Thursday, December 31, 2015

BLACK MARKETPLACE: Jamaica Smokes World Stock Markets - Jamaica's Stock Exchange Skyrockets 80 PERCENT; The Best Result Among 92 Markets In 2015!

The Jamaica Stock Exchange.

December 31, 2015 - JAMAICA - To many Jamaica conjures thoughts of beautiful beaches and Bob Marley.

Who would have guessed the Caribbean island boasted the best performing stock market last year?

At the time, when the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped about one percent and the Euro Stoxx 50 lost six percent in dollar terms, the Jamaican Stock Exchange skyrocketed more than 80 percent in 2015.

This is the best results among 92 markets tracked by Bloomberg.

“I’m really impressed with what they’ve done to attract capital to the market,” Carl Bennett, a vice president of investor relations at Bank of New York Mellon told Bloomberg.

He also acknowledged the new measures to tackle insider trading and market manipulation.

A number of companies demonstrated good financial results. In particular, Caribbean Cement saw a 969 percent increase in profit.

Modeling agency and marketing company Pulse Investments saw a 557 percent growth in its share price and will pay dividends for the first time since 1994.

As of the end of November, 23 companies saw their value double in 2015.

Many Western companies are looking at investing in Jamaica.

Heineken has bought local brewer Desnoes & Geddes that saw a 500 percent rise in its shares.

The Jamaican government has plans to divest state-owned companies and plants through IPOs.

According to Finance Minister Peter Phillips, the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica and power generation and electricity distribution companies are candidates for privatization.

Jamaica's market capitalization is only $5.3 billion, compared to $5.23 trillion of the Dow Jones. - RT.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

AFRICAN RENAISSANCE: Kenya Sets World Record In Mobile Money Transfers In 2015 - Transactions Hit $23 BILLION!

December 30, 2015 - KENYA
- Kenya’s mobile money transactions hit $23 billion in the 10-months to October which is $4 billion more than in the same period last year, according to data from the country’s Central Bank.

The East African country leads the world in mobile money use, and could make a new record this year. Kenya’s 10-month transactions equal the country’s entire transfers for 2014.

The use of the service this year could surpass the $27 billion mark, an unnamed information technology expert told the Xinhua news agency.

"If subscribers transact an average of $2.2 billion a month, then it means in November and December they will move at least $4.4 billion. If you add it to $23 billion it comes to $27.4 billion, which is a new record," said the expert.

Kenya’s average monthly transactions stood at $2.2 billion this year compared with $1.9 billion in 2014.

October saw the most transferred when $2.51 billion was sent via mobile phones. It’s the highest ever transaction made in the history of mobile money services.

Kenyans use mobile financial services to buy goods, pay bills, pay fares, send and receive money. It’s the easiest way to make payments as most of the people don’t have bank accounts.

Analysts relate the rise in mobile money use to an increase in mobile providers and promotion of the services.

According to the data from Central Bank of Kenya, the number of mobile money subscribers as of October reached 28.5 million, up from 27.3 million in September. The number of service agents stood 140,612 in October. - RT.

BLACK BUSINESS: Black-On-Black Economics - Fifteen Black Entrepreneurs Make A Big Deposit In A Black-Owned Bank!

December 30, 2015 - UNITED STATES - Fifteen young Black businessmen entered the Black-owned Industrial Bank with the intent of opening accounts.

The men were members of the Black Male Entrepreneurship Institute (BMEI), a partner of the U.S. Black Chambers Inc. (USBC). The move was a calculated effort to gain support for black-on-black economics.

Ron Busby is CEO of the USBC. He said, “In order for there to be a strong Black America, you must have strong Black businesses. In order for there to be strong Black businesses, we must have strong Black banks. So, from my standpoint, this is just a reciprocation for what Industrial Bank has done for our communities for the last 80 years.”

The President/CEO of the Industrial Bank, Doyle Mitchell, was on hand and congratulated Busby for his leadership and inspiration to the young men. “I’m just humbled at the presence of mind that you have displayed since you first came to town and started taking a leadership role with the Chamber of Commerce and came to Industrial Bank and made a $5,000 deposit. You put your money where your mouth is,” he said.

Busby talked about the changes that happened in his life when he started to focus on Black business. He said that it impacted every area of his life. When it was time to buy a house, he found a Black real estate agent, a Black mortgage company, a Black title company, a Black home inspector, a Black pest control company, and a Black moving company. “Everybody that touched the transaction was a Black firm. The service was superior and the price was right.”

“There’s a trillion dollars of spending power in our community and we want to make sure that dollar stays within our community. Twenty-eight days a dollar stays in the Asian community, twenty-one days a dollar stays in the Hispanic community. In our community, our dollar leaves within six hours. We have got to change that…Until we have total control of how we circulate our money, our power and respect will continue to be marginalized,” he declared.

Busby is the leading voice supporting Black banks and businesses in America today. He hopes that he can continue to inspire young Black men and women to support the Black community by investing in themselves and their communities. - Michigan Chronicle.

AFRICAN INTEGRATION: Landmark Decision - West African Nations To Allow Free Movement Of Citizens With ID Cards!

ECOWAS leaders

December 30, 2015 - WEST AFRICA - The West African Regional bloc ECOWAS has reached a landmark decision for its 15-member states that will allow ease of movement across borders for its citizens with the use of biometric identity cards. The announcement comes after the 48th Ordinary Summit of ECOWAS Heads of Government meeting held in Nigeria’s capital Abuja.

Amidst heightened security and high expectation leaders of the Economic Community of West African States ECOWAS met to discuss their regional challenges and how to mitigate them.

“This occasion provides us stakeholders the opportunity to reflect on the progress so far made towards achieving the objectives of ECOWAS over the past 40 years the challenges confronting our community and the way forward toward to fast- tracking deeper integration.” Said Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari

That deeper integration was made more evident by the introduction of the bio-metric identity cards which allows passport-free movement of citizens across ECOWAS member states . A measure aimed at boosting trade potential, creating a labour market, and having one set of rules in policing the borders.

