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UN, ECOWAS urge Liberians to Shelve Major Protest
December 29, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Bakary Ceesay

Brilliant Footballer but poor leader? President has so far failed to change the fortunes of Liberia since he got to power
Brilliant Footballer but poor leader? President has so far failed to change the fortunes of Liberia since he got to power

The United Nations and other West African countries urged Liberia on Friday to avoid a major protest rally planned for next week in the interest of Liberia as the impoverished country grapples with a deep economic crisis.

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the UN’s office in West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS) sent a joint mission to Liberia this week to talk with President George Weah, who is under growing pressure over his handling of the crisis.

Opponents have called for an anti-government protest in the capital Monrovia on Monday.

However, ECOWAS and UNOWAS issued a joint statement exhorting “all parties to work towards calling off this imminent protest in the general interest of Liberia and the sub-region.”

After meeting the footballer-turned-president Weah and other ministers, the delegation said it “welcomes the general desire to call off the protest of December 30 if specific actions were taken in addressing some of the governance and economic issues which form the basis of the current tension in the country.”

Tensions have risen in recent weeks in the run-up to the protest, with the government accusing the opposition of calling for the “unconstitutional eviction” of Weah, who took office in January 2018.

The opposition, for its part, sees “nothing wrong” in calling for Weah’s resignation and has maintained its call for the rally to go ahead.

In their joint statement, ECOWAS and UNOWAS said they “acknowledge that the incumbent president is democratically elected and has a legitimate mandate of six years.”

While they recognised citizens’ right of assembly, they “reminded all stakeholders of their responsibility to maintain peace, security and stability of Liberia… and cautioned against any form of violence”.

Still traumatised by back-to-back civil wars and the 2014-2016 Ebola crisis, Liberia is struggling to revive its flailing economy.

Inflation is rampant, according to the World Bank, and civil servants regularly go unpaid.


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ECOWAS Deploys Election Observers for the Re-Run Presidential Election in Guinea Bissau, meets the Two Candidates
December 29, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Bakary Ceesay

ECOWAS Election Observer Delegation with two candidates
ECOWAS Election Observer Delegation with two candidates

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has deployed seventy observers for the ECOWAS Election Observation Mission (ECOWAS-EOM) to the Re-Run Presidential Election in Guinea  Bissau.  

This  deployment  was  done  yesterday,  December  27,  2019  in  Bissau,  Guinea Bissau ahead of the December 29 Re-Run Presidential Election.

Dr.  Remi  Ajibewa,  Director  Political  Affairs  of  the  ECOWAS  Commission,  in  his  speech  at  the opening,  ,  expressed  the  commitment  of ECOWAS  to  accompany  Guinea  Bissau  through  the Presidential Elections in line with the ECOWAS Supplementary Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance of 2001.

While  thanking  the  Observers  for  sacrificing  their  holidays  with  families  for  this  important regional  assignment,  Gen.  Francis  Awagbe  Behanzin,  Commissioner  Political  Affairs,  Peace  and Security  of  the  ECOWAS  Commission, highlighted  that  ECOWAS  as  part  of  electoral  assistance programme to Member States deployed technical experts and financial support to Guinea Bissau.

Head  of  the  ECOWAS  Election  Observation  Mission  to  the  Guinea  Bissau  Re-Run  Presidential Election, H.E. Soumeylou Boubeye Maiga, and former Prime Minister of the Republic of Mali in his welcome  address  stressed  that  ECOWAS is  determined to  support  Guinea  Bissau  to  conduct  a credible, peaceful and transparent election.

Highlighting  the  achievements  of  the  Mission  in  the  First  Round  of  the  Presidential  Election, Prime Minister Maiga stressed that  the December 29 Re-Run Election is critical and the Observers are in Guinea Bissau to ensure that the election is conducted in a transparent, free and inclusive manner, which respects the standards of ECOWAS.

The  Head  of  ECOWAS  Election  Observation  Mission  also  paid  solidarity  visits  to  the  two candidates  in  the  Re-Run  Presidential  Election,  Domingos  Simoes  Pereira  of  the  PAIGC  and Embalo Sissoko of the MADEM-G15.

