Anita Afonu: Preserving Ghana's Cinematic Treasures

Ghanaian filmmaker Anita Afonu is passionate about the preservation of Ghana's cinematic history. With enthusiasm and hope, she talks about her film Perished Diamonds which relates the history of Ghanaian cinema, and the initiative to restore its hidden and lost legacy.
 
 
Anita Afonu at the 2nd African Women's Film Forum
 
Anita, you are a graduate of the Ghanaian film school NAFTI. Talk about how you came to cinema and a bit about the film school and its mission.
I attended the National Film and Television Institute (NAFTI) from 2006 to 2010 where I pursued a programme in Film Directing with an option in documentary filmmaking. I had always wanted to be a filmmaker because to me, having the ability to tell a story and have an audience watch your film meant that you wield a lot of power and therefore can change the perceptions and idiosyncrasies of people through film.
The National Film and Television Institute was established in 1978 to train people to produce films and other audiovisual material for the government of Ghana. The school offers a four-year bachelor degree programme in all aspects of filmmaking.
I was a privileged spectators at the screening of your film Perished Diamonds, a documentary about the history of Ghanaian cinema. I was touched by your in depth research and your tremendous will to get it made. What motivated you to make the film?
I was sorting out films at the Information Services Department for my friend Jennifer Blaylock, a cinema archivist who had come to do some research on Ghanaian cinema. While working with the films, I saw how dilapidated the Information Services Department was and how the film reels had been left to go bad. I also realized that I had not seen most of these films. I thought, "Here I am, a film school graduate calling myself a filmmaker". I thought that is was rather ironic, asking myself what had happened. Why had the film reels been left to go bad? And it broke my heart to personally discard some of the films because they had gone mouldy, in an almost soup-like state. I felt that if I could trace the origin of the problem and find a way to repair the damage, things could improve. I knew that if I made a film about these conditions people would wake up. And that’s what motivated me to make this film. Jennifer was very supportive and we put together a proposal to the Goethe Institute which funded the film.
You have also researched the history of Ghanaian cinema and cinema in Ghana that is related in the film. Give some background on Ghanaian cinema history and your process in learning about it.
Generally, cinema was used by the colonizers to instil in Africans, and Ghanaians in this case, an attitude of subservience. The films were mainly instructional materials about keeping homes clean, accepting Jesus Christ and embracing Christianity, and others along this line. The West African Film School was set up in 1948 to train people in film to essentially work as assistants to British filmmakers who were commissioned to come to Ghana to make propaganda films. When Dr. Nkrumah became president, he took a personal interest in film because he believed that the medium of film was very powerful; that it had the ability to change the mind-set of Ghanaians to accept and hold their own, and thus remove the colonial mentality that Ghanaians had held that white people were better than black people. After learning about this I spoke to veteran filmmakers and people who had worked closely with President Nkrumah, including his personal cameraman. I read a number of articles about Ghanaian cinema and watched some films that were made during that time period. However, most of the research was drawn from interviews, which are shown in the film.
I was delighted to learn that President Kwame Nkrumah was behind the creation of the Ghana Film Industry Corporation. What is the history behind this initiative?
Former President Nkrumah believed that the medium of film was a very important tool to change the mentality of the Ghanaian if he was going to make any changes as president. He believed that by showing films made by Ghanaians and shown to Ghanaians, that it would boost their self-esteem and encourage them to work for the better Ghana that he had set out. As president Dr. Nkrumah laid the groundwork for Ghanaian cinema; he brought new film equipment and an editing suite; he sent Ghanaians to London to train in filmmaking; and he established the Ghana Film Industry Corporation incorporating the Lebanese-built cinema into it. Another creation was the biggest sound stage in Africa at the time, which continues to hold this record today. Films were churned out often, increasing Ghanaians' appetite for film. President Nkrumah had a personal studio at Flagstaff House, his office, where he made recordings that were transmitted to the Ghanaian audience. He read every script that was written, and personally made corrections to them before they were shot; he even viewed the first cut of the films before they went into final cut. In fact, he took a personal interest in film. Every activity he undertook as president was filmed and screened for the public at cinema houses; a way to show the transparency of his government. The Ghana Film Industry Corporation became the hub of filmmaking in West Africa. Even people from Nigeria came to Ghana to train as filmmakers. Nkrumah looked at the development of the Ghanaian and the African in a holistic way. He believed that filmmaking formed a big part of a country’s culture and he was determined to move Ghana and Africa to the next level of development.
