Sunday, January 25, 2015

BLACK BUSINESSES: "Buy Black" - 5 Real Ways To Actually Support Black-Owned Businesses!

January 25, 2015 - BLACK BUSINESSES - In the current national push for making black lives matter, economic support for black-owned businesses doesn't get its fair share of dialogue.

True, social justice and political activism can help solve many of the continuous problems facing our community, but what about economic growth and stability to help heal our struggling neighborhoods? There is only so much we can expect at the federal level before we start doing our own part outside protest.

Yes, boycotting mainstream industry on Black Friday last year was commendable. But that #NotOneDime should have been a dime helping to empower a black-owned business rather than go back into your accounts instead. As an editor-in-chief of a black-owned publication, one pattern that I have noticed working with clients and associates of other sibling organizations is that our community has all the desire to support us but don't understand how to do so effectively.

After several months of observation and serious thought, I've come up with five real ways one can actually support black-owned businesses:

1. Don't automatically expect or demand a discount.
When the latest technological device comes out or the hottest name-brand designer releases a product, many of us save up and don't question the price. We do this because we believe that the item is valued appropriately. Black products matter and should not be treated as less. If you want to support the economy of your community, you should give it equal fiscal respect and not look for racial familiarity as a default coupon when making the purchase. Black business owners work hard just like anyone else in their field and should be duly respected.

2. Know that having black endorsements isn't the same as being black-owned.
When you see your favorite black celebrity endorsing a product, buying that product doesn't necessarily mean you're supporting a black business. While it may be fantastic for their personal careers, many black celebrities are endorsing white-owned businesses that give them a hefty paycheck because they can afford it. Most black businesses don't get the same level of high-end buzz, and as a result, black consumers continue to flock to European fashion brands and mainstream commercial brands because we see our favorite black musicians or athletes rocking them. If it doesn't say that it's black-owned, double-check its source.

3. Recognize the struggle, and don't knock it.
Black business owners and their products are not at every single store around every block. In fact, you might have to make an inconvenient trek in order to support certain culinary or artistic endeavors. But regardless of the extra effort made, know that the work they do to keep their business alive is even harder. From housing discrimination to constant financial hurdles that are tied to a deep history of black disenfranchisement since Reconstruction, black-owned businesses face tough back-end obstacles to simply staying afloat. So don't give them a hard time when they run out of shipments or have to change location; it's an indication of a societal disadvantage that many of these businesses face in a time of great gentrification and cultural appropriation.

4. Accept that a product or service being black-owned doesn't imply that it's of lower quality.
In fact, because it is made by us, it might actually be better for us. When it comes to hair products and cosmetics, this already rings true for many. But other services can also do the same too if you give it a shot. In order to eradicate the stereotypes about us that have been ingrained in everyone by the dominant culture, we must treat and appreciate black products like we do those that have been forced upon us in mainstream media.

5. Recommend or promote a black-owned business when given the opportunity.
If your friend is having an event and needs catering, take a chance and reach out to that black-owned business you have been interested in trying. Everyone knows the power of word of mouth, and it's surprising how much we are promoting so many brands on our social-media pages and through our professional endeavors that are not black-owned. We need to fix that. Let's stop trying to be the new black face of a predominately white brand and embrace a black one that needs us and would welcome us more readily. Breaking barriers is great, but creating permanent solutions is even better.

In closing, these recommendations are intended to help fill a current void in the national dialogue around making black lives matter. In all aspects -- socially, politically, and economically -- they matter. Communities facing injustice across the country can only strengthen themselves when their streets off viable opportunities and jobs for the people that live on them. Now more than ever, with black unemployment rates still higher than those of any other group, we should be emphasizing the importance of effectively supporting black-owned businesses.

It is not enough just to practice social resistance to discrimination; we must also practice black empowerment and economic enrichment, because when the news stop airing the demonstrations and move to another headline that is more relevant to their agenda, we have to go back to our communities, and only then will we realize that much work needs to be done.

So let's get serious about that right now. It doesn't take much to start implementing positive steps toward helping make black-owned businesses matter, because in essence this is making black lives matter as well.

When it's all said and done, blacks are still one of the most powerful and influential consumer demographics in America. Let's take back that influence and reclaim the power of the dollar! - Huffington Post.

COSMIC MELANIN: The Waters Of NU - "Dark Matter May Be 'Another Dimension' Or Even A Major Galactic Transport System"?!

January 25, 2015 - SPACE
- "If we combine the map of the dark matter in the Milky Way with the most recent Big Bang model to explain the universe and we hypothesise the existence of space-time tunnels, what we get is that our galaxy could really contain one of these tunnels, and that the tunnel could even be the size of the galaxy itself.

But there's more", explains Paolo Salucci, astrophysicist of the International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA) of Trieste and a dark matter expert. "We could even travel through this tunnel, since, based on our calculations, it could be navigable. Just like the one we've all seen in the recent film 'Interstellar'".

Although space-time tunnels (or wormholes or Einstein-Penrose bridges) have only recently gained great popularity among the public thanks to Christopher Nolan's sci-fi film, they have been the focus of astrophysicists' attention for many years. "What we tried to do in our study was to solve the very equation that the astrophysicist 'Murph' was working on. Clearly we did it long before the film came out" jokes Salucci. "It is, in fact, an extremely interesting problem for dark matter studies". Click here for a video of the space-time tunnel.

"Obviously we're not claiming that our galaxy is definitely a wormhole, but simply that, according to theoretical models, this hypothesis is a possibility". Can it ever be tested experimentally? "In principle, we could test it by comparing two galaxies - our galaxy and another, very close one like, for example, the Magellanic Cloud, but we are still very far from any actual possibility of making such a comparison".

To reach their conclusions the astrophysicists combined the equations of general relativity with an extremely detailed map of the distribution of dark matter in the Milky Way: "the map was one we obtained in a study we carried out in 2013", explains Salucci. "Beyond the sci-fi hypothesis, our research is interesting because it proposes a more complex reflection on dark matter".

As Salucci points out, scientists have long tried to explain dark matter by hypothesising the existence of a particular particle, the neutralino, which, however, has never been identified at CERN or observed in the universe. But alternative theories also exist that don't rely on the particle, "and perhaps it's time for scientists to take this issue 'seriously'", concludes Salucci. "Dark matter may be 'another dimension', perhaps even a major galactic transport system. In any case, we really need to start asking ourselves what it is". - Daily Galaxy.

SPACE EXPLORATION: Africa2Moon - Could The Next Lunar Mission Come From South Africa?!

