Wednesday, May 20, 2015

AFRICAN RENAISSANCE: Tony Elumelu - Entrepreneur-Led Development Is The New Model For Africa!

Tony O. Elumelu delivering a speech at Georgetown University, Washington D.C. Photo: The Tony Elumelu Foundation

- African businessman and philanthropist, Tony O. Elumelu has proposed a new entrepreneur-led development model for Africa at two high profile events in Washington DC.

Mr. Elumelu, who is Chairman of United Bank for Africa, and Founder, the Tony Elumelu Foundation, spoke at a White House event hosted by United States President Barack Obama on May 11 to celebrate emerging entrepreneurs around the globe. The event was a prelude to Obama’s scheduled trip to Kenya this summer for the Global Entrepreneurship Summit.

During remarks to announce the Summit and his plans to participate, President Obama thanked the global coalition of entrepreneurship organizations that collaborated with his administration to launch the Spark campaign for global entrepreneurship, a campaign in which the Tony Elumelu Foundation is a founding member. The President went on to say to the entrepreneurs present, "Entrepreneurship empowers people to no longer be subject to aid agencies, but to be part of something to pursue their dreams. Entrepreneurs like you can change the world one idea at a time."

During his comments at the White House event while participating on a panel moderated by United States Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, Mr Elumelu championed the cause of African entrepreneurs as the primary drivers of Africa's transformation. In closing, Mr Elumelu provided the following advice to global entrepreneurs, "Entrepreneurship is a long term journey. Great entrepreneurs are not made overnight. Dare to dream, implement your dream, and stay focused."

Elumelu’s foundation recently launched the $100 million Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme, which aims to assist in growing 10,000 start-up companies across the African continent over the next 10 years -― demonstrating a commitment to empowering entrepreneurs to drive Africa’s social and economic transformation.

Penny Pritzker, US Commerce Secretary, Tony Elumelu, Founder, Tony Elumelu Foundation, Antonio Gracias, Founder and CEO, Valor Equity and Julie Hanna, Founder and
CEO, Kiva during the event hosted by US President Barack Obama at the White House on Monday to celebrate Global Emerging Entrepreneurs.
Photo: United Bank for Africa

Other speakers that joined Obama and Elumelu to promote entrepreneurship at the White House event included Mark Cuban, Owner of the Dallas Mavericks; Barbara Corcoran; Founder of Barbara Corcoran Venture Partners; Daymond John, CEO and founder of FUBU — all investors on the hit ABC show Shark Tank; Antonio Gracias, Founder of Valor Equity Partners; and Julie Hanna, Founder of Kiva.

Accompanying Mr Elumelu to the White House was Shadi Sabeh, a young Nigerian entrepreneur from Sokoto State who is a mentee of Mr Elumelu and a past winner of the Tony and Awele Elumelu Prize for Economics from Usman Dan Fodiyo University.

Following on the White House event, Mr. Elumelu delivered a lecture at Georgetown University in Washington DC on May 12 on the topic ‘Entrepreneur-Led Development: A New Model for Africa’. The lecture was attended by a large audience including students, faculty, and alumni of Georgetown, as well as members of the US and African private sector, diplomatic core, and international development sector.

“I was honoured to speak at these high profile events in the US,” Tony Elumelu said. “As a successful entrepreneur, I will continue to communicate to the world the need for supporting and empowering African entrepreneurs as the most impactful and sustainable approach to Africa’s development. My mission is to share this message on a global scale, and inspire more African business leaders and global investors with an interest in Africa to take action.”  - UBA.

AGE OF OBAMA & EUROPEAN RACISM: Paradigm Shift - President Obama Announces Rules To Demilitarize Local Police Departments!

Reuters / Adrees Latif

May 20, 2015 - UNITED STATES
- Police in the United States won’t be able to get a wide range of military grade equipment, including tanks and high-caliber firearms, from other federal agencies. The White House has introduced new restrictions prompted by the riots in Ferguson.

Under the new rules revealed on Monday this week, state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies are barred from buying or receiving from federal partners such as the Pentagon. This includes: weaponized vehicles and grenade launchers, and less-lethal items such as tactical vehicles, flash-bang explosives. Riot gear can now only be acquired by law enforcers if a list of conditions are met.

"The idea is to make sure we strike the right balance of providing equipment that is appropriate and important, while at the same time put standar
ds in place that give a clear reason for the transfer of that equipment, with clear training and safety provisions in place," Cecilia Muñoz, the White House director of domestic policy, told reporters in a conference call, according to the Washington Post.

Details about the decision were announced by the White House on Monday morning and discussed by President Barack Obama later in the day when he spoke on community policing in Camden, New Jersey.

According to the White House, the president's speech “highlight[s] innovative steps taken by a city that has struggled with one of the nation's highest violent crime rates to create economic opportunity, help police do their jobs more safely and reduce crime in the process.”

The topic of policing has dominated public discussions since Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old black man, was shot and killed by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri last year. The incident was followed by a wave of demonstrations, which attracted national attention after the Ferguson Police Department and other regional law enforcement groups responded to the protests clad in riot gear and equipped with high-powered weaponry more fit for a battlefield than a St. Louis suburb.

President Obama responded to concerns surrounding the use of militarized equipment by small-town police officers by assembling a working group to examine the topic. Their findings have now been released in a report that forms the basis of the recommendations contained in the fact sheet published on Monday, where the Ferguson events are singled out specifically.

In Ferguson, the group says: “The law enforcement response to those protests was characterized as a ‘military‐style’ operation, as evidenced by videos and photographs that showed law enforcement officers atop armored vehicles, wearing uniforms often associated with the military and holding military‐type weapons.

“Even before the events in Ferguson, however, civil rights organizations conducted significant research on the perceived harms of ‘militarization’ of civilian law enforcement agencies in the United States and advocated for systemic change.”

In addition to establishing lists of prohibited or controlled items that can no longer be acquired through federal programs or grants, the working group also recommended that law enforcement agencies wishing to use certain equipment must adopt and adhere to specific written policies and protocols, as well as training and other guidelines.

Speaking from Camden later in the day, Pres. Obama said that the militarized police response that unfolded in Ferguson and more recently Baltimore can “alienate and intimidate local residents” and give the impression of an occupying force, not one meant to serve and protect.

Under the new rules rolled out this week, the president said, the White House will “prohibit some equipment made for the battlefield that is not appropriate for local police department,” and at the same time “ensure that departments have what they need but also that they have the training to use it.” - RT.