After  deliberations,  the  candidates  all  agreed  to  accept  the  outcome  of  the  election  peacefully and as the will of the people of Guinea Bissau.

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Vice Prime Minister of the State of the African Diaspora, Dr. Melida Harris Barrow in Ghana
December 28, 2019 | 0 Comments
The Vice Prime Minister of the State of the African Diaspora, Dr. Melida Harris Barrow
The Vice Prime Minister of the State of the African Diaspora, Dr. Melida Harris Barrow

The Vice Prime Minister of the State of the African Diaspora, Dr. Melida Harris Barrow just arrived in Ghana.

Dr. Harris Barrow was chosen to be the Keynote Speaker to celebrate with his Majesty Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, Asantehene, as he receives the “Pillar of Peace” Award on the last Akwasidae Festival of the year, which also closes the chapter on the 20th Anniversary Celebrations of the enstoolment of His Majesty on the Golden Stool, to be held on December 29, 2019, at the Manhyia Palace.

The event will be under the Theme “Acknowledging and Celebrating Legendary and Transformational Leadership On The African Continent and Beyond.”

Osei Tutu II is the 16th Asantehene and has been in power since 26 April 1999. By name, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II is in direct succession to the 17th-century co-founder of the Ashanti Empire, Otumfuo Osei Tutu I. He is also the Chancellor of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology.

Information from the State of Africa indicates that with almost 350 million people, the African Diaspora is the THIRD COUNTRY in the world after China and India, but greater than The United States of America (323 million), Indonesia (258 million) and Brazil (205 million). Previously, it was unstructured, and only had potential as an entity.

“This is why the decision has been made to mobilize the energies of the Diaspora to officially launch the State of the African Diaspora: our Goal is to strengthen Africa through the Diaspora, and the Diaspora through Africa,” says the State of Africa in information shared with PAV.

*PAV will be coming up soon with more reporting and interviews on the activities of the State of the African Diaspora

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The anti-politics of Buhari administration
December 27, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Sylvester Odion Akhaine*

President Buhari
President Buhari

I am pleased to deliver this keynote address at this 2nd summit of the Nigerian pro-democracy movement. This summit is taking place in the context of deepening national contradictions and a clearly sinister political atmosphere with a consequent fissiparous impact on the country’s unity, a dynamic that hitherto had been woven above class divisions and ethnic boundaries. The contradictions have been well captured in the concept note of this gathering:

More people are living in extreme poverty in Nigeria than in any other country in the world.1 Over a million Nigerians are living in IDP camps as a result of violent conflicts. In the Boko Haram war in the northeast, the herder and farmer conflicts, the Niger Delta insurgency, the Biafra secessionist agitations, massive and ongoing corruption, political thuggery, armed robbery, kidnappings, ritual killings, substance abuse by sections of our youth, enormous unemployment, etc. we see signs and symptoms of a state in deep crisis. As a cause and consequence of the crisis in Nigeria is the massively polarised public sphere with discourses often clouded with ethnic, religious and other sectional colourations.[1]

The fact that the above objective realities are happening in a ‘democratic setting’ calls for an interrogation of the meaning of democracy. In a typical 100 level political science examination question on democracy, students are easily attracted to Abraham Lincoln’s definition of democracy captured in his Gettysburg address in 1863. Lincoln says that “democracy is the government of the people, by the people, and for the people.” They care less about the markers of democracy such as liberal, direct, indirect, socialist, and so on. Not for them, the contradictions of democracy as being for the needy who would be occupied struggling to make ends meet such that Aristotle had to cast his lot for polity as the best form of government, a middle of the road contraption between middle class and the wealthy.

The organizing theme of democracy is the demos, that is the people and the very aim of government is to protect lives and property of its citizens. In a more philosophical sense, the aim is to achieve happiness for all. The Nigerian ruling elite chose liberal democracy as a regime-type in 1999. As I have argued in many of my scholarly outputs, liberal democracy embodies a cluster of liberties such as the freedom of expression and of the press, political freedom, freedom of assembly, among others. The legitimizing element of liberal democracy or any other form of democracy for that matter is the consent of the people. When you remove that from the democratic process, you have not democracy but tyranny.