The ambitious project to build a giant radio telescope that will help scientists paint a detailed picture of some of the deepest reaches of outer space.

January 25, 2015 - SOUTH AFRICA
- One small crowdfunding investment online, one giant leap for South Africa?

At least that's the intention behind the Africa2Moon Mission which aims to muster enough money through internet donations to send a probe to the lunar surface within a decade.

The project has been proposed by the Foundation for Space Development South Africa, a non-profit based in Cape Town that seeks to increase awareness around space education and research.

By reaching for the stars (or moon, in this case), the idea is to energize the youth of South Africa and beyond and to boldly take the continent where its never gone before.

"We aim to inspire, to educate and then once the mission has started up, to do research and science," the organization's chief executive, Jonathan Weltman, told CNN.

The mission's website proudly states that the probe could even be programmed to beam pictures of the experiments it undertakes to classrooms all across Africa.

Online campaign

But how will these ambitious plans be turned into reality and how likely are they to succeed?

Weltman concedes that most people still regard an African nation going to the moon as a remote prospect.

However, Afirca2Moon has the backing of a number of South African universities and the South African Space Association among others.

Funds have been rolling in via an online donation page over the last month and the target is to reach $150,000 by the end of January to ensure the first stage goes ahead. As of publication, the mission has raised $21,600.

If succesful, this initial cash will be used to develop a full lunar program as well as undertake an associated feasibility study. Outreach and public participation events to garner publicity and create engagement will also be arranged.

Beyond this stage, suggestions from the scientific community around the world will be considered as to what experiments the probe should be designed to carry out.

For example, should it orbit the moon or should it take the shape of a vehicle that can land on the surface and take samples?

"Our research must fit in with the rest of the world in terms of making a contribution of getting a better understanding of the moon and the needs that the global community has," Weltman said.

Educational prospects

While the ultimate goal is to follow the likes of the U.S., the USSR, India and China in getting up close to the lunar landscape, it's the journey to that point that most interests Weltman and the FSDSA given their focus on education.

Studies have shown that countries like South Africa lag behind those in Europe and Asia in terms of the number of higher education graduates and PhD students they produce.

According to an article penned by Weltman on the Africa2Moon website, meanwhile, one in nine African graduates also leaves the continent after completing their studies.

Africa2Moon are looking to develop a hypersatellite named Phoenix-20 HS.

This has a damaging long-term impact on the continent's development and economic prospects. But an eye-catching mission to the moon could help reverse these trends, Weltman believes.

"The benefits won't only come in a decades time when the data starts to come through," he said.

"If we can get somebody into science, if we can get somebody to ask how are they going to get to the moon and somehow get them interested in any of the sciences and engineering, that's our job done."

The great African space race

A number of African nations have invested in space programs in recent years.

South Africa, Nigeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria and Egypt have all launched satellites to aid the likes of communications technology, navigation technology, agriculture, disaster management and mining.

The likes of Ghana, Uganda, Angola, Ethiopia and Kenya have also voiced their commitment to follow suit with space programs of their own.

On top of this, the Square Kilometer Array project in South Africa's Karoo desert will be the largest and most powerful radio telescope on earth when it comes online. Construction on SKA -- which some have compared to CERN's Large Hadron Collider -- is set to begin in 2018.

The Square Kilometer Array project in South Africa's Karoo desert.

In a December interview with CNN, Harvard University professor and co-chair of the African Union's High-Level Panel on Science, Technology and Innovation, Calestous Juma, told CNN that such projects were vital to creating valuable and highly skilled workforces on the continent.

Others, however, have asked whether space programs or complex science projects are where African countries should be placing their focus given the many other problems facing the continent.

This is not a point of view Weltman has much sympathy for.

Removing the plaster

"There's no denying there's poverty," he said. "There's Ebola in western Africa, there's religious unrest, there are a lot of trials and tribulations facing our continent and they do need to be dealt with."

"But if we pool everything into aid, it's just a plaster or a band aid that doesn't fix the problem."

Instead, Weltman suggests a more ambitious and joined up strategy that includes space ambitions will prove more fruitful in the long term.

"We have to have education. Education leads to opportunity and opportunity will lead to economic empowerment," he explained.

"Beyond education you have to have skill retention. Its no good creating an educated group who then migrate to better shores. Then you lose that skillset and you lose those future leaders because you're not providing for them."

"If we don't do that what chance do we ever have of standing shoulder to shoulder so that one day people saying 'Africa goes to Mars' is as normal as saying 'America goes to Mars,' he said. - CNN.

BLACK ENTREPRENEURS: Nicole Sanchez, The Vixxenn - Meet The Entrepreneur Transforming The Black Haircare Industry!

January 25, 2015 - UNITED STATES
- Nicole Sanchez has always had a thing for hair. At 14, she got her first job mainly to pay for hair extensions. No matter how tight her budget has been throughout the years, Sanchez still manages to visit her hairstylist on a regular basis, describing it as “not vanity,” but a “necessity.”

“If you’re going to a hairstylist, it’s cheaper than going to a psychologist,” Sanchez says. “I think there are very few opportunities that [women] have to do something [nice] for ourselves. Going to a beauty salon is a mini-vacation that has lasting value. At one point, I was talking to my hairstylist more than I was talking to my sister because, often, I was going to her every week. You just leave feeling better.”

Sanchez is not the only woman who feels this way. In fact, six out of 10 Black women wear some form of hair extension, says the founder of Vixxenn, a luxury hair distribution company that helps stylists become hair extension distributors without having to carry inventory.

Sanchez’s business model gives everyone the opportunity to win: stylists get their business started without having to break the bank, and clients have more choices of high-end extensions to choose from. Somewhere along the way, the Black hair care industry is reinvented.

“I launched my company because I wanted to empower other people to start their own businesses,” says the Harvard Business School graduate. Around two years ago, Sanchez began to form the idea for Vixxenn when she noted the amount of money she was spending on her own hair. She was also inspired by her father-in-law, who she describes as having “a Cinderella story”—immigrating to the United States from the Dominican Republic, never attending college, and is now making a six-figure income from a direct sales business model.

As more Black women are finding ways to break into the hair care industry, reported the New York Times in September 2014, it’s obvious why stylists and salon owners are excited about Vixxenn.
How did Sanchez get investors to feel as passionately about hair care as she does? She shares her secrets:

1. Clarify The Opportunity

People say investors invest in lines—not dots—so connect the dots for them, says Sanchez. As an entrepreneur, it’s your responsibility to keep, maintain, and effectively tell others the vision of your company. Find a way to “really paint that picture,” she explains, either through analogies people can identify with or speaking in terms that are relevant to them. This may take some research on your part.

