Category Archives: Everyone



These last few days have been nothing but gut wrenching. What has happened to George Floyd, Eric Gardner, Michael Brown, Ezell Ford, Tamir Rice, Joseph Mann, Sandra Bland, Christopher Davis, Antwon Rose II, Breona Taylor and countless others is beyond acceptable and nothing more than a show of pure evil. We have a problem in this country and you would be foolish to try to downplay it or sweep it under the rug.

America has always been a nation with evil dark demons lurking in the air. A nation where race has been the single biggest factor on how you progress and the box you fit in. Blacks and Browns have every right to be MAD! Every right to be frustrated and desperate. 400 years of oppression. 400 years of our culture being drained, manipulated, reshaped and mass manufactured. This should not be up for debate. Point. Blank. PERIOD!

The police force in this nation needs a total and complete psychological overhaul. A restructure that puts community first. A police force that has, instilled in it a more humane way of dealing with problems. At the same time if you know me you know I am a realist and someone who doesn’t get pushed around by the media. I am not for the “status quo” even within my own community. All cops aren’t bad just as all people aren’t bad or in relation to what is going on: As to all black folks aren’t bad. In my own personal experience (and believe me I have done my fair share of craziness that sometimes I wonder how I am still alive).

I have came across so many good and amazing cops. Yes I’ll say it again: I have came across so many GOOD and amazing cops. Take that how you will. Still we have to hold accountable the bad apples among the bunch and persecute them to the highest levels of government. But at the same time let’s not add injury to insult by taking what the police in this country “should stand for” = like servants of the public, protectors of all people, advisors, and mentors as an EXCUSE to degrade its institution and purpose.

Some may not know it or care to admit it but a lot of people would not be alive today if it wasn’t for a law enforcement officer directly or indirectly doing their job. Now to some, what I just mentioned sounds appalling and unfathomable. I will tell you that’s what we need to strive and fight for. The anger and pleas in the streets during the last few days of protests and riots are very well deserved and I feel your pain to the core of my being.

Let your voices be heard! But once again I am a realist and someone who looks at things from all angles to form ideas and opinions. YELL! SCREAM! Destroy the cop cars and say the names of the fallen! But when you start mindlessly destroying the city and your own local black community your message starts to have zero meaning because at the end of the day these would be the same people who would rob someone like Floyd in broad daylight for a gang initiation.

I am not speaking to all cities as a whole but to the ones I’ve seen where black boys I know personally are destroying things. And I’m no fool; I know a lot of the people are PEACEFULLY protesting. I see that and I am here with you! You spit on the cops or destroy their vehicles, once again I am here with you and I understand the fury.

But to those who are blindly inciting violence and say it’s for George Floyd or black lives…SHAME ON YOU!!!!!! Not only are you destroying your own local black community, you are playing right into the hands of the white supremacist and those who fear us! They will only buy more guns and get more prepared. I guarantee half of you do not want a civil war (your anger is telling you do but I promise you the reality will be shocking and painful. More painful than what you see now).

I don’t want to even begin to address something that is killing us more in this country: black on black crime. But it is not about that right now (we need to have that conversation sooner rather than later). Some are going to hate me for saying this but race relation in America has come along way and has and will get better. We just have to now focus on the systematic element of it and root it out. Majority of the core racists in America are older folks from a different time. We younger generation is a much more inclined and compassionate bunch and I’m happy for that.

It’s unfortunate that we currently have a President that is an inhibitor of malicious energy, but we have the power to kick him out! “Racism isn’t getting worse, it’s getting filmed” – Will Smith. Right now it is about you making sure your voice is heard and heard the right way! GO AND VOTE! And I’m not only taking about for President but for Attorney Generals, Sheriff’s, Mayors, Reps, Senators, Governors. Vote on amendments, on propositions. A lot of y’all black folks don’t vote! Even non-felons. Create more dynamic organizations that are adamant and agile with getting things done. This is where a lot of white people can come in. FULLY partner up with us minorities and let’s get things going. Stage blackouts and boycotts. Not just right now in the heat of the moment but until we get this country fixed.

I’m not saying it’s a perfect system or path, but I guarantee you in the long term it will pay off. This isn’t a battle that will be won overnight with riots, but by generations through the PEN! And it might not be something you want to hear. BUT HEAR IT! AND HEAR IT LOUD! We are better than this. Go educate yourself. Learn more about your culture. Visit Africa and see your land. Become more open minded. More enlightened. Learn more about the political system than the gang system. Yes the cards are stacked against us. It’s always been. It only makes us stronger.

To those who didn’t destroy anything, yet are cleaning up… GOD BLESS YOU! To those who caused the destruction yet are back in your neighborhood laughing or excited about it. GO TO HELL! United we stand. Divided we fall. Together we can truly make this nation great! God bless you and God bless the United States of America!



Tawo - American rapper, singer-songwriter and actor2

To make it to the top, you have to be willing to meticulously watch the greats and apply what you’ve learned, all while being patient. This is a strategy rising music star and producer, TAWO has put a lot of effort into perfecting his artistry since the age of 14, the Atlanta, GA., native has only just begun. Making a point to keep his lyrics and music content appealing to the masses the 26-year-old rapper (TAWO has been adamant at shaking the ‘rapper’ label) is a walking embodiment of thinking beyond his years and in staying power.

Back in 2014, TAWO (then rapping under the moniker ‘William Blaze’) released his first project, New Vtlvntv Sound, a collaboration mixtape with another Georgia native, Jay Mays, that was hosted by DJ Iceberg. Followed in 2015 by an EP project, Season of The Sting. Both were met by hurdles and unforeseen personal life events that slowed their success and impact. Then came 2020. Using his middle name as his stage name, more focus and better honing his craft, TAWO is on track to make this his breakout year.

Having already released three projects so far: Closer Than I Appear, Blaze Loves MoMo and Spring Fever, and on track to releasing his debut album later in the year, TAWO has no plans of slowing up.


Seated in the AfriQtalk studios living room flashing his signature goofy smile, TAWO discusses his initial jump into the music scene, one day being bigger than Drake, experimenting with his music and much more.

AfriQtalk: What convinced you music is what you wanted to do?

 TAWO: Music is just one of numerous things that I’m drawn to like acting, fashion or politics. I just think it was the earliest and easiest way for me to express myself creatively. It was so accessible in my household growing up. My dad had and still has such a crazy CD collection and my mom would just keep the TV on like MTV Jams and stuff like that. So naturally I was drawn to the storytelling and impact certain songs had on people and that was something I wanted for myself.

Why do you think the acting wasn’t a first choice for you?

 For me at least back in the day, and when I say back in the day I mean like early 2000’s it was hard to just go out and start acting from a starting out standpoint. You have to audition and so forth. With music I was able to just connect a mic to a computer and let it rip.

How did you end up finding yourself musically? You have a unique music voice.

I would say at first that was my biggest obstacle. I was taking in so much music that I would go on a track and sound like that artist and that really bugged me. Then when I went to experiment and try something new, I felt like people would not vibe with it. So there was this constant back and forth within myself and it really slowed me down in the beginning. I had to take some time to live life and really get to the core of who I was and take that and translate to my music. Now I just vibe, I don’t know what else to call it.

How did things change for you in 2020?

It’s weird answering that question with this whole pandemic thing going on. I just pray that the world heals and people like learn to be more compassionate to everybody and all that. On a more music note though I started this year off with a go-and-get-it mentality. Like I have no excuses anymore. I’m in a space where I can dedicate all my time to my craft and really hit the ground running. I’ve dropped three projects so far. I’m working on this dope video and also on an album. I’m not letting off the gas. This has been ten years in the making. I’m not getting any younger.

What was it like in the beginning for you?

Lost. Like when I was in high school doing the whole Facebook rapping thing it was cool. It made me popular and all but when I went to the real world I was just like confused really. I didn’t know the first thing about the music industry and how to progress from where I was. That’s pretty much how everything started to fall apart. Even with a project with a well known DJ on it I couldn’t move to the next level. I did some shows here and there but the consistency was off. It was hard.

“Closer Than I Appear” really started the run you’re currently on. How did that come about?

It was just a collection of songs I made over the years. 2019 was a really bad year for me and it put a mindset in my head that I need to get on my game. So compiled some records I had laying around and recorded like one or two songs and just threw it out there. After that I was like why stop now, and I just kept going. I never even liked the project to be honest. I just wanted something out there. I know a lot more about the music industry than I used to and so I’m incorporating all my knowledge and really grinding. It’s still a challenge and I’m learning new things like everyday.

Why didn’t you like the project?

 I have this problem of just hearing my old music and cringing. I think it’s a maturity thing. I want to push myself to the next level all the time so when I hear old songs like that it irks me. I was still William Blaze when I recorded a lot of those songs. And it sounds dumb because I put it out this year but I just wanted something to get my metadata and SEO going on the streaming platforms. Don’t get me wrong I have a lot of people who loved that project. It’s just a personal thing.

What’s the difference between TAWO and William Blaze as a person?

It’s a combination of a lot of things. Life experiences, maturity, deeper thinking and a better appreciation for the simple things. I think William Blaze saw the world as only what was in front of him. The music was more taunting, more careless. Now everything I do is calculated.

What makes Georgia such an important part of your image?

It started this journey I’m on now. From my street smarts to how I view music to looking at the country through the lenses of the south. When you leave and look back a lot of things become clear and I want to always translate that into my music even though I don’t talk like I’m from the south. I still want to paint the experience in my music.

What are you looking for in a label?

 As of now I have no plans to ever sign to a major label. I have my own that I started and I just want to build on that.

As of now?

Yeah, nothing in this life is for certain. Things change and so do people’s thinking. That’s just my current thinking. And it will take a lot to change it.

Where were you mentally when you started making Spring Fever?

Man…. I was just in a constant state of reminiscing. I spent all of 2018 living in Denver, Colorado and I met so many women that touched me in some way or another. So that was just me expressing myself towards that direction. I have a lot of content to record about my experiences in Denver. My mind really changed while living there.

Why do you think that’s a good direction to go in your music?

It was a moment in my life where I was really stripped to the bones physically and mentally. I was put into situations that really opened my mind and changed my way of thinking. The whole energy in that city is powerful. And I don’t want to sound corny or anything but just from that one year I have enough personal material to be the next Drake. The stories I have to tell and how things panned out is remarkable. I’m going to really start diving into it in my album.

The next Drake?

Of course! I say that with complete confidence. I want to be bigger! I have so many stories to tell. So many styles of music I want to try. You know like I hate being called a rapper because I don’t want to be put into that box. I have no idea what a genre is when I record music. It sounds almost like a safety net to say I make hip-hop music. I just make music. My debut album is going to really prove that point.. And all of this is just the start. I want to make a leap into acting too.

What sound were you aiming for with Spring Fever? 

I just wanted a real modern retro feel. I wanted it to sound like the whole project was floating in air. Something that gave off bubbly vibes. I was also just experimenting with the whole thing. I really loved what came out of it.

What about Blaze Loves MoMo?

 When I heard heard those two beats produced by Yunnygoldz I was like I just have to jump on those songs and really laser beam my deliverance. I didn’t want anything sounding to static or boring. I had a lot of fun working on that one. I’m actually working on a video for Bahm3x right now with this young dynamic director from South Carolina.

Take a listen

Bahm3x was such a vibe! You plan on making more music like that?

No doubt. My verse on there was nice. I’m definitely incorporating stuff like that on my album.

How has your parent’s response to your music been?

They have been real supportive, especially my mom. She was the one who took me to my very first real studio session. I used to record music on the computer and microphone she had for work. At first I used to hide my music from my dad because he was always the “go to college’ and focus on a career type of guy so I wasn’t really eager to show him but he is always asking me to play my music these days.

I know it sounds premature but what’s next for you?

I’m guessing you mean after this year?


I really don’t even know where to begin. Music for me is just the beginning of another journey. From music I want to create visuals that are story telling and like short films and from there I want to make feature films that tie to one album. And also breaking into mainstream acting as well as fashion. I just want o build this mammoth of a beast company and just change the dynamic of everything possible. Also somewhere down the line I want to get into public service but that’s far down the road. If I were to just pinpoint to 2021 I would say I want to be Grammy nominated and have a really good foundation under my feet to build on. So I really have to get on my game and grind.

You can catch Tawo doing his thing at

or follow him at


NASA Office of STEM Engagement: Call for Proposals

NASA Office of STEM Engagement (OSE) opened a call for graduate research proposals on March 22, 2019. The NASA Research Announcement (NRA) NNH19ZHA001N: NASA Fellowship Activity 2019 is seeking student-authored and independently conceived graduate research proposals responding to a NASA Research Opportunity listed in the solicitation. The 2019 NASA Fellowship Activity is designed to support OSE objectives and provide academic institutions the ability to enhance graduate-level learning and development. The program details and requirements are outlined in the solicitation document.


To be eligible to submit a proposal, candidates must be U.S. citizens or a national who hold a bachelor’s degree in a STEM field earned before Aug. 31, 2019. Candidates must be enrolled in a master’s or doctoral degree program no later than Sept. 1, 2019, and intend to pursue a research-based Masters or Ph.D. program in a NASA-relevant field.

Proposals are due May 24, 2019.

For full program details, email us at An informational webinar about this fellowship will be presented on April 18, 2019 – time to be announced.

For more information concerning the program contact us at

Repositioning Africa in the 21st Century

After building a career in entertainment, and media for ten years, Amb. Princess Asha Okojie’s path turned into foreign direct investment consultancy when she served as Media Consultant for Nigeria Consulate in Atlanta, Georgia for the 17 Southeastern States of the United States and territory, during former President Jonathan Goodluck’s Administration where she brought cultural diplomacy as a form of international communication in facilitation of bilateral trade and investment between Africa and United States.

Amb. Princess Asha, Okojie comes from a generation of politicians, and social activists. She is the granddaughter of King Ogbidi Okojie of Uromi dynasty (1857 – February 3, 1944), who was a ruler of the Esan people in what is now Edo State in Nigeria, still remembered for his opposition to British rule. She is also, a niece of Cardinal Anthony Olubunmi Okogie, the first Esan Catholic Cardinal of Nigeria, and late politician, Chief Anthony Enahoro, who in 1953 initiated the self-government motion, which eventually led to Nigerian Independence on the 1st day of October 1960.

Amb. Princess Asha wears many hats; She is the CEO, of AfriQtalk consult (Investment and Trade Facilitation Firm) and AfriQtalk Media (Branding Entertainment, Media and Corporate Event Management), Executive Producer and Director of Let Talk Africa (An Online Radio Blog and Talk Show). Founder and President of Festival of Arts and Cultural Expo, Global Leadership and HONORS, (FACE) a non profit social and cultural organization that promotes cultural diplomacy, empowerment, trade and investment  with affiliates in North America, Africa and Europe.

Under her leadership, AfriQtalk Consult provided media coverage for President Muhammadu Buhari’s first visits to the U.S, Washington, D.C. Co-hosted President Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), Atlanta, GA. Conducted press interviews at the Annual Export and Import Bank conference (EXIM), Washington, DC, and Oil Technology Conference (OTC), Houston, TX as well as organized corporate/group events at United Nations General Assembly, New York, entertainment consultancy for VHI, CNN, The Dr. Phil Show, and coverage of meetings/press conference at the Georgia Senate Chambers, Carter Center, and former Mayor Kasim Reed’s office of International Affairs, Atlanta, GA to mention a few.

Also, FACE Global Leadership and HONORS have partnered with selected organizations, and supported small businesses, social and cultural institutions, in the empowerment of youth and women, promotion of culture, arts, tourism development, entrepreneurship, trade and investment opportunities in Africa through philanthropic activities, conferences, forums, training, workshops and exchanges programs, such as trade/medical missions, pageantry, awards, cultural activities, music concerts, and entertainment.

As a Foreign Direct Investment Consultant, Amb. Princess Asha have consulted for private and public sectors, governmental agencies, embassies, consulates, diplomatic corps, and international communities to promote artisanship, entrepreneurship, and policies that would create investment/business opportunities for the development, and maintenance of viable primary, secondary, and tertiary sectors in Nigeria. She is also, a Life Coach and Publicist to some high profiled celebrities, artists, personalities, and public figures.

Amb. Princess Asha have interviewed public figures, and celebrities, from likes of former President Jimmy Carter, Governor of Abia State, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, and Sir Emeka Offor, 2Face, Bracket, Kalu Ikeagwu, Blessing Egbe, and Olu Maintain, to house of representatives members, senators, foreign service diplomats, authors, movie producers, community leaders, ambassadors, business/community leaders, government officials, and company executives, using her Talk Show platform at times in high profiled events.

Besides being recognized as one of the emerging African leaders, media personality and international person in the African diaspora, This ex-beauty queen, and model is not a new face to the entertainment industry. She is a media icon who was among the first Africans to introduce online reality talk show channel on YouTube and Blog Talk Radio in 2009, a trend that revolutionised online freelance journalism, news and traditional media in Africa and African diaspora.

The Brand Ambassador for Imperial Bizzo is also, an activist against gender inequality, human trafficking, FGM and child marriage. Her philanthropic initiatives and work with women and youths has received both local and international recognitions. She was  nominated as the first U.S Culture Ambassador to Edo State Ministry of Arts, Culture and Diaspora Affairs and a conferred United Nations Ambassador for Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).

Amb. Princess Asha, have routinely exhibited the enthusiasm, vision, and dedication necessary to be considered among the best. As a result of her extraordinary efforts, she was elected into Stanford Who is Who, U.S.A, an elite organisation of selected executives, professionals and entrepreneurs from around the world. She’s walked on fashion runways, graced the front cover of Magazines and featured on print publications, TV, radio talk shows and ads.

She is compassionate, caring and fun-loving with high-energy. Her passion for culture, fashion and indigenous music is evident in her creativity and love for culinary arts, which made her the youngest female entrepreneur of African descent, to own the first African cuisine restaurant (Fashwill Kitchens) College Park, GA, catering to celebrities, such as former NBA Star, Akeem Olajuwon and Who’s Who in town.

Her devotion to God, love for nature and family keeps her going. In her spare time, she enjoys writing inspirational quotes, photojournalism, modelling, traveling, and mentoring young women and girls. A sickle cell advocate, who is committed to finding alternative traditional medicine for sickle cell disease through research and education.

