By Martha Saavedra and Leonardo Arriola
Every semester, UC Berkeley offers many new courses. The Amharic language course offered this spring is especially noteworthy. Except for a brief pilot program in 2006, this is the first semester students are able to take a course in Amharic, one of the languages of Ethiopia, which is spoken by nearly 26 million people worldwide. The course, which only opened for enrollment the week before the spring semester, was nearly full by the end of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, just before classes started.
Clearly, there was a pent-up demand for this language. Student motivations include plans for research, study, travel and work, as well as deepening cultural and familial connections. Amharic stands out as a new course at UC Berkeley with many motivated students.
Students studying African languages at UC Berkeley — currently, Arabic, Amharic, Chichewa and Swahili — are poised to participate in one of the most significant global developments unfolding in the 21st century: the increasing importance of Africa demographically, economically, socially and culturally.
Africa currently constitutes about 17 percent of the world’s population. It is the youngest continent in the world, and the youth population is only increasing. Significantly, this means that the world’s working age population will be largely African. Economically, overall growth rates on the continent are relatively high, with the International Monetary Fund reporting 3.76 percent real GDP growth. Ethiopia’s rate is an extraordinary 8.49 percent.
It was about 4am when his phone buzzed with a message from far away. He read it once, twice, three times before he woke his wife to tell her the news.
“I’m a prince,” he whispered as she blinked herself awake. “A prince.”
Jay Speights, an interfaith pastor from Maryland, US, could hardly believe the words as he formed them in his mouth. Him? A prince? He grew up in New Jersey. He lives in an apartment. He does not even own a car.
Speights, 66, had spent much of his life wondering about his forebears, probing public records until the trail went cold. Like many black Americans who are descendants of slaves, Speights could find little written evidence of his family’s history. In April, he turned to a DNA test from Ancestry in the hope that something, somewhere might turn up.
He was identified as the distant cousin of a man named Houanlokonon Deka – a descendant of a royal line in Benin, a small nation that once housed West Africa’s biggest slave port. At the urging of a friend, he ran his DNA data through another database that looks for matches between African Americans and Africans who have taken such tests.
Continue reading “I’m a prince’: An American pastor shocked to find he has African royal ties”
By Kennedy kanethe
Ten women-owned businesses from Nigeria, Ghana and Kenya will next week attend COTERIE, one of the United States’ top fashion trade shows, with support from the International Trade Centre’s SheTrades initiative.
Taking place at the Javits Center, New York City, on 25 – 27 February, COTERIE provides an opportunity for the brands to showcase their collections and connect with international buyers.
All ten companies are part of SheTrades in the Commonwealth Programme, funded by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID).
In 2018, SheTrades sponsored a delegation of 9 brands from Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria to attend the fall edition of COTERIE, which led to meetings with 100 buyers and secured US $495,000 USD in trade leads.