Tuesday, 28 November 2017

AfDB Launches Youth Advisory Group to Create 25 Million Jobs

The Jobs for Youth in Africa initiative aims at creating 25 million jobs and impacting 50 million youth over the next ten years by equipping them with the right skills to get decent and meaningful jobs

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast, November 28, 2017/ -- The President of the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) (www.AfDB.org), Akinwumi Adesina, has launched the Presidential Youth Advisory Group (PYAG) to provide insights and innovative solutions for job creation for Africa’s youth, as outlined in the Bank’s Jobs for Youth in Africa Strategy (JfYA) (http://APO.af/nRtVAs).

The Jobs for Youth in Africa initiative aims at creating 25 million jobs and impacting 50 million youth over the next ten years by equipping them with the right skills to get decent and meaningful jobs. It is currently the largest effort going on for youth employment in Africa today.

The advisory group, inaugurated on the sidelines of the 6th EU-Africa Business Forum in Abidjan on Monday, November 27, will work with the Bank to create jobs for Africa’s youth.

“This is a huge opportunity for Africa. If we fix the youth unemployment challenge, Africa will gain 10-20% annual growth. That means Africa’s GDP will grow by $500 million per year for the next thirty years. Africa’s per capita income will rise by 55% every year to the year 2050,” Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank (AfDB) said at the inauguration of the Group.

Adesina, who identified Africa’s greatest asset as its youth, observed that out of the 13 million youths that enter the labour market each year, only 3 million (about 33% of African youth) are in wage employment, while the rest are underemployed or in vulnerable employment. The annual gap of more than 8 million jobs is going to worsen, with the number of youth expected to double to more than 800 million in the next decades.

“Africa has an unemployment crisis among its youth,” he stressed, noting that unless employment opportunities are created for them, Africa’s rapidly growing population of youths can give rise to serious social, economic, political and security challenges.

Africa’s youths, though strong and dynamic, cross the desert or the Mediterranean sea because they do not find decent jobs in Africa. Graduates are wandering in the streets, jobless. The low level of employment opportunities is also fueling violence and extremism in Africa. “40% of African youths engaged in armed violence join gangs or terrorist groups because of limited opportunities in their countries,” Adesina said.

“66 million African youths earn less than $2 a day, less than the price of a hamburger,” the AfDB President emphasized. “66 million is 8 times the size of Switzerland, 6 times the size of Belgium, the same size as UK, France or Italy, and 80% of Germany’s population,” he added.

The Presidential Youth Advisory Group (PYAG) comprises nine members under the age of 40 who have made significant contributions to the creation of employment opportunities for African youth.

The PYAG members are: Ashish Thakkar, CEO, Mara Group, Tanzania (Chair); Uzodinma Iweala, award-winning author, Nigeria; Mamadou Toure, Founder / CEO, Africa 2.0 / Ubuntu Capital, Cameroon; Vanessa Moungar, Human and Social Development Director, AfDB and member of President Macron’s Presidential Council for Africa, Chad; Francine Muyumba, President, Panafrican Youth Union, Democratic Republic of Congo; Jeremy Johnson, Co-founder, Andela, USA; Clarisse Iribagiza, CEO, Hehe, Rwanda; Ada Osakwe, CEO, Agrolay Ventures, Nigeria; and Monica Musonda, CEO of Java Foods, Zambia.

On the rationale behind the setting up of the advisory group, President Adesina explained: “We recognize the enormous amount of energy, creative and innovative thinking, and entrepreneurial excellence that many of our youth bring to the table. For this reason, the Bank must ensure that it is well advised by cutting-edge youth representatives on its policies, actions and programmes, for the benefit of Africa’s youth.”

“The members of the Presidential Youth Advisory Group are expected to actively engage private sector partners, government leaders, civil society, donor partners, and other stakeholders; and support the significant amount of work that the Bank is already doing and promoting across the continent through its Jobs for Youth in Africa strategy,” President Adesina added.

A youth-led economic transformation agenda

PYAG is an opportunity for leading young voices in Africa to develop new and fresh perspectives and recommend innovative solutions that will shape AfDB’s support to African countries, and reduce the scourge of Youth unemployment.

The AfDB is fully committed to working with the PYAG to scale up and expedite results that deliver decent and sustainable jobs for African youth, through formal employment and successful youth entrepreneurship that allows African youth to become their own drivers of economic prosperity, social stability and environmental sustainability.

Ashish Thakkar, CEO of the Mara Group and Chair of the PYAG, said: “It is a great honour to serve our continent in this function. We know that the stakes are high, but we are committed to the task of creating flourishing youth businesses that provide tremendous value. We are also focused on facilitating the achievement of AfDB’s High 5s and Sustainable Development Goals. We have just concluded our work program for the next year and have hit the ground running.”

He described how his family lost everything they had during the genocide in Rwanda in the 1990s.

“I have borrowed $5,000 to launch my business without any form of support. Today, Mara Group has 14,000 employees around the world. I was alone, but imagine what we can do together with the support of an institution like the AfDB.”

“I have never heard of an institution as important as the AfDB setting up and advisory group only made of youth. A Chinese proverb has it that if you want 1 year of prosperity, plant a grain. If you want 10 years of prosperity, plant a tree. If you want a century of prosperity, invest on people,” said Mamadou Touré, a member of the group.

Also speaking, Ada Osakwe said: “40% of entrepreneurs in Nigeria are women, but 73% operate in consumer retail systems. We need to address that and provide youth with more lucrative jobs.”

To make agriculture more attractive to young people, the AfDB last year invested $800 million in supporting young entrepreneurs in agriculture as a business in 8 countries. It will reach 15 countries this year. The Bank expects to invest 1.5 billion per year for the next 10 years to support young agripreneurs.

The AfDB is delivering on its youth strategy

The AfDB has made great progress toward implementing its strategy through three key pillars: innovation, integration and investment. In terms of integration, the Bank entered into partnership with the International Labour Organization to strengthen the capacity of African countries to harmonize Youth Employment into national policies.

The Youth Entrepreneurship and Innovation Multi-Donor Trust Fund which will serve as a financial and operational instrument, with initial support of USD 4.4 million by Denmark and Norway.

The African Development has also developed the Enabling Youth Employment (EYE) Index to measure youth employment outcomes and enabling policies at country levels.

“With this amazing group of very diverse young individuals, we even hope to exceed the Bank’s goal to create 25 million jobs and 50 million youth equipped with the right skills,” said Thakkar enthusiastically. “It is time to change the narrative about Africa’s youth!”

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of African Development Bank Group (AfDB).

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Chawki Chahed, Chief Communications Officer,
Tel. +225 20 26 27 02, Mobile. +225 75 75 31 20, C.Chahed@AfDB.org
Ginette Nzau Muteta, Coordinator, JfYA

African Development Bank Group (AfDB)

Monday, 27 November 2017

Care2 Healthy Living/Jordyn Cormier: 5 Hacks to a Happier Life

Care2 Healthy Living | 5 Hacks to a Happier Life
5 Hacks to a Happier Life
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    By: Jordyn Cormier
    November 26, 2017

    About Jordyn

As we begin to contemplate the state of our lives in preparation for the New Year, it’s helpful to clarify what actually makes us happy. So, what is it? What makes you truly happy?

No, we’re talking bigger than puppy kisses, dark chocolate and riding bikes. We are talking about what it takes to make large swaths of your life feel stable and balanced. We are talking about what makes you happy, overall.

