Everyday African Food and Beautiful Culture

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Ethiopian Proverb | One cannot stop sleeping because of a fear of bad dreams

One cannot stop sleeping because of a fear of bad dreams is an Ethiopian Proverb. Wise sayings in the language of proverbs have been passed down for generations in the Ethiopian culture. Proverbs are an important part of traditional and modern Ethiopian society.



Fear of bad dreams
One cannot stop sleeping because of a fear of bad dreams
-Ethiopian Proverb

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Africa's Port of Djibouti 3,500 years of Traveling and Trading by the Sea

The Port of Djibouti is at the crossroads of three continents linking Europe, the Far East, and Africa. The Port of Djibouti is also close to the Arabian oilfields. The African country Djibouti has few natural resources and little industry to create long-term growth and development. Djibouti's location is the main economic asset of a country that with very few natural resources, farmland, sparse rainfall and water supply. The Port of Djibouti much dependent on transit taxes and harbor fees earns the majority of earned capital for Djibouti.


The Port of Djibouti is a major port in Djibouti City, the capital of Djibouti and is located at the southern entrance to the Red Sea. The Port of Djibouti is also at the crossroad of three continents linking Europe, the Far East, and Africa. This major deep-water port located on the Red Sea one of the busiest shipping routes in the world. General cargo, container and gate operations are available 24 hours a day, throughout the year as well as the Port Fire Brigade or Centre de Secours. Also, the Port of Djibouti is home to the United States’ only military base in sub-Saharan Africa.

Port of Djibouti
Saad Omar Guelleh, is the current general manager of the Port of Djibouti and brother of Djibouti's current president Ismaïl OmarGuelleh. DP World managed the port from 2000-2010. Since 2011, the Government of Djibouti manages Djibouti Port and DP World manages the Doraleh Container Terminal (DCT). Djibouti's first modern container terminal began operations in February 1985 on 54 acres.  In 2013 the Doraleh Container Terminal (DCT) containerized cargo traffic handled a total of 743,793 TEUs. The Port of Djibouti (PDSA) handled 50,938 TEUs. TEUs are the standard-size twenty-foot containers.

Djibouti occupies a strategic geographical site at the intersection of the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden and serves as an important shipping portal for goods coming in and leaving the east African highlands and transshipments between Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. The Port of Djibouti is also close to the Arabian oilfields.

Djibouti’s 2013 1.456 billion dollar economy according to the World Bank, is dependent on foreign financing, foreign direct investments, foreign countries’ military bases, and port services. Nearly 75% of Djibouti's 872,900 inhabitants live in the capital city Djibouti City. The country has a staggering unemployment rate of nearly 60% and most food must be imported into Djibouti. Djibouti has few natural resources and little industry to create long-term growth and development. Djibouti's location is the main economic asset of a country that is mostly desolate with very few natural resources, farmland, sparse rainfall and water supply.

The Port of Djibouti in Djibouti City

Djibouti Port handles all of Ethiopia’s import and export traffic though the sea since 1998 in a signed agreement. Its transport facilities are used by several landlocked African countries to fly in their goods for re-export. This earns Djibouti much-needed transit taxes and harbor fees.

The Obock Territory (currently Djibouti) became a French colony in 1843. The Port of Djibouti construction began in 1897 and completed in 1888. During this time, Leonce Lagarde, was appointed French colonial governor of Obock Territory, the name given to present-day Djibouti. Lagarde was the French colonial Governor for fifteen years, from 1884 to 1899; Djibouti became the capital of the French colony in 1892 and independent in 1977.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Those who want rain must also accept the mud African Proverb

Those who want rain must also accept the mud is an African Proverb. Wise sayings in the language of proverbs have been passed down for generations in the Ghanaian culture. Proverbs are an important part of traditional and modern Ghanaian society.


