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In the continuous European game of shifting blames over rescuing African migrants floating in European waters, angry Italy lashed out at self-righteous France. Mr. Luigi Di Maio, the Italian Deputy Prime Minister said: "France is one of those countries that by printing money for 14 African states prevents their economic development and contributes to the fact that the refugees leave and then die in the sea or arrive on our coasts."

The Italians are referring to the 74-year-old colonial French policy splitting its colonies in Africa into two currency zones with eight countries making the West African Economic and Monetary Union and six others constituting the Central African Economic and Monetary Community, and imposing the French Franc, CFA, on them. France prints the CFA, pegs its value and makes the 14 countries deposit at least 50 per cent of all their foreign exchange reserves with the Bank of France. As at January 2018, these poor African countries had at least 8.9 million Euro of their money held in the Bank of France which gives them a fixed 0.75 per cent interest rate no matter how high the rates are in France or the European Union.

What independence can these 14 African countries have when another country holds and controls all their currency? In reality, these remain quite poor countries, and cannot, economically and politically, be compared with former British colonies like Nigeria and Ghana. France controls the currency, economy, politics, military and governments of these countries making them quite vulnerable, dependent, poor and lacking initiative.

The French method of maintaining control over its former African colonies is to beat them into line including carrying out massacres, destroying or overthrowing governments that show the slightest form of resistance or independence. When Algeria in 1954 demanded independence, France drowned the country in rivers of blood. Within eight years in what became the Algerian Revolution, France massacred over 1.5 million Algerians. Franz Fanon's most famous book, The Wretched of the Earth is based on that genocide.

The French on September 28,1958 conducted a referendum for its colonies giving them options of independence or to remain within the French community. Sekou Toure, the trade unionist who led the Guinean patriots, wanted independence. He declared: "We prefer poverty in freedom to riches in slavery." So while countries like Cote d'Ivoire voted by 99.99 per cent, Congo by 99.38, Upper Volta (now, Burkina Faso) by 99.8, Chad by 98.29, Dahomey (now Benin) by 97.84 and Senegal by 97.55 per cent, only 4.78 per cent voted in Guinea to remain while the rest voted to be independent. An angry France turned on Guinea, destroying files, machinery, infrastructure and doing all it could to return Guinea to the Stone Age.

Dr. Félix-Roland Moumié, 34, was leader of the Cameroonian nationalist movement, the Union des Populations du Cameroun, UPC, which rejected a phony 'independence' from France. When colonial France turned on him, he went into exile in Conakry, Guinea. During a visit to Geneva, Switzerland, he was invited to dinner on October 15, 1960 by a 66 year-old journalist, William Bechtel, whom he had met earlier in July in Accra, Ghana, to discuss UPC's armed struggle against French colonialism. It turned out that Bechtel was an assassin from the French secret service, SDECE. He poisoned Moumie with Thallium. Although the Swiss Police found traces of the poison on Bechtel, confirming he administered the poison, he was allowed to leave the country.

In 1958, Sylvanus Olympio won elections as Togolese Prime Minister. France imposed 800 million CFA on the country as cost for infrastructure when it colonised and exploited the resources of the country. Olympio, a lawyer, mobilised the Togolese and paid the French extortion within two years. The country became independent on April 27, 1960. To make Togo truly independent, the Olympio administration moved towards building strong relations with the United States, US, Germany and Britain. Then in a move that turned out to be suicidal, Olympio decided in 1962 to establish the Togolese Central Bank in preparation to floating its currency. That meant that Togo was trying to exit the CFA Zone arrangement.

The French on January 13, 1963 organised a coup using its Togolese legionnaires who had just returned from fighting its colonial wars in Indochina and Algeria. When the soldiers arrived in his residence, Olympio had only two unarmed policemen as security. He was able to escape in his shorts into the neigbouring house which was the Residence of the American ambassador. The ambassador asked President Olympio to stay on the premises. Shortly afterwards, the soldiers, apparently with American permission entered the embassy building and Olympio was executed.

France's naked interventions in Africa continue. After the 2010 controversial elections in Cote d'Ivoire, the French military simply took sides against then President Laurent Gbagbo, seized and exiled him to Europe in the name of bringing him before the International Criminal Court on what were manifestly trumped up charges. The truth the French will not reveal is that Gbagbo had begun to take independent positions including reforming the banking system that can lead to an exit from the CFA.

The colonialists also used Africa for experiments to which they will not expose their own people. On February 13, 1960, France conducted its first nuclear test; the equivalent of four Hiroshima bombs, at Reganne, on the Tanezrouft Track, Algeria, in the Sahara Desert. The radiation spread across West Africa with people experiencing birth defects and cancer. The French Ministry of Defence claimed that 27,000 Algerians suffered effects of the radiation while independent monitors said it affected some 60,000 persons. Over 57 years later, the Algerians are still suffering the effects of the four atomic bombs the French tested over a two-year period.

France is just the typical colonial master that visited unspeakable atrocities on the colonies especially in Africa. How does the colonial master whose primary interest is to loot, safeguard the interest of the colonised? Its first interest is to safeguard its own interest even if it gravely hurts those of others. An African Wise Saying teaches that if you and your child are on fire, you first put out the fire burning you before seeking to put out that on your child. In aviation, you are told that in case of emergency, oxygen masks will drop from the panels above your head; you are advised to first fix your mask before helping your child or others.

Any African that claims that the colonial master will first safeguard the interests of its former colony before its own, needs urgent psychiatric evaluation. For the victims of colonialism, the task is to unite and present a common front to defeat neo-colonialism. In unity and solidarity lies our strength.
Owei Lakemfa / Vanguard

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the African Development Bank (AfDB) have signed a $22 million agreement for the feasibility, environmental, socio-economic and detailed engineering designs of the Abidjan-Lagos highway project. This was done at the ECOWAS Commission in Abuja on Monday, 4th February 2019.

This is in line with the 2014 agreement between the presidents of Nigeria, Ghana, Togo, Cote d’Ivoire and Benin regarding construction of the highway. In February 2012, during the 42nd ordinary session of ECOWAS head of states and government which held in Yamoussoukro, the leaders raised concerns on the need for regional road transport to promote Intra-region trade.

