Sunday, 29 December 2013

AngloGold plans more job cuts in Ghana in 2014..................

"AngloGold plans to lay off 2 000 jobs in Ghana by next June, say trade unions."  

Title: AngloGold plans job cuts in Ghana as gold price falls
Dated: October 2013

AngloGold Ashanti, the world’s third-largest producer of the metal, said it plans to cut 400 jobs at its Obuasi mine in Ghana by end of the year to rein in costs as the decline in the price of bullion erodes profit.

To combat higher costs and the retreat in the bullion price, Johannesburg-based AngloGold suspended its dividend, is cutting spending and exploration and is laying off 40% of the 2 000 employees in its corporate offices.

The company, with 21 operations in 10 countries, reported a loss in the second quarter ended June after the metal’s price had dropped 23% in the period, a record quarterly decrease.

Gold output in the West African nation, the continent’s largest producer after South Africa, may fall as much as 18% this year after the drop in prices prices prompted some mines to cut production, Minerals Commission chief executive Ben Aryee said on September 20.

Gold Fields, which mines the metal in Ghana, was forced to temporarily shut its operations in the country in April after illegal strikes that halted more than 40% of the Johannesburg-based company’s output.

Industrywide cuts
Newmont Mining, which has the Ahafo operation and Akyem project in Ghana, sees about 300 job cuts by the end of the year as part of a "restructuring process", Adiki Ayitevie, the company’s regional manager in charge of communications, said in a September 27 interview.

"The situation is quite terrible; we will be losing about 2 000 jobs by June," Prince Ankrah, general secretary of the Ghana Mine Workers' Union, said by phone on Tuesday. "We understand the situation and are negotiating the best and fair deals for all parties." The organisation represents more than 20 000 employees in the industry.

Output at Obuasi increased 18% to 58 000 ounces in the three months ended June 30 from the previous quarter. Total cash costs declined 10% to $1 560 an ounce. Gold was little changed at $1 287.39 by 8:25am in London. It has dropped 23%this year.

AngloGold also operates the Iduapriem mine in Ghana, which has a staff of 1 200, Morcombe said.
The company’s shares slumped 3.7% to R129.51 by the close in Johannesburg yesterday, extending the plunge this year to 51%. The stock’s retreat matches the fall of Gold Fields in 2013. They are the worst performers in South Africa’s 165-member FTSE/JSE Africa All Share Index after Harmony Gold, which retreated 55%. – Bloomberg

Credit/ Source:

Paulina says: Such sad news.... We need work for our people not job losses... ...we need job creators/wealth creators -businesses that are going to add and not take away from the economy in 2014........I'm wondering....what will these newly unemployed worker do -now??? Are the Ghana's government going to make sure that they get redundancy pay? Or will they be driven into illegal small scale mining??? Surely...... we have all seen the true cost of Galamsey on the environment in Ghana!!!!!

SOS: Climate Change in Totope Ghana........

Some residents are saying that sea levels are rising up to 3 metres each year [Chris Stein/Al Jazeera]

Title: Climate change threatens Ghana's coast

Coastal erosion has forced a town of thousands to flee into a swampy, trash-filled area

Totope, Ghana - Ask anyone in this fishing village along Ghana's eastern coast where they grew up, and they'll likely point south, towards the blue waves of the Gulf of Guinea.

The ocean has encroached on areas that were once land, dry enough for the villagers of Totope to grow crops, build homes and raise families.

It's all gone now, buried by crushing waves and shifting sands that have forced the village of a few thousand to move onto swampy land reclaimed with an unreliable mix of sand and trash.
The people here don't think it will last.

"The future of Totope looks very, very bleak," the village's chief Theophilus Agbakla said.

Grain by grain, West Africa's coasts are eroding away, the dry land sucked under the water by a destructive mix of natural erosion and human meddling.

Sediment flows in Ghana and elsewhere have been disrupted by the damming of rivers. Climate change has led to harsher storms and higher waters. Meanwhile, resurgent economies in many West African countries are bringing development closer and closer to the shore.

From Senegal to Nigeria, scientists say eroding beaches will soon pose an unavoidable threat to booming coastal populations.

A glimpse of that future can be seen in Totope. Situated with a lagoon to the north and the Atlantic Ocean to the south, the village of less than three thousand is cursed by its geography.

Salt water seeps through the makeshift landfill that Totope rests on. Villagers walk on soggy ground, dodging creeks that run between houses, and they hang their possessions from ceiling rafters to keep them above their often-wet floors.

"Have you seen how the sea broke the town?" asked Michael Akutu, a fisherman who like most people here grew up on now submerged real estate. "Now, it's all gone."

Rapid coastal erosion
As the ocean pushes the shoreline back, the beach has risen up to swallow whatever gets in its way.
There's an old Pentecostal church, still standing with sand up to its windows.

One resilient soul dug a trench and bought himself a little more time from the wall of sand that's advancing on his house.

Agbakla says the village has land it wants to move to on the other side of the lagoon, somewhere where the water won't get them. But no one has the money to pay for the land.
"You get fed up and you have to leave," Agbakla said. "This the fate of Totope."

Year by year, West Africa's coast is retreating. By how much depends, said Kwasi Appeaning Addo, a lecturer in coastal processes at the University of Ghana.

Around Ghana's capital Accra, the coast is eroding at one-and-a-half metres per-year, while in the eastern coast around Totope it's three meters per-year, Addo said.

But when the weather is rough, Agbakla said the waves near the village can claim as much as ten meters a year.

Like its potency, the causes of coastal erosion vary, but Mathieu Ducrocq, a coastal scientist who coordinated a study on erosion throughout West Africa for the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, said most of the causes tie back to human activity.

"The main problems come from human activities and bad coastal management," he said.

Climate change
Ducrocq credits climate change with driving sea levels higher and making destructive storms bigger.
Ports and jetties along the coast can also disrupt the flow of sediment that nourishes beaches, Ducrocq said.
Guinea-Bissau has already lost one of its finest beaches to erosion, and Gambia's capital Banjul had to borrow millions to regenerate a beach crucial for keeping the capital connected to the country's roads, he said.

Beaches around Totope rely on sediment from the Volta River, Addo said, but that flow was disrupted by the construction of the Akosombo dam in 1965, which provides most of the electricity for Ghana.

"Now that we have blocked it over decades…we are experiencing the consequences," Addo said. "The problem wouldn't have been much if the rate of sea level rise had been very, very low."
The rising seas are occurring amidst a rise of another kind: impressive economic growth in the economies of West African states like Nigeria, Ghana and Ivory Coast, all of which have major cities along their coastlines.

The optimistic economic news has developers in Ghana convinced that people will fork over thousands of dollars to rent luxury condos in a trio of under-construction beachfront high-rises.
A spit of landfill off the coast of Nigeria's mega-city Lagos will soon sit the site of Eko Atlantic, an opulent planned city for those who can afford it.

Addo says projects like these will be the first to take the hit from eroding coasts.
"In the very near future… the government will have to be called upon to look for money to protect that side," Addo said. "I think these huge developments that are going on along the coast are something that we should discourage."

As the sea took Totope's houses one by one, the villagers retreated north to the banks of the Songor Lagoon, a UNESCO biosphere reserve and nesting ground for sea turtles.
Eventually, they ended up in the lagoon itself, layering plastic bags and sand together to make a semblance of dry ground.

The floors of the houses laid in the reclaimed lagoon are constantly wet with water salty enough to undo glue on shoes, Agbakla said, and the ground has to be packed down and refreshed every day.
The landfill is considered illegal, but warnings from the police and condemnation from conservationists don't change Totope's reality: there is nowhere else to go.

"At times you disobey the laws of the country because of certain circumstances," Agbakla said.
The government has invested in a series of groins stretching down the coast that are meant to trap sediment and regenerate the beaches.

Addo said measures like these are double-edged; effective in repairing beaches upstream, but starving others downstream.

Agbakla is sceptical. He said the government told him it will be three years before the coastal defence project reaches Totope.

"It means that within three years, [the sea] will take 12 to 18 meters, which will take some of the village away again," he said.

When that happens, the villagers will do what they've always done: lay down another layer of sand and plastic, and retreat.


Saturday, 28 December 2013

Luxe Africa: World Retail Congress Africa 2013.....

Title: Luxury goods are taking off in Africa
Africans are showing an increased appetite for luxury items.

The fact that 250 delegates turned up at the first World Retail Congress Africa says something in itself – retailers are mightily positive about the prospects of growth in Africa. The conference was held in the second week of November in Sandton, Johannesburg.

More than one research company has pointed out that Africans’ appetite for luxury is growing especially fast, and there have been a batch of news stories recently that support these findings.

Just before the conference both Euromonitor and Bain & Company pointed to brands such as clothing marque Ermenegildo Zegna, sports’ car-maker Porsche and handbag seller Louis Vuitton opening stores in parts of Africa. Whether the roads in some of these parts are entirely suitable for low-slung Porsches is another question!

Most of these stores are in South Africa, Morocco or the oil-rich economies of Nigeria and Angola, but there have been some interesting snippets of news recently that support the view that luxury consumption is on the up.

Shoprite’s results published in August included the startling news that the company’s seven stores in Nigeria sold more bottles of Moët & Chandon champagne than all the group’s liquor stores in South Africa combined.

Coty has ended its distribution agreement with South African group AVI. This suggests that the global cosmetics giant wants to be more hands-on in the sales and marketing of its products, a sure sign of a growing market.

Distell’s results for the year to June 2013 included news of a big growth in cider sales in sub-Saharan Africa, excluding South Africa. Cider is a drink associated with the middle-class, an aspirational drink.