There are various relationships in life that must be in balance in order for a person to achieve lasting happiness. The 5 main pillars are: community, your physical body, passion, relationship to Self and your environment. Here are some happiness-promoting tips for starting to encourage balance in these areas and more:
Love This? Never Miss Another Story.
Cultivate healthy relationships

Do your friends actively improve your life on the whole? Or do you find some of your friendships exhausting. Sometimes, friendships can become energy sucks. And that unfortunately means it is time to move on. Life is too short to waste on people who don’t make you happy. Be polite and steadily cut off ties with those relationships that no longer serve you. And while you can’t choose your family, you can put the effort in to make sure those relationships are as healthy as they can be, too.
Fill your life with passion

No no, don’t start looking for your passion. Think of the pressure! Instead, fill your life with stimulation, art, culture, fun and creativity. Seek out any activity that plants a seed of interest within you and watch it blossom. A life without passion or purpose feels empty at best. Stop waiting for your purpose to find you by exercising your creative juices and proactively exploring. There is something out there for everyone.
Use your body

There is a reason we have bodies. They allow us to frolic and galavant; to write and type; to celebrate and make love; to create and destroy. Rather than being a floating energy force devoid of physical form, you have this incredible body! Enjoy it to its fullest and keep it fit. Remember, your body needs and deserves love. The more you love your body, the easier it will be for you to realize how beautiful it is. And it is beautiful.
Seek natural health and balance

On the same line, in order to be happy, you have to be reasonably healthy. Eat nourishing foods, treat your body and mind with respect, hydrate, get plenty of sleep. Oh, and don’t stress too much—yes, even about health. Take a load off for a slice of cake once in a while. If you use moderation, you can celebrate the wildest parts of life, like walking and talking with an old friend until the sun rises, eating half a pie on your birthday, or celebrating with a friends and a fresh brew after riding the mountains of Colorado. Be healthy, yes, but don’t begrudge yourself the treats of living.
Experience the planet

Have you ever stood on an empty beach, staring into the sunset, and thought, “All of this, this whole incredible world, is merely a speckle in the vastness of the universe! Wow!” No? Just me? Well, anyways… we live on this miraculous planet that not only supports life, but encourages it to thrive! Make time to explore every facet of the Earth you possibly can, from the majestic Grand Canyon to the bustling streets of India to historic Canadian sugar shacks to the coffee plantations of Guatemala. Even if you must remain local, there is always something new and incredible to discover in the wondrous world around us. Expose yourself to new environments and cultures as often as you can.
Take a moment for gratitude

We are so accustomed to taking stock of all the unfortunate and negative aspects of our lives, we tend to glaze over the sweet bits. Take a break from the constant over-analysis and negativity to acknowledge the good parts of your life. If you’re reading this, you probably have a warm place to sleep, nourishing food on the table and access to some sort of computer. You may have a truly supportive family, or perhaps you enjoy your job, or perhaps you don’t enjoy your job but at least it helps to pay the bills for now…Take some time to journal about all the wonderful things you have and what a good life you’ve created for yourself. And don’t forget, you are pretty incredible!

Happiness can seem elusive at best, so indulge in the path towards happiness rather than the destination itself. Americans are more obsessed with happiness than anyone, but that obsession is making us anxious and, ironically, unhappy. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to be happy; that defeats the point. Just practice moving your life in a more positive, healthy and balanced direction, and you’ll be on the journey to longterm life satisfaction.
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DeWitt Henderson
DeWitt Henderson10 minutes ago

There might be some good ideas here, but I can't get past the loathsome 'hacks', which has become the replacement for 'ideas', 'suggestions', etc.
Christine D
Christine D17 minutes ago

I know money doesn't buy happiness but it can ensure financial security in one's older years so one can enjoy life to the fullest without worrying about being able to pay the bills. I did without the newest car, the lastest fashions, fancy vacations, etc. to put away a little every month so now I am secure for the rest of my life. I still enjoyed life and did the activities that made me happy in my younger years, but I always kept my future retirement in mind. I have always loved nature and now I can take that vacation to Hawaii, book that Mediterranean cruise, or just take a couple of days to explore the west side of Vancouver Island if I so choose. My days are filled with the activities that I love...socializing with my friends, taking nature hikes, or just sitting at home enjoying some quiet time with a good book, TV show or cross stitching. This article has some wonderful advice on how to get there and I have had to make some of the difficult choices like ditching, or limiting my exposure to, energy-sucking friendships.
Menu W
Menu Wabout an hour ago

I'm making over $7k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life.

This is what I do... www.bizpro20.com
Maria Papastamatiou
Maria Papastamatiouabout an hour ago

Thanks for posting.
Wesley S
Wesley Struebingabout an hour ago

Yes to all the above. And one more - SMILE! (they say it takes fewer muscle than frowning, and the wrinkle it imbues are cahracter lines). (oh, and it make people wonder what you're up to... Happy Holidays, everyone!
Michele B
Michele B3 hours ago

coffee in the morning, plus my 2 rescue dogs and my rescue cat, as well as my 3 outdoor cats help me get a good start on the day
Kathy K
Kathy K4 hours ago

Lisa M
Lisa M4 hours ago

Lisa M
Lisa M4 hours ago

Ruth S
Ruth S4 hours ago

view all 28 comments

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Fortune.com/Emily Price: Elon Musk just won a $50 million dollar bet

Elon Musk just won a $50 million dollar bet

By Emily Price November 23, 2017

Back in March, the Tesla founder made a bet on Twitter with Mike Cannon-Brookes, the co-founder of Atlassian, an Australian enterprise software company, that he would be able to install the world’s largest lithium-ion battery in Australia within 100 days, or he would supply it for free. That “free” would have been anything but to Musk, who said failing to meet the deadline would have cost him “$50 million or more,” Business Insider reports.

The 129-megawatt-hour battery was being built by Musk for South Australia, which generates a substantial percentage of its energy from wind power. Musk vowed to install the battery within 100 days of signing as agreement with the state government, which he did in September.

The goal with the battery pack is to make South Australia more self-sufficient and able to provide backup power and affordable energy to South Australians during the summer months.

The battery is part of a $550 million plan by South Australia to help guarantee its power supply after a string of blackouts over the last 18 months. The state has not indicated how much it is paying Musk for the battery. A 250MW gas-fired generator is also expected to come online in the area next summer to help ease energy concerns.

Musk also recently supplied battery power to help aid Puerto Rico’s electrical grid following the devastating hurricane earlier this year.

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17th Session of the Executive Committee of UCLG Africa: Morocco to host Africities Summit 2018

 Members of the Executive Committee were informed that the City of Brazzaville (Congo) had withdrawn and would no longer host the summit, due to the current financial difficulties that the country is experiencing

RABAT, Morocco, November 27, 2017/ -- The 17th Session of the Executive Committee of UCLG Africa (http://AfriqueLocale.org) was held on 24 November 2017 at Afrikland Hotel of Grand -Bassam (Côte d’Ivoire).
The deliberations were chaired by Mr. Christian Roger Okemba, Mayor of Brazzaville (Congo), Vice President of UCLG Africa for the Central Africa Region. The opening ceremony was also punctuated by wishes for successful deliberations from the Mayor of the City of Grand-Bassam, Mr. Georges Phillipe Ezaley; the Vice-President of the Union of Cities and Local Governments of Côte d'Ivoire (UVICOCI), Mr. Djibo Youssouf Nicolas, and the First Deputy Mayor of Dakar, Mr. Cheikh Guèye, representing the President of UCLG Africa, Mr. Khalifa Sall, Mayor of Dakar.

The main items on the agenda were:

    Adoption of the 2018 budget;
    The organization of 2018 Africities Summit;
    The first Africa-Europe Forum of Local and Regional Governments to be held in Abidjan on 27 November 2017 on the sidelines of the African Union-European Union Summit of Heads of State and Government (http://APO.af/huW8Zi).

The committee adopted the 2018 budget for UCLG Africa, with revenue expenditure set at €4,601,119.

