Thursday, January 30, 2014

USONI: In 2063, Europe Is In Ashes & Africa Is An Oasis - Kenyan TV Show Puts Immigration In Reverse And Cast A Premonition Of A Disastrous Future Event In Europe, Resulting In A Complete Paradigm Shift?!

January 30, 2014 - EUROPE -  The year is 2063. By now, all of Europe's volcanoes have come to life and erupted, spewing out thick plumes of ash into the atmosphere. Dense black clouds of dust envelop the murky sky, plunging the entire continent into total darkness. The whole of Europe lies in a pile of rubble. There is no sun here, the air is polluted, unbreathable, and chaos has descended -- to survive, one must flee south, to the only place where the sun continues to shine: Africa.

Set five decades from now, Usoni is a Kenya-based TV production that turns the issue of migration to Europe upside down. The futuristic show depicts Africa as mankind's last cradle of hope in the wake of a series of natural disasters.

Usoni follows the compelling story of Ophelia and Ulysse, a young couple who are desperately trying to escape Europe's terrible conditions and head to Africa, the land of the sun that holds the promise of a better future for them and their unborn child.

Setting off from Lampedusa, the Mediterranean port serving as the gateway to the African oasis, the two protagonists embark on an arduous journey fraught with peril and sacrifice as they try to reach Lake Turkana in east Africa.

 WATCH:  Usoni official trailer.

Usoni creator Marc Rigaudis, a Kenya-based French filmmaker and author, says the show is portraying the reversal of immigration trends against the backdrop of climate change and stagnant economies.

"It's put in the future just to talk and show what is happening now," says Rigaudis. "The message is very strong and universal," he adds. "It's putting the world in front of the mirror, like exposing the injustices of the world for so many centuries -- everything is very symbolic."

Reversing trends

Nothing is more symbolic than setting the story's opening scenes in Lampedusa. The small Italian island on the southern edge of Europe is a frequent destination for refugees seeking to enter EU countries. Each year, tens of thousands of people set out on crammed and rickety wooden boats to cross the rough waters of the Mediterranean Sea, fleeing poverty and conflict in search for a better life.

The journey is dangerous and deadly shipwrecks are common -- more than 300 African migrants died last October after their ship sank off Lampedusa's shores.

Usoni is a Kenya-based futuristic TV show that imagines the reversal of immigration
trends following a series of catastrophes in Europe.

"I was looking at those people crossing the sea from Africa, taking so many risks and getting killed in the process," says Rigaudis, explaining how he came up with the idea for Usoni. "If they don't get killed, they come to Europe which supposedly is going to give them a better way of life. Most of the times this is not the reality and their harassment is continuing," he adds.

"This is so unjust, when you think that Europe has made a lot of its wealth and power from places like Africa and now these people -- who are living on one of the richest continents of the world and shouldn't be poor -- have to move because the way things are being done," continues Rigaudis.

"I thought that was so unfair, and then I started thinking it would be interesting if all of a sudden this was reversed."

Changing perceptions

Rigaudis, who's written several books in the past and made films in Japan and Kenya, including a documentary about the last surviving members of the El Molo tribe in Lake Turkana, had originally developed the concept for a feature film.

But when he was appointed last year as film productions director at Nairobi's United States International University (USIU), he decided to give the topic of his film to his students to help them get working in a professional way.

Together, the experienced professor and the energetic students adapted the idea into a TV series and named it Usoni, which means "future" in Swahili. Guided by Rigaudis, the 22-member student crew filmed a 30-minute pilot episode last October and November in locations around Nairobi and Mombasa.

Cherie Lindiwe, the 21-year-old director of Usoni, says the show's concept could resonate with people across the world, not just Africans.

Set in 2063, the show depicts a Europe where the sun has disappeared. The only place there is life is Africa, and
everyone is trying to get there. Usoni creator Marc Rigaudis, a French filmmaker and lecturer, worked with
his students at the United States International University in Nairobi to create the pilot episode.

Each year, thousands of migrants set out on crammed boats to cross the Mediterranean Sea, fleeing poverty and conflict
in hope of a better life. The journey is dangerous and deadly shipwrecks off the shores of Lampedusa are common.

"It's basically a story that people could watch and then form a discussion and critique, giving them the chance to talk about the issues that really matter in the society," she says. "We want to talk to people living abroad, to people living in the West, to change their perceptions in what they think about Africa, and also to give a message of hope to Africans."

While Rigaudis is still planning to turn his idea into a feature film, dubbed "Future," he is also in discussions with Kenyan and international channels about developing it into a full series to air on TV.

One condition, he says, is that this must be an African production, if it eventually gets picked up.

"On top of everything I would like to show on this film, the message I'd want to give to the world is that we can do something like this in Africa," says Rigaudis. "I really want to have the production in Africa, with Africans, instead of having a film about Africa from outside," he adds. "We can make very beautiful films -- there is everything here to make a beautiful cinema."

The pilot episode of Usoni, which was first screened in late November at USIU, will have its premiere Monday at the Alliance Francaise, the French cultural center in Nairobi. - CNN.

AFRICAN RENAISSANCE: Agenda For Transformation - Liberia's President Sirleaf Breaks Grounds For The Reconstruction Of The New Mount Coffee Hydro Plant!

January 30, 2014 - LIBERIA - President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has broken grounds for the rehabilitation of the Mount Coffee Hydro Electric Plant, terming the occasion as “a good day for Liberia in its quest for affordable and cheap energy”.

Remains of the looted Mt. Coffee Hydro Plant outside Monrovia.
Photo: Liberia Government

According to an Executive Mansion release, in her brief remarks at the site in Harrisburg, lower Montserrado County, President Sirleaf said the rehabilitation marks the beginning of a life change for the people of Liberia.

The Liberian leader said that the project is the result of collective efforts of all Liberians who have resolved that affordable and cheap electricity is the surest way for an economic boom especially in the manufacturing industry.

She stressed that working together as one people will further direct the country’s development efforts thereby accelerating Government’s Agenda for Transformation of which energy is of top priority.

President Sirleaf urged to the Harrisburg Township Commissioner as well as residents to take ownership of the rehabilitation process by cooperating with the engineers.

Besides power production and transmission, the Liberian leader indicated that the local community will soon begin to benefit from fish and other water resources upon the completion of the hydro plant which would subsequently turn the community into a tourist attraction and the only way this can be realized is through ownership by the people who live there.

The Ambassadors of the two fund contributing countries, Norway and Germany, in separate remarks reaffirmed their respective countries’ commitment to collaborating with Government in rehabilitating its energy program.

German’s Ambassador Ralph Timmermann said he was particularly excited by the initiative and its potential to benefit government’s revenue generation schemes as well as thousands of Small and Medium Entrepreneurs.

Norway’s Ambassador Hege Hertberg said the current status of the Mount Coffee Hydro is an example of what a civil war does to a country. Ambassador Hertberg noted that she is particularly impressed with the courage, commitment and vision of the President Sirleaf’s leadership in reconstructing a devastated country.

The Norwegian Ambassador believes that the political will demonstrated by the Liberian President has shown great potential for Liberia becoming a middle income country. She expressed excitement that the Mount Coffee Hydro Plant would, upon its completion, supply homes, schools, streets, health facilities and at the same time reduce exportation of raw materials by the provision of cheap and affordable energy.

