Tuesday, March 31, 2009

President of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Book Release and Interview

Her Excellency Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of Liberia Book Release and Interview Event as a Featured Guest on the In the Cafe with Mocha Television Show.

President Johnson Sirleaf appears on Friday April 17, 2009 at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center. The event time is 6:30. Each ticket comes with a signed book and a portion of the proceeds will help to support literacy initiatives in Liberia.

Click here
for more details

Monday, March 30, 2009

Pics from Ini Edo's Wedding

Came across these pics, Nollywood superstar Ini Edo tied the knot last month. This na serious marital bliss.

Ini Edo has starred in numerous nollywood flicks...

Friday, March 27, 2009

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Africas in China

Miss Guinea USA Pageant

The First Miss Guinea USA Pageant is being held in Maryland. Click here for more information.

Cable Series Straight Out of Botswana

As a young girl growing up in the African nation of Botswana, Precious Ramotswe was encouraged by her father to follow her dreams, no matter what. Now in her mid-30s, Precious is doing just that — by opening her country's first and only female-owned detective agency for the benefit of those who need help the most.
The first major film/TV project to be shot entirely on location in Botswana, 'The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency' is based on the best-selling novels by Alexander McCall Smith and co-written and executive produced by Richard Curtis and the late Anthony Minghella.

Click here
to get more online.

African Dance Hall - Introducinf Samini

For dance hall fans out there, meet Samini live and direct from Ghana.

Here is a sample of his work. Enjoy.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Africa: Altered States, Ordinary Miracles

A colleague of mine sent me a link to an interview with Richard Dowden the author of Africa: Altered States, Ordinary Miracles.

Very interesting stuff. Click here to listen to the interview, and if you're gonna read a book, Africa: Altered States, Ordinary Miracles might be one to consider.

Rwanda Rising: A New Model of Economic Development

Excerpt from article:

"Fifteen years after the genocide, the small African country has embraced a new model of economic development. Its strategy: Build a global network of powerful friends to lure private investment -- and market the brand of Rwanda."

Click here
to read the full article

Monday, March 23, 2009

First Black Chief Executive of a FTSE 100 Company

Tidjane Thiam makes history as first black chief executive of a FTSE 100 company

Tidjane Thiam, the new boss of the Prudential, created history yesterday by becoming the first black chief executive of a FTSE 100 company.

Mr Thiam, a French citizen who was born in the Ivory Coast, is finance director of Britain’s second-biggest insurer and will succeed Mark Tucker in October.

However, the timing of Mr Tucker’s departure astonished the City, raising speculation – denied by the company – that the Pru had been forced to accelerate its succession plans to prevent Mr Thiam being poached by a rival.

There was also speculation that Mr Tucker had gone amid unhappiness at the Pru’s recent decision not to bid for the Asian assets of AIG, the stricken American insurance group.

Full story on TimesOnline

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Madagascar's New Leader

I'm pretty sure most of you have been falling with this intriguing story of the rise of a 34 year old former disc jockey to the president of Madagascar.

Opposition leader Andry Rajoelina has taken the presidency of Madagascar after President Marc Ravalomanana stepped down following a power struggle.

Here are key facts about him:

* Rajoelina presents himself as the champion of a new generation of reformists. However, at just 34 and having effectively strong-armed Ravalomanana out of power, critics say his behaviour resembles one of Africa's old "Big Men".

* A former disc jockey and nicknamed "TGV" after the fast French train for his rapid-fire rhetoric and charismatic personality, Rajoelina has led demonstrations against the president since the turn of the year. The protests, triggered by the closure of his Viva TV station at the end of 2008 for airing an interview with former president Didier Ratsiraka, quickly became a mass movement bent on toppling Ravalomanana.

* Viewed as something of a maverick given to sweeping statements and grand claims, Rajoelina won municipal elections in 2007 as an independent, running against Ravalomanana's party. As mayor, he became one of the most ardent critics of the government, labelling it a dictatorship, but was fired on Feb. 3 of this year by Ravalomanana at the height of the protests.

* Army backing was the clinching factor in bringing Rajoelina to power this week. Analysts say, however, that he has close links with the exiled Ratsiraka's camp and may also have enjoyed the tacit support of the French government.

* Rajoelina says his first and biggest challenge is to improve standards of living for the Malagasy, many of whom live on less than $2 a day. On the international stage, he will have to convince doubters of his legitimacy given his unconstitutional rise to power several years before the next presidential election was due.

* Rajoelina will also have to control some dissent in the military, where diplomats say some officers opposed his rise but were quashed by more powerful voices.

* He is expected to continue his predecessor's free market economic policies, welcoming foreign investors in the key mining and oil exploration sectors, while also trying to cut down on waste and put more emphasis on social policies.

