African Beauty

Ethiopian Airlines Increases its Boeing 737 Max Fleet.

On Tuesday, Ethiopian Airlines revealed a partnership with Boeing, outlining plans to purchase 20 737 MAX aircraft and an additional 11 787 Dreamliners at the Dubai Air Show. The CEO of the East African airline, Mesfin Tasew, asserts that this marks just the start.

This serves as the initial phase, and we anticipate undertaking another round of fleet renewal in the coming years, during which we plan to procure additional airplanes.

As per Tasew, Ethiopian Airlines anticipates utilizing options to acquire an additional 21 narrow-body planes. Furthermore, there are purchasing options for an extra 15 787-9 Dreamliner jets.

Ethiopian Airlines secures a historic order for a maximum of 67 Boeing jets, marking the largest-ever aircraft purchase in African history at a single time. For additional details, refer to the provided link.

The airline plans to reveal an order for wide-body jets, specifically the Boeing 777X or Airbus A350, in the upcoming months. However, the CEO declined to disclose the quantity of wide-body jets to be ordered.

In reference to the 2019 MAX crash, Mesfin Tasew expresses a renewed trust in the single-aisle aircraft.

The incident involving the 737 MAX four years ago was profoundly tragic, leaving a lasting impact on our memory. We mourn for the victims of that accident. After thorough examination, we have verified that Boeing has completely rectified the design flaw of the aircraft. Consequently, we have regained our trust in it.

The 737 MAX crash in March 2019, occurring shortly after takeoff from Addis Ababa, resulted in the tragic loss of all 157 individuals on board.

The incident marked the second involving a Boeing MAX in under five months and prompted a global suspension of all MAX jets for nearly two years.

The accidents revealed an issue with a system on the plane, resulting in the global grounding of the model. This move incurred a cost of around $20 billion for the U.S. plane-maker and triggered legal proceedings that brought to light deficiencies in the certification process.

Characterized by Boeing as the most extensive acquisition of Boeing aircraft in African history, the sale’s specific price point remains undisclosed.

Harare-Beitbridge highway Nears Completion.

The rehabilitation of the Harare-Masvingo-Beitbridge Highway is about 80 percent complete with 470 km out of the total 580 km of the road now opened to traffic, a move hailed by motorists.


Yesterday, the Government opened a 5.4km stretch in Mvuma which was recently reconstructed.

The rehabilitation of the Harare-Beitbridge highway and modernization of the Beitbridge Border Post to bring in efficient systems aimed at reducing or eliminating delays are some of the signature projects of President Mnangagwa’s administration.


Beitbridge Border Post has already been commissioned by the President and users of the busiest land border in the SADC region have commended the speed with which they are being cleared.

Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Felix Mhona yesterday led a delegation on a tour of the highway where he opened the 5,4km part of the road in Mvuma, starting from the Gweru turnoff.


In an interview, Minister Mhona said he was happy with the progress made so far along the highway.


“I am happy as the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development standing here to demonstrate that we are in the Second Republic and you don’t see us in offices.


“Just to mirror what our iconic leader His Excellency Dr Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa is doing, we now have to walk the talk and we have opened today, a 5.4km stretch which was the outstanding stretch between Harare and Masvingo.


“The stretch is in a wetland so it took time for the contractor (Fossil Contracting) to work on the particular stretch. What I like about the Second Republic is that we are building our nation in line with the President’s mantra “Nyika inovakwa nevene vayo” and we are using our resources.


“We have done close to 470km and if we talk of Harare to Masvingo which is close to 296km, the only missing link is the Manyame Bridge and also at Fairfields where we have a 1km stretch.


“Why that is the missing link is because we are going build a road over the rail bridge and we are also working at Manyame Bridge so that the connectivity now between Harare and Masvingo, the 296km will be complete,” he said.

The government would also work on other feeder roads such as from Mvuma to Gweru and Mvuma going to Kwekwe.


These would offload the burden from Harare-Bulawayo Road so that those who want to go to Gweru would also come through Chivhu, Mvuma then to Gweru.


“But the exciting thing about this movement we are running with as a Ministry is the idea to pursue and run with stalled projects. You have seen across the country, in cities we are busy attending to the stalled projects and a number of these projects are being completed just before the advent of the rains.


“We have said to the rural district councils, in particular Chirumanzu, that we also need to move with speed so that we rehabilitate our rural roads that had been neglected for some time,” the Minister said.


On the Harare-Chirundu Road, Minister Mhona said the ministry had already engaged the contractors and they would soon start from Beitbridge going to Bulawayo and then Victoria Falls.


Fossil Contracting general manager Engineer Kudzaishe Magodoro said: “We want to thank the Second Republic for giving us this opportunity to do this road. So far, we have done 116km in total and today we are opening 5,4km of part of the road and we are so happy.”


Motorists interviewed by The Herald along the highway thanked the Government for attending to and reconstructing the country’s major roads which were in a bad state.


Mr Tawanda Gandawa said he was happy that the stretch had finally been opened and hoped the Government would soon complete the project. He urged other motorists not to get over-excited and speed along the highway as this would cost lives.


Another motorist Mr Stephen Sithole called on law enforcement agents to increase visibility on the roads to curb road carnage.


Mr Givemore Nsingo said: “We are happy that the road has finally been opened to traffic as we were finding it difficult to drive through some of the detours near this stretch. We should abide by the speed limits and obey traffic rules and regulations”.


The entire north-south corridor has been divided into three sections: the 580km Harare-Masvingo-Beitbridge highway together with eight toll plazas, the 342km Harare-Chirundu highway with six toll plazas, and the 59km Harare Ring Road with three toll plazas.


These tolls are aimed at paying for the rehabilitation and maintenance of roads.

Moroccan Investors Express Interest to Establish Partnership With Libyan Counterparts.

Moroccan investors recently expressed their desire to establish partnerships with their Libyan counterparts and invest in the Libyan market to strengthen the economic partnership between the two countries.

This announcement came in a meeting for the Minister of Economy and Trade of the Government of National Unity, Mohammed Al-Huweij, and leading Moroccan businesspeople and investors in all fields on the sidelines of the Moroccan-Libyan Business Forum in Tangier, according to a Ministry statement on Monday.

“The visit of the Prime Minister to Morocco and his meeting with the Moroccan government paves the way for improving our partnerships. It strengthens the distinguished relations between the two peoples through holding meetings of the joint supreme committee.” Al-Huweij said.

He added that Libyan-Moroccan relations were further strengthened during that visit in terms of developing memoranda of understanding, expressing his confidence that more cooperation opportunities between businesspeople from the two countries would take place, wishing to increase the levels of joint trade exchange in the coming period. He also reiterated the importance of inaugurating air and sea routes between the two countries to overcome the difficulties faced by businesspeople. 

Last Saturday, the Head of the Moroccan Exporters Association, Hassan Al-Santisi Al-Idrissi, announced that they will soon organize a forum bringing together investors, importers, and exporters in the Libyan capital, Tripoli. Meanwhile, 17 Libyan companies and institutions, 20 Moroccan companies, and more than 90 Libyan businesspeople participated in the Tangier Forum and Exhibition.

AGOA Has Created Job Opportunities in Lesotho___ Lesotho Trade Minister.

Lesotho trade minister Mokhethi Shelile said the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) had helped Lesotho to create job opportunities and lift thousands out of poverty and based on his interaction with American buyers at the Agoa Forum in Johannesburg, there is scope for many, many more.

“I spoke to a major South African buyer and they buy 17 million clothes annually, but then I spoke to an American buyer and they were looking to source 100 million, so as much as Agoa has helped Lesotho over the past two decades, there is the potential for much more,” Shelile said.

A major constraint on the further expansion of Lesotho’s clothing exports to the US is that it sources a fair amount of its textiles from China and the US has banned the import of textiles that contain cotton allegedly grown using forced labor.

Three Chinese textile manufacturers have been banned from exporting their goods to the US as international human rights watchdogs have accused the Chinese government of setting up internment camps in the north-western city of Xinjiang to use forced labor from Uyghurs and other Turkic minorities, including Kazakhs and Kyrgyz in growing cotton. These companies were sanctioned under the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA).

The Chinese government has for years denied the accusations of minority persecution and the use of forced labor.

“As Lesotho, we now have to certify that the textiles we use in our clothing do not use cotton grown using forced labor, so that adds to our costs,” Shelile said.

Lesotho exports of articles of apparel, knit or crocheted to America was $222.33 million in 2021, according to the United Nations COMTRADE database on international trade.

In 2020, global exports of textiles and clothing products were valued at $147.6 billion (R2.8 trillion) and $573.5bn representing about 0.9% and 3.3% of the world merchandise trade, respectively, but China dominates this trade with a share of around a third as it is the largest exporter of textiles and clothing products globally.

“We are aiming to diversify our export offering and expand our share of the supply chain. So although we export leather seats to four motor manufacturers in South Africa, we want to do more. That is why we are excited about American investment interest in aquaculture, as Lesotho’s water is amongst the purest in the world,” he said.

Double Celebration as Oba’s Birthday Coincides with Seventh Coronation Anniversary.

The Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare II recently celebrated the 7th anniversary of the throne of his forebears in Benin. This royal celebration also doubled as his birthday celebration as his birthday was coincidentally on the same day. 

Every available space at the palace was filled by the friends and well-wishers of the Oba from all walks of life.


The celebration started with two days of free healthcare and ended with Thanksgiving on Saturday at the National Church in Benin.


Omo N’Oba Ewuare on Saturday rose from the inner chambers amidst drumming and praise singing by Iweguae society, waving to the seated audience who responded with a thunderous ovation.


The Friday event ended in the early hours of Saturday before the Thanksgiving service.

The royal father sat on the ancient throne of his ancestors at the Aruo- Ozolua axis of the palace where he received homages.


The traditional homages were paid for by different traditional rulers, dignitaries, palace chiefs and functionaries, native doctors of various classifications, priests, and priestesses of different deities, traditional worshipers, and a host of others.


The Inne Theatre Troupe, Efesoghoba Palace Troupe, Epko-Avbiama, Igbabonelimi from Esan land, and others from different states took turns to perform to the delight of the audience.


Oba Ewuare, who was full of praises to almighty God and ancestors, thanked everyone for celebrating with him. Traditional Chiefs, including Osaro Idah, the Obazelu of Benin Ozigbo Esere, and the Osuma Of Benin, hailed the Benin king for his achievements since ascending the throne of his ancestors.


However, the Benin ruler urged members of the Edo State House of Assembly to consider some important cultural bills that would promote and strengthen cultural norms and value systems in the land.

According to Oba Ewuare, such bills would in no small measure curtail the surging social crimes amongst youths in the country. The royal father made the call when the speaker of Edo House of Assembly Mr Blessing Agbebaku led principal officials of the house to celebrate with Oba at his palace.


He admonished Edo lawmakers to be focused on their legislative business rather than being tied to the apron string of the executive arm of government. Omo N’Oba posited that the independence of the legislature was key to robust democracy, insisting that the lawmakers must live up to the expectations of the people who voted them into power.

Oba Ewuare hailed the assembly’s leadership, just as he pledged palace support for the lawmakers.


The speaker, Agbebaku had told the monarch that they were at his palace to congratulate him on the occasion of his birthday and the 7th coronation anniversary on the throne.


Agbebaku also pledged the Edo assembly’s loyalty and promised to work with the palace for the overall development of the state. 

Mr. Eazi’s ‘The Evil Genius’ Drops; Features Other African Artists.

After the long suspense, Mr. Eazi’s debut album, “The Evil Genius”, is finally out and now available under the artist’s emPawa Africa Label.

This project was painstakingly crafted across diverse locations with African locations making up a greater part of it. The locations involved include Ouidah and Cotonou in Benin, Kigali in Rwanda, Accra and Kokrobite in Ghana, Lagos in Nigeria, London, Los Angeles, and New York City.

This really interesting album features some of the artist’s most personal work, he dives deeply into subjects like love, betrayal, loneliness, and family, which he expresses through three distinctive acts. 

The Evil Genius also boasts a remarkable lineup of guest features, with contributions from luminaries like Angelique Kidjo from Benin, Grammy-winning Soweto Gospel Choir from South Africa, Efya from Ghana, and Nigerian artists Tekno, Whoisakin and Joeboy. The album also had contributing producers like; Kel-P from Nigeria, Knucks from U.K, Michael Brun from Haiti, Andre Vibez from Nigeria, Yung Willis from Nigeria, and Nonso Amadi from Nigeria/Canada among others.

Recognizing a deficiency of meaningful collaboration between Africa’s rapidly growing pop music scene and the continent’s fine art creators, Mr. Eazi has selected 13 artists from eight different African countries to create a unique, physical art piece to represent each of the album’s 16 tracks, thereby adding the role of art curator and patron to his already impressive collection.

As part of the rollout, Mr Eazi has been inviting the public to experience the music alongside the art at multi-sensory exhibition listening experiences. The first two of these events were held in Accra, Ghana at Gallery 1957 and in the U.K. during the 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair at Somerset House in London from October 12-15. For the album’s cover art, Mr Eazi collaborated with the celebrated Nigerian stylist, designer, and photographer Daniel Obasi, known for his work with luminaries such as Beyoncé and Louis Vuitton.

Namibia, Zambia to Only Require ID Cards to Cross Borders Soon.

On Tuesday, 24th of October, Zambia celebrated its 59th independence anniversary, with a call to expedite economic development. The commemoration saw the presence of Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan and her Zambian counterpart, Hakainde Hichilema who commenced with a wreath-laying ceremony at the Freedom Statue in honor of those who sacrificed their lives during the struggle for independence.

During the commemoration of the Independence celebrations in Windhoek, Namibia’s Minister of Home Affairs, Immigration, Safety, and Security, Dr. Albert Kawana made an announcement stating that Namibia and Zambia will soon only require identification cards for citizens crossing their borders.

Dr. Kwana further stated that the two countries are working closely together to ensure that the use of passports is abolished. He informed the audience that Zambian citizens would be next to be allowed to enter Namibia using their identification cards. 

This year saw Namibia and Botswana become the first countries in Southern Africa to abolish the use of passports for travel between the two countries. The High Commissioner of Zambia to Namibia, Stephen Katuk, spotlighted the depth of the bilateral relations between Namibia and Zambia, which dated back to Namibia’s struggle for independence. 

In light of these bilateral relations, both countries recently agreed to allow convicted offenders from either country to serve the remainder of their sentences in their home countries.

Zambia’s independence was celebrated under the theme “Accelerating National Development Through Equitable Distribution of Resources.” while the Tanzanian President was giving an address, she said that the independence was not only meant to make the continent politically free but economically free as well. She said “When we talk about equitable distribution, we mean people to be at the center of development,”

She also added that Governments in Africa will continue to put policies in place to ensure that people are at the center of development, adding that the two countries are currently working on various programs to enhance people-to-people cooperation through trade.

