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Aminata Baldeh, one of The Gambia's finest female singer, has passed away. Sources report that her sudden death occured on thursday, March, 9th, 2017. 
The Swedish born Gambian singer has done a lot of collaboration songs with top Gambian musicians including Gibou Bala Gaye, Vypa Skinny Boy fly and many others. She is one of the few female artists who actually released their own album. A true Gambian pride indeed.


Early Thursday, March 9th, 2017, social media was saturated with messages of condolences for Aminata's family. Cause of death is yet to be released. According to Jatou Mbowe, a.k.a ThaBoss chick, she saw Aminata 2 days ago from March 9th, 2017 on a facebook status update.Aminatah Baldeh is a Swedish singer with a Gambian father. She was about 28yrs of age. She sang mostly R&B. Check out her video below.
Our condolences goto the Baldeh family and the entire Gambian community in Germany, Sweden, and all over the world. May her soul rest in perfect peace.

A little girl was caught on camera stealing the Pope's skullcap as she gives him a kiss. 
The video was shot by the girl's Godfather with the caption: 'Took my Goddaughter to meet the pope. She stole his hat.'
Pope Francis scrambles for the hat, but is all smiles as he re-adjusts his uniform and the girl, named Shirley, is carried away.

The huge crowd erupted into laughter after the girl's sneaky swipe.

It is not the first time he has lost his headwear to a curious child. 
As the pontiff held a youngster in his arms while visiting a medical centre back in 2013, the cheeky child took off his white zucchetto at the Vatican.

For a moment, it looked like the cap-snatcher had an amazing souvenir - but, with a smile, the leader of the Catholic Church retrieved his headwear and returned it to its rightful place.

Gamian Boy in Italy filmed stealing from a Passenger

A young Gamibain Boy sitting in front a sleeping passenger in front of him was filmed stealing items from the sleeping Man`s bag.

The boy was successful in nabbing what looks to be a phone the first time he opened the mans bag. Then after he reached into the bag once again and took out what looks to be some money.

He continues to go back to the sleeping mans bag and reach even deeper in hopes of finding more steals. Meanwhile, he was un-aware of some other passenger filming his entire activities.

Eventually, the Man wakes up and although he doesnt realize that the boy had taken a few of his properties, he screams at the boy and startles him to get up and walk away.

But the man doesnt seem to realise that his properties were taken even after looking inside his bag.

Social media has identified the boy as a Gambian boy and its only a matter of time before he is fished out.

People are urging the boy to give back what he took from the man before it is too late for him.

This occured somewhere on a train in Italy.   City is still unknown.

A good way to measure how well the migrant population has been integrated into German society is to examine its economic standing relative to the native population. To this end, recent data from the German Federal Statistics Office shed some very important light. But first,

Who is a Migrant?

For the 5th time in a row last year, the population with a migrant background reached a new record high. An individual living in Germany is said to have amigrant background if she or he has a migration history of his or her own (post 1949), is a foreign national born in the Federal Republic or was born as a German citizen to at least a parent who is either an immigrant or was born in Germany as a foreign national. The total population with a migrant background in 2016 was roughly 18.6 million, representing more than 22% of the total population and an increase of about 8.5% from the previous year. The vast majority of these migrants - or nearly 70%, - have a European background. Other regions include Asia (18%) and Africa (4%).   

The economic state of migrants

While the national economy as a whole is doing fairly well, its benefits have not been equally shared by all groups. Annual percentage GDP growth rate in Germany remains far below the 4% level in 2010 but has risen each year since the 2011-2012 slump. Last year, the economy grew just shy of 2% according to the World Bank. Employment rates have also improved significantly since theglobal economic crisis of 2008. The Unemployment rate last year (as a percentage of total labor force) was just 4.3%. In economic parlance, this represents near full employment. Also, average gross monthly income continues to rise. In 2016, German workers took home on average 3,703 euros per month. However, the population with a migrant background earns significantly less than the native population.

Last year, 28.1% of the population with a migrant background earned not more than 900 euros per month compared to 20.7% of the native population. On the contrary, 23.5% of the native population earned 2,000 euros or more per month compared to just 13.1% of the population with a migrant background. Even more striking was the fact that only 15.3% of the native population had no monthly income in 2016 compared to 28.4% of the population with a migrant background. This means that altogether, more than 56% of the population with a migrant background have either no monthly income or earns not more than 900 euros per month compared to just 36% of the native population. The gross overrepresentation of the migrant population in the low or no income category is symptomatic of a host of factors.

