Wednesday, October 31, 2012

For Kids in Africa, A New Way To Learn

In the remote village of Adeiso, Ghana, when a bright child such as 14-year-old Emefa asks for something new to read, the answer is usually, “Maybe, in a few years, if the shipment arrives, there will be something.” This is typical of sub-Saharan Africa, where lack of access to books is one of the biggest limiting factors for a child’s future.

But because of new technology, this may be changing.
That’s the hope of Worldreader, a non-profit organization devoted to using Kindles to bring books—and the life-changing, power-creating ideas within them—to all in the developing world. “We are working in a part of the world where there are no books,” says Susan Moody of Worldreader. “With Kindles, you go from empty libraries and children unable to get their hands on reading material, to suddenly being able to carry a library around with them in their hand.”

Why Kindles? Susan explains: “The Kindle is a device that was made for you and me to use on the bus and at night in our beds, but it’s a device that actually meets the needs of the developing world very nicely. Kindles have become increasingly affordable, the battery-life can be as long as a month, and they are easily recharged using wind or solar energy. Since they use cell-phone networks to operate, which are already omnipresent even in the remotest parts of Africa, they don’t require new infrastructure in the schools. And the kids can read them outside, even in the brightest sunlight.”

“Best of all,” continues Susan, “one Kindle holds more than a thousand books, and new books can be downloaded in 60 seconds. That means printing costs disappear, and shipping gets reduced to nearly nothing. Suddenly it becomes feasible to imagine every child having access not only to books, but to a choice between thousands of books from all over the world.”

The situation at Adeiso Junior High, where Emefa is a student, was bleak. “They were one of the schools lucky enough to have a library, but the library had very few books, and 10 of them were The History of Utah,” says Susan. “While book drives are often meant with the best of intentions, often times the books that arrive aren't the ones that will inspire a child to read more.” Last year, when Worldreader brought Kindles to the kids at Adeiso, each one was loaded with hundreds of children’s stories and local Ghanaian folk tales, in English as well as Twi, the local language.

“The children could operate the Kindle within minutes. They are used to operating cell phones, so the gadgetry wasn’t foreign to them. Within minutes kids were downloading books and reading.”

When Emefa finished one book and asked for another, the answer was one she wasn’t expecting. “Sure! Just push this button…”

So with all their new choices, what are the kids reading? “We see that children love to read stories about things that are impacting them,” says Susan, “stories about how to care for a friend that has malaria, and other everyday problems in their lives. They are reading local books by local writers, while at the same time they are exploring ideas from around the world. They are reading Curious George, they are downloading samples from international newspapers, and they are even reading things like Jay Z’s autobiography.”

Mohamed Aminou, a teacher at Adeiso Junior High School, was one of the first to use the Kindle in his classroom. “From the very day that the children had this Kindle in their hand, you could see that they were motivated. They take it everywhere they go, and they are reading, and they have delight in what they are reading. The ability of children to read more, also to read ahead— that ability has increased. It has gone high!” Mohamed hopes that soon Kindles will arrive for all the children. “The school would be flooded with kids if that should happen.”


Worldreader has brought over 200,000 e-books to children in Ghana, Kenya, and Uganda, and their new goal is to increase that number to a million. They are working with publishers and companies like Amazon, who donated the initial Kindles, delivered the e-books using Whispercast, and has recently increased its support with additional free Kindles and free cloud computing from Amazon Web Services.

See what the kids are reading.
Learn how Whispercast delivered e-books for Worldreader.

African Leaders Urged To Invest in Jobs, Infrastructure and Protecting Development Gains

Donald Kaberuka, President of the African Development Bank.

31 Oct 2012 08:00 Africa/Lagos

African leaders urged to invest in jobs, infrastructure and protecting development gains

The title for this year's African Economic Conference will be “Inclusive and Sustainable Development in an Age of Economic Uncertainty”

KIGALI, October 31, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- Opening an unprecedented gathering of experts here, present and former African Heads of State urged business, community and political leaders to help turn the continent's impressive growth into economic opportunities for ordinary citizens.

Logo AEC:

Photo Donald Kaberuka:

Rwandan President Paul Kagame, inaugurating the country's first African Economic Conference (, said, “In Rwanda, we understand that politics and economics go hand in hand and we have made a conscious and deliberate choice of inclusive development based on our political reality. By and large, they have produced positive results. Growth has been consistent and poverty levels considerably reduced by 12 per cent from 56.9 per cent to 44 per cent in five years.”

Organized each year by the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), the African Development Bank (AfDB) ( and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the title for this year's African Economic Conference will be “Inclusive and Sustainable Development in an Age of Economic Uncertainty”.

Africa has weathered the economic crisis and achieved considerable advances in the area of poverty reduction and human development. However, the region is still home to high levels of poverty, hunger, unemployment and inequality in political voice and access to resources.

