In The Spotlight
If multiracial democracy cannot be defended in America, it will not be defended elsewhere.
The conservative intelligentsia flocked to the Ritz-Carlton in Washington, D.C., this week for the National Conservatism Conference, an opportunity for people who may never have punched a time clock to declare their eternal enmity toward elites and to attempt to offer contemporary conservative nationalism the intellectual framework that has so far proved eliusive.
Yoram Hazony, the Israeli scholar who organized the conference, explicitly rejected white nationalism, barring several well-known adherents from attending, my colleague Emma Green reported. But despite Hazony’s efforts, the insistence that “nationalism” is, at its core, about defending borders, eschewing military interventions, and promoting a shared American identity did not prevent attendees from explicitly declaring that American laws should favor white immigrants.
Some other attendees, such as National Review’s Rich Lowry, took pains to distance themselves from the president’s brand of nationalism. “We have to push back against Donald Trump when he does things to increase that breach between the right and African Americans,” Lowry said. But in the fall of 2017, when Trump attempted to silence black athletes protesting police brutality, Lowry praised his “gut-level political savvy,” writing, “This kind of thing is why he’s president.”
The conference stood solidly within the conservative intellectual tradition, as a retroactive attempt by the right-wing intelligentsia to provide cover for what the great mass of Republican voters actually want. Barry Goldwater did not break the Solid South in 1964 because the once Democratic voters of the Jim Crow states had suddenly become principled small-government libertarians; voters who backed Donald Trump in 2016 did not do so because they believed a nonracial civic nationalism had been eroded by liberal cosmopolitanism.
The consensus that American civic nationalism recognizes all citizens regardless of race, creed, color, or religion was already fragile before Trump took office. That principle has been lauded, with varying degrees of sincerity, by presidents from both parties, and in particular by the first black president, who reveled in reminding audiences that “in no other country in the world is my story even possible.” The nationalism that conservatives say they wish to build in fact already existed, but it was championed by a president whose persona was so deformed by right-wing caricature that they could not perceive it. Instead, they embraced the nationalism that emerged as a backlash to his very existence and all it represented. Trump’s nationalist innovation is not taking pride in his country, supporting a principled non-interventionism, or even advocating strict enforcement of immigration laws. The only thing new Trump brings to the American nationalism of recent decades is a restoration of its old ethnic-chauvinist tradition. Conservative intellectuals cannot rescue nationalism from Trump, any more than they could rescue Goldwater from Jim Crow, because Trump’s explicit appeals to racial and religious traditionalism, and his authoritarian approach to enforcing those hierarchies, are the things that have bound conservative voters so closely to him. The failure of the conservative intelligentsia to recognize this is why it was caught so off-guard by Trump’s rise to begin with.
At a rally last night in North Carolina, Trump was reminding the country of this truth. Last week, the president told four Democratic congresswomen—Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley, Rashida Tlaib, and Ilhan Omar—to “go back” to their countries, even though all of them are American citizens. This is literally textbook racism. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission offers “Go back to where you came from” as its example of potentially unlawful harassment on the basis of national origin.
Trump’s demand is less a factual assertion than a moral one, an affirmation of the president’s belief that American citizenship is conditional for people of color, who should be grateful we are even allowed to be here. Some elected Republicans offered gentle rebukes; others defended the president’s remarks. But at his rally in North Carolina, Trump showed them all that the base is with him. The crowd erupted into chants of “Send her back” when the president mentioned Omar, the Minnesota representative who came to the United States as a refugee from Somalia.
Republicans, in the week since Trump’s initial tweet attacking the four representatives, have tried to argue that the president was criticizing their left-wing views and “hatred for America,” or that the attacks on Omar were justified because of her past remarks about Israel. This is belied by the nature of the attack itself—not only did Trump say “countries” in his tweet telling the representatives to “go back,” but much of the bill of particulars against Omar that his supporters use to justify calling for her banishment also applies to the president, long a hyperbolic critic of the American political establishment.
Some of Omar’s remarks in the past (for which she has apologized) have echoed anti-Semitic language about Jewish conspiracies and dual loyalty, but the president has described Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as “your prime minister” to American Jewish audiences, and is a proponent of the anti-Semitic conspiracy theories around immigration that terrorists have used to justify killing American Jews. No apology from the president on these matters is forthcoming, and the right will not demand one. The ancient anti-Semitic charge of dual loyalty does not somehow become more justifiable when applied to Muslims. As James Kirchick wrote for The Atlantic, “Trump’s invocation of Israel to attack four ethnic-minority women is breathtakingly cynical, effectively working to pit Jews and people of color against each other.” Trump has falsely accused Omar of supporting al-Qaeda, of betraying her country. But when a foreign power attacked American elections, it was the president who first sought to profit from that attack, and then to obstruct the investigation into it, and finally to offer a vocal defense of the perpetrators.