The story behind the destruction of the Ghanaian film industry was very unsettling to watch and hear about, your meticulous research provided a treasure of information as some of the witnesses to the demise gave first hand accounts. How did this destruction come about?
The destruction of Ghana films occurred when the Ghana Film Industry Corporation was divested for fifteen years to the Malaysian company, GAMA Media System for the sum of 1.23 million USD. GAMA Media System, obviously interested in television and not cinema, turned the location into a TV station, which provided content from both Malaysia and Ghana. Since they needed space for their TV equipment and other items, they got rid of the film equipment, including all of Ghana’s archives. Evidently not concerned about Ghanaian heritage, these treasures were dumped outside, left to the mercy of the weather.
What was your reaction when you first learned about the damage?
To say that I was shocked to see and hear about this is an understatement. I couldn’t eat properly for days. I was emotionally troubled about this. And I think that was what kept me going to make the film. There were certain times during the film production when I was burning out, but whenever the thought of those films came to my mind, it gave me more strength to keep pushing forward to complete the project.
Of course to imagine that Ghana’s cultural heritage was sold to another country, Malaysia, and partially destroyed is shocking. Your passion to restore these films and to document the story is truly heartfelt. Talk about the story behind this arrangement with Britain and what attempts are being made to have these “perished diamonds” returned.
Luckily for me, or better still for Ghanaian filmmakers and Ghana, a number of the films are being stored in laboratories in England. This occurred because at the time when these films were made, Ghana did not have a colour-editing machine so they had to be sent to England to be edited. The negatives were stored there and have remained there since. All of the black and white films have been destroyed. The government of Ghana pays a yearly rent to the labs to check and keep the films in pristine conditions. During the making of the film, I found it difficult to get archival material that I felt should be available to me to use as a filmmaker and researcher. I figured that if these films could be digitized and the digital copies brought here to Ghana, it would make it easy for people like me to be able to have access. I also felt that being a Ghanaian filmmaker that I had every right to access those films without any difficulties. However, because they are being stored in England, accessing them is almost impossible.  Since Ghana did not have the facilities to store the celluloid films, I thought it would be better if digital copies of these films were brought to Ghana so that researchers and fellow filmmakers could access them. Hence, I started an initiative to digitize these films. 
Yes, during the Action Plan Breakout Group Sessions at the 2nd African Women's Film Forum held in Accra in September 2013, you proposed an initiative to preserve and digitize the films produced during the Kwame Nkrumah era. What are your plans and the campaign in search of funding?
My intention is to have the colour materials sent to London to be digitized, and have those digital copies that are stored in London brought here to Ghana so that filmmakers and people doing research may access it. In addition, it is a revenue-making venture for the government since fees will be charged for those who want to use it. Moreover, I have been in talks with Rev. Dr. Hesse, the personal cameraman of Dr. Nkrumah, who went to London to identify over 200 films that were recently discovered in the Ghana High Commission vault. He shot the majority of the films and is familiar with all of them. For now, my goal is to be able to start with about fifty of the most important films that the Reverend can identify. Those films will be cleaned, catalogued and stored. With regards to funding, I will be meeting Prof. Ampofo, the director of the Institute of African Studies at the University of Ghana who will advise on funding.
And your future plans, films, scripts?
I am currently working on a short piece. At the moment I am still writing, I want to do a film on African teenage girls. I want to be an inspiration for other young girls who are coming up. I realize that a lot of girls or young women are confused about what they want out of life. The media is heavily influencing their choices. There is plenty of talk about women being empowered but I personally do not see it. All I see is a bunch of elite women who are angry and complain bitterly about the glass ceiling. A lot of young girls are not being encouraged and that is what I want to do. I run a small production house called Roaming Akuba Films. We make commissioned films, consult for foreign film crews and provide other general services with regards to filmmaking.
Unfortunately, my website was hacked some weeks ago and I am unable to retrieve all that I lost. Hence, I am currently working on creating a new website. 
Conversation with Anita Afonu and Beti Ellerson, November 2013
 
