Roland Achenjang’s soul-searching book; “Who and Why You Are” hits the stands
September 3, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Amos Fofung
As humans struggle to comprehend the evolution of our time on earth and how to maximize our experiences with a better understanding of who they are, Roland Achenjang has in his latest book titled; Who and Why You Are provides answers to some of these questions.
In his first book, Roland Achenjang summarizes what he says is who we truly are and why we are here each having an Earth life experience.
Spurred to write the book due to his search and understandings of the “Universal Truths, the author says; “I refer to the information as Universal Truths, because they equally apply to everyone throughout the planet, including you! I wrote the book because of how liberating and empowering the information (Universal Truths) I remembered is. It changed my entire perspective on everything.”
In an exclusive chat with Pan African Visions, the visionary who attributes his spiritual awakening to a four-year meditation experience said he “firmly believes there are many souls currently experiencing life on Earth who would benefit from reading this book and being aware of this information, like I did. And besides, my wife was getting annoyed with me talking about it to her alone.”
“I woke up that lovely Tuesday morning and immediately had a strong urge to meditate. During the session, I adopted a yoga posture that caused a rush of energy to move from the base of my spine to the top of my head in three consecutive waves. With each movement, ‘I remembered’ the Universal Truths I write about in my book. That day and the proceeding seven days were blissful for me, and they marked the beginning of the rest of my life. Nothing about me has been the same since,” he said.
Quizzed on how spiritual awakening changed his life and why he’s now, via his book, campaigning for others to follow suit, he retorted; “the experience itself was humbling and I consider it a tremendous blessing. As far as what changed, honestly, my beliefs and understanding about everything, who we are, and the Earth life experience changed; particularly my attitude towards fear. It is as thought the experience provided me the last piece to a puzzle that revealed a new level of Truth and understanding of the (Earth life) experience; the information is empowering and blissful.”
Urging all to grab paperback copies of the book on Amazon and Amazon Prime for just $22 the enthusiastic author whose book has already hit an e-reading platform said autographed paperback copies could be gotten via his website; rolandachenjang.com.
Roland Achenjang, is an alumnus of Belmont University where he obtained an MBA in Healthcare Management. Motivated during his school days, Roland began meditating to cope with the stress of being both a business school student and the sole overnight clinical pharmacist at a large hospital in Nashville. As a result, his life transformed from a fear-based experience to one filled with creative expressions.
In “Who and Why You Are: All You Need to Remember,” Achenjang discusses his passion for helping others remember, experience and express what he says is the ultimate benefit to effective meditating – bliss.
“By recognizing and understanding these universal truths, you can break free from the endless, self-imposed, creative limitations impeding you from living a purposeful life, expressing joy and experiencing bliss while here on Earth, he said.
Born and raised in Cameroon before relocating to the United States in 2000, Achenjang has always been fascinated with finding, or remembering, meanings and purposes to life on Earth.
Your first book Who and Why You Are: All you need to remember just hit the stands; can you give us a synopsis?
Gladly. The book summarizes what I remember about who we truly are and why we are here each having an Earth life experience. I refer to the information as Universal Truths, because they equally apply to everyone throughout the planet, including you!
What prompted you to come up with the book and what is the message you seek to share?
Great question. I wrote the book because of how liberating and empowering the information (Universal Truths) I remembered is. It changed my entire perspective on EVERYTHING!
I firmly believe there are many souls currently experiencing life on Earth who would benefit from reading this book and being aware of this information, like I did. And besides, my wife was getting annoyed with me talking about it to her alone.
From information about the author, we gathered that after over four years of meditating daily as a means to cope with work and school stress, you had a spiritual awakening on August 21st, 2018, can you walk us through this experience?
With joy . I woke up that lovely Tuesday morning and immediately had a strong urge to meditate. During the session, I adopted a yoga posture that caused a rush of energy to move from the base of my spine to the top of my head in three consecutive waves. With each movement, ‘I remembered’ the Universal Truths I write about in my book. That day and the proceeding seven days were blissful for me, and they marked the beginning of the rest of my life. Nothing about me has been the same since.
How was this spiritual awakening like, what changed for you after you after that?
The experience itself was humbling and I consider it a tremendous blessing. As far as what changed, honestly, my beliefs and understanding about everything, who we are, and the Earth life experience changed; particularly my attitude towards fear. It is as thought the experience provided me the last piece to a puzzle that revealed a new level of Truth and understanding of the (Earth life) experience; the information is empowering and blissful.
In what way did the spiritual awakening impact your religious beliefs?
Great question. The change in perspective the awakening experience offers affects EVERYTHING – this includes religious beliefs, too. The experience changed my beliefs and significantly improved my understanding of them as well. And the process is still on-going.