Making Sense of the Gap

A host of factors underpins the gross overrepresentation of the migrant population in the low or no income category. The labor force participation rate among the native population is relatively higher than the participation rate among the migrant population (although the gap is quite narrow). The rate ofunemployment for the migrant labor force in 2016  was more than twice the rate of unemployment for the native labor force. This partly explains why more migrants earned no income last year than natives. Furthermore, the population with a migrant background is less likely than the native population to be self-employed or engage in salaried employment. While there are some important advantages of wage employment such as overtime pay and no take-home work, salaried jobs are better paid, more secure and are often accompanied by additional benefits including maternity/ paternity leave than wage employment. The underrepresentation of the population with a migrant background in salaried employment is hence significant not just in terms of income in the narrow sense, but also in terms of job security, health benefits, and the overall welfare migrant families.

Why is the migrant population disproportionately represented in low-paying jobs? A possible explanation may lie in the differences in average human capital accumulation between the two groups; i.e., differences in levels of education and vocational training. The higher educational attainment gap between the two groups is quite small. Thus, 15.2% of the native population have attained aBachelor's degree or higher ( Bachelor's, master's, Diploma and Doctor`s degree) compared to roughly 12.8% of the population with a migrant background. However, Roughly 70% of the native population have a vocational qualification of some sort compared to just 41% of the population with a migrant background. Average differences in earnings between the two groups could, therefore, be explained by their average differences in education and vocational training.

However, differences in education and vocational training alone do not fully explain the income gap. This is illustrated by the fact that migrants with general higher education entrance qualification are at least 2 times more likely to live in poverty than their native counterparts with the same qualification. Those with an entrance qualification for universities of applied sciences are nearly 3 times morelikely to live in poverty than their native counterparts with the same qualification. This suggests that other factors such as occupational crowding or even discrimination may also be at play.  

Why is it important?

The population with a migrant background represents more than 22% of the total population of Germany, many of whom are German citizens with no migration histories of their own. For these people, Germany and German are likely the only country and language they know. At a minimum, their full economic inclusion is important for the simple reason that Germany is their home if not their only home. Full economic integration is also necessary for migrants`social and emotional identification with Germany and to bring out the best in them both for their own development and for the development of the country. For full economic integration to be reached, the creation and proper implementation of policies that address the standing deficiencies in vocational training qualification of migrants and other barriers to their economic inclusion such as discrimination must be prioritized at both national and state levels. Closing the income gap between the two groups is not only important for the sake of equity but also for the sake of economics. Money in the hands of migrants is more likely to be spent since households with migrant members have, on average, more mouths to feed than households without migrant members.

Mohammed Adawulai is a columnist for TopAfric 

Following recent terror attacks in the United Kingdom as well as outside Europe, thousands of Muslims are set to protest extremism in Cologne on Saturday. But the country's largest Islamic group refuses to take part.

The rally under the motto of “not with us” seeks to bring Muslims together from across the country in a march for peace and against radical Islamist terrorism.

“The attacks by people who justify their acts by invoking Islam, without justification, are becoming more frequent,” the rally organizers write.

“Our faith is being abused, defiled, insulted, and distorted into something unrecognizable by this.”

But Germany’s largest Islamic organization, the Turkish Ditib union, is refusing to participate in the peace march. “Calls for ‘Muslim’ anti-terror demos fall too short, stigmatize Muslims, and constrict international terrorism to being just among them, and within their communities and mosques,” Ditib wrote in a statement.

The Turkish group further accused the march organizers of “public usurpation and instrumentalization”. It further noted that as it is currently the holy month of Ramadan, it was not reasonable for fasting Muslims to “march and demonstrate for hours in the blazing midday sun, at 25C, against terror and for peace.”

On Friday, Ditib will hold its own prayer at all of its mosques nationwide for peace and against terrorism. Still, organizer and Islamic scholar Lamya Kaddor said that the rally had been able to gather different groups together for the demonstration, with as many as 10,000 people expected to attend. Politicians are also supposed to take part to support the effort, including the future state Minister President for North Rhine-Westphalia, Armin Laschet of Angela Merkel’s conservative CDU party.

“We Muslims are in the midst of society, and the majority of us reject terror and violence exactly like every other person hopefully does,” said Kaddor.

“It is important now - after London, Manchester and the terror as well in the Islamic world where Isis kills innocent people - to put forth a visible, clear sign in support of peace, and to clearly distinguish ourselves from violent Islamism and Islamists.”

Supporting groups also include the Central Council of Muslims in Germany, and the group called Turkish Community in Germany.

THE LOCAL

Armed police have flooded London's streets as the terror threat level was raised to critical amid fears the Parsons Green bomber could strike again. The introduction of Operation Temperer will see soldiers replacing police at key sites including nuclear power plants to free up extra armed officers for regular patrols.

Scotland Yard said it is making 'excellent' progress in hunting the suspected terrorist who set off a crude bucket bomb on a packed commuter train by Parsons Green tube station in west London at 8.20am.

