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Showing posts with label Africa Travel Destination. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Africa Travel Destination. Show all posts

AfCFTA Secretariat in the Ghanaian capital Accra presents an opportunity which the country can use to turn Ghana into an industrial hub-Ghanaian Ambassador to China

 Ghanaian Ambassador to China Edward Boateng has called for enhanced cooperation with the Asian country to derive maximum benefits from the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) scheme.

Speaking with Xinhua, he said the hosting of the AfCFTA Secretariat in the Ghanaian capital Accra presents an opportunity which the country can use to turn Ghana into an industrial hub through cooperation with China, which has cordial and excellent relations with the West African country.

"I think we can work with the Chinese to make Ghana a manufacturing hub so that from Ghana, we can send a lot of products to the African continent. The opportunities and the doors that have been opened are immense and it is up to us to also take advantage of it," he said.

The Ghanaian ambassador recounted the excellent relations between the two countries and expressed optimism the relationship will be extended to the African continent for win-win development.

"Today, the relationship is broader, is more commercial and there are a lot of people-to-people exchanges. The last three years have been fantastic. We've taken it to a much higher level and I'm hoping that they can continue to be like that so that the relationship is not only about Ghana but also about the West African region and about the African continent," he said.

Boateng said that upon assumption of office three years ago, he has been working towards strengthening mutual respect and understanding between Ghana and China.

"It is when you have an understanding when you respect each other, everything is possible and I think that is what we were able to achieve. Today, the highest number of Ghanaian students outside the country are in China. During my time, we increased it from 4,000 plus to over 6,750," he said.

Police storm beaches in Accra to enforce COVID-19 restrictions on Easter Friday

Officers of the Ghana Police Service have stormed some beaches in the capital to ensure that COVID-19 restrictions are being adhered to despite the Easter celebrations.Funerals, parties, nightclubs and beaches remain banned across the country in the wake of the pandemic.

Delivering his 23rd COVID-19 national address on January 31, 2021, President Akufo-Addo said the restrictions were necessary to curb the spread of the virus.

In his Easter message on Thursday, the President once again reiterated the need to continue observing all COVID-19 protocols as we mark the Easter celebrations.

He warned that the security services will strictly enforce compliance with the COVID-19 restrictions this Easter.

The Graphic Online reports that on Easter Friday, scores of police personnel were deployed to the coastline to ensure people did not visit the beaches.

Personnel from the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Unit, Marine Police and the Formed Police Unit (FPU) were at the Titanic Beach to police the place.

This resulted in the deserting of the beach and its surroundings, from Community Three Railway Crossing all the way to Sakumono.

Today in History, On March 23, 1998, the President of U.S.A, Bill Clinton arrived in Ghana

 Today in History, On March 23, 1998, the President of U.S.A, Bill Clinton arrived in Ghana. His visit made him the first Sitting US president to ever visit the nation. His visit was part of a 12-day visit to 6 African countries and Ghana was the first African country he visited.

As the first United States president to visit Ghana, President Bill Clinton speaks to the people of Ghana about Africa’s growing appreciation for tolerance and human rights as well as improving U.S. ties with Ghana.


March 23, 1998: Remarks to the People of Ghana

Thank you. President and Mrs. Rawlings, honorable ministers, honorable members of the Council of State, honorable Members of Parliament, honorable members of the Judiciary, nananom [to the chiefs], and the people of Ghana. Mitsea mu. America fuo kyia mo [My greetings to you. Greetings from America]. Now you have shown me what akwaaba [welcome] really means. Thank you, thank you so much.

I am proud to be the first American President ever to visit Ghana and to go on to Uganda, Rwanda, South Africa, Botswana, and Senegal. It is a journey long overdue. America should have done it before, and I am proud to be on that journey. Thank you for welcoming me.

I want to listen and to learn. I want to build a future partnership between our two people, and I want to introduce the people of the United States, through my trip, to the new face of Africa. From Kampala to Cape Town, from Dakar to Dar-Es-Salaam, Africans are being stirred by new hopes for democracy and peace and prosperity.

Challenges remain, but they must be to all of you a call to action, not a cause for despair. You must draw strength from the past and energy from the promise of a new future. My dream for this trip is that together we might do the things so that, 100 years from now, your grandchildren and mine will look back and say this was the beginning of a new African renaissance.

With a new century coming into view, old patterns are fading away: The cold war is gone; colonialism is gone; apartheid is gone. Remnants of past troubles remain. But surely, there will come a time when everywhere reconciliation will replace recrimination. Now, nations and individuals finally are free to seek a newer world where democracy and peace and prosperity are not slogans but the essence of a new Africa.

Africa has changed so much in just 10 years. Dictatorship has been replaced so many places. Half of the 48 nations in sub-Saharan Africa choose their own governments, leading a new generation willing to learn from the past and imagine a future. Though democracy has not yet gained a permanent foothold even in most successful nations, there is everywhere a growing respect for tolerance, diversity, and elemental human rights. A decade ago, business was stifled. Now, Africans are embracing economic reform. Today from Ghana to Mozambique, from Cote d'Ivoire to Uganda, growing economies are fueling a transformation in Africa.