Hichilema said that this year’s independence theme underscores the government’s determination to extend development to all corners of the nation. He reiterated the government’s dedication to promoting inclusive development and a just society, as these are the prerequisites for expediting economic growth and job creation.

While acknowledging the selfless efforts of the freedom fighters who secured political emancipation, Hichilema stressed that the current leadership must strive to achieve economic and social emancipation while ensuring the equitable distribution of resources.

The Zambian president also lauded the bilateral cooperation between Zambia and Tanzania, emphasizing its enduring importance to benefit both nations’ citizens.

Morocco, African Development Bank Sign Financing Agreement.

Morocco has signed three financing agreements with the African Development Bank  (AfDB) worth more than 2.9 billion dirhams ($281.96 million), the Morocco state news agency (MAP) reported on Tuesday.

The first agreement would finance a health infrastructure program with about $126.4 million, while another agreement would support a social coverage program with about $155.6 million.

The third agreement is for financing an emergency assistance project following the deadliest earthquake in the country’s recent history in September, with $1 million.

The three agreements were signed by Minister Delegate to the Minister of Economy and Finance, in charge of the Budget, Faouzi Lekjaa, and AfDB Resident Representative in Morocco Achraf Tarsim, in the presence of Minister of Economic Inclusion, Small Business, Employment and Skills, Younes Sekkouri and Minister of Health and Social Protection, Khalid Ait Taleb.

Lekjaa praised the quality of cooperation relations between Morocco and the AfDB, hailing the institution’s “valuable and constant” support to the kingdom, particularly in carrying out structural reforms in a range of fields.

Meanwhile, Tarsim emphasized that these agreements, which enable the AfDB to demonstrate its solidarity with Morocco, will be used in particular to finance two related operations, namely the extension of social coverage and the development of health infrastructure.

“These initiatives, actions, and projects reflect the strong and historic relationship that the Kingdom of Morocco and the AfDB have enjoyed for over half a century. A partnership that is exemplary on the continent and has a bright future ahead of it”, he said.

Ait Taleb highlighted the importance of the agreements signed in supporting Morocco’s reforms, particularly in strengthening the resilience of the healthcare system and upgrading health infrastructures.

Sekkouri, in a statement, noted the importance of this partnership with the AfDB, crowning as it did, Morocco’s achievements in several fields, notably in improving employability.

The AfDB has been a close development actor in Morocco. Recently, the bank mobilized more than $422 million in funding healthcare and the development of a sustainable road network in the country.

Seychelles Hosts Inaugural IFBB Event.

Seychelles will host the 2023 IFBB International Grand Prix for the first time with the participation of over 20 athletes vying for the top prize. 

The competition, which is being done in collaboration between the International Fitness and Bodybuilding Federation (IFBB) and local body Seychelles Elite Pro Amateur Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation, will take place on Saturday, at the Berjaya Beau Vallon Beach Resort.

The chairperson of the Seychelles Elite Pro Amateur Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation, Chantal Pinchon, told SNA that “it was during the IFBB congress last year, that we met with the president, and there the idea of Seychelles hosting an IFBB event came around and was agreed upon.”  

The event will start at 6 p.m. and eight participants from Seychelles, six men, and two women have already confirmed their participation. Savio Larue, Elicks Rapide, Jean-Luc Belle, Andy Anthony, and Derrick Mensah will compete among the ladies, while Shereen Azemia and Lindsay Payet will compete.

Pinchon explained that while this tournament is reserved for amateur bodybuilders, Ziad Meckdachi, who retired as a professional, will not be able to compete.

“There will be seven IFBB pro cards up for grabs, to the winners of each category. Getting an IFBB Pro Card means the bodybuilder becomes part of the elite. At this point you’ve made it, and have the opportunity to follow a genuine career as a professional bodybuilder, earning a decent income by competing and winning,” she said.

There will be six categories for men – bodybuilding, physique, classic physique, classic bodybuilding, junior classic bodybuilding, and junior men’s physique.

The ladies will compete in the bikini fitness, and bikini physique, as well as in the fit model categories.

Pinchon said that one of the advantages of Seychelles hosting the competition is that the participants will not have to deal with the expenses of going abroad.

She said she was hoping to get more local participants.

“I want the athletes to be more serious with the sport, where they have to ensure that they are ready in time for such competitions,” said Pinchon, who revealed that Seychelles will in fact hold a second international competition on June 22, 2024.

Tickets for the competition cost SCR300 ($22) while those wishing to attend the competition and the buffet dinner must pay SCR1200 ($90).


Algerian-Sahrawi Trade Union Solidarity Week.

The Algerian-Sahrawi Trade Union Solidarity Week was inaugurated on the 9th of October at the Mohamed Bouguerra University in Boumerdes, Algeria, in the presence of the President of the Consultative Council, a member of the National Secretariat, Mr. Mohamed Lamin Ahmed, representing the President of the Republic, Secretary-General of the Polisario Front, Mr. Brahim Ghali, with the participation of 100 Sahrawi trade unionists, as well as representatives of the Algerian civil society and international figures active in the defense of the right of peoples to self-determination.

The opening ceremony of the Algerian-Sahrawi Trade Union Solidarity Week ran until October 14, under the slogan “The Algerian-Sahrawi Trade Union Solidarity Week … Half a Century of Struggle, in Fidelity to the Path of the Heroes.”


The President of the university hosting the event, Mr. Mustafa Yahia, welcomed the Sahrawi people, including officials and executives, and pointed out that the international situation has changed as a result of the transformations taking place in the world, which is favorable to the just Sahrawi cause.

Mustafa Yahia reiterated Algeria’s steadfast position on the Sahrawi issue, reaffirming that this stance will not change regardless of the circumstances, as it stems from the positions of the Algerian state and the principles of the immortal November Revolution.


The Secretary-General of the Algerian Trade Union Confederation, Mr. Amar Taqjout, in his speech, renewed his support and solidarity with the Sahrawi people and their just cause, based on the strong and unwavering positions of the Algerian people and leadership in its struggle for the achievement of its inalienable right to freedom and independence.

For his part, the Secretary-General of the Sahrawi Workers’ Union, Mr. Salama Basheer, after expressing his gratitude to the General Union of Algerian Workers for organizing this trade union solidarity event, explained that this week of solidarity represents an opportunity for Sahrawi labor leaders to benefit from the rich experience of the Algerian labor movement.


During the opening ceremony, two documentary films were presented, one about the Algerian labor experience during the liberation revolution and the other about the Sahrawi labor experience.

World Travels Award 2023: Seychelles Clinches an Award.

Seychelles has yet again shone at the World Travel Awards 2023 claiming the Indian Ocean’s Leading Honeymoon and Cruise Destination awards.

Seychelles won the awards at the World Travel Awards Africa & Indian Ocean Gala Ceremony, held on October 15 and 16 at Atlantis The Royal, Dubai.

 According to a press release made by Tourism Seychelles, the marketing branch of the tourism department, winning the two awards reaffirms the island nation’s magnetic appeal to travelers in search of extraordinary and enduring experiences.

“Seychelles, renowned for its unspoiled beaches, verdant landscapes, and thriving marine ecosystems, has consistently garnered international favor among globetrotters. These prestigious accolades, conferred by the World Travel Awards, stand as a testimony to the nation’s unwavering commitment to tourism excellence and the heartfelt warmth of its hospitality,” said Tourism Seychelles.

The destination scooped two additional titles, both won by its national airline, Air Seychelles, namely the Indian Ocean’s Leading Airline – Economy Class 2023 and the Indian Ocean’s Leading Airline Brand 2023.

The island nation’s representative in the Middle East, Ahmed Fathallah, expressed his profound pride and gratitude for these latest achievements.

“We are elated to be the recipients of these prestigious awards and extend our heartfelt gratitude to the World Travel Awards and the numerous supporters who cast their votes in favor of Seychelles. These accolades signify the dedication and tireless efforts of the Seychellois people and the tourism industry at large. We remain committed to delivering exceptional experiences to all our visitors,” he said.

Bernadette Willemin, director general for destination marketing, said she is delighted to see Seychelles continuing to thrive as a destination.

“We are incredibly humbled by this award yet again. We have held the titles for a few years now and couldn’t be happier to reinforce our position as regional leaders. The accolade is a tribute to our country’s hard work, devotion, and enthusiasm. I am grateful to our hotel industry partners for their contributions to local companies, tour operators, and the community at large. Most importantly, we are deeply appreciative of the faith and support that our tourists have shown in our destination,” she added.

Crowned as the Indian Ocean’s Leading Honeymoon Destination underscores Seychelles’ irresistible allure to couples seeking an enchanting and romantic escape.

Tourism Seychelles said that the nation’s “splendid array of luxury resorts and intimate settings make it an idyllic haven for honeymooners looking to celebrate their love amid the natural beauty of the Indian Ocean.”

In its capacity as the “Indian Ocean’s Leading Cruise Destination,” Seychelles continues to captivate cruise lines and operators seeking to offer passengers an unforgettable exploration of these idyllic isles.

Residues From 2,500-year-old Ceramic Vessels Contain Ancient Embalming Ingredients.

Ancient Egypt left lasting gems, this can be seen around the world as most art and architecture are derivative of ancient Egypt. Even its antiquities can be found in museums in crooks and crannies of the world.

The one thing ancient Egypt is famous for is its gigantic pyramids, but equally long-lasting are its many mummies, including those of great pharaohs embalmed many thousands of years ago. Even though we’ve come a long way in understanding how the ancients prepared bodies for mummification, many of the fine details have been unknown.

Recently, a new study has made exciting new revelations about this ancient practice of preserving the dead. A German-Egyptian team of researchers analyzed chemical residues from vessels unearthed at an embalming workshop in Saqqara, close to the pyramid of Unas in Lower Egypt, where ancient Egyptians used to embalm the corpses of the elite more than 2,500 years ago, during the 26th Dynasty of Egypt (664-525 B.C.).

In the process, the chemical analysis of the 31 ceramic vessels revealed the nature of many embalming ingredients that were previously cryptic in recipes from surviving ancient papyrus texts. By identifying these substances, the researchers not only enriched our understanding of the complex mummification process but also inferred a rich cultural story, deciphering the meaning of some terms used in ancient texts and demonstrating the role that mummification had in fostering long-distance trade from as far as South-East Asia.

“For me, the most fascinating result was the chemical knowledge of the ancient embalmers without having any idea about microbiology – they just had centuries of experience and observation of which substances contribute to better preservation of the human body,” Philipp Stockhammer, Professor of archaeology at Ludwig-Maximilians-University and co-author of the new study told ZME Science.

Mummification involves removing moisture from the body and applying certain chemicals and natural preservatives to desiccate the flesh and organs. Many ancient cultures employed this time-honored tradition, imbued with deep religious significance, including the Chinese and many pre-Columbian societies in South America. But it was in ancient Egypt that mummification reached its pinnacle, a sophistication that mirrored the ancient Egyptians’ obsession with the afterlife.

The ancient Egyptians strongly believed that when a person died, their spiritual essence would survive and immediately embark on a journey where they would encounter various divine and demonic entities. Ultimately, the traveling soul would meet Osiris, the god of the dead, who would judge if the wandering spirit is worthy of joining the gods in an eternal paradise.

But for this spiritual journey to be successful, the physical body had to remain intact for as long as possible, much to the distress of the common folk who were too poor to afford this very expensive embalming.

“It is clear that only a small (rich) part of the Egyptian elite was mummified. The poor farmers were just buried in pits in the desert. Moreover, we know from ancient texts that depending on your financial possibilities, you could invest in different “quality packages” for the mummification/embalming,” Stockhammer said.

Since mummification was a matter of life after death, great care and much deliberation were put into this process, which was refined over the centuries to perfection — despite the lack of formal knowledge of what we would call today microbiology. Indeed, the ancient Egyptians had no idea that microbes even existed, but through much trial and error, they found the right mixtures and procedures that preserved thousands of mummies even to this very day.

Unfortunately, the exact steps in this mortuary practice are largely a mystery. We know more about the rituals involved in mummification rather than the actual process itself. The little we know from the particularities of the practice comes from a few surviving texts, and largely from non-Egyptian sources to boot, such as The Histories by Herodotus, which describes three levels of mummification.

However, the researchers of the new study came across the finding of a lifetime. Traveling to Egypt to the Saqqara workshop, they were amazed to find numerous vessels employed by skilled craftsmen to mummify the dead. The remarkable vessels still contained evidence of their past contents, no doubt ingredients used in embalming.

That’s not all. These vessels were also labeled with their contents and even had instructions for use, such as “substance for the head” or “for making beautiful skin”.

The researchers analyzed the chemical residues in the vessels and then compared the molecular remains to the actual ingredients listed on them.

This is how they came to learn that the substance labeled as anti, previously translated as myrrh or frankincense, is a mixture of many different ingredients. The blend that the craftsmen in Saqqara called antiu contained cedar oil, juniper, cypress oil, and animal fats.

“For the first time, we know what terms like “anti” mean (at least in the early 1st mill BC in our workshop), as Egyptologists could only speculate about its meaning for the last almost 200 years. This will enable/force a new reading of many Egyptian texts,” Stockhammer said.

The pistachio resin and castor oil were used only to preserve the head, while other mixtures were used to wash the body or soften the skin. The pistachio resin, cedar oil, and bitumen were probably sourced locally in the Levant. Other identified ingredients, such as dammar gum and elemi resin, could only come from tropical Africa and Southeast Asia.

Without explicitly mentioning this, the ancient residues and labels on the ceramic vessels thereby paint a remarkable picture of extensive and sophisticated trade networks that connected Egypt with tropical Africa and Southeast Asia. These trade networks were already cemented nearly 3,000 years ago.

“Egyptian embalming was probably a driver forward towards early globalization and long-distance trade. Now, we have to rethink the intensity and complexity of early globalization and rethink our dominating notion that global connectedness is a phenomenon limited to modernity,” the German archaeologist said.

All of this is quite consequential for archaeology and the study is bound to cause waves in Egyptology for many years to come — and it’s all thanks to a couple of dozen seemingly unsuspecting old pieces of pottery. But the authors would also like to remind us all that such invaluable work is not always without sacrifice.

“By far the biggest challenge was the premature death of the excavator of the embalmers’ workshop, Ramadan Hussein, in March 2022. Maxime, Ramadan, and I had already finished large parts of the manuscript and it was very much Ramadan’s last wish to see the fruits of his years of research getting published. We are happy that this has now become possible in such a wonderful way,” Stockhammer said.


Inclusive Tourism in South Africa; Tourism Minister Signs MoU.