When speaking to investors, Sanchez made sure to gather data from a series of sources to get people comfortable with their potential investment could be “a huge opportunity,” she says. If you’re going to be convincing people of an industry they have no knowledge about, then you need to be humble and open to answering a lot of questions so they have the knowledge whether they want to make an investment.

“I think if you’re going to take someone on a journey that they’re not familiar with, you’re going to have to be very supportive of them asking questions . . . [and respond:] ‘I’m happy to tell you about the product. I’m happy to tell you about the consumers,’ ” explains Sanchez.

When she couldn’t persuade people with mere numbers and stats, Sanchez tried more creative ways of getting the message across, including sending “a clip or two” of Chris Rock in the movie Good Hair. It’s all about doing whatever you need to do to find outside evidence that validates that there is a real need and demand for whatever it is you’re selling, she explains.

2. Have The Right Relationships With The Right People

Sanchez knew her lead investor Charlie O’Donnell of Brooklyn Bridge Ventures for over a year before he invested in her company. “He knew I wasn’t someone who was just looking for a check,” she explains. “You can’t play relationships. People are really experienced in this world. They’re not fooled easily, but I think because I had invested in the relationship, as I progressed with the business, I think people got much more comfortable and very excited about my ability as a leader. I think that’s the other thing. It’s about you primarily, then it’s about the space.”

When people invest in entrepreneurs, they’re mostly investing in the founder, says Sanchez. Sure, they might get excited about the Black hair care industry once they realize how big it is and how many opportunities it offers, but ultimately, people invest because of their relationship with you.

“The reason why I got investments in a space where none of my investors really use the product is probably the answers I had and based on my communication with them throughout,” she says. “They had a high degree of confidence [in me]. They think, ‘wow, this is something that’s real. She’s done her research. She knows. She communicates effectively.'”

When it’s time to pitch your idea, make sure you’re pitching to the right people. “When it came down to who we were pitching to, we did an evaluation on who are the types of people we should have a conversation with,” says Sanchez. “Who are the types of people who invest in consumer deals or invest in direct sales companies or invest with something that has a similar model to my company?”

3. Identify A Point Of Commonality 

Sanchez says this is much more important than saying: “I’m different.” Instead, convince others they’ve seen this success story before. Show them you’re investable by proving points you have in common with other successful companies.

4. Start Quickly 

“One of my friends says, ‘if you’re proud of [the product] when it’s released, then you’ve waited too long,’” says Sanchez. When the founder realized an opportunity was present, she went to her old hairstylists to identify problems in the industry. She went to consumers to see what they liked and didn’t like about the business. She did her research, but she also started Vixxenn by “just doing.”

“When you’re starting a business, just start quickly,” advises Sanchez. “Start scrappily. A lot of people plan too long.”

Sanchez is excited about her business and the industry because of her history with it. She found a way to make it better because she’s passionate about it.

“Feeling beautiful pays dividends on your personal happiness,” she explains. “It’s one of those things where people will find a way to continue to look good. It’s about confidence building, and giving yourself that break.” - African Globe.

EUROPEAN RACISM: R.I.P. Isaac Holmes - St. Louis Police Gun Down Another Black Teenager!

January 25, 2015 - MISSOURI, UNITED STATES
- St. Louis police shot and killed 19-year-old Isaac Holmes late Wednesday night, the same day that the New York Times reported that the U.S. Justice Department would not pursue federal civil rights charges against Darren Wilson, the Ferguson police officer who shot killed teenager Michael Brown last August.

St. Louis police claim the victim tried to get out of a stolen car and point a 9-mm pistol at officers, but these claims were contradicted by a witness who told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch he did not see a gun.

Nothing the police have said should be taken at face value. The shooting of Isaac Holmes follows the death of 18-year-old Vonderrit D. Myers, who was killed on October 8 while trying to flee an off-duty cop. At the time, St. Louis police said he was engaged in a shootout with the officer who shot him, but an autopsy indicated he was killed while running away.

Isaac Holmes
That shooting followed the police-involved death of 25 year old Kajieme Powell, a mentally-disturbed man, who was shot dead in a barrage of bullets from two police officers in St. Louis, just 10 days after Michael Brown was murdered in Ferguson.

In the most recent shooting, police said that Holmes was riding in the passenger seat of a car that was reported stolen since December 5. Police Chief Sam Dotson said officers on patrol followed the car, a red Chevrolet Monte Carlo, after it made an illegal u-turn around 9:45 pm. The car allegedly sped off and was followed by police before it crashed into a retaining wall in the neighborhood. When officers approached the car, police said Holmes came out of the car holding a 9mm pistol. Officers then told Holmes to drop the gun and opened fire when he didn’t, said Chief Dotson.

Holmes was pronounced dead after he was taken to a nearby hospital, while the driver of the car, also 19, was taken into custody.

Terramus Manley told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that he was visiting a friend at a nearby apartment when he saw the shooting. Manley said he saw a police car follow the Monte Carlo, but not at full speed as the police claimed. After the car stopped, Manley said he heard officers yell, “freeze, freeze, freeze, don’t move.”

At that point, Manley said, the passenger got out took two steps and looked as if he was about to run before officers shot him to death. Manley said he did not see a gun, but after the shooting he could hear officers say, “get the gun.”

“I don’t believe it happened the way Chief Dotson proclaimed it to be,” Holmes’ uncle told the Post-Dispatch. “I’ve never seen (Holmes) in trouble to the point where a gun is involved. I’ve never heard of any type of gang involvement or anything of that sort.”

St. Louis police investigate the scene in which a 19-year-old passenger in a stolen car was fatally shot when he got out holding a gun and confronted two
officers late Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2015. Photo by David Carson,

Police reported the gun was purchased in 2002, but Holmes was not the buyer, and the gun had not been reported stolen. Police Chief Dotson reported that Holmes had a criminal record, but according to The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Holmes’ public court record in Missouri only show a misdemeanor charge in 2013 for “violating rules of a rapid transit car or bus”. He pled guilty and was sentenced to one day in jail but received credit for time already served.

The names of the two officers involved in the shooting have not been released, but one is reportedly 29 years old, black, and has been in the police department for seven years. The other officer is 35 years old, white, and has been in the police department for eight years. The victim and the driver were both African American. - WSWS.

BLACK HAIR: Spiraling Antennas Of Beauty, Cultural Pride And Freedom Of Expression - Twisted Knot Protective Style Natural Hairstyle For Winter And Summer!

January 25, 2015 - BLACK HAIR
- In the following video, Naptural provide tips for a twisted knot perspective hairstyle for winter and summer wear. 