“Over the first decade of this century, with the exception of 2008, Africa experienced exceptional economic performance and growth in GDP per capita,” said Helen Clark, the UNDP Administrator. “But there is a way to go in many countries to translate that growth into higher human development. Deliberate policy measures and targeted investments are needed to make growth not just fast, but also inclusive and sustainable.”

Participants on the opening day said that the key issue for the continent was to shift from commodity-based to innovative, diversified economies at a time when foreign direct investment, aid and remittances were drying up.

Donald Kaberuka, the President of the African Development Bank, underscored the need for long-term solutions. He suggested that Africa's growth should include doing research on solutions on how African countries could internally finance their development, and learning from what has gone wrong globally to redesign their policies.

Africa must invest in quality education in order to stop children from inheriting poverty from generation to generation, said Kaberuka.

“This is how you stop children from inheriting living conditions of debt, and once you do that you have stopped the transmission of poverty,” he told an opening session.

“Inclusive development must include equity, equality, popular participation not only in politics but also in the economy itself and then of course there must be transparency, and all those things that make the governed believe and have confidence in those who govern them,” added the Former President of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo.

Participants at the conference also said that protecting communities from food and fuel price volatility, climate change and political instability required putting in place bold measures for social protection, including insurance, credit and employment schemes.

The African Economic Conference is organized as a series of open thematic debates, combined with sessions that review policy research from across the continent. The conference provides a uniquely open forum for political leaders, academics and emerging talent from the continent to discuss solutions to Africa's pressing development issues.

Distributed by the African Press Organization on behalf of the African Development Bank.

The full event programme is available at: http://

About the African Economic Conference ( The main objective of the Conference is to provide a platform for experts on Africa, both within and outside the continent, to reflect and discussnew directions for growth policy on the continent in order to determine the best approaches to attain the Millennium Development Goals, achieve the objectives of the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD), and accelerate Africa's sustainable development. For more information:

Media contacts:

United Nations Development Programme: Nausicaa Habimana Kantengwa: Cell: +250 (0) 783 010 571

African Development Bank: Magatte Wade, +216.98.343.734

Economic Commission for Africa: Yinka Adeyemi, +251 911 201798

Source: African Development Bank (AfDB)

President Paul Kagame.

31 Oct 2012 09:48 Africa/Lagos

Kagame opens African Economic Conference, calls for models that respond to local needs

ADDIS ABABA, October 31, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- Rwandese leader, President Paul Kagame today in Kigali opened the 7th African Economic Conference, calling it an opportunity for leading African economists to look beyond purely economic factors for solutions to Africa's developmental problems.

Convened by the Economic Commission for Africa, (ECA), the African Development Bank, (AFDB) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the three-day conference is focusing on the theme Inclusive and Sustainable Development in an Age of Economic Uncertainty, according to ECA's Information and Communication Service.

He said that analysts might point to issues of governance and lack of sufficient transformational leaders but “the real problem is that our economists must be ready to come up with new ideas for economic models that meet the needs of African people”.

President Kagame made a joke of Africa's persistent economic woes despite the huge number of economist that the continent counts, saying “I think African economist have become politicians”.

“To be fair, if the economic progress of our countries were to depend only on sound economic planning, I think we would have made tremendous progress in Africa”, he said.

Frequently speaking off prepared notes, he made a hardly veil attempt to address the issue of recent sanctions imposed by some countries on Rwanda for its perceived role in the political instability that has bedeviled the Democratic Republic of Congo for over a decade.

He shed light on Rwanda's progress and explained those achievements in the areas of women empowerment, information, communication and technology, food sufficiency and good governance as the fruit of deliberate planning, careful implementation and shared ownership of all programmes by the people of Rwanda.

Before the President, Ms Helen Clark and Dr. Donald Kaberuka, respectively UNDP Administrator and President of the African Development Bank had welcomed participants with encouraging words for action-oriented outcomes that could be used to transform current growth figures on Africa into concrete improvements on the livelihood of peoples of the region.

“In an era when economic volatility seem to have become the norm, achieving inclusive growth is a big challenge”, she said.

She called for greater and sustained transformational leadership, targeted actions to generate policy solutions that can drive growth economic growth in Africa.

Dr. Kaberuka argued that inclusive growth is both possible and indeed, a good investment for Africa but insisted on the need for its leaders to believe in the future of this continent.

Contending that for real development to occur, Africa must chart its course, the AfDB boss revealed that Africa, as a continent actually has more money than India, but questioned why it continues to seek assistance from the Asian country.

After today's opening session, participants moved straight into two plenary sessions on Inclusive and sustainable development in an age of economic uncertainty and leadership for inclusive development.