“We have crossed yet another step of our process of economic and political integration That is the adoption of the ECOWAS biometric identity card. It will be the same card for all the ECOWAS citizens when we start issuing in January 2016.” Siad Kadre Desire’ Ouedraogo President ECOWAS

This fundamental freedom of movement is what some Nigerian’s seemed to have been waiting for.

“The world is a global village you have to move from one country to another for business.. schooling. I would like to move to another country to do business.”Said Kayode Fa Kayode, a trader

Perhaps the most controversial outcome of the state summit is the recommendation to side-step religious requirements of dress especially for women in identifying it’s citizens.

“in taking into account the local situation and after that environment are encouraged to take measures in order to forbid this kind of code that will not allow the security personnel to make sure of the identity of the person so this is the content of this decision but of course the implementation is at the national level, but ECOWA has discussed the matter and head of state has recommended these to all ECOWAS member states.” Said Kadre Desire’ Ouedraogo, President ECOWAS

The bio-metric identity cards will be issued at the beginning of January 2016 and each member country tasked to implement the new border policy.

ECOWAS hopes to build upon its 40- year legacy by continuing to confront political volatilily in the West Africa region, and foster equal economic growth but perhaps the biggest gain for the regional partnership is the Protocol on Free Movement of Persons and Goods. - African Globe.

AFRICAN TRANSPORTATION: Ghana - U.S.$1.5 BILLION Tema Port Expansion Project Starts 2016!

© Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority
December 30, 2015 - GHANA - Expansion works on the Tema Port will start next year. The first phase of the $1.5 billion project is expected to be done in about three years.

The port is expected to handle thrice its current traffic of about one million Twenty-foot Equivalent Units (TEUs) when completed, according to marketing and public relations manager Paul Asare Ansah.

The investment, according to Mr Ansah, "is going to expand the capacity of the port to handle even 3.5 million TEUs, far in excess of the projections that we have made."

As part of the project, the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) intends to "reclaim about 120 hectares of land." Mr Ansah added that the port will become efficient "up to about 2040 to 2050," after the expansion works.

The GPHA and Meridian Ports Services signed the $1.5 billion agreement in June this year.

Minister of Transport at the time, Dzifa Attivor, who witnessed the signing, said the project will enhance the efficiency of the port and make it more competitive. The project is expected to provide employment for more than 3,000 Ghanaians.The expansion works, the first of its magnitude since the port's construction in 1962, include a new 1.4-kilometre quay for four container berths with 16-metre draft and a 3.85-km breakwater within a dredged port access channel, 19 metres deep and 250 metres wide to accommodate larger vessels. The project will also come with a railway terminal for the movement of containers by rail to and from the port.

Added to the project will be the expansion of the Accra-Tema Motorway into a six-lane expressway with service lanes on either side to accommodate the traffic that will come along with the expansion of the port.

A couple of years ago, the GPHA opened seven valid bids from corporate entities and joint-venture companies, including a Ghanaian company, which wanted to partner the GPHA to expand the port.

The seven met all requirements that were set out in the tender documents issued by the GPHA after it announced an international competitive tender in March 2013 for the expansion projects.

Among the requirements were detailed engineering designs with cost estimates, details of how to procure the necessary credit facility to fund the projects, and proof of ability to undertake construction works with GPHA as borrower of the credit facility.

Bid values received ranged from $489million to over $2billion, depending on the phasing arrangement selected by the bidder, as the expansion works are planned to be done in five phases.

Last year, the GPHA carried out detailed evaluation of the bids over a four-month period before picking a winner.

The expansion project is borne out of GPHA's effort to keep up the pace of development and expansion of its ports ahead of the rapid population and socio-economic demands of the country.

Aside from improving business at the port, the expansion works are expected to translate into more job opportunities for Ghanaians as there will be more stevedoring jobs and more jobs for agents and various stakeholders engaged in the sea-trade industry.

Traffic through Tema, the country's main port, has been growing in sync with Ghana's GDP growth, which averaged more than 8 per cent between 2008 and 2012.

Container traffic rose 48 per cent from 555,009 TEUs to 822,131TEUs in the period. The first phase of the project will include the provision of basic port infrastructure such as breakwater, quay wall foundation trenches, and dredging to adequate depths.

Phases two, three and four of the expansion works will add more container terminals and food/fruit terminals to the cluster, while the final phase will involve the construction of an oil and gas terminal and oil-rig servicing facility to target the burgeoning oil industry along the West African coast. - Business Day Ghana.

AFRICAN ENERGY: "Ethiopia Is The Richest Country In The World In Terms Of Water And Solar Resources" - Sun Yue!

Solar panels capable of producing 236KW of energy on display.  Photo: Addis Fortune

December 30, 2015 - ETHIOPIA - Recently, The Ethiopian Herald held an interview with Chief Marketing and Technical Officer of ZTE Limited Ethiopian branch, Mr. Sun Yue. He discusses the sustainable resources and the solar power system in Africa. Excerpts of the interview follow.

How sustainable and cost effective is off-grid solar power system to Africa ?
As you know, Africa has not exploited its non-renewable resources such oil, coal and some other fuels. Thus, we suggest some renewable sources of energy from water, wind and solar as well. Specially, Ethiopia is the richest country in the world in terms of water and solar resources.

ZTE has a strong capability on solar energy. We are trying to work together with the national electricity company and Ministry of Energy in Ethiopia. Hopefully, we can develop 100 mega watts of solar energy for the government and the whole country. Moreover, we have a plan to cooperate in power transportation as we have some ICT technology on power scheduling for the power management.

This is how to transport power for electricity to the real requirement. It means that reducing the cost and enhance transport efficiency.

Regarding electric utilization, we have some products in rural areas for solar home system. One family can have such system to do the lighting and pumping for agriculture as well as for street lights. So we provide various solutions for many demands using our solar system and enhance power efficiency as well as reduce the cost

Is it possible to mitigate carbon emissions vie introducing the PV solar power throughout Africa and other third world countries alone while the developed countries making use power that massively causes air pollution?
We can take China as an example; it is the largest producer and user of coal in the world, particularly, in winter. The family will burn the coal, the power also based on the coal so there is no blue sky in China.