ANCESTRAL LEGACY: The Transformative And Evolutionary Legend - Malcolm X Commemorated On His 90th Birthday!

Malcolm X was 'man who continually evolved, who continually transformed himself,' says daughter Ilyasah

-  Hundreds commemorated the 90th birthday of assassinated civil rights leader Malcolm X in New York on Tuesday.

His daughters Ilyasah, Malaak and Gamilah Shabazz were among those who attended the ceremony at the Shabazz Center, formerly known as the Audubon Ballroom, where the black Muslim activist was murdered in 1965.

A blue light shone onto the exact spot where he was gunned down while delivering a lecture.

The commemoration started with a moment of silence before a crowd of more than 250 people sang Lift Every Voice and Sing, often referred to as the Black American National Anthem.

Malcolm X was a "man who continually evolved, who continually transformed himself," Ilyasah Shabazz said.

She said she hoped younger generations would understand through his legacy that "black lives matter" - a reference to the recent rallying cry of protesters seeking justice for the victims of police violence in the U.S.

Initially a prominent figure in Elijah Muhammad's Nation of Islam movement, Malcolm X broke away from the group in 1964 and embraced Sunni Islam, adopting the name el-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz.

Renouncing the separatist ideology of the Nation of Islam, he attempted to internationalize the plight of African-Americans and make common cause with the oppressed people of the world.

He was assassinated at the Audubon Ballroom in Harlem on Feb. 21, 1965. Three members of the Nation of Islam were convicted of the murder.

His life story, The Autobiography of Malcolm X, is considered one of the most influential non-fiction works of the 20th century.

WATCH: Malcolm X - Make It Plain.

 - World Bulletin.

EUROPEAN RACISM: The Systematic War On Black People - In The Waco Shootout, The Mainstream Media And The Police Treat Whites Better Than Blacks!

White American Thugs Invade Waco
The Grasshopper
May 20, 2015 - TEXAS, UNITED STATES - As mainstream media has rushed to cover the Waco biker shootout, many have expressed anger at the way the tragedy was handled. Social media was abuzz with claims that there is a double standard in reporting and policing when the bad guys are white.

The actions and vocabulary of journalists and law enforcement have come under intense scrutiny in the Twittersphere, with many comparing the coverage of the Waco shootout with that of the Baltimore and Ferguson protests.

Riot or brawl?

The term “riot” has become commonplace in the media, particularly due to its heavy coverage of the protests surrounding the deaths of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, and Freddie Gray.

But what happens when a group of white bikers partake in a deadly shootout in a shopping center? Is it also a riot?

Salon's Jenny Kutner was quick to point out that The New York Times opted for words like “chaos” and “confrontation,” while CNN used “brawl” and “brouhaha.” Others repeatedly used the word “incident” to describe the tragedy.

WATCH: Riot or mere kerfuffle? Response to Waco violence shows MSM hypocrisy.

The bikers “did not 'riot,' as far as much of the media is concerned. 'Riots' are reserved for communities of color in protest, whether they organize violently or not...” Kutner wrote.

White-on-white violence?
When protests in Ferguson and Baltimore turned into clashes, looting, and burning cars, the American public was reminded of the “black-on-black” violence taking place as African-Americans “burned down their own neighborhoods.”

However, mainstream media doesn't seem to be reporting on “white-on-white” crime, despite the fact that most of the bikers involved were white.

Activist Shaun King echoed that sentiment, saying he would “wait (and wait and wait and wait)” to hear the media refer to the shootout as “white-on-white” violence.

Relaxed v. ready to fire

Riot police in Ferguson and Baltimore stood guard at the scene, ready to fire if needed. It was very different to that of Waco, where officers casually stood with their backs turned away from those being arrested.

The photo even shows one biker looking at his cellphone, while others stand around freely.

The word 'thug'

The term “thug” was frequently used by the media to describe those taking part in the Ferguson and Baltimore protests, leading many to question why the word wasn't being used in reference to the bikers.

One Twitter user directly asked Fox News why it wasn't using the word.

Although the shootout was described by Waco Police Sergeant W. Patrick Swanton as the "worst" and "most violent" crime scene he had seen in 34 years of law enforcement, it seems the actions of officers and the media don't quite carry the same severity as they did in Baltimore and Ferguson - and social media appears to have drilled that point home. - RT.

BLACK VOICES: Marilyn Mosby - Who Is This Objectively Badass Attorney Running The Freddie Gray Investigation?!

- Marilyn Mosby walked up to a podium surrounded by TV cameras on Friday morning and dropped a bomb: At her direction, the city of Baltimore is charging six police officers with crimes including second-degree murder, manslaughter and assault in the death of Freddie Gray.

Gray, a 25-year-old black man, died last month after suffering a spine injury while in police custody. There was no clear reason for his arrest, and until Friday, there were no clear answers about what happened to him. In the weeks since his death, questions have only grown, protests have broken out around the country and the Baltimore police accused Gray of intentionally trying to hurt himself.
Mosby, the state's attorney for the region, shut it all down on Friday.

"The findings of our comprehensive, thorough and independent investigation, coupled with the medical examiner's determination that Mr. Gray's death was a homicide, which we received today, has led us to believe that we have probable cause to file criminal charges," she said.

Mosby's news marks a huge turning point for people around the country demanding justice for yet another black man killed by police, for a city torn apart by the drug war and economic disparity, and for Mosby herself.

She was just four months into her job when she was tasked last month with investigating Gray's death. She had never held elected office before November. And at 35, Mosby is the youngest chief prosecutor of any district.

Those details gave city residents reason to doubt her abilities, something even her biggest supporters have conceded. Before her current job, Mosby had been counsel for Liberty Mutual Insurance for three years and an assistant state's attorney for five years.

On Friday, though, Mosby emerged as the voice that so many in Baltimore needed to hear. She gave a detailed description of what happened to Gray the day he was arrested and said officers ignored his requests for medical attention. She let the findings speak for themselves.

"No crime had been committed by Mr. Gray," she said. The officers "illegally arrested Mr. Gray."

Mosby was in her element at the press event. She repeatedly batted away questions about her personal feelings on the matter, saying it wasn't relevant. She also dismissed the idea that there is a conflict of interest in her conducting the investigation since her husband, Nick Mosby, is a Baltimore city councilman who has spoken out about the riots spurred by Gray's death.

"I uphold the law," she said flatly. "He makes the law."

Despite the damning conclusions of her probe, which led to warrants being issued Friday for six officers involved in Gray's arrest, Mosby is not out to smear cops. To the contrary, she's been close to them for her entire life.

