Monday, 28 April 2014

Ansasesem Sikasem: Ghana’s Economy Threatened......


USD 1.7 Billion Investment into Ghana’ Economy Threatened
Dated: April 2014

The management of Royal Africa Holdings, Ghana, owners of Palm Grove City, a USD 1.7 billion city project in pram pram and several other projects in Ghana, are concerned about the activities of some unscrupulous Ghanaians which have the potential of undermining the investment opportunities and benefits associated with Royal Africa Holdings interests in Ghana.

It is becoming a trend where some Ghanaians who through one way or the other have been fortunate to meet the chairman of Royal African Holdings, HRH Prince Ebrahim try to defraud him of various sums of money running into thousands of dollars. HRH Prince Ebrahim is a kind hearted man and doesn’t hesitate to offer business opportunities to individuals he comes into contact with.

There is enough evidence to support this claim where HRH Prince Ebrahim has identify indigenous artisans operating on a very small scale and invited them to his office for joint venture process to be initiated for capital injection  into their operation. This kind gesture of HRH has become a regular feature at Royal Africa House.

One Mr Boafo, who claims to be the father in law of black star footballer Dominic Adiyah has dupe the chairman of our company, Royal Africa Holdings, His Royal Highness Prince Ebrahim by presenting himself as the manager of a property near trassaco owned by Dominic Adiyah.

In agreement, HRH Prince Ebrahim paid Mr boafo an initial deposit for a contract to be prepared for the leasing of the property. For over three months Mr Ben Boafo has been given flimsy excuses to HRH Prince Ebrahim for his failure to provide a contract and hand over the keys to the property.

For over three months, each and every day was a promise and fail episode on the part of Mr. Boafo
At a point, it was agreed between the parties that Mr Boafo returns the money but he later communicated that the money has been sent to Ghanaian footballer Dominic Adiyah at his base overseas. There were moments of recorded phone conversations where Mr. Boafo mentioning Dominic has promised to send the money at a certain date but the date comes only for him to give another excuse.

After running out of luck, Mr Boafo reported to the adabraka police that he had been threatened by HRH Prince Ebrahim, which was later established by the police to be absolutely false. After statements were taken it was clear that Mr Boafo had not been honest in his dealings with HRH Prince Ebrahim. Inspector Ben, CID Ghana Police confirm their frustration with Mr Boafo unreliability and dishonesty where on several occasions has assured to police of refunding the money but always fails to honor his promise.

Negotiations calling for full repayment of said sum of money was brokered by Staff Officer Eric and Present was Inspector Ben of CID at Accra Central Police Station (Adabraka), as well as Mr Baofo and HRH Prince Ebrahim present that monies will be return within 4 weeks. It has been 3 months now nothing has been done. Despite various promises on dates, payment is simply not coming. The police all along acknowledge the wrongs of Mr Baofo and his inconsistent failures; however fell short to bring him to books.

The question that begs everyone is, why didn’t Ghana Police Arrest and Charge Mr Baofo? Is he above the Law? Is someone protecting him? The failure of the Adabraka Police to arrest Mr Boafo for defrauding and also deceit of public office is something of concern to us, tantamount to blatant miscarriage of Justice. Mr Boafo has made complete mockery of the Ghana’s Legal System and Law enforcement; thus put himself above the law.

Therefore the indispensable duty of the police should be to ensure that justice is done and be seen to be done. We see no reason why Mr Boafo shouldn’t have been arrested, charged and brought to books forthwith. Henceforth, we the management and staff of Royal Africa Holdings in Accra which constitute 100 percent Ghanaians are becoming increasingly worried about this unfortunate situation which is frustrating our investors.

For us at Royal Africa Holdings it is not the issue of amount of money involved but principle. If the Legal system is protecting petty criminals on petty sums of money, what happens when millions are dishonestly taken from our investors? The law must not harbour or protect criminals who prey on innocent investors especially one that is investing USD 1.7 billion into Ghana’s economy.

If the laws of the land cannot protect and safeguard investor’s funds then clearly the quest of the government to achieve economic development is farfetched. We are very Concern about Police inaction; example must be set from the bottom up.