For his part, Finance Minister Amara Konneh disclosed that the cost of the rehabilitation and upgrading of the Mount Coffee plant is estimated at US$230 million.

To fund the work, Minister Konneh said Government has concluded a US$65 million concessional loan deal with the European Central Bank, while donors have committed US$107 million. Germany and Norway have pledged grants of US$32 million and US$75 million respectively; while the Liberian Government has budgeted US$45 million for the project. The remaining funds will be raised through the European Investment Bank as a loan and would help to fast track the loan acquisition.

“Government is desperate for the restoration of hydro facilities that if it means to reduce the number of foreign travels and fuel supplies to government officials to get the system on we will have to do that,” Minister Konneh said.

Lands, Mines and Energy Minister Patrick Sendolo, for his part, indicated that the rehabilitation of the Mount Coffee Hydro is a dream come true and a further demonstration of a responsible and visionary leadership for economic revitalization.

Minister Sendolo reiterated that the stage at which the rehabilitation process has reached is as the result of each and every Liberian’s efforts and quest for cheap and affordable power and hopes that the unity for power demonstrated by all Liberians will serve as strength for smooth rehabilitation of the facilities.

For his part, Representative Matenokay Tingban, who chairs the House’s Committee on Lands, Mines, Energy and Natural Resources, pledged the lower House’s commitment to allocating budgetary funding for the financing of the project.

The rehabilitation process is divided into three phases: Phase One is expected to witness the switching the turbines on by December 2015; while full capacity will be restored by May 2016 at which time all three turbines would come on.

The Mount Coffee Hydro plant was dedicated by President William V. S. Tubman in 1964 and served as a cheap and affordable source of electricity until its destruction during Liberia’s civil conflict.

Meanwhile, as part of President Sirleaf’s weekend activities, she also inspected ongoing construction work on the Caldwell Bridge that connects Caldwell, Louisiana, Harrisburg and Townships with Bushrod Island.

The new bridge is being constructed through a grant agreement between Liberia and the People’s Republic of China. It is being constructed by a Chinese construction company, CHICO, and is expected to be commissioned in March 2015. - All Africa.

THE RISE OF THE MOORS: The Precursors To The Complete And Total Detachment From Failed European Vampirism And Christian Dominionism - Britain's Most Senior Muslim Politician Sounds Dire Warning Over Persecution Of Christians In The Middle East, Saying It Has Become A "GLOBAL CRISIS"!

January 30, 2014 - BRITAIN - Britain's most senior Muslim politician, Sayeeda Warsi, has warned that the persecution of Christians has become ‘a global crisis’.

Lightning strikes the right hand of the statue Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on January 16, 2014.
Photo: EPA

Minister for Faith Baroness Warsi described ‘a rising tide’ in attacks on Christians in the war-torn regions of Egypt, Iraq and Syria where they often become ‘scapegoats’ for events taking place thousands of miles away.

Warsi, a mother of five and the daughter of Pakistani immigrants, pointed out that Christian minorities are threatened by Muslim majorities in the very places that gave rise to Christianity.

In an open letter to L’Osservatore Romano, the official Vatican newspaper, she wrote: ‘The bitterest irony of this persecution - ostracism, discrimination, abuse, forced conversion, torture and even murder - is that it is taking place in a region where Christianity has its roots.

Sayeed Warsi said Christians were often 'scapegoated' for
events that take place thousands of miles away
‘Sometimes these cases are examples of collective punishment: people lashing out at Christian minorities in response to events happening many miles away.

'Other times, a Christian is just a convenient ‘other’ - a scapegoat.’

‘The threat to religious freedom, I believe, has become a global crisis.’

The number of Christians killed for their faith around the world doubled in 2013. The senior Tory said that majority Muslim communities have a duty to defend Christian minorities.

She said: ‘History teaches us that we have only defeated intolerance and hatred when we have all come together, whatever the cause. The majority communities need to defend the minorities.’

The peer, who is also a Foreign and Commonwealth Office Minister of State, said that ‘the government has elevated (religious discrimination against Christians and other minorities) to a key priority in the government’s human rights work.’

An estimated 100 million Christians around the world suffered persecution for their faith in 2013.

Failing states with civil wars or persistent tensions such Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen were often the most dangerous for Christians.

There was now ‘a strong drive to purge Christianity from Somalia’, a report by non-denominational group Open Doors USA who compiled a list of the worst countries said.

The majority of anti-Christian persecution in the world in 2013 took place at the hands of radical Muslims, according to the report, both in Islamic countries such as Somalia, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Maldives, Pakistan, Iran and Yemen and in non-Muslim countries such as Kenya and Tanzania.

In Syria, 1213 Christians were killed last year, more than the global total in 2012. Atrocities against the Christian minority who make up 10 per cent of the population have been getting more frequent since the war began almost three years ago, perpetrated especially by jihadi groups.

A victim of a suicide bomb which exploded at a Christian church in Peshawar, Pakistan, in September.

In Pakistan– a suicide bombing at a Peshawar church last autumn killed 89 in the country’s deadliest single attack targeting Christians so far.

There is also increasing violence against Christians in Africa. 612 Christians were killed for their faith in Nigeria last year.

Elsewhere, Sri Lanka saw more than 50 attacks on churches last year alone, powered by a strident Buddhist nationalist movement

Killings are only the most extreme examples of persecutions. Christians, the world’s largest persecuted minority also face attacks on churches and schools, discrimination, threats, sexual assaults and expulsion from countries. - Daily Mail.

ELECTRIC BODY: Electric Food For The People Of The Sun - Raw Food Eating, How Does It Work?!

January 30, 2014 - FOOD & HEALTH - How long does it take to prepare raw food? Is it good? Isn’t raw food boring? Can I eat cooked foods while being on a raw food diet? Isn’t raw food complicated?

Sometimes we get asked what do we actually eat as raw fooders. How does our lunch, in reality, look like? These days we get flooded with raw food recipes, ideas and suggestions how to improve our health and lifestyle by eating a better diet, but how does an average raw food lunch appear on our plate?

Many people do understand the health benefits that such a diet might bring, but they are somewhat terrified by the idea to eat raw carrots for lunch and call that a “happy lifestyle”.

This article will show you how to access the world of healthy eating without losing the enjoyment of good food.

The ritual around food

I must admit that I had the same worries, especially because – before becoming a mostly raw vegan – I was the classic Mediterranean gourmet who would eat almost everything that was considered edible, and it was always meant a great deal to me in which way food was prepared, served, or decorated – it had to look good, and it had to taste delicious.

I was never the guy who ate just to put something into his stomach, no; I enjoyed the whole ritual around food, and the enterprise of discovering new dishes and ways to prepare them.

Types of raw foodists

I think that anybody considering going raw should understand that there are many different types of raw fooders who eat quite differently from one another. Many people have probably the impression of a somewhat boring diet which takes an awful lot of time for preparation, and if you don’t invest that time, then all you can do is eat an apple or banana.

I’m not saying that this is a bad idea, fruits should definitely be eaten abundantly, since they give us most of our daily carbs, but in this era of fancy restaurants and exotic new kitchen styles popping up daily, you really need to have a strong determination to go through all of these distractions that are being offered to you on every corner of the street.

Like in any other lifestyle, there are sub-styles, which can be very different from one another. There are raw fooders who live almost exclusively only from fruits and are sometimes called fruitarians; others drink mostly juices made from fruits and vegetables and are sometimes called juicers.