I'm calling this the "Twisted Knot": a simple and flattering protective hairstyle! It's heatless, perfect for medium to long length natural hair and is perfect all year long, whether winter, spring, summer or fall! This is a protective hairstyle that is appropriate for work and office, school, kids, pretty much anyone can pull this off! It's also a great natural hairstyle for working out! I can't say enough about how much I've been enjoying this style, I hope you like it as well!

WATCH: Twisted Knot Protective Style Natural Hairstyle For Winter And Summer.

DIY Homemade Hair Product: Shea Butter Cream

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Thursday, January 22, 2015

WOUNDED WOMB: Black Abortions Reach CRISIS LEVEL - The "Black Lives Matter" Slogan Excludes The Unborn?!

Illustration on the rate of black babies being aborted in America by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

January 22, 2015 - UNITED STATES
- “Black lives matter” has become the slogan of anti-police protests across the nation, but the target of the protests is so misplaced that the motives of the so-called civil rights leaders behind the movement must be questioned. Do they really care about black lives? Or are they cynically exploiting isolated incidents, such as the death of Michael Brown, to inflame the black population and advance their own political interests?

Today, on the somber anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision, it’s time for black leaders to face up to the real danger threatening black lives in America. It isn’t the police. According to an anti-police brutality organization, the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, 313 blacks were killed by “police, security guards and vigilantes” in 2013. It isn’t even black criminals, who, as Rudy Giuliani famously pointed out on “Meet the Press,” are responsible for 93 percent of violent deaths among blacks. Sources estimate that between 6,000 and 8,000 blacks are murdered each year.

No, the greatest danger to blacks is found precisely where we ought to be safest: in our mothers’ wombs. In 2010, the most recent year for which statistics are available, 138,539 black babies were aborted.

Thankfully, abortion is on the decline in America, down 3 percent between 2007 and 2010, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Strikingly, the number of surgical abortion clinics has plummeted, from 2,176 in 1991 to 551 today. Nevertheless, the CDC report that in 2010, a staggering 765,651 abortions were performed in the United States. Black women continue to have the highest abortion rate of any ethnic group, with a gruesome 483 abortions for every 1,000 live births.

The bottom line? I’ll say it again: 138,539 black babies, nearly one baby in three, were killed in the womb in 2010. According to the CDC, between 2007 and 2010, innocent black babies were victimized in nearly 36 percent of the abortion deaths in the United States, though blacks represent only 12.8 percent of the population. Some say the abortion capital of America is New York City. According to LifeSiteNews, the city’s Department of Health reported that in 2012, more black babies were aborted (31,328) than born (24,758). That’s 55.9 percent of black babies killed before birth. Blacks represented 42.4 percent of all abortions.

Legalized abortion is working out exactly as Margaret Sanger intended. Sanger, the founder of the nation’s largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood, was part of the eugenics movement back in the 1930s. Her goal was to use abortion to cull what she considered inferior races from the human gene pool. According to Sanger, “Colored people are like human weeds and are to be exterminated.” She opened her first abortion clinics in inner cities, and it’s no accident that even today, “79 percent of Planned Parenthood’s abortion facilities are located in black or minority neighborhoods.”

 We mustn’t forget that babies aren’t the only victims of abortion. Sadly, more and more of the mothers are suffering and dying as well. Though many people continue to deny it, the link between abortion and breast cancer has been amply documented, and this deadly consequence of abortion is plaguing greater and greater numbers of black women.

Ironically, black women used to suffer from breast cancer less frequently than white women. Not any longer. The Black Women’s Health Imperative notes that according to an American Cancer Society report, black women now develop breast cancer almost as frequently as whites, and are more likely to die from the disease. LifeSiteNews also cites an American Cancer Society report that black women under age 40 now are more likely to develop breast cancer than their white counterparts. They can thank Margaret Sanger — and some of today’s so-called civil rights leaders.

Sanger relied on black ministers to act as Judas goats leading their sisters to abortion mills. According to LifeSiteNews, Sanger wrote in 1939, “We do not want the word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population, and the minister is the man who can straighten that idea out if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.”

Some black leaders are still acting as Judas goats today. LifeSiteNews cites black pro-life activist Ryan Bomberger: “Back in 2005, the NAACP praised the high black abortion rate as compared to the percentage of the population at a NARAL fundraising gala. When more black babies are aborted than are born alive in NYC and the NAACP responds by supporting Gov. [Andrew] Cuomo’s radical abortion expansion via the misnamed ‘Women’s Equality Act,’ one can understand how the targeting of minorities continues unabated.”

Abortion is the greatest threat to black lives in America today. People who claim to represent the black community while also abetting the black holocaust — abortion — are hypocrites. Any “civil rights leader” who genuinely believes that “black lives matter” should be working to see that every black baby is accorded the very first civil right — the right to life. - Washington Times.

EUROPEAN RACISM: "You're Gonna Be F*cking Dead!" - New Jersey Cops Shoot NINE TIMES, Kill Black Man Who Had His Hands Up?!

January 22, 2015 - NEW JERSEY, UNITED STATES
- Police in New Jersey have released a video showing two police officers shooting a black man dead after he tried to get out of his car with his hands up. The incident happened on December 30, but the recording has only just been made available.

The video shows two New Jersey cops in Bridgeton pulling over a black sedan. Initially nothing seemed to be a problem as the officers, Braheme Days and Roger Worley asked the driver Leroy Tutt, 46, to show them his drivers license.

Tutt who had been traveling with a passenger, 36-year-old Jerame Reid – also sitting up front – had been told that he had been pulled over because he had failed to halt at a stop sign.

However, the situation began to escalate as they officers changed their tune and shouted at Tutt and the Reid to show them their hands. The driver’s left hand can visibly be seen out of the window. The police told the driver and the passenger to stay still or they would kill them if they moved.

WATCH:  ‘I’m Going to F*cking Shoot You’ - Bridgeton Cop Shoots Rasing Hand Suspect Multiple Times to Death.

Both law enforcement officers drew their weapons and began to search the car. They said they found a gun in the glove compartment and subsequently told Reid not to move. He can be heard saying, “let me out.”

Despite having both his hands outside of the window, officer Worley and Days opened fire and killed Reid, firing nine bullets in the process.

The driver later got out of the car and was arrested by police officers, with back-up quickly arriving on the scene. Both police officers, Days, who is black and Worley, who is white have been placed on administrative leave.

WATCH:  Montana Cop Bursts Into Tears After Fatally Shooting Unarmed Man.