Diageo’s decision to start selling smaller bottles of its branded spirits is not directly related to the luxury idea, but shows that brands are keen to help their customers and potential customers move up the value chain – away from unbranded, cheap, liquor, towards small quantities of aspirational brands. Luxury brands will follow, or might be used on special occasions.


Paulina says: The first 'World Retail Congress Africa' --I wonder who/whom/what brand(s) represented Ghana at this must-event.... I must investigate.... Plus, could Coty be getting ready to do something special in 2014????

Friday, 27 December 2013

Healthcare: Celebrating Esther Ogara........

Esther Ogara

Title: Esther Ogara is a positive force for advancement in Kenya
Dated: 14-11-13

Esther Ogara is distinctively African. She was born in Ghana, settled in Kenya, and travels regularly throughout sub-Saharan Africa. She is at once a formidable task master, a passionate healthcare advocate, a caring friend and loving mother. There is no surprise that she has been a driving force behind eHealth in Kenya.

Esther has been at the forefront of Kenya’s eHealth development for many years. Her first major achievement was leading the development of Kenya’s national eHealth strategy and the National Health Training policy. August 2011 saw the launch of the eHealth strategy. It set a new standard with wide-ranging acknowledgement in Africa and abroad. She coordinated its implementation and is now developing the Ministry of Health’s national research strategy.

Before her eHealth days, she worked for the Ministry of Health in various capacities in health and healthcare for more than two decades she led the development of the maternal, obstetric and neonatal guidelines which are currently used to manage maternal and neonatal health in Kenya.  As if this is not sufficient, she is a member of Kenya Red Cross Society Health Committee, the Kenya Medical Association, Public Private Partnership Health Kenya Committee, a founding member of Telehealth Society of Kenya (TSK) and its treasurer. There are still only 24 hours in each day, and there is more. Esther is also a member of the Review of Health Related Law Committee and part of the team developing the National Unique Person’s Identifier for Kenya. The Committee role is to review all the health laws in Kenya.

Esther is highly qualified. She is a Medical Doctor, holds a degree in general medicine, has advanced diplomas in Public Health and Health Systems Management and been part of the Strategic Leadership Development Program. While professionals like Esther remain in leadership positions, Kenya’s eHealth development is certain to advance.


Paulina says: I am beyond inspired by Esther Ogara and want to know more about this incredible anyone who is passionate healthcare in Africa and is doing something about it -must be celebrated.... Kudos Esther Ogara..... For more info visit:

Transfer news: West Ham confirm interest in former Sunderland striker Asamoah Gyan

The Ghana international could arrive at Upton Park on loan

Dated: 24-12-13
West Ham boss Sam Allardyce has confirmed the club have made tentative enquiries into the possibility of signing striker Asamoah Gyan in the January transfer window.

The relegation-threatened Hammers are short of attacking options due to Andy Carroll's long-term injury-enforced absence and Allardyce has said he will look for "one or two" additions in the new year.

Representatives of Gyan, who left Sunderland in 2012 to join Al Ain in the United Arab Emirates, have hinted the east Londoners are keen on taking the Ghana international to Upton Park on loan.
And Allardyce has admitted he is a player on the radar.

"We'll be linked with anybody that's a centre forward that might be coming back into this country," said Allardyce.

"So if there's a player of any sort of quality we try and find out what the situation might be, but it is nothing more than that."

Asked if would not rule out a move but could not confirm an approach, Allardyce said: "Absolutely."
Captain Kevin Nolan will return after suspension for West Ham's home clash with Arsenal.
And Allardyce said his pivotal leader must now start weighing in with goals.

He said: "We've left ourselves with a massive programme by Christmas, and going into New Year with Premier League games, FA Cup games, a semi-final in the Capital One Cup, so we're going to be using the squad to its full extent.

"So the quicker I can get players back fit in January and find one or two additions as well, the better it will be for us.

"The most important thing we miss with Kevin is his goals, he's only scored one.

"We have to accept the criticism, take it on the chin and focus on how well we know we can play, and try to get back to the same level of performance - but when you're in command of a game, make sure you put the ball in the back of the net.

"Otherwise you end up where we are.

"We are where we are for one reason, because we haven't scored enough goals."
Allardyce has challenged his West Ham side to copy Chelsea, who shackled Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Monday, holding Arsene Wenger's men to a 0-0 draw.

He said: "The fact Arsenal went an entire 90 minutes at home and only sneaked one shot on target I think shows you how well Chelsea defended all night, but maybe the weather had something to do with that.

"It's something we could do with doing against them on Boxing Day, blocking them out like Chelsea did and seeing what we can get from there."
Defender James Tomkins remains central to Allardyce's Christmas plans, despite his arrest on Sunday.

The 24-year-old was charged with one count of assaulting a police officer, one count of resisting arrest and one count of being drunk and disorderly in a public place after an incident outside the Sugar Hut Village nightclub in Brentwood.

Allardyce said: "He's a footballer we need and is a big player for West Ham, he's West Ham born and bred."

Credit / Source:


Former Spurs and AC Milan star Kevin Prince-Boateng in hospital after suffering assault in Germany

The footballer was attacked in the street while enjoying time off in the industrial city of Gelsenkirchen, it has been reported
Dated: 26-12-13

AC Milan's Kevin-Prince Boateng celebrates AC Milans victory over Barcelona

Former Tottenham and Portsmouth midfielder Kevin Prince-Boateng has been rushed to hospital after being assaulted in the street.
German newspaper Bild reports that the midfielder, now of Schalke, was attacked by an unknown assailant while enjoying time off in the industrial city of Gelsenkirchen.
The injuries are believed not to be serious.

The Bundesliga is on it's winter break and Boateng, who has also made his name as an anti-racism campaigner, is not due to represent the Königsblauen again until January 26.

Schalke qualified for the knockout phase of this season's Champions League as runners-up to Chelsea, but face a tough tie with Real Madrid

Credit/ Source:

Paulina says: Horrible, horrible news.... We love you Kevin-Prince Boateng, get well soon.....

Business: Africa's Banking Industry....

Title: Africa offers growth potential on a vast scale / Dated: 15-12-13
After a long and largely successful career in banking, Bob Diamond, former head of Barclays, could probably have his pick of markets and institutions at which to stage his comeback – whether in investment banking, hedge funds or at one of the fast-growing Chinese lenders. Business:
Instead, the American banker is opting for sub-Saharan Africa, long neglected by mainstream investors. Unlikely on the face of it, perhaps, but if there is one developing region of the world that still excites bankers confronted with stuttering faith in the traditional emerging markets of Asia and Latin America, it is Africa.
 Whatever the fate of Mr Diamond’s venture – which is expected to involve buying a bank in Africa – his decision is symbolic of a renewed interest in the continent, particularly its financial sector. The demographics of the continent are breathtaking.

Sub-Saharan Africa alone has a population of about 1bn,
which, on many estimates, is set to double over the next three decades. The potential is obvious.

Sim Tshabalala, joint chief executive of Johannesburg-based Standard Bank, says banks are benefiting from economic growth and increasing banking penetration. “Both are growing in Africa very fast,” he says, adding: “The continent is becoming very attractive.”

McKinsey, the consultants, estimates that three-quarters of Africans still do not have a bank account. Industry executives estimate that only 5 per cent of the region have a credit card. The so-called “unbanked”, which in bleak times might seem a symbol of economic hopelessness, are viewed by many Africa watchers as a key to unlock a virtuous circle of economic growth.

“Sub-Saharan African financial and banking systems remain underdeveloped,” Pim van Ballekom, vice-president responsible for sub-Saharan Africa at the European Investment Bank, said in a report this year.

Mr van Ballekom explained in the report that the relatively stable macro­economic and financial environment of sub-Saharan Africa, together with the current reform momentum and expected strong growth in many countries in the region, did indeed “bode well for further development of the banking system”.
The region is dominated by a handful of banks, with four institutions from South Africa leading the pack. Standard Bank is by far the largest by assets, with $182bn, followed by FirstRand, with $100bn, and Barclays Absa and Nedbank – controlled by London-listed Old Mutual – with $95bn and $80bn, respectively.
Outside South Africa, banks are far smaller in terms of total assets.
Ecobank, a Togo-based bank with business across the continent, is the largest with assets of about $20bn, followed by Nigerian lenders First Bank and Zenith, and United Bank for Africa, a Nigeria-based lender that is focusing on a few big African markets, rather than trying to cover the continent.
Standard Bank also dominates in terms of profits – its pre-tax income last year roughly equalled the combined profits of the 10 largest banks in sub-Saharan Africa outside South Africa, where rivals FirstRand, Barclays and Nedbank are also very profitable. International banks are following Standard Bank and Barclays into Africa. Standard Chartered has expanded across the region, along with Citigroup, Société Générale and HSBC.
Investment banks, including JPMorgan, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse are becoming more active, helping countries raise funds through sovereign bonds, and playing a bigger role in mergers and acquisitions in the region.
The influx of foreign banks, plus the expansion of local lenders, comes as Africa enjoys its strongest economic growth in a generation, leaving behind the stagnation of the 1980s and 1990s.
The International Monetary Fund forecasts that sub-Saharan Africa will grow by 6 per cent in 2014 – roughly the same rate as in the past 10 years – second only to developing Asia at 6.5 per cent and well above the global rate of 3.6 per cent.
“We are at the beginning of something,” says Maria Ramos, the chief executive of Barclays Africa, referring to the macroeconomic and financial changes across the region.

Both local and international banks are increasingly focused on the opportunities such growth gives them. Yet, although bankers see opportunities across Africa, most say they are focusing on a handful of markets, including South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, Ghana, Angola and Zambia. Bankers would love to enter the Ethiopian market, but it has remained largely closed to them.

Bankers and government officials believe that as ordinary workers gain access to basic banking facilities, and the emerging middle classes tap into sophisticated financial services, there should be a feedback loop to greater spending and consumption, and hence further economic expansion.