Now, China government is also focusing on how to use renewable energy in rural areas. The use of solar system and water power just like Ethiopia have been widely introduced in our country. China government has developed hydro-power system to reduce the air pollution. ZTE has the same target as the whole world in reducing the current level of air pollution by 2020.

Do you think Ethiopia is suitable to put in place such solar energy system?
Ethiopia is very suitable to develop solar energy as it is very rich of solar resources. Solar energy is very cheap. We have different types of solar energy systems.

ZTE renewable solution focus on grid-tied solar PV (photo voltaic) technology, we can provide grid-tied PV power plant solution (Plant scale: several MW to 100MW; Grid access voltage: up to 220kV), micro-grid solar power solution and off-grid solar power solution. The off-grid solar power solutions include solar street light solution, solar water pumping solution, solar home power solution and solar power for video security solution. ZTE renewable solutions can bring green value for customer.

What are your best practices in promoting green economy in the world?
As the global famous supplier for the renewable energy solution, ZTE's renewable energy solutions have been widely serving many countries and regions around the world. ZTE has rich EPC capability and experience in grid-tied PV power plant project.

By now, ZTE has executed more than 30 grid-tied PV power plant projects, and the total installed capacity has reached several hundred megawatts.

The grid-tied PV power projects include 1.27MW PV power plant in ZTE Headquarter, 2MW PV power plant in ZTE Xili Industrial, 10.8MW PV power plant in Shenzhen BYD, Murata 1MW PV power plant, 30MW PV power plant in Inner Mongolia, 30MW PV power plant in Shanghai, 5.8MW PV power plant in Dongguan, Benin 22 sets of micro-grid PV power plant project, grid-tied PV power project in South Africa, Jordan, Tajikistan and etc. As off-grid solar power solutions adopt industrial leading level technology.

They have been widely used in more than 30 countries, which include Pakistan, Burma, Togo, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Djibouti, Niger, Chad, Kenya, Lesotho, etc.

In Pakistan, there are more than 240,000 sets of solar home power system have been deployed. Nearly 100 million USD of solar street lighting system, solar home power system, solar water pumping system were supplied in China-aid foreign project in 15 African countries. There are nearly 15,000 sets of solar street lighting system in Togo Government solar street lighting project. There are 2,500 sets of solar street lighting system in Benin solar street lighting project.

Have you won any international awards so far?
In November 2012, ZTE and Bharti Airtel won Best Cost Efficiency Initiative at the AfricaCom Awards, with their innovative hybrid energy power solutions.

Based on its recent analysis of the ICT green power solutions market, Frost & Sullivan recognizes ZTE Corporation with the 2013 Africa Frost & Sullivan Award for Technology Leadership.

ZTE Corporation's reliable power solutions offer green, uninterrupted power supply and energy-saving technologies, addressing many of the challenges relating to power shortage and environmental pollution facing the African continent.  - The Ethiopian Herald.

AFRICAN VOICES: "New African" - Buhari, Jonathan, Elumelu, Others Make 100 Most Influential Africans List!

100 Most Influential Africans.

December 30, 2015 - AFRICA - President Mohammadu Buhari, Nigeria's former president Goodluck Jonathan, the Chairman, Board of Directors, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, Mr. Tony Elumelu , and 97 others have been named among the "100 most influential Africans of 2015."

The list published by pan African magazine, "New African" presented Africa's definitive power list and profiled the continent's top game changers in eight different fields: politics (22); public office (4); arts and culture (21); business (21); civil society (11); technology(9); media (7); and sports (5).

Both Buhari and Jonathan made the list for the significant role they played in Nigeria's 2015 elections which saw the first successful transfer of power from a ruling government to an opposition party in Nigeria. Jonathan's humility in defeat and Buhari's magnanimity in victory ensured that Nigeria avoided a post-election crisis.

Other Nigerians recognised included: the UN Special Advisor on Post Development Planning, Amina Mohammed, AfDB's new President Akinwumi Adesina, and Nigerian Diasporan, UK MP and Labour Party leadership hopeful, Chuka Umunna as well as Arumah Oteh, who is World Bank Vice President and Treasurer.

Amina Mohammed is Nigeria's current Minister of Environment. Before her appointment, she was Special Adviser on Post-2015 Development Planning at the United Nations where she contributed to the shaping of the new 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development across three years of complex negotiations and the most inclusive consultation process in the history of the United Nations, her vision and voice helping to bring people together, enlist new partners to the cause and reach global consensus on the Sustainable Development Goals.

Adesina is Nigeria's former Minister of Agricultural where he led a drive to curb corruption of the fertilizer distribution scheme and significant improvement in agricultural production that led to a sharp drop in food imports.

Umunna was recognised for the significant positive recognition he has brought Nigerians in the UK while Oteh was recognised for her elevation to one of the most significant positions at the World Bank.

Group Publisher, of the New African, Omar Ben Yedder, in a report on Tuesday, said the list of "100 Most Influential Africans" celebrates the "men, women and organisations that have shaped our beloved continent, the trail blazers, influencers and the rising stars who are redefining Africa's future in the various spheres in which they operate."

Explaining the selection of Elumelu as one of the most influential Africans, he said "In this increasingly global and interconnected world, we need champions; those game changers who are making a difference, changing perceptions and shaping our definition of what is possible. This is why it is our honour to recognise you as one "New African's 100 most influential Africans 2015. We are so proud of everything you have accomplished." - This Day Live.

EUROPEAN RACISM: The Systematic War On Black People - No One Was Indicted In The Tamir Rice Case, That Was The Plan All Along!

All along the grand-jury probe of the Tamir Rice shooting, Cuyahoga County prosecutor Timothy McGinty offered clues as to the "reasonableness" of the boy's death.

December 30, 2015 - OHIO, UNITED STATES -  For the first time since Tamir Rice was shot and killed by the Cleveland police last year, the prosecutor in the case ran from the press.