Meanwhile, the management has called for an extra-ordinary meeting at Royal Africa Holdings office in Accra slated for Monday 28th April 2014 to conclude appropriate measures in fully addressing aforementioned teething matter.
SIGNED:
Corporate Affairs Office
Royal Africa Holdings

Source: http://nowghana.com/usd-1-7-billion-investment-ghana-economy-threatened/

Paulina says: You couldn't make this up -even if you wanted to....... Its incredible the goings on in our 'better Ghana' -no?

Health: Tackling Malaria




This World Malaria Day, control programmes across the world are reflecting on how far they have come. Photograph: Joe Klamar/AFP/Getty Images
 
 
 

How one Ghanaian town sprayed away 74% of malaria cases in two years

The impact of malaria on productivity led one mining company to implement a comprehensive anti-malaria programme, now used in 22 districts. Sue George reports on the Obuasi model
 
Dated: Friday 25 April 2014
 
 
In the Obuasi area of Ghana, private sector investment in tackling malaria has led to substantial business and community benefits, with drastic reductions in malaria prevalence.

Obuasi is the site of a large gold mine owned by the company AngloGold Ashanti. In 2004, the company saw that its workforce were suffering high levels of malaria, meaning that many of them were off sick at any one time. This was clearly having an impact on its business.

AngloGold Ashanti set out to tackle this with a comprehensive programme that encompassed malaria prevention and treatment and featured indoor residual spraying as a major form of prevention. It is a comprehensive method of malaria control that the company now refers to as the Obuasi model.

"We had a goal of achieving a 50% reduction [in malaria prevalence] within two years," says Sylvester Segbaya, programme director for AngloGold Ashanti malaria control. "Within two years, we actually had a 74% reduction."

While the Edwin Cade hospital in Obuasi saw 6,711 cases of malaria in 2005, the figure was down to 973 by 2009. In late 2013, it was just 238.

The World Health Organisation recommends indoor spraying with residual insecticide (IRS) as a significant method of preventing malaria. It is "… a powerful way to rapidly reduce malaria transmission. Its full potential is realised when at least 80% of houses in targeted areas are sprayed," it says.

This was the case in Obuasi, where the spraying of mines, surrounding buildings, homes and then entire districts have meant that there are simply fewer mosquitoes that can spread malaria. This is benefiting all parts of the community, not just miners. People are spending less on malaria treatment, children are more likely to be healthy and attending school and under-5s are less likely to die of the disease.

Such a large programme could not be carried out by a private company alone. Partnerships with the public sector were key from the start. The programme was set up in collaboration with Ghana's ministry of health, which made regular reports to the National Malaria Control Programme.

This worked so well that in 2011 the Global Fund granted $130m (£77m) to the company to carry out this work in partnership with government and public sector bodies. The idea was to spread this work to other parts of Ghana. As of April 2014, 22 districts of Ghana have been treated. This will increase to 40 districts by the end of 2015 and will concentrate on the north of Ghana, where the malaria burden is greatest.

The work also involves training local people to carry out the residual spraying and to get involvement from all areas of the community. Though IRS has been criticised by some for exposing people to insecticide, Segbaya says that health issues are always taken into consideration. Rooms used by people with asthma or allergies are not sprayed and there is the added advantage that other pests, such as cockroaches and bed bugs, are destroyed.

So why despite this success has indoor residual spraying been so little used in comparison to the mass distribution of bed nets? Because it has to be carried out comprehensively in a particular area in order to be effective, and this can be both technically demanding and comparatively expensive.

"With bed nets, all you do is distribute them," says Segbaya. "With indoor residual spraying you have to hire people, train them in managing the pump, mixing insecticide, handling people's property, all of which require more skill."

Another factor is the cost – a net to protect one or two people costs £2-3. "Currently it costs around $400,000 (£238,000) to spray one district, which is maybe $10-15 (£6-9) per person. This is almost three times the cost of providing bed nets."

These figures may not be immediately attractive to donors, and cannot be borne by the public sector alone. However, the private sector may be better able to support these costs, especially when measuring them against increased productivity.