In the first session, Jeff Koinange of the Nairobi-based KTV moderated a panel discussion between Mr. Kaberuka and Ms Clark.

During the second session two former leaders, President Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria and Prime Minister Joachim Rafael Branco of Sao Tome and Principe shared their personal experiences on leadership for inclusive development.

Source: Economic Commission for Africa (ECA)

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Red Carpet Fashion Highlights at the Record Breaking Skyfall Premiere

Bond girls Naomie Harris and Berenice Marlohe steal the show at Skyfall royal world premiere red carpet. Kathi Urban reports.
James Bond epic Skyfall starring Daniel Craig as 007 for a third time is the TALK OF THE TOWN as it broke the previous records of any James Bond movie in the UK Box Office weekend with £20.1 million ($32.2 million) which is the biggest opening weekend for any of the 23 Bond films and second only to Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows - Part 2 in UK Box Office history, which took £23m in its first weekend in Britain. Skyfall has made over $78.6 million so far from 6,354 locations in 25 markets overseas.
Daniel Craig and Berenice Marlohe arriving for the Royal World Premeire of Skyfall at the Royal Albert Hall, London. TALK OF THE TOWN is the first in West Africa to bring you the exclusive highlights on the red carpet with Daniel Craig and Berenice Marlohe arriving for the Royal World Premeire of Skyfall at the Royal Albert Hall, London. Enjoy!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Will Obama Administration Complete Their Attack On The Family Farm If Re-Elected?

Will Obama Administration Complete Their Attack On The Family Farm If Re-Elected? (Remember "After my election I have more flexibility"?) Asks Rowdy House Music
"You Reap What You Sow" Means Grocery Prices Will Be Going Up

STATELINE, Nev., Oct. 29, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Most Americans weren't looking when Obama's Labor Secretary Hilda Solis first began her attack on family farms. Unfortunately, the battle continues and the price of groceries may go up as a result. And groups like Rowdy House Music are writing about it in songs that are playing nationwide.


Sen. Jerry Moran pleaded, "If the federal government can regulate the kind of relationship between parents and their children on their own family's farm, there is almost nothing off-limit when it comes to government intrusion." Moran added, "The proposed regulations would change the way family farms work, preventing farm kids from learning their parents' trade".

Fortunately, Obama's Labor Department was flooded with thousands of comments and many outraged farmers weighed in against the changes. But what if farmers don't catch it next time? Do we really want more inappropriate connections between government regulations, unions and the commercial interests? The government "buddy system" profits enormously from lucrative government contracts, subsidy programs and strategic regulations. This graft is even more insidious when it masquerades as social programs or regulations pretending to protect us from ourselves.

In late March, Congressman Mike Turner joined Ohio's Congressional delegation and temporarily fought off the attack by Obama Labor Secretary Solis. "This is yet another example of a federal department or agency unilaterally enacting new rules or regulations outside the supervision of Congress. Had Ohioans and farming families across the country not spoken out, this could have had a devastating effect on the important role of agriculture to our nation's economy," added Turner.

Senator Moran said, "...For someone in Washington, DC, to propose rules that restrict a young person's ability to work on a neighbor's farm because of the amount of sunlight, wind velocity, and humidity is something that again, in my view, demonstrates a lack of understanding about how things work in the real world."

Gov. Terry Branstad weighed in. "The federal government should not construct further employment barriers at a time when there are fewer job opportunities available for young people."

Facing significant public outcry early in an election year, the Obama DOL announced that it would drop its proposed labor rules targeting the family farm (They'll have more flexibility after elections). Iowa lawmakers from both parties were relieved.

"It would have been devastating to farm families across the country," Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley said in a statement. "To even propose such regulation defies common sense, and shows a real lack of understanding as to how the family farm works."

Bruce Braley, Iowa's Democratic 1st District Congressman, also favored repeal of the regulations.

"The demise of the Obama administration's proposed rule to require children to be a minimum age to work on farms is welcome news," Braley said in a release. "A regulation prohibiting youths from working on farms would strike at the very core of agriculture across Iowa and the Midwest. This is Iowa. Working on the family farm is part of growing up."

However, Iowa Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin gave a more designed response. Harkin wrote in a release. "I am disappointed that the administration chose to walk away from regulations that were, at their core, about protecting children and which could have been revised to correct some of the initial proposals that generated the most concern."

Clearly, the "family farm labor issue" is not over. Industrial factory farms and labor unions have political insiders to do their bidding. Many remember the revealing gaffe when President Barack Obama was caught on microphone telling Russian leader Dmitry Medvedev that he would have more flexibility after November's election to deal with contentious issues. Obama said: "This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility."

Burdensome government regulations and unpopular policies are easier to push through when politicians have "more flexibility". Family Farmers are a group of hard working, independent citizens who are critical to the continued freedom of the American culture. They will be targeted again, but not until after the 2012 Presidential Election.