Just how important is it for people to meditate, for you who did it over a year, what recommendations do you give for those who may be curious about it?
I am biased of course, but I believe it’s extremely important that everyone meditates (effectively). Meditating (effectively) is my most trusted and go-to-activity for when I feel out of balance, which could mean feeling sick, stressed, tired or what have you. It’s a free and healing practice that reconnects you directly with the ‘Higher-Being’ you believe in! No middleman needed and the benefits are infinite! What could be better?
I commend anyone curious about meditating and invite them to begin by visiting www.rolandachenjang.com to get a copy of 6 Proven Paths to Effective Meditating. It’s a free guide that puts you on the right track to personalizing the practice and making it enjoyable.
What are some of the challenges you faced in writing the book?
Great question . With my new perspective, I view challenges as our minds’ illusionary creations designed to teach us more about ourselves; they (challenges) are great learning opportunities. So what did I learn in writing the book? That I truly am infinitely creative, and I have everything available to me to create anything I am passionate about while here on Earth. This is true for you too!
Could you make a pitch to the public on the merits of grabbing a copy of this book, from the horses own mouth, from the author, what are some of the reasons people should rush for their copies?
As humans, we are always in search for empowerment, autonomy, and bliss. From this state of being, we become free to express our infinitely creative selves. Our heroes and idols know this. Truth is, these abilities aren’t reserved for just them. We each are capable of being great, much more so than we can even imagine. This book is a reminder of this Truth and much more.
Read it. Remember how amazing you are. Regain control of your life!
How much is the book and where can people procure copies?
The paperback is $22. It is available at Amazon and Amazon Prime.
Autographed paperback copies will be available through rolandachenjang.com for additional costs soon
The electronic version is available through any of your favorite e-reading platforms.
Susan Dexter: From Sierra Leone To Running The Victorian Candle Bed and Breakfast, the number one getaway in Hollywood Maryland
September 3, 2019 | 1 Comments
By Ajong Mbapndah L & Amos Fofung
Planning a getaway from the hustle and bustle that characterize everyday life especially in the DMV area? The Victorian Candle Bed and Breakfast located in Hollywood, MD offers you a unique taste of luxury at a very affordable price.
For those unfamiliar with the term, a bed and breakfast is a small lodging establishment that offers overnight accommodation and breakfast. Bed and breakfast are often private owned facilities and typically have between four and eleven rooms, with six being the average. In addition, a B&B usually has the hosts living in the house offering exceptional services, and giving their guest the home feeling lacking in most hotels.
With an exquisite 8 suits ready to accommodate you and your peers, Victorian Candle B&B according to its founder and Chief Executive Officer, Susan Dexter, prides itself as one of the few African-owned bed and breakfast in the DMV. Originally from Sierra Leone, Susan Dexter has put in enormous time and resources to make the Victorian Candle B&B a force to reckon with.
“This is a good place to come because of the food. We can cook anything someone wants us to cook be it African or American cuisine. If you have events here, we work with you financially, and I do not think most of the other bed and breakfast do same. Most of them, when they do their breakfast, it is continental, but mine is hot food that meets your everyday need, all upon your request and taste,” she said in a chat with Pan African Visions.
Asked if accommodations can be provided for private ceremonies, the CEO responded that “it is a bed and breakfast were we have 8 suits and I mind you, the rooms come with a full breakfast menu, we also have a room called Butler room where we host private events like birthdays, small weddings, conferences, and meetings among others.”
With a sitting capacity of over 75 guests, the Butler room as it is known, resonates calmly with the serene environment perfect for a quiet ceremony or private getaway.
Situated in an environmentally friendly location called Surally plantation with close-by rivers that offer guest the opportunity to purchase fresh fish, the CEO of Victorian Candle B&B makes very good use of the natural environment which provides fresh vegetables and African spices for the cuisine.
“There are a lot of farms that you can pick vegetables or if you like potatoes, fresh corn and others, provided by the Armish people that inhabit this locality. It is a good place for relaxation due to its quiet and beautiful environment,” added Susan Dexter.
The strategic location of the Victorian Candle B&B also comes with opportunities for visitors or patrons to get easy access to other facilities for hiking, horseback riding, fishing, kayaking, picnicking and cycling.
During the Thanksgiving period, the Victorian Candle Bed and Breakfast sells smoked turkey and sides including macaroni and cheese recipes, stuffing casserole, mashed potatoes and more. “We are working hard to get these products in stores around soon,” Susan Dexter said.
With little over 16 years of experience in the hospitality industry, the founder says, thanks to her dedicated staff and love for hospitality, the place is gaining momentum with growing customers base who have been entreated with the Victoria B&B experience.