Regarding the 2018 Africities Summit, the members of the Executive Committee were informed that the City of Brazzaville (Congo) had withdrawn and would no longer host the summit, due to the current financial difficulties that the country is experiencing. The Executive Committee members were also informed of the steps taken by the Secretary General to replace Congo with a request to the Government of Rwanda. So far there has been no clear response from the Rwandan Government and with the short time-lines to organize the summit, the President of the Moroccan Association of Presidents of Municipal Councils (AMPCC), Mr. Mohamed Boudra, informed the participants that in order not to jeopardize the reputation of the event if Rwanda could not provide a favorable response for its organisation in Kigali December 2018, that Morocco would be prepared to host the Africities Summit.

The Executive Committee welcomed this proposal and endorsed Morocco's decision to organize the next Africities Summit in December 2018. It also directed the Secretary General to inform the Rwandan side, and request it to consider the proposal to host the Summit in December 2021.

Regarding the first Africa-Europe Forum of Local and Regional Governments due to be held on 27 November 2017 in Abidjan, the Committee was informed of the preparation and organization which was also the subject of further discussion during the meeting of the Pan-African Council of Local Governments that took place on 25 November 2017 in Grand Bassam.

The Executive Committee also adopted the recommendations of the UCLG Africa Financial Management Commission, which met in the morning of 24 November 2017, notably the mobilization of membership dues.

Furthermore, the Committee was informed of the ongoing initiative to explore the establishment of a platform to facilitate the access of local and regional governments to the capital market. This platform foreshadows the creation of the African Cities Development Fund, that the UCLG Africa members decided to set up and whose feasibility studies are underway (ACDF- http://APO.af/EakYQo).

The Pan-African Council of UCLG Africa also decided to issue a Declaration denouncing the inhuman treatment of Sub-Saharan migrants in Libya. The opening ceremony for the deliberations of this meeting was chaired by the Prefect of the Territorial Department of Grand Bassam, Mr. Amakou Kassi Gabin.

Let us recall that the Executive Committee of UCLG Africa is the body in charge of the political management of UCLG Africa during a 3-year period between the sessions of the General Assembly of the organization. The Executive Committee comprises 16 members, 15 members representing equally each of the 5 regions of the continent (3 local elected officials for each of the 5 regions), plus the president of the Network of Local Elected Women in Africa (REFELA). The Executive Committee is elected for a 3-year term of office, running from the last UCLG Africa General Assembly held in Johannesburg, South Africa, on 02 December 2015. The Pan African Council (composed of 45 members) is the supervisory body of the implementation of the UCLG Africa policies during this period, which is also held every 3 years. The next session of the UCLG Africa General Assembly is scheduled to take place in December 2018.

View the declaration of UCLG Africa Pan-African Council: http://APO.af/HgDZeL

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa).

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For further information, please contact:
Gaelle Yomi: + 212 610 56 71 45
Email: GYomi@UCLGa.org

United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa)

International Trade Centre Joined Forces with ATIGS 2018

ATIGS 2018 and the Sustainable Development Goals

WASHINGTON D.C., United States of America, November 27, 2017/ -- GAA Exhibitions & Conferences, organizers of ATIGS 2018 (www.ATIGS2018.com) today announced that the International Trade Centre (ITC) (www.intracen.org) has joined forces with the Africa Trade and Investment Global Summit (ATIGS), to advance the event goals and objectives.

ATIGS 2018 will be held under the main theme “Driving Trade, Unleashing Investment and Enhancing Economic Development: the Gateway to African Markets”, ATIGS 2018 goals and objectives are aligned with two of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): (SDGs 8 and 17).

The vision of ATIGS is built on the model of rotating the location of the summit every two years through a bidding process and organizing country specific ATIGS in between, with upcoming editions in Washington D.C - 2018, Dubai-2020; Beijing -2022; Brussels-2024, Addis Ababa -2026; and, South America-2028. Several high-level speakers have already confirmed to grace ATIGS 2018 from South Africa, Ghana, USA, Nigeria, UAE, Australia, China, and Kenya among others.

The Preliminary Featured Sessions will include: Africa and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, AU Agenda 2063: The Africa Future We Want, Stepping Up the Pace: African Development Bank ‘High 5’, African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), Doing Business in Africa tracks, Investing in Africa tracks, and Investor talks, Public Private Partnership, Government Keynotes, Regional Focus Discussions, Countries Focus Briefings, and Industrialize Africa tracks, among others.

"ATIGS 2018 is designed to contribute to AGOA, Trade Africa, World Trade Organization Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), SDGs Agenda 2030 and AU Agenda 2063 by playing an important contribution in enabling companies all around the world and global investors to access African markets as a one-stop shop facilitating international trade and investment partners to support all internationally agreed sustainable development goals and objectives" said Bako Ambianda, director GAA Exhibitions & Conferences.

ATIGS 2018 – www.ATIGS2018.com, will bring together new and established partners from around the world under one roof in to increase business ties and partnerships, highlight and showcase trade and investment opportunities across Africa and enable companies from around the world to expand or establish operations in Africa.

Learn more on: www.ATIGS2018.com

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Africa Trade and Investment Global Summit.

Media & Business Development Contact 
Melissa Brown, Media Relations, Global Attain Advancement | Media@GAAdvancement.com
Ceci Guevara, Chief Marketing Officer | +1 (512) 944-2710 | ATIGS@GAAdvancement.com

Africa Trade and Investment Global Summit

APO Group and Mara Foundation create strategic partnership for Mara Mentor programme

APO Group and Mara Foundation, Mara Group’s philanthropic arm will collaborate to elevate opportunities for African entrepreneurs to find mentors

LAUSANNE, Switzerland, November 27, 2017/ -- APO Group (www.APO-opa.com), the leading media relations consultancy for Africa and the Middle East and Mara Foundation (www.Mara-Foundation.org), founded by Ashish J Thakkar (www.AshishJThakkar.com), today announced they signed an exclusive partnership agreement with special focus on Mara Mentor’s (https://Mentor.Mara.com) flagship programme, Mara One-on-One. Mara One-on-One objective is to support the start-ups and growth of young businesses by connecting successful businessmen and businesswomen with passionate entrepreneurs for six months personalised mentorship.

As part of the new collaboration, APO Group will provide an ideal loudspeaker effect, through media relations, to report on the success of the Mara Foundation’s Mara Mentor programme. With operations in 54 of Africa's markets, APO Group will be the conduit for the mentors and mentored to keep track of their activities through the world.

“We are very excited about the impact the partnership with APO Group will cultivate through the Mara One on One mentoring initiative,” said Rona Kotecha, Executive Director, Mara Foundation. “Mara Foundation is committed to supporting entrepreneurs globally with a particular focus on Africa, young entrepreneurs and women entrepreneurs. Mara Mentor enables entrepreneurs to become agents of job creation and contribute to local economies. Our mission is to support entrepreneurs start up and scale sustainable businesses across industries and geographies”.

Mara One-on-One aims to support the start-ups and growth of young businesses by connecting successful businessmen and businesswomen with passionate entrepreneurs for six months personalized mentorship. This initiative is designed to help young enterprises survive the cut-throat world of business by creating alliances with strong players who have already succeeded in running successful companies. Through this programme, young entrepreneurs will be able to position their businesses for sustainable growth through one-on-one sessions with a Mentor drawn from the top of the business world.

“This is a meaningful collaboration between Mara Foundation and APO Group. We share the same vision of empowering African young entrepreneurs and startupers with leading solutions to help them achieve their dreams and grow,” said Nicolas Pompigne-Mognard, CEO of APO Group. “Africa’s thriving economies have an undeniable link to the success of African entrepreneurship. Now is the time to provide them with the guidance and inspiration a mentor can willingly share. From coast to coast and North to Southern Africa, Mara Mentor programme will provide an opportunity for young entrepreneurs to meet with Africa's mentors over a digital platform as well as in personal to have personalized mentorship at no cost. This frequency will increase as host countries become supportive of the programme”.

