Colors: Blue Color

With low expectations of elected politicians in Nigeria, Barbara Etim James is convinced that the solution to many of the country's problems lies with its many chiefs, kings and queens. Two years ago, the 54 year old was crowned a queen in the Efik kingdom in southern Nigeria.

Despite 20 years of living in the UK and founding a private equity firm, she says she is not a moderniser who wants to transform long-established African leadership structures to fit a Western model. "Modernising suggests that you're making something traditional more Western," she says. Ms James wants to turn that on its head. "I'm bringing my global experience into a culture, not taking the culture into modernity."

Ms James combines her role as the head of a private equity firm with that of queen, often travelling from her hometown of Calabar to cities like Lagos and Abuja for work. "Calabar is my base but I spend a lot of time outside. But I have sort of field workers on the ground," she says.

Members of the traditional council in her community are required to be physically present in Calabar for monthly meetings and she has to fly back home for these from wherever she is - a situation that she hopes technology can change. "I am now having conversations with them about online meetings," she says. The suggestion may at first appear outrageous to people who consider it an insult to invite a respected person to an event by text message or phone - you have to send them a card, Ms James says.

"But they are very happy when people send them money online or by phone to their account," she says, an argument she uses to support her point during discussions about enhancing culture with technology. The role of traditional rulers in Nigeria is not defined by the constitution and some see them as archaic institutions that have outlived their usefulness. Cases where traditional rulers were ejected from their positions over accusations of not showing politicians support or respect have also highlighted that their roles are largely symbolic and raised questions about how much real power they hold.

They also lack an independent source of finance. But Ms James believes that people like her can be more effective than politicians in bringing about change. She argues that traditional rulers are closer to the people than their elected representatives as through their network of informants they have more of a sense of what is really going on.

This means they can have more impact than the political class when addressing issues like security and poverty, especially as their involvement is more long term, she says. "State governors usually spend the first year settling down, the second year getting to work, the third year preparing for re-election, and the fourth year on elections," she says. "They come and go so they have shorter interest but traditional rulers tend to be there for life." Nevertheless, apart from having some money allocated by local government, few traditional rulers have a thought-through economic plan for improving the lives of their people.

This is where the queen believes her experience outside the traditional role can come in handy. "We have strong social groups but they don't think economically," she says. "It's all social and consuming but not economic. Celebrations, ceremonies, events... But what can you do together? Can you own a farm? Can you own an enterprise?" She has set up an enterprise fund, giving out small loans for people who want to start or expand their businesses, and organises entrepreneurship and finance training for different cultural groups. She says she wants people to "think economically" - how to make money as well as spend it. The Efik kingdom is headed by a king, known as an Obong.

Based in the coastal town of Calabar, capital of Cross River state, he presides over a layered network of 12 Efik family groups, and subgroups, including one called Henshaw Town In 2019, in recognition of the active role she had played in the Efik kingdom over the previous decade, Ms James was crowned the Obong-Anwan (queen) of Henshaw Town. Her mother, who had been Obong-Anwan, died in 2016, but the position is not hereditary. "Every House can have a queen but mostly they don't.

"First of all it's a responsibility so you really need someone with the capacity to help people. It's expensive. "There's a lot of patronage involved," says Ms James, pointing out that she funds most of her community projects with personal, or privately raised, funds. The queen's love of her people and culture began when she was a child, watching her late father, Emmanuel Etim James - an assistant police commissioner who later worked for an international oil company - actively participate in his local community.

"He was very involved. He sort of brought all the things that he was involved in globally back home. "He built a big house and got the whole community to build houses, bought cement for them, and I witnessed all that," she says. After she completed her studies in computer science at the University of Lagos, she moved to London for a master's degree in business systems analysis and then settled in the UK. But she never lost the connection with home. "Having travelled around the world, and being exposed to all sorts of things, it helps you value what you have. "It is unique, it is special, and it needs nurturing," she says.