For all this promise, you and I know Africa is not free from peril: the genocide in Rwanda; civil wars in Sierra Leone, Liberia, both Congos; pariah states that export violence and terror; military dictatorship in Nigeria; and high levels of poverty, malnutrition, disease, illiteracy, and unemployment. To fulfill the vast promise of a new era, Africa must face these challenges. We must build classrooms and companies, increase the food supply and save the environment, and prevent disease before deadly epidemics break out.

The United States is ready to help you. First, my fellow Americans must leave behind the stereotypes that have warped our view and weakened our understanding of Africa. We need to come to know Africa as a place of new beginning and ancient wisdom from which, as my wife, our First Lady, said in her book, we have so much to learn. It is time for Americans to put a new Africa on our map.

Here in Independence Square, Ghana blazed the path of that new Africa. More than four decades ago, Kwame Nkrumah proposed what he called a "motion of destiny" as Ghana stepped forward as a free and independent nation. Today, Ghana again lights the way for Africa. Democracy is spreading. Business is growing. Trade and investment are rising. Ghana has the only African-owned company today on our New York Stock Exchange.

You have worked hard to preserve the peace in Africa and around the world—from Liberia to Lebanon, from Croatia to Cambodia. And you have given the world a statesman and peacemaker in Kofi Annan to lead the United Nations. The world admires your success. The United States admires your success. We see it taking root throughout the new Africa. And we stand ready to support it.

First, we want to work with Africa to nurture democracy, knowing it is never perfect or complete. We have learned in over 200 years that every day democracy must be defended and a more perfect union can always lie ahead. Democracy requires more than the insults and injustice and inequality that so many societies have known and America has known. Democracy requires human rights for everyone, everywhere, for men and women, for children and the elderly, for people of different cultures and tribes and backgrounds. A good society honors its entire family.

Second, democracy must have prosperity. Americans of both political parties want to increase trade and investment in Africa. We have an "African Growth and Opportunity Act" now before Congress. Both parties' leadership are supporting it. By opening markets and building businesses and creating jobs, we can help and strengthen each other. By supporting the education of your people, we can strengthen your future and help each other. For centuries, other nations exploited Africa's gold, Africa's diamonds, Africa's minerals. Now is the time for Africans to cultivate something more precious, the mind and heart of the people of Africa, through education.

Third, we must allow democracy and prosperity to take root without violence. We must work to resolve the war and genocide that still tear at the heart of Africa. We must help Africans to prevent future conflicts.

Here in Ghana, you have shown the world that different peoples can live together in harmony. You have proved that Africans of different countries can unite to help solve disputes in neighboring countries. Peace everywhere in Africa will give more free time and more money to the pressing needs of our children's future. The killing must stop if a new future is to begin.

Fourth and finally, for peace and prosperity and democracy to prevail, you must protect your magnificent natural domain. Africa is mankind's first home. We all came out of Africa. We must preserve the magnificent natural environment that is left. We must manage the water and forest. We must learn to live in harmony with other species. You must learn how to fight drought and famine and global warming. And we must share with you the technology that will enable you to preserve your environment and provide more economic opportunity to your people.

America has good reason to work with Africa: 30 million Americans, more than one in ten, proudly trace their heritage here. The first Peace Corps volunteers from America came to Ghana over 35 years ago; over 57,000 have served in Africa since then. Through blood ties and common endeavors, we know we share the same hopes and dreams to provide for ourselves and our children, to live in peace and worship freely, to build a better life than our parents knew and pass a brighter future on to our children. America needs Africa, America needs Ghana as a partner in the fight for a better future.

So many of our problems do not stop at any nation's border, international crime and terrorism and drug trafficking, the degradation of the environment, the spread of diseases like AIDS and malaria, and so many of our opportunities cannot stop at a nation's border. We need partners to deepen the meaning of democracy in America, in Africa, and throughout the world. We need partners to build prosperity. We need partners to live in peace. We will not build this new partnership overnight, but perseverance creates its own reward.

An Ashanti proverb tells us that by coming and going, a bird builds its nest. We will come and go with you and do all we can as you build the new Africa, a work that must begin here in Africa, not with aid or trade, though they are important, but first with ordinary citizens, especially the young people in this audience today. You must feel the winds of freedom blowing at your back, pushing you onward to a brighter future.

There are roughly 700 days left until the end of this century and the beginning of a new millennium. There are roughly 700 million Africans in sub-Saharan Africa. Every day and every individual is a precious opportunity. We do not have a moment to lose, and we do not have a person to lose.

I ask you, my friends, to let me indulge a moment of our shared history in closing. In 1957 our great civil rights leader, Martin Luther King, came to Accra to help represent our country as Ghana celebrated its independence. He was deeply moved by the birth of your nation.

Six years later, on the day after W.E.B. Du Bois died here in Ghana in 1963, Dr. King spoke to an enormous gathering like this in Washington. He said these simple words: "I have a dream, a dream that all Americans might live free and equal as brothers and sisters." His dream became the dream of our Nation and changed us in ways we could never have imagined. We are hardly finished, but we have traveled a long way on the wings of that dream.