So, democracy is that government that provides the material conditions for self–actualisation and recognises always the people as the repository of popular sovereignty. Democracy functions well in the context of separation of power and horizontal accountability among the various arms of government, namely, the legislature, executive and the judiciary. The legislature, it must be noted is the gut of democracy and the judiciary the sentinel of the rule of law. This is so to avoid abuse of power. The unity of the arms of these arms of government in one arm undermines checks and balances, and again the result is tyranny.

Our democratic process has been purged of virtually all its democratic content. The people, the organising element of any polity do not matter and to borrow the words of Guillermo O’Donnell, they have been reduced to citizens of low intensity.[2] The legislature is a rubber stamp one, known in British history as the ‘Long parliament’, a proxy of the executive who were elected in a brazen compromise of parliamentary autonomy. The judiciary is intimidated and peopled by political appointees without merit but programmed to do the will of the executive. In this manner, the judiciary has become the Golgotha of the common man and not his hope. With the capturing of the rest arms of government, the executive has been transformed, in all objective sense, into a despot.

Beyond theoretical abstraction, the rape of ethicity of governance are evident in the travails of detainees and the ethnicisation of the federal bureaucracy and the impunity of public officials. Detainees include former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, the Leader of the Shiite movement in Nigeria, Ibrahim El-Zakzakky and wife and the Publisher of Sahara Reporter, Omoyele Sowore who are being held in incarceration against rulings of the Court. Judges houses have been raided at midnight to cow them while a sitting chief judge of the country was humiliated out of office. Individual critics have been held on the orders of state governors.

For examples, Dadiyata Idris, Stephen Kefas, Agba Jalingo and Jones Abiri, among others. These are taking place amidst routine human rights violation by security forces. Casualties from herdsmen killings are more than those killed in the Syrian civil war. So, what you have today is an expanding web of authoritarianism in the country. All key federal appointments both in the security and bureaucracy are in the hands of one ethnic group in flagrant disregard to the federal character provisions of the 1999 Constitution as amended.

Indeed, Nigeria has become such a huge joke that service chiefs now allocate to themselves significant federal facilities. Justice in the dual sense in which Aristotle conceived of it in the Nichomachian Ethics, the universal and particular, are now absent in the country. The universal justice means lawfulness with a concern for the happiness of the political community while the particular translates to equality and fairness. Indeed, secular, and traditional institutions of states have been undermined and replaced by idiosyncratic personalized rule in a brazen exploit of anti-politics.

Given the foregoing, the pertinent question is: what is to be done?  Nigerian history is essentially authoritarian and the corresponding resistance to it. The positive news is that we have defeated all forms of authoritarian intrusion into the Nigerian state.  The Punch in its editorial was apt in this regard:

Nigeria has had more than its fair share of draconian rulers, whether in military or civil garb, but none has succeeded in breaking our resilience and irrepressible spirit. This regime will not prove to be an exception. Nigeria, and Nigerians, will overcome. The strong desire of our people to enjoy the unfettered freedoms guaranteed by the constitution and the rule of law, including the freedom to speak freely and assemble peacefully, will again outlive, outlast, and crush the spirit of despotism.[3]

The current despot in the country is a bull in a China shop who has inflamed all the divisive tendencies—ethnic and religion faultiness and even waging a war against the country as a result of conspiratorial silence on the so-called war against Boko Haram. I will elaborate on the latter claim. A few months ago, the former President of Benin Republic, Nicephore Soglo at a conference organized by the national Democratic Institute in Niger Republic fingered Saudi Arabia and Qatar as being behind Boko Haram insurgents[4] and equally and much earlier, CBN News also carried reports of arm shipment from Turkey to Boko Haram.[5] We do know the cozy relationship between these countries and the current administration. The point being made is that the current battle to reclaim Nigeria is complex and we need to build an alliance of forces taking into consideration all the nuances of the Nigerian situation. Before going into the trenches, we must answer the question of the structure of the Nigerian State: unitarism or federalism? Under the current administration, Nigeria is heading to the point of no return. Maybe we can save it.

