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Algeria plans to grant residency rights and job permits to illegal African migrants, responding to a shortage of workers in farming and construction while also seeking to combat a surge in racist sentiment.

Prime Minister Abdelmadjid Tebboune’s plan follows the launch of an anonymous online campaign that blames African migrants – whose numbers are unofficially estimated at 100,000 – for taking jobs and spreading the HIV virus that causes AIDS.

Youth unemployment is running at around 30 per cent in Algeria, but the country also faces a shortfall of workers in some sectors as it tries to steer its economy away from over-reliance on oil and gas production.

To determine the number of beneficiaries of the scheme, the interior ministry is organizing a census while security services will screen potential residency candidates.

“They will get a residency document which will allow them to get a job,” Tebboune told lawmakers on Friday night. “We won’t allow any NGO or individual to tarnish the image of our country.”

He gave no further details on the scheme.

African migrants in Algeria are mostly from Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso and have come to escape acute poverty and terrorism back home. Some use Algeria as a transit country en route to Europe via neighbouring Libya.

“That’s great news, I will be happy if I can work under the framework of the law,” said a young Malian working illegally in a housing project as a mason in Ouled Fayet, west of Algiers.

TENSIONS

Tensions between Algerians and the migrants often boil over.

A year ago in Bechar, in western Algeria, rioting broke out after a local woman was believed to have been kidnapped by the migrants.

The online anti-migrant campaign has shocked many in Algeria, which sees itself as a leading influence in the Sahel region and more widely in Africa, for example negotiating a peace deal in 2015 in Mali.

The campaign also appears to have embarrassed the government in a country that takes pride in its history as a bastion of anti-colonialism after its own 1962 war of independence against France.

Last month a hashtag “No to Africans in Algeria” was widely shared on Twitter and Facebook, calling for expulsions to protect Algerian families and prevent “chaos”.

Amnesty International’s local representative, Hassina Oussedik, has urged the government to do more to protect African migrants.

Algeria has embarked on politically sensitive reforms to modernize its still largely state-run economy, but it has been hit hard by a crash in oil prices that has deprived the country of more than half of its revenues.

The migrants already present in the economy tend to work illegally and are very often underpaid, human rights groups say.

Some economists doubt the government’s plan will make much difference to Algeria’s workforce, while others view it as a way to further monitor traffic across its southern borders, where Islamist militant groups are active.

“The goal of most of the migrants is definitely to reach the El Dorado in Europe,” economist Arslan Chikhaoui told Reuters. “Algeria is still only a transit destination.

http://www.theafricancourier.de/

Fighting disinformation and raising awareness of the risks of exile: These are the goals of the Saloum Rapatak association, which has been active in Senegal for more than seven years. Jimane – whose real name is Ousmane Thioune – is a radio host and the president of Saloum Rapatak, an organisation based in the city of Kaolack, 189 kilometres southwest from the Senegalese capital of Dakar. He tells Leslie Carretero how his organization raises awareness of the dangers of illegal migration.

What is the role of Saloum Rapatak?

We want the Senegalese people to stay and invest in their country. Young people are the future. If they leave, who will run Senegal in the years to come? Who will take care of the fields? Senegal is not a poor country; one can work the land or raise livestock. We are in a stable country, not at war. We must believe in ourselves and invest here!

Through concerts, radio shows and forums, we educate young people about the risks of immigration. We go to meet the residents of the villages in the region. They are the least informed, it is important that they know the reality of exile and that they can have a future in Senegal. Migrants who have returned to Senegal after experiencing hell share their experiences. Some, for example, went all the way to Mali, just to return home after having become aware of the dangers.

Why is there such a need to raise awareness?

Young people leave here every week in the hope of reaching Europe. But they don’t know what awaits them on their route. Smugglers organize departures from Kaolack in the shadows, and lie to those wishing to leave. They tell them that everything will be fine and that the journey is safe, but that is not the case.