Rowdy House addressed this issue with their new song "Family Farm". Mixed with the anger of an alienated group of our country's most independent citizens, - the family farmer - the song might be considered to be a new interpretation of the "outlaw" country music from years past. This time however, the whole family has been made "outlaw" by the overreaching federal government. Rowdy House Music contributors are nonpartisan, professional musicians who expand awareness regarding government waste and corruption. Discussions explaining the meaning of their songs can be found in their "Learn More and Download" section on their website.

RowdyHouseMusic -

SOURCE Rowdy House Music


Web Site:

Nigerian Youths Are Too Lazy To Read And Degenerating Intellectually

Nigerian youths.

When Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai, a former Director General of The Bureau of Public Enterprises and also the former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja said Nigerian youths are too lazy to read and reflect, many of them attacked him. But heaven knows that he is only saying the truth.

Majority of Nigerian youths are indeed too lazy to read and prefer to waste hours of quality time on chatting and gossiping on their smart phones and on social network sites costing them millions of naira daily and making the ISPs and GSM telecom operators richer by billions. But they hardly spend money on buying books to read, except the compulsory text books and handouts they have to study to pass their compulsory examinations for the qualifications they need to secure their preferred occupations and professions just to earn subsistence income and pay some bills. Such basic lifestyle has not done much for their intellectual development and in fact contributes little to the GDP and GNP of Nigeria, because they spend their incomes mostly on imported consumables that only make Nigeria to lose trillions of dollars on imported foods and goods and not on creative and productive economies of nation building.

The absence of an active reading culture has made majority of Nigerian youths to degenerate intellectually and lose the essential values and virtues of human dignity, integrity and nobility. That is why there is a prevalent state of social decadence among the majority of Nigerian youths who have made themselves underachievers and unemployable where skilled labour is required, that is why majority of them are jobless and lacking the intellectual capabilities to be creative and productive, except rushing into get-rich quick schemes and scams online and offline. And even thousands of those who claim to be artistes in the entertainment industry of movies and music are not skilled and have only become mediocre actors and actresses; mediocre hip hop artistes and dancers who don't even know how to dance or sing as shown in their bad music videos and music CDs making more noise than sense.

The tragedies of our intellectually indolent youths are seen on the street as they engage in various crimes and malpractices creating more social, economic and political problems worsening the Nigerian crisis.
The boys and girls with below average IQs behave like dullards and idiots and the best activities they are engaged in are addictions to following foreign soccer leagues and championships and indulging in rampant promiscuous sexual practices increasing the sero-prevalence rates of STDs and HIV/AIDs to make Nigeria the third worst affected country in the world.
See the fact sheet on HIV Infection in Nigeria and Youths Vulnerability on

The sooner Nigerian youths start reading and reading good books, the better, safer, richer and wiser they would be in their occupations and professions for the nation building of a New Nigeria in the leadership of Africa among the comity of nations.

~ By Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima


Saturday, October 27, 2012

On Racism in America

Photo Credit: Jamaicans.

Well, white folks still treat black folks better than Arabs.
Arabs don't like blacks at all and they have massacred many black Sudanese in Darfur.
America is still better than Europe, Asia, Middle East, Australia and North Africa.
Will white Britons elect a Black Prime Minister or let any of the royal Princesses wed a black man?
White Americans have accepted more Blacks than other races.
All White Americans cannot love Blacks till the end of the world.
As all Muslims cannot love all Christians till Judgement Day.
We cannot please everybody.

We all bleed red blood and our brains and hearts have the same color.

Racism is caused by ignorance and insecurity.
The most enlightened people are not racists and will never be racists.
But intellectually immature and insecure people will remain narrow-minded.

We blacks have done more collateral damages to ourselves than our White colonial rulers. The Nigerian civil war claimed over a million lives, Rwandan genocide claimed over 800, 000 lives, the Darfur genocide has claimed over 400, 000 lives and the war in Congo is claiming thousands of lives before our very eyes.

How many blacks are in college compared to jail?
Law Professor Michelle Alexander made headlines with her statement that more Blacks reside “in prison or jail, on probation or parole than were enslaved in 1850, before the Civil War began. ”
Only education can set us free from every discrimination by race, class or creed.

~ By Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima


Racism in America.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Only A Huge Scandal Can Stop Obama's Re-Election

"In a match race between two horses over a course of one-and-a-quarter miles, a lot of things can go suddenly wrong. The election is more of a marathon, a four-year race. Short of a huge scandal, I can't see an outcome other than Obama's reelection."

~ Paulick.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Ugonna Obuzor's Twitter Updates Show Uncanny Premonition Of Aluu Mob Killings

Ugonna Obuzor.

