Monday, September 30, 2013

INSIDE AFRICA: Africa's Hottest New Fashion Designers - The Aesthetics, Ambiance And Essence Of The African Flair!

September 30, 2013 - AFRICA - We have long moved on from the idea of African design being simply Africa centered. In the past couple of years it has made it onto catwalks in Paris, New York, Milan and beyond. And of course, as with any competitive market, there will always be new talent changing the game.

Jennifer Obiuwevbi, of, presents her pick of Africa's best new designers.
This design is by label Shakara Couture, created by Nigerian Ewemade Erhabor-Emokpae.

In African fashion today, names like Lanre Da-Silva Ajayi, Thula Sindi, Deola Segoe, Ozwald Boateng and more are praised in the hallways of fashion houses. And now there is a new breed of designers who have caught the attention of fashion enthusiasts in Africa and abroad. So here are seven emerging African designers to watch out for this year.

Shakara Couture
Ewemade Erhabor-Emokpae has had a long obsession with the vintage glamor of the 1920s and 50s. Her design label -- Shakara Couture -- has encompassed the aesthetics, ambiance and essence of the present couture era and added an African flair.

Officially launched in 2012, the design label had its first major debut at the Music Meets Runway 2012 event where African designers clamoured together to unveil their late 2012 collections. Her collection was filled with long luxurious dresses with lace detail, creative fascinators, wide brim hats and satin gloves.

Recently, she released a few photos from her 2013 collection titled "There is No Such Thing As Too Much Glamor." The campaign photos showcased a young housewife carrying about her daily chores dressed to the nines.

Kaela Kay
When I first encountered the Kaela Kay design label I was immediately struck with its big and loud prints and funky designs. Created by Ghanaian designer Catherine Addai the label thrives on its passion to transform bold and extravagant prints into feminine, sexy and modern clothes for the modern woman.

Courtesy Jennifer Conley Images/Kaela Kay.

Addai has created the Kaela Kay woman to stand out. The Kaela Kay woman is a refined socialite who walks with her shoulders back and her head held high.

Apart from her label's aesthetics, which always have a professional outlook, another reason why the Kaela Kay brand caught my attention was because of its take on prints. It moves to re-interpret print combinations while still keeping its African foundations.

When the 2013 collection "Unicorns and Bullet Wounds" from Kitschai was released, fashion enthusiasts were engulfed by a wave of curiosity. The design label introduced an edgy and risqué collection that wasn't typical of Nigerian designers and has not been seen elsewhere in this year's batch of collections.

 Courtesy BellaNaija/ Obi Somto.

Created by London-based Nigerian Andrea Ushedo, she incorporated her punk/retro personality into the designs, making them just dark and edgy enough.

With such an impressive debut, one can only wait in anticipation for what the label will bring out next.

Love April
Whenever I think of the Ghanaian Love April design label, I think of sultry and feminine designs with a hint of African detail.

Nina Barkers-Woode launched the Love April brand in 2011. She started it as a label offering ready-to-wear clothes for women, as well as leather goods and accessories.

Ghanaian Nina Barkers-Woode launched Love April in 2011.

According to her interview with Shadders Africa: "It embodies today's woman with the marriage between sophistication and sexiness which allows her to step into the world, wherever that might be, feeling and looking confident."

She last showcased her 2012/2013 collection at Ghana Fashion Week 2012, where it received a lot of praise.

Milq & Honey
Dark earthy tones, gold panel details and a twist to every piece are the three qualities that come to mind every time I look at a collection piece from Milq & Honey.

Owned by Gabriella and Kelly Davids, the South African label speaks to the confident woman who is sexy and edgy, yet glamorous and classy. Their clothes are inspired by energetic colors, animals and the natural patterns and shapes of the Earth.

"Their clothes are inspired by energetic colors, animals and the
natural patterns and shapes of the Earth," writes Obiuwevbi.

At the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Cape Town 2013 they debuted their 2013 collection, which was a mix of light and dark. They started off with a dark ensemble of typical Milq & Honey garments and then went off into a birth of colors in neon and summer-appropriate casual wear.

Ernest Mahomane
With the experience gathered from being trained by Gavin Rajarh, Ernest Mahomane's eponymous label could easily pass off as one that has been in the business for years. The label opened the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Cape Town 2013 with an amazing combination of white and red dresses with gathered tulle, fitted bustiers and enhanced shoulder cuts that were as daring and serene as its Spring/Summer 2013/14 collection.

Ernest Mahomane was trained by, and works with, South African born designer Gavin Rajah.

The clothes have a smooth and classy appearance that isn't overdone and is true to the Ernest Mahomane ethos of transcendent beauty.

Fenix Couture
This Nigerian-Canadian design label reminds me a lot of the Jewel By Lisa label. Its well-tailored designs and understanding for the female form are both professional and appealing.

The brand was created by Josephyn Akioyamen, who started her journey into fashion while living in Lagos, Nigeria. She was constantly surrounded by intricate colors and prints and, of course, African culture.

Courtesy BellaNaija/ Julius Ding.

Fenix Couture
is a combination of timeless elegance and modern luxury brought to life by stimulating textiles and precision tailoring. With its 2013 Ihotu Collection, the label introduced itself to the world as one not just to watch, but a label that is so transformational that it would last for years to come.

Creating a fashion label begins with the birth of passion, after which the dream is filled with enthusiasm and drive. I have only listed seven African designers that are certain to do great things this year and in the years to come, but there are many others that, just like these, are taking the African fashion industry to new heights. - CNN.

BLACK FILMS: "12 Years A Slave" Director And Actress To Be Honored At Hollywood Film Awards - Steve McQueen And Lupita Nyong'o Will Receive The Hollywood Breakout Director Award And New Hollywood Award!

Steve McQueen.
September 30, 2013 - HOLLYWOOD - 12 Years a Slave director Steve McQueen and supporting actress Lupita Nyong'o will receive the Hollywood Breakout Director Award and New Hollywood Award, respectively, at the 17th annual Hollywood Film Awards, The Hollywood Reporter has learned exclusively.

The event, held on Oct. 21 at the Beverly Hilton, is the first awards show of the 2013 season. (The Hollywood Film Awards is owned by affiliates of THR parent company Guggenheim Partners.)

Previous recipients of the Hollywood Breakout Director Award include Ben Affleck, Paul Haggis, John Patrick Shanley, Lee Daniels, Michel Hazanavicius and Dustin Hoffman. And previous recipients of the New Hollywood Award include Robert Pattinson, Gabourey Sidibe, Jennifer Lawrence, Felicity Jones and Quvenzhane Wallis.

McQueen, 43, is a British filmmaker who has heretofore earned considerable critical acclaim for his first two feature films, Hunger (2008), a drama about an IRA hunger striker which won the Camera d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival, and Shame (2011), a drama about a sex addict which won several prizes at the Venice Film Festival. (Both of those films star Michael Fassbender, who also plays a prominent part in 12 Years a Slave.)

Lupita Nyong'o.
Nyong'o, 30, is a Mexican-born, Kenyan-raised and Yale School of Drama-educated actress. Heretofore best known as the star of MTV's award-winning series Shuga, a Kenyan-set soap opera, she won the role of Patsey -- a slave who receives particularly unkind attention from her master and his wife -- in 12 Years a Slave shortly after her 2012 graduation from Yale. "It was like finding Scarlett O'Hara," McQueen has said, noting that 1,000 girls auditioned for the part. Nyong'o will next star opposite Liam Neeson in Jaume Collet-Serra's Non-Stop.