Tourism Minister Patricia de Lille has announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between her department and Airbnb to support the continued recovery of the tourism sector and build inclusive tourism in South Africa.

“The MoU will see the Department of Tourism work closely with Airbnb to advance tourism services that are aimed at growing tourism in South Africa and creating more jobs in the sector,” Minister De Lille said. The MoU seeks to grow collaboration between the government and the private sector, as it is “a collective responsibility to grow and enhance the tourism sector”.

“As a government, if we want to significantly grow tourism and its contribution to the economy and job creation, collaboration with the private sector is vital. We are delighted to be the first African Ministry of Tourism to sign a collaborative MoU with a successful global company such as Airbnb,” she said.

Airbnb is an American-based company operating an online marketplace for short- and long-term homestays and experiences.

Minister De Lille explained that by leveraging Airbnb’s global reach and understanding of the market, the collaboration seeks to create a positive impact on local communities, travelers, and the tourism industry as a whole.

“The primary goal of this collaboration is to develop a relationship between the Ministry, entity, and Airbnb to harness and drive tourism domestically and internationally.

As part of the MoU, the parties will have regular engagements to evaluate opportunities for strategic collaboration on driving inclusive tourism and ensuring fair and proportionate regulation of short-term rentals.

Velma Corcoran, Regional Lead: Middle East Africa at Airbnb, said they look forward to working with the Department of Tourism to help build a more inclusive and sustainable tourism economy in South Africa.

Corcoran said the Airbnb platform can help anyone, anywhere, to become a tourism entrepreneur, and that they hope to continue to break down systemic barriers to entry and enable more South Africans to participate in the sector.

“We welcome the opportunity to work with the department to develop a clear, proportionate national framework for the regulation of short-term rentals and see huge power in public and private sector collaborations. We also know from our work with the Airbnb Entrepreneurship Academy, that together, we can make a tangible difference and enable more people, in more places, to benefit from tourism,” said Corcoran.

The signing of the MoU is in line with the aims of the Tourism Sector Recovery Plan, which is key to the country’s Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan.

The Tourism Sector Recovery Plan (TSRP) was adopted by the Cabinet in March 2021 to facilitate the recovery of the sector to preserve jobs and livelihoods, facilitate new job opportunities, match demand and supply, and strengthen transformation.  


Senegalese Pair Win Caine Prize.

For the first time since the Caine Prize for African Writing started in 2000, the award was won by a duo. Mame Bougouma Diene and Woppa Diallo, a Senegalese writing duo, have won the prestigious Caine Prize for African Writing for their short story, A Soul of Small Places.

Diallo is a lawyer and feminist activist, while Diene is a Franco-Senegalese American humanitarian, and writer. He serves as the francophone spokesperson for the African Speculative Fiction Society and contributes as a columnist to Strange Horizons, an online speculative fiction magazine.

According to African literature specialist Caroline D. Laurent, their short story echoes deeper trends in the country’s literature while picking up on the growth of horror and speculative fiction from across the continent. 

Diallo’s inspiration to write a story that explores themes of violence, revenge, love, and loss was drawn from her personal experiences. Diene on the other hand often blends elements of horror, social issues, and local beliefs in his work, and “A Soul of Small Places” is an example of his preferred genres.

The annual Caine Prize Award acknowledges a short story written in English by an African Author. The award aims to introduce African literature to a broader readership. Winning this prize provides the writer the opportunity to discuss their work in the Caine Prize anthology with the prospect of gaining recognition, as well as serving as a springboard for further publication. It creates an opportunity for writers to discuss their works, engage with other writers, and meet with the press.  It has helped launch the careers of its previous winners, the likes of; Helon Habila, Tope Folarin, NoViolet Bulawayo, and Namwali Serpell. 

The Caine Prize includes a cash prize of U.S.$12,000 and publication of the winning work in the 2023 Caine Prize anthology. The award, presented to the best short story by an African writer in English, received a record-breaking 297 entries from 28 different countries in the current year. It aims to promote African writing to a broader audience and past winners include notable authors such as Nigerian novelists Helon Habila and Tope Folarin, Zimbabwean novelist NoViolet Bulawayo, and Zambia’s Namwali Serpell. This was also the first time a Senegalese won the prize.

A Soul of Small Places is about Woppa, a young girl who lives in the rural town of Matam in Senegal. Woppa has the task of protecting her younger sister Awa on their way to school. Indeed, girls going to school are often the prey of men who sexually assault them and force them into early marriages. Woppa and Awa’s daily experience of fear to and from school highlights the lack of response from both the authorities and citizens. Gender-based violence remains shrouded in silence, suppressed by feelings of shame and guilt. Hence the intervention of the Soukounio, a flesh-eating djinn who, in this narrative, serves as a protector and avenger of young girls. When all else fails, it is only the gods who can safeguard the girls of Matam.

A Soul of Small Places is a beautifully written short story that the Caine Prize judges have aptly described as “tender and poetic”. However, it’s also a harrowing and infuriating tale. The power of literature to focus on individuals and their personal experiences lends a human face to an unresolved social issue. The author’s skillful use of suspense and horror to convey this idea leaves a profound impact on the reader, with the hope of prompting them to consider the issue and take action.

Diallo and Diene’s story is deeply rooted in its local setting. Matam is described as the second hottest place in Senegal and the heat is palpable in the description of the landscape, where nature is both menacing and protective. References to different gods and spirits also highlight the environment in which Woppa and her family live. However, this short story can also resonate with the fears experienced by young girls and women globally. The anxiety of girls walking home after sunset is something many women have experienced. A Soul of Small Places portrays experiences that, unfortunately, are all too universal. The lack of adequate responses also resonates, regardless of where one lives.

Recently, Senegalese fiction has engaged with important issues in Senegal, whether about homophobia – as seen in Mohamed Mbougar Sarr’s De Purs Hommes (Pure Men) – or gender-based sexual violence, as seen in A Soul of Small Places.

Also worth noting is that Diallo and Diene wrote their story in English, not French, the language of Senegal’s former colonizers. The choice to write in English works to dismantle the neocolonial use of languages based on one’s origin and the colonial past of one’s country. In this sense, English appears more as a global language. The Kiswahili Prize for African Literature, where authors write in African languages, complements the Caine Prize. The fact that languages are being redistributed points to the dynamism of African literature, challenging the use of the languages of former colonizers in different ways.

Senegalese literature plays a vital role in encouraging people to read, reflect upon, and engage with significant matters in the country. Literature serves as a tool for recognition, understanding, and action. A Soul of Small Places is a beautiful, terrifying example of this.

Rwanda Among Africa’s Pocket ‘Pocket of Resilience’.

According to the latest World Bank forecast, Sub-Saharan Africa is bracing itself for a slowdown in economic growth, with projections indicating a decline from 3.6 percent in 2022 to 2.5 percent in 2023.

Based on the World Bank’s findings, it emphasized the urgent need for stability, increased growth, and job creation to avert a potential “lost decade.”


“With up to 12 million young Africans entering the labor market across the region each year, it has never been more crucial for policymakers to revamp their economies and provide better job opportunities for the people,” Andrew Dabalen, the World Bank’s Chief Economist for Africa stressed.

The report reveals that regional growth is projected to slow to 2.5 percent in 2023, dropping from 3.6 percent in the previous year, with an anticipated rebound to 3.7 percent next year and 4.1 percent in 2025. However, in per capita terms, the region has not experienced positive growth since 2015, as economic activity has failed to keep pace with the rapid increase in population.

The report also notes that while approximately 12 million Africans join the labor market annually, the current growth patterns generate only 3 million jobs in the formal sector.

South Africa, the continent’s most developed economy, is expected to grow by a mere 0.5 percent this year, primarily due to its severe energy crisis.

Similarly, economic growth in Nigeria and Angola, top oil-producing nations, is anticipated to slow to 2.9 percent and 1.3 percent, respectively. Sudan, amidst a major internal armed conflict, faces a significant 12 percent contraction. Excluding Sudan, regional growth is estimated at 3.1 percent.

Bright Spots; Pockets of Resilience Identified by World Bank.

Despite domestic challenges and uncertain global growth, the World Bank identifies “pockets of resilience” within the region. For instance, the Eastern African community is projected to achieve a growth rate of 4.9 percent in 2023, while the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) anticipates a growth rate of 5.1 percent.

Analyzing the speed and persistence of per capita growth over two timeframes –2001-2019 and 2022-2025 — the report shows that a few countries, including Rwanda, Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Mauritius, and Uganda, had demonstrated economic resilience, maintaining growth rates above 2.5 percent in both periods

According to the World Bank, Rwanda’s economic activity had a robust start in 2023, with real GDP growing by 9.2 percent year-on-year in the first quarter, following an 8.2 percent increase in 2022. The Bank attributes this expansion to robust growth in private consumption and increased net exports.

While inflation is downward, it remains above central bank targets in most regional countries, including Rwanda. Contributing factors include a global demand slowdown, easing global supply chain disruptions, lower commodity prices, and contractionary monetary policies, all leading to lower inflation. In 2023, inflation is expected to decrease to 7.3 percent, down from 9.3 percent in 2022.


Ugandan Start up Turns Banana Stems Into Useful Fiber.

Africans have always cultivated the habit of utilizing every single thing, they try not to waste anything or see the usefulness in a lot of things and one such thing is banana stems.

According to a Ugandan startup, that’s buying banana stems in a business that turns fibers into biodegradable handicrafts, it is a fresh idea in this East African country that’s a banana republic. Uganda has the highest banana consumption rate in the world and is Africa’s top producer.

According to figures from the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, bananas can contribute up to 25 percent of the daily calorie intake in rural areas.

In Uganda, the consumption of bananas is embedded in local customs and traditions. For many, a meal is complete with a serving of matooke.

To harvest the crop, the stem must be decapitated, they’re often left to rot in open fields.

But local startup TEXFAD, which describes itself as a waste management group, is now taking advantage of this abundance of rotting stems to extract banana fiber that’s then turned into items such as hair extensions.

John Baptist Okello, TEXFAD’s business manager, says it makes sense in a country where farmers “are struggling a lot” and have tonnes of banana-related waste.

The company, which collaborates with seven different farmers’ groups in western Uganda, pays $2.7 (USD) per kilogram of dried fiber.

TEXFAD also takes material from a third party, Tupande Holdings Ltd., whose trucks deliver banana stems from central Uganda farmers.

Tupande’s workers sort through stems, looking for desirable ones. Machines then turn the fiber into tiny threads.

“Our contribution in the value chain is that we put extra income in the hands of the farmer, we turn this waste into something valuable that we sell to our partners who also make things that they can sell,” explains Tupande team leader Aggrey Muganga.

“We are doing this to create extra income, to create employment for ourselves, and to contribute to the industrialization of Uganda and betterment of the lives of Ugandans.”

Tupande Holdings Ltd. deals with more than 60 farmers that supply the raw material.

That number is only a small fraction of what’s available in a country where more than a million hectares are planted with bananas.

Banana production has been rising steadily over the years, growing from 6.5 metric tonnes in 2018 to 8.3 metric tonnes in 2019, according to figures from the Uganda Bureau of Statistics.

At a plant in a village just outside the Ugandan capital Kampala, TEXFAD employs more than 30 people who use their hands to make items from banana fibers.

The company exports its rug and lampshade products to Europe.

Such items are possible because “banana fiber can be softened to the level of cotton,” explains Okello.

Working with researchers, TEXFAD is also experimenting with possible fabrics from banana fibers.

The company is also designing hair extension products it believes could help rid the market of synthetic products.

All products by TEXFAD are biodegradable, says Faith Kabahuma from the company’s banana hair development program.

She says the company’s hair extensions will soon be on the market.

“The problem with synthetic fibers, is they do so much clogging, like everywhere you go, even if you go to dig in the gardens right now, you would find synthetic fibers around, so it’s not environmentally friendly,” says Kabahuma.

Ugandan Startup, TEXFAD Turns Banana Wastes into Biodegradables.

A  local startup firm in Uganda called TEXFAD which operates as a waste management group has developed an initiative where banana stems are turned into fibers and then later into biodegradable handicrafts such as hair extensions. The company has proven that banana plants are not just useful for its fruits but also for other purposes. 

Uganda has the highest banana consumption rate in the world and is Africa’s top producer. The idea is a fresh one in the East African country that is literally a banana republic. According to statistics from the U.N Food and Agriculture Organization, bananas can contribute up to 25% of the daily calorie intake in rural areas.

TEXFAD has taken advantage of the decapitated stem, which is often left to rot in open fields to extract banana fibre that is later turned into items like hair extension. The consumption of bananas in Uganda is embedded in local customs and traditions. For many indigenes, a meal is complete with a serving of matooke.

According to TEXFAD’s business manager, John Baptist Okello, it makes sense in a country where farmers “are struggling a lot” and have tonnes of banana-related waste. The company has also collaborated with seven different farmers’ groups in west Uganda and pays $2.7 (USD) per kilogram for dried banana fiber.

Aside from its partnership with different farmer’s groups, TEXFAD also takes material from a third party, Tupande Holdings Ltd. which delivers banana stems from central Uganda farmers. The workers at Tupande put in extra effort by sorting through stems and looking for desirable ones. After sorting, machines then process the fiber into tiny threads. 

The Team Leader at Tupande, Aggrey Muganga says, “Our contribution in the value chain is that we put extra income in the hands of the farmer, we turn this waste into something valuable that we sell to our partners who also make things that they can sell”. “We are doing this to create extra income, to create employment for ourselves, and to contribute to the industrialization of Uganda and betterment of the lives of Ugandans,” he further added.

Tupande Holdings Ltd. has more than 60 farmers that supply the raw material and this is only a small fraction of what is available in a country where more than a million hectares are planted with bananas. Over the years, according to data from the Uganda Bureau of Statistics, banana plantation has risen steadily, growing from 6.5 metric tonnes in 2018 to 8.3 metric tonnes in 2019.

TEXFAD employs more than 30 people at a plant in a village just outside the country’s capital, Kampala, who use their hands to make items from banana fibers. TEXFAD produce or products like rugs and lampshades are exported to Europe; the business manager explains that “banana fiber can be softened to the level of cotton, ” making it possible to produce such items. TEXFAD has also moved ahead to experiment with possible fabrics from banana fibers in collaboration with researchers. It is also designing hair extension products which the company believes could help rid the market of synthetic products. 

According to Faith Kabahuma from the company’s hair development programme, all products by TEXFAD are biodegradable, further disclosing that the company’s hair extensions will soon be on the market. “The problem with synthetic fibers is they do so much clogging, like everywhere you go, even if you go to dig in the gardens right now, you would find synthetic fibers around, so it is not environmentally friendly,” she noted. 

“Naija to The World” Tour Confirmed.