WATCH: Baltimore City State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby full speech on the Freddie Gray investigation.

"To the rank-and-file officers of the Baltimore Police Department, please know that these accusations of these six officers are not an indictment of the entire force," Mosby said. "I come from five generations of law enforcement. My father was an officer. My mother was an officer … My recently departed and beloved grandfather was one of the founding members of the first black police organization in Massachusetts."

Besides her family connections, Mosby's draw to criminal justice may stem from a tragedy she experienced in Boston, where she grew up. Her 17-year-old cousin was mistaken for a drug dealer and killed outside her home by another teenager. She went on after that to become the first person in her family to graduate from college.

As Mosby wrapped up her remarks Friday, she emphasized that the legal process still needs to play out. Indeed, the Baltimore police union maintains none of the officers are responsible for Gray's death.

She also said that she's fighting for her community, and that if residents want justice, they need to keep their protests peaceful.

"I've heard your call for 'no justice, no peace,'" Mosby said to the cameras. "However, your peace is sincerely needed as I work to deliver justice for Freddie Gray."

9:40 p.m. -- Mosby joined MSNBC's Chris Hayes on Friday night.

Asked by Hayes whether she felt prosecutors had rushed the investigation, or if public concern had influenced the process, Mosby said firmly that justice was the first concern.

"At the end of the day I’m here to do my job," Mosby said. "It’s about applying justice fairly and equally to those with and without a badge. Did I treat this case any different in the pursuit of justice? No, I didn’t.

"Law enforcement is instilled within my being. I understand and respect that the majority of police officers are risking their lives day in and day out," Mosby said. "Recognizing that, I also know that some officials usurp their authority. ... When they do that, you have to hold those individuals accountable."

"Am I worried about any sort of backlash? Absolutely not. Did I rush to judgement? Absolutely not," Mosby said.

She told Hayes that she would hold officers accountable if they fail to testify in the cases of the cops who have been charged.

"You have to change the culture of what’s happening in the police department, and you do that by holding them accountable," she said. - Huffington Post.

EUROPEAN RACISM: Innocent Ohio Man Sues Cleveland Police After 40 YEARS In Jail - Ricky Jackson Was Convicted On The Testimony Of A 12-Year-Old Boy Who Didn't See The Crime!

Ricky Jackson (Reuters / Kim Palmer )

- Ricky Jackson, who spent 39 years in jail for a murder he did not commit, is suing the police officers who allegedly helped frame him. Jackson was convicted on the testimony of a 12-year-old boy who didn’t see the crime and later retracted his statement.

The lawsuit, which was filed on Tuesday against the city of Cleveland, alleges that eight officers, including detectives and their superiors, were involved in framing Jackson and brothers Wiley and Ronnie Bridgeman for the killing of salesman Harold Franks, which occurred in the Cleveland area in 1975. Three of the officers involved in the case have since passed away.

"This lawsuit seeks compensation for that grievous injustice," attorney Jon Loevy said in the statement. "We now know substantially more about the fallibility of eyewitness identifications. Too many people have been sent to prison wrongfully based on bogus identifications."

Jackson, now 58 years old, was exonerated of the murder in November and was awarded just over $1 million in March as compensation for the decades he spent in prison. The case was overturned after Eddie Vernon, who was 12 at the time, retracted his statement four decades on. He said he did not even see the murder being committed, as he had been riding on a school bus at the time.

The seventh-grader was told by a school friend that “Ricky,” “Buddy,” and “Bitsey,” were responsible. The friend, Tommie, had not seen the incident either.

Eddie told the police who he believed committed the crime and “things quickly spiraled out of control,” the lawsuit states. Eddie was questioned by police without a parent or guardian present. He later retracted his statement, saying he did not know who had committed the murders.

“The defendants told Eddie that he was lying and threatened to put his mother and father in jail if he backed out. Eddie was scared, did not understand what was happening, and began to cry. Eddie’s mother was sick at that time, and the prospect of her going to jail was very scary to him as a 12-year-old boy,” the lawsuit added.

Man wrongfully convicted of 1975 murder sues city of Cleveland and former police officers.

The document also says that the police helped to fabricate Vernon’s trial testimony, as well as investigative reports.

Following his arrest, Jackson was allegedly subjected to beatings from the police officers. Two detectives "repeatedly put a phone book on Mr. Jackson's face and other areas of his body and hit him through it so that it would not leave any marks," the statement added.

Jackson was sentenced to death by the electric chair; however, this was later commuted to life imprisonment.

“On information and belief, Mr. Jackson’s 39 years of wrongful incarceration is the longest ever served prior to exoneration in the history of the United States.

“In serving almost four decades behind bars, Mr. Jackson was wrongfully deprived of his entire adult life to date. Imprisoned at age 18 and released at age 58, Mr. Jackson must now attempt to make a life for himself outside of prison without the benefit of the decades of life experiences which ordinarily equip adults for that task,” the statement concluded. - RT.

Monday, May 18, 2015

PARADIGM SHIFT: "Be The Flow" - Jay Z Takes A Stand Against European Racism, Quietly Posting Bail For Protesters Against Police Brutality, Across The United States!

May 18, 2015 - UNITED STATES
- Rap mogul Jay Z has quietly used his wealth to post bail for people arrested in protests across the United States against police excesses, an author close to him said.

Dream Hampton, a writer and activist who worked with Jay Z on his 2010 memoir "Decoded," made the revelations in a series of messages on Twitter that she later deleted but were reproduced by the hip-hop magazine Complex.

"When we needed money for bail for Baltimore protesters, I... hit Jay up, as I had for Ferguson (and he) wired tens of thousands" of dollars within minutes, read one tweet.

She also tweeted that Jay Z and his pop superstar wife Beyonce wrote a "huge check" to support the burgeoning "Black Lives Matter" movement aimed at improving police treatment of African Americans.

Jay Z has quietly used his wealth to post bail for people arrested in protests across the US against police excesses, an author close to him says
(AFP Photo/Adrian Sanchez-Gonzalez)

Protests spread last year after a white police officer shot dead unarmed African-American teenager Michael Brown in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson.

Major demonstrations, some turning violent, erupted in recent weeks in Baltimore after another African-American man, Freddie Gray, died from a spinal injury sustained in police custody.

Hampton later wrote that she deleted the tweets because Jay Z "would be pi-issed to see I was offering evidence" that he is taking action.

