador for Africa Fashion Week London this year because I think it’s a great way to show off the talents of our continent to the rest of the world. African fashion is so bright and colourful, it is something I have always supported and tried to promote. As the new face of Ghanaian fabric house Printex, I know only too well how important these opportunities can be for designers so I think it’s a great cause. African fashion is of late getting recognised at international level. Why do you think this is happening? I think African fashion is getting more recognition across the world because we have some really great new talent entering the industry with bold designs which really embody the strength of the true African women and show everyone what we are about. You love African fashion. What do you like most about Ghanaian fashion and what makes it so unique?

It’s the bold prints and summery colours that are so popular with African designers that I just love. I like fashion that’s a bit different and that you won’t often see others wearing. I wear a lot of clothes by local designers such as K’naf Couture and Manise. I like to jazz it up with internationally renowned designs and African creations. You will most likely see me in my favourite designer Dolce and Gabbana number and accessorize it with a statement jewellery or unique bags. As a model and businesswoman, have you ever thought of coming up with your own fashion label? I have thought about it many times as I have a real passion for fashion, but currently I am pursuing my other passions like my charity work, property development and I am also in the process of launching an acting career which is something I have always wanted to do. You have been appointed the face of Ghanaian print company Printex. Please share with us briefly the type of products the company produces. I started working with Printex in June when they launched two new amazing fabric ranges, Arete and Xclusive – I really do love them both for many reasons. Printex always offers great colours and a blend which a lot of women can relate to as the colourful prints make you feel good when you wear them. I grew up knowing Printex. My grandma wore Printex and my mum still wears Printex, and it is a fabric with class. It’s an exciting fashion brand to represent as they really understand the African woman. I’ve learnt that you’ll have a key role in the Ghana Fashion and Design Week as well as the Ghana Fashion festival. When and where will it take place? What exact role will you play? The Ghana Fashion and Design Week is later this year in Accra from 5th to 7th October. It will bring together creatively talented fashion and accessories designers in Ghana, to showcase their collections to local and international retail buyers, Africa’s neo-fashion consumers, influential press, media, and fashion savvy celebrities. My exact role will be revealed a bit closer to the time but I will attend as the face of Printex to promote the brand as well as support young and up and coming designers and help them break into the industry and create a stir! What are the challenges of working in the fashion world? It’s a tough world to break into because there are so many talented people out there who want a piece of the industry. You just have to know where you want to fit into it and be really focussed. Do you

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No. 10. August 2012


“I think African fashion is getting more recognition across the world because we have some really great new talent entering the industry with bold designs which really embody the strength of the true African women and show everyone what we are about” Ms. Menaye Donkor Muntari, Model, businesswoman and philanthropist want to be a designer, photographer, model, stylist or even make the clothes or accessories? Please share with our readers some fashion tips. Be brave and be bold. Use your fashion choices to express yourself and never forget that a pair of good heels can complete an outfit and lift your mood. The higher the heels the more confident the woman! Many young African girls aspire to become models. What’s your advice to them? Make sure you know where you want to go and who you want to be as a per-

son. Don’t forget who you are and be loyal to yourself. Know your look and use it to your advantage. Also keep your body fit and healthy by working out and getting enough sleep, because shows and shoots can be very long hours and quite physically demanding. Prepare for knockbacks and criticism, and grow a thick skin. Don’t take it personally because its only part of the industry so just try to remain positive. How’s the Menaye International School in Ghana doing? The Menaye International School is doing well and so far we have been able to give around 500 kids a quality education which they would not have otherwise had access to. I love going home to see all the kids with their big smiles looking so smart in their school uniforms we funded. Do you have any plans of expanding the school or establishing similar schools in other parts of Ghana? We




doing a total refurb of the school to spruce it all up and at the end of last year we opened up a brand new ICT suite and library so the kids have all the learning resources they could want! We are also currently raising funds for a school bus which will transport the kids to and from school so they don’t have to make the (sometimes very long) walk to get the education they deserve. Ms. Donkor Muntari, how do you spend your free time? Sleep, Sleep, Sleep! I love to relax and get a good amount of sleep because I’m constantly on the move working long hours. I do try to go to the gym as much as possible to keep myself healthy and in shape. Most of all I love being with my family back in Ghana and looking after my nieces and nephews, as well as spending quality time with my mum who is my best friend. It’s always a party back at our family home in Ghana with lots of jokes and laughter....and not to forget my mum’s cooking! Your husband AC Milan midfielder Sulley Muntari, is one of the most famous African players in Europe. How does it feel to be a wife to such a person? To me he’s just my hubby Sulley who I love to cook for and spend time with. To be honest, it’s just like being married to any other type of man. When Sulley is at home he’s not Sulley the footballer, he’s Sulley the normal guy, and when we hang out we just do every day normal things. We both have very busy lives, so when we are together we like to just relax and hang out. It’s very normal!!! By Stephen Ogongo Ongong’a


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No. 10. August 2012



Legal and policy framework on safeguarding children in the UK In this section we will provide some basic information on the legal and policy framework which guide the protection and safeguarding of children in the UK and how parents are affected by these.