Mara Mentor provides a seamless service in a modern and dynamic platform, through which entrepreneurs gain: encouragement, support, guidance and most significantly - vital feedback required for the progression of business ideas and plans. A vision aligned with developing economies and affirmations to increase SME productivity sectors in respective countries, the Mentor programme is an open mic to create promising discussions of increasing GDP, lowering unemployment rates, growth of socio economic classes and reduction in gender inequality. It encourages idea and knowledge sharing amongst the most promising young entrepreneurs and women entrepreneurs, inspiring a collaborative approach to business start-up and growth.

“It gives us great pride to be part of such an initiative, encouraging young leaders of tomorrow and contributing to Africa's SME's successful future. Sharing, distributing positive information about the continent is also part our success and we strongly encourage everyone to do it as well. Africa's young leaders are full of ideas and good intentions, it is important to let them have a voice,” added Nicolas Pompigne-Mognard.

This is a joint press release issued by APO Group and Mara Foundation.

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Media contact:
Hetal Shah | HetalS@Mara.com   
Aïssatou Diallo | bdm@APO-opa.org | +41 22 534 96 97

About Mara Foundation
Mara Foundation (www.Mara-Foundation.org) is founded by Ashish J Thakkar. Mara Foundation is part of Mara Group (https://Mara.com), a pan-African multi-sector business with extensive operating experience in both African and international markets. Established in 2009, Mara Foundation focuses on fostering entrepreneurialism in Africa through a myriad of programmes designed to address the complete life-cycle of an entrepreneur’s business idea. The Foundation works to create sustainable economic and business development opportunities for young entrepreneurs via Mara Women, Mara Mentor, Mara Launchpad and the Mara Ad-Venture Capital Fund. Mara Mentor’s online platform and mobile app have been developed by Mara Online – Mara’s online and mobile technology business. The Foundation is active in a number of countries including Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya and Nigeria. For more information, visit www.Mara-Foundation.org

About Mara Mentor
The Foundations free online mentoring platform, Mara Mentor (https://Mentor.Mara.com) connects ambitious entrepreneurs and business leaders globally, the web based platform is also available on mobile applications on iOS and Android. Mara Mentor enables ambitious and aspiring entrepreneurs to connect with peers and business leaders globally. Enabling, empowering and inspiring entrepreneurs through the provision and access of a breadth of resources consisting of: discussion and debate forums, training and tools, industry news & updates and furthermore an open access feature for entrepreneurs to connect to renowned world class mentors. Mara Mentor has been created to empower not just Africa’s youth and women in their business endeavours, but youth and women globally: in recognition that they are the driving force behind global development and growth through innovation. For more information, visit https://Mentor.Mara.com

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Founded in 2007, APO Group (www.APO-opa.org) is a leading media relations' consulting firm in Africa and Middle East.  We assist private and public organizations in sharpening their reputation and increasing their brand equity in target countries. As trusted partner, our role is to leverage the power of media and build bespoke strategies that enable organizations to produce a real and measurable impact in Africa and the Middle East and outside the regional frontiers. The trust and recognition that have been granted to APO Group by global & multinational companies, governments, as well as NGOs impels the company to continuously enhance its value proposition within Africa & Middle East to better cater its clients ‘needs. Amongst our prestigious clients: Facebook, Dangote Group, GE, Uber, Microsoft, Nokia, Mara Group, PwC, DHL, Marriott Group, Sage, Ecobank, Iflix, Jumia, Samsung, Total, Merck, Société Générale, L'Oréal, Oracle, Philips, Barclays, MoneyGram, Ernst & Young, Orange ... Since November 2017, APO Group is the Official Partner of Rugby Africa.
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Resolving Crisis Caused By Closure Of Bridges Across The Black And White Volta Tributaries of The Volta River At Buipe And Yapei

Such is the misery being experienced by travellers to and from the north who have been stranded for days because they are unable to cross  the bridges over the Black and White Volta tributaries of the Volta River at Buipe and Yapei - which are apparently being rehabilitated and have been closed to vehicular traffic  since 21st October, 2017 - that a practical solution that will give them some temporary relief must be found as soon as practicable, if a tragedy there is  to be avoided.

As we speak, news reports in the Ghanaian media indicate that there have been two deaths, thus far.

The ministerial team in charge of the ministry of roads  and transport must seek the assistance of  the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF), which should liaise with the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) to provide tents, camp beds, toilets, washing facilities, and meals for all the stranded people on both sides of the banks of that part of the Volta River.

If feasible, the GAF's High Command should ask the minister for defence to contact his Russian counterpart, to explore the possibility of the Russian Navy sending its giant Zubr-class hovercraft to Ghana, to convey vehicles and passengers across  both sides of the banks of the two tributaries of the Volta River until the rehabilitation of the said bridges are completed, and they are finally opened to traffic once again.

This blog is pretty certain that the Russian government will be happy to help Ghana resolve this unfortunate crisis with the use of its Zubr-class  giant hovercraft, if approached.

Finally, food for thought: Since they are used by thousands of vehicles transporting goods to and from landlocked  sister nations such as Niger, Burkina Faso and Mali daily, in the long-term, the government should encourage private-sector Japanese construction companies to partner suitable Ghanaian entrepreneurs to self-finance the building of tolled world-class bridges across the Volta River and its tributaries  (ditto across other major rivers in Ghana) - as public private partnership (PPP) infrastructure projects: profits from which they will not have to pay any taxes on for 25 years to enable them recoup their investments.


Dr. Mercola: Is This Why Italians Get Less Alzheimer's?

Fat for Fuel
Available Now

Finally, the Companion Book You’ve Been Waiting for:
Fat for Fuel

Ketogenic Cookbook

Ready to try a ketogenic diet, but don’t know where to begin? Fat for Fuel speaks to your head and provides the research and proof for nutritional ketosis’ many potential benefits. And now, the Fat for Fuel Ketogenic Cookbook appeals directly to your taste buds and takes the mystery out of getting started.
Fat for Fuel Cookbook
Order Now

Order now and receive 3 limited time bonus gifts!

Far too many people underestimate the power of diet to their overall health. The food you eat contributes to about 80 percent of your well-being, leaving the remaining 20 percent to lifestyle factors.

That astounding percentage only underscores why it’s so important to pay close attention to what you eat.

You can imagine my elation when my newest nutrition and diet book, Fat for Fuel, became the No. 1 best-selling nonfiction book in the U.S. in May of 2017. Sure, it’s great to have a best-seller, but that milestone meant much more.

I knew that many people now had the nutritional knowledge they needed to take control of their health. And I knew they had some of the best information I had ever amassed.

There’s no doubt in my mind that metabolic flexibility and the option of burning fat as your body’s primary source of energy instead of glucose is one of the wisest moves you can make for your weight and your ability to fight chronic disease, including diabetes and cancer.

Fat for Fuel met its intended goal of giving you the why and what to do with your diet to shift over from using glucose for energy to fat for fuel. But you still need the how to part of the equation to be successful putting into action the dietary changes and strategies.

That’s why I’ve created the Fat for Fuel Ketogenic Cookbook, along with Australian celebrity chef and author Pete Evans. Pete shares my passion for eating healthy, fat-burning foods. And he knows how to take these foods to a level that few ever reach to make them as enticing and delicious as they are nutritious.

I can’t think of a better package to offer you... research-backed medical advice combined with scrumptious, kitchen-tested recipes. Together, they will help empower you to make the shift to fat-burning (if you haven’t already) and reap the many health benefits from this profound metabolic transition.
Why I’m Recommending Fat for Fuel: A Revolutionary Diet to Combat Cancer, Boost Brain Power, and Increase Your Energy
Fat for Fuel Book

If you haven’t yet picked up a copy of Fat for Fuel, I suggest doing so.