Senegalese youths detained in a prison for irregular migrants in Libya, where the conditions have been described as horrible. Many embark on the journey unaware of the dangers on the way / Photo: IRIN

The traffickers take the migrants by bus to Mali, and then on to Niger. From there migrants cross the desert in often catastrophic conditions. Arriving in Libya, they are entrusted to another man. In war-torn Libya, weapons are prevalent. It’s very dangerous. And people from sub-Saharan Africa are frequently mistreated there. One young man told me he had been attacked in the street and put in prison by the militia. Once he was locked up, they tortured him and asked his family to send money in exchange for his release. People have to know what’s going on there so they don’t listen to what the smugglers tell them.

Another problem comes from Senegalese immigrants themselves. They don’t talk about the problems they experience but instead glorify their situations. We are fighting many forms of disinformation.

Why did you launch this project?

About 10 years ago I learned that friends had left by bus from the central market in Kaolack, heading for Europe. They lived well in Senegal, they had a nice life. I said to myself, “These people are crazy. Why leave everything from one day to the next?” I haven’t heard from them since. I think they are dead. I think it’s terrible.

 http://www.theafricancourier.de/

Kenya court annuls presidential election result


Marking a major setback for Kenya's president, the country's Supreme Court has accused the electoral board of committing "irregularities and illegalities" during the election.


Kenya's Supreme Court on Friday annulled the presidential election result, saying the electoral board committed "irregularities and illegalities." The August 8 election pronounced President Uhuru Kenyatta as the winner.


"The presidential election held on August 8 was not conducted in accordance with the constitution," said Judge David Maranga, announcing the verdict of four out of the court's six judges.



The electoral board "failed, neglected or refused to conduct the elections in accordance with the constitution," Maranga added.
Opposition leader Raila Odinga, Kenyatta's challenger during the presidential election, rejected the initial result in the wake of the vote, prompting violent protests that left at least 16 people dead and dozens more injured.

'Historic day'
Odinga and his National Super Alliance, a coalition of opposition groups, were given access to the electoral commission's electronic server to verify the result of the election.
Supervised by independent technology experts, Odinga claimed to have discovered that the electoral commission's computers were manipulated to hand Kenyatta the victory.


"This is a historic day for the people of Kenya and by extension for the people of the continent of Africa," said Odinga after the court's announcement.
The Supreme Court's ruling marked the first time a presidential result had been overturned in Kenya.
This is a breaking news story and will be updated.

http://www.dw.com/en/top-stories/s-9097

Gamian Boy in Italy filmed stealing from a Passenger

A young Gamibain Boy sitting in front a sleeping passenger in front of him was filmed stealing items from the sleeping Man`s bag.

The boy was successful in nabbing what looks to be a phone the first time he opened the mans bag. Then after he reached into the bag once again and took out what looks to be some money.

He continues to go back to the sleeping mans bag and reach even deeper in hopes of finding more steals. Meanwhile, he was un-aware of some other passenger filming his entire activities.

Eventually, the Man wakes up and although he doesnt realize that the boy had taken a few of his properties, he screams at the boy and startles him to get up and walk away.

But the man doesnt seem to realise that his properties were taken even after looking inside his bag.

Social media has identified the boy as a Gambian boy and its only a matter of time before he is fished out.

People are urging the boy to give back what he took from the man before it is too late for him.

This occured somewhere on a train in Italy.   City is still unknown.

Armed police have flooded London's streets as the terror threat level was raised to critical amid fears the Parsons Green bomber could strike again. The introduction of Operation Temperer will see soldiers replacing police at key sites including nuclear power plants to free up extra armed officers for regular patrols.

Scotland Yard said it is making 'excellent' progress in hunting the suspected terrorist who set off a crude bucket bomb on a packed commuter train by Parsons Green tube station in west London at 8.20am.

It was the middle of rush hour when the crude bucket bomb - which had a timer - went off at 8.20am inside a tube train packed with commuters, including children and a pregnant woman. The device was hidden in a builder's bucket and could have killed dozens but failed to properly detonate and sent a 'wall of fire' through the carriage at Parsons Green, injuring at least 29 people.