12 Years a Slave is a drama based on the remarkable true story of a free black man from the north who was deceived and sold into slavery in the south in mid-19th century America. In addition to Nyong'o and Fassbender, its cast includes Chiwetel Ejiofor, Sarah Paulson, Benedict Cumberbatch, Michael Kenneth Williams, Paul Dano, Paul Giamatti, Alfre Woodard, Garret Dillahunt, Adepero Oduye and Beasts of the Southern Wild stars Quvenzhane Wallis and Dwight Henry and Brad Pitt. The film had its world premiere at the Telluride Film Festival and then played again shortly thereafter at the Toronto International Film Festival, where it was awarded the prestigious Audience Award. Fox Searchlight will begin its platform release on Oct. 18.

The Hollywood Film Awards are determined by founder and executive director Carlos de Abreu and an advisory committee. Last month, the Hollywood Film Awards and Dick Clark Productions, which also produced the Golden Globe Awards, entered into a partnership that could lead to the ceremony being televised in future years. Over the past 10 years, Hollywood Film Awards honorees went on to garner a total of 96 Oscar nominations and 34 Oscars.

De Abreu tells THR, “We look forward to celebrating this exceptionally talented director and actress for their outstanding work and creative vision." - THR.

WATCH: Trailer Featurette -  "12 Years A Slave".

INSIDE AFRICA: Food Security - Feeding Africa Through Agricultural Innovation!

September 30, 2013 - AFRICA - After the agriculture heyday of 30 years ago, the sector got scant attention, especially from African presidents whose nations were well endowed with natural resources, like oil-rich Nigeria. But many African leaders are returning to a focus on what their nations can grow.

Recent droughts have left millions in Kenya without access to adequate food and slowed the nation’s economic growth
by an annual average of 2.8 percent between 2008 and 2011. In March 2013, after an extensive consultation process
engaged most sectors of society, Kenya formally launched its national climate change action plan.
Credit: K. Trautmann/CGIAR

Nigeria, for example, was once a major exporter of groundnuts, or peanuts, cocoa and other crops, and it was "food secure". It grew all its people needed to eat. But last year Nigeria spent over U.S.$70 billion importing food, including products made from such crops as tomatoes that can grow in abundance in Nigeria.

Nigeria's agriculture minister, Akinwumi Adesina, whose doctorate from an American university is in agricultural economics, is one of the new leaders determined to reverse that food dependence.

Nigeria, in order to build resilience and tackle food insecurity through raising agricultural productivity and food production, launched the Agricultural Transformation Agenda in 2012. The overall goals are to add 20 million metric tons of food to the domestic food supply by 2015, create 3.5 million jobs and to become a net exporter of food, Adesina has said.

Calestous Juma, director of the Science, Technology and Globalization Project at the Belfer Center of Science and International Affairs at Harvard University, said there is a "new generation" of African leaders focusing on agricultural transformation.

"Political leadership is a key driver of agricultural investment in Africa," said Juma. "This should now be followed by long-term national and regional policies that guarantee consistency in government commitment to agriculture. This is a key role that the African Union can play by maintaining focus on agricultural policy over the next two decades."

Juma, author of the 2011 book "The New Harvest: Agricultural Innovation in Africa" has said that Africa, which has the largest share of the world's uncultivated land, can feed itself in a generation and be able to export products to other regions of the world. But he said doing so would require concerted investments in infrastructure, technical training and creation of regional as well as new international markets.

"Innovation in mobile communication, crop insurance, post-harvest loss reduction and other risk-reducing incentives will be essential for raising agricultural productivity," Juma said. "But the most important investments will be rural infrastructure - power, roads, irrigation and telecoms - and political commitment."

Last July, the Rockefeller Foundation hosted a summit in Abuja, Nigeria, titled 'Realising the Potential of Africa's Agriculture: Catalytic Innovations for Growth", which brought together agriculture and finance ministers, along with other leaders from more than 23 African nations to identify concrete ways to strengthen African agricultural markets and 'value chains' to benefit smallholder farmers.

The summit was part of a series of global convenings hosted by the Foundation during its centennial year.

Keeping poultry is a way for farmers to diversify income, which in the long term can help create
resilience to climate change. 
Credit: K. Trautmann/CGIAR

Judith Rodin, president of the Rockefeller Foundation, has said that across the continent there has been a renewed commitment from governments, non-governmental organisations and the private sector to move agriculture from a development challenge to a business opportunity.

The models include "those that bring increased investment to the missing middle, those small agricultural businesses that have been considered too risky for traditional lending to new kinds of insurance mechanisms that protect small-scale farmers from the consequences of climate change, and protect countries with new forms of sovereign risk insurance," Rodin told the Abuja audience. "This can be done in conjunction with other interventions at the national level for protection as well."

Nigeria is making strides to advance its agriculture industry, according to Adesina, Nigeria's agriculture minister.

"I am confident that together we will unlock the power of agriculture to grow food, to create wealth and generate jobs for millions of Africans," Adesina told the Abuja summit.

He helped launch an electronic voucher system to give local farmers access to subsidized seeds and fertilizers. The initiative has shown early success.

"We are the first African country to do that [voucher system]," he said. "That innovation has allowed us to reach 1.5 million farmers in our first year, impacting 7.5 million people in those households."

Another agriculture innovation is the use of crop insurance through African Risk Capacity (ARC), a specialized agency of the African Union that assists AU member states in addressing climate risk and its impact on food security.

"The humanitarian assistance community now, despite our best efforts, still depends on the UN appeal system," said Fatima Kassem, chief of government affairs and policy for ARC. "So what we have then is excellent crop monitoring and early warning systems, plans for response, but it's just not linked to risk finance.

"And so what ARC does is it bridges that gap. Often times the international community and governments often know what they need to do and when they need to do it but don't have the resources to actually implement."

Tying in with the growing enthusiasm among African leaders to boost agricultural production, Kassem said what is exciting about ARC is that it is "pan-African solidarity" in approaching climate risk.

She said usually it's the United Nations that brings people together to create a global policy. "But here we have an example of an African solution that can be replicated worldwide," Kassem said. "And this is really the beginning of the future of global governance and how we should be working together - understanding the realities on the ground and letting that trickle up rather than trickling down from an international system." - All Africa.

PARADIGM SHIFT: Transcendent Accomplishments - Black Quarterbacks Leading More Teams In The National Football League (NFL)!

September 30, 2013 - UNITED STATES - "Sports" is one of the most race-neutral meritocracies in America. From the record-shattering feats of Jesse Owens to the transcendent accomplishments of Serena and Venus, there is no doubt that African Americans can excel at the highest levels in any sport if given a chance. Historically, that chance has rarely been given to aspiring black professional quarterbacks. For decades, the prevailing view seemed to be that while African Americans made good runners, blockers and receivers, they did not possess the ability or intellect to be quarterback -- the on-the-field CEO -- of a National Football League team. At one time, a Black NFL quarterback was as unthinkable as a Black American President. But, what was once a rarity is now becoming the norm.