Another huge group eats almost only salads in every possible way without being called anything; and there are raw fooders who visually prepare their food that looks like any other food – but it isn’t.

I believe it derives from your way of eating before going raw – although this, of course, does not apply to everybody – but it surely determines your approach to your new way of eating. I don’t think there is anything wrong with it to be different – after all – food should be appealing to you, otherwise there is little fun involved, and I myself believe that it should be!

Can I eat cooked food while being a raw fooder?

This is why we have decided to add another category to our raw food recipes, which will be called ‘main courses’, to give you some simple ideas how to combine different raw food dishes into a main lunch course, to show you that your lunch will overshadow any of the food distractions offered to you in outside restaurants or elsewhere.

Ah yes, and don’t make a religion out of food, but always keep in mind that it is – nevertheless – the most important fuel for a healthy body – and as we have found out – a healthy mind as well.

Don’t fall into the trap of punishing yourself because you have “sinned” and eaten some cooked food somewhere outside because nothing else was available, or because your meal contains just 50% raw ingredients instead of a 100. Do as much as you can; this is what really matters.

The understanding that raw food is the best possible nutrition is already a huge step, but of course, don’t stay there – make your next step.

Preparation of raw food

Keep it simple! Many raw fooders start out complicated by preparing all sorts of “exotic” food, which takes hours – sometimes days – of preparation, and as a result, people get the impression that raw food preparation is vastly time consuming. Well, it can be, if you are not organized.

We usually need 1-2 days to prepare our food for most of the week; it is much more effective this way. For instance, if you know that you are going to prepare a dish which will involve a raw dough, like for tacos, pizza, or bread, why not prepare three different dishes all at once?

The dehydrated food stays usually good in a refrigerator for up to seven days, so why not prepare pizza, tacos, and bread rolls or crackers all at once? At the actual lunch time, all you have to do is to prepare a spread, or sauce, or dip, which will take you no more then 10 minutes, and in addition to that perhaps a green salad, which will – as well – not take much of your time.

I know there are raw fooders who spent days making complicated nut cheeses and eat the whole thing in less than 15 min. (while delicious – no doubt). You can do that if you got the time and motivation, but for your everyday meals, you should find a combination of fast and easy to make food variations, which will never become boring to you.

Mix it up and think ahead, maybe for a whole week, or for 3-4 days in advance, to organize your time as good as you can.

Smoothies for three weeks

We are big smoothie fans, and like to drink – at least – one a day. For doing so, we sometimes buy 10 pineapples, and we cut them all at once, and put them into a freezer, packed into convenient little bags (reusable), which serve as a basis for making two smoothies, in which we add some bananas and some greens like fennel fronds.

If you are prepared like this, it takes approx. 5-8 min. to make a fantastic smoothie in no time. If you are organized, you will be able to make delicious food and drinks faster than an old-school microwave makes pizza – no joke. And the benefits and enjoyment of eating such food – immeasurable. So I ‘d encourage you to jump right into it, because your body can’t wait to see you start!

Is it still too much for you? Try this.

If you cannot do any of this, start a whole foods diet in which you will include as many raw ingredients as possible. Don’t be a perfectionist; do what is attainable for you.

I agree with Matt Monarch, from the Raw Food World TV Show, that most people will probably have an easier access into this world of healthy food through a somewhat downgraded variation of a raw foods diet, simply because not everyone is the kind of person who is ready to make such a 180 degree change over night.

He even calls himself an extremist – and I have to admit – we both are probably too. But not in the sense of doing something extremely wrong – no! But in the sense of being able to implement a decision virtually overnight, without much doubt, ready to start right away.

I believe diversity is a good thing, and that is why we people differ one from another in our approaches, to basically solve the same problem. I’ve always valued people who’d make at least some afford than none at all.

Look, as a starter, cook as you always do, but add some little tweaks to it. One of my favorites is to drop cooked sauces, like, for instance, for our spaghettis, rice dishes, quinoa dishes, pizzas, millet dishes, and so on.

If you add a raw sauce to your spaghettis and eat a green salad to it, you are already on a 60% raw foods diet! Cook some potatoes and add a raw sauce on top – 50% raw foods diet! You understand where I’m getting to?

As I’ve said it before – don’t make a religion out of it. If you can’t do it at once go slowly and try to discover this new world like an explorer would. Find your own rhythm and stick to it.

How to go from a standard diet to a raw foods diet?

Food should be delicious and not just a healthy nutrient; this is why I believe that you start gradually adding more and more raw ingredients until you get accustomed to your new diet. I mean why should you cook your sauces and dips anyways; there is no reason for it.

I understand that you are not a big fan of raw potatoes at this moment, but once you try a raw sauce; you probably won’t go back to cooked sauces. You will notice that most of the regular dishes have a sort of base like rice, noodles, or potatoes, and some kind of sauce or dip on top.

So by exchanging the sauces from cooked to raw, you’ve already done a lot. The next step should definitely be towards green salads – add them as a side dish whenever you can while in the morning and evening try to eat only fruits or any dishes made from fruit. If you manage to do this, you will soon feel a major difference in your body and mind. It’s inevitable.

After some time, try to drop all processed foods like spaghettis and replace them for whole foods instead. Try to avoid everything that is packaged in some sort of sealed container; simply buy fruits and vegetables as they are.

Meat & dairy

I haven’t gotten into meat and dairy this far, well, it’s one of the bases of being vegan, therefore, cut down on both as soon as possible. Perhaps you isolate it to one day a week until dropping it entirely.

Meat and dairy are not a matter of lifestyle – they are harming your body, and if you are already investigating into vegan food, I suppose you know that, but if you are still unsure about this, I suggest you watch this fantastic presentation of dr. Klaper, which we had published some time ago here on our website.

A way to resist restaurants

One of the most distractive things is to move through the streets of big cities where food is being presented to you on every corner. However, the good news is that raw food restaurants are more and more in numbers, and you will probably be able to find one not very far from you.

What I like is to have some prepared food with me, and sit with my wife somewhere, in a park or similar, eating our delicious food from home. And you know what we do afterwards? We go into one of those health-food shops and buy the best chocolate they have (no sugar, no milk) and enjoy ourselves strolling along the street – eating the whole thing! - Waking Times.

WATCH:  Dr. Arthur Lewis - Raw Food, Health and Diseases.

EUROPEAN VAMPIRISM: Rwanda And The New Scramble For Africa - From Tragedy To Useful Imperial Fiction!

January 30, 2014 - RWANDA -  Robin Philpot’s important new book Rwanda and the New Scramble for Africa is an eye-opener and essential reading for anybody who wants to understand the recent history of Rwanda, ongoing U.S. and Western policy in Africa, and how efficiently the Western propaganda system works.

Africa must act immediately against foreign machinations on the continent.

As in the case of the wars dismantling Yugoslavia, there is a “standard model” of what happened in Rwanda both in 1994 and in the preceding and later years, a model that puts the victorious Tutsi expatriate and Ugandan official Paul Kagame, his Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF), and his Western supporters in a favorable light and the government of Rwanda, led by the Hutu Juvenal Habyarimana, in a negative light. Philpot challenges this model in all of its aspects and shows convincingly that, in a virtual miracle of systematic distortion, this version of history stands the truth on its head.