*Professor Sylvester Odion Akhaine teaches at the Department of Political Science, Lagos State University. He delivered this keynote address at the Nigeria Pro-Democracy Conference, 2019 under the theme: “Reviving Popular Action for Democracy and Freedom in Nigeria”, held at Airport Hotel, 111 Obafemi Awolowo Way, Ikeja, Lagos, December 17, 2019.


[1]See concept note, Nigerian Pro-Democracy Conference 2019.

[2] Guillermo O’Donnell et al., The Quality of Democracy, Notre Dame University Press, Notre Dame, Indiana, 2004. See also Ochoa Espejo, Paulina The Problem of “Low Intensity Citizenship” in Mexico: Popular Sovereignty and the Logic of Progress Prepared for presentation at the SPSA conference New Orleans, LA, January 7-11 2004.

[3] Punch, editorial, December 11, 2019.

[4] https://www.thecable.ng/ex-president-of-benin-republic-accuses-saudi-of-funding-boko-haram

[5] https://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/world/2019/november/egyptian-tv-news-report-alleges-turkey-supplying-weapons-to-nigerias-boko-haram

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Gambia: CRC says No Gay Rights in Draft Constitution
December 27, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Bakary Ceesay

President Barrow
President Barrow

The Constitutional Review Commission (CRC) has stressed that Section 52 of the new draft constitution on the right to marry does not approve homosexuality.

The new draft constitution was released last month but there has been claims and counter-claims that the document supports same-sex marriage.

However recently UN special rappeartour urged Gambia government to decriminalise same sex marriage, many activists expressed concerns about the rights of minority like gays and lesbians should be included in the draft constitution.

But, the government still insist on the law that criminalise same-sex marriage of life imprisonment if one is found the act.

In a press release signed by Sainey MK Marenah, Head of Communications at CRC said the claims saying it does not in any way establish or advocate for marital relationships based on conduct that is considered to be unnatural between a man and a woman.

“The section does not make provision for homosexuality or other form of sexuality considered not to be in accordance with the values and ethos of Gambian society,”


It added: “It should also be noted that the Criminal Code criminalises homosexuality. Nonetheless, this section will be considered for any possible ambiguity to ensure better clarity.”

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Kagame’s former bodyguards Commander sentenced to 15 years in prison
December 27, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Maniraguha Ferdinand

Byabagamba (left) was sentenced to 15 years in jail
Byabagamba (left) was sentenced to 15 years in jail

Former President Paul  Kagame bodyguards’s Commander, Colonel Tom Byagamba  has been  sentenced to 15 years in prison  by a court of appeal  in the capital Kigali.

Byabagamba who was convicted  in 2016 by High Military Court and sentenced for 21 years of prison, is in the same case with  retired Brigadier General Frank Rusagara.

Byabagamba was sentenced  for tarnishing  the image of the state, public insurrection, illegal possession of firearms, contempt, and concealing evidence in a criminal case.

Byabagamba appealed not guilty of all crimes he accused of.

Rusagara was also sentenced to 15 years in prison after being found guilty of instigating public insurrection and illegal possession of firearms.

Byabagamba, who once headed the Republican Guards was accused of uttering words that tarnish the image of the country, some of which were said while he was in UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).

During the trial, Byagabamba complained often of his deteriorating health due to severe backache and  solitary confinement.

His complaints were turned down by a judge in July, citing he and his co-accused  are jailed in good conditions.

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Africa: Addressing the Soaring Refugee Crisis
December 27, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Jude Mutah *

Introduction:

Over the years, Africa has witnessed a surge in refugees, and internally displaced persons (IDPs) caused primarily by increased conflicts and persecution by dictatorial regimes. According to UNHCR, over 18 million people on the African continent have vacated their homes either due to conflict or persecution by brutal governments. This is exclusive of the about 50% that seek refuge with family members in the communities. In recent times, the number of fleeing Africans have soared in part because of the crisis in Nigeria, Central African Republic, South Sudan, Burundi, and DR Congo. It is also crucial to mention the ongoing armed separatist conflict in Cameroon that has displaced millions and exiled hundreds of thousands across the continent and beyond. The refugee crisis in Africa is critical, and warranted the African Union to designate 2019 as the year of the refugee, IDP, and returnees with the ultimate goal to encourage durable solutions to involuntary displacement in Africa.

