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Visual Artist Prince Gyasi Speaks At The Skoll World Forum In Oxford University — WATCH

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Prince Gyasi is a Ghanaian international visual artist. He is the co-founder of Boxed Kids, a non-profit organization helping kids from the slums of Accra get an education.

Gyasi offered a vibrant, evocative, uplifting representation of his hometown—captured in beautiful iPhone images—at the 2019 Skoll World Forum. “Most visual artists tell African stories in a negative way.

I want to tell these stories in a more beautiful way so that when kids see them, they feel inspired.” Using bold colours to convey emotions and shine a light on marginalized people, he hopes to inspire young people through his art. After finishing his secondary education at Accra Academy Senior high school in Accra, Prince started taking pictures in 2011. He bought his first iPhone in 2014 which became the primary tool he uses in creating his art pieces.

He began with snapshots of friends, family, and models from his hometown of Ghana and then realized he could seriously use his phone as an instrument of creation and as a means of expression.

Using an iPhone to shoot is a way to distinguish his art from other visual artists and photographers and in doing so he breaks the codes of this singular and elitist art. His work is about conveying feelings through colours and giving the floor to marginalized people that are often left aside in society. Prince considers his use of vibrant colours as a therapy to his audience and aims at leaving a “strong, positive imprint on the people’s heart and soul.”

Some of his most poignant themes include motherhood, fatherhood, and childhood. Prince Gyasi was signed to Nil Gallery Paris in 2018 and had a solo show at the gallery in November 2018.

His works have also been exhibited at the Seattle Art Fair 2018, the Pulse Miami Beach Contemporary art fair, and the Investec Cape Town art fair.
The event has seen the likes of Kofi Annan ad its owned by the first president of eBay.

About the Skoll World Forum: Each year, nearly 1,000 of the world’s most influential social entrepreneurs, key thought leaders, and strategic partners gather at the University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School to exchange ideas, solutions, and information. The Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship is the premier international platform for advancing entrepreneurial approaches and solutions to the world’s most pressing problems.

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Chief Imam Inducted Among 500 Most Influential Muslims In The World.

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Islamic cleric, the National Chief Imam of Ghana, member of the National Peace Council, Osmanu Nuhu Sharubutu has, according to a study published by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre in Jordan, been named among the 500 most influential Muslims in the world.

The National Chief Imam is ranked among the most influential preachers and guides in sub-Saharan Africa, along with Nigeria’s Sheikh Tajir Usman Bauchi and Zimbabwe’s Mufti Ismail Musa Menk. The Chief Imam is the only Ghanaian on the Muslim 500 list.

The list was published in the 10th Anniversary Edition, The World’s 500 Most Influential Muslims, 2019. The publication sets out to ascertain the influence some Muslims have on this community, or on behalf of the community.

His citation reads as follows:

“Sheikh Dr Osmanu [sic] Nuhu Sharubutu is an Islamic scholar, National Chief Imam of Ghana, member of the National Peace Council and founder of the SONSET Fund and IPASEC. He has worked tirelessly on religious, social and educational issues, helping to promote disadvantaged and vulnerable communities in Ghana. This has enabled him to transcend religious boundaries and be respected by all sectors of the country.”

The top 5 Muslims on the list are HE President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, HM King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al-Saud (King of Saudi Arabia), HM King Abdallah II ibn Al-Hussein (King of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan), HE Grand Ayatollah Hajj Sayyid Ali Khamenei, and HM King Mohammed IV (King of Morocco).

Other African preachers on the list are Sheikh Yakubu Musa Katsina, Sheikh Tahir Usman Bauchi, and Mufti Menk. Among Muslims with political influence, HE President Muhammadu Buhari is one of the most influential Muslim leaders in Africa. There is also His Royal Eminence Amirul Mu’minin Sheikh As-Sultan Muhammadu Sa’adu Abubakar III.

Ahed Tamimi, the Palestinian activist, has been declared the Muslim 500 Woman of the year.

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Farming By Choice Will Drive Africa’s Food Security And Prosperity.

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Strive Masiyiwa, founder and chairman of the Econet group, a pan-African telecommunications, media and technology company, shares his views on agriculutre in Africa in this exclusive opinion piece after stepping down from the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) board in September.

Today, 1.2 billion people reside in Africa, a figure set to quadruple by the end of the century. That will be nearly 5 billion mouths to feed; a monumental figure, but one that doesn’t frighten me. This is why: in 1957, the population of Africa was 250 million, less than a quarter of what it is today, and if our fathers were able to cope with that scale of growth, then I am convinced that we can too. An incredible rise in education and technological opportunities mean we have the necessary resources and are now the most educated generation in history.