"Many people grow up, get exposed, move to Lagos or Abuja, and they have little interest in or value in their life for their hometown or their village. I am very different." In 2009, she got divorced from an Irish man after 12 years of marriage and moved back to settle in Calabar. Marriage is not a requirement for an Obong-Anwan. "In Efik culture, the woman's status is not derived from her husband," the queen explains. "The women, we are strong in our own way." Her - and her people's - attachment to the past also means that they have not turned their backs on the connections with the British colonialists.

The Efik acted as middlemen in the Transatlantic slave trade and the longstanding interactions between the people of Calabar and British merchants led to a high level of assimilation. Many in the region bear English surnames, such as Duke, Henshaw and James. The traditional clothing of the men and women appears to be related to the fashions of the Victorian era. People in some parts of Nigeria have tried to erase similar signs of the colonial presence and association by changing their surnames and street and town names, but Ms James does not see that as necessary.

"The Efik don't feel the need for that replacement therapy. "It is not because we are not enlightened or do not read about our colonial past. It is just that we think it is a reality and we are not ashamed," she says. "It happened. That is not to say we don't recognise the negative aspects of colonialism and slavery… It's just that we don't hold it against the British."

Instead, she believes that the focus for Nigerian ethnic groups should be on innovation that can sustain the culture rather than obliterate it. "How can we revive our traditional dance groups? How can we save our languages from extinction? How can we make sure our cultures do not die but flourish into the next generation?" she asks. These are the discussions she has been having with her people and the issues for which she wants her tenure as the Obong-Anwan of Henshaw Town to be remembered.

The University of Wolverhampton is one of the top institutions in the country for local regeneration and engaging with the public and community, according to new data just released.  

Research England’s Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF) looks at the diverse contributions of universities to help level up their local areas. The data shows the rich contributions English higher education providers (HEPs) make, both economically and socially, on both local and national levels.  

It looks at the performance of universities from different perspectives including public and community engagement, working with partners ranging from big businesses to small local firms, and how they commercialise their research. The University of Wolverhampton was identified in the top 10% nationally for public and community engagement and also in the top 10% for local growth and regeneration.  

Professor Nazira Karodia, Pro Vice-Chancellor Regional Engagement, said: “We are delighted to have received national recognition for our role as an anchor institution in our region. The University’s mission and priorities are shaped and informed by local knowledge and partnership engagement. 

“Through working with our partners and collaborating, we transform individual life chances for the benefit of our students and our place. As well as our main campuses in Wolverhampton, Walsall and Telford we have a number of regional centres in key locations such as Stafford, Burton and Hereford. This enables us to make a significant contribution to improving the educational, social and economic outcomes for our students and communities in our wider region.” 

The University’s KEF submission included examples of key regeneration projects, such as the £100m Wolverhampton Springfield Campus, £9m Midlands Centre for Cyber Security in Hereford and £5m Marches Centre for Excellence in Allied Health and Social Care in Telford which have involved strong partnership working between the University, Local Enterprise Partnerships, local councils and wider partner stakeholder groups from both public and private sector. 

A number of examples of the University’s engagement with the community were featured in the submission, including its work with partners on the Wolverhampton City Learning Region, the launch of regional learning centres such as University Centre Telford and the work of the Centre for Sikh and Panjabi Studies. Other key findings showed the University is in the top 30% for intellectual property (IP) and commercialisation. It also highlighted that Wolverhampton is in the top 40% for working with businesses and top 40% for working with the public and third sector. 

Over 100 of the institutions involved (117 out of 135), including the University of Wolverhampton, provided detailed narrative accounts of the work they do to build public and community engagement, and to promote economic growth in their local area. These narratives are published in full on the KEF website

This is the first time that detailed, qualitative information about how HEPs build community engagement and promote growth in their local areas has been collected together in a structured and systematic way allowing for easy comparison. The narratives paint a detailed, never seen before picture of how HEPs engage with their communities to build deeper relationships and to stimulate local growth. 