The argument that Omar’s criticisms of her adopted country for failing to live up to its stated ideals justify revoking her citizenship substantiates the very criticism she lodged. Trump has said, “If you hate our country, or if you are not happy here, you can leave!” but his entire 2016 campaign was premised on the idea that many Americans not only are deeply unhappy, but also have every right to demand that things be better. That Trump’s supporters believe Omar’s sins justify her banishment, and Trump’s similar transgressions justify his presence in the White House, helps illustrate exactly what is going on here. Under Trumpism, no defense of the volk is a betrayal, even if it undermines the republic, and no attack on the volk’s hegemony can be legitimate, even if it is a defense of democracy.
Faced with the president’s baldly expressed bigotry toward four women of color in Congress, Republicans turned to reporters to argue that his attacks are part of a clever political strategy, elevating four left-wing women of color into the faces of his opposition. I suspect these Republicans, and some political reporters, believe that this somehow exonerates Trump from the charge of bigotry, as though prejudice ceases to be prejudice if it becomes instrumental. In fact, the admission that fomenting racism and division is central to Trump’s strategy is a stunning rebuke to those political reporters and pundits who, for four years, have insisted that the rise of Trump is about anything else. Trump and his most ardent liberal critics are in full agreement about the nature of his appeal, even as they differ on its morality. Only the Trumpists, and those who wish to earn their respect, fail to see it.
It also speaks to the futility of trying to somehow rescue a Trumpian nationalism from Trump. Racism is at the core of Trumpism. The movement cannot be rescued from its bigotry, and those at the National Conservatism Conference who believe it can are in denial. Conservatives can make their case for limited government, or for religious traditionalism, but as long as it is tied to Trump or Trumpism, it will be tainted. Trump is not a champion of the civic nationalism Hazony and others claim they want to see. He is a mortal threat to it.
I often open my articles on Trumpism with explorations of American history. I’ve spent much of the past four years trying to illuminate the historical and ideological antecedents to Donald Trump, to show how America got to this point.
So I want to be very clear about what the country saw last night, as an American president incited a chant of “Send her back!” aimed at a Somali-born member of Congress: America has not been here before.
White nationalism was a formal or informal governing doctrine of the United States until 1965, or for most of its existence as a country. Racist demagogues, from Andrew Johnson to Woodrow Wilson, have occupied the White House. Trump has predecessors, such as Calvin Coolidge, who imposed racist immigration restrictions designed to preserve a white demographic majority. Prior presidents, such as Richard Nixon, have exploited racial division for political gain. But we have never seen an American president make a U.S. representative, a refugee, an American citizen, a woman of color, and a religious minority an object of hate for the political masses, in a deliberate attempt to turn the country against his fellow Americans who share any of those traits. Trump is assailing the moral foundations of the multiracial democracy Americans have struggled to bring into existence since 1965, and unless Trumpism is defeated, that fragile project will fail.
Nevertheless, most of Trump’s predecessors had something he does not yet have: the support of a majority of the electorate. Ilhan Omar’s prominence as a Republican target comes not, as conservatives might argue, simply because her policy views are left-wing. Neither is it because, as some liberals have supposed, she is an unmatched political talent. She has emerged as an Emmanuel Goldstein for the Trumpist right because as a black woman, a Muslim, an immigrant, and a progressive member of Congress, she represents in vivid terms a threat to the nation Trumpists fear they are losing.
To attack Omar is to attack a symbol of the demographic change that is eroding white cultural and political hegemony, the defense of which is Trumpism’s only sincere political purpose. Many of the president’s most outrageous comments have been delivered extemporaneously, when he departs from his prepared remarks. Last night, though, his attacks on Omar were carefully scripted, written out by his staff and then read off a teleprompter. To defend the remarks as politically shrewd is to confess that the president is deliberately campaigning on the claim that only white people can truly, irrevocably be American.
Still, a plurality of Americans in 2016 and 2018 voted against defining American citizenship in racial terms, something that has perhaps never happened before in the history of the United States. There was no anti-racist majority at the dawn of Reconstruction, during the heyday of immigration restriction, or in the twilight of the civil-rights movement. The voters of this coalition may yet defeat Trumpism, if they can find leaders who are willing and able to confront it. That is not a given. In the face of a corrupt authoritarian president who believes that he and his allies are above the law, the American people are represented by two parties equally incapable of discharging their constitutional responsibilities. The Republican Party is incapable of fulfilling its constitutional responsibilities because it has become a cult of personality whose members cannot deviate from their sycophantic devotion to the president, lest they be ejected from office by Trump’s fanatically loyal base. The Democratic Party cannot fulfill its constitutional responsibilities because its leadership lives in abject terror of being ejected from office by alienating the voters to whom Trump’s nationalism appeals. In effect, the majority of the American electorate, which voted against Trump in 2016 and then gave the Democrats a House majority in 2018, has no representation.