The 1951 refugee convention:

The 1951 refugee convention is a revered instrument signed by over 140 countries. Its core principle of non-refoulment proclaims that a refugee should not be returned to a country where they fear severe threats to their life or freedom based on factors such as “race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion.” Except for Libya, all African countries are signatories to the convention and its 1967 protocol. The uniqueness of the 1951 agreement lies in the fact that it guarantees, in principle, that refugees are not repatriated to the countries from which they fled. While this is stupendous, refugees in Africa continually confront daunting challenges in destination countries.

Challenges:

There are well-documented cases or instances in Africa, whereby the terminus countries have repatriated refugees. In cases in which they are not returned, the refugees are either mistreated or face severe reintegration challenges in the destination countries. For example, in January 2019, Cameroonian authorities compulsorily repatriated some 9,000 Nigerian refugees who fled attacks by militants in Nigeria. In the same vein, the Nigerian government, in January 2018, repatriated to Cameroon, ten separatist leaders who had sought asylum in Nigeria.   In 2017, CNN released a groundbreaking report of migrant slave auctions in Libya, and according to a 2007 report by the Human Rights Watch, South African officials have not only arrested and deported undocumented migrant workers, but often assaulted and extorted money from them, and commercial agriculturalists, for example, that employs them regularly violated their fundamental work rights. In June 2019, UNHCR secured the release of about 100 refugees held under deplorable human conditions in the Zintan detention center in Tripoli, Libya. Refugees mostly lack access to healthcare, water, food, education, employment, and live in crowded refugee camps. Despite these challenges and with meager resources, a few countries in Africa continue to welcome, accommodate, and reintegrate refugees from across the continent.

Efforts by African countries to support their refugees:

There are a few African countries that have welcomed refugees from across the continent. For example, Ethiopia has an open-door policy that embraces and permits humanitarian admittance and protection for refugees. It is home to nearly 740,000 refugees fleeing crisis primarily from Somalia, Eritrea, Sudan, and South Sudan. That figure is the most massive refugee populace in a single African nation. Uganda, on the other hand, has a generous refugee law that not only welcomes refugees but provides them with opportunities to start anew. Refugees in Uganda and Tanzania enjoy free movement, employment opportunities, and land to build a new home or begin farming activities. Over 500,000 refugees from Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan have happily settled in Uganda. In 2018 alone, about 815,000 Congolese fled the country and some found refuge in these countries. Zambia and Guinea Bissau, offer naturalization status to long-term refugees. However, these countries represent less than 1% of the 54 countries in Africa. To address the refugee crisis on the continent, more must be done.

The way forward:

To adequately address the refugee crisis, more African countries must initiate policies that welcome and reintegrate refugees from across the continent. In conformity with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi, refugees are skillful, with great ideas, aspirations, and dreams for a better future. These fleeing individuals are also resilient and imaginative, with robust energy and drive to shape their destinies. They should be given a chance in terms of education, employment opportunities, and safety, among others. As former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon posits, “Refugees have been deprived of their homes, but they must not be deprived of their futures.” It is incumbent for the African Union to ensure that African refugees don’t get deprived of their future.

Also, there should be adequate coordination between the source and the destination countries. It may be fair to say that policies be initiated and implemented that mandates the source country to contribute to the wellbeing of the refugees in the destination. Perhaps, this will go along way to compel the source countries to address the underlying factors that generate refugees and IDPs such as poor governance, which the Kampala Convention strives to address.  It is incumbent on African countries to sign, ratify, and ensure the adequate implementation of the agreement which this far been signed by 40 and approved by only 25 of the 54 member states of the African Union. Echoing former US President Barack Obama, “refugee crisis is a test of our common humanity,” and we must work together to prevent or mitigate its effects on involuntary migrants.

*Jude Mutah works for the United States Institute of Peace’s Africa Program in Washington, DC. He is a Ph.D. student of Global Affairs and Human Security, University of Baltimore. The views expressed are his.