Dr. Du Bois, a towering African-American intellectual, died here as a citizen of Ghana and a friend of Kwame Nkrumah. He once wrote, "The habit of democracy must be to encircle the Earth." Let us together resolve to complete the circle of democracy, to dream the dream that all people on the entire Earth will be free and equal, to begin a new century with that commitment to freedom and justice for all, to redeem the promise inscribed right here on Independence Arch. Let us find a future here in Africa, the cradle of humanity.

Medase. America dase [I thank you. America thanks you]. Thank you, and God bless you.


In the Other News 

The leader of the pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, says the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), won’t hand over power to the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu.

You can Also Read: Tinubu is Deceiving Himself Buhari will not Handover power to him in 2023-Yoruba Leader Chief Ayo Adebanjo Said

Nigeria Vice-President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, has said the Federal Government may reopen the land borders soon.


The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd), had in October 2019 ordered the closure of the borders to check the menace of smuggling goods and arms and ammunition into the country and protect local businesses. The closure was, however, greeted by mixed reactions from professional organisations, economists and individuals

Heads of countries like Ghana and Benin Republic had also appealed to the President to reconsider the closure, but the President maintained that the borders would remain closed until the final report of the committee set up on the matter was considered. He added that neighbouring countries must also show commitment to curtailing smuggling from their ends.

Meanwhile, Osinbajo, responding to a question on the continued closure of the land borders especially at a time the African Continental Free Trade Agreement is being prepped for take-off, said on Thursday that the government was working with neighbouring countries on the terms of reopening the border.

Osinbajo, who spoke during a webinar organised by The Africa Report, themed, ‘Bouncing back: Nigeria’s post-pandemic recovery plan’, stated, “We are working with our neighbours to see on what terms we would reopen those borders. At the moment, we are undertaking joint border patrols to control smuggling along the borders and we think it is working and I’m sure that soon enough we should have the borders opened.

“We are committed to the AfCFTA but we are concerned about threats to security and the economy and we had to take certain actions that would satisfy the immediate needs of our country. It (border closure) certainly wasn’t meant to be permanent and we are looking forward to reopening as quickly as possible.”

Ghana's Western Togoland region declares Independent from Ghana

An area of eastern Ghana has declared itself a sovereign state. The region known as Western Togoland has had secessionist attempts in the past.

Armed men demanding the secession of Western Togoland from Ghana blockaded major entry points to the Volta region of Ghana on Friday morning.

Local sources say the group are holding three police officers hostage, including a District Commander, and attacked two police stations. Prior to the blockade, the group reportedly broke into an armory and stole weapons.

Map of the territory of Western Togoland 

Western Togoland is located in eastern Ghana, on the Togolese border

"This is a very serious situation because just few weeks ago we saw [what happened] when they mounted signs along the major roads welcoming people into the Western Togoland State," a local resident told DW.

Another successful passing out ceremony here at Western Togoland for 500 junior and senior officers at the 3 camps

Posted by Akplaga Sogbolisa on Thursday, 24 September 2020
"Blocking the roads with heaps of sand, burning tyres [and ] even holding security personnel hostage."

About 12 hours before Friday's dawn operation, the Western Togoland Restoration Front (WTRF) published photos of the graduation ceremony for around 500 personnel who underwent training for months in secret locations, raising questions over the effectiveness of security agencies in the region.

Seeking sovereignty

Ghana's Western Togoland region is predominately wedged between Lake Volta and the Ghana-Togo border. Currently, a number of splinter groups are demanding the area be recognized as a sovereign state.

In a press release, the chairman of the WTRF, Togbe Yesu Kwabla Edudzi I, declared that efforts for consolidating statehoood, which began on 1 September 2020, were being put into practice. 

The press release also claimed "roadblocks to assert its sovereignty are all over the Southern sector."

The movement says it wants to force the Ghanaian government to join United Nations (UN) facilitated negotiations aiming to declare Western Togoland an independent state.

Ghanaian police have been ordered to "leave the region in 24 hours" and surrender weapons. Some radio stations appear to have been taken over by members of the WTRF. The group has demanded the release of prisoners currently being held in detention for secessionist activities.

Travelers urged to be cautious

Meanwhile, on Facebook, Ghanaian police have cautioned travellers to be aware of "security operations" in some communities in the Volta Region.

Good morning Ghana, commuters to and from Accra - Ho - Aveyime - Adidome - Mepe - Akuse - Sogakope - Aflao are likely to...

Posted by Ghana Police Service on Thursday, 24 September 2020

Local media have reported the minister of the affected Volta Region, Archibald Letsa, urged travelers to remain calm and allow security personnel to do their jobs.

A tumultuous past

The territory of Western Togoland was first colonized by Germany in 1884 and incorporated into the Togoland colony. After Germany's defeat during the First World War, the colony of Togoland was divided between France and Britain as protectorates. The western part of Togoland became part of Britain's Gold Coast colony, which became independent in 1957 to form modern-day Ghana. Togo gained independence from France in 1960.

Western Togoland is a member of the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO). Four million people live in the region. In terms of language and culture, Western Togoland, especially the Volta region, has more in common with Togo. Locals in the region say they feel underrepresented by Ghanaian authorities.

