In The Spotlight
Time is priceless, and once lost, it can never be recovered. Understanding the importance of time is crucial in shaping our success, responsibilities, and existence. Completing tasks on time is recognized as responsible and disciplined. The awareness of time's significance and the ability to manage it efficiently become the foundation for success.
Do you own a watch or clock, and can you read time accurately? A simple yet powerful suggestion is to plan an hour or more before your usual schedule. This proactive approach enhances efficiency and productivity, making every moment count.
Think about your lateness to social gatherings, parties, church, or mosques. If lateness is a recurring theme in these aspects, it's essential to recognize its impact. Habitual lateness can inconvenience others, forcing them to spend more hours at events due to your delayed arrival. It is not only annoying, but it's also irritating when you read on posters and flyers that events will begin at 6pm, and you arrive punctually to find organizers arranging tables and chairs at 8pm. What is that?
You cannot imagine this; there is no lateness in heaven; the doors close on time. All those who arrived late are not allowed in. This serves as a powerful reminder that time waits for no one, and being punctual is not only a virtue but a principle that extends beyond earthly realms.
Interestingly, the dynamics change when it comes to work. The fear of being sacked ensures punctuality, highlighting the consequences of lateness in a professional setting. In the workplace, lateness is not tolerated, especially in the industrial world. Here time is money...
Being mindful of time's importance and managing it wisely are the keys to a successful and fulfilling journey through life. After all, time lost is a chapter closed, and its pages can never be revisited.
Desmond John Beddy
Empowering Tomorrow's Craftsmen
In a world where collaboration often leads to extraordinary achievements, the partnership between TopAfric, the organizers of the African Youth Education Awards (AYEA), and the Hamburg Chamber of Crafts (Handwerkskammer) is nothing short of remarkable.
This alliance promises to bring forth a myriad of opportunities and benefits for young Africans seeking to explore the world of craftsmanship and trades. The joint participation in the AYEA 2023 event on Saturday, 4th November 2023, at the Chambers of Commerce in Hamburg is a testament to their shared vision.
AYEA's core objective is to celebrate the educational accomplishments of young African individuals in Germany. By partnering with the Hamburg Chamber of Crafts, AYEA extends its support and recognition to a wider array of talents, especially those venturing into the world of craftsmanship. This collaboration will unlock opportunities for young individuals who aspire to pursue vocational training and technical education. It provides them with a platform to showcase their talents and skills, opening doors to fulfilling careers.
The Hamburg Chamber of Crafts has a rich legacy of promoting vocational training and skill development. By joining forces, TopAfric and the Handwerkskammer can empower young Africans in Germany with the skills and knowledge needed to excel in various crafts and trades. This empowerment is not only about enhancing their employability but also about nurturing their self-confidence and self-sufficiency. Craftsmanship offers the chance for individuals to hone their abilities and craft a successful future.
The field of craftsmanship is not immune to change; it evolves with time and technological advancements. By collaborating, AYEA and the Handwerkskammer can encourage innovation and the adoption of modern techniques within the African community. This partnership offers young talents the opportunity to explore, adapt, and contribute to innovative developments in craftsmanship. It positions them as agents of progress in the evolving world of trades.
The beauty of this partnership lies in its ability to champion inclusivity and diversity within the craft sector. It paves the way for African youth in Germany to explore vocational and technical professions without prejudice. By embracing diversity, this collaboration enriches the craft community with fresh perspectives, ideas, and approaches. It serves as a testament to the fact that talent knows no boundaries.
Vocational education and technical professions often face challenges in attracting young talents. Many individuals are unaware of the promising career opportunities that lie within the craft sector. The collaboration between AYEA and the Hamburg Chamber of Crafts acts as a bridge. It bridges the information gap and aids young Africans in making informed choices regarding their educational and career paths.
Partnering with an esteemed institution like the Hamburg Chamber of Crafts widens the horizons for AYEA. It opens doors to a broader network of professionals, mentors, and potential employers. This expanded network is a treasure trove of opportunities for African youth, providing mentorship, internships, and job openings. The alliance strengthens the support system for young talents.
AYEA's emphasis on education aligns seamlessly with the Handwerkskammer's dedication to vocational training. By working in tandem, both organizations contribute to the long-term sustainability of educational programs and support systems for African youth in Germany. This commitment to sustainability ensures that young individuals have continuous access to resources, knowledge, and guidance on their journey.
The collaborative participation of TopAfric and the Hamburg Chamber of Crafts in AYEA creates awareness within the African community about the significance of vocational and technical education. It underscores the importance of craftsmanship and its role in fostering self-reliance, entrepreneurship, and economic sustainability. By shedding light on these opportunities, it encourages more young individuals to explore and embrace the world of trades.
The partnership is a transformative step towards empowering young African individuals. It nurtures their aspirations, enhances their skills, and opens doors to fulfilling careers in craftsmanship. This collaboration is a beacon of inclusivity, innovation, and sustainability, ensuring that the future generation has the tools and knowledge needed to shape their destinies in a rapidly evolving world.