With the approval of the member states, the ECOWAS commission forwarded financing requests of about $89 million to different development partners like the AfDB and European Union (EU) to fund the technical and project preparation studies. The AfDB contributed about $11.06 million and also mobilised EU’s contribution of £9.13 million making it amount to $22.72 million for the feasibility study of the project.

ECOWAS commission president, Jean-Claude Brou said that three major consulting firms were included in the signing to engage in the feasibility study for the six-lane highway. Speaking on behalf of other consultants, Mr Mayne David-West, Pearl Consultants and Civil and Structural Engineers, said that the project design would take two years before construction and would connect to the planned East-West coastal road. The already existing East-West coastal road design starts from Lagos to Calabar and leads to Cameroon.

West Africa needs a deeper integration that would promote industrialization for economic development in the region. The construction of the 1028 km long highway would help connect the largest and most economically dynamic cities in West Africa namely Lagos, Cotonou, Lome, Accra and Abidjan which would, in turn, promote Intra-regional trade. It would also provide vital links to some very vibrant seaports for all the landlocked countries in the region including Burkina-Faso, Mali and Niger Republic.

The Abidjan-Lagos highway study is for thorough technical planning to ensure effective implementation, operations and economic development of the highway.

Source:Ventures Africa

We need to radically rethink the notion that Britain is helping Africa to develop. The UK's large aid programme is, among other things, being used to promote African policies from which British corporations will further profit. British policy in Africa, and indeed that of African elites, needs to be challenged and substantially changed if we are serious about promoting long term economic development on the continent.

UK companies’ increasingly dominant role in Africa, which is akin to a new colonialism, is being facilitated by British governments, Conservative and Labour alike. Four policies stand out. First, Whitehall has long been a fierce advocate of liberalized trade and investment regimes in Africa that provide access to markets for foreign companies. It is largely opposed to African countries putting up regulatory or protectionist barriers to such investment, the sorts of policies where have often been used by successful developers in East Asia. Second, Britain has been a world leader in advocating low corporate taxes in Africa, including in the extractives sector.

Third, British policy has done nothing to challenge multinational companies using tax havens; indeed the global infrastructure of tax havens is largely a British creation. Fourth, British governments have constantly espoused only voluntary mechanisms for companies to monitor their human rights impacts; they are opposed to enhancing international legally binding mechanisms to curb abuses.
scramble for africa

The result is that Africa, the world’s poorest continent, is being further impoverished. Recent research calculated, for the first time, all the financial inflows and outflows to and from sub-Saharan Africa to gauge whether Africa is being helped or exploited by the rest of the world. It found that $134billion flows into the continent each year, mainly in the form of loans, foreign investment and aid. However, $192billion is taken out, mainly in profits made by foreign companies and tax dodging. The result is that Africa suffers a net loss of $58billion a year. British mining companies and their government backers are contributing to this drainage of wealth.

We need to radically rethink the notion that Britain is helping Africa to develop. The UK’s large aid programme is, among other things, being used to promote African policies from which British corporations will further profit. British policy in Africa, and indeed that of African elites, needs to be challenged and substantially changed if we are serious about promoting long term economic development on the continent.

By Mark Curtis
Mark Curtis is an author and consultant. He is a former Research Fellow at the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House) and has been an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Strathclyde and Visiting Research Fellow at the Institut Francais des Relations

Freedom they say is taken and not given especially when one or groups are held down by Baboons and Monkeys in the zoo without a cogent reason other than Mr White man dictated it. As part of the effort from the Indigenous people of Biafra (IPOB) to take freedom from Islamic Republic of northern Nigeria and her southern slave counterparts. 

The controversial and charismatic leader of the group (IPOB) Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and the top leadership has announced the 16th of February 2019 as the D-day for the much awaited Referendum-date for Biafrans to cast votes to prove to the whole world their aspirations and seriousness to secede from the darkest damnable evil zoological contraption called Nigeria and into a nation.. There is no doubt the date chosen by IPOB coincides with the date of Nigeria general election coming up on the 16th of February , a ploy to cast aspersions and to demonstrate to the world Biafra's rejection of the Nigeria state as a willing partner.

Biafran Referendum unlike many others will be a Sit-At-Home Instead of the masses trooping out en mass to vote people they will vote by complying with "Sit-at-Home" order. Many thanks to Onyendu Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and his deputy Uche Mefor and to all the hardcores Ipob's all over for the massive awareness in the land of 'milk and honey' (Biafraland) through the finest and second to non-Radio Biafra London. From all indexes and indications Biafrans at home and abroad are ever ready to obey the 'stay-at- home' as a way to support the good work of their leaders call for Referendum and Freedom.

The world is watching, while the Islamic oligarchs are scheming in disarray one things is for sure Biafrans are ready to leave Egypt and no amount of pressure will dissuade the children of God's not to end the 'devil and long spoon' romance with Almajiris north. Let us take solace in the wise counselling of supreme leader who always says 'In the end the popular wishes of the indigenous people of Biafra shall prevail and Biafra will come… Nigeria as a state has failed in every ramifications the only things awaits her now is to finally to crumble to earth. By boycotting the "repetitive deception" in the name of voting is the best way to go about the injustice and injury perpetuated by Fulani Oligarchies to Biafrans.

Therefore it now behold upon any sane minded Biafran that had made up his or her not to vote to carry others alone in the direction of this noble call. Hurray! Biafra is about to be free, do your part now. Cast your vote by adhering to "Sit-at-Home" order on the 16th of February 2019..May Chukwuabiama bless Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and all the principal officers of IPOB. Iseeee iseeeees iseeeees. Happy birthday to me once again.

By KC Adams

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) today announced, in coordination with the Department of State, the implementation of visa sanctions on Ghana due to lack of cooperation in accepting their nationals ordered removed from the United States.