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Aj200 just drops new single, a solo project titled “I KNOW
December 27, 2019 | 0 Comments

Arnold John Nobe better known as “AJ200” is a self taught graphic artist/designer, rapper, performer and stylist who started his career as Graphic Artist/Designer in the San Francisco, Bay Area underground 8yrs ago.

His talent in designing and art got him noticed and brought him a lot of attention which ultimately led to him doing some work for Nef The Pharaoh, Waka Flocka, Lil Pete, Iamsu!, Kamaiyah and so on. Aj200 has stamped his name as one of the go to graphic designers in the Bay Area. Aj200’s art shows a lot of authenticity, uniqueness and captivating styles. His covers have received recognition from a few art groups e.g: Collage Bay Area Artists and Bay Area Unity.

AJ decided to explore his musical talent and began working on His music project in 2018. In early 2019, AJ 200 got a lot of positive feedback with his first project titled “Hunnid Bandz”. Late 2019, he released a second project titled “FaceTime” with Bay Area’s own Derek King and Capolow304. “FaceTime” is currently getting a lot of radio plays at KMEL. KMEL is an urban radio station based in San Francisco.

Aj200 just dropped his new single, a solo project titled “I KNOW”. A soft/slow song about the pain of dealing with fake friends and making it out on his own.

Aj200 attended a barber school called San Francisco Institute of Esthetics and Cosmetology SFIEC) in 2018. He presently attends City College of San Francisco where he hopes to graduate with a Business degree next year. He has been running things in the Bay Area underground art and design scene for over 8yrs now and is now focused on elevating his musical career as well as getting his music and sound heard worldwide in 2020. He is known as a “Jack of all trades and master of all”

CONNECT WITH AJ

INSTAGRAM/TWITTER @_aj200

YOUTUBE: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCh6AnulNncd-QE0A-BIK77g

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Gambia:Tatadindin Jobarteh Ready for AfriCourage Festival
December 26, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Bakary Ceesay

Tatadindin Jobarteh
Tatadindin Jobarteh

Tatadindin Jobarteh looks forward to his performance at the AfriCourage music festival in Bakau in December 2019.

The Gambian kora legend Tatadindin Jobarteh told AfriCourage that he looks forward to his participation in the upcoming music festival.

He feels that the festival will provide him with a unique opportunity to collaborate and interact with other artists in an international context. On Thursday 21st November 2019 we discussed the upcoming festival at his residence in Brikama, West Coast Region, The Gambia.

Tatadindin Jobarteh was born into a griot family and was trained as a child in the art of the kora by his father.

He told us of the history of the ancient kora harp, originating from Gambia but which migrated to the ancient empire of Mali. In those days, he says, “it was called ‘kontingo’ and this single-string instrument was transformed into the kora. It is used to narrate histories and stories from generations to generations”.

He added the kora “is played by a caste group called Griot, referring to the caste of praise singers, and it is also used to narrate the history of kings and empires”.

Kora Goes to Europe

In 2016, Tatadindin performed in Europe, with dates in 35 German cities. He said his trip to Europe was rather confusing for him, and that he was a little nervous on his first time in European studio, but was pleased that it turned out to be a great experience both for him and the audience alike. He said “everybody liked the way I played my kora. Some were amazed at my performance and asked me whether I was playing it with all my ten fingers, because it sounded like that”.

He explained that the kora has a rhythm, lead and bass function, and that all these roles are performed simultaneously. The kora legend said that many non-griots based in America and Europe come to him to learn how to play kora.

Power in The Gambia

Discussing the material which he will perform at the AfriCourage festival, he confirmed “I will sing a traditional song called ‘Masanneh Ceesay’ (a successful and well-known Gambian businessman from the past)”. He will also perform a new song called ‘NAWEC’. NAWEC is the National Water & Electric Company of The Gambia, and “our electricity system has been bad since the first, second and third republics. I said in my song that if the people vote for me I will change the status quo. So this is a joke about the likelihood of me becoming President”. The random nature of the Gambian power supply suggests that this will not be a praise song.