She holds a B.A in Performing Arts, and B.S in Healthcare Administration & Management. An Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Information Management, Nigeria, Board Member of THINK=>WEST Initiative (TWI), Nigeria, and The International Forum for Sickle-Celled in the Diaspora (INFORSID), Germany, Advisory Committee Member of Women Empowerment Network (WOENET), Nigeria, Stakeholder Member of the Nigerian Diaspora Diagnostic & Trauma Foundation (NDDTF), USA, Member of National Alliance of Medical Auditing Specialist,  (NAMAS), American Association of Professional Coders (AAPC), and American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) U.S.A.

Contact, email, and website Info:







Yale Young African Scholars


The Yale Young African Scholars Program 2019 application is now open! Apply today! 

The Yale Young African Scholars Program (YYAS) is an intensive academic and enrichment program designed for African secondary school students planning to pursue tertiary education and who wish to make meaningful impact as young leaders on the continent.

Participants will enhance their academic skills, receive university admission and financial aid application guidance, and join a network of young leaders from across Africa. Following the eight-day program, students will be paired with mentors who will help advise them throughout the university application process. There are no tuition, meal, or lodging costs for students to participate in YYAS.

YYAS is an official program of Yale University.

For more information contact

The Yale Young African Scholars Program is in proud partnership with the Higherlife Foundation and is a member of the HALI Access Network, with additional support from The Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale.


Maryland Host U.S-Nigeria Legislative and Executive Leadership Forum, Prince Kazeem Eletu-Odibo and others bags The Esteemed FACE Honors

FACE INC. USA, (Festival of Arts, Culture and Expo) has conferred its esteemed FACE HONORS Global Leadership, on the Chairman and founder of Kazeem Royal Properties, Ltd, Prince Kazeem Eletu-odibo, a Real Estate Tycoon and Philanthropist, at The U.S-Nigeria Legislative and Executive Leadership Forum and Award, THEMED: “NIGERIA REVITALISATION INITIATIVE: GLOBAL PARTNERSHIP FOR EFFECTIVE DEVELOPMENT & RESTRUCTURING”.
The U.S-Nigeria Legislative and Executive Leadership Forum, which was organised in partnership with AfriQtalk Consult, FACE INC and its organising team, in association with the State of Maryland, kicked off with a customised study tour at Ellicott Dredges, workshop at the U.S Small Business Administration in Howard University, a Meet and Greet reception at District Heights, Maryland, hosted by Mayor Jack Sims on November 17, 2017.
In her welcome speech, at the high level interactive Forum held on November 18, 2017 in Double Tree by Hilton, Largo Maryland, the Chief Host and CEO, AfriQtalk Consult, President, FACE INC. USA and Founder,US-Nigeria Legislative and Executive Leadership Forum, Princess Asha Osazuwa, outlined several key goals that she hoped the Forum will achieve. Speaking at the event, Hon Lt. Governor, Boyd Rutherford of Maryland, emphasised the importance of fostering US-Nigeria bilateral relations for mutual prosperity.
Mr. Chris Nwandu, Publisher/Editor in Chief CKN News & President Guild of Professional Bloggers of Nigeria, during the presentation, thanked the Lt. Governor, for his continued support to Nigerians in the Diaspora and urged him to encourage such exchanges, particularly, between Nigerian media organisations and State of Maryland.
Other speakers and guests in attendance, include Rev. Amb. Felix Johnson Osakwe, Director of Executive Affairs at the UN, Thomas E. Dernoga, Assistant Attorney General, State of Maryland, Dr. Onyemaechi Nweke, Andrew Ndubisi Ucheomumu (Mazi), Esq.,  professionals, academias, entrepreneurs, civil society organisations, community and business leaders. Prince Kazeem Eletu-Odibo, also attended the U.S-Nigeria Legislative and Executive Leadership Forum, where he was graciously received by the Hon Lt. Governor, Boyd Rutherford and Senator C. Anthony Muse, Maryland State.
At the Gala Dinner and Award ceremony organised by FACE INC. USA, Prince Kazeem Eletu-Odibo, received The Esteemed FACE HONORS Global Leadership; Outstanding Nigerian Philanthropist Award, for Community Achievement in Human Development Capacity and Philanthropy and Community Recognition Award for Exceptional Leadership in Youth Empowerment, including FACE HONORS Induction of Honorary Doctor of Philosophy (Phd) in Human Letters/Youth Development and United Nations Ambassadorial title, in Academic section of the Special Consultative Status with Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).
Speaking at the occasion, Amb. Dr. Mrs. Chika Mitima-Samuel, President of Covenant International University, congratulated the newly conferred United Nation Ambassadors, Amb. Dr. Prince Kazeem Eletu Odibo, Amb. Princess Asha Osazuwa and Amb. Lilian Ike. “You are not decoratedambassador but as decorated foot soldiers, I applaud you for your good work and philanthropic initiatives”, she reiterated.
In his acceptance speech, Amb. Dr. Prince Kazeem Eletu-Odibo, thanked the organisers of the event. “It reminds me of those struggles and hustles, much more, it reminds me that no situation is permanent. It may take time, but it won’t always be dark. So I want to encourage someone out there who is going through hard times, no condition is permanent, destiny may be delayed, it can never be denied. I dedicate this awards to God Almighty for His Faithfulness, to my loving mother, to my family, to all Kazeem Royal Staff, to all my well wishers who camewith me to America, to all who stood by me those days,” he said.
In a statement issued, the Chief Host, Amb. Princess Asha Osazuwa, thanked all those who travelled far and wide to attend. ‘The event is a combination of both conference, and award recognitions, aimed at creating interactive platforms, designed to promote youth empowerment, community development, cultural appreciation, foreign trade policies and investment opportunities. She added.
The ceremony was graced by celebrity guest, EYE D, former Nigerian Idol finalist, Idowu Sarah Odugbemi, who sang The Nigerian National Anthem. The evening was also, filled with music, entertainment, networking mixer, and red carpet interview, with business leaders, professionals, entrepreneurs, dignitaries, distinguished guests, friends of Nigeria, business and community leaders, hosted by Kenny Kay Mr. Buga and sponsored by Western Union.


  1. Lt. Governor Boyd Kevin Rutherford of Maryland State – Outstanding Leadership Impact
  2. Hon. Evelyn Oboro Omavowan – Outstanding House of Representatives Member of The Federal Republic of Nigeria
  3. Sen. Ike Ekweremadu, Deputy Senate President – Outstanding Senator of The Federal Republic of Nigeria
  4. Chris Kehinde Nwandu, Publisher and Editor in Chief CKN News – Outstanding Online Media Personality
  5. Sia Finoh, CEO, Education for Africa – Outstanding African Diaspora Women in Leadership
  6. Sade Oshinubi Esq. UPAC, Chairwoman – Outstanding African Diaspora Women in Leadership


  1. Hon. Mildred Crump, Council President, Newark, New Jersey
  2. Mayor Ras J. Baraka, Newark, New Jersey
  3. Sir Emeka Offor, Chairman Chrome Group
  4. Barrister Oladipo Okpeseyi, Senior Advocate of Nigeria and Chairman, Island Club, Nigeria
  5. Mr. Rob Brunner, VP Arik Airlines, USA
  6. Chief Edem Duke, former Hon. Minister of Culture Tourism and National Orientation, Abuja
  7. Mayor, Kasim Reed Atlanta, GA
  8. HON. ARC. Micheal Oziegbe Onoleme, former Minister of Works, AbujaAmbassador Geoffrey Teneilabe, former Amb. /Consul General, Nigeria Consulate of Atlanta, GA
  9. Ambassador Andrew Young, Former Mayor, Atlanta GA

FACE HONORS is an award celebration of Africa’s influences on global economy and cultures, in recognition of outstanding individuals, organizations, corporations and institutions whose outstanding courage, commitment, and passion have contributed to the promotion of democracy, education, cultural heritage, public service, philanthropic activities, diplomacy, community development, peace and security, in Africa and the African diaspora.

For more info visit; |







1:30PM – 4:OOPM


To Attend Click: RSVP to Gallup World Poll

VENUE: Gallup Headquarters
901 F St., NW Washington, DC 20006
(corner 9th & F, enter from 9th St)Source:—Ambassador-Robin-Sanders.html?soid=1118783240226&aid=uwq5R1WKVX8


Maritime Investment Opportunities-1

Oil prices in Nigeria have fallen below 55% since September 2014, impacting public sector spending. However, infrastructure development is critical to the growth of the economy. The GDP indicator, indicates the non-oil sector has been the main driver of growth with services-oriented economy, such as retail, wholesale trade, real estate, information and communication.

The fall in oil prices has created investment opportunity in other sectors, like agriculture, mining and manufacturing. Particularly, in the export sector, leveraging on Nigerian Maritime Industry in the following areas.

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Maritime Investment Opportunities-4


Maritime Investment Opportunities-6Maritime Investment Opportunities-7

Governance issues remains a huge challenge within the Nigerian Ports sector about delays in getting their goods moved through the ports but the latest funding boost from the federal government could change the growth prospects for this sector. 

For more information about Maritime Investment opportunities, contact us at

About FACE

FACE is a not-for-profit organization that supports African Businesses, Entrepreneurs, and Professionals representing over 60,000 African Immigrant Communities in the United States. Our goal is to encourage policies and practices that promotes sustainable socioeconomic development, and youth empowerment programmes by creating awareness to make available the necessary infrastructures for the development, and maintenance of viable primary, secondary, and tertiary sectors in Africa, and the African Diaspora.

Princess Asha Receives IIM Africa Fellowship


Culture Ambassador, Princess Asha Okojie, CPC, CAHIIM, CEO of AfriQtalk Consult, and Founder of FACE USA has been nominated among the distinguished elites of professionals, and personalities to receive the most prestigious IIM Africa Honorary Fellow Awards from Institute of Information Management. Scheduled to hold on Saturday, March 19, 2016 at the University of Lagos.

The unique award, is specially reserved for personalities who have distinguished themselves in the society through service, selflessness and other peculiar contributions through which the lives of many have been affected positively.

Some of this year’s inductees are; Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi (Ojaja II) – The Ooni of Ife, Alhaji Lai Mohammed – Minister of Information and Culture, Mandy Olowu – President/Founder, Hope Ambassadors and Childcare Organization, Prof. Ibrahim Garba – Vice-Chancellor, Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, Engr. Aliyu Aziz Abubakar, Director General/CEO- National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Mr. Nsebong Akpabio, Mon Amipr Assistant Corps Marshal Zonal Commanding Officer, Zone RS2 Federal Road Safety Corps, Amb. Toye Okanlawon- Chairman & Chief Executive – Fountain Bleau Global Consulting.

Past inductees, include; Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, GCFR, Oba Dr. Olusanya Adegboye the Olowu-of-Owu Kingdom, HE Bar. Babatunde Fashola, HE Sen. Ibikunle Amosun, HE Dr. Rabiu Kwankwanso, HE Godswill Akpabio, HE Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, Mr. Labaran Maku to name just a few.   

IIM-Africa “Fellow of the Institute of Information Management (FIIM)” award has also, been conferred on a good number of dignitaries within and outside of the country since inception for exemplary performance and achievements over the years in the Industry and the society. 

For more information visit

AfriQtalk to Host Mandela Washington Fellowship

AfriQtalk in collaboration with Clark Atlanta University (CAU) will be hosting a dinner reception for 25 of Africa’s brightest emerging business and entrepreneurship leaders in July, 2016. Atlanta, GA.

If you are an African organization, business owner, chambers of commerce, association or simply a friend of Africa, and interested in participating or to join in welcoming our young leaders, contact us at

For sponsorship information, contact Lets keep Africa shinning.

About The Mandela Washington Fellowship

The Mandela Washington Fellowship, is the flagship program of President Barack Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), empowers young African leaders through academic coursework, leadership training, mentoring, networking, professional opportunities, and support for activities in their communities. Fellows are young leaders from Sub-Saharan Africa who have established records of accomplishment in promoting innovation and positive change in their organizations, institutions, communities, and countries.

Click here for more pics

2016 Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards


The 4th Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards that were held on Saturday, March 5 at the Eko Hotels in Lagos. The AMVCA is an annual awards show which features nominations in over 20 categories in African film and TV series. It was hosted by seasoned media personality IK Osakioduwa and Minnie Dlamini

It was a great night and was graced by actors from different African countries as well as broadcast live across Africa.

Here are some of the photos from the event, the after party, and a full list of all the winners at the event.

Best Art Director – Frank Rajah (The Refugees) Best Television Series Award – Ariyike Oladipo (Daddy’s Girls)

Best Makeup Artist in a Movie or Series – Louiza Calore for Ayanda

Best Short Film or Online Video Award – Oluseyi Amuwafo (A Day With Death)

Best Writer for Movie and TV series – Trish Malone (Ayanda)

Best Lighting Designer (Movies/TV) – Stanley Ohikhuare (Common Man)

Best Cinematographer – Paul Michaelson (Tell Me Sweet Something)

Best Sound Editor – Jose Guillermo (Cry)

Best Picture Editor – Shirley Frimpong-Manso (Rebecca)

Best Costume Designer – Uche Nancy (Dry)

Best Local Language Movie/TV Series (Swahili) – Single Mtambalike (Kitendawali)

Best Indigenous Movie/TV Series (Hausa) – Salisu Balarebe (Dandi Kowa)

Best Indigenous Movie/TV Series (Yoruba) – Binta Ofege

Best Indigenous Movie/TV Series (Igbo) – Paul Igwe (Usekwu Igbo)

Best Documentary – Remi Vaughan (Faaji Agba)

Best Supporting Actor In A Movie – Sambassa Nzeriba (A Soldier’s Story)

Best Supporting Actress – Tunbosun Aiyedihin (Before 30)

Best Actor In A Comedy – Folarin ‘Falz The Bahd Guy’ Falana (Jenifa’s Diary)

Best Actress In A Comedy – Funke Akindele (Jenifa’s Diary)

Trail Blazer Award – Kemi ‘Lala’ Akindoju

AMVCA 2016 Industry Merit Award – Bukky Ajayi and Sadiq Daba

Best Movie (Southern Africa) – Joyce Chavura – (Lilongwe)

Best Movie (East Africa) – Elizabeth Miachael – (Mapenzi)

Best Movie (West Africa) – Genevieve, Chinny Onwugbenu and Chichi Nwoko – (Road to Yesterday)

Best Actress In A Movie/Drama/TV Series – Adesua Etomi (Falling)

Best Actor In A Movie/Drama/TV Series – Daniel K. Daniel (A Soldier’s Story)

The Best Director – Akin Omotosho (Tell Me Sweet Something)


















Export-Import Bank of the United States Annual Conference

If you’re an Exporter, Broker, Foreign Buyer, Foreign Government, Legal Services, and U.S. Federal Government Agency. EXIM Bank’s Annual Conference presents a unique opportunity for companies from around the world to meet U.S. exporters. Attendees include more than 1,100 exporters and representatives of financial institutions, foreign trade partners, and government officials. At the event, participants also meet EXIM Bank staff and obtain detailed information about export credit products and programs.


Omni Shoreham Hotel
2500 Calvert Street, NW
Washington, DC 20008

Thursday, April 7, 2016 – 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Friday, April 8, 2016 – 8:00 am – 2:00 pm

EXIM Bank’s Annual Conference presents a unique opportunity for companies from around the world to meet U.S. exporters. Attendees include more than 1,100 exporters and representatives of financial institutions, foreign trade partners, and government officials. At the event, participants also meet EXIM Bank staff and obtain detailed information about our export credit products and programs.

Exhibitor Information:
If your organization is interested in participating as an exhibitor, please send an email inquiry to Capital Meeting Planning via email:, or submit an application here(link is external).

Conference Registration:

Early-bird Discount: The early-bird deadline for both Participant and Exhibitor registration is Friday, March 18, 2016.

Registration Categories and Fees

Annual Conference – $550.00/person ($800.00/person after Friday, March 18, 2016). Includes all Seminars and Meals.

Group Registration – $500.00/person – 4 or more individuals from the same company ($700.00/person after Friday, March 18, 2016). Includes all Seminars and Meals.

Group Registration with Reserved Lunch Table – $6,000.00/group ($7,000.00/group after Friday, March 18, 2016). Includes ten (10) individual registrations plus one (1) reserved table at both luncheons.

Small Business Participant – $250.00/person ($300.00/person after Friday, March 18, 2016). Small Business is defined as having 500 or fewer employees. Includes all Seminars and Meals.

To register for the Conference or to participate as an exhibitor, click here 

About FACE

FACE is a not-for-profit organization that supports African Businesses, Entrepreneurs, and Professionals representing over 60,000 African Immigrant Communities in the United States. Our goal is to encourage policies and practices that promotes sustainable socioeconomic development, and youth empowerment programmes by creating awareness to make available the necessary infrastructures for the development, and maintenance of viable primary, secondary, and tertiary sectors in Africa, and the African Diaspora. For more info about us click here.

FistBank Growing its Trade Finance

FirstBank of Nigeria Limited, a subsidiary of FBN Holdings Plc, has thrown its weight behind the development of trade financing in Nigeria and beyond. This, according to the bank, informed the collaborative effort with FBNBank (UK) Limited, a subsidiary of FirstBank to sponsor the 7th Annual West Africa Trade & Export Finance two-day conference which commenced in Lagos on Wednesday. finance

In a statement by the Group Executive, Treasury and Financial Institutions, FirstBank, Ini Ebong, the bank would continue to create and support initiatives that will create business opportunities and investments in Nigeria and the African continent.

“We will continue to grow our mileages in developing trade and commodity finance across the continent,” he said.

FirstBank’s Head, Structured Trade & Commodity Finance, Mr. Ikenna Egbukole will be a panel discussant on the topic: “Tracking trends within West African banking sector,” at the event.

“The progress FirstBank had made in trade finance is further buttressed by its consistent win of the ‘Best Trade Finance Bank in Nigeria’ by Global Finance Awards for seven years including 2015. FBN Bank (UK) Limited has also been named Best Trade Finance Bank in West Africa for five consecutive years by Global Trade Review Awards,” the statement added.

President Muhammadu Buhari’s Media Chat


President Buhari during his media chat spoke on current national issues. Some of the biggest challenges facing Nigeria, like the Boko Haram insurgency, failing economy, war against corruption among others.

19.00 All eyes on President Buhari as media chat begins.

19.02 Kayode Akintemi of Channels TV, the anchor of the chat, welcomed Mr. Buhari and introduced his colleagues.

19.04 And the first question. Nigerians love you. You are the man of integrity. You were elected on the promise to fight corruption. The honeymoon is over. How do you think we are doing with the fight against corruption?

19.05 Buhari answered: “We are doing quite well. We have some documents where Nigerian crude oil were lifted illegally and proceeds diverted into personal accounts”

19.06 “We are taking the people suspected of corruption to court. We cannot comment. We want Nigerians to be patient,” the president says.

