Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Côte d’Ivoire announces plans to increase investment in Afreximbank


Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara flanked by Afreximbank President Jean-Louis Ekra (left) and President Designate Dr. Benedict Oramah.
Abidjan– Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara today in Abidjan announced that the country planned to increase its investment in the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) by taking up its rights under the Bank’s ongoing general capital raising exercise.

Man spent £150k trying to get his African wife into the UK

A 66-year-old great-granddad has spent his £100,000 life savings and racked up £50,000 worth of debt trying to bring his 30-year-old wife from Cameroon into the United Kingdom according to a report by British tabloid The Sun.

Battle for love ... Paul Catchpole with new wife Angele (Picture by Rob Howarth - The Sun)
Battle for love … Paul Catchpole with new wife Angele (Picture by Rob Howarth – The Sun)
Retired logistics manager Paul Catchpole met Angele in 2007 during a work stint in Cameroon and began an affair with her. When he went back to the UK he decided to divorce his wife of 43 years. Leaving behind his heartbroken wife and two grown up kids, Paul went back to Cameroon to marry his new love.
The two lovebirds now have two children together — John Paul, now two, and Blessing, six months — but the happy ending they wanted has not come with British authorities refusing his new wife permanent residency in the UK.
Paul has so far spent his £100,000 life savings and racked up £50,000 worth of debt. According to The Sun report “the money has gone on air tickets, hotel and hospital fees, renting property, utilities, food, car and running costs, schooling, (kids start at two in Cameroon), property building costs and fees.
He has also forked out £40,000 for Angele to renovate properties in Cameroon after she said she would like to do it as a job. But speaking to The Sun newspaper, Paul insists its all worth it.
“I gave up my wife and lost my family, my home and my life savings for Angele. I’ve taken out bank loans and numerous credit cards to pay for her and the kids to live in Cameroon while I try to get her over here — but it is totally worth it.
“I’ve never been happier and the only thing stopping us from being truly happy is the distance. I don’t care how much it costs I won’t stop until Angele and the kids are here with me.”
“I didn’t go looking for love, it just happened. I couldn’t believe it when Angele showed me she was interested in me. I am 36 years older than her so never thought she would be attracted to me. At first we just chatted innocently but, after a few weeks, we started going for drinks on dates.
“Angele knew I was married but we were just completely caught up in the moment.”

Buhari sacks Kuku, appoints Boroh as amnesty programme boss

 Kingsley Kuku has been sacked as the Coordinator of the Niger Delta Amnesty Programme. He was appointed  under former President Goodluck Jonathan and was sacked by President Muhammadu Buhari.
He is replaced with Brigadier-General P.T. Boroh (rtd.)  in a statement by presidential aide, Mr. Femi Adesina.
He said Boroh “is to take over the responsibilities of the former Special Adviser to President Jonathan on Niger Delta who also doubled as Coordinator of the Amnesty Programme”.
Adesina said the appointment of the new coordinator for the Amnesty Programme was expected to lead to the speedy resolution of recent hitches in its implementation such as the non-payment of outstanding allowances to ex-militants.
Recently beneficiaries of the amnesty package had created confusion in some areas of the Niger Delta by protesting against non payment of their allowances.

Akpabio announced as Senate Minority Leader


Formert governor of Akwa Ibom state, Godswill Akpabio has been announced as the Senate Minority leader.
His nomination is against the rules of the senate that exempts first time senators from becoming Senate Minority leaders. He was however nominated by the South South Senators in the Senate.
Senator Emmanuel Bwacha was named Deputy Minority Leader, Senator Philip Aduda becomes Minority Whip and Senator Bioudun Olujimi is Deputy Minority Whip.

Jonathan's CSO Obua remains critical in hospital

Chief Security Officer to former President Goodluck Jonathan, Mr Gordon Obua is clinging to life today as a crucial family meeting is ongoing on how to fly him abroad for further medical attention.
It was gathered that the former CSO is lying critically ill at the National hospital in Abuja.
The DSS official has in the last couple of days suffered from abdominal swelling making it difficult for him to move around.
Officials reportedly refused to comment on the former CSO's health, except to say it was “unchanged”.