A previous unsuccessful attempt to declare Western Togoland independent from Ghana took place in 2017. In March 2020, around 80 members of the separatist group were detained for protesting the arrest of seven leaders of the Homeland Study Group Foundation. The charges were later dropped. 


The lovely Nigerian city in Akwa Ibom State "Ikot Ekpene"

 Ikot ekpene is actually a great city to live in Nigeria, it's very affordable and you avoid the high rent in Uyo the capital city while you are 20 mins drive from uyo in a dualized autobahn.

Ikot ekpene is a great place for you adults just starting live, but you must have entrepreneurial drive,  there are no jobs like every where else in Nigeria.

Ikot ekpene has the federal government college, state polytechnic , and the federal poly ukana is a stone throw, it also has the Ritman University ikot ekpene, for those who are school age.

A city park, for picnics and family hangout, a numbers of relaxation spots and Raffia Arts is the major handwork of the people of this area.

Raffia arts made in ikot ekpene is famous worldwide, even the colonialists have been known to dabble in arts from this area, the wooden mask carved in Ikot ekpene is also very famous.

The Oil palm business and rubber business is at it peak here .

Ikot ekpene is a much older city than Uyo, it was the first Experimental Local government in British west Africa, ie this is where the British started the idea of local government administration in west Africa. Ikot ekpene has lots of colonial architecture that will mesmerize you, especially the churches.

four point hotel 

View of Four Point Hotel Ikot Ekpene

St. ANNE CATHOLIC cathedral ikot Ekpene.

An Architectural masterpiece.

A sight worth visiting, if you are interested in old European architecture.

This is just one of several old colonial buildings in ikot Ekpene.

The first African catholic cardinal in Nigeria and West African, cardinal Dominic Ekandem was the bishop of Ikot Ekpene.

Hence lots of catholic relics in this city.

St. ANNE CATHOLIC cathedral ikot Ekpene.

If you are young an just starting life and looking for a place with good roads, good schools, low crime rate, affordable city and a perfect place to raise kids,

Look no further Ikot Ekpene is the place for you. Its 15mins. From Uyo Akwa ibom state capital with well articulated road networks that will mesmerize you.

Its 70mins from Victor attah international airport.

And very close to Aba and umuahia though the road to aba and umuahia are terrible.
Ikot ekpene Stadium 

Writer :Obinna Pascal Amajuoyi
Publisher Binnabook Magazine

Ghana Year of Return;Africa-Americans are returning to Africa for good

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Obama historic visit in Ghana cape coast

Ghana’s Year of Return aimed at attracting African-Americans, in particular, to the country is rounding up.

Although the planning committee including the Tourism Ministry, the Ghana Tourism Authority and the government have organised various events to bring locals and those in the diaspora together, some observers believe more can be done. Others also feel the aim should be geared towards enticing persons with African ancestry to also invest in the Ghanaian economy.

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Year of return,black hollywood stars

And it does appear consultant and WeUp Tech Founder; Voltaire Xodus without any prompting has just made Ghana his home moving from the U.S and at the time of speaking with Efrem Gebreab with the BBC News Africa team has been living in the country for five weeks.

Upon arrival, he set out to build networks going into spaces and attending events. Xodus is unfazed about not being in Ghana prior, noting “being in business, I’m looking at opportunities to be part of creating a city and country emerging.”

He added: “In the U.S all the seats are taken, all of the big brands are there.”
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Voltaire Xodus

So beyond making money, what is Ghana’s allure?

Xodus said he is impressed with the peace in the West African country, adding it’s almost laughable when friends in Chicago, Illinois tell him to be careful while here, observing “there is a lot of violence in the city of Chicago. However, they say these things because of the imagery they are fed.”

For African-American sisters Angela Mathews and Cindy Myers from Long Island, California, they had to visit Ghana upon taking a DNA test and being told they hailed from the country. Mathews recalled how their grandparents hoped to return to the continent but couldn’t and so by visiting have become the first generation to make the link.

In retracing their roots, the sisters visited the Cape Coast Castle where British slavers traded some 12 million West Africans to slave buyers and owners in the Caribbean and Americas.

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Steve Harvey

Steve Harvey  broke down in tears after visiting the slave castles in Ghana

Emotional as the dungeon visits have proven to be making the likes of Steve Harvey weep, Angela Mathews after shedding tears and taking steps into the sea remarked: “I felt reunited with my ancestors. It was a wonderful feeling.”
Lakeshia Ford

When Lakeshia Ford decided she was going to pack up her life and her budding career and move from New Jersey to Ghana, her family could not understand why she wanted to make the trek to a country thousands of miles from home. Even more surprising, to some, was Ford’s reason: the shooting death of Michael Brown by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. The incident, which set off protests across the United States, was a tipping point for the 30-year-old Ford and her relationship with the country of her birth.

“In America, all the places I worked at, I was always the only black woman in my team,” she says. “In New York, one of the places I worked at, it was a very — I would call it a hostile environment. … It was just very hard to work with them because there always was an objection to everything I said or suggested.