 

"Those who want rain must also accept the mud." Ghanaian Proverb

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Capoeira: Afro-Brazilian Dancing Fighting Heritage

The beauty of capoeira

Capoeira is an Afro-Brazilian ritual dance combat heritage. Capoeira fighters in Africa have cultural heritage of Capoeira in Angola, Morocco, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Mozambique, South Africa, Guinea, and Senegal. Capoeira is indeed practiced throughout the world in Europe, Asia, Africa and South and North America. Capoeira is a flow of communication between two capoeiristas or players through martial art dance and gymnastics performed to with musical instruments and singing. It requires great physical strength and flexibility to dance and move on your hands and feet.


The word Capoeira may be of Portuguese or Bantu origin. The reason why the roots of Capoeira are unknown is due to Angolan slaves introducing the sport to Brazil during the slave trade. There was no written record of Capoeira in Angola, only in Brazil. Therefore, the origins of Capoeira will remain unknown since oral and not written history is a tradition of many African people. Nevertheless, what is known is that African slaves brought Capoeira to Brazil by way of Portuguese slave traders.

The ginga is a move in capoeira used for attack and defense.
Photo by by Frank Lindecke 
Capoeira circles are called roda and are formed by capoeiristas and capoeira musical instruments players. The roda is a place where knowledge and skills are learned by teaching and practice. Music is integral to capoeira. It sets the tempo and style of game that is to be played within the roda. On November 26, 2014, Capoeira became an intangible cultural heritage of Brazil's humanity according to The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The practice now joins Círio de Nazaré, Frevo, the Oral and Graphic Expressions of Wajãpis and Samba de Roda of the Recôncavo Baiano, which are already recognized by UNESCO.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Let’s Go Shopping at PEP, Shoprite and Walmart Owned Massmart in Africa

Shopping Day

The Shoprite Group is the 94th largest retailer in the world, Shoprite and PEP are the investments most commonly linked to 70 year old South African billionaire Christo Wiese. The Shoprite Group of Companies started in 1979 as an "affordable" retail chain. Today, Wiese is the largest individual shareholder and chairman of retail giants Pepkor, Shoprite and many other companies and is one of Africa’s most successful investors, with a net worth of $3.1 billion on Forbes’ 2012 World’s Billionaires List.



PEP opened its first store in 1965 in the Northern Cape, South Africa. PEP operates more than 1,800 retail stores in Southern African selling clothing, footwear, home-ware, cell phones, funeral policies, money transfers, selected bill payments, electricity tokens and a whole lot more. PEP is truly a one-stop-shopping center.

The Shoprite grocery store chain started in 1979 with the purchase of a chain of 8 South African Cape town based supermarkets.  In 1983 Shoprite opened its first branch outside the Western Cape in Hartswater in the Northern Cape, South Africa. There are currently 410 grocery stores in South Africa, Mozambique, Swaziland and Lesotho. Shoprite opened their first store in Zambia Lusaka Cairo Road Store on October 26, 1995, Gaborone Botswana in 1998, Namibia Shoprite officially opened its first store in Windhoek in 1990, and November 2000 in Kampala Uganda. Shoprite officially opened its first store in 2003 in Luanda Angola, and Accra Ghana, 5 stores in and around Antananarivo Madagascar in 2002, Mauritius on November 14, 2002, and Lilongwe, Malawi in August 2001. Shoprite first entered Nigeria in December 2005, when they opened a Shoprite store in Lagos Nigeria. On April 19, 2012, Shoprite became the first South African store to enter the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in Gombe, Kinshasa.

Did you know…?

Walmart acquired a majority stake in Massmart Holdings Ltd. in 2011 and is now located in 12 African countries with 356 stores employing over 24,000 people as of January 2014. Massmart operates in Botswana, Ghana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, South Africa and Zambia. Massmart operates under the brand names of Game, DionWired, Makro, Kangela, Builders Warehouse, Builders Express, Builders Trade Depot, CBW, and Jumbo Cash and Carry. Massmart is the second-largest distributor of consumer goods in Africa, the leading retailer of general merchandise, liquor and home improvement equipment and supplies, and the leading wholesaler of basic foods.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

In Africa the Poisonous Lab-Lab Bean Plant Is Considered a Traditional Food

The family Leguminosae or bean families of plants are an important family of flowering plants that feed the world. The lab-lab bean is a poisonous plant native to Tropical Africa. In Africa the poisonous lab-lab bean plant is considered a traditional food. The lab-lab bean is a climbing, warm-season plant that can grow up to 3 feet, and the climbing vines stretching up to 25 feet from the plant.