One important feature of the standard model is its portrayal of the West as a regrettably late intervener in the Rwanda struggle, with oft-cited ex-post apologies from Bill Clinton and Madeleine Albright during their visits to Rwanda in 1997 and 1998 for U.S. and allied failure to intervene to prevent the massive killings in 1994.

Demolishing this distortion of history, Philpot shows that U.S. and Western intervention in Rwanda was crucial both in preparing the ground for the 1994 bloodbath and in the failure to stop it after it was well underway. The United States and Britain saw to it that UN peacekeeping forces were smaller in 1994 than had been agreed to in the 1993 Arusha Peace Accords and that they were cut sharply in February and then in April 1994 when killings were raging. The Rwanda government called repeatedly for a ceasefire, but the United States was supporting Kagame’s and the RPF’s conquest of Rwanda and, with a Kagame victory in sight, the U.S. intervention at that point was to protect the RPF killing machine from any outside interference. Philpot quotes former UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros- Ghali’s repeated assertion that, “The genocide in Rwanda was one hundred percent the responsibility of the Americans.”

Philpot traces U.S. support of Kagame and the RPF back to the October 1990 invasion of Rwanda from Uganda and even earlier. Kagame had trained at Ft. Leavenworth and the United States and its allies were already supplying Uganda with arms, training, and diplomatic support in 1990. The invasion and occupation of Northern Rwanda by this foreign-based force, which started on October 1, 1990, resulted in the forced exodus of hundreds of thousands of Hutu farmers. Although this was a violation of the UN Charter, as well as a major human rights disaster, it led to no condemnation or action by the UN or “international community.” In fact, in succeeding years the United States and its allies supported the penetration of the RPF into the political and military structures of Rwanda, essentially pushing a major subversive force into the institutions of a victim of aggression. The Rwanda government was also forced by the IMF and World Bank, along with the United States and its allies, to abandon its social democratic policies, disabling it as a force helping ordinary citizens, including both the many refugees dislodged by the RPF and the large numbers streaming into Rwanda from Burundi where a Tutsi-military coup d’etat and murder of its Hutu president in October 1993 had led to a flight similar to that produced by Kagame and the RPF within Rwanda itself.

Philpot cites evidence that as early as 1990 the RPF organized covert cells throughout the country, surely deisgned for future action in a plan to seize control of the state.

Tutsis comprised at most 15 percent of the populationand, given their historic role as a ruling superior class—defeated in a 1959 social revolution with many fleeing to Uganda—and their role via the RPF in ethnic cleansing and refugee creation from 1990 onward, there was no chance that they could take power in a free election. Philpot makes a compelling case that they knew this quite well and were planning a violent takeover, which did in fact occur.

Rwanda And The New Scramble For Africa
Philpot stresses that from October 1, 1990 onward and through the mass killings years of 1994-1995, Rwanda suffered a de facto war, carried out by the RPF, with Ugandan help, and, more crucially, with the assistance of the United States and its close allies. This also meant the automatic help of the subservient UN. In the standard model there was no war—the 1990 invasion and its consequences are kept out of sight and so is the steady infiltration and major-war preparations of the RPF up to the onset of a full-scale war and mass killings in April 1994 and onward.

The large-scale slaughter in Rwanda began immediately after the shooting down of a plane carrying Rwanda President Juvenal Habyarimana and Burundi president Cyprien Ntaryamina at the Kigali airport on April 6, 1994. This was widely recognized as the “triggering event” in the mass killings and “genocide.” In the standard model, the deaths of Habyarimana and Ntaryamina were either organized by Hutu government officials or were inexplicable. However, there is overwhelming evidence that these deaths were organized by Paul Kagame and the RPF, very possibly with the help of their Western supporters. The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) looked into this issue in 1996 and 1997, with their principal investigator Michael Hourigan eventually charging the crime to Kagame and the RPF. French and Spanish investigators came up with the same result. But when Hourigan presented his report to ICTR prosecutor Louise Arbour, after consulting with U.S. officials Arbour closed down the investigation and it has not been taken up since by the ICTR or any other international organization despite the importance of this event to the terrible and much publicized devastation that ensued.

This episode of suppression and refusal to investigate is telling at several levels. For one thing, it shows the dominance of the United States in ICTR decision-making and Arbour was in fact vetted by Madeleine Albright before her appointment as prosecutor (also for the ICTY). It also displays Louise Arbour’s subservience to the global monarch and non-judicial behavior, for which she was further rewarded with a high Canadian judicial appointment, then as Kofi Annan’s choice as UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and then in 2009 a presidency of the supposedly non-partisan NGO the International Crisis Group.

Most important, this suppression episode points to Kagame and the RPF as the driving force in the mass killings that immediately followed the April 6 assassinations. There was excellent coordination here, with the RPF in action simultaneously with the shootdown and even in advance of it, indicating that the assassination was known to RPF cadres and was part of a larger ongoing plan. Philpot emphasizes that Kagame could never have taken power by a free election, so that violence was absolutely necessary. The truth of the responsibility for these assassinations does not fit into the standard model, hence its treatment by the ICTR and Western propagandists—silence or claims of Hutu responsibility or passing references to a “plane crash.”

Philpot calls the RPF’s military triumph a coup d’etat, and the case he makes for this is convincing. The coup d’etat was the final result of a war—first an open war begun October 1, 1990, then with a three-year mainly low level war of RPF subversion and buildup of military cadres, partly hidden, with cells of subversive agents awaiting the coup moment, then the assassinations and conquest. The war was greatly facilitated by Western insistence that the Rwanda government make a place in the army and Administration for RPF representatives—done in the Arusha Peace Accords of 1993—and to force that government to carry out “reforms” and “austerity” policies that weakened its hold on its own population base.

In the buildup toward the final conquest and takeover, the low-level RPF war was also greatly helped by the West’s putting the Rwanda government under siege for its alleged human rights violations. The government did arrest some 8,000 individuals suspected of being RPF agents or active supporters in October 1990, all of them released within six months. This caused a frenzy in the Western political establishment, media and among human rights groups. Although the RPF (and Uganda) had invaded Rwanda, produced hundreds of thousands of refugees, and posed an enormous security threat to Rwanda, this was all overlooked by Western propagandists. Their sole focus was on the Rwanda government’s alleged excesses. Philpot notes that the many thousands of Japanese imprisoned by the United States and Canada during World War II involved a trivial security threat in comparison with that posed by the RPF against Rwanda. But the United States and its close allies supported the RPF, hence the huge bias throughout the West.

Philpot emphasizes the important role played by human rights NGOs in demonizing the Rwanda government and advancing the RPF’s war program. None existed in Rwanda before 1990, but they multiplied thereafter, almost all favoring the RPF. Most notable was the International Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights Violations in Rwanda, which issued a report in 1993 that harshly condemned the Rwanda government and said virtually nothing about RPF abuses. The Commission had spent two weeks in Rwanda, including only two hours in RPF-controlled territory where nobody was interviewed except in the presence of RPF personnel. The Commission’s financing and personnel assured its RPF supportive conclusions, and the RPF openly waited for the report before launching fresh military attacks that resulted in thousands of civilian casualties.