“The growth is healthy,” says Diana Layfield, head of Africa for Standard Chartered, the emerging markets bank. “It’s not just about banking either. Insurance is emerging as a financial product in the region.”

African banks often achieve returns-on-equity, a typical measure of profitability, in excess of 20-30 per cent, significantly above the 10-15 per cent more common in developed markets and more mature emerging economies. Yet, there are dangers exemplified by a nasty banking crisis in Nigeria in 2008-09. And regulation, particularly of banks with operations across borders, is in its infancy.

High operating costs and infrastructure are also problems. The lack of branches in many countries has made it difficult for individuals to open an account, even if they have the funds and income. In some cases, lenders such as Standard Bank have tried to bypass the issue by partnering with corner shops to create mini-branches.
And the dearth of cross-border operators, which made life difficult for businesses wanting to expand, has been changing. Lenders such as Kenya’s Equity Bank are rolling out branches aggressively.

And many business banks are operating across large chunks of the continent, such as Nigeria’s UBA and Togo’s Ecobank, spurred in part by the advent of cross-border infrastructure deals. Mergers and acquisitions is another area that is booming, albeit from a low base.

The same is true for sovereign bond issuance in hard currency, which this year is set to hit a record of roughly $10bn across Africa, up from $1bn a decade ago. But it is in mobile banking that African finance can really claim to be ahead of the game. M-Pesa, the mobile payment service operated by Safaricom of Kenya, is reckoned to be responsible for more than half of all mobile remittances globally. Even if most Africans still do not have formal bank accounts, the profusion of mobile phones and payment technology has “done a lot for financial inclusion”, says Ms Layfield, with 70 per cent of adults now able to make such basic payments, up from 7 per cent a few years ago.

While many western banks struggle with ancient IT systems and a top-heavy branch network, African banks may well have sounder foundations for the financial services of the future.


Paulina says: I know I come here day in and day out to expose my ignorance but really....... I had no idea Ecobank was Togolese owned -did you?

Business: Prudential moves into Africa via Ghana.......

Title: Prudential moves into insurance in Ghana
Dated: 5-12-13

Prudential is to begin selling insurance in Africa for the first time after agreeing to purchase a Ghanaian group that provides protection to individuals who live on less than $2.50 a day.
The FTSE 100 insurer is buying Express Life from LeapFrog Investments, a specialist “microfinance” fund set up with backing from institutions including JPMorgan and the European Investment Bank, and Obed Danquah, its founder.

Although relatively small – people familiar with the matter said the Pru was investing a sum in the low double-digit millions – the deal is symbolically significant for the UK’s biggest insurer by market capitalisation.

The Pru, which has enjoyed strong returns from its substantial expansion in southeast Asia over the past decade, has so far avoided Africa apart from a holding in a South African asset management operation.
However, in recent months Tidjane Thiam, the Pru’s chief executive, who was born in Ivory Coast, has been talking up the economic prospects of the continent and its expanding middle class.
In a speech this year, he said: “Today, Asia is good news for all of us. Tomorrow, Africa will be good news for all of us.”

“I am happy to go on the record and say that the 22nd century will be the African century.”

Even so, insiders have downplayed the prospect of an aggressive assault on Africa by the Pru. The group is eyeing expansion into the continent but is also looking at other markets, including Latin America.

Premiums written in sub-Saharan Africa, excluding South Africa, account for only 0.2 per cent of the global insurance industry total, according to data from Swiss Re. The take-up of life insurance across the continent by individuals is particularly low.

The markets across the continent are diverse. Barriers to further development of the industry include poor infrastructure and governance problems.

In Ghana, life insurers wrote an estimated $171m in 2011. This accounts for only about 0.5 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product.

Express Life has about 16,000 policies, according to the Pru. About nine in 10 customers live on less than $10 a day and about a fifth on less than $2.50.

They pay premiums of as little as 70c a month for Express Life’s offerings, which are often sold via mobile phones and which include health and life insurance, funeral cover and savings products.

The Pru is the first exit for Leapfrog Investments’ debut $135m fund, which invested in seven companies in emerging markets.

Other European insurers are also looking at expanding in Africa to capitalise on economic growth.
Separately on Thursday, Old Mutual – which has set aside $550m to fund acquisitions in sub-Saharan Africa – said it had received approval from regulators for its purchase of a majority stake in Faulu Kenya.


Do read the latest news concerning Prudential in Ghana via:

"This month, the Pru agreed to purchase Express Life of Ghana. The deal appears tiny in Prudential’s terms. The UK insurer produces annual operating profits of more than £2.5bn." FT

"Yet it would be a mistake to think insurers are concentrating their efforts on the “middle class”. Nine out of ten of the customers of the Ghanaian insurer that Prudential is buying earn less than $10 a day. A fifth live on less than $2.50 a day." FT
Paulina says: I wonder what "spending a sum in the low double-digit millions to acquire the Ghanaian business" -means -don't you???

Luxe Africa: Nigeria & Angola

Title: Africa’s wealthy revel in luxury labels
Dated: 12-3-13

February 2013. Queen Ahneva Adegeye is smiling. Valentine’s day is approaching, and orders are pouring into the Nigerian office of Quintessentially, the global luxury concierge service.

“We’ve had a lot of requests for Hermès bags,” says Mrs Adegeye, Quintessentially’s managing director in Lagos. “Men ordering them for their wives, and wives ordering for themselves.”

The bags, flown in from Europe, cost thousands of dollars each. But for the super-rich in Lagos, it is pocket change. More serious purchases will happen this month, when representatives of the luxury yacht company Sunseeker arrive to show off their new boats, which can cost millions of dollars. Mrs Adegeye is confident there will be buyers.

“The upper-middle class is booming, especially people working in the oil and gas sector,” she says. “They like to show off, buying big and entertaining big.”

Spending on luxury in sub-Saharan Africa is not confined to Nigeria, the continent’s biggest petroleum producer. Its nearest rival Angola has plenty of dollar millionaires who spend lavishly in boutiques in Portugal and Spain, according to Claudia D’Arpizio, a partner at Bain & Company, who heads its luxury goods practice.

The elite from Democratic Republic of Congo are also big spenders abroad. In newer oil and gas producers such as Mozambique, Tanzania, Ghana and Uganda, a class of super-wealthy individuals is also likely to emerge in the coming years.

In all of these countries, however, the rich must make most of their luxury purchases overseas, or at least order them from abroad. This is because the individual markets are still comparatively small, and retail space of the quality required by top brands is seldom available.
The only country with a developed luxury retail sector is South Africa, which has 71,000 millionaires, about 60 per cent of Africa’s total. Louis Vuitton and Burberry already have stores in Cape Town and Johannesburg. There is also local production of luxury goods, including leather products and jewellery.
Mrs D’Arpizio expects the luxury market in South Africa to grow strongly, and to continue to attract international brands. By 2020, Bain estimates there will be 420,000 South African households with more than $100,000 of disposable income. Despite the clear potential elsewhere on the continent, luxury companies are more likely to keep watching developments, or to test the waters with a single store here and there, Mrs D’Arpizio says.

As in other emerging markets, menswear brands are likely to lead the way. That is already happening in Nigeria, where Italian fashion house Ermenegildo Zegna plans to open a store this year, just up the road from a new Porsche dealership. It is also just a short walk from a huge billboard for Moët & Chandon champagne, a brand that needs no introduction in Nigeria.
Between 2006 and 2011, Nigeria was the second fastest growing champagne market in the world by volume, according to Euromonitor. In 2011, Nigerians drank 752,879 bottles of bubbly, more than were consumed in Russia or Mexico. That made Nigeria, where most people live on less than $2 a day, the 17th-biggest market for champagne in the world.

The trend will continue, Euromonitor says. From 2011 to 2016, champagne consumption in Nigeria is expected to more than double. Only France will see a higher volume growth in champagne sales over that period.



Thursday, 26 December 2013

Objects of Desire: Bohten Sunglasses......


"Designed in Canada, African inspired, Bôhten is committed to producing quality eyeglasses made from reclaimed material sourced in Ghana." Bohten

Paulina says: Omgoodness I'm in love... I'm in love with Nana Osei's must-have, uber feted eco-luxury eyewear line Bohten.....

A fash-pack fave, Bohten Sunglasses are lovingly made from wood waste-products from Ghana, thus are as eco-friendly as they are stylish, and I'm predicting..............brand Bohten is about to become the Next-Big-Thing... mark it on the wall (Ghana styleee)!!! Bohten sunglasses...... are about to go stellar in 2014.....

For more info or to buy a pair of Nana Osei's Bohten sunglasses visit:

Ghana Rising Blog Wishes you a Merry Christmas 2013...

Sending Blessings of Peace and Happiness to you and your family at Christmas...
God Bless you and give you all your hearts desires.....
Paulina xxx
2014's going to be incredible no?????

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Nkapo Launches Byzantine Collection & Christmas Sale at The African Regent Hotel, Accra today 22nd December 2013 at 2pm.....


"Nkapo Haute Accessories invites you to our Christmas Sale and the launch of our new collection - BYZANTINE. Come sip and shop our unique, bold and beautiful pieces." Nkapo


For more info visit:

A Must Read: Revelation: The Movement of the Akan People from Kanaan to Ghana by Akanba.....

To buy this must-read book visit:

Do read segments via:

More info:
Book Review: Revelation - The Movement of the Akan from Kanaan to Ghana February 2011

I accidentally stumbled upon this book while doing a search on google about a very particular aspect of the Akan people. One of the few links that was brought up was a link to parts of the above book shown on google books. After giving Akanba's book a cursory perusal, I decided to buy it  as soon as I could. All of this occurred getting to the end of 2010.