Judge Buhari after 100 days, Tinubu begs Nigerians

bola tinubuOne of the national leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Ahmed Tinubu has called on Nigerians to give President Muhammadu Buhari at least 100 days of honeymoon in line with international standards before complaining about his pace of work.
Tinubu who spoke to State House Correspondents after a closed- door meeting with the President on Tuesday, said people who complain of the Federal Government’s pace of work were being unfair.
The former Lagos state governor said the change on whose platform his party rose to power cannot be achieved overnight, adding that it requires meticulous planning

Buhari makes Gbajabiamila House Majority Leader

Nigeria's Speaker  of the House of Representatives,  Yakubu Dogara yesterday succumbed to pressures from his All Progressives Congress, APC, and named Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila House Majority Leader, and by that, drew the curtain on the lingering crisis that has trailed the chamber since its inauguration last June.
Among those who put pressure on the Speaker, it was learnt yesterday, was President Muhammadu Buhari who reportedly put in a phone call to Dogara following a last-minute meeting with party leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

Libya trial: Gaddafi son sentenced to death over war crimes

A court in Libya has sentenced Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, son of deposed leader Col Muammar Gaddafi, and eight others to death over war crimes linked to the 2011 revolution.
More than 30 close associates  of Col Gaddafi were tried for suppressing peaceful protests during the uprising.

Boko Haram: 29 killed in fresh Borno attack

290524F1.Boko-Haram-Gunmen.jpg - 290524F1.Boko-Haram-Gunmen.jpg

Terrorists on Monday  attacked  Dille and its surrounding villages in Askira-Uba local government area of the troubled Northeastern Nigeria state  where  29 persons were killed.
A member  of the House of Representatives representing Hawul and Askira-Uba constituency of Borno state, Hon. Jubrin  Satumari, who spoke to journalists in Maiduguri on phone, said: "It was really a sad day for me to learn that there were renewed attacks in my constituency, some parts of Borno state and the north east in general by the barbaric acts of the insurgents. People are being killed in cold blood, churches, mosques, shops and residential houses were destroyed, it is very unfortunate. I pray God to grant eternal rest for the souls of those killed by insurgents and quick recovery for the injured ones".
The member of parliament (MP), who lamented the attack  on Dille and its environs, described recent attacks on his hometown Dille as callous, barbaric and unjustifiable but however called on security agencies in the troubled state to step up surveillance and equally asked the people of the area to remain very vigilant about happenings in their areas and report any suspicious persons or movements to the nearest security point or jurisdiction.
"I am much worried over the spate of killings by suspected insurgents in my constituency. I have pleaded to security authorities, particularly military to deploy troops to most of the affected villages to safeguard my people's lives and property, but all my cries failed on deaf ears as there are no security presence in my constituency yet, but I still want to assure my people that we are doing everything possible to see that military troops are deployed immediately", Satumari said.

81 Senators pass vote of confidence on Saraki

81 Senators Pass Vote of Confidence On Saraki
 The Nigerian Senate on Tuesday passed a vote of confidence on Senator Abubakar Bukola Saraki’s Senate presidency, putting to bed insinuations in some quarters that it is divided.
The motion, which was moved by Senator Samuel Anyanwu (PDP, Imo east), had a wide range of support base and acceptance of majority of the Senate, as 81 Senators out of 108 supported the motion.
The passage of the vote of confidence on Saraki’s leadership effectively laid to rest insinuations of rancour among the Senators, who are said to be displeased with the Senate President.
Saraki, who was elected to the Senate on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in a welcome speech charged Senators to jettison any act of politicking that is capable of distracting them from the core business of governance and delivering change to their constituents.
“Nigerians did not give us our mandate to come and pursue leadership, their mandate was for us to pursue governance and bring solutions to their burning issues,” Saraki said.

Jonathan's aide seizes $50m belonging to ex First Lady

Dr. Waripamowei Dudafa, the immediate past Special Assistant on Domestic Matters to former President Goodluck Jonathan, has allegedly betrayed his godparents and benefactors, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan and his wife, Dame Patience Jonathan, as he was allegedly seen bad-mouthing his former boss and his wife, describing them as “selfish and wicked” .
The former aide,  was reportedly sited speaking to a mutual friend at Heathrow airport over the weekend, that he (Dudafa) did not hesitate to cast morality and decency to the winds to enact lethal deeds of treachery and deceit against the person of the former President and his wife. 
According to him, they failed to live up to their promise of making him governor after all the ‘dirty’ jobs they made him do for them, he said.
Meanwhile, unconfirmed report says the real reason behind the frosty relations between the former presidential domestic aide and his boss, particularly the former first lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, has to do with the refusal by the former aide to return the sum of fifty million dollars in his possession belonging to the first lady. 
But Dudfa was quoted to have said," They specifically told me to use the money to fund my governorship campaign”.