Terrified passengers were left covered in blood with scorched hands, legs, faces and hair - others suffered crush injuries during a stampede as they 'ran for their lives' over fears the 'train would blow up'. There are concerns the open-plan tube carriage the bomb went off in helped spread the fire.

Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4890314/Police-hunting-suspects-Parsons-Green-attack.html

A good way to measure how well the migrant population has been integrated into German society is to examine its economic standing relative to the native population. To this end, recent data from the German Federal Statistics Office shed some very important light. But first,

Who is a Migrant?

For the 5th time in a row last year, the population with a migrant background reached a new record high. An individual living in Germany is said to have amigrant background if she or he has a migration history of his or her own (post 1949), is a foreign national born in the Federal Republic or was born as a German citizen to at least a parent who is either an immigrant or was born in Germany as a foreign national. The total population with a migrant background in 2016 was roughly 18.6 million, representing more than 22% of the total population and an increase of about 8.5% from the previous year. The vast majority of these migrants - or nearly 70%, - have a European background. Other regions include Asia (18%) and Africa (4%).   

The economic state of migrants

While the national economy as a whole is doing fairly well, its benefits have not been equally shared by all groups. Annual percentage GDP growth rate in Germany remains far below the 4% level in 2010 but has risen each year since the 2011-2012 slump. Last year, the economy grew just shy of 2% according to the World Bank. Employment rates have also improved significantly since theglobal economic crisis of 2008. The Unemployment rate last year (as a percentage of total labor force) was just 4.3%. In economic parlance, this represents near full employment. Also, average gross monthly income continues to rise. In 2016, German workers took home on average 3,703 euros per month. However, the population with a migrant background earns significantly less than the native population.

Last year, 28.1% of the population with a migrant background earned not more than 900 euros per month compared to 20.7% of the native population. On the contrary, 23.5% of the native population earned 2,000 euros or more per month compared to just 13.1% of the population with a migrant background. Even more striking was the fact that only 15.3% of the native population had no monthly income in 2016 compared to 28.4% of the population with a migrant background. This means that altogether, more than 56% of the population with a migrant background have either no monthly income or earns not more than 900 euros per month compared to just 36% of the native population. The gross overrepresentation of the migrant population in the low or no income category is symptomatic of a host of factors.

Making Sense of the Gap

A host of factors underpins the gross overrepresentation of the migrant population in the low or no income category. The labor force participation rate among the native population is relatively higher than the participation rate among the migrant population (although the gap is quite narrow). The rate ofunemployment for the migrant labor force in 2016  was more than twice the rate of unemployment for the native labor force. This partly explains why more migrants earned no income last year than natives. Furthermore, the population with a migrant background is less likely than the native population to be self-employed or engage in salaried employment. While there are some important advantages of wage employment such as overtime pay and no take-home work, salaried jobs are better paid, more secure and are often accompanied by additional benefits including maternity/ paternity leave than wage employment. The underrepresentation of the population with a migrant background in salaried employment is hence significant not just in terms of income in the narrow sense, but also in terms of job security, health benefits, and the overall welfare migrant families.

Why is the migrant population disproportionately represented in low-paying jobs? A possible explanation may lie in the differences in average human capital accumulation between the two groups; i.e., differences in levels of education and vocational training. The higher educational attainment gap between the two groups is quite small. Thus, 15.2% of the native population have attained aBachelor's degree or higher ( Bachelor's, master's, Diploma and Doctor`s degree) compared to roughly 12.8% of the population with a migrant background. However, Roughly 70% of the native population have a vocational qualification of some sort compared to just 41% of the population with a migrant background. Average differences in earnings between the two groups could, therefore, be explained by their average differences in education and vocational training.

However, differences in education and vocational training alone do not fully explain the income gap. This is illustrated by the fact that migrants with general higher education entrance qualification are at least 2 times more likely to live in poverty than their native counterparts with the same qualification. Those with an entrance qualification for universities of applied sciences are nearly 3 times morelikely to live in poverty than their native counterparts with the same qualification. This suggests that other factors such as occupational crowding or even discrimination may also be at play.  

Why is it important?