The book Revelation - The Movement of the Akan from Kanaan to Ghana was first published in 2010 but according to what the author of the book said on, he has been doing research on this particular topic since the 1990's. It seems to me that as of the present moment (February 2011) this book is not very well known. After all it was published only a year ago. It is however a book that could be of interest to those seeking to research the ancient history and other aspects of the Akan people.

What you will get when you purchase this book is 504 pages of small print (11 or 12 font size) on A4 paper! There is a lot of information in the book -- very interesting photos too. It is full of Akan Adinkra symbols with their corresponding explanations and full of Akan proverbs. For its linguistic value alone, it is worth the price.

I remember having to all the way to New York's Schomburg library this past August 2010 to read Nana Banchie Darkwa's book The Africans who wrote the Bible. This book is now very costly (as of this writing). Who knows, maybe Akanba's book will end up like that in a few years, so if you want to buy it at a reasonable price while the book is still in circulation, now may be the time to buy it. I have already received my copy. Let me point out that I do not know the author of this book, this is not a promotional for him. I found this book and thought it could be a worthwhile book to have for those interested in this kind of information.

In my view, this is the next major work in print about the Akan people (from a secular as well as from an esoteric point of view) since J. B. Danquah's book The Akan Doctrine of God, which was published in 1968. Nana Banchie Darkwah's book is great but Akanba's book covers greater scope in great detail. Akanba is a real "Ghana man" in his tone and passion, championing the cause of the Akan people. Akanba however seems to make no reference to Nana Banchie Darkwa's book nor does he make any reference to The Akan Book and Website in his work (although by looking through his book I can say that it is most likely that he is at least aware of The Akan Book and Website). My only conclusion is that Akanba perhaps decided to have his work stand apart, which is a choice that has to be respected. This major work on the Akan is an attempt at shedding light on an issue whose time has come.

I am now convinced that this info about the Akan and other Afrikans was meant to come out at this time. Before reading Akanba's book, I never knew that there was a prophesy relating to the revelation of this information. All I knew were personal visions and inclinations I received prompting me to write The Akan Book. Akanba's book is like a massively detailed version of aspects of Chapters 3, 4 and 5 of The Akan Book I wrote (especially section 4.10), but not only limited to these, as he covers other areas as well and he obviously writes in a style peculiar to his person. The Akan Book and Website and Akanba's book as well as other works of this nature like Nana Banchie Darkwa's book are all revelations related to the Akan and to other Afrikans. 



Interracial Relationships in Colonial Ghana........

Title: Scholar Studies Interracial Relationships in Colonial Ghana

In researching the changing nature of sexual relations between Africans and Europeans in colonial Ghana, Carina Ray, Ph.D., came across a telling historical snapshot.

In an 1845 account of his visit to the Gold Coast, as Ghana was then known, U.S. Navy officer Horatio Bridge noted that “all of the Europeans have native wives,” meaning that interracial marriages between European men and African women were common.
Over the following century, however, the frequency of these unions decreased significantly. Exactly one hundred years later, in 1945, Ray found that colonial authorities described the marriages of four British officers to Gold Coast women as an “epidemic” and further pathologized them as a “form of madness.”

“While these marriages were once very much accepted, a century later, they sent the colonial administration into a panic,” said Ray, an assistant professor of history.
A specialist in modern African history, Ray is presently writing a manuscript that interrogates the contested racial politics of colonial rule. She is documenting how colonial authorities and Gold Coasters changed their ideas about interracial sexual relationships during the colonial period. Those changes, she said, were markedly different from previous centuries.

From the late 1400s to the mid-1800s, it was very common for European men to marry African women on the Gold Coast. “These marriages produced prominent trading families who were important to the economic and political history of the coastal areas,” Ray said. “But as of the late 1800s, when Britain finally decided to formally colonize the Gold Coast, these relationships were increasingly frowned upon.”

While the shift was gradual, an official circular was issued in 1907 by John Rogers, the colony’s governor, which forbade European officers employed by the colonial administration from having relationships with African women. Two years later the Colonial Office in London issued a similar decree that reinforced Rogers’ local circular.

“These relationships were no longer accepted because they were viewed as posing a threat to administrative efficiency,” Ray said.

By breaching the divide between colonized and colonizer, which colonial rule was based upon, the administration feared that a European officer involved in a sexual relationship with a local woman risked, in the words of the Colonial Office, “lowering himself in the eyes of the natives, and diminishing his authority,” she said.

“Ensuring the respectability of its public officers meant that their private lives were increasingly policed,” Ray continued. In other words, although British colonialism projected itself as trying to “civilize” colonized populations, it ironically ended up having to “colonize” European male sexuality as well.

As a result, these relationships became more clandestine, and it was this shift that caused Gold Coasters to begin publicly voicing their concerns, Ray said.

“Because by the early 20th century these relationships rarely conferred respectability to the women who participated in them, Gold Coasters soon began to fear that illicit alliances between European men and local women were corrupting female virtue and, by extension, threatening the future of the nation,” Ray said.

By drawing attention to the increasingly unseemly nature of these relationships, Africans began chipping away at the veneer of alleged European moral superiority that underpinned the legitimacy of colonialism.

“Commentaries began appearing in Gold Coast newspapers warning of the ‘sad fate of the country’ should European men continue satiating their sexual appetites with the colony’s young women,” Ray said. “Gold Coasters inverted colonial rhetoric by casting Europeans not as bearers of civilization, but as obstacles in the way of it.”

Though there is much research on what these unions meant for Europeans and colonial governments, few have written about what interracial sexual relationships meant for colonized peoples, Ray said. In addressing this question for Gold Coasters, she hopes that her manuscript, Policing Sexual Boundaries: The Politics of Race in Colonial Ghana, will make an important contribution to the literature on colonialism, African history, sexuality and gender studies and the Black Atlantic world.

With the support of a Fordham Faculty Fellowship, this summer Ray will again travel to Ghana and Britain to do research for the final chapter of her manuscript. Titled “The Annans and Knights: Black Atlantic Family Histories at Empire’s End,” this chapter traces the lives of two interracial families who defied colonial era prescriptions by loving across the color line during a time of great upheaval in the British Empire.

Ray also tries to make Africa’s history more widely accessible in other ways. For the last several years she has been a monthly columnist for New African magazine, the oldest Pan-African monthly in print. Her column, “Lest We Forget,” reflects on Africa’s past in relation to its present and future and allows Ray to reach audiences in Africa, Europe and the United States.

Ray’s longstanding interest in contemporary African affairs and politics also can be seen in her forthcoming co-edited volume, Darfur and the Crisis of Governance in Sudan: A Critical Reader, which brings together many of the leading thinkers and activists involved in understanding and proactively addressing the situation in Darfur and Sudan more generally.


Paulina says: With regards to my mother being Fanti, I have often thought about the relations between Africans and Europeans in colonial Ghana -but as there is very little written about this subject, -I left it alone....but Carina Ray has me interested again, and I would love to know more....

Fictional Akan Characters: Quashie & Quaco in the 'Oldest Jamaican Creole Text' 1781.......

BUBBY ISLAND, Oct. 8, 1781.


Taking a walk home last evening, I had an opportunity of hearing a dialogue between a St. Elizabeth’s and Westmoreland negro: the peculiar and uncommon attention which the one seemed to pay to what the other said, roused my curiosity. If you think it worthy of publication, please to insert it in your Cornwall Chronicle, and oblige.

Brae Quaco, ho you do? Me been long for see you. How oonoo all do in Westmoreland?

Brae Quashie, I but so so, for when belly no full, no comfort for me.

Belly no full! You ‘tonish me Quaco; you look as if you bin yam. Tan. Massa-Gubna no send down ship (?) a Sava-lama, hab flour, beans, pease, and (yearee me good) oatmeal? and, Quaco, if you yam belly full of tharra, no talk dem word, “you but so so”

Brae Quashie, if Massa Gubna send ship, he no send ‘e for me; me bin ax massa secretary for some nyanyam, him say, massa commissioners no put for me name in a book.

Your name in a book, Quaco! And why you no tell massa commissioners to put your name in a book?

I bin go to Massa Commissioners, and dem tell me, I bin stout and young, I no hab right to put for me name in a book.

I know Massa Commissioners dam well, some of dem fava book true.

Brae Quashie, you tink Commissioners read in a book, ‘cause me ‘trong and young I no want victual for nyam? If so, I am sure Commissioners book, or for me belly, tell lies.

Quaco, I tell you already Massa Commissioners fava book, if any mistake it must be in your belly, no in dem book.

There no moe mistake in my belly than it want nyanyam when I is hungry; if book say da mistake, Massa Commissioners and Gor Amity in a top must put it to rights; for true, Brae Quashie, da no for me doings.

Dis talk no to de purpose, you is ‘trong and young, Quaco, oonoo should work and rise nyanyams for yourself, tharra the reason Massa Commissioners no put for you name in a book.

You know, brae Quashie, me can, and do work, but hurricane ‘pon hurricane ‘poil [all?] my ground, and all my work serve for no moe purpose dan gee me heart burn for see dem washed away. If me bin idle fellow andno lub work, Massa Commisssioners do right to ‘fuse me; but I is not, and you know it, I must say dem no do me fair play.

Hush! Brae Quaco, some body may hear you; massa commissioners dem grande buckras, besides you tell dem fault, but no tell dem good; me can tell many good tings dem do.

– Wharra dem do, Brae Quashie?

Dem bin gee a number of idle and ‘dustrious ‘tore-keepers, shop-keepers, wharf-keepers, pen-keepers, book-keepers, house-keepers, goal-keepers, and mulatto-keepers, both nyanyam and money; and what’s moe, dem hab bin ‘tentative to a heep of brown and black ladies, in a Savanna, no one of dem da ax bin refused, now as dem lady is berry [tiseful ??] members for de gentlemens, you hab no right, suppose you ‘tarve, to say, but dem is good bacra, and behave berry clebba.