This is the latest of a series of shootings that has been caught on a dashcam. Last week Montana police released a graphic video of a Billings police officer sobbing after killing an unarmed man who was high on methamphetamine last April. The jury in a coroner’s inquest found the officer was justified in the shooting.

Billings Police Officer Grant Morrison killed Richard Ramirez, 38, in April 2014 after he thought he saw Ramirez reach for a gun. The victim was high on methamphetamine and riding in the backseat of a red sedan. The footage of their interaction and Morrison’s subsequent reaction was captured on the police car’s dashboard-mounted camera.

The Yellowstone County Attorney is not expected to file any charges after the jury's decision. However, the Ramirez family said they intended to file a lawsuit accusing Morrison and the Billings Police Department of racial profiling against the half-Mexican man, the Associated Press reported. Under Montana law, coroner’s inquests are required for officer-involved shooting deaths or when someone dies in custody. - RT.

BLACK INVENTORS: Liberian Scientist Invents Rapid Diagnostic Test - Capable Of Detecting Viruses!

File photo.

January 22, 2015 - LIBERIA
- A research scientist of Liberian origin, Dr. Dougbeh Chris Nyan, has invented a diagnostic test that can detect and distinguish seven different viruses at the same time. The viruses include HIV, hepatitis viruses, and another virus called Dengue hemorrhagic fever virus (which has similar symptoms like the Ebola virus) infection.

As lead-inventor, Dr. Nyan developed the test while working at the Laboratory of Emerging Pathogens at the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States of America. The test is what scientist called a rapid procedure that can give test-results in less than one hour by using the patient blood samples.

According to the US Federal Registry publication of October 15, 2014 entitle "Quantitative Multiplex Methods for Rapid Detection and Identification of Viral Nucleic Acids", the test has been patented by the US government.

Information available to the FDA and the NIH technology office, the US government may have an interest in filing an international patent application for Dr. Nyan's inventions. Already, part of the test in diagnosis of Hepatitis B virus was published in May 2014 in a journal, called Clinical Infection Diseases.

Dr. Dougbeh Chris Nyan
The test, which also has the capability of detecting Ebola virus and other tropical infections could be useful in countries that are now affected by the present Ebola epidemic.

Ability for rapid diagnosis is a problem in many poor countries and places that do not have advanced health care systems.

Thus, this test is a major development that could empower health care workers with a quick means of diagnosing many viral diseases in countries with less resources.

Dr. Nyan, who testified on September 17, 2014 to the US Congress on the Ebola crisis in West Africa also works as an unpaid volunteer with the Diaspora Task Force on the Ebola Crisis, with which he serves as Director of its Secretariat. The Diaspora Task Force has carried out medical relief supplies to the Ebola affected region and is recruiting Diaspora medical personnel to send them to work in the region.

Also, Dr. Nyan is championing the creation of institute for disease control in Liberia and the region as a post-Ebola public health measure. A German trained medical doctor, Dr. Nyan also worked at the National Institutes of Health where he was trained in biomedical research.

It can be recalled that Dr. Nyan in 1999 at the NIH developed a non-invasive diagnostic test for Helicobacter pylori infection. In a scientific environment where minorities and people of African descent are disadvantaged, Dr. Nyan hopes that his intellectual property rights will be fully protected and that the product of his invention will serve the poor and needed populations in society. - Front Page Africa.

BLACK EVENTS: K.T., The Arch Degree Presents "Journey To Your Innerworld And Eliminating Fear" - In New York On January 23 And 25, 2015!

January 22, 2015 - NEW YORK, UNITED STATES
- In the following video, Brother Rich of UGR Radio interviews Master Symbolist, K.T. the Arch Degree as a primer for his upcoming lecture on the "Journey To Your Innerworld And Eliminating Fear."

The fantastic voyage is a visual presentation of ground breaking 3D animations of the GOD BODY. I will utilize my visual library as a stimulus to assist the audience in a better grasp of the innerworkings of their innerverse.

We will explore from a microscopic point of view the galactical nature of our cells from the creation of energy in the mitochondria, to the flow of blood through the vessels, to the role of DNA in the nucleus.

To know thyself is to know the universe. When you can see the process of physiological metabolism, the wisdom that develops will assist in future healing.

I will close with a herbal formulation for the people to share with their family, this is to maintain the miraculous body we just journeyed through.

The monumental events will be held in New York. "The Fantastic Voyage" will be at  Nicholas Bookstore , 570 Fulton Street, Brooklyn on Friday, January 23 at 6:30pm and "After Earth Decoded" will be at Ta-Merry Temple, 104-106 E 126 ST Suite, 1A Harlem on Sunday, January 25 between 2pm and 7pm.

WATCH: K. T. The Arch Degree - "Journey To Your Innerworld and Eliminate Fear".

AFRICAN EDUCATION: Angelique Kidjo - Africa's Success Lies In Better Education!

January 22, 2015 - AFRICA
-  Africa needs to place increased emphasis on improving education in order to succeed, says Benin musician, Angelique Kidjo.

Looking at the state of education on the continent, Kidjo indicated that it’s not enough to just put children through the education system - quality education must also be provided.

“Our kids, are they really ready to take on the challenge of this century?

I don’t think so because some of them don’t know how to read or write,” she said in an interview with CNBC Africa at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland.

The Grammy award-winning singer-songwriter also stated that it’s imperative that leaders place importance on adequate training for teachers.

Kidjo, who received the Crystal Award for her humanitarian work at the WEF opening ceremony, stated that the meeting is a fantastic opportunity for African’s to showcase the positive aspects of the continent.
“We’re always going to have some problems but if we don’t start dealing with them, creating an environment of jobs for our youth in Africa, we will have more and more youth that will join extremist groups,” she said.

“We will have more and more youth in Africa that want to live in the West.”

Kidjo added that Africa needs to learn to create its own narrative if it wants others to take the continent seriously. - CNBC Africa.

WATCH: Angelique Kidjo - How to make Africa relevant.

ANCESTRAL DESECRATION: Tut, Tut - King Tutankhamun's Beard Knocked Off, Gets Botched Repair With Epoxy Glue?!

Image: Wikipedia

January 22, 2015 - CAIRO, EGYPT
-  The blue and gold braided beard on the burial mask of famed pharaoh Tutankhamun was hastily glued back on with epoxy, damaging the relic after it was knocked during cleaning, conservators at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo said Wednesday.

The museum is one of the city's main tourist sites, but in some areas, ancient wooden sarcophagi lay unprotected from the public, while pharaonic burial shrouds, mounted on walls, crumble from behind open panels of glass. Tutankhamun's mask, over 3,300 years old, and other contents of his tomb are its top exhibits.