The electoral coalition that gave Democrats the House represents perhaps the strongest resistance to the rising tide of right-wing ethnonationalism in the West, yet observe what the party has done with that mandate. The great victory of the House Democrats has been to halt the Republican legislative effort to deprive millions of health-care coverage, a feat they accomplished simply by being elected. But over the past seven months, Democrats have proved unable to complete a single significant investigation, hold many memorable hearings, or pass a single piece of meaningful legislation that curtails Trump’s abuses of authority. Instead, they held their breath waiting for Robert Mueller to save them, and when he did not, they, like their Republican predecessors, took to issuing sternly worded statements, tepid pleas for civility, and concerned tweets as their primary methods of imposing accountability.
As the president’s declarations of immunity from oversight have grown more broad and lawless, the Democrats have slow-walked investigations, retreated from court battles, and unilaterally surrendered the sword of impeachment. They have only just begun to call witnesses from the Mueller inquiry, they have only just begun to challenge the president’s lawlessness in court, they have only just begun to hold Trump officials in contempt for their defiance of Congress’s constitutional prerogatives. This foot-dragging will leave them with little time to actually look into presidential abuses before campaign season begins, effectively forfeiting a massive political advantage, to say nothing of abdicating their constitutional duties. The leadership of the Democratic Party has shown more appetite for confronting and rebuking legislators representing the vulnerable communities Trump has targeted most often than it has for making the president mildly uncomfortable.
Although two prior presidents, Bill Clinton and Richard Nixon, faced articles of impeachment over obstruction of justice, Speaker Nancy Pelosi offered the gibberish analysis that the president was “self-impeaching,” so no actual impeachment was necessary. When confronted with yet another woman accusing the president of sexual assault, Pelosi said, “I haven’t paid much attention to it.” When the politically connected financier Jeffrey Epstein was indicted again on charges of sex-trafficking minors, and Pelosi was asked what she would do about now-ousted Labor Secretary Alex Acosta, who negotiated a previous sweetheart deal with Epstein, she said, “It’s up to the president. It’s his Cabinet,” a position indistinguishable from that of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who is a member of the president’s party.
“If you start endangering children, I become a lioness,” Pelosi declared, before caving on a funding bill for border security that will do nothing to relieve the systematic abuse of migrants at the border, and whose restrictions the Department of Homeland Security is already ignoring. Chuck Schumer, the Democratic minority leader in the Senate, took the occasion of federal prosecutors in New York mysteriously closing their investigation into the president’s hush-money payments to former girlfriends to ask the FBI to look into a popular app that ages pictures of people’s faces. The president’s racist attacks on Omar and her colleagues were precipitated by Democrats leaking a poll of “white, non-college voters” supposedly showing that they might cost the party the House and the presidency. Having publicly told the school bully where and how to take their lunch money, the Democrats were surprised when he showed up.
One could protest that the Democrats’ timidity is a cold, calculated strategy. Republicans hold the Senate, the argument goes, so an impeachment inquiry would only lead to the president’s acquittal. The whiter, more conservative voters who form much of Trump’s base are geographically distributed in a way that maximizes their political power. Democrats may need to win over some of these voters, who would be alienated by impeachment, to take the White House. If the Democrats cannot hold the House, they cannot hold back Trump. But Democrats now hold the House, and they are not holding Trump back. The president has abetted a foreign attack on American democracy, he has obstructed justice, he has vowed to turn federal law enforcement on his political enemies. There are squalid camps at the border where families are being separated, and children are being sexually assaulted, their existence justified as a necessary response to a foreign “invasion.” Trump has sought to rig American democracy in favor of white voters and refused to recognize the oversight authority of Congress, and now assails the cornerstone principle of multiracial democracy that none of us is more American than any other. What, exactly, would be enough to rouse Democrats to action?
In the face of such a challenge to the American idea, tactics become intertwined with morality. If the Democrats convince themselves that anything they do to attack the president risks alienating white voters who believe the country belongs only to them, then they will be partially responsible for the path the country is taking, and the standard it is upholding. The Democrats’ weakness has not appeased the president. Instead, it has only invited bolder challenges to democracy and the rule of law. This will not change. If congressional Democrats cannot or will not defend the principle that America belongs to all of its citizens, regardless of race, creed, color, or religion, their oaths to defend the Constitution are meaningless.
Omar must be defended, but not because of her views on Israel, gay rights, or progressive taxation. You needn’t agree with her on any of those things; in fact, you needn’t like her at all. But she must be defended, because the nature of the president’s attack on her is a threat to all Americans—black or white, Jew or Gentile—whose citizenship, whose belonging, might similarly be questioned. This is not about Omar anymore, or the other women of color who have been told by this president to “go back” to their supposed countries of origin. It is about defending the idea that America should be a country for all its people. If multiracial democracy cannot be defended in America, it will not be defended elsewhere. What Americans do now, in the face of this, will define us forever.
by Adam Serwer, Staff writer at The Atlantic
We need to radically rethink the notion that Britain is helping Africa to develop. The UK's large aid programme is, among other things, being used to promote African policies from which British corporations will further profit. British policy in Africa, and indeed that of African elites, needs to be challenged and substantially changed if we are serious about promoting long term economic development on the continent.