After announcing the grand jury's decision on Monday not to indict anyone in the 12-year-old's death, Cuyahoga County prosecutor Timothy McGinty simply left and didn't take any questions.

McGinty did acknowledge that the outcome "will not cheer anyone," and offered a more-or-less correct view about what the law demands of police officers making split-second decisions when they fear for their lives.

"It would be irresponsible and unreasonable if the law required a police officer to wait and see if the gun was real," McGinty said, in reference to the toy gun the 12-year-old held as officer Timothy Loehmann perceived a threat he felt left him no choice but to shoot.

That constitutional standard has been with us since the Supreme Court decided Graham v. Connor 25 years ago, effectively ruling that cops can shoot you dead as long as their sense of self-preservation is "reasonable" in the face of your perceived dangerousness.

And reasonable means a million nebulous things in the law that no amount of protesting or arguing or hashtags for justice will change unless the Supreme Court reverses course or clarifies things. That won't be happening anytime soon.

Amid a heavy police presence, protesters in Cleveland, Ohio picketed courts and blocked streets, angry at the decision not to indict the
police officers who fatally shot 12-year-old Tamir Rice over a toy gun. © Angelo Merendino / AFP

But this specific constitutional nuance shouldn't have mattered to McGinty, whose job before the grand jury wasn't to seek Loehmann's absolution. His only role before the grand jury, in this case and all other cases, was to present enough evidence to justify a prosecution by the state -- to get the wheels of justice rolling, so to speak.

That's a very low bar. So low that Justice Antonin Scalia once explained that he and his colleagues refused time and again to micromanage prosecutors because they were unwilling to "alter the grand jury's historical role, transforming it from an accusatory to an adjudicatory body."

Because in the end, all prosecutors and grand jurors do is accuse. If the war on drugs has taught us anything, it's that prosecutors are very good at convincing grand juries that a criminal case is warranted, even on the flimsiest of evidence.

A judge concluded as much in June when he found that there was probable cause to prosecute Loehmann and his partner Frank Garmback. That's really all there is to it.

It has been clear for months that Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty was abusing and manipulating the grand jury process to orchestrate a vote against indictment. Attorneys for the family of Tamir Rice

But somewhere along the way, McGinty decided to go beyond his role, resorting to tactics not even the prosecutors in the probes of the Michael Brown and Eric Garner cases dared attempt.

Not only did he decide to talk to the press. Ahead of Monday's announcement, he also released report after report to the media -- lengthy experts' accounts rife with legalese that tried to exonerate Loehmann and Garmback of any wrongdoing.

"Officer Loehmann’s belief that Rice posed a threat of serious physical harm or death was objectively reasonable as was his response to that perceived threat," read one of them.

WATCH: Protests erupt in New York City following Tamir Rice decision.

And in case any doubt remained about his commitment to the officers' cause, McGinty released a third report in November, complete with a frame-by-frame analysis of the shooting. The conclusion there was even more dramatic.

"This unquestionably was a tragic loss of life, but to compound the tragedy by labeling the officer's conduct as anything but objectively reasonable would also be a tragedy, albeit not carrying with it the consequences of the loss of life, only the possibility of loss of career," the report said.

No wonder the Rice family wasn't the least bit surprised with Monday's outcome.

"It has been clear for months that Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty was abusing and manipulating the grand jury process to orchestrate a vote against indictment," the family said Monday through its attorneys.

Even the Department of Justice, in its own investigation of systemic problems within the Cleveland Police Department, couldn't seem to stomach how officials there investigated police brutality cases with an eye toward finding no wrongdoing from their own.

"Deeply troubling to us," DOJ lawyers wrote last December, "was that some of the specially-trained investigators who are charged with conducting unbiased reviews of officers’ use of deadly force admitted to us that they conduct their investigations with the goal of casting the accused officer in the most positive light possible."

Indeed, that's precisely the treatment McGinty gave Loehmann and Garmback ahead of Monday's outcome. The prosecutor did not take any questions from the press, but he really didn't have to; he had already said all he wanted to. - Huffington Post.

AFRICAN TRANSPORTATION: Nigerian Government To Develop National Transportation Master Plan - Transport Minister!

Traffic in Lagos.

December 30, 2015 - NIGERIA - The Nigerian government on Wednesday said it was in the process of developing a national transportation master plan that would help in diversifying the nation's economy.

The Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, disclosed this while briefing journalists after concluding the inspection of ongoing projects and facilities at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos.

Mr. Amaechi was accompanied on the visit by the Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, and other top officials of the ministry.

The facilities inspected by the ministers include the new terminal building at MMIA under construction, General Aviation Terminal and the perimeter fencing around the airport.

They also inspected facilities at the control tower, Nigerian Meteorological Agency and the Total Radar Coverage of Nigeria site.

Other areas visited are Skyway Aviation Handling Company and the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company.

"The government of President Muhammadu Buhari is in the process of developing a national transportation master plan that will be implemented as a fulfillment one of his campaign promises to diversify the national economy while improving non-oil sector revenues.

"While reducing dependence on oil revenues, it will also develop the rural economy, reduce unemployment and urban drift," Amaechi said.

He said the transportation sector held the key to any economy and formed the basis of all socio-economic interactions, adding that Nigeria was suffering the bane of inadequate transportation.

He said the contribution of the transport sector to the Gross National Product, which is only 1.41 per cent, is unacceptable.

The minister said: "For a sector that plays a major role in the nation's development, there is an urgent need to exploit the opportunities that abound within the sector to improve its contribution to the national economy.

"Countries like South Korea and Singapore have built their economies around a vibrant transportation sector.

"Although Nigeria is blessed with multiple modes of transportation that is the envy of many, these potentials have largely remained untapped.

"Our air transport and railways sub-sectors hold the key to unlocking the vast potential in our cities and rural areas.

Mr. Amaechi said Mr. Buhari's administration is determined to fully exploit the potential in the transportation sector."

He said that the government, as a first step, would pursue the enactment of legislation that would open up the sector to new investments that would lead to economic prosperity.