Pursuant to her authority under Section 243(d) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen notified Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that the Government of Ghana has denied or unreasonably delayed accepting their nationals ordered removed from the United States. As a result, Secretary of State Pompeo has ordered consular officers in Ghana to implement visa restrictions on certain categories of visa applicants. Without an appropriate response from Ghana, the scope of these sanctions may be expanded to a wider population. The sanctions will remain in place until the Secretary of Homeland Security notifies Secretary Pompeo that cooperation on removals has improved to an acceptable level.

“Ghana has failed to live up to its obligations under international law to accept the return of its nationals ordered removed from the United States,” said Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen. “The United States routinely cooperates with foreign governments in documenting and accepting U.S. citizens when asked, as appropriate, as do the majority of countries in the world, but Ghana has failed to do so in this case.  We hope the Ghanaian government will work with us to reconcile these deficiencies quickly.”

Source: US The Department of Homeland Security

"Fachkräfteeinwanderungsgesetz", so der Plan, soll es in Kraft treten. Bei der Umsetzung sind aber noch viele Fragen offen.

Was ist das Ziel?

Durch das Gesetz soll die Einwanderung von Arbeitskräften aus sogenannten Drittstaaten erleichtert werden - also Ländern, die nicht zur EU gehören. Angesichts der demografischen Entwicklung wird Deutschland laut Prognosenzunehmend auf solche Arbeitnehmer angewiesen sein.

Warum ist das Gesetz wichtig?

Es ist das erste Einwanderungsgesetz in Deutschland überhaupt. Jahrzehntelang bestritten vor allem konservative Politiker, dass Deutschland ein Einwanderungsland ist. Dass das Thema weiter Konfliktpotential hat, zeigte gerade die von Gesundheitsminister Jens Spahn (CDU) befeuerte Debatte über den Uno-Migrationspakt.

Zumindest gegenüber qualifizierten Zuwanderern ist die Offenheit in der Union aber inzwischen gestiegen - sicher auch durch regelmäßige Mahnungen der Wirtschaft. Zum ersten Mal soll nun auch einheitlich definiert werden, was Fachkräfte sind - sowohl für Akademiker als auch für Menschen mit Berufsausbildung.

Wer soll nun nach Deutschland kommen dürfen?

Grundsätzlich jeder, der ausreichend qualifiziert ist und einen Arbeitsvertrag hat. So einfach war es bislang nur in Berufen mit Engpässen, etwa der IT-Branche. Bei anderen Jobs musste zunächst geklärt werden, ob ein Arbeitnehmer aus Deutschland oder einem anderen EU-Land den Job übernehmen könnte. Diese sogenannte Vorrangprüfung fällt weg. Sie kann aber kurzfristig per Verordnung des Arbeitsministeriums wieder eingeführt werden, wenn es die wirtschaftlichen Umstände erfordern. Eine genaue Definition dieser Umstände gibt es nicht.

Für bis zu sechs Monate dürfen künftig auch Fachkräfte mit Berufsausbildung einreisen, die ohne Arbeitsvertrag einen Job suchen. In dieser Zeit ist auch ein Probearbeiten von bis zu zehn Wochenstunden erlaubt. Eine vergleichbare Regelung gibt es bereits für Akademiker. Die Jobsuchenden müssen für die angestrebte Tätigkeit ausreichende Sprachkenntnisse haben und während ihrer Suche selbst den Lebensunterhalt bestreiten können.

Was bedeutet das Gesetz für Asylbewerber?

Dies war in den Verhandlungen der umstrittenste Punkt. Gescheitert ist die SPD mit ihrem Vorschlag des "Spurwechsels", durch den abgelehnte Asylbewerber mit einem Ausbildungs- oder Arbeitsplatz direkt in die Fachkräfteeinwanderung wechseln könnten.

Stattdessen schafft die Koalition nun das Instrument einer zweijährigen Beschäftigungsduldung. Wer seit mindestens anderthalb Jahren einer Arbeit mit mindestens 35 Wochenstunden nachgeht und seit mindestens einem Jahr geduldet wird, kann diese Duldung erhalten. Außerdem muss die Identität des Geduldeten eindeutig geklärt sein, er darf keine größere Vorstrafen und muss ausreichende Sprachkenntnisse haben.

Welche Probleme drohen bei der Umsetzung?

Das Gesetz soll die Einwanderung erleichtern, droht aber zugleich viel neue Bürokratie zu schaffen - etwa bei der Anerkennung der Berufsqualifikation. Dafür sind in Deutschland bislang rund 1500 verschiedene Stellen zuständig - die wenigsten davon in der Verantwortung des Bundes. Zwar soll bei der Entscheidung eine sogenannte Clearing-Stelle helfen. Doch angesichts der bislang oft unterschiedlichen Regelungen und der Zuständigkeit der Länder besteht hier noch viel Konfliktpotential.

Offen ist auch, inwieweit die von der Bundesregierung geplanten Verfahrensverbesserungen gelingen werden. So werden künftig alle Länder verpflichtet, mindestens eine zentrale Ausländerbehörde einzurichten. Darüber sollen "beschleunigte Fachkräfteverfahren" laufen, die unter anderem eine schnellere Erteilung von Visa vorsehen. Allein für die Bearbeitung von Visa ist laut Gesetzentwurf ein Mehraufwand von jährlich rund 13.400 Stunden und rund 3,4 Millionen Euro zu erwarten. In welchem Umfang es für solche Aufgaben auch zusätzliche Stellen geben wird, ist unklar.

Klar ist hingegen: Ein Gesetz alleine wird nicht reichen, um mehr Fachkräfte anzulocken. Im federführenden Innenministerium setzt man auf Werbekampagnenim Ausland und hat deswegen bereits Wirtschaftsvertreter angesprochen. Von denen ist angesichts der zu erwartenden Bürokratie aber auch noch so manche kritische Rückfrage zu erwarten.

Back in 2017, SOAS was caught in something of a media storm when a Students’ Union commissioned report requested that academics decolonise the curriculum. According to some press outlets, SOAS students were sabotaging history and vandalising legitimate ideas. This perspective is being challenged by the creative directors behind the production ‘Decolonisation: Not Just a Buzzword’. They want to reveal that, in fact, ‘history is a troubling thing’, and perhaps it should be deconstructed.

