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Saturday, June 25, 2016

Nigeria: Fractured and Forgotten

Nigeria Trip from Lou Ann Sabatier on Vimeo.

Nigeria: Dire Crisis Spawns Letter to President Obama Appoint Special Envoy for Nigeria & Lake Chad Region

WASHINGTON, June 24, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is a letter from 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative:

Dear Mr. President: We write with great urgency regarding the dire crisis continuing to unfold in northeastern and central Nigeria, much of it as the direct result of Boko Haram. Just yesterday, in the Washington Post, Kevin Sieff noted, "Thousands of Boko Haram victims are on the verge of starvation in northeastern Nigeria." Six people, on average, are dying every day from malnutrition. According to Medicins Sans Frontieres, "on certain days more than 30 people were dying due to hunger and illness," and that 66 percent of the children they screened were emaciated.

This is in addition to a recent Refugees International report which quoted a top UN official as saying, "Nigeria is our biggest failure." Another chief UN humanitarian official described the Lake Chad region as the "world's most neglected humanitarian crisis."

Should Nigeria further fracture it would also constitute one of the greatest security threats in West Africa. The Global Terrorism Index now considers Boko Haram the most lethal terrorist organization in the world with the Fulani militants of Nigeria's Middle Belt the fourth deadliest. Our own research indicates that in just the first four months of this year, there was a 190% increase in people killed by Fulani militants.
Earlier this year, we, along with others from the 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative, traveled to Nigeria and witnessed first-hand what is taking place. We met with over 500 people, drove through entire villages burned to the ground, visited with families forced to live in caves to elude terrorists, and heard firsthand testimony of communities surviving by eating grass. We have continued to liaise with those affected on the ground, diaspora groups, Congressional offices and State Department officials, and just released a report, "Nigeria: Fractured and Forgotten."

The crisis in Nigeria and the surrounding countries is larger than Boko Haram and cannot continue unaddressed. We are grateful you and your Administration have already designated Boko Haram as an FTO and offered significant assistance to Nigeria. However, given that this is the world's most neglected humanitarian crisis and one of the most significant security threats in West Africa, we believe what is needed is a Special Envoy for Nigeria and the Lake Chad region.

A Special Envoy for Nigeria and the Lake Chad region directly reporting to Assistant Secretary of State Linda Thomas-Greenfield could relate to Boko Haram, terrorism, IDP's, refugees, psycho-social care, etc. It is our firm belief that the United States and other Western nations have a vested interest in confronting one of the worst humanitarian crises of our day. The appointment of a Special Envoy would send a strong signal and further strengthen American leadership.

We urge you and your Administration to act quickly and appoint a Special Envoy for Nigeria and the Lake Chad region.
Thank you for your consideration.
Randel Everett
President, 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative  
Frank R. Wolf
Distinguished Senior Fellow
The full report with recommendations can be accessed at

SOURCE 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative


Friday, June 24, 2016

Northern Nigeria Produced the Richest Black Man on Earth Without Niger Delta Oil

 Why do some people think like uneducated idiots?
The north has produced the richest black man on earth, multi billionaire Alhaji ALIKO DANGOTE and he does not have a single oil block. He produces and sells cement, sugar, salt and other goods people need more than crude oil.

The north can survive and succeed without the Niger Delta.
The wealthiest countries in the world don't produce crude oil.

The north can dump the crude oil from Niger Delta and import from north Africa and the Middle East.
What is the use of being oil producing states, but have no brains to produce world class billionaires like Alhaji ALIKO DANGOTE? 

UK: A Divided Nation

And so the people spoke. As the results trickled in during the night it gradually became clear that the UK was heading towards Brexit. Flying in the face of the majority of experts and academics, the public chose to leave the European Union. To be precise - 51.9 percent chose to leave.

For the other 48.1 percent and indeed the rest of the world, the shock is still resonating. No one, on either side, knows what is going to happen – economically, politically or socially. Prime Minister Cameron has resigned, the pound has fallen to the lowest level for over 30 years, and an initial 120 billion pounds has been wiped off the FTSE 100.

The close nature of the result highlights a stark split in the will of the population, not just from person to person but, perhaps more significantly, from country to country. Not a single area in Scotland voted to leave the EU with a total of 62 percent voting against the proposed Brexit. This has inevitably led to calls for a second referendum on Scottish independence. Having narrowly voted against independence from the UK in 2014, the First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, has said another vote is ‘highly likely'.

Today’s result might not just pull the United Kingdom out of the European Union, it may well end up tearing this divided nation apart.

 Source: Statista.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Establishment of the African Audiovisual and Cinema Commission

Pan African Federation of Filmmakers (FEPACI)


Establishment of the African Audiovisual and Cinema Commission (AACC)

The African Audiovisual and Cinema Commission (AACC) will be responsible for the promotion of the rapid development of the African audiovisual and cinema industry

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, June 23, 2016/ -- The Ministers of Culture, Youth and Sports of African Union Member States have today established the long awaited African Audiovisual and Cinema Commission as a specialized agency of the African Union.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Femi Odugbemi's Documentary "Makoko: Futures Afloat" Makes History

The Architect Africa Film Festival now in its tenth year, starts tomorrow 23rd of June. Interestingly, this year marks the first time the film/production of a Nigerian director will be screened. Femi Odugbemi's documentary 'Makoko Futures Afloat' which shows the plight of the residents of the area and also Kunle Adeyemi's 'Floating school', will be flying the flag for Nigeria.