Brae Quashie, I tink you fava bacra book better than me, and as you say, Massa Commissioners do right, it must be fo – But I will tell you wharra I must do – I is strong and young and, as Massa Commissioners will not put me in for dem book, I will see if dem ladies will not put me in theirs. So Brae Quashie, good bye t you.

Supplement to Cornwall Chronicle (Montego Bay, Jamaica), 13th Oct. 1781.

This 1781 text from the Cornwall Chronicle was discovered somewhere around 1997 by Maureen Warner Lewis in the course of her research. It is a big discovery for linguists studying Caribbean Creole languages. It is the oldest known text of Jamaican. In addition, it is the oldest text of a Caribbean English Creole outside of Suriname. It predates the next oldest known text, that for St Kitts, by at least 15 years.

To get a flavour of the text, you need to know that the Cornwall Chronicle published from Montego Bay seems, from its content, to have been a newspaper catering for white planters and merchants in late 18th century Western Jamaica. Appearing on the same page as part of the text is an advertisement for sale, with individual title, in Westmoreland of the following House Negroes: Christiana, Donie and Mademoiselle, along with Donie’s two male children and Mademoiselle’s daughter. The wenches were to be sold either separately or together, but the mothers and children were not to be divided. Below this advertisement are others for the sale of a ship in Savanna la Mar, and of 1200 acres of land in St. Elizabeth.

The Supplement to the Cornwall Chronicle frequently contained gossipy letters, poems, etc. commenting on the happenings of the day in a sometimes satirical manner. Many of the letters are signed with obvious pen names, others by the Printer. Nearly all are in English. In the one exception identified so far, the address above the letter, Bubby Island, is perhaps chosen to signal to the reader that this is a spoof. The introductory letter is in English, explaining that what follows is an account of a conversation between two Negroes, Quaco and Quashie. These were very common Akan personal names in use amongst Africans in Jamaica at the time so. Using them to identify the speakers presumably signalled that they were very typical of the Afro-Jamaican population at the time.
Quaco and Quao speak in language which is very similar to modern Jamaican Creole as, for example, when Quaco says, ‘me bin ax massa secretary for some nyanyam, him say, massa commissioners no put for me name in a book.’ It is interesting, however, that ‘commissioners’ rather than ‘commissioner’ is used. The normal modern Jamaican Creole form of a noun, when it refers to an entire class or group, has no plural marker of any kind attached to it. The English plural form ‘s’ here suggests that the writer is making the text a bit more English than would have been typical of Afro-Jamaican speech in the late 18th century. As to whether this is being done deliberately or through lack of familiarity with Jamaican Creole of the time is not clear.

Another feature of the text is that the speakers shift, particularly in the latter part, to a form of speech which is clearly English, albeit influenced by the speech patterns of the Jamaican Creole which they also spoke. This can be seen in a passage such as when Quashie states, ‘dem hab bin ‘tentative to a heep of brown and black ladies, in a Savanna, no one of dem da ax bin refused.’ When one translates this as ‘They have been attentive to a heap of brown and black ladies in Savanna, not one of them that asked has been refused’, we see that original is almost identical in structure and wording to the English translation. The use of the English passive, ‘hab bin’, among other features of the sentence, suggests a speaker who is speaking English, albeit with some Jamaican Creole interference. If this is indeed correct, we may be seeing evidence that as far back as the 1780s, speakers in Jamaica may have had a sense of the existence of Jamaican Creole and English as separate and distinct language forms.

‘Scarce Benefits & Spoils’ 17th Century Style?
Interestingly, the conversation which is put into the mouths of two ‘negroes’ is about an issue which would have, in the main, been a concern of the free white population rather than the African slave population of Jamaica at the time. The governor appears to have sent a shipload of food to Western Jamaica as hurricane relief. The dispute seems to be over the way in which the commissioners charged with distributing the relief have carried out their duties. They seem to have distributed both food and money, not only to the industrious but to the idle, and what is more, to a large number of brown and black ladies who, by implication, distributed favours to the commissioners in return.

Anyone who lived in Jamaica in the aftermath of Hurricane Gilbert in 1988 and the disputes which surrounded the distribution of hurricane relief, would find an oddly modern ring to this 18th century text. And this familiar sound is not just confined to the language.

Hubert Devonish
Professor of Linguistics & Coordinator
The Jamaican Language Unit
The University of the West Indies
Mona Campus.


History: The Revolt, New interactive Map of the Coromantee Revolt of 1760......

"Mapping the great Jamaican insurrection of 1760-61 allows us to see how the island’s topography shaped the course of the revolt, how the rebellion included at least three major uprisings, and how its suppression required the sequenced collaboration of several distinct elements of British military power.  From the cartographic evidence, it appears that the insurrection was in fact a well-planned affair that posed a genuine strategic threat, checked ultimately by an effective counterinsurgency.  Yet if the map draws a clearer picture of the extent and contours of the insurrection, it cannot convey the ambition, hope, desperation, shock, dread, alarm, cruelty, bloodlust, and sheer mayhem of the experience.  These are matters left to the historical imagination of viewers and readers."

The Revolt....
In 1760, some fifteen hundred enslaved black men and women— perhaps fewer but probably many more— took advantage of Britain’s Seven Year’s War against France and Spain, to stage a massive uprising in Jamaica, which began on April 7 in the windward parish of St. Mary’s and continued in the leeward parishes until October of the next year.  Over the course of eighteen months the rebels killed as many as sixty whites and destroyed many thousands of pounds worth of property.  During the suppression of the revolt over five hundred black men and women were killed in battle, executed, or committed suicide.  Another 500 were transported from the island for life.  Colonists valued the total cost to the island at nearly a quarter of a million pounds. “Whether we consider the extent and secrecy of its plan, the multitude of the conspirators, and the difficulty of opposing its eruptions in such a variety of places at once,” wrote planter-historian Edward Long in his 1774 History of Jamaica, this revolt was “more formidable than any hitherto known in the West Indies.”

Long was convinced that the rebellion was the culmination of an island-wide plot by Coromantee compatriots from the Gold Coast of West Africa who hoped to conquer the colony and create a series of principalities “in the African mode.”  Yet his and subsequent historical accounts have left a number of important questions unanswered.  Was the revolt a unified and coordinated affair, or was it instead a series of opportunistic riots? What in fact did the rebels hope to achieve? Was there ever a real danger to the British Empire in America or was the threat blown out of proportion by panicked whites?  If the insurrection was as well planned as the colonists feared, why didn’t it succeed?  These questions can be partially addressed by examining how the insurrection played out in space. 

Mapping the revolt and its suppression illustrates something that is difficult to glean from simply reading the textual sources.  The colonists and imperial officials who produced the historical record were universally unsympathetic to the rebellion, and we have no documents produced by the rebels.  So the written record skews our understanding toward the insights, fears, hopes, and desires of slaveholders.  But we learn something else by plotting the combatants’ movements in space.  Tracing their locations over time, it is possible to discern some of their strategic aims and to observe the tactical dynamics of slave insurrection and counter-revolt.

The uprising encompassed three major phases of sustained action— discounting the various conspiracies discovered by the whites— alongside more dispersed and sporadic skirmishes.  The first was the revolt in St. Mary’s, generally named Tacky’s Revolt after one of its principal African leaders.  This was followed by a much bigger revolt in Westmoreland parish.  Finally, survivors of the Westmoreland insurrection trekked across two parishes, raiding estates along the way.  These campaigns adapted to geographical constraints.  On the windward side of the island— the north side— heavy rainfall and dense vegetation limited movement more than on the leeward side, where the drier climate allowed for greater mobility.  Still, within each phase of the rebellion, the routes traveled by the rebels through woods, mountains, hills, swamps, and rivers indicated strategic objectives.

Do read the rest and check out the interactive maps via:

More Info:
Slave Revolt in Jamaica, 1760-1761, A Cartographic Narrative is a new interactive map developed by Dr Vincent Brown, Professor of History and of African and African American Studies at Harvard, narrating the spatial history of the greatest slave insurrection in the eighteenth century British Empire. The map unveils ground breaking new insights into the political history of slavery, dispelling the often-perceived notion that black uprisings are little more than chaotic riots and instead presents visually how scholars can discern strategic, and carefully planned military campaigns in patterns of movement.
There have been many interpretations as to the purpose and execution of this African rebellion. Planter-historians Edward Long and Bryan Edwards said in the late 1700s that it was launched ‘at the instigation of a Koromantyn negro called Tacky’, a former African chief. They believed that the rebellion had been executed mainly by Akan-speaking people from the Gold Coast, known to have formed the core of the maroon societies that had fought the British to a standstill back in the 1730s. Historian John Thornton had later confirmed more generally that ‘Africans with military experience played an important role in revolts’.
But Dr. Brown asks, should we be taking their word for it? Over the last decade he has been reimagining the revolt by examining its documented history in terms of space and time. By plotting the insurrection on a map, he has broken down its movements into the networks and circuits that sketched its progress. The result has given us not only new and groundbreaking insight into the history of slavery, but has also paved the way for a new form of historical cartography.  