The play uses the technique of Headphone Verbatim, where artists perform edited interviews whilst listening to them at the same time through headphones. Their performance relies on total honesty. Since it is only the actors who can hear the voices of the faculty members and students who were interviewed, they are required to keep every syllable, reflex, breath, divergence and accent completely intact throughout their performance. It is an effective technique. One of the actors explains that performing like this allows them to ‘reach for every detail without interruption’.

The honesty revealed on stage provides deeper introspection about the students reflections on positionality. For them, there is a clear link between their family histories and the way that race functions in this country. Decolonisation is a framework used to understand how the British ‘glorification of empire’ creates a hierarchy in ‘who counts as being British’. Growing up British and Asian, for instance, some students spoke about a feeling of dislocation, that in school the true impact of Empire was never discussed and this is ‘a form of neglect’. It means that children whose parents or grandparents were born in former colonies end up performing a ‘double consciousness’ where ‘you’re not just a subject of history’ but ‘you’re excluded from it’. In order to address this issue of erasure one student says that it would be ‘even more patriotic to really encounter empire and the past’ because Britain is so multicultural.

Despite Britain’s multiculturalism, with the rise of far right politics in recent years the perceived threat of the Other is all the more profound in Britain today. However, racism is far from a right wing problem; in fact, decolonisation reveals that racism is endemic in British society. Looking at academic syllabus history is a clear reflection of what is deemed to be important. In British schools there are not classes on Asian or African history. In fact, many of the students who were interviewed reveal that British school classes left them with the feeling that Asia and Africa were inferior. This form of ‘internalised racism’ is expressed by one student who recounts how her South Asian born father despairs that she spent her childhood and adolescence learning about Anne Boleyn when India has such a rich history of its own. I would agree that this is a form of neglect. It is problematic that the school system attempts to box people into one fantasy of British identity. In fact, the erasure of history is a neglect when it is an erasure of self knowledge for young people with divergent backgrounds.

In this way a conversation about decolonisation becomes a question about power. Who is allowed to remember and what will be remembered? The power to remember and create knowledge is restricted when it is controlled by one narrow perspective. As one interviewee states: decolonising is about making the views of diverse voices ‘heard’ but that ‘does not mean making the voices of middle aged white males illegitimate’ it is about representation. For this reason, decolonisation is expressed as taking positonality seriously – academics and students are interrogating ‘who am I and who am I talking to’ especially when these power dynamics reflect our wider society.

Perhaps this is the most robust point about decolonisation. As one academic says ‘you can reform the conversation about decolonisation to democratisation’. There is an ‘uneven’ world ‘system’ where ‘some people have power and wealth at the expense of others’. The perceived universality of the Global North is not just about Eurocentric thinking. Within this Eurocentric logic the Global South is made inferior resulting in the justification for colonial rule, exploitation of resources and unjust wars.

As such, for me, decolonisation is about asking who is it that benefits from history, and who is left out of history altogether? Troubling as these questions may be, we could all do well to ask ourselves them.  

Source: SOAS

Rwanda is set to open its first smartphone factory that would help improve access to digital services. This was announced by Paula Ingabire, the minister of ICT and innovation on thursday while speaking with the Parliamentary Committee on education, technology, culture, and youth. Operations in the factory would start in April this year.

The ICT minister said that the country was already in talks with Mara Group, a Pan-African multi-sector business services company to establish the plant. The Mara Group operates in technology, financial services, manufacturing, real estate & agriculture industries.

In November 2018, Mara Group announced that the production of Mara phones would soon commence. The company mentioned that the Mara X would be manufactured in plants across Africa. It also said the first manufacturing plants would be in Rwanda and South Africa.

Paula spoke on the importance of the smartphones, adding that there were some digital services like access to land service that required the use of smartphones. The minister also stressed that they had to ensure the smartphones were affordable for the people and as such certain measures would be put in place.

“To ensure smartphones become affordable, different strategies are needed to ensure each household has a smart device and digital literacy. We hope that the plant to locally produce smartphones will boost access,” said ingabire.

“Once the factory starts producing smartphones, people will be paying in instalments over a period of 24 months. We also have to work with telecommunication companies to seek ways of reducing prices on internet use, which will boost ICT penetration and digital services,” she added.

In a bid to further bridge the digital divide, ICT graduates called “Digital Ambassadors” have been trained and positioned across all sectors in association with DOT Rwanda to train the population on digital literacy.

The establishment of the smartphone factory would increase the number of individuals connected to the internet and digital services in Rwanda. It would also create employment opportunities for the people which would in turn have a positive impact on their economy.  

This investment can also improve the productivity and competitiveness of the economy.

Source: Ventures Africa

Rwanda is on course to launch its first satellite this year with help from Japan. The telecoms satellite is expected to be launched from the International Space Station (ISS) into orbit before May 2019’s Transform Africa Summit – an annual event hosted in Kigali that explores developments in technology.

The initiative is in collaboration with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). This is in line with the implementation of the agreement signed in 2018 between the Rwandan and the Japanese government on Space Inclusion in Africa.

A model of the Rwandan satellite prototype was first displayed in May by the Japan-Rwanda team of experts during the 2018 Transform Africa Summit in Kigali, where 100 Japanese companies displayed cutting edge Satellite technologies.

“We are trying to shorten the timeline. Satellite technology will not only build capabilities for our people, but it will also give us the capacity, for instance, to inspect certain activities within the agriculture sector, monitor wetlands as part of environmental conservation efforts, and in smart urban planning,” Rwanda Utility and Regulatory Authority’s Director General, Patrick Nyirishema said.

Some Rwandan engineers are currently being trained at the University of Tokyo, working with their Japanese counterparts on the project ahead of the launch. The areas mostly emphasized, are in the fabrication of local satellites specialized on the acquisition of data on weather and which could further be extended as earth observations for purposes of agriculture, itnewsafrica reported. RURA disclosed that another team of 15 engineers will be trained locally in satellite technology, starting next month.

The plan to launch its own telecommunications satellite and initiation of the long-term space programme was first announced back in 2017 and was set for 2020. However, the country will have the satellite earlier than its scheduled year of launch, as disclosed by the ambassador of Japan to Rwanda, Takayuki Mayishita.

