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Day: February 21, 2019

Ghana-born power executive views heritage from both sides of the Atlantic

By Anna B. Mitchell

With an easygoing smile, Duke Energy executive Kodwo Ghartey-Tagoe navigates effortlessly between the worlds of his parents and his children.

Ghartey-Tagoe, whose first name is pronounced “kojo,” grew up in Ghana on the west coast of Africa, the son of a renowned national television journalist.

His home nation won independence from the British on March 6, 1957, just six years before his own birth. For his three daughters, Independence Day is the Fourth of July.

One of his few regrets: Having traveled only once as a family with his wife, Phyllis, and all his girls to visit their parents and extended family in Africa. He met Phyllis in Washington D.C., but they are from the same part of Ghana.

“People who don’t know each other tend to fear each other,” he says. “And once you get to know them, you tend to find out there is nothing to fear and they are very much like you. They have families like you, they love their kids like you do.”

The 55-year-old power executive has risen quickly in corporate America since graduating from Duke University law school in 1988. He practiced privately in Washington, D.C., and Virginia for 14 years, mastering federal and state utility law and representing water companies, power companies, gas companies and phone companies before joining Duke Energy in 2002.

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A New Africa Strategy: Expanding Economic and Security Ties on the Basis of Mutual Respect

The Trump Administration’s new Africa Strategy is based on three tenets.

The first is advancing U.S. trade and commercial ties with nations across the region to the benefit of both the United States and Africa.

The second is countering the threat from radical Islamic terrorism and violent conflict. ISIS, al-Qaeda, and their affiliates all operate and recruit on the African continent, plotting attacks against American citizens and targets.

Third, the U.S. will ensure that U.S. taxpayer dollars for aid are used efficiently and effectively. The United States will no longer provide indiscriminate assistance across the entire continent without focus or prioritization.

This was revealed by in a new report by Heritage Foundation after a session with John R. Bolton, the U.S. National Security Advisor at a session at the Heritage Foundation in Washington DC.

Read more about the session and the report

Before basketball in Woodbury, Oturus were playing ping pong in Nigeria

Word is starting to spread across the Big Ten basketball scene this winter about Daniel Oturu. He’s making people notice, on and off the court.

The Gophers basketball team’s 6-foot-10 freshman center from Woodbury, Minn., and Cretin-Derham Hall made the short trip to the U as one of the nation’s top recruits in the 2018 class. And through 25 games, he has established himself as one of the most promising young players in the conference.

Oturu’s size, including a 7-foot-3 wingspan, comes from his 6-foot-1 mother Deborah, and his athleticism comes from his 5-foot-6 father Francis, who was a member of Nigeria’s top table tennis team in the 1980s.

He was born Akinfayose Daniel Oturu in Brooklyn, N.Y., in 1999 to Nigerian immigrants who arrived in the U.S. in 1990.Daniel has shown a precocious poise around the basket in his first collegiate season, leading Big Ten freshmen in field goal percentage (56.5), as well as rebounds (7.3) and blocks (1.6) per game. But with a pingpong paddle in hand, he can’t hang with his 61-year-old dad.

Continue reading “Before basketball in Woodbury, Oturus were playing ping pong in Nigeria”

Nigerian Diaspora Seeks Credible, Peaceful Elections

The Nigerians In Diaspora Organisation says it is looking forward to a credible and peaceful conduct of the rescheduled presidential elections in Nigeria.

Some members of the organisation, led by the Chairman, NIDO Americas Board of Trustees, Obed Monago, said this in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja on Wednesday.

They called on all stakeholders, especially the political actors, to put the nation’s interest above their personal ambitions and work towards strengthening the nation’s democracy.

Monago said about 45 NIDO members from various locations around the world were currently in the country as accredited international observers and voters in the elections.

He decried the blame game that followed the postponement of the elections, saying that focus should be on how to address the challenges that led to it before the new dates.

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Diaspora remittances breath air into African finances

Migrant remittances help the financial state of countries across Africa, especially ones in North Africa. While waiting for the International Monetary Fund (IMF), report on remittances,the finances of individual countries give a sense of the current situation.

Egyptians living abroad transferred over 25 billion dollars to their home country last year, a 3.1% rise on the previous year’s total of almost 24.7 billion.

Nigerians abroad sent 22.4 billion dollars to their home countries last year, compared with 22 the previous year, and Morocco some 6.78 billion compared with 7.5 in 2017.

In most countries with a high rate of migration, remittances surpass state development aid by far. This is the case in Senegal, for example, with 2.3 billion in remittances in 2018, as well as Ghana with 2.4 billion. Remittances in both of these countries is one of the major national economic resources.

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Meet Gilbert Mulamba: The Congolese musician who records with US luminaries

By Lins Honeyman

Last October saw the release of the long-awaited second album from Congo-born, Dallas-based pianist, arranger and producer Gilbert Mulamba.

The release’s inlay card describes the project as “a mosaic of cultures, sounds and grooves for the ultimate worship experience” and, with recording having taken place in the US, Congo, France, South Africa, Mexico, Haiti, Israel, China and as many more countries, it’s a truly international affair.

Impressively, Gilbert secured cameos from big name artists such as Joel Kibble of Take 6 fame and Grammy-winning saxophonist Eric Marienthal whilst Dove-nominated pianist Ben Tankard and CeCe Winans’ bass player Thaddaeus Tribbett also lent their substantial talents – all of which adds to the rich tapestry of sound contained within the album’s 13 mostly instrumental tracks.

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Memphis’s Goal: To Grow Revenue At Minority-Owned Firms By $50M In Five Years

By Elaine Pofeldt

The future of entrepreneurship in America will include many more people of color than in the past, as recent data shows. The city of Memphis is making the most of the trend. It is working to accelerate the growth of minority-owned businesses in a flagship program that could potentially become a model for other cities to emulate in their economic development programs

Under the leadership of Mayor Jim Strickland, The 800 Initiative, launched in May 2018, has set a goal of growing the revenue of 800 minority-owned businesses with paid employees that the city has identified by $50 million by 2023.

The program is offering business coaching, technical assistance, education and access to loans and grants to help the businesses scale. The program also aims to help 200 minority-owned businesses without paid employees to grow their revenue into the six figures and start hiring employees.

The 800 Initiative, hosted by the city’s Office of Diversity and Compliance, is funded in part by a $500,000 allocation in the city’s 2018-2019 budget, and a $1 million commitment over four years by FedEx.

Continue reading “Memphis’s Goal: To Grow Revenue At Minority-Owned Firms By $50M In Five Years”

‘The place is safe’: Edmonton’s African shisha lounge wins fight to stay open

After years locked in a battle with a policing hospitality unit, the owner of an Edmonton shisha bar has won his fight to stay open.

On Tuesday, an appeal committee overturned a decision by the city’s licensing department to shut down Nyala Lounge, located northeast of downtown.

“I think the city went one step forward, we appreciate that, as the African-Canadian community, we thank the city councillors,” said owner Mulugeta Tesfay.

“The people spoke, the community spoke, the place is safe.”

The committee — made up of councillors Moe Banga, Jon Dziadyk and Tony Caterina — upheld additional conditions imposed on Nyala last summer and said a written decision would follow.

Members decided the bar’s inability to operate over the past week-and-a-half, during a postponement of the hearing, would serve as sufficient penalty for breaching conditions.

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Telling the story of native-born Africans living in the Americas
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