Three of the museum's conservators reached by telephone gave differing accounts of when the incident occurred last year, and whether the beard was knocked off by accident while the mask's case was being cleaned, or was removed because it was loose.

They agree however that orders came from above to fix it quickly and that an inappropriate adhesive was used. All spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of professional reprisals.

"Unfortunately he used a very irreversible material — epoxy has a very high property for attaching and is used on metal or stone but I think it wasn't suitable for an outstanding object like Tutankhamun's golden mask," one conservator said.

Image: Mohamed El-Dakhakhny

"The mask should have been taken to the conservation lab but they were in a rush to get it displayed quickly again and used this quick drying, irreversible material," the conservator added.

The conservator said that the mask now shows a gap between the face and the beard, whereas before it was directly attached: "Now you can see a layer of transparent yellow."

Another museum conservator, who was present at the time of the repair, said that epoxy had dried on the face of the boy king's mask and that a colleague used a spatula to remove it, leaving scratches. The first conservator, who inspects the artifact regularly, confirmed the scratches and said it was clear that they had been made by a tool used to scrape off the epoxy.

Egypt's tourist industry, once a pillar of the economy, has yet to recover from three years of tumult following a 2011 uprising that toppled longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak.

King Tut's mask was broken, hastily glued back on by hapless museum staffers who used a spatula to clear excess epoxy.
CBS News.

Museums and the opening of new tombs are part of plans to revive the industry. But authorities have made no significant improvements to the Egyptian Museum since its construction in 1902, and plans to move the Tutankhamun exhibit to its new home in the Grand Egyptian Museum scheduled to open in 2018 have yet to be divulged.

Neither the Antiquities Ministry nor the museum administration could be reached for comment Wednesday evening. One of the conservators said an investigation was underway and that a meeting had been held on the subject earlier in the day.

The burial mask, discovered by British archeologists Howard Carter and George Herbert in 1922, sparked worldwide interest in archaeology and ancient Egypt when it was unearthed along with Tutankhamun's nearly intact tomb.

"From the photos circulating among restorers I can see that the mask has been repaired, but you can't tell with what," Egyptologist Tom Hardwick said. "Everything of that age needs a bit more attention, so such a repair will be highly scrutinized." - FOX News.

EUROPEAN RACISM: Black Lives DON'T Matter - Justice Department Set To Clear Ferguson Police Officer Of Civil Rights Charges!

Reuters/Stephen Lam

January 22, 2015 - UNITED STATES
- The Justice Department has begun work on a legal memo recommending no civil rights charges be filed against Darren Wilson after he shot and killed unarmed black teenager Michael Brown in August, the New York Times reported.

A broader investigation is still underway into the general use of excessive force and discriminatory police stops by the Ferguson Police Department.

Regarding potential civil rights charges against Wilson, the investigation by the FBI is said to be complete and no evidence was found to support, officials told the NYT, which first broke the story. Prosecutors would have to prove that Wilson violated Brown’s right “to be free of unreasonable seizure of his person,” that Wilson intended to violate Brown’s right when he opened fire and he had done so willfully – essentially, that he knew it was wrong to fire but did so anyway. Federal investigators had signaled for months that they were unlikely to file charges.

“It’s very hard to prove,” William Yeomans, a former prosecutor with the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, initially stated.

“It’s difficult to prove exactly what was in his mind at the time, that he wasn’t acting out of a reasonable sense of fear,” he added, reported Yahoo News last November when the investigation was underway

“It’s a very hard standard to meet - not impossible, but very, very tough.”

Law enforcement officials told the NYT that the Justice Department has been working on the legal memo and will release a report explaining its decision, but they gave no indication as to when this would occur.

Benjamin L. Crump, a lawyer for Brown’s family, told the newspaper he did not want to comment on the investigation until the Justice Department made an official announcement.

“We’ve heard speculation on cases before that didn’t turn out to be true,” Crump said. “It’s too much to put the family through to respond to every rumor.”

He added that at the end of last year, the Justice Department had told him it was still investigating.

The state failed to indict Wilson on criminal charges for Brown’s murder, with Attorney General Eric Holder announcing at the time the Justice Department would continue its own investigation. Federal prosecutors shared information with local prosecutors during the course of the investigation, and even conducted their own autopsy.

The killing of Brown, who was shot at least six times, sparked months-long protests and anger in Ferguson, a predominantly black suburb of St. Louis whose community officials and police officers are mostly white, and across the nation in communities that have seen similar police killings – especially of young black men – go unpunished.

However, a wider civil rights probe is underway by the Justice Department regarding allegations about the practice and policies of the Ferguson Police Department.

Police have been accused of routinely engaging in discriminatory traffic stops and using excessive force. The investigation could lead to significant departmental changes, as other federal reviews have done for police departments in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Newark, New Jersey. - RT.

EUROPEAN RACISM: Fury As Oscars Go "ALL WHITE" - Professor Griff And Sister Zaza Ali Discuss The Academy Awards And The System Of White Supremacy!

- Professor Griff and Sister Zaza Ali join Brother Rich of U.G.R. radio to discuss The Oscars, Hollywood's lack of diversity, and the global system of white supremacy.

WATCH: Griff and Ali on the White Supremacy Paradigm and the Academy Awards.

GLOBAL AWAKENING: Taking The Enlightened Approach And Embracing Of Mother Nature - Jamaica's Government Approves Possession Of Marijuana!

Bob Marley, "Catch A Fire" Album Cover

January 22, 2015 - JAMAICA
- Jamaica’s cabinet has approved a bill, which would legalize the possession of small amounts of cannabis. It would also allow the development of a medical marijuana industry. The bill will go to the Senate later this week for approval.

Marijuana, or ‘ganja’ as it is known locally, has long been associated with the Caribbean island country. Bob Marley and the Rastafarian community did much to promote the use of the drug, but it always remained illegal. Things are about to change, with Justice Minister Mark Golding saying he expects to introduce the legislation to the Senate by the end of this week.

"The development is long overdue and comes after years, and, in recent times, heavy pressure from what is now a diverse and broadening group of stakeholders on human rights, social, economic, scientific and medical grounds," director of the Cannabis Commercial and Medicinal Research Taskforce, Delano Seiveright, said in a statement, as reported by the Jamaica Observer.

The new rules would make the possession of two ounces or less a minor offense, which would not result in a criminal record for the offender, while the cultivation of five or less plants on any premises would also be permitted.test.