For Rwanda, having a satellite in the orbit in today’s world is considered a leap in technological development. The East African country joins the list of few countries in Africa that have placed the devices into orbit as less than 10 African countries have managed to launch satellites.

There is an untapped potential for satellite technologies within the African continent. Application of satellite data will assist in areas such as precision agriculture, predicting weather patterns, including drought among other sectors.

In line with this, the African Union (AU) has taken a major step in establishing an African Space Agency to leverage space technologies for the future of the continent. Currently, the AU is in the process of identifying the country that will host the Agency.

“When you look at Africa as a continent, it is massive and there are large expanses of land where the most viable means to deliver any kind of services, will depend on satellite,” Nyirishema added.

Nyirishema highlighted that Rwanda as a responsible and active member of the AU has found it necessary to join countries that are developing capabilities in space technologies. But for this to be realized there is a need for engagement of different partners, confirming the strong basis of Rwanda-Japan partnership to promote satellite programmes.

source: Ventures Africa

Ghana has unveiled plans to process more of its cocoa beans in the country. According to current estimates, Ghana produced 880,000 tonnes of the beans in 2018. However, the West African nation recently achieved the capacity to process about 300,000 tonnes of that number locally; less than 50 percent of what it produces. This new processing capacity was a 19 percent increase from 252,000 tonnes previously processed locally and embodies Ghana’s recent ambitions to protect itself from price fluctuations of Cocoa worldwide through increased processing.

Ghana is the second largest producer of Cocoa worldwide, second only to Ivory Coast. Both countries produce 60 percent of the World’s supply of the beans. However, most of their exports are unprocessed beans, placing them on the lower rungs of the cocoa value chain. Cocoa, unlike other export commodities, is perishable. And with Ghana not having enough storage and processing facilities, trading companies and chocolate manufacturing companies generate the most income from the exported beans.

However, the African cocoa producers are trying to increase their capacity. Both Ghana and the Ivory Coast signed an agreement on the sidelines of the African CEO Forum in 2018 to assist each other in receiving more value from the crop. Known as the “Declaration of Abidjan”, president Allassane Ouattara of Ivory Coast and president Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana agreed on a joint venture that would see both countries “harmonize their marketing policy “. Under the agreement, Abidjan and Accra will collaborate on research to develop better varieties of Cocoa, and also “invite the private sector, including the African private sector, to invest heavily in processing in Africa; commit to jointly promoting consumption of the crop in local, regional and emerging markets; and also decide that the consultation between the two countries on the management of their cocoa sectors will be done on a regular basis.”

As part of this, Ghana secured a $6oo million loan from the African Development Bank for its Cocoa regulator Cocobod last year, with the bulk of it expected to go towards processing. The West African country also hopes to secure a Chinese loan for the construction of a state-owned processing factory. Though many believe if countries like Ghana and the Ivory Coast can process more of their beans, they would earn more and create more jobs, analysts say these are unlikely. Many of the chocolate companies selling the processed cocoa in the developed world are also present in these countries and are mechanized.

With its current plans, Ghana hopes to process at least 50 percent of its beans in the country, in a bid to earn more, and to also be able to export chocolate products to other African countries in a bid to encourage chocolate consumption on the continent.

Source: Ventures Africa

Question: "What is the difference between religion and spirituality?"
Before we explore the difference between religion and spirituality, we must first define the two terms. Religion can be defined as “belief in God or gods to be worshipped, usually expressed in conduct and ritual” or “any specific system of belief, worship, etc., often involving a code of ethics.” Spirituality can be defined as “the quality or fact of being spiritual, non-physical” or “predominantly spiritual character as shown in thought, life, etc.; spiritual tendency or tone.” To put it briefly, religion is a set of beliefs and rituals that claim to get a person in a right relationship with God, and spirituality is a focus on spiritual things and the spiritual world instead of physical/earthly things.

The most common misconception about religion is that Christianity is just another religion like Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, etc. Sadly, many who claim to be adherents of Christianity do practice Christianity as if it were a religion. To many, Christianity is nothing more than a set of rules and rituals that a person has to observe in order to go to heaven after death. That is not true Christianity. True Christianity is not a religion; rather, it is having a right relationship with God by receiving Jesus Christ as the Savior-Messiah, by grace through faith. Yes, Christianity does have “rituals” to observe (e.g., baptism and communion). Yes, Christianity does have “rules” to follow (e.g., do not murder, love one another, etc.). However, these rituals and rules are not the essence of Christianity. The rituals and rules of Christianity are the result of salvation. When we receive salvation through Jesus Christ, we are baptized as a proclamation of that faith. We observe communion in remembrance of Christ’s sacrifice. We follow a list of do’s and don’ts out of love for God and gratitude for what He has done.

The most common misconception about spirituality is that there are many forms of spirituality, and all are equally valid. Meditating in unusual physical positions, communing with nature, seeking conversation with the spirit world, etc., may seem to be “spiritual,” but they are in fact false spirituality. True spirituality is possessing the Holy Spirit of God as a result of receiving salvation through Jesus Christ. True spirituality is the fruit that the Holy Spirit produces in a person’s life: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). Spirituality is all about becoming more like God, who is spirit (John 4:24) and having our character conformed to His image (Romans 12:1-2).

What religion and spirituality have in common is that they both can be false methods of having a relationship with God. Religion tends to substitute the heartless observance of rituals for a genuine relationship with God. Spirituality tends to substitute connection with the spirit world for a genuine relationship with God. Both can be, and often are, false paths to God. At the same time, religion can be valuable in the sense that it points to the fact that there is a God and that we are somehow accountable to Him. The only true value of religion is its ability to point out that we have fallen short and are in need of a Savior. Spirituality can be valuable in that it points out that the physical world is not all there is. Human beings are not only material, but also possess a soul-spirit. There is a spiritual world around us of which we should be aware. The true value of spirituality is that it points to the fact that there is something and someone beyond this physical world to which we need to connect.

Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of both religion and spirituality. Jesus is the One to whom we are accountable and to whom true religion points. Jesus is the One to whom we need to connect and the One to whom true spirituality points. Are you interested in discovering true religion and true spirituality? If the answer is yes, please begin your journey on our webpage that describes receiving Jesus Christ as your Personal Savior - 

The well-known Germany-based, Ghanaian chief was bestowed with a very special honour recently, as the south-western city of Ludwigshafen awarded him one of its most prestigious honours, the Coat of Arms plaque.

“I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to Mr Céphas Bansah for his charitable and voluntary work in Ludwigshafen and to honour him with the coat of arms of the city of Ludwigshafen am Rhein,” Lord Mayor Jutta Steinruck said at the award ceremony.

Ms Steinruck (a member of the SPD) described Bansah as “an extraordinary personality from the middle of Ludwigshafen society”. Popularly called König Bansah in the German media, Togbe Ngoryifia Céphas Kosi Bansah, who is Ngoryifia (“developmental chief”) of his native  Gbi Traditional area of Hohoe in Ghana, was honoured for his many years of volunteer work in Ghana and Ludwigshafen.
Konig cephas bansah
The coat of arms of the city shield is a special honour. It is awarded for extraordinary and long-standing volunteer work “approximately once every two years”, as the city’s protocol chief, Marcel Jurkat, declared at the ceremony.

Bansah, who runs a car repair workshop in the city, is a well-regarded personality in Germany and he appears in sumptuous African robes and gold jewellery at official functions.

At the ceremony in the city hall of Ludwigshafen, the mayor narrated in a witty way how she met the Ghanaian chief for the first time.

“First, I stood in front of a locked door when I wanted to congratulate him on his birthday. He was shopping at Aldi. I was lucky at the second attempt, and I was even allowed to sit on the throne.”

“In 1970 I came to Ludwigshafen,” said Bansah. “I was sent here by my grandfather. First, I completed an apprenticeship as an agricultural machinery mechanic, then as a Master Craftsman for agricultural machinery and then as mechanic for vehicles.”

Under difficult conditions, the African chief opened a car workshop in the city. It took a while for German clients to accept him and have faith in his skills. Today he employs four technicians and four trainees.

“Ludwigshafen and I – that’s like a long marriage,” he said at the ceremony. Since his installation as a chief in Hohoe Gbi on 16 April 1992, he has had to devote much time and resources to the development of the town in eastern Ghana.

Thanks to Skype, WhatsApp and e-mail, the 70-year-old maintains an active contact with the 206,000-inhabitant town from Ludwigshafen. He is also often in Ghana, where he supports his people in many ways, building schools and hospitals, among others.

Despite his commitment to his people in Ghana, Bansah also volunteers in his adopted hometown of Ludwigshafen. For example, “Mit Rad und Tat” (a bicycle repair initiative), which supports refugees, has its headquarters in his workshop. “Yes, Ludwigshafen has also become my home. The people have helped me so much, so you have to give something back,” said the chief.


A new discovery could explain why obese people are more likely to develop cancer, scientists say. A type of cell the body uses to destroy cancerous tissue gets clogged by fat and stops working, the team, from Trinity College Dublin, found.

Obesity is the biggest preventable cause of cancer in the UK after smoking, Cancer Research UK says.  And more than one in 20 cancer cases - about 22,800 cases each year in the UK - are caused by excess body weight.  Experts already suspected fat sent signals to the body that could both damage cells, leading to cancer, and increase the number of them.

Now, the Trinity scientists have been able to show, in Nature Immunology journal, how the body's cancer-fighting cells get clogged by fat. And they hope to be able to find drug treatments that could restore these "natural killer" cells' fighting abilities.

'Lose some weight'

Prof Lydia Lynch said: "A compound that can block the fat uptake by natural killer cells might help.  "We tried it in the lab and found it allowed them to kill again.

"But arguably a better way would be to lose some weight - because that is healthier for you anyway." Dr Leo Carlin, from the Cancer Research UK Beatson Institute, said: "Although we know that obesity increases the risk of 13 different types of cancer, we still don't fully understand the mechanisms underlying the link.

"This study reveals how fat molecules prevent immune cells from properly positioning their tumour-killing machinery, and provides new avenues to investigate treatments. "A lot of research focuses on how tumours grow in order to find metabolic targets to stop them, so this is a reminder that we should consider the metabolism of immune cells too."

Four years ago a publication was made Ghanaians living in Hamburg, Germany demanding answers from authorities about the rampant death of their countrymen. Years have passed but the toll of such deaths has neither ceased nor decreased. It is clear that death is inevitable but the frequency and circumstance is what is worrying.

It is upon this back drop that a discussion on that topic was held on the health show hosted by Effya on TopAfric radio and was covered by the NDR Das. This could be a huge step to drawing the attention of the right authorities to come to the aid of the Ghanaian community.

Within the public sphere the theory such as doctors intentionally killing their victims is purported to be one of the causes of such deaths.

During the radio discussion the following factors were enumerated to be possibly contributing to such premature death; Irresponsible self medication, unhealthy and sedentary life styles, physical inactivity, under utilisation of the health care system, religious and cultural beliefs and practices, ignorance and lack of information, double and quadruple jobs to cater for families and acquisitions of properties back home, genetics, environment etc. 

Recommendations to counteracting the problem will be to negate the above enumerated possible causes.

 As public Health scientists we see the issue as public health emergency which threatens the human security within the Ghanaian community in Hamburg. An anecdotal evidence of the issue at stake could be true but not enough deal with the problem.

To a achieve the desired result, a holistic approach is needed hence an urgent need for scientific research that encompasses needs assessments , data collection, analysis  and findings to draw and implement a comprehensive public health intervention which is participatory and culturally tailored to mitigate the problem.

The negative impacts of the continuous premature death of Ghanaians cannot be overemphasised. It affects the families and society at large as well as the economy here in Germany and Ghana. For this reason we would like to call on stakeholders to support the worthy course by funding such project. We are looking up to the Ghana Embassy, German Health ministry and other such interested institutions to heed to this call so as to ensure that such premature deaths would be a thing of the past through the implementation of public health interventions.
Ghanaians dying premature in Hamburg!!!

