Archive | Africa

A Concerned Seattle South Sudanese Sends a Message!

A Concerned Seattle South Sudanese Sends a Message!

Posted on 15 July 2016 by admin

Peter South Sudan

Dear Friends and public

The civil war in South Sudan has started again. The fighting broke out on Friday, July 8, during a meeting between President Kiir and Vice President Riek. An estimated 271 bodyguards killed each other within an hour. We need help in demanding that President Salva Kiir leave office immediately and that a no fly zone is established over the entire country. Many people are stranded and are dying from hunger. They don’t have access to water and are unable to reach the safety of UN protection.

For two years, we have called for sanctions, an arms embargo, and a freeze of the country’s assets, but our demands have fallen on deaf ears at the United Nations.  Russia and China cynically blocked our efforts. Now, innocent civilians are dying again. To put a stop to this conflict, please join me in demanding that South Sudanese President Salva Kiir leave office immediately and that a no fly zone be established over the entire country and stop Uganda army from fueling more, destroying our country again like they did in 2013.

Our citizens are being terrorized by helicopters and guns.

 Thanks,

 Peter, Gatkuoth Wadar Kuel

Executive Director for South Sudan International Advocacy for Human Rights

206-393-2164

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Soap

African Researchers Fabricate anti-Malaria Soap in a bid to Save 100,000

Posted on 11 May 2016 by admin

Soap

May 2016. A mosquito-repellent soap invented by a young African engineer while interning at ITECH, a French engineering school based in Lyon, is at the centre of a campaign to rid the developing world of malaria and save 100,000 lives.

Social start-up Faso Soap based in Burkina Faso (West Africa) offers one of the most promising preventive solutions against malaria.  The soap contains a blend of naturally-occurring essential oils and repels mosquitoes for at least six hours after use. The project already won the Global Social Venture Competition at UC Berkeley in 2013.

From Lyon to Ouagadougou

ITECH provided precious support in the creation of the first prototypes of the soap and worked on the organoleptic properties, improving the way it smells and feels. “We used coconut oil and shea butter to make the fat content of the soap and the active repellent against mosquitoes consists of a cocktail of essential oils,” said Pascale Cottin, head of ITECH’s Cosmetics Laboratory.

Why soap? 

The challenge for the team was to find a technique which stabilizes the essential oils in a cosmetic product. “That is how we came up with the idea to make a soap,” said Gérard Niyondiko, engineer and founder of Faso Soap. “Not only is it a stable product but it is something that people use every day in Africa. Soap is used to wash both bodies and clothes and is one of the few products to be in 95% of African households.”

What’s more, in hot areas, soap is often used in the evening when mosquitoes begin to bite and soapy water also reduces the development of mosquito larvae in stagnant water.  An established soap distribution network will allow Faso Soap to reach the most remote areas and by distributing to just five countries, 50% of the population at risk will be reached.

Crowdfunding the “100,000 Lives” campaign

Speaking from Ouagadougou, Gérard Niyondiko said: “It is now time to move funding from the lab to commercial operations and finalize the most efficient formula against mosquitoes transmitting malaria.”

A fundraising campaign began on April 12th and will run to May 21st marking the beginning of the “100,000 Lives” campaign. This campaign, initiated by Faso Soap, aims to save 100,000 people from malaria by the end of 2018 by putting mosquito-repellent soap in the hands of Africa’s most vulnerable. The situation is critical: malaria is killing a child every two minutes according to the World Health Organization.

“With the collected funds on the Ulule crowdfunding site we will foster research on our existing prototypes,” said Gérard Niyondiko. “$33,000 will allow us to fund efficiency and repellency tests in a specialized lab. With $66,000 we will also validate the impact of our soap on open environments. $112,000 would further allow us to create our own lab and prepare the production phase.”

About Malaria

Malaria is a life-threatening disease caused by parasites that are transmitted to people through the bites of infected female mosquitoes. Young children, pregnant women and non-immune travelers from malaria-free areas are particularly vulnerable to the disease when they become infected. Sub-Saharan Africa carries a disproportionately high share of the global malaria burden. In 2015, the region was home to 88% of malaria cases and 90% of malaria deaths.