*For more information, visit www.victorian-candle.com
contact The Victorian Candle Bed & Breakfast
25065 Peregrine Way
Hollywood MD 20636-2698
Zimbabwe: Hit and Hide, Mouse and Cat Relationship, ED Mnangagwa versus Tim Olkonnen
September 3, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Nevson Mpofu
Harare—Stealth tempers are flaring in Zimbabwean Politics between President Emmerson Mnangagwa and EU Ambassador Head of Delegation to Zimbabwe Tim Olkonnen . The EU Ambassador has over the past days encouraged President Mnangagwa to exercise Human Rights.
The Head of Delegation in Zimbabwe last week challenged the new Regime to prove it had moved away from the Robert Mugabe old days.
‘’We are witnessing these days several developments that put constitutionalism and the rule of Law in question. A number of abductions have been witnessed in the country. The new regime must move away from the past act of doing. Zimbabwe should show it genuinely it has made a break from the past.’’ Olkkonen was quoted by Journalists in Harare.
In evidence to show the flare of vented anger in a cat and mouse relationship, President Mnangagwa responded;
‘’The rule of Law Observance is not needed for the purpose of pleasing other countries. We need it because it is proper for ourselves’’.
Another wave of political acrimony has burst with the avail of the information from a source who spoke to Pan-African –Visions Journalist early this week. The gathered information is that the police is training soldiers in a bid to thwart any opposition head-way towards initiation of political violence.
Several Army personnel confirmed the clandestine trainings in the country. The only grip of fear is that they are not feeling comfortable if caught suspected to have divulged the information.
‘’The Army will work with the police in a new strategy that is harmless to the public. This is not for the first time. In January this year, Army helped police. Now its vice-verse.
‘’A number of Army officers have been trained. Actually, this is the Third Batch. The training is that they are trained to play the game smart and smooth. They are trained to manage large crowds without using guns or any military weapon. Thus why it is police training the military’’, he took a strong breath.
Asked to comment, an MDC official who gave a short comment said they are a number of demonstrations in planning with opposition. He pointed out that the opposition party is moving into ZANU PF strongholds.
‘’ Nevson , Just tell them and know we have a spate of planned demonstrations in our mind . We do it , we win it because people are suffering. We have plans as well to move around the country in towns and cities. I think these people are in panicky mode ‘’ he concludes.
The source from MDC denied any knowledge about military trainings by the police .
Known sources to the Pan-African Visions took it a hide and locked their phones after realisation that there were calls in question. A source from the Civil Society Elston Chitombo said that is the reason why military is being trained because the past aborted demonstrations left scars of anger in MDC. He also commented that the Government wanted to follow International standards of human rights observation.
‘’They are afraid of MDC. A number of demonstrations were expected but Central Intelligence and police kept awoke. The Government fears Western powers over abuse of human rights. They now want to act well.
‘’It seems and looks like there is nasty secret hit and hide between Mnangagwa and the EU and America. This is so because EU Head of Delegation to Zimbabwe called for Zimbabwe’s observation of Human Rights in the country. Lastly USA Ambassador to Zimbabwe Brian Nichols visited some victims of abduction and torture. One victim’s legs were broken by eight men who abducted him. This is a hit and hide relationship , Mnangagwa versa EU and USA’’, He concludes.
Cameroon: Ghost towns, Locked gates, Few Students characterised back to school in SW
September 3, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Boris Esono Nwenfor
The 2019/2020 school year across the South West region of Cameroon has witnessed a low turnout by students on Monday September 2, 2019. The situation across the Anglophone regions which has been witnessing upheavals for the past 2 years was characterised by lockdown, closed gates and few students present in classrooms across both private and government establishments.
At 7:30 A.M, Monday September 2, most of the gates of the establishments were still closed. The situation was even worse for most of the private institutions with no student present for lectures. Some of the school administrators were however present.
The low turnout across the South West Region can be linked to the imposed lockdown by separatist fighters across the North West and South west Regions. Before school resumption, separatist fighters had imposed two sets of lockdown beginning September 2 to 6 and from September 9 to 13. These lockdown are aimed at frustrating efforts to get school resume in the Anglophone regions.
The situation were however encouraging in confessional schools who had many students in attendance for the first day of school. In PCSS Buea Town, a few hundred students were present, though not in their classrooms for lectures. Baptist High School, still in Buea equally had a good number of students who answered present.
Bilingual Grammar School Molyko Buea, Government Technical School Molyko, known for having thousands of students had virtually no student present. BGS Molyko was full with administrators though the students stayed away while that of GTTC had about two students present.
The low turnout of students in Buea was the same scenario witnessed in educational establishments across Limbe. Many of the schools remained shut while the few who braved the odds to open their doors witnessed just a handful of students present.
The Governor of the South West Region Bernard Okalia Bilai while touring the various educational establishments to ascertain the level of back to school across Fako Division encouraged those who braved the odds in attending school. According to him, they are building a future for their families, the society and the country as a whole.