Although this cartographic narration cannot be taken as an exhaustive database—for instance, it does not examine major themes such as belonging and affiliation among the insurgents or the larger imperial context and interconnected Atlantic world— the map does reveal the military campaign’s spatial dynamics.
Dr Vincent Brown says, “An emerging alliance between historians and mapmakers promises to enlighten public perceptions of black insurrection. As with more recent disturbances, people at the time debated whether the slave insurrection in Jamaica in 1760-61 was a spontaneous eruption or a carefully planned affair. Historians still debate the question, their task made more difficult by the lack of written records produced by the insurgents. Cartographic evidence developed in collaboration with Axis Maps shows that the rebellion was in fact a well-planned affair that posed a genuine strategic threat, not an indiscriminate outburst.”
He further outlines how his research shines a light on how we perceive “riots” in the modern age, such as those associated with Notting Hill Carnival in London in the 20th century. In a recent article for The Guardian, he suggest that,
Understanding black rebellions will make it easier to recognise and address the conditions that compel people to go to war against their own societies. And it will also mean we can be less afraid of every street party.”
The interactive map was designed and built by Axis Maps using the open-source Leaflet mapping library. It is compatible with touch screen devices and can be viewed online at:
Above Text Credit/Source:
Paulina says: I can't believe it.... Slowly our ancestors (Coromantee) big historical revolt in Jamaica against the British is coming to life via a host of new interactive maps by Dr Vincent Brown (Professor of History and of African and African American Studies) -making their fight and struggles very real... I think this is a fabulous new way to teach our history... Do read about the Revolt and see the it come to life via:

Friday, 20 December 2013

Film: Amma Asante's 'Belle' is out........


Belle Trailer 2013 Gugu, Tom Felton, Amma Asante 2014 Movie - Official [HD]


Belle Trailer 2013 - Official 2014 movie trailer in HD 1080p - starring Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Tom Wilkinson, Emily Watson, Sarah Gadon, Penelope Wilton, Miranda Richardson, Tom Felton, Sam Reid, Matthew Goode - directed by Amma Asante -The illegitimate, mixed-race daughter of a Captain in the Royal Navy finds her unique social standing become instrumental in the campaign to end slavery in England after meeting an idealistic young vicar's son.

"Belle" movie hits theaters May 2, 2014.

Belle is inspired by the true story of Dido Elizebeth Belle (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), the illegitimate mixed race daughter of a Royal Navy Admiral. Raised by her aristocratic great-uncle Lord Mansfield (Tom Wilkinson) and his wife (Emily Watson), Belle's lineage affords her certain privileges, yet the color of her skin prevents her from fully participating in the traditions of her social standing. Left to wonder if she will ever find love, Belle falls for an idealistic young vicar's son bent on change who, with her help, shapes Lord Mansfield's role as Lord Chief Justice to end slavery in England. Belle trailer 2014 is presented in full HD 1080p high resolution.

BELLE 2014 Movie
Genre: Drama, Romance
Director: Amma Asante
Starring: Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Tom Wilkinson, Emily Watson, Sarah Gadon, Penelope Wilton, Miranda Richardson, Tom Felton, Sam Reid, Matthew Goode
Writers : Misan Sagay

Belle official movie trailer courtesy Fox Searchlight Pictures.

Paulina says: the trailer for Ghana Rising fave, director Amma Asante's 'Belle' looks fab and I can't wait to watch it..... I just don't know when it opens in the UK......

More info:
Roger Michell's "Le Week-End" will close the festival, which runs Jan. 3-12.
Amma Asante’s Belle will serve as the opening night film of the 25th annual Palm Springs Film Festival, which runs from Jan. 3-12. Roger Michell’s Le Week-End will close the festival, which is screening 187 films from

Belle, starring Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Tom Wilkinson, tells the true story of a mixed race girl raised by English aristocrats in the 18th century and is scheduled for release in the spring by Fox Searchlight. Le Week-End, stars Jim Broadbent and Lindsay Duncan as a married couple who reassess their relationship during a visit to Paris and will be released by Music Box.

"We launch our 25th anniversary edition with Amma Asante's entertaining and inspiring Belle and wrap with Roger Michell's enchanting tragi-comic Le Week-end, starring Lindsay Duncan and Jim Broadbent, thus illustrating the festival's commitment to celebrating the work of both emerging and seasoned filmmakers," artistic director Helen duToit said.

"A further pool of exciting new talent is featured in our New Voices/New Visions showcase -- which bodes extremely well for the future of international cinema. In addition, we will present an archival program of seven audience favourites, including an outdoor screening of Cinema Paradiso. Many of our archival selections went on to win the foreign language Oscar, making our audience a harbinger of award winners and box office success."

Do read the rest of the above text via:

Luxe Fashion: Wow.... Check Out Madonna in Richard Braqo's 'Bianca' Heels in Harper's Bazaar shoot by Terry Richardson !!!

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Sweden's Scania plans to expand its business to West Africa by launching in Ghana.......

With the aim of supplying the local market with buses and improving the country’s urban rapid transport system, Swedish manufacturer of heavy duty trucks and buses, Scania, plans to expand its business to West Africa by launching in Ghana.

Established in 1891, Scania is known for producing heavy trucks, buses, engines, workshop parts, 24 hours road assistance and training of drivers among others.

With about 1,500 workshops and 35,000 employees around the world, the company is already very active in East and South Africa. “Although we are not very vibrant in West Africa, we hope to start working here starting with Ghana,” Scania’s Product Manager, Dr Anders Folkesson said.

Scania’s announcement came at the heel of Ghana’s President Mahama’s visit to the automobile company on improving the country’s public transport system.

Consequently, Executives of Scania will hold discussions with the management of Metro Mass Transport, Intercity STC and the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) on the provision of the buses to the companies.

Accra Mayor, Dr Alfred Okoe Vanderpuije said AMA is prepared to purchase 86 buses from Scania for the Accra-Amasaman corridor which would be operational next year.

“We are also developing three other corridors including Accra to Kasoa, Tema to Nungua and Accra to Adenta-Madina”, he added.

Folkesson said the company has the capability to furnish Ghana with buses appropriate for the country’s weather conditions.

Scania buses will be imported from Sweden as Scania has no assembly plant in the country, he explained.


Paulina says: I got sooo excited when I first read the title...........Bless me...... but I thought it implied ---Scania was planning on opening an assembly plant in Ghana ......but what do I know!!!

It appears we are just buying /spending again... When will we start hearing/reading stories involving the Ghana's people's Accra mayor --about job creation, about wealth creation?????

What is he doing about seeking investors, foreign businesses who want to build their assembly plants/factories in Ghana??? If this piece was about sorting out the roads of Ghana it would have been better news......

Operation 'Let The Traffic Flow' ???????????

Banks Hunt for Africa's Hidden Billionaires.......

UBS Hunts for Hidden Billionaires as It Expands in Africa

UBS AG (UBSN), the Swiss bank seeking to boost profit from wealth management, said it plans to expand in Africa as economic growth rates surpassing 5 percent boost demand for banking services from the continent’s rich.

“Wealth management is key to the Africa franchise,” Sean Bennett, the Johannesburg-based managing director of UBS in sub-Saharan Africa, said yesterday in an interview. “That’s what we lead with. We want to increase our physical presence before year-end and then do more in the next few years,” he said.

UBS has 80 people in South Africa and offers investment banking, equities research, debt capital markets services and asset management across the continent. The lender globally wants its wealth-management units to contribute half of pretax profit by 2015, compared with 32 percent a decade earlier, and is targeting African entrepreneurs and high-net-worth individuals who have at least $3 million to invest, Bennett said.

“When countries grow at 7 percent, that’s a lot of people starting to make serious money,” Bennett said. UBS has “hardly touched the tip of the iceberg” when it comes to banking Africa’s wealthiest, he said.

While UBS competes with rivals such as Citigroup Inc. and Standard Chartered Plc (STAN) in Africa, the Zurich-based bank focuses on managing funds that have been transferred outside the continent, reducing competition with domestic lenders, he said.

Nigerian growth is expected at 7.2 percent this year, according to the International Monetary Fund, while the organization said in April that Ivory Coast and Mozambique will both expand 8 percent next year, the fastest pace in the region.

Hidden Billionaires

The industries contributing most to wealth creation in Africa include resources, retail and consumer products, and telecommunications, Bennett said.“An example would be all the shopping malls going up in Nigeria. If you can get it right, there’s a lot of money to be made.”

Africa may have as many as 200 “hidden” billionaires operating in the unofficial economy who will seek to legitimize their wealth in the future, investor Mark Mobius said in September. Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest man, is benefiting from the continent’s economic growth, adding $6 billion to his wealth this year, taking him to $20.6 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

“There are billionaires’ names out there that you wouldn’t recognize,” Bennett said, without saying where the bank plans to expand in Africa. With UBS mostly catering to people who are already high profile, there is scope for growth among the hidden billionaires, he said.


Luxe Africa: Nigeria's High-Net-Worth Individuals Desend on London........

The Nigerians have arrived... and London is paying attention. By David Jenkins
Richard Vedelago is 29 years old and worth more millions than he's prepared to tell. 'Money talks, but wealth whispers,' he says with a smile, sitting back in the bar at Claridge's - his idea - and lazily sipping an elderflower juice.

That whispering is not, the oil, gas, property, telecoms and menswear tycoon goes on, typical of a Nigerian mindset: 'Very loud, quite brash, larger than life -even if you're just having a family meal, everything's over the top all the time. So it's quite fun.' Real fun, he should have said. Nigerians all say they work hard and party hard, believe that they're better at anything than anyone else, collect PhDs like confetti and are intensely entrepreneurial.

'When mankind finally gets to Mars,' chortles Ateh Jewel, who has both a film production company and a beauty business, 'they'll finda Nigerian already there, cutting a deal.'

You don't have to go to Mars, or Lagos, to see the fruits of that in action. Misan Harriman - whose father, Chief Hope Harriman, was one of the founding fathers of modern Nigeria - 'practically lives on Mount Street', eating in Scott's, going to George all the time and making his way down to 5 Hertford Street with his business partner, Boris Becker ('I'm like the other woman in his marriage'). You'll find 44-year-old Kola Karim, the boss of Shoreline Energy International, playing polo with the Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry at Lord Lloyd-Webber's private estate; see old Wykehamist Anthony Adebo, who sprinted and fenced for England, having breakfast at Colbert and late nights at Boujis; hear Kessiana ('Kessie') Edewor-Thorley roaring with laughter over drinks at Bluebird as she mockingly says that for moneyed young Nigerians in London, it's Cirque du Soir on a Monday, 'that awful place Dukebox' on a Tuesday and Loulou's on a Thursday.

