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When 'no-go' areas are mentioned in Germany, it is usually in connection with foreign mafia families. But a UN fact-finding team have warned there are areas black men fear to enter.
“When I have to go to Brandenburg for work, I go - but I wouldn’t bring my daughter with me,” said Yonas Endrias, an adoptive Berliner.

Endrias, originally from Eritrea, has been involved for years in associations that fight discrimination against black people in Germany, and is one of dozens of people of African heritage consulted by a three-person team sent by the UN to look into racism.

“Racism is particularly bad in Saxony,” Endrias said, adding that working with Saxon law enforcement posed a real problem “because the police there don’t really know what racism is". Even the deputy leader of Saxony admitted last year that the state's police had a racism problem.

The Eritrean's comments formed part of a preliminary report by the UN team on their week-long visit to Germany, presented at a press conference in Berlin on Monday.

The UN group - two lawyers and a human rights expert - visited Berlin, Dessau, Dresden, Frankfurt, Wiesbaden, Düsseldorf, Cologne and Hamburg from February 20th to 27th. Even after their first visit, the team were clear that they saw systemic problems with racism in Germany, and an "incomplete understanding of history" that makes the situation largely invisible to the rest of the population.

“Although the constitution guarantees equality, bans racial discrimination and enshrines the inviolability of human dignity, these principles are not put into practise,” the group concluded.

They expressed particular concern that African men are often too afraid to enter certain parts of the country, due to fear of being attacked.

But the report was also sharply critical of the school system.

“Many African Muslim pupils at German schools describe their experiences as traumatic, as they not only experience racism as black people but also as Muslims," the report noted.

“According to what we have heard from civil society, more and more children from African backgrounds are being given marks by teachers which block their paths into higher education."

The group also accused the police of racial profiling, and said that "institutional racism" and racist stereotypes has led to a failure by authorities to thoroughly investigate and prosecute people who commit racist violence and hate crimes.

“The repeated denial that racial profiling exists in Germany by police authorities and the lack of an independent complaint mechanism at [the] federal and state level fosters impunity,” said Ricardo Sunga, head of the UN team, in a statement.

The group also noted that street names such as Mohrenstraße were insulting to Africans, according to Die Welt. Mohr is an outdated German word for a black person.
"People of African heritage live right a the bottom of German society. The only jobs left for them are the ones no one else wants to do,” the UN experts concluded.

The report put forward some preliminary recommendations, including that Germany should gather statistics on the number of people with African roots who live in the country.

According to Sunga, there are as many as one million people with African roots in Germany - over one percent of the population - and gathering more information on them would “make them visible.”

thelocal.de

Women in Berlin should be careful because there is someone carrying out acid attacks specifically on women in the city.
In the last three months, five women have been attacked with burning liquids and all of them have sought medical treatment, DW reported.

On Tuesday Berlin police said they were investigating a series of acid attacks on women in the past months.

The latest attack took place on Monday night in Friedrichshain, where a cyclist sprayed a 27-year-old woman with what the fire brigade suspected was acid.

If proven it would be the fifth case of its kind in the past few months.

Afroport.de

The cyclist who escaped, is yet to be identified. The fire brigade treated the woman, who then went to hospital with injuries to her face.

According local media reports, the fire brigade had to neutralize acid, which had splashed on nearby cars during the attack.

A statement released by the police says the woman was attacked while walking along Jungstrasse.

DW reported that several women have reported being sprayed with an unknown liquid in Berlin. In January a cyclist attacked a 27-year-old woman in Prenzlauer Berg. In December three women were attacked in Prenzlauer Berg, Weissensee and Charlottenburg. All of them had to seek medical treatment.

In one case the perpetrator sprayed the liquid with a water gun from a bicycle, and in another case the liquid was proven to be battery acid, national daily “Die Welt” reported.

Investigations are still underway to establish if there is a link between the attacks.

Germany’s Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) has asked the regional authorities to fingerprint all refugees living in Germany.
The move is meant to fight the use of multiple identities, the so-called “cheat-identities” and “benefit fraud”.

Jutta Cordt, the new head of the BAMF, told the “Passauer Neue Presse” that it’s now the responsibility of Germany’s regional immigration offices to fingerprint refugees.

“They have to take the fingerprints of all people who register with them and compare the data with the central register,” Cordt told the paper.


BAMF officials who have been cross checking fingerprints with security authorities since last autumn have been able to “rule out multiple identities in the asylum procedure.”

The new measure comes as BAMF struggles to deal with a backlog of some 430,000 unprocessed applications for asylum.

Recently a 25-year-old asylum-seeker in Hannover was handed 21 month suspended sentence including 200 hours of community service for fraud, German public broadcaster NDR reported.

DW reported that the asylum-seeker admitted to having registered in several cities across Germany under seven different names in order to obtain social benefits.

www.afronews.de

Germany’s doctors are embracing the newly legal prescription of medical marijuana, which went into effect at the start of this month.

“I predict a certain increase of this therapy, though to what extent is unclear,” said Josef Mischo of the German Medical Association, referring to how doctors can now treat their patients with the drug.