Trevor Keel is head of technology at the World Gold Council, the market development organisation for the gold mining industry. Many of its members – large gold mines – operate some kind of community health programme to support their workforce and the surrounding communities.

"Our interest initially stemmed from the fact that gold is used in the rapid diagnostic tests that are now the most common way of diagnosing malaria," says Keel. So protecting the miners and their communities from malaria seemed logical. "This is a great example of what the private sector should be doing," he adds.

AngloGold Ashanti – which also operates in Mali, Tanzania and Guinea – is now starting similar programmes in its other mines.


Source: http://www.theguardian.com/global-development-professionals-network/2014/apr/25/ghana-anglogold-malaria-reduction?CMP=twt_gu

Paulina says: Some good news......

Gold is the new Gold


Title: Ghana Gold Output Seen Falling 500,000 Ounces on Halts
Dated: Apr 28, 2014

Gold production in Ghana, the continent’s second-largest producer after South Africa, may fall 500,000 ounces this year as declining prices prompted some mines to suspend operations, the Minerals Commission said.

Output for 2014 is estimated at 3.1 million ounces, from an initial target of 3.6 million, Daniel Krampah, the commission’s assistant manager of financial analysis, said today by phone in the capital, Accra.

“We will definitely record lower volumes this year,” said Krampah. “Some companies have placed their mines under care and maintenance.”

Ghana’s gold production climbed to a record 4.3 million ounces in 2012 from 3.6 million ounces the previous year after prices reached a record in September 2011. Bullion slumped 28 percent in 2013 as some investors lost faith in the metal as a store of value amid a rally in equities and muted inflation.
The mine suspensions mean “we will be losing about 500,000 ounces of gold annually,” said Krampah.

Ghana produced 107.9 metric tons of gold in 2013, making it the eighth-biggest producer, according to data from Thomson Reuters GFMS. Bloomberg competes with Thomson Reuters in selling financial and legal information and trading systems.


Source: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-04-28/ghana-gold-output-seen-falling-500-000-ounces-on-halts.html

Paulina says: I would normally read the likes of the above and shake -but not today... People will always want gold -and the market will reflect this in dues time. Up and down, up and down -just like a swing......no shaking.

Lifestyle: Marriott set to open soon in Takoradi


Title: Marriott expands to Nigeria and Ghana
Dated: Mar 25, 2014

Marriott Intl., through its subsidiary U.S. based Protea has recently confirmed expansion plans in Nigeria focus on Port Harcourt in the oil-rich Niger Delta, the nation’s capital Abuja and the southeastern state of Enugu.

One of the hotels will be rated 5 star and branded Marriott Abuja and the second one three star Courtyard by Marriott (Port Harcour).

With the Ghana oilfields also creating demand for business travel, Protea will open a 130-room hotel in Takoradi in the country’s western region later this year.

Source: http://www.cpp-luxury.com/marriott-expands-to-nigeria-and-ghana/

"I think that when there is nothing to prove, there is nothing to prove. It is a mind blowing sort of freedom. It is a freedom that's not for wimps... The only thing is ---you look around you and you wonder, where has everybody gone." Paulina Opoku-Gyimah


 

Sunday, 27 April 2014

The Spirit: Waiting for 'Miracles' in the Wilderness........

 
Keep Calm A New Thing is Coming..........


Take your eyes off your situation and keep your eyes on God and watch Him turn your situation around. There are many of you who are in a weary, dry, tough, struggling, and hopeless place. You've allowed the circumstances of your trial that God promised He will bring out of overtake you. Your faith has decreased because of the wait. Your mind has come to the conclusion that God is not a man of His word. You trusted God when He gave you the promise but because He didn't act immediately the spirit of doubt entered your mind.
 
There are many of you who are fed up, frustrated, stressed, overwhelmed, tired, and want to throw in the towel. I'm here to tell you to stay in the course. Don't give up! Don't waver but trust His word and know that He'll come through for you. Stop depending on your resources and look to the source, Jesus Christ. When God sees you have all the answers He'll turn His ear from you until you fully surrender to Him. You have to trust God without a shadow of doubt when what you prayed for doesn't come to past you'll know, He's still faithful because He has something better in store for you. God is turning your situation around. You cannot see because your mind is focusing on your circumstances and not looking into the spirit. God's word does not come back void.
 