Aileen Ashe (Public Health scientist and language and culture mediator)
Ursula D’Almeida (pharmacist and  Public Health Scientist)

There is hardly anything that contributes to a better mood or offers more fun than one of the most beautiful pastimes in the world. But the importance of a healthy and regular sex life really is often underestimated.

Here are eight good reasons why you should not neglect your sex life. Because this is what happens to your body when you stop having sex:
Why a healthy sex life not only ensures a good mood

1. You get sick more often

If you don’t have sex for a long time, your immune system becomes significantly weaker. Germs then have an easier job of spreading in your body and you can catch a cold or get the flu more easily. So, just by having more sex, you can help keep your herbal remedy teas in the closet!

2. Your stress levels increase

Sex is a great way to reduce your stress levels. Regular sex reduces the amount of stress hormones and makes you feel more relaxed in everyday life. Without this important balance, you could become a ticking time bomb!

3. It’s harder for you to get aroused

It’s hard to believe, but true: If you don’t regularly “practice,” it’s difficult for a lot of people to become aroused. Men can experience problems having erections and it can be harder for women to have an orgasm. So, you have to stay on top of things to make sure the “switch” always remains on.

4. Your dreams change
Some people suddenly notice that they have strange dreams when their sex life is suffering. It can mean that you unexpectedly start dreaming about sex or have orgasms in your sleep.

5. Over time you lose your desire to have sex

If your body notices that you’re having a prolonged dry spell in the sexual sense, the production of sex hormones reduces. You feel less like having sex if you have been abstinent for a while. In addition, your libido will eventually feel different. And this is all due to the fact that your sex hormones are slowly vanishing.

6. You’ll feel more distance between your partner and yourself

When a couple in a relationship only rarely sleep together, their interpersonal distance becomes greater. You may start to have feelings of uncertainty related to your partner and other people will seem more attractive to you.

7. It lowers your feeling of self-worth

It is not surprising that a person’s self-worth is harmed, if that individual does not regularly feel desired. But a lack of sex has been proven to affect a person’s well-being, leading to sadness or depression when sex is absent from their lives. Studies have shown that having sex regularly helps fight depression. It can sometimes even work as well as antidepressants.

8. Your risk of cancer increases

For men, the risk of prostate cancer increases when they don’t have sex for a longer period of time. So it’s not a bad idea for men to “flush out” the pipes. Because then the risk is significantly reduced.

Well, if all this isn’t motivation enough, then I don’t know what is! For all these reasons, it would be almost irresponsible not to make love more regularly, don’t you think?!

Source: hefty.com

This article was first published in 2014! 
The rate at which Ghanaians are dying prematurely in Hamburg -Germany is alarming and it is time authorities begin to ask questions and provide answers. Life expectancy has improved tremendously in Germany over the years.

In 2012 the life expectancy in Germany increased to about 81.00 years. That for women was at 83.30 years and for men 78.60 years. If statistics available to TopAfric is correct, the Ghana community buried over 30 people 2014, burried 46 people in 2016. As at Nov 2018, more than 30 Ghanaians have been burried. The average age was just around 45 years.                                                                   

The irony is that Ghanaians are dying more than all other Black -/Africans in Hamburg put together. Yes the wages of life is death, but when Ghanaians find themselves in a country with better health infrastructures then they should live longer.

Ghanaians in Hamburg are definitely doing something wrong because even in Ghana, where the rate of avoidable death (drinking and driving, bad roads, no road signs, poor medication, bribery at hospitals or unavailability of medical care) is high the folks are living longer.

Life expectancy in Ghana as at 2012 is about 61 years, so why this high rate of death in Germany.Why the community awaits the results from the authorities to guide the people as to what is wrong and what can be done better. The following unscientific assumptions are making the air waves.

There is this weird speculation that the “Alster River” dislikes this black clothing’s of Ghanaians, the people are therefore disregarding the gods of the river. “The gods are not to blame”.

Ghanaians in Hamburg love burials and funerals above everything; they are seen every week organizing funerals of relatives that have passed away far in Ghana. First the “One Week” and then the “Funerals”.

What you love most is what shall kill you!
There are times the cemetery worker asked if a prominent person or a star is dead. One jokingly said this is a confirmation of the high rate of unemployment amongst the Ghana community.

It would be in the interest of the community to discourage all imported funerals and mobilize the people only when one of the inhabitants dies in Hamburg. The traumatic lifestyle; high divorce rate,  inability to cope with the structured German routine, the bureaucracy, the bad eating habits –eating heavy “fufu” at mid nights, disregard for good health, could be a contributing factor...

Husbands and wives building separate mansions through their menial job, to impress family members back home. Unfortunately 90% do not even sleep in these homes before the lucky ones join the colleagues at “Hamburg -Friedhof Ohlsdorf (Kapelle 10) “the biggest cemetery in the World.

One insanity is changing trains and busses on weekends from funerals and parties to another, sadly incorrectly dressed during the winter season. It is time the Ghana Union and opinion leaders stamp their authority, coordinate all social activities, ban one week funerals and imported funerals.

Whilst we all undertake weekly sporting activities, we encourage the Ghana Embassy in Berlin and the Ghana Union in Hamburg to seek from the German authorities the causes of these premature deaths and make public the findings, -names anonymous.

With all things being equal Ghanaians in Germany can live to be 81 years.

God Bless Ghana! 
God Bless Germany
Desmond John Beddy

Obesity is a growing problem within the African/Black community in Germany and Europe at Large.
With foods such as Fufu, Rice, Yam, Plantains as the staple unit, it makes it easy for Africans to gain weight so easily.

Akoto Degross was an obese individual who lived in Hamburg, Germany for a while where he was attending University and it was during this period that he decided to make a drastic change in his obese life by loosing half his body weight.

He had tried numerous times to loose weight but not until he lost his mother did he buckle up and strictly jump into loosing weight and living a healthier lifestyle.

In the video below, he discusses different reasons why Africans in the diaspora are over weight. He explained what they are doing wrong and how they can change and live better and healthier lives.

He also stated that the obesity epidemic is primarily rampant among the African Women in the diaspora.