About Faso Soap

Faso Soap was launched in 2013 in Burkina Faso (West Africa) by Gérard Niyondiko. Its objective is to fight malaria by putting a natural mosquito-repellent soap in the hands of the most vulnerable people. Thanks to the soap, which remains active for 6 hours after application, Faso Soap seeks to introduce a new prevention tool in the daily lives of Africa’s most vulnerable populations.

For more information:

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“Lords of the Creek,” by Tony Nwaka

“Lords of the Creek,” by Tony Nwaka

Posted on 03 February 2016 by admin

lords_runtaIn his new novel, “Lords of the Creek,” Nigerian public policy consultant Tony Nwaka underscores the current volatility of the oil-rich Niger Delta into a social and political thriller about a Nigerian oil businessman who is drawn into centuries-old conflicts during his attempt to rescue an abducted princess within the region.

Through his novel, Nwaka hopes to invite attention to the forces militating against the development of the Niger Delta and promote interethnic harmony within the region.

“By incorporating the links between interethnic tensions, opportunism of the oil mafia, interests of multinational oil companies and the government’s efforts to maintain peace in the area, I hope to shine a light on the Niger Delta crises that endanger Nigeria today,” Nwaka said.

Answering few questions we have asked and about Somalia which has been searching oil which may enable it soon to join the oil producing countries, Nwaka said, “Weak institutions of governance make it difficult for African states to effectively manage not just oil resource but all other natural resources. Every country has its peculiar challenge. Somalia might as well be the shining example of efficient resource management if it has strong institutions. Oil companies are definitely part of the problem. They feed on the contradictions in oil bearing states. Oil rich countries need to develop their institutions of governance to be able to effectively manage the commonwealth”.

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Tony Nwaka is a public policy consultant in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. He has a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Lagos, as well as master’s and doctorate degrees in social and political history from Nnamdi Azikiwe University. His studies focused on youth restiveness, ethnic conflicts and government policies in the Niger Delta. Nwaka has served in several prominent governmental positions within the region, including mayor. For more information about Tony’s book, visit http://tnwaka.com.

 

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cameron

Cameroon receives US$1 million grant from United Nations agency to promote aquaculture entrepreneurship

Posted on 31 January 2016 by admin

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Rome, 29 January 2016 – The Republic of Cameroon and the United Nations International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) signed an agreement today to finance the Aquaculture Entrepreneurship Promotion Project (PPEA) that will help to establish over 300 small enterprises in the fish farming sector. Thirty per cent of these enterprises will be managed by women and 50 per cent by young people. In total, the new project is expected to create 1,500 new jobs.  

The total cost of the new project is US$3.3 million. The funding includes a $1 million IFAD grant as well as a $2.3 million contribution from the government. The agreement was signed in Rome by Taiga, Minister of Livestock, Fisheries and Animal Industries of the Republic of Cameroon, and by Périn Saint Ange, Associate Vice President of IFAD in charge of Progammes Management Department.

Currently in Cameroon, fish production does not meet domestic demand estimated at 400,000 tonnes due to lack of fishing equipment and qualified fishers. As a consequence, the country imports more than 200,000 tonnes of fish products per year for national consumption.

PPEA will pilot, at a small scale, the implementation of the Sustainable Aquaculture Development Plan for Cameroon. It aims to promote profitable aquaculture enterprises that create jobs in the South, Littoral and Centre regions of the country.

“Aquaculture can help to increase the incomes of rural populations, improve their livelihood and reduce poverty in rural areas,” said Bernard Mwinyel Hien, IFAD Representative and Country Programme Manager for Cameroon. “One of the innovations in this new project is that it applies a business incubator approach that nurtures entrepreneurialism and supports the development of new enterprises.”

The project will help to develop partnerships among those involved in the fish farming sector, including the private sector which plays a role in the production, processing and marketing of fish.

Implemented by the Ministry of Livestock, Fisheries and Animal Industries, the project will also help fishers access adequate training and advisory support services.

Since 1981, IFAD has invested a total of $142.1 million in 10 programmes and projects in Cameroon. This has generated a total investment of $371.0 million, benefiting 578,400 households.