The most important book I have ever written to date, Fat for Fuel will become your go-to reference as you travel on your nutritional ketosis, or ketogenic journey. You may experience challenges along your journey, and Fat for Fuel will help you find your way.

For many people, knowing the potential health rewards that await them once they reach ketosis can dictate their level of success. You’ll learn all about the many ways your health will benefit in Fat for Fuel. Plus, you’ll discover valuable tips to help you stay on track.

And even more importantly, you’ll know what to do once you reach nutritional ketosis. As you’ll find out in Fat for Fuel, you don’t want to remain in ketosis for an extended period.

This is an area that very few ketogenic diet gurus talk about, but remaining in a state of ketosis for too long can bring about unwanted consequences. I’ll tell you exactly what to do to keep nutritional ketosis’ benefits coming your way!

Described by some as “life-changing,” Fat for Fuel speaks to your head and provides the underlying research for why my cyclical nutritional ketosis program makes sense.

The Fat for Fuel Ketogenic Cookbook appeals directly to your taste buds and takes the mystery out of getting started.

Let’s take a closer look...
Order Now

Order now and receive 3 limited time bonus gifts!
The Pièce de Résistance – Nearly 100 Delicious Recipes From Pete’s Kitchen, Illustrated in Gorgeous Full-Color
Beef Bone Broth
Beef Bone Broth with Turmeric, Coconut Cream, and Ginger

Whether you’re an experienced chef or a weekend kitchen warrior (or even just a wannabe), you’ll find page after page of delicious-sounding recipes that you will want to try.

From basics like Beef Bone Broth, to showstopper entrees like Crispy Duck Confit, to irresistible treats, including one of my favorites, Chocolate Fat Bomb, these dishes offer exquisite eating at every meal.

Included are light and hearty breakfast recipes, in-between meal snack and beverage recipes, as well as recipes for main dish entrees, salads, soups, and sides.

And all are illustrated with gorgeous full-color photographs shot in Pete Evans’ own studio. You’ll know exactly what you are making and how it should look when finished!

Just thumbing through the index of recipes will get your gastric juices flowing. Here are some favorites of Pete’s and mine from each category of recipes in the book:

    Broths and Soups – Broccoli Soup with Wild Hot Smoked Trout and Rosemary, Healing Ham Hock Soup, French Onion Soup
    Breakfast – Coconut Yogurt Pots with Fresh Berries, Manu’s Baby Leeks with Soft-Boiled Egg, Truffled Bacon, and Sherry Vinaigrette, Kale and Pumpkin Tortilla

Kale and Pumpkin Tortilla
Kale and Pumpkin Tortilla made with last night's leftover's

    Fermented Foods – Beginner’s Kraut, Beet Kraut, Kimchi, Sauerkraut
    Salads – Endive, Parsley, and Macadamia Nut Salad with Anchovy Dressing, Fennel, Watercress, and Herb Salad with Shallot Dressing, Sichuan Chicken Salad with Egg "Noodles"
    Meal Main Dishes – Grass-Fed Steak with Chimichurri and Bone Marrow, Whole Roasted Salmon with Lemon and Herbs, Thai Chicken Cakes
    Drinks – Coconut and Turmeric Kefir with Ginger and Cayenne, Green Juice with MCT Oil, Turmeric Latte
    Sides and Condiments – Broccoli “Rice,” Keto Mayonnaise, Whole Roasted Cabbage with Bacon and Onion Broth
    Snacks and Treats – Avocado Chocolate Truffles, Keto Chocolate and Coconut Bites, Macadamia Nut Fudge

This is just a sampling... There are nearly 100 recipes total, all with professional full-color photographs and step-by-step, detailed instructions!
More Than Just Delicious Recipes... Includes 71 Pages of Health Information You Can Use Today
Beginners Kraut
From Beginner's Kraut (shown) to authentic Korean Kimchi, you’ll have a selection of fermented foods recipes to choose from to improve your gut health

As I said earlier, Fat for Fuel Ketogenic Cookbook is a collaboration between celebrity chef Pete Evans and myself.

Between its covers, I wanted to include information on why diet matters so much to health.

You’re going to learn not only what to eat, but also how to improve your digestion, ward off or radically reduce Type 2 diabetes, and select beverages that actually enhance health.

I’m also going to show you how to support your diet with a few well-chosen supplements to help you find and maintain your perfect weight as you optimize your health.

And I’m going to share with you some surprising insights on cooking methods that you may not be familiar with right now, but go a long way to making food as nutritious as possible.

Here are just a few highlights of what you’ll learn in these 71 pages:

    8 reasons to consider a targeted cyclical ketogenic diet
    All about intermittent fasting and the 4 conditions when it isn’t recommended
    The worst dietary mistake you can make at night
    10 surprising benefits of fasting (most people know only 3 or 4 of these!)
    How to use diet to help keep harmful yeast overgrowth in check
    What matters even more than your DNA for disease development
    How to use food and beverages to help curb anxiety
    How to use diet to prevent or reverse diabetes
    One of the worst mistakes you can make if you have Type 2 diabetes
    How to tell precisely how well your body is working (costs less than 25 cents!)
    One of the most powerful tools for burning fat for fuel (it’s also a great motivator)
    The ideal level of carbs to eat each day to prevent diabetes
    The dietary mistake that can lead to impaired thinking and memory
    The key to losing weight that many experts ignore (and maybe you too)
    The dietary trap that can make you store fat instead of burning it
    The diet food that can lead to a 70 percent increase in waist size (consume two servings a day and that number mushrooms to 500 percent!)
    The two things you must do before your body will stop storing fat
    The food ingredient that’s more addictive than cocaine (it actually changes your brain to resemble those of drug addicts and alcoholics!)
    The potent cancer-fighting food that I eat three times a day (and it doesn’t even need to be organic)
    My favorite type of fiber that converts to ketones to nourish your tissues
    The high-antioxidant nut that may help lower “bad” cholesterol and promote healthy arteries
    How to radically reduce the dangerous lectins in seeds
    How to make sure you’re not getting short-changed when buying grass fed beef (a clue: most grass fed beef isn’t 100 percent grass fed and grass finished)
    The three types of seafood I now eat for omega-3 fats (not salmon)
    The simple snack that, according to one study, may cut a woman’s risk of breast cancer in half (requires no preparation!)
    What to do BEFORE adding fermented foods or probiotics to your diet
    The nutrient that’s important for slowing your aging process (jumpstarts your body’s energy and stamina)
    The popular appliance that causes so much cellular damage that I recommend actually removing it from your home
    How to figure out the ideal amount of protein to eat and how much to eat at each meal to avoid any excess from converting into glucose

Plus: A Bonus Chapter That Didn’t Make It Into This Book
Kale Caesar Salad
Another popular recipe from the book, Kale Caesar Salad is sure to delight the hearty salad lovers in your family

Remember earlier when I said 80 percent of your well-being is related to diet?

In this bonus chapter, I address the remaining 20 percent.