Reuters / Gilbert Bellamy

The new move would also allow Rastafarians, who use marijuana as a sacrament to use cannabis legally for religious purposes for the first time. The movement was founded in Jamaica in the 1930s. Meanwhile, Golding believes the legalization of the drug could lead to a boost in the country’s already popular tourism industry.

"We need to position ourselves to take advantage of the significant economic opportunities offered by this emerging industry," Golding said, as reported by AP.

Golding has stressed that despite the plans to relax the marijuana laws on the Caribbean island, this will not lead to a softening policy on other drugs in Jamaica. The justice minister says the government will continue its tough stance on drug trafficking and will support a public education campaign to advise youngster against smoking cannabis.

 WATCH: Peter Tosh - "Legalize It".

A number of countries in the region have liberalized regarding marijuana in recent years. Mexico, Colombia and Argentina now allow people to carry small amounts of the drug, with Argentina set to follow suit. Meanwhile, Uruguay became the first country in the world last year to introduce legislation, which permits the growth, sale and distribution of the drug. - RT.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

AFRICAN RENAISSANCE: Young Minds, Bright Future - Robotics Revolution Hits Ugandan Classrooms!

January 20, 2015 - UGANDA
- Building and programing a robot from scratch may sound like an impossible task to most primary school students, but one man is changing that mind-set for a generation of Ugandans.

By showing students as young as six how robots can solve real-world problems, Fundi Bots founder Solomon King Benge wants young people to develop a creative skill set they can apply to solve issues specific to their lives.

"We have a team in northern Uganda building an automated farming program," explains 32 year-old King Benge. "The project includes an irrigation system for crops and also a temperature monitoring solution to make sure... cow feed doesn't overheat and go bad. The students are also working on an automatic seed dispenser to feed pigs."

Ugandan learning

In a country where over 90% of primary school-aged children are enrolled in classes, according to World Bank data, Fundi Bots first focuses on extracurricular time slots in schools.

As well as presentations and video-based learning, Fundi Bots also offers hands-on robotics training and helps keen students form weekly Robotics Clubs. The initiative has taken off in 15 schools spread across the capital, Kampala, and Gulu in the north where experienced mentors visit once or twice a month to offer ideas and encouragement.

But tinkering with robotic parts and coming up with new ideas carries on after school too. During holiday camps (which can last two weeks) students are taught robotic concepts and then given time to implement that learning by building a robot by the end of the camp.

The Attobot, created by Fundi Bots student Victor Kawagga 

Central to the Fundi Bots philosophy is that building robots does not require a fortune. Students are encouraged to use recycled materials or components like laser pointers and microphones that were never originally designed to be a robotic building-block.
"One group of 13 and 14-year-olds is creating a small remote controlled vehicle with a temperature reader on the front that could be used in fire-risk areas," King Bege explains. "Their idea uses a wireless transmitter which sends data back in real-time, but they managed to keep costs quite low at around $130, by using locally sourced materials like wheels from toy cars."

While the physical components may not command high prices, the skills students gain in the process could prove lucrative. According to euRobotics AISBL, the global market for robotics amounted to $25.8 billion in June 2014 and is expected to grow to more than $70 billion by 2020.

Pan-African Robots

While the Fundi Bots' program is showing initial signs of having an impact in Uganda, King Benge says that's just the start.

"Fundi Bots is based in Uganda, but our five year mandate is to build a presence in five African countries by the end of 2015," explains King Benge. "The most promising country at the moment is Rwanda because the government is very forward thinking and very keen to develop as the ICT powerhouse in the region."

Fundi Bots, which held a workshop in Rwanda last October, might be the first robotics teaching program in Uganda, but it is not the only one of its kind in Africa.

Amateur roboticist and founder of Fundi Bots, Solomon King Benge

The African Robotics Network (AFRON) was established in Ghana in April 2012 to improve education around robotics. One way the group has worked on this goal is by organizing the week-long Ashesi Robotics Experience.

It was during this set of workshops that a participant developed the Lollybot - a basic "mini-explorer" robot which can navigate obstacles and learn about its surroundings. The robot, which uses Chupa Chups lollipops in the design, can be built from scratch for a total cost of just $8.96.

"The enthusiasm of the kids is incredible," says Ayorkor Korsah, Assistant Computer Science Professor at Ashesi University College and co-founder of the African Robotics Network. "Recognizing that a robot can be made from familiar items like a computer mouse, or game controller really demystifies robotics and electronics for them."

Sessions teach students the importance of peer-to-peer learning and problem solving

Robots are also playing a more prominent role in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Eight feet tall robotic traffic wardens designed and built by a team of local engineers, have been recording and controlling traffic 24 hours a day for just less than a year.

As the Ugandan students learn new ways to build robots, King Benge says there's no limit to what could emerge from the workshops and retreats.

"When I see the students coming up with innovative ideas I really see minds are being changed. Students are being exposed to the creative process and I look forward to seeing them come up with bigger projects in five or 10 years time." - CNN.

EUROPEAN RACISM: MLK Day - #BlackLivesMatter Take Centerstage As Thousands March Against Persistent Discrimination, In Tribute To Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.!

Daniel Newell blows away seeds of collected milkweed pods, which he said represented the "seeds of change" to him, during a visit to the Martin Luther King
Jr. Memorial on the U.S. national holiday in his honor, in Washington January 20, 2014. (Reuters/Jonathan Ernst)

January 20, 2015 - UNITED STATES
-  Thousands of Americans are marching across the country on Monday in honor of slain civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Traffic reached a standstill in metropolitan hubs including Washington, D.C. and New York City on Monday during annual holiday demonstrations during which the legacy of MLK is preserved by activists and sympathizers aiming to expand civil liberties.

WATCH: Thousands remember Eric Garner and Michael Brown on MLK Day.


Demonstrators aligned themselves with Dr. King, the African-American Atlanta-born pastor who died from an assassin’s bullet in 1968. The message from the protesters was that fifty years on the issues of discrimination persist.

Protesters paid tribute to unarmed black teen Michael Brown, who was killed by a white officer in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner, who died during his arrest in Staten Island, New York.

At Harris-Stowe State University in St. Louis, protesters interrupted an MLK ceremony by taking the stage at the auditorium unannounced, reportedly in anger over the death of Brown, and forcing the ceremony to temporarily grind to a halt, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. Attendees left the auditorium in anger, accusing the demonstrators of being disrespectful.

Several hundred activists gather at NYC's Union Sq to mark the

At Harris Stowe.

Christians for Black Liberation staging 4 and a half minute die in for Michael Brown, Broadway and 14th

LIVE VIDEO: Day of Action March in Philadelphia: 

In some places, activists also staged die-ins to commemorate Brown's life.