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Cover photo

African Women Tell Their Own Stories

Posted on 08 January 2016 by admin

Cover photoAll too often, Africa’s stories — especially the stories of African women — have been told by outsiders. But in Crossroads, a group of perceptive Ugandan women provide an unfiltered portrait of their own lives. In 15 deeply personal narratives that range from passionate to funny and from terrifying to tender, the women examine everything from religion to sports and from gender roles to the influence of western aid organizations. In telling their true life stories with bold honesty, the authors shed new light on Africa, the lives of African women, global feminism, culture change and modernization.   

”The collection is no-holds-barred: these women critique traditional culture, Western influence, the bureaucratic bloatedness of NGOs, religion, and gender roles, all with clarity and nuance. The result is a well-rounded, compelling and edifying picture of the challenges that women face in modern Africa.”

— Michelle Anne Schlinger,   

 The stories were edited by Christopher Conte, a former Wall Street Journal editor and reporter who has traveled widely in Africa and lived for three-years in Uganda. Critics say the collection, a fascinating and elegant blend of traditional and thoroughly modern values, represents an important contribution to the literature on Africa and global feminism.

”A strong collection of memoiristic writing that illuminates African womanhood…”

– Kirkus Review

”A riveting read”

– Julia Royall, Fulbright scholar, and global health informatics expert

”A cultural keepsake”

– Mazzi Wampamba, Ugandan author of “Like an Ocean: Poems in Prose”

”Perhaps the most insightful and enlightening non-fiction publication yet about the search for identity among women in Uganda”

– Mark Schenkel, Het Financielle, The Netherlands 

   More information: www­.uganda-crossroads.net

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Oromo Protest in Seattle!

Oromo Protest in Seattle!

Posted on 30 December 2015 by admin

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Hundreds of the Oromo community in Seattle came together on Tuesday to protest against the killing the innocent Students and farmers by the Ethiopian government troops in their own country. The protest which started at E. Yesler and the 20th Ave and which was led by Seattle Police on motorcycles ended at the Federal Building in Down Town Seattle.

There have been resistance again the Ethiopian government plan that would displace thousands of the Oromo people for expansion of the capital Addis Ababa. Some activists accuse the government of land grabbing without giving compensation to the poor farmers. On the other hand, students protesting the injustices in colleges were also targeted by the Ethiopian forces. There has been death reported in the clashes between the government troops on one side, and farmers and students on the other side.

Habtamu Abdi who is an active member of the Oromo/Ethiopian community in Seattle says in a comment he posted on facebook today “124 students have been killed in the past three weeks alone”. There is no solution is in sight and the violent is likely to continue unless AU troops intervene the matter. Ethiopia is experiencing political unrest while the country’s economy is improving and ranked one of the fastest growing countries in Africa. The protesters Seattle were demanding the halt of US financial aid to the Addis Regime.

Ethiopian troops who mainly consist of Tigray clan are accused of human rights violations in the past. They brutally oppressed in the past the Ogaden people who were accused as sympathizers to ONLF, a resistance movement who has many decades been fighting independency for the east part of Ethiopia which is predominantly inhabited by Somali ethnic.

Now that Oromo, the largest ethnic group of Ethiopia, is awakened by the new situation their people are facing, it is a matter of time when the regime collapses. If that does not happen, then the Ethiopian unity is in jeopardy when the majority of Oromos have been demanding in many decades an independent state for their people, a state which they already been calling “Oromia” and has its own flag. It is believed that Ethiopia’s name brand will not last long unless the power shifts to the hands of Oromo and Somalis who have huge stake in Ethiopia in terms of population and land.

Oromo people are estimated to range half of the country’s population, and Somalis control or inhabit one third of the county’s territory. If both form an alliance, they will definitely rule the country or simply split form it. The US aid to Ethiopia is almost a billion Dollar. The question is “is the regime smart enough to use that money to hold the country together or it will continue using military means which has already cost it huge diplomatic consequences?” Time will tell as the history unfolds itself. protest-2

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Micro Grant Projects in Northern Tanzania