Ooni Of Ife Dies At 85

The Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade,is dead.
He died at the age of 85 in a London hospital on Tuesday.
A source revealed that Oba Sijuwade was flown out of the country from Ibadan about five days ago in an unconscious state.
“Kabiyesi was flown out of the country about five days ago in an air ambulance. He was unconscious; his situation was critical.
“As a matter of fact, some people have been weeping in the palace since the weekend because of his situation when he was flown out from Ibadan in that air ambulance,” he said.
Oba Sijuwade became the fiftieth traditional ruler or Ife in 1980.

Ebola outbreak: Isn't that over yet?

All deaths at home treated as Ebola
The short answer is no, but there is a lot more to it than that.
The outbreak has been "nearly over" for months. So while "Ebola fatigue" is understandable, it's also potentially extremely dangerous.
There are still around 20-30 new cases a week in the three worst-affected countries.
Before this outbreak, those numbers would have constituted a major epidemic, but we live in very changed times.
At the height of the outbreak, West Africa was seeing hundreds of new infections a week.
But it only takes one new infection to spark a massive epidemic.


As you walk around Sierra Leone's capital Freetown, you feel the desperation of a city willing with all its might for the end to Ebola in its midst.

Affected families are kept in quarantine with regular checks
Emergency measures have been in place for over a year, which have included trade restrictions, overnight curfews and an "avoid body contact" policy.
Every death at home is presumed to be from Ebola, and that means people in biohazard suits turning up on grieving families' doorsteps to remove the bodies of their loved ones.
If you are suffering from Ebola fatigue, imagine what it's like for the millions of people living alongside this invisible killer, which appears to have made itself quite comfortable in West Africa.
Every other Ebola outbreak has lasted just a few months and has affected only a relatively small geographical area.
Before now, the biggest outbreak infected just over 300 people, killing around 280 in the Democratic Republic of Congo. This outbreak has so far claimed at least 11,284 lives.
Authorities have been able to stamp the virus out relatively quickly in past outbreaks by doing the following:
  • Identifying all cases of Ebola, identifying all those who had close contact with those people
  • Following those contacts for the 21-day incubation period of Ebola and
  • Isolating anyone showing symptoms of the virus quickly so they don't infect anyone else.

Unprecedented spread

The problem with this outbreak was that by the time the virus had been identified in the porous border region between Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, Ebola had already started spreading on an unprecedented scale.
So why did no-one notice this earlier? Because no-one was looking.
Let's put all the criticism of the World Health Organization and other international agencies aside for a moment and look at the response in the three affected countries themselves.

Visiting a house under quarantine in Port Loko, Sierra Leone
West Africa had never seen Ebola before. But the three infected countries also didn't have the basic health systems in place to pick up on one of the world's deadliest diseases. Or the lab capacity to diagnose it.
The virus was confirmed only when samples were sent from Guinea to the the Pasteur Institute in France.
Sierra Leone only had 136 doctors caring for a population of 6 million before the outbreak struck, that's compared with around 233,000 licensed doctors in the UK looking after 64 million people.
There are very few hospitals outside urban areas.
If people are sick, they tend to travel short distances to see traditional healers, rather than attempt a difficult and expensive journey to the nearest health centre.
This was our team filming on a road in Gueckedou in south east Guinea where the outbreak started, imagine trying to get a desperately sick person to a hospital in that.

Media caption Mobile phone footage of the state of the roads in rural Guinea
Since Ebola struck, the already weak health systems have been brought to their knees.
Hundreds of millions of pounds have been spent on dealing with the outbreak, when this disaster could have been avoided had similar amounts of money been put into strengthening health and surveillance systems.
That work is under way now. At a donors' conference earlier this month, countries pledged $3.4bn (£2.2bn) to build up health systems in all three countries, including £246m from the UK, which made one of the largest single pledges over the next two years.