Police arrest a protester during a demonstration in Baltimore, Maryland, on April 25, 2015 (AFP Photo/Andrew Caballero-Reynolds)

The tweets appeared aimed at defending Jay Z and Beyonce, who have faced accusations from some activists that they have only paid lip service to causes without tapping into the couple's estimated $1 billion net worth.

One prominent critic has been Harry Belafonte, the calypso music giant who supported Martin Luther King's family financially during the Civil Rights Movement.

In a 2012 interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Belafonte said that contemporary celebrities "have turned their back on social responsibility" and singled out Jay Z and Beyonce.

'Greatest form of giving'

Jay Z, who grew up poor in New York City, has made no secret of his concern about police actions.

In December he met New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to press for criminal justice reform and was earlier reported to have set up a fund for the education of the children of Sean Bell, an African American shot dead by police on his wedding day in 2006.

In 2003, Jay Z set up the Shawn Carter Foundation -- using his real name -- which according to its website has provided $2.9 million in scholarships and other initiatives to support higher education for people facing hardship.

But Jay Z and Beyonce -- among America's most recognizable faces -- have mostly avoided public events.

Jay Z discussed his thinking in his song "Nickels and Dimes," in which he raps of giving money to an addict and reflects, "Did I do it for him or do it for myself? / Can't lie to myself."

"The greatest form of giving is anonymous to anonymous," he concludes in the song.

Jay Z and Beyonce wrote a "huge check" to support the "Black Lives Matter" movement aimed at improving police treatment of African Americans, Dream Hampton says
(AFP Photo/Timothy A. Clary)

Jay Z and Beyonce met Brown and Gray's families last week at a peace concert in Baltimore by Prince but left without making public appearances.

One exception to the low profile is politics. The power couple have been strong supporters of President Barack Obama, throwing a party during his 2012 re-election campaign that raised an estimated $4 million.

Jay Z has been most in the news lately for spending $56 million to buy the music streaming service Tidal, which he has relaunched with fellow stars.

He performed a concert in New York on Saturday in an exclusive for Tidal. In a freestyle segment, he belittled rivals Spotify and Apple -- and paid homage to Brown and Gray. - Yahoo.

DIASPORA AFRICA: Tiphub - African-Americans Are Finding Success In Africa’s Tech Gold Rush, So Can You!

Diaspora Day was organized by tiphub, which aims to build a network for African entrepreneurship.

May 18, 2015 - AFRICA
- When most Americans think of Africa, the first thing that comes to mind is disease and starving children, not venture capital and startup companies. However, an increasing number of African Americans are venturing to the motherland to develop business relationships and explore economic opportunities. Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country and biggest economy, has a burgeoning middle class. According to Canadian newspaper The Globe and Mail, there will be 12 million middle-class Nigerians by 2030.

Washington, D.C.-based Tiphub is a consultancy that works with startups and social impact companies in Africa and the Diaspora. The company was created by Amanda Spann, an African American, and Nigerian-Americans Chinedu Enekwe, Chika Umeadi and Adebayo Dawodu.

“We created Tiphub to address key problems that exist for both impact investors and entrepreneurs in the African startup ecosystem including, inadequate risk return profiles, lack of education and skills to cultivate entrepreneurship into bankable projects and exit opportunities,” Spann said.

Tiphub currently works with about 25 companies in Africa and is also partnering with Impact Hub, a company which provides shared workspaces. One of the companies the firm is currently working with is Hello Tractor, a company that helps rural farmers to pool their resources and buy a tractor.

Tiphub also hosts Diaspora Demo Day, a showcase for startups, angel investors and entrepreneurs from Africa and the African Diaspora. Africa is currently going through its own digital revolution with an increasing number of people going online, mainly with mobile devices.

“E-commerce is booming,” Spann said. “It’s really taking off. Mobile banking is huge in Kenya.”

Spann learned a lot about doing business in Africa when she participated in an innovation tour of several African countries a few years ago.

“What I noticed while traveling is that African and African-American entrepreneurs often face many of the same challenges,” she said. “Ultimately, there is no shortage of genius across the African Diaspora but entrepreneurs here and there both need access to education, capital, and mentorship from stakeholders, who are not only committed to the preservation of these innovators dignity but investing back into their communities.”

She has also learned about the challenges of doing business in Africa. One of the biggest problems working with American partners is the time difference. In addition, many African countries have irregular power supply and high Internet usage fees, which is a problem for online businesses.
Tiphub co-founder Amanda Spann.

Power supply is one of the issues Kwame Dougan has run into investing in Africa. Dougan was born in Ghana, but raised and educated in Canada and the United States. He is managing partner and co-founder of iYa Ventures, a venture capital firm that invests in technology companies in Africa and the Diaspora. IYa Ventures has funded promising businesses in Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya and Ethiopia.

One of the companies iYa Ventures has funded is Supermart, a Lagos, Nigeria-based company that allows busy working mothers to avoid the city’s notorious traffic by ordering groceries online. IYa Ventures is also advising ZNews Africa, a mobile app that aggregates African news.

According to Dougan, frequent power outages are a common occurrence in Africa.

As a result businesses have to run back-up generators for long periods of time.

“That really increases the cost of doing business,” Dougan said.

Another challenge that African startups face is lack of infrastructure. Most business transactions are carried out in cash, and that’s a major issue if you’re developing a business that relies on online payments.

Dougan feels the best African business environment is Lagos because of its energy, innovation and frenetic pace. Ghana is less fast paced than Lagos, but there is plenty of room for businesses to grow, according to Dougan.

“From what I been told, through my network, Rwanda is also a great place as well, if you want to go and develop a business,” Dougan said.

He added another factor that attracts African American entrepreneurs is the cultural environment.

Most African countries, like Nigeria and Ghana, are majority Black and race is not an issue. - Atlanta Black Star.

EUROPEAN RACISM: 61 Years After Brown v. Board Of Education - Many Schools Remain Separate And Unequal!

FILE - This Aug. 22, 1958 file photo shows Thurgood Marshall outside the Supreme Court in Washington. Sunday marks the 61st anniversary of the
landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision. (AP Photo, File) | ASSOCIATED PRESS

May 18, 2015 - UNITED STATES
- Decades after the U.S. Supreme Court's Brown v. Board of Education ruling declared segregated schooling of black students unconstitutional, many American schools with high minority populations continue to receive fewer resources and provide an education that's inferior to schools with large white populations.

For Sunday's 61st anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education ruling, which proclaimed "separate educational facilities are inherently unequal," The Huffington Post takes a look at the state of education for black students in 2015.