Examples of the kinds of projects detailed in the narratives include working with local partners to:

·         redevelop and reinvigorate previously disused brownfield sites 

·         identify skill gaps and develop curricula and courses to address them 

·         boost research and development to attract investment in the local area 

The KEF compares institutions on a like-for-like basis, with similar institutions being grouped together with their peers in ‘KEF clusters’ based on factors like their size, specialisation and the intensity of their research activities. This is a more fair and balanced approach that avoids making unhelpful comparisons between incomparable institutions. 

The data that underpins the KEF informs a series of metrics covering a wide range of a university’s activities. These then go into seven perspectives, for which each receives a decile score displayed in relation to the average for its cluster. 

The website displays all this information in easily interpreted, visually interesting charts and graphs that allow easy comparison of institutions’ strengths. Presenting this information in an easy to use way will help them analyse their own performance in a new level of detail. 

Jamaica is well on its way to operating the first and only dedicated bamboo market pulp mill in the Western Hemisphere.

Bamboo Bioproducts Ltd (BBP) is advancing its investment in local bamboo with plans to build on lands in Frome, Westmoreland, and will focus on pulp for paper production. The company projects to spend approximately US$300 million to establish the project with an estimated return on investment of 22 per cent with conservative projections of US$1.5 billion in revenue during the first 10 years.

In addition, BBP anticipates that 500 jobs will be created directly within the facility and up to 5,000 jobs indirectly. Currently, Asian manufacturers are the primary producers in the US$24-billion global bamboo market which fuels a variety of industries including paper manufacturing, agriculture, health and wellness, construction, textiles, and furniture, among others.

Jamaica’s proximity to western markets, as well as its deep history in sugar cane production (which has strong similarities to growing bamboo) means that BBP’s Frome facility offers game-changing national economic development opportunities. In emphasising the importance of this project to Jamaica’s economy, Prime Minister Andrew Holness said investments like these, anchored on a sustainable environmental and economic model could lead to a rethink of how we might achieve our development.

“This is an example of what is needed to help drive growth in our economy. The use of bamboo and its by-products has the capacity to be a catalyst in building a new sustainable industry by utilising the value that Jamaica can provide with arable lands, availability of skilled and semi-skilled labour as well as our ideal geographic location for logistics,” said Holness recently.

“I applaud and welcome this group for responding, through this initiative, to the Government’s continued call for the take-up of former sugar lands for the planting of alternative and more economically viable crops,” added Holness. The pulp will be sold to multi-national corporations partnering with BBP to fulfil the growing market demand for sustainable ‘non-wood pulp fibre’ of globally recognised brands of consumer tissue and personal hygiene products.

In order to meet its obligations, the Frome mill will have the capacity to process in excess of 250,000 metric tonnes of bamboo pulp annually. The manufacturing process will feature state-of-the-art machinery from one of the world’s leading technology suppliers. It will produce a sustainable product efficiently, whilst simultaneously meeting world-class environmental standards.

The project’s execution team includes international pulp and paper experts, as well as lead fund-raiser/equity partner Delta Capital Partners Ltd, headed by Co-founder and Executive Chairman Zachary Harding. According to Harding, Delta Capital Partners and Stocks and

Securities Ltd are actively progressing with the capital raise.

“This is, by far, one of the most significant projects to be undertaken in Jamaica in recent decades. Bamboo pulp as an outright export product will generate significant returns in hard currency.

“It checks all the boxes including several sustainable development goals and the mill will be eco-friendly using a mix of clean and renewable energy sources. Additionally, market demand is considerably higher than what we will be supplying when fully operational, so we have an excellent opportunity for long term expansion. Most importantly, we will create thousands of jobs, both directly and indirectly,” said Harding.

British High Commissioner to Jamaica Asif Ahmad, who has been an avid supporter of this venture from its earliest inception, stated it is great to see the progress made so far. “This is a clear example of what can be achieved here when committed partners from Britain, Europe and Jamaica put in a combined effort to invest in an export-focused project,” said Ahmad.

The bamboo will be farmed on a large scale in Westmoreland as well as smaller farms across the island of Jamaica to satisfy the mill’s annual demand for more than one million tonnes of green Vulgaris bamboo. This is expected to help transition of idle sugar cane lands to bamboo cultivation. BBP is working closely with Sugar Company of Jamaica (SCJ) Holdings Limited to finalise the necessary lands and is also in talks with private landowners to supplement its land demand.