19.07 Kayode Akintemi: “Who are the people that the gov’t claimed have returned money and how much have they returned?”

19.08 “Under whatever circumstances we cannot prejudge what the court would do,” President Buhari.

19.09 Buhari continues: “Money has been recovered but whatever has been recovered, will have to remain in court.”

19.11 The next question is “What we have now is an iceberg, and I am just wondering whether there is any way to rejig ICPC and EFCC?”

19.15 “We have to be very sure of the documents we get. We have to cross check records. I have confidence in the way EFCC and ICPC are structured now,” Buhari added.

19.16 “How long are you willing to go in this fight against corruption?” the journalist asks the next question.

19.19 Buhari answers: “I have said that I will defend every property of Nigeria. We are appealing to countries to please cooperate with us.”

19.21 “When do you intend to make full declaration of your assets?”

19.22 “When I was being harassed, I told people that I had declared my assets four times. I mentioned which banks I borrowed money, the number of cars – where they were – and deposited the documents at the ministry of justice. If they cannot produce the documents that I declared, they should also answer questions on documents of public officers.” the Nigerian leader says.

19.25 “Nigerians to know progress of the anti-corruption war by end of 1st quarter of 2016,” the president continues.

19.27 “My ministers must make sure they declare their assets; that is a constitutional requirement,” Continuing, “I am going to make sure that nobody is above the law.”

19.28 The next question comes: “On Chibok girls and technical defeat of Boko Haram, when are we bringing the girls back?”

19.29 “I have answered questions on Chibok Girls and we know so far from our attack on Sambisa that the girls are not intact. We are more than willing to negotiate to free the girls without compromising our National Security,” he responds.

19.32 The president continues: “Some supposed leadership wanted to make contact, but we insisted on identifying the leadership of the so called Boko Haram.”

19.34 “Are you sure the girls are there and alive?”

19.35 “Do we have any intelligence that the girls are alive? No credible information. We’re working with Chad, Niger and Cameroon. Boko Haram kept shifting them around,” Buhari said.

19.36 President Buhari speaks also on IDPs; he stated that there are about two million IDPs in the country, especially in Borno state.

19.37 Buhari says the Boko Haram victims are orphaned and Dangote, Danjuma have donated.

19.38 The president says he has money to take care of IDP’s and he wants to settle the kids in schools/communities. His words: “We are determined to resettle children transported across the country as a result of insecurity.”

19.41 The conversation moves to the confrontation between the army and the Shi’ia sect, and its similarities with the start of the Boko Haram insurgency.

19.43 Both the president and interviewers avoid giving names: “When it (clashes with Shiites in Zaria) happened in the state (Kaduna), the governor (Nasir El-Rufai) was visiting the area,” Buhari.

19.45 “I don’t want to speak about it in detail now,” the president continues.

19.46 “The President of Iran spoke to me about it and I told him as a government, we have a system. I am awaiting the report of the military,” Buhari says.

19.47 Another question for Buhari: “Who would you be expecting the report of the Shi’ites’ killings from?”

19.48 Last question on security and the next subject comes.

19.49 The interviewer asks about the Boko Haram deadline. “Can you say whether the war has been ‘technically’ or otherwise won?”

19.50 Is banning hijab an option or not?

19.51 “People die, it’s very serious. Hijab will have to be banned if this (female suicide bombings) continues,” the president says.

19.52 “When I say Boko Haram had been defeated technically, we have weakened capacity for conventional attacks” – Buhari.

19.53 The next portion of questions is on economy.19.55 Buhari answers on Naira devaluation issue. “Should we be looking at devaluing naira?”

19.57 “I don’t support devaluation,” the President says.

19.58 “There are 45 accounts in NNPC alone. We introduced the Treasury Single Account so that we can know what comes in and goes out.”

19.59 “Insecurity, downturn of petroleum are very unfortunate incidents in this country,” Buhari continues.

20.02 “But, Mr. President, would you support the devaluation?” The answer from Buhari: “If you devalue the Naira, against what? Against the Dollar, Sterling, Yen, Dutch? I need to be convinced about devaluing the Naira. We are importing including toothpick!”

20.04 “Our priority is for welders, barbers, building our roads & railways, not rice and expensive textile wears,” the president.

20.06 On the issue of people being unable to withdraw hard currencies, PMB says: “I will ask the Governor of the Central Bank. Those who want to import rice and toothpick should go somewhere else to get foreign currency.”

20.07 The president being asked: “Are you considering putting a stop to the issue of subsidy?”

20.09 “Our first priority now is to get our refineries working,” he says.

20.10 “By the end of next quarter, we might stop subsidy. I hope that our refineries can be functional,” Buhari states.

20.11 He continues: “Our priority is to get our local refineries working, to reduce cost. The cost of petrol is so low; you don’t have to subsidize it.”

20.14 Question: What is the president’s understanding of job creation? And what was he thinking when the decided to make Fashola minister with three portfolios. What was the president’s vision for him?

20.15 “Fashola was not made a super minister for nothing. The issues associated with power, which will take time, will be answered. He added that government is looking at different means of generating power.” President Buhari answers.

20.16 “We had 42 ministries, with 42 perm secs. We had to cut them to 24 and asked some to go,” he continues.

20.18 The conversation moves to the questions on change – the slogan of Buhari during the presidential campaign. The interviewer asks: “What has changed?”

20.19 “The change is in the TSA.”

20.23 “The policy on foreign currency withdrawal cannot be lifted because the money is not there. A N100bn goes to the National Assembly for transport allowances alone,” the conversation continues.

20.25 President Buhari speaks on 2016 budget. “I think I will use veto power to stop the national assembly from using N47 billion to buy cars.” – Buhari. He continues that he will review N3.6b for BMW cars scandal. “I turned down a huge bill for vehicles, but I know we need some vehicles for foreign visitors.”

20.26 “Who checks the National Assembly? After hesitating… the president says: “The judiciary.”

20.27 Nigerians are expected to send in their questions via twitter, using the hashtag #askbuhari

20.29 “The question of parastatals earning money, spending it and giving government the change will stop.” – PMB

20.30 “I turned down a N400million car proposal; the cars I have are good enough for 10 years.” Buhari.

20.32 President Buhari answers first question from Twitter.

20.34 The question is: “How would the president respond to criticism of plans to borrow to fund a part of the 2016 budget?”

20.36 “We are not depending on debt, we are renegotiating with those who agreed to build infrastructure for us. Nigeria is not borrowing to fund the 2016 budget but renovating with creditors to build capital projects,” Buhari answers.

20.37 Nigerians ask what Buhari’s government will do with corrupt judges.

20.39 “Those making the allegations would have to prove it,” the president says.

20.40 “The Judiciary is a seating dock; we need the police and other arms to take cases to them; it’s unfair to blame the judiciary,” Buhari added.

20.43 The president further answers on minimum wage: “I cannot answer the question of 18 thousand minimum wage now; and the federal govt will not touch that. The federal gov’t will not touch minimum wage.”

20.44 On 5k monthly, Buhari says: “When my people have been quoted, how can I come here and say otherwise?”

20.45 “We may have to send the young unemployed youth seeking N5k fee to farm to earn the money” – PMB

20.47 Buhari continues: “We will look into the students already in school to be able to use their Master Card Debit/Credit cards abroad.”

20.49 One more round of questions from journalists (the panel) is expected.

20.50 “The standard of tertiary institutions is really poor, I don’t want students sitting on windows to take lectures,” Buhari answers the question on tertiary institutions from Twitter.

20.51 President Buhari answering questions from Kayode Akintemi, Ibanga Isine, Ngozi and Mannir Dan Ali.

20.55 Are you not worried about Kanu? the journalist asked the president.

20.56 Buhari’s answer: “DSS disobeyed court orders, people got legitimate bails from courts, and they are still being held. It’s due to atrocities they committed. They go against the country, and you expect them to jump bail? The one we are calling ‘Kanu’ he has two passports, he brought equipment. Do you know Kanu brought in sophisticated weapon into the country; there’s treasonable felony case against him.”

20.57 “You want people who stole N50B to be granted bail to go to London when we have 2 Million IDPs in camps?” – President Buhari continues.

20.58 The president speaks on Biafra issue: “Why does it have to worry me, when I have militants of all kinds, Boko Haram and etc. The question is, who marginalised them (Biafra agitators)?”

20.59 “Please ask your colleagues to do more investigative journalism, so the people know the truth,” Buhari in his last words addressed journalists.

21.00 The first media chat has finished. Thanks for being with us.


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1.     Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen and welcome to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). The Management of the Bank has called this Press Conference to give you updates on recent developments in our Foreign Exchange Market as well as the decisions we have taken to ensure that we continue to strive to attain our mandates as set out in the CBN Act of 2007. In order to do so, let me first give you a brief overview of both the global and domestic contexts.

2.     As we all know by now, Nigeria has been dealing with the effects of three serious and simultaneous global shocks, which began around the third quarter of 2014. These are:

  • The over 70 percent drop in the price of crude oil, which contributes the largest share of our Foreign Exchange Reserves;
  • Geopolitical tensions along critical trading routes in the world including between Russia and Western Powers, Saudi Arabia and Iran, etc; and
  • Normalization of Monetary Policy by the United States’ Federal Reserve Bank.

3.     In the aftermath of these shocks, growth in the global economy in the first two quarters of 2015 was less than envisaged thereby leading to a weak outlook for the rest of the year. Indeed, estimates of global growth for 2015 have been revised from almost 4 percent to 3.1 percent. The challenges of these global developments are having lopsided effects in many emerging and developing countries. Within this context, and especially when juxtaposed with comparable countries, the Nigerian economy remains moderately robust. Nonetheless, these strong global headwinds are impacting the domestic economy considerably. In 2015, GDP growth decelerated from 3.9 percent in the first quarter to 2.4 percent in the second quarter. However, it has increased slightly to 2.8 percent in the third quarter.

4.    Although headline inflation remained single digit, it stayed slightly above the Bank’s tolerance range of 6-9 percent, having risen marginally from 9.3 percent in October to 9.4 percent in November 2015. A breakdown of the inflation dynamics indicates that the underlying pressure derives largely from the lingering base effects of unfavourable energy prices and exchange rate pass-through which may have been exacerbated by delayed harvests.

5.     Following the drop in crude prices from a peak of US114 barrel in July 2014 to as low as US$33/barrel in January 2016, the country’s reserves has suffered great pressure from speculative attacks, round tripping and front loading activities by actors in the FX market. This fall in oil prices also implies that the CBN’s monthly foreign earnings has fallen from as high as US$3.2 billion to current levels of as low as US$1 billion. Yet, the demand for foreign exchange by mostly domestic importers has risen significantly. For example, the last we had oil prices at about US$50 per barrel for an extended period of time was in 2005. At that time, our average import bill was N148.3 billion per month. In stark contrast, our average import bill for the first nine months of 2015 is N917.6 billion per month, even though oil prices are now less than US$35 per barrel. The net effect of these combined forces unfortunately is the depletion of our foreign exchange reserves. As of June 2014, the stock of Foreign Exchange Reserves stood at about US$37.3 billion but has declined to around US$28.0 billion as of today.

6.     To avoid further depletion in the reserves, the CBN took a number of countervailing actions including the prioritization of the most critical needs for foreign exchange. In this regard, and in order of priority, we decided to provide the available but highly limited foreign exchange to meet the following needs:

  • Matured Letters of Credit from Commercial Banks
  • Importation of Petroleum Products
  • Importation of critical Raw Materials, Plants, and Equipment, and
  • Payments for School Fees, BTA, PTA, and related expenses

7.     In the total disregard of the difficulties that the Bank is facing in meeting its mandate of “maintaining the country’s foreign exchange reserves to safeguard the value of the Naira,” we have continued to observe that stakeholders in some of the subsectors have not been helpful in this direction. In particular, we have noted with grave concern that Bureau de Change (BDC) operators have abandoned the original objective of their establishment, which was to serve retail end users who need US$5,000 or less. Instead, they have become wholesale dealers in foreign exchange to the tune of millions of dollars per transaction. Thereafter, they use fake documentations like passport numbers, BVNs, boarding passes, and flight tickets to render weekly returns to the CBN.

8.     Despite the fact that Nigeria is the only country in the world where the Central Bank sells dollars directly to BDCs, operators in this segment have not reciprocated the Bank’s gesture to help maintain stability in the market. Whereas the Bank has continued to sell US Dollars at about N197 per dollar to these operators, they have in turned become greedy in their sales to ordinary Nigerians, with selling rates of as high as N250 per dollar. Given this rent-seeking behaviour, it is not surprising that since the CBN began to sell foreign exchange to BDCs, the number of operators have risen from a mere 74 in 2005 to 2,786 BDCs today. In addition, the CBN receives close to 150 new applications for BDC licenses every month.

9.     Rather than help to achieve the laudable objectives for which they were licensed, the Bank has noted the following unintended outcomes:

  • Avalanche of rent-seeking operators only interested in widening margins and profits from the foreign exchange market, regardless of prevailing official and interbank rates;
  • Potential financing of unauthorized transactions with foreign exchange procured from the CBN;
  • Gradual dollarization of the Nigerian economy with attendant adverse consequences on the conduct of monetary policy and subtle subversion of cashless policy initiative; and
  • Prevailing ownership of several BDCs by the same promoters in order to illegally buy foreign currencies multiple times from the CBN.

10.   More disturbing, though, is the financial burden being placed on the Bank and our limited foreign exchange. The CBN sells US$60,000 to each BDC per week. This amount translates to US$167 million per week, and about US$8.6 billion per year. In order to curtail this reserve depletion, we have reduced the amount of weekly sales to US$10,000 per BDC, which translates into US$28.4 million depletion of the foreign reserve per week and US$1.476 billion per annum. This is a huge hemorrhage on our scarce foreign exchange reserves, and cannot continue especially because we are also concerned that BDCs have become a conduit for illicit trade and financial flows.

11.   In view of the above, the Management of the Central Bank of Nigeria has reached the following decision, which take immediate effect:

  • The Bank would henceforth discontinue its sales of foreign exchange to BDCs. Operators in this segment of the market would now need to source their foreign exchange from autonomous source. They must however note that the CBN would deploy more resources to monitoring these sources to ensure that no operator is in violation of our anti-money laundering laws;
  • The Bank would now permit commercial banks in the country begin accepting cash deposits of foreign exchange from their customers.

12.   In closing, let me note very importantly that these measures are not intended to be punitive on anyone or any group. Rather it is meant to ensure that the CBN is better able to carry out its mandate in an effective and efficient manner, which guarantees preservation of our scare commonwealth, and that our hard-earned financial system stability remain intact to the benefit of all Nigerians.


Amb. Teneilabe Receives Highest Honor From GA State Senate

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Ambassador Geoffrey Teneilabe, the outgoing Consulate General of Nigeria on January 22, 2016, received Senate Resolution, the highest honor from State Senate, during the Georgia General Assembly. Presented by Donzella James, a democratic senator representing Metropolitan Atlanta’s 35th District of Georgia for his exemplary diplomatic service to the community.

In his acceptance speech, Amb. Teneilabe commended Senator James for supporting the Nigerian Communities, and thanked the Senate Chamber, stating that Georgia-Nigeria economic relations has been mutually beneficial.

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Nigeria-US Trade Relations


A trade delegation of 16 United States companies representing multiple sectors visited Nigeria recently. The trade group was part of the largest overall US Government-led trade mission to Africa in history.

A statement from the US Consulate General in Nigeria, explained that the Winds-Africa spinoff trade mission to Lagos saw a day of meetings for US business executives with Nigerian Government leaders and entrepreneurs.

This, it said also strengthened further, numerous US-Nigerian business leads and deals. It also stated that to date, the overall Trade Winds-Africa trade mission in 2015 has brought more than 100 US companies to the continent.

“Nigeria is the largest economy in Africa with countless business opportunities, and it can be a great launching point into other African markets,” the US Acting Consul General in Lagos,Dehab Ghebreab, said.

 The Trade Winds-Africa mission is part of a concerted effort under President Obama’s Doing Business in Africa campaign, under which the US Government has committed billions of dollars in financing to stimulate trade and investment in a wide range of industrial sectors”Nigeria’s burgeoning market means untold possibilities for U.S. companies, which can provide quality goods, services, and solutions in a broad array of sectors,” the U.S. Senior Commercial Officer, Brian McCleary, who is based in Lagos, added.

The overall delegation was in South Africa from September 16-18 for business-to-business meetings and a forum with regional leaders and representatives of U.S. and African companies. Many of the U.S. companies also visited other markets on the continent. The trade mission ultimately stopped in eight countries: Angola, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, Tanzania, and South Africa.

The U.S. Commerce Department and U.S. Mission to Nigeria teams expect to facilitate more than 200 business-to-business meetings

2015 FACE HONORS Global Leadership and Security Summit Debut in New York City

For Immediate Release
September 28th, 2015

FACE (Festival of Arts, Culture and Expo) Honors Global Leadership and Security Summit in collaboration with African Business Round Table and partnership with Nigeria Consulate of Atlanta, GA was held on the week of the 70th General Assembly, in New York on September 26th, and 27th, 2015.

FACE Honors Global Leadership with the THEME: “Bridging Skills Gap: Maximising Human Capital in a Rapidly Evolving Economy” was held on September 26th at the Flatiron Hotel, to recognise individuals, organisations, corporations, and institutions whose outstanding leadership, service or activities has contributed to the promotion of culture, security, diplomacy, enterprises, and entrepreneurship in Africa and the African diaspora. The conference and award celebration, promotes diplomacy through arts by  recognising Africa’s influences on global economy, and cultures to promote bilateral relations for exchange of information, networking opportunities, and promote Nigeria and well being of the African immigrant community in the diaspora.

In attendance were Amb. Geoffrey Teneilable, Amb./Consul General of Nigeria, Atlanta, Amb. Howard Jetter, former US Ambassador to Nigeria, Hon.Crump, Council President City of Newark, Ugo Nwaokoro, Deputy Mayor of Newark, New Jersey, Barrister Oladipo Okpeseyi, SAN, and Chairman of The Island Club, Lagos, Dr. Edwin Ndukwe, Head Communications, Chrome Group, Bob Brunner, Vice President of Arik Airlines, Barrister Tony Egbase, Principal Counsel, A.O.E Law & Associates, Mrs. Olamide Davies, CEO, MISS Africa Tri- State and delegates from Ivory Coast representing, Donatien BEUGRE, President of the Regional Counsel of San-Pedro, including, personalities, dignitaries, entrepreneurs, beauty queens, professionals, performing artists, journalists, government officials, State officials, and business executives, some of whom were recognised for their outstanding leadership and service to the community.