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child The Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948 proclaimed that childhood is entitled to special care and assistance. In this regard, a UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) was promulgated in 1989. Two articles are of special significance to the State’s role in safeguarding children.

The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child: Article 19 1. States Parties shall take all appropriate legislative, administrative, social and educational measures to protect the child from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation, including sexual abuse, while in the care of parent(s), legal guardian(s) or any other person who has the care of the child. 2. Such protective measures should, as appropriate, include effective procedures for the establishment of social programmes to provide necessary support for the child and for those who have the care of the child, as well as for other forms of prevention and for identification, reporting, referral, investigation, treatment and follow-up of instances of child maltreatment described heretofore, and, as appropriate, for judicial involvement.

The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child: Article 20 1. A child temporarily or permanently deprived of his or her family environment, or in whose own best interests cannot be allowed to remain in that environment, shall be entitled to special protection and assistance provided by the State.

2. States Parties shall in accordance with their national laws ensure alternative care for such a child. 3. Such care could include, inter alia, foster placement, kafalah of Islamic law, adoption or if necessary placement in suitable institutions for the care of children. When considering solutions, due regard shall be paid to the desirability of continuity in a child’s upbringing and to the child’s ethnic, religious, cultural and linguistic background. It is important to note that most African countries, apart from Somalia have signed the UNCRC – just like the UK. It is also important to note that in addition to this convention most African countries have signed the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child which is very similar to the UNCRC. Most African countries therefore have the same obligations as the UK to safeguard children from all forms of abuses. As part of its obligations, the UK government has put in place a series of laws and guidelines in order to safeguard the development of children growing up in the UK. These laws outline what action should be taken when a child is at risk and the consequences for offenders.

him/her of services by a local authority; • His/her health or development is likely to be significantly impaired, or further impaired, without the provision for him/her of such services; or • He/she is a Disabled Child.

The Children’s Act of 1989

Categories of Child Abuse

The Children’s Act 1989 was passed in order to bring together and properly define all the laws affecting children. It outlines the role of the court and local authorities in protecting the welfare of children. The “duty to investigate” was also granted to local authorities if they suspect that a child is in danger of suffering “significant harm”. This is known as Section 47 of the Children’s Act of 1989. It also became the duty of the local authorities to provide “Services for children in need, their families and others”.

According to UK law, there are four categories of child abuse. These are: • Physical Abuse: including beating, slapping, shaking, burning, suffocation, drowning • Emotional Abuse: making a child feel worthless, unloved, inadequate, not valued or scared • Sexual Abuse: forcing or grooming a child to take part in sexual activities, rape, showing them pornographic materials, encouraging sexual behavior • Neglect: failure to meet the basic physical and/or psychological needs which has effects on a child’s development

Section 47 of the Children Act 1989

Child protection is considered to be a process of protecting individual children identified as either suffering, or at risk of suffering, significant harm as a result of abuse or neglect. And the local authority is under a duty to make enquiries, or cause enquiries to be made, where it has re• The government has the right by law to cause to suspect intervene in families “in the best interests of asonable that a child is suffering, or the child”. likely to suffer, significant • Intervention will occur if the government harm.

Key Points to Remember

believes a child is at risk of “significant harm” or is a “child in need of services” • Most agencies use the “Assessment Framework” to assess if a family needs intervention. • There are four categories of child abuse: Sexual, Physical, Emotional and Neglect • Parents need to improve their knowledge and understanding of what the law says so they do not commit offences by abusing their children due to ignorance of the law.

Section 17 (10) of the Children Act 1989: A child is a Child in Need if: • He/she is unlikely to achieve or maintain, or have the opportunity of achieving or maintaining, a reasonable standard of health or development without the provision for

The Children’s Act 2004 After the death of Victoria Climbie in 2000, the UK government launched an enquiry, headed by Lord Laming, to investigate how they could improve the child protection system. From the results of this inquiry (Laming 2003), the Keeping Children Safe Report (DfES, 2003) and the Every Child Matters green paper (DfES, 2003), were produced and laid the groundwork for the Children Act 2004. The Children Act 2004 outlines the process for combining children’s services in order for every child to be able to achieve the five “Every Child Matters” outcomes: being healthy; staying safe; enjoying and achieving; making a positive contribution to society and achieving economic well-being. Since then, a “Review of Child Protection” by Professor Eileen Munro has also taken place to further improve the system of protection for children in the country.

