It is a great regret that we announce the death of Moses Yarnway. Family and friends of the Yarnway’s will gather at the home of Mrs. Yantee and Mr. Radcliff Mongbeh, Founder of African Angels Magazine and entertainment, this Sunday, March 1, 2015 at 1pm to til. Address: 3014 Windsor Drive, Antioch, California.
An account for contributions towards Moses’s funeral expenses can be deposited into Acct # 0291303453 at Bank of America.
For more information, please contact Aunty T at 415-871-1716 and Mrs. Yantee at 209-406-8548.
On this day, (February 25), 1885 European leaders met at the infamous Berlin Conference to divide Africa and arbitrarily draw up borders that exist to this day.
The map on the wall in the Reich Chancellery in Berlin was five meters (16.4 feet) tall. It showed Africa with rivers, lakes, a few place names and many white spots. When the Berlin Conference came to an end on February 26, 1885, after more than three months of deliberation, there were still large swathes of Africa on which no European had ever set foot.
Representatives of 13 European states, the United States of America and the Ottoman Empire converged on Berlin at the invitation of German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck to divide up Africa among themselves "in accordance with international law." Africans were not invited to the meeting.
The Berlin Conference led to a period of heightened colonial activity by the European powers. With the exception of Ethiopia and Liberia, all the states that make up present day Africa were parceled out among the colonial powers within a few years after the meeting. Lines of longitude and latitude, rivers and mountain ranges were pressed into service as borders separating the colonies. Or one simply placed a ruler on the map and drew a straight line. Many historians, such as Olyaemi Akinwumi from Nasarawa State University in Nigeria, see the conference as the crucible for future inner African conflicts.
"In African Studies, many of us believe that the foundation for present day crises in Africa was actually laid by the 1884/85 Berlin Conference. The partition was done without any consideration for the history of the society," Akinwumi told DW.
Belgium's King Leopold II divides up the spoils and takes the Congo as his own private state.
Traditional boundaries not considered
New borders were drawn through the territories of every tenth ethnic group. Trade routes were cut, because commerce with people outside one's colony was forbidden. Studies have shown that societies through which new frontiers were driven would later be far more likely to suffer from civil war or poverty.
"The conference did irreparable damage to the continent. Some countries are still suffering from it to this day," Akinwumi said.
In many countries, such as Cameroon, the Europeans rode roughshod over local communities and their needs, said Michael Pesek, a researcher in African colonial history at the University of Erfurt. But historians, he explained, were now less inclined than they were to regard the arbitrary redrawing of Africa's borders as the root cause of conflicts in postcolonial Africa.
"People had learnt to live with borders that often only existed on paper. Borders are important when interpreting Africa's geopolitical landscape, but for people on the ground they have little meaning."
Scared to re-open Pandora's Box
In the 1960s, as African countries gained their independence, African politicians could have changed the colonial borders. But they desisted from doing so.
"A large majority of politicians said around 1960 'if we do that we will open up Pandora's Box'," Pesek said. They were probably right. Looking at all the problems Africa has had over the last 80 years, there have been numerous conflicts within states but hardly any between states.
When examining African conflicts, the colonial power that occupied a particular tract of land - the Belgians, French, British or Germans - is less relevant than the significance of belonging to specific ethnic groups which colonial powers often pitted against each other.
Ethnic allegiances were far more open and flexible in the 19th century than they are today, Pesek said. In pre-colonial Rwanda, the Hutu and Tutsi were social groups and it was possible to switch from one to the other. It was colonial rule that cemented the division of the population, of which one of the consequences was the 1994 genocide.
In 2010 - on the 125th anniversary of the Berlin Conference, representatives from many African states in Berlin called for reparations for the colonial era. The arbitrary division of the continent among European powers, which ignored African laws, culture, sovereignty and institutions, was a crime against humanity, they said in a statement. They called for the funding of monuments at historic sites, the return of land and other resources which had been stolen, the restitution of cultural treasures and recognition that colonialism and the crimes committed under it were crimes against humanity.
But nothing has come of all this. The historians from Nigeria and Germany are not surprised. "There is much talk of reparations for the slave trade and the Holocaust. But little mention is made of the crimes committed by the European colonial powers during the hundred years or more they spent in Africa," said Pesek.
Olyaemi Akinwumi doesn't believe there will ever be any reparations, of any sort shape or form.
Shocking News: Girl Hangs In Limbe (Cameroon) Over Misunderstanding with Boyfriend
Valerie Ndomo, 30, an indigene of Etone* in the Centre region took away her own life, Monday 23rd February around 8:30 am in Alpha Club- Towe', Limbe after an alleged phone call misunderstanding with her BIR boyfriend.
On the field report indicated that Valerie was seen as early as 7am healthy and hearty transferring credit around her house. Neighbours attested she was involved in a quarrel on the phone with a caller suspected to be her boyfriend (an element of the Rapid intervention Batallion, BIR) presently securing the high seas around Kribi. A few minutes later, a young pupil from a nearby primary school raised an alarm that Valerie had hanged herself behind the house. It is alleged she was pregnant as she died.
WARNING GRAPHIC PHOTOS
The divisional officer of Limbe I, Epale Seraphin, State Counsel for Limbe, Doctors and other municipal authorities were present in the scene to take on the spot information. Meanwhile, her corpse has been deposited at the Mortuary in Limbe while pending burial.
"Goodyear’s lax compliance controls enabled a routine of corrupt payments by African subsidiaries that were hidden in their books," said an SEC official.
Goodyear Tire has agreed to pay $16 million to settle charges that its subsidiaries in Kenya and Angola routinely bribed employees of government agencies and private companies to land tire sales, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission announced Tuesday.