Micro Grant Projects in Northern Tanzania

Posted on 24 November 2015 by admin

pix=1MENLO PARK, Calif. (PRWEB) November 16, 2015 Lalafofofo.org, a new 501c3 nonprofit organization developed to raise funds for affordable, small-scale service projects in the Kilimanjaro region of Tanzania, has launched the first in a series of micro-grant projects to improve the lives of villagers living in the East African community. One of the most anticipated projects to launch is construction of a safe, permanent house for a Maasai widow living in Boma Ng’ombe, Tanzania. The recipient of the house, Maria, is a mother of two who was displaced when her husband died, leaving her with two children to raise. Women and children in particular struggle in the patriarchal Maasai culture, where men are polygamous and women are financially dependent on their husband. If he dies, his family will often take possession of the marital home, evict the woman and either confiscate her children or evict them along with her. In many cases, the widows are left HIV positive by husbands who have died from AIDS. West of Moshi and Mount Kilimanjaro in Northern Tanzania, the Maasai village of Boma Ng’ombe is a particularly poor area of the country. The landscape is arid and dry, Maasai villagers have a difficult life. Forced to live in a hut with little protection from outside dangers, Maria—like many Maasai widows—struggles to care for her children. pix=2 Huts like the one Maria and her children currently live in are built by hand according to the traditional Maasai style; round with three living areas – one for animals, a common area, and a sleeping area. Sticks, grass and cow dung are the materials used to construct the round huts with a thatched roof and dirt floor. Huts built this way can last several years, but need to be replaced periodically. Building of the huts requires scavenging for the materials by hand, transporting them by foot, and fetching water several miles to mix the materials—very difficult tasks for a single mother raising children. Building a house for a Maasai widow serves many functions, not the least of which is providing a safer, more healthy existence for her and her children. The home being built by Lalafofofo.org for Maria will last at least 20 years, eliminating the constant maintenance demands that go with a hut. The new house will be less than 1000 square feet and contain three small rooms. Once completed, it will provide Maria and her children with a place of permanence, help maintain their social standing in the community and, because the house has a door that they can lock, keep them safe. Houses like Maria’s can be built in Boma Ng’ombe in less than a month using local materials and local labor at a cost of just $1,500. They are basic without electricity and running water, but Maasai are already well adapted to this traditional way of life. For a Maasai widow, a simple house offers safety, security and dignity for herself and her family faced with a difficult existence following the loss of the husband. In addition to the house building project, Lalafofofo.org has begun working on other micro-grant projects in Boma Ng’ombe, including: Sponsoring a lunch program for Tindegani public school, which would feed 200 students daily a nutritious meal of ugali (corn porridge) and beans. An initiative to deliver solar lanterns to 10 houses (2-3 per house/hut), providing an important light source for families living without electricity. Construction of a new kitchen for the Sanya Station School, located west of Moshi and Mount Kilimanjaro in Northern Tanzania. The kitchen is to be located in a small separate building in the back of the school and will be equipped to feed 455 students and five teachers. Currently, lunch is being cooked in a shed over an open fire next to the school’s play yard.” Lalafofofo (a Swahili expression for “sleeping peacefully”) is a 501c3 charitable organization created by Laura Vaughan of Atherton, Calif. Lalafofofo is set up to be a source of affordable, small-scale service projects in the Kilimanjaro Region of Tanzania, East Africa. Lalafofofo links individuals, youths, families and groups directly to much needed projects in Kilimanjaro, ranging in cost from $500-$2,500 for financial sponsorship.

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Lion

Global Wildlife Charity Urges US and EU governments to Ban Trophy Imports and Lion Hunting

Posted on 10 August 2015 by admin

Lion

Born Free Renews Call for Decisive Action Following Tragic Death of Cecil the Lion

Following the tragic and reportedly illegal killing of Cecil the lion, Born Free Foundation and Born Free USA today called on the US Government and European Union to take urgent steps to end the import of lion trophies and for an international moratorium on lion hunting.

The global outcry following Cecil’s death has sent shock waves across the world and has further ignited the political and public debate on the plight of wild lions and the inhumane actions of sport hunters.

US President Barack Obama and UK Prime Minister David Cameron have made very public declarations to stop the illegal wildlife trade. Born Free is concerned that this may not be implemented fast enough. Current estimates suggest there are barely more than 30,000 lions remaining across Africa and localised or regionalised extinctions in the next decade are a real possibility.

President of the Born Free Foundation, Will Travers OBE, has publicly called on the hunters to lay down their weapons of mass destruction. “Cecil’s story has sickened and saddened us all. We can no longer accept that hunting magnificent wild animals for ‘sport’ can be deemed acceptable. Cecil’s death was brutal and it showed no respect for this iconic symbol of Africa. Trophy hunting is no sport; it is merely a disguise for killing to massage an ego.”