Join her film's page on Facebook: Click Here

The Grave of Sargon The Great. The ancient buried sumerian city of Akkad found has been found by Professor Catherine Acholonu.


The Sumerian civilization is the oldest civilization in the world. The mythology of the Sumerians recorded in cuneiform texts, have been translated, revealing that all the earliest mythologies of the world, including Biblical Genesis, were mythologies of the Sumerians. From the Sumerian Genesis period onto the end of its civilization, its sacred and political texts speak of Eden as the homeland of the Sumerians and of the Sumerian civilization. All Sumer’s kings even onto Babylonian, Mesopotamian and Assyrian times, spoke of themselves as Kings of Edin (Eden).

For 23 years, we have been on the trail of the ancient Sumerian civilization, studying its cuneiform records in translation. The cuneiform texts speak of the latter-day developments in the Middle Eastern Sumerian colonies of Mesopotamia, Assyria, Babylon. But they also speak of a mother-land called Shumer/Sumer, which according to Assyriologists, has never been found. Equally lost is the city of Akkad, homeland of the Akkadians, which was ruled first by Sargon the Great.
 


PRE-CUNEIFORM SUMERIAN INSCRIPTIONS REVEAL LINKS WITH AFRICA

To get a bearing on the study of this lost Sumerian Mother civilization, we switched to the study of Pre-Cuneiform Sumerian inscriptions, for as we found out, long before the invention of the cuneiform method of writing in the Middle East, Sumerians first wrote on stone and rock, pottery, copper, bronze and iron implements. These were all original Sumerian inventions. Sumerian Kings and Emperors also wrote their official kings-seals on hard wood like ebony. Some of these have been found in Egypt, Mesopotamia, Assyria, Babylon Mohenjo Daro and Harappan. Our study of the official seals of the kings of Sumer revealed that Sumer was a great world empire and its kings and emperors were Masters of the Seas and oceans. L.A. Waddell in Makers of Civilization in Race and History (London, 1921) noted that after Sumer was destroyed (2,023 B.C.)its civilization continued to thrive in its empires: Egypt, Mesopotamia, Babylon, Harappan, Mohenjo Daro. Zecharia Sitchen who spent his entire life translating and studying Sumerian cuneiform texts, observed that Sumer taught the world everything they know, and that it was refugees fleeing the destroyed cities of Sumer that seeded the first civilizations in China, India, Assyria, Babylon, Mesopotamia, and that Egypt was a direct offshoot of Sumer.
 
 
 

Read whole document:
 
More about Professor Catherine Acholonu:

The Discovery of the Egyptian Duat, Temple of the Sun, and lost city of Heliopolis in West Africa by Professor Catherine Acholonu


In December, 2012, under the resourceful organization of the Honourable Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Enugu State, Barrister Joe Mmamel, a team of ten African American Tourists visited various parts of the Enugu State under the Ebo Landing Project. The project was designed by Professor Catherine Acholonu and Sidney Louis Davis of Catherine Acholonu Research Center, Abuja.

THE DISCOVERY in partnership with NAGAS International Consortium Inc., USA and Ebo Landing Incorporated, USA. The 2012 Ebo Landing tourism trip was facilitated by the Honorable Minister of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, Chief Edem Duke who personally wrote letters to four State governors in the Federation urging them to play host to the Tourists. Ebo Landing was born out of the growing need by DNA tested African Americans, 85% of which are of Igbo extraction, to return ‘home’ to Igbo land and support the course of development in the home country.

The team visited various tourist sites in Enugu State including the Institute for African Studies, University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), which led an excursion trip to the Prehistoric Iron smelting site in Lejja in Nsukka. The Lejja visit proved to be a most auspicious event, for it exposed the visitors to the world’s oldest iron smelting technology lying unknown and unsung in Enugu State, South-Eastern region of Nigeria. The Head of the UNN Institute of African Studies Professor S.M. Onuigbo informed the visitors that the Lejja prehistoric iron smelting site was recently dated 2,000 B.C. by the Oxford University laboratory in UK, and that this date confirms Lejja as the oldest iron smelting site in the world! The international visitors led by researchers Professor Catherine Acholonu and Sidney Louis Davis, initiators of the Ebo Landing project, therefore made a fervent plea to the Hon Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, that the government of Enugu State and the Federal Republic of Nigeria should quickly see to it that the Lejja iron smelting technology should be made known to the world, being the only physical proof that Africa was the origin of world civilization! They promised to join hands with the government and people of Enugu state in spreading the word worldwide, and by so doing initiate global tourism to Enugu state.