The festival takes places every two years.
At the inaugural event in 2007, 'Lagos Wide & Close' a film by Rem Koolhaas the Pritzker Prize-winning Dutch architect, theorist, and provocateur, was screened.


17 June 2016


Advances in digital communications and media have changed the way we live, work and play. The power of film as a socially equitable, environmentally considerate and economically effective platform to communicate new concepts, concerns and ground-breaking ideas has never been greater.
Previously unheard voices can now be heard; new spaces and opportunities are opening up all around us all the time; and we’re able to engage around common causes in ways that previous generations could not.
This year, the Architect Africa Film Festival (#AAFF2016) has capitalised on the rapidly evolving power of film as an easily-accessible means of communication, to put together a top-quality selection that will engage, inform and inspire our audiences around the topics Architecture as Universal Language; Architecture as a Language of Global Capitalism; and Architecture as Local Engagement.

As part of our selection process, a ‘Call for Entries’ was circulated locally through stakeholders and the media, and internationally through our partner festivals – to open up the #AAFF2016 as a showcase for new productions, emerging filmmakers and students. The #AAFF2016 selection panel comprising Professors Lesley Lokko, Lone Poulsen, and Jyoti Mistry, in collaboration with our curator Dr Costanza la Mantia, then evaluated submissions based on watchability, technical execution, relevance of message, and relation to architecture.
Highlights from our ‘Call for Entries’ in the #AAFF2016 programme include:

Makoko. Futures Afloat. (2015)
Director: Femi Odugbemi
In the heart of Nigeria’s fastest growing city, Lagos, two worlds constantly live out the irony of economic realities. Divided by the popular third mainland bridge, the bustling economic part of the city stands adjacent to MAKOKO – a sprawling fishing community, floating on the waste of the city. Neglected by the government, MAKOKO strives for a place in the fortune and future of the city, by the effort of individuals who focus on educating children who otherwise would not have had any opportunity for formal education.

2017 Africa Business Fellowship Application Opens

2017 Africa Business Fellowship Application Opens
Click here to apply.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Jo Cox: Attacks On UK MPs While in Office

Jo Cox.

The UK parliament was recalled today to mourn the death of MP Jo Cox. The murder of the mother of two has sent shockwaves through the UK and its political system. Known in her capacity as MP for Batley and Spen as a compassionate and well-respected politician, she had campaigned for the government to accept more child refugees from Syria and was actively involved in the Remain campaign for the upcoming EU referendum.

Unfortunately, this is not the first serious attack on a UK MP. The chart below illustrates just how vulnerable the position can be - since 1979 there have now been six fatal attacks on MPs as well as two attempted murders.
Read the full report on

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Lagos in Motion: Sights and Sounds of Africa's Largest Megacity

The most expected Nigerian tourist documentary film, "Lagos in Motion,
: Sights and Sounds of Africa's Largest Megacity" will be released worldwide next month July with the world premiere in Lagos. The documentary will be released with the photo book.
Produced and directed by Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima, one of the most popular travel reviewers on Trip Advisor and Publisher and Editor of Nollywood Mirror series on the Nigerian film industry, the documentary film shows the major landmarks and the people of Lagos in more than 35 different locations never seen before on film with some dramatic moments of young tourists on the road and at popular Elegushi beach in Lekki.

Michael Chima who has been living in Lagos since birth has seen the evolution of Lagos from the 1970s to date as the federal capital of Nigeria before losing the status to Abuja in 1991, but has become one of the fastest growing cities in the world as the commercial capital of Nigeria, the most populous country in Africa and the continent's largest economy boosted by the rapid development of Lagos state with a population of more than 20 million people attracting both local and global investors to become the richest state in Nigeria and fifth biggest economy in Africa as the largest megacity with the highest GDP.
Lagos is also heartbeat of the continent for entertainment with the phenomenal Nollywood, the largest home entertainment industry in Africa and second largest home videos industry in the world after Bollywood of India and ahead of Hollywood in production of home videos.


"Lagos in Motion" is the first of three documentary films on Lagos and will be followed by "Lagos in Celebration" on social events and festivities and "Lagos is Working" on Lagosians at work on land, sea and air, from traders on the streets and markets to factory workers and office workers to capture one of the most resilient cities in the world in motion picture.

More photographs and video clips are on @247Nigeria on Twitter.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Andela Raises $24 Million Led by Chan Zuckerberg Initiative to Mobilize Africa's Top Engineering Talent

NEW YORK, June 16, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Andela, a company that recruits the most talented software developers in Africa and embeds them into engineering organizations worldwide, is today announcing $24M in Series B funding. Chan Zuckerberg Initiative is leading the round, which marks its first lead investment to date, and they are joined by new investor GV (formerly Google Ventures) and existing investors including Spark Capital, Omidyar Network, Learn Capital, and Africa-based CRE Ventures.

Founded by veteran entrepreneurs from both North America and Africa, Andela has grown into one of the most visible technology movements on the African continent by bridging the gap between skilled software developers and the companies that need them. Andela developers are currently working with a number of high-growth engineering organizations, which range from venture-backed startups like 6Sense and the Muse to industry leaders including Google and Microsoft.

"We live in a world where talent is evenly distributed, but opportunity is not. Andela's mission is to close that gap," says Mark Zuckerberg. "Companies get access to great developers, and developers in Africa get the opportunity to use their skills and support their communities. Priscilla and I believe in supporting innovative models of learning wherever they are around the world -- and what Andela is doing is pretty amazing." Click here for full report.