No longer 'sexy'

We saw some of the money already pledged being put to use at Freetown's main hospital, Connaught Hospital.
A new infectious disease unit is being built, and a key focus among staff is effective infection prevention control.Quarantine house

Specialists will be needed for many months until the outbreak ends - and beyond
No-one is allowed into the hospital until they have been screened for Ebola. Cleaners in protective gear patrol the wards with disinfectant.
The accident and emergency area, which was almost deserted when we visited the hospital in October due to fear of both patients and staff, is now bustling with people seeking treatment.
Hospitals that were deserted or had to close because patients and staff were too scared to attend are now welcoming people back.
But it is with 221 fewer health workers who died of Ebola in Sierra Leone.Ebola specialists

Affected families are kept in quarantine with regular checks


Doctor who had Ebola, wife share struggle to survive

INDIANAPOLIS — On the first call, Kent Brantly told his wife, Amber, that he had fallen sick a few days after she and their children had left their home in Liberia for a trip to the United States. He had a fever and could not work the previous day, he said. But, he reassured her, he had been tested for Ebola and was negative

Pregnant Kim Kardashian looks gorgeous in baby bump

There’s certainly no maternity smocks for Kim Kardashian. 

Copyright [Splash]
The five-month pregnant star is not letting go of her signature figure hugging wardrobe for anyone, thank you very much and looked mighty fine as she stepped out for a business meeting in another tight dress that gave us an excellent eyeful of her, ahem,  growing baby bump.

Who inherits Whitney Houston’s fortune after Bobbi Kristina Brown’s death ?

When music legend Whitney Houston died in February 2012, she left behind a fortune that was estimated at nearly $20 million. Houston's daughter, Bobbi Kristina Brown, was named as the singer's sole heir.
In the wake of Bobbi Kristina's death, the question of Whitney's sizable fortune has now been thrust into the spotlight: Who will receive the money, and how much is her estate really worth?

Obama warns African leaders who refuse to step down

Barack Obama delivers a speech at the African Union Headquarters in Addis Ababa on July 28, 2015

Addis Ababa - United States President, Barack Obama has condemned African leaders who refuse to give up power and urged the continent to end "the cancer of corruption", in the first ever address to the African Union by a US president.Obama said the rest of the world also needed to change its approach to Africa by boosting fair trade and not just providing aid handouts, and vowed that the United States stood with the region to defeat terrorism and end conflict.

Daughters inherit $20 Million — with strings attached

Daughters Inherit $20 Million — With Strings Attached
When their father died, Victoria (left) and Marlena Laboz (middle) inherited $20 million — but that money comes with conditions. (Photo: Instagram)

A Manhattan millionaire left a generous fortune to his daughters in his will, but the money comes with strings.
Maurice Laboz, owner of real estate management firm Regal Real Estate, died earlier this year and left his two daughters — Marlena, 21, and Victoria, 17 — $10 million each (his entire estate was worth $37 million). And while the money is supposed to roll in when each girl turns 35, Maurice set up conditions for the payouts to start earlier, according to the New York Post, who exclusively reported the story on Monday.
For example, Marlena can receive half a million when she gets married, “but only if her husband signs a sworn statement promising to keep his hands off the cash,” the paper reports. She’ll also receive a lump sum of $750,000 for graduating from an accredited university, and writing a paragraph about what she intends to do with the money. Both daughters will receive three times the income listed on their personal tax returns if they earn a good living by 2020, and if they have kids and don’t work a traditional job, they’ll earn 3 percent of the value of their trust every year. That is, so long as the child is “born in wedlock.”
The conditions read like helicopter parenting from the beyond, and estate planning lawyer Brian Esser says that’s what it amounts to. “It really is about control. When you see these things, it’s about ways for parents and grandparents to control what happens after they die,” Esser tells Yahoo Parenting. “I highly discourage my clients from trying to do things like that. You never know when you will pass, how old kids will be when you die, and if you’re putting a lot of conditions in your will, entangling the estate, you’re creating a lot of difficulty for the executor and the other people involved. You want to draft things cleanly and simply.”  
It’s also not financially practical. “Even with clients who want to keep money in trusts for their kids until they are age 30, I remind them that trusts aren’t free,” he says. “There is quarterly tax filing and other costs associated with paying investment advisors. If you are tying up money for your children, you are increasing the costs and decreasing the money they are going to get.”
According to Esser, this practice isn’t especially common, though he’d expect it more from wealthier individuals. “It’s something you are more likely to see with people who have a lot of assets,” he explains. “These numbers that are being kicked around — three times somebody’s salary or a lump sum of $750,000  — the average American estate is around $1 million, so most people can’t make stipulations like this.”
Overall, Esser says the practice isn’t good parenting, so he’s happy he doesn’t see it more often. “There are parents who want to control their kids with money, like this dangling carrot, but I’ve never drafted a will that imposes a lot of conditions on children from the grave,” he says. “If anything, my clients are more interested in making sure their children’s needs are met after they’ve passed. They err on the side of making more money available at a younger age.”
And who knows if these conditions will even hold up. Laboz’s will is already being contested by his wife, Ewa, who he was in the process of divorcing and to whom he left nothing. According to Post, Laboz left the rest of his fortune to charity. 