The Commission ignored the crime of aggression, focusing only on alleged war crimes in the ongoing low-level war. Its policy stance here, like that of Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International in the Iraq invasion/occupation, was that condemnations of acts of aggression are outside of its sphere of interest—it focuses only on any ensuing war crimes committed by the aggressor or his victim. This flies in the face of the UN Charter, but is wonderfully convenient to the United States as the world’s towering leader in the field of aggression, and fitted nicely the needs of Kagame and the RPF in their aggression against, and conquest, of Rwanda.

The Commission’s report was cited widely as authoritative and its extremely biased authors—several of whom became officials in the post-conquest RPF government of Rwanda—became favored experts in the media and served as prosecution witnesses in cases brought against the Hutu losers (and only Kagame-RPF approved losers have been tried by the ICTR). Philpot has detailed the crushing accounts of the ignorance and conflicts of interest of Commission members and other Western publicists and propagandists for the RPF cause, most notably Alison Des Forges (a consultant to the U.S. State Department and Pentagon); Philip Gourevitch (at that time brother-in-law of Jamie Rubin, Madeleine Albright’s PR person, with full and uncontested access to the liberal New Yorker); Canadian analyst Carol Off (whose heroine was Louise Arbour), Gil Courtemanche (a Canadian novelist); and Belgian journalist Colette Braeckman (author of a classic RPF apologia in 1994; the authority in the Belgian Le Soir and the French “left” Le Monde Diplomatique). With their help and a heavy flow of government disinformation, the standard model was institutionalized.

The UN also played its usual supportive role in recognizing who the United States and its allies were backing and lending a dirty hand. There was the ICTR, with its service as an instrument of RCF vengeance and helping it institutionalize the view that Hutus were the killers and “genocidaires.” In a notable instance, when investigator Robert Gersony produced a report in 1994 describing the mass killing of Hutus by the RPF, the UN suppressed it and forced Gersony to keep silent on its contents. The UN Aid Mission to Rwanda (UNAMIR) was headed by the Canadian Romeo Dallaire, a virtual servant of U.S. policy, thus supportive of the RPF, hostile to the French (he turned down their offer to look closely at the responsibility for the shootdown on April 6, although they were on the scene and several French citizens were killed in the crash), and hostile to adding more UN forces. Philpot notes that, “The first important action of the UN military mission, which included more than four hundred Belgian troops, was to escort a battalion of six hundred armed RPF soldiers from Rwandan Patriotic Front headquarters in Mulindi to Kigali.”

In the standard model, the Hutus were the villains who tried to exterminate the Tutsis and carried out a “genocide.” But it is certain that many more Hutus than Tutsis were killed; the RPF was a well-organized army, supplied and protected by the United States and its close allies, and ready for action on April 6, 1994, whereas the government’s leadership was taken by surprise, disorganized, short on arms, and defeated within 100 days. (For a discussion of the numbers, Herman and Peterson, The Politics of Genocide photo, 56-61.) But with unconstrained support of the U.S., UK, Belgium and Canada, a miracle of propaganda was achieved in making the aggressor and coup regime and its killing machine into a savior of the Tutsis from the Hutu victim population. The propaganda system has done this job so well that Kagame can make any opposition into supporters of “genocide.” The ICTR helps by steadily pursuing alleged genocidaires (and specific Kagame targets) and Kagame can win elections with 90 plus percent of the vote, without his ceasing to be a Western hero (an African “Abe Lincoln” in the view of Gourevitch). No more misleading and erroneous use of the word genocide can be found anywhere.

Most important, pursuing those genocidaires into the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has been Kagame’s excuse for invasions and mass murder there since 1996. He and Museveni have killed several million Hutu refugees and locals in the Eastern DRC, in a killing continuity with that in Rwanda. Although the numbers killed in the DRC far exceed the deaths in Rwanda, this is not described as a “genocide,” no Tribunals are established here, and no ICC indictments deal with these big-time criminals (Kagame and Museveni).

Philpot makes clear that this results from the fact that the United States actively supports these killers. As the United States and other Western powers have steadily increased their interest in Africa, their greater intervention follows, and Kagame and Museveni have been supported as local agents. Philpot quotes from a November 1996 interview by French journalist Jean Daniel with U.S. Assistant Secretary of State, John C. Kornblum: “France? We want to get along with France. Chirac? A man of good will. We like him. But: (1) no question of keeping Boutros-Ghali; (2) no question of keeping Mobutu in power… Let’s get together again in six months time. We’ll see if I am mistaken. Watch out for Africa: France has it all wrong. The strong man is in Uganda, not in Kinshasa.”

The imperialist perspective is blatant, and in fact both Boutros-Ghali and Mobutu were removed in short order and Museveni (along with Kagame) has prospered and for many years could occupy the DRC and kill with impunity The interview with Kornblum took place just as Kagame was bombing the refugee camps and beginning his murderous march, fronted by Laurent-Desire Kabila, to overthrow Mobutu and take Kinshasa and the entire DRC. And as in Rwanda itself, with the aid of people like Romeo Dallaire, French initiatives for refugee succor in the DRC were squelched (and we are talking about a million-plus refugee population in distress). Philpot has a telling story of how the United States, here again with Canadian help, aided Kagame in clearing out Hutu refugee camps in the DRC by violence, all of these allies helping push the refugees toward Rwanda or into the DRC forests, bombing and shelling the camps, and killing vast numbers. With the aid of its Canadian puppet, the United States succeeded in fending off a threat that the UN would increase its protective forces in the refugee camps, closely analogous to the successful U.S, effort to reduce UNAMIR forces in Rwanda as the RPF slaughters there escalated.

Philpot’s book tells a grim story of geopolitical interests of the United States and its close allies, causing them to intervene heavily in Rwanda and the DRC, supporting killer regimes that overthrew a relatively responsive and representative government in Rwanda with a ruthless minority regime and dictatorship, but responsive to U.S.-UK interests (Kagame was the only African leader to welcome the U.S. invasion of Iraq). The Rwanda and Uganda regimes were adjuncts smoothing the road for Western penetration of the DRC. The “collateral damage” of literally millions of African deaths was completely acceptable to U.S.-UK leaders. But the propaganda/disinformation flood was so great that perhaps they believed the standard model that they were bringing civilization and Western values to the benighted. In reality, as Philpot describes so well, they were bringing hunger, death, dictatorship, and chaos to African peoples. - African Globe.

RACIAL SOCIALIZATION: Black Identity Transactions And Skin Bleaching - Shocking Report Reveals That 77% Of All Nigerian Women Use Skin-Lightening Products?!

January 30, 2014 - NIGERIA - The World Health Organization (WHO) seems to believe that women in Nigeria are not particularly happy with their skin color.  According to the WHO, 77 percent of women in Nigeria use skin-lightening products.  This is the highest percentage in the world, according to the study.  This is followed by 59 percent in Togo and 27 percent in Senegal.

The WHO report says that women use the products because they want to have "white skin." The organization is concerned about the trend, since the products can be quite harmful to those who use them. Bleaching is not healthy for you, and can produce toxic compounds that cause various cancers in the blood, liver and kidneys. This doesn’t even count what it can do to the skin itself.

Many of the products being sold for skin-lightening also contain illegal compounds that include Mercury, which blocks the development of Melanin. This can change the color of your skin, but it can also kill you.

The study analyzes the psyches of women, who believe that those who are lighter in skin complexion are going to have more successful careers, and are also more likely to get married. But they also note that there is a bleaching trend among men as well.