Here you’ll find important updates and items that I couldn’t fit into Fat for Fuel, including essential information about sleep, stress, exercise, and much more:

    The major lifestyle mistake that 2 out of 5 Americans make that can raise your risk of cancer
    How to use morning and afternoon sunlight to help balance your circadian system to sleep more soundly and balance cortisol levels
    Two effective strategies for improving your sleep that hardly anyone talks about
    My two favorite ways to keep a positive mindset (one actually leads to physical changes in your brain!)
    The body-relaxing technique that helps counteract age-related loss of brain volume and helps it stay younger longer
    One simple trick to help you stay better focused all day
    How to clear away emotional blocks from your body’s bioenergy system within minutes (your mind and body will feel more balanced!)
    One of the best techniques I’ve found for creating optimal emotional health and the healing of physical disease (and it’s do-it-yourself)
    How to create an effective feedback loop to ward off chronic disease, even if you’re out of shape or overweight
    The ONLY form of cardio that I believe most people need that takes just 3 minutes, 3 times a day (no special equipment or gym needed)
    What I’m recommending now instead of a Peak Fitness high-intensity workout
    My secret recipe for homemade dishwasher detergent and non-toxic rinse agent for clean and sparkling dishes

You’ll receive this bonus chapter as a PDF download when you order!
Act Fast! Order Fat for Fuel Ketogenic Cookbook NOW and Receive These Valuable Bonuses
Cauliflower and Bacon Toast
Cauliflower and Bacon Toast with Avocado and Fried Egg - sure to make your bread craving a thing of the past

A diet or eating plan is only useful when you follow it.

You must be motivated to prepare the food – and enjoy eating it. Unless you’re able to simply prepare food and beverages that look and taste good, I can guarantee you… you’re not going to follow this or any eating plan.

That’s exactly why Pete and I created the Fat for Fuel Ketogenic Cookbook the way we did.

We both realize that you eat with your eyes. That is, food must look appealing and appetizing before you’re willing to take the time to fix it and eat it.

I think you’ll agree after your first look, this book is a feast for your eyes and your stomach! I’ve attempted to give you a sneak preview of some of the exquisite photos, but you need to experience them first-hand to fully appreciate their beauty.

When you order the Fat for Fuel Ketogenic Cookbook today, you’re going to receive three valuable bonuses:

    An exclusive bonus chapter
    A Mercola discount coupon
    SMS exclusive: behind the scenes access to 5 recipes included in the book

Act now. Don’t delay. Order your copy today and enjoy ketogenic cuisine at its finest!
Fat for Fuel Cookbook

Get these bonus gifts when you order:

i.Bonus Chapter:

Due to spacing considerations this chapter was excluded from the book but can be yours today!

ii.Discount Coupon:

A Mercola discount coupon good on your next order.

iii.SMS Exclusive:

Behind the scenes access to 5 recipes from the book.
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Disclaimer: The entire contents of this website are based upon the opinions of Dr. Mercola, unless otherwise noted. Individual articles are based upon the opinions of the respective author, who retains copyright as marked. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of Dr. Mercola and his community. Dr. Mercola encourages you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your health care professional before using products based on this content.

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Saturday, 25 November 2017

An Important Meeting In London That All The Leading Members Of The Economic Teams Of Ghana's Political Parties Ought To Attend

An important meeting in London (Wednesday 6 December, 19:00 - 21:00) that leading members of the economic teams of all Ghana's political parties  would be wise to attend,  will take place at  the Grove Neighbourhood Centre - Upstairs Hall, at 7 Bradmore Park Road, Hammersmith, London W6 0DT. Map:  Google Maps.

It is vital that Vice President Mahammudu Bawumia and the finance minister, Hon. Ken Ofori-Atta, attend that meeting - for they need to step out of the shadow of conventional economic thinking if a more equitable and prosperous society is to ever emerge in our homeland  Ghana.

For the benefit of this blog's younger generation  Ghanaian readers, today, we have culled and posted a missive from the UK organisation, PositiveMoney.org, which is advocating for monetary reform in the UK.

We do hope that our young generation Ghanaian readers will take an interest in the subject of monetary reform by regularly reading content on the website of PositiveMoney.org and that of the International Movement for Monetary Reform (IMMR).

Finally,  above all, we do  hope that an IMMR chapter will be set up here by someone creative and innovative enough to realise just how appropriate for Ghana's transformation the ideas they contain actually are. Food for thought:  It is a frightening thought to think that Dr. Bawumia and Hon. Ken Ofori-Atta probably haven't the faintest idea about any of the game-changing proposals being put forward by PositiveMoney.org and the IMMR. Hmm, Oman Ghana - eyeasem o. Asem kesie ebeba debi ankasa.

Please read on:

" Dear Reader,

We are pleased to invite you to an upcoming event in Hammersmith!

Real physical limits to economic growth
A science and economics mash up

In this meetup we will be discussing the environmental limits to economic growth.

Positive Money supporters are used to discussing the limits to money creation, but in the back of our minds we all have a more stringent constraint, the one imposed by nature. One of our followers, Paul Andrews, who has a keen interest in scientific subjects and environmental issues and is very critical of the conventional economic wisdom, was prompted by our previous discussion of China's projects for the future (a new expansive capitalist cycle driven by a massive infrastructure project) to challenge this vision of where the world economy should be going.

This is what the presentation will be about, in Paul's own words:

"The purpose of this talk is a whirlwind tour of the physical limitations of Earth and the lack of recognition of these facts by capitalism, governments and individuals. The economic miracle of China has lifted hundreds of millions of Chinese people out of poverty but this is only a temporary measure, this miracle will fail primarily because there aren't enough natural resources to keep it going.

The presentation will try to show a holistic overview of where we are and hopes to get people to question everything they have ever learned about economics and capitalism. The message is that we must change at a fundamental level and for this every person needs to become better informed and allowed to take part in that change. If you take one thing away from the presentation it is to challenge the orthodoxy and ask why many times a day."

After the presentation we will open the debate. Perhaps you share these views and are very alarmed about the environmental effects of endless economic growth, perhaps, on the contrary, you believe that the problem is being exaggerated by the media, or maybe you take the view that the problem is real but it should be addressed by a 'green' technological revolution (in other words by a different type of growth).

We welcome all opinions and expect to have a lively discussion as usual!
Time:     Wednesday 6 December, 19:00 - 21:00
Host:     Mike Callis
Location:     Grove Neighbourhood Centre - Upstairs Hall
7 Bradmore Park Road
W6 0DT
Map:     Google Maps


Nearest tube stops are Ravenscourt Park and Hammersmith. Press bell 3 for the Upstairs Hall.

From Ravenscourt Park tube station, turn left out of the tube station and walk down the alleyway to get to Dalling Road. Turn left and walk under the railway lines and past a school on your left. Turn right onto Glenthorne Road and take the third left onto Bradmore Park Road. Walk through a narrow section of road to a crossroads and continue straight over on Bradmore Park Road. You will see the Grove Neighbourhood Centre on your left. Press bell 3 for the Upstairs Hall. There is a lift and 2 flights of stairs to take you up to the first floor.

The venue provides disabled access.

More information

    Sign up on the Positive Money website
    RSVP on Meetup

This meetup is for everyone interested in how money system works and how it could be changed to be constructive and socially beneficial. Come and feel free to invite your friends who might be interested too. Everyone is welcome!

Best wishes,

The Positive Money team
PositiveMoney Facebook PositiveMoney Twitter PositiveMoney Google+ PositiveMoney YouTube

Positive Money is a company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales. Registered number 07253015. Registered office: 303 Davina House, 137-149 Goswell Road, London EC1V 7ET |"

End of culled missive from Positive Money

Dr. Mercola: 12-Year-Old Stuns the Planet, Defies Beliefs of What's Humanly Possible


Call Toll Free: 877-985-2695


Child Prodigy Astounds Music World With Full-Length Opera Composition

    November 25, 2017 • 8,353 views


Visit the Mercola Video Library
Story at-a-glance

    Alma Deutscher, a child musical prodigy, was able to name notes on the piano at age 2 and began playing piano and violin at the age of 3. Within a year of tutoring, she was playing Handel sonatas on the violin
    By the age of 4, Alma had begun composing her own melodies, and by 6 she’d written her first piano sonata. This was followed by a violin and orchestra concerto at age 9
    In December last year, her full-length opera, “Cinderella,” premiered at the Casino Baumgarten Theatre in Vienna, performed by the Viennese opera group, Oh!pera
    Alma is frequently compared to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) but, while flattered, Alma insists she would rather be the first Alma than the second Mozart
    Music is a form of emotional communication, an emotional protolanguage of sorts, and like emotions it can have a tremendous influence on psychological and even physical health

By Dr. Mercola

I am so pleased to post this video and I hope it gives you as much joy as it did me when I first viewed it on 60 Minutes. It is beyond extraordinary to have a glimpse into someone as exceptionally talented as 12-year-old Alma. My only regret is that there is no way to post this without exposing you to a minutelong drug commercial, which I’m sure you realize I don’t endorse. For some of you, it may be the only time you see these commercials so let them entertain you.