Mr. Amaechi said among the bills ready for legislative action was the National Transport Commission Bill - an act to provide for the establishment of a National Transport Commission as an independent multi-modal economic regulator and other related matters.

He said the government was determined to revamp the railway sector to enhance national integration by encouraging mass transit of passengers and goods between and across the geographical regions of the country.

"The immediate impact will be the reduction of haulage of heavy cargoes by roads thus reducing road damage and increasing the life span of roads.

"The movement of petroleum products by rail will be re-introduced in 2016. As you are aware, we have commenced and almost completed the narrow gauge rehabilitation which will be retained for the movement of cargoes.

"At the same time, massive investments into the standard gauge to link most parts of the country with faster trains for passenger movements have begun.

"In 2016, we hope to complete work on the Abuja-Kaduna railway line as Mr. President is highly committed to it.

"Work will start in earnest on the standard gauge on the following routes: Calabar-Lagos line, which will transverse the following towns and cities: Obudu Cattle Ranch-Calabar-Uyo-Aba-PH- Yenagoa-Otuoke-Yenagoa-Ughelli-Sapele-Benin-Agbor-Asaba-Onitsha-Benin-Ijebu Ode-Ore-Sagamu-Lagos Seaports; and the Lagos-Kano: Lagos-Ibadan-Ilorin-Minna-Kaduna-Kano."

He said the construction of new lines and rehabilitation of old railway lines will generate over 250,000 direct jobs and more indirect jobs, while having multiplier effect on economic activities.

Mr. Amaechi further disclosed that the ongoing airports remodelling projects at Lagos, Abuja, Kano and Port Harcourt would be concluded in 2016.

"The new terminal in Lagos will generate additional 15 million passengers annually, making a total of 30 million passengers yearly nationwide.

"The medium and long term plans will require significant investments to upgrade and expand infrastructures to meet current and future requirements.

"As a result of limited resources for capital projects development, government is exploring the possibility of private sector participation to towards the realisation of the industry's potentials," he said.

Mr. Amaechi also reiterated the need for the regulatory agencies to ensure the required safety standards at all times, stressing that the government would continue to invest in providing critical safety facilities.

On the maritime sector, he said government would implement policies that encourage private sector participation and investments towards diversification and growth of the nation's economy.

"Government will streamline all the agencies in the maritime sector for a more effective and efficient performance to meet the expectations of all stakeholders," he said.

On his part, Mr. Sirika said the ministry would soon meet with airline operators in the country to address the challenges facing the industry. - Premium Times.

EUROPEAN RACISM: The Systematic War On Black People - Unarmed Black Man Shot And Killed By Police In Detroit, Family Wants Answers!


December 30, 2015 - DETROIT, UNITED STATES - Relatives of a man shot and killed by a Dearborn, Michigan police officer say he was mentally ill but not violent. Protesters have called for an investigation into the death of Kevin Matthews, which the Wayne County medical examiner has ruled a homicide.

Matthews, 35, was killed last Wednesday, after what police described as a confrontation with a Dearborn PD officer who chased him down on a warrant for probation violation. He was also suspected in a theft earlier that day, and tried to take the officer’s weapon during the struggle, the police said.

At a protest on Christmas Eve, a tearful Valerie Johnson told reporters her son had been diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic, but was taking his medication and was not a threat. Johnson and her family dispute police claims that Matthews, a Detroit resident, had been involved in a theft in Dearborn.

Kevin Matthews.

Matthews had been unarmed, his family says, questioning the use of lethal force over a misdemeanor warrant.

“If you can’t police with your hands, don’t police,” said Reverend Charles Williams, member of Al Sharpton’s National Action Network, who joined the family on Thursday.

According to Detroit Police Chief James Craig, Matthews first ran away from the officer, then struggled when he was caught, and tried to take away the officer’s pistol. The officer suffered minor injuries in the struggle, and his uniform was ripped. Police say that witnesses heard the struggle and the gunshots.

Dozens protest fatal officer-involved shooting.

Matthews died of multiple gunshot wounds, and on Saturday the Wayne County medical examiner ruled his death a homicide.

Two dozen protesters gathered outside the Dearborn PD building on Saturday, because "people might party away the justice" and forget about Matthews during the holiday season, the Rev. David Bullock, national spokesman for the Change Agent Consortium, told Detroit News.

The protesters demanded suspension without pay for the officer involved, to see the department's use of force policy, and a formal apology from Police Chief Ronald Haddad.

Haddad offered his condolences to the family, but did not apologize. A spokesman for the department told WXYZ-TV that the police were “fully cooperating with the investigation” and would make a “complete and transparent public disclosure” once it is complete.

Tears of Kevin Matthews mother.

Dearborn is part of the Detroit metropolitan area, best known as the home of the Ford Motor Company. Police in the area are eager to avoid the sort of protests that have shaken Chicago for weeks after the video of black teenager Laquan McDonald being killed by police was released by city authorities in late November.

Matthews was the 1,176th person killed by police in the US during 2015, according to the Killed by Police database. By Saturday, that number had climbed to 1,186. - RT.

INSIDE AFRICA: Guinea Declared Free Of Ebola Disease - World Health Organization!

December 30, 2015 - GUINEA - The World Health Organization has declared Guinea to be free of Ebola.

It's a milestone, as the Ebola outbreak that ravaged West Africa began in Guinea in December 2013 and spread to Liberia and Sierra Leone. From there, the outbreak traveled to seven other countries.

Liberia and Sierra Leone were earlier declared Ebola-free.

The declaration was made because 42 days have passed since the last person confirmed to have Ebola tested negative for the second time, a WHO statement said.

But the county now enters a 90-day period of heightened surveillance to make sure that any new cases are identified quickly, the WHO said.

WHO: Government has 'shown extraordinary leadership'
The statement included praise for the government of Guinea and its people, which the WHO said had "shown extraordinary leadership in fighting the epidemic."

However, the global health organization said that challenges remain -- among them, that the virus may persist in the semen of some survivors for up to a year.

The disease is passed through direct contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person.

"The coming months will be absolutely critical," said Dr. Bruce Aylward, the head of Ebola response for the WHO.

