Colors: Blue Color

In April 2013, the Rana Plaza factory in Dhaka collapsed killing over 1,100 workers, making it one of the world’s worst industrial accidents in the garment sector. The Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety (the Accord) was established to ensure Rana Plaza never happened again. 

It was a landmark agreement that ensured global fashion brands acknowledged direct responsibility for factory conditions by addressing buildings and fire safety. This led to improved safety in 1,600 garment factories employing more the two million people.

Rescue workers are rushing to locate survivors of the deadly earthquake that struck Haiti as a tropical storm is heading towards the Caribbean nation.

At least 1,297 people are known to have died in the 7.2-magnitude quake and an unknown number are still missing. Tropical Depression Grace is now expected to pass over the worst affected area.

The event will take place from 17-20 August 2021 @ 11.30 Jamaica Time 

Purpose: This virtual indaba is organized to honour the memory and legacy of PanAfricanist Marcus  Mosiah Garvey and to reflect on his teachings and vision for a recreated Africa, that is the proud united home for African people wherever they happen to be. The get-to-gether aims at inspiring Africans to rethink and reposition Africa and Africans as an equal and respected member of the human family.

The Context:  By way of background, Jamaica and South West Africa (now Namibia after independence in 1990) have had a long, brotherly and progressive relationship.  It all started in the early 1920s when the consciousness of Marcus Mosiah Garvey, an African born in Jamaica was captured by the plight, suppression and the largely unnoticed struggle of the black population in South Africa and South West Africa. This lead him to establish branches of the UNIA/ACL, first in Lüderitz, then Windhoek and Walvis Bay , the prominent centres for international trading in Namibia.  

Fast forwarding to 1990, Jamaica was clearly among the most visible frontline countries  in the diaspora  that was absorbed in the liberation struggle and in the advocation in the UN and other international fora of Namibia’s plight under the wretched apartheid system of South Africa. Jamaica’s presence in Namibia’s pre-independent preparations, through the UN and directly, was equally prominent. In consequence, Jamaica became one of the few, if not the first country to welcome Namibia, signed MOU of deeper cooperation, and  opened its borders, free of visa to Namibians to live, study and work. 

Relationship and its Progression: In appreciation, the Namibian President, Dr Hage Geingob in July, 2017 hosted Prime Minister Andrew Holness as the first Head of State or Government, from the Caribbean. During the occasion, Namibia and Jamaica renewed and extended the Cooperation agreement and  among things,  officiated at the renaming of a prominent street in the Capital city of Windhoek the honour of the Rt Excellent Dr Marcus Garvey.  The PM’s very productive week-long visit was followed up in 2018 by a delegation lead by Senator Williams, Mayor of the Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Corporation who signed, among other things, a City-to City Twinning agreement and an MOU of cooperation. 

A delegation to the KSAMC from Windhoek Municipality  lead by the Mayor, Dr Job Amupanda  is scheduled for mid September, 2021, during which time there will be an assessment of progress made on the MOU and adjustments made where necessary to improve and strengthen economic  cooperation and relations

Garvey’s Lessons and Influence: This 134th Birthday of the Late Marcus Garvey is fitting occasion for our Continental and Diaspora celebration of this PanAfrican Legend.  And we are fortunate to have the presence of Garvey’s biological son, Hon Dr Julius Garvey and H.E. Dr Sam Nujoma, Garvey’s spiritual son who literally translated  translated  into action Garvey’s lectures and vision when he became Namibia’s first and  3-term President.   Dr Nujoma is alive, and very active as ordinary citizen No 1. He will be sharing  is memory of Garvey and the inspiration and wisdom which made him not only loved but an effective and respected national,  regional and Continental leader.

The Theme for the 134th Birthday Commemoration event is African Unity – the Spinal Chord.  The spine and chord are reminders of what link the upper and lower body and the Notochord holds the spine and gives it its functionality.  The chord being the symbolism of Africa’s values, traditions, the culture, music, rhythm and spirit of community and Ubuntu hold everything in place and gives the body its functionality. If the spine is weak, the body is paralyzed  is unable to stand up the pressures that will come up.  The chord  is a reminder of our agility and resilience as a people  and of our distinct commitment to communal and community improvement as distinct from individualism and materialism.