Desmond John Beddy
The prospect of departing this world with a lingering sense of unfulfillment weighs heavily on my heart. My earliest school memories take me back to a dilapidated classroom situated in a town deprived of fundamental amenities like electricity, clean drinking water, and a clinic.
Today, I find myself questioning, "What have I given back to this community?" The response to this question is profoundly disheartening—nothing.
From a young age, I grasped the principle that those who are fortunate must also give generously in return. It's important to note that this giving is not limited to monetary contributions; it also involves sharing un-used clothing with those in desperate need. Regrettably, I must confess that I have not done enough in this regard.
My dear friend, I trust that you can empathize with my frustration. I understand that it's implausible to fulfill all of my dreams, yet I remain convinced that there's much more I can achieve. The same potential exists for you.
I've frequently pondered the notion of what transpires if my noble intentions and visions go unrealized. In fact, I previously emphasized this point in Nürnberg, Germany when I received recognition for my community contributions: "Success is only achieved when you have prosperous successors who carry forward your work."
Is it not plausible that, were I to pass away today, the distinguished African Youth Education Awards (AYEA) might slip into obscurity? Success transcends the mere initiation of endeavors; it hinges on guaranteeing their long-term sustainability.
Far too often, we are inclined to launch fresh initiatives while abandoning existing projects—both in our home countries and abroad. We frequently prioritize the creation of new endeavors catering to the elite, neglecting those aimed at uplifting the underprivileged.
I am acutely aware that my grave might bear witness to my sorrow as I witness the marginalized status of the vulnerable. For several years, I have advocated for the principles of "Come Together, Work Together, and Stay Together" (CWS) to no avail.
Coming together for a shared purpose constitutes only the inaugural step; it's equally vital that we continue working together and, most importantly, stay united. Within this unity, teams grow stronger, deficiencies are addressed, and we achieve medium and long-term objectives.
A close friend once commended my achievement in compiling "The History of Ghanaians in Germany." However, I am unable to rest content until millions have access to the book, millions have perused its contents, and it has significantly impacted lives.
My aspiration is to see the book meticulously edited and readily available in all German schools, universities, libraries, cultural centers, and social hubs. Unfortunately, this vision remains unfulfilled.
Despite my profound love for writing and an unwavering passion to effect change, I have failed to write consistently. I acknowledge that I haven't done enough, despite possessing the means to contribute more. Were I to depart today, my soul would bear the burden of an unfulfilled purpose until the end of time.
Desmond John Beddy
Although the Covid-19 pandemic was a huge distraction in terms of planning and implementation, TopAfric e.V. was able to run the “Youth Leadership Programme” successfully. The mentoring programme aimed to deepen educational awareness and empower young people of African descent in Germany. It aimed at creating a spontaneous willingness on the part of the youth to become involved in civic engagements, strengthen social cohesion, and charge them with being more socially responsible.
The programme brought together mentees and working mentors to exchange views on various topics based on mutual respect and understanding. The project pursued active community building with the aim of networking and improving the academic and professional qualifications of the mentees. The young people benefitted greatly from the experiences and skills of the mentors, while the mentors had the privilege of sharing their successes and setbacks productively and passing on their experiences to the younger generation. The programme was implemented within two years with some challenges along the way, but these were managed well by the mentors and mentees.
The mentees were actively involved in the activities of TopAfric e.V. by accompanying people to offices, assisting them in filling out forms and providing translations in schools for parents who are not fluent in the German language. Though not part of the initial plans, the African students from Ukraine were supported by helping them to find accommodation and searching for German-language schools, as well as organizing Zoom seminars for them on how to navigate their stay in Germany.
The African Youth Education Awards (AYEA) that crowned the project were amazing and witnessed the biggest attendance since 2012. Initially, the event was slated for the 15th October 2022, but two months before that date, the Chamber of Commerce had to change our schedule to the 22nd October 2022. Panic broke out as we had to create additional posters, flyers and promotional videos. The new young team was able to adjust quickly to implement the programme in an amazing way. Over 500 people attended, far exceeding the target of 300 people, with the participation of state institutions, consulates, embassies, and agencies from Africa, leaders from the African communities and members of the media. The ripple effect went far beyond the attendees.
The mentoring programme builds on the activities of TopAfric e.V. and its network of partners in the field of educational equity and empowerment. The mentees did not only participate in the programmes we run, but took up leadership roles and helped operate them successfully.
We wish to express our sincere gratitude to Aktion Mensch which sponsored the leadership programme. With Covid-19 gone, we would be in a better position to implement such a noble project more successfully.
Desmond John Beddy
Building a new school and borehole is a significant milestone in the development of a community, particularly in areas where access to education and clean water is limited. Adaklu Blidokope, a small village in the Volta Region of Ghana, completed the construction of a six-unit classroom, a store, a teachers' office, and a borehole with the help of TopAfric, a non-governmental organization based in Germany.