Television host Oprah Winfrey and pop singer John Legend rallied alongside thousands of others on Monday in Selma, Alabama – the southern city that famously served as starting point for the 54-mile civil rights march attended by King in 1965.

Stars of the motion picture “Selma,” a historical drama based on the march that opened in theaters across the United States earlier this month, joined Winfrey, Legend and others during Monday’s event in the motion picture’s namesake.

“The idea is that hope and possibility is real,
” Winfrey said of the civil rights movement in Selma, according to the Associated Press. “Look at what they were able to do with so little, and look at how we now have so much. If they could do that, imagine what now can be accomplished with the opportunity through social media and connection, the opportunity through understanding that absolutely we are more alike than we are different.”

United States Rep. William Clay, a St. Louis Democrat, evoked last year’s controversial officer-involved shooting in nearby Ferguson, Missouri in advocating for change during Monday’s event when speaking to Fox News.

RAW VIDEO: Protesters block MLK march in downtown Atlanta ---> 

Reclaim MLK march stretches across Broad. "Whose lives? Our lives!"

honors w/ recreation of 1965 Alabama march w/ John Lewis, Jesse Douglas, James Forman & Ralph Abernathy.

“We need to be outraged when local law enforcement and the justice system repeatedly allow young, unarmed black men to encounter police and then wind up dead with no consequences,
” Rep. Clay said. “Not just in Ferguson, but over and over again across this country.”

Thousands of others were reportedly participating in similar marches on Monday this week in cities including Sacramento, California, Boston, Massachusetts and San Antonio, Texas, according to local media reports.

“This is everyone's struggle,”
Ghada Ghannam, a 20-year-old University of Texas at San Antonio student originally from Egypt, told journalists at the city’s Express-News paper. “Regardless of where they're from." - RT.

NOLLYWOOD RISING: Omosexy - Yahoo Lists Nigerian Actress Omotola Among The World's Highest-Grossing Movie Stars!

January 20, 2015 - NIGERIA
- Yahoo recently published a list of ‘The Highest-Grossing Movie Stars You’ve Probably Never Heard Of’ and Nollywood actress, Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde made the list.

Yahoo highlights Omotola’s profile and achievements in Nollywood. Below is how she was described:

“We’ll wager not only have you not heard of Omotola Jalade Ekeinde - or ‘Omosexy’ as her fans call her - but we reckon you probably haven’t even heard of the industry she spearheads: Nollywood.

“Yes, that’s Nigeria’s version of Hollywood, in which Omosexy dominates - she has over 300 film credits to her name (although most go straight to video).

“In her homeland, she’s like a cross between Oprah Winfrey and Kim Kardashian, with her own reality TV series following her and her family. Though it’s nigh on impossible to determine what her box-office total is, given that the Nigerian film industry is mostly one that distributes through market stalls and street corners, it is estimated to be worth upwards of N89 billion (£320 million) a year - and Omosexy is a Nollywood cornerstone.”

Omotola is planning to celebrate her 20 years in the industry. The mother of five said that she would embark on an elaborate campaign to celebrate her time in the industry.

The celebration she said would mainly be for charity. To celebrate two decades of starring in some of the biggest and most iconic Nigerian movies, sharing soulful hits and her philanthropic deeds, she will be visiting various cities around the world and helping in any way she can.

- Daily Trust.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

AFRICAN RENAISSANCE: Millennium Challenge Corporation - Innovative Investments In Infrastructure, Finance And Technology!

January 18, 2015 - AFRICA
- Growth potential in Africa, while promising, is hampered by a fundamental lack of transport, energy and water infrastructure. This costs an estimated 2% in GDP growth every year – equivalent to almost a third of annual growth. But with multiple infrastructure projects underway in the region, often through public-private partnerships, there is real hope that this will change.

One organisation committed to Africa’s sustainable development is the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), a US foreign aid agency. It has invested more than $5 billion in the region in a span of infrastructure projects, including power, water, sanitation, irrigation, roads, ports and airports.

MCC is devoting unprecedented resources to help countries in Africa positively transform the lives of the poor and catalyse long-lasting economic progress. This has seen over 656,000 people gaining access to clean water and more than 188,000 farmers receiving training in sustainable farming practices and improving agriculture productivity. To further promote these kinds of projects, the MCC celebrates other corporations that are playing a role in Africa’s development through its awards programme.

At a recent awards ceremony in Washington DC, the MCC honoured corporations that are investing in Africa and driving innovation in infrastructure, finance and technology. GE was awarded the MCC 2014 Corporate Award for its infrastructure projects, including power projects in Ghana and Tanzania and further commitments to power expansion across Africa and its commitment to improving healthcare.

Through the Developing Health Globally programme, the GE Foundation focuses on simple interventions which build capacity and improve healthcare delivery in 16 developing countries around the world, including several in Africa. Local GE leaders work with facilities to deliver skills-based leadership, promoting participation, ownership and accountability.

In Rwanda, medical equipment downtime has been reduced by 35% across 32 district-level hospitals thanks to bio-medical engineering programmes, which train technicians on basic medical equipment management, troubleshooting and repairs. Meanwhile in Ghana, the Kintampo Hospital has reduced wait times by 40% and increased emergency department capacity by 10% as a result of stepped-up clinical training in trauma care.

GE recently announced it would invest $4 million in the Ghana 1,000 project, which aims to bring 1,000MW of power online over the next six years. In collaboration with the US Africa Development Foundation and USAID, it has launched the “Power Africa Off-Grid Energy Challenge,” awarding six grants of $100,000 each to local enterprises to develop and expand off-grid energy solutions in Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria and Tanzania. Finally, GE is developing natural gas resources in Ghana, Mozambique and Tanzania.

WATCH: Power Africa Off-Grid Energy Challenge 2014 Winners.

GE is committed to localising global innovation capabilities and driving home-grown solutions to Africa’s challenges. It delivers on this commitment through collaborating with government and the private sector to deliver solutions that help drive sustainable growth.

GE Africa President and CEO Jay Ireland said that GE was proud to be recognised for its investments in infrastructure and people on the continent. “We at GE are committed to unlocking Africa’s potential and we believe we are making progress. However, there is still more that we can do. We will continue to partner with governments to help build Africa’s sustainable future,” Ireland said.

Economic growth is the most powerful instrument for reducing poverty and improving the quality of life in developing countries. Sustained growth can generate virtuous circles of prosperity and opportunity and is the true enabler of change. With governments and corporations across the region actively engaged in projects aimed at facilitating economic growth, the future for the region is shining bright. - GE Reports Africa.

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