Nigerian army frees dozens of women, children from Boko Haram

Nigerian soldiers patrol in the north of Borno state close to a former Boko Haram camp on June 5, 2013

Abuja  - Nigeria's army said Tuesday it had liberated 30 hostages held by Boko Haram, including 21 children and seven women, amid ongoing offensives against the extremists in the country's northeast.Army officials said the operation to free the captives took place in the town of Dikwa in Borno State, which had fallen to Boko Haram twice since April, and was recaptured by Nigerian troops last week."As a result of ongoing operations under the aegis of Operation Lafiya Dole to clear Dikwa and its environs from Boko Haram... (the) Nigerian Army yesterday rescued 30 persons from the hands of the terrorists," army spokesman Sani Usman said in a statement.

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

N300B presidential special intervention fund ready for states soon-- Presidency

The Presidency on Monday said the implementation of the three-pronged financial intervention of President Muhammadu Buhari to states was in progress and states would draw the funds in a matter of weeks.
This is contained in a statement issued by the Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President on Media and Publicity, Mr Laolu Akande.
According to the statment, planning meetings are being held between members of the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) and CBN, on the one hand, and also between CBN and commercial banks on the other hand.
It stated that the meetings were to determine the details of the special intervention fund and the debt relief programme of the President for the states.
It added that the meetings were reviewing loan profiles of the states, issues around restructuring of existing loans including time span, and reconciling the figures.

DSP Patricia Amadin is new PPRO Lagos State Police Command

 Patricia Amadin, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, has been appointed  as the new Public Relations Officer (PPRO) of the Lagos state police command.
The Commissioner of Police, (CP) Mr Fatai Owoseni,The outgoing PPRO, DSP Kenneth Nwosu, made the announcement on Monday when presenting his successor to newsmen.
He said Amadin, who is occupying the position in acting capacity, would replace him following his redeployment to force headquarters, Abuja.
Nwosu, who said his successor was his course mate at Police Academy commended the Crime Reporters Association of Nigeria members for the support given him during his six months tenure, urged them to support his successor too.
Amadin, in her response, said her new office was a familiar terrain, as she had once worked as Deputy Police PRO in Lagos.
Amadin said she still cherished the friendliness between the command and journalists assigned to cover its activities.

Hackers take down New York magazine’s website after its explosive Bill Cosby story

New York magazine’s website was taken down, apparently by hackers trying to silence it, just hours after publishing the accounts of 35 women who say they were raped by Bill Cosby.
The site came back up about 12 hours later.
A group of hackers going by the name VikingDom2016 took credit for the attack, though it was not possible to confirm if they were responsible. Reached on Twitter, a representative for the group offered various motivations for taking down the magazine’s website.

Escalating Boko Haram attacks: Buhari to visit Cameroon

Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari will travel to neighbouring Cameroon Wednesday for talks with President Paul Biya on combating the regional threat from Boko Haram..
 "President Buhari is going to Cameroon on Wednesday. He will hold talks with President Biya on arrival on Wednesday and the issue of Boko Haram will be central in their discussion," presidential spokesperson Femi Adesina said.
Boko Haram attacks in Chad, Cameroon and Niger have claimed dozens of lives in the past weeks.
The visit to Cameroon "aims to build a strong regional alliance to confront Boko Haram," another spokesperson for Buhari, Garba Shehu, told AFP.
Shehu declined to give details on the deployment of regional troops, but insisted it "will still be at the end of this month."
 Meanwhile, Cameroon plans to send an additional 2000 soldiers to its Far North region after three suicide bomb attacks in regional capital Maroua in the past week by suspected members of the sect.