For years, the children of Adaklu Blidokope were attending classes under trees or in a dilapidated classroom block that posed risks to their safety and hindered their ability to learn effectively. Recognizing the importance of education in transforming lives and boosting community development, the Adaklu Blidokope community sought assistance from TopAfric to raise funds for the construction of a new school and a borehole.
The completion of the six-unit classroom, store, and teachers' office signifies a new chapter in the lives of the children in the immediate communities. With proper infrastructure, these children can now learn in a safe and conducive environment that promotes effective teaching and learning. The new facilities will also attract qualified teachers who are essential in providing quality education to the students.
In addition to the school building, the construction of a borehole is another significant achievement for the community. Access to clean water is crucial for the well-being and health of the community members. Prior to the borehole's completion, the community relied on open water sources, which were often contaminated and posed serious health risks. The provision of clean water through the borehole will greatly improve the living conditions of the community, reducing the prevalence of waterborne diseases and saving precious time previously spent on searching for water.
Unfortunately, the borehole could not yield enough water as anticipated.
The successful completion of the school building and borehole in Adaklu Blidokope is a testament to the power of collaboration and the impact that non-governmental organizations can have on transforming communities. It highlights the determination and resilience of the community in their pursuit of a better future for their children.
The partnership between the community and TopAfric exemplifies the significance of international cooperation in addressing the challenges faced by disadvantaged communities. By leveraging resources and expertise from different parts of the world.
The project encountered a significant challenge in the form of inflation, which led to an explosion in the prices of building materials and labour costs. This unexpected surge in costs had a profound impact on the project budget, necessitating careful financial management and adjustment of expenditure priorities.
Work Ethic of Workers:
Another challenge faced during the project was related to the work ethic of the people. Workers often started their tasks late and closed early, displaying a lack of respect for scheduled work hours. This issue not only affected project timelines but also added to the overall project complexities.
Due to the combined impact of inflation and the inconsistent work ethic of the labour force, the project could not be completed as initially scheduled. Delays in construction timelines presented additional challenges, including increased costs and disruptions in the community's access to the new facilities.
The completion of the school building and borehole not only provides immediate benefits to the community but also holds the promise of a brighter future. Education is a powerful tool that empowers individuals and communities, and access to clean water is essential for health and well-being.
Finally, a million thanks to you…
We could not have done it without your support.
Desmond John Beddy
Neo-colonialism: The Last Stage of Imperialism is a seminal work by Kwame Nkrumah, the first President of Ghana and a leading figure in the African independence movement. Published in 1965, the book offers a critical analysis of the re-emerging form of imperialism known as neo-colonialism, which perpetuates the dominance of former colonial powers over newly independent African nations through indirect means.
Nkrumah begins by tracing the historical development of imperialism, highlighting how colonial powers exploited and subjugated Africa during the era of direct rule. He then identifies the transition from formal colonialism to neo-colonialism, arguing that the colonizers, unable to maintain direct control over the colonies, devised new strategies to maintain their economic and political influence in Africa.
According to Nkrumah, neo-colonialism involves the establishment of puppet regimes in newly independent states that appear to exercise sovereignty, while in reality, they continue to adhere to the interests of former colonial powers. He argues that these puppet leaders are selected and supported by the colonial powers, enabling them to maintain control over key resources and perpetuate economic exploitation in Africa.
Nkrumah explores the various tactics employed by neo-colonial powers to continue their influence. One of the main strategies is economic manipulation, in which multinational corporations from the former colonial powers use their economic power to exploit African resources and maintain control over local industries. Additionally, he discusses the role of foreign aid, arguing that it often serves as a tool for perpetuating dependency, rather than facilitating meaningful development.
Furthermore, Nkrumah highlights the importance of ideological control in neocolonialism. He argues that former colonial powers maintain their influence by promoting ideologies and cultural norms that serve their interests and suppress indigenous African values. This is achieved through the dissemination of educational materials, media control, and the propagation of Western cultural values.
Nkrumah also emphasizes the need for African nations to unite in order to combat neo-colonialism effectively. He argues for the creation of a continental union, emphasizing the importance of pan-Africanism and the necessity of African nations working together to resist foreign dominance. Furthermore, he advocates for the establishment of self-reliant economies and the implementation of socialist policies to drive national development.
In summary, Kwame Nkrumah's book provides a comprehensive analysis of neo-colonialism, outlining the tactics and strategies employed by former colonial powers to maintain control and exploit Africa even after achieving formal independence. He calls for unity among African nations, resistance against foreign influence, and the pursuit of self-reliant development to break free from the constraints of neo-colonialism. Nkrumah's work remains a significant contribution to understanding the ongoing struggles faced by African nations in the post-colonial era.
Desmond John Beddy
For the first time in its history, architecture's most prestigious award has been won by an African.
‘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
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
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.