In his opening remarks, Amb. Teneilabe expressed enthusiasm, and commended the organisers of FACE for their effort in creating awareness, aimed at promoting cultural ties arts and bilateral trade relations between Nigeria and the United States, as well as the provision of opportunities and platform for exchange of information, ideas and interactions, between private sector investors of the two countries. Guests were entertained into the night, with performances by “Perfecta Ekpo”, “OKO The Artist”, fashion show by Allflow Couture, and media coverage by Afrik diaspo News.

The security summit, was held on September 27th at the United Nations Headquarters, with the THEME: “Beyond The Millennium Development Goals: The Sustainable Development Agenda and Challenge of Combating Persistent and Emerging Threats To Peace And Security In Africa”, in collaboration with African Business Round Table, and partnership with the Permanent Mission of Nigeria to the United Nations.

The Keynote Speaker at the security summit were H.E. former, President of Nigeria, Olusegun Obansajo, attendees include, Hon Abike Dabiri Erewa, Heads of delegation of African countries, Heads of key institutions such as the African Union, Regional Economic Communities (ECOWAS, SADCC, IGADEAC, ECCAS, Mahgreb Union, Ambassadors, and securities companies. Presentations were also, made by Amb. Renee Sanders, former, United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Brian Colella, CEO, SOSB Incorporated, and Henry Morgenstern, CEO, Security Solutions International SSI, Miami.

Honorees of Esteemed FACE:









9. Nigerian American Lawyers Association (NALA) – OUTSTANDING ORGANIZATION OF THE YEAR

10. Flory Ramoreboli, CEO, Allflo Couture – BEST DESIGNER OF THE YEAR

11. Mayor Ras J. Baraka, Newark, New Jersey – LIFE TIME ACHIEVEMENT OF THE YEAR

12. Donatien BEUGRE, CEO, TRC San- Pedro, Cote d’Ivoire, Ivory cost – LIFE TIME ACHIEVEMENT OF THE YEAR


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Barr Anthony Egbase

Receiving FACE HONORS International Personality of The Year 2015

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Nigeria Export Promotion Council Call to Action

The Nigerian Export Promotion Council has announced clear commitments towards ITC championed 5 year Call to Action on growing global economy through women’s participation in trade. The announcement was made in Sao Paulo, Brazil on 1 September 2015 at the Trailblazer Summit organized by the International Trade Centre (ITC) to launch a call to action for women’s economic empowerment through trade that commits to take one million Women Business Enterprises (WBEs) to market by 2020.

It will result in a Roadmap to 2020 for sourcing from Women with concrete and measurable annual targets for research, robust database development, training for market readiness, access to capital and strategic utilization of technology.

Announcing NEPC’s Commitments to the Call to Action, Ms Maureen Ideozu, Technical Advisor to the CEO – NEPC, an Elumelu Fellow who represented the CEO, Mr Olusegun Awolowo said that NEPC has articulated four strategic interventions which encompass data gathering, capacity development, mentoring, market access and advocacy.

The four key commitments are – Commissioning a diagnostic field research on export survival strategies for women; Implementing strategic interventions for achieving women inclusiveness in domestic, regional and global markets; achieving sustainable gender inclusiveness in trade policies and; monitoring and evaluation with review of gender inclusiveness strategies.

Ms Ideozu stressed that women hold a hidden economic growth potential for the country. According to SMEDAN’s 2013 MSMEs survey, MSMEs in Nigeria account for 84% of Nigeria’s labour force with women owning 43% of the micro enterprises and 22.75& of the small and medium enterprises. With the right level of support and innovation, these women businesses can join the global economy through participation in value chains.

Closing the Summit, Ms Arancha Gonzalez – Executive Director of ITC announced the launch of a platform that provides procurement information from countries around the world with over 100000 worldwide tenders. In addition were seven other concrete commitments from ITC.

The Summit was the beginning of a three day Women Vendors Exhibition and Forum (WVEF15), which gathered hundreds of women and large corporations from across over 40 countries. The programme holds from 1 – 3 September 2015.


ANPA Making Nigeria Proud


The Association of Nigerian Physicians in the Americas (ANPA) held its 21st Anniversary Convention and Gala Banquet on Saturday, July 8-12, 2015 at the Marriott Orlando World Center, Orlando, FL. Theme: “Healthcare Delivery During Conflicts, Disasters and Epidemics”.In attendance were Amb. GeoffreyTeneilabe, Amb./Consulate General of Nigeria, Atlanta, the Surgeon General of Florida State, John Armstrong Parker, MD, former Rivers State Commissioner of Health, ProfessorOnyebuchiChukwu, former Minister of Health, Nigeria, former Lagos State Commissioner for Health, BenjaminOhiaeri, MD, CMD, Dr AdaIgonoh a survivor of the Ebola virus infection, the national executives, Dr. MikeEtomi, Dr. AustinOsemeka, physicians, pharmacists, nurse practitioners, residents, allied health professionals, media press, other notable personalities and distinguished guests from around the world.Following the ANPA Florida Chapter meet and greet, a Golf Tournament, Hat and Tea raffle was organized by ANPA members to raise funds for medical missions. Presentations were made by the invited speakers, and ANPA members, concluding a three day event filled with scientific, professional, social and cultural activities.

John Armstrong Parker, MD commended the Federal and Lagos State Governments of Nigeria for their swift response to the Ebola crisis in Nigeria. Also, Dr. Nkem Chukwumerije, ANPA President, thanked the Ambassador/Consulate General of Nigeria, Atlanta, Amb. Geoffrey Teneilabe for their partnership in providing Nigerian passport renewal services, as well as speakers, members, guests, exhibitors, and sponsors.

His Excellency, Ambassador Geoffrey Teneilabe, expressed optimism during his remarks at the Gala Banquet Night held on July 11th 2015, commending the organization for their commitment in providing health services in Nigeria through its Medical Missions, and initiatives in reaching out to other organizations in the Nigerian Diaspora, urging all Nigerians to come together to support good causes. The Gala Banquet and award night was filled with enthusiasm, and laughter as MC Comedian Seyi Brown kept an audience of over 500 people entertained.

Philanthropist Sir Emeka Offor Donates $10 Million to Carter Center in the Fight Against River Blindness


On Thursday June 12, 2015 over 300 individuals, international communities, and Nigerians in the diaspora, including guests from Atlanta’s Consular Community, Sir Emeka Offor Foundation, The Carter Center, Board of Councilors members, Government, Charities and Corporations of Nigeria were present at the Grant Signing Ceremony that took place at The Carter Center between the Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and Philanthropist Sir Emeka Offor for a partnership to eliminate river blindness (onchocerciasis) in Nigeria.

Also, in attendance were other notable personalities such as Ambassador Teneilabe, Amb./Consul General of Nigeria, Atlanta, Ambassador Howard Jester, Former US Ambassador to Nigeria, Hon. Chudi Ofodile, Former member of the House of  Rep, Nigeria, Adetokunbo Kayode (SAN), Former Minister of Defense, Nigeria, Hon. Ken Nnaman, Former Senate President, Nigeria, and members of the international press.

Prior to the signing, another ceremony was held on June 11, 2015 to honour Philanthropist Sir Emeka Offor as Honorary Citizenship of the State of Georgia by the Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus of the Georgia Parliament, Rep. Dee Dawkins for his contributions in the fight against diseases in Africa and Nigeria which had impacted, positively on the lives of many Nigerians through his Foundation programmes and projects.

The grant support of $10 million by Sir Emeka from the Sir Emeka Offor Foundation (SEOF) is the largest grant in Carter Center history given by an individual African donor to help facilitate treatment in previously uncovered areas in Nigeria, increase distribution of Mectizan from once a year to twice a year treatment and provide treatment as needed, specifically,  in states like Abia, Imo, Anambra, Delta, Ebonyi, Edo, and Enugu by 2020 in collaboration with the government.

In a press interview, the Former President stated that the grant will help to extend the reach of the Carter Center’s work in South East and South South Nigeria and help accelerate river blindness elimination throughout Nigeria where The Carter Center works with the Federal Ministry of Health, including Sir Emeka’s native home, Anambra State in Nigeria, West Africa.

“  I am deeply honored to work closely with The Carter Center, through the Sir Emeka Offor Foundation to help eliminate river blindness, ” said Sir Emeka Offor. “ Nigeria has more cases of river blindness than any other country in the world. Yet, we know that with adequate resources, hard work, and perseverance, we can defeat this terrible neglected disease that can steal a person’s ability to see the beauty of the world in which we live and to enjoy a full and active life.”

“ Today’s unprecedented donation from Sir Emeka Offor Foundation will allow us to ramp up the program and close in on elimination, impacting many more people in southern Nigeria. ” said  Dr. Emmanuel Miri, Country Representative of The Carter Center. “With SEOF and the Nigerian government, we believe we can surpass the caliber of success we’ve already demonstrated and will meet the 2020 river blindness elimination target in the states where we work.”

His Excellency, Ambassador Geoffrey Teneilabe, expressed optimism about the project’s prospects to eliminate river blindness during a private dinner reception held on June 13, 2015 in his residence at Roswell, GA. He also, commended Sir Emeka Offor for his commitment in the fight against diseases in Nigeria, urging him to continue the good work.


Since 1996, The Carter Center has assisted the Nigerian Ministry of Health in nine states to fight river blindness through community-based health education, Merck and its Mectizan Donation Program; the World Health Organization (WHO) and the WHO-World Bank African Programme for Onchocerciasis Control (APOC); the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; the Sir Emeka Offor Foundation; the Lions Clubs International Foundation; the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID); RTI International; the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Mr. John J. Moores; the former River Blindness Foundation; The Margaret A. Cargill Foundation; Mr. and Mrs. Henry McConnon; the A. G. Leventis Foundation; and many other generous donors and partners.


The Sir Emeka Offor Foundation is a philanthropic organization based in Oraifite, Anambra State, Nigeria. The Foundation seeks to alleviate the suffering of the less privileged through philanthropy, and focuses primarily on giving support and hope to those in need irrespective of tribe, creed, religion and nation. The Foundation has affected the lives of many Nigerians through its domestic programs and projects which include youth empowerment, widows cooperative, education, health service and infrastructure development. For more information, visit:








Undefeated Nigerian Superstar – Gifted Cole


Gifted Cole Chiori, is an undefeated professional boxer based in the United States- originally from Nigeria. Gifted is a welterweight fighter, with a current record of 11-0. He has fought professionally In Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, and the United States.

His last bout, was internationally televised by Super Sports from Accra, Ghana, and was attended by President John Mahama, and over 25,000 spectators. The fight was stopped in the 6th round, as his opponent could not continue.

Gifted won the official Intercontinental WBF Title by way of knockout on November 9, 2013, against German opponent Tom Reiche. The self- promoted event in Atlanta, was graced by thousands of his Nigerian supporters and dignitaries from all over the United States. He has earned the respect and admiration of fans all around the world, and continues to entertain them with his unique style of fighting. Chiori was also honored by the Minister of Works Honorable Arc Mike Onolememen at the prestigious ‘Face Award USA’ for Sports Athlete of the Year in Atlanta, GA, and has many U.S. based Nigerian fans who greatly support his efforts.

Gifted is currently training to fight his next opponent this July in Australia and plans to promote several more fights before the end of the year in the United States, and possibly in Nigeria. He sees the potential for the growth of boxing as a major source of entertainment, and has his eyes set on bringing boxing back to Nigeria in a big way. His campaign to ‘Bring Vegas to Nigeria’, will require stakeholders that share in his vision to make Nigeria a desirable location to breed and promote elite professional boxing.

Gifted is proud to continuously provide guidance for less fortunate youth through his charity work in Nigeria. He has single- handedly funded and promoted boxing clinics and tournaments for at risk youth, and does his part to provide them with the necessary equipment and facilities to sharpen their skills in boxing. Many of the participants are being groomed by Chiori’s team for a career in boxing, with hopes of bringing them to train and fight in America in the form of an exchange program. Chiori is looking forward to partner with anyone who shares in his vision, and welcomes all support.

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The Annual Nigeria Oil & Gas Conference and Exhibition


The Annual Nigeria Oil & Gas Conference and Exhibition, under the auspices of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources & NNPC, took place from 16 – 19 March 2015 in Abuja, Nigeria. The conference provided a platform for the Nigerian oil and gas industry to discuss and debate the most pressing issues facing the industry as well as share successes and network with industry peers.

The distinguished speaker line-up included senior representatives from government, new and existing MDs of the international oil companies operating in Nigeria, independent oil companies, international and indigenous services companies, financiers and lawyers who were able to address the delegates, voicing the different perspectives of the industry.

The Nigeria Oil & Gas Exhibition welcomed over 6500 visitors visiting over 250 exhibiting companies, of which 85% were indigenous. The NOG exhibitors were able to showcase the latest technologies, products and services to current and potential business partners to secure deals and drive business forward.

 2015 Key Decision Makers Included:

H.E. Diezani Alison-MaduekeHonourable Minister of Petroleum ResourcesFederal Republic of Nigeria

H.E. (Prof) Chinedu O NeboHonourable Minister of PowerFederal Republic of Nigeria

Joseph Thlama DawhaGroup Managing DirectorNNPC

George OsahonDirectorDepartment of Petroleum Resources

Jonathan Kwame OkehsGroup General ManagerNational Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS)

Markus DrollVice President, Nigeria & GabonShell Upstream International Operated

Wale TinubuGroup Chief ExecutiveOando Plc

Babs OmotowaManaging Director

Why Nigerian Professionals in the Diaspora want to establish a Diagnostic & Trauma Center in Nigeria


Nigerian Professionals in the Diaspora have come together to establish a healthcare facility that will save lives, empower better-informed healthcare decisions, and reduce the rates of preventable mortality in Nigeria, using their expertise, and experiences already gained in the U.S .

Out of sheer concern for the millions of medically under-served Nigerians who suffer needlessly, and even die due to curable and preventable illnesses. The facility will help with early prevention, and life saving techniques that could save lives, and reduce the morality rate in Nigeria.

The idea to bring hope and possibly save lives was initiated during the 2013 Atlanta chapter of the Nigerians in Diaspora Organizations in the Americas conference, (NIDOA) in partnership with the Consulate of Nigeria, Atlanta, under the leadership of Amb. Geoffery Teneilabe.  The project has brought Nigerians in the diaspora together in determining the future of healthcare situation in Nigeria for a common cause to “Save lives, one at a time”.

At the first Stakeholders’ monthly meeting held in Roswell, GA. Amb. Geoffrey Teneilabe, Amb. Adebowale Adefuye, and Amb. Habib Habu, New York, pledged to support the effort to advance the role of Nigerians in Diaspora in building an outstanding Medical facility in Abuja, Nigeria.

“We came together to set up a committee to allow Nigerian professionals to contribute immensely to the establishment of a Center of Medical Excellence, built by Nigerians. “I must tell you that virtually everyone that I have spoken to so far on the project has indicated interest to contribute and give back to their fatherland, said Ambassador Teneilabe.

The President of  the Nigeria Diaspora Diagnostic & Trauma Foundation (NDDTF), Prof. Martin Okafor on behalf of the Management Board and Members of the foundation, thanked the three Ambassadors of the Consulate General of Nigeria, Atlanta, New York, and Embassy of Nigeria in Washington DC for their encouragements, contributions, and continued support, since the deliberation of the establishment of the project started in May 2014.

It is worth to mention that the Consulate of Nigeria in Atlanta hosted, and facilitated NDDFT’s first maiden meeting, March 23, 2014 as well as all subsequent stakeholders’ meetings of the project, including; The secretariate, sponsorship and other logistics, since its conception in 2014.

The Nigeria Diaspora Diagnostic Trauma Foundation (NDDTF) and Nigeria Diaspora Diagnostic Trauma Center (NDDTC) are non-profit organizations both which were founded in 2014 with the committed support of the Consulates- General of Nigeria, New York, Atlanta, and the Embassy of Nigeria, Washington DC creating an enabling platform of unprecedented collaboration of Nigerian organizations, entrepreneurial groups, and small businesses as board members and stakeholders.

An International Conference on Tropical Health, and Fund Raising Gala will be held on March 21, 2015 at Holiday Inn, Atlanta/Roswell 909 Holcomb Bridge Road, Roswell, GA 30076. An event organized by the Nigeria Diaspora Diagnostic & Trauma Foundation (NDDTF) stakeholders.

For more info about the conference go to the event page on Facebook or  you can visit the website for additional details.



African History 101

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The Nok culture appeared in Nigeria around 1000 B.C. and mysteriously vanished around 500 AD in the region of West Africa. This region lies in Central Nigeria. The culture’s social system is thought to have been highly advanced. The Nok culture was considered to be the earliest sub-Saharan producer of life-sized Terracotta. It is suggested that the society eventually evolved into the later Yoruba Kingdom of Ife.

The refinement of this culture is attested to by the image of a Nok dignitary at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. The dignitary is portrayed wearing a “shepherds crook” affixed with an elastic material to the right arm. The dignitary is also portrayed sitting with flared nostrils, and an open mouth suggesting performance. According to some accounts, based on artistic similarities to both early Yoruba art forms and Nok forms, there may be connections between them and the contemporary Yoruba people. Later brass and terracotta sculptures of the Ife and Benin cultures show significant similarities with those found at Nok.

Iron use, in smelting and forging for tools, appears in Nok culture in Africa at least by 550 BC and more probably in the middle of the second millennium BC (between 1400 BC and 1600 BC depending on references).

INTRODUCING NIGERIANS IN THE DIASPORA- Dr. Robert Okojie ” The Man Behind NASA Success Stories”

At first glance, he looks like your average Joe. Dr Robert Okojie is ” The Man Behind NASA Success Stories” has numerous engineering contributions to high temperature aerospace technologies, in particular, electronic devices based on silicon carbide (SiC) semiconductors.  These techniques are now being licensed for use by a leading manufacturer of microsensors.

He has extended his silicon carbide expertise to batch fabrication of silicon carbide laminates for advanced fuel injectors that satisfy international civil aviation standards. His advance enables the use of this high performance semiconductor in the active control of engine combustion. He has even developed the first accelerated stress test protocol published in the IEEE International Reliability Physics Symposium, the venue by which reliability testing is accepted by world industry.

Dr. Robert S. Okojie working with silicon wafer in NASA GRC clean room.

Dr. Robert S. Okojie working with silicon wafer in NASA GRC clean room.