The family Leguminosae or bean families of plants are an important family of flowering plants that feed the world.
The Dolichos lablab plant  photo  by patti haskins
The Dolichos lablab plant is a lesser known member of the bean family and is known by many names; gerenge in Ethiopia, Kikuyu bean in Kenya, gueshrangaig in Egypt, lab-lab bean, and poor man's bean. The lab-lab bean is a climbing, warm-season plant that can grow up to 3 feet, and the climbing vines stretching up to 25 feet from the plant.

The lab-lab bean is a poisonous plant native to Tropical Africa. The seeds contain large amounts of vitamins and minerals, but contain tannins and trypsin inhibitors so the bean must be soaked and cooked before the bean is eaten. The acidity from tannins is what causes your mouth to pucker and trypsin is an enzyme involved in the breakdown of proteins during digestion.

In Africa the lab-lab bean plant is considered a traditional food. The lab-lab bean plant; the leaves and pods are cooked, the flowers are eaten raw or steamed, dried seeds should be boiled in two changes of water before eating since they contain poisonous chemical compounds. The fruit and beans are edible if boiled well with several changes of the water. The seeds can be white, cream, pale brown, dark brown, red, black, or mottled depending on variety.
  

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Niger is the world's fourth-ranking producer of uranium

Niger is a landlocked, Sub-Saharan nation, whose economy centers on subsistence crops, livestock, and some of the world's largest uranium deposits. Niger has two significant uranium mines providing 7.5% of world mining production from Africa's highest-grade uranium ores. 

Niger's first commercial uranium mine began operating in 1971. Uranium was discovered at Azelik in Niger in 1957. Azelik is presently a Uranium Mine in Niger, also known as Teguidda, in 2014 the mine is owned by China National Nuclear Corporation, State of Niger, ZXJoy Investment.





Mining Uranium
The discovery of the element is credited to the German chemist Martin Heinrich Klaproth in Berlin in 1789. Uranium is a chemical element with symbol U and atomic number 92. Uranium is regularly found in very small amounts in rocks, soil, water, plants, and animals and humans. In nature, uranium is found as mostly as uranium-238 and uranium-235. Uranium metal is very dense and heavy therefore Uranium decays slowly with a half-life of about 4.47 billion years for uranium-238 and uranium-235 are 704 million years. The main use of uranium in the private citizen sector is to fuel nuclear power plants. Uranium metal is very dense and heavy and is used by the military as shielding to protect Army tanks, and in bullets and missiles.

Mineral goods produced in Niger include uranium, cement, coal, gold, gypsum, limestone, salt, silver, and tin. Niger is the world's fourth-ranking producer of uranium; Kazakhstan is the leading producer then Canada, Australia, Namibia and Niger. Uranium is mined close to the twin mining towns of Arlit and Akokan. The mines resumed operation at the end of January 2014 under the terms of a government decree.
According to Mining-Technology the Imouraren mine is the largest uranium deposit in Africa and world's second-largest uranium deposit.The development of the mine is expected to create 1,800 direct jobs and 3,500 indirect jobs during its estimated production period of 35 years. The mine is expected to start production in 2015.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Ireland, Nelson Mandela and Irish Anti-Apartheid: The tangled path history weaves

Apartheid South Africa
sign in English and Afrikaans 

The Honorary Freedom of the City of Dublin 1988 was awarded to Nelson Mandela, the tangled path history weaves. The Freedom of the City of Dublin is the highest and most prestigious award the City can bestow. The turning point in Irish perceptions of Apartheid South Africa was the Sharpeville massacre of 1960. The Irish Anti-Apartheid Movement became, over the years, one of the most successful movement’s social movements against Apartheid.