In our “Safeguarding African Children in the UK” Series of Publications, we have addressed each of the above categories in broader details. We encourage all parents to read them to gain a better understanding of how African children can be affected. The Assessment Framework

In assessing cases of child safeguarding referred to Children’s Services, the Local Authority uses what is called “The Assessment Framework” to determine if the child is in need of services or at risk of harm. The Framework is also used to decide what kind of support systems need to be put in place to ensure the child’s overall wellbeing looking at three key factors: The Child’s Developmental Needs, Parental Capacity and Family and Environmental Factors. Intervention in families is therefore seen to be done “in the best interests of the child”. The Child Protection Process When a child is suspected to be at risk of “significant harm”, the following process is followed by the Local Authority involved: 1. Section 47 of the Children’s Act 1989 Assessment – An investigation into a child’s needs and how they can be kept safe from harm 2. If there are further concerns or if the social worker is unsure the child is safe, there will be: 3. A “Child Protection Conference” – To make a decision about whether a child is still at risk of harm or not, involve parents, children and others 4. Child is then subject to a “Child Protection Plan” – this shows what support the child will receive and from whom 5. CP Plan and “Core Group” – A core group is also known as “team-around-the-child” – a group of people who make sure that the things on the plan happen. Parents are part of this group. Safeguarding Children: AFRUCA’s Work To Educate The Community Apart from our work organising Child Protection Training Programmes For African Parents nation-wide, AFRUCA has also produced the “Safeguarding African Children in the UK” series of publications to highlight different safeguarding issues and to assist members of the African community in the UK to know more about different forms of child abuse and how to identify the signs so children can be safe and be better protected. We have also produced this “Manual on Child Protection for African Parents” to help parents further develop their knowledge and skills on Child Protection so they can bring up their children successfully in the UK.




An extract from “Manual On Child Protection For African Parents in the UK” by Africans Unite against Child Abuse (AFRUCA). To be continued in next edition.



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No. 10. August 2012

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GG: Commit to building a better Jamaica

He was speaking at the National Independence Thanksgiving Service held on 29th July 2012 at the historic Holy Trinity Cathedral on North Street, downtown Kingston. The Governor General, in his message, stated that as the country celebrates 50 years of Independence, Jamaicans must look back and give thanks for the many achievements and learn from the failures and disappointments, and “build our future victories on the wisdom we have gained from the hard experiences that we have suffered.” “We are a nation on a mission; a mission to vindicate the sacrifice and suffering of our National Heroes; a mission to surpass even the expectations of our founding fathers,” he said.


Governor General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, has called on Jamaicans to commit to the mission of building a better country and of leaving a proud legacy for future generations.

Governor General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, exchanges greetings with Minister of Youth and Culture, Hon. Lisa Hanna, on arrival at the National Independence Thanksgiving Service on 29th July at the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Kingston Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, in her message, saluted the National Heroes, whom she said, made tremendous sacrifices so that Jamaicans can celebrate as an independent nation. She reminded the congregation that as Jamaica celebrates 50 years of nationhood, it is useful

and important to remember that the country continues to grow and develop. “As we celebrate our Golden Jubilee, Jamaicans should commit to making sure that every child we encounter, feels valued; every worker we interact with feels respected; every elderly person in our life feels secure;

and every person with disability will feel loved and secure,” she said. Opposition Leader, Hon. Andrew Holness, in his remarks, urged Jamaicans to be thankful for the achievements to date, “while we learn from the errors that have prevented us from achieving more”. “At the same time, let us be optimistic and hopeful that the next 50 years will see the fulfillment of Jamaica’s maximum potential for the benefit of all our people,” the Opposition Leader stated. “Let us agree that the mission and meaning of project Jamaica in the next 50 years, is the economic independence of our nation,” he added. Scores of Jamaicans turned out for the two and a half-hour service, to give thanks and praise for 50 years of achievement. The event was made even more memorable by the soaring voices of a combined Children’s Choir, the Jamaica Folk Singers, Jamaica Youth Chorale and many others, who gave thanks through songs

and dance. Rev. Jonathan Hemmings, Pastor of the Ocho Rios Baptist Church, delivered a spirited sermon, while a large candle was lit in remembrance of the many Jamaicans, who have passed on since Independence, including those who made significant contribution to nation building. Logistics and Protocol Consultant, Merrick Needham, took the congregation back to 1962, in a brief reflection of the moments leading up to Independence. Also attending the service were Former Governor General, the Most Hon. Sir Kenneth Hall and Lady Hall; Former Prime Minister, the Most Hon. P.J. Patterson; Minister of Youth and Culture, Hon. Lisa Hanna, who also gave greetings; members of government; members of the diplomatic corps; uniformed groups; school children; and representatives from a wide cross section of the society. By Andrea Braham JIS Senior Reporter

NWC to improve and expand Jamaica’s water supplies Jamaica’s National Water Commission (NWC) will be improving and expanding water supply services across the island, under the Kingston Metropolitan Area (KMA) Wa t e r Supply Improvement Programme.