These are the latest in an impressive list of Dr. Okojie’s achievements. Among his past successes, he demonstrated the world’s first thermally stable ohmic contact metallization on silicon carbide at record breaking temperatures for extended periods of time. In turn, this paved the way for high temperature sensors and electronics at these temperatures that can substantially improve safety and efficiency, as well as directly impacting the air quality around airports.

His many patented device contributions extend to numerous MEMS structures that can reduce air and noise pollution, provide new deep well drilling tools, and supply sensors for the temperature and chemical extremes of aerospace environments. Okojie’s work is a combined effort of the Aviation Safety and Fundamental Aeronautics programs under NASA’s Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate.

A descendant of royalty from Nigeria, Okojie came to the United States in 1986 to attend college. After a brief stint at Essex County College, Newark, N.J., he attended the New Jersey Institute of Technology, also in Newark, where he obtained his bachelor’s and master’s in Electrical Engineering in 1991 and 1993, respectively.

He, continued, and later earned a doctorate in philosophy in 1996. His grandfather, King Ogbidi Okojie of Uromi, Nigeria, was an ardent supporter of higher education.  While Okojie has achieved a type of technical celebrity status with his colleagues, after work he is just a regular dad who spends time with his family.

For more information on Glenn’s silicon carbide electronics work, visit


Called To Serve – Ayo Abimbola For House of Representative


Called to serve his country, Henry Ayo Abimbola is running to be the next house of representative in Ogun State, Nigeria. Election will be held on Sat, March 28, 2015. Henry Ayo Abimbola is a native of Ijebu Remo origin who was born at the Lagos Island Maternity Hospital, Lagos Island, Lagos State, Nigeria on April 20, 1964 to High Chief Festus Olatilewa Abimbola and Princess Agnes Okalo Momodu. His early childhood was mostly spent between Lagos and Edo States. He attended his primary school education at Government School Irrua, Edo State as well as Government Demonstration School, Gbaja, Surulere, Lagos.

He received his ordinary levels secondary education at the Annunciation Catholic College, Irrua and completed his advanced levels secondary education at Parkadale Collegiate Institute, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He joined the United States Navy’s elite Hospital Corpsman career field where he received medical and hospital management training before he attended the United States Marine Corps’ Field Medical Service School (FMSS) in order to serve with U.S. Marines of the Fleet Marine Force (FMF). He later attended the Joint-service Defence Medical Readiness Training Institute (DMRTI) for specialized Instructor training on Combat Casualty Care Course (C4), and served as a Joint-service C-4 Instructor, from where he later retired from active duty status into veteran status. He has trained and variously worked in the sociological, medical management, and public health fields.

He attended Georgia Perimeter College and Texas Southern University to study Health Information Management. A graduate of Saint Leo University in the USA, and a veteran of the United States Armed Forces, his leadership, management and analysis expertise in government and healthcare sector spans two decades; including prior service with the former National Provident Fund Management Board in Nigeria in the mid to late 80s. An avid social commentator, freelance columnist, writer, and civil society leader, he has authored numerous pro-democracy features published Online. He is on the Board of three US-based civic organizations, and he is founder and president of a US-based national non-profit Veteran Service Organization, which operates shelters for homeless U.S. military veterans.

He is also the founder of International Reform Order of Nigeria (IRON), a Texas-based political think tank. He currently serves as executive director of Citizens for Nigeria (CFN), a civil society organization which operates and runs web site. Ayo currently manages War Casualties Tracking (WCT) programs for the United States Marine Corps’ Wounded, Ill and Injured Tracking Systems as a Recovery Care Coordinator by way of Armed Forces Services Corporation (AFSC) in San Antonio, Texas, U.S.A. Ayo’s administrative, organizational and analytic skills will bear positively at the Nigerian National Assembly, on his people in Ogun State, and on Nigerian nation as a whole. Ayo is happily married to Mariam Bukola Abimbola (nee Lekuti), and they are blessed with children.


What Does Nigeria Economic Growth Mean?

Nigeria has a bold vision of becoming one of the top 20 economies in the world by 2020, as outlined in its “Nigeria Vision 2020” strategy. Although currently eighth in the world in terms of population, the country ranks 41st in terms of GDP and 161st in terms of GDP per capital. Despite being described as a developing country, Nigeria is a powerhouse on the African continent by virtue of its size. Its vast oil wealth also promises much in the way of potential finance for development.

How can this enormous potential be realized, and what policies are needed to achieve this ambitious dream of economic growth and prosperity? The goal of becoming a top-20 economy can only be achieved if Nigeria also makes the transition to a new economy based on knowledge, productivity, and innovation that will enable it to be competitive in a 21st century context. According to the World Bank, there are common factors that are associated with successful development. No country has attained development outside these common denominators.

These are:

Economic growth:

This has to do with poverty reduction. Experience shows that countries that have reduced poverty substantially and in a sustained manner are the ones that grow fastest.Successful development is predicated on a country having sustained periods of high per capital income growth. Mass poverty and economic development don’t go together.

Vibrant private sector:

It has been established that private firms, including small and medium-sized businesses in rural non farm sectors, play a critical role in generating employment, particularly for the youth and the poor.This is where the contribution of the micro finance banks is needed. Undeveloped real sector coupled with mass unemployment are obstacles to development.


The citizenry must be empowered to contribute to development. Accordingly,every person should be able to enjoy good health and education. People should shape their own lives by being able to participate in the opportunities provided by economic development. People should have their voices heard about decisions affecting their own lives. Furthermore, there should be essential public services such as health, education and safe water. These are critical social services that should be provided equitably.

Good governance:

Good governance is perhaps the most important factor in development. Without good governance, every other thing is in disarray. Good governance in both public and private sectors creates an environment where contracts are enforced and markets can operate efficiently. It ensures that basic infrastructures are provided, with adequate health, education and security. People can effectively participate in decisions that affect their lives.


A nation’s development agenda must be homegrown. This ensures that there is widespread support for the programmes and reform measures that underpin it. State collaborations: To achieve economic development in Nigeria, collaborative efforts with other countries may be beneficial to the mutual interest in economic advancement. For example, the President of Benin Republic and African Union (AU) President, Dr. Boni Yayi announced his intention to collaborate with Nigeria to ensure economic development of both countries through the provision basic infrastructural facilities.

The two countries were tie through Ife, Benin, Sokoto Caliphate, Kanu Kingdom and other affinities, and currently, more than 50 percent of Benin populations are Nigerians, hence the need to bring about the synergy to better the lots of the people as proposed by the President of Benin Republic. Collaborative action and partnership of States can help foster economic roles in development through mutual benefit investments and infrastructural expansion.

Knowledge development:

Knowledge has always been central to development. Traditionally,cultures that knew more than others were better able to adapt to their environments, survive, and thrive. In ancient times, knowledge was spread through the most serendipitous ways from migratory movements to religious pilgrimages, from wars to inter tribal marriages and, thus,traveled across continents. Nowadays, the Internet has become the primary vehicle of knowledge dissemination almost the entire gamut of human history and knowledge is available in an instant and at little cost through the World Wide Web. Knowledge is becoming truly global, accessible, and democratic.

The impacts of this paradigm shift are all around us. Countries such as the Republic of Korea, India, and the United States of America that can harness the power of new technologies nurture a cadre of knowledge workers that can push the productivity and innovation frontiers. Others that fail to do so remain mired in poverty.

The global financial crisis has shown that countries can no longer rely on narrow and static paradigms of growth, such as Nigeria and its natural resource endowments. The era when natural resources dominated trade has given way to an era in which knowledge resources are paramount.

Our world is changing rapidly and those who will be able to acquire, adapt, and utilize new ideas and innovations, regardless of who has invented them, will create tremendous wealth in the process. To achieve Vision 2020, Nigeria needs to move beyond the stop-start development patterns of an oil-based economy to create a stable and prosperous base for a 21st century society built on a critical mass of knowledge workers.

From 1914 to 2014, the Nigerian economy has witnessed several phases in development. The economic status of the nation has been affected by political instability, exploitation and a myriad of other factors just like many other nations of the world but amidst such obstructions, Nigeria’s economy has evolved over the years and it is still on a journey to its rise in fiscal and industrial development.

Attaining 100 years of existence since the 1914 amalgamation, Nigeria has course to celebrate its economic strength and diversity in several areas of development but at such a defining moment in Nigeria’s history, it is a strategic moment to redefine her economic policies, promote the expansion of investment, trade and agriculture as well as control natural resources to the fullness of their productivity and of course eliminate all forms of misuses and venality that hinders the maximum achievement to our economic expansion. With good governance and the best economic approaches, Nigeria will surely advance to the zenith of economic development.

After reading the above piece written by Okechukwu Effoduh, the question becomes: What Does Nigeria Economic Growth Mean? It means four more years of the Jonathan’s administration to continue its sound economic policies as reflected in the economic achievement of The Jonathan’s Administration to mention a few.

See below:

  1. Improvement in Economic Indices – In October 2011 International Ratings agency, Fitch Ratings revised the country’s Outlook upwards from Negative to Stable.

  2. Standard and Poor’s another internationally respected and independent ratings agency, revised Nigeria’s ratings from stable to Positive.

  3. Implementation of Niger Delta Amnesty Scholarship Program

  4. Signing into law the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Bill 2010 (Local Content Bill) which has increased Local Content in the Oil and Gas sector.

  • As a direct result of that law Royal Dutch Shell awarded a N7.8 billion ($49.9 million) contract to a Nigerian firm, S.C.C Limited, for the manufacture of high pressure line pipes that would otherwise have been awarded to a foreign firm.

  • As a result of this law, Exxon Mobil awarded an off shore platform contract to a local firm, NigerDockNig. PLC that would otherwise have been awarded to a foreign firm.

  1. Initiated the Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF). A seed capital of $1 billion was provided to kick start the fund as well as establish three sub funds- the Nigeria Infrastructure Fund; the Future Generations Fund and the Stabilization Fund which will be the pillars of the SWF.

  2. Launched the Youth Enterprise with innovation in Nigeria (YOUWIN) initiative on the 11th October 2011 which is the administration’s job creation center piece.

  3. CNN Lists Nigeria as 3rd Expected Fastest Growing GPD.

  4. Launched the Public Works Women and Youth Empowerment programmer, an intervention programmer designed to employ 370,000 youths in the year 2012 with 30% of those jobs being reserved for women.

  5. Secured investment commitments worth 4.89 Trillion Naira.

  6. Launched the NigComSat-1Rsatellite which will help expand Internet Bandwidth, monitor the weather and provide early warning to prevent natural disasters like floods, crop monitoring and urban planning. It has the attendant benefit of reducing the over $1 billion spent in purchasing Internet Bandwidth from abroad.

  7. Nigeria’s banking industry rescued and stabilized by the establishment of the Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON) in the year 2010.

  8. MasterCard made Nigeria its regional headquarters for its West/East and Indian Ocean islands zone raising the profile of Nigeria’s e-commerce industry.

  9. Nigeria’s GDP grew by a record 8.29% during the last quarter of 2010 and by over 7% in 2011. In the first quarter of 2012 Nigeria had verifiably become the third fastest growing economy in the world as recently attested to by several multilateral bodies and trading partners.

  10. Revival of the Textile industry via the 150 billion Naira Textile Industry Bailout, as a result the United Nigerian Textile Limited was reactivated amongst others and over 2000 employees re-engaged

  11. Non-oil exports from 2010 (standing at $2.3 Billion) and subsequent years are ten times what they were in 2000 (which were $200 Million) as a direct result of this administration’s intervention in the Textile Industry and Real Sector.

  12. Implemented the National Transformation in priority areas, including power, rehabilitation and expansion of national infrastructure, agricultural development, education and employment generation.

  13. Created an estimated 1.6 million new jobs in 2013 as a result of his government’s policies and actions.

  14. Implementation of the National Industrial Revolution Plan, NIRP, aimed at industrializing Nigeria and diversifying the economy into sectors such as agro-processing, light manufacturing, and petrochemicals.

  15. Common External Tariff, CET, agreement with the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS to protect the country’s strategic industries from foreign domination.

  16. Nigeria moved from being a net importer to a net exporter of cement, with its production capacity growing from just 2 million metric tons in 2002 to about 28.5 million metric tons today.

  17. Nigeria named by UN Conference on Trade and Development, UNCTAD as the No.1 destination for investments in Africa.

  18. Distribution of fertilizers and seeds to about 4.2 million farmers, directly through an e-wallet system.

  19. Building of 72 new libraries in Federal Unity Schools and laboratories rehabilitated in all the 51 Federal and State polytechnics across the country.

  20. Privatization of 10 power plants under the National Integrated Power Projects, NIPP to ensure effective evacuation and distribution of power generated, an addition of $1.5 billion was advanced for the upgrade of the transmission network to boost electricity

  21. Cut down on public expenditure and wastage by government personnel in all ministries, departments and agencies.

  22. Deployment of the three electronic platforms namely, the Treasury Single Account, TSA; the Government Integrated Financial Management Information System, GIFMIS; and the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System, IPPIS- to curb leakages in the system.

While we may have differences of opinion, we must take away sentiments, and take a closer look at President Jonathan’s and General Buhari’s economic track record. Today, Nigeria is the 26th biggest economy with a GDP of over $510 billion. Is this progress in action, it left for your to look at the facts, and decide.

Celebrating One of Our Own – Amb. Princess Asha Okojie


After building a career in entertainment, and media for ten years, Amb. Princess Asha Okojie’s path turned into foreign direct investment consultancy when she served as Media Consultant for Nigeria Consulate in Atlanta, Georgia for the 17 Southeastern States of the United States and territory, during former President Jonathan Goodluck’s Administration where she brought cultural diplomacy as a form of international communication in facilitation of bilateral trade and investment between Africa and United States.

Amb. Princess Asha, Okojie comes from a generation of politicians, and social activists. She is the granddaughter of King Ogbidi Okojie of Uromi dynasty (1857 – February 3, 1944), who was a ruler of the Esan people in what is now Edo State in Nigeria, still remembered for his opposition to British rule. She is also, a niece of Cardinal Anthony Olubunmi Okogie, the first Esan Catholic Cardinal of Nigeria, and late politician, Chief Anthony Enahoro, who in 1953 initiated the self-government motion, which eventually led to Nigerian Independence on the 1st day of October 1960.

Amb. Princess Asha wears many hats; She is the CEO, of AfriQtalk consult (Investment and Trade Facilitation Firm) and AfriQtalk Media (Branding Entertainment, Media and Corporate Event Management), Executive Producer and Director of Let Talk Africa (An Online Radio Blog and Talk Show). Founder and President of Festival of Arts and Cultural Expo, Global Leadership and HONORS, (FACE) a non profit social and cultural organization that promotes cultural diplomacy, empowerment, trade and investment  with affiliates in North America, Africa and Europe.

Under her leadership, AfriQtalk Consult provided media coverage for President Muhammadu Buhari’s first visits to the U.S, Washington, D.C. Co-hosted President Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), Atlanta, GA. Conducted press interviews at the Annual Export and Import Bank conference (EXIM), Washington, DC, and Oil Technology Conference (OTC), Houston, TX as well as organized corporate/group events at United Nations General Assembly, New York, entertainment consultancy for VHI, CNN, The Dr. Phil Show, and coverage of meetings/press conference at the Georgia Senate Chambers, Carter Center, and former Mayor Kasim Reed’s office of International Affairs, Atlanta, GA to mention a few.

Also, FACE Global Leadership and HONORS have partnered with selected organizations, and supported small businesses, social and cultural institutions, in the empowerment of youth and women, promotion of culture, arts, tourism development, entrepreneurship, trade and investment opportunities in Africa through philanthropic activities, conferences, forums, training, workshops and exchanges programs, such as trade/medical missions, pageantry, awards, cultural activities, music concerts, and entertainment.

As a Foreign Direct Investment Consultant, Amb. Princess Asha have consulted for private and public sectors, governmental agencies, embassies, consulates, diplomatic corps, and international communities to promote artisanship, entrepreneurship, and policies that would create investment/business opportunities for the development, and maintenance of viable primary, secondary, and tertiary sectors in Nigeria. She is also, a Life Coach and Publicist to some high profiled celebrities, artists, personalities, and public figures.

Amb. Princess Asha have interviewed public figures, and celebrities, from likes of former President Jimmy Carter, Governor of Abia State, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, and Sir Emeka Offor, 2Face, Bracket, Kalu Ikeagwu, Blessing Egbe, and Olu Maintain, to house of representatives members, senators, foreign service diplomats, authors, movie producers, community leaders, ambassadors, business/community leaders, government officials, and company executives, using her Talk Show platform at times in high profiled events.

Besides being recognized as one of the emerging African leaders, media personality and international person in the African diaspora, This ex-beauty queen, and model is not a new face to the entertainment industry. She is a media icon who was among the first Africans to introduce online reality talk show channel on YouTube and Blog Talk Radio in 2009, a trend that revolutionised online freelance journalism, news and traditional media in Africa and African diaspora.

The Brand Ambassador for Imperial Bizzo is also, an activist against gender inequality, human trafficking, FGM and child marriage. Her philanthropic initiatives and work with women and youths has received both local and international recognitions. She was  nominated as the first U.S Culture Ambassador to Edo State Ministry of Arts, Culture and Diaspora Affairs and a conferred United Nations Ambassador for Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).

Amb. Princess Asha, have routinely exhibited the enthusiasm, vision, and dedication necessary to be considered among the best. As a result of her extraordinary efforts, she was elected into Stanford Who is Who, U.S.A, an elite organization of selected executives, professionals and entrepreneurs from around the world. She’s walked on fashion runways, graced the front cover of Magazines and featured on print publications, TV, radio talk shows and ads.

She is compassionate, caring and fun-loving with high-energy. Her passion for culture, fashion and indigenous music is evident in her creativity and love for culinary arts, which made her the youngest female entrepreneur of African descent, to own the first African cuisine restaurant (Fashwill Kitchens) College Park, GA, catering to celebrities, such as former NBA Star, Akeem Olajuwon and Who’s Who in town.

Her devotion to God, love for nature and family keeps her going. In her spare time, she enjoys writing inspirational quotes, photojournalism, modeling, traveling, and mentoring young women and girls. A sickle cell advocate, who is committed to finding alternative traditional medicine for sickle cell disease through research and education.