The Follow-Up Trip to Lejja:

Subsequently in January 2013, a combined team of international researchers from the Institute for African Studies UNN the Catherine Acholonu Research Center, Enugu South-Eastern zonal office visited the Lejja site for the second time to critically examine what is there.1 The research team who undertook this follow-up reconnaissance trip was made up of Professor S.M. Onuigbo, Head of the Institute of African Studies, UNN, Dr. Chukwuma Opata, Department of History and International Studies, UNN, Sidney Louis Davis, Fellow of the Catherine Acholonu Research Center (CARC), Professor Damian Opata, Department of English and Professor Catherine Acholonu, Head CARC. That visit opened the floodgates of knowledge, throwing up more than enough physical evidence that Prof Onuigbo, Head of the Institute of African Studies, who led the team; Professor Catherine Acholonu – Director, Catherine Acholonu Research Center, Abuja; Professor Damian Opata – Department of Literature, UNN; Dr. Sidney Louis Davis – Catherine Acholonu Research Center; Dr. Chukwuma Opata, Department of History, UNN.

(Professor Catherine Acholonu)
 

THE DISCOVERY

Lejja is housing the most ancient and most world-renowned Shrine of antiquity – a shrine known in all world mythologies as the Egyptian ‘Temple of the Sun’. Ancient Egyptian records say that the ‘Temple of the Sun’ is located in Heliopolis – ‘City of the Sun’ – a city lost in antiquity; which means that to find the Temple of the Sun is to find Egypt’s lost city of Heliopolis – the world’s most famous city of mythology – a city dedicated to the Olden God Amun/Atum-Ra, the Father of all Gods and Creator of men.
 
Lejja/Nsukka - The World’s Oldest Prehistoric Iron-smelting Technology Lejja is located in Old Nsukka division in Enugu State, in Igbo land, South-Eastern geopolitical zone of Nigeria in West Africa. It is one of the many communities in Old Nsukka that have evidence of Prehistoric iron smelting up to industrial proportions. Evidence abounds in these communities that a vast industry of iron smelting thrived in Old Nsukka involving entire populations of several communities. In these communities which include Orba, Opi, Umundu, Owerri-Elu, Eha, Agu, Isiakpu, Eguru, archaeologists have found evidence of prehistoric mining of iron ore as well as local furnaces used for smelting. Huge amounts of tuyere, charcoal and iron slag litter the villages, hills and streams, attesting that in the dim past, these villages and towns had developed a thriving iron smelting technology, and that Lejja, though the oldest by the current dating result, was not an isolated phenomenon in Enugu state.

Read complete document: CLICK HERE

More about Catherine Acholonu: CLICK HERE

Nigerian Selected Among Africa’s Top 25 Emerging Women Leaders!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Nigerian Selected Among Africa’s Top 25 Emerging Women Leaders!


(Obiocha Ikezogwo)


London, United Kingdom – May 29, 2013 – A Nigerian-born Briton, Obiocha Ikezogwo, has been recognised for her exemplary service leadership and social activism by the Moremi Initiative for Women’s Leadership in Africa. Beating over 2,000 candidates to win a place in the final 25, Obiocha’s nomination as a MILEAD Fellow sets the tone for this bright, young woman. She is the national representative for the UK, and is hopeful that this experience will enable her realise her vision for African womanhood, one in which “we are empowered at home, and respected abroad”.

With a First Class degree in Finance from the University of Manchester, Obiocha began her profession on the Graduate Leadership Programme at Centrica Plc. Her career flourished with high-profile assignments, including a position in Norway, where she developed strategic analysis of a $1.1 billion asset deal with Statoil. She returned to the UK to continue her career at Palantir Solutions, a leading provider of consulting and software services to the petroleum industry. As a Petroleum Economics Consultant, Obiocha values oil and gas projects from exploration to production, using her expertise in economic modelling, fiscal regimes, and portfolio optimisation to provide decision analysis that supports her clients’ investment decisions.

Having grown up in Nigeria amidst abject poverty, Obiocha champions the use of education to engender women’s economic and social independence. She has successfully mentored over 50 women and young people in positions of responsibility, and currently serves as a School Governor at the Harris Academy South Norwood, London.

Obiocha is a First Class graduate in Finance from the University of Manchester. Whilst at university, she dedicated her formative years to empowering her female peers, and in 2008, received the Manchester Leadership Award in recognition of her outstanding contribution to her wider community. She is now a mentor on the University’s Gold Mentoring Programme.

Citing herself as “an engineer of social justice”, Obiocha is dedicated to promoting the rights and causes of women in her community. Her passion for empowering African women led Obiocha to co-found ‘Yaaya’, a response to the social invisibility and negative stereotypes that shadow them in Europe. Established as a platform for women of African descent to share their achievements, stories, and ambitions, Yaaya aims to promote fairer and positive images of African women in European society. Her dream is for ‘Yaaya’ to inspire meaningful dialogue and action amongst organisations, governments, and civil society, on the issues of African women.