Patient zero: A 2-year-old boy
Researchers from The New England Journal of Medicine say they think the first person to become infected with the disease was Emile Ouamouno, a 2-year-old boy who lived in Gueckedou, a town in southern Guinea.

The total number of people infected with Ebola eventually totaled more than 28,000, according to the World Health Organization. And the number of people who died from the disease reached more than 11,200.

Among those who died was Emile, patient zero. - CNN.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

AFRICAN RENAISSANCE: Africa - The Most Important Strategic Continent In The World!

The African Renaissance Monument is a 49 meter tall bronze statue located on top of one of the twin hills known as Collines des Mamelles, outside of Dakar, Senegal.

December 25, 2015 - AFRICA - A few basic facts about Africa indicate that this continent is the world’s most important and strategic place on earth—facts that only Africans are not aware of, disregard or both! Let’s look at the facts:

Between 2010 and 2014, African leaders were invited to at least seven Africa summits, organized by foreign governments, to discuss issues on peace and security, development, cooperation and partnerships in Africa. These are:
  1. 25th Africa – France Summit held in Paris in June 2010
  2. 5th Forum on China and Africa Cooperation held in Beijing in July 2012
  3. 2nd Africa – Turkey Summit held in Istanbul in June 2013
  4. 5th Tokyo International Conference for African Development held in Japan in June 2013
  5. 3rd Arab – Africa Summit held in Kuwait in November 2013
  6. 4th Africa – EU Summit held in Brussels in April 2014
  7. 1st US – Africa Summit held in Washington DC in August 2014
Africans are yet to ask: why is everyone calling us to their home to talk about Africa? Why are the meetings not held in Africa if indeed they are about the development of Africa? According to figures by the Brookings Institute, China overtook the US as Africa’s largest country trading partner in 2009. In 2013, US trade with Africa fell to 60 billion dollars, compared to China at 170 billion dollars, and the European Union at 200 billion dollars. These figures total about one half to one third of the trade between the US, EU and China, and growing.

Based on the IMF’s estimates, ten of the twenty countries with the highest projected compounded annual growth rate from 2013 through 2017 are found in Africa. Four of the ten countries that are expected to have the most economic growth in 2014, ranked from first to last by percentage of GDP growth, are in Africa, as the list shows:

Africa’s population is now estimated to be 1.033 billion with more than half of the population less than 25 years of age. This makes the continent the youngest population in the world. Africa is also the most centrally located place on earth, not to mention the fact that Africa is the world’s richest continent in terms of mineral resources—with the most arable land and waterpower in the world. In fact Africa is the most habitable place on earth given the limited occurrence of natural disasters compared to other parts of the world.

In light of the above revelations, is it any wonder that the whole world has always been in love with Africa? Since time immemorial, the world frantically engaged Africa and, indeed, the world always benefited more from Africa than vice versa. The Ancient Greeks found education, employment, food and protection from Africa. The Arabs and later the Europeans plundered resources from Africa in the form of slaves, raw materials and land, among others, through the use of violence and force. Through the present day, these trends continue, although in more peaceful, legalized and legitimized forms, including these summits and other so-called global institutions and processes created by Americans, Europeans and Arabs, and now the Chinese and Japanese, for the purposes of pursuing and protecting their interests.

Once again, only Africans have failed to create their own robust institutions and processes or to dominate these global institutions and processes for their own benefit. The world, however, has noticed the importance of Africa and has always engaged us on that score, albeit without our knowing or concern! Very soon, I am sure, the UK, Germany, Australia, Russia, Malaysia and Brazil, among other countries, will also begin to call for Africa summits to seek resources and trade from Africa or to protect their current areas of influence.

But how can Africans realize their own worth and importance in the comity of nations? Of course patriots like Kwame Nkrumah were long convinced and determined that Africa is important and must assert its relevance and importance primarily for the interest of Africans. Nkrumah had argued that for Africa to assert herself, serve the needs and aspirations of her people, ensure her security and become an equal and powerful player in the world, she must unite; otherwise Nkrumah emphatically noted that Africa shall perish! The signs and facts on the ground are now too clear to dispute.

Given the rising populations in most of the world, the world is fast changing and this change is clearly in the direction of violence for the control of the limited resources of the world. The West and Japan are already facing zero population growth rates, which naturally place demands on their countries to protect their resources and futures. A zero population growth rate indicates a dwindling economy because there will not be sufficient numbers of people to work the economy to meet the demands of society. Hence, in understanding the immigration policies of the West one should consider the fact that these societies are faced with a potential extinction. They cannot, therefore, allow a foreign set of people to come over to populate their societies more than dominant population. In light of the internal and external factors in these countries and around the world—such as the rising powers of China, Russia and Brazil among others—the demand for resources will be even more acute and painful.

What is even more poignant for the attention of Africans is the total disregard of principles of humanism, human rights and justice by particularly the big powers of the world. Thus the protection for anyone would ultimately rest on your own ability to physically protect yourself by the amount and quality of weaponry, strategy and power you accumulate from technology, economy and politics. No one should ever trust that there are good people around the world who are still guided by the values of morality, justice and humanity!

What all this means is that Africans are the only ones who are either not aware of our own importance or we simply disregard it. But even if we were aware of our importance, it would take more than what we are doing now to pursue and protect our interests. For example, to address our appalling conditions and assert our relevance, respect and importance, especially for ourselves, Africa needs to move towards one collective vision, objective, strategy and plan.

As part of this, Africa must democratize to ensure good governance, respect for human rights and adherence to the rule of law by, first and foremost, the State and citizens. To democratize is not just about holding regular free and fair elections and transfer of power; but such elections, which are critical, must serve as a means for the people to truly have voice beyond election day and be able to hold our governments and leaders accountable. The current cosmetic democracies littered all over the continent are non-starters. We need leadership that is visionary, honest, pragmatic and patriotic, leadership that places the continent on the path of industrialization. At present, these qualities are in serious short supply in the current leadership.