She holds a B.A in Performing Arts, and B.S in Healthcare Administration & Management. An Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Information Management, Nigeria, Board Member of THINK=>WEST Initiative (TWI), Nigeria, and The International Forum for Sickle-Celled in the Diaspora (INFORSID), Germany, Advisory Committee Member of Women Empowerment Network (WOENET), Nigeria, Stakeholder Member of the Nigerian Diaspora Diagnostic & Trauma Foundation (NDDTF), USA, Member of National Alliance of Medical Auditing Specialist,  (NAMAS), American Association of Professional Coders (AAPC), and American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) U.S.A.











Stuck By Cupid’s Arrow


Love at first sight may be attributed to Cupid love. The name Cupid itself was derived from the Latin word “Cupido,” meaning love, passion, desires, yearnings, wanting or longing. Cupid is the most famous of Valentine symbols and everybody knows that boy armed with bow and arrows, and piercing hearts . He is known as a mischievous, winged child armed with bow and arrows. The arrows signify desires and emotions of love, and Cupid aims those arrows at Gods and Humans, causing them to fall deeply in love. Cupid has always played a role in the celebrations of love and lovers. In ancient Greece he was known as Eros, the young son of Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty. To the Roman’s he was Cupid, and his mother was Venus.

Sounds like a Mythological tale?

Well, Cupid just happens to be a part of one of the great love stories from Classical Mythology. Cupid, the Roman God of love was the son of Venus the Roman Goddess of love and Mercury, the Roman messenger God. He is believed to carry two types of bows in his quiver. The ones made of gold represent true love whereas the ones with lead tips stood for wanton lust. This makes him the God of both romantic as well as erotic love. Cupid is generally believed to have ignited romance in unsuspecting hearts. But the result of his actions didn’t bring pleasure at all instances. He is also known to have struck love between odd couples and then enjoyed watching them work out the situation. However, Cupid himself gets trapped in the game of mismatches which is evident with his love story, and just who is this great lover that he pricked with his love arrow?

There was a beautiful princess named Psyche means “butterfly” and also means “soul”. In many ways, what Psyche goes through is symbolic of the path of each woman’s soul in life. Psyche was so adored by the people that they began to forget about Venus. Venus grew so jealous of this that she sent her son Cupid on a mission to make Psyche fall in love with the ugliest man alive. But upon seeing Psyche, Cupid was so overcome by her beauty that he dropped his arrow on his foot and fell passionately in love with her. He visited Psyche every night and the couple became lovers. There was one condition, however, that Psyche was not allowed to see Cupid. She was forbidden to look upon him.

One night, Psyche’s curiosity overpowered her so she took a peek at Cupid as he slept. But he soon awoke to catch Psyche looking at him and he left her because he feared his mother’s wrath should she discover their affair. Psyche spent years searching the world for Cupid with a broken heart until finally Jupiter granted her immortality so that she could remain with Cupid forever. The couple eventually had a daughter, Voluptas (Pleasure) and Nyx (Night) and they lived happily in their castle. Despite the antiquity of Cupid – God of love and beauty, he is still known by human beings as one that ignites love and passion in mortals. He has become synonymous with Valentine’s day and is commonly represented as shooting arrows at hearts of individuals.

Ironically, the origin of Valentine’s Day comes from the life and death of a Christian martyr, Saint Valentine a Roman who was killed for his faith on February 14, 269 A.D. He had refused to worship pagan gods, and some stories say he was a priest who would marry young lovers in secret because they did not have parental permission. Prior to his death, Valentine continued to minister in prison by witnessing to his prison guards. One of the guards was a good man who had adopted a blind girl. He asked Valentine if his God could help his daughter. Valentine prayed and the girl was given her sight. The guard and his whole family, 46 people, believed in Jesus and were baptized. When the Emperor heard about this he was furious that Valentine was still making converts even in prison, so he sentenced Valentine to death.

Also, Valentine is associated with love because he fell in love with the daughter of his jailer, and would pass notes to her. The tradition of sending love notes grows out of a letter written by St. Valentine to his jailer’s daughter on the eve of his execution. The young Christian wrote a note to the jailer’s daughter, signing it, “From your Valentine.” The first valentine was really a Christian witness. On the contrary, instead of us remembering the content of the original Valentine’s card which was a message of unconditional devotion to Christ, we participate in a custom of sending cards to people we love. In Italy, St Valentine’s Day became the traditional day to be engaged. Young Romans would spend Valentine’s day gathered together in gardens to listen to romantic poetry and music. Also, around the world, Valentine’s day is celebrated, I’m sure you’ll notice all of the hearts, the flowers, the chocolates, the plush toys, the greeting cards, the special lingerie, and the romantic getaway packages being advertised and offered in the stores.

Statistics shows that people find true love when they least expect it. Have you ever experienced a warm passion? Feelings of contentment that is unexplainable? unconditional love? not lust or imaginary desires, I’m talking about agape love. If so, there is a 100% chance that you’ve being stuck by Cupid’s arrow, the ones made of gold, which represent true love. Some may call it, finding their soul mates. Whatever it may be, It’s an experience that one out of a million people may encounter, once in their life time . Facts or fiction? You decide.

© 2016  AfriQtalk Entertainment. All rights reserved.

Mrs. Angela Esekhaigbe Celebrate’s Surprise 50th Birthday in Grand Style


Dignitaries, guests, friends, and well wishers came from Africa, Europe, and North America to celebrate Mrs. Angela Esiekhagbe’s surprise 50th birthday party in grand style. Held privately in Roswell, GA on December 27, 2014 by the celebrant’s husband, General Cecil Esiekhagbe.

The tables, and chairs were beautifully decorated with royal purple, and antique gold, the chandeliers surrounded with a panel of white, purple, and a hint of gold ceiling decoration. Guests tables were lavished with the finest wines, champagne, and liqueur.

In attendance were: The deputy Consul General and Staff of the Nigerian Consulate, Admiral Joe Aikhomu, Chief & Mrs. GC Nweze, Dr Victoria Okojie, Former Super Eagles Coach, Samson Siasia, Bar Anthony Egbase, Chris Erewele, Ken Erewele, Prince Henry Iseghohi, Vasco Momodu, Andy Ighile, Mr & Mrs Abraham Eichie, Austin Okoruwa, Henry Omodiagbe, Austin Agboinfo, Kingsley Jatt, Mrs Doris Braimah, Haj Aisha Aliyu, Mrs Vivian Okojie, Mrs Doris Theman, Bar Chi Chikwendu, Mrs Tammy Welli, Mrs. Oyovwi Attah, Dr. Charles and Chitu & family to name but a few.

The event proceeded with an opening prayer, opening remarks by The Esiekiagbe’s family, Mrs. Esiekhabge’s siblings, and  Chairman of the occasion, Admiral Joe Aikhomu. Guests were entertained by Comedian MC Rhema, including performances by The Grass Root Band, and OKO as they sat enjoying the buffet style Nigerian cuisines, continental dishes, and drinks being served by professional chefs, banquet servers, waitresses, and bartenders with great spirits. Following the reception was the cake cutting, and closing remarks.

The air was filled with excitement, a reminiscent of thanksgiving, and sense of accomplishment as the party continued into the early morning.

Event planning and official coverage by AfriQtalk 

A Taste of Culture Debuts in Atlanta, Dec 26, 2014.

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A Taste of Culture Debuts in Atlanta, Dec 26, 2014. Come join us for an evening of Conversation, Cuisines, Dance, Live Afro Jazz & Pop this Friday December 26, 2014 at Nations Cafe, Sandy Spring, Roswell, 30350. Featuring, acclaimed Nigerian Saxophonist, Shola Emmanuel & OKO from North Carolina. 10 % of Proceed will be donated to The Nigerian Diaspora Diagnostic & Trauma Foundation – NDDTF for The Trauma & Diagnostic Center Project in Abuja, Nigeria. Donations are Tax Deductible. Admission is free. To RSVP click here 


Amb. Teneilabe Celebrates with Nigeria at 54. Highlights President Goodluck Jonathan’s Achievements


The 54th Independence Anniversary began with photo ops, welcoming of Nigerians in the Diaspora and friends of Nigeria, including official representatives from other countries by Ambassador Geoffrey Teneilabe and his wife at Westin Atlanta Perimeter North in Atlanta. Oct 5, 2014.

The program was lined up with entertainment, presentations, and activities. Guests were treated to a cuisine of Nigerian dishes, and cocktail reception. One of such presentation was a video that showed a brief history of the 1914 Amalgamation. Followed by a night of comedy, and poetry as the over flowing crowd cheered on.

In his address to the attendees, Amb. Teneilabe used the occasion to remind the audience that it was a dual celebration that also marked the 100 anniversary of the 1914 Amalgamation of Southern and Northern Protectorates. He also, highlighted President Jonathan’s achievements, while telling Nigerians in the diaspora to be informal Ambassadors of Nigeria, despite the challenges, and encouraged the spirit of unity among the different ethnic groups in Atlanta.

The keynote speaker was Prof. Martin Okafor, who said that Nigeria in the diaspora should support the efforts under way to build a Diagnostic and Trauma center in Abuja, by Nigerians in the diaspora, diagnostics and trauma foundation. He added that Nigerian Americans can provide assistance in those areas by coming together for a good cause. After the program was completed, attendees jumped to their feet and danced the night away.

See pictures and Video, courtesy of Consulate General of Nigeria, Atlanta GA.


NNPC Raises The Alarm Over Fake Authorisation Letters in Nigeria


Chineme Okafor in Abuja

The management of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has raised the alarm over the circulation of fake letters of authorization purportedly from the NNPC to buy and/or sell Nigerian crude oil.

The Corporation yesterday called on members of the public to be wary of persons with fraudulent intents circulating letters authorizing the lifting of Bonny Light crude oil from Nigeria.

According to a statement signed by NNPC group general manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Ohi Alegbe, a paragraph in one of the fake letters of authorization in circulation reads:

“We hereby confirm that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has entered into contractual arrangements directly with Lavi International Corp to supply Bonny Light crude oil to the Lavi International Corp Associated Refineries and or Global Traders, and that the Lavi International Corp has the power and authority to sell or otherwise deal with the Bonny Light crude oil, the subject of those contractual agreements.”

The NNPC, however, stated that Messrs Lavi International Corp is not one of its crude oil off-takers for the 2014-2015 Term Contract Period and, therefore, has not been allocated any crude oil volume as speculated in the fake letter of authorization.

It further noted that the list of local and international companies duly approved as NNPC’s crude oil off-takers for the 2014-2015 Term Contract Period had been widely publicized and called on members of the public to avail themselves of such information to avoid being duped by unscrupulous elements.

“Meanwhile, we are working closely with relevant security agencies to track and bring to book all those behind these nefarious activities,” he said.

A MUST READ! EGOS AND EGOMANIACS – Film Making and Film makers in the Diaspora.


– By Austeen Eboka

EGOS AND EGOMANIACS – Film Making and Film Makers in the Diaspora.

First, reference the recently concluded FACE Awards ceremony in Atlanta, I greatly applaud the organizers for their selfless, generous and noble efforts at putting together such a prestigious and glamorous event. It was highly impressive, and humbling to be in the same room with such high-powered personalities. Thank you Princess Asha Okojie of AfriQ’talk Culture Beyond Borders and the FACE team. I pray more blessings and God’s continued favor on you all.

For some time leading to the FACE awards event, it had come to my hearing that some individuals attempted to sabotage the ceremony by instigating some negative responses and acceptance of the prestigious affair which, by the way, was not only well attended but, graced by Ministers from the continent, a US Senator, the Nigerian Consular General himself, Arik Air Vice President, some notable US TV Network personalities, entrepreneurs and several highly placed dignitaries both here and abroad.

Not to mention a written congratulatory message from Atlanta’s Mayor Kasim Reed to both the organizers and award recipients. These incorrigible elements, I understand, had the boldness to go as far as to challenge the authenticity and validity of the awards, the organizers as well as the recipients. What height of impertinence.

Secondly, some of us are privy to the unfortunate egocentricity currently pervading our beloved Nollywood industry where some do not understand the concept of team work, professional etiquette and collaborative ventures. There seems to be constant squabbling for dominance in terms of the quantity of movies they churn out yearly. To these individuals, quality and professionalism are foreign. Meanwhile, the ‘real filmmakers’ continue to struggle to accomplish their objectives and get the required resources to achieve their goals of producing quality work. But, change will definitely come when the wheat will be separated from the chaff.

Having said this, I do not comprehend the reason to have Nollywood validate Diaspora filmmaking. Basically, the coinage of the term “NOLLYWOOD USA” denotes just that. Common sense tells us that Nollywood relates to Nigerian Film Industry; just as Bollywood is to India. But then, here in the USA, where we have a mesh of artistes from across the continent coming together for the purpose of creating art, we still call this congregation Nollywood?

Is this deficiency due to a lack of intellectual capability or competence to actually device a more appropriate title for Diaspora film making? Try DIASWOOD, if you are so inclined to having the ‘wood’ attached. And, by the way, there is a DIASWOOD NETWORK in existence, ably put together by one of our very own here in the USA, ATL to be precise; a very well rounded professional in the industry, known across the world, whom I have been blessed to have worked with and continue to work and associate with. But, being who we are, because we did not initiate it, we cannot be a part of it. So, we’d rather become conniving, slippery and antagonistic towards such efforts. We’d rather tie our loins to someone else’s who has no bearing whatsoever on your existence or what you do here.

Furthermore, in relation to the Arts, there are over 2,000 film festivals organized yearly just here in the US. We never see or hear one party running the others down, asking such stupid questions as, “Who gave you the right”, “What qualifications do you have” to set up shop? If anything, there is support across the board. Also, there have been a few African awards shows done here in America that some of us do not even relate to. But no one has openly challenged or questioned the validity of such organizers, some of whom know nothing about the Arts. Of course, I do commend such efforts.

May be someday, we would have the good sense to merge all these different cells together to form ONE reputable, world class African Awards Body. Frankly, I am at a loss as to where to place my judgment on such. Whenever I hear that term – Nollywood USA – it takes all the fibers of my being to keep me from screaming out loud. Try ‘Hollywood Africa’ or ‘Bollywood Asia’ for good measure. I never heard of such intellectual mediocrity in conceptualizing a term or title.

It usually is not in my character to openly express my disgust at the some human follies, as no one is perfect. However, when some elements tend to continually indulge in heedless and irrational exhibition of their absurdities, it becomes imperative for me, and incumbent upon me to call some of this recklessness to order. And, at the end of the day, I DARE anyone of these individuals to tackle or challenge me with regard to my stand on this matter.

Some even had the temerity to confront one of the award recipients, and another member of the organizing body to accuse them of having rigged the whole thing. SERIOUSLY? What impudence! Half education is dangerous; no education at all, especially in the field of one’s endeavor is catastrophic. If you want to debate me on this issue or, any other relating to the Arts, please, let me know the date and time and I shall be there. I only need a 5-minute notice.

To the organizers, and my fellow recipients, do not let your spirits be dampened. In the same token, do not also let such awards get to your heads as humility is the key to achieving greater heights. Just be thankful to God that your efforts, no matter how little have been recognized and appreciated by others. Being nominated is not only gratifying but, a motivation to go out and do bigger things, because the world is watching. Even the Good Book says to rejoice with whomever is rejoicing and be happy for others so that, in like manner, you also may have others rejoice with, and be happy for you.

Film making is not the sole prerogative of any one entity, person or group. Organizing award shows likewise, should not be anyone’s birthright. That some nonentities have decided, out of their indecisive decision to claim “ownership” of not just the African film making industry here in the USA but, to also arrogate to themselves all power and office to decide who or who does not have the right to initiate such ventures is most unbecoming.

To realize that, as much as we are trying to build an industry of and for artistes in the Diaspora, some of us are filled with a mixture of animosity, avarice, self-aggrandizement and a bit of momentary goodness, if any at all, is not a pleasant discovery. It is on record that, one of the very first African movies, if not the first shot here in the US, I was a part of. This was in New York in 2004. The producers of this movie have not claimed proprietorship of Diaspora film making. Who then is it that has placed him/herself as the governor of African film making in the Diaspora?

Ordinarily, I would not have bothered myself with such trivialities as they do not merit any response from me. But, I feel pained that, here we are, Africans, instead of coming together to form a team, pulling our resources to encourage, stimulate and promote African Art, and Films, and those who have the courage to engage in same, as is typical, we embark on destroying, castigating, back-biting and undermining each other.

I ask, who the heck gives YOU the RIGHT or the PLUCK to challenge, dispute, question or contest other people’s well-meaning gestures? What gives anyone the impetus or audacity to claim ownership of any of these ventures? Winning an award, as far as I am concerned, is only a testament to the fact that your peers recognize and appreciate your contribution. It does not mean you are the best as there are so many out there doing great and greater things yet unknown. It is humbling and inspiring as well. However, what does it cost for us to be happy for, and rejoice with one another? Is it in the African DNA to be naturally antagonistic and unprogressive?

As a pioneering member of the Nollywood industry, with over 30 yrs in the field, both stage and screen, I can confidently, and in all modesty say that, none of those referred to here can claim to have been in this field as long as I have or paid as much dues as I have. Not to mention the fact that some of them do not know a thing about the arts. But I do not go around degrading their efforts or questioning them about their works. And there are so many out there like me or even much more experienced in this field whom we are yet to come across.

They are not running around provoking their peers or contesting some of the award shows being put together by others. Be mindful, though, it is not the length of time one has expended on an enterprise that matters but, our objective, dedication, zeal and passion. Some of my fellow award recipients, I know for a fact, have likewise put in a great effort at their craft. And they keep working at it. There are still many more out there, unknown to us who are achieving a remarkable lot.

So, do we undermine them because they do not belong to our clique or yours? How do we grow if we cannot support and motivate each other? But you feel others must come seek permission from you in order to shoot a film, organize an awards ceremony? So, I ask again, WHO THE HECK ARE YOU? What credentials or qualifications do you possess that make you the sole proprietor/proprietress of this supposedly honorable and wholesome institution? For the purpose of decorum, I have decided to refrain myself from calling out the individuals involved as none of them has had the courage to confront me.

However, it is said that, “When dry bones are mentioned in a proverb, the old woman feels uneasy.” It would be wise for these ludicrous elements to nip this idiocy in the bud before it festers uncontrollably. Nonetheless, our people also say that, “The head of an old man is not good for knocks; but may they not give us reason to reverse that saying.” If anyone feels the need to take me up on this, please be my guest. I live there. To succeed, one needs to follow the footsteps of those who have succeeded. I do not know that Hollywood engages in such squabbles, bickering and egocentric ranting. Here we are, in our infancy, power-struggling. Yet, we know NOTHING.