The population with a migrant background represents more than 22% of the total population of Germany, many of whom are German citizens with no migration histories of their own. For these people, Germany and German are likely the only country and language they know. At a minimum, their full economic inclusion is important for the simple reason that Germany is their home if not their only home. Full economic integration is also necessary for migrants`social and emotional identification with Germany and to bring out the best in them both for their own development and for the development of the country. For full economic integration to be reached, the creation and proper implementation of policies that address the standing deficiencies in vocational training qualification of migrants and other barriers to their economic inclusion such as discrimination must be prioritized at both national and state levels. Closing the income gap between the two groups is not only important for the sake of equity but also for the sake of economics. Money in the hands of migrants is more likely to be spent since households with migrant members have, on average, more mouths to feed than households without migrant members.

Mohammed Adawulai is a columnist for TopAfric 

Amidst African community outrage, police in Munich have launched investigations into an incident in which two security guards were filmed forcefully removing a man from a metro train.

The man, said to be a 48-year-old Nigerian, was reportedly removed from the train at Leuchtenbergring station in Munich, Germany. He appeared to have no valid ticket as the inspectors came up to him during the check. They then asked him to show an ID card and pay a €60 fine, according to the reporter Natalija Miletic who filmed the incident. The man, however, only had €9 in cash, which he reportedly needed for food. The inspectors collected the €9, saying he still owed the rest.

Video footage show the man resisting efforts by Deutsche Bahn guards to eject him from the S-Bahn train.

As the man grips on to handrails inside the carriage, with many commuters looking on, one guard keeps him in a headlock while the other attempts to loosen his grip on the rails and lift up his legs.

The man is not violent towards the guards and does not say anything. At one point he yells out in pain.

Once dragged off the train the commuter was held down on the platform, with pressure applied to the back of his head.

Miletic objected to the way the man was handled, accusing the Deutsche Bahn personnel of being “racist”. The reporter is heard in the video saying: “This is absolutely not okay what you’re doing. The guy didn’t do anything to you guys. You should be ashamed of yourself.

“This is racist what you’re doing. Why are you doing this? It’s because he’s black.”

The man also says: “Tell me what I did?”

Local media report that a complaint of grievous bodily harm has been lodged with the police.

Both Deutsche Bahn and the police are investigating the incident, calling for witnesses to come forward.

Deutsche Bahn told German media it was “concerned” about the incident and “regretted” the violence seen in the video.

The company says the two guards involved in the incident are currently not doing any control duty.

Meanwhile, members of the African community have been expressing their outrage over the incident with many commentators describing the incident as an indication of the racist abuse which Black people experience in their dealings with some law-enforcement agents.

Felix Dappah

German Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Bernhard Schlagheck, has revealed that 13,000 Nigerians are currently seeking asylum in Germany. The reasons they gave for their applications, according to the ambassador, range from insecurity arising from Boko Haram insurgency to political persecution in Nigeria.

Ambassador Schlagheck however hinted that his country was not convinced that there is political persecution in Nigeria at the moment.

He said: “There are 13,000 asylum applications in Germany. We are legally required to know if the person (applying) has been persecuted for political reasons.

“Think of Nigeria the way you want but there is no political persecution here. The likelihood that most of these absurd applications will be rejected is almost 90 to 99 percent.”

Ambassador Schlagheck made the revelations on Wednesday in Abuja when the House of Representatives Committee on Diaspora led by its chairman, Hon. Rita Orji, visited the German embassy on oversight functions.

Noting the cordial relationship that had existed between Nigeria and Germany over the years, Schlagheck said that Germany’s visa processes were not cumbersome for people with genuine economic and educational intentions.

“For people wishing to study in Germany, it is not difficult to get a visa. It is easier than you think. It requires filing the details or you can just go to our website,” he advised. He also stated that there were Nigerians in Germany “who were willing to return”, because “the pastures are not green”.

Dr Ralf Sanftenberg, a top German official, had during a visit to the Nigerian presidency in Abuja on 7 February revealed that there were more than 12,000 Nigerian asylum-seekers in his country and the overwhelming majority of them had practically no chances of being successful with their claims.