* Rajoelina has displayed supreme confidence throughout the months-long crisis, only disappearing into hiding once when Ravalomanana's security forces came to arrest him. At rallies, he exuded certainty that he was on the verge of power. During Tuesday's extraordinary turn of events, he actually walked into Ravalomanana's office and announced his plans as president before the military formally conferred power on him.


Friday, March 20, 2009

The Ultimate Hair Do...

The First Lady of Cameroon showcases the native hairstyle...

A Dose of Humor

Thursday, March 19, 2009

S'il vous plaît rencontrer Corneille

Originally from Rwanda, Cornielle sings about overcoming guilt from surviving the genocide and finding love. His English debut album dropped this week.

Here is a sample of some of his work:

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Pictures from ChinAfrica

Do opportunities abound for professionals and entrepreneurs in the African continent? This is really something to consider...

Check out the full photo gallery from TIME Magazine

Introducing Zaki Ibrahim

Born to an exiled South African father and Scottish mother

Check her out on myspace http://www.myspace.com/zakiibrahim

Zaki will be performing at the 10th Annual Cape Town International Jazz Festival

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Nigerian Trainee doctor sues college for £300,000

And no be say the young doctor no fine O! So whetin the handsome one go come experience now...

A black medical student is suing her college for £300,000 after claiming it was 'institutionally racist' in failing to stop alleged bullying by fellow medics.

Virginia Jibowu, 25, claims that fellow students at King's College medical school refused to eat or share a shower room with her.

She is suing the college - part of the University of London - for harassment, race discrimination and victimisation.

Miss Jibowu enrolled on a six-year medical degree course for students from disadvantaged backgrounds in 2002.

She said students on her course had to wear a special badge, which led to them being bullied by those on the regular five-year degree.

She shared digs with five others, including Richard Pinder, a leading Young Conservative.

In legal papers submitted to Central London County Court, she said: 'Mr Pinder asked me if black men were less intelligent than other people.

'He also said that he had stopped contacting a mutual friend because he had become 'too black'.

Miss Jibowu claimed three other white flatmates - including one called Emily Bowen - were 'hostile' during her hospital placement in Hastings, East Sussex, in 2006.

She alleged: 'The group refused to share the shower room with me and discussed rotas for the only other shower. Emily stated, 'We should introduce a virus into Africa to wipe out the continent and kill off all the black Africans so that we can move in'.'

Miss Jibowu had passed the first five years of study without failing an assessment and was due to start work last August as a doctor at Gwent Hospital in Wales.

She claims the college deliberately failed her from final exams and, without telling her, told the hospital she would not be taking up her post. It then wrongly insisted she should re-sit the whole of her final year, she added.

In the court papers, she said: 'The college disregarded my complaints and graduated all students complained about.

'All the alleged racists are now practising as doctors in the NHS. This can only ingrain the problem of institutional racism within the medical practice.

'At no point has the college accepted it was at fault for allowing an institutionally racist and hostile studying environment to exist.'

Miss Jibowu, of South Lambeth, South London, is demanding £300,000 for loss of earnings, aggravated damages and injury to health and feelings.

If she fails to qualify from the course, she is expected to sue again for the loss of her career.

The college, Dr Pinder and Dr Bowen all strongly deny her claims.

The case will be heard later this year.


Monday, March 16, 2009

Kanu's Commercial - For True Soccer Fans

For the real African soccer fans out there check out this commercial starring Kanu Nwankwo and his son...

Friday, March 13, 2009

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Nigeria Tops Another List...

The World's Worst Places to Work

No. 1 Lagos, Nigeria

Overall Grade: Very High Risk Location
Severe Problems: Infrastructure, Crime
Major Problems: Pollution, Disease & Sanitation, Medical Facilities, Availability of Goods and Services
Other Problems: Climate, Education Facilities, Physical Remoteness, Political Violence & Repression, Political & Social Environment, Culture & Recreation

There's no more challenging place on ORC's list than the largest city in Africa's largest country. Lagos not only has a severe crime problem and extremely poor infrastructure, the city has inadequate housing, sanitation, and medical facilities. Moreover, according to ORC, "the risk of being caught up in sectarian violence is another concern."

Kenya can boast of the #7 spot on the list and Egypt #18.


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Africa's Private Sector Flowers

During African Economy week, the BBC's African Perspective spoke to two business gurus about the potential the continent offers for business and for profit.

Click here
for the full article

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Flogging Teachers in Front of Class!

Tanzanian teacher whipping move

A regional official in Tanzania has been sacked for ordering police to whip primary school teachers as a punishment for arriving at school late.

In a statement, the government said the official had broken public service rules and humiliated the teachers.

Nineteen teachers were caned in front of their pupils after an inquiry into poor exam results at three schools.

The inquiry blamed teachers for being late or not showing up for work and not teaching the official syllabus.

The official who ordered the canings in the northern town of Bukoba, district commissioner Albert Mnali, told AFP news agency that it had been the right way to treat the teachers.