The programme, which is divided into four components, is being funded by the InterAmerican Development Bank (IDB). Speaking at the official launch at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston recently, Minister of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, Hon. Robert Pickersgill, said the project represents the largest IDB investment in Jamaica. “These series of projects being funded by the IDB include the

US$138 million Kingston Metropolitan Programme for which the IDB is providing loan funds to the value of US$133 million,” he said. Mr. Pickersgill said the broad objective of the KMA programme is to improve efficiency, quality and sustainability of the potable water services provided in the Kingston Metropolitan area, and to increase access in selected urban centres of the island. “Specifically, the programme will optimise water infrastructure performance, reduce non-revenue water levels and strengthen NWC’s performance in terms of operation and maintenance practices,” he said. Providing details on component one of the programme, Mr. Pickersgill said it involves rehabilitation of the potable water supply of the KMA at a cost of US$84

million. “This component will finance the completion of the works designed under a previous IDB loan for the Kingston water and sanitation project. This includes the rehabilitation of selected water treatment and production facilities, and reduction of commercial and physical losses as part of the non-revenue water in Kingston and St. Andrew,” he said. He noted that this component will also fund the rehabilitation of the water supply network for the Forest Hills/Red Hills area and the construction of a new pipeline to address the deficit in supply. The Minister said an aquifer recharge system designed to sustain the water resource capacity in western Spanish Town will also be constructed. Another component will be the upgrading of water supply

systems for urban centres at a cost of US$20 million. “In recognition of the fact that water supply challenges exist in other areas of the country, this component includes rehabilitation and water supply improvement works in Old Harbour, St. Catherine, May Pen, Clarendon and Mandeville,” he said, adding that it will involve the design, construction and modification of the water production, treatment and distribution system for these townships. Mr. Pickersgill informed that under the Energy Efficiency Improvement Component, some US$10.1 million is being provided. “This component will finance the replacement or rehabilitation of selected water production facilities, such as pumps, lift stations, reservoirs... as well as other operating measures to improve energy

management at the NWC and to reduce monthly electricity bills to the organisation,” he said. The fourth component deals with the institutional strengthening of the NWC at a cost of US$3.5 million to enable better service delivery. “This component will target the change management process required to facilitate the shift of the operational culture of the NWC to assure adequate corporate planning and improved performance of all its employees,” the Minister said. Mr. Pickersgill informed that the KMA Water Supply Improvement Programme is projected for implementation over a five-year period, with completion expected in 2016. By Chris Patterson, JIS Reporter

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No. 10. August 2012


SERAP slams Nigerian government on poor budget implementation Federal Government of Nigeria should “come clean and acknowledge that its implementation of the budget in the past years has failed completely to achieve the citizens’ human rights, and satisfy Nigeria’s international obligations and commitments to fulfil those rights,” a civil society group has said.

Adetokunbo Mumuni, Executive Director of Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) challenged the statement by Nigeria’s Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iwaela that the 2012 budget was being implemented to “protect and enhance the best interests of Nigerians”. “This statement clearly cannot be supported in the face of the increasing poverty and suffering that millions of Nigerians experience almost on a daily basis,” Mr. Mumuni said. SERAP said they were seriously concerned that the budget implementation was “being trivialized and politicised” by President Goodluck Jonathan’s government.

“Nigeria is a state party to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), which provides clearly that the country’s maximum available resources must be used to satisfy the basic needs of Nigerians such as water, health, food and electricity,” SERAP said. The organization said there was nothing to prove that the allocation of resources and expenditure by the government through the 2012 budget satisfy the human rights obligations generated by ICESCR. “The result is that the government has not been able to provide the minimum core of essential health care, basic shelter and housing, water and sanitation, foodstuffs, and the most basic forms of education for millions of our people. This leads to discrimination and vulnerability which causes further human rights violations,” SERAP said. The organization urged the government to “demonstrate more transparency and accountability by for example swiftly publishing widely including on the internet, how much of the 2012 budget has so far been spent on providing essential health

care, water, electricity, and basic education for Nigerians.” SERAP said there was urgent need for the government and the National Assembly to ensure the application of a human rights based approach to budget decisions and implementation.

Sirleaf commits to repealing criminal defamation President of Liberia, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, has become the latest head of state to commit to the core principles of a free press after endorsing WAN-IFRA’s Declaration of Table Mountain in Monrovia on 21st July 2012.

“We are signing the Declaration of Table Mountain in order to underscore our message loud and clear, to advance a free press and freedom of expression, not just in Liberia but the entire continent of Africa,” President Sirleaf said at a signing ceremony attended by 200 people, including diplomats from Nigeria, the United States and Germany. The Minister for Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism, Lewis Brown II said: “On the eve of our 165th anniversary of independence, our country is going through an exciting transition into a future of hope and opportunity, and signing the Declaration of Table Mountain is an important step in this transition to make our country freer, but keep us accountable.” The Declaration of Table Mountain, which calls for the repeal of criminal defamation and ‘insult’ laws across the African

President of Liberia Ellen Johnson Sirleaf continent, was adopted at the World Newspaper Congress held in Cape Town, South Africa, in 2007, the annual meeting of the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WANIFRA). Numerous press freedom and civil society organisations, including South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu, have endorsed the Declaration, which identifies criminal defamation and ‘insult’ laws as amongst the most severe obstacles to securing the future of the independent press in Africa. President Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger became the first sitting head of state to sign the Declaration in November