He further encouraged the students to call on their fellow colleagues who are still in the quarters and villages to join them in school while assuring them that their security is guaranteed with the security forces present to protect them. “You cannot fully participate in the building of your country if you cannot read or write” Governor Okalia Bilai told the students.
The hope for the administrators in the Region is that the coming days will be much better-that still may however be farfetched.
Cameroon: Shops sealed, business premises vandalized for respecting “Ghost” Towns
September 3, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Boris Esono Nwenfor
Inhabitants of Buea, chief town of the South West Region have continued to cry foul at the constant sealing of their business premise by the Mayor of the Buea council. Monday September 2, 2019 saw over 20 business premises sealed while others had their businesses destroyed.
The sealing of the shops by the Mayor Patrick Ekema Esunge is in a bid to frustrate the “ghost” town phenomenon and to get people back to work. The efforts equally coincided with the back to school across the South West Region.
Many of the inhabitants this reporter talked to were very disgusted with the mayor’s attitude in sealing and even destroying people’s businesses. “Let the Mayor look for other means in getting shops to open and not destroy people’s sweat when they do not open” one Buea inhabitant narrated while adding that “very soon the Mayor will start to seal but people’s houses”.
According to another inhabitant who preferred anonymity, this effort only makes people to stay at home. He said, “We are tired in two corner-if you close your shops then the council may close or vandalize it but if you open it then you risked being beaten or seen as a black leg by the separatist fighters. Who knows what may happen to you”. “Our security is not even guaranteed but yet the administrators want us to open our shops. If we are kidnapped, will they pay for any of our release” he questioned.
The sealing of shops has been a constant weapon used by the Buea council to get people not to respect the set “ghost” towns called by separatist fighters. January 4, 2019, saw more than 20 shops and other businesses around Bongo Square sealed. In August of 2018 close to 700 shops in the Buea municipality were sealed. The shops were only reopened after an agreement was reached between business persons and the council.
UN conference on land management opens on a positive tone for change
September 3, 2019 | 0 Comments
New Delhi, 2 September 2019 – “If human actions have created the problems of climate change, land degradation and biodiversity loss, it is the strong intent, technology and intellect that will make difference. It is human efforts that will undo the damage and improve the habitats. We meet here now to ensure that this happens,” said Prakash Javadekar, India’s Minister of Environment, Forests and Climate Change.
Pointing to an unprecedented global campaign to save productive land, Javadekar said 122 countries, among them Brazil, China, India, Nigeria, Russia and South Africa, which are among the largest and most populous nations on Earth, “have agreed to make the Sustainable Development Goal of achieving land degradation neutrality a national target.”
Land degradation neutrality is an innovative land-use and management approach that prioritizes the optimal use of land to ensure the balance of productive land remains stable long-term. It is one of 169 targets set for 2030 for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Minister Javadekar made the remarks during the opening the fourteenth session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, taking place from 2 to 13 September 2019, in New Delhi, India.
Echoing these sentiments, Ibrahim Thiaw, Executive Secretary of the Convention, drew attention to the warnings sounded by recent scientific assessments and the growing public alarm at the frequency of weather-related disasters such as drought, forest fires, flash floods and soil loss, but urged delegates to be mindful of the opportunities for change that are opening up, and take action.
“While the science and events around us must get our full attention, we should never, ever, lose sight of the inspiring moments or opportunities opening up or are happening around us that we can build on to break vicious cycles, trends or behavior. This is what will move us forward,” he said.
Over 70% of the world/s land area has been transformed from its natural state to produce food, fibre and energy. Some of this conversion is essential, but what is alarming is the pace of land transformation that is putting 1 million species at risk of extinction.
Moreover, 1 in 4 hectares of this converted land is no longer usable due to unsustainable land management practices. These trends have put the well-being of 3.2 billion people around the world at risk. In tandem with climate change, may force up to 700 million people to migrate by 2050. Moreover, and unless significant changes are made to turn this around, all of humanity will eventually be impacted as we lose more and more of the services ecosystems provide.”
Thiaw drew attention to the actions taken by governments in recent years, which signal a sea-change in how environmental issues, particularly in land use and management, are viewed.
“More than 70 countries have robust national drought plans, compared to just three countries only 4 years ago. The agenda shows that governments have come to COP14 ready to find solutions to many difficult, knotty and emerging policy issues,” he added.
Land tenure, drought management, the consumption and production flows influencing agriculture, urbanization that could consume up 80 percent of the most productive agricultural land in Asia and Africa, ecosystem restoration and nature-based solutions to fight climate change are all on the agenda of the Conference, Thiaw stated.