Lakeshia Ford who has been in Ghana for five years, she is comforted knowing in Ghana “there is no such thing as Black woman, I’m a woman period.”

She added that she doesn’t see color in the former Gold Coast because she is part of the majority, adding “that’s a privilege and a luxury.”

Ms. Ford moved to Ghana to start business.

“For any person in the diaspora, a trip needs to be made to the continent. There’s an undefined closure you didn’t even know you needed,” she submitted to the BBC.


Ghanaian authorities anticipate a 40% increase in the number of people visiting the country in the Year of Return – commemorating 400 years since the first documented enslaved Africans landed in the United States of America in 1619.

Already notable hotels and lodging facilities say they’ve been booked ahead of the festive season.

Angela Mathews wraps things up nicely when she says the current political climate in the U.S with Donald Trump as president makes it even more important to “know where you come from”, adding her trip has revealed that “I have a culture and belong to a people.”

A good number of African-Americans have decided to return for good, perhaps you too would love to enjoy the Ghanaian peace, warmth, favorable business climate while connecting with the land of your forebears.


Disqualification of LionHeart is an eye-opener for Nigeria Nollywood Industry

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scene in lion heart movie
The Nigeria Oscar Selection Committee (NOSC) has reacted to the disqualification of LionHeart as the country’s submission for Oscar 2020.

LIB reported earlier that the movie Genevieve Nnaji made her directorial debut in, was disqualified as Nigeria’s submission for the ‘International Feature Film’ category of the Oscars for having too much English dialogue.

Reacting to the development, Chineze Anyaene who headed the committee that made the submission said it should be an eye-opener for filmmakers in the Nollywood industry.

Though she admitted that the industry is “often faced with producing films with a wide reach”, she also disclosed that they are working to create workshops and other training sessions to instill robust awareness on the guidelines for an ‘International Feature Film’ entry.

She said “The budding Nigerian film industry is often faced with producing films with wide reach which often makes the recording dialogue predominantly English with non-English infusions in some cases. Going forward, the committee intends to submit films which are predominantly foreign language – non-English recording dialogue,” Anyaene said.

“We are therefore urging filmmakers to shoot with the intention of non-English recording dialogue as a key qualifying parameter to represent the country in the most prestigious award.

“The committee is working tirelessly in organizing workshops, seminars and using other available media to create robust awareness on the guidelines and requirements for an International Feature Film Entry.

“Lionheart passed on other technical requirements from the story, to sound and picture except for language as adjudged by the Academy screening matrix, which was a challenge for the committee at a time.  This is an eye-opener and a step forward into growing a better industry.”

ALSO READA:Nigeria's Oscar race entry Lionheart disqualified by Academy


Chinese vice premier to visit Madagascar, Namibia, Ghana

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Chinese Vice Premier Sun Chunlan will pay official friendly visits to Madagascar, Namibia and Ghana from Nov. 4 to 13 at the invitation of the three countries' governments, foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang announced Wednesday.

Sun Chunlan is vice premier of the State Council and a member of the CCP Central Committee, and was most recently the head of the United Front Work Department, a position she held since 2014. She worked in Liaoning province for 40 years, mostly in trade union and women's federation, and alongside Premier Li Keqiang when he was party secretary of Liaoning and she was mayor of Dalian. In Liaoning, her work mainly focused on narrowing the urban-rural gap and improving livelihoods.

Sun was secretary of the All-China Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU) for four years and worked to advance the Labor Contract Law during its development in 2007-2008. In 2009, she became the party secretary of Fujian Province, the third woman to hold a provincial party secretary position.


All you Need to know About Benin Empire:Rise,Fall and Legacy in the present day Nigeria

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Benin, one of the principal historic kingdoms of the western African According to  traditional account, the original people and founders of the Benin Empire, the Bini (or Edo people),

At first they lived in small family groups, but gradually these groups developed into a kingdom.
The kingdom was called Igodomigodo. It was ruled by a series of kings, known as Ogisos, which means ‘rulers of the sky’. The city of Ibinu (later called Benin City) was founded in 1180 C.E.

About 36 known Ogiso are accounted for as rulers of the empire; in the 1100s there were struggles for power and the Ogisos lost control of their kingdom. On the death of the last Ogiso, his son and heir apparent Ekaladerhan was banished from Benin as a result of one of the Queens changing the message from the oracle to the Ogiso. Ekaladerhan was a powerful warrior and well loved Prince. On leaving Benin he travelled to the west of the present day Nigeria to the land of the Yorubas. At that time the Yoruba oracle said that their King will come out of the forest and when Ekaladerhan arrived at Ife, he was received as a King.
He changed his name to Imadoduwa meaning "I did not misplace my royalty" and became The Great Oduduwa of The Yoruba Land.

In Benin Kingdom,there was struggle for power and supremacy after the death of the last Ogiso the Edo people feared that their country would fall into chaos, so they asked their neighbour, the King of Ife, for help. The king sent his son Prince Oranmiyan to restore peace to the Edo kingdom. Oranmiyan, the son of Ekaladerhan aka Oduduwa, agreed to go to Benin. He spent some years in Benin;  married and gave birth to a son named Eweka,after many years he came back to Ife And Oranmiyan chose his son Eweka to be the first Oba of Benin. Eweka was the first in a long line of Obas, who reached the peak of their power in the 1500s

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Benin Art

How did Benin become an empire?