It was the middle of rush hour when the crude bucket bomb - which had a timer - went off at 8.20am inside a tube train packed with commuters, including children and a pregnant woman. The device was hidden in a builder's bucket and could have killed dozens but failed to properly detonate and sent a 'wall of fire' through the carriage at Parsons Green, injuring at least 29 people.

Terrified passengers were left covered in blood with scorched hands, legs, faces and hair - others suffered crush injuries during a stampede as they 'ran for their lives' over fears the 'train would blow up'. There are concerns the open-plan tube carriage the bomb went off in helped spread the fire.

Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4890314/Police-hunting-suspects-Parsons-Green-attack.html

To be an immigrant of any race in any part of the world is hard. To be an immigrant of a darker race in any part of the world is very hard. But to be an immigrant particularly from sub-Saharan Africa in any part of the world is the very bottom of hardships. This is as true in New York City as it is true in the city with big ships; Hamburg.

The African migrant's story is one of ambition born out of human-caused poverty and lack of opportunity. The connection between slavery and colonialism and the present factors that push large numbers of Africans out of their homes to Europe and the Americas is one that is often not clearly made. In England and later the United States, the slave trade was abolished in the early 19th century.The abolishment of slavery as a system in Britain and later in the United States under the 13th amendment in 1865 made both moral and economic sense. By the mid-20th century, imperialism had become too burdensome politically and economically for the war distracted colonial powers of Europe. The haste with which some of the European colonizers left Africa and the ill-prepared and ill-suited local leaders and governments that followed the departure set the continent on a rocky path from which it has not significantly recovered. Even under the best and brightest leadership, the task of undoing hundreds of years of damage to human and natural resources done by slavery and colonialism in about half a century would have been an extremely difficult if not impossible one.

And so Africa since independence has been playing catch-up and for nearly 60 years the much-anticipated convergence with the developed world has eluded the continent and its people. But that is not the worst thing- for practical and psychological reasons, many Africans have given up the hope of making it at home; poverty is a door that can only be broken down by a pilgrimage to Europe and the America`s. And it is in pursuit of opportunity, a chance to free themselves from the grips of poverty and to see just how far they can go when their talents and wills are given a fertile ground to germinate that many Africans set their foot on the shores of Europe and the Americas - by flight they came as students, workers, guest workers, and professionals; by boat they came across the Mediterranean Sea as political refugees or economic refugees disguised as such.  


By design and by accident, many have found themselves in this great country, Germany. More than22% (18.6 million) of the total population of Germany last year had a migrant background. In Hamburg, the foreign population was estimated at the end of 2015 at 14.7% (262,000) of the city's total population of roughly 1.8 million. It is home to migrants from Asia, North and South America, Australia, other parts of Europe and Africa.

Germans of African descent represent  4% (800,000)  of the total German population with a migrant background. In Hamburg, a significant portion of the migrant population is of African origin. Unofficial statistics indicate that the Afro-German community in Hamburg is roughly 50,000 members strong. The African community is as diverse as any other in terms of places of origin, religion, language, political ideology and occupational status. However, this diversity is hardly recognized by the outside world, - a world that sees the so-called African through a veil that is made up of symbols and stereotypes. Arguably, the biggest frustration of the African migrant is having to see himself through the lens of the other, to embrace an imposed identity which hitherto was foreign to him.

To be an African is to live outside Africa. It is not until one finds him or herself abroad that one truly becomes an African. The Ghanaian or the Eritrean living in Hamburg is often denied the luxury of defining herself as she sees fit, - her identiy precedes her; neatly sewn into a one-size fit all uniform called African which she must wear. And how could she dare not wear it? - would that not be a sign that she is ashamed of who she is?

The tragedy of the so-called African identity is not that it puts into a small box a people from fifty plus countries, belonging to different families, ethnic groups, religions, and social and economic class. Neither is it because such generalization is unique to Africans, - there are plenty of equally troubling generalizations about Europeans, Americans, and Asians. The distinction lies in just how effortless it is made and how very basic Africans are perceived. No serious publisher will agree to publish a book titled How Europeans Live based on an anthropologist`experience in a Belarusian Village of less than one hundred people. But how often does one sees publications of various kinds with the title African culture or African this or that based on a do-gooder`s or a photographer's experience on a hunting expedition in a Kenyan village of fewer than 100 households that is unbeknown to most citizens in the same country?

The discrimination that an African experience in Hamburg is generally based on two not unrelated things: race and place of origin. Thus, while the African may be discriminated against based on his appearance, the more removed he or she is from Africa ``the heart of darkness,`` the more he is embraced and considered modern. A person of African origin who was born in Germany and speaks German flawlessly or a black person from the United States who dolls out his English in slangs is more likely to get a seat at the table, be considered cool and modern than his fellow of similar characteristics with an African accent. It reminds me of an advice I once received from a mate well-nigh 3 years ago, - ``tell them you are from the United States, they prefer that`` he said, in his distinctively Nigerian sound.