In Perplexed ... Perplexed': On Mob Justice in Nigeria, there are uncanny updates on Ugonna Obuzor's Twitter account showing that he had a premonition of the horrible fate he and his three friends Tekena Erikena,Biringa Lordson and Mike Toku met with on October 5, 2012, in Omuokiri village of Aluu community in Rivers State according to the international award winning Nigerian writer Teju Cole, author of Open City, which won the 2012 PEN/Hemingway Award and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award.

Ugonna Obuzor, Tekena Erikena,Biringa Lordson and Mike Toku stripped naked before their gruesome death in the hands of the inhuman mob.

The arrested suspects accused of leading the mob that lynched Ugonna Obuzor and his friends.

I took a look at eighteen-year-old Ugonna Obuzor's Twitter account (@tipsy_tipsy), which he last updated on October 3, two days before he was lynched alongside his three friends. His timeline isn't wordy, but it's fairly opaque, written mostly in the terse, quasi-American argot familiar to anyone who reads young Nigerians. There are a few messages in which he seems distressed about some unexplained event. Perhaps he was going through a romantic breakup (some of his retweets support this reading) or some other personal disappointment, but in light of his sudden death, the messages have taken on a decidedly different cast. On September 14, he wrote, "Its a shame buh it is wat it is...its real as this.." and, six days later, on the 20th of September, "It breaks my heart evrytym I tink abt it...still can't beliv it.." I scrolled down further down. On August 21, Ugonna had written, simply: "Perplexed." And on the day following, on August 21, 2012, the same single, haunting word again: "Perplexed."

Read his complete analysis on

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Nigerian Couple Sees UFO and Human ET in Niger Delta


A Nigerian couple claims to have seen unidentified flying objects (UFO) and Extra-Terrestrial (E.T) last night in their neighborhood in the Niger Delta according the eye-witness account of the husband posted on Nairaland, the popular online forum.

EasyG: Okay this probably sounds over the top and I was never one to give much credence to UFO sightings, how much more ever imagine I would ever lay eyes on one physically especially in Nigeria since most recorded sightings have been in the western world but last night I observed UFO activity for about 2 hours.

I was awakened around 0100 hours by an extremely loud noise and at first i thought it was the outdoor unit of my air conditioner so I powered it off but the noise wouldn't go away. It was real loud and rather disconcerting because it was a humming sound. My wife sprang up and was scared stiff, thinking judgement day had arrived because the sound was coming from above outside.

I decided to take a peep outside and lo and behold, what did I see? A flying saucer! It is indeed an apt description because the craft was shaped like a saucer, with a rotating outer ring. It was hovering about 200 feet away from my bedroom window and then after a while it started moving about but not very fast. I called my wife to the window just to be sure I wasn't hallucinating and asked her 'Do you see that?' and she went "Oh my God it's a UFO!'. Now I was convinced my eyes weren't deceiving me and we both stood transfixed watching the strange craft. There were no lights on the machine but it's silhouette was quite distinct from the night sky.

As we stood there watching the mopols guarding our area released some gunshots into the air as is their nightly custom except I don't know if they also saw the ship and wanted to scare them off. The craft then started moving towards the sound of the shots which happened to be a few feet from our gate and this really freaked my wife out because she thought they might interpret the gunshots as a threat and wipe out the entire neighborhood with some energy beam.

I must confess the thought also crossed my mind, however it resumed it's hover and then after a while went back to it's original position. A couple of minutes later it started rising vertically upwards and bigger surprise, there was a freaging mother ship!! A hatch opened up in the middle of the mother ship and the smaller craft went in.

The humming sound finally ceased, there was no sound from the mother ship, and the silence was actually menacing because it was a large craft. Then something really weird started happening. The mother ship started changing shapes.

I can't really describe the shapes but my wife made some drawings of what she saw. I remember one shape looked like a triangle and another was cylindrical with the tip like the nose of a high speed electric train.

Now this is the most amazing event out of all that transpired this morning, I saw a giant human in the sky, and I am pretty certain my jaws dropped. My wife whose eyesight is much keener than mine asked me if I could see what she was seeing, and I nodded in amazement. He was perfectly formed, with chiseled looks and a close cropped beard.

He was dressed in flowing robes and had a drape across his shoulders and he was huge! He appeared to be floating in the sky and was transparent, like he was reflecting the light around him. His gaze was transfixed at the gas flare coming from the NNPC refinery. By the way this happened in Warri and the refinery isn't far from where I live so the flames from the flare is extremely bright at night. I suppose they are watching and waiting for the opportune time to make their appearance known to the entire earth.

Anyway after a while he floated up into the mother ship and then another surprise, other ships started dropping out of the night sky and they moved in a formation behind the first ship, kind of like soldier ants and then they disappeared out of sight. This happened at about 0300 hours.