“This project has the full support of the Government of Jamaica and the provision of land, for the siting of the mill and the cultivation of bamboo, is a priority project for SCJ Holdings Limited, as it will enhance the country’s foreign exchange earnings and provide a lifeline for the thousands of persons who have suffered from the decline of the sugar industry,” said Joseph Shoucair, managing director at SCJ Holdings Limited.

JAMPRO, who is the lead facilitator for the project has been working closely with the relevant Government agencies to ensure a smooth investment and execution process and president of the agency, Diane Edwards, said the bamboo project embodies all the characteristics of a well-planned, public-private sector project.

“It will go a long way in helping to move the economy forward, getting us closer to hitting our projected foreign direct investment targets. It has our full support,” she said.

As the most solemn week of the Christian year, Holy Week - the week leading up to Easter, marks the week during which Christians particularly remember the last week of Jesus's life.

Having begun on Palm Sunday, commemorating Christ's triumphant arrival in Jerusalem to the cheering crowds who gathered for the Feast, they heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting; “Hosanna,” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord” and “Blessed is the King of Israel!”

As crosses are burned at the start of Lent today, to provide the ash for Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday saw Christians remember it as the day of the Last Supper, when Jesus washed the feet of his disciples and established the ceremony known as the Eucharist, today’s Good Friday commemorates the Passion: the execution of Jesus by crucifixion before Holy Saturday is marked Sunday following the Paschal Full Moon, or Resurrection Sunday,which is a festival and holiday commemorating the resurrection of Jesus from the dead.

 

Easter Monday, also known as Bright Monday, Renewal Monday, Wet Monday, and Dyngus Day, is similar to the services on Pascha (Easter Sunday) and often include an outdoor procession. As the second day of Eastertide, the day after Easter Sunday is also a public holiday in some countries.

It’s also a Bank Holiday - a national public holiday in the United Kingdom and the Crown dependencies as people mark the occasion with Easter Eggs to commemorate the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Police in Nigeria have launched a radio station in the hopes of improving their relationship with ordinary citizens.

The Nigerian Police Force have said that they launched the station to bring the police closer to the people. At the launch Police boss Mohammed Adamu said community policing information would be broadcast, and the new service would help reach the public better.

It comes months after young Nigerians led widespread protests against police brutality and extrajudicial killings. Those demonstrations, dubbed #EndSARS in reference to a particularly hated police unit, later morphed into a call for major police reforms.

An inquiry into the cases was set up aimed at bringing to justice those responsible for the brutality and killings, but some campaigners fear it will be toothless.

IGP M.A Adamu, NPM, mni, Inspector General of Police, said that the radio station will bring the police force closer to the people.

Getting support on social media, one person wrote; ‘It's a good development but I hope it pulls through and sustained.’ Another wrote; ‘Hope complaints will be addressed appropriately’.

However, in contrast, Anonymous queried: ‘So when robbers attack at night, I should tune on the police radio?’

It has been announced that the step-grandmother, of former US president, Barack Obama, Sarah Obama, has died at a hospital in Kenya.

Affectionately called Granny Sarah by the former president, Mrs Obama defended her grandson during his 2008 presidential campaign, when he was said to be Muslim and not born in the US. Her home became a tourist attraction when he was elected as the first Black US president.

Sarah Obama was the third and youngest wife of Barack's grandfather. She died at a hospital in the western town of Kisumu, her daughter Marsat Onyango said. A family spokesperson said Mrs Obama had been unwell for a week, but did not have Covid-19.

"We will miss her dearly," Mr Obama said, "but we'll celebrate with gratitude her long and remarkable life." Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta said on Twitter that Mrs Obama was a strong, virtuous woman and an icon of family values.

Before her grandson became a household name, Sarah was well known for the hot porridge and doughnuts she served at a local school. She became more widely known when Barak visited Kenya in 2006. At the time he was a senator from the state of Illinois, but a national celebrity in Kenya, and his grandmother spoke to the media about his rise in politics.