The discrimination against the African has produced in some anger against and distrust of many things white, but in others, it has resulted in self-dislike and self-criticism. Few things are as cringe-worthy as the sight of a Ghanaian with a face partly black and partly white and of young lighter skin boys poking fun at their darker-skin classmates. Thus, the closer one is to Africa, the less beautiful, more backward and unsophisticated he or she is perceived even by his own kind. But perhaps the most disturbing of all is the numerous accounts of African mothers advising their daughters not to choose African men, - but how could they not?

Two things are true about the African mother; she has the greatest story as well as the saddest. Her ability to not only survive but thrive in style from racism, repressive traditional customs and sexism, particularly in the hands of African men, speaks to her genius and unbreakable spirit.

Sexism against women is of course not exclusive to any particular community. But it is much more difficult for a man to take advantage of or abuse a woman who is living in her own country, is more educated and is financially more secure. The lack of education, money, and sometimes legal documents limits the amount of resources and recourses available to many African women living abroad; which makes them far more vulnerable than their native German counterpart. The African community in Hamburg has a deluge of extremely hardworking and responsible family men. But it also has its fair share of abusive jerks and crooks who have successfully turned their wives and daughters into strong critics and distrusting souls of the so-called African man. In this context, one could at least understand why some mothers in the African community cringe at the thought of their daughters with yet another so-called African man. However, it is much easier for a mother to encourage her daughter not to associate with the stereotypical African man when she sees her very self through the lens of the dominant community that she strives to be associated with.

Not long after one begins to pay close attention to self-dislike in the African community and the different manifestations of it does one realizes that more than anything, it is a desperate attempt to be accepted by a world that is at the very minimum suspicious and at the extreme thinks as much of the African as it thinks of a monkey.

When it dawns on the African in Hamburg and elsewhere in Germany that he can't be trusted to walk into the supermarket with his own debit card, sit next to a bag on the train without touching it, get into any major club without a white posse, be treated equally by the police  or that his chances of getting a loan, an apartment or a job is higher the more white recommenders she or he has, of being liked the more relaxed and straight her hair is, and of being taking seriously as intelligent by his or her teachers and colleagues the less he or she speaks with an African accent, - when that happens, an all too common reaction by many Africans is to assimilate instead of integrating and hang with fewer so-called  ``too`` African people. In other words, their reaction is to embrace whatever the dominant culture holds as the symbol of modernity.

Following its visit in February this year to a number of German states including Hamburg to assess the human rights situations of people of African descent living in Germany, the United Nations Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent discovered, inter alia, that minority groups including people of African roots are the usual victims of stop and search by the police and housing discrimination by property owners. But perhaps the most disturbing finding was in the area of education where children with migrant backgrounds were twice as likely to drop out of school than their non-migrant background counterparts, and children of African background in particular  ``were increasingly recommended by teachers to take up school paths that reduced their opportunities for higher education (UN Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner, 2017).`` The Working Group concludes:

People of African descent are at the lowest rungs of German society. They end up with the jobs which nobody else wants. These are demonstrated by toilet cleaning jobs into which they are forced. They drive people of African descent into poverty, forcing them into depression, and raising serious risks of mental health issues (UN Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner, 2017)

The invitation of the Working Group by the German Government was a pretty good indication that the country's leadership is taking this issue seriously. As the Working Group points out, Article 1 and 3 of the Basic Law and the General Act on Equal Treatment of 2006 protect human rights and outlaw discrimination based on race. The launch of the International Decade for People of African descent in Germany and the State coalition agreements which ``recognize the people of African descent as a particular victim group are important steps in the path to recognition``(UN Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner, 2017). What is seriously lacking, however, is the enforcement of existing laws and the inclusion of crimes committed by state agencies like the police within the scope of the Equal Treatment Act.

The conversation about equal treatment and the provision of justice to minorities are often dressed in the garments of moral righteousness and the need to follow the law. But perhaps it is equally important to highlight just how regressive it is for any society to treat some of its members unequally, - does not the elementary school teacher who is more eager to recommend an African child to take up a path that reduces his or her chances for higher education realize that the country and the government that pays her loses when that child`s talents are misdirected? What good is there for the country if an Einstein, a Neil Degrasse Tyson, a Barack Obama or a Merkel in the African community is advised to take up football or stand in the factory line? All of the nation`s problems or the problems inherent in the African community will not be solved by the complete eradication of discrimination,- but with each step toward a more just and equal society, the country and its African folk just might discover how far they can go.

By: Mohammed Adawulai

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