When He promises you something He doesn't give you the full details because He's testing your patience. He wants to test how you will respond during the wait. Will you still pray? Will you still give thanks? Will you still worship? Will still praise Him? Will you still be faithful? Time may be moving slow in your eyes but understand He's preparing you, equipping you, molding you, and shaping you. When He finally give you what He promised you'll appreciate the promise more than Him immediately giving it to you. When He delivers you from a stronghold or situation you'll recall how long you had to endure the suffering to know you're not going back to your past.

Credit: http://instagram.com/instagodministries
 

Monday, 21 April 2014

Complex Magazine celebrates Vic Mensa....


Image by Simon Jones


Title: Who Is Vic Mensa?
Dated: Feb 6, 2014

Timing, they say, is everything. When it's on an artist's side, he can ride that wave effortlessly upward; when it isn't, he's thrust to the sidelines, marginalized instantaneously. It makes or breaks careers. You could fill 200 iPhones with the music of rappers who couldn't deliver on their promise, no matter how substantial their talents. All because of timing.
At least, that's what they say.
 
Maybe it's time to rethink the old cliches. Hip-hop fans have always focused on measuring success. It's no surprise; after all, you're talking about an art form where something was created from nothing, unheard voices alchemized experience into therapeutic autobiography, speculative fantasy, and floor-filling entertainment. This is why the gold chains make sense; the fruits of this invisible labor have to be substantial, or it may as well never have happened. There's an irrational, contradictory logic to this arrangement. On the one hand, if an MC records great art in a forest, does it make a sound? And on the other: whose fault is it that the rapper's art is in a forest in the first place?

Vic Mensa visited Complex the morning after headlining a workout of a show at the Knitting Factory last November. It was one of those lineups that only makes sense in New York, where three rising artists with substantially different fanbases—in this case, Deniro Ferrar, Ty Dolla $ign, and Vic Mensa—perform for the benefit of the media. Vic was supporting Innanetape, his celebrated 2013 solo record, his first since the break-up of acclaimed hip-hop band Kids These Days. In Kids These Days, he was the rapper and frontman.

Innanetape was produced primarily by Cam Osteen from Justice League, Peter Cottontale (best known for his work with Chance The Rapper), and Vic himself. The tape suggests Vic has a strong sense for songcraft, with smooth neo-soul hooks and beats rooted in an '80s funk/R&B tradition. It's shot through with experimental flavors (like the drum'n'bass-style groove on "Lovely Day") and features guests like L.A. experimental jazz-fusion bassist Thundercat and Neptunes-affiliated pop eccentric Kenna.

Despite some adventurous choices, Innanetape is musically tasteful, even serene—cuts like "Hollywood LA" and "Orange Soda" are relaxed and comfortable moments of family barbecue-friendly positivity. But Vic's live performance, at least at the Knitting Factory that night, had a serrated edge, amplified by stage dives, rock guitars, and a mosh pit. Going back to the tape after seeing him perform, the restlessness under the surface became more apparent; a barbed, nervous energy surfaced in his lyrics. On "Orange Soda": "Know when you want it, but just can't have it?/Especially as an artist, don't that shit make you mad/Just breathe... breathe... breathe, it's all in your head/Know these labels wanna sign me for an arm and a leg."

 


(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZLp7M5SMBkQ)

There's an elephant in the room here, and that elephant is Chance The Rapper, Vic's good friend and a recent Justin Bieber collaborator who has been propelled from Chicago's vibrant music scene to the top of the major labels' most-wanted list. For national listeners, unfamiliar with Chicago's deep bench, there's a perception that he did so in a lane that is a little too similar to Vic's own; as if there can be only one conflicted, thoughtful, skilled-yet-streetsmart backpacker.

Sure: Vic's a kid from the South Side who came up on rock music and hip-hop, and whose parents had high expectations—his father has a PhD in economics, and his mother is a physical therapist in the Chicago Public Schools. And like Chance, Vic gripped perfectionism, becoming one of Chicago's most lyrically creative teenage rappers, even as he bucked his parents' prescribed route in favor of an independent path.