Without a doubt we are not alone on this planet but the being I saw isn't some one eyed creature with three fingers and green skin, he was definitely human but much more perfect than we can ever be, and huge in size.

Their technology is way beyond what we have now and I am still trying to figure out what kind of energy powered those ships. The engineer in me is inclined to think it's some form of electro-magnetic energy because a ship that large would require a huge engine which ought to generate a whole lot of noise but it was silent. I suppose the smaller craft is like a helicopter to them hence the loud humming noise, or maybe it's because it descended so low we were able to hear it. I am most definite people in the neighborhood must have seen or heard the smaller craft because it was real loud.

It's only a matter of time now before they make their play and come out in the open. It certainly looked like an intelligence gathering exercise to me. Well, just thought I should share my experience with others, maybe someone else saw them too. This is certainly the most awe inspiring event I ever laid my eyes on!

Women Are Better At English than Men

24 Oct 2012 09:00 Africa/Lagos

World's Largest English Proficiency Index Reveals Scandinavians on Top and Libya the Worst of 54 Countries

- It's official: women are better at English than men.

HONG KONG, Oct. 24, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- EF Education First's English Proficiency Index reveals wide gaps in English skills across the world. Women are better at English than men. This is one of many findings officially reported today in the EF English Proficiency Index (EF EPI), the world's most in-depth ranking of English ability. The Swedes are the best English speakers of all based on a survey of 1.7 million adults in 54 countries and territories in five continents.

(Photo: )

"English is key to innovation and competitiveness," says Michael Lu, Senior Vice President of EF Education First. "The EF ranking should be a wake-up call to countries falling behind their neighbors - because today's report shows that poor English is linked with less trade, less innovation and lower income."

Key points to revealed by the EF EPI include:

Italy, Spain and Portugal at the heart of the euro zone crisis are being dragged down by poor English. EF's research suggests that English skills are strongly linked with how much exports contribute to an economy.(p.12 of the report). All three countries are among the bottom in Europe in proficiency.
There are wide disparities between the BRIC countries, the developing nations competing to be future economic superpowers. Brazil is ranked only 46th, much lower than China at 36th, Russia at 29th or India - where English is an official language - at 14th.
The gap between men and women is widest in the Middle East and North Africa, where female scores are considerably higher. This highlights the fact that English could prove key to greater opportunities for women in developing nations. Other countries where men are far worse than women are Italy and China. South Korea, at 21st, and Japan, at 22nd, perform disappointingly badly for wealthy countries near the top of global rankings of academic achievement. This is surprising because they come in well behind several lower-income countries, including Hungary (8th) and Poland (10th).

This year's report also analyses English scores by region, age and gender for select countries.

About the EF English Proficiency Index (EF EPI)

The EF EPI ( ranks the English proficiency of 54 countries and territories using data from 1.7 million adults around the world .

The EF EPI is published by the world's leading international education company, EF Education First (, which specializes in language learning, educational travel, academic degrees, and cultural exchange programs.

Media inquiries:
Michael Lu, EF Education First
Tel +44-2073418500

Web Site:

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Top 10 World's Best Universities Rankings 2012

  1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)
  2. University of Cambridge (United Kingdom)
  3. Harvard University (United States)
  4. UCL (University College London) (United Kingdom)
  5. University of Oxford (United Kingdom)
  6. Imperial College London (United Kingdom)
  7. Yale University (United States)
  8. University of Chicago (United States)
  9. Princeton University (United States)
  10. California Institute of Technology (United States)
* For the full list of rankings, visit  

Google's Nexus 10 could break the 300 PPI barrier

Africa Missing in Last American Presidential Debate on Foreign Policy

From the last presidential debate of Monday night October 22, 2012, at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida, I can see that both Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and the incumbent President Barack Obama of the ruling Democratic Party don't have any defined foreign policy on Africa where as insiders know is now the new headquarters of the al-Qaeda with strongholds in Somalia, Nigeria, Libya, Mali and Eritrea under the leadership of Ayman al-Zawahiri, the Egyptian surgeon who replaced Osama bin Laden as al-Qaeda’s leader in May 2011.

As I noted in another topic on the HuffPost that killing Osama bin Laden has not weakened the al-Qaeda as shown by the gory murder of the American Ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens who before his unfortunate death warned the State Department to extend counter-terror unit's tour of duty, because the situation in Libya was 'unpredictable, volatile and violent', but President Barack Obama and Secretary Hillary Clinton failed to do so, because Africa was not as important to them as the war in Afghanistan that heaven knows is a USELESS WASTE OF AMERICAN LIVES AND TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS.
President Obama lied when he said in a UN speech that “The tide of war is receding", because things are worsening in Afghanistan and Iraq.