In 1920, Frederick Douglas "Fritz" Pollard became professional football's first black quarterback, leading the Akron Pros to victory in the NFL's inaugural championship game. It wasn't until almost 50 years later on the first Sunday of the 1969 regular season that James Harris, playing for the Buffalo Bills, became the first black professional quarterback to start on an opening day -- and subsequently the first Black NFL quarterback to be a full-time starter at that position. From 1969-1977, with the exception of a six-game start in 1974 by Joe Gilliam for the Pittsburgh Steelers, Harris was the only starting Black quarterback in the NFL. In 1988, Doug Williams became the first black quarterback to win a Super Bowl. A stellar few have joined them in the modern era -- Warren Moon, Randall Cunningham, Steve McNair and Donovan McNabb come to mind. But according to a 2012 article in Pro Football Weekly, "Surprisingly, based on the overwhelming majority of black players in the league, only four, or 12.5 percent, of the 32 starting QBs in the league on the final day of the 2011 regular season were black." The 2013 season has seen that number more than double.

The third week of this year's NFL season saw nine starting Black quarterbacks take the field for their teams -- the most in history. They include: Robert Griffin III (RG3) in Washington; Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks; Terrelle Pryor, Oakland Raiders; Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers; EJ Manuel, Buffalo Bills; Geno Smith, New York Jets; Michael Vick, Philadelphia Eagles; Josh Freeman, Tampa Bay Buccaneers; and Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers. The trend is accelerating, and the new class of black quarterbacks is making history. Jason McIntyre, co-founder of The Big Lead, a popular sports website, predicts that "It is conceivable that by week one in 2015, half the 32 NFL teams will have a black starting QB."

This is not to imply that we should only root for black quarterbacks. I began this column by noting how sports is largely a color-blind meritocracy. I still root for Drew Brees on Sundays, and most of the black NFL quarterbacks will tell you themselves that race doesn't matter. Their only goal is to compete and win. But as we celebrate 50 years of African American progress, I cannot help but note that another barrier in sports is falling. More black quarterbacks are getting a chance to excel on the field and earn the dignity, big salaries and endorsements that come with their success. That is good for football and good for America. Think about that as you sit back and enjoy another weekend of NFL skirmishes. And may the best man -- the best team -- win. - Huffington Post.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

THE RISE OF THE MOORS: The Precursors To The Complete And Total Detachment From Failed European Vampirism And Christian Dominionism - Middle East Historian Declares That We Are Now Watching "The Effective Extinction Of Christianity From Its Place Of Birth;" And The International Tribunal Into Crimes Of Church And State Declares That The Vatican Is A Criminal Organization, Spiritually Disestablished!

September 29, 2013 - MIDDLE EAST - Middle East historian Tom Holland told a briefing in London last night that the world is watching the effective extinction of Christianity from its birthplace.

In an apocalyptic appraisal of the worsening political situation in the region, a panel of experts provided a mass of evidence and statistics for the end of the region’s nation states under the onslaught of militant Islam.

‘In terms of the sheer scale of the hatreds and sectarian rivalries, we are witnessing something on the scale of horror of the European Thirty Years War,’ said Holland.

‘It is the climax of a process grinding its way through the twentieth century – the effective extinction of Christianity from its birthplace.’

The event titled ‘Reporting the Middle East: Why the truth is getting lost’ at the National Liberal Club in Whitehall, sought answers to the ‘anaemic’ coverage of attacks on Egypt’s Christians on 14 August.

Pre-planned destruction of scores of ancient churches, monasteries, schools, orphanages and businesses had gone unreported for days across the West, Nina Shea, Director of the Hudson Institute Religious Freedom Centre in Washington said.

‘Medieval scale of horror . . . ’ Historian Tom Holland.
Photos: Stephen Sizer
After the Islamists swept multiple elections during the first revolution in 2011, US newspapers asking how it would change Egypt suggested merely that women would be prohibited from wearing skimpy clothes, and Sharm el-Sheikh would close as a tourist destination.

This was ‘utterly trivial’ she said. Persecution of Copts, who dated their church to Gospel writer St Mark in Alexandria, was at its worst since the fourteenth century, with ‘horrific levels of violence’.

‘It has been the worst persecution in 700 years against the oldest, largest remaining Christian minority in the Middle East.’

The media had failed to ask the most basic questions, she said. ‘Why were the Copts singled out, what was the significance and purpose of the attacks?’

A fourth-century church dedicated to St Mary – whom Muslims were supposed to revere – and that was a UNESCO World Heritage site, had been destroyed and designated as a Muslim prayer space.

It was 200 years older than the Bamyan Statues in Afghanistan, yet the mainstream media had ignored its demise.

Yet there was enough evidence to show that the violence was part of a plan to ‘drive out the Copts, to terrorise them into leaving’, she added.

Lapido Chief Executive Dr Jenny Taylor who organized the event which was co-hosted with foreign policy think tank Henry Jackson Society, said the media’s job was impeded by ‘secular blinders’.

They tended to report the Middle East’s religions as a ‘variant of a Westminster debate’ with ‘left-wing underdogs versus right-wing overdogs and the Christians getting lumped in with the overdogs if they get mentioned at all.’

Holland said Egypt was not a developing nation, which needed help to emerge as a Western democracy but had been the world’s first state, with a civilization on a level with China and Iran. In Roman times, it had been the world’s bread basket.

Now it was the single largest importer of wheat anywhere on the planet.

The audience which packed the National Liberal Club’s David Lloyd George Room in Whitehall, heard a litany of atrocities and devastation covered by Arabic-speaking foreign correspondent Betsy Hiel of the Pittsburgh Tribune, on the ground in Cairo throughout both revolutions.

‘Horrific levels of violence’: Nina Shea
The Coptic Church in UK’s General Bishop Angaelos, former secretary to the predecessor Pope Shenouda, spoke in detail of distortions in media coverage that were mere presuppositions aggravating the situation on the ground.

Some reports had even suggested Egypt was undergoing a civil war - absurdly referring to a 'field hospital' in a mosque in the 'leafiest', most affluent part of Cairo.

'Egypt will never have a civil war. Its demographics just don't fit that scenario.'

Muslims had often protected Christians. The church and civil society together were against the extremists. Many Muslims had turned against the Brotherhood when it became clear there was no economic plan.

In answer to a question from the floor he agreed there had been what felt like ‘silence’ from Western churches, governments and indeed Western Muslims after the attacks, which belied Islamist propaganda that the West colluded with Christians.

Shea also spoke about Syria.

Christians in Syria were now ‘caught in the middle’, she said. There was a shadow war against them by rebels, with jihadis and al-Qaeda factions deliberately attacking Christians.

‘When they conquer a town they set up sharia courts and mini sharia states. The Christians are fleeing. Given the choice to be killed or to leave, they leave. If they stay, the jizya tax is imposed, and then raised. If they cannot pay they are killed.’

She said Christians dared not go to refugee camps run by rebels as they would be recruited to fight.

The so-called Damascus Plan drafted by the Free Syrian Army for after the war ends, included retribution killings against any who did not oppose Assad. - Lapido Media.