Meanwhile, Florence ('Cuppy') Otedola, the 20-year-old ex-King's School Canterbury daughter of Femi Otedola, one of Nigeria's richest men, studies business and French at King's College London, while DJing at Privé, Jalouse, District, Funky Buddha and D'Den, a truly Nigerian club in Finchley Road.

Meantime, Kessie, her twin sister Eku Edewor (Nigerians pop out more twins than anyone else) and their old chum Adora Mba recall the golden days of Kabaret, 10 years back, when they were still naughty teenagers at large in London. The scene's moved on, but £10,000 nights are spoken of, though not admitted to, by all the beautifully spoken and exquisitely mannered people I speak to. And one young man, the budding oil and property mogul Rotimi Alakija - whose mother, Folorunsho Alakija, is the richest black woman in the world (oil) and dropped £100m on four flats in One Hyde Park ('She didn't mess around,' says Vedelago, who helped sell them to her) - tells me a Nigerian champagne war in an American club ended with the winner spending £1.1m, though Rotimi certainly wasn't there: 'That's just silly. It's not part of who I am.'

Mind you, on one night at Cirque du Soir, the hard-toiling Rotimi and his friends sent a pal at another table a bottle of champagne, and 'he sent back 20!' But then, 'we're a very celebratory culture,' says Kessie (ex-Benenden, international sales manager for Lazul resort wear and a freelance stylist), 'so every day's a champagne day. It's not, "It's your birthday!" It's "You got back from work day! Let's party!"'

Nigerians are this country's sixth-highest foreign spenders, racking up an average £628 in each shop, four times what the average British shopper coughs up. Selfridges is a favourite, as is Harrods, which has been looking for Yoruba-speaking staff - the research unit at the shopping company Premier Tax Free reports that, for Knightsbridge, 'Nigerian spend so far this year has increased by 52 per cent'.

Premier Tax Free also says that Nigerians account for 46.3 per cent of total African sales in London, and that the fastest-growing region for international sales in the UK this year has been Africa, whose spend has risen by 45 per cent year on year.

No wonder the managing director of Harrods and the chief executive of Gieves & Hawkes inveigh against the government's proposed policy of demanding a £3,000 cash bond for a visa from visitors from Nigeria, Ghana and four Asian countries. More than 140,000 Nigerians come here annually - why make Paris a more welcoming option? Meanwhile, according to Vedelago, Nigerians are investing £250m in British property every year and, says one African expert, 'they're buying up swathes of north-west London' to add to the earlier generations' happy hunting grounds in Belgravia, St John's Wood and Chelsea. (Vedelago also says they're buying up student accommodation in Liverpool, Birmingham, Sheffield and Leeds.) And Nigerians spend £300m annually at British universities and schools - King's School Canterbury, Wycombe Abbey, Cheltenham Ladies' College, Eton, Harrow and Bradfield among them. It's the African century, and here in London the Nigerians are the standard-bearers, jostling the Arabs and the Russians out of the picture.

Not that Nigerian old money is entirely happy with what it sees as gross ostentation: it is, says another founding father's daughter, 'vulgar'. But, for Nigerians, home is a pressure cooker and London is where they relax. And shop.

All of which might seem jarring from a country of 170 million people, 70 per cent of whom live on under £1.25 a day. (Sixty-two per cent of them are under 25.)

Even on Victoria Island - 'the Island,' as the locals call the smartest part of Lagos - the roads are potholed and the electricity intermittent at best. But, says one English Africanist, 'Nigerians respect power, and they respect money.

'People believe 'my time will come', says Folarin Gbadebo-Smith, director of the Centre for Public Policy Alternatives in Lagos. 'Whereas there's that sense in many other places that where you find yourself in society could be permanent, here everybody is rich-in-waiting.'

And money certainly sloshes around Lagos today, the product not just of the black gold that oil brings and has brought since oil production started in 1958, but of the property boom (land on Lagos's Banana Island is as expensive as any on earth), the banking boom, the telecoms boom, the high-life boom. 'It's glitzy and glamorous,' says Vedelago. 'People drink champagne like water.' He's right: Nigeria's the second fastest-growing champagne market after France. Total consumption reached 752,879 bottles in 2011 and the country is spending around 41.41bn naira (£159m) on the drink annually. Moët Rosé is a favourite - Nigerians have a sweet tooth - though the country's in the top 10 for Hennessy cognac and is getting more and more partial to wine. Still, champagne's the thing: even in fast-food joints like Southern Fried Chicken in Abuja, the capital, there are bottles of Moët in the fridge.

And it's not just alcohol: annual GDP growth has been around seven per cent during the past few years, and there's an emerging middle class to join the rich elite.

And though Nigerians pour abroad to buy-buy-buy, Western retailers are moving in: Zegna has opened in Lagos, as have Boss, MAC and L'Oréal. Malls are opening, and retail's the next big thing. 'You could make a killing,' says Cuppy Otedola, who loves Topshop - perhaps Sir Philip Green should take note. 'As much as there's corruption and things don't work here,' says one Lagotian businessman, 'right now, Lagos is very cosmopolitan, because this is where the money is, and there's a lot of money pushing around.'

It reminds one English expatriate of Moscow in the Nineties, and Google co-founder Sergey Brin has described Russia as 'Nigeria, with snow'. Perhaps that's why Nigeria has gone from being dubbed the happiest society in the world in 2003 by New Scientist to being called the most stressed-out society on earth by Bloomberg earlier this year.

Certainly, says Eku Edewor, 'Lagos is the hardest place in the world to make money and the easiest to spend it in.' By 'hard' she means tough, on the nerves. When Vedelago returned to Nigeria - like many in this story, he went to prep and boarding school in England (King Edward's School, in Surrey, in his case) - a friend told him, 'You've got to learn to swim with the sharks.'

Eku (who went to Benenden) has done that, but others find the cut-throat hustling, the hassle, the corruption, the sheer in-your-faceness too much to handle. So how did Eku manage? Once on Britain's Next Top Model, she's the face of Martini in Africa, a face of BlackBerry in Nigeria and was a co-presenter of Big Brother Africa. 'I'm a TV presenter. When I went back, there was an open audition to be the new face of a channel, and I got it.' She's been with her show for five seasons and she's now the only presenter - 'It's a bit like E! News'; she's also just finished her first drama series. She's evangelical about Lagos and derisive about IJGBs ('I Just Got Backs'), as many returnees are known. 'They're talking about life with a driver putting fuel in your car! If you go to Lagos thinking that's what you deserve, then it's going to be very hard for you - you've got to adapt. If you give yourself a year and a half to settle in... But it was tough for me. I hadn't seen that side of Lagos.'

Though oil and gas is still the usual career path for the ambitious and connected, it's notable that several of the younger generation are trying to make it in the entertainment business.

Chin Okeke - whose father is a prominent lawyer who's been honorary legal counsel to the British High Commissioner since 1989, and whose partner was once Nigeria's foreign minister - manages both Eku and 'music superstar' Lynxxx and is setting up an innovative branding/music enterprise.

He's also got a beach festival in the works. And Cuppy, who toured Nigeria with her first single, 'I Love My Country', this summer (which led to online abuse, saying, effectively, 'Of course she does, she's a billionaire's daughter'), is going to do a master's in music business in New York.

'There's a lot of money to be made; you don't have to be the one on TV, the one in the forefront. So I might DJ for a while, then maybe step behind the scenes, open up my own record company - but do the oil thing on the side.'

On the side? Well, Nigerian women are powerful, and pragmatic. 'They're into things like dredging,' says Ateh Jewel. 'I've got an aunt who runs a port authority.' As Cuppy says: 'We've got a cabinet with five or six female members, which is pretty much unheard of. Our minister for petroleum is female, and our minister for finance, and for aviation, and for women's affairs, obviously. But in the entertainment industry, no - it's just not spilling over.' But soon, maybe...

Meanwhile, they can have a good time. There's been an explosion of beach culture on the Island - think Miami, a favourite Nigerian haunt - and the young things go to clubs like Likwid and Rhapsody's, dancing to the likes of Wizkid, a singer who marked his 24th birthday in London with what was reported to be a £1.2m diamond-encrusted bottle of Taste of Diamonds champagne (created by 'luxury designer' Alexander Amosu) bought for him by Liam Payne of One Direction. If they fancy 'local', they'll eat at Yellow Chilli or L'Afric - but sushi's on the rise.

What's always been big is the wedding culture, enormous affairs with thousands of guests. Also big are the Lagos Polo Club and the Lagos Motor Boat Club, where all well-connected generations mix - and, no doubt, discuss the two almost identical, and large, yachts that sit next to each other off Victoria Island's Carrington Crescent.

One's owned by Cuppy's father, Femi Otedola -his net worth is an estimated £2.2bn - and the other belongs to Aliko Dangote, Africa's richest man, with a net worth of £10.1bn via a conglomerate ranging from cement to sugar refining by way of oil. He gave himself a £28m jet in April 2010, as a 53rd birthday present.

Dangote recently praised the government's policies, and he, Otedola and many others have had close ties to Nigeria's politicians - as has the 'stupendously rich' Senator Andy Uba, who's married to Richard Vedelago's beautiful sister, Faith, herself the founder of Faith Ministries, a popular and successful church.

Richard has a 'ginormous' house next to hers in Abuja, which he describes as a slower and calmer place than Lagos - like 'Washington to New York'. As well as that house, Richard has some dazzling cars in Abuja, including two Bentleys.