The Commemoration Event:  The first day of the virtual symposium August 17, is devoted to Garvey himself, reflecting on what he stood for and his vision for a United Africa that is prosperous and self-reliant. Some 10 international speakers of renown from the Continent and the Diaspora will share their perspectives. This first session will be followed by a multidisciplinary panel of experts discussants to contemplate the implications for all of us who share Garvey’s vision of a United and vibrant Africa. The following 3 days (18-20August) will have speakers on specific aspects that Garvey emphasized in lectures,  books and practice of what a prosperous, and Inclusive Africa should embrace through good leadership, governance and economics, education, science and technology, vocational and entrepreneurial skills for innovation,  effective value added production and strategic trade and the restoration of African’s sovereignty, dignity,  pride and belief in ourselves, and our rich legacy and future.

The Bottomline:  At the end of the Session on Friday, a table of at least 4 resolutions with goals and targets will be developed and  tabled. It is proposed that we transmit to the secretariats of the AU six regions and copied to the Heads of State and Governments in all Regions and the Caribbean for their appropriate decision and action. These resolutions will be drawn from the each of the sessions. More immediately, a book will be produced to reflect and capture for posterity, the views, remarks and the collective wisdom shared at the symposium.

Two survivors of a racially-driven massacre that killed up to 300 people in the United States were both in Ghana, as they visited the west African country to “connect with the motherland.”

107-year-old Viola Fletcher and her brother Hughes Van Ellis, who is 100, are from the district of Greenwood in Tulsa, in Oklahoma, which was devastated by a mob of armed white people in 1921. In the area otherwise known as “Black Wall Street” at least 300 African Americans were killed in the attack, with some 10,000 left homeless when the district was set ablaze, leaving a vibrant economy in ruins.

A powerful earthquake has struck the Caribbean nation of Haiti, killing at least 227 people.

The 7.2-magnitude quake hit the west of the country on Saturday morning, toppling and damaging buildings including churches and hotels. The prime minister said there was "extensive damage" in some areas, and declared a month-long state of emergency.

Today marks the 75th Year of Independence of Pakistan, and it was marked with traditional zeal and fervour, through commemorative ceremonies held in cities across the country.

"Today we realise the difficulties that were faced in the course of [Pakistan's] freedom," said President Dr Arif Alvi, as he paid tribute to the leaders of the freedom movement. Celebrations began with change of guard ceremonies held at Mazaar-i-Quaid and Mazaar-i-Iqbal in Karachi and Lahore, respectively, and a 31-gun salute in the capital, followed by 21-gun salutes in all four provincial capitals.

Slovenia ranks the highest in Europe on the 2020 Youth Development Index which assesses the state of young people between 2010 and 2018.

In the top five scoring countries from Europe, Slovenia is followed by Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Switzerland. The index further reveals that the conditions of young people have improved around the world by 3.1 per cent between 2010 and 2018, but progress remains slow.

Only rapid and drastic action against climate change can prevent a climate breakdown, according to the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report released today. The Rt Hon Patricia Scotland, Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, stressed the urgency to heed this warning and act now to protect Commonwealth Small States.

“For over thirty years the Commonwealth has been raising the alarm on climate change, yet the window of opportunity for taking action to avoid irreversible consequences is now closing even more rapidly than scientists had previously predicted – and with it the prospects of safety and even survival for some of our Small and Vulnerable States. Jeopardising their continuing viability and sustainability would be too high a price to pay for failure to agree and implement urgent measures to prevent further damage,” said Secretary-General Scotland.

Dreweatts auctioneers is to thrilled to offer the private collection of David Winston, Restorer and Conservator of Pianos to HM the Queen. The collection includes 26 exceptionally rare and important pianos dating from the 18th century to present day. This landmark sale will take place on Thursday, September 23rd, 2021.

