WEEKLY BRIEFS

This space is dedicated predominantly to developments and trends in the various spheres of the African continent which are constantly evolving.

It’s been a great year for African writing, with Tanzania’s Abdulrazak Gurnah winning the 2021 Nobel Prize for Literature. 

South Africa’s Damon Galgut lifted the Man Booker Prize for his novel, The Promise, and exciting prose continued to sprout. Peter Kimani, leading Kenyan author, journalist and academic, lists his top five picks.

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Virgil Abloh, the founder of fashion label Off-White and Artistic Director of menswear at Louis Vuitton, died November 28 after a long battle with a rare cancer. He was 41 years old and his death was confirmed by the French fashion house.

Abloh had cardiac angiosarcoma, a rare and aggressive cancer, for at least two years, said parent company LVMH.

“We are all shocked after this terrible news,” company CEO Bernard Arnault said in a statement on Twitter.

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The Department of State raised the Travel Advisory Level for Ethiopia to Level 4 – Do Not Travel on November 2, 2021. This replaces the previous Travel Advisory issued on June 7, 2021.

The full text of the updated Travel Advisory is as follows:

Do not travel to Ethiopia due to armed conflict, civil unrest, communications disruptions, crime, and the potential for terrorism and kidnapping in border areas. Read the entire Travel Advisory. U.S. citizens in Ethiopia should consider departing now using commercial options.

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Attorney Edwin IK Aimufua, a Los Angeles alum who is primed to contest for Nigeria’s highest political office – the Presidency – in 2023, recently paid a courtesy visit to the offices of The African Times-USA in California. During the visit, Mr. Aimufua talked of his political agenda for his native Nigeria which will be based on Integrity and accountability “from the grassroots up”.

In a hearty chat with the editor-in-chief, Mr. Charles Anyiam and senior contributing editor, Ben Edokpayi, he regretted the low point at which Nigeria finds itself due to so many avoidable circumstances.

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The Department of State has awarded Pernix Federal, LLC of Lombard, Illinois the $319 million design-build contract for the new U.S. Consulate General in Lagos, Nigeria. The 12.2-acre site for the new Consulate General is part of Eko Atlantic, a development led by South Energyx Nigeria Limited in collaboration with Lagos State. The location will provide the future diplomatic campus and its neighbors with access to sustainable, modern infrastructure, including an 8.5 km seawall designed to protect the city from rising sea levels and coastal erosion.

Ennead Architects of New York, New York is the design architect. The new Consulate General will provide a modern, resilient platform for diplomacy in Nigeria and is expected to be completed in 2027.

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Created in partnership with Boston Black News (BBN), Boston’s first and only faith-based, Black-owned, FCC licensed FM station and multimedia network, Black News Hour will develop a space for Boston’s Black community to engage and connect with Globe journalists, deepening connections and building stronger relationships between the community and local media.

“At the Globe, we understand the importance and crucial role that Black press has played in reporting the hardships and achievements of Boston’s Black community,” said Peggy Byrd, Chief Marketing Officer at Boston Globe Media. “Collaborating with BBN is a vital part of ensuring that we are supporting independent Black media outlets and highlighting the multitude of stories existing in the Black community.”

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By Antony J. Blinken, US Secretary of State

The United States joins others around the world in commemorating the first International Day for People of African Descent. This day was created to promote the extraordinary contributions of Africans and members of the African diaspora around the world and is an opportunity to focus on eliminating all forms of discrimination against people of African descent. The United States continues to support the International Decade for People of African Descent through shared goals of recognition, justice, and development.

This Administration has elevated racial justice and equity as an immediate priority, promoting it across federal government agencies, policies, and programs, including our engagement at the United Nations.

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Hosanna Broadcasting Network (HBN), a California-based Christian broadcast media outlet known as “The Voice of Jesus Christ” has announced the launching “Our Turn”. a new honest, exciting, thought provoking, entertaining talk show which its management described as honest, thought-provoking and entertaining.

“Our Turn was incepted because of discussion between two of the hosts during the COVID 19 saga and riots that took place in our nation. The conversation turned to a reality and “Our Turn” was born”, according to the Chief Hostess, Ms. Tersit Asrat.  

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The United States is a strong partner with African nations, supporting public health and economic growth across the continent.

Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Akunna Cook told an Africa Day celebration May 25 that the Biden administration is committed to advancing America’s long-standing partnerships with African nations.

“We believe in the nations of Africa,” she said in virtual remarks at the event, hosted by the African Union’s Mission to the United States and attended by diplomats from African countries. “The United States stands ready to be a partner to you in solidarity, support, and mutual respect.”

Africa Day celebrates the founding of the Organization of African Unity on May 25, 1963.

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African Ancestry the Black-owned pioneers of genetic ancestry tracing for people of African descent, today announced an unprecedented partnership with the Sierra Leone government through the Ministry of Tourism and Cultural Affairs and its facilitating agency The Monuments and Relics Commission that formalizes a citizenship offering for customers whose ancestry trace to the fifth most peaceful country in Africa. 

“We welcome you to acquire land, live in our communities, invest, build capacity and take advantage of business opportunities,” said President Bio during the citizenship conferment ceremony.

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Students from across the country between the ages of 8 and 12 are encouraged to read a financial literacy book of their choosing, and either write a 250-word essay or create an art project to show how they would apply what they learned from the book to their daily lives. Submissions must be emailed or postmarked by June 30, 2021. The Bank will choose ten winners and award each winner a $1,000 savings account at OneUnited Bank by August 31, 2021. For more information, please visit: www.oneunited.com/book.

Teri Williams, OneUnited Bank President and author of “I Got Bank! What My Granddad Taught Me About Money, wrote the book when she found that there weren’t enough books geared toward educating urban youth about finances.

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Court TV viewing peaked April 20 between 4:30-5:30 p.m. ET – during which time the verdicts were read – at 402K viewers 2+. Court TV was ranked in the top 15 ahead of such networks as ID, ESPN, TBS, TNT, FX, Discovery Channel and 100 others in viewers 2+ when compared with ad-supported cable networks 4:30-5:30 p.m. ET April 20.

April 20 was the most-watched day since Court TV was rebooted in May 2019 with increases as high as +10 times the pre-Chauvin trial time period average. The network’s trial coverage itself was up more than +330 percent.

In terms of streaming viewing, Court TV was up more than 20 times for the trial and more than 40 times for the verdict versus the pre-trial average.

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 W. E. B. Du Bois 1903 Historical Perspective On Race Relation In America 

In his 1903 text The Souls of Black Folk, W. E. B. Du Bois wrote that the “police system was arranged to deal with blacks alone, and tacitly assumed that every white man was ipso facto a member of that police.” The ideologies of that earliest iteration of American policing—designed to prevent the freedom and enfranchisement of Black people and to protect the interests of white people—still persist in today’s policing system.