UK companies’ increasingly dominant role in Africa, which is akin to a new colonialism, is being facilitated by British governments, Conservative and Labour alike. Four policies stand out. First, Whitehall has long been a fierce advocate of liberalized trade and investment regimes in Africa that provide access to markets for foreign companies. It is largely opposed to African countries putting up regulatory or protectionist barriers to such investment, the sorts of policies where have often been used by successful developers in East Asia. Second, Britain has been a world leader in advocating low corporate taxes in Africa, including in the extractives sector.
Third, British policy has done nothing to challenge multinational companies using tax havens; indeed the global infrastructure of tax havens is largely a British creation. Fourth, British governments have constantly espoused only voluntary mechanisms for companies to monitor their human rights impacts; they are opposed to enhancing international legally binding mechanisms to curb abuses.
The result is that Africa, the world’s poorest continent, is being further impoverished. Recent research calculated, for the first time, all the financial inflows and outflows to and from sub-Saharan Africa to gauge whether Africa is being helped or exploited by the rest of the world. It found that $134billion flows into the continent each year, mainly in the form of loans, foreign investment and aid. However, $192billion is taken out, mainly in profits made by foreign companies and tax dodging. The result is that Africa suffers a net loss of $58billion a year. British mining companies and their government backers are contributing to this drainage of wealth.
We need to radically rethink the notion that Britain is helping Africa to develop. The UK’s large aid programme is, among other things, being used to promote African policies from which British corporations will further profit. British policy in Africa, and indeed that of African elites, needs to be challenged and substantially changed if we are serious about promoting long term economic development on the continent.
By Mark Curtis
Mark Curtis is an author and consultant. He is a former Research Fellow at the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House) and has been an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Strathclyde and Visiting Research Fellow at the Institut Francais des Relations
Freedom they say is taken and not given especially when one or groups are held down by Baboons and Monkeys in the zoo without a cogent reason other than Mr White man dictated it. As part of the effort from the Indigenous people of Biafra (IPOB) to take freedom from Islamic Republic of northern Nigeria and her southern slave counterparts.
The controversial and charismatic leader of the group (IPOB) Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and the top leadership has announced the 16th of February 2019 as the D-day for the much awaited Referendum-date for Biafrans to cast votes to prove to the whole world their aspirations and seriousness to secede from the darkest damnable evil zoological contraption called Nigeria and into a nation.. There is no doubt the date chosen by IPOB coincides with the date of Nigeria general election coming up on the 16th of February , a ploy to cast aspersions and to demonstrate to the world Biafra's rejection of the Nigeria state as a willing partner.
Biafran Referendum unlike many others will be a Sit-At-Home Instead of the masses trooping out en mass to vote people they will vote by complying with "Sit-at-Home" order. Many thanks to Onyendu Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and his deputy Uche Mefor and to all the hardcores Ipob's all over for the massive awareness in the land of 'milk and honey' (Biafraland) through the finest and second to non-Radio Biafra London. From all indexes and indications Biafrans at home and abroad are ever ready to obey the 'stay-at- home' as a way to support the good work of their leaders call for Referendum and Freedom.
The world is watching, while the Islamic oligarchs are scheming in disarray one things is for sure Biafrans are ready to leave Egypt and no amount of pressure will dissuade the children of God's not to end the 'devil and long spoon' romance with Almajiris north. Let us take solace in the wise counselling of supreme leader who always says 'In the end the popular wishes of the indigenous people of Biafra shall prevail and Biafra will come… Nigeria as a state has failed in every ramifications the only things awaits her now is to finally to crumble to earth. By boycotting the "repetitive deception" in the name of voting is the best way to go about the injustice and injury perpetuated by Fulani Oligarchies to Biafrans.
Therefore it now behold upon any sane minded Biafran that had made up his or her not to vote to carry others alone in the direction of this noble call. Hurray! Biafra is about to be free, do your part now. Cast your vote by adhering to "Sit-at-Home" order on the 16th of February 2019..May Chukwuabiama bless Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and all the principal officers of IPOB. Iseeee iseeeees iseeeees. Happy birthday to me once again.
By KC Adams
At just 31 years old, Rebeca Gyumi has a list of accomplishments anyone twice her age would be proud of. She has successfully challenged her country's legal system, winning a landmark ruling in 2016 to raise the age of child marriage for girls in Tanzania from 14 to 18; started a foundation to advocate for girls' education; won the UNICEF Global Goal Award and was named 2016 Woman of the Year by New Africa Magazine. Now, she's on her way to New York to collect the 2018 Human Rights Prize awarded by the United Nations.