We also live in the most peaceful period recent history. The blood shed of the Ghanaian coup in 1966, Idi Amin in Uganda and Mobutu in Zaire is all over, and since last year’s Eritrea – Ethiopia peace summit, there is no ongoing conflict between two African nations. This is very important for economic prosperity. It does not mean we don’t have conflict, but we don’t have interstate conflict at present.

That said, we have emerging challenges to contend with. We are not immune to the radicalization in places like Somalia, Nigeria and the Sahel region that is not only disrupting social order but also causing massive population displacement.

Going back to agriculture, even more devastating is the global climate emergency. In March and April 2019, Cyclones Idai and Kenneth tore through south eastern Africa, leading to tremendous loss of life with many still unaccounted for; estimates indicate that 1.7 million people were affected. Today, 27 million people are facing acute food shortage in the horn of Africa and that number might grow to 47 million if nothing is done. I have been involved in the efforts to support those affected by the devastating effects of the cyclones and have witnessed their resilience.

I am convinced, more than ever before, that agriculture will be at the heart of the continent’s journey towards inclusive economic growth, affording our people a decent living and continuing to build their resilience to shock. Never again shall we see suffering on the scale of Ethiopia’s mass starvation in the 80s where close to 8 million people became famine victims, and over 1 million died. This transformation has been ushered in by focused and intentional investment in Ethiopia’s agricultural sector.

This is why, despite having no background in agriculture, I joined other leaders to set up the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) about 15 years ago.

This September, I stepped down as chair of the AGRA Board. Taking stock of our progress, the journey so far has been one of impressive results, positive impacts and fruitful collaborations. AGRA has played a role in giving over 22 million farmers in 18 African countries access to improved seed varieties that have doubled and sometimes tripled yields. These are farmers, 70% of Africa’s population, who own less than 5 hectares of land. This has been made possible through the establishment of over 110 small, African owned seed companies that have produced around 800,000 MT of seeds. This is all the more impressive considering when we started, only three countries in sub-Saharan Africa were able to produce seed through less than 10 seed companies. Farmers now have easy access, not just to seed, but other inputs through the network of village shops that AGRA and partners have helped to establish. As a result, the average distance traveled by farmers in search of inputs has reduced from 60km in 2006 to 10km today, and in Kenya it is as low as 4km. Markets have also been opened up for farmers to sell their produce resulting in increased incomes and improved livelihoods. The private sector has become increasingly engaged. The results have been tremendous – reduced poverty, general economic growth and better nutrition.

I am truly grateful to African governments that accepted the challenge to prioritize agriculture. I am also grateful to partners that joined us in this endeavor and entrusted us with their resources. These include the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and many others. We would not have reached 22 million farmers without your support.

The capacity to produce food is no longer the fundamental problem, as the tools for this are now generally accepted. From the day I started as the Chair of the Board of AGRA, I have never doubted that we would declare full food sufficiency by 2030. The challenge now is to produce this food sustainably and in a way that generates prosperity and healthy jobs for our people and looks after the environment keeping our soils fertile and productive. We will not be able to build wealth for all through agriculture, and migration to cities will continue unabated unless we re-imagine our rural communities in a way that allows the next generation to aspire to a life at the sharp end of agriculture.

Technology is the way to achieve that, and as someone firmly rooted in that world, the most rewarding part of my work at AGRA has been leveraging fast-growing technological innovations to help transform people’s lives in Africa. Who would have thought, ten years ago, that using drones to deliver services to smallholder farmers would be a reality in our lifetime?

Personally, I recently invested in a tech start-up that has created an Uber-like platform for tractors enabling farmers to link with a central database and order a tractor via SMS; the tractor arrives within 24 hours, paid for using mobile money, freeing the farmer from the drudgery of the hoe. This service is particularly valued by women farmers, enabling them to circumvent social norms that might otherwise hamper their ability to hire a tractor.

We need to continue to dream big to make sure these technological developments are used to their full capacity to make agriculture prosperous, and rural lives comfortable. We want people, especially young people, to move from the city back to working in agriculture and turn it into an industry, with brands that are globally competitive. They have the skills and energy; we just need to empower and support them.

Each generation has its battle; ours is to make sure that those on the front line of our farms are there by choice, not by lack of an alternative or because they were left behind trapped in subsistence farming, and this is the battle that AGRA and its dedicated staff and partners are waging. We are winning – today, only 20% of the food produced by smallholder farmers is for subsistence, the remaining 80% goes into national and regional markets. Agriculture is not only providing food; it is transforming the livelihoods of rural communities.