The ITCCS Declares That The Vatican Is A Criminal Organization, Spiritually Disestablished
In an interview with Alfred Lambremont Webre, Kevin Annett, secretary of the International Tribunal into Crimes of Church and State, reviewed the terms of a Spiritual Reclamation pronounced on September 22, 2013 by traditional indigenous and clergy across from the Vatican that stated: "On August 4, 2013, the corporate entity calling itself the Church of Rome was lawfully disestablished and publicly declared to be a global criminal body, without standing or authority. Today, on Equinox Sunday, September 22, 2013, the same criminal entity has been spiritually disestablished, declared abomination, anathema and anti-Christ, and banished from the world.”

In his interview, Kevin Annett also new evidence of child genocide in Canada at a residential school operated by the United Church in Saskatchewan, and reveals the suspicious disappearance of a key Italian leader exposing Vatican crimes under presumed covert threats by Vatican agents, demonstrating that the Papacy of Jesuit Pope Francis I is still covering up Vatican child genocide and child trafficking. - Exopolitics.

WATCH: Kevin Annett - Vatican, a criminal organization, is spiritually disestablished.

INDIGENOUS: The First Peoples - Washitaw de Dugdahmoundyah Muur Empire Declared By The United Nations Center For Human Rights As The Oldest Indigenous Group Of People On Earth!

September 29, 2013 - HISTORY - In 1993, the United Nations Center for Human Rights, recognized the Washitaw de Dugdahmoundyah Muur Empire as the Oldest Indigenous group of people on Earth.

The registered Project # 215/93 ensued. Just read this. From 15,000,000 to 20,000,000 slaves arrived in the Americas between 1540 and 1850 over—a 310 year period (according to US History books). If you look at the following facts of published material, we are living under another ideological part of American Revisionist History. Also, the following undermines the whole breadth and depth of what is written in American history books. By using simple calculations, the following information can be ascertained:

1. Over a period of 300 years, is it fair to say that 60,000 slaves were transported annually to the Americas or has the transportation of slaves to the Americas been one big myth?

2 The largest seagoing vessel carried 400 slaves but not all of the ships were that large.

3. Time of passage was 3 - 4 months. That means 200 vessels/ships per year would have to travel carrying 300 people. One ship could make 3 passages per year. The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database says there were 1100 - 1400 voyages made over that 300 year period. If that is the case and each ship carried 400 people, the total number would be 560,000 Africans were transported. It still does not add up.

4. We already know that over 83% of all Americans with African ancestry have Native American blood.

5. Did Native American tribes help slaves escape or were Americans with African ancestry already part of the Native American Nations?
According to the figures above, many more slaving companies would have to be in the business of human trafficking annually to come up with the numbers of slaves actually transported, but the published material lists only three (3) major companies that dealt in the slave trade and were given a 31 year monopoly by the British Government. The Royal Adventurer later was named the Royal African Company, so it was one in the same company. Independent companies engaged in slave trade, but there were only three (3) main companies engaged in human trafficking. The Guinea Company--at its height--had 15 ships from 1618 - 1650.

The Guinea Company also dealt in gold, dyes, and other things other than just the human trafficking of slaves. British, French, Dutch, and Danish participated in human trafficking. Statistics have not taken into consideration the Portuguese ships that sailed at the time, but from what is out there, the Portuguese and Spanish transported 81,000 slaves to the Americas. We may never know how many people were transported by slave ship. Following is a table from "Slave Statistics" by Hugh Thomas published in 1997 by Simon and Schuster:

After 20 years the Royal Adventurer--with its 15 ships had transported between 90,000 and 100,000 slaves. That is a long ways from 15,000,000 to 20,000,000 slaves who were supposedly brought to the Americas. Doesn’t that leave a little over 14,000,000 to 19,000,000 people not accounted for—What’s up with that? Or is/was the Black/Brown birthrate that more accelerated than the White birthrate? The calculated median of 15 and 20 million would be 17.5 million. Divide it by 400 people—the largest slave vessels. That comes out to 43,750 trips. Can you show me a record where this many trips occurred, or the number of trips calculated by the so-called experts? (Figures exist of 27,000 - 35,000 voyages). The same thing happened with the holocaust in Germany during World War II. Six million people were supposedly killed, but there are not that many names referenced who died totaling six million.

The statistics state only .05% or 1/2 of 1% of all Indigenous people of North and South America are in existence as a result of Christopher Columbus and his European travelers' conquests. Ninety-five (95%) percent were massacred by Columbus and his European crews shortly after 1492. Around 1900, it was thought Native Americans were on the brink of extinction with only 250,000 left. I would like to share a picture from my family. This is a picture of a relative who was a Michigan Chippewa Indian from the Reservation in Mt. Pleasant, MI, taken in the 1800's. It is true that Native Americans harbored runaway slaves, but the lady pictured at the right was already in Michigan before the slaves migrated as free people. I don't think it matters whether Native Americans are Washitaw or Lumbee from North Carolina or Chippewa from Michigan. All tribes have Black Roots. The phenotypes of Native Americans point to the theories held by Diop and Van Sertima. What this amounts too are further discrepancies in what is written in our history books. Even though the evidence is right here and pushed in a person's face, there are those who still believe the "Old Guard." It is nothing more than Revisionist History.

The United Nations recognizes the Washitaw Muurs Nation within the United States along with the other Indigenous people of America. The Declaration On Rights Of Indigenous People includes the Washitaw Nation, a nation that is made up of Black People who have the archaeological and historical evidence to prove that the original inhabitants of North and South America (so called "Indians") were Black People who came here from Africa. Have you been to a Powwow? I have been and was astonished at all of the Black Native Americans. The powwows I have attended were in Michigan and Ohio. Those Native Americans did not harbor runaway slaves which led me to believe the following: Black Indians are not solely a result of African slaves mixing with so-called Red Indians who were fleeing from slavery as many documented sources would have you to believe. Black Indians are indigenous to America—North, South, and Central before the so-called Red Man, before the Europeans, before the so-called Bering Strait crossings. The Olmecs, Washitaw, Moors, Yamasee, Mound Builders planted the seed of civilization in the Americas—Black Indians!"

 Skulls shed new light on migration to Americas  Cranial shapes hint at two separate waves of settlers
(Life Science 2005)

The Washitaw were direct descendants of the Olmecs who mixed in the Malian Moors. The name “Washitaw” comes from the Washita River which flows along Northwest Texas and Oklahoma to the Red River where the Cheyenne Native Americans lived with the Chawasha, meaning “Raccoon People.” The Washo were a Negroid tribe living above the New Orleans Bayou and were of Tunican linguistic stock. The name “Washitaw” is a derivative of the term “Ouachita” or what is now “Wichita.” The term is a Choctaw term which means “Big Arbor” which represented the Grass thatched homes. The Washitaw was originally from lower Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama (named after Nubian-Sudanese Ali Baba). The tribe was officially named “Wichita” by the US Government in the Camp Holmes Treaty of 1835. The Wichita were also known as “Paniwassaha” or by the French Panioussa which means “Black Pawnee.” French traders from Illinois called them “Pani Pique” which means Tattooed Pawnee. The Washitaw or Raccoon People were called Raccoons because of their black faces. When describing the Washitaw, the French describes the blacks who lived in the large grass houses. The tribe is the descendants of the Olmecs and Toltecs of Mexico.

It is recorded in history books the first group of people to populate North and South America crossed over from Siberia by way of the Bering Strait on a land-ice bridge. Research by authors like Van Sertima and Rogers have already confirmed what is now considered a new revelation set forth by Euro-American Scientists. Here we go again—VALIDATION by Euro-America. After examining a collection of South American skulls, research indicates that a different population crossed the bridge to America 3,000 years before that first crossing from Siberia.