Crude oil theft still thriving under my government, Buhari laments


Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari Monday condemned the monumental level of corruption across all sectors of the economy. He lamented that crude oil theft which characterized past governments is still thriving under his government.
Buhari said this while featuring on a live programme, ‘Good Morning Nigeria’, on the Nigerian Television Authority.
The President, who was inaugurated on May 29, said the nation’s crude was still being lifted illegally by government officials up until July 10.

Jonathan's minister stole $6bn – Oshiomhole

Abuja - Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, said that senior officials of the State Department in the US revealed that one former minister in the Goodluck Jonathan-led government stole as much as $6bn, Vanguard reports.
The governor spoke with State House correspondents shortly after meeting with Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He said that the PDP is a party that presided over the liquidation of the nation, destroyed all the institutions, converted the Armed Forces commanders to use them as if they were political thugs, converted the Nigerian Television Authority to a party megaphone, destroyed the Department of State Services, went after opposition as if we were rabbits to be pursued into our holes, compromised even student unions and destroyed everything that you can think of, and elevated religion to a state affair.
On the significance of president Buhari’s visit to the United States, Oshiomole said he was optimistic it will pay off in due course.

AMCON set to publish list of loan defaulters

The Nigerian Stock Exchange in Lagos is home to businesses whose managers need expertise in communication and human behaviour. Without these skills, workplaces can become unproductive and mired in in-fighting. Picture: REUTERS
The Nigerian Stock Exchange in Lagos . Picture: REUTERS

LAGOS — Nigeria’s "bad bank" Amcon on Monday asked loan defaulters to immediately square their accounts or it would publish their names in line with a directive by the central bank.
The central bank in April directed lenders to give bad debtors three months to square their accounts, otherwise they would be named in the media and barred from taking part in Nigerian currency and government debt markets.
Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (Amcon) warned bad debtors on Monday that if loans remained unpaid, it would take steps to recover the debts including by legal means. It advised debtors not to assume it would forgive their indebtedness.
It also asked bad debtors to present restructuring plans, it said in a statement.
Amcon was set up in 2010 to absorb non-performing loans in exchange for government bonds, after the central bank injected $4bn to rescue nine lenders from collapse six years ago.
The central bank has since set an upper limit of 5% for the non-performing loan ratio for the industry. Before the 2009 bail-out, the non-performing loans ratio stood in double digits.
Top Nigerian commercial lenders including Stanbic IBTC, Diamond Bank, First Bank and Skye Bank, have all given notices to bad debtors to pay up.
The bad bank this year said it had recovered 57% of bad debts, estimated at about 1.8-trillion naira from more than 12,000 debtors of commercial lenders in Africa’s top economy.

Warm reception as AFRIMA holds Morocco stakeholders’ conference

Met with Ministers of Foreign Affairs; Culture; and Tourism as Morocco makes strong appeal to host next three editions of AFRIMA