As are quite a few products in Nigeria and some other countries, there isn’t strong regulation of these products on the market.

A salesperson told Al Jazeera, "About 90 percent of my clients come asking for skin whitening products," adding "I sell it to them and give advice on what product is best for them and how to use them."

The light/dark-skin issue is not just prevalent in Africa. In the United States, the Oprah Winfrey documentary "Dark Girls" led to a great deal of discussion across the Internet. Of particular interest were comments made by popular comedian Kevin Hart, who once referred to dark women as "broke a** dark h*oes" and said that light-skinned women have better credit. This is added to a myriad of hip-hop artists, including the rapper Lil Wayne, who’ve stated that they prefer light-skinned women to dark ones. Ironically, women are the first ones to line up to pay for tickets to their concerts.

Is there an issue here? - Sirius Sun.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

THE RISE OF THE MOORS: The Precursors To The Complete And Total Detachment From Failed European Vampirism And Christian Dominionism - The World’s Most Ancient Christian Communities Are Being Destroyed And NO ONE CARES!

January 26, 2014 - MIDDLE EAST - Like many Coptic Christians in Egypt, Ayman Nabil Labib had a tattoo of the cross on his wrist. And like 17-year-old men everywhere, he could be assertive about his identity. But in 2011, after Egypt's revolution, that kind of assertiveness could mean trouble.

Egyptian Coptic Christians mourn during a mass funeral in 2011. (REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh)

Ayman's Arabic-language teacher told him to cover his tattoo in class. Instead of complying, the young man defiantly pulled out the cross that hung around his neck, making it visible. His teacher flew into a rage and began choking him, goading the young man's Muslim classmates by saying, "What are you going to do with him?"

Ayman's classmates then beat him to death. False statements were given to police, and two boys were taken into custody only after Ayman's terror-stricken family spoke out.

Ayman's suffering is not an isolated case in Egypt or the region.

The Arab Spring, and to a lesser extent the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, were touted as the catalysts for a major historic shift in the region. From Egypt to Syria to Iraq, the Middle East's dictatorships would be succeeded by liberal, democratic regimes. Years later, however, there is very little liberality or democracy to show. Indeed, what these upheavals have bequeathed to history is a baleful, and barely noticed legacy: The near-annihilation of the world's most ancient communities of Christians.

The persecution of Christians throughout the Middle East, as well as the silence with which it has been met in the West, are the subject of journalist Ed West's Kindle Single "The Silence of Our Friends." The booklet is a brisk and chilling litany of horrors: Discriminatory laws, mass graves, unofficial pogroms, and exile. The persecuted are not just Coptic and Nestorian Christians who have relatively few co-communicants in the West, but Catholics, Orthodox, and Protestants as well.

Throughout the Middle East the pattern is the same. Christians are murdered in mob violence or by militant groups. Their churches are bombed, their shops destroyed, and their homes looted. Laws are passed making them second-class citizens, and the majority of them eventually leave.

August 26, 2013: Bishop-General Macarius (right), a Coptic Orthodox leader, walks around the damaged
Evangelical Church in Minya, south of Cairo.  (REUTERS/Louafi Larbi)

In Egypt, a rumor that a Muslim girl was dating a Christian boy led to the burning of multiple churches, and the imposition of a curfew on a local Christian population. Illiterate children were held in police custody for urinating in a trash heap, because an imam claimed that pages quoting the Koran were in the pile and had been desecrated. Again, the persecution resulted in Christian families leaving their homes behind.

In Syria, the situation is even worse. In June 2013, a cluster of Christian villages was totally destroyed. Friar Pierbattista Pizzaballa reported that "of the 4,000 inhabitants of the village of Ghassanieh... no more than 10 people remain."

Two Syrian bishops have been kidnapped by rebel groups. Militants expelled 90 percent of the Christians in the city of Homs. Patriarch Gregorios III of Antioch says that out of a population of 1.75 million, 450,000 Syrian Christians have simply fled their homes in fear.

In Iraq, the story is the same but more dramatic. According to West, between 2004 and 2011 the population of Chaldo-Assyrian Christians fell from over a million to as few as 150,000. In 2006, Isoh Majeed, who advocated the creation of a safe haven for Christians around Nineveh, was murdered in his home. The number of churches in Iraq has declined to just 57, from 300 before the invasion. The decline of Iraq's Christian population since the first Gulf War is roughly 90 percent, with most of the drop occurring since the 2003 invasion.

The U.S. and the U.K. bear some responsibility in this catastrophe, since they oversaw the creation of Iraq's postwar government and did little to protect minority faiths.

West's book touches on the clueless and callous behavior of Western governments in these episodes. U.S. reconstruction aid to Iraq is distributed according to Iraqi laws that discriminate against Christian Iraqis. The U.S. pours billions of foreign aid into Egypt, and yet the Christians in that country are not allowed to build churches (or even so much as repair toilets in them) without explicit permission from the head of state, almost never granted. Last September, the U.S and Britain attempted to make their support of Syrian rebel groups explicit and overt, but at the same time some of these militias were executing a pogrom against Christians.
A Christian shopkeeper in Ma'loula summed it up in a quote to the BBC: "Tell the EU and the Americans that we sent you Saint Paul 2,000 years ago to take you from the darkness, and you sent us terrorists to kill us."

In an email to The Week, Ed West says there are things America and its allies can and should do to aid persecuted Christians:

Western countries should make clear that our friendship, cooperation, aid, and help depends on: 1) Religious freedom, which includes the right to change or leave religions; 2) A secular law that treats all people the same. That was not the case in Mubarak's Egypt, which the U.S. helped to prop up with $500 million a year. That is not the case in Iraq, which under U.S. control instigated sharia into its constitution. That shouldn't be acceptable. In 2022, Qatar will host the World Cup, a country where death for apostasy is still on the statute books. Why aren't we all boycotting it?

The last request does put the plight of Middle Eastern Christians in global context. Western activists and media have focused considerable outrage at Russia's laws against "homosexual propaganda" in the lead-up to the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. It would only seem fitting that Westerners would also protest (or at the very least notice) laws that punish people with death for converting to Christianity.

December 25, 2008: Iraqi Christians attend Christmas mass at the Virgin Mary church in Baghdad. 
(Wathiq Khuzaie/Getty Images)

And yet the Western world is largely ignorant of or untroubled by programmatic violence against Christians. Ed West, citing the French philosopher Regis Debray, distils the problem thusly: "The victims are 'too Christian' to excite the Left, and 'too foreign' to excite the Right."

Church leaders outside the Middle East are afraid to speak out, partly because they fear precipitating more violence. (Seven churches were fire-bombed in Iraq after Pope Benedict XVI quoted an ancient criticism of Islam in an academic speech in Germany.) Oddly, unlike Iran, Saudi Arabia, Israel, and Russia, the U.S. and the U.K. are the only powers acting in the Middle East that do not take any special interest in the safety of those with whom they have a historical religious affinity.

These are the lands in which Jesus' apostles and their disciples made some of the first Christian converts. In an interview, West pointed out that these communities "were Christian when our ancestors were worshipping trees and stones." Now they are in danger of imminent extinction.