It is really a pity that since Ronald Reagan, America has not been able to elect a great president, but only apologetic orators and playboys who would have been better employed as Law professors or actors in Hollywood and not gambling with the destiny of America in the Middle East.
God help America.

~ By Orikinla Osinachi

Monday, October 22, 2012

Steven Spielberg Speaks on His "Lincoln" Opening on Nov. 16

Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln, which had a high-profile sneak screening Monday evening at the 50th New York Film Festival, was greeted by sustained applause and an immediate burst of enthusiastic tweets. Based on my own evaluation of the film and its prospects, I expect it will be a sure shot for Academy Award nominations for best picture, best director and best actor for two-time Oscar winner Daniel Day-Lewis, playing America’s 16th president during the final months of his presidency as he fights for the passage of the 13th Amendment to abolish slavery.

~ Scott Feinberg in the Hollywood Reporter.

Lincoln is a 2012 biographical war drama film directed by Steven Spielberg, starring Daniel Day-Lewis as United States President Abraham Lincoln and Sally Field as Mary Todd Lincoln.[3] The film is based on Doris Kearns Goodwin's biography of Lincoln, Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, and covers the final four months of Lincoln's life. Filming began Monday, October 17, 2011 and ended on December 19, 2011.
The film is scheduled for limited release on November 9, 2012 and wide release on November 16, 2012.

Sixth Africities Summit: Dakar, December 4 - 8, 2012

22 Oct 2012 12:19 Africa/Lagos

CORRECTION: Sixth Africities Summit: Dakar, the Rallying Venue of the Africa of the People

The sixth Africities Summit will be held in Dakar, Senegal from 4th to 8th December, 2012

DAKAR, October 22, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa), the city of Dakar and the Association of Mayors of Senegal (AMS) are organising the sixth Africities Summit ( in Dakar, Senegal from 4th to 8th December, 2012.


Regarded as the most important platform for dialogue and exchange on decentralisation and local governance in Africa, over the course of its successive summits, the Africities Summit has become the meeting point for stakeholders and decision-makers of local life in Africa. Nearly 5000 participants from Africa, China, Turkey, Brazil and other regions of the world are expected to attend.

Among the participants are former heads of State, ministers, mayors and local authorities, officials of the national associations of local authorities, representatives of international organisations, delegates of partnership and funding agencies, representatives of civil society organisations as well as the professional, academic and university world, players from the economic world and private companies. All will be meeting in Dakar for five days of discussion, reflection and exchanges on the theme of the Summit: "Building Africa from its territories: what challenges for local governments"?

In parallel with the work of the Africities Summit, the International Exhibition of Cities and Local Governments will be held from 4 to December 7, 2012. This 5000 m² exhibition space will allow some 200 providers of goods and services to local communities to show-case their products and share their experiences and their expertise in the African market.

Distributed by the African Press Organization on behalf Africities Summit 2012.

For further information, please visit the Africities websites: and


Conference centre at the King Fahd Palace Hotel (formerly the Hotel Méridien Président)

Pointe des Almadies

BP: 8181

Dakar - Senegal

Contacts :

Mrs Zineb Benchekchou

+212 537 260 062

Mr Gautier Brygo

+212 661 300 829

Source: Sixth Africities Summit

Drogba, Eto'o and Pienaar Join ALMA Heads of State United Against Malaria in New 2013 Orange Africa Cup of Nations Health Campaign




22 Oct 2012 08:01 Africa/Lagos

Drogba, Eto'o and Pienaar Join ALMA Heads of State, CAF and Players Across Africa to Unite Against Malaria in New 2013 Orange Africa Cup of Nations Health Campaign

Campaign Will Deliver Prevention and Treatment Messages Across the Continent

DURBAN, October 22, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- Ahead of the official draw for the 2013 Orange Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), African football stars and heads of state have joined United Against Malaria (UAM) (, pledging to distribute life-saving malaria prevention and treatment messages throughout the tournament. Football icons including Didier Drogba, Samuel Eto'o and Steven Pienaar, along with African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA) heads of state including President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia, President Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania, President Blaise Compaoré of Burkina Faso, President Alassane Ouattara of Cote d'Ivoire and President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, will lend their voices to the cause, appearing in television spots, billboards and educational materials that will be distributed across Africa.


“Across the continent, football dominates the hearts and minds of children and parents alike. But, so does malaria – the cause of 174 million illnesses and nearly 600,000 deaths in Africa alone every year,” said Samuel Eto'o, Cameroonian national team player and UAM champion. “We have united to utilize the power of football to fight malaria and we hope our fans will join us.”

Although preventable and treatable, malaria kills a child in Africa every 60 seconds and costs the continent an estimated minimum of US $12 billion in lost productivity and healthcare costs each year.