It was a rousing reception for the All Africa Music Awards, AFRIMA, in partnership with the African Union Commission, AUC, as the awards project held its AFRIMA 2015 Stakeholders’ Conference for the northern region of Africa in Morocco on Thursday, July 23 at the Sofitel Hotel, Casablanca. On Friday, July 24, The AFRIMA delegation also had extensive and successful deliberations with the government of Kingdom of Morocco in the capital city of Rabat as represented by Ministers of Foreign Affairs and cooperation, Mbarka Bouaida; Culture, Mohammed Amine Sbihi and Director, strategy and Cooperation, Ministry of Tourism, Tarik sadik.
 With the theme: Integration of Africa through Music and Culture, the Stakeholders’ Conference was facilitated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kingdom of Morocco; 2014 AFRIMA winner for Best Male Artiste Northern Africa, Ahmed Soultan and the Sofitel Hotel Casablanca aimed at communicating the objectives and ideals of AFRIMA to the stakeholders in Northern Africa.
 AFRIMA is a continental awards initiative that rewards the abundant talents in the African music industry, while celebrating and showcasing the rich musical and cultural heritage of Africa to a global audience for socio-economic competitiveness. Some of the objectives of AFRIMA include using music and culture to foster deeper interaction of Africans, enhance creative and skilled capacity in the African music industry to contribute to the GDP of states and reduce poverty on the continent.
 The Morocco Stakeholders Conference was attended by members of the Moroccan media, music industry practitioners, corporate sector executives and addressed by the representatives of the International Committee of AFRIMA namely: AFRIMA President/Executive Producer, Mr. Mike Dada; Head of Culture Department, African Union Commission (AUC), Ms. Angela Martins; Chairman, AFRIMA International Media Committee, Mr. Steve Ayorinde; Member, AFRIMA Sponsorship & Brand Communications Committee, Mr. Jire Anifalaja and AFRIMA Project Director, Ms. Adenrele  Niyi.
 Sharing with the conference participants, 2014 AFRIMA winner Ahmed Soultan said his artistic vision to cross regional borders with his music was further strengthened after winning the AFRIMA trophy at the awards ceremony in Lagos. “I always believe that as an African, my music must touch base with people who love music either in Africa or abroad. That is why I support what AFRIMA is doing for African music, they are recognising true authentic music and supporting the dreams of many artistes for recognition for their work”.
 Similar to the echo from the participants at the stakeholders’ conference, the Honourable Ministers of Culture and Foreign Affairs expressed the desire of the government of Kingdom of Morocco to support and host AFRIMA next editions after the expiration of hosting right of Nigeria in 2016 as AFRIMA objectives aligns with the cultural diplomacy policy of Morocco.
 While delivering her speech through Mr. Abdellatif Jouibli, the conference interpreter, Angela Martins, reiterated the African Union’s commitment to the integration of Africans through culture. “The African Union has been collaborating with AFRIMA for a long time because we see it as a platform for the integration of Africans.
 “The creative economy is one of the most rapidly growing sectors of the world economy and a powerful force for sustainable development in terms of income generation, job creation and export earnings”.
Applauding AFRIMA as a promoter of Africa’s cultural and creative industries. Ms. Martins added that the AU cherishes the collaboration with AFRIMA ‘since it assists us in the implementation of the AU arts and culture policies’. 
 In his address, AFRIMA President, Mike Dada, thanked the government and people of Morocco for the warm reception AFRIMA received since arrival in the city. “The infectious smiles and the hospitality have been outstanding. AFRIMA Is happy to be here to meet with the stakeholders in the music industry of Morocco and to experience the beauty of your charming country”. Mr. Dada revealed details of the awards programme of activities in 2015, and announced the new entry submission deadline of Friday, July 31 2015 as approved by the International Committee of AFRIMA.
 “The entry submission was between May 18 and July 20; however, this has been extended after we received overwhelming requests from music professionals across Africa. The International Committee has set Friday, July 31 for the closing date of submission. We hope the artistes and journalists will take advantage of this extension to be a part of the awards this year”.
 There was enthusiastic response from the participants during the interactive session. The predominant question asked by the Moroccan artistes and journalists present bordered on the process by which Morocco could bid to host the awards ceremony after Nigeria.
 “The bidding process is open to all African countries. Three countries have shown interest already and if we get an official notification of interest from the government of Morocco, before the bidding deadline of January 26, 2016, it will be more competitive”.
 The conference closed on a high note with guests networking and indulging in Moroccan cocktail provided by Sofitel Hotel.

Kim Kardashian's sheer jumpsuit isn't your average maternity wear

Kim Kardashian's second-time-around maternity style is proving to be sheer perfection.
The reality star stepped out with hubby Kanye West on Friday night to attend the debut of his and award-winning director Steve McQueen's video, "All Day/I Feel Like That," at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Staying true to her sexy yet sophisticated style mantra, Kardashian rocked a low-cut, see-through jumpsuit.
Kardashian never shies away from showing off her figure, pregnant or otherwise. In fact, she spent most of her pregnancy with baby North in the same form-fitting looks she's stepping out in again, regardless of how uncomfortable they might be.
She looks stunning, and we can't wait to see what she wears next.

Ron Galella, Ltd. via Getty Images

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Bobbi Kristina Brown's Death: Nick Gordon 'has suffered greatly,' his mother says

Bobbi Kristina Brown's Death: Nick Gordon 'Has Suffered Greatly,' His Mother Says