An estimated 7,200 participants that include ministers and representatives of governments, non-government and intergovernmental organizations, scientists, women and youth from the 197 Parties are expected. They will take around 30 decisions with actions that aim to strengthen land-use policies worldwide and address emerging threats, such as forced migration, sand and dust storms, and droughts.
Conferences of the Parties help governments, worldwide, to plan their land use sustainably and to pursue their sustainable land management goals practically. COP14 is expected to ramp up efforts by countries to achieve land degradation neutrality with tools and resources that are fit for purpose.
The Conference of the Parties meets once every two years. The last Conference of Parties, hosted by the Government of China, was held in October 2017 in Ordos, Inner Mongolia.
Notes to Editors:
India is a Party to the United Nations Convention for Combating Desertification (UNCCD). The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) is the nodal Ministry of Government of India (GoI) that oversees implementation of the Convention in the country.
India’s population is projected to reach 1.7 billion by 2050. About 2 billion hectares of land – an area over three times the size of India – are degraded, but can be restored back to health. India was one of the first countries to commit to the 2030 Sustainable Development Goal target of achieving land degradation neutrality (LDN).
India Government takes over the residency of the COP from China, and will serve for 2 years. Similar to previous COP sessions, a high-level segment will take place to raise political momentum for the negotiations and boost the engagement of stakeholders in the Convention’s implementation. Ministers from over 70 countries participating in the high-level segment of the Conference will address new and emerging issues.
The UNCCD is an international agreement on good land stewardship. It helps people, communities and countries to create wealth, grow economies and secure enough food and water and energy, by ensuring land users have an enabling environment for sustainable land management. Through partnerships, the Convention’s 197 Parties set up robust systems to manage drought promptly and effectively. Good land stewardship based on a sound policy and science helps integrate and accelerate the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, builds resilience to climate change and prevents biodiversity loss.
Background Information and Resources
For background materials, including photos for use, and other resources are available here: https://www.unccd.int/conventionconference-parties-copcop14-new-delhi-india/cop14-media-resources
For further information, please contact:
Ms. Wagaki Wischnewski, firstname.lastname@example.org, Cell: +91 74284 94332
Mr. Abhishek Srivatsava, email@example.com, Cell: +91 99991 80790
Ms. Yukie Hori, firstname.lastname@example.org, Cell: +91 74284 94331
Scientists: ‘Partnering with farmers crucial for saving degraded lands’
September 3, 2019 | 0 Comments
Highlighting successful farmer-led initiatives scientists demonstrate the importance of the ‘Research in Development’ approach for the global land restoration effort
New Delhi, 2 September: If degraded lands have to be saved embedding research within farmer-focused development initiatives is essential, echoed scientists on the sidelines of the 14th Conference of Parties to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification here on Monday. They cited successful land restoration initiatives in Africa and India to make the point.
“To stop land degradation and reverse it to be able to achieve the SDGs, especially combatting desertification and restoring degraded lands (SDG 15.3), a synergy is required between scientists, farming communities and their institutions that are the land users and managers. Research can help restoration initiatives to scale-up globally but only if farmers, their livelihoods and communities are at the heart of such initiatives,” said Prof Anthony Whitbread, Director for the Innovation Systems for the Drylands research program at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), during the session ‘Applying the Research in Development Approach to Scale Land Restoration and Achieve the LDN targets’. The event was organized by ICRISAT and World Agroforestry (ICRAF).
The SDG 15.3, as envisioned by the UN, reads – By 2030, combat desertification, restore degraded land and soil, including land affected by desertification, drought and floods, and strive to achieve a land degradation-neutral world.
This target, which drives land restoration initiatives that were presented at the session, bridges with the UNCCD through the scientific conceptual framework of Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN).
“Restoring degraded lands for food security is critically important in sub-Saharan Africa given the extent of degradation and socio-economic conditions in the region. With climate change only exacerbating degradation, collaboration between institutions of science, development actors, governments and farmers is a pressing need,” said
Dr Leigh Winoweicki, a Soil Systems Scientist at the World Agroforestry (ICRAF). Dr Winoweicki’s work that was presented at the session had resulted in creation of ‘Communities of Practice’ in Africa. These communities are platforms for stakeholders with common goals to share lessons learnt and create knowledge for an enabling environment to accelerate impact on the ground.
In India, development and management of watersheds have helped reclaim degraded lands. The Parasai-Sindh watershed in India’s Uttar Pradesh state, developed by ICRISAT and partners from Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), has been held up as a model for increasing land productivity by the National Institute for Transforming India (NITI Aayog).