Euro-American Scientists have now discovered skulls in South America that look like indigenous Australians, Melanesians and Sub-Saharan Africans more than Northern Asians—THE GIANT OLEMEC HEADS CAME FROM—WAKE UP! Scientists compared 81 skulls from the Lagoa Santa Region of Brazil to worldwide data on human variation.

The information indicates the skulls — dating between 7,500 and 11,000 years ago — were not anomalies but supports the hypothesis that two distinct populations colonized the Americas. The skulls of Native Americans and Northern Asians generally feature short, wide craniums, a broader face and high, narrow eye sockets and noses. This particular collection is remarkably different.

The skulls belonging to the earliest known South Americans — the Paleo-Indians — had long, narrow craniums, projecting jaws and low, broad eye sockets and noses. Drastically different from American Indians, these skulls appear more similar to modern Australians, Melanesians and sub-Saharan Africans.

The research was published online this week by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and appeared in the Dec. 2005 issue of the journal.

Over 200,000 ancient pyramids and huge mounds of the Earth in the shape of cones, animals and geometric designs can still be found from the southern coast of America to Canada. These structures were built by people known as "The Mound Builders." They were dark-skinned woolly-haired Blacks who were indigenous (native) to North America and kin to the Olmecs of South America.

During Pangea, the Afrikan and American continents were joined. The Black Mound Builders were the Washitaw-Muurs (Ouachita-Moors), the ORIGINAL inhabitants of North and South America. Columbus was not entirely wrong in calling these people "Indians"! The true meaning of word "Indian" is ("INDI" meaning black, as in INDIa ink, hINDu and INDIgo the darkest color of the color spectrum). The massive remains of this ancient BLACK civilization /empire still stand in both North and South America.

Ivan Van Sertima writes about the reported: "Evidence for black-skinned natives in the Americas long before the arrival of Columbus Ancient American Magazine (Issue 17), From the distinctly Negroid features of colossal Olmec sculpted heads and a pre-Aztec obsidian bowl being upheld by a figure with unmistakably black characteristics, to the bones of Negroid persons excavated from a 2,000 year-old mound in northern Wisconsin, a wealth of material exists to establish the certainty of non-White, non-Indian population living in pre-Columbian America along with these other groups." Many Mound Builders were huge; their ancient skeletons were often 7 to 8 feet. The only other living people on Earth this tall are another group of Blacks, the Massai of Afrika.

Many details are available in "Return of the Ancient Ones," a book by the Empress of the Washitaw, Verdiacee 'Tiari' Washitaw-Turner Goston El-Bey. She is the Empress and Head of the present-day Washitaw Nation in Louisiana and is recognized by the United Nations.

The earliest people in the Americas were people of the Negritic African race, who entered the Americas by way of the Bering Straight. About 30,000 years ago a worldwide maritime undertaking included journeys from the Sahara towards the Indian Ocean and the Pacific, and from West Africa across the Atlantic Ocean towards the Americas. According to the Gladwin Thesis, (outlined on this ancient journey occurred, particularly about 75,000 years ago and included so called Black Pygmies, Black Negritic peoples and Black Australoids similar to the Aboriginal Black people of Australia and parts of Asia, including India.

Ancient NATIVE Black Nations of America before and after Columbus include:

• The Washitaw of the Louisiana/Midwest

• The Yamasee of the South East

• The Iroquois

• The Cherokee Indians

• The Blackfoot Indians

• The Pequot and Mohegans of Connecticut

• The Black Californians (Calafians) (CAL in CALifornia literally means BLAK, after the name of the Great Mamma KALi / Queen KALifa)

• The Olmecs of Mexico

• The Darienite of Panama - A number of Black Negroid Peoples are mentioned in the works of I. Rafinesque ("Black Nations of America," Atlantic Journal and Friend Knowledge; Philadelphia 1832; p. 86: Also I. Rafinesque, pgs. 121, 186, 187, 194, 208, 209). Rafinesque was a naturalist who explored and took accurate documentation of his works through out the U.S. In mentioning Negroes, Blacks, Moors, Ethiopians....explorers such as Rafinesque referred to Negro Black Africans, not dark skinned "Indians."

Stewart Synopsis.

WATCH: Amexum Series.

ANCIENT ADVANCED BLACK CIVILIZATIONS: Huge Subaquatic Pyramidal Structure Found In The Azores - It's Perfectly Shaped, Oriented By Cardinal Points, Approximately 60 Meters High, And Predates The Arrival Of The Europeans By Many Thousands Of Years!

September 29, 2013 - AZORES - An underwater pyramidal structure was identified at a depth of 40 meters off the coast of Terceira Island. The perfectly squared structure was sighted by a private yacht owner, Diocleciano Silva, during a recreational trip.

Image collected by Silva using GPS technology. 
Diocleciano Silva

Estimated to be approximately 60 meters high, the enigmatic structure was recorded through GPS digital technology. "The pyramid is perfectly shaped and apparently oriented by the cardinal points," Silva told Diário Insular, the local newspaper.

Most recently, archeologists from the Portuguese Association of Archeological Research (APIA) have identified archeological evidence on Pico island that supports their belief that human occupation of the Azores predates the arrival of the Portuguese by many thousands of years.

The evidence comprises of a great variety of protohistoric pyramidal rock structures, some of them 13 meters tall. The structures may have been built according to an oriented plan, aligned with the summer solstices, which suggests they were built with an intended purpose.

Terceira Island.  Portuguese American Journal

The Azorean archipelago was discovered uninhabited by the Portuguese around 1427.

Last year, archeologists claimed to have found rock art on the island of Terceira, which they believe to be many thousands of years old.

In the last three years, a variety of ancient archeological remains have been identified on all the nine islands of the Azorean archipelago. They include an epigraph from Roman times, Carthaginian sanctuaries, cave art, and megalithic structures. - Portuguese American Journal.

THE RISE OF THE MOORS: The Precursors To The Complete And Total Detachment From Failed European Vampirism And Christian Dominionism - Violence Against Christians In Egypt Reaches Unprecedented Level Not Seen for Centuries, Delga Church Cancels Services For The First Time In 1600 Years!

September 29, 2013 - EGYPT - "I'm afraid to get out from my home and walk in the streets of the village. The situation is so dangerous for us here," Father Youannis Shawky, a Coptic priest, told ICC.

This sentiment is shared by many in the Christian community throughout Egypt, as Christians have increasingly come under attack for their part in the protests to remove Islamist president Mohamed Morsi from office. The retaliation against Christians from Islamists has included the looting and burning of houses, churches, schools and businesses. It has also become personal, as kidnapping and threats against individuals have been on the rise. In the city of Delga, in Upper Egypt, Islamist gangs took control, holding it captive for more than two months before security forces moved in.

A City Without Protection

Father Youannis is a priest of St. Mary and Anba Abraam Monastery in Delga, Egypt. The city of 120,000 people, including 15,000 Christians, had been under the control of hardline supporters of former President Morsi for nearly two months.

On Monday, September 16, Egyptian authorities staged an operation to retake the town. As The Guardian reports,"Two earlier attempts to retake Delga failed, but in the early hours of Monday morning police launched a third and decisive assault, and have now re-entered the town."