2011. “By signing the Declaration, President Sirleaf is showing her genuine commitment to freedom of the press as a basic human right, as well as an indispensable constituent of democracy in Liberia,” said Roger Parkinson, Senior Ambassador and former president of WAN-IFRA, who attended the signing ceremony on behalf of the organisation. The vast majority of African nations continue to jail journalists and close media houses on charges of defamation or for “insulting” authorities or their policies. The practice prevents legitimate public discourse and critical writing and leads to self-censorship. In 2010, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights adopted a resolution calling for criminal defamation laws to be abolished. The Commission’s Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression, Pansy Tlakula, said the signing by President Sirleaf “will not only put press freedom high on our agendas, but will also encourage other stakeholders to ensure that the right to freedom of expression is guaranteed and realised. A step forward would be for States Parties to repeal criminal defamation and libel laws from their Constitutions and other national laws.”

Failure to do so, SERAP warned, “millions of Nigerians will continue to be denied their internationally recognized economic and social rights, including their right to their natural wealth and resources.”

Kenya to host IT Leaders East Africa Summit The 2nd annual IT Leaders East Africa Summit will be held in Nairobi, Kenya from 5th to 6th September 2012. The Summit is organised and hosted by international business-to-business conferencing company, Kinetic Events in association with the Kenya ICT Board (KICTB) and Kenya Information Technology and Outsourcing Services (KITOS). The Summit will provide a unique and exclusive businessto-business platform for IT executives and industry leaders to share experiences, network among peers and engage in interactive discussions with fellow senior executives, government officials, senior decision makers and international industry guest speakers. It will focus on enterprise IT challenges facing the African IT industry, preventing enterprises within the continent from reaching the international standards of first world nations. The Summit will address today’s top ICT and operations issues, and technological advancements impacting enterprise with strategic guidance and actionable tactics. Participants will discover

the most effective solutions in delivering IT projects and services that will enable business growth and innovation, while successfully leveraging existing resources and investments. They will actively engage in topical discussions addressing how IT industry challenges can be overcome through effective innovation with the productive alignment of business. The strategic Summit will feature internationally renowned guest speakers, industry topics and discussion points appropriate to Africa’s IT industry, and prompt interesting debate among fellow industry peers through innovative and interactive workshops, best practise case studies and expert-led keynote sessions and presentations. International guest presenters represent CIOs, government officials and IT leaders from all major industries; addressing crucial topics including innovative tactics to best improve IT processes and operations, and future industry trends and technological advancements to effectively improve enterprise infrastructure. For more information, and to apply to attend, visit www.


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No. 10. August 2012


Sunnie Dae compiles rare Jamaican Folk songs Lovers of Jamaican Folk songs have a reason to rejoice. To celebrate 50 years of Jamaica’s independence, Caribbean Folk and Blues singer Sunnie Dae has compiled a dynamic collection of Jamaican Folk songs whose origins date back to the late 19th and early 20th century.

Sunnie has worked with other Artists such as Benjamin Zephaniah, Courtney Pine and The Happy End Big Band. Contemporary Jamaican band The Jolly Boys have paved the way for a revival of Mento, which is Jamaica’s Folk music. On the album, Sunnie is joined by Frederick Turuka in the rhythm section on Caixa and Sian McDonald on Repinique. The horn section is Louise Elliott on Tenor Saxophone & Flute with Colin Graham on Trumpet & Flugel horn. The gentle man who is 65 years young, Walton McLaren provides the rich gravelly tones to “Peel Head John Crow” and “Unity”. “On the face of it the songs are simple, however when you break down the songs you realise there are deeper stories of intriguing moral tales, with links to our past we mustn’t forget,” Sunnie said. “All Folk songs contain the wisdom and messages from the ancestors and that is for everybody; it is for posterity.” The opening song on the album “Me Donkey waan wata/Hold ‘im Joe”, is described in the “Jamaican Song & Story” book by Walter Jekyll & Alice Werner (published in 1904 by The Folk-Lore Society) as a work song. The fragment coming from this period is at the final verse at the end of the song. The bridges and preceding verses are a composite from other versions with the 2nd verse written by Sunnie Dae. A much loved call and response song, typical of the genre.