"I was pretty much shocked. So shocked and caught unaware that I was even considered for such a prestigious prize," she tells CNN.
Gyumi was just a child herself when she started to see the injustice happening around her. She was 13 when some of her schoolmates were forced to drop out of school because of pregnancy and were married off. Volunteering at a youth initiative at the age of 20, she began to realize it was a national problem and not just a local one happening in her hometown of Dodoma.
"It bothered me that the age for boys to be married was 18 but for girls it was 14," she says.
It wasn't until she was in university studying law that she learned about the Law of Marriage Act of 1971 and saw the potential in trying to mount a legal challenge against it.
In 2016, with a couple of years as a lawyer under her belt, Gyumi and her colleagues decided to do just that. They started work on a legal case to petition against the Marriage Act, compiling reports to prove that child marriage for girls was an issue nationwide and why it needed to be stopped.
According to the country's national demographic and health survey of 2015/16, two out of every five girls marry before their 18th birthday with a prevalence rate of 37% nationwide, giving Tanzania one of the highest rates of child marriage in the world.
"Lots of people were not amused and thought we were disruptive, saying 'young people have tried before and failed.' But when we started attending sessions in court with a positive outcome, organizations came back and said they were willing to work together with us."
Gyumi and her colleagues persevered and in 2016, at the age of 29, she was victorious. Tanzania's High Court ruled that sections 13 and 17 of the Marriage Act were unconstitutionaland that the age for girls to legally marry should be raised to 18.
"I was so happy that day for the fact that a girl child had won. I was overwhelmed with joy," she says.
"I felt duty bound to fight for the girls I had interacted with. They didn't have enough information to know how to challenge what was happening to them."
While her success was celebrated by many around the country, some hard-liners and traditionalists were not happy, attacking her for promoting a "Western culture."
Furthermore, the landmark ruling was subsequently thrust into legal peril when the government appealed against it last year. One of the arguments of their appeal states that child marriage can actually protect girls who get pregnant out of wedlock.
The case is currently in Tanzania's high court with a verdict due soon. Despite the challenge, Gyumi remains steadfast.
"For me I feel like we are at the moment where our country really needs to defend girls' rights. This appeal does not send a good message of our country's intention to protect girls generally. It will look really bad on the government if they win. There is no victory in winning a case that allows girls to get married younger. It's not a victory a country can be proud of."
Even if the law is upheld, Gyumi says there's still a lot of work to be done.
"The change in the law is not the only thing we're advocating for. We need to make sure the law is implemented at a ground level. We need to teach girls around the country to stand up for their rights and continue engaging with communities."
Gyumi's success is testament to the power of education, a cause she now advocates for through her foundation, Msichana.
"The fact that I'm here today and doing what I'm doing is due to education. My family didn't have a lot but they sacrificed what they had to give me an education. Imagine what it's like for other people in my country, if they're able to get an education and explore life without limits, without boys telling them 'you're a girl, you can only go as far as this,' those kind of voices can then be challenged."
Winning the 2018 Human Rights Prize puts Gyumi on the international stage alongside other activists such as Malala Yousafzai, Denis Mukwege and Nelson Mandela, and it's not something she takes lightly.
"It's not just a personal honor but my country's honor, putting our country on the map. It's a proud moment for me and for the girls I stood up for and for the ongoing global progress that is happening around girls' and women's rights."
Asked what her message is to other young girls out there, her answer is simple.
Britain leaving the European single market will damage both the UK and EU member states' economies, the German car industry warned on Wednesday, after Prime Minister Theresa May appeared to head for the exit.
"The British economy is deeply woven into other EU countries," Matthias Wissmann, president of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA), told AFP by email. "A hard Brexit would be tough and expensive."
In a high-profile speech on Tuesday, May announced plans to quit the European single market as well as the 28-member European Union following Britons' vote to leave in June last year.
"Brexit must mean control of the number of people who come to Britain from Europe," May said. "What I am proposing cannot mean membership of the single market."
Since the Brexit vote, European leaders have insisted that Britain cannot "cherry-pick" elements of the single market by clinging to free movement of goods, services and capital but not labour -- the "four freedoms" that form the single market.
The prime minster added that she still wanted "tariff-free" trade with Europe and "frictionless" business ties in a new deal with the EU.
"Years will go by before new treaties are a done deal," VDA's Wissmann predicted. "Prospects like that scare away investors."
Britain is the German car industry's largest export customer, Wissmann noted, adding that 57 percent of all British car industry exports are destined for the EU.
Around one in five cars produced in Germany is sold in the UK, according to the VDA, while German firms operate around 100 sites producing cars or components in Britain.
"Car firms have a large interest in solutions being found that continue to allow intensive trade and the wealth creation associated with it," Wissmann said.