The subsidiaries, Treadsetters in Kenya and Trentyre in Angola, were both retail tire distributors. According to the SEC, Goodyear failed to prevent or detect more than $3.2 million in bribes during a four-year period due to inadequate Foreign Corrupt Practices Act controls at the subsidiaries.
The bribes were generally paid in cash and were falsely recorded as legitimate business expenses in the books and records of the subsidiaries, the SEC alleged in an order instituting a settled administrative proceeding.
“Public companies must keep accurate accounting records, and Goodyear’s lax compliance controls enabled a routine of corrupt payments by African subsidiaries that were hidden in their books,” Scott W. Friestad, associate director of the SEC’s Enforcement Division, said in a news release.
Goodyear self-reported the FCPA violations and “provided significant cooperation with the commission’s investigation,” the SEC’s order said.
“Coming clean seems to have paid off” for Goodyear, the National Law Journal reported, noting that, in a similar case, Avon Products agreed in December to $135 million to settle civil and criminal foreign bribery charges.
According to the SEC, Treadsetters paid more than $1.5 million in bribes to employees of Kenyan government-owned or affiliated entities. In the case of Trentyre, the Angola subsidiary paid about $1.6 million in bribes to obtain tire sales, the SEC said.
The commission identified a major beneficiary of bribes in Angola as Trentyre’s largest customer at the time, the Catoca Diamond Mine, which is owned by a consortium of mining interests including Angola’s national mining company and a Russian mining company.
After uncovering the bribery scheme, Goodyear divested its ownership interest in Treadsetters and cut off all business dealings with the company. It is now in the process of divesting Trentyre.
Goodyear said in a statement that it has “a comprehensive anti-corruption compliance program and continues to improve and enhance its ability to monitor, detect, investigate, and address potential issues.”
The fantasy for Eyram Tawia began, as it has for millions of children before him, thumbing through comic books.
"When I saw Superman fly, I'm like: 'How can I see myself doing that?' " he recalls.
A couple of decades later, the 31-year-old Tawia has that superpower and many more at his fingertips in his office in Accra, Ghana.
He is the co-founder of Leti Arts, an African company that is playing a key role in building the comic and gaming industry on the continent from the ground up.
The centrepiece of the fledgling company is its mobile game, Africa’s Legends, and the digital comic books that will explore the stories of each of its characters.
At this point, it’s a simple mobile game, not dissimilar to other ubiquitous "Match 3" phone games. It is available free for Android on Google Play.
But Africa’s Legends differs markedly from other comics and games. All of its superheroes and villains are African.
When Tawia was getting hooked on comics as a child, his favourite characters — from Superman to Spider-Man to Thor — were all Caucasian.
Not much of a following
Eventually, he began to question that.
"Why do black superheroes struggle to be popular, even in the Marvel universe, the DC universe? They are either add-ons or they don’t have much of a following."
Tawia says the answer became obvious to him over time. "It is because there’s no existing gaming culture in Africa."
He met Wesley Kirinya, a fellow comic and gaming enthusiast from
Kenya, online and the pair set about to change that.
The Africa’s Legends characters are based on or inspired by folklore from across the continent.
Characters include Ananse the West African god of wisdom, the conqueror and warrior king Shaka Zulu of South Africa and Pharoah, based on Egyptian rulers.
Tawia likens them to The Avengers of Africa, age-old characters fighting modern evil on the continent.
Leti Arts co-founder Eyram Tawia, standing left, and online manager Nana Kwabena Owusu, standing right, supervise interns working on animation for a new game. (Carolyn Dunn/CBC)
"Bringing back our girls, cleaning out the pirates on the shores [of Somalia and Kenya], pushing out greedy presidents," Tawia says. "You know, we just want to create this franchise that people will cling to."
A big part of realizing the vision for Leti Arts is tackling a sense of inferiority that seems ingrained in many African youth.
"When something really exciting happens, there’s always an attribution to a Western influence," says online marketing and business manager Nana Kwabena Owusu of Accra.
“Either the person is trained outside of Africa [or] the person is schooled in Harvard, so it always feels as if you can’t really be schooled in Africa, live in Africa and do world-class things and that’s what we’re trying combat."
Leti Arts interns Rudolf Zejlo and Robert Grayson Dzamedzi both grew up with that sense of limitation.
A talented illustrator, Zejlo never thought his sketches would amount to anything more than a fun hobby. He couldn't imagine realizing his ambition of becoming a game developer.
"It was my biggest dream, but I never thought it would be possible," Zejlo says.
Then, right out of high school, he began an internship with Leti Arts and today, he and Grayson Dzamedzi are working on a child-friendy version of Africa’s Legends called Africa's Legends Scouts.
Dzamedzi studied animation at college and even now, as he adds artistic shading to the hands of a miniature African superhero, he is thinking of the next step to become a game developer: learning programming.
"The future is really bright," he says. "So bright I need spectacles to see it."
Leti Arts is looking to the future, too, counting on recent successes — like winning a prestigious industry award, the Vodaphone Appstar, for best developed application — to bring it to bigger and better things.
“Right now, we’re just making simple games to gain some traction,” Tawia says, but ultimately he sees his company becoming a a big player in the global gaming industry, complete with high-end games.
“Once serious investment has been made in quality games then yes, those games will definitely be paid for.”
Growth is already in the works as Leti Arts negotiates a presence on other platforms.
Its biggest market is outside Africa, the diaspora and gamers who are drawn to the uniquely African superhero universe.
But Tawia says the games and comics will always be created in Africa to inspire African kids to think big.
“We bridge the gap by bringing all the black superheroes flying and doing all the cool stuff,” he says.
"That then psychologically works on the mind of every kid.”