Day: February 17, 2019

Pan African Festival Connects African Diaspora Through the Arts

More than 100 artisans and 170 films from around the world are being showcased at the 27th Annual Pan African Film & Arts Festival in Los Angeles.

The multiday event in the largely African American neighborhood of Baldwin Hills aims to connect Africans to people of African descent from around the world.

“As a result of the slave trade and colonization, African people are spread all over the planet, so we get a chance through this festival, get a chance to know each other,” said the festival’s executive director, Ayuko Babu.

Film, fine art, fashion and jewelry with Africa as inspiration are all featured at the festival.

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West African Students host annual African week to highlight diversity

From Feb. 17-23, the Wellesley African Students’ Association (WASA) invites the Wellesley College community to take part in Africa Week.

Originally called the African Film Festival when it was established in 2004, the event as a chance for the community to focus on different African perspectives through film.

Africa Week is put on during Black History Month and focuses on having the community engage with various aspects of different African cultures. Aside from solely screening films, Africa Week allows WASA to invite different organizations on campus to showcase their talents in order to highlight the diversity of African culture.

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NBA and FIBA announce plan to launch professional basketball league in Africa

The National Basketball Association (NBA) and the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) on Saturday announced their plan to launch the Basketball Africa League (BAL), a new professional league featuring 12 club teams from across Africa.

The BAL will be built on the foundation of current club competitions FIBA is organizing in Africa. Scheduled to begin play in January 2020, the BAL would mark the NBA’s first collaboration to operate a league outside of North America.

The NBA also announced its plan to introduce a re-imagined direct-to-consumer offering of NBA games for fans in Africa by the start of the 2019-20 NBA season. The offering would include new packages, features and localized content, with additional details to be announced at a later date.

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Nigerian diaspora remitted $25 billion home in 2018


With an estimated inflow of $25 billion remitted by Nigerians abroad in 2018, chief economist at PriceWaterCoopers (PwC) Nigeria, Prof Andrew Nevin, said Nigeria’s citizens living outside the country are its biggest export.

Nigerians had remitted $22 billion in 2017 making it the highest in the Sub-Saharan Africa region followed by Senegal and Ghana with $2.2 billion each for the year. Currently, the country is in the top five nations in global remittances.

PwC’s Chief Economist, in a report titled, “Nigeria Economic Outlook: Top 10 Themes For 2019”, noted that remittances remitted to Nigeria represent 6.1 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and translate to 83 per cent of the Federal Government budget in 2018.

He said Nigeria’s migrant remittance inflows was also seven times larger than the net official development assistance (foreign aid) received in 2017 of $3.359 billion, stating that, “Nigeria’s biggest export is not oil; it is actually people, because of the remittances coming in.”

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Interviews form basis of new play about the legacy of Sudan in Iowa City

On Friday, Feb. 15 from 4:30-6 p.m. in the Senate Chambers of the Old Capital Museum, the African Studies Program and the Office of Outreach and Engagement at the University of Iowa presented My Daughters Are My Writings, a new play based on oral histories of seven Iowa City residents from Sudan compiled by two UI graduate students, followed by a talk by Steve Howard, a scholar visiting from Ohio University (Athens), about Mahmoud Mohammed Taha, a Sudanese Muslim social reformer whose work initiated the Republican Brotherhood before and after Sudan’s independence from Britain.

The play is a truly interdisciplinary affair: Written by UI alum Margot Connolly, based on excerpts from Howard’s book and interviews by graduate students from the history department, it is directed by UI theater graduate student Britny Horton, who acts in the play alongside three fellow graduate students.

Taha is best known for the Second Message of Islam, which distinguishes the verses in the Koran revealed in Medina (the basis of Sharia law) from those initially revealed in Mecca. The latter, from Taha’s perspective, would provide the basis of an ideal religion based on freedom and equality — including the equality of men and women.

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Los Angelese FC forward Latif Blessing gives back to his Ghanaian village

For many Major League Soccer players, the offseason is a much-needed time to rest, travel and relax with family. But for Los Angeles FC forward Latif Blessing, the offseason was a time to focus on his greatest passion — using the sport of soccer to give back to his hometown.

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Bridging the gap: Africa’s science landscape and the African diaspora

As I headed home on the plane, my mind was abuzz. The engines steadily hummed in the background, dulled only by the even louder thoughts that raced through my mind. The plane lights were dim. Snores ebbed and flowed around me, my neighbors nothing but still heaps piled under blankets. Meanwhile, I sat wide awake, staring ahead into space, unable to settle down.

I was on my way back to the US after a 3-week span of conferences and research project work in East Africa. This exercise isn’t new to me, however. I am a penultimate example of the “reverse diaspora,” where a particular area of expertise (my academic research) which is focused in Kenya has landed me there for increasingly more frequent stints every year for the past several years. While I was born in America to Kenyan immigrant parents, I was raised in Kenya from a young age.

I went on to pursue secondary education in America, and now hold a faculty appointment at a US institution. In some shape or form, I knew that I’d return some day.

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