Author Archives: eamungo

The First International Essence Global Black Economic Forum to Be Held in Accra During the Essence Full Circle Festival


The first international ESSENCE Global Black Economic Forum will be held in Accra, Ghana during the eight-day ESSENCE Full Circle Festival experience. Taking place at the Movenpick Hotel on December 31, the ESSENCE Global Black Economic Forum: Africa has a mission to create new opportunities for economic development, cultural exchange and how the private sector can help sustainably drive this development and transform African communities on the continent and across the Diaspora. The Forum, a centerpiece of the week-long ESSENCE Full Circle Festival activities, will convene entrepreneurs, executives, entertainers, influencers and government officials to establish an agenda driving economic and cultural collaboration among Black communities globally. The ESSENCE Global Black Economic Forum: Africa will partner with additional African nations to further this mission, and upcoming cities will be announced moving forward.

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US May Remove Sudan From List of State Sponsors of Terrorism, Official Says

The United States no longer has an adversarial relationship with the Sudanese government and is working with its counterparts on the possibility of removing it from a list of state sponsors of terrorism, a senior State Department official have said.

But Tibor Nagy, assistant secretary for African affairs, cautioned that doing so was a process with conditions.

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NY National Guard, South Africa hold annual defense meeting

By Lt. Col. Al Phillips

PRETORIA, South Africa – American and South African military officials, including a New York National Guard team headed by Brig. Gen. Michel Natali, explored joint training and exchange opportunities during an annual defense committee meeting (DEFCOM) Nov. 4 and 6.

The New York National Guard has had a training relationship with the South African National Defence Force as part of the National Guard’s State Partnership Program since 2003.

DEFCOM is held each year to discuss bilateral security cooperation and relationship goals. It’s also an opportunity for New York National Guard and South African military representatives to discuss training and exchange opportunities in the coming year.

The meeting rotates between the U.S. and South Africa each year.

The committee includes representatives from the South African military, the South African Embassy to the United States, the U.S. Department of Defense, the United States Africa Command, and the U.S. Embassy in South Africa.

The two-day meeting was co-chaired by Michelle Lenihan, acting deputy assistant secretary of defense for African affairs, and Dr. Thobekile Gmede, the chief of defense policy for the South African Defence Ministry.

The delegates are assigned to one of four working groups: policy and strategy, operations, human resources, and acquisition and technology.

The emphasis during the discussions was on enhancing South Africa’s capability for peace support and humanitarian contingency operations.

“I’m pleased with the current progress between our exchanges this past year and I see great potential within the State Partnership Program for New York to help South African civil authorities and emergency management officials develop their capabilities,” Natali said.

The South African National Defence Force and the New York National Guard have held military police, natural disaster and firefighter exchanges to strengthen partner networks and capabilities.

Nineteen firefighters from New York Air National Guard air wings were in Western Cape Province during the defense committee meeting to conduct a bilateral training exercise with South African National Parks firefighting personnel.

The New York National Guard invited the South African National Defence Force to send military personnel to two military schools run by the New York Army National Guard’s 106th Regional Training Institute in the spring.

The South Africans were invited to send personnel to the Future Leaders Course, which develops junior non-commissioned officers, Natali said.

They were also invited to send trainers to the Tactical Athletes Course, which focuses on helping Soldiers develop their physical fitness.

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How to Plan Your Trip to Afrochella Festival in Accra, Ghana


Afrochella, now in its third year, is a one-day festival in Accra, Ghana celebrating Africa’s diverse culture, from cuisine to contemporary art, as well as the vibrant work of African creatives and entrepreneurs.

This year, it promises to be bigger than ever, with a jam-packed schedule of live music, exhibitions, and more. The programming aligns with the “Year of Return, Ghana 2019,” an initiative set forth by Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo to mark the 400th anniversary of the arrival of enslaved Africans to North America in 1619, and encourages those of African descent to make the journey back home.

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Liberia: Pres. Weah Pleads with Firms ‘That Made America Great’ to Invest in Liberia

By Rodney Sieh

While breaking grounds for the construction of a 48-inch diameter raw water intake pipeline at White Plains last week, which was destroyed during Liberia’s civil war, President George Manneh Weah made a poignant call to Liberia’s traditional stepfather, the United States of America to make its presence felt in Africa’s oldest republic. He specifically requested that the great American companies that built America should come to Liberia and do business.

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Lana Marks: The US and South Africa are stronger together

By Lana Marks

As the senior US diplomat in South Africa, and as a determined businesswoman myself, I will especially strive to help more women to achieve their professional goals, including reaching senior levels of management, writes Lana Marks.

As a young girl growing up in East London, and as a young woman starting a small business from my kitchen table in Miami, little did I imagine that the road ahead would one day lead me here – to drafting my first message as the Ambassador-designate to the country of my birth. 

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Trump reverses ban on African elephant trophy imports to US

The Trump administration announced that the remains of elephants legally hunted in Zimbabwe and Zambia can now be imported to the United States as trophies, reversing a ban under former president Barack Obama.

African elephants are listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, but the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has determined that large sums paid for permits to hunt the animals could actually help them “by putting much-needed revenue back into conservation,” according to an agency statement.

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