Looking ahead to the future, Obiocha hopes to complete her MBA at a prestigious European school. Post-MBA, she dreams of returning home to Nigeria, to serve her country in the efficient management of its natural resources. She is determined to “ensure that reserves are safely produced and piped back as cash resources into our economy, to alleviate poverty, elevate living standards, and at last, end our nation’s resource curse”

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Contact Obiocha on email: purityikezogwo@gmail.com
More on Moremi Initiative: http://www.moremiinitiative.org/milead-fellows/2013-milead-fellows

MAKE ME A DOORWAY



Three perspectives represented by the voice of one woman investigate the memory of a love lost while unerringly depicting the courage required to navigate a volatile gender gap.



Poet Alexzenia Davis explores perspective and intimacy during a rush of mixed media footage that visualizes the characteristics of time. The short film titled "Make me a Doorway" is an experimental collaboration with filmmaker Jesse RussellBrooks that investigates the memories of past relationships, what photography makes of love lost and how these reflections mysteriously transform us.




Jesse Russell Brooks

Jesse Russell Brooks was born in Accomack, Virginia and received a degree in English Literature from Virginia State University. As a professional, Jesse spent the immediate decade after graduating from school working in New York City as a Stage Manager and assistant director. His projects included Walt Disney’s The Lion King, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, The Who’s Tommy and multiple cultural events and large venue concerts. During a stay as a studio assistant for video artist Bill Viola Jesse began to develop and author work as a filmmaker and artist. Brooks now focuses primarily on creating experimental short film and video that includes documentary, video art and narrative.




Laila Petrone

Laila Petrone was born in London and is of Italian and Dominican decent. She is the daughter of famous actress Iris Peynado. Laila was a very busy child travelling often with her family between The UK and Rome, Italy. Her performances as an actress began very early. A notable appearance can be found within Luigi Magno’s historical masterpiece "State Buoni, Se Potete".

As a college undergrad Laila studied International Affairs & continued to engage the screen. She appeared as the damsel in distress for the popular Italian music video "Guantanamera" by Banda Bassotti. Laila has also appeared in the role of Pina for Spike Lee’s "Miracle at St' Anna" in 2007.

Laila Petrone holds a Master of Media and Communications from The University of Florence and presently is an assistant director and producer. 

Her credits now include the award winning short films “Elron”, “Mr. 7 Minutes” and most recently “Sweatshop Kid”. Laila has taken The 2nd Place Pitching Award at The Roma Fiction Festival and received The Black Reel Award 2012 for outstanding Independent on her short film “The Bluest Note”.







Film Credits

Edited & Directed by Jesse Russell Brooks
Written & Performed by Alexzenia Davis
Film & Videography: Len Mazzone
Sound Recordist: Paul Gonzales
This film is a compilation of three poems:
"Make Me," "My Silhouette," and "A Lady's Psyche"

Written by Alexzenia Davis
Models in order of appearance:
Woman #1 Erika Ewing
Woman #2 Alexzenia Davis
Woman #3 Laila Petrone
Film Festivals

Nova Cinema Brussels 2013
Cinethesia Feminist Film Festival 2013
New Voices in Black Cinema 2013
Post Alley Film Festival Seattle 2013
Visible Verse Poetry Festival Canada 2012
Black Women in Film festival 2012
Co-Kisser Poetry Festival 2012

Exhibitions
Galerie Chartier Connecticut 2013
The December Laboratory London 2013
The Cleveland Institute of Art 2012
Art Grease Buffalo New York 2012


MAKE ME A DOORWAY
ACTRESS & PRODUCER
LAILA PETRONE


For more information detailing the film “Make Me A Doorway”
Please contact:

AWE Awards 2013


 
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In most countries, women struggle for equal access to education, economic and political opportunities. Empowerment of women is one of the most effective drivers of human development.  African Women in Europe have had a share of challenges in foreign soil, but despite that, so many have been able to overcome challenges and realised their dreams.
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Many thanks to all those that have sent in their nominations or nominated a friend or colleague for this great award to acknowledge achievements and encourage one another.
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The closing date for AWE Awards 2013 nomination is the 31st of March. Looking at the list, we seem to have many nominees from UK.  AWE Team would like to encourage members from other parts of Europe to nominate African Women in Europe who are inspiring them, or deserve an award for the work they are doing for the community in their respective country of residence in Europe. Please follow the this link: http://africanwomenineuropeevents.wordpress.com/
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It is our desire to build a strong network of African women in the Diaspora to share experiences which will enable personal, professional, financial and spiritually growth. A workshop is organised from 1400hrs to 1700hrs entitled: Harnessing our Skills, Resources and Knowledge facilitated by Dr Wangui wa Goro who has a wide knowledge on issues affecting African Women in the Diaspora.
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Please continue nominating because all nominees will be listed down and because we believe in transparency, you will all know about this inspiring women!!
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We are also looking for sponsors and partners, if you would like to get involved with the event, please contact Wambui.Njau@africanwomenineurope.eu
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To book into the hotel, please email the hotel and quote the following Code: HR5 for the AWE hotel deal.
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Telephone:Jerusalem Necho | Special Events Co-ordinator
Holiday Inn London - Kensington Forum
97 Cromwell Road, London, SW7 4DN, United Kingdom
Direct: + 44 (0) 20 7341 3099
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TOGETHER WE ARE STRONG!
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Kind regards,
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AWE Team
 


CFP Black German conference DEADLINE EXTENDED

Blackgermans

The third annual convention of the Black German Heritage and Research Association (formerly the Black German Cultural Society NJ) will be held on August 8-11, 2013, at Amherst College in Amherst, Massachusetts. This year’s convention will focus on Black Germans in Diaspora. The conference will feature a keynote address by Maisha Eggers, Professor of Childhood and Diversity Studies at the University of Magdeburg, a screening of the 1952 film “Toxi” at the Amherst Cinema with an introduction and Q & A by Professor Angelica Fenner of the University of Toronto, author of “Race Under Reconstruction in German Cinema” (2011), and presentations by guest artists Sharon Dodua Otoo and Sandrine Micossé-Aikins, editors of “The Little Book of Big Visions: How To Be an Artist and Revolutionize the World,” published by the Berlin publishers Edition Assemblage in October 2012.

The BGHRA Review Committee invites proposals for papers that engage the multiplicity and diversity of the experiences of Blacks of German heritage and on Blackness in Germany. We welcome submissions for twenty-minute presentations on three academic panels and two sessions devoted to life writing, oral history, and memoir. We are especially interested in life stories by and about Black Germans as well as academic papers. Please send a one-page abstract and a CV or short biographical statement to: bghrassn@gmail.com by April 8.

Visit Blackgermans at:
www.blackgerman.org/?xg_source=msg_mes_network

28 February 2013 – luncheon meeting with Costa Rica candidate for WTO DG Mrs. Anabel González by Joyce van Genderen-Naar

(Joyce van Genderen-Naar)

Dear All,

I would like to share with you the information on the lunch meeting with WTO DG candidate Mrs. Anabel González, Costa Rica Minister of Foreign Trade. Organized by Friends of Europe in Brussels in a serie of conversations with WTO candidates.

28 February 2013 –
luncheon meeting with Costa Rica candidate for WTO DG Mrs. Anabel González
Background

Anabel González is Minister of Foreign Trade of Costa Rica, appointed in 2010. In this capacity, she serves as the President’s principal advisor, negotiator and spokesperson on trade and investment policy issues. She currently acts as chair of the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on Trade. With experience in both the public and private sector, Minister González has been involved in trade and investment policy matters internationally and domestically for the past twenty years.
 