In 1948 when the South African National Party instated Apartheid, the South African population was now officially categorized as white, black and colored. Racially mixed housing areas were declared illegal and the, black and colored population was banished to live in black settlements and needed passes to travel into white only areas.  The Irish took up offers by the South African government for living in white settlements and by the 1960’s, roughly 60,000 Irish in South Africa.

According to The Irish Story, “the turning point in Irish perceptions of Apartheid South Africa was the Sharpeville massacre of 1960.”  The African National Congress, protesting about the laws of racial segregation during a demonstration innocent protesters was fired on by the police in Sharpeville, near Johannesburg, killing 69 peaceful demonstrators. 

Nelson Mandela July 18, 1918-December 5, 2013
Kader Asmal  October 8, 1934-June 22, 2011
The Irish Anti-Apartheid Movement (IAAM) was founded Kader Asmal in 1963 to support the Anti-Apartheid crusade of South Africa for freedom from the South African National Party established Apartheid laws. The IAAM helped organize the Dunne’s Stores Workers march against apartheid in Dublin 1984. Also, protests at the visit of the South African Rugby team to Ireland in 1970. The IAAM became, over the years, one of the most successful movement’s social movements against Apartheid.

In 1983 there was discussion of awarding Nelson Mandela the esteemed Freedom of the City of Dublin which is the highest and most prestigious award the City of Dublin Ireland could bestow on an individual.  Some Dublin leaders thought the city might be criticized view it as inappropriate to honor an individual who advocated use of physical force. However, in 1988 the City of Dublin saw this risk outweighed by “Mandela’s stature as a leader of black South Africa, as a focus in the struggle against apartheid, and as an international figure.”

Mandela was awarded the Freedom of the City of Dublin in September 1988, which, due to his incarceration, was accepted on behalf of his then wife Adelaide Tambo. On the July 1, 1990, almost two years after the Freedom of the City of Dublin had been awarded to him, Nelson Mandela accepted the honor in person from the then Lord Mayor, Sean Haughey. Lord Mayor Sean Haughey, before the assembled dignitaries, told Mr. Mandela:  "The people of Dublin walk taller because you are amongst us".


Freedom of the City of Dublin 
According to Dublin City, The Freedom of the City of Dublin is the highest and most prestigious award the City can bestow.  The founder of the Home Rule Party, Isaac Butt, was the first person to receive the Honorary Freedom of Dublin in 1876.

The ancient Freedom of the City was instituted at the time of the Norman Invasion in the late twelfth century. Holders of the Freedom were known as “Free Citizens” and were entitled to significant trading privileges and certain duties. Holders of the ancient Freedom of Dublin received the following rights:

·        The right to vote in municipal and parliamentary elections.
·        The right to bring goods into Dublin through the city gates without paying customs duties.
·        The right to pasture sheep on common ground in the city known as Hoggen Green (now College Green) or St. Stephen’s Green.
·        The right to marry without obtaining the King’s license.
·        The right to sell land or to bequeath it to their descendants.
·        The right to have guilds.
·        The right to trial by jury.
·        Exemption from having soldiers billeted in their homes.
·        Exemption from serving as city coroner or city bailiff

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Living in fear on Tanzania's Ukerewe Island: Albinism Lucky Charm Slayings

Tanzania has one of the largest populations of people with Albinism in the world with an estimated 170,000. In the heart of Lake Victoria, Ukerewe Island is home to a large community of people with albinism. In the Buhangija Albinism School, 116 children were separated from their families and placed into the school for their own protection due to simply being born with albinism. 


Mother and child
Albinism is genetically inherited resulting in a lack of pigmentation in the hair, skin and eyes. Persons with albinism (PWA) are extremely sensitive to sun exposure and bright light, and some are visually impaired. Throughout Africa albinism is much more widespread than the rest of the world.