Around 1440, Ewuare became the new Oba of Benin.He  rebuilt Benin City and the royal palace.Around 1470, and  named the new state Edo.The Oba had become the paramount power within the region. Oba Ewuare (reigned 1440 until 1473), the first Golden Age Oba, is credited with turning Benin City into a military fortress protected by moats and walls. It was from this bastion that he launched his military campaigns and began the expansion of the kingdom from the Edo-speaking heartlands  and started winning land.  The lands of Idah, Owo, Akure all came under the central authority of the Edo Empire.

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Warriors Benin Kingdom
Oba Ewuare was the first of five great warrior kings. His son Oba Ozolua was believed to have won 200 battles. He was followed by Oba Esigie who expanded his kingdom eastwards to form an empire and won land from the Kingdom of Ife. Ozolua and Esigie both encouraged trade with the Portuguese. They used their wealth from trade to build up a vast army.

The fourth warrior king was Oba Orhogbua. During his reign, the empire reached its largest size. At its maximum extent the empire is claimed by the Edos to have extended from Onitsha in the east, through the forested southwestern region of Nigeria and into the present-day nation of Ghana. The Ga peoples of Ghana trace their ancestry to the ancient Kingdom of Benin.

The state developed an advanced artistic culture especially in its famous artifacts of bronze, iron and ivory. These include bronze wall plaques and life-sized bronze heads of the Obas of Benin.

Oba Ehengbuda was the last of the warrior kings. But he spent most of his reign stopping rebellions led by local chiefs. After his death in 1601, Benin’s empire gradually shrank in size.

Government and People

The empire was ruled by a regent called the Oba. Today, the Oba of Benin is still very respected in Nigeria; he is the most revered traditional ruler in Nigeria though his powers are largely ceremonial and religious. The capital of the Benin Empire was Edo, now known as Benin City in what is now southwestern Nigeria.

The Benin Empire derives its name from the Bini people who dominated the area. The ethnonym may possibly derive from groups in western Nigeria, where the term "ibinu" means "anger" reflecting the warring nature of the Binis or from central and north-central Nigeria, where the term birnin means "gated" or "walled area." The city and its people are more properly called the Edo. Today, this population is found mostly in and around modern day Benin City. It is from Portuguese explorers that we get the name the Benin Empire. However, the Bini name for the land and even the capital city was Edo.

European contact

The first European travelers to reach Benin were Portuguese explorers in about 1485. A strong mercantile relationship developed, with the Portuguese trading tropical products, and increasingly slaves, for European goods and guns. In the early sixteenth century the Oba sent an ambassador to Lisbon, and the king of Portugal sent Christian missionaries to Benin. Some residents of Benin could still speak a pidgin Portuguese in the late nineteenth century.

The first English expedition to Benin was in 1553. Visitors in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries brought back to Europe tales of "the Great Benin," a fabulous city of noble buildings, ruled over by a powerful king. A significant trade soon grew up between England and Benin based on the export of ivory, palm oil, and pepper. Trade consisted of: 20 percent ivory, 30 percent slaves, and 50 percent other things.


The city and empire of Benin declined after 1700, but revived in the nineteenth century with the development of the trade in palm oil, enslaved captives, and textiles. Benin grew increasingly rich during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries on account of the slave trade with Europe; slaves from enemy states of the interior were sold, and carried to the Americas in Dutch and Portuguese ships. The Bight of Benin's shore soon came to be known as the "Slave Coast."


How did the kingdom end?

By the 1860s Benin was no longer a powerful empire and the Obas struggled to rule their people.
Benin was also under threat from Britain. The British wanted to gain control of Benin so they could get rich by selling its palm oil and rubber. The Oba tried to stop all contact with Britain, but the British insisted on their right to trade. Benin resisted signing a protectorate treaty with Great Britain through most of the 1880s and 1890s. 

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In 1897 a group of British officials tried to visit Benin. They were sent away because the Oba was busy with a religious ceremony. As they approached the borders of Benin, a group of warriors ambushed them and several British men were killed. However, after the slaying of eight British representatives in Benin territory, a 'Punitive Expedition' was launched in 1897, in which a British force, under the command of Admiral Sir Harry Rawson, Benin City was burnt to the ground, conquered and burned the city, destroying much of the kingdom treasured art and dispersing nearly all that remained.  and the kingdom of Benin became part of the British Empire.The portrait figures, busts, and groups created in iron, carved ivory, and especially in brass (conventionally called the "Benin Bronzes") made in Benin are now displayed in museums around the world.This attack made the British furious. They sent over a thousand soldiers to invade Benin. 