“I have been a victim of malaria and have witnessed first-hand the devastating effects it can have on individuals and families,” said Didier Drogba, Côte d'Ivoire national team captain and UAM champion. “We need malaria out of the game. Using the popularity of

football to increase awareness of prevention and treatment methods will go a long way in the fight to show malaria the red card.”

By leveraging the popularity and excitement surrounding Africa's signature tournament, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and UAM are partnering to disseminate life-saving malaria messages through television and radio spots, in-stadium branding and local outreach to policy-makers and millions of fans across the continent.

“Malaria affects nearly everyone on the continent of Africa, including footballers and government leaders. With all eyes on the tournament and its participants, CAF and UAM are committed to utilizing this platform to communicate important messaging to end deaths from this devastating disease,” said Mr. Hicham El Amrani, secretary general of CAF.

Activities kicked off during tournament qualifying matches as President of Liberia Ellen Johnson Sirleaf surprised football fans at the friendly game between Liberia and Ghana to cheer on her national team and congratulate them for their efforts to fight malaria. “When we all fight malaria together, we build a stronger nations and save lives,” said President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia. “As a football fan myself, I understand the game's power and popularity. We have the tools to win against malaria and I urge others to join us in the fight.”

In Nigeria, Malawi, Benin, Ghana, Uganda, Tanzania and other countries, malaria messages will be shared using football players, favorite teams and sports programs. Research has shown that audiences retain and act on these messages more often when delivered by their football heroes. In those countries, billboards, sports journals, tournament programs will complement the PSAs on air to ensure the UAM campaign messages reach every household. In Cote d'Ivoire, images of Drogba and his teammates Kolo Toure, Gervinho and Salomon Kalou attract readers to malaria educational materials, and create excitement about ridding this West African country of the burden of malaria. The UAM campaign has broken language barriers by having PSAs recorded by football stars in over 18 African languages since the campaign was launched in 2009.

“I am honored to be a champion for this cause,” said Steven Pienaar, UAM champion and former South African captain. “It is unacceptable that malaria kills one child in Africa every minute. We can take such simple steps to prevent and treat this disease. United we can beat malaria.”

Distributed by the African Press Organization on behalf of United Against Malaria (UAM).

About Malaria

Malaria is a disease caused by parasites that are transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. If left untreated, the infection in its most severe forms can lead to coma and death. Although malaria is preventable and treatable, it continues to kill a child every 60 seconds and 655,000 people globally each year. More than 90 percent of these deaths occur in Africa, and the majority of them are children under the age of five. Furthermore, malaria contributes to the cycle of poverty and limits economic development.

About United Against Malaria

United Against Malaria (UAM) ( is a partnership of football teams and heroes, celebrities, health and advocacy organizations, governments, corporations, and individuals who have united to win the fight against malaria. Our goal is to galvanize partners throughout the world to reach the international target of reducing deaths worldwide. To learn more about UAM, please visit and follow us on Facebook ( and Twitter (

About Orange Africa Cup of Nations

The Orange Africa Cup of Nations is the continent's premiere football championship, organized biannually by the Confederation of African Football (CAF). The 2013 tournament, hosted in conjunction with the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) of the South African Football Association (SAFA) will take place from January 19 to February 10 and be followed by millions of fans in Africa and around the world. For more information, please visit

About ALMA

ALMA is a 46-member alliance of African heads of state and government working to end malaria. For more information, please visit

Media Contacts:

UAM – Anna McCartney-Melstad: +27 743 674636

CAF – Mahmoud Garga: +20 238 371000 ext. 116

Source: United Against Malaria (UAM)

Call for Entries for the Africa Movie Academy Awards 2013

The Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA) 2013 Call for entries for the Africa movie academy awards to be held 14th April 2013 in Africa, the Nominations will be announced the first week of March 2013.

The Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA) is calling for feature length films (not more than 2hrs long), short and documentary entries for its 2013 edition, to be held on 14th April in Africa, home to Africa where the world¹s third largest film industry. The deadline for submissions is 30 December 2012 and the theme for the 2013 edition is ŒAfrica-One-Africa without borders the integration cinematically¹. ŒThere is this great awareness of the possibilities in Africa. This has been an exciting year for African cinema as many big budget productions have been on going on the continent and distribution becoming more accessible to African films¹ says founder and Academy CEO Peace Anyiam-Osigwe.

However only films produced, premiered and or released between December 2011 and November 2012 are eligible. Features may not exceed 120 minutes and shorts should not be longer than 40 minutes.

The winning films for AMAA 2012 included How 2 Steal 2 Million, Otelo Burning and Shattered.

Since its inception in 2005, AMAA has established itself as the most prestigious and glamorous awards celebrating film making on the continent. The gala event, which is televised live around the world, attracts Hollywood celebrities alongside their African counterparts, as well as African politicians and media.

Submission forms can be downloaded from the AMAA website, .

Nominations will be announced in March 2013.