“Integrated watershed development involving agroforestry helps to control erosion and enable farmers to achieve food and economic security. It is important in the context of increasing dependence of Indian agriculture on groundwater,” said Dr Kaushal Garg, a Natural Resources Management Scientist at ICRISAT. Dr Garg presented the Parasai-Sindh watershed which helped increase area under cultivation, crop and milk yields and triple farm household incomes in Jhansi. The government of Uttar Pradesh is attempting to double farmers’ income in seven districts of the state’s Bundelkhand region with ICAR and ICRISAT’s assistance.
In Ethiopia’s Amhara region, ICRISAT’s work in managing landscapes illustrates the benefits of integrated watershed management in restoring degraded lands. Innovations, mainly in the development of physical and biological barriers, have helped control extreme events upstream and runoffs downstream, thereby creating opportunities for farming. Dr Tilahun Amede, ICRISAT’s Country Representative for Ethiopia, demonstrated the benefits of research contributing to adoptable innovations.
“Following construction of structures to control runoff and creation of areas where sediment can be deposited, new avenues for farming and unique farming systems came into being. These systems were trialed at scale with local and normally nomadic communities. For the first time, these communities were producing food crops and fodder. A long-standing problem was not only managed but taken advantage of,” Dr Amede said.
The session also saw Bora Masumbuko, Senior Program Officer, Drylands, IUCN; Ms Aureile Lhumeau, Professional Officer of the UNCCD’s Global Mechanism Team; Ms Marie-Aude Even, Senior Regional Technical Specialist, IFAD, and Dr Susan Chomba, an ICRAF scientist managing the Regreening Africa initiative, a megaproject that aims to restore 1 million ha, discuss approaches to scale land restoration in a panel discussion. The panel deliberated donor priority for land restoration, land management strategies in the backdrop of the LDN framework, the role of policy and governance in land regeneration and role of nations in a region’s land restoration agenda.
The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid-Tropics (ICRISAT) is a not-for-profit international agriculture research organization. ICRISAT works across sub-Saharan Africa and Asia with a wide array of partners. The semi-arid tropics or drylands cover 6.5 million square kilometers of land in 55 countries, home to over 2 billion people of which 644 million are the poorest of the poor. ICRISAT innovations help the dryland poor move from poverty to prosperity by harnessing markets while managing risks – a strategy called Inclusive Market-Oriented Development (lMOD). ICRISAT is headquartered in Hyderabad, India, with two regional hubs and six country offices in sub-Saharan Africa. www.icrisat.org.
About World Agroforestry (ICRAF)
World Agroforestry (ICRAF) is a center of science and development excellence that harnesses the benefits of trees for people and the environment. Leveraging the world’s largest repository of agroforestry science and information, we develop knowledge practices, from farmers’ fields to the global sphere, to ensure food security and environmental sustainability. ICRAF is the only institution that does globally significant agroforestry research in and for all of the developing tropics. Knowledge produced by ICRAF enables governments, development agencies and farmers to utilize the power of trees to make farming and livelihoods more environmentally, socially and economically sustainable at scales. www.worldagroforestry.org
ICRISAT and ICRAF are members of the CGIAR Consortium. CGIAR is a global agriculture research partnership for a food secure future. Its science is carried out by 15 research centers who are members of the CGIAR Consortium in collaboration with hundreds of partner organizations. www.cgiar.org
Time to Make Energy Work for Africa
September 2, 2019 | 0 Comments
It is past time that Africa’s natural resources benefited Africans
By Prince Arthur Eze*
It is long past time that we made energy work for Africa. It is past time that Africa’s natural resources benefited Africans; that every African had access to electricity; and that the wealth created by oil and gas would lead to the sustainable development of African economies.
Certainly, much needs to be done to make these dreams a reality, and the continent’s top leaders in the energy industry will gather in Cape Town on October 9-11 in Africa Oil & Power 2019 (http://www.AOP2019.com) to drive the conversation forward and #MakeEnergyWork.
Thankfully, success stories and opportunities abound.
The incredible story of Senegal, for example, stands as a roadmap on creating a transparent government; building the needed infrastructure to support future development; creating an attractive regulatory framework to bring in much-needed FID and new investment; and for using the oil and gas sector to spur new growth. The country, led by H.E. Macky Sall, the President of the Republic of Senegal, has seen tremendous growth in the last decade, consistently ranking in the top ten fastest-growing economies in the world. Government reforms, led by Sall, have improved Senegal’s image both domestically and abroad, encouraging a string of new investment in oil and gas, electricity, roads, fisheries and tourism.
The outlook for the country’s oil and gas sector, led by Sall, is bullish, with two of the world’s most-watched projects — SNE oilfield and the Great Tortue/Ahmeyim gas project — moving forward. Both are expected to start producing export revenues in the early 2020s.
H.E. Sall, winner of the prestigious “Africa Oil Man of the Year” award during the 2019 Africa Oil & Power conference, has certainly provided Africans with a strong example of leadership and cooperation. We are honored to recognize and support H.E. Sall’s achievements and continued efforts at Africa Oil & Power (https://AfricaOilandPower.com/).