We also need intelligentsia who are pro-Africa in conception and performance and who would conceive of productive and relevant ideas to exploit and harness the incredible potential that exist in Africans and Africa. Certainly, we do not need intellectuals who are still steeped in colonial and slave mentality in terms of their worldview and approach to development. Such intellectuals who dream of privatization as the only means of effective and efficient service delivery and economic development, with the private sector as the engine of growth, are merely delaying our progress. Moreover, we do not need intellectuals whose conception of economic development champions foreign direct investment and taxes increases, while withdrawing the State from investing in the productive sectors. We do not need intellectuals and leaders whose perception and understanding of development is merely focused on economic growth rates as captured in GDP, without regard to human development.

Meanwhile, public institutions must be transparent and responsive to actually ensure that the rights and needs of the people are met. Basically people must enjoy free education, health care and social services and be able to develop our full human potential so that we can make meaningful contributions to our society.

Moving forward, Africa needs to step back from foreign-instigated summits, institutions and processes and begin to assess herself in terms of her current state of affairs—how and where we stand in the world. We need to understand the world itself: how and where it is going and how we can fit within this milieu for our survival and development. These foreign summits are intended for only one purpose, and that is to create space for the foreigners within Africa to obtain more resources and to send us more of their manufactured goods to buy and consume. For example, currently Africa is said to be the fastest growing mobile market, yet there is no major mobile company that is African! Not Apple, Samsung, Nokia or LG!

The fact that everyone is seeking to invite us to meet, talk and dine should be a wake up call that, indeed, we must have something quite valuable. What we have is out in the open, just that only Africans do not see it. We have the strategic location, the natural resources, and the population—three indispensable economic and political tools that can transform the lives of anyone who controls them.

Africans, let us control ourselves otherwise outsiders will continue to control, exploit and dominate us, for their own good! - Grandmother.

K.T. THE ARCH DEGREE: Star Wars: The Force Awakens Decoded - Hollywood's Ultimate Allegory Of African Cosmology And The Rise Of The Moors!

December 26, 2015 - HOLLYWOOD - In the following video, Master Symbolist K.T. The Arch Degree of Hollywood Decoded, expertly decodes the latest installment in the Star Wars franchise, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and illustrates clearly how it relates to African cosmology and the rise of the Moors.

WATCH: "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" - Decoded by K.T. The Arch Degree.

THE AGE OF OBAMA: Black Lives Matter - 10 Big Accomplishments Black Activists Achieved In 2015!

December 26, 2015 - UNITED STATES - 2015 was a hugely significant year for black America.

The movement to make sure black lives matter gained momentum as activists took to streets, campuses and presidential forums everywhere to address racial inequality head-on. They spoke out against everything from police killings and everyday, casual forms of racism to the dangerous reality of America’s deep-rooted racial issues.

Black activists accomplished so much this year and reached new levels of success. They not only fought for what they believed in -- they inspired others, enacted change and ultimately, had their voices validated. 
Here are 11 big accomplishments black activists achieved this year that we would like to think helped to make our world a better place:
  • 1. Black Lives Matter leaders met with Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.
    Jessica McGowan via Getty Images

    Democratic presidential nominees Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders individually met with Black Lives Matter activists this year to discuss policing reform and racial injustice. The meetings marked significant moments which helped recognize the movement as a national political force. Both Clinton and Sanders spoke candidly about race and planned agendas to combat mass incarceration and criminal justice issues, which disproportionately affect black lives. In a separate meeting in November, mothers of slain black teens -- including Trayvon Martin, Jordan Davis, Tamir Rice and Michael Brown -- met with Hillary Clinton to discuss gun reform in America.

  • 2. The Say Her Name Campaign raised awareness about police violence against black women.
    AAPF/Mia Fermindoza

    Black women activists across the country led a national campaign this year to fight for the recognition and respect all black women deserve but don’t always receive. For so long, the concerns for their treatment and safety have been neglected -- as are the names of black women and girls who fell victim to many of the same issues that affect our black men and boys. The Say Her Name campaign, which was launched by several community organizations and gained major momentum earlier this year, changed that. Activists fought to include black women and girls as part of the national conversation around both racial and gender inequality.

  • 3. Mizzou student protests lead to university president's resignation.
    Michael B. Thomas via Getty Images

    In November, black student activists at the University of Missouri rallied together to protest the racial issues that they claimed had plagued their campus for years. More than 30 black football players refused to return the football field because they were fed up with the casual, everyday forms of racism they said they faced. Days later, faculty, students and state lawmakers called for the university's president, Tim Wolfe, to leave. One student, Jonathan Butler, courageously started a hunger strike to protest the actions of the school’s president. Wolfe promptly resigned, signaling a significant moment for student-led activism and the fight for racial equality.

  • 4. Campus racism protests forced schools to reckon with their racial history.
    Ken Yanagisawa

    The resignation of the former Mizzou president Tim Wolfe catalyzed a wave of campus racism protests at schools across the country. Black students everywhere spoke out about the casual racism they experience at school and forced faculty to take a deeper look at their concerns and the racial history on their respective campuses including those at Harvard, Brown, Yale and elsewhere. Protests were held, demands were made and some students were successful like at Georgetown where students successfully got administrators to rename buildings that once honored slaveowners.

  • 5. Activists protested the Confederate flag and fought for its removal from public spaces.

    On July 10, the confederate battle flag -- which has always stood as a symbol of white supremacy and racism -- was removed from the South Carolina statehouse. One activist in particular, Bree Newsome, scaled the pole outside of the statehouse and temporarily removed the flag in a powerful display of protest that she said was done “in defiance of the oppression that continues against black people in the southern United States.” As a result, petitions and protests popped up everywhere as activists demanded the removal of the flag from other public spaces. In one big victory, in October, students at Ole Miss University voted to remove the flag from their campus -- their demand was later upheld.

  • 6. Black students at the University of California prompted the school to pull out $30 million from prison investments.

    During this year's fall school semester, black students at the University of California rallied together to protest the university’s controversial $30 million investment into private prisons. On Friday, the school dropped the deal after meeting with students from the university’s Afrikan Black Coalition and listening to their demands. In a detailed letter written on Nov. 30, the student group wrote that the investments were “ethically embarrassing” and that private prisons turn “black, brown and immigrant bodies into profit under the guise of rehabilitation.”