In 2013, Raphael I Sako, the Chaldean Patriarch of Baghdad, said the following at his installation homily, "Still the shadow of fear, anxiety, and death is hanging over our people." He warned: "If emigration continues, God forbid, there will be no more Christians in the Middle East. It will be no more than a distant memory." West's book is a sobering reminder that Western policy has helped shape this grim fate for Middle Eastern Christians — and Western silence allows it to continue. - The Week.

AFRICAN RENAISSANCE: "Game Changer" - How Africa's Mobile Explosion Is Revolutionizing The Entire Continent!

"Mobile phones are birthing revolutions in critical sectors of the economy such as education, healthcare and agriculture." - Nmachi Jidenma.

January 26, 2014 - AFRICA
-  Africa's mobile phone adoption curve has been impressive.

A technician scanning the eye of a woman with a smartphone application in rural Kenya.

In a little over a decade, the continent has become the world's second most connected region by mobile subscriptions, has witnessed the fastest growth in mobile subscribers in the world and is on track to hit one billion mobile subscriptions by 2015, according to Informa Telecoms.

Rapid smartphone adoption in large mobile phone markets like Nigeria and Kenya is already quickly birthing significant changes in the lives of the continent's tech savvy youth, ushering in revolutions in a myriad of sectors.

The first significant revolution has been the swift ushering of the information revolution on the continent. The impact of Internet access via mobile devices on the continent has been a game changer on the continent.

Access to social networks has given youth a platform for self-expression and civic participation in ways that are having real impact on elections, governance and accountability.

Twitter, Facebook and crisis mapping technologies such as Ushahidi have helped mobilize communities and improve government responsiveness to the plight of young people.

As smartphones lower information barriers across Africa, young people are empowering themselves by self organizing into influential youth online communities and demanding better leadership.

Mobile phones are revolutionizing financial services in Africa. Much has been written about M-PESA's runaway success in Kenya -- a true global success story in the field of mobile payments with over 18 million active users.

In East Africa, mobile banking has leapfrogged traditional banking, enabling previously unbanked consumers to receive remittances and also to send money to their loved ones.

In Africa's largest mobile phone market with over 120 million subscribers, Nigeria, a startup company, Paga is quickly dominating the country's nascent mobile payments scene, growing by an estimated 847% in its first full year of operation.

The company's potential scale is massive given the number of mobile subscribers in Africa's second largest economy. Increased access to financial markets is enabling capital accumulation through savings and affordable credit and is playing a leading role in helping reduce poverty.

Mobile phones are revolutionizing Africa's retail sector. Mobile commerce is helping build the continent's retail sector by connecting young, tech savvy consumers in far-flung areas with urban goods.

In many parts of Africa, organized retail penetration remains low and informal channels dominate the vast majority of retail transactions.

Innovative retail programs which are just taking off in Western markets, such as shopping online and picking up goods at centralized locations are quickly taking center stage in countries like South Africa.

Mobile commerce is accelerating Africa's retail future by leapfrogging the need for capital-intensive mall infrastructure and hastening the establishment of strong logistic networks and demand fulfillment centers.

Even more importantly, mobile phones are birthing revolutions in critical sectors of the economy such as education, healthcare and agriculture.

The impact digital books can have on improving literacy rates and enabling young people to improve their skillsets would serve as a boon for the state of education and literacy on the continent.

Organizations such as Worldreader and Binu are improving access to digital content on the continent by connecting millions of young Africans with e-books on their mobile devices.

Access to healthcare tips and medical service providers through services such as MAMA are helping to improve maternal health while access to agricultural tips, real time market prices and weather information through services such as Esoko are transforming the lives of smallholder farmers who still make up about 65% of the continent's workforce.

From m-commerce to m-health, mobile phones are transforming the lives of Africans in revolutionary ways.
Mobile experiences are re-creating existing industries, helping the continent narrow the digital divide and helping its young people lead the charge in the adoption of mobile technology solutions globally. - CNN.

AFRICAN START-UP: The Award-Winning Uganda Entrepreneur Andrew Mupuya - He Started In His Teens With Just $14; Now He's A 21-Year-Old Paper Bag King!

January 26, 2014 - UGANDA - Award-winning entrepreneur Andrew Mupuya was just 16 years old when he decided to take on the world.

"My vision is to have a cleaner Africa by eradicating use of plastic bags and emphasis
on paper recycling," says Mupuya.

That was back in 2008, when both of Mupuya's parents had lost their jobs and could only afford to cover his school fees. "I had to get to meet my basic needs by myself," remembers the Ugandan businessman. "I decided to face the world alone."

Inadvertently, the government of Uganda came to Mupuya's aid. At the time, officials in the country announced that they were considering a ban on plastic bags to curb environmental damage. Mupuya, who was still in secondary school, immediately saw this as an opportunity to launch a paper bag production company.

Andrew Mupuya is the founder of Uganda's first registered paper bag company. Youth Entrepreneurial Link Investments
(YELI) is supplying restaurants, supermarkets and medical centers in Kampala.

"I conducted a feasibility study, market research around retail shops, kiosks, supermarkets around Kampala and discovered there is need and potential market for paper bags."
To start out his small operation, Mupuya figured out he needed a capital of 36,000 Ugandan shillings ($14). He raised the first $11 from selling 70 kilos of used plastic bottles he'd collected over one week. Mupuya then borrowed the remaining $3 from his school teacher and embarked on his entrepreneurial journey producing paper bags on a small scale.

 WATCH: From teen entrepreneur to paper bag king.

Since then, the business has grown extensively and today, at the age of 21, Mupuya is the owner of Youth Entrepreneurial Link Investments (YELI), the first registered Ugandan company to make paper bags.

The young entrepreneur employs 16 people who produce up to 20,000 paper bags each week. His long list of clients includes restaurants, retail stores, supermarkets, medical centers, as well as multinational companies like Samsung -- YELI has made about 1,000 niche bags for the local stores of the electronics company.‎
"Right now I have 72 clients," says Mupuya. "Ninety per cent of our clients always come back."
Green impact

Mupuya's remarkable achievements and shrewd business skills have been recognized with a number of accolades in recent years. In 2012, Mupuya was the winner of the $30,000 Anzisha Prize, a major award given to young African entrepreneurial leaders who take the initiative to address critical needs in their communities.

"The awards I have won give me courage to push on with my business," says the young entrepreneur.

"It shows to me how I am doing the right thing and it helps me define the impact am creating."

Mupuya employs 16 staff who produce up to 20,000 bags a week from inside a small workshop
near the bustling center of Kampala.

Uganda has attempted to ban plastic bags in a bid to deal with its acute waste management problem and promote environmental conservation. Yet, they are still used in Kampala and often block drainage systems or collect in heaps on the side of the road.

Mupuya, however, believes Ugandans will eventually choose paper over plastic and he even plans to build a recycling operation.

"A paper bag is eco-friendly, it can easily decompose," he says. "But plastic bags take too long, so that is the difference."
'Just the start'

For now, Mupuya sources his paper from Nairobi, the capital of Kenya. His business is housed in Kasokoso, a slum just outside Kampala's bustling city center. Here, everything is done by hand and with precision. YELI employees turn out thousands of bags daily, cutting the paper manually and then folding it and gluing it appropriately.

But this takes time, and as customer numbers grow, the team cannot keep up with the increasing orders. Mupuya says one of the biggest challenges for his startup right now is supply and demand.