He returned in 2015, becoming the first sitting US president to visit Kenya, meeting Mrs Obama and other family members in Nairobi. He visited his step-grandmother's home in the village of Kogelo in 2018, after leaving office, joking he had been unable to visit earlier because the presidential plane was too big to land at the local airport.

Sarah Obama was born in 1922 in a village on Lake Victoria, according to AFP. She was a Muslim and part of Kenya's Luo ethnic group. For decades, she ran a foundation in Kenya to help educate orphans and girls, something she felt strongly about as she couldn't read herself.

She was the third wife of Hussein Onyango Obama, President Obama's paternal grandfather. Her husband, who died in 1975, fought for the British in Burma, now called Myanmar, and is reported to be the first man in his village to swap goatskin clothing for trousers.

Buried later on Monday, she was 99.

The stranded Ever Given mega-container ship in the Suez Canal is holding up an estimated $9.6bn (£7bn) of goods each day, according to shipping data. This works out at $400m an hour in trade along the waterway which is a vital passageway between east and west.

Data from shipping expert Lloyd's List values the canal's westbound traffic at roughly $5.1bn a day, and eastbound daily traffic at around $4.5bn. Despite efforts to free the ship, it could take weeks to remove experts say.

The Ever Given, operated by the Taiwanese company Evergreen Marine, is the length of four football pitches and one of the world's biggest container vessels. The 200,000-tonne ship is capable of carrying 20,000 containers. Its blockage is causing huge tailbacks of other ships trying to pass through the Suez Canal.

The canal, which separates Africa from the Middle East and Asia, is one of the busiest trade routes in the world, with about 12% of total global trade moving through it. According to Lloyd's List tracking data there are more than 160 vessels waiting at either end of the canal. These include 41 bulk carriers and 24 crude tankers.

Along with oil, the sea traffic is largely consumer products such as clothing, furniture, manufacturing components and car parts.

Guy Platten, the secretary general of the International Chamber of Shipping, said: "We're hearing reports now that shipping companies are starting to divert their ships around the southern tip of Africa, the Cape of Good Hope, which adds about 3,500 miles to the journey and up to 12 days." He said the ship appeared to be hard fast aground, adding that freeing the vessel from the bank was taking much longer and was more complicated than had been initially expected.

The Ever Given had been scheduled to arrive in the port of Felixstowe in early April.

Container ships have nearly doubled in size in the past decade as global trade expands, making the job of moving them much harder when they get stuck. Egypt's Suez Canal Authority (SCA) said it was doing all it could to re-float the ship with tug boats, dredgers canal, and I ask for patience from stakeholders across the supply chain as everyone and heavy earth-moving equipment.

Kitack Lim, secretary general of the International Maritime Organisation, said: "I am aware of the implications of the temporary closure of the works to ensure that the ship, its crew, its cargo and the environment remain protected."

With summer holiday travel set to return to full force post-pandemic, British billionaire Richard Branson is set to open one of his private islands in the Caribbean to the public this summer.

The 70-year-old Virgin Group founder owns three islands, two in the Caribbean and one in Australia. The island he’s going to open to the public is Moskito Island, a 125-acre property just two miles away from Necker Island, a 30-hectare property which Branson famously bought in 1978 at the age of 29.

Both islands are part of the British Virgin Islands. Branson bought Moskito in 2007 and ordered a renovation project starting 2010. The island is made up of a collection of luxury private villas which can be rented by guests looking for the ultimate island hideaway with exceptional service, just like you’d expect from a five-star hotel, according to the private island’s website. His own three-villa, 11-bedroom estate on the island is already accepting reservations.

With COVID-19 vaccines rolling out globally, the travel industry is expecting a busysummer. In fact, demand for luxury vacation experience is higher than ever as the “screw you 2020” mentality sets in, said Roman Chiporukha, cofounder of Roman & Erica, a New York-based luxury lifestyle and travel management firm.