“As a medical community, we welcome the fact that therapeutic possibilities have now been expanded.”

Before the German parliament (Bundestag) passed the new legislation in January, the only way for patients to use cannabis as a treatment was to apply and wait for special, individual approval - and the bar was set fairly high for those seriously ill.

Only around 1,000 people had been given this permission when the law was passed, and some even died while they were waiting for their request to be processed. Users also had to take on the costs themselves.

But now doctors can simply write their patients a prescription if, for example, they suffer from chronic pain or a serious loss of appetite due to an illness. Health insurance providers also now must cover the costs of cannabis treatments.

To oversee the new distribution and control of medical marijuana, a new Cannabis Agency has been established under the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM).

German politicians said the law was intended for those with serious illnesses - like multiple sclerosis or cancer patients suffering the effects of chemotherapy - but it is still not exactly defined as to what kinds of patients can be prescribed the drug.

This is also because, as Mischo explains, there is still relatively little data about the range of illnesses and symptoms that can be alleviated through cannabis use.

“It is good that the legislators largely left it up to the doctors to decide if cannabis should be used,” said Mischo, who is also president of Saarland’s medical association.

Mischo said that he can already see how doctors will increasingly prescribe the drug under the new law.

“Right now I can already imagine that many doctors will now, for one thing, test to see if their chronic pain patients get better with cannabis.”

Last year Germany imported 170 kilograms of cannabis for medical purposes, according to a government response to an inquiry from Die Linke (The Left Party), as reported by publishing group Funke Mediengruppe on Friday.

This was nearly double the amount imported the previous year at 92.8 kilograms, and nearly four times as much as in 2014. Germany will continue to import the marijuana it needs until the state can set up its own supervised production. Private producers could also apply for licenses.

The German Cannabis Association (DHV) said they want more clarity on how businesses could gain such licenses.

“Concrete, detailed regulations will determine whether it will actually make sense for entrepreneurs to apply for licenses,” said a representative of the lobby organization.

“What needs to be clarified is: what quantities will be given out, what varieties, what are the quality requirements, what is required of the businesses, and how many licenses will be issued.”

And while the law is likely to expand cannabis use and its health benefits for those with illnesses, doctors are still sceptical about whether the law should be expanded further to allow recreational consumption.

“For recreational use, we cannot say based on studies thus far that it is harmless,” said Mischo, who is an addiction expert.

“If someone uses cannabis for a long time as a teenager or young adult, there are negative effects. But it is not clear whether there are better protections against this when it is limited and legal, versus when it is illegal.”

Source: The Local

Ghana celebrates its independence today, 6 March. A big military parade, political speeches and cultural performances will characterise the national celebrations at the Independence Square in Accra.

Music and dance will fill the beaches of the West African country as citizens use the public holiday to enjoy themselves and everything appears to be in the national colours of red, yellow and green to remember the independence of the country from Britain 60 years ago.

The path to independence
In 1949, after 75 years of British colonial rule, the Convention People’s Party (CPP) was founded by Kwame Nkrumah. In the first years of its existence the party organized numerous boycotts and strikes to raise awareness of and protest against the problems associated with colonialism in Ghana.

A year later, in 1950, the first cries for the right of self-determination were being uttered (“Self-Government Now!”). As a result of the agitation, many party officials were incarcerated, one of them was Nkrumah.

Nevertheless the CPP was able to win a big majority in the elections of that year. Nkrumah was immediately released from prison by Governor Charles Noble Arden-Clarke to enable him participate in the self-government administration instituted by the British.

After Nkrumah was elected Prime Minister in 1952, it took another five tumultuous years for the country to gain independence from Great Britain.

These troubled years are reflected in the Ghanaian flag as well: the red represents all the people that worked hard or even died for the independence of Ghana. The star on the other hand is a symbol for Africa’s emancipation and unity in the fight against colonialism.

Biggest African community in Germany
More than 40.000 people with Ghanaian heritage live in Germany, which makes them the biggest African community in the country from south of the Sahara. Half of them still have Ghanaian citizenship.

The main causes of emigration from Ghana were the issues associated with the efforts by the presidency of Kwame Nkrumah to quickly industrialize and modernize the country.

In the immediate period after independence Ghana was considered the richest country in tropical Africa and President Nkrumah embarked on an ambitious modernization programme, which included the building of schools and universities.

That period ended with the overthrow of the president in 1966, pushing the country into an economic crisis. Many Ghanaians’ hopes of entering the middle class were destroyed and they started migrating to other countries.

This was especially the case with students who had wanted to study abroad and people who already had gained their education in Ghana, who started leaving the country. That’s why this period is also known as the “Brain Drain”. Today almost half of Ghanaian university graduates live abroad, which is why they are dubbed the “elite immigrants”.

One of the elite immigrants is Stephen Ampofo, a successful engineer who’s actively engaged as the chair of the African German Network Association. He came to study in Germany in 1989. The son of a cocoa farmer has accomplished everything: he mastered the time intensive and expensive German courses, which he started attending in Ghana. He adjusted to a different culture and graduated from his studies. Now he can even afford to support his friends and family back home using money transfer services like MoneyGram. “I am extremely proud that I was able to give myself and my family an edge by migrating to Germany”.