Vic created this path, even before Chance The Rapper released a song. Before Chief Keef was signed by Interscope, Vic was 16 with a solo mixtape and being sought out by the major labels.

As a member of Kids These Days, he played Lollapalooza a year before Keef and two before Chance. But while Chicago was having its biggest moment since the arrival of Kanye West a decade earlier, Vic was caught up in the turmoil surrounding Kids These Days, the hip-hop band to whom he'd thrown his loyalty and several years of his life. While they spent a year gearing up to breakthrough within the proper industry channels, they felt the strain of internal tensions about the band's direction. While numerous Chicago hip-hop stars capitalized on the buzz, one of its most talented, most promising voices was on the sidelines, his group in stasis. But his story isn't anything like Chance The Rapper's—even though, to a national audience, he still has to prove it.

When Vic first arrived at Complex, he seemed tired and withdrawn—likely because of the previous night's late performance. As he spoke with Complex, while his friend fell asleep face down on the table beside him, he opened up considerably; he had a lot to get off his chest. An hour and a half later, when he left, it seemed like a weight had lifted. Open and honest about the internal turmoil that led to the break-up of Kids These Days, his frustrations, and his confident personal and musical philosophies, the conversation felt as much like a therapy session as an interview.

If timing is everything, though, Vic might have some hurdles in front of him. He is a prodigal talent; give him a space to create, and he'll fill every inch of that canvas, and do it with more color and more creativity and a stronger sense for an emotional truth than anyone around him. He's used to being the best in the room. But what happens if he's in the wrong room at the wrong time?
As Vic left Complex, the reality of an uphill climb was still ahead. But if anyone can find his way out of that forest, it's Vic Mensa.

What was your life like as a kid?My neighborhood is mad diverse and also divided. It’s called Hyde Park. On one hand, you have the University of Chicago. That’s a community in and of itself. And on the other side you have Hyde Park, which I separate. People classify Hyde Park based on the side they’re looking at.

My dad used to work at University of Chicago and I was born over there. Hyde Park—I grew up around a lot of different races and a lot of different types of people. My first friend was a Jewish kid, I went to a Jewish pre-school, but it wasn’t all Jewish kids. It’s just like that in Hyde Park. Now, I live in a cul-de-sac of townhouses that’s one block away from gigantic houses, four or five blocks from Barack Obama’s house. And it’s also a block away from section 8 [affordable housing], and four or five blocks away to what would be the equivalent of the projects. So that’s how Hyde Park is and I’m somewhere in the middle of it all.

What expectations did your parents have of you growing up?All parents have expectations. My dad especially, he’s from Ghana—super educated man. So education has always been huge to him. I never was too much into school, but I didn’t have problems getting good grades. School was easy for me. I always did well, but I always got in trouble, and as I got older the trouble just multiplied.

From the first time I got suspended in sixth grade, I just kept getting suspended, at least once a year until I graduated high school. It’s easy to cheat in school. And it’s also not hard to do the shit you have to do.

My parents wanted me to go to college and a lot of things that didn’t happen, but at the same time as those things were falling to the wayside, music was steadily rising. And it was something they could see and recognize. So they were understanding in some ways, but less understanding in others. They weren’t ever super rigid, like "We’re going to kick you out the house if you don’t go to college."

What are your earliest memories of music?I was heavily into rock and roll. That and African drums. I remember my father used to play African music all the time. The Beatles are probably some of my earliest memories from my mother, and Jimi Hendrix, Miles Davis.

Backstreet Boys in first grade, I remember Backstreet Boys and N'SYNC and Spice Girls and shit like that. I wasn't really into the Spice Girls, but I was definitely into the Backstreet Boys. When I was in grammar school, up until like 5th grade, I didn’t really vibe with hip-hop. I just didn’t understand why niggas was so mad.

I think some of the first rap I liked before I started liking rap was Eminem, just because there was an African kid I knew that was older than me who knew my sister, who told me Eminem was cool. When you’re a little kid and someone tells you something’s cool, you just go with it.