Edo pendant mask
Edo marks



The Oba was captured and eventually allowed to live in exile until his death in 1914. However, the office of Oba continued to be recognized in colonial Nigeria. Eweka II (1914-1933) built a new palace to replace the one that the British destroyed when they burned the city. Akenzua II (1933-1978) received Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom during her state visit to Nigeria in 1956. In 1966 he became Chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University, Nigeria. The Oba is advised by a Traditional Council. Both the Obo and the Nigerian Government (which has purchased back some items) have requested the return of what they describe as "stolen" art to Nigeria

Source:New World Encyclopedia


Interview:Meet The Gallerist Helping To Shine A Light On Accra's Thriving Contemporary Art Scene

Five years ago, Beirut born, Accra resident Marwan Zakhem was in the middle of building the Kempinski Hotel Gold Coast City (the capital's first and only five star hotel) when an empty mechanical room on site struck him as the perfect space to display his beloved collection of regional art. Soon, however, an even grander vision followed – a place where Zakhem could both represent the West African artists he loved and bring attention to their work on a global scale. By 2016, the construction company owner had opened the doors to Gallery 1957 – named for the year in which Ghana gained independence – which now stages as many as 12 exhibitions in Accra and eight exhibitions abroad each year. Below, we catches up with the visionary Zakhem about all that he has achieved to date and what's next for West African art.

When did you first start collecting art?

When I moved to Dakar about 20 years ago after stints in Beirut, London, Cairo, and Houston. I had never really been interested in it at all until that point. There was something specifically about the West African aesthetic – the visual arts, the music, the culture, how people dressed – that was stimulating, and my appreciation led me to start buying. In the beginning, I was only spending around $30 or less on each work and would give them away to friends or relatives who admired them. It was only when I moved to Accra in 2003 that I started properly collecting, mainly because I became friendly with the local creatives. When I stayed at the Golden Tulip Hotel for six months, I met one of my favourite artists, Krotei Tetteh, aged 84 at the time, who had a stunning exhibition there – paintings of the marketplace and fishing. He was a recluse, but we connected, and from then on, I became focussed on getting to know artists more, learning about their stories and practices.

Why is Ghana a particularly special country for you?

After being here for the last 15 years or so, I consider Ghana home. It's become a part of me. I appreciate the warmth and hospitality of the people. Lots of visitors who come here temporarily end up falling in love and staying. There's such a rich history. When it came to naming the gallery, I chose Gallery 1957 because it evokes strong emotions – and a sense of pride – among Ghanaians. Of course, there's no comparing the events of 1957 with what we're doing at the gallery, but I do believe that there's a revolution of sorts happening within the contemporary art scene here. As long as nobody assumes it's my birth year, I'm happy with it!

How would you describe the focus of Gallery 1957?

It struck me that there were so many Ghanaian artists producing incredible work that nobody was seeing – not in Ghana, not on the international stage... I decided to start a gallery that would provide them with the infrastructure and resources to show abroad. I'm also trying to establish a collector base here, which is harder in an up-and-coming market than in London, New York, or Paris for example, but it's growing, and that inspires people to become artists. Beforehand I think most used art as a hobby or second job, especially female artists; the percentage who are full-time artists is still very small. So, we try to attract the international crowd to come to Accra. Once a year we do a cultural week where we host curators, directors, and gallerists from around the world at the hotel – then do a series of workshops, studio visits, and talks about West African art in general. Every single exhibition has grown, and we now expect about 700 to a thousand people per opening.


Archaeologists Unearth Ancient Wooden Coffins Dating Back 3,000 Years:Why Can't Egypt Allow Death Body to Rest?


Archaeologists in Egypt just unearthed 30 ancient wooden coffins and opened them to reveal perfectly preserved mummies inside.

A dig team stumbled upon the sarcophagi in the Asasif necropolis of the ancient town of Thebes, the Egyptian government announced on Tuesday. Thebes was once the bustling royal capital of ancient Egypt. Digging in the area around the modern-day city of Luxor has led to a series of findings since efforts began in December 2017.

The coffins are estimated to be 3,000 years old, far older than most other ancient relics in the area. Still, they were found sealed and intact, featuring vibrant color inscriptions and well-preserved engravings. 

Archaeologists opened the coffins at a ceremony on Saturday to reveal perfectly preserved mummies inside. The intricate engravings indicate that the mummies were once highly respected people, likely priests and children.The coffins are part of a series of findings archaeologists have made since they began researching areas around the modern-day city of Luxor in December 2017.
On Saturday they opened the sealed sarcophagi to reveal perfectly preserved mummies inside.

The coffins were stacked in two layers under the ground. They are estimated to be 3,000 years old, dating back to the 22nd dynasty of Egyptian pharaohs. The coffins will be restored and displayed at the Grand Egyptian Museum, which is due to open near the Giza pyramids next year.

Based on the engravings and inscriptions, archaeologists think the coffins were for children and priests both men and women.

It is the first large human coffin cache ever discovered since the end of the 19th century

The wooden sarcophagi were found in the Asasif necropolis of the ancient town of West Thebes, on the west bank of the Nile. The find was "completely by accident.

By Parish Pascal

The Real Owners of Jerusalem are the Ijebu Ode from Nigeria:Reno Omokri

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Reno Omokri
 The Ijebu, The Yoruba and Their Influence on The Bible

Elsewhere, I have written about the biblical Nimrod (the first world emperor) in Genesis 10. I showed in actual fact that there was nothing like Nimrod. His real name is Namrud in Aramaic and Arabic. From where the European translators got the name Nimrod, I would not know. But the name found in the Pentateuch is Namrud. Do not take my word for it. Google it. Or go to a reference library.