Still, Stephen Ampofo cannot imagine becoming a German citizen. He wants to go home. “My monthly [money transfer] transactions are also meant to secure my future. I am helping my parents pay off the mortgage on their house which I will own in about 12 years,” he explains.

Akwasi Opoku Edusei from Mannheim has a similar story to tell. He was born in Kumasi, the second largest city in Ghana. He also came to study in Germany at the age of 28.

Today he lives with his wife in one of Europe’s biggest metropolitan areas, the Rhein-Neckar-Region. Initially, Edusei had to adjust to the climate – the Ghanaian weather is what he misses most. To him Ghana still represents paradise, which makes him even more proud on its independence day.

Akwasi Edusei is member of the Ghana Union Mannheim/Ludwigshafen, whose members are campaigning for the development of their home country. Additionally they promote the integration of Ghanaians into the German system.

Aiming to ensure that obstacles will be overcome and possibilities will be utilized, the union organizes different projects, meetings and events. As a point of contact and multiplier of information about “immigrants as entrepreneurs” this organization is one of the most active African unions in Germany. Its members will celebrate their Independence Day by talking about their former life in Ghana, their new experiences in Germany and old memories of the Independence Day celebrations in Ghana.

Quelle: Oliver Behrens
http://www.theafricancourier.de/europe/ghanaians-in-germany-celebrate-60th-independence-day-anniversary/

If you are a newcomer to Germany and are looking for work, you should seriously consider contacting MigrantHire, a smart matching system that can connect you to socially responsible employers.
MigrantHire was co-founded by Hussein Shaker, a Syrian refugee and Information technology student who struggled to find work in IT when he arrived in Germany.

Mr Shaker and Remi Mekki, a Norwegian entrepreneur living in Berlin together with two other Berliners established the recruitment platform MigrantHire to help the newcomers to Germany find work and integrate into society as fast as possible.
MigrantHire’s mission is to help as many refugees as possible find work in Germany.

“With over 600,000 jobs and an aging population, Germany is in dire need of an influx in the workforce. We know that getting a job is one of the key factors of integration, and people coming to Germany want to start working and contributing to the society as soon as possible,” MigrantHire says.

Whoever needs help in finding a job in Germany can register with MigrantHire, upload their CV, and the platform will do the rest. After creating your profile, the MigrantHire team will connect you with the right opportunities.

The team will also support you with all questions regarding work permit, training and certification.

goto  https://migranthire.com/ to create your profile

On Saturday, the 11th of March 2017 the NPP Hamburg Chapter celebrated Ghana’s 60 years of independence and the election of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo as the president of the republic of Ghana. The event began at about 9.15pm with two beautiful ladies, smartly dressed in the NPP party colors welcoming the invited guests and taking them to their seats. The evening began with prayers by Amoako Darko and Kamal Ambassador. 

Mr. Augustine Kofi Poku, the Chairman of the Hamburg Chapter in his welcome address encouraged members of his party to be good citizens, so as to encourage non-members to join the party. He gave a vivid account of Ghana’s past 60 years and emphasis of the roles of the past presidents and those who lost their lives in the struggle to attain independence for the country on 6th March 1957.

At the event were members from other Chapters in Germany and members of the national executives led by the national president, Rev. Alex Acheampong. Admittedly it was a surprise to others seeing the pastor not only in politics, but playing a leading role. He challenged the gathering not to be spectators, but to contribute their quotas in nation building. He disclosed that German NPP chapter spent over 100,000 thousand Euros in supporting the comeback of the party to power. The President, Nana Akuffo-Addo, has since assuming office heeded advice from Ghanaians in Diaspora.

The event also witnessed the presence of nonparty members and the leadership of the Ghana community led by Nana Anane Kakyire (President) and Osei Tutu (General Secretary), Dr. Victoria Manu, Nana Owusuwaa Mprengo Queenmother of Bohyen –Kumasi and Desmond John Beddy of TopAfric Meadia Network.

In a keynote address, Nana Anane Kakyire challenged Ghanaians especially the youth to contest for leadership positions in the upcoming Ghana Union election, since himself and the general secretary are no longer contesting, he also used the occasion to praise Madam Mary Oduro, a former Women Organizer of the NPP and a former executive member of the Ghana Union for her immense contribution to the community.

The arrival of Opanin Koo Kusi a Ghanaian opinion leader and a known NDC member rekindled the entire event. He waved his flag to the audience and this single action demonstrated how tolerant and civilized the Ghanaian community in Germany has become. Belonging to different political parties only mean having diverse opinions in moving a nation forward. 

The event took place at the “Bei der Christuskirche 2 in Hamburg. The organizers must be commended for a good job, there was enough to eat and drink and Dj Cliff did a great job, Onaapo was played repeatedly with JustErick and his video crew at work.
The event was moderated by Alex Tuffour and Evelyn Garbrah.

God Bless Ghana
God Bless Germany

TopAfric Media Network

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