In Tanzania PWA are facing the daily horror of a rapidly growing industry in the sale of albino body parts. More than 70 PWA’s have been killed since 2000. In Tanzania, PWA’s are killed and dismembered due to a widespread belief that charms made from their body parts bring good fortune and prosperity. There is a great black market demand for the body parts of people with albinism selling for around US$600 according to 3news. On 1-1-15 Police in Tanzania arrested four people over the kidnapping of an albino girl from her home in the Mwanza region of Tanzania; her father is accused of orchestrating the offence.


Tanzania's Ukerewe Island
The film “In the Shadow of the Sun” tells the story of two men with albinism pursuing their dreams in the face of prejudice and fear in Tanzania. The film follows their lives before and during an outbreak of brutal ritual killings that sweep across the country. Josephat lives in Dar Es Salaam with his wife Sabella and their two children and has spent his life as an albino rights campaigner fighting the discrimination that he comes up against each day. The Tanzania Albinism Society in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania is an organization also advocating the rights of albinism.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Globally Battling Fraud and Kleptocracy in Equatorial Guinea

Equatorial Guinea gained independence in 1968 after 190 years of Spanish rule. Equatorial Guinea is a small Spanish speaking country off West Africa that has recently struck oil.

Equatorial Guinea has experienced rapid economic growth due to the discovery of large offshore oil reserves, and in the last decade has become Sub-Saharan Africa's third largest oil exporter.

Despite the country's economic windfall from oil production, resulting in a massive increase in government revenue in recent years, improvements in the population's living standards have been slow to develop, Kleptocracy and corruption are hurting its people.

Kleptocracy is a form of political and government corruption where the government exists to increase the personal wealth and political power of its officials and the ruling class at the expense of the wider population, often with pretense of honest service.

Between 2000 and 2011, Equatorial Guinea was the world’s fastest-growing economy, with output growth averaging 17 percent. Equatorial Guinea is the eighth-largest crude oil reserve holder in Sub-Saharan Africa, with 1.1 billion barrels of proved reserves as of January 2013. Despite being among the top five largest oil producers in Sub-Saharan Africa, Equatorial Guinea does not have any refining capacity. The country consumed 2,500 barrels per day of petroleum in 2012, all of which was imported. The largest foreign investors in Equatorial Guinea are U.S. companies, particularly ExxonMobil, Hess, Marathon, and Noble Energy.

The Capital Port of Malabo, Equatorial Guinea

Equatorial Guinea's economy is heavily reliant on its oil and natural gas industry, which accounted for almost 95% of its gross domestic product and 99% of its export earnings in 2011, according to the International Monetary Fund. Emphasis on the oil and natural gas industries has led to the lack of development in non-oil sectors, and its oil fields Zafiro, Ceiba, Okume and Alen are slowing down in output production.

Equatorial Guinea does not participate in The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI). EITI is a global coalition of governments, companies and civil society working collectively to improve openness and accountable management of revenues from natural resources. Equatorial Guinea did however apply and obtained candidate status in 2008 but did not follow through with the guidelines to become a member EITI country.
Equatorial Guinea exports crude oil to markets in North America, Europe, and Asia. The United States is one of the largest importers of crude oil from Equatorial Guinea and received 41,000 barrels per day of crude oil from Equatorial Guinea in 2012. However, few people have benefited from the oil and natural gas riches as the country ranks near the bottom of the July 2014 UN human development index (HDI).

Additional Information on Equatorial Guinea
•Equatorial Guinea grossed $15.57 billion in 2013
•Equatorial Guinea gross national income is $21,972.27 per person
•Total population in 2013 757,000 people
•Equatorial Guinea ranks144 out of 187 countries on the HDI
•Health expenditure 3.95% of GDP
•Population living below $2 a day 14%

Other Posts to Learn From

Search for other interesting posts

Share on Facebook