Organizers of the event “Naija to the World” confirmed today, that ‘Naija To The World’, the innovative pro-Nigeria showcase kicking off with a premiere dedicated to the Niger Delta, will tour multiple cities and venues, over 12 months, in response to feedback on the original announcement for a New York City Apollo debut. 

This was confirmed in a statement today by Efe Omorogbe, CEO of BuckWyld Media. Omorogbe says the tour will span Nigeria, Europe, and the United States of America. A full list of programming is set to be released when the producers convene in New York City for a flag-off media launch on September 16, 2023.

 Naija To The World was created by Buckwyld Media and BHM as a platform to provide an alternative narrative to the stories out there about Nigeria and Nigerians as part of an ongoing initiative to help the world understand and engage better with the country responsible for two of the world’s leading creative industries – music and film. 

 And a Niger Delta debut, organizers say, helps pay tribute to a region mostly known for crude oil, militancy, and protests with most not aware of its tremendous contribution to arts and culture, music, film, and fashion for over 100 years. At least 50 percent of the current crop of leading talents and executives in Nigeria’s creative industry are from the region; with top names including Burna Boy, Rema, and Timaya.

 “We want to provide an inaugural event that not only celebrates the incredible talent emerging from the Niger Delta but also captures the essence of its unique stories and heritage,” Omorogbe adds.

Performances and exhibitions will not only showcase the rich cultural heritage and inspiring stories of the Niger Delta but will also take audiences on a transcendent journey that spotlights the region’s unique artistic brilliance.

We are thrilled to announce that ‘Naija To The World’ will embark on a 12-month journey, crisscrossing Nigeria, Europe, and America,” says Efe Omorogbe, Chief Executive Officer, Buckwyld Media Network (BMN), organizers of the event.

 “This extended tour allows us to offer a comprehensive exploration of the Niger Delta’s cultural tapestry to audiences worldwide. It is an opportunity to celebrate the incredible talent emerging from the region and share its unique stories and heritage,” Efe adds.

 The flag-off event, scheduled to take place in New York City, will serve as the inaugural moment of the tour. During this event, organizers will unveil the tour’s itinerary, innovative format, and thrilling surprises. It will be a vibrant celebration of the cultural richness of the Niger Delta and its profound influence on the world stage.

 Over 1,500 lucky fans will witness this historic series of events live, while an additional 10 million viewers worldwide will tune in through broadcast partners spanning North America, Europe, Asia, and Africa.


Afro Nation Announces its Debut in Nigeria.

Afro Nation, an annual three-day music festival produced by Live Nation, Event Horizon, Smade Entertainment, and Memories of Tomorrow is being hosted for the first time in Nigeria and the dates have officially been locked in. 

This event which was founded by Obi Asika, and Smade in association with BBC 1 Xtra in 2013 promises to be a two-day thrilling event set to take place from the 19th of December to the 20th of December 2023.

The location of the event is set to be in Lagos and it is gearing up to showcase an extraordinary lineup of top-tier artists and electrifying performances. 

This event being hosted in Nigeria is very significant as it marks the homecoming of the festival to the birthplace of Afrobeats. This Nigerian edition is poised to become the standout event of 2023 which will unite the diaspora in the heart of Afrobeats.

The thrilling announcement was divulged through the festival’s official social media channels, intensifying the anticipation and enthusiasm among music enthusiasts worldwide. 

Afro Nation Festival, which initially debuted four years ago in Portugal, has been on an expansive journey, including a highly successful U.S. debut in Miami this past May.

Co-founder of Afro Nation, Adesegun Adeosun Jnr, widely known as Smade, expressed his sentiments regarding the decision to bring the festival to Lagos, Nigeria. He remarked, “Nigeria is home to numerous international superstars who have propelled Afrobeats into a globally cherished genre. As someone who grew up in Lagos and later spent years promoting African music in London and beyond, this is a full-circle moment for me. Bringing the Afro Nation show back home to Lagos is a dream come true. We can’t wait to witness the grandest celebration of African music the world has ever seen!”

this event will draw many tourists and increase tourism activities in Nigeria, making an impact on the economy of the nation.

Katara Opens ‘Sudan, Land of Colors’ Exhibition.

The Katara Cultural Village Foundation in Doha, Qatar has announced the opening of an exhibition titled “Sudan, Land of Colors” by Sudanese artist, Nour El Hadi.

The 47 paintings at the exhibition, which runs through September 17, according to the artist Nour El Hadi, “embody the most wonderful aspects of Sudanese culture and heritage” through their vivid colors and intricate details.


Despite the difficulties they are currently facing, he continued, the exhibition shows how united the Sudanese people are in their hope for a better future and our interconnectedness as a single, interwoven thread.

Nour El Hadi stressed that his works of art convey his yearning for Sudan, with its rich cultural and physical diversity. Because he thinks that strong women create strong nations, he noticed that most of his paintings feature women.

According to the artist, the vivid and varied colors he utilized to create his works of art represent the substantial diversity of Sudan’s features, from north to south and from east to west, in terms of diversity, dialects, and civilizations.

Notably, Nour El Hadi has taken part in a number of group exhibitions and is a member of the Qatar Fine Arts Association. He has also contributed to Katara’s mural initiative.

Along with ambassadors, representatives from diplomatic missions, a group of artists, and fans, the opening was attended by HE Ahmed Abdel Rahman Mohamed Hassan Siwar Al Dahab, ambassador of the Republic of Sudan to the State of Qatar, and Dr. Khalid Ibrahim Al Sulaiti, general manager of Katara. 

Also known as Katara, Katara Cultural Village was soft-launched in October 2010 at the Doha Tribeca Film Festival. It is a cultural and commercial complex in Doha that is located on the eastern coast between West Bay and the Pearl.

Rwanda Celebrates 19th ‘Kwita Izina’, Attracts World’s Prominent People.

The 19th Gorilla Naming Ceremony, locally known as Kwita Izina took place on Friday in Kinigi, northern Rwanda. The event is not just a name but an homage to Rwandan culture, signifying respect and importance. Kwita Izina salutes conservation heroes, pays tribute to nearby communities, and appreciates nature.

The yearly Gorilla Naming Ceremony highlights Rwanda’s conservation efforts and its sustainable approach to gorilla tourism, both of which have contributed to the survival of the gorilla population and the communities that live among them. 10% of the money made from wildlife tourism is put back into the neighborhood. 

The celebration of the nation’s success in safeguarding the critically endangered mountain gorilla species is in its 19th year and brought together celebrities, philanthropists, and diplomats.

The star-studded line-up to name baby gorillas at the foothills of the Volcanoes National Park includes British Actor – Idris Elba and his wife Sabrina Dhowere Elba, who is a model, activist and UN Goodwill Ambassador for Ifad, Nigerian-French Singer -Songwriter Bukola Elemidie, (aka Asa), American comedian and actor Kevin Hart.  

The list also includes foreign government officials, business leaders as well and creative artists including the UK’s Minister for Africa Andrew Mitchell, Ambassador Hazza Alqahtani, Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to Rwanda, Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary General, United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO),  Audrey Azoulay, Director General of United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco), Prof Ozlem Tureci, Chief Medical Officer, BioNtech SE and Dr Sierk Poetting, Chief Operating Officer BioNtech SE among others.

The duo, Prof. Ozlem Tureci, and Dr. Sierk Poetting named a gorilla, ‘Intiganda’. “The name captures the essence of someone who has the courage to face challenges and pursue ambitious goals while maintaining a sense of humility and selflessness”.

The ceremony saw the naming of 23 newborn mountain gorillas born in the previous 12 months, bringing the total number of baby gorillas named since the naming ceremony’s start in 2005 to 374. The baby gorillas are members of the Agashya, Muhoza, Mutobo, Hirwa, Pablo, Ntambara, Dushishoze, Segasira, Isimbi, Musirikari, Kwitonda, Igisha and Sabyinyo families.

At Kwita Izina, everyone was in a good mood. As they enjoyed enthralling performances by our very own gifted artists, the audience was humming with excitement. It celebrates how community, culture, wildlife, and conservation efforts can come together for a good cause.


Zero Polémik; DRC Festival Promoting Peace.

The 3-day event that took place in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo brought together fans of stand-up, improv’ and farcical comedy among other genres.

The event’s organizer Joyeux Bin Kabojdo says it aims to promote and consolidate peace and social cohesion within local communities in the DRC and the Great Lakes region at large.

“The festival exists for greater social cohesion that advocates education through entertainment, in other words, we think it’s possible to educate through laughter and that’s why every year for the past 6 years, we’ve been getting together around laughter with the public here in Bukavu. Humour remains today one of the components of development itself, and above all a foundation of social cohesion.

DR Congo’s east has been for decades the battlefield of rebel groups and regional armies.

Bukavu is located near the border with Rwanda

Évelyne Mulashe, a young comedian at the school of humor, shares how her art contributes to fostering peaceful coexistence.

“Humor allows us to tackle some of life’s most pertinent subjects, to get a message across. Of course, when delivering and hearing the message we laugh at first, but still people need to stop to think about it. I believe that somewhere a show, depending on its message, really helps to raise people’s awareness on certain issues.”

Ivorian comedian Kouamé Gilles Romuald goes by the stage name Boukary. For him, making people laugh is not merely a job, it’s a mission.

“Through my work as a comedian, I promote joy. You know that joy that comes with peace. When I’m on stage, those in the public don’t ask each other where their political affiliations lie or which side they support.”

“Everyone is here, attending Bukary’s show. We laugh together, fall on each other laughing; never knowing who supports which political party. What matters to me is promoting peace,” he concluded.

The Zéro Polémik festival ended on August 27. Comedians headlining this year’s edition included Ivory Coast’s very own Michel Gohou and Clémentine Papouet.


Nigeria’s Flag Designer Dies at Eighty-seven.

Micheal Taiwo Akinkunmi, commonly referred to as Mr. Flag Man was a Nigerian Civil servant best known as the Nigerian Flag designer. Taiwo, the older of a set of twins was born in Ibadan on May 10 1936  but originally hails from Abeokuta in Ogun State.


He relocated to the North when he was 8 years old and began his early education there. After his father retired, he came back to the West and re-enrolled at Baptist Day School, Idi-Ikan in Ibadan. He finished there in 1949 and proceeded to Ibadan Grammar School in 1950 where he enjoyed a very good education, leaving in 1955. 


He took an appointment as an agriculturist at the Western Region Secretariat in Ibadan as a civil servant. He worked there for years before gaining admission to the Norwood Technical College, currently known as Lambeth College in London where he studied electrical engineering. 


He designed the Nigerian flag while still studying at Norwood Technical College. He came back to Nigeria in 1963, returning to the agricultural department at the secretariat in Ibadan, and continued where he stopped.


He worked as a civil servant till 1994 when he was hired as the Assistant Superintendent of Agriculture. He was honored as an officer of the Order of the Federal Republic and honorary life presidential adviser on 29 September 1994 at the Abuja Conference Center. He has also been honored with the MON (Member of the Order of the Niger) Award by President Goodluck Jonathan. He got married and had kids of his own.


Taiwo came across the competition to design the red flag in a library and he entered it. In 1958, his design was selected as the best among those that entered the competition; in his own words “I took details of what is [to be] expected to design a flag that would be used by a country that was about to witness [its] independence”. Micheal Taiwo Akinkunmi unveiled the world’s largest national flag in Ibadan, the Oyo state capital.


The original design of the flag is the usual green, white, and green featuring a red sun with streaming rays on the white band. The overseeing committee in charge of the flag eventually did away with the sun to produce the present design. Taiwo’s design was selected because of its ingenuity and profundity; the representation of the forests and natural wealth of the country, and the representation of peace. He was awarded 100 pounds by the government when his design was selected and the flag was officially hoisted on Independence Day instead of the British Union Jack. 


Pa Akinkunmi died on the 29th of August, 2023 at the age of 87. His son, Samuel Akinkunmi announced his death on Wednesday, 30th of August, in a recent post where he wrote “Life is indeed transient; I can say boldly you lived a life with a landmark. Continue to rest on, my father! Pa Michael Taiwo Akinkunmi (O.F.R) Great Man has gone.”


Congolese Sculptors Showcase Wood Carving Skills.

An astonishing sculpture show takes place at the Place du Jardin des Droits de l’Homme, a peaceful area in the heart of Brazzaville, the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

It is the third Woodworking Trade Fair that has drawn artists from all across the city to display their creations. They create a range of lovely items using indigenous woods including limba, kambala, ayous, and wengé or ironwood.

Magloire Ndassa, a master craftsman, showcases his most recent creation in an interview with African News. He says, “This is an elephant. It is gentle and friendly to everyone. Even foreigners who come to Africa, love to see the elephant. This one’s made from grey ebony, a very precious wood, very rare in the world, but found here in the Congo.”

The trade fair offers numerous options available for individuals interested in purchasing. Along with animals, you may also discover culinary items and a variety of other ornaments. Many find inspiration in this genre of work, including the artist Ludovic Mboum.

Ndassa explains “When you carve on wood, you find it precious. There’s not only its charm and the stripes of certain woods. But there’s also its softness. It’s beautiful because of its nature. The beauty of nature is priceless.”

Hundreds of sculptors are participating in the fair and showing not only their talents but also the rich legacy of their nation. 

Another participant at the trade fair, Christian Sanga Pamba says “We create art to elevate our culture and our creations. Although I do not personally create sculptures, the items I’m displaying here were left by our forefathers. They display a past way of life. We live the lifestyles we do now because of them.”

With wood being the second-largest sector of the Congolese economy, shaping this precious raw material is a significant source of employment. 

The National Artisans Agency organized the event, whose director general is Mireille Opa Elion. She says “You can see all the beautiful carvings we have. The country has a law requiring state buildings to be decorated or adorned with the work of Congolese craftsmen.”

Sculptors are participating in the event from six additional African nations.

Tanzanian Plans to Market Fashion as New Tourism Draw.

The Tanzanian government plans to give more push to fashion as a tourism product with great potential. This will be a component of efforts to diversify the nation’s current abundance of wildlife-centric tourist attractions.“We want to see cultural tourism climbing higher. It can turn around our tourism,” said the deputy minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Mary Masanja.

When the Tourism Deputy Minister attended the Maasai Fashion Night at the Gran Melia Arusha, she noted the vibrant Maasai traditional fashion as something that ought to be conserved and promoted for both the benefit of future generations and tourists.

Ms. Masanja, who was dressed as a Maasai woman and joined in the traditional dance, was certain about the importance of promoting cultural tourism.“The government will fully support such initiatives. We should position cultural tourism as top of our priorities,” she explained.

The Maasai Festival, which will take place in Arusha in October of this year, is preceded by the Maasai Fashion Night, which drew large numbers of members of the ethnic community dressed in elaborate garb.