The takeover by Morsi supporters occurred following his removal from office on July 3, when armed gangs in the city ran off the security forces and seized control. The situation for the Coptic Christian community became terrifying as many of Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood supporters blame the Christians for their loss of political power.

Speaking with International Christian Concern from Delga on September 12, Adel Shafik, a Coptic activist said, "From August 14 till now, more than 52 Christian families lost their homes, their homes were ransacked, burned, and demolished." He added that "more than 40 Christian families left the village fearing from the threats of the Muslim fanatics to them."

The destruction did not stop with just homes, but also included many of the church buildings in the city. "Our monastery which includes three churches, St. Mary Church, Mar Gigis Church and Anba Abraam Church, were looted, burned and demolished. Now we don't have any another place to pray in," Shafik said.

The level of violence has reached a level unseen in centuries. As ICC reported, on August 18, services were canceled at the church for the first time in 1,600 years. Days earlier, the church, which dates back to the fifth century, was looted and set on fire while calls for help went unanswered by the security forces, Christian Post recounted.

While these attacks continued, the security forces were nowhere to be seen. Father Youannis said, "Although there are all these attacks against Christians there is an absence of the police in the village. There is not any protection for the Christians here." Father Youannis added, "There is a situation of panic and fear among all the Christian families in the village."

Islamic Taxes and Threats

The feeling of panic is being exploited by thugs, who are threatening individuals and families that unless they pay a jizya, or poll tax that historically has been charged to conquered non-Muslims, they would suffer the consequences.

"They threaten the Christian families who reject to pay the jizya to them that the Muslims will kidnap their children or burn and loot their homes and shops," Shafik said."The jizya is different from one family to another family ranging from 500 Egyptian pounds to 1,000 Egyptian pounds ($73-$146) every two weeks for some families, and for others it is daily jizya ranging from 50 to 200 Egyptian pounds ($7-$28) per day," according to Shafik.

In a report with the Washington Times, Father Youannis said the tax is being applied without exception, and those who refuse have been attacked. He told ICC of the attack on Kamal Zaki of Delga: "Because he refused to pay them the royalty, they broke into his home and grocery shop, ransacked its contents, and injured him and his family."

Another tragic case shows the attacks do not stop just with property damage, but have also led to murder. Emad Damian, 50, and his cousin Medhat Damian, 37, in Assiut, about 50 miles from Delga, were killed after they refused to pay the ransom.

Youssef Ezzat, a relative of Emad, told ICC the tragic story. Youssef said Emad was contacted by a gang and told to pay a sum of 10,000 Egyptian pounds ($1,450) for them to buy weapons, and to pay for the protection of his family. Emad refused to pay the money.

According to Youssef, "Emad told him, 'I don't have this amount and I don't ask for a protection from anyone.' The person said to him, 'If you don't pay us this money we will kill you.' Emad said to him, 'I won't pay anything,' and ended the call."

The next morning, Thursday, September 10, masked men broke into his house and gunned down Emad and Medhat.

With cases like this repeatedly going unpunished, there is a growing sense of impunity. "The police know who the killers are but are doing nothing to arrest them," Ahmed Fawzi said in a report by AINA. The police and security forces themselves have come under attack and have not made a real effort to enforce the rule of law across the country.

For this reason, numerous human rights organizations, including the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), have raised their voices to speak out against the violence in Egypt. In a letter calling on President Obama to raise the issue, USCIRF chairman Robert George wrote, "We were deeply troubled that leaders and supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood tolerated or even encouraged incitement against Christians, and that the interim authorities stood by or were slow to react when attacks occurred."

Highlighting the importance of the issue, George continued: "Coptic Christians in Egypt -- numbering more than 8 million people -- constitute the largest religious minority community in the region. The United States must act to ensure this ancient religious community is secure both in the present and in the future."

ICC is grateful for the work of men like Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ), Rep. Joe Pitts (R-PA), and others who put forward a resolution calling for the support of the fundamental rights of all Egyptian citizens, equal access to justice, and due process of law.

As attacks against Christians continue in Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Iran and elsewhere, it is vital that we work to support the continued presence of these Christian communities in the lands where they have lived for nearly 2,000 years. - Religion Today.

ELECTRIC BODY: Electric Food For The People Of The Sun - Government Report Offers More Evidence That Cannabis Is A Wonder Drug For Cancer And Overall Good Health!

September 29, 2013 - FOOD & HEALTH - As the world’s most beloved herb, Cannabis, continues to be liberated from the persecution of the government and the pharmaceutical-industrial complex, research continues to validate the many health benefits of Cannabis. This time, The National Cancer Institute, a government-funded organization has released a report indicating that cannabis and cannabinoids are indeed powerful agents of good health and wonderful supplements in the fight against cancer.

The report begins with an important summary of the history of Cannabis:

Cannabis use for medicinal purposes dates back at least 3,000 years.[1-5] It was introduced into Western medicine in the 1840s by W.B. O’Shaughnessy, a surgeon who learned of its medicinal properties while working in India for the British East Indies Company. Its use was promoted for reported analgesicsedativeanti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, and anticonvulsant effects.

In 1937, the U.S. Treasury Department introduced the Marihuana Tax Act. This Act imposed a levy of $1 per ounce for medicinal use of Cannabis and $100 per ounce for recreational use. Physicians in the United States were the principal opponents of the Act. The American Medical Association (AMA) opposed the Act because physicians were required to pay a special tax for prescribing Cannabis, use special order forms to procure it, and keep special records concerning its professional use. In addition, the AMA believed that objective evidence that Cannabis was harmful was lacking and that passage of the Act would impede further research into its medicinal worth.[6] In 1942, Cannabis was removed from the U.S. Pharmacopoeia because of persistent concerns about its potential to cause harm.[2,3]

In 1951, Congress passed the Boggs Act, which for the first time, included Cannabis with narcoticdrugs. In 1970, with the passage of the Controlled Substances Act, marijuana was classified as a Schedule I drug. Drugs in this category are distinguished as having no accepted medicinal use. Other Schedule I substances include heroin, LSD, mescaline, methaqualone, and gamma-hydroxybutyrate.

Despite its designation as having no medicinal use, Cannabis was distributed to patients by the U.S. government on a case-by-case basis under the Compassionate Use Investigational New Drug program established in 1978. Distribution of Cannabis through this program was discontinued in 1992.[1-4] Although federal law prohibits the use of Cannabis, the table below lists the localities that permit its use for certain medical conditions.

The main psychoactive constituent of Cannabis was identified as delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). In 1986, synthetic delta-9-THC in sesame oil was licensed and approved for the treatment of chemotherapy-associated nausea and vomiting under the generic name dronabinolClinical trials determined that dronabinol was as effective as or better than other antiemetic agents available at the time.[7] Dronabinol was also studied for its ability to stimulate weight gain in patients with AIDS in the late 1980s. Thus, the indications were expanded to include treatment of anorexia associated with human immunodeficiency virus infection in 1992. Clinical trial results showed no statistically significant weight gain, although patients reported an improvement in appetite.[8,9]

Within the past 20 years, the neurobiology of cannabinoids has been analyzed.[10-13] The first cannabinoid receptor, CB1, was identified in the brain in 1988. A second cannabinoid receptor, CB2, was identified in 1993. The highest concentration of CB2 receptors is located on B lymphocytes and natural killer cells, suggesting a possible role in immunityEndogenous cannabinoids (endocannabinoids) have been identified and appear to have a role in pain modulation, control of movement, feeding behavior, and memory.[11]

The effective chemical agents in cannabis that is being isolated for research are then described in this report:

Cannabinoids are a group of 21-carbon–containing terpenophenolic compounds produced uniquely by Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica species.[1,2] These plant-derived compounds may be referred to as phytocannabinoids. Although delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the primary psychoactive ingredient, other known compounds with biologic activity are cannabinol, cannabidiol (CBD), cannabichromene, cannabigerol, tetrahydrocannabivarin, and delta-8-THC.