Born Free is calling on the United States Fish and Wildlife Service to release its Final Rule on the petition to list the lion as ‘endangered’ under the United States Endangered Species Act, first submitted by Born Free and others in March 2011. Listing under the ESA would prohibit wounding, harming, harassing, killing, or trading in lions, except under certain very limited conditions, and would add significant protection for lions across their range.

Further, Born Free is calling on US Government prosecutors to explore whether legal action against Mr Palmer is warranted under the Lacey Act, which prohibits transport of wildlife specimens if they were taken illegally in their place of origin.

According to Adam M Roberts, CEO of Born Free Foundation and Born Free USA: “The US Government has a responsibility to take decisive action to prevent another incident such as this from ever happening again. For four years we have waited for a final decision on our petition to list the lion – there is no more time to wait.”

Mr Roberts addressed the issue of trophy hunting specifically: “The figures don’t stack up. The value to Africa’s economy from wildlife tourism vastly outpaces any sum accrued from hunting. Trophy hunting is an elitist activity practiced by very wealthy people, with the income benefiting a small number of stakeholders The future is in conserving Africa’s wildlife, not killing it. The future is in conserving Africa’s wildlife, not destroying it.”

There is very little evidence that the proceeds of trophy hunting benefits conservation or local communities in the hunting areas, with as little as 3% or less of the revenue generated trickling down. Lions and other charismatic wildlife are worth far more alive than dead to Zimbabwe’s tourism industry. In Zimbabwe it is estimated that trophy hunting generates only 3.2% of total tourism revenue.

As further details emerged as to Mr Palmer’s callous actions and how this proud dominant male lion was dismembered, the brutal reality of the business of lion hunting was graphically exposed to the world. The practices of canned hunting operations have also been thrown under the spotlight, with allegations that lions are often drugged and baited to make them easier prey. Fuelled by their sensational appetite for trophies, the demography of hunters, who mainly stem from the US, pay thousands of dollars for their kill.

Across Africa, lion populations have reduced by more than 50% since 1980, and in much of its range the declines have been far higher. Lions have disappeared altogether from at least 12 African countries, and possibly as many as 16, in recent years and only inhabit a fragmented 8% of their historic range.

Cecil was collared and was being monitored as part of a conservation study by WildCRU (Wildlife Conservation and Conservation Research Unit, University of Oxford) – a group supported by Born Free. All the evidence shows that Cecil was illegally pulled out of a national park, where he lived a protected existence, to an area where he could be shot. This illegal act was paid for by Mr Palmer. This lion was left in severe pain for many hours before he was finally shot.

Virginia McKenna OBE, a name synonymous with lions and star of the wildlife classic Born Free summed up the feelings of millions around the world: “This whole story is like some terrible nightmare. The power of money, the ego of man, the lack of compassion for and real understanding of wild creatures, the concept of hunting as a “sport”. I thought we tried to instil kindness and respect in our children. Perhaps Mr Palmer thinks differently. But if what I heard today is true – that after killing Cecil he asked if they could find him an elephant – the future he faces is bleak indeed.”

Ends

Image: © A.J. Loveridge

 

 

 

 

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US President learns from DuPont Innovations in Food and Agriculture in Ethiopia

US President learns from DuPont Innovations in Food and Agriculture in Ethiopia

Posted on 29 July 2015 by admin

Company’s collaboration with Ethiopian government, USAID, food companies and smallholder farmers critical to sustainable and inclusive growth

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Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 28 July, 2015 –DuPont leaders today joined public and private sector representatives during U.S. President Barack Obama’s visit to Ethiopia to learn more about the impact of U.S. collaborations with local partners under the U.S. Government’s Feed the Future Initiative. This initiative focuses on accelerating agricultural development as an engine of broad-based economic growth in the region.

DuPont, a global science company, has been working for more than 15 years in Ethiopia to promote farmer productivity, agricultural system infrastructure improvements, and food and nutrition security.

“Through science and engineering, we are working to solve some of the world’s greatest challenges, “said Matthias Heinzel, President of DuPont Nutrition & Health. “We are dedicated to improving food and nutrition security around the world with innovative science and application expertise.”