I was really into Guns N' Roses and AC/DC and all of that classic hair-rock shit. And then I found out about Nirvana, and I was a gigantic fan of Nirvana around 5th grade. I found out about hip-hop through skateboard movies, because I had been skating since I was like 10. I really started fucking with rap off this Zoo York VHS tape. KRS-ONE, “Step Into A World,” that was the first rap song I remember finding myself, and being like, "I fuck with this heavily." And then I got put onto 106 & Park by my homie, so at the same time watching that—when Westside Connection and Destiny’s Child were on TV.

But I really got into hip-hop through skateboarding and breakdancing and graffiti. Me and my man Nico [Segal]—he plays the trumpet—we used to go to the hip-hop shop in his neighborhood. It was called The Bassment, and we would buy paint markers to write on shit. They sold spray paint under the table too. We would go there and get Run-DMC albums and fuckin' old shit like Grandmaster Flash and breakbeat records, and we’d set up linoleum in his basement. He would DJ and I would breakdance, or he would DJ and I would spit.


Do visit: http://www.complex.com/music/2014/02/who-is-vic-mensa  to read the interview in its entirety....



For more info about Vic Mensa visit: https://www.facebook.com/VicMensa1

Fashion & Culture: Yasiin Bey, the artist formerly known as Mos Def wears Kente wrap and causes uproar.......




Paulina says: If Mos Def is going to wear a skirt I think its best its Kente –don’t you?

I missed the mass hysteria surrounding conscious rapper, Yasiin Bey, the artist formerly known as Mos Def's decision to wear what many perceived as just a ‘skirt’ in March, –and had to dig deeper when I saw the above photo and read some of the rumours and comments flying around!!!

The thing is………….. many believe there’s some sort of ‘Gay Agenda’ going on in the Land of Hip-Hop-Hooray, and while some can accept the likes of Puffy (or Diddy or what-have-you), Trinidad James, actor Omar Epps or Kanye –even, wearing the ‘dress’ or the ‘skirt’, many were not having it with much beloved rapper –Mos Def.

Anywayssssss, regardless of ‘whatever’ –I truly believe that Yasiin Bey, the artist formerly known as Mos Def –who now resides in South Africa, was wearing a Kente wrap, not just because it is comfortable but because of its cultural significance. Some people need to get a grip!!!!

Beauty: Omenaa Mensah







 Credit: MUA by Koleta Gabrysiak  

 
Paulina says: How gorgeous does Ghana Rising fave, Omenaa Mensah look in the above beauty shoot photos? My baby brother is getting married very soon and its been all about wedding fever and make-up ideas for the big day!!! The make-up artist did a fabulous and I'm loving the pop of blue on the eyes -what do you think? Anywaysss for more info about TV presenter and style icon Omenaa Mensah visit: http://www.omenaamensah.pl/
 

Sunday, 20 April 2014

The State of the Union: Nigeria's High Flying Diezani Alison-Madueke



House Of Reps Uncover Second Aircraft Maintained By Petroleum Minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke

Dated:2014/03/26
by John Ameh

Fresh revelations indicated on Tuesday that Petroleum Minister, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, maintained a second jet.

The jet, a Global Express XRS plane, is allegedly chartered specifically for her private and official trips overseas.

A return trip on the XRS plane is said to cost taxpayers €600,000.

The jet is different from the Challenger 850, which the House of Representatives said gulped N10bn in the last two years to fly the minister.

Investigation by The PUNCH showed that the House Committee on Public Accounts stumbled on the second jet in the course of the ongoing probe into the N10bn expenditure on Challenger 850.

Findings also showed that the owners of Challenger 850 might have fled the country shortly after the House ordered an investigation into the transaction between them and Alison-Madueke.

It was gathered that the aircraft owners reportedly became jittery after the committee declared its plan to summon them to assist in the investigation.

The PUNCH had reported exclusively last Sunday that the committee would summon the owners of the plane to testify before it.

Asked to comment on the issue, the Chairman of the committee, Mr. Solomon Olamilekan, told our correspondent that he was “shocked by the latest information.”