Please, let us all sit on our EGO. Your attitude determines your altitude…

Nigerian-American to Represent GA at the 26th Annual National Geographic Bee in Washington, D.C.



Eight-grader, Nigerian-American, Ansel Ahabue  will represent Georgia at the 26th Annual National Geographic Bee in Washington, D.C., May 19-21. The top 10 finalist will compete in the May 21 final round, moderated by award-winning journalist Soledad O’Brien, and taped to air on the National Geographic Channel and Nat Geo WILD at 7 p.m.  May 22, and later on public television.

Ansel brought onlookers to tears, when he surprisingly & boldly asked to speak when he was awarded The National 2014 ALL- STAR AWARD at Trickum Middle School in Lilburn, where he passionately dedicated his 2014 All Star Win to the Nigerian missing girls (#BRING BACK OUR GIRLS).

According to his mother, Blessing Ituah- Ahabue, Ansel stressed the fact that all kids regardless of where they are born deserve a good education,   “I am sure that the people of Nigeria appreciates you as well” we appreciate you, Ansel,  you made us proud! said One of the officials. 

On behalf of AfriQtalk, we wish you the best in D.C. You make Nigeria Proud Ansel.

Ambassador Geoffrey I. Teneilabe

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Former Ambassador Geoffrey Teneilabe served as the Ambassador/Consul-General of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, in Atlanta, GA with jurisdiction over 17 Southeastern States of the United States and territory. The States include:

a. Alabama
b. Arkansas
c. Florida
d. Georgia
e. Kansas
f. Kentucky
g. Louisiana
h. Mississippi
i. Missouri
j. New Mexico
k. North Carolina
l. Oklahoma
m. Puerto Rico
n. South Carolina
o. Tennessee
p. Texas
q. West Virginia

Ambassador Teneilabe obtained his Bachelor of Science (Mass Communications) from the University of Lagos, Nigeria and Master’s degree in (International Law and Diplomacy) also from the University of Lagos. A pioneer graduate of Nigeria’s Foreign Service Academy, Ambassador Teneilabe is also a member of the Institute of International Affairs, Lagos, and named for The Gambian National Honours.

Ambassador Teneilabe joined the Nigerian Foreign Service after his Bachelor’s degree. Before his assumption of duty in Atlanta as Consul-General, he was respectively the Senior Special Assistant to the Vice-President and the President of Nigeria on International Relations/Audience. He was similarly a Special Assistant to the former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sule Lamido, now Governor of Jigawa State and to the former Chairman of Nigeria’s ruling Political Party (PDP), Dr. Ahmadu Ali.

He has held several other important positions in the Foreign Service and served in various departments of the Ministry including Administration, Inspectorate, Public Relations & Culture, Multi-lateral Economic Co-operation, Trade and Investment, Policy Planning, etc. He is well travelled, having served in different capacities in Nigeria’s Diplomatic Missions in Athens, Greece; Bonn, Germany; Seoul, South Korea; Banjul, The Gambia, where he served as Acting High Commissioner for over five years. In May 2012, Geoffrey Teneilabe was appointed Ambassador by President Goodluck Jonathan.

He has served on various advisory committees, including Welcome Atlanta, Carter Center, Organization of Africa, and Caribbean Consular Corps of Georgia. Amb. Teneilabe became the first African Ambassador/Consulate General to receive a Senate Resolution, for exemplary diplomatic service in the community, the highest honour from GA Senate.

He is happily married and has children. His hobbies include but not limited to Reading, Traveling, Current Affairs and Environmental Issues.

Clear Essence Cosmetics Supports F.A.C.E.


To continue its philanthropic efforts and support the community it serves, Clear Essence Cosmetics donated over 300 products to the 2014 Annual Festival of Arts and Cultural Expo and Awards (F.A.C.E.) hosted by AfriQtalk. The event took place May 2-3, 2014 with the theme “Harnessing Culture for Competitive Advantage” at the Sheraton Gateway Hotel in Atlanta, GA.

The annual goal of F.A.C.E. was to make Nigeria a more prosperous tourist destination and promote the culture that resides in the history and present day environment of the country. The festival’s main objectives are to foster intercultural relationships, promote cultural ties and multiculturalism, attract foreign investment, create employment opportunities, accelerate rural and urban integration and strengthen the economic engagement by creating mutual trade relationships.

The conference provided networking events, educational programs, presentations and cultural displays and exhibits. There were also celebrities present along with live performances during the award ceremony. Overall it was a fulfilling weekend that revealed the vast potential of Nigeria and other African countries.

The benefit and educational value of this event made it a perfect effort for Clear Essence Cosmetics to lend its support towards. The products were given to those in attendance along with other sponsored gifts in order to continue empowering the African community and instilling confidence in the attending group.

We were honored to be contacted by the F.A.C.E. awards team and we hope to participate again next year! Clear Essence Cosmetics will only continue to support similar and diverse events that benefit the local and expanded community.



Culled from

FACE Showcase Nigerian Culture, and Tourism in US


Festival of Arts and Cultural Expo Africa, 2014 Press Conference was held at the Consulate General of Nigeria, 8060 Roswell Rd, Atlanta, GA 30350 on Friday 28th at 4:00 pm, hosted by AfriQtalk, PAN African Chambers of Commerce and the organizing team of FACE, in collaboration with the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Nigeria Atlanta.

Ambassador Geoffrey I. Teneilabe. Amb./Consul-General also, gave an opening remarks at the event on Culture, and Tourism Investment Opportunities. Theme; “Harnessing Culture for Competitive Advantage” Other speakers were CEO of AfriQtalk “Culture Beyond Borders” Princess Asha Okojie-Osazuwa, Mr. Toks Onabanjo, Chairman of Pan Africa Chamber of Commerce, and William Stewart, Chairman of Embrace Music Foundation, Miami, Florida.

The objective of the event was to celebrate African and African-American influences on global cultures, promote culture, and tourism investment opportunities for exchange of information to enhance bilateral trade, create awareness, bridge the cultural gap in education, technology, research, business, entertainment.

This event showcased Nigeria’s cultural heritage and tourism, aptly described as the ‘Giant of Africa’ and the heart of Africa for a good reason. It is richly endowed with ecological and cultural resources, which are of universal recognition from threads of history, diversity, legend and conquest. With Nigeria’s booming tourism industry, its development and growth must meet international standards, awareness must be created, other cultures must be made sufficiently known not only because the world has become a global village but because people appreciate what they understand, according to Princess Asha Okojie-Osazuwa, one of the organizers of FACE 2014.

The platform created an environment to network, do business and capitalize on the fast growing hospitality and tourism sector in Nigeria. There were live performances from artists, and entertainers, including; cultural dance groups, beauty contest pageantry, and activities.

Endorsed by Mayor Kasim Reed of Atlanta and Nigeria Ministry of Culture & Tourism National Orientation, Abuja, Nigeria. The two day culture and tourism investment expo & award is expected to attract more over one thousand attendees, dignitaries, delegates and people from all walks of life to the city of Atlanta from around the world.


Andrew Jackson Young, Atlanta GA

Mayor, Kasim Reed of Atlanta, GA

Chief Edem Duke, Hon. Minister of Culture,Tourism and National Orientation

Alliance of Nigeria Organization in Georgia (ANOG), USA

Robert Brunner, Arik Airlines

Hon. Mike Onolememen, Minister of Works, Abuja, Nigeria

Barrister Oladipo Okpeseyi, Senior Advocate of Nigeria
Ambassador Geoffrey Teneilabe, Nigeria Consulate Office, Atlanta GA

Immediate Press Release – Sensational Gospel Singer and Grammy’s Academy Award Member Shines


Immediate Press Release – Sensational Gospel Singer and Grammy’s Academy Award Member Shines  with her Third Album ” Yes You Can” Who is Princess Pat Akpabio? Princess Pat is an Evangelist who has touched the lives of people in her home town of Akwa Ibom and around the world through her message of Hope, Love, and Worship. The Nigerian- American gospel singer, song writer, producer and actress will have her Album Release Party and Concert on Saturday, November 2, 2013 at 3099 Breckinridge Blvd, Duluth Georgia 30096.  To know more about Princess Pat Akpabio click here.

Click here to heck out Princess Pat Akpabio Album Release Pictures




Forbes Africa, today announced it has narrowed down a shortlist, dominated by Nigerians, for the 2013 Person of the Year Awards, due to take place in Nairobi, Kenya at the beginning of December this year.

Following suggestions from Forbes Africa’s readers and social media audience, official voting in the form of a poll on  is now open to the public who can make their selection of the individual they deem most worthy of the Person of the Year title.

The Person of the Year Awards celebrate ‘the individual who, for better or worse, has had the most influence on events of the year gone by’ and Forbes Africa has welcomed the participation of the public in what is fast becoming one of the most momentous and anticipated annual events in Africa.

“Every year, we are excited to decide the Forbes Africa Person of the Year. We want to honour the big hitters of the continent who are making a difference in people’s lives and we hope that in doing so, it will inspire others,” commented Chris Bishop, the managing editor of Forbes Africa magazine.

The shortlist, comprising of three Nigerians, one South African and one Zimbabwean, is as follows:

1. South African mining magnate, Patrice Motsepe, plans on giving away more than half his fortune over the next five years.

2. Akinwunmi Adesina is Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture and his vision is to make Nigeria a self-sustaining, food-producing nation and register 20 million farmers by 2015.

3. Aliko Dangote is Africa’s richest man and his net worth has significantly increased on the back of his continued business success, allowing him to better the lives of millions.

4. Strive Masiyiwa is the founder of global telecoms group, Econet Wireless, and through Capernaum Trust he educates tens of thousands of Zimbabwean orphans.

5. Jim Ovia established Zenith Bank Group in 1990 – now West Africa’s second largest financial services provider. His focus has turned to helping grow Africa’s budding ‘techpreneurs’.

2013 has been an exciting year for entrepreneurs and business across Africa. Who do you believe has made a real impact in business by stimulating economic growth, creating employment, spearheading innovation and bringing new technologies to the continent? The top five candidates will comprise a portion of what will be the Person of the Year Awards judges’ final decision. Go to to vote now. Voting closes 4 November!

About Forbes Africa:

Forbes Africa is the continent’s first-ever international business publication localized for the African executive. With levels of affluence and influence in Africa steadily climbing, ABN 360 saw it fitting that its ABN Publishing wing be the operating entity that established Forbes Magazine in Africa. Titled “Forbes Africa magazine”, the monthly publication is the continent’s first-ever international business publication to be localized for the African executive. Forbes Africa – which has been on the shelves since October 2011, encompasses both the detail and the personality, bringing a unique perspective to business media reporting that is delivered in a sharp, in-depth and engaging fashion. As the sixteenth English-language edition of the highly successful FORBES magazine, FORBES AFRICA has distinguished itself as a key title renowned for its many lists based on the levels of global wealth and power.

About ABN360:

ABN 360 offers a holistic approach to telling Africa’s business story – first. With much-esteemed international brands such as CNBC Africa and Forbes Africa providing a broadcast and print platform respectively, the ABN 360 conglomerate also offers resources to organize world-class events across the African continent, through ABN Productions. The recently-launched ABN Training Institute boasts state-of-the-art facilities to provide media training among many other courses, while ABN Digital is the company’s online presence for your up-to-date business and markets news. Through its sub-brands, ABN 360 aims to be Africa’s leading aggregator and distributor of business and economic news.

Mayor of the Month- Richard Arnold of Schwäbisch Gmünd, Germany


By Tann vom Hove

After representing Baden-Württemberg, Germany’s second most prosperous state, at the European Union (EU) in Brussels for nine years, Richard Arnold could have moved to any number of senior government positions in either Berlin or Stuttgart. Instead he decided to return to his hometown of Schwäbisch Gmünd to run for mayor. In an interview with City Mayors, Mayor Arnold explained that at local level a politician is not only closest to ordinary people but can also influence and implement cutting-edge changes. “I cannot imagine anything more rewarding than to be able to be part of and help shaping these changes in my hometown,” he said.

Richard Arnold was born in 1959 in Schwäbisch Gmünd, a city of some 60,000 people, 50km east of Stuttgart and, following his education at a local high school, studied public administration at the universities of Konstanz and Frankfurt. After a scholarship year at one of America’s elite universities, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology“ (MIT) in 1988, Arnold worked for two years at the Centre for European Policy Studies in Brussels as expert on EU agricultural and environmental policies. Before returning to Brussels in 2000, he occupied several senior posts with the state government of Baden-Württemberg in Stuttgart. From 2000 until 2009, Arnold headed the representative office of Baden-Württemberg at the EU. In 2007, during the German presidency of the Council of the European Union, Arnold was voted one of the best-known and most influential Germans in Brussels. In May 2009, Arnold defeated Schwäbisch Gmünd’s incumbent Social-Democrat mayor in the first round of the election.

Mayor Arnold is a member of Germany’s centre-right Christian Democrat Union (CDU) and one who cherishes his Christian, liberal-humanistic values. He considers people and their concerns central to all major decisions. “Whatever we aim for, we have to achieve it for the people and not regard them as a means to an end.” He believes in a modern conservatism that recognises that more and more people no longer want to be dominated by a cold, soulless, purely profit-orientated technocracy.

During his years outside Germany, Arnold embraced globalisation – he now speaks German, English, French, Dutch and Spanish – but also learnt that in an increasingly mobile, outward-orientated society, the role of the local community was more important than ever. Even while working in Brussels, he never cut the ties that bound him to his hometown. As an accomplished tenor, Arnold was particularly keen to remain part Schwäbisch Gmünd’s cultural scene.

Recently the mayor has attracted national and international attention for his advocacy for greater rights for refugees. At Schwäbisch Gmünd he regards himself as mayor of all people including asylum seekers and believes they should be allowed to participate more actively in society. “Forced idleness can lead to apathy and even crime.”

10 Examples of Gender Inequality Around the World


Originally posted 05/30/2013 By Molly Edmonds

1: Education Attainment

Of the children that aren’t in school right now, the majority of them are girls. Women make up more than two-thirds of the world’s illiterate adults. When it comes to education, girls worldwide get the short end of the stick. Girls may be kept out of school to help with household chores, they may be pulled from school if their father deems it’s time for them to marry, or there may only be enough money to educate one child from the family — and the boy assumes the responsibility.

This gap in educational attainment becomes particularly maddening when you consider the numerous studies that have been done which show that educating girls is a key factor in eliminating poverty and aiding development. Girls who complete school are less likely to marry young, more likely to have smaller families and exhibit better health outcomes in relation to maternal mortality and HIV/AIDS. These women also go on to earn higher salaries, which they then invest in their own families, thus ensuring that future generations of girls get to go on to school. Indeed, it’s addressing the inequalities in education that may solve many of the other problems on this list.

2: Political Participation
Analysts often posit that many of the issues on this list could be solved if women had higher levels of political participation. Despite making up half the global population, women hold only 15.6 percent of elected parliamentary seats in the world. They’re missing from all levels of government — local, regional and national. Why is it important that women take part in politics? A study that examined women in leadership in Bolivia, Cameroon and Malaysia found that when women could take part in shaping spending priorities, they were more likely to invest in family and community resources, health, education and the eradication of poverty than the men, who were more likely to invest in the military. Some countries have experimented with quota systems to increase female participation, though these systems are often criticized for getting women involved simply because they are women, as opposed to their qualifications.

3: Freedom to Marry and Divorce

In the United States, love (and the lack of it) is a subject for romantic comedies and conversation over cocktails. In other countries, love may not enter the discussion at all when it comes to marriage. In many countries, young girls are forced to marry men two or three times their age. According to UNICEF, more than one-third of women aged 20 to 24 were married before they turned 18, which is considered the minimum legal age of marriage in most countries. Child brides give birth at early ages, which increases the chance of complications in childbirth and the risk of contracting HIV/AIDS.

When a woman wants out of a loveless marriage, her options are limited in many countries. In some places, courts automatically grant custody of children to the husband, and women often have no chance of receiving any measure of financial support. In other places, such as Egypt, women don’t even have access to a court. While men are allowed a divorce after an oral renunciation registered with the court, women face years of obstacles to get in front of a judge. For this reason, many women around the world are trapped in abusive marriages.

4: Access to Health Care

In many countries, a pregnant woman in labor can head to any hospital, confident that she will receive assistance in delivery. That seems like a luxury to women in developing countries, however. According to the World Health Organization, one woman dies in childbirth every minute of every day. That’s more than 500,000 deaths every year, many of which could have been prevented if the woman had been allowed to leave her home to receive treatment, or if she’d had a skilled attendant by her side. Childbirth is but one example of how women receive unequal access to health care services. Another example is the growing number of women infected with HIV/AIDS. For many years, men comprised the bulk of new infections, but in Sub-Saharan Africa, women now form half of the infected persons. One reason for this growth may be laws that force women to stay married, even when their husbands are adulterous and engaging in extramarital sexual activity that could bring the virus into the marriage.

5: Feminization of Poverty

As we mentioned on the previous page, women in some countries have no right to own the land on which they live or work. Not only can such a state trap women in abusive marriages, it also contributes to a phenomenon that economists have deemed the “feminization of poverty.” More than 1.5 billion people in the world live on less than one dollar a day, and the majority of those people are women. The United Nations often cites the statistic that women do two-thirds of the world’s work, receive 10 percent of the world’s income and own 1 percent of the means of production

Women can be left destitute if they’re denied access to land, as we discussed on the previous page, but inability to claim land also perpetuates the cycle of poverty. Let’s consider the case of a woman who is essentially managing a farm due to an absentee husband. Land is a major factor for securing credit from financial associations or co-ops, which means that a woman can’t apply for loans that would allow her family to expand its business. Without financial support, the woman can’t upgrade her equipment, expand her production or keep up with competing farmers. Many female entrepreneurs have been foiled and left to dwell in poverty because of restricted access to basic legal rights.

6. Restricted Land Ownership

In some countries, such as Chile and Lesotho, women lack the right to own land. All deeds must include the name of a man, be it the woman’s husband or father. If one of those men were to die, the woman has no legal claim to land that she may have lived on or worked all her life. Often, widows are left homeless because the deceased man’s family will throw them out of their homes. And some women remain in abusive marriages so that they won’t lose a place to live. Such restricted rights can be particularly frustrating in rural areas where agriculture is dominant. Women may spend their entire lives cultivating and harvesting foodstuffs for no pay, only to lack a safety net when the father or husband leaves or dies. The inability to hold land is a factor in the next item on our list.