Most of us are gifted with some degree of natural talent — something we do better, or with greater ease, than the average person. And then, there’s the true prodigies; people with seemingly unnatural talent. Their gift is so profound, and comes from God-only-knows-where. Alma Deutscher, from Basingstoke, England, is a perfect example of the latter.1

There are a number of musical prodigies out there, but Alma has most of them beat. She was able to name notes on the piano at age 2 and began playing piano and violin at the tender age of 3. Within a year of tutoring, she was playing Handel sonatas on the violin. She’s now considered a virtuoso of both instruments. By the age of 4, she’d already begun composing her own melodies, and by 6 she’d written her first piano sonata. This was followed by a violin and orchestra concerto at 9.

In December last year, her full-length opera, “Cinderella,” premiered at the Casino Baumgarten Theatre in Vienna,2 the city of music, performed by the Viennese opera group, Oh!pera — an unattainable dream even for many adult composers who’ve spent a lifetime perfecting their craft. Alma, who wrote the score for every single instrument, and the lyrics, was 11 years old. The 2.5-hour long opera, with a musical score running 237 pages, received standing ovations.
Cinderella Reinvented by 11-Year-Old Prodigy

Many were also wowed by her creative reinvention of the classical tale of Cinderella. Rather than being matched with her true love by the way of a lost glass slipper of a particularly minute size — an idea Alma found to be “quite silly” — Cinderella is a talented composer and the pining prince is a poet. The tale is set in an opera production company run by the evil stepmother. The two stepsisters are divas with little talent and much vile.

Cinderella, with a natural talent for composing, is not allowed to perform. Meanwhile, the prince writes a love poem that ends up in Cinderella’s hands. Not knowing the identity of the poet, she falls in love with the words and sets them to music. After having her composition stolen by her evil stepsisters, who do their best to sing it at the ball, Cinderella finally gets her chance to perform for the prince.

The prince is enthralled by the enchanting melody, and sets out to discover who wrote the music to his poem. As in the classical story, he travels the land searching for his soulmate, but instead of looking for the foot that fits into the slipper, he sings a portion of the melody, knowing only the true composer can properly finish the song.

So, the prince falls in love with Cinderella not because of her physical beauty or tiny feet, but because of her talent, and because “he understands her,” to use Alma’s explanation. In other words, he recognizes his soulmate as a talented equal. “I didn't want Cinderella just to be pretty. I wanted her to have her own mind and her own spirit. And to be a little bit like me. So, I decided that she would be a composer,” Alma explains.3 “Cinderella” made its American sold-out debut December 16 at the Opera San Jose.4
Where Does the Music Come From?

Most interviews with Alma include the same question: Where does her music come from? In a recent 60-Minutes interview, Scott Pelley received the following answer:5

    “I don’t really know, but it’s really very normal to me to … walk around and having melodies popping into my head. It’s the most normal thing in the world. For me, it’s strange to walk around and not to have melodies popping into my head. So, if I was interviewing you, I would say, ‘Well, tell me Scott, how does it feel not having melodies popping into your head?’”

Oftentimes, the music comes when she’s most relaxed, either playing outdoors with her younger sister, or skipping rope. Her father, Guy Deutscher, a linguistics professor and amateur musician, taught her to read musical notes, but questions the influence of his role in her immense ability to create music, including scores for instruments she does not play.

He tells Pelley, “I thought it was me [that taught her to read music]. I hardly had to say [any]thing — and, you know, her piano teacher once said ‘it’s a bit difficult with Alma; it’s difficult to teach her because one always has the sense she’d ‘been there’ before.’” Alma also says she has “lots of composers” inside her mind, in a special “country” she created in her imagination.

These imaginary friends provide her with the emotional juices her tender youth lacks. Each one has their own emotional style of composing. One of them, Antonin Yellowsink, helped her compose a “dark and dramatic” violin concerto. “[S]ometimes when I’m stuck with something, when I’m composing, I go to them and ask them for advice. And quite often, they come up with very interesting things,” she says.
Would Rather Be Original Alma Than Second Mozart

Many compare Alma to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791),6 one of the few childhood prodigies that can even compare to Alma’s talent. However, while flattered, Alma insists she would rather “prefer to be the first Alma than the second Mozart.” That said, she has a great affinity for the famed composer and musician, and “would have loved” to have him as a teacher.

The question is whether Alma wouldn’t have ended up teaching Mozart a thing or two. In a concerto in Israel, Alma performed one of Mozart’s piano concertos with a cadenza — a musical interlude where the orchestra goes silent, allowing the soloist to perform his or her own music. But in this case, Alma didn’t just perform Mozart’s solo. She created her own.

“It's something that I composed because, you see, it's a very early concerto of Mozart and the cadenza was very simple. It didn't go to any different keys,” she tells Pelley. “And I composed quite a long one going to lots and lots of different keys doing lots of things in Mozart's motifs,” Alma says. “So, you improved the cadenza of Mozart?” Pelley asks, to which she replies, “Well, yes.”

Robert Gjerdingen, a professor of music at Northwestern in Chicago who has acted as a “consultant to Alma's education,” had the following to say about his star protégé:

    “It's kind of a comet that goes by and everybody looks up and just goes, ‘Wow.’ I sent her some assignments when she was six, seven, where I expected her to crash and burn, because they were very difficult. It came back, it was like listening to a mid-18th century composer. She was a native speaker … It's her first language — she speaks the Mozart-style. She speaks the style of Mendelssohn … She's batting in the big leagues. And if you win the pennant, there's immortality.”

The Many Benefits of Music

As for why she composes, Alma says her inspiration is to “make the world a better place,” and she believes beautiful music can do that. She is undoubtedly correct. Music is a form of emotional communication, an emotional protolanguage of sorts, and like emotions it can have a tremendous influence on psychological and even physical health. For example, music has been found to:

    Help you exercise harder, while making it feel easier
    Help Alzheimer’s patients reconnect with people around them, remember past life events and reduce agitation associated with dementia
    Allow patients with Parkinson’s disease move more freely.7 The music appears to provide an external rhythm that bypasses the malfunctioning signals in the brain
    Improve your mood; calm nerves; reduce stress and/or invigorate and energize
    Facilitate connection and unification between people. Despite individual differences in musical preferences, classical music has been shown to elicit a very consistent pattern of brain activity in virtually all listeners. Areas activated include those involved in movement, planning, memory and attention. This brain activation creates a sort of unifying force that synchronizes and unifies people together8

What Happens in Your Brain When You Hear Music?

When you listen to music, much more is happening in your body than simple auditory processing. Research shows that music triggers activity in the nucleus accumbens, a part of your brain that releases the feel-good chemical dopamine and is involved in forming expectations. At the same time, the amygdala, which is involved in processing emotion, and the prefrontal cortex, which makes possible abstract decision-making, are also activated.9

Based on the brain activity in certain regions, especially the nucleus accumbens, captured by an fMRI imager while participants listened to music, the researchers could predict how much money the listeners were willing to spend on previously unheard music. As you might suspect, songs that triggered activity in the emotional and intellectual areas of the brain demanded a higher price.