“We have heard that the owners of the Challenger have hurriedly left the country. The information is just reaching the committee; but, we are still holding our preliminary meetings,” he stated.

Olamilekan, who confirmed that the committee had uncovered a second jet, added that they were trying to establish how many trips it made outside the country.

“We are still holding our preliminary meetings. We have to put all the facts together and agree on the mode of the hearing first.

“The question on when to invite the minister will come after the meetings. We are still meeting.”
However, a document our correspondent obtained in Abuja on Tuesday, indicated that Alison-Madueke flew in Global Express XRS on two occasions in 2011.

She chartered the same jet twice in 2013 on a return trip bill of €600,000 per trip.
For example, on March 21, 2011, she flew to London with the jet from the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.

On board the jet with her were two people, Imotimi Agama and Haruna Momoh.

The aircraft returned to Nigeria from London on March 23, conveying the same passengers.
Another trip on March 9, 2013 departed the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos en route to London.

The passengers were Alison-Madueke, Abubakar Fari and Momoh. The jet returned to Nigeria on March 13 with the same passengers.

In Abuja, lawmakers are asking how a serving minister raised the money to charter jets for overseas trips at the expense of the taxpayers.

One of them, who asked not to be named said, “Nigerians deserve to know which law authorises this type of extravagance.

“Under which budgetary sub-head has she been chartering jets for her personal use?

“Where is the law that authorises a government minister to be flying around the world in chartered private jets?

“You are going to London, why did you not not use the British Airways or any other international airline?”

The PUNCH further learnt that those who accompanied Alison-Madueke on the trips would also be invited by the committee to assist with the investigation.

Alison-Madueke is accused of spending about €500,000 monthly to maintain the first aircraft.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation had on Monday denied the allegation but said it had the legal right to own or charter an aircraft for its operations.

“This practice is common and acceptable in the local and international business environment in which it operates. There is nothing prohibiting the NNPC from owning or chartering an aircraft,” the NNPC had said in a statement by its Acting Group General Manager, Public Affairs Division, Omar Ibrahim.

There was however a new twist to the N19.7bn Police Equipment Fund on Tuesday as the Police denied receiving the money from the suspended Central Bank Governor, Mallam Lamido Sanusi.
Sanusi, while defending allegations of financial recklessness levelled against him by the Financial Reporting Council, had listed the sum among funds he released to the Ministry of Police Affairs to procure a helicopter and other equipment.

But the police high command, which appeared before the House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts in Abuja, denied knowledge of the money.

The Assistant Inspector-General of Police in charge of Air Wing, Mr. Ilesanmi Aguda, who stood in for the inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, simply replied “no knowledge” when the committee sought to confirm the payment.

Although he advised the committee to refer the inquiry to the Ministry of Police Affairs, the Chairman of the committee, Mr. Adeola Olamilekan, informed his colleagues that the said ministry had earlier denied the payment.

Olamilekan expressed surprise over the development, noting that it would appear that the money was missing since the supposed recipients had denied knowledge of it.

He said, “If the IG and the police ministry deny receipt of the said N19.7bn, then the committee can rightly assume that the money is missing, until proven otherwise.

“All the major actors involved in the alleged transaction, including the CBN have a case to answer.”
In ruling on the controversial money, the committee said it would summon Sanusi and the IG to hear from them again before taking a final position.

In a separate case, the committee summoned the Accountant-General of the Federation, Mr. Jonah Otunla; the Director-General, Budget Office of the Federation, Dr. Bright Okogu; and the CBN to explain the whereabouts of the N59.6bn released to the NNPC as subsidy claims.

The committee acknowledged submissions by the NNPC, which indicated that it did not receive the money.

For it to dig into the matter further, the committee directed the corporation to write a formal letter denying that it received the money.

Ruling on the issue, the committee chairman said, “You (NNPC) will do us a formal letter explaining to the committee that at no time did you receive N59.6bn. The Deliotte accounting firm, in its report, claimed the fund was disbursed.

“Towards this direction, this committee hereby summons the CBN, AGF and budget office to explain why such sum of money was disbursed without any documentary evidence.