May should "ensure the UK's negotiations with the EU result in uncomplicated, tariff-free access to the EU single market in future," a spokesman for luxury carmaker BMW, which operates four sites in the UK, told AFP in a statement.
"Not only free trade but also cross-border employment opportunities and unified, internationally applied regulations are of proven benefit to business, the economy and individuals," the spokesman said.
Britain is expected to formally notify EU authorities of its intention to leave by the end of March, triggering a two-year negotiation on the terms of its departure from the bloc.
A fire in Helsinki has caused the death of a Ghanaian woman and her three children in the early morning of Friday. It is believed that the 40-year-old mother, known at this moment as Nana Ago and the children were sleeping at the time of the incident. The ages of the children are 8, 7 and 3.
Report from http://yle.fi indicates that a neighbor had called the police after noticing the fire in the early morning of Friday before 3 am. The report says that the Fire and Rescue Services reached the scene eleven minutes after they were called and they were able to extinguish the fire quickly. However, resuscitation attempts to save the lives of the victims failed.
The father and husband of the victims, John Owusu, who is also a board member of the Ghana Union Finland, was at work at the time of the incident. It is believed that the fire started from the sauna in their sixth-floor apartment and that the victims had died out of suffocation.
The police are still investigating the cause of the fire. The fire affected no other apartments in the building.
According to the Financial Secretary of the Union, Kwame Afreh, some executive members of Ghana Union Finland have paid a visit to the bereaved family in Helsinki.
The incident has been a shock to the entire Ghanaian community in Finland and some have already sent words of condolence to the bereaved family through various social media platforms.
In order to give Nana Ago and her kids a befitting Burial while supporting her husband she left behind who lost his family as well as all his belongings in the fire, It would be great if everyone could support the bereaved family in this difficult time by donating .
Simply click here to donate https://www.gofundme.com/8p-burial-of-ghanaian-mum-and-3-kids
‘It’s not just about my experience and my sympathy, it is about the community who needs a voice at the local assembly, we must therefore do everything necessary to be part of the political dispensation’.
Irene was a guest on the Effiya Ephya Show in the studios of Radio TopAfric. The interview was about the upcoming European and Hamburg district elections ‘Bezirksversammlungswahl’. The elections are taking place on Sunday, 26 May 2019.
Born and bred in Hamburg-Billstedt, Irene Appiah is a mother and works with the Hamburg Ministry of Education ‘Schulbehörde’. The seasonal politician is a member of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) and is of African heritage, born in 1976 to Ghanaian parents.
She is contesting the Hamburg-Mitte local assembly elections and is seeking the assistance and support of the community to make it.
Question: Who can vote?
Persons who are 16 years and above.
Persons who are registered in Hamburg-Mitte for at least six months.
Persons who hold an EU and/or German passport.
Question: Do you have what it takes to represent your people?
Yes, long before I entered into politics, I have been a community activist, representing my people, helping with complex bureaucratic issues. My background as a solicitor has been very useful. Besides it is no longer about me, but about us. We have the numbers and must therefore use it to our advantage.
If we are able to mobilise our people well, we can make it. I will then be in a better position to help create educational opportunities for children of African heritage, help establish extra classes, continue with the African Community Centre, which we have already started. Remember most of our people are facing accommodation problems; we can help address this properly.
Question: How can one vote for you?
The postal voting system ‘Brierfwahl’ is the most ideal and comfortable way of voting, all eligible voters have been sent voting documents. Those who have not received them could apply at their various district assemblies ‘Bezirksamt – Wahldienstelle’. In my case Bezirksamt Hamburg-Mitte.
The documents include two voting sheets
1. Pink sheet, you can locate my name (Irene Appiah) on position six. Please, cross all five positions in front of my name.
2. Yellow sheet, my name (Appiah Irene) is placed at position 10, cross all five boxes for me. I will appreciate it most if people could take advantage of the postal voting.
Question: What should one do on the actual poll date?
On Sunday, the polling stations are open from 8.00 am till 18.00. Eligible voters are encouraged to go and cast their votes. As stated earlier, residents of Hamburg-Mitte, which comprises of the following townships:
Billbrook, Billstedt, Borgfelde, Finkenwerder, HafenCity, Hamburg-Altstadt, Hamm, Hammerbrook, Horn, Kleiner Grasbrook, Neustadt, Neuwerk, Rothenburgsort, St. Georg, St. Pauli, Steinwerder, Veddel, Waltershof and Wilhelmsburg, can vote for me.
In addition, those in Billstedt can also use the pink sheet to vote for me.
Question: What message do you have for your people?
I have been serving and representing the interests of the African community and will continue to do so. We have the numbers; we have the people and the competence to be relevant in Germany. Let’s be politically active and participate in taking decisions that concern us. If we refuse and fail to exercise our voting rights, others will decide for us.
I am confident we won’t allow this opportunity to escape us, go and vote, and vote for me.