Another outstanding song is “Linstead Market”. Louise Bennett called this song a ‘Dinky’, meaning a sad song played in a merry mood. It is one of the best known Jamaican Folk songs in Europe often played in the Mento style of an upbeat calypso. A mother’s sad tale of woe, she walks a long way to market with her ackee, (probably upon her head in a basket), hoping to sell enough so that she can bring food back for her children. She says: “Mi carry mi ackee go a Linstead Market, Not a quart me done sell...” In this version, the mood is captured as a prayer rising dynamically with layered harmonies. “Dandy Shandy” is the closing song on the CD. Sunnie came across the chorus of this strident tune noted by Olive Lewin in her book “Forty Folk Songs of Jamaica”, (published in 1973 by The General Secretariat of the Organisation of the American States). Sunnie then asked elders in the Caribbean community in London if they knew the song and was able to find one other verse. She wrote Verse 3 to extend the song’s arrangement. The lyric sits on a 12/8 dance feel with an English Music Hall influence about the plight of a mother who has lost her one room in which the family live and will only be consoled with alcohol, in this case a mix called Dandy Shandy. The chorus goes: “Mi lok up mi room las’ night sake a rent”. Sake means “because of” so she had to hand over the keys because of no money to pay rent. However, she is comforted by her daughter who buys her Dandy Shandy. The new 12 track CD can be ordered from

“On the face of it the songs are simple, however when you break down the songs you realise there are deeper stories of intriguing moral tales, with links to our past we mustn’t forget. All Folk songs contain the wisdom and messages from the ancestors and that is for everybody; it is for posterity” Sunnie Dae, Caribbean Folk and Blues singer

Miss Black Africa UK finalists release charity single Finalists of the Annual Miss Black Africa UK beauty pageant have released a charity single to raise funds for street children in sub-Saharan Africa. By releasing the “Be the Hope” charity single, the beauty queen hopefuls are out to put a smile on the faces of less privileged children. The track is being used to raise funds for Street Child Africa, a UK based charity that provides food, shelter

and education for street children in subSaharan Africa. Street Child Africa operates in Ghana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Mozambique, Senegal, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The beauty queen hopefuls hailing from different African countries will be competing for the title of Miss Black Africa UK on 6th October 2012 in London. “It is necessary to impart into the contestants at the early stages, the spirit of selflessness and the essence of beauty with a purpose,” said Miss Black Africa Director, Dele Onabowu. The single, which was recorded at the Shotcallers Inc Studios in South London, is available for purchase and download from top music sites like iTunes, Amazon and CDBaby. Finalist and lead vocalist, Assia is currently working on her debut album due for release by Christmas 2012.

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No. 10. August 2012


“Bouger le monde”

Staff Benda Bilili out to move the world This time, the fearless Congolese band Staff Benda Bilili are out to move or shake the world, and that’s exactly what they are doing in their new album titled “Bouger le monde”.

and young percussionist Randy (who played with the Staff Benda Bilili when he was a kid, and later vanished for a couple of years) is back in force. Another significant innovation is that the lead vocal duties are now shared between seven singers. In addition to Coco, Ricky and Theo (who sang most of the songs until now), bass player Cavalier, drummer Montana, “hype-man” Kabose, and Roger (of the amazing tin-can-and-string solos) are all featured as lead vocalists on the album.

©Christophe MacPherson

The album’s title which literally means “move the world” or “make the world shake”, refers to several things at the same time. It reveals their wish to modestly contribute to changing the world through the message conveyed by their music and their attitude. It also refers to their will to help change their own, local world; and their firm intention to get their audiences to get up on their feet and dance. Staff Benda Bilili is a band of paraplegic street musicians who initially slept on the streets of Kinshasa and rehearsed in the half-abandoned city zoo. They conquered worldwide audiences and media with their enchanting music, relentless energy and uplifting optimism. After releasing their debut LP “Très Très Fort” (Crammed Discs), Staff Benda Bilili instantaneously became one of the most emblematic African bands, as well as a symbol of resilience and triumph over

adversity. Released in movie theatres and on TV, “Benda Bilili!”, the feature film dedicated to the story of the group was a sensation at the Cannes Film Festival, and achieved a high level of success. The “Très Très Fort” album won several awards and sold more than 150, 000 copies. Staff Benda Bilili have toured nonstop for the last three years, and they keep performing in front of a constantly growing number of devoted, fervent fans. They have appeared in the largest festivals and concert halls across Europe, Australia and Japan. This new album, recorded once again in Kinshasa, contains a collection of 11 superb songs, and benefits from the musical transformations which gradually took place during Staff Benda Bilili’s 350+ shows. They are louder and rockier, their level of musicianship has further risen, and the addition of three new members brings richer textures and excitement to the arrangements. Drummer Montana joined the band right after they recorded their 1st album. Lead guitarist Amalphi is a new recruit,

“Bouger le monde” contains lyrics in no less than four different Congolese languages, plus the customary sections in French. The album which will be released on 3rd September 2012, wonderfully translates the band’s new sound: it’s more powerful and sophisticated, yet retains and showcases all the idiosyncratic qualities of their makeshift instruments, and is as lyrical and moving as it ever was. The album was produced once again by Crammed’s Vincent Kenis (of Congotronics fame) who, this time, didn’t set up his mobile studio in the zoo, but in the old Renapec studio, where legendary rumba/ soukouss stars such as Franco, Tabu Ley, Papa Wemba and Pepe Kalle recorded some of their best work. Members of Staff Benda Bilili Band are still living in Kinshasa. Although success has changed their life conditions (each of them now has a house, or is building one, they’ve bought new motorbikes, and they can now afford to send their children to school), they aren’t considering moving to anywhere else on the planet. They say that they would be cut off from their roots if they did. And they’ve set themselves a goal: they’re eager to help disabled people and homeless children around them to get homes and jobs, and are founding a school which will give them professional training (in mechanics, carpentry, music and computer science). They’ve just created an NGO for that purpose.