In many states, there continues to be stark disparities in resources provided to black students and white students. In Nevada, for example, high-minority school districts receive significantly less state and local funding per pupil than low-minority districts.

These six graphs show the disparities.


High-minority districts typically received less funding per pupil from states and localities than low-minority districts during the 2011-2012 school year, according to the latest data from the National Center for Education Statistics.


Black students are significantly more likely to attend high-poverty schools than white students, according to the Urban Institute.

"In some metropolitan areas, the racial concentration of school poverty is so severe that black and white students effectively attend two different school systems: one for middle- and upper-middle-income white students, and the other for poor students and students of color," says an Urban Institute feature on the subject.


Students who attend high-minority schools often receive instruction from the least-qualified teachers. The Obama administration is trying to change this. In 2014, the White House announced the Excellent Educators for All initiative, which calls on states to develop plans that would more equitably distribute the best teachers.


White students and black students graduate high school at different rates. In 2013, 71 percent of African-American students graduated. Eighty-seven percent of white students did.


American classrooms are getting more diverse. But the teaching force remains overwhelmingly white. Data from the National Center for Education Information reveals that in 2011, about 84 percent of America's teachers identified as white. Department of Education research shows a similar trend. In a 2011-2012 Department of Education survey of teachers, more than 80 percent identified as white.

"Teachers of color can serve as role models for students of color," says a 2014 report from the Center for American Progress on the subject. "When students see teachers who share their racial or ethnic backgrounds, they often view schools as more welcoming places."


Black students are expelled or suspended from school nearly three times more than their white counterparts, according to the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights. Unfortunately, these disparities start as early as preschool. Data from 2011-2012 shows that black toddlers are more likely to be suspended from preschool than their white peers. - Huffington Post.

ELECTRIC BODY: Electric Food For The People Of The Sun - Home Remedies Help Restore Your Health After Eating GMO Foods!

May 18, 2015 - HEALTH
- There have been various reports on and in the mainstream media concerning the side effects of consuming food that has been genetically modified. Symptoms ranging from digestive and reproductive disorders to liver failure, internal bleeding and immune system dysfunction are being reported. A combination of home remedies, nutrition and homeopathic medicines may help restore your health. This list is by no means exhaustive. Individuals who are seriously ill from ingesting GMOs should consult an alternative healthcare practitioner rather than self-treat.

Homeopathic remedies

Not all side effects from GMOs are physical. Homeopathic medicines address physical, mental or emotional symptoms related to the subject.

· Nux vomica supports the liver, for cleansing and rejuvenation. The person needing Nux vomica is generally angry, bossy, eats and drinks to excess and has many digestive upsets.

· Arsenicum album relieves acute cases of vomiting and diarrhea. It is useful after ingesting genetically modified organisms that may trigger a sensitive stomach producing symptoms similar to food poisoning.
· Rhus tox may help an individual who believes he has been poisoned by GMO foods he’s eaten. The person may be paranoid, suspicious and restless. He may complain of joint pain, stiffness or display an itchy rash.

· Staphysagria may provide relief for someone experiencing a feeling of outrage over being subjected to the entire GMO takeover of the food system. It is a remedy often used for those who’ve been raped or attacked and feel violated.

· Gelsemium is indicated for someone who becomes anxious and fearful just thinking about what might happen as a result of eating genetically modified foods. There may be flu-like aches and pains, weakness and a headache in the back of the head and neck.

· Phosphorus should help in cases where there is internal bleeding or blood disorder related to side effects of GMO foods, especially those that produce Bt toxins, such as genetically modified corn.

Nutritional support

· After being deprived of healthy nutrients from genetically modified foods, it’s important to replace them with organic foods that provide nourishment, vitamins, minerals and necessary enzymes.

Reestablishing balance by restoring a healthy pH and reducing acidosis goes a long way toward protecting and restoring the system that’s at the effect of GMOs.

· Start eating organic fruits and vegetables and if you can, juice them several times a day.

· Add green coconut water to cleanse the liver and blood and help destroy parasites, fungi and bacteria that are transmitted through genetically modified organisms.

Boost immune system

· Eat foods that boost your immune system and supply vital nutrients such as vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids.

· Take garlic, echinacea, milk thistle, pau d’arco tea, colloidal silver, or other immune-building herbs to help your body fight toxins from GMO foods.

Alkalize your system

· Create an alkaline environment to destroy invasive organisms and protect the advancement of noxious parasites and disease states.

· Support an alkaline pH with ancient, tiny grains such as quinoa, amaranth and millet. These foods are much more alkaline than other grains and are gluten-free.

· Add organic apple cider vinegar (ACV) to your diet. Mix 2 Tbs with 8 oz. water and drink to establish alkalinity in your gut.

· Mix 2 Tbs lemon juice with 1/2 tsp baking soda for an instant alkaline cocktail. Allow bubbling to settle and add 8 oz. water. Drink at once. You can substitute ACV for lemon juice.

· In cases of extreme emergency when you need to get alkaline fast, mix 1/2 tsp cream of tartar in 8 oz. water and drink immediately. - JB Bardot.

EUROPEAN RACISM: The Systematic War On Black People - TSA Agrees To Stop Searching Natural Hair On Black Women For No Reason!

Singer Solange Knowles experiences a security hair pat-down from a TSA agent. Jorge Rivas

May 18, 2015 - UNITED STATES
- After reaching an agreement with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), officials at the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) have agreed to stop racially profiling black women with natural hair and subjecting them to extra security screenings.

The agency will also provide conduct trainings for TSA employees emphasizing “race neutrality” and specifically focusing on how to approach black women’s hair during security pat-downs, according to an announcement from the ACLU.

Novella Coleman, a staff attorney with the ACLU of Northern California who has personally experienced this type of profiling, is celebrating the recent agreement. “The humiliating experience of countless black women who are routinely targeted for hair pat-downs because their hair is ‘different’ is not only wrong, but also a great misuse of TSA agents’ time and resources,” she said in a statement.

The resolution follows several complaints from black women who alleged they have been singled out for extra airport screening because of their hair. Coleman first brought the issue to the attention of the Department of Homeland Security in 2012, after she started noticing that her hair was always subjected to extra searches when she traveled with her white and Latina colleagues. Coleman, who wears dreadlocks, says she was told her hair needed to be searched because it had “abnormalities.”

Coleman went on to represent another woman, Malaika Singleton, who experienced the same thing on her own business trips. Singleton says that she felt “shocked” and “violated” when she was stopped twice during a trip to London to have her hair searched.