"These teachers often report late for duty and some of them are fond of being absent for several days," he told the agency on Friday.

"They deserved to get corporal punishment."

But Deputy Education Minister Mwantumu Bakari Mahiza called the incident "unfortunate and utterly absurd".

The government asked Mr Mnali to explain his actions and later issued a statement confirming the commissioner had been sacked.

"The government has followed up the issue and heard the explanation from the commissioner," the statement said.

"It has been concluded that Mnali's decision is unacceptable and humiliating to teachers, contrary to public-service regulations."

'Shameful and intolerable'

One of the caned teachers, Ativus Leonard, 33, told the BBC he was now too ashamed to meet his pupils.

Mr Leonard said he had been kicked by a police officer to make him lie down before being beaten.

"He hit me everywhere - my legs, my chest, my arms, my hands. When it was over, I went to the hospital for treatment. I was given medicine but I still have a lot of pain in my chest," he said.

The case comes at a time when parents and human-rights groups in Tanzania have been calling for a ban on flogging of schoolchildren throughout the country.

Before Mr Mnali was sacked, the Tanzania Teachers' Union said it intended to sue him.

"The caning of our teachers is shameful. It's intolerable and it's time the teachers take action against Mr Mnali through the judiciary," Kagera union chairman Dauda Bilikesi told the BBC.

Union officials say the caning happened amid an ongoing row between the union and the government.

Teachers complain that their salaries are often delayed and that they are a denied transfer allowance when they move to a new school.


Friday, March 06, 2009

Bribe or Business Expense?!?!

In Naija we call it "Egunje" and this is how business is done....or is it? See story below

UK police have arrested a London lawyer accused of moving millions of dollars in bribes to Nigerian officials to win contracts for a US construction firm.

A federal grand jury in Texas charged Jeffrey Tesler, 60, with helping channel money from Kellogg, Brown and Root, a former Halliburton subsidiary.

He was arrested after an extradition request from the US authorities.

It is alleged he channelled money to Nigerian officials, to obtain contracts valued at more than $6bn (£4bn).

The contracts related to the construction of liquefied natural gas facilities on Nigeria's Bonny Island between 1995 and 2004.

Last month, KBR admitted to US federal charges of paying bribes for the contracts. It agreed to pay more than $402m in fines, of which Halliburton, as the former parent company, agreed to pay $302m.

Halliburton also agreed with US securities regulators to disgorge $177m in profits to settle parallel criminal charges.

Second warrant

Mr Tesler was arrested at a business address in Tottenham, north London, on Thursday, British police said.

He was taken to a central London police station and appeared before City of Westminster magistrates on Thursday, when he was remanded in custody.

Mr Tesler returned to the court on Friday.

The US also issued a warrant for the arrest and extradition of another Briton, Wojciech Chodan, 71.

According to the indictment, Mr Chodan and other co-conspirators discussed using Mr Tesler to bribe Nigerian officials.

Prosecutors in Houston, Texas, said that both Mr Tesler and Mr Chodan were charged with conspiring to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

Lawyers representing the two men could not be reached immediately for comment.

KBR is a major engineering and construction services company with operations around the world. It was split from Halliburton in 2007.

Its former chief executive, Albert "Jack" Stanley, pleaded guilty in September to his role in the bribery scheme and is awaiting sentencing.


Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Pan-African Film and Television Festival (FESPACO)

There is the Oscars and there is is FESPACO.

Log on to http://www.fespaco.bf/ for more details. By the way the site is in French.

Your Weekly Dose of an African Music Video

Monday, March 02, 2009

Coup d'etat in Guinea-Bissau?!?!

President Joao Bernardo "Nino" Vieira had ruled Guinea-Bissau for 23 of the past 29 years.

BISSAU, Guinea-Bissau – Soldiers assassinated the president of Guinea-Bissau in his palace Monday hours after a bomb blast killed his rival, but the military insisted no coup was taking place in the West African nation.

A military statement broadcast on state radio attributed President Joao Bernardo "Nino" Vieira's death to an "isolated" group of unidentified soldiers whom the armed forces said they were now hunting down.

The capital, Bissau, was calm but tense despite the pre-dawn gunfight at the palace, which erupted hours after armed forces chief of staff Gen. Batiste Tagme na Waie — a longtime rival of the president — was killed by a bomb blast at his headquarters.

The former Portuguese colony has suffered multiple coups and attempted coups since 1980, when Vieira himself first took power in one. The United Nations says the impoverished nation on the Atlantic coast of Africa has recently become a key transit point for cocaine smuggled from Latin America to Europe.

Following an emergency Cabinet meeting on Monday, military spokesman Zamora Induta said top military brass told government officials "this was not a coup d'etat."

"We reaffirmed our intention to respect the democratically elected power and the constitution of the republic," Induta said. "The people who killed President Vieira have not been arrested, but we are pursuing them. They are an isolated group. The situation is under control."

Click here for the rest of the story.