At Atlas-Oranto, we are proud to be leading pioneers in the sustainable development of Africa’s energy sector, ensuring growth in countries like South Sudan, where we are honored to operate Block B3; in Equatorial Guinea where we operate Block I and in Nigeria, where we operate OML109. In total, Atlas-Oranto is active in 11 countries in Africa and we are committed to working with the governments and communities of these countries to ensure our operations meet the highest standards of energy development. In Equatorial Guinea, for example, we are currently investing $350 million into the country’s gas monetization and backfill project.
At Atlas-Oranto — Africa’s largest privately-held, Africa-focused exploration and production group — we have faith in Africans, and we invest heavily in frontier markets so that the continent as a whole can continue to grow. We know first-hand what it takes to get new investments off the ground and how to grow small-to-medium enterprises. It takes boots on the ground, as well as understanding and coordination with our brothers and sisters around the world.
Indeed, with new investment opportunities on the horizon and a new drive to cooperate across borders, now is the time to spur this sustainable growth in Africa with energy as the catalyst.
At Africa Oil & Power 2019, many of these opportunities will be featured, including the ongoing licensing rounds in Equatorial Guinea and Angola; the launch of the South Sudan licensing round; and more.
For three days, over 1,200 of Africa’s foremost thought leaders, industry experts, private sector executives and government officials will gather together to discuss the incredible role of technology in Africa’s energy sector; the rise of renewables; the incredible upstream opportunities from South Africa to Senegal and the need for cooperation.
Let’s get busy and #MakeEnergyWork.
Former CEO of Efora Energy Limited (formerly SacOil), Dr Thabo Kgogo Agrees with Author: Africa Must Unbundle its Utilities
September 2, 2019 | 0 Comments
According to Kgogo, the answer to Africa’s utility woes can be found in Ayuk’s book, Billions at Play: The Future of African Energy
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, September 2, 2019/ — Across Africa, state-run utility companies don’t just fail to provide reliable power to their customers—most of them snatch economic power from the people, with inadequate electricity supply costing GDP growth.
But energy attorney NJ Ayuk has a solution. And his solution has been endorsed by Dr. Thabo Kgogo who has served as interim CEO of a large construction and infrastructure company, Group Five Limited, an independent oil and gas company in South Africa, Efora Energy Limited (formerly SacOil), and Vice President of Operations for PetroSA, South Africa’s national oil company.
According to Kgogo, the answer to Africa’s utility woes can be found in Ayuk’s book, Billions at Play: The Future of African Energy.
“In Chapter 18, Lights Out: Reforming African Power Generation Monopolies and Transitioning to the Future, Ayuk advocates for unbundling the vertically integrated utility monoliths, which is not only the logical solution, it has been proven in countries all over the world,” Kgogo said.
That’s not to suggest it is a simple fix. Ayuk knows it will take time and considerable effort and he doesn’t mince his words when it comes to how long the journey may be. Being forthright is one of Ayuk’s key attributes—and it is something Kgogo admires most about him.
“Ayuk calls it like it is,” Kgogo said. “For example, not everyone is willing to assert that Africa will never achieve its full potential if it cannot power its industries, services, or households. He also makes it clear that the state-run utilities are so saddled by debt they can barely recover their operating and capital costs, much less make the kinds of infrastructure investments needed to bring electricity to the continent.
Kgogo is quick to point out though that Ayuk’s chapter isn’t all doom and gloom: “In example after example, he shows how utilities across Africa have successfully unbundled and privatized,” Kgogo said. “The result has been increased generation capacity and given more people access to electricity.”
In Chapter 18, Ayuk returns to one of the book’s continuing themes: how major oil and gas companies can ensure that Africans benefit from their continent’s resource wealth. But here, Kgogo said, he takes the point a step further, suggesting that it is no longer sufficient for E&P companies to limit themselves to fossil fuels.
“Ayuk believes that the majors need to begin thinking of themselves as energy companies, and acting accordingly,” Kgogo said. “That means no longer simply extracting oil and natural gas, but harnessing Africa’s ample wind and solar resources then turning it into energy for the Africans. I couldn’t agree more with his position.”
During his tenure with SacOil, Kgogo called for government policies that would help support a thriving natural gas industry in South Africa as well as a departure from the centralized model of power generation.
NJ Ayuk is founder and CEO of Pan-African corporate law conglomerate, Centurion Law Group; Founder and Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber; and co-author of Big Barrels: African Oil and Gas and the Quest for Prosperity (2017). He is recognized as one of the foremost figures in African business today.
Billions at Play: The Future of African Energy will be published on October 2019.