CBD, in particular, is thought to have significant analgesic and anti-inflammatory activity without the psychoactive effect (high) of delta-9-THC.”
The report then goes on to outline several key potential benefits of cannabis that should be noted in the race for a cure for cancer, and also in the debate to further legalize cannabis in the United States.

Cannabis protects against cancer:
One study in mice and rats suggested that cannabinoids may have a protective effect against the development of certain types of tumors.” They continue; “Cannabinoids may cause antitumor effects by various mechanisms, including induction of cell death, inhibition of cell growth, and inhibition of tumor angiogenesis invasion and metastasis. One review summarizes the molecular mechanisms of action of cannabinoids as antitumor agents. Cannabinoids appear to kill tumor cells but do not affect their nontransformed counterparts and may even protect them from cell death.”
Cannabis targets and kills lung cancer and breast cancer cells:
“An in vitro study of the effect of CBD on programmed cell death in breast cancer cell lines found that CBD induced programmed cell death, independent of the CB1, CB2, or vanilloid receptors. CBD inhibited the survival of both estrogen receptor–positive and estrogen receptor–negative breast cancer cell lines, inducing apoptosis in a concentration-dependent manner while having little effect on nontumorigenic, mammary cells.”
Cannabis has anti-inflammatory effects and may be beneficial for the treatment of colon cancer:
“In addition, both plant-derived and endogenous cannabinoids have been studied for anti-inflammatory effects. A mouse study demonstrated that endogenous cannabinoid system signaling is likely to provide intrinsic protection against colonic inflammation.[23] As a result, a hypothesis that phytocannabinoids and endocannabinoids may be useful in the risk reduction and treatment of colorectal cancer has been developed.[24-27]“
Cannabinoids may assist in the uptake of other cancer drugs, increasing their effectiveness:
“CBD may also enhance uptake of cytotoxic drugs into malignant cells. Activation of the transient receptor potential vanilloid type 2 (TRPV2) has been shown to inhibit proliferation of human glioblastoma multiforme cells and overcome resistance to the chemotherapy agent carmustine.[28] In an in vitro model, CBD increased TRPV2 activation and increased uptake of cytotoxic drugs, leading to apoptosis of glioma cells without affecting normal human astrocytes. This suggests that coadministration of CBD with cytotoxic agents may increase drug uptake and potentiate cell death in human glioma cells.”
Cannabis stimulates appetite:
“Many animal studies have previously demonstrated that delta-9-THC and other cannabinoids have a stimulatory effect on appetite and increase food intake. It is believed that the endogenous cannabinoid system may serve as a regulator of feeding behavior. The endogenous cannabinoid anandamide potently enhances appetite in mice.[29] Moreover, CB1 receptors in the hypothalamus may be involved in the motivational or reward aspects of eating.[30]“
Cannabis is an effective analgesic and pain medication:
“Cannabinoids may also contribute to pain modulation through an anti-inflammatory mechanism; a CB2 effect with cannabinoids acting on mast cell receptors to attenuate the release of inflammatory agents, such as histamine and serotonin, and on keratinocytes to enhance the release of analgesic opioids has been described.[34-36] One study reported that the efficacy of synthetic CB1- and CB2-receptor agonists were comparable with the efficacy of morphine in a murine model of tumor pain.[37]“
After presenting this important information the report then goes on to discuss the pharmacology of cannabis, a summary of clinical research on cannabis, and even the negative effects of it’s consumption, which do include a risk of cancer, although this is rather inconclusive.

As the report states, “cannabis has been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years,” and only recently has it been targeted for prohibition. At a time when cancer is now the leading cause of death of children and cancer rates are climbing for everyone, those without safe access to medical cannabis absolutely deserve the right to add this to their medicine cabinet if they so choose. - Waking Times.

MARKETPLACE AFRICA: Trade & Investment Minister Aganga - Reforms In Nigeria Can Deliver High Economic Returns!

September 29, 2013 - NIGERIA - Nigeria, which has long been Africa's leading oil producer - and most populous nation, is aggressively pursuing investment to diversify its petroleum-dependent economy. Leading the campaign on behalf of President Goodluck Jonathan is Olusegun Olutoyin Aganga, who has been Minister of Trade and Investment since June 2011, after serving for 14 months as Finance Minister. He is a chartered accountant who spent 20 years at Ernst & Young and Goldman Sachs International. In several U.S. appearances this month, Aganga is making the case that reforms implemented by Nigeria's government have dramatically changed the investment climate but remain little understood outside or inside Nigeria. Following are excerpts from his AllAfrica interview following his presentation as part of a ministerial roundtable hosted by the Corporate Council on Africa on 20 September.

Nigeria has to diversity it oil-centric economy- Minister Aganga.
Photo: Vanguard

What is the essence of your pitch to prospective investors?

We operate in a new paradigm in the world economy. Countries controlling 75 percent of the world's GDP have issues today they've not faced before - large budget deficits, fiscal consolidation, low growth. In Africa, we are now a high-growth environment. Six of the 10 fastest growing economies are in Africa, Nigeria being one of them. Seven of the 10 fastest growing by 2015 will be from Africa, and Nigeria will be one of them. We are in a very different economic and political situation today. We have grown at an average rate of 8.8% over the last 10 years. When you look at the debt to GDP ratio, it is under 20%. Average in Europe is 18.4. When you look at return on investment, we rank at number four globally with an average return of 35%.

we are a high-growth, high-returns environment for the first time ever, and the developed economies are in a low-growth, low-return environment. Money follows money. Where the opportunities are, where the high returns are today, where the market is today, where the raw materials are today - that is Nigeria. The country is far more stable and stronger. We have had unbroken democratic rule for the past 14 years. We've had three changes in government. In 2011 we had an election that was described locally and internationally as the freest and the fairest in the country ever.

When you look at the macroeconomic situation, exchange rates have remained stable. Inflation is down to single digits. Debt-to-GDP ratio is low. So it is not a surprise that Nigeria, for the first time, was the preferred number one destination in Africa for investors in 2011, attracting $8.1 billion - 46% higher than in the previous year. In 2012 Nigeria retained that position.

As a country we have done very well in attracting investment. That is not a surprise because the UNCTAD (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development) World Investment Report ranks Nigeria at number four globally in returns on investment at an average rate of 35.5% compared to 7% on average rate globally. Based on those returns, our goal is to be attracting more than $30 billion worth of investment per annum, because the opportunities here are huge.