Improving Nutrition in Ethiopia

Ethiopia has a population of over 80 million and thus has a strong nutritional need for high quality, sustainable protein foods. To address this need, DuPont collaborated with FAFFA Foods, to introduce Saba Soya Milk in 2011.

“Our collaboration with FAFFA Foods is a great example of products meeting local needs,” said Heinzel. “Using DuPont™ Supro® soy protein for Soya milk, FAFFA Foods was able to introduce a nutrient-rich protein to Ethiopia as part of a solution to help boost nutrition content in local diets.”

Increasing Farmer and Agricultural Productivity

There is a significant need to increase food productivity in Ethiopia. Maize is one of Ethiopia’s most important cereals in terms of production; grown by about 8 million farmers. A primary challenge of the Ethiopian maize value chain is access to quality improved maize seeds, which substantially impacts the productivity of smallholders. Ethiopia currently has an average maize yield of about 2.2 metric tons per hectare, while the U.S. yields about 10 tons per hectare.  As part of the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition, a shared commitment among African governments and development partners to significantly expand responsible private-sector investment in African agriculture and nutrition, DuPont collaborated with the U.S. Agency for International Development through Feed the Future, the Government of Ethiopia, and other organizations to develop the Advanced Maize Seed Adoption Program (AMSAP).

The program aims to increase the productivity of smallholder farmers by giving them new, high-quality options for maize seeds as well as improving seed distribution and post-harvest storage. Much of the corn grown under this partnership goes directly into Faffa’s Corn Soy Blend product.

“Our partnership with DuPont, in support of the Government of Ethiopia’s priorities for improved food security, has helped make significant improvements in the agriculture sector that translate to positive outcomes for smallholder farmers,” said Tjada McKenna, Deputy Coordinator of the Feed the Future initiative.

Close to 10,000 smallholder maize farmers have benefited from agronomic education and training. 40 000 farmers have improved access to agricultural inputs such as hybrid seed varieties. These farmers have also increased their yields from 2.2 metric tons per hectare to 7 metric tons per hectare and increased incomes by an average of 20 percent. More than 30 agronomists are engaged in delivering training to farmers and 54 local retailers have been fully enabled to distribute seed to farmers.

About DuPont Nutrition & Health

 

DuPont Nutrition & Health addresses the world’s challenges in food by offering a wide range of sustainable, bio-based ingredients and advanced molecular diagnostic solutions to provide safer, healthier and more nutritious food.  Through close collaboration with customers, DuPont combines knowledge and experience with a passion for innovation in order to deliver unparalleled customer value to the marketplace. More information is available at www.food.dupont.com.

About DuPont Pioneer – Science with Service Delivering Success®

DuPont Pioneer (www.pioneer.com) is the world’s leading developer and supplier of advanced plant genetics, providing high-quality seeds to farmers in more than 90 countries.  Pioneer provides agronomic support and services to help increase farmer productivity and profitability and strives to develop sustainable agricultural systems for people everywhere.

About DuPont

DuPont (NYSE: DD) has been bringing world-class science and engineering to the global marketplace in the form of innovative products, materials, and services since 1802. The company believes that by collaborating with customers, governments, NGOs, and thought leaders we can help find solutions to such global challenges as providing enough healthy food for people everywhere, decreasing dependence on fossil fuels, and protecting life and the environment.  For additional information about DuPont and its commitment to inclusive innovation, please visit http://www.dupont.com or follow @DuPontAfrica on Twitter.

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Africa

Africa: A New Book

Posted on 19 May 2015 by admin

AfricaGeorge Gyude Wisner II is the author  of a new fiction novel inspired by his upbringing during the Liberian Civil War, “When the Heart Decides,”.He is committed to the African cause and the betterment of all people, especially in his home country of Liberia.

Wisner has extensive experience working within Liberia’s public sector, serving as Assistant Foreign Minister for African and Asian Affairs in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Liberia from 2008-2012, as well as a U.N. Development Consultant and President of the Federation of Liberian Youth.

Wisner is available for comment on:
•    Improving employment opportunities for youth in Liberia
•    National conflict, notably the Liberian Civil War of the ‘90s and its present-day effects
•    The benefits of international travel and studying abroad in Australia
•    The beauty and culture of West Africa

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