Regeneration of the Tradition

The AfriCourage festival celebrates the meeting of local and international culture, and the collision of the traditional with the modern. On the emergence and influence of pop music he maintained that “generations, language and tradition change. Traditional music is changing too much but I will never change my tradition”, he said.

He added “coming from a Griot family I can blend my traditional music with modern music but I will not change my instruments and I still have traditional instruments and not modern ones”. He said at the AfriCourage concert, he will play Afromanding kora music with his band. He told us that the band will include “myself as the lead player, two balafon players, two percussion players, bass and lead guitar, a keyboard player, two drummers and two backing vocals”.He said the name of his band is called ‘Salam’ meaning peace, and that many people know him to be a peaceful person. He continued “I am sure my traditional music will survive because we still have some people who still want to keep tradition alive

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From Pharmacist To Marketing Premium Brands,A Success Story For Nigerian Born Chukwunonso Ezekwueche in the North American Fashion Industry
December 26, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Amos Fofung

Nonso has taken the fashion world by storm since moving to Canada.
Nonso has taken the fashion world by storm since moving to Canada.

Known popularly as Nonso, Nigerian-born Chukwunonso Ezekwueche is breaking barriers ,carving a niche for himself and standing tall in North American fashion industry.

Celebrated for his craft, an art which he uses to inspire and exert influence in the fashion industry, the Canadian based talent who contributes enormously to both local and international companies, helping them increase their brand awareness, recognition, and loyalty, is the next big gig Africa will be celebrating for a long time.

With a pharmacy degree on his shoulders and a blistering craving for fashion which he regards as an “age-old passion” Nonso, is making his mark as a men’s’ fashion and lifestyle influencer and in a chat with Pan African Visions, he narrates how he went from been a novice in 2017 when the moved to Canada to be a household trend, brand ambassador for international big-guns and influencer.

“It was not such a piece of cake to breakthrough in a foreign land and be among the top trending influencers. At first, I faced a lot of setbacks and rejections but I was convinced they were merely preparing me for something wonderful. To me, “No” doesn’t mean rejection, it means, next opportunity, it means go back to the drawing board and fix what is broken or missing and then try again. With hard work, consistency, and perseverance I was able to get in the limelight. I am still work in progress and I am still far from where I want to be but with God and hard work, all my efforts would pay off.”

Chukwunonso Ezekwueche who hails from Anambra State, Nigeria represents the quintessential dynamism that, “it is only impossible if you let it be”.

With his signature phrase; “Showing men how to dress without breaking the bank”, Chukwunonso Ezekwueche who hails from Anambra State, Nigeria represents the quintessential dynamism that, “it is only impossible if you let it be”.

It is with this mindset that each time he’s invited either to the Toronto Fashion Week, African Fashion Week Toronto, International Fashion Encounter Toronto, Fashion Forward, or any other fashion gathering, Nonso ensures he makes an entry worthy of his name.

With a rich social media following, the ambitious brand influencer has been instrumental in his contributions to a wide variety of brands in the fashion, tech and beauty industries. These include Fashion nova, Marks, Original Penguin, Huawei, Daniel Wellington, Drunk Elephant, Mario Badescu, among others.

A firm devotee in inspiring those behind, the fashion icon gradually claiming his throne believes “it is my utmost belief that we rise by empowering, inspiring and lifting others and I am don’t have the “crabs in a bucket” mentality. I believe the sky is big enough for everyone to fly and blossom. I have written several articles and done a couple of interviews where I explained step by step how I became a successful influencer, how anyone can get started and how to reach out to brands for collaboration”

Quizzed by Pan African Vision on the rationale behind his signature phrase; “Showing men how to dress without breaking the bank” he retorted that he shows “them how to dress up on a budget with what they already own by combining and styling different outfits without spending an arm and a leg for it. I encourage people to catch sales and take advantage of thrift stores instead of paying full price.”

With the successes and international recognition he’s gaining in the fashion industry, one would think that Nonso has waved “adieu” to his pharmaceutical background but that seems to not be the case.

“Oh no I am still very much a pharmacist and I know how to juggle the two careers. I am keeping an open mind for now. You never know what the future holds,” he responded with a grin.