(Source: newafricanmagazine.com)

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Are Africans Not Good Enough For The Ballon D’or?

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For many African football fans, 2019 was to be the year of recognition for African players competing for the Ballon d'Or title. For the first time ever, 5 out of the 30 players selected by FIFA were from Africa, namely Sadio Mané, Mohammed Salah, Riyad Marhez, Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang and Kalidou Koulibaly.

Against the expectations of many, on the evening of December 02, it was indeed Argentina’s Leonel Messi, who was crowned the winner of this 64th edition for the 6th time. The Africans, who had placed their hopes on Mané and his cohorts, were left was opening as none of the African icons made it to the podium which was finally occupied by Leonel Messi, Virgil Van Dijk and Cristiano Ronaldo. This verdict, highly contested by Africans, has led to a controversy over the stigmatization of African players and the real criteria that guide the choice of the jury composed of specialized journalists.

After the Liberian, George Manneh Weah won the Ballon d’Or title in 1995; Africans football lovers became adept followers of the famous award created in 1956 by France Football Magazine, which rewards the best footballer of the year. About 24 years after Weah, many African players have distinguished themselves on the international scene. Though they all cherish the same dream and despite their status as world-renowned stars, none of them has unfortunately been able to walk in the steps of the Liberian. Curse, conspiracy theory, injustice or simply victimization; are the thoughts and opinions that continuously linger in the minds of African soccer-loving fans.

Mané, the big disillusionment

Alongside Leonel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Virgil Van Dijk, Harry Kane, Matthijs de Ligth, Eden Hazard, Kylian Mbappé, Frenkie de Jong, and Mohamed Salah, the 27-year-old Senegalese forward was one of the favourites. Being among those shortlisted was enough to feed an old dream that quickly vanished into the thin air as the boy from Banbali saw his dream turn to a nightmare as Argentina’s Leonel Messi, the Dutch Virgil van Dijk and the Portuguese Cristiano Ronaldo being rewarded for being the best players of the year. According to many analysts, Sadio, the author of a successful season with the English club Liverpool, had convincing arguments to claim the throne.

The Senegalese international player owes his place in this FIFA shortlist to his performances, which have made him the Co-Best First League scorer with 22 goals, winner of the English League and Champion’s League with Liverpool and Vice African champion with the Teranga Lions. Mané is a full house in both club and national teams but nevertheless regarded as not qualified by voters who preferred to reward FC Barcelona’s genius (Spanish champion, top scorer in the Liga with 36 goals and in the Champions League with 12 goals).

However, if we have to consider the choice of previous editions, there was a strong argument in favor of the Teranga lion. Since 2014, the winner of the Ballon d’Or is a winning player of the Champions League, including Cristiano Ronaldo in 2014, 2016, and 2017, Leonel Messi in 2015 and Lucas Modric in 2018, a rule that was ignored this year. But for the wise souls, this result was already predictable given the surprising absence of Mané and Salah on the “FIFA the Best” award in September despite their superb seasons with Liverpool. The 154 votes obtained by Mané not only relegates him to 4th place but also makes him the 2nd African player after the Ivorian Didier Drogba to occupy this position.

Ambiguous selection criteria

According to a certain opinion, Mané’s non-acceptance has its origins elsewhere than in purely sporting criteria. Former Senegalese international Habib Beye and Cheikhou Kouyaté, Mané’s teammate on the national team, were the first to protest the final choice of the juries, pointing to the player’s African origins as the main factor that disadvantaged him.

If the former claims that it is not victimization, but that Mané is 4th because he is African, the latter claims that if the Senegalese attacker were Brazilian or European, there would simply not be any debate in the columns of the British Daily Mirror. Other analyses go further and are indignant at the lack of solidarity of Africans who chose Argentina’s Leonel Messi when the continent had five competitors. Dutch Van Dijke is ranked 1st in Europe, the same goes for Messi in South America. The 40 African countries eligible to vote; with the exception of Gambia, Niger, Algeria, Djibouti, Burkina Faso, Guinea, Senegal, were unable to give the first place to the Teranga lion. A lack of African solidarity that former internationals Ferdinand Coly and Samuel Eto’o Fils deplore.

“I’ve always considered that African football is not very united. From 2010 to 2016, the coaches and captains of FIFA-affiliated national teams were part of the Ballon D’or jury, alongside the journalists, and I never really felt much solidarity from Africans.”(Ferdinand Coly)

“Why is there so much jealousy between us Africans? Why this misplaced jealousy? If we don’t like each other, others won’t do it for us. It’s just a shame. If all Africans voted for Africans, we would have had several better players so far.” (Samuel Eto’o)

The Cameroonian striker also highlights the responsibility of the media, because the African media are dominated by the Western ideologies, which give more interest to other continent’s achievements than those of African. Ivorian midfielder Yaya Touré, who also talks about injustice to African players in terms of the allocation of the Ballon d’Or points to the problem of racism that he believes, exists within FIFA.