Relevant points made by Mrs. Anabel González
a.. She is the candidate of a small country, Costa Rica, compared to the powerful WTO Members and candidates, but has the ability and leadership potential for this post. Also smaller countries could play an important role, referring to the leadership of Belgium, Luxembourg, Portugal in EU institutions. Furthermore Costa Rica is a good example of a developing country that diversified its economy, especially services and ITC, and developed in only a few years time from a two commodities exporting country (coffee and bananas) to a country that is exporting now more than 4300 different products to 145 countries.
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b.. If elected as WTO Director-General she you would like to contribute to re-energizing the WTO together with the WTO member states.
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c.. She would like to see more developing countries benefitting from trade contributing to economic development. 'Trade as opposite of development is a misconception, which needs to be strongly addressed', she said.
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d.. Developing countries' share in world trade has grown, but it is still concentrated on a small number of countries and she would like to see the WTO supporting the integration of more countries into the world economy.
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e.. DDA: all WTO members stressed that they want to continue, Bali is a very important step, we have to restore the credibility. We should come back to DOHA, but also discuss shorter term agendas, such as trade facilitation, global value chains/manufacturing, trade and investments; it is essential to revitalise and to have these discussions in WTO, the house of trade, she said.
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f.. A strong WTO is needed, DOHA had an impact on the credibility. WTO Dispute settlement and Trade capacity building are good, but the negotiation function and monitoring have to be strengthened. Monitoring of Regional Trade Agreements (RTA) is very important for WTO, in order to know what is taking place in the different regions.
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g.. Also more monitoring of WTO of negotiations and implementation of FTAs/EPAs and mining/mineral agreements between multinationals and developing countries.
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h.. Involvement of Civil Society is very important, and is taking place through the WTO's website and WTO Public Forum, however WTO issues are still too complex and need to be translated at local and regional level. Now it is only depending on knowledge of trade officials. Keep pushing for a strong civil society involvement in trade negotiations, it is a key element to produce good results, she said.
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Joyce van Genderen-NAAR,
Brussels Bar Lawyer descending from Suriname, South America
Member of the International Bar Association (IBA)
Member of the World Trade Advisors (WTA)
Emailaddress: joycenaar@skynet.be




Invitation to become a Sponsor/public partner of the 2nd Edition of the Miss Africa Netherlands Pageant



Permit me introduce myself: I am Anthonia Nkem Emegha, Miss Africa Netherlands 2011-2012 (First edition). My reign as Miss Africa Netherlands just ended last December, and as a matter of fact that, all reigning Queens become pageant coordinators for the next edition of the pageant. As such, I am currently the Pageant coordinator for the second edition of Miss Africa Netherlands (Miss Africa Netherlands 3013-2014)

As you may have noticed, we have recently launched the second edition of the Miss Africa Netherlands Pageant and registrations are currently going on. It is our objective to have contestants this year from all African countries of which only one (1) contestant from each country would go to the final of the event scheduled for December 2013 in Amsterdam.


As part of the preparation for this great event, we are seeking sponsorship/partnership to assist in making this event a success and give it the grandeur it deserves.

As a matter of fact, the pageant is devoted to the positive growth of the African woman of which Stichting Miss Africa Netherlands stresses the importance of Modesty, Education, Communication, poise and social development skills. This I stand to testify.

Our Pride in organizing this pageant is designed to inspire leadership qualities, promote commitment to community, encourage academic excellence, and reinforce high ethical standards and above all, to empower the girl child. In addition to its fostering role in positive youth development, Miss Africa Netherlands also encourages its young winners to become active participants in effective charitable and community events and embracing the spirit of “giving back” to their local communities (this is reflected in our recent rules and regulations which obliges each contestant to have at least a charity of choice and objective). We also stress the importance of education for young women. To that end, we will be awarding the titleholders Educational Scholarships and Sponsored gifts & prizes to further this endeavor.
 
 

Miss Africa Netherlands reaffirms its objectives in empowering the girl child, increasing access to education, increase access to healthcare, health education and fighting diseases, advocating for women and children’s rights, encourage women’s initiatives in the Netherlands as well as Africa: Miss Africa Netherlands celebrates strong and committed women.

This pageant would be funded via sponsors, donations, the sale of tickets, registration of contestants and adverts placed in the pageant program/information booklet and or website. Through this pageant, we aim at pulling a large National audience; both Africans and friends of Africa and the pageant/information booklet would be given to each ticket holder.

On behalf of the contestants, I am therefore respectfully inquiring if you and or a friend would like to honor us as a sponsor/partner for this event. We are accepting sponsorship and partnership in different forms which includes but not limited to: financial donations, gifts, sponsoring of prizes, sacrificing time for a workshop, and all sort gestures that could contribute positively in the realization of this project. All funds for this event will be directed toward necessary expenditures to give the occasion the grandeur it deserves and if any profits, we would invest it in the continuation of our already existing scholarship scheme for the girl child in Africa.

Our success in this event depends solely on sponsors/partners like you and that success would be a direct reflection on the general African community both in the Netherlands and in Africa. In that regard, Miss Africa Netherlands invites you/your organization to be a visible participant in this exciting and prestigious event. Your support is extremely crucial to the success of the "2nd edition (2013-2014) of the annual Miss Africa Netherlands Pageant". For more information on the budget, and sponsorship/partnership benefits, I am more than pleased to provide it at your request.

As you well know, by supporting the role models of today, we strengthen our collective tomorrows. As a sponsor/partner, you would contribute to a hopeful future of Africa by helping one individual identify, develop and refine personal attributes such as self-esteem, public speaking ability, self confidence just to mention but a few, that would assist her throughout her life and the lives of others.