The ACLU concluded that, since airport officials have been unable to explain why these searches are necessary from a security perspective, they may violate the Constitution — which prohibits the selective enforcement of searches based on race.

Allegations of the TSA’s racial bias against black women who wear natural hair stretch back for years. In 2011, a hairdresser in Dallas said she was “humiliated” after TSA officials demanded to search her afro. In 2012, singer Solange Knowles complained after the TSA searched her afro, tweeting in protest that “My hair is not a storage drawer.”

MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry has also spoken openly about her own experience getting her hair searched in airports. In 2013, she recounted an instance when TSA officials pulled her aside and ran their fingers through her braids. “I was sent on my way feeling a little violated and unclear about why, exactly, that intrusion was necessary,” Harris-Perry wrote at the time. “Because if your $170,000 machine can see under my clothes, but can’t figure out I’m not hiding a bomb in my braids, maybe it’s time to recalibrate the machine.”

Singling out black women for their hair is a microaggression that ultimately speaks to larger cultural assumptions about how “proper” women are supposed to look. Other arms of the U.S. government have also sparked controversy because of their approach to natural hairstyles like afros and sisterlocks. Last year, the Army was accused of racial bias after releasing new grooming guidelines that specifically ban several hairstyles popular among black women who keep their hair natural. African American service members pushed back, saying that the Army was unfairly targeting them.

When it comes to airport security, Coleman told BuzzFeed News she’s optimistic about finding a way forward with the TSA, now that the agency has agreed to hold anti-discrimination trainings for its employees. “I think right now we’re in a hopeful place,” she said. - Think Progress.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

PARADIGM SHIFT: "Be The Flow" - Jay Z Drops Blistering Tidal Freestyle, Taking On The White Supremacy Paradigm And The Deaths Of Freddie Gray, Michael Brown And Trayvon Martin!

- Jay Z hit the stage at New York City's Terminal 5 tonight for "Tidal X: Jaÿ-Z B-Sides", a B-sides concert presented by his streaming service Tidal.

The show had more than its fair share of high points as Jiggaman went through hit after hit for the crowd. But none may have been better than when he perform new material instead of the expected older material.

Exhibit J: he broke out a rare freestyle, launching a withering tirade, taking jabs at YouTube and Spotify and other streaming services; and the way that Tidal has been portrayed in the media; and paid tribute to Freddie Gray, Michael Brown, and Trayvon Martin.

So I’m the bad guy now I hear, because I don’t go with the flow
Don’t ever go with the flow, be the flow
And I don’t need no middle man to talk to my niggas
I understand if you don’t understand, I figure I’m Jigga
That’s where we differ
I take what’s mine, you accept what they they give you, I get you
I don’t take no checks I take my respect
Pharrell even told me go with the safest bet
Jimmy Iovine offered a safety net
Google dangled around a crazy check
I feel like Youtube is the biggest culprit
Them niggas pay you a tenth of what you supposed to get
You know niggas die for equal pay right?
You know when I work I ain't your slave right?
You know I ain't shucking and jiving and high fiving
You know this ain't back in the days right?
But I can't tell, like the way they killed Freddie Gray right
Shot down Mike Brown how they did Tray right?
Let them continue choking niggas
We gonna turn style
I ain't your token nigga
You know I came in this game independent right?
Tidal, my own lane, same difference
Oh niggas is skeptical as their own shit
You bought 9 iPhones and Steve Jobs is rich
Phil Knight worth trillions you still bought those kicks
Spotify is 9 million they ain't say shit
Lucy you got some splaining to do
The only one they hating on look the same as you
I know they trying to bamboozle you
Spending millions on media trying to confuse you
I had to talk to myself, Hov you used to it
It's politics as usual
Jay immediately dropped the beat to “Politics As Usual” from his first album at the end of this freestyle.

WATCH: Jay Z - Tidal Freestyle.

He also honored the late B.B. King with a moment of silence.

The extensive setlist from the show included a slew of guest appearances: Memphis Bleek and Beanie Sigel (who did "You, Me, Him, and Her" with Jay, Young Chris, and Neef), Jay Electronica (who followed his appearance on "We Made It" with a performance of "Exhibit C" with Just Blaze), and Young Jeezy (who did "Go Crazy" and "Who Dat").

The event was streamed live by Tidal.

GHANA RISING: The Hub Of Vibrancy And Growth - African-Americans Visiting, Moving To Ghana In Record Numbers!

Local chiefs wait for visiting Dutch Crown Prince Willem Alexander and Princess Maxima at Elmina Castle April 15, 2002 in Ghana. From Elmina the Dutch shipped over
50,000 slaves to Surinam and an unknown number to other destinations in North and South America. (Photo by Michel Porro/Getty Images)

May 17, 2015 - GHANA
- We are now living in a time when Africa evokes images of vibrancy and growth instead of poverty, war and struggle.

In this context, Ghana is fast becoming a mecca for black Americans who are looking for lucrative opportunities in a new environment. According to recent reports, about 10,000 African-Americans visit Ghana yearly. Currently almost 3,000 American blacks reside in the capital, Accra, the major hub of Ghana.

Signs of a growing trend

While these numbers are not huge, they are still significant. Almost six years ago there were only 1,000 African-American expatriates living in Ghana, so clearly the numbers are rising steadily.

What has attracted them? The fact is this burgeoning nation has consistently enjoyed a peaceful political climate without many threats of internal or external strife since it gained its independence from the British back in 1957. The temperate weather also makes it an attractive choice.

But most importantly, there are elements that could resonate with anyone seeking a more laid back lifestyle. The pristine beaches, affordable living and a sense of spiritual calm that permeates the landscape makes Ghana an attractive alternative to the proverbial American “rat race.”

Ghana is living up to that hype, in addition to being a land of economic opportunity and bountiful resources.

Why relocate to Ghana?

Most Americans are starting to grasp the notion that they may have better luck financially in another country. As the American economy continues to falter, some blacks are finding that places new and unfamiliar could challenge them in ways leading to upward mobility.

Monies saved and invested elsewhere can yield bigger dividends. The educational attainment of many African-Americans can be put to immediate use in countries that have not been able to offer their populations similar luxuries until recently.

Much has been written about American blacks moving to South Africa for these very reasons, but I would like to suggest Ghana be added to the short list of locales for those considering planting new roots in the Motherland.