*You can get more information on the work of Nonso and his fashion tips here

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DRC politician wants his country to wage a war on Rwanda
December 24, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Maniraguha Ferdinand

For Muzito, DRC will have peace the day it invades Rwanda
For Muzito, DRC will have peace the day it invades Rwanda

An opposition politician and a leader of a coalition Lamuka  in Democratic Republic of Congo, Adolphe Muzito  wants his country to invade Rwanda as well as annexing it to its territory in order to end 20 years of insecurity in eastern Congo.

Adolphe who became Joseph Kabila’s prime Minister between 2008 and 2012, announced this on Monday in a press conference, the first of its kind as coordinator of Lamuka platform.

Muzito told journalists that there is no peace in Eastern Congo without annexing Rwanda.

“To resolve the situation, we must wage war in Rwanda. If we want to control the east of the Republic, we must wage war in Rwanda. To make war, you need an army, you need a strong power, with good finances and occupy Rwanda. Ultimately, annex Rwanda to the Congo ”.

For Muzito, Rwanda has been at the helm of destabilizing Congo, invading that country in the name of hunting down rebels while pillaging its natural resources.

The words of Muzito didn’t resonate well in ears of other Lamuka big leaders like Moise Katumba and Jean Pierre Bemba who immediately ‘disassociate energetically’ from such speech.

In announcement they said “While being energetically dissociated from these words, we can no longer be very serious, we would like to recall that under international law and bilateral agreements with this neighboring country, such an approach can in no case receive the approval of the living forces local and the international community “.

They rather advised Muzito to reconsider his words and withdraw them.

Muzito’s speech angered some Rwandans, calling Lamuka to take measures against him.

“The day when Adolphe Muzito will restore peace with an entity named “REASON” and the day it occupies a territory named “BRAIN”, it would already be a great feat”, commented Olivier Nduhungirehe on Twitter, who is state Minister in the Ministry of Foreign affairs.

Lamuka is made of political parties that came together in 2017 to end Joseph Kabila’s rule  after the end of his two mandates that was granted to him by constitution.

Among members of Lamuka is Martin Fayulu who run for presidency in 2018, Jean Pierre Bemba’s MLC, Moise Katumbi and others.

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Mozambique: Filipe Nyusi officially proclaimed winner of presidential elections
December 24, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Arnaldo Cuamba

Mozambique’s Constitutional Council validated the results of the presidential, legislative and provincial elections held on 15 October, which gave a significant victory to the Frelimo party and its presidential candidate Filipe Nyusi.

The decision was announced on Tuesday in Maputo city by the President of the body, Lucia Ribeiro. 

“The Constitutional Council validates the results of the presidential elections of October 15, 2019 and proclaims the citizen Filipe Jacinto Nyusi elected President of the Republic of Mozambique,” she announced.

Nyusi has won Mozambique’s Presidential election with 73 percent of the vote. On a turnout of 50.74%, Renamo’s Ossufo Momade came second with 21.88%, MDM’s Daviz Simango third with 4.38%, and Mario Albino of AMUSI got 0.73%.

The results for the Assembly of the Republic give Frelimo 184 of the 250 seats, with Renamo getting 60 and the MDM 6. Frelimo therefore has a 73.6% majority in parliament. Frelimo also won the provincial elections and is expected to govern in ten provinces of the country.

The Renamo Party did not participate in the results announcement ceremony claiming that the elections were fraudulent, however, Ribeiro said on the occasion that “the Constitutional Council considers that the irregularities verified during the electoral process did not substantially influence the results of the elections”.

In his first speech after the results were validated, Nyusi, speaking before members and sympathisers, promised a hard-working governance, based mainly on inclusion, “because we believe that together we can develop this country”. He also said that peace will receive particular attention during his second term, emphasizing that Mozambique “cannot be a country of wars and discontent”.

Meanwhile, in a press conference held in Maputo, Renamo announced that it will call nationwide demonstrations in protest of the results. MDM also does not recognize the results and states that “what happened in Mozambique was a major erasure in the process of developing democracy in the country”.

In any case, President Nyusi’s inauguration for the second term of office is scheduled for 15 January, while two days earlier, on the 13th, it will be the turn of the 250 Members of Parliament.

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