One can reach Irene as follows:
t: 040 246989
Germans have watched with unease as Chinese enterprises have swallowed up arecord number of homegrown tech companies this year, sparking fears of German knowhow and intellectual property being sold off to the highest bidder.The wave of acquisitions has also stoked grumbles over China's easy access to the country's open markets, often through state-backed companies, while foreign investors there face tight restrictions.
"Germans seem to be growing more and more sceptical about China, and consequently more willing to pursue a tougher approach to Beijing," said analyst Hans Kundnani from the German Marshall Fund. In the clearest sign yet that Berlin could be squaring up for a battle, the German economy ministry this week said it was taking a closer look at two planned Chinese takeovers -- effectively stalling both deals.
The moves have not gone unnoticed in Beijing and Gabriel will likely face some prickly questions when he leads a 60-strong business delegation on a five-day trip to China and Hong Kong from Tuesday.
Germany's first punch came last Monday when the ministry said it had withdrawn its approval for Grand Chip Investment's 670-million-euro ($730-million) purchase of chip equipment maker Aixtron, citing security concerns. German daily Handelsblatt said the surprise reversal came after US intelligence services warned that Aixtron products could be used for military purposes. The deal is now back under review, a process that could last three months.
Days later, the economy ministry said it was also reviewing the mooted sale of German firm Osram's general lighting unit to a Chinese buyer.
So far there has been little official reaction from Beijing. But a bylined commentary carried by the official Xinhua news agency was scathing, accusing Germany of "protectionist moves" that called into question "Berlin's sincerity in securing an open and transparent investment climate".
"It is time for Berlin to let go of its delusional "China threat" paranoia," it added.
Crucially there has been no word yet on whether Chancellor Angela Merkel --who has championed close economic ties with Beijing -- approves of the idea. But Gabriel is likely to get a sympathetic hearing from at least some European peers.The new British government recently delayed the controversial Hinkley Point nuclear project over concerns about China's involvement, before eventually giving it the go-ahead.
In Brussels, an in-depth EU antitrust probe is holding up state-owned ChemChina's proposed mammoth takeover of Swiss seed maker Syngenta.
Rather, the latest manoeuvres should be seen as part of a growing debate about how "to get a level playing field" with China, Kundnani told AFP. Gabriel himself told reporters this week foreign investment with China could not be "a one-way street".
"We would like reciprocity," he said.
Foreign investors have long complained of the obstacles to doing business in China, such as the requirement to team up with local partners, while some sectors are completely off-limits. Friedolin Strack of the BDI federation of German industries said that despite the frustrations, German firms had benefited enormously from doing deals with China -- leaving Gabriel to tread a fine line during his visit.
"There are a lot of restrictions in Chinese markets," Strack told AFP. "Andwe should increase the political pressure and the pressure from businesses on China to remove these barriers.
"But if we say we are open only to those countries who are open with us, that would harm German companies."
I had the privilege to attend the 2016 African Youth Education Awards (AYEA) in Hamburg which for me belongs to one of the well-organized events by the African Diaspora in Hamburg.
In terms of event management, the African Diaspora has constantly been linked to a clichee of disregard for time, ill-prepared programs, less attention to detail and unprofessionalism.
Traditionally, one can also argue that most African communities in Germany have placed much focus on socio-cultural programs (Outdoorings, Funeral Celebrations, Cultural Shows, etc.) to highlight their existence in the public domain.
I humbly want to proclaim that the AYEA program is now one of the leading platforms to showcase a different image of the African Diaspora in Germany.
My confidence in making such a proclamation thrives around my personal observations whilst attending the AYEA awards. Essentially, I'd restrict my opinions to the following:
The organizers of the AYEA have clearly understood that the regard for punctuality directly translates into respect for participants and also lays the foundation for effectiveness.
The program started on time - which was the first surprise I took notice of- and it was executed within the allocated time. This brings to mind that I have to give a big credit to the 3 young African female moderators who combined glamour, professional expertise and resolute assertiveness to drive this event to the expected targets.
Attendance & Awards:
The AYEA program was patronized by signficant personalities from the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce, representatives from the Hamburg Local Government, Embassy of Uganda, Notable Parliamentarians, Student Associations and many more distinguished individuals. For me, this platform delivered the ever so important avenue for vital engagements between the political divide in Germany and the African Diaspora. The presentations stressed the need for the African Diaspora to consolidate its position within the society at large by taking advantage of all integration avenues.
At the same time, the awards to our young African brothers and sisters can be seen as powerful motivation factors, however, I am of the view that they clearly depicted an increasing trend of the African youth walking a different path in comparison to the older generation. Specifically, this is an indication that they have embraced the idea that achieving excellence in education is a core prerequisite for career development and social integration in Germany.