There's a market for expensive cars, despite the potholed state of most Nigerian roads, and Porsche has opened up there; its Cayenne 4x4s do well, as do Jeep Wranglers and the Mercedes G-Wagon. But one Nigerian told the Guardian that 'I have a Bentley, a Porsche and a Ferrari. But people don't travel by road any more. So the Ferrari in the garage hasn't done 500 miles in three years.' Vedelago had a Lamborghini in London, as well as a Bentley, but he drove it so little that he ditched it. He'd like to buy a Smart car to go to the gym, but friends jeer at the idea. 'So I'm looking for a Porsche or an Aston Martin.' He laughs. 'Sounds bad, doesn't it? A Porsche to go to the gym.'

Kola Karim does drive a very lovely, very yellow Ferrari Italia 458 here in London, one of two he was given by 'generous friends - good friends'. He had it parked recently in Chelsea, 'and this lady said her son wouldlove to have a picture with the car. I said, "Feel free." And then she said, "Who do you play for?" I said, "Play what?" "Football," she said. 'What team did I play for? Was she being racist? No. But that was her understanding.' The automatic assumption was that a prosperous black man could only be a footballer or a rap star.

But Karim, a very successful businessman who's taken his mother's trading company into construction and oil, does indeed encounter racism. 'Oh, yes. It's normal. There's a lot of ignorance around.' Ignorance that ranges from stewardesses automatically shepherding you towards economy to policemen pulling you and your Ferrari over. 'In the country recently, we went to lunch at a restaurant. We walked in, and the whole place stopped eating - it was like we were going to pull a gun and stick everyone up.' Then some local grandees appeared and sat down with Karim - at which point other people from other tables felt it was in their interests to meet this funny foreigner. It's happened as well to others in this article, at nightclubs in London and Paris. As for Cuppy, she was in Switzerland, interning at an oil-trading company, when the story about Oprah Winfrey being mistreated in a shop in Zurich was reported. 'It was hilarious. [Store staff] were all over us. I loved it. I wish Oprah complained every time.' Mind you, says one man, 'I find green is accepted everywhere.' 'Yes,' says Karim, only half-laughing. 'When you're wealthy, you don't see it. Either the guy wants to collect your money, or not.'

But far more important for Karim is showing that there are 'better and better prospects' for his continent. 'Because Africa's like a pair of shoes. You wouldn't get good money for it if it wasn't polished. If it's dirty and it looks worn out, no one wants to buy it. We're trying to show the world a side of Africa they don't see.'

That's why Karim was more than happy to let Ralph Lauren throw a party for him and donate 15 per cent of the Bond Street store's takings that day to a charity of his choosing - one benefiting autistic children. '396 people turned up. Very successful.' (Misan Harriman helped set it up, and Cartier have been in touch with him about a similar event; he sees great potential in acting as a conduit between Nigeria and the West.) Kessie Edewor-Thorley was there, and Nacho Figueras, and two of Karim's own polo ponies, outside the store - the other 10 were, as usual, at the Royal County of Berkshire Polo Club. Next year, Karim will focus on buying a farm in England and keeping his équipe there. He's got another acquisition in mind, too: a Premier League football club.

'If you imagine a continent of 900 million people who are football crazy, imagine the followership of an African businessman. Think about the marketing. It's awesome.' Even more so if his currently 12-year-old son were playing - he's been scouted by Chelsea already. Meantime, the boy attends Bruern Abbey, while his older sister goes to Benenden and his younger one to 'Holland Park Prep'.

Karim's son plays polo too, as does his brother, though Karim's handicap's gone down from +2 to 0, 'with so much work going on. We're the second-largest independent oil producer in Africa, by reserves [1.3bn barrels], and we're building.' No wonder he has homes in Lagos, London, Marbella and Miami.

Karim's firm has a private jet, but he prefers to fly commercial - he's a people person and flying alone bores him senseless.

But his fellow polo enthusiast Prince Albert Esiri, a 'well-known' billionaire - he's been playing for 33 years, has a handicap of zero at Hamin this country, a string of 133 ponies and Nigeria's 'premier private polo facility' in Delta State - flew into the 2012 UAE Nations Cup in Dubai in his personal Gulfstream G2 jet. Others too are keen on private jets, not least because BA's London flights are packed and expensive - Nigerian newspapers rage at the comparative cost of first-class tickets to London from Lagos and Accra, both being much the same distance and Accra half the cost. And first class it just has to be. 'Yeah,' cackles Kessie, relishing the absurdity, 'you hear people saying, "And they travelled premium economy!"'

But for those who go private... Well, Ansemu Fagonpa is a 36-year-old South African who manages 'the family office' of a very select group of families from 'very much the upper end of Nigerian society'; all are worth more than £100m and 10 per cent of that is in liquid cash. 'So I do a lot of crazy things - well, things that money can allow you to do.' But it's not just hiring star chefs for private dinners or dealing with the logistics for the way Nigerian families travel, with one nanny for each child. It's 'if someone wants basic food - milk, bread, cheese, yogurt - I'll go somewhere like Whole Foods, and I'll pick up the principal [her employer] on the way to Farnborough and load it on the plane and send it off.' It could be for a dinner or 'it could be their everyday food. They don't necessarily want to shop in Abuja, because they may think the quality of the food is better here. So I have one family who loves the sausages they get from Whole Foods. And the scones.' Private: it's the only way for scones to travel.

But that 'premium economy' jibe sums up a claustrophobic sense that all social eyes are upon you in Lagos, one that has contributed to Adora Mba leaving her oil-world job in Lagos and moving into a job in marketing consultancy in Mayfair.

She felt suffocated. She was, she says, born in Britain and schooled here - Wycombe Abbey and Bristol. She spent only four of her very young years in Nigeria. She became an IJGB and she found it too much, for now. 'Who knows if I'll go back? It's a very exciting place and it's coming up in the world. But my [dream] house - I know it, I feel it - is going to be in Primrose Hill.'

Dream on, Adora: Lagotians are invading London. 'I know people who've bought houses in Walton Street,' sighs Kessie. 'I can't go out in my sweats any more; I'm always seeing people I know.' People who'll tell her mother, a restaurateur and decorator who's the daughter of the Obarisi and Olokun (which, Kessie helpfully explains, mean 'King of All Kings' and 'King Maker') of the Urhobo Kingdom of Delta State; her maternal grandmother was a princess, educated at UCL and called to the bar at Lincoln's Inn.

That sort of background isn't uncommon among Nigerians who've been educated here. Anthony Adebo's grandfather, Simeon Adebo, was an under-secretary general at the UN and Chancellor of Lagos University; an Okanlomo (chief) of the Yoruba, he too read law at UCL and was called to the bar. Lagun Akinloye's father, Adisa, was the Seriki of Ibadanland and read law at the LSE. A cabinet minister inthe Sixties, Adisa was forced to flee the country in 1983; Margaret Thatcher helped him find a house in Eaton Terrace.

Akinloye went to Davies Laing & Dick, and then to Leeds. Although he knows - and put me in touch with - many in this article, he's less on the scene, working as a journalist for the London-based Think Africa Press. The Nigerian now residing in London whom he'd really like to interview is James Ibori, a former governor of Delta State who's in jail for 13 years for money laundering and fraud. Ibori had plenty of it: he paid £2.2m in cash for his house in Hampstead when his official salary was £3,700 a year.

No wonder 94 per cent of Nigerians think their politicians corrupt - scarcely surprising in a country where it's been authoritatively estimated that £250bn of oil revenues have been stolen or misspent since independence in 1960. Akinloye shrugs wearily. 'People in Nigeria don't ask how you got it,' he says. Still, he thinks that in 2015 a new political grouping, the All Progressive Congress, may unseat the People's Democratic Party, the conservative and economically neoliberal party that has held power since 1999. 'But,' he writes in a cogent piece, 'that of itself does not guarantee ordinary Nigerians will benefit.'
Meantime, Akinloye hangs out with a 'creative' Nigerian crowd in London, one that detests the moneyed scene. For them, ostentation is symptomatic of the destruction of moral values in Nigeria. 'But,' says Akinloye, 'if they had a contract [and the money that brings], I bet they'd be singing a different tune.' And wearing better clothes, like Richard Vedelago, who, with singer Robbie Williams, is the largest investor in Spencer Hart, the tailor. His jacket tells an interesting, post-colonial story: inside are the letters 'HRH HART', a clue to its original commissioner, the Duke of Cambridge, who in the end found its (very acceptable) blue a little bold for him.

Perhaps William would be more in tune with Anthony Adebo. Beautifully turned out in a silverish-grey suit of his own design, a mildly hungover Adebo sits before me, picking at an omelette in a central London restaurant. He's back in London after a spell in Lagos, which he's finding 'fascinating'. He's keen on Likwid, is toying with taking 5 Hertford Street to Lagos, thinks Ilashe Beach and Tarqua Bay are fabulous and is going to steer clear of politics - doing so was almost a family edict after his uncle, Funsho Williams, was murdered in 2006 while running for the governorship of Lagos State.

Still, 'the general term is enjoyment - there's a lot of money coming through.' And though he's been working in PR in Lagos, he's also busy in Britain, setting up a suit company called York & Windsor. 'York because that's where the trade really started in the UK - all the mills were up there. And Windsor because the Duke of Windsor is my favourite best-dressed man of all time.' He smiles. 'Closely followed by Prince Charles, of course.' Nigeria and the UK; a special relationship indeed.


Paulina says: Fab piece -a very enjoyable read, but please note:
British Airways flights to Accra from London take 6 hours and 50 minutes and prices start from £722 return....

British Airways flights to Lagos from London take just 6 hours and 25 minutes and prices start from £622 return....