“Since the creation of the Ballon d’Or award, how many Africans have won it? One and it’s a shame! I often hear that during the World and Euro years, the winner of the Ballon d’Or must be part of the winning team. What about the CAN (Africa Cup of Nations) in all this? I’m angry, disappointed.”

For South African legend Benni McCarthy, the reasons for this stigmatization of the African player must be sought in the existence of business football lobbying that has a penchant for players who enjoy a reputation as superstars and whose image is used for commercial purposes. These inevitably shades talented players like Mané who are considered a little too “normal” and whose “simple” nature has nothing to do with the bling-bling, rhinestones and glitter that footballers like Neymar and Cristiano Ronaldo bring back. According to Benni McCarthy, many African stars including Nwankwo Kanu and Augustine Okocha have been snubbed in the past for the award for best player of the year because they are not cash cows.

“We are not catchy in Europe. They are looking for more lucrative players who can sell newspapers and magazines.”

African players still at the foot of the podium.

Long before Mane, Ivorian Didier Drogba ranked fourth in 2007 and Cameroonian Samuel Eto’o, fifth in 2009, are the first African players to have missed the award. The Gabonese Aubameyang occupied the eleventh place in 2016, the year during which he was the best player in the Bundesliga. That same year, the Algerian Riyad Mahrez, then the best player in the English championship, also obtained his best ranking at the 7th place. The 2019 Ballon d’Or also brought Egypt’s Mohamed Salah closer this time, occupying the 5th place just behind his club teammate Sodia. The Ivorian midfielder, Yaya Touré, considered one of the best in his position, has never gone beyond 12th place, which he occupied in 2015 and 2012.

Eto’o Fils, an African who deserved at least one Ballon d’Or according to Mourhino

One of the biggest scandals regarding the award of the Ballon d’Or remains the one that was awarded in 2006 to Italian defender Fabio Cannavaro. According to many football specialists, including Zinedine Zidane, Cameroonian striker Samuel Eto’o deserved to win that year’s award. The 6th place attributed to him was surprising given the incredible season achieved that year with Barca. Winner of the La Liga and Champions League, the Cameroonian striker also claimed the title of top scorer in the Spanish league that year (26 goals) as well as the title top scorer in the Champions League.

Samuel Eto’o is undoubtedly one of the best strikers of his generation. With three Champions Leagues, two African Cup of Nations (2000 and 2002), one World Cup (2010), three Spanish Championships (2005, 2006 and 2009), one Italian Championship in 2010, two Copa del Rey (2003 and 2009), two Italian Cups (2010 and 2011), two Spanish Super Cups (2005 and 2006) and one Italian Super Cup (2010) Eto’o has been a player who exuded phenomenal talent but who has unfortunately never been elected for the Ballon d’Or. Portuguese coach José Mourinho, who coached the Cameroonian at Inter Milan in Italy and Chelsea in England, said in an interview with a Cameroonian radio that he still doesn’t understand why Samuel Eto’o has never won the Ballon d’Or because of his impressive career.

“He was the world’s top scorer for several years and I think he deserved a Ballon d’Or, but these are things beyond our control.”

Liberian George Weah will remain the only African footballer to win the Ballon d’Or despite the impressive number of African players who have distinguished themselves since then. The former Yaoundé Thunderbolt striker, come politician, is for those who have worked with him, a man with a big heart, whose notoriety is not only based on his physical, technical and tactical talents as a player, but also on his benevolence, his sympathy and his great generosity.

Article from AFRIC Editorial

Photo Credit : google image/illustration

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Perceptions About Women By Stacy M Amewoyi

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Most men have a believe that, women especially, married (women) usually grow faster than men. It doesn’t mean women’s age increasing day by day, but their physical appearances look aged. A man can marry a woman whom he is six or eight years older than, but according to some perceptions, the believe is that, the woman will still look older than her husband when she started having babies. Trust me, this is never true! To be honest, this perception always comes from African men.

Women in general don’t want to go through stress especially when they are married, they need LOVE and AFFECTION. If you love your woman and adore her, she will never grow older. She will grow younger and cute because she is feeling the kind of love she needs. If you mistreat your woman, she will go through a lot of STRESS and DEPRESSION. Stress will make her dressing style change, she will always be looking old before you because lack of happiness she is not getting in the marriage. Women need happiness in their marriage…no amount of money given to her will satisfy her happiness. Just care for her, love her like you love yourself.