The Festival will be put on by Wonderland Travel, a Dar es Salaam-based company whose CEO and founder Saidi Rukemo stated: “Culture should complement wildlife in Tanzania’s tourism scene. Today is a day to honor Maasai attire. Any of our 120 tribes should represent us the following time.

He claimed that if they are not kept or passed down from one generation to the next, Tanzanian cultural artifacts such as music, clothing, and artifacts may be lost. An exhibition of decorated Maasai cultural artifacts, including headdresses, necklaces, earrings, and ankle bracelets, took center stage at the fashion show.

The vibrant event drew supporters of the cause from as far away as Houston, Texas in the United States of America (USA). Ms. Asia Idarus Khamsin, who owns a store in the US named “Mother of Fashion Tanzania,” did not try to hide how pleased she was by “the beauty of the Maasai.” “The Maasais are rich in culture. Let us stick to our culture. Many artists here are putting on nothing else but the colorful Maasai attire,” she told The Citizen.

The Zanzibar-born Ms. Khamsin dressed out in all the typical Maasai celebration decorations, including jewelry, necklaces, earrings, headbands, and other items. Given Tanzania’s vast collection of cultural artifacts, the 64-year-old fashion designer claimed that the fashion business holds significant economic potential for the nation.

For the past 15 years, she has spent her time in the US, Tanzania’s top source market for tourists, promoting the nation’s fashion designs. She has worked in the fashion industry for nearly 40 years in total.

The director of Maasai Fashion, Mr. Lekoko Lepilal, spoke at the well-attended event and pleaded with the tourism stakeholders to support cultural trends in addition to wildlife-based tourism. He pointed out that “Cultural tourism is not confined to fashion (traditional attire) but cuisine, songs, lyrics, and artifacts.”

According to him, Tanzania won’t reach its goal of five million tourists (per year) by 2025 unless it adds some fresh products to the state’s well-known tourist attractions, adding that the promotion of Tanzania as a top tourist destination in Africa would be sparked by fashion designs and other elements of cultural tourism.

Without introducing some new items alongside the well-known tourist sites, he claimed Tanzania will not reach its goal of five million tourists (per year) by 2025.

He pointed out that the promotion of Tanzania as a top tourist destination in Africa would be sparked by fashion designs and other aspects of cultural tourism. Mr. Lepilal asserts that the fashion sector has the ability to employ fashion designers and other individuals involved in its value chain.


Ivory Coast: Toumodi Town Hosts First Edition of Nzramah Festival.

The Lake District is believed to have enormous cultural and economic potential. The initiators of the N’Zrama Festival at the stadium in Toumodi, a town in the center of the Ivory Coast, see it as a cultural showcase more than that, it is also an economic pillar providing a solution to unemployment.

In central Ivory Coast, the town of Toumodi hosted the first edition of the Nzrama Festival, attempting to position the Ivorian Lake district as a major economic hub.

This festival which has been dubbed a cultural showcase by its creators, enabled the region’s cooperatives to display their craft, derived from local cultures aiming to source funding to industrialize their labor.

“We’re looking for and finding structures to help us process our products. Because we process our products by hand. If we have someone, a company or the state can help us with the processing,” shares Dorothée Ando, Boutique Manager

“We manufacture cassava and other food products, and we process them, not without difficulty. We lack the proper material. We need help,” added Kouamé Akissi, Cooperative President. 

These requests are at the heart of the Lake District’s new policy, which aims to breathe new life into what was formerly known as the prosperous cocoa loop.

”We have a duty to bring in investors, encourage our people, and help the young, after all, it’s the year of youth, so we must help young people achieve their goals and continue to empower women,” shares Dr. Raymonde Goudou Coffie, Minister-Governor of the Lake District. 

In recent years, the Ivorian government has launched an extensive regional empowerment project. With more than 60% of its land being arable, the Lake District holds an untapped economic potential.

Moroccan King’s 60th Birthday, Celebrated as Model of Stability.

Morocco’s King Mohammed VI, who celebrated his 60th birthday on Monday 21st August,  has been seen as maintaining effective stability as well as modernizing the economy at home while pursuing assertive diplomacy abroad.

In his most recent speech on July 30, the king called for  the achievement of “new milestones on the path of progress and creating projects of greater scope, worthy of the Moroccan people.”

Since his coronation after the death of his father Hassan II on July 23, 1999, King Mohammed has focused on the economy, foreign affairs, defense, and security in his North African nation.

“While his father was greatly present on the political stage, Mohammed VI’s style seems to differ from that of his father’s. According to political analyst Mohamed Chiker, he prefers to silently steer the ship while controlling the levers of power.” 

The king has supervised the building of major infrastructure and business projects over the years.

These include the Tanger Med industrial port, the gigantic Noor solar power plant, and the Tangier-Casablanca high-speed rail line, alongside developing Morocco’s automotive and aerospace industries, and more recently, so-called green hydrogen projects and the “Made in Morocco” label.

Furthermore, to boost Moroccan soft power abroad, he took the initiative to partner with Spain and Portugal in a joint bid to host the 2030 FIFA World Cup.

On the international stage, Mohammed has diversified partnerships that were once the virtual monopoly of former colonial ruler France and other European countries, embracing a more prominent continental role since Morocco’s return to the African Union in 2017.

The Western Sahara has remained the king’s top foreign policy priority, repeatedly describing the former Spanish colony  as “the prism through which Morocco views its international environment.”

Since 1975, a low-intensity conflict over the contested territory has pitted Rabat against Sahrawi separatists of the Algeria-backed Polisario Front.

Morocco has also secured Spain’s support for an “autonomy plan” that would place the vast mineral-rich desert region under Rabat’s sole sovereignty.

The Polisario has for decades called for a UN-supervised referendum on self-determination.

In December 2020, the United States recognised Morocco’s sovereignty over the disputed Western Sahara. Israel followed suit last month, deepening ties with Rabat and drawing a predictable backlash from Algiers.

He did not only achieve diplomatic wins, but Mohammed also addressed societal inequalities at home, which has earned him the nickname “king of the poor”.

Under his leadership, a long-awaited aid project for Morocco’s most disadvantaged families is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

In 2004, the monarch approved the adoption of a family code aimed at boosting women’s rights.

Over the past two decades, Morocco has also shown a commitment to strengthening women’s representation in all sectors, considering it a priority step towards combating discrimination, exclusion, and marginalization.

The reforms, the king said in July 2022, enshrine “equality between men and women in rights and duties and, consequently, establish the principle of parity as an objective that the state must seek to achieve.”

The king also shed light on the fact that the purpose of the reforms was to allow women to “enjoy their legitimate rights,” reaffirming that in Morocco, “it is no longer possible for women to be deprived of their rights.”

Rise in Tourists Arrival in Tanzania.

TANZANIA has been ranked the second country in Africa for receiving a large number of tourists in the first quarter of this year (January to March).

According to the statistics unveiled by the Tanzania Tourist Board (TTB) for the period between January and March this year, Tanzania received 409,082 foreign tourists compared to 289,372 tourists received in a similar period last year.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism and Natural Resources Dr Hassan Abbasi revealed that yesterday when briefing journalists about the 66th meeting of the UNWTO Regional Commission for Africa (CAF) held last week in Mauritius.

Dr. Abbasi said the success recorded in the country in the first quarter of this year was attributed to the Tanzania Royal Tour documentary featuring President Samia that aimed at marketing the country’s tourism sector.

“The United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) has named and recognized Tanzania as the second country in Africa for recording a large increase of tourists in the first quarter of this year (January to March), the first country is Ethiopia with Morocco taking the third slot,” Dr. Abbasi pointed out.

In particular, he said the organization also recognized Tanzania as the second country in Africa after Morocco in terms of attracting many foreign investment projects in the tourism sector.

He added: “The recorded success is attributed to the sixth phase of government commitment under President Samia to promote and develop the tourism industry in the country.”

The PS also highlighted another achievement acquired by the country from the 66th UNWTO meeting where Tanzania, for the first time in history, attained various positions in the UNWTO.

“For the first time since joining UNWTO, Tanzania has been able to occupy top positions in the organization through elections held in this meeting, including being elected to the post of Vice-President of the UNWTO General Meeting,” Dr Abbasi said.

Having Tanzania has been elected to the post, Dr. Abbasi said, Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism Mohamed Mchengerwa will represent Africa in the position of Vice-President at the General Assembly of the UNWTO.

He added that through this position, Tanzania will be able to market tourism attractions in various tourism platforms in the world through meetings and events organized by UNWTO.

Moreover, he said, the country has been also elected as a member of the UNWTO Executive Council, adding that through the acquired position, the Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism will represent the country in making decisions on how to develop the tourism sector in the United Nations World Tourism.

“As a member of the UNWTO Executive Council, Tanzania will use the opportunity to attract tourism development projects in the country and Africa in general,” PS added.

UNWTO was formed in 1974 with 160 full members and other associate members who bring together more than 500 tourism stakeholders in the world.

Tanzania attained full membership status in 1975, and since then it has been carrying out its duties and activities of the organization, including paying the annual membership fee, participating in meetings, and implementing guidelines and resolutions provided by UNWTO.

Wizkid Makes History With Sold-out London Show.

Owing to the can-do attitude of Afrobeat artists, Afrobeats continues to reach new highs and skyrocket in popularity around the world as the artists continue to make history with so many firsts. According to the statement the organizers gave earlier this year, in 2024, the Grammy Awards will also feature a new category; Best African Music Performance, which “recognizes recordings that utilize unique local expressions from across the African continent.

A feat that has recently been attained in the history of performances by some of the biggest stars this year is Wizkid’s most recent show. This history of performances includes Burna Boy’s feat becoming the first African artist to headline a sold-out stadium show (London Stadium) in the UK in June, and then a US stadium (Citi Field in New York) in July.

Along with Tems and Rema, Burna Boy also brought Afrobeats to center stage at the NBA All-Star Game halftime show in February.

Later this year, Tiwa Savage – often called the “Queen of Afrobeats” – is slated to become the first female artist from the popular genre to headline at OVO Arena Wembley in the UK, with a scheduled performance on November 26.


 In another series of firsts for the musical genre, one of its biggest stars, the Nigerian artist WizKid, had a sold-out performance in London’s Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. With 45,000 fans in attendance, the Grammy winner kicked off the European leg of his “More Love, Less Ego” tour. He joins Beyoncé and The Red Hot Chili Peppers as the only other musical acts to perform at the stadium so far this year. After the show, he also became the first African artist to receive the BRIT Billion award for reaching 1 billion music streams in the UK. 

Oyo, Brazil to Collaborate for Black Heritage Day.

In 1500, Pedro Alvares Cabral on his way to South Africa with 1,200 Portuguese adventurers badly missed his way and arrived in Brazil. The Portuguese immediately claimed this colony and it earned a unique identity.

The colonizers realized this gem was a lucrative find so they introduced the industrial production of Brazilwood and established feitorias and engehnos for sugar production. With these recources, there was a necessity for labor to facilitate processes of exportation. This made slavery the pillar that held this colonial economic system together, even becoming more significant with the later discovery of gold in Minas Gerais and also playing a role in later political uprisings against the Portuguese.

Brazilians were able to fight their way out of colonialization and they celebrate this annually by having a Black Heritage Day.

Oba Awurela, a paternal descendant of Awe in Oyo, a custodian of culture from Brazil, said he was in the state to propagate the image of his household and further build cultural ties between Oyo State and Brazil.

He sought an alliance with the Oyo State Government in the celebration of Black Heritage Day which is also known as “Searchie November”. While talking about the existing cultural integration he said Brazil and all Diasporans in South America have an Academy that integrates religion and cultural heritage.

The Oyo State Government recently concluded arrangements with the Brazilian to jointly host the Black Heritage Day with the Brazilian Custodian of Culture, Oba Awurela, Sangokunle Alayande. 

This was divulged by the Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Dr. Wasiu Olatunbosun while receiving Oba Awurela in his office. He appreciated the delegation for the visit and the hand of fellowship extended to Oyo state and noted that the Oyo state government was ready to parley with Brazil on the promotion of culture and tourism.

Oba Awurela plans to expand the frontiers of tourism in Oyo State using culture as a tool, which will in turn boost revenue in the State. This plan was received with open arms as Olatunbosun applauded it. Oba Awurela spoke on the plan to create the Oyo Empire in Brazil, which will be known as ‘Oyotedo’.

The Commissioner further shed light on the mapped-out strategies to drive tourism in the state, through cultural heritage. He also acknowledged that to harness the state’s tourism potential, there’ll be a need for investments so he called for further international investments and cooperation.

King Mswati III Opens Trade Fair, Encourages Increase in Trade between Zambia, Eswatini.

King Mswati the third of Eswatini just officially opened this year’s International Trade Fair, during which he made a call for Zambia and Eswatini to improve trade with each other.

King Mswati said trade between the two countries remains insignificant and has called for closer trade collaboration to boost business.

The Eswatini leader said Zambia’s International Trade Fair is an opportunity to work together and enhance bilateral trade and provide a better environment for trade.

He said the trade has been growing at four percent and hoped the visit will help the two countries improve in this area.

The King called for partnership in agriculture, tourism, and cooperation on defense and security and hoped the initiative will soon be realized between the two countries.

King Mswati said his country is hosting its international trade fair in September this year and invited Zambian companies to exhibit in that country to increase trade between the two.

The King has also thanked the country for managing to negotiate for debt relief which is affecting many African countries and that Zambia will be an example.

And President Hakainde Hichilema called for the maintenance of peace as the basis for achieving economic stability, promoting trade, and investment.

Mr. Hichilema called for trade partnerships to provide better opportunities for the country and the people of Eswatini to share investment opportunities.

The President said bringing together the raw materials that God has given the country will help to create opportunities for economic development.

He said the coming of King Mswati, the third to open this year’s international trade fair will help to share information and trade on what the two countries produce to enhance cooperation.

Mr. Hichilema has also called for the modernization of the international Trade fair and urged trade fair management to utilize the facility and avoid it being a one-day affair but be able to create wealth throughout the year.

The 2023 International Trade Fair is being held under the theme “STIMULATING ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT THROUGH PARTNERSHIPS, TRADE, AND INVESTMENT”

Afrobeat Star Launches African Arts Exhibition for his Album.

Popular Afropop and Banku music star, Mr. Eazi whose real name is Oluwatosin Ajibade has recently announced an eccentric art and music collaboration with 13 talented artists from across Africa for his first studio album, to be released later in the year.

Mr. Eazi is known for his chart-topping hits and electrifying performances. He takes his creativity to a new level by blending music and art in a surreal way. 

In his new collaboration, there will be an accompanying work of art made by these artists who hail from different African countries, including Benin, Cameroon, Nigeria, Mozambique, Kenya, South Africa, Senegal, and Togo for each album track. 