Chiporukha said: “People are looking for different and unforgettable experiences. The bystander vacation is no longer an option or a want for our members, and they are racing to book private islands, villas, and yachts without hesitation to avoid losing the property to another.” Roman & Erica serves an exclusive clientele who pay an annual membership fee ranging from $62,500 to $180,000 for arranging vacation, travel, kids’ birthday parties and other lifestyle events.

“Our member base are seeking a disconnect from the conventional vacation that exclusive private islands can provide. These exclusive properties bring forth the opportunity for a robust getaway while avoiding flooded tourist traps,” Chiporukha continued.

According to Bloomberg’s Billionaire Index, Branson’s net worth reached an all-time high of $7.3 billion in 2020 just before the global coronavirus outbreak. He lost a third of his fortune, on paper, last summer as Virgin Group grappled with pandemic-related losses. However, thanks to a booming stock market in the second half of 2020, Branson’s net worth quickly recovered to over $7 billion by February 2021. He is said to be worth $6.5 billion.

Moskito is a favourite vacation spot of A-lister celebrities, including former U.S. President Barack Obama and the late Princess Diana amongst others.

The Venice Court of Appeals recently delivered a judgment confirming the full validity of Bottega S.p.A.'s trademarks, protecting the distinctive features of the Bottega Gold and Rose Gold bottles, and dismissed Ca' di Rajo's claim of non-infringement, recognising the confusability with Bottega's trademarks of Ca' di Rajo's gold and rose mirrored bottles, and condemned Ca’ di Rajo to the payment ofthe full legal costs and expenses of the case. .

This judgment confirms the similar judgment delivered at first instance by the Venice Tribunal, the previous decision in the precautionary phase and the subsequent appeal to the panel. It is therefore a win confirmed for four times.

Specifically, the Venetian court, one of the most competent in our country, argued that the bottles' distinctive gold and rose mirrored colours are the primary element characterising Bottega Spa's trademarks. Therefore, neither the shape of the bottle, nor the label, nor any other graphic details are capable of eliminating the confusing effect of identical mirrors. Similar judgments have been delivered in the recent past by the EUIPO, the European Union Intellectual Property Office, and subsequently by the EU Court.

The aforementioned judgment thus confirmed once again the distinctiveness of the trademarks, expressed by the worldwide diffusion of the brand to the extent that the so-called mirroring of the colours gold and pink have become the emblem of Bottega's trademarks. 

Bottega has been designing bottles with mirrored colours since 2001, confirming a long and articulated career in which it has always demonstrated the utmost originality and extreme innovation, entrepreneurial characteristics which, together with a quality recognised over the years by almost 400 national and international awards, have made the winery and distillery in Bibano di Godega (TV) one of the most imitated companies in the world in the wine and spirits sector. The validity of the trademarks registered over the years has been recognised in Italy and in Europe by the various competent bodies.

Thousands of mourners filed past the coffin of Tanzania's ex-President John Magufuli, who died aged 61. His coffin, draped in the national flag, is lying in state at the Uhuru stadium in the main city Dar es Salaam.

It was said by some politicians say that Magufuli contracted Covid-19, but this has not been confirmed. A Covid sceptic, at times he denied that the virus had affected Tanzania.

Coming to power as Tanzania's president in 2015, Magufuli's coffin was brought to the stadium in a procession that was led by his successor, Samia Suluhu Hassan before being taken to several different locations for public viewing before his burial in his hometown of Chato. Some residents wept and threw flowers on the coffin which was pulled by a military vehicle.

Newly sworn in president, Samia - Africa's only current female national leader - led the government procession in which many wore black or green and yellow to represent the colours of the ruling party. The Ethiopian presidency is a largely ceremonial role and she joins a short list of women on the continent to have run their countries.

The government announced that Magufuli had died from a heart condition after he had been missing from public for several weeks. His position on coronavirus ranged from stating it did not exist in Tanzania to saying the country had beaten the pandemic through prayer.

But in February, after a number of senior politicians died from the virus, he conceded it was circulating in Tanzania. Known as the ‘bulldozer’, before the pandemic Magufuli was praised for his no-nonsense approach and hailed for his anti-corruption stance and his distinct dislike for wasting money.