Interestingly, the study’s lead author noted that your brain learns how to predict how different pieces of music will unfold using pattern recognition and prediction, skills that may have been key to our evolutionary progress. As reported by Time:10

    “These predictions are culture-dependent and based on experience: someone raised on rock or Western classical music won’t be able to predict the course of an Indian raga, for example, and vice versa. But if a piece develops in a way that’s both slightly novel and still in line with our brain’s prediction, we tend to like it a lot. And that, says [lead researcher] Salimpoor, ‘is because we’ve made a kind of intellectual conquest.’

    Music may, in other words, tap into a brain mechanism that was key to our evolutionary progress. The ability to recognize patterns and generalize from experience, to predict what’s likely to happen in the future — in short, the ability to imagine — is something humans do far better than any other animals. It’s what allowed us (aided by the far less glamorous opposable thumb) to take over the world.”

Alma’s future passion project is to write a book, turn it into a film and write the musical score. I hope you’ll take the time to view the featured 25-minute documentary about Alma Deutscher, and revel in her musical talent. You will not regret it. Then, if you’re eager for more, you can listen to some of the “Cinderella” performances in the 1.5-hour-long recording above. May she inspire you to help make the world a better place, every day.
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Disclaimer: The entire contents of this website are based upon the opinions of Dr. Mercola, unless otherwise noted. Individual articles are based upon the opinions of the respective author, who retains copyright as marked. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of Dr. Mercola and his community. Dr. Mercola encourages you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your health care professional before using products based on this content.

If you want to use an article on your site please click here. This content may be copied in full, with copyright, contact, creation and information intact, without specific permission, when used only in a not-for-profit format. If any other use is desired, permission in writing from Dr. Mercola is required.

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Friday, 24 November 2017

We Must Reject The Attempt To Balkanise Ghana - And Put The Cohesion Of Our Country At Risk Needlessly

India's very wise nationalist leaders set about stripping away all the powers of the Maharajahs after independence - and finally made them irrelevant politically in 1967 when prime minister Indira Ghandi completed the process.

That crucial decision was taken precisely because India's political leaders understood clearly the dangerous, nation-wrecking consequences of the baleful influence of the beneficiaries of a nepotistic system anchored on inherited privilege - in a nation determined to modernise itself by becoming a meritocracy, to enable it transform itself successfully into a prosperous democratic society. It  is called visionary leadership.

Alas, we have not been so wise in Ghana. Yet, the Chieftaincy institution is the last bastion of tribal-supremacists in Ghana - and the most virulent forms of tribalism in Ghana, by definition, exist in the palaces of Chiefs up and down  Ghana. Pity.

The secret agenda of Dr. J. B. Danquah & Co during the struggle for independence - which was for the progeny of the ruling elites of the pre-colonial tribal entities, to replace the departing British occupiers of the Gold Coast, and permanently dominate a federal state after independence: a nonsensical elitist notion that was roundly rejected by quick-witted voters in the elections of 1951, 1954 and 1956, who instead wisely opted for Nkrumah's vision of a post-independence unitary state - is the same reason behind this very dangerous balkanisation-of-Ghana-idea cloaked as desire for better economic prospects made possible by creating new regions. Pure nonsense on stilts.

The question is: Why add yet another layer of inefficient and super-corrupt  bureaucrats who will cost hapless taxpayers even more money for their overly-generous compensation packages and sundry perks, adding more cash to be stumped up for an  already ruinous public-sector wage bill? Amazing.

Ghana most definitely does not need  another small army of well-connected square-pegs-in-round-holes, who will run the new regions - a partisan crowd of mostly clueless political appointees.

Not when electing chief executives for metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies will help transform Ghana - because they  will ensure, during their respective tenures, that their administrations fashion policies that actually respond to the needs of local people: instead of pandering to the whims and caprices of sitting presidents perpetually seeking nationwide party advantage through appointed MCEs and DCEs.

Personally, although I am anti-New Patriotic Party (NPP) - because like the National Democratic Congress (NDC) it is also an opaque political machine that refuses to publicly publish all the sources of its funding - I nonetheless fully support President Akufo-Addo, mainly because of his commitment to the preservation of what is left of Ghana's natural heritage, his commitment to free education, and his determination to deal with high-level corruption.

However, I am outraged that influential and highly-intelligent politicians in the NPP/NDC duopoly, who ought to know better, do not seem to understand the dangers to national cohesion posed by this misadventure being driven mostly by rabid tribal-supremacists across Ghana - led by members of an archaic Chieftaincy institution underpinned by inherited privilege that is literally a nest of vipers. Haaba.

With respect, it is time all Ghanaians understood clearly that in 21st century Africa, no tribe is superior or inferior to another. Full stop. Truth be told this creating-new-regions-idea is all about resurrecting ancient tribal glories - and has absolutely nothing to do with  better economic prospects through the creation of new regions.

Finally, as a Ghanaian nationalist and pan-Africanist, my hope and prayer, is that voters will see through this abomination  and roundly reject it - just as voters in the Gold Coast rejected a similar proposal that envisioned a post-independence federation  consisting of tribal-based federal states in the elections of 1951, 1954 and 1956.

What Ghana urgently needs - to bring prosperity to people at the grassroots level - is to elect chief executives and all the members of metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies. We must reject the attempt to balkanise our homeland  Ghana by creating new regions - and put the cohesion of our country at risk needlessly. Haaba.

Greenpeace Africa's: THIS is news we cannot ignore!

Dear Reader,

If we do not act now to stop the moratorium from being lifted, vast areas of the Congo Basin forest could be open for destructive logging.

Sneaky business!

Just after our ship tour in Central Africa ended, we received shocking news. The government of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is setting in motion plans to scrap the 15 years old moratorium on new industrial logging permits. This means that the precious forest that humans and animals depend on, would be fair game to destroy and exploit for profit.

Ask the Prime Minister of the DRC to keep the moratorium in place!

What’s worse is while the DRC government started the process to lift the moratorium in Kinshasa on 10 November, it made empty statements on the importance of protecting its forests at COP23.

I don’t know about you, but this spells hypocrisy, a life-threatening act when there’s so much at stake. Will you join us to keep the moratorium in place?

Add your name to the petition NOW!

Sign our petition NOW - stop this process of lifting the moratorium on the allocation of new logging concessions in the DRC!

Victorine - Project Co-ordinator for the Congo Basin forest

For the future of the Congo Basin forest,

Victorine, and the Greenpeace Africa team

Support Greenpeace Africa
Greenpeace Africa is funded by amazing individuals like you. We don't take money from the government or any private companies.
Contribute Now    

Investopedia/Reuters: JGBs Slip as BOJ Trims Superlong Bond Purchases

JGBs Slip as BOJ Trims Superlong Bond Purchases Partner Content
By Reuters | November 24, 2017 — 6:10 AM EST

Japanese government bonds slipped on Friday and the yield curve steepened following the Bank of Japan's move to slightly trim its purchases of longer maturities in its regular buying operations.

The benchmark 10-year cash JGB yield added half a basis point to 0.025 percent. The 10-year JGB futures contract slipped 0.14 point to 151.01 in the afternoon trade.

In the superlong zone, the 20-year yield added one basis point to 0.570 percent, while the 30-year yield was up two basis points at 0.825 percent.

The BOJ offered to buy 90 billion yen ($808.55 million) of JGBs maturing in 25 to 40 years, down from 100 billion yen in its previous operation for those maturities.

Higher U.S. Treasury yields in Thanksgiving holiday-thinned trading also put some upward pressure on JGB yields.

The 10-year Treasury yield drifted up to 2.340 percent from its U.S. close on Wednesday of 2.322 percent.

($1 = 111.3100 yen) (Reporting by Tokyo markets team; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri)
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