The artworks, which combine music and art to express strong emotions, will be on display at a multi-sensory exhibition in London, Lagos, and New York. Mr. Eazi and these artists have created visually amazing masterpieces that highlight the themes of love, betrayal, loneliness, and family that the singer explores in his music.

With numerous musical partners, the album is a musical scrapbook that fuses Afrobeat, Afropop, gospel, hiplife, highlife, and folklore into a new and authentic pan-African fusion.

His company, Choplife IP is the sponsor of the project. The company which he founded focuses on investing in African culture from music to film. Choplife IP noted in a statement that during the album’s two-year and multi-country recording process, the singer forged relationships with visual artists whose work he encountered.

It noted that the lack of collaboration between Africa’s exploding pop music acne and the continent’s fine art creators, Mr. Eazi joined forces with 13 artists to enhance the album experience, adding that each individual was given true creative freedom based on the music.

Mr. Eazi will be working with the 1-54 contemporary African art fair as it will host the London part of the exhibition, and this October, the collection will be a part of its special projects area. The founding Director of 1-54, El Glaoui says, “for me, it’s exciting to see an internationally acclaimed musician platforming the work of emerging African artists.”

Mr. Eazi has collaborated with international music stars including Beyonce, J Balvin, Bad Bunny, and Nicki Minaj, and he is known for his Afrobeats classics ‘Skintight’ and ‘Leg Over’. 

Prior to the whole exhibition’s public opening in August, additional artworks will be revealed.

First African Animated Series Launches on Netflix.

In a premiere that has been predicted to open doors for additional projects from the continent, Netflix released its first original animated series from Africa.

“Supa Team 4,” which just made its Netflix debut on the 20th of July. It tells the tale of four teenage girls who became undercover superheroes after being hired by a retired secret agent to save the world. The plot is set in a futuristic version of Lusaka, the capital of Zambia.

Netflix announced in April, that it intends to increase its presence across the continent and give “more African storytellers an amplified voice on the global stage,” according to Black Wall Street Times.

Malenga Mulendema, a writer from Zambia and the brain behind the series, said, “I’m excited that the world finally gets to see the fantastic show that the incredibly talented super team, from Africa and beyond, have put together. We hope ‘Supa Team 4’… will lead to further investments and collaborations so we can continue to grow the industry.”

Mulendema came up with the idea for the show while competing in Triggerfish’s pan-African talent competition, where she was one of the winners in 2015.

She mentioned that she chose to base the plot on her native country to “illustrate that anyone from anywhere can be a superhero” when the show was first announced in 2019.

Supa Team 4’s voice cast has a talented mix of African and foreign actors. In addition to Pamela Nomvete, the cast also includes Zowa Ngwira, John Kani, Kimani Arthur, Nancy Sekhokoane, John MacMillan, Namisa Mdlalose, Ashley Zhangazha, Yinka Awoni, and Thabe Ntebe.

Okay, Africa noted that Zambian singer and rapper, Sampa the Great, also joined the voice cast and contributed to the theme tune.

“(Animation) series shaped our childhoods and to know young Zambians get to see what they’ve never seen on TV before is Amazing!!” he posted on Instagram.

Additionally, The secret agent, Mama K, is voiced by Linda Sokhulu in the series’ isiZulu dub.

Malenga Mulendema was recently signed by David Neumann’s management organization, Newmation, which represents animators working in cinema and television, according to Deadline.

She joins Newmation after the firm signed Ziki Nelson, the creator of the upcoming African-themed animated comic book series, Iwáj, for Disney+.

South Africa Presents 2023 Veuve Clicquot Bold Woman Award Winners.

In a highly anticipated event held at The Forum, in Johannesburg on 19 July, Claire Blanckenberg and Zama Ngcobo were lauded as the winners of the 2023 Veuve Clicquot Bold Woman Award and Bold Future Award, respectively. Launched in 1972 to commemorate Maison’s 200th anniversary, the Bold Woman Award is imbued with the enterprising spirit of the Grande Dame of Champagne, Madame Clicquot, and celebrates trailblazing businesswomen who share her values of innovation, fearlessness, and determination. 

For 51 years, the award has been a tribute to the entrepreneurial role models of today and tomorrow, honoring more than 450 businesswomen in 27 countries. Its impact is invaluable as the first and longest-running international award of its kind. Applauding their leadership, innovation,  and tenacity, the greatly desired Bold Woman Award provides women entrepreneurs like Claire and Zama a voice, a platform, and access to an inspiring global community. 

Jean-Marc Gallot, President of Veuve Clicquot. Attending the event for the first time in South Africa, Jean-Marc’s passion for empowering businesswomen through the Bold Programme is rooted in upholding the heritage and essence of the brand, and the legacy of Madame Clicquot said, “We recognize that South Africa’s female entrepreneurs are a national asset. Leading their industries bravely and ethically, women like Claire and Zama dare to be bold, creating better business practices and contributing to flourishing communities,” 

The award ceremony brought together leading businesswomen to network, connect, and engage in meaningful conversations around entrepreneurship. Inspiration permeated the evening with entertainment delivered by female pioneers including MC Jo-Ann Strauss, SA ballerina gone global Kitty Phetla who performed an afro-fusion style dance piece accompanied by pianist Kate Watson, and South Africa’s first female fighter jet pilot Major Mandisa Mfeka who shared a moving speech. Like the distinguished guests in attendance, these trailblazers have succeeded against the odds and continue inspiring a nation of daring women.

This year’s Bold Woman Award winner, Reel Gardening founder Claire Blanckenberg, has innovated the home food cultivation sector. Comprising a simple color-coded system of embedded seed tape, her patented Garden in a Box has revolutionized how family nutrition is approached, providing an estimated 48,100 households with food security. “When I embarked on this path there were very few female entrepreneurs to mentor me. Today, as one of those women, I hope to inspire others at the start of their journey,” she says. The Bold Woman Award winner, Claire will be hosted at Veuve Clicquot in Reims, France for an immersion in the history and tradition of the Maison. 

Providing specialist advice in a male-dominated industry, Bold Future Award winner Zama Ngcobo founded a boutique black female-led commercial law firm called WMN Attorneys Inc. Prioritising the progression of women and the youth, her growing law practice promotes a grass-roots approach to the development of legal practitioners. “I originally set out to create a safe space for young, black, female lawyers to thrive and am immensely proud to represent all those categories as the Bold Future Award winner,” she comments.

Promisingly, the 2023 Bold Barometer by Veuve Clicquot revealed that despite global economic challenges, the state of female entrepreneurship is improving in South Africa, with 61% of women surveyed being entrepreneurs – a figure on the rise since 2019. That said, most surveyed believe they should emulate men to succeed in

business. This last finding underscores the vital role of the Bold Programme by Veuve Clicquot, which not only recognizes these industry pioneers but also fortifies a sustainable future for businesswomen globally through impactful initiatives that inspire mentorship and collaboration.

Launching officially in South Africa at the award ceremony, Veuve Clicquot’s Bold Open Database of female entrepreneurs is free of cultural, geographical, and technological barriers. It aims to stimulate social and economic development. With the second largest number of registrations by country on the platform, South African women markedly seek to connect with fellow women role models. As such, female business leaders are invited to register at and join an illustrious community of women who follow Madame Clicquot’s footsteps.

Kenya Makes World’s Top Travel Destinations List.

According to The Telegraph Travel Awards, Kenya has reclaimed its place among British citizens’ top vacation spots. Kenya was ranked seventh in the yearly study among other countries with beautiful landscapes and top national parks.

Kenya’s standing, however, has changed drastically during the last ten years. Kenya plummeted from ninth place in 2014 to a weak 22 in 2019. Terror attacks in Nairobi between 2013 and 2019 had a significant impact on this deranking process since they caused tourists to stop flying in for vacations.

Kenya returned to its renowned position in 2023, surpassing nations like South Africa and Botswana. The poll results may enhance Kenya’s reputation as a travel destination.

The Maasai Mara came in first place as one of the most popular places according to a number of criteria considered by The Telegraph to determine the ranking. Maasai Mara has earned a reputation as one of the best travel destinations in the world thanks to its profusion of wildlife and welcoming locals. 

British citizens expressed a strong interest in vacations centered on wildlife, which resulted in many votes for the location. Large quantities of wildebeest were migrating from the southern Serengeti to the Maasai Mara.

Kenya’s ranking was also improved by its coastline along the Indian Ocean. Sandy beaches and first-rate beach resorts served as a powerful draw for tourists from the UK.

The British have also been forced to travel to Kenya for the holidays due to the direct flights from London to Nairobi. The book Revealed: The World’s Most Beloved Country from the Telegraph Travel Awards offers insightful information about UK travelers’ choices. 

British citizens have the opportunity to vote for their top vacation spots in any region of the world as part of an annual survey. The categories used to determine the findings are diverse and include anything from airlines and cruise lines to hotel chains and ski resorts.

Uganda Wildlife Reveals Intent to Reintroduce Chimps into Wild.

The Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) has stated that chimpanzees will be allowed back into the wild. In place of Ms. Lilly Ajarova, CEO of the Uganda Tourism Board, Mr. Stephen Masaba, Director for Tourism and Business Development at UWA, made this declaration at Friday’s World Chimpanzee Day celebrations on Ngamba Island.

“The conservation world has a number of challenges, including limited space, and as the animal population grows, the animals require more space yet we cannot expand the island. We bring those that have been recovered from difficult and challenging times here for rehabilitation, we look after them and in future, we shall relocate them to the protected areas which are their natural habitat,” he said.

He cautioned that moving chimpanzees to protected regions like Budongo, Kibale National Park, and Queen Elizabeth National Park requires a delicate approach because they are territorial and family-oriented.

“Uganda has a population of more than 5000 Chimpanzees of which 10 percent live outside the natural forest, but still bring in money. We charge more than Shs 900,000 (250 dollars) per person for four hours in our game reserves to see chimpanzees. If we could all rally against activities that endanger the Chimpanzees and develop tourism businesses and activities, the country would get a lot,” Mr Masaba said.

The day aids in raising awareness of the condition of chimpanzees, according to Dr. Joshua Rukundo, Executive Director of Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary.

“Due to the threats faced by the Chimpanzees, because they are special, we join the rest of the world to celebrate this day to highlight the amazing nature of these beings. The situation in Uganda was dire for Chimpanzees, which were continuously threatened by habitat loss, wildlife trafficking, and illegal hunting and diseases,” he said.

“Chimps share 98 percent DNA with human beings, so celebrating them is an opportunity to raise awareness about the vital need for worldwide participation in their care, protection, and conservation in the wild and in captivity,’’ Mr Rukundo added.

53 orphaned chimpanzees call Koome Island in the Mukono district of Ngamba home. Next month, Ngamba will commemorate 25 years of existence. On Chimp Day, the Ngamba Chimpanzee Sanctuary opened its doors to local community members and environmentalists.


“Seven Reasons to Vacation in Egypt”, Daily Mail Emphasize.

In a photo report listing seven reasons to vacation in Egypt, the Daily Mail highlighted Egypt’s most prominent tourist attractions. The report painted a picture of Egypt as a “time machine” where visitors travel forwards and backward through the tourist and archaeological sites across thousands of years. The writer said, “One moment, I was gazing in awe at the oldest pyramid in the world, built 4,600 years ago, while the next, I was immersed in the very modern roar of Cairo’s insane traffic, where horns are switched permanently to ‘on’ and road markings are redundant.”

The reporter also noted that Egypt is a vibrant tourist destination with sunny weather all year round. The author of the report, Sarah Bridge, referred to her visit to the Great Pyramid and her tour of the vibrant city of Cairo. She also recounted her visit to the royal mummies at the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization, expressing her admiration for the magnificence of her tour to Egypt, which has been one of her wishes for years.

The Pyramids are among the main reasons to choose Egypt for spending a holiday, and it is impossible to visit Egypt without seeing a pyramid or two, she wrote.

The Great Pyramid of Giza is the only one of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world that remains, Bridge said and noted the monuments of Abu Sir and Saqqara with its huge archaeological group of tombs, pyramids, and temples.

The writer discussed the Nile River, which she dreamed of visiting, and the many large islands in it. The author added that she took a cruise at night along the Nile River, giving her a unique view of the landmarks on the river’s banks, including international hotels full of vitality, shops, and cafes.

The Cairo Tower is designed in the shape of a lotus flower, she observed, making it yet another tourist attraction in vibrant Cairo. The author also talked about her visit to the city of Luxor, where she boarded a boat to tour the Nile River throughout the day, which she called a wonderful experience as she watched the flying air balloons in the early morning rise over the Valley of the Kings.

She touched on the nation’s museums, which are rich in artifacts reflecting its heritage. This includes the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization, which is the first museum in the Arab world to focus entirely on one civilization from prehistoric times to the present time.

The most prominent feature of the museum is the royal mummies, she said, which were transferred from the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Square in a majestic procession.

She also mentioned that the Grand Egyptian Museum is scheduled to open soon, and will contain a large number of artifacts, including the complete collection of King Tutankhamun’s treasures.

The writer discussed the ancient tombs, calling Luxor vital to learning about the riches of ancient Egypt, especially at the Valley of the Kings, the Valley of the Queens, and other temples in Luxor. She also discussed her visit to the Red Sea, referring to the luxury resorts in the cities of Sharm el-Sheikh, Dahab, and Hurghada, which attract tens of thousands of tourists every year to enjoy the sun, clear waters, luxury hotels, marine activities, bazaars, and restaurants.


Ivory Coast Welcomes New Partner in Forest Restoration Project.

Food giant Nestlé has announced that new partners have joined the Cavally Forest restoration project in Ivory Coast.

These partners include the Swiss Federal Administration (SECO) via the Swiss Platform for Sustainable Cocoa (SWISSCO) as well as companies Touton and Cocoasource, which work directly with cocoa and rubber cooperatives in the area affected.

The multi-sectoral collaboration is committed to contributing towards the protection and restoration of the classified Cavally Forest, in partnership with local organisations and communities. It was initiated by the Ivorian government, Earthworm Foundation and Nestlé in 2020.

Cavally Forest

The classified Cavally Forest is one of the last remaining dense forests in Côte d’Ivoire and is a primary biodiversity spot threatened by deforestation.

Côte d’Ivoire has lost most of its forest cover over the last 60 years. Between 1960 and 2021, the area of its forests shrunk from 16 million to 2.97 million hectares. This loss was caused in particular by small-scale farming.

The new collaboration follows in the footsteps of the initial, three-year project funded by Nestlé, which will run until the end of June 2023.

During its first phase, the Cavally project led to a significant reduction in deforestation, the natural regeneration of 7,000 hectares, and the reforestation of almost 1,500 hectares. In addition, more than 1,400 people benefited financially from the project.