Amongst those expected to achieve the highest bids is a rare 1925 Pleyel grand piano fitted with an original ‘Auto Pleyela’ self-playing mechanism, in a spectacular Chinoiserie Louis XV case (estimate £40,000-£60,000) and a remarkable double piano from Pleyel, which is one of only 50 ever made. This model, which has a guide price of £40,000-£60,000, was once owned by the concert pianist wife of French writer and minister of culture André Malraux. 

India has introduced a bill in its lower house to scrap a controversial 2012 law that retrospectively levied capital gains tax on companies for the indirect transfer of their Indian assets. The law, which will now apply only prospectively, has been a major sore point with foreign investors for the better part of the last decade, damaging India's reputation as a stable tax jurisdiction and leading to protracted litigation.

"It is perhaps the boldest move taken in the history of Indian tax laws," said Bijal Ajinkya, Partner at the law firm Khaitan & Co. The far-reaching, but long delayed decision now paves the way for the government to settle billions of dollars in international disputes.

One of the most celebrated of celebrations, Jamaicans around the world are continuing to mark their country’s Independence Day by taking part in huge street parades while donning a whole array of attires in the green, gold and black of its national flag.

From Blenheim in Hanover to Birmingham in the West Midlands, Montego Bay to Milton Keynes, Clarendon to California, Spanish Town to many Spanish towns, Manchester to…well, Manchester, or wherever natives and/or the descendants of are, celebrations of the Caribbean island’s independence of ruling will go one – to the best during what still is very testing times.

Foreign tourists who are not vaccinated against Covid-19 will not be allowed to enter Canada for quite some time because the government is unwilling to jeopardize progress made on containing the virus, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said.

“I can tell you right now that’s not going to happen for quite a while,” said Trudeau, when asked by reporters when Canada would allow unvaccinated tourists to enter the country.

Canada, as of this week, has waived quarantine requirements for fully vaccinated citizens. But non-essential foreign travellers are still not allowed to enter despite pressure from the country’s hurting tourism sector.

The United States does not have vaccine requirements for visitors. At this point talks about lifting border restrictions are focused on fully vaccinated travellers, Trudeau said. “The next step we’ll be looking at what measures we can allow for international travellers who are fully vaccinated,” he said. “We will have more to say in the coming weeks.”

Trudeau has previously said authorities are looking closely at domestic vaccination rates, the spread of variants of concern, and how the rest of the world deals with COVID-19. Some 78% of people aged 12 years or older in Canada have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, health officials said on Thursday. About 44% of people 12 years or older are fully vaccinated.

Governments in Canada and the United States have faced pressure to reopen the world’s largest land border, which has been shuttered to non-essential travel since March 2020. The current restrictions were in place at least until July 21.

The seaside city of Rimini, in the northern Italian region of Emilia Romagna, is welcoming a brand new museum dedicated to Federico Fellini next month, allowing an aftermath of last year’s centennial of the acclaimed Italian film director and screenwriter.

The Federico Fellini International Museum is scheduled to open on 19th August, becoming the world’s largest museum devoted to the life and work of Fellini and his poetic heritage. It will feature drawings, costumes, exhibitions, film showings, scenographic elements and multimedia presentations that will allow visitors to immerse themselves in the world of Fellini, regarded as one of the most influential filmmakers of the 20th century.

For many years, the cultural spotlight in Africa has seemed to be stubbornly focused on the west or south of the continent rather than East Africa. And yet from Sudan and Ethiopia to Somalia, Kenya and Tanzania, this large, ancient and multifaceted region is brimming with unique histories, peoples and stories.

A major typhoon has hit China's eastern coast just days after deadly floods devastated parts of the country.

Typhoon In-Fa, known in China as Yanhua, made landfall in the city of Zhoushan at 12:30 local time (04:30 GMT), state media reported. Transport links are suspended and people have been told to stay indoors.