I had also said that that Namrud was no other person than Lamurudu, the father of Oduduwa, the father of the Yoruba people. If you want evidence, Google my article ‘Why Black Man dey Suffer today.’

But today, I want to reveal the truth about a place called Jerusalem.

Many people do not realise that the original name for Jerusalem was not Jerusalem but actually Jebus. If you doubt me, stop reading right now and Google the word Jebus. Or go to a reference library.The Jebus, were a tribe that occupied the modern day Jerusalem before they were conquered by King David. This is a historical fact. It is also recorded in the Bible.

In Joshua 11:3, we read:

“And to the Canaanite on the east and on the west, and to the Amorite, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, and the Jebusite in the mountains, and to the Hivite under Hermon in the land of Mizpeh.”

Now, note those words “the Jebusite in the mountains”. It is very important, as I will explain later.

Do not be confused by the use of the generic term ite after the names of tribes. They were not used in the original Hebrew Scriptures. It was the European and specifically the English translators of the Hebrew Scriptures, that added the generic suffix, ite.

So for example, in their eyes, a person from Canaan would be a Canaanite. The children of Ammon would be called Ammonites. And those from Jebus were called Jebusites.

I do not know why they did this. Did they do it to deceive, confuse, or hide the truth? Or, did they do it for ease of reference? Your guess is as good as mine.

Now, if you read 2 Samuel 5:6, it says:

“The king and his men marched to Jerusalem to attack the Jebusites, who lived there.”The King here, refers to David. David attacked Jebus and defeated them as we can see in verse 8 of 2 Samuel 5 which says:

“David had said, "Anyone who conquers the Jebusites will have to use the water shaft to reach those 'lame and blind' who are David's enemies."

In verse 9, we read that David defeated the Jebusites, but did not take up residence in the mountains, where most of them lived (remember I told you to remember the mountains).

He chose to reside in the lowlands surrounding the mountains as we read in verse 9:

“David then took up residence in the fortress and called it the City of David. He built up the area around it, from the terraces inward.”

In actual fact, the name Jebus that you read about in The Bible, refers to a tribe now known as Ijebu in Southwest Nigeria.

I have just blown your mind. I know. It sounds like blasphemy. Heresy. But please let me land!

The Ijebu do not really call themselves I-J-E-B-U, the way an outsider would pronounce all syllables. They actually call themselves J-E-B-U, with the I before jebu silent.

And the Ijebu people are unlike other Yoruba tribes in that they do not claim Yoruba heritage. They have something you would find nowhere else in Yoruba land. They have a king called Awujale.

The Awujale of Ijebu, Sikiru Adetona, revealed in an interview, (which I urge every reader of this article to read: simply Google Middle East origins of the Ijebu), that the Ijebu originally came from the area around the Middle East to the Sudan.

This agrees with the biblical references in Joshua 11:3 and 12:10 as well as 2 Samuel 5:6-10.

So if the Jebus were the original inhabitants of Jerusalem, where does the word Jerusalem come from? You see, the Ijebu or Jebu is the name of the tribe. However, they name their towns, villages and habitations after the topography of their environment.

So for instance, in modern day Nigeria, the Ijebu towns are known by the prefix Ijebu, followed by a suffix indicating their topography. Today, the Ijebu towns are known as Ijebu-Ode (which may loosely mean outer Ijebu), Ijebu-Igbo (which may loosely mean forested Ijebu). You also have Ijebu-Remo, Ijebu-Isiwo and other Ijebu towns, villages and communities that begin with the prefix Ijebu and end with a suffix depicting their topography or to a lesser extent, their history.

Now, recall that I urged my readers to remember that in Joshua 11:3, the Jebus were referred to as living in the mountains, but in 2 Samuel 5:6, the Bible records that the Jebus lived in Jerusalem.

Psalm 125:2 reads:

“As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the LORD surrounds his people both now and forevermore.” Jerusalem is a town surrounded by mountains. Even today, some residents of Jerusalem live in the mountains, others live in the lowlands or valley.

The Jebus who were living in the lowlands of Jerusalem and who were conquered by King David in 2 Samuel chapter 5 were Ijebu-Isale, loosely meaning Ijebu of the lowland or valley.

It is that Ijebu-Isale, which the natives would have called Jebu-sale (both i’s after Ijebu and Isale would have been silent) that was mispronounced as Jeru-Sale by King David and his men, because 2 Samuel chapter 5 quite clearly states that King David built the city of David in the lowland. Jeru-Sale became Jerusalem.

The challenge many Black People have is that we do not read. It is still true today that if you want to hide something from a Black man, you hide it in a book. These things you just read are not secrets. They have been hidden in the most popular book in the world for centuries! They are in The Bible!

By Reno Omokri

Cuba Adopts Cryptocurrency as Part of Communist Party Agenda

 Cryptocurrency is now officially part of the Communist Party agenda in Cuba. Over the weekend, Cuba’s government adopted a proposal to incl...




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