Technology, teaching and more opportunities

There are a plethora of companies in Ghana eager to recruit foreign applicants. If you are lucky enough to be well versed in all things digital, securing employment with a well-established technology firm is a strong possibility. Organizations such as Blogging Ghana have created platforms for interactivity within the social media realm that are reaching a global audience. Employees of such firms will have the opportunity to be proponents for change in an emerging field.

Or you can more easily start a family business. More than half of the African-Americans that reside in Accra are entrepreneurs. Local chiefs are often more than willing to grant prized land and other resources to budding entrepreneurs interested in real estate development, or other commercial ventures. This could also lead to a lucrative life in farming – or “agribusiness” – for those interested in a totally new, yet viable way of making a living.

Teaching is another highly desirable profession. English is the official language of Ghana; thus, entering academia as a teacher of the language could be one means of entrance into a coveted class.

Plus, there are many supports extended to foreign pupils and the qualified staff who instruct them. You and your family could benefit from this aspect of the economy as native speakers.

Realistic challenges to immigration

But nothing comes easy. Newly minted migrants have encountered some issues adjusting to the regulatory patterns and overall atmosphere of their adopted homes. As progressive as Ghana is compared to their regional neighbors, there are still some difficulties that arise when it comes to everyday comfort. Coming from a Western culture creates certain expectations, and the thought of not having stable electricity, or constant running water can be a pain. Yes, this does happen, and may be a deal-breaker.

In addition, government agencies can also be hard to work with and in some cases they can prolong the process of becoming a citizen, which will limit your access to certain jobs. But, for many recent immigrants, aside from the “malaria issue” (which unfortunately is still the norm), settling in Accra isn’t nearly as intimidating as one would imagine.

Most importantly, acquaint yourself with the history of this very diverse country. Many Ghanaians are well traveled and knowledgeable about world affairs, so you have to be able to hold your own.

Weighing options for change

You have to look before you leap, so it’s advisable to visit first before you make such a drastic decision. You should ideally be armed with a well-drafted blueprint of what your vocation will be and have a few promising options lined up to assuage any doubts. Yes, it can take a considerable amount of time to achieve residency, but if you like Ghana and want to take a risk in your quest for a better life, you will likely succeed.

Ghana is the perfect choice if you are looking to experience living in Africa, because it has managed to take advantage of global opportunities, which has allowed the country to develop a comfortable level of stability. African-Americans will enjoy making a life in a place that will make them feel connected and celebrated in a way that they probably don’t fully enjoy in the U.S. as “minorities.”

Plus, you don’t have to be a millionaire in order to live quite decently. Moreover, there are resources available, like The African American Association of Ghana (AAGG), to help make your transition a smooth one.

Overall, you will be living among a people who are just as excited to get to know you as you are to know them. Ghanaians are very hospitable, which makes it easy to make friends and quickly build a network, which is ultimately the key to survival in any foreign country.

That’s what makes Ghana a welcoming and worthwhile choice for African-Americans who might be thinking of relocating to a new land of opportunity. - The Grio.

MARKETPLACE AFRICA: SIRESS - An African Single Cross Border Settlement Service That's A Success!

May 17, 2015 - AFRICA
- Southern African Development Community (SADC) Integrated Regional Settlement System (SIRESS) has been lauded by delegates addressing SWIFT’s African Regional Conference in Cape Town.

SIRESS provides a single cross border settlement service for the SADC countries. The service is available to banks and supervised financial institutions.

Hugo Smit, head of Sub-Sahara Africa for SWIFT, said that the system is now processing about 43 per cent of the transactions in the SADC region.

“This is a huge achievement in a relatively short time,” he said.

Maxine Hlaba, managing director of the SADC Banking Association (BA) Secretariat said, currently it has nine participating countries but she said ultimately the association hoped all banks in SADC’s 15 countries will participate.

This year, the SADC BA is looking to bring on board the Seychelles and Madagascar. It is hoped the DRC will join early next year.

“We have seen the volumes grow tremendously; at the end of last month we reached a milestone of one trillion rand. We did not rush to get everyone to join the system as joining requires capital investment and the ability to implement all the right standards,” she said.

Tim Masela, head of the national payments system, South African Reserve Bank, said political will from governors of all the central banks concerned has been critical in ensuring the project is successful.

“We leveraged the existing infrastructure and our investment in SWIFT, which has made the system cost effective. This is a journey that can be made easy if there is collaboration and shared responsibility across the region to make sure it becomes a success,” he added.

Vickey Ganesh, head of enterprise payments services at Standard Bank, said for South African banks there are two particular issues to address:

"The first is around liquidity. They are operating on two systems, one in South Africa, which is funded via collateral, and one for SADC/SIRESS, which has a cash funded mechanism. This means we have to manage liquidity very carefully across both systems on a real time basis," he said.

"There is also an impact on business. Before the advent of SIRESS, South African banks were often offering their correspondent banking relationships nostro services in rand. Now that many of the commercial banks are operating directly on the rand based system, not as many nostro services are required," he added.

"South African banks are definitely feeling the pinch. There is a cost associated to that,” he said.

Josephat Mutepfa, deputy director financial markets, Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe said the outcome of SIRESS has been positive.

“About 90 per cent of the country’s banking sector is on SIRESS, the response has been very positive,” he said.

“There are hopes that SIRESS will help to drive down costs in the system and therefore reduce costs for end customers. The rails are in place, but we need more vehicles on the rails. We need the right products and services.” Mutepfa added that more than 70 per cent of people in the SADC region do not have banking facilities and he believed SIRESS and SADC more broadly can play a pivotal role in bridging that gap to improve financial inclusion in the region. - CNBC Africa.

AFRICAN ENERGY: Significant Milestone - GE Oil & Gas Completes The First Complete Refurbishment Of A Subsea Production Tree In Nigeria!

Subsea Production Tree. Photo: GE

May 17, 2015 - NIGERIA
- GE Oil & Gas has completed the first refurbishment of subsea production trees at its service base in Onne, Nigeria, highlighting GE’s commitment to investing in Nigeria and demonstrating the high-value services offered close to our customers’ operations. The milestone was achieved under a contract awarded by Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCo.)

The GE team of trained Nigerian engineers successfully dis-assembled the subsea trees to component parts before repairing and rebuilding them in accordance with customer requirements. The refurbishment program includes incoming deck-testing and an integrated performance test after refurbishment.The milestone was disclosed by Mr. Uzo Nwagwu, Chief Operating Officer of GE Oil & Gas in Nigeria. It is the first time a production tree has been completely refurbished in Nigeria.