The event sequence combining formal presentations, entertainment acts and motivational speeches were driven in a manner which captured my attention from beginning to end. Boredom factor was zero and I believe this is achievable through experience which the organizers have gained in the last couple of years.
Writing your Story:
Unfortunately, Africans (both on the continent and in the diaspora) have never had the joy, resources and the platform to write and communicate their own history (culture, religion, traditions, etc.) to the rest of the world. This role has often been occupied by foreign media, especially western media who, evidently, have always presented Africans in the light of their own expectations, imaginations and purposes.
Going forward, this situation has to change and the AYEA showcased that this is a viable avenue for the African Diaspora to tell its own story.
Logistics, Hospitality and Services:
As a Professional Project Manager, I could see that a lot of planning, time, resources and engagements have been invested into this event or I'd say project.
The outcome was simply remarkable - participants neither noticed any technical issues nor logistical challenges.
On the other hand, I thought the representation and involvement of the African Diaspora in Hamburg leaves much to be desired. Yes, more hands on deck! Hamburg has the largest number of Africans in Germany and I am convinced they could put more resources together to expand the dimensions of this event. I'd also expect to see more African businesses in Hamburg taking up the role of sponsors for this event.
By Alex Kofi Appiah PMP
Senior IT Project Manager
TopAfric Media Network
The KidsRadio project aims at strengthening the self-confidence of children and young adults. It is designed to offer the participants a platform where they can learn how to be radio presenters. It is a way to help them decide early on what they wish to pursue in life.
The Ultimate goal is for one or two extraordinary talented kids to have their own radio program at Radio TopAfric.
The program is design for kids and young adults between the ages of 10 -21, who want to run a radio program and become stars of tomorrow. It will also teach them how to blog as well.
The workshop which will run for 12 weeks and will accommodate about 6 participants every 4 weeks. Workshop training will take place only on the weekends. So that means a batch of 6 participants will be trained in the first 4 weeks. Then after the 2nd batch will start their training from week 5 – week 8. Then the 3rd and final batch will start and end in week 9 - 12
The workshop will only last for 90 Minutes each Saturday. From 2pm – 3.30pm
Module 1: Research & Interview:
A: We teach them how to research topics and personalities via the internet prior to hosting an interview or prior to doing a live show on radio.
B: We also teach them how to find topics of interest.
C: We teach them how to work in groups and also how to ask the right questions?
Module 2: Promo & Equipment
A: We teach them how to promote themselves through social media
B: We teach them how to handle the Microphone and equipment
Module 3: Record live show & Blog
A: We teach them how to record a live radio show
B: We teach them what needs to be done after ending a live radio show and also how to post a recorded show on a blog site as well as how to blog.
Our co-operation partner is LUKULULE e.V. They will provide a network of young artists and professional artists that will be helping TopAfric and participants. For example, a play coach will work with our participants so that the participants will be strengthened for a live online show.
The participant will be glad to be part of this one time experience, after the course, all participants will receive a certificate from TopAfric.
The workshop is led by Jesse Georgy, a journalist from NDR, who has experience in team leadership at the Lukukule e.V.
The workshop is expected to start in January and end in March 2017. The program is sponsored by Aktion-Mensch and supported by Lukukule e.V. & TopAfric e.V.
Visit: http://www.kids-radio.org for registration or call 017632140550
Like our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/KidsRadio-1793356290917430/
Mr. Smith - We have to talk! So heisst die neue Radioshow bei TopAfric die Montag bis Freitag ab dem 12.01.2017 um jeweils 15:00 Uhr ausgestrahlt wird. Moderiert wird die Sendung von dem selbst ernannten "Gentleman of Talk" Shadon Smith (30), der sich mit vielen Themen auseinandersetzt die unsere heutige Gesellschaft betreffen.
Themen wie z.B. die Frage nach der Rollenverteilung zwischen Männern und Frauen im 21. Jahrhundert. Gehören Frauen hinter dem Herd während der Mann das Geld verdient, oder geht die Frau arbeiten und der Mann zieht sich die Kochschürze an? Brauchen Frauen heutzutage überhaupt noch einen Mann für ein glückliches Familienleben? "Mr. Smith - We have to talk!". Neben den Sozialen Themen werden auch politische Themen behandelt wie die Frage nach Donald Trump: Kann es mit ihm besser werden? "Mr. Smith - We have to talk!".
Moderiert wird frei aus dem Bauch heraus, wobei auch die Interaktion mit den Zuhörern ein wichtiger Bestandteil der Sendung ist. Die Radioshow steht unter dem Motto "Deine Meinung zählt". Somit sind alle Zuhörer bei Mr. Smith - We have to talk! aufgerufen sich zu den Themen zu beteiligen und über die Studiohotline mitzureden.
Euch erwartet eine unterhaltsame Show mit angenehmer RnB und Hip Hop Musik aus den 90er bis 2000er Jahre, ebenso viel Charme und Emotionen in den Moderationen. We have to talk!