Sanftenberg, who is Global Head of programme, Migration and Development at Germany’s Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development, revealed that between then and the end of next year, Germany intends to deport more than 12,000 Nigerians.

Nigerian nationals have the highest rejection rate of asylum applications made by Africans in Europe, according to a 2016 report of the UN Refugee Agency UNHCR.

Kola Tella with NAN report

The G20 summit of 20 leading world economies begins on Friday in Hamburg. Anti-capitalist demonstrators have already gathered in the city, and not all have peaceful intentions, police warn.

The first warning signs that there would be trouble ahead at the G20 came on Sunday evening, when police broke up an unauthorized protest camp. In the resulting fracas, protesters threw paint balloons at officers and police responded with pepper spray. Demonstrators claim that several people were injured.

On Tuesday night, there was more trouble as police used water cannon and pepper spray to break up several demonstrations across the city.

But these disputes are likely to just be the initial skirmishes before the battle lines are fully drawn. On Thursday the potentially violent "Welcome to Hell" protest is being held. Organizers have warned that activists will seek to block access to the summit venue and, as usual, "reserve for themselves the option of militant resistance" against police.

Critics have asked why Hamburg was chosen as the venue for the summit, which along with the smaller G7 is often the focus of anti-capitalist ire.

Hamburg, like Berlin, is known for having a resilient far-left scene. The choice of location in Hamburg is also a potential spark to the dry gun powder. The G20 venue is right next to the Sternschanze district, the Hamburg neighbourhood most synonymous with the left-wing squatter movement,

According to Hamburg police figures released in the build-up to the summit, 1,090 left-wing extremists live in Germany’s second largest city, 620 of whom are considered potentially violent.

Police are expecting up to 8,000 potentially violent extremists at the event. City authorities have said demonstrators are plotting “the biggest black bloc of all time”, referring to the anarchist-associated movement that often sparks riots at major demonstrations.

In response to the threat of violence, Hamburg has banned rallies from the inner city and along access roads to the airport, forcing marchers into harbourside areas of St Pauli and Altona, away from the G20.

A report by the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV) released on Monday showed that the radical left scene in Germany in growing to a size never previously witnessed. The internal intelligence agency categorizes 28,500 people as being part of the radical left, an increase of seven percent in a year.

If protests do turn violent, it certainly wouldn’t be the first time that a left-wing demo has spiralled out of control in recent German history.

When the G8 summit was held at Heiligendamm in 2007, black bloc activists turned on police and left over 400 of them injured. A NATO summit held in Baden-Württemberg and France was also accompanied by violence in 2009, with rioters setting fire to buildings, rubbish bins and attacking private property.

In 2015, at a demonstration against the European Central Bank in Frankfurt, police were partially overwhelmed by the scale of the violence. As many as 130 officers were injured and much of the city centre was choked by smoke as rioters set light to vehicles and rubbish bins.

Islamist threat

It isn’t just the far left who are represented in large numbers in Hamburg. City police claim there are 330 far-right extremists in the city and 640 Salafists, 310 of whom are considered potentially dangerous.

The BfV say that nationwide, both of these groups have grown in size and affinity for violence over the last 12 months.

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“We need to assume that more terror attacks by lone wolves or terror commandos could happen in Germany,” Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière said on Monday.

The city says that it won't be taking any chances at the G20, with soldiers, the navy and the air force supporting the police in securing the city. Authorities say they must protect leaders, some 10,000 delegates and almost 5,000 media workers from both the threat of a terrorist attack and violent street protests.

The KidsRadio project aims at strengthening the self-confidence of children and young adults.  It is designed to offer the participants a platform where they can learn how to be radio presenters. It is a way to help them decide early on what they wish to pursue in life.

The ultimate goal is for one or two extraordinary talented kids to have their own radio program at Radio TopAfric. The program is design for kids and young adults between the ages of 10 -21, who want to run a radio program and become stars of tomorrow. It will also teach them how to blog as well.