President Samia spoke of the ‘heavy load’ on her shoulders and urged for the burying of differences and unity during the mourning period.

By His Royal Highness Maponga Joshua III Marara ChangaMbire Karanga of SVOSVE Dynasty of the Kingdom of DZimbabgwe The Mornach of the Nation and Empire of Mwenemutapa


"The headmaster", the son of the soil has rested. Indeed this is a loss to the continet at large to witness the sudden and untimely death of a beacon of hope for the emancipation of the Afrikan Nations from colonial pharmaceutical oppression. He will be remembered for his unwavering position on the "test kits" and his wit in using them on fruits and animals to prove that they were contamibated. Other Afrikan presidents did not show public support to this stalwart to their shame to please their colonial masters. With such Leaedership Afrika had hope towards the "Magufulization of Afrika'.
It is a fact that many countries in the west with their multinational companies did not favor Magufuli as he posed a challenge to the economic corrupt dealings with Afrika.
His passing will bring them joy while it fills the Pan Afrokan community with tears and heartache. The snake is alive and well hissing fear in our midst. The beacon of hope has been blown out while thieves and puppets of the west continue to breath and sell the Afrikans to colonial masters. This Covid pandemic has left a bad taste in our mouths as one of our hopes for the Afrikan solutions, next to Madagascar has been cut short.

John Pombe Magufuli

We have lost a soldier and gained an ancestor, long live the spirit of Magufuli long live. The battle continues and let every Afrikan president ask themselves the question "why are you still living"? How long will it take to unite? When wiil you unite as a continent to protect each other and improve your security on the continent. What will it take for you to build one army and secure the continent from plunder of the west/east/north? Who are the enemies of Afrikan Unity but yourselves and unquenchable hunger for power and cortuption? Remember Gadaffi died while you watched, for economic unification, Sinkara for pan Afrikan views, Mugabe for his land position, Congo is still at war while you make speeches and steal money to foreign accounts. Ask yourselves the question "who is next".
The Kingdom/Empire of Mwenemutapa and the Svosve Dynasty sends its heartfelt condolences and mourns with the nation on this great loss.
Pole pole , Tanganyika. lala salama Pombe hitaonana kesho.
Harambe Chamachamapinduza Tanzania

The World Bank has approved of financing of US$150 million for the Jamaica COVID-19 Response and Recovery Development Policy Loan.

The sum is set to out to help the government protect the poor and vulnerable, support sustainable business growth and job creation, and strengthen policies and institutions for resilient recovery. The COVID-19 pandemic has led to the Caribbean island’s deepest economic contraction in decades due, in part, to the drop in tourism earnings, which account for more than 30 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and one-third of jobs.

Ozan Sevimli, World Bank Resident Representative for Jamaica and Guyana, said: “COVID-19 has had widespread socio-economic impacts and affected every Jamaican, especially the most vulnerable. This financing contributes to Jamaica’s efforts to manage the impact of the crisis and move forward towards a resilient recovery.

“The operation supports the expansion of the country’s social protection programmes to benefit women and men who are disproportionately affected by the crisis and introduces a social pension for the elderly. It also supports measures for the recovery of affected businesses.”

The new loan supports the government in providing emergency financial assistance to the vulnerable population impacted by the pandemic. It also includes initiatives to help firms cope with the economic shock, such as through measures like the provision of grants and cash transfers to affected businesses.

“The operation supports reforms to strengthen financial institutions for sustainable economic recovery and greater climate resilience. The financing supports Jamaica’s climate change priorities, including the adoption of stronger commitments on greenhouse gas emissions,” the World Bank added.

The sum will help the government protect the poor and vulnerable, support sustainable business growth and job creation, and strengthen policies and institutions for resilient recovery.

Tanzania's President John Magufuli has died aged 61, the country's vice-president Samia Suluhu Hassan said announced. In a statement, he was said died from heart complications at a hospital in Dar es Salaam.

Mr Magufuli had not been seen in public for weeks, with rumours being circulating about his health. Opposition politicians said that he had contracted Covid-19, but this has not been confirmed.