RedOne pays tribute to Africa with the new hit “WE LOVE AFRICA”
September 2, 2019 | 0 Comments
This new record was chosen to be the official song of the 12th edition of Pan-African Games 2019 in Rabat
Chinese companies commit $1.4 Billion USD investment into Bankable Energy projects in Africa during African Energy Chamber’s Visit
September 2, 2019 | 0 Comments
The African Energy Chamber secured over $1.4bn in intentions to invest in Africa’s bankable projects in mining, oil & gas, power and renewables
BEIJING, China, September 2, 2019/ — The African Energy Chamber (https://EnergyChamber.org) has just concluded a one-week working visit in Beijing where it met with senior officials from the Chinese government, heads of state-owned energy companies, and executives and entrepreneurs from the private sector.
During meetings with top Chinese energy companies and financial institutions, the African Energy Chamber discussed the signing of win-win agreements and contracts that will make energy work for Africa while providing Chinese investors with attractive and rewarding opportunities in Africa.
As LNG demand is growing by the day in China, Africa stands to play a role. In 2018, China consumed 276.6 billion cubic meters (bcm) of natural gas, an increase of 16.6% over 2017. In meetings, the Chamber discussed with Chinese companies the need to invest in gas exploration and the need to also work on African initiatives like LNG2Africa which are a win-win for both Africa and China.
Throughout its meetings, the African Energy Chamber secured over $1.4bn in intentions to invest in Africa’s bankable projects in mining, oil & gas, power and renewables. “The biggest encouragement for us is that beyond their investment appetite for Africa, Chinese companies are clear about their intention to invest in the promotion of local content and the building of local manufacturing capacities,” added Nj Ayuk. In addition to upstream oil & gas and mining projects, key infrastructure financing opportunities in refinery and storage facilities were also discussed.
In light of strong Chinese interest for Africa, and following demands from its Chinese partners, the Chamber will be hosting the first China-Africa Energy Investment Forum in 2020 in Beijing. Interested parties should already manifest their interest in participating and promoting projects to email@example.com.
Cameroon Anglophone Crisis: Bar Council Declares Nationwide Protest
September 1, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Boris Esono Nwenfor
A five-day nationwide strike action to protest the poor treatment of lawyers by Cameroonian state authorities has been called by the Cameroon Bar Council. The call for a general sit-in was made August 31, 2019, following a meeting to evaluate the difficulties faced by lawyers in the practice of their profession.
In a resolution signed by the 13 members of the Cameroon Bar Council, the body frowned at the fact that some of their colleagues were brutally beaten recently by forces of law and order. “In spite of previous complaints made, lawyers are continuously being threatened, arrested and detained in the course of exercising their functions,” the council noted with dismay.
“The Bar Council in protest calls on all lawyers to observe a five-day sit-in strike beginning as from the 16th to the 20th day of September 2019,” the legal body resolved.
The council was also chagrined by the fact that lawyers are constantly being denied access to their clients in detention centres like the dreaded Secretariat of State for Defence (SED), gendarmerie brigades, police stations and prisons. “The rights of accused persons protected by national and international instruments ratified by Cameroon are constantly and consistently being violated by judicial authorities.”
Barrister Eric Mbah, representative of the Cameroon Bar president in the North West Region, speaking to the BBC said, “The judicial system in Cameroon is very sick-from the trial of accused persons in a language they do not understand, the extraction of confessional statements from the accused persons by torture, threats and others. There is a lot o extortion and it is no news that lawyers are rejected in court, threatened and when they go to police stations to check on their clients, they are brutalized, extorted and detained.”
Barrister Amungwa Tanyi Nicodemous has tasted the bad side of the security officers in Cameroon as he was beaten into a coma. He detailed his experience for the BBC stating, “I was returning to my office and I was attacked by two gendarmes. When I started speaking English, the two of them fall on me and they strangled me to a deadly point and I only discovered myself in the hospital, several hours after. When I worked, I was told the population who watched the dirty scene had to call the police to come and disarm one of the gendarmes who had a pistol on him.”
He added, “This is not the first time I am suffering some torture from uniform officers in Cameroon. Sometime I went to judicial police in Yaoundé to access one of my clients and behold a battery of police officers bundle me into the office of the judicial police who joined the others in quarrels and said I will be sent to prison before midday and I challenged them.”
Barrister Joseph Fru and his colleagues survived a military shooting with some 6 bullets lodged in their car in Bamenda, North West region. “…Because of the corruption, impunity, they are afraid of us, they do not like us and are afraid of us. We are being treated this way simply because we confront them, we tell the truth and interpret the law the way it is” he said.
The Minister of Justice, Laurent Esso is yet to react to the latest move from the legal counsel. In the previous protest by English speaking lawyers, the Minister of Justice stated that hunger will beat them back to the court.