All of YELI's bags are hand-made, and this is one of the bigger challenges that Mupuya faces. "My next step is to
get machine because I am only able to supply 5% of the demands I have," he says.

"It needs time to produce the right quality and quantity to all clients, because it's run manually," he says. "(It's) quite hard to catch up with some clients who are used to cheap plastic bags," adds Mupuya. "My next step is to get a machine because I am only able to supply 5% of the demands I have."

Yet Mupuya says that this is a problem that most clients understand, pushing him to keep thinking big and press ahead with his plans to promote environmental conservation.

"My vision is to have a cleaner Africa by eradicating use of plastic bags and emphasis on paper recycling," he says. "I dream of having a big plant where I am able to supply paper bags all over Africa," adds Mupuya, "putting emphasis on sensitizing about environmental conservation."

"So I believe this is just the start." - CNN.

MARKETPLACE AFRICA: The Africa Trade Link And Expo - July 23-27, 2014 In Kenya!

January 26, 2014 - KENYA -  The Africa Trade Link and Expo Mission will provide participants with firsthand market information and one-on-one meetings with business contacts, including potential agents, distributors, and partners so they can position themselves to enter or expand their presence in the African market.

Nairobi, Kenya has a well developed business and financial sector. Indigenous and multinational enterprises provide substantial investment in Kenya which accelerates economic activity in all of East Africa. Kenya is strategically located at the gateway of trade in East Africa. Through its prime geographical location, Kenya has emerged as a significant player in regional trade.

Kenya is a key hub for the transit of goods, as well as a destination for American, European and Asian companies seeking to do business in the region. Kenya is the most developed economy in Eastern Africa. With a nominal 2010 Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of USD 32.417 billion, it is also the economic, commercial, and logistical hub of the entire region. Kenya’s estimated population is 42 million. A significant portion of the population is extraordinarily well educated.

Africa Trade Link and Expo has chosen to showcase this trade mission in Kenya, but subsequent missions will rotate in different countries in Africa that support the mission of Africa Trade Link and Expo. The next country to be chosen to host and showcase this mission will depend on the support Africa Trade Link and Expo gets from that country.

Such support includes the country’s political stability, financial sponsorship, and endorsements, etc. The mission will rotate between different areas of Africa such as Zambia, South Africa, Tanzania, Rwanda, Nigeria, Ghana, and Uganda. Sectors such as energy, health care, agriculture, infrastructure, vehicles, processed foods, basic needs, and others are poised for solid growth in Africa.

 WATCH:   Stephen Hayes of Corporate Council on Africa speaks at a press conference on trade with Africa.

Africa Trade Link and Expo (ATL&Expo) is currently seeking non-profit 501 (c) (3) status.  ATL and Expo is funded by Foundation Sponsors, Government Sponsors, Corporate Sponsors, and Individuals.  Our goal is to provide a platform for USA and other international firms to do business with Africa thus spur economic growth, internationally and locally with an overall goal of reducing poverty through creation of jobs. - Africa Trade Link and Expo.

AFRICAN RENAISSANCE: Africa Is Rising - Who Is Benefiting?

January 26, 2014 - AFRICA -  One of Africa’s harsh realities is not the absence of resources but the lack of the will to transform the continent’s economies to influence the global agenda.

African countries are experiencing rapid growth.

Much of Africa’s leadership is sucked up in activities that seek to perpetuate their stay in power.

While presenting a paper at the G20 African summit in Johannesburg, South Africa recently, Godber Tumushabe, a former executive director of the Advocates Coalition for Development and Environment, said whereas Africa’s growth in the past two decades could not be disputed, it has not been transformative and is out of touch with the ordinary man.

A report released recently by the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (Ubos) bears him out. It says whereas poverty reduced from 24.5 per cent to 22 per cent in 2012/13, the gap between the rich and the poor continues to increase. Income inequality increased from 42.1 per cent to 43.1 per cent.

Commercial Levels

Mr. Tumushebe said that with much of Africa still relying on agriculture, there has not been much transformation in terms of industrialisation, manufacturing and technology.

When a country achieves a stage where its people can be employed in other sectors of the economy that are fed by agriculture, the sector is deemed to have grown to commercial levels.

Dr Ali Seid Nuru, a member of the Ethiopian Economics Association, said economic transformation slowly weeds out subsistence agriculture in the long term.

In his presentation at the same summit organised by the South African Institute for International Affairs, Dr Nuru said Ethiopia was on course to achieve economic transformation, with more people getting away from agriculture to the service and manufacturing sectors. He said 45 per cent of Ethiopians are in the service sector compared with 44 per cent in agriculture and 11 per cent in manufacturing.

In Uganda, more than 60 per cent of the population is employed in the agriculture sector. The service sector employs about 28 per cent and less than 7 per cent work in the industrial and manufacturing sector, according to Ubos.

Ethiopia is one of Africa’s fastest growing economies, with an average growth of 10.6 per cent per annum, supported by concerted development in infrastructure, especially energy and the road network. Uganda has been growing at an average of 5.4 per cent. - African Globe.

MOTHER NATURE: Humanity Is Waking Up To The Intelligence Of Nature - New Evidence That Plants Get Their Energy Using Quantum Entanglement!

January 26, 2014 - NATURE - Biophysicists theorize that plants tap into the eerie world of quantum entanglement during photosynthesis. But the evidence to date has been purely circumstantial. Now, scientists have discovered a feature of plants that cannot be explained by classical physics alone — but which quantum mechanics answers quite nicely.

The fact that biological systems can exploit quantum effects is quite astounding. In a way, they're like mini-quantum computers capable of scanning all possible options in order to choose the most efficient paths or solutions. For plants, this means the ability to make the most of the energy they receive and then deliver that energy from leaves with near perfect efficiency.

Good Vibrations

But for this to work, plants require the capacity to work in harmony with the wild, wacky, and extremely small world of quantum phenomena. The going theory is that plants have light-gathering macromolecules in their cells that can transfer energy via molecular vibrations — vibrations that have no equivalents in classical physics. Most of these light-gathering macromolecules are comprised of chromophores attached to proteins. These macromolecules carry out the first step of photosynthesis by capturing sunlight and efficiently transferring the energy.

Previous inquiries suggested that this energy is transferred in a wave-like manner, but it was a process that could still be explained by classical physics.

In Perfect Quantum Harmony

In the new study, however, UCL researchers identified a specific feature in biological systems that can only be predicted by quantum physics. The team learned that the energy transfer in the light-harvesting macromolecules is facilitated by specific vibrational motions of the chromophores.

"We found that the properties of some of the chromophore vibrations that assist energy transfer during photosynthesis can never be described with classical laws, and moreover, this non-classical behaviour enhances the efficiency of the energy transfer," noted supervisor and co-author Alexandra Olaya-Castro in a statement.

The vibrations in question are periodic motions of the atoms within a molecule. It's similar to how an object moves when it's attached to a spring. Sometimes, the energy of two vibrating chromophores match the energy difference between the electronic transitions of chromophores. The result is a coherent exchange of a single quantum of energy.

"When this happens electronic and vibrational degrees of freedom are jointly and transiently in a superposition of quantum states, a feature that can never be predicted with classical physics," explained study co-author Edward O'Reilly.

In other words, quantum effects improve the efficiency of plant photosynthesis in a way that classical physics cannot allow. Which is pretty wild if you ask me.

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