Born in Chato, he was one of Africa's most prominent coronavirus sceptics, and called for prayers and herbal-infused steam therapy to counter the virus. He declared Tanzania "Covid-19 free" since last June.

In an announcement, Vice-President Hassan said: "It is with deep regret that I inform you that... we lost our brave leader, the president of the Republic of Tanzania, John Pombe Magufuli." She said there would be 14 days of national mourning and flags would fly at half-mast.

According to Tanzania's constitution, Ms Hassan will be sworn in as the new president within 24 hours and should serve the remainder of Mr Magufuli's five-year term which he began last year. President Magufuli was last seen in public on February 27, but Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa insisted that the president was healthy and working hard.

He blamed the rumours of the president's ill-health on "hateful" Tanzanians living abroad. But opposition leader Tundu Lissu said that he was informed that Mr Magufuli was being treated in hospital for coronavirus in Kenya.

When Covid-19 arrived in Tanzania, Mr Magufuli called on people to go to churches and mosques to pray. "Coronavirus, which is a devil, cannot survive in the body of Christ... It will burn instantly," he said. Saying that the virus had been eradicated by three days of national prayer, the president also mocked the efficacy of masks, expressed doubts about testing, and teased neighbouring countries which imposed health measures to curb the virus.

Tanzania has not published details of its coronavirus cases since May, and the government has refused to purchase vaccines. The police said they had arrested four people on suspicion of spreading rumours on social media that the president was ill.

A former chemistry and maths teacher, he was 61.

The Chinese capital of Beijing was covered in thick dust on Monday as it experienced what its weather bureau has called the worst sandstorm in a decade.

The storm caused an unprecedented spike in air pollution measurements - with pollution levels in some districts at 160 times the recommended limit. Hundreds of flights were cancelled or grounded as the sky was covered by an apocalyptic-looking orange haze.

The sand is being brought in by strong winds from Mongolia. In that country (Mongolia) the severe sandstorms have reportedly caused six deaths and left dozens missing. Media outlet reported that at least 12 provinces in the country, including the capital, had been affected, and the weather was likely to continue before improving at night.

The WHO (World Health Organisation) currently sets safe levels of air quality based on the concentration of polluting particles called particulate matter (PM) found in the air. According to news wire AFP quoting the Global Times, the PM 10 pollution in six central districts reached "over 8,100 micrograms per cubic metre" on Monday.

The WHO considers levels between 0-54 as "good" and 55-154" as "moderate" levels of PM 10. AFP added that schools had been told to cancel outdoor events, and those with respiratory diseases advised to stay indoors.

Beijing was historically hit by sandstorms on a much more regular basis, but pollution reduction projects - including prohibitions on new coal-fired power plants, restrictions on the number of cars on the road and reforestation - have significantly improved air quality in the city. Sandstorms like the one seen this week, caused by wind, are harder to control.

Beijing, though, and surrounding regions have suffered from high levels of pollution in recent weeks, with one Greenpeace activist telling AFP that it was a result of intense industrial activities. These, he said, exacerbated sandstorm conditions, which were the "result of extreme weather conditions and desertification".

By His Royal Highness Maponga Joshua iii Marara ChangaMbire Karanga of SVOSVE Dynasty of the Kingdom of DZimbabgwe The Mornach of the Nation of Mwenemutapa


The big tree has fallen birds with scartter. The elephants will smell the bones for centuries to come. The sun has gone down, we will listen to your whispers of the reeds. "Wena WoNhlanga, ubhenjani ophuma esqxiwini, Ngonyama, Wena WeNdlovu Bayethe Zulu."

On behalf of the Mwenemutapa Royal Family and Nation of the Great Dzimbabgwe we share your pain and tears at this difficult time. The walls of stone have heard the wailing of the maidens. We call for peace and healing upon the family and the aNguni/aNgoni Nation.

May His Majesty the King sleep in the Dust of the earth but continue to live in our hearts, in the chants of the regiments of wars, in the whispers of the Royal caves and the gentle breeze of lagoons of Lembe.

Bayethe