New Phase

Beginning on 1 July 2023, Nestlé said the new three-year phase of the project will have more ambitious goals and a wider group of partners.

The new phase now includes trading companies Touton and Cocoasource as well as Nestlé. They are active in the peripheral regions of the forest and already work with local cooperatives.

In 2018, the government of Côte d’Ivoire adopted a national forest preservation, rehabilitation and expansion policy, which aims to enable the country to recover 20% of its forest cover by 2030.

On the ground, Nestlé said this policy is bearing fruit thanks to a strategy of protecting and restoring the forest in this cocoa landscape as well as the successful social inclusion of rural communities, including women and young people.

‘Creating Value’

“The Cavally project is a very important initiative for us, as it allows our company to act directly within our supply chain. We are protecting a forest adjacent to the areas where we source cocoa and creating value for the farmers we work with,” said Corinne Gabler, head of confectionery and ice cream at Nestlé.

“We’re delighted to have been able to contribute towards the success of this first phase and look forward to working with new partners to further intensify the project’s impact.”

Government Doubles Budget for Uganda Tourism.

For the advancement of tourism in Uganda, the Ugandan government has doubled the budget for tourism.

Some of the challenges faced in the aspect of tourism in Uganda are the inability to access the tourist destinations due to insufficient, damaged, or inaccessible roads, and poor facilities around the tourist attractions. The doubled tourism budget will fix some of these challenges.


The increase in budget was announced by the Ministry of Finance, planning, and economic development budget for 2023-2024. According to the Ministry, the tourism sector has been given more funding to improve the tourist attractions in Uganda, and their marketing strategies such as the roads, facilities, and advertising.


According to reliable sources like CNN, Uganda ranks top 10 countries with fascinating tourist attractions. However, as a country, its yet to be classified as a top tourist destination due to the much-needed effort for improvement in the sector.


Advice was sought from some Ugandan Tourism consultants and according to them, some of the major challenges that have caused this unattractive direction for the tourism industry are the inability to access the tourism destinations due to bad, damaged, or inaccessible roads, poor facilities around the tourist attractions and so on but all these can be changed with the doubled budget for the tourism industry.

They, however, encouraged the government to promote laws and actively prohibit activities threatening the sustainable development of fascinating tourist attractions like national parks, lakes, and beautiful forests home to wildlife.


They reiterated how they appreciated the resources offered by the government in the form of financial aid and how it will be of great help.

Tourism: Savior of Tunisia Economy.

Tunisia is set for a strong tourist season with visitor numbers nearing pre-pandemic levels, a government official told Reuters, this is a welcomed development to boost the finances of the state.

Tourism typically accounted for around 7 percent of Tunisia’s gross domestic product but visitor numbers collapsed during the COVID pandemic, and this put an extra strain on the economy.

However, authorities now expect about 8.5 million tourists this year, 90 percent of the 9.4 million in 2019, the last year before the pandemic, and a big jump from the 6.4 million last year, Tourism Ministry official Lotfi Mani said.

“Indications suggest a good season, with an increase in the number of reservations,” he said. Tourism revenue to the end of May was about 1.7 billion dinars ($550 million), a 57 percent increase from the same period last year.

The tourism season will slightly help alleviate Tunisia’s public finances decline. This decline has led to shortages of some foods and medicine, they are looking into their outputs to strengthen the overall economy of the state.

Foreign currency reserves have fallen to 91 days of exports from 123 days a year ago and credit ratings agency Fitch has graded Tunisian sovereign debt as junk, signaling market fears it may default on foreign loans.

Donors are waging a last-ditch effort to persuade President Kais Saied to agree terms with the International Monetary Fund for a bailout, but it is far from clear if any agreement can be reached.

Though Tunisia has a wealth of historic heritage from ancient civilizations, Berber tribes, Islamic dynasties, and Mediterranean naval powers, tourism there is mostly focused on beach resorts and short-stop cruise ships.

“It’s a very beautiful place,” said Polish tourist Anna Glan in the whitewashed village of Sidi Bou Said overlooking the glittering blue bay of Tunis.

For the village’s many businesses that cater to tourists, their return is good news, even if Tunisia’s overall economic outlook is increasingly bleak.

“We’re eagerly awaiting a good tourism season and we’re very optimistic because the signs are positive,” said Tawfik el-Hakil, frying traditional donuts for visitors in Sidi Bou Said. “Tour ships are coming and hotel reservations are full.”


Morocco’s ‘Mother of All Lies’ Scoops Top Prize at Sydney Film Festival.

  • The docu-drama won the Best Picture Award and a cash prize of $41,000.

A documentary drama titled ‘The Mother of All Lies’ by Moroccan filmmaker Asmae El Moudir won the top prize at the 70th Sydney Film Festival (SFF) which included an award for Best Picture, a cash award of A$60,000 ($41000) and an appraisal by the jury head Anurag Kashyap for “the courage of choosing a theme perhaps willfully obliterated from public memory”.

The film which explores the 1981 massacre in Casablanca through interviews and interactions with the director’s family and former neighbors, using tiny models of them and a miniature set of their former street made by her father earned El Moudir Best Director when it was premiered in Un Certain Regard at Cannes.

During the official closing night of the SFF at The State Theatre, a series of prizes were presented on Sunday, 18th June with further screenings of popular films to be aired on Monday. 

“Juxtaposing evidence from barely existent public materials with private family memory, this film reconstructs the history of the state, the family and the individual, in three distinct levels,” said the jury of Kashyap, actor Mia Wasikowska (Australia), film curator and journalist Dorothee Wenner (Germany), writer and director Larissa Behrendt (Australia) and filmmaker Visakesa Chandrasekaram (Australia – Sri Lanka).

Also, Against The Tide, a documentary directed by Indias Sarvnik Kaur that explores two indigenous Mumbai fishermen affected by declining fish numbers despite very different approaches to their trade scooped the A$40,000 ($27,400) Sustainable Future Award, the largest environmental prize award in the world. The money was donated by five environmental activists.

Five awards were given for short films as well. The AFTRS Craft Awards for the best practitioner (a A$7,000 cash prize) was awarded to Kalu Oji, Faro Musodza, and Makwaya Masudi, screenwriters for “What’s In a Name?” Robyn Liu, lead actor in ‘The Dancing Girl and the Balloon Man’ scooped the first Event Cinemas Rising Talent Award with a cash prize of A$7,000.

The A$7,000 Dendy Live Action Short Award was awarded to “The Dancing Girl and the Balloon Man,” directed by David Ma. The A$7,000 Rouben Mamoulian Award for best director was presented to Sophie Somerville, director of “Linda 4 Eva,” while the A$5,000 Yoram Gross Animation Award was awarded to “Teacups,” directed by Alec Green and Finbar Watson.

According to Frances Wallace, CEO of Sydney Film Festival, “This year’s festival was a huge success with a great number of film fans returning to the cinemas in 2023 attending over 400 film screenings, special events and talks. This year we presented 242 incredible films from across the globe and audiences were eager to take part in the festivities with over 100 sold-out sessions.”

The event, which took place between June 7 and 18, will now travel. As part of the Traveling Film Festival, selections will be screened at seven New South Wales locales, including Newcastle, Orange, Port Macquarie, and Sawtell, through October 2023.

Rwanda Promotes Tourism Offerings at Dubai Expo.

Rwanda showcased its tourism offering at the largest travel and tourism gathering, Arabian Travel Market (ATM) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. It is the largest in the Middle East and gathered over 2,000 exhibitors and representatives from more than 150 countries across the world.

Rwanda participated in the Arabian Travel Market in a bid to promote tourism; its tourist attractions and to position itself as a top tourist destination. The country’s delegation included officials from the Rwanda Development Board, Rwanda’s Embassy and Consulate in the UAE, RwandAir, and 10 tour operators and hoteliers.

Primate Safaris, Gorilla Expedition Safaris, Pure Africa Tours, Simba Voyages Ltd, Jambo Travel and Tours Limited, Gerry Tours Safaris, UberLuxe Safaris, G-Step Tours, Luxury Africa Tours, and Akagera Rhino Lodge were the tour operators and hoteliers present at the event.

The Rwandan delegation also organized a trade networking session with travel and tour agents along the margins of the market.

Tourism Promotion Manager at Rwabda Development Board, Linda Mutesi expressed her excitement about Rwanda’s participation in the Arabian Travel Market. 

“We believe that Rwanda has a lot to offer to tourists, and we are committed to promoting our country as a top tourist destination. This platform provides Rwanda’s tour operators and travel agents an opportunity to connect with their international colleagues and foster new business relationships,” she said.

Rwanda also promoted its ‘Visit Rwanda’ campaign at the Arabian Travel Market and encourage more tourists to visit the country. The initiative was launched in 2018 to promote Rwanda as a top tourist destination in Africa and showcase the country’s unique attractions and experiences has proven successful in attracting visitors.

In addition, the country promoted its ‘Invest in Rwanda’ campaign which is aimed at attracting foreign investment to the country’s growing tourism industry.

The campaign focuses on  Rwanda’s business-friendly environment, strategic location, and competitive incentives for investors. This is demonstrated by figures released by the Rwanda Development Board, which indicate that the country registered investments worth $3.7 billion in 2021, up from $1.3 billion in 2020, as these investments were driven by strategic investment projects.

Under the National Strategy of Transformation (NST1), which outlines Rwanda’s plans for economic development from 2017 to 2024, the government aims to double tourism income from $400 million to $800 million. By 2019, Rwanda had already hit the $500 million mark, demonstrating that the country is on the right track to achieving its goals.


Hilda Baci, Officially Guinness World Records Title Holder.

After a thorough and rigorous process of reviewing all the evidence presented by Hilda Baci and her team, the much-awaited results have been released.

The Guinness World Records (GWR) has declared Hilda Effiong Bassey, popularly known as Hilda Baci as the official record breaker for the longest cooking marathon (individual) with a time of 93 hours 11 minutes.

The 26-year-old chef’s “cook-a-thon” began on Thursday 11th May at Amore Garden, Lekki, Lagos, and continued through Monday 15th May, cooking over 100 pots of food during her four-day kitchen stint.

She attempted to set a record of 100 hours, although close to seven hours were deducted from her final total due to some extra minutes she mistakenly took for one of her rest breaks early on in the attempt. This is according to the statement by the Guinness World Records.

As with all ‘Longest Marathon Records’, the individual is allowed a five-minute rest break for every continuous hour of activity. However, these rest breaks can be accumulated if not taken. These were the only times Hilda could use the bathroom or sleep during the attempt.

In 2019, the previous record of 87 hours 45 minutes was set by Lata Tondon in India. According to the statement, Hilda attempted this record to “put Nigerian cuisine on the map” and “inspire young African women to chase their dreams”. 

“I also decided to break this record to truly push my limits and test my abilities”, Hilda said according to the Guinness World Records statement. She prepared for the event by creating a 35-item menu “as a guide” for every meal that she would cook.

There were certain rules that Hilda was required to abide by, which included – there needed to be at least two items being prepared or cooked at any time, a sous-chef is permitted to assist in prep work, washing up, and cleaning the kitchen area, but all the cooking must be done by the individual attempting the record. Most importantly, all items must be consumed after cooking.

According to the report, after inviting all Nigerian public members to come and eat, all leftover food was donated to the Festus Fajemilo Foundation

Hilda’s cook-a-thon was so viral that the GWR’s website crashed for two days due to the immense volume of traffic that was received from her loyal fans. Dignitaries such as the former Vice president of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, governor of Lagos, and other prominent people came to support Hilda during her record attempt.

Congratulations to Hilda Baci on this great feat.

Sierra Leoneans Mourn Colossus “Cotton Tree”, National Symbol of Freedom.

Sierra Leone’s colossus tree which towered over the country’s capital Freetown for centuries and symbolized freedom to its early residents tumbled down overnight after a heavy thunder and rainstorm. Sierra Leoneans mourned the toppling of the beloved ancient tree as it stood as a national symbol and had a historic connection to the liberated slaves who founded the country.

The giant 70-meter cotton tree represented what is said to have been the first place of contact between Canada and Africa. It has a history of where the 1,200 freed African American slaves who traveled from Halifax to Sierra Leone held a prayer meeting to give thanks for their safety and then named their new home “Free Town”. 

Because of the significance of the tree and how revered it is to Sierra Leoneans, people have been trekking to the location to homage to it. The picture of the tree was used on the country’s banknotes, medals, and stamps and is celebrated in the children’s nursery rhymes. 

Ali Bangura, who took pictures with his phone as workers removed the remains of the tree with chainsaws said “This is like New York losing the Statue of Liberty, or if the Eiffel Tower in Paris fell”.

Julius Maada Bio, the President of Sierra Leone visited the site and called the toppling of the famed tree “a great loss to the nation”. He promised that the tree will be preserved in some way in a museum. “For centuries it has been a proud emblem of our nation, a symbol of a nation that has grown to provide shelter for many”, the president said.

The cotton tree was an important landmark in the West African Country and was regarded as a symbol of liberty and freedom by early settlers according to the president.

“We have to see what we are going to do to make sure that we keep the history of this tree here. I want to have a piece of this history wherever I find myself, at the state house, the museum, or the city hall”, he said.

The kapok tree stood in the center of a roundabout in central Freetown, its topmost branches extending above the neighboring tower blocks, until the storm snapped its 70-meter-tall trunk near the base. It has endured lightning and fires for many years. Sometimes, people gathered under the tree to pray for the nation.

The tree, whose base was roughly 20 meters wide, is thought to be 400 years old. Although the cotton-like fuzz on the seed pods of Ceiba pentandra, a kapok tree, gave rise to the nickname “Cotton Tree.” Slaves who had been set free would have been familiar with cotton grown on Southern American farms.

“For us,” the President tweeted, “the Cotton Tree wasn’t just a tree, it was a connection between the past, present, and the future and we must strive to immortalize it.”

Renowned Ghanaian Author Passes On.

Renowned Ghanaian author and playwright, Ama Ata Aidoo, known for celebrating African women and challenging Western stereotypes, has passed away at the age of 81.

Through works like The Dilemma of a Ghost, Our Sister Killjoy, and Changes, Aidoo depicted and honored the experiences of African women, she countered the perception of them as downtrodden. She rejected the notion that the African female is a victim.

In addition to her literary contributions, Aidoo served as an education minister in the early 1980s. She tried to make education free but she encountered some obstacles which made her resign from the position.

Her family released a statement expressing their grief and requesting privacy following her passing after a brief illness.

As a university professor, Ata Aidoo received numerous literary accolades, including the 1992 Commonwealth Writers Prize for her novel Changes, a poignant love story exploring a statistician’s journey through divorce and polygamy.

Her works, such as Anowa, have been widely studied in West African schools alongside the writings of other literary giants like Wole Soyinka and Chinua Achebe.