7: Feticide and Infanticide
You’ll often hear expectant parents say that they don’t care if they have a boy or a girl, as long as the baby is healthy. In some countries, such as China and India, a male child is more valuable than a female child, and this gender bias causes parents to care very much if they have a boy or a girl. Thanks to advances in genetic testing, parents can find out if they’re having a boy or a girl, and they may elect to end a pregnancy that would yield a female child. And if the parents don’t receive advance notice, they may kill the child after its birth. As a result, the gender ratio in some countries is skewed; in India, for example, there were 927 girls per 1,000 boys in 2001. The female fetuses and infants who are killed are sometimes referred to as the world’s “missing women.”China’s one child policy may have led to many sex-selective abortions.

8: Violence

In 2008, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon reported that one in every three women is likely “to be beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused in her lifetime”. In both the developed and the developing world, violence against women in the form of rape, spousal abuse, child abuse or spousal killing is such routine behavior that it rarely even makes the news anymore. In conflict zones, rape of women and children is increasingly used as a weapon of war. In other countries, marital rape is condoned, and some countries have laws that require a certain number of male witnesses to testify before a court will acknowledge that a rape has occurred. Even in developed countries, women are often blamed and questioned about actions if they become the victims of rape or physical abuse, while their attackers may not face such questioning. Because of the stigma of reporting any form of abuse, we may never know the true extent of this problem.

9: Limited Mobility

Saudi Arabia provides the most extreme example of limited mobility for women: In that country, women are not allowed to drive a car or ride a bicycle on public roads. The strict Islamic law in the country prohibits women from leaving the home without a man’s permission, and if they do leave the home, they can’t drive a car. Doing so would require removal of their veils, which is forbidden, and it could potentially bring them in contact with strange men, another forbidden practice. While Saudi Arabia is the only country that prohibits women from driving a car, other countries restrict women’s overseas travels by limiting their access to passports, and even women in developed countries may complain of limited mobility. While these women may have the legal right to drive cars and ride planes, they may elect not to go out by themselves at night due to the threat of rape or attack. We’ll discuss such violence against women on the next page of this article. Women in Saudi Arabia inspect a new car. The women are allowed to own cars, but they are not allowed to drive them.

10: Professional Obstacles

Women fought for decades to take their place in the workplace alongside men, but that fight isn’t over yet. According to the most recent statistics from the U.S. Census, women earn just 77 percent of what men earn for the same amount of work. In addition to this gender wage gap, women often face a glass ceiling when it comes to promotions, which is evident when you survey the lack of women in leadership positions at major companies. Women who have children often find themselves penalized for taking time off; if they’re not dismissed, they may face discrimination and outdated ideas of what a woman can accomplish if she’s pregnant or a mother. Also, jobs that are considered traditional women’s work, such as nursing and teaching, are often some of the lowest-paying fields.

Still, women in the workplace have one right that women in other countries lack — the right to leave their own homes.

Diversity Visa Lottery (DV-2014) Entry Status Available until September 30, 2014


The online registration for DV-2014 began October 2, 2012 and concluded on November 3, 2012. Entrants who completed online DV-2014 entries can check the status of their entries by returning to the website at starting at noon (EDT) on May 1, 2013.

Even if you are not selected on May 1, 2013, you should keep your confirmation number until at least June 30, 2014. The Department of State may select more DV-2014 entries on or around October 1, 2013.

Entry Status Check will be the ONLY means by which DV lottery winners/selectees will be notified of their selection for DV-2014. Additionally, Entry Status Check will provide successful selectees with instructions on how to proceed with their application and provide the date and time of the immigrant visa appointment.

The Kentucky Consular Center no longer mails notification letters and does not use email to notify DV entrants of their selection in the DV program. Review the DV Program 2014 Instructions ”Selection of Applicants” section, which provides detailed information about the DV process.

If you have been selected for further processing in the Diversity Visa program, after you receive instructions, you will need to demonstrate you are eligible for a diversity immigrant visa by successfully completing the next steps. When requested to do so by the Kentucky Consular Center, you will need to complete an immigrant visa application, submit required documents and forms, pay required fees, complete a medical examination, and then next be interviewed by a consular officer at the U.S. embassy or consulate to demonstrate you qualify for a diversity visa. Please note that the Kentucky Consular Center will provide application information online ONLY through the Entrant Status Check on the E-DV website

It is expected that the next application period for the DV Lottery (DV-2015) will be between October and December this year. Official dates, rules and eligible countries should be announced by late September. For more information, go to the official US State Department website at You may also contact our office in the early fall for more information and assistance to complete another application. Be aware that the application for the DV lottery is free and you do not need to pay any agency to enter.

Aids- A Global Issue


There are millions of faceless people whose lives have been impacted by AIDS/HIV,  especially in  Africa.  Yet there are some who believe that AIDS is a hoax.  An estimated 33 million people worldwide were living with HIV in 2007, of whom 67% were in sub-Saharan Africa. The Region also accounts for 75% of global AIDS deaths. Approximately 9.1 million people were newly infected with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa in 2007.

Information about the epidemic and its impact on the people of Africa are often not told, because Aid meant to combat the spread of HIV and poverty in Africa has been complicated by corruption among political leaders with a few notable exceptions. The prevention measures have been hampered in Africa due to traditional beliefs, political and religious authorities.  Both Muslim and Christian leaders found prevention campaigns such as condom promotion difficult to reconcile with their teachings.

In Sub-Saharan Africa women are disproportionately affected by the HIV epidemic in comparison with men, with the proportion hovering around 60% over the last five years and nearly 90% of all children living with HIV/AIDS. The HIV/AIDS epidemic in Africa is occurring in a context of increased poverty, food insecurity, indebtedness, poor economic performance, gender inequality, gender-based violence, conflicts, natural disasters, ignorance, fear, stigma and discrimination.

Almost invariably, the burden of coping rests with women. Upon a family member becoming ill, the role of women as carers, income-earners and housekeepers is stepped up. They are often forced to step into roles outside their homes as well. Older people are also heavily affected by the epidemic; many have to care for their sick children and are often left to look after orphaned grandchildren.

It is hard to overemphasise the trauma and hardship that children are forced to bear. As parents and family members become ill, children take on more responsibility to earn an income, produce food, and care for family members. More children have been orphaned by AIDS in Africa than anywhere else. Many children are now raised by their extended families and some are even left on their own in child-headed households.

The toll of HIV and AIDS on households can be very severe. It is often the poorest sectors of society that are most vulnerable. In many cases, AIDS causes the household to dissolve, as parents die and children are sent to relatives for care and upbringing. AIDS strips families of their assets and income earners, further impoverishing the poor.

The epidemic adds to food insecurity in many areas, as agricultural work is neglected or abandoned due to household illness. HIV and AIDS are having a devastating effect on the already inadequate supply of teachers in African countries. The illness or death of teachers is especially devastating in rural areas where schools depend heavily on one or two teachers.

In many countries of sub-Saharan And West Africa, AIDS is erasing decades of progress in extending life expectancy. The biggest increase in deaths has been among adults aged between 20 and 49 years. AIDS is hitting adults in their most economically productive years and removing the very people who could be responding to the crisis. As access to treatment is slowly expanded throughout the continent, millions of lives are being extended and hope is being given to people who previously had none. Unfortunately though, the majority of people in need of treatment are still not receiving it, and campaigns to prevent new infections are lacking in many areas.

Prevention efforts are beginning to bear fruit, with indications of behavior change and declines in HIV prevalence rates in a number of high-burden countries. Many countries have also made significant progress in expanding access to ART. About 2.1 million people were receiving antiretroviral therapy in the Region at the end of 2007, and regional coverage increased from barely 2% in 2003 to 30% in 2007. Despite this significant progress in ART there is still need to cover all the people in need and improve some areas such as HTC and PMTCT.

The key challenges to be addressed are:

  • Scaling up of key HIV prevention intervention, particularly HIV testing and counseling (HCT) including Provider Initiated Testing and Counseling.
  • Increasing access to affordable treatment and care in order to sustain the achievements so far on ART.
  • Increasing Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT) as the coverage of these interventions is still unacceptably low (34 % in 2007).
  • Identifying innovative approaches to respond to the high levels of HIV discordant couples.
  • Introducting male circumcision in countries where this procedure is not currently practiced requires well-thought strategies, capacity building efforts and good communication strategies.
  • Weak health care delivery systems that are hindering expansion of quality HIV care and treatment services to lower level health facilities.
  • Ensuring sustainable financing for key priority interventions in order for Member States have to achieve Universal Access.

In July 2001, the National Institute of Health (NIH) of the United States Government released its report on the Scientific Analysis on Condom Effectiveness for STD prevention”. The report, which is an analysis of 130 studies conducted over some decades, differentiates between condom efficacy (the protection which the users would enjoy under ideal conditions, this depending primarily on the properties of the condom) and condom effectiveness (protection offered under actual usage; dependent on the characteristics of the device and its user).

The conclusions of the report? Apart from Gonorrhea (in men and not for women) for which there was some risk reduction, condom use for Chlamydia, trichomoniasis, chancroid, syphilis, genital herpes and Human papilomavirus showed no clinical proof of effectiveness from the available studies (more studies are necessary to determine its effectiveness). According to the studies, “condoms provided an 85% reduction in HIV/AIDS transmission risk when infection rates were compared in always versus never users”What about the remaining 15%? Is that percentage alright for you? Since the condom has not been sufficiently proven to be effective in preventing some of the common STDs listed above, there is an added risk of infection with HIV if there is an STD present.

In view of the findings of the report, the CDC has made some changes in its fact sheet, which says amongst other things that “The surest way to avoid transmission of sexually transmitted diseases is to abstain from sexual intercourse, or to be in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who has been tested and you know is uninfected. For persons whose sexual behaviors place them at risk for STDs, correct and consistent use of the male latex condom can reduce the risk of STD transmission.

However, no protective method is 100 percent effective, and condom use cannot guarantee absolute protection against any STD . In order to achieve the protective effect of condoms, they must be used correctly and consistently. Incorrect use can lead to condom slippage or breakage, thus diminishing their protective effect. Inconsistent use, e.g., failure to use condoms with every act of intercourse, can lead to STD transmission because transmission can occur with a single act of intercourse”

In our society today, is it possible for a normal, healthy person to resist sexual urges until marriage and then maintain a commitment to faithful, monogamous marriage? Can an entire nation dramatically reduce its AIDS incidence rates largely as a result of abstinence before marriage and fidelity within marriage?   The answer is ‘”YES WE CAN”

Illustration by CDC:

Sleep Paralysis- A Nightmare Spirit


Sleep paralysis is a phenomenon known by all cultures throughout the world, in which people, either when falling asleep or wakening, temporarily experience an inability to move in the middle of the night, often you are woken suddenly with a feeling of evil surrounding you, you can’t breathe and your chest is heavy, like someone pressing down on you, trying to suffocate you or holding you down, you can’t move! You think you can hear voices and see a dark shadowy figure swooping around your bed and you wonder why? If you’ve had this experience, you’re not alone, it’s is a classic example of what has become known as the “old hag” syndrome that comes from the superstitious belief that you may be hunted by the devil or a witch.

In African culture, it’s commonly referred to as “the witch riding your back.” Ogun Oru is a traditional explanation for nocturnal disturbances among the Yoruba of Southwest Nigeria; ogun oru (nocturnal warfare) involves an acute night-time disturbance that is culturally attributed to demonic infiltration of the body and psyche during dreaming. Ogun oru is characterized by its occurrence, a female preponderance, the perception of an underlying feud between the sufferer’s earthly spouse and a ‘spiritual’ spouse, and the event of bewitchment through eating while dreaming. The condition is believed to be treatable through Christian prayers or elaborate traditional rituals designed to exorcise the imbibed demonic elements.

In Zimbabwean Shona culture the word Madzikirira is used to refer something really pressing one down. This mostly refers to the spiritual world in which some spirit—especially an evil one—tries to use its victim for some evil purpose. The people believe that witches can only be people of close relations to be effective, and hence a witches often try to use one’s spirit to bewitch one’s relatives.

In Ethiopian culture the word ‘dukak’ (ዱካክ – Amharic) is used, which is believed to be an evil spirit that possesses people during their sleep. Some people believe this experience is linked to use of Khat ( ጫት ‘Chat’ – Amharic). Khat users experience sleep paralysis when suddenly quitting chewing Khat after use for a long time. In Amharic, the official language of Ethiopia, the word ‘dukak’ taken out of the context of Khat withdrawal related sleep paralysis, means depression.

The evil spirit ‘dukak’ is an anthropomorphism (anthropomorphic personification) of the depression that often results from the act of quitting chewing Khat. ‘Dukak‘ often appears in hallucinations of the quitters and metes out punishments to its victims for offending him by quitting. The punishments are often in the form of implausible physical punishments (e.g., the ‘dukak’ puts the victim in a bottle and shakes the bottle vigorously) or outrageous tasks the victim must perform (e.g., swallow a bag of gravel).

In Swahili speaking East Africa, it is known as jinamizi, which refers to a creature sitting on one’s chest making it difficult for him/her to breathe. It is attributed to result from a person sleeping on his back. Most people also recall being strangled by this ‘creature’. People generally survive these ‘attacks’

What is SP?

Research shows that SP is linked with REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. When in REM sleep you are usually dreaming, your body does not act out your dreams as you will hurt either yourself, or someone else, so evolution has worked its merry little way of getting your brain to switch off your muscles (so to speak) and relax you while dreaming, essentially paralyzing you to a degree.

The cause for a state of SP is when your mind wakes up, usually still in a semi-REM state, but your body is still relaxed and semi paralyzed, bringing sometimes a horrifying sensation of being paralyzed while still in a semi-dream state yet awake. The consequences of this state are usually nothing short of terrifying to individuals with their dreams suddenly becoming reality as they are trapped in an in between sate of consciousness. The usual result is panic to try to release oneself while sleep creeps around your brain like a slow fog trying to drag you back down to it’s depths again.

More formally, it is a transition state between wakefulness and rest characterized by complete muscle atonia (muscle weakness). It can occur at sleep onset or upon awakening, and it is often associated with terrifying visions (e.g., an intruder in the room), to which one is unable to react due to paralysis. It is believed a result of disrupted REM sleep, which is normally characterized by complete muscle atonia that prevents individuals from acting out their dreams. Sleep paralysis has been linked to disorders such as narcolepsy, migraines, anxiety disorders, and obstructive sleep apnea; however, it can also occur in isolation. When linked to another disorder, sleep paralysis commonly occurs in association with the neuromuscular disorder narcolepsy.

Of a recent survey it is suggested that between 25-30% of the general population has suffered some form of SP with 95% of these experiencing a perceived horrifying event. It is now considered to be a common disorder among the population, but not many people admit to suffering SP. Yes, it does run in the family, if you have suffered an episode, chances are there’s a member within your close family who has also experienced this. People often feel they are experiencing something paranormal with SP due to the bizarre symptoms and don’t realize that they are in fact suffering from something many others have experienced with a perfectly reasonable explanation.

I S T H I S C O N D I T I O N H A R M F U L ?

General medical research shows SP is not generally harmful and will only ever last from a few seconds, to maybe a few minutes. Of course reality is severely altered in this state and sufferers can have a feeling of being trapped in a state of SP for what seems like hours, when in fact it is merely minutes. Further research does indicate that a predisposition to something more traumatic, such as social problems due to lack of sleep and a disruption to normal daily life, may be a result of many episodes of SP.  If you feel you need more help or more information about any health issue including SP seek out further medical help with a licensed practitioner.


The most commonly reported cause of SP episodes is in fact stress. It’s believed that stress can seriously alter sleep patterns, causing episodes of sleep paralysis. Another cause can be your sleeping position. Reports and research by Dr. J. A. Cheyne show that sufferers sleeping in the face up position are five times more likely to suffer an episode of sleep paralysis than others who attempt to sleep in a different position during normal sleep. Avoidance of sleeping on your back and attempting to not roll over into this position during the night is strongly advised. The use of a small squash or tennis ball placed behind your back can sometimes help with this.

P R E V E N T I O N & R E S C U E

Prevention is all about sleeping in the correct position (not face up), not eating large amounts of food, drinking caffeine or excessive smoking before sleep. Reducing stress levels in your life is also another key factor to preventing SP as mentioned before, stress can severely alter sleep patterns inducing SP episodes, insomnia, sleep deprivation, and an erratic sleep schedule.

A good way of trying to release yourself when caught in a state of SP is attempting to concentrate on moving a body part, whether it be your finger, toe or even blinking your eyes, this works quite well and is a common remedy for most SP sufferers as the instant a body part moves, the SP episode should cease. You can also do this in your mind if you cannot move any body part, merely trying to imagine shaking your head or moving a body part can keep your mind active enough for your body to catch up and be able to move for real, essentially fully waking yourself up and again ending the SP episode.


Treatment starts with patient education about sleep stages and muscle atonia associated with REM sleep. Patients should be evaluated for narcolepsy if symptoms persist. The safest treatment for sleep paralysis is for people to adopt healthier sleeping habits. However, in serious cases more clinical treatments are available. The most commonly used drugs are tricyclic antidepressants and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Despite the fact that these treatments are prescribed for serious cases of RISP, it is important to note that these drugs are not effective for everyone. There is currently no drug that has been found to completely interrupt episodes of sleep paralysis a majority of the time.


Sleep paralysis poses no serious health risk to those that experience it, despite the fact that it can be an intensely terrifying experience. SUNDS is a deadly disorder believed to be related to sleep paralysis; however, they are still considered completely separate disorders, so sleep paralysis sufferers should not be alarmed.


Several circumstances have been identified that are associated with an increased risk of sleep paralysis, stress, overuse of stimulants, physical fatigue, as well as certain medications that are used to treat ADHD. It is also believed that there may be a genetic component in the development of RISP due to a high concurrent incidence of sleep paralysis in mono zygotic twins.

Also, sleeping in the supine position is believed to make the sleeper more vulnerable to episodes of sleep paralysis because in this sleeping position it is possible for the soft palate to collapse and obstruct the airway. This is a possibility regardless of whether the individual has been diagnosed with sleep apnea or not. There may also be a greater rate of microarousals while sleeping in the supine position, because gravity exerts a greater amount of pressure on the lungs.

While many factors can increase risk for ISP or RISP, they can be avoided with minor lifestyle changes. By maintaining a regular sleep schedule and observing good sleep hygiene, one can reduce chances of sleep paralysis. It helps subjects to reduce the intake of stimulants and stress in daily life by taking up a hobby or seeing a trained psychologist who can suggest coping mechanisms for stress. However, some cases of ISP and RISP involve a genetic factor—which means some people may find sleep paralysis unavoidable.