Your assistance as a sponsor/partner would not only serve as a means of publicity, but would also help the participants to prepare for the pageant with a minimum of personal expenses and also help our organization meet its objectives.

I would very much like to discuss the possibilities to support the event with you further and would be most grateful if you could contact me at your earliest convenience. I will also follow up in the course of the coming weeks, to see if you have any questions or require additional information. In the interim, feel free to visit our website at www.missafricanetherlands.com

Yours sincerely,

Anthonia N.Emegha

Miss Africa Netherlands 2011-2012,

Pageant Coordinator,

Miss Africa Netherlands

JUST CONFIRMED FOR THE WOMEN SUPPORTING WOMEN GLOBALLY WEEKEND IN ATLANTA JUNE 14-16TH 2013

 
JUST CONFIRMED FOR THE WOMEN SUPPORTING WOMEN GLOBALLY WEEKEND IN ATLANTA
JUNE 14-16TH 2013:


The Legendary, Emmy Award-Winning Make-Up Artist who has been working with Oprah since 1989 and is the makeup master behind all 80 covers of O Magazine. The one and only Dr. Reggie Wells!!!!


Reggie enrolled Oprah as his first student in Makeup 101. Despite some good-natured teasing about Oprah's makeup-blending abilities and puffy eyelids—Oprah passed! Now, it's time for Reggie to teach his make-up methods, do make-overs on YOU beauty lawbreakers charged with "crimes against cosmetics."

He will also have one on one time with you, writing up make-up prescriptions just for you! He will personally do your make-up! OH, make-up artist that are looking to work one on one with Reggie will learn and in return, he said you'll be able to add his name to your resume! How cool is that? Every woman that joins the class will get a beauty product gift bag & autographed picture!!! What-else can a girl ask for?

JOIN US FOR THIS ONCE IN A LIFETIME OPPORTUNITY! Check out the links below for more info! REMEMBER, FIRST COME FIRST SERVED! LIMITED SEATING FOR THIS CLASS....

PURCHASE LINK:
www.wepay.com/events/wswgweekend

RSVP HERE:
www.facebook.com/events/294272294013099/?fref=ts

European Diversity, Business & Inclusion Congress


Everything has an end, even the best ones!
The bad news: Europe’s Leading Diversity, Business & Inclusion Congress - EDIC will be taking place for the 4th and last time from April 25th- 26th 2013 in Vienna and on European soil!

The good news: This is your last chance to benefit from our special end of congress rates, safe €238 off standard registration. Register today and invest €552 instead €790.
This special offer is limited and expires on March 30th 2013.
Rigister here:
www.diversityleadership.eu/congress/european-diversity-congress/registration-2/edic-attendee-registration/



Here are your resourceful and highly competent facilitators for day one:

Monika Haider















Managing director of the company equalizent.



Monika Dickinger

Principal, Beratergruppe Neuwaldegg
















Beatrice Achaleke


EDIC Convenor & Congress Manager
CEO Diversity Leadership & Consulting

Email: achaleke@diversityleadership.eu
Tel: +43 (0) 699 119 691 15



For those in Austria and Europe: Safe time, travel, and hotel cost. Gain inspirational insights; enjoy a magnetic atmosphere and meet outstanding exports and empowering personalities for 30% less investment.
Click here to register today: www.diversityleadership.eu/congress/european-diversity-congress/registration-2/edic-attendee-registration/

What next?
Join us at EDIC 2013 in Vienna and find out more about our next journey.
We promise excitingly new destinations, extraordinary perspectives and lots of fun!
We can’t wait to tell you more!

Day One of this final congress offers a truly resourceful and energetic world café that enables attendees to jointly explore, share, discuss and learn from each other, when it comes to working partnerships with people from different cultural backgrounds, with different religious practices, and with different abilities. Check our agenda online www.diversityleadership.eu/congress/european-diversity-congress/agenda/

 

Erich Kolenaty














International Facilitator

Jochen Ressel















klub47-Director & Editor in chief Keyplayer



Meet our high profile speakers and facilitators;
www.diversityleadership.eu/congress/european-diversity-congress/speakers/featured-speakers/


“Diversity is not about others. It is about you and I, about our business performance, our customers, our income and finally about our wellbeing and that of our families, our economy and our society. It is about business opportunities and not about feelings” (Beatrice Achaleke)