The workshop which will run for 3 months and will accommodate about 10 participants. Workshop training will take place only on the weekends. The workshop will only last for 90 minutes each Saturday. From 3pm – 4.30pm 

Module 1: Research & Interview:
A: We teach them how to research topics and personalities via the internet prior to hosting an interview or prior to doing a live show on radio.
B: We also teach them how to find topics of interest.
C: We teach them how to work in groups and also how to ask the right questions? 

Module 2: Promo & Equipment
A: We teach them how to promote themselves through social media
B: We teach them how to handle the Microphone and equipment

Module 3: Record live show & Blog
A: We teach them how to record a live radio show
B: We teach them what needs to be done after ending a live radio show and also how to post a recorded show on a blog site as well as how to blog.

Cooperation partner:
Our co-operation partner is LUKULULE e.V. They will provide a network of young artists and professional artists that will be helping TopAfric and participants. For example, a play coach will work with our participants so that the participants will be strengthened for a live online show.

The participant will be glad to be part of this one time experience, after the course, all participants will receive a certificate from TopAfric. The workshop is led by Jesse Georgy, a journalist from NDR, who has experience in team leadership at the Lukukule e.V.

The Ghana Community in Hamburg is to conduct an election to elect new executive members of the Ghana Union. The election is schedule to take place on Saturday, the 9th of September 2017. From 17.00 – 20.00
The event is taking place at the First Foundation, Mexico Ring 19, 22297 Hamburg (City Nord)

The following Ghana Union Executive positions are to be contested for:
1. President
2. Vice President
3. General Secretary???
4. Vice General Secretary
5. Financial Secretary
6. Youth Organizer
7. Organizing Secretary
8. Women Organizer

Responsibilities:

  • To support the social and economic welfare of Ghanaians in Hamburg
  • To provide leadership and direction for economic growth
  • To stimulate the spirit of patriotism amongst Ghanaians living in Hamburg
  • To encourage networking amongst Ghanaian institutions home and abroad
  • To represent and serve as a mouth piece of the Ghana Community

The Union of Ghanaian Associations in Germany (UGAG) e.V. has through Mr. William Nketia (President) confirmed their participation. They will be in to observe the elections.

Hamburg has the largest number of Ghanaians in Germany, a free and fair election is paramount to all

God Bless Ghana
God Bless GermanyContact:
Desmond John Beddy -/Electoral Chairman

Tel: 017632140550
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Following the recent tragic occurrence in Sierra Leone's capital, Freetown, TopAfric as a media house has decided to fulfill it's social responsibility with the help and support of the African community. We therefore wish to humbly bring to the notice of the whole African community, the TopAfric intiative "SUPPORT THE SURVIVORS OF SIERRA LEONE MUDSLIDE".

This initiative is intended to gather items that will be of immense help to over 3000 people that displaced and left destitute after the disaster-struck in Sierra Leone.

Sources however have it that,  the country is likely to experience the same tragic incident that happened on the 8th of August 2017 in the capital. Currently, residence living in buildings constructed on the "Mountain Side" are being propelled to relocate to avoid any of such tragic incident that claimed over 400 lives, leaving others missing. 

One will say, the survivors are very lucky. But really, what did someone who lost 28 members of her family survive for if they will live the rest of their lives, suffering?

What would a survivor who has lost his/her home and everything they ever worked for in their lifetime, live on?

How will a country whose economy is not buoyant enough to cater for all survivors?

However sad or heart-rendering it might sound, there is a way out, if only the African community will sympathise and donate anything they can to make a difference.

TopAfric is therefore appealing to churches, groups and the African community in the various suburbs of Germany to bring in old or new shoes, clothes and blankets. Toiletteries  and donations in the form of money no matter how small will also be accepted. The donations will then be tendered in to the Embassy of Sierra Leone in Berlin to be transported to Sierra Leone.

 Items can however be brought to our offices at Wandsbeker Chausee 15, 22089  Hamburg, Germany.

Individuals can also contact us via email  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call us on 0049 (0) 40 88307599 , 0049 17632140550  or 0049 15234016895 between the hours of 10:00 and 6pm. 

To love is to give and in giving,younreceive a blessing.

Effiya 

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