On Sunday, 22-year-old Bobbi Kristina Brown died at the Peachtree Christian Hospice in Duluth, Georgia, surrounded by her family, nearly six months after being found unconscious. On Monday, the mother of Brown's long-time boyfriend Nick Gordon released a statement to ET expressing her family's sadness over Brown's death. "The passing of Bobbi Kristina is devastating to Nick and our family. Nick loved and cared for Krissi deeply, and he has suffered greatly each and every day they've been apart," Michelle Gordon said in the statement. "Nick and our family are in mourning, and we ask that you respect our privacy. Our thoughts and prayers are with both the Houstons and the Browns during this difficult time."  
  Nick Gordon is currently facing a civil lawsuit filed by Bobbi Kristina's conservator, Bedelia Hargrove, alleging that he physically abused the late Bobbi Kristina, and stole thousands of dollars from her. However, no criminal charges have been filed and the 25-year-old Gordon has reportedly assembled his own legal team -- which includes famed attorney Jose Baez, who successfully defended Casey Anthony against first-degree murder charges in 2011. Rumors surfaced after Brown's death Sunday night that Gordon had been put on "suicide watch." However, ET spoke with Gordon's younger brother, Junior Walker, who stressed that those reports were "bulls**t stories.
  "We're all hurt right now trying to figure out how to cope through everything," said Junior, who admitted that his older brother was doing "bad" but wasn't suicidal. "This whole year has not been easy at all." Meanwhile, ET has learned that Brown will be given a funeral service in Atlanta, Georgia, after which her body will be flown to New Jersey. A family source tells ET that she will be buried next to her mother, music icon Whitney Houston, at Fairview Cemetery. For more on the life and tragic death of Bobbi Kristina Brown, watch the video below.
On Sunday, 22-year-old Bobbi Kristina Brown died at the Peachtree Christian Hospice in Duluth, Georgia, surrounded by her family, nearly six months after being found unconscious.
On Monday, the mother of Brown's long-time boyfriend Nick Gordon released a statement to ET expressing her family's sadness over Brown's death.
"The passing of Bobbi Kristina is devastating to Nick and our family. Nick loved and cared for Krissi deeply, and he has suffered greatly each and every day they've been apart," Michelle Gordon said in the statement. "Nick and our family are in mourning, and we ask that you respect our privacy. Our thoughts and prayers are with both the Houstons and the Browns during this difficult time."

Nick Gordon is currently facing a civil lawsuit filed by Bobbi Kristina's conservator, Bedelia Hargrove, alleging that he physically abused the late Bobbi Kristina, and stole thousands of dollars from her.
However, no criminal charges have been filed and the 25-year-old Gordon has reportedly assembled his own legal team -- which includes famed attorney Jose Baez, who successfully defended Casey Anthony against first-degree murder charges in 2011.
Rumors surfaced after Brown's death Sunday night that Gordon had been put on "suicide watch." However, ET spoke with Gordon's younger brother, Junior Walker, who stressed that those reports were "bulls**t stories."
"We're all hurt right now trying to figure out how to cope through everything," said Junior, who admitted that his older brother was doing "bad" but wasn't suicidal. "This whole year has not been easy at all."
Meanwhile, ET has learned that Brown will be given a funeral service in Atlanta, Georgia, after which her body will be flown to New Jersey. A family source tells ET that she will be buried next to her mother, music icon Whitney Houston, at Fairview Cemetery.
For more on the life and tragic death of Bobbi Kristina Brown, watch the video below.

Bobbi Kristina Brown to be buried next to mom Whitney Houston

After almost six months of fighting for her life, Bobbi Kristina Brown passed away on Sunday, July 26. The aspiring singer’s death comes just three years after her mom, Whitney Houston, tragically died. 
But a source confirms to Us Weekly that the mother and daughter will be reunited once again. Following Brown’s Atlanta, Ga. funeral service, her body will be flown to New Jersey to be buried next to Houston’s. (Entertainment Tonight was the first to report this.)
The Grammy winner was laid to rest on Feb. 19, 2012 in an emotional ceremony. She had been found eight days earlier in her bathtub at the Beverly Hilton hotel ahead of Clive Davis’ annual Grammys party. 
Brown was found in an eerily similar position on Jan. 31, 2015, lying facedown and unconscious in the bathtub of her home. There is an ongoing criminal investigation surrounding what happened prior to Brown’s longtime partner Nick Gordon finding her in the bathtub. 
Houston’s official fan page posted a tribute to Bobbi Kristina on July 26, writing, “It is hard to say goodbye. On Sunday, July 26, Bobbi Kristina Brown made her transition peacefully. The family thanks everyone for their loving thoughts and prayers. As Bobbi Kristina would say: ‘The wind is behind me and the sun is in my face.’”

Us Magazine
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