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No. 10. August 2012


Krystle & Pauline Corner


How to deal with difficult staff

Dear Krystle & Pauline, I own and run a small coffee shop near Liverpool Street in London. When I first started my business, friends were helping me out and so I pretty much let each member of staff develop their own roles. However, I am now finding it difficult to transfer the importance of customer service to my team. One staff member in particular has become quite difficult, rude both to customers and me. I have tried to talk to him but he avoids the issue and reminds me how useful he is to the business and how he was there for me at the beginning.

I cannot sack him as I rely on him to open up and manage the place when I am not there. Please help as I dread going to work. Alison Dear Alison, You had the guts and the character to start your own business, so you have the guts to take your business back from your staff. You are essentially being bullied and you need to act now to stop this type of behaviour. When you started your business you should have made roles clear, always draw up contracts

and keep relationships professional. You do not say if you have contracts. If you do, go back to these and look at the role and duties of each person. Organise one-to-one appraisal meetings with each member of staff and state your concerns. Encourage them to verbalise what they think their aims and objectives from their job roles are. In your meetings clarify what your aims and expectations are from each employee. Explain what the consequences could be if these aims are not met. If staff behave unreasonably then you should have a procedure in place which everyone is fully aware of. This might include verbal and written warnings as you must have evidence and a paper trail of all incidents and outcomes to prove that you have acted fairly. You’re unfortunately in a position where you are reliant on one particular member of staff and he knows it. You need to reestablish that you are the owner and the manager. Ensure you are

paying a fair wage and that correct working conditions are in place. Leadership and management skills need to be developed so ensure that your skills are up to date. You also need to clarify his duties as you have probably relied on him in excess of his job description. If he is in a management role but does not have the title or the wages to support this he may be resentful. This could be why he is rude to both you and the customers. If you think he is a valuable

member of staff and he is honest and trustworthy it would make sense to sort out the customer service issues with training and guidance. Employees are like children although they may protest, they want organisation, routine, boundaries and discipline. Once your staff sees that you are in control the respect should follow. Finally seek expert legal advice if the problems persist. By Krystle and Pauline Downie

ABOUT KRYSTLE & PAULINE DOWNIE Krystle and Pauline Downie run It’s My Magazine, a personalised album for your event, presented in the style of a glossy magazine, and Kadence Bluu, Hair Integration Solutions for women experiencing hair loss. To submit your own business related question, e-mail quoting “The AfroNews business question” within the subject box. Follow Krystle and Pauline Downie on Twitter: @ KrystleDownie


Dabo Kolo They will look like flat peanuts, and are served as a snack or with cocktails; and like peanuts, once you start eating them you cannot stop. Traditionally, Dabo Kolo are favoured by travellers because they keep for a long time without spoiling. Dabo Kolo are usually made from wheat flour, but can also be made from tef flour (which is more commonly used to make Ethiopia’s famous spongy flatbread, injera) or even chickpea flour.

half. Then turn the dough about one-quarter turn, and fold again. Keep turning and folding the dough.) 4. Pull off pieces of dough to fit on the palm of the hand. 5. Press or roll out (using a

Ingredients • 2 cups all-purpose flour • ½ teaspoon salt • 2 tablespoons honey • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper • ¼ cup oil

Directions 1. Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. 2. Add water slowly to create a stiff dough. 3. Knead on a lightly floured board for about 5 minutes. (To knead, flatten the dough, fold in

rolling pin) into a strip about ½-inch thick on a floured countertop. 6. Cut the strip into squares ½-inch by ½-inch. 7. Cook in a frying pan on medium heat until light brown in colour on all sides. By Recipe Safari, http://recipesafari.blogspot. com/

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Swimming helps reduce stress - Survey Swimming helps to release stress and tension, makes swimmers more confident about the way they look and leaves them feeling mentally refreshed, a new international research commissioned by the world’s leading swimwear brand, Speedo, has revealed.