He is an author and certified weight loss expert and runs a program called fat2fitghana (http://fat2fitghana.com/) which helps alot of people loose weight and live a healthier life style.

He has also written 2 books on how to loose weight.

1. 7 Simple steps to losing weight (http://amzn.to/2xcz8Wr)
2. Change what you eat Change how you look 
..Click this link to read it (http://amzn.to/2wKIHc7)

Insects are high in protein and minerals, need far less feed per kilo of mass than cattle do and produce far less greenhouse gas per kilo than pigs. A United Nations food agency is pushing a new kind of diet for a hungry world. It ranks high in nutritional value and gets good grades for protecting the environment: edible insects.

The Rome-based Food and Agriculture Organization hailed the likes of grasshoppers, ants and other members of the insect world as an underutilised food for people, livestock and pets. A new report says two billion people worldwide already supplement their diets with insects. Insects are high in protein and minerals, need far less feed per kilo of mass than cattle do and produce far less greenhouse gas per kilo than pigs.

While most edible insects are gathered in forests, the UN says mechanisation can boost insect-farming production. Currently most insect farming serves niche markets such as China.


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A new discovery could explain why obese people are more likely to develop cancer, scientists say. A type of cell the body uses to destroy cancerous tissue gets clogged by fat and stops working, the team, from Trinity College Dublin, found.

Obesity is the biggest preventable cause of cancer in the UK after smoking, Cancer Research UK says.  And more than one in 20 cancer cases - about 22,800 cases each year in the UK - are caused by excess body weight.  Experts already suspected fat sent signals to the body that could both damage cells, leading to cancer, and increase the number of them.

Now, the Trinity scientists have been able to show, in Nature Immunology journal, how the body's cancer-fighting cells get clogged by fat. And they hope to be able to find drug treatments that could restore these "natural killer" cells' fighting abilities.

'Lose some weight'

Prof Lydia Lynch said: "A compound that can block the fat uptake by natural killer cells might help.  "We tried it in the lab and found it allowed them to kill again.

"But arguably a better way would be to lose some weight - because that is healthier for you anyway." Dr Leo Carlin, from the Cancer Research UK Beatson Institute, said: "Although we know that obesity increases the risk of 13 different types of cancer, we still don't fully understand the mechanisms underlying the link.

"This study reveals how fat molecules prevent immune cells from properly positioning their tumour-killing machinery, and provides new avenues to investigate treatments. "A lot of research focuses on how tumours grow in order to find metabolic targets to stop them, so this is a reminder that we should consider the metabolism of immune cells too."

A small ten year old Kenyan-German girl in Duisburg is dancing her way to become a European Dance Champion. At her age, Tracy Gathoni has mastered the art of hip hop street dance and is collecting trophies to prove it.
Tracy made her debut in competitive dance in 2012 at the United Dance Organization (UDO) championships in Glasgow-Scotland, and she has never looked back.
After that competition, Tracy’s mother saw her potential and enrolled her in dance classes in Duisburg with renowned trainer, Martina Böhm from TopDance. A course Tracy now attends once a week.
Daughter to a Kenyan lady, Diana Rose Wambui, Tracy has two brothers: 5-year-old Myles and 3-year-old Tyler. The boys have also taken a keen interest in dancing. In fact, Myles recently shared a stage with his sister at the UDO 2016 championships in Gladbeck, coming in at first place. “I had thought that the boys would be more interested in soccer and other sports, but apparently, they are taking after their sister”, Diana Rose says.
The dotting mother of three says that each child has an individual inborn talent that can be nurtured through encouragement and she is determined to support her daughter through it all.
Diana Rose works hard to ensure her daughter gets what she needs for the competitions. She says she would do whatever possible to ensure that her daughter attains her fullest potential in this sport she loves.
Her love for dance and diligence in practice has seen the 10 year-old-girl amass trophies from her spectacular performance. Most of the dances are solo, but she also in a duo with her 11-year-old best friend Aliyah Werner. Some of which are made carved into history on their Facebook page Tracy und Aliyah
Although she loves dancing she confesses to getting nervous before getting on stage. “Sometimes I have no routine at the start of the dance, but once the music begins playing, I gain my ground and dance away”, she explains. She is probably the youngest self-taught upcoming super dance star.
Her prowess on the dance floor has seen her gather about 30 trophies all won in the 1st position. In 2014 and 2015, she performed a solo at the world championships held in Scotland. She has also graced Das SuperTalent a renowned German talent show on RTL. Recently, a video of her performance at the European United Dance Organization-Germany went viral on YouTube.
Through her dancing Tracy has become a household name in NRW and specifically in Duisburg where she lives. The city Mayor (Bürgemeister) knows her personally and invites her to perform at various events.
And before you think dancing is all she does, Tracy recently joined Gymnasium from primary school. Gymnasium only takes the top cream and usually prepares children for an academic profession. The cheeky girl with a beautiful smile on her face says she has a timetable clearly making time for her books and dancing.
Unlike kids her age who would be excited about the fame and limelight, Tracy says she doesn’t flaunt it when she’s in school and rarely tells them what she does over the weekend. She reasons that dancing is her hobby and she would like it separate that from school.
Unlike her schoolmates who might not have an idea who she is in her other life, her brothers have not been spared from seeing her shine and they both believe she’s a star. “They believe Tracy is a star in dancing and no one can convince them otherwise”, Diana Rose beams.
One would have thought that Diana Rose would be applauded for her dedication to make her daughter a dance star, but she has received some backlash with some people accusing her of only focusing on Tracy while she has three children. But to her defence Diana Rose says that the boys are on the track of choosing what activities they love but as soon as they set their sights on something, she’ll be there supporting them. In the meantime, they enjoy emulating their sister, learning new moves and dance styles.
Diana Rose regrets that most Kenyan parents in Germany are so engrossed in work and the daily hustle and do not have time for their children.
“It is important to know what capabilities your child is displaying and support them to achieve their goals” she advices.
Surprisingly, Tracy is not convinced she will end up as a professional dancer, since her last trip to the Museum of Archaeology has convinced her that she would make a great archaeologist.

Source: http://mkenyaujerumani.de/