When asked in a 2014 interview if she saw herself as a writer with a mission, Aidoo responded, “In retrospect, I suppose I could describe myself as a writer with a mission. But I never was aware that I had a mission when I started to write. People sometimes question me, for instance, why are your women so strong? And I say, that is the only woman I know.”

Ama Ata Aidoo had a profound influence on the younger generation of writers, including the acclaimed Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

In a tribute piece published in The Africa Report in 2011, Adichie wrote, “When I first discovered Ama Ata Aidoo’s work… I was stunned by the believability of her characters, the sureness of her touch, and what I like to call the validating presence of complex femaleness.”

Nigerian Afrobeats star Burna Boy featured Aidoo’s powerful critique of colonialism and the exploitation of Africa’s resources in his song “Monsters You Made” in 2020.

Ama Ata Aidoo was born in 1942 in a small village in Ghana’s Fanti-speaking region. Her father, who had established the village’s first school, played a significant role in shaping her life.

At the age of 15, she aspired to become a writer, and within a short period, her dream was realized when she won a short story competition. Seeing her name in print affirmed her path as a writer.

After studying literature at the University of Ghana and briefly engaging in politics, Aidoo embarked on a self-imposed exile in Zimbabwe, dedicating herself to writing full-time.”


Seychelles: Anse Source D’Argent Ranks 2nd Place in World’s Top Beaches.

  • The presence of Seychelles beaches on the list of the World’s 50 Best Beaches is evidence of the country’s stunning scenery and untamed beauty.

Tourism Seychelles, the marketing branch of the tourism department, said on Wednesday that Anse Source D’Argent on La Digue island, in Seychelles, had been ranked second on the list of the World’s Top 50 Best Beaches for 2023. The World’s 50 Best Beaches list, presented by Banana Boat, is the product of a coordinated effort that garnered votes from more than 750 reputable travel influencers and professionals.


The third-most inhabited island in Seychelles, La Digue, is where Anse Source D’Agent is situated. The beach features dramatic granite rocks, luscious green coconut palms that provide shade from the sun, and crystal clear wavelets that lap rhythmically on sparkling white dunes.

Lucky Bay in Australia came first, and Hidden Beach in the Philippines came third.


A number of factors, including pristine natural beauty, remoteness, swimmability, yearly sunlight days, and average annual temperature, were used to rate the beaches. According to Tourism Seychelles, the presence of Seychelles beaches on the list of the World’s 50 Best Beaches is evidence of the country’s stunning scenery and untamed beauty.


“Anse Source D’Argent is renowned as one of the world’s most photographed coastlines and captivates visitors with its golden sand, turquoise waters, and majestic granite boulders. With impressive days of sunshine each year, this beach sets the stage for an idyllic beach experience,” added Tourism Seychelles.


The popular beach has frequently come out on top. It was voted first among Africa’s Top 50 Beaches in 2019. Anse Lazio on Praslin Island, another Seychelles beach, was ranked 29th.


The second-most significant island in the Seychelles, Praslin Island, has Anse Lazio located on its northwest shore. Despite how remote it may seem from the outside world, getting to the beach is simple by foot, car, or boat.

According to Tourism Seychelles Anse Lazio, celebrated as one of the finest beaches globally, features a wide stretch of soft white sand framed by granite rocks at both ends. Its calm, crystal-clear waters and gentle slope make it an ideal setting for swimming and snorkeling.”


The report added that “This recognition further strengthens Seychelles’ position as a must-visit location for beach lovers around the world, offering a truly extraordinary experience.”

Uganda Marks IDB, Plants 1,000 Trees in Mabira Forest in Commemoration.

  • NEMA spokesperson plans to plant over 1,000 trees to celebrate the International Day for Biological Diversity (IDB).

The International Day for Biological Diversity (IDB) is being observed worldwide with the theme “From Agreement to Action: Build Back Biodiversity” in Uganda. In celebration of the passage of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)’s Agreed Text, the United Nations General Assembly designated May 22 as the International Day of Biodiversity (IDB) in December 2000.

NEMA, the National Environment Management Authority in Uganda, has announced that a restoration activity will be placed in Mabira Forest today (May 22, 2023) to honor CBD.

Miss Naomi Karekaho, the spokesperson of Nema has disclosed that they plan to plant over 1,000 trees by the end of business today. “It’s basically a journey to restore nature, and this year the theme is to restore nature. So in this regard together with National Forestry Authority (NFA) and many other stakeholders, we are planting more than 1,000 trees in degraded areas of Mabira Forest,” she said.

Uganda became one of the 196 parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) on September 8, 1993; on December 29, 1993, it was domesticated.

Mr. David Cooper, the Acting Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), urged governments and companies all over the world to develop policies that will ensure the implementation of the goals of the COP 15 Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (agreement) to stop biodiversity loss in his message for this year’s IDB commemoration.

“Governments, businesses, consumers we all have a role to play in the implementation of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (agreement). Governments need to develop national targets to align with the targets and goals of the framework,” he said, adding that it would clean the air and water, ensure food security, limit zoonotic diseases and help achieve the global vision of living in Harmony with nature by 2050.

In its 2016 Frontiers report, the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) warned of zoonotic illnesses, which spread from animals to people and make up about 60% of all infectious diseases that affect people. Four years later, the Covid-19 pandemic swept the globe quickly, claiming millions of lives and decimating businesses all over the world.


Rwanda Joins World to Celebrate International Museum Day.

On May 18, every year, the global museum community comes together to celebrate the role of museums in society. For this year’s commemoration, Rwanda joined the global community to celebrate International Museum Day. it is being celebrated at the Natural Heritage Museum in Karongi district under the theme “The role of museums in sustainable development”.

The cultural council in Rwanda organized a series of activities as part of the celebrations such as campaigns in schools, visits to heritage sites, and symposiums on Rwanda’s heritage. The Director General of Rwanda Cultural Heritage Academy, Robert Masozera before the celebration pointed out the existence of permanent and temporary exhibitions in eight public museums which include the King’s Palace, Rwesero Art Museum, National Museum, Kandt House Museum, Rwanda Art Museum, Campaign against Genocide Museum, Natural Heritage Museum, and National Liberation War History in Mulindi.

There were also notable initiatives Masozera mentioned, undertaken by the Cultural Council like a partnership with Google Art and cultural space to digitize Rwandan cultural assets, engagement with youth through the Rwanda Heritage Hub project, and the opening of temporary exhibitions at different museums. 

Museums in Rwanda however, are met with several challenges. The Director stressed the need for improved technologies for conserving and displaying Rwandan heritage, greater engagement from private sectors, enhanced capacity of buildings, and the renovation of existing cultural heritage interpretation layouts.

The Rwanda Heritage Cultural Academy is working together with the public, especially the youth to address these problems and also to preserve Rwandan cultural heritage and transform it into valuable products.  

The cultural heritage in Rwanda is widely promoted through television, radio, and various social platforms to attract visitors from across the world. Putting together exhibitions that highlight traditional practices, folklore, and historical events, museums in Rwanda aim to foster a deeper understanding and appreciation of the country’s cultural legacy for both locals and international visitors.

Every year, International Museum Day focuses on a distinct theme that shifts to represent a current global issue or theme confronting museums. IMD gives museum professionals the chance to interact with the general people, inform them of the difficulties that museums encounter, and increase public understanding of the significance of museums to the advancement of society. Additionally, it encourages conversation among museum specialists.

Egypt: Artisans Carve Path to World Luxury Market.

Egyptian luxury brands are harnessing traditional craftsmanship from jewelry design to carpet weaving to bring the country’s ancient cultural riches to the world.

According to experts in the sector, the global appeal of Arab and Islamic designs from other countries shows Egypt could do more to promote its rich, millennia-old artistic heritage.

One pioneer has been master jeweler Azza Fahmy, whose signature Islamic art-inspired pieces have graced the world’s rich and famous including US pop star Rihanna and Jordan’s Queen Rania.

Fahmy, who started in an Old Cairo workshop about 50 years ago, said her focus has been designs that “resonate with Egyptian identity.”

Artists and artisans in Egypt, the Arab world’s most populous country, draw from a history that spans ancient Pharaonic times, the Mamluk, Ottoman, and modern eras.

“We are lucky to be able to draw on 6,000 years of history,” said textile designer Goya Gallagher, founder of Cairo-based Malaika Linens, which makes high-end household pieces.

“The main challenge is making sure our pieces are timeless, that they’re very well made and always hand-made,” she said at the company workshop on the western outskirts of Cairo.

But while Egypt boasts some business success stories, many more luxury goods makers say they labor against myriad odds to eke out a market both locally and internationally.

In the era of global mass production, Egypt’s once expansive pool of skilled artisans has shrunk, with many young people turning their backs on family skills passed down through the ages.

As businesses struggle to fill the talent gap, they also face the headwinds of a painful economic crisis that has tanked the local currency and restricted raw material imports.

The state’s efforts to support the handicrafts sector, meanwhile, have been “limited and sporadic”, says the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation.

Culture consultant Dina Hafez agreed that Egypt offers little in the way of formalized arts and crafts training.

“The training of artisans is still essentially based on informal education and networks of apprenticeship,” said Hafez of Blue Beyond Consulting.

“The sector lacks any structure. We need a real ecosystem. But for the moment, it’s all based on personal initiatives.”

She said Egypt could learn from Turkey and Morocco, “where the opportunities and obstacles look a lot like Egypt”, but which had managed to launch “their designs onto the international scene.”

Still, change is afoot.

Fahmy, the jewelry designer, said there is always space in the market for works made by skilled artisans and “good designers with creative minds and quality education”.

Many designers hope to benefit from government initiatives to draw in investment and tourism revenue from its ancient wonders.

At the Grand Egyptian Museum at the foot of the Giza pyramids, Egyptian luxury stores enjoy pride of place.

Although its official opening has been long delayed, the museum offers limited tours and events, and the shops already “showcase the best of Egyptian crafts”, said the owner of one, Mohamed al-Kahhal.

In Cairo’s historic center, linen company Malaika trains women from marginalized backgrounds in embroidery and sells the wares to its customers and other fashion and textile brands.

Carpet maker Hend al-Kahhal works in the same spirit, of bringing Egyptian identity to global frontiers.

Standing on the factory roof, where wool and silk creations hung out to dry, Kahhal said the family business works with designers “to give a contemporary touch to Pharaonic and Mamluk motifs.”

The Egyptian Handicrafts Export Council, under the Trade and industry ministry, has long been working to showcase such Egyptian creations internationally.

But Hafez, the culture consultant, said she hopes for more progress in the future, as often “budget constraints, red tape, and customs regulations don’t exactly make things easier”.

The question, she said, is whether Egyptian “authorities are aware of the soft power these creators can have.”


Morocco Introduces First Locally Produced Car Brand.

Morocco has been committed to fostering national innovation and sustainable development. Their effort towards this development was made obvious as King Mohammed VI presided over the presentation ceremony of the country’s first car manufacturer and a hydrogen-powered vehicle prototype.

The unveiling of New Motors’ Moroccan-made car and NamX’s HUV (Hydrogen Utility Vehicle) prototype not only strengthens Morocco’s position as a competitive platform for car production but also underscores the King’s dedication to supporting entrepreneurial initiatives and promoting renewable energies, particularly in the green hydrogen sector.

New Motors, a Moroccan capital-based company, has established an industrial unit in Ain Aouda, in the Rabat-Salé-Kenitra region, to produce cars for both the domestic and export markets. With an anticipated annual production capacity of 27,000 units and a local integration rate of 65 percent, the project aims to drive economic growth and job creation. 

The total investment in this endeavor is expected to reach 156 million dirhams (approximately $15.6 million), with the potential to generate 580 job opportunities.

In February 2023, the National Agency for Road Safety granted final approval for the first vehicle produced by New Motors, marking a significant milestone. 

The company has since initiated the production chain and plans to inaugurate the industrial unit in June, commencing the marketing process. 

This momentous project, which introduces the first Moroccan car brand to the public, exemplifies the nation’s commitment to nurturing local talent and expertise, particularly in the development of a comprehensive vehicle assembly system.

NamX, in partnership with the renowned Italian design bureau Pininfarina for bodywork and with the contribution of Moroccan talent for interior design, has created a hydrogen vehicle prototype known as the HUV. The vehicle’s hydrogen supply will be facilitated through a central tank reinforced with six removable capsules, enabling substantial battery capacity and facilitating quick hydrogen refueling in just a few minutes.

This groundbreaking project positions Morocco at the forefront of the global movement toward developing efficient and environmentally-friendly modes of transportation.

As a recognition of their intellectual competence and pioneering contributions, King Mohammed VI awarded Nasim Belkhayat, the founder and managing director of New Motors, and Fawzi Najah, the founder and managing director of NamX, with the Medal of Intellectual Competence. 

Their visionary leadership and dedication to pushing the boundaries of automotive innovation in Morocco have not gone unnoticed.

Nigerian Chef Breaks Guinness World Record.

It has once again been proven that when Africans set their minds to do something, it takes almost the end of the world to stop them.


Hilda Baci, a Nigerian chef from Akwa Ibom State, took up a challenge recently to beat the Guinness World Record for the longest cooking time. The previous title holder, Lata London cooked for 87 hours, and 45 minutes.

The Nigerian-born chef decided to break the long-standing record and also set her record; she planned to cook for 96 hours. This feat titled “the Hilda Baci Cook-a-thon” started on Thursday, 11th of May, and ended on Monday, 15th of May.

According to the chef, she has always been infatuated with the world record since childhood. In a bid to fulfill her childhood dream, she has meticulously prepared herself; worked with a nutritionist to create a diet that will accommodate the challenge as she only gets 2 hours to herself in 24 hours. Prior to the cook-a-Thon, she carried out a 24-hours dry run. She admitted that even though she was the one cooking during the 24-hour dry-run, her team gave her all the help she needed, she also noted that she cooked for six hours and was taking 30 minutes break.


For this cook-a-thon, Hilda created a menu of up to a hundred local dishes to be cooked over the hours. The dishes she created, were shared freely with those that came to show their support. She had a very strong support system that kept encouraging her to go on even when she felt so tired; her mother and her right-hand person Chef Sunny were seen comforting her on so many occasions.

At 4:00 pm on Monday, Hilda Bacci set a record for the longest cooking time by 96 hours, but this beautiful woman did not stop there, she went on to cook for 100 hours and extra forty minutes. This has shown how ferocious Africans can be when they set their minds to getting things done.


This, however, was not the only thing that could be taken from this event. It also showed how Africans support their own as numerous people, including celebrities, turned up at the venue, staying with her from sundown to sun up, singing, and cheering her on. Those who were not within the city cheered her online, she became an internet sensation and the most talked about topic.

Congratulations to Chef Hilda Bacci, this will be a hard record to beat.