Nigeria's Minister of Trade and Investment Olusegun Aganga

What measures have you introduced to meet that goal?
First, we make sure we have a clear role for the government and private sector. We do the policy part. It is the private sector that is going to deploy capital. Second, we now have very clear policies that we are implementing rigidly. In the past, we were satisfied with exporting raw materials and buying back [finished products], which means exporting jobs. You use the proceeds from the sale of the raw materials to buy finished goods - which is wrong policy that we have followed for decades. All that has changed. The game now is industrialization - it's about adding value.

Yet Nigeria remains a petroleum-dependent economy.

But we can change that easily. History tells us that no country has managed to move from a poor to a rich nation by relying entirely on exporting raw materials without having a strong industrial and services base. United Kingdom started that move in 1485 under the rule of King Henry VII. They were exporting wool to the Dutch and to Florence. England banned exports and started their own garment industry. For countries that are not resource rich, revenue comes primarily from taxes and duties. Who pays taxes? It is industries and companies. That is the direction we have for the country. So we now have a clear strategy and vision for the country which is about adding value for areas where Nigeria has competitive and comparative advantage.

For example, in agriculture we have competitive advantage because we have 84 million square hectares of arable land, and only 40% of that is cultivated. We have very good climate for agriculture and almost anything and everything can grow in the country. If you look at cotton, it will grow in 23 states in the federation. But it is not about the cotton, cocoa, or palm kernel. It is what you do with those commodities. Rather than just exporting the raw material, now it is about industrial processing.

We have clear policies to go from sugarcane to sugar. In the past we were satisfied with bringing in brown sugar and refining it and then selling it locally, which meant we were importing 97% of the sugar we consume. As [entrepreneur and philanthropist] Aliko Dangote has said, he was employing in his refinery 1,403 people. Now he is going to invest an additional $2 billion in the sugar sector [and] create about 700,000 jobs by going from sugarcane to sugar. He will be investing in different states in the federation - Kogi, Kwara, Kebbi, Adamawa and Taraba.

Cassava is another example?

Yes, we are the number one producer of cassava in the world, but it is not only about producing the cassava. It is what we do with it. For example, Malawi has 24 cassava products - wine, bread, starch, cakes, biscuits. We are also talking palm kernel to palm oil. Malaysia got its first seeds of palm kernel from Nigeria. Palm oil is now a big import earner for Malaysia and Indonesia. We can go back to that. Textiles used to be the second largest employer in the country. Today we are reviving that. We want to go from cotton to garmenting to fashion, because it is the retail end that actually provides a lot of the jobs. We have a policy coming up on that.

If you look at the industrial sector, among the top ten most populous nations in the world, there are only two that do not have an auto program - Bangladesh and Nigeria. We are determined to get our policy on automobiles right, which is 99% complete today. We have been working with our colleagues in South Africa, who have a successful automobile program. We have been working with the likes of Nissan, Toyota to develop that policy, because I want the likes of Nissan and Toyota to come to Nigeria and start assembly.

We have a holistic policy, which means that we produce goods but we also look at areas where we need to improve our competitiveness. So skills are going to be a major part. Brazil is working with one of our local agencies to design an auto training center in three clusters - encompassing Lagos, Ibadan, Kano, Kaduna, Aba and Owerri. Trainees will learn to maintain all the cars we produce in the country, and they will produce the spare parts. By the way the OEMs [original equipment manufacturers] only produce 30% of a car today. The balance is produced by their joint-venture partners. So the JV partners follow the OEMs into the country.

In the oil and gas sector, I want a vibrant petrochemical refinery that will give rise to plastic and chemical industries. While I will still sell my oil and gas, I will sell it to local people that are manufacturing [and] still get that revenue. The difference is [that at the local level] they process the product, they will make money, they will pay taxes, the government will generate more money and income per capita will go up. That is the new Nigeria.

What is being done to solve Nigeria's longstanding power shortage?

Our policies are making it very easy for investment to flow into different sectors of the economy. The bedrock of all this will be infrastructure and power. Under the MOU [Memorandum of Understanding] we signed with [General Electric chairman and CEO] Jeff Immelt, GE will invest about a billion dollars in turbine production. The first $250 million has come into the country, and three partners of GE are now looking to come to Nigeria to service GE.

We have privatized power generation and distribution. We've had a successful sale of those companies. There were only about 17 companies, but we had 331 bids to buy them. That tells you the level of interest.

To make it easier for investors and to remove the risk, we have set up the bulk trader to buy power from the generators and interface with distribution companies. There are several distribution companies who will take the power and make money out of it. For power generators, because of the bulk trader it is almost guaranteed income and is sustainable over a long period of time. You cannot lose.

What about cement production and exports?

We produced less than two million tons of cement in 2002. Today we are producing 22.8 million metric tons of cement, and next year it will be 39 million metric tons. Today we have one of the largest cement plants in the world, and that has created jobs. Nigeria is now a net exporter of cement.

On the latest World Economic Forum's 2013-2014 Global Competitiveness Index (GCI), Nigeria dropped five places - from 115 last year to 120 this year. Why the decline?

We found out that the WEF relied on a survey sent to the private sector National Economic Summit Group. The problem is we have not done the communication we should have done about all we are doing. We are not getting our message out about how we are tackling corruption or how infrastructure is better today than it was two or three years ago, how we have done far more in the power sector than any other [previous government].

We have also strengthened the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission.

They have 26 ministries on one floor. When you come to register your business, all you need to do can be done in one location. We have it at the federal level, now we've taken it to the state level. We have it in 17 of the states today and we want to take it into all of them. Before the end of the year, you will be able to register your business online and pay online and reduce the fee for registering a company by 50%.

We now have a new visa regime, which allows investors to obtain their visas at point of entry. All they need to do is go online, register, pay the fee and bring the document. All our embassies have a trade and investment desk today, and I am setting up eight regional trade and investment offices - the first one in Beijing. The second one is going to be in Abu Dhabi, the third in Brazil, and the fourth in the United States. Their job is to answer the queries, provide information, make sure the people there know what we are doing in the country and make sure we are able to attract investments from those locations.

We are examining laws affecting investment in the country. We have an insolvency bill going to the national assembly. We have anti-trust and consumer protection bills going to the national assembly, which I'm backing up with a policy so that we can start implementing even before parliament acts. So these are some of the initiatives we are doing to make sure that we have the right environment for investors.

I think many observers would say this is an ambitious agenda. Are you confident you can make this happen?

I don't agree that these are ambitious goals, because we are already doing them. I already have an industrial revolution plan and a sugar policy in place. I have a 99%-finished automobile policy, which I developed with the OEMs. I already have the textile strategy in place, which I am taking to FEC [Federal Executive Council - the Cabinet]. I already have a National Competitive Council in place. I already have an insolvency bill in place. I already have a competition and consumer protection bill ready. I have already reduced the cost of setting up your business by 50%. I have already implemented the 24-hr business registering service.

What are some indicators of success?

We are number one in Africa [as an investment destination] - for the first time. That's indication. Our investment forum in China - close to 1000 people came to the event. Power China committed to building 20,000 megawatts of power in Nigeria in the next 10 years. That is about $20 billion [in investment]. Electobras [from Brazil] has signed an MOU to build 10,000 megawatts of hydroelectric power. That's close to about $10 billion. Siemens and GE have said the same thing. GE is looking at assembling locomotives in Nigeria, in addition to turbines, and they looking at setting up diagnostic centers in the country. P&G is increasing investment in the country today. That is the reality. - All Africa.

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