I know some men who have married their wives and the wives are older than them, because there is love and happiness in the marriage, the women is always looking young and pretty. Stress is a deadly disease in marriage so never allow your wife to go through that or else she will grow older than you think. I watched a TV program which was hosted by Nana Ama Mcbrown, she said, “women need happiness in their marriage, money cannot make your woman love you. Your love and care are the weapon to defeat stress.” 

Yes, I agreed with her! Do you know former first lady, Madam Theresah Kuffour is older than her husband, former Pres. Kuffour? These beautiful couples love themselves and nobody would even think of Mrs. Kuffour is older than Mr. Kuffour. Women never grow older than men! Take good care of your wife, and she will always look young.

Stress doesn't only make your wife older; it ages her genes as well. Aren’t you sometimes surprised that, your wife in her picture, no longer looks like the person staring back in the mirror? Perhaps, you have seen a significant change in the appearance of your wife. That demanding job, life's challenges, the grief of something unexpected. All these things can take a toll on an individual's appearance and contribute to premature aging in appearance. 

Married women experience more stress than single women…why? This should tell you, marry is a long journey and it takes a good husband to love the wife and makes her life comfortable. If a single woman lives by herself and there is no man in her life to stress her, she feel very okay and always living in her own dream. Not only women go through stress in marriage, but men also do. Some women also stress their husbands, at the end the men even become sexually weak in bed. Some men will become addicted to alcohol just to release stress. You and I know how alcohol draw a picture on drunkards.

Money in marriage is good…yes if you have money it can make life comfortable. Some couples go through a lot of stress be cause of financial issues. In troublesome monetary conditions couples can have stresses over issues, for example, work, contracts, charges, childrearing, social insurance and kid disapproving. The subsequent anxiety can affect on the two people and thus the relationship can be feeling the squeeze. When there is love in the marriage, it is imperative to have the option to talk about money related issues with each other in a steady and productive way to have the option to oversee them in the most ideal manner.

Communication is very important, and it releases stress. Correspondence (talking and tuning in) is critical to sound connections and relationships. Open, fair and deferential correspondence will assist you with dealing with the hardships your involvement with the course of your lives together. Without a positive example of correspondence, married couples may get ignorant of and careless regarding their accomplice's considerations, needs and emotions. Absence of correspondence can bring about couples lacking comprehension of one another, being discourteous towards each other and getting far off from each other. Guarantee you make time to converse with your accomplice consistently. The more you tune in and converse with each other, the closer you can turn into. The closer you are, the simpler it is to talk about, offer and work to tackle issues that emerge.

An enormous level of individuals accept that ladies are not in high positions since they themselves would prefer not to. This recognition happens in 26% in ladies and 34% in men. With the end goal for this to improve and circumstances of imbalance vanish, it is important to uncover the observations that exist: "in the event that one doesn't see that he has an issue, at that point he won't think about an answer". As of now, there is greater affectability about viciousness and provocation against ladies. In marriages and at workplaces, the perception is that, women opinions don’t matter. Guys and ladies can’t never be the same, this observation is wrong. Most ladies in Africa face difficulties challenges. The perception is too much!

The sad event is, a youthful female, brought up in a genuinely moderate nation like Ghana, get so intrigued and energetic about young ladies strengthening? That is another normal inquiry I am frequently posed, straightforwardly or something else. To put it plainly, it became out of two sources: a sad story I listened from Nhyira FM (ewiase mu nsem by Kofi Gyimah Ankoana) and the narrative of my nation, Ghana. A young man went to Nhyira FM and told his story to the panel of ‘Ewiase mu nsem’. He said, he was brought up in a town called Jacobu in Amansee District, Ashanti Region by a single parent, and she has two sisters in what is one of the most noticeably awful places on the planet to be a young lady. His mom isolated from his dad when he was very youthful. His two sisters confronted difficulties he never did: dangers of sexual savagery, rape, men meeting them and, in any event, when the young ladies were genuinely youthful, requesting that they wed them. In Ghana, the perception is that, if you come from a poor background, especially if you are young woman, the society or men will take advantage of you. Everything considered, he would now be able to perceive what occurred: society invested so a lot of energy letting them know, and young ladies like them, that there were better standards for him simply because he was a kid. To cut long story short, his two sisters were intimidated in various ways with no reasons. Why must innocent women go through these harassments? Like I said, we must find solution to this perception about women.

Writer: Stacy Amewoyi

Source; Promoter Koolic

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