  • 7. The road where Sandra was stopped by police was renamed in her honor.
    KENA BETANCUR via Getty Images

    Two months after Sandra Bland was found dead in her jail cell, local residents rallied together to demand her legacy live on. Bland died in police custody three days after she was arrested for a traffic violation in Waller County, Texas. Her death was ruled a suicide, but her family disputed the findings and have since filed a wrongful-death suit. In August, local protesters rallied together and marched to the city council building to demand the road where Bland was pulled over be renamed in her honor. The request was approved and the road, originally named University Boulevard, was changed to Sandra Bland Parkway.

  • 8. Activists launched Campaign Zero to help combat police violence.
    Campaign Zero

    In August, key leaders of the black lives matter movement came together to create Campaign Zero, a project that aims to combat cop violence by introducing a comprehensive list of proposals for police reform. The campaign digs deep into ways police -- both on the state and federal level -- can reduce their racial bias, undergo better training and wear body cameras at all times to help prevent police violence against black Americans.

  • 9. Black musicians banded together for a benefit concert around racial inequality.

    Many musicians have used their voices for much more than music. Some like John Legend and Pharrell have effectively used their talents and platforms to speak out -- and sing -- about the racial injustices that plague the black community. In November, some of music’s biggest and vocal stars teamed up for a one-night benefit concert on the A&E Network titled, “Shining a Light: A Concert for Progress on Race in America.” Through the power of performance, the black voices that graced the stage that night aimed to highlight how “the uncomfortable truth racial inequality and bias still impact our society.”

  • 10. Activists launched the Police Union Contract Project to help ‘check the police.’

    Activists have been keeping busy this year to provide independent platforms to “check the police,” which is exactly what the Police Union Contract project aims to do. The project, which launched in December and was founded by four key black lives matter leaders. It aims to take a detailed look at police contracts and how they fail to hold cops accountable. The platform is part of the movement’s Campaign Zero project and helps to tackle the broader, blistering issue of police violence against black Americans.

- Huffington Post.

ALIM BEY: The God Body - The Secret Relationship Between Freemasonry And The Black Body!

December 26, 2015 - METAPHYSICS & SPIRITUALITY - In the following two-part video presentation, Master Teacher Alim Bey expounds on the God body of the black man, the Osirian mystery system and clarifies misconceptions about how this relates to freemasonry.

WATCH: Part 1.

WATCH: Part 2.

Friday, December 25, 2015

BLACK BEAUTY: Dr Sanneta Myrie - Dreadlocked Miss Jamaica Places In Miss World Top Five!

December 25, 2015 - CHINA -  The first ever dreadlocked Miss World contestant, Miss Jamaica World Dr Sanneta Myrie, finished in the top five of the 2015 Miss World Competition in China over the weekend.

Myrie, a medical doctor, had joined Spain, Russia, Indonesia, and Lebanon in the top five, but the 65th edition of the pageant was won by Spanish model Mireia Lalaguna on Saturday.

The Jamaican beauty, who also finished third in the talent section of the competition, earned her place in the top five finalists from a field of more than 120 contestants.

According to her bio on the Miss World website, 24-year-old Myrie grew up in the rural parishes of Jamaica.

Now a fully qualified doctor, she is committed to helping others, and is passionate about the work she does, with aspirations of joining Doctors without Borders, an organisation providing medical care to the most marginalized worldwide.

Aside from her duties, she loves the Jamaican lifestyle, embracing all facets of its culture, from reggae music to fresh fish cuisine.

In her spare time she enjoys long distance and cross country running, loves to dance, and volunteers as a counsellor for the University of the West Indies (UWI).

After making the top five cut, Myrie was asked why she should be named Miss World 2015, to which she responded that she was already grateful for the opportunity to be in China representing her country.

“My story is one of a little girl whose life was transformed with charity and love and my quest in life is to give that back to as many people as I can, and to inspire the world with my story, that no matter where you are from, your skin type your hair colour, your situation — your dreams are valid.

WATCH: Miss World 2015 - Sanneta Myrie Contestant Introduction.

“And I believe that beauty with a purpose embodies my quest and if I was blessed with the crown tonight, I would dedicate my essence to give back to the world in a purposeful and beautiful way with charity and love,” she said.

The Caribbean made a good showing at this year’s pageant with Miss Guyana Lisa Punch placing in the top 10. Miss Guyana also won the talent segment of the event. - Caribbean 360.

BLACK ACHIEVEMENTS: Rita Bosaho - Spain Elects First Black Member Of Parliament!

HISTORY MAKER: Rita Bosaho secured the coastal city of Alicante, it has been reported

December 25, 2015 - SPAIN -  A former nurse has made history in Spain by becoming the first Black Member of Parliament.

Rita Bosaho secured the coastal city of Alicante according to The Guardian.

Born in Equatorial Guinea, Bosaho moved to Spain more than 30 years ago, working as nurse before moving into politics.

On her historical win, the Podemos politician told El PaĆ­s: “It’s about time, isn’t it?”

In Spain, immigrants make up roughly 15 per cent of the population but represent less than one per cent of the country’s lawmakers.

The 50-year-old told Spanish news agency Efe: “Why is it so striking that a Black woman could end up in parliament? What does that say about us all being integrated?”

The shortage of diversity in Spain’s institutions, she said, comes down to a lack of opportunities. “It’s a structural problem that needs to be put in context, looking at the social panorama of Spain.”

With a reputation for activism, the politician has vocalised her intention to prioritise violence against women and raising the profile of women in politics and business.

“We talk about rights and equality and the constitution protects us,” said Bosaho. “But what happens with institutional representation or women in business? Why aren’t our voices being heard there?”

The mother-of-one is a member of the left-wing Spanish political party Podemos, who have managed to rise to become the third largest part in the parliament commanding 69 out of 350 seats after securing 21 per cent of the votes on Sunday (Dec 20). - Voice Online.

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