Mr. Nwagwu said: “The development demonstrates GE’s commitment to localizing operations in Nigeria through capacity development, technology transfer and capital investment. This is resulting in the creation of high quality employment in the O&G sector in Nigeria.”

In support of this program, last year, GE Oil & Gas unveiled the recruitment of 30 engineers and technicians, some of whom were sent to GE facilities in Brazil for training. Here, they acquired the skillsets required to support tree repair and for local assembly and testing of new equipment. Thousands of man-hours and hundreds of spare parts, procured by the local team, were used in the refurbishment of the first tree. More than $1.5 million was spent with Nigerian sub-suppliers supporting various parts of the workscope for each tree.

Lazarus Angbazo, President and CEO of GE Nigeria said “GE Oil & Gas is continuously seeking to increase the competitiveness of the solutions for the Nigerian oil and gas industry. The Tree Refurbishment Program will give Nigeria-based operators the opportunity to buy locally, avoid delivery delays and save cost while supporting the growth of the Nigerian oil and gas industry.”

“The delivery of the first fully refurbished subsea tree system in Nigeria is another example of how we can deploy partnerships to strengthen local capacity in the country’s subsea oil and gas sector,” said SNEPCo Managing Director, Tony Attah. He added: “We’re indeed pleased to be part of this pioneering effort which promises to deliver projects on time, safely and within cost estimates.”

Operating since 2002, GE’s purpose-built facility in Onne is the first quayside facility of its calibre in Nigeria. It has an exceptional safety record with a 10 year record of operating with no loss time due to injury. The facility is a cornerstone of GE’s commitment to Nigeria’s Oil & Gas industry. The site provides complete assembly, testing and life cycle service for subsea tree systems, subsea control modules, specialty connectors and pipes. It also includes a dedicated on-site training center and offers broad business development opportunities for local suppliers.

About GE Oil & Gas

GE Oil & Gas works on the things that matter in the oil and gas industry. In collaboration with our customers, we push the boundaries of technology to bring energy to the world. From extraction to transportation to end use, we address today's toughest challenges in order to fuel the future. Follow GE Oil & Gas on Twitter @GE_OilandGas

About GE

GE (NYSE: GE) imagines things others don’t, builds things others can’t and delivers outcomes that make the world work better. GE brings together the physical and digital worlds in ways no other company can. In its labs and factories and on the ground with customers, GE is inventing the next industrial era to move, power, build and cure the world.

- GE Africa.

AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT: Who Is In The Running For The Presidency Of The African Development Bank - Taking Africa Forward Means No More "Business As Usual"?!

Decision Time - The African Development Bank will elect a new President on May 28.

May 17, 2015 - AFRICA
- Africa is experiencing a never-before-seen economic and political transformation. Five of the world's 10 fastest-growing economies are located here.

While there are many reasons to celebrate the improved economic performance, daunting challenges remain. Foremost among them are widening economic and social inequalities that have resulted from non-inclusive growth. Africa's poverty rates are still the highest in the world.

Since the end of the colonial era, the African Development Bank (AfDB) -- which is essentially our continental equivalent to the World Bank -- has led the charge in taking Africa forward. It is the AfDB's job to help African economies grow as an integrated economic bloc. Beyond this, though, the AfDB also has a responsibility to achieve real and sustainable development that benefits all Africans, to create opportunities for Africa's rapidly growing youth population, and to lift people out of poverty.

Cristina Duarte - The only woman in the race comes from Cape Verde. She is currently the Minister of Finance and Planning,
and was previously vice-president and head of corporate & investment banking at Citibank in Angola.

The AfDB must focus on building an equitable and inclusive model for growth in Africa to eliminate poverty and deliver prosperity for all, rather than for the lucky few.

To accomplish that, we cannot continue with business as usual. The AfDB must lead the way.

Integrating countries
We need to reduce inequalities in economic prosperity among countries in the region. The AfDB should work to integrate our region. Landlocked countries need to be connected to coastal ports through investment in transnational infrastructure, especially highways, trans-boundary water basins, and railway, maritime, and air transport systems. We must deliver integrated infrastructure and eliminate barriers -- this will expand the size of the regional markets and reduce the cost of movement of goods, services and people, creating a more open Africa.
The AfDB also needs to refigure its approach to agriculture. Africa has 65% of all the arable land left to feed the nine billion people in the world by 2050. Transforming the agriculture sector will have the largest impact on inclusive growth on the continent, given that 70-80% of the labor force is engaged in the sector but are locked into poverty. We must provide innovative financing instruments and direct private equity funds toward agribusiness investment. Boosting the agriculture sector in the region, especially in fragile states, will strongly benefit women, who account for more than 50% of Africa's farmers.

Akinwumi Adesina - Nigeria's outgoing Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development was name Forbes' African of the Year in 2013.
He has argued that nothing is more important to Africa's success than access to power.

We need to diversify the economies in African countries that are rich in natural resources, to shield them from over-exposure to volatilities in global markets (as we saw recently with falling oil prices). Focusing on unlocking agriculture's potential will go a long way toward diversification and building "soil wealth" rather than relying on oil and mineral wealth. We also need to improve management of those natural resources -- transparency and accountability must be enforced.


The AfDB should put more resources toward strengthening the private sector, empowering it to drive industrialization and wealth creation for Africa. We must prioritize the growth of SMEs and support the emergence of African global multinational corporations. To ensure that companies get access to finance, the AfDB should strengthen financial intermediaries and develop the financial market infrastructure.

The AfDB can and should deliver "power-for-all" -- universal access to electricity. Nothing is more important to African economic success than access to power, and yet Africa has 50% of the world's renewable energy resources, but it remains largely untapped. Developing the energy infrastructure will drive rapid economic and social development. We should target investment toward renewable energy -- solar, hydropower, geothermal, wind -- and support a combination of large, transformative regional power projects.

Donald Kaberuka is the outgoing president of of the African Development Bank. He was first elected in 2005,
becoming the seventh president of the Bank Group since its establishment in 1963.

The AfDB needs to accelerate investment in developing regional ICT infrastructure, which will drive innovation and integration, reduce costs, build platforms for enhancing educational systems, and improve health service delivery systems.

We need to build strong pan-African partnerships. This will demand engagement and commitment from African governments, the African Union, financial institutions, and the private sector, with the AfDB as the central, driving force.

We need to do whatever it takes to build a continent with shared prosperity and sustainable, inclusive growth. We need to chart a new course to a better, more equal Africa.

With the right kind leadership and a united pan-African effort, this peaceful, stable and globally competitive Africa is within reach. - CNN.

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