The research carried out by leading research specialists Ipsos MORI examined the psychological benefits of regular swimming. It discovered that getting in the pool is the perfect way to unwind after a busy day, with 74% of those surveyed agreeing that swimming helps release stress and tension. The research also revealed that swim-

ming is the ideal ‘feel good’ exercise, with 68% saying that being in the water helps them to feel good about themselves. Over two thirds of those surveyed said that swimming can have a positive mental impact, with 70% agreeing that it helps them to feel mentally refreshed. The international study took in the views of a global panel of swimmers aged between 16 and 45 across key markets and including a wide cross section of swimmers from those who swim only occasionally to those who swim regularly as part of a vigorous exercise regime. With swimming already regarded as a highly effective way to remain fit and healthy thanks to its low impact and high cardiovascular benefits, the new insight

into the psychological impact of swimming further enhances its reputation as one of the best forms of exercise possible. Sports psychologist Julie Johnston said: “The feeling of ‘freedom’ whilst in the water has long been one of the key appeals behind all forms of swimming, and the results of this survey offer a clear indication that swimming not only provides an effective physical workout, but can also actively improve mentality and self-per-

Healthy diet and exercise can reduce risk of Type 2 Diabetes – NICE Simple lifestyle changes, such as increased physical activity or eating more healthily, can prevent or delay type 2 diabetes, NICE has said.

©Diabetes UK

New NICE Public Health Guidance on Preventing Type 2 Diabetes has recommended that people aged 25-39 and of South Asian, Chinese, AfricanCaribbean or Black African descent, and other high risk black and minority ethnic (BME) groups (except pregnant women) should be encouraged to have a risk assessment for diabetes. NICE said that if a person is assessed as being at high risk, they should then contact their GP or practice nurse for a blood test to confirm their level of risk, discuss ways of reducing it, or whether they already have type 2 diabetes. Nearly three million people have diabetes in the UK, which is set to rise to five million, nearly 10% of the population, by 2025. The vast majority of people with diabetes have type 2 diabetes; a condition which can lead to serious complications such as blindness, kidney failure, lower

limb amputations, cardiovascular disease and stroke. It is estimated that around 850,000 people in the UK have undiagnosed type 2 diabetes, and

15% of the population are at high risk of developing the condition. Professor Mike Kelly, Director of the Centre for Public Health Excellence at NICE said: “Type 2 diabetes is a very largescale problem and it is important for people to know that it is preventable, and there are simple steps that can be taken to help reduce the risk of developing the disease.” Jill Hill, Diabetes Nurse Consultant, Birmingham Community Healthcare Trust and member of the programme development group, added: “As a diabetes nurse, I have seen first-hand

No. 10. August 2012




how the condition can affect a person’s life. “People may not be aware that diabetes is the most common cause of visual impairment and blindness, kidney failure and non-traumatic lower limb amputations.” Barbara Young, Chief Executive of Diabetes UK, welcomed the new NICE guidance on Type 2 Diabetes, describing it as an “excellent guidance document.” “We are particularly pleased that it recommends assessments for all those in high risk groups and we welcome the fact that it recognises the vital importance of the NHS Health Check programme for identifying people at high risk,” Ms. Young said. She called for full implementation of the guidance, observing that the number of people with Type 2 diabetes is increasing at an alarming rate. It is only through prevention that the rising tide and cost of Type 2 diabetes can be stemmed, she said. Ms. Young encouraged all to use their Online Risk Score which can be accessed at www.

ception, making it the ideal exercise for both body and mind.” Sean Hastings, Vice President of Product and Marketing at Speedo International, said: “Speedo is passionate about inspiring people to swim, and we hope that these findings, together with the undoubted physical benefits of swimming, will encourage others to get in the water for a mental as well as physical work out.”

Archbishop Sentamu calls for Fairtrade Mark for British produce British farmers should be paid a fair wage for their produce, Dr. John Sentamu, the Archbishop of York has said. He noted that supermarkets were not valuing the contribution the agricultural sector makes to national life. Dr. Sentamu said British consumers, aided and abetted by supermarkets, were paying too little for their food and claimed that cheap imports are making it difficult for the country’s farmers to earn a decent living. The Archbishop, an impassioned advocate of British farming, said he regularly visited farms and found he was often being told the same thing – that prices are too low. He also maintained that Britain’s uplands communities, such as the Yorkshire Dales and the North York Moors, would fall into ruin without the presence of farmers. But he said upland farmers were often the most economically disadvantaged. Dr. Sentamu said: “As consumers, we have got to be prepared to pay a fairer price for

what we are getting. I know everyone is feeling the pinch in their pocket during this long recession, but really how can we expect to pay less for our milk than say a bottle of mineral water or cola? How can we expect farmers to go on producing the best produce in the world – tasty and nutritional home grown produce – when we are paying them below the going rate for their labours? We should be concerned about food security: Fairer prices should be the bench mark of our concern.” He urged the supermarkets to pay farmers the right price, particularly when it comes to milk. “I would love to see a Fairtrade mark for British goods. Cheap foreign imports are flooding the market and British farmers are not getting a fair deal. We should demand fairness not just for workers overseas, but also at home too. Why not buy British farm produce and take less in imports? It would be encouraging to look at the shelves of our supermarkets and know that the producer has been paid a fair day’s wage for a fair day’s work,” Dr Sentamu said.


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The AfroNews No. 10. August 2012  
The AfroNews No. 10. August 2012  

The AfroNews No. 10. August 2012