“The NNPC for now cannot be indicted until otherwise proven when the AGF and the budget office come out with evidence that the money was disbursed and cash backed


Source: http://newswirengr.com/2014/03/26/house-of-reps-uncover-second-aircraft-maintained-by-petroleum-minister-diezani-alison-madueke/

Happy Easter Folks..................








Paulina says: Today has been a day of new beginnings. I now understand priority, family and love. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Risen Lord for his Blessings, for the miracles and for this new way of being -I am a different person.

Lots of Love to my family, especially my mummy for this deliverance -Amen. The prodigal son has returned -and has faced no judgement -Amen. Freedom, freedom, freedom  -thank God I'm free at last.

I pray new beginnings into your life. Be Blessed and at peace -Amen.. xxx  

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Engineers & Planners' Plane-gate

Iran Gets an Unlikely Visitor, an American Plane, but No One Seems to Know Why
Dated:

President Obama has warned that Iran is not open for business, even as the United States has loosened some of its punishing economic sanctions as part of an interim nuclear pact.
Yet on Tuesday morning, Iran had an unlikely visitor: a plane, owned by the Bank of Utah, a community bank in Ogden that has 13 branches throughout the state. Bearing a small American flag on its tail, the aircraft was parked in a highly visible section of Mehrabad Airport in Tehran.
 
But from there, the story surrounding the plane, and why it was in Iran — where all but a few United States and European business activities are prohibited — grows more mysterious.
 
While federal aviation records show the plane is held in a trust by the Bank of Utah, Brett King, one of its executives in Salt Lake City, said, “We have no idea why that plane was at that airport.”
He said that the Bank of Utah acted as a trustee for investors who have a financial stake in the plane and that the bank was investigating further.
 
The Federal Aviation Administration said it had no information about the investors in the aircraft or who was operating it. Officials waiting at the gangway at Mehrabad Airport said only that the aircraft was “V.I.P.”
 
The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, the federal government’s primary enforcer of sanctions against Iran, declined to comment on the plane’s presence there. Under United States law, any American aircraft would usually need prior approval from the department to go to Iran without violating a complicated patchwork of rules governing trade.
 
In the case of this particular aircraft, powered by engines made by General Electric, the Commerce Department typically would have to grant its own clearance for American-made parts to touch down on Iranian soil.
 
Iranian officials also declined to comment on the purpose of the plane’s visit or passengers’ identities. A spokesman for Iran’s United Nations mission in New York, Hamid Babaei, said: “We don’t have any information in this regard. I refer you to the owner.”
 
The tracking of planes has become a kind of global sport, as largely amateur photographers post thousands of images showing arrivals and departures in their attempts to chronicle flight paths. In the case of this plane, for example, one spotter spied it leaving an airport in Zurich around the time of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, held in January. Another photographer tracked the plane, identified by its call letters N604EP on the tail engines, departing a London-area airport for Ghana last October.
 
But this week’s spotting by a New York Times reporter in Tehran carries particular intrigue because it involves Iran, a country still effectively shunned by the global financial system.
Even some former federal officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the very presence of an American-flagged aircraft parked in broad daylight suggested its flight had been approved as part of a legitimate business trip. What is more, they said, the easily identifiable plane was not likely to be part of a covert diplomatic mission.
 
The secrecy surrounding the plane is compounded by federal aviation regulations that can make it virtually impossible to determine who was flying it.
 
The private plane, like thousands of similar ones, is owned through a trust — a complex legal structure often established to help foreign individuals or corporations invest in planes that can fly freely within the United States. Aside from that benefit, the structure enables investors and operators to remain largely anonymous to the public. The trustee — in this case, the Bank of Utah — is the sole entity recorded as owner in a vast database maintained by the Federal Aviation Administration.
The Bank of Utah is listed as a trustee for 1,169 aircraft, ranging from Boeing 747s to single-engine Cessnas, according to a review by The New York Times of the database. The Bank of Utah acts as a trustee for more planes than just about any other bank, the review shows.
 
Mr. King, who helps run the bank’s trust services business, said the bank had no “operational control” or “financial exposure” to any of the planes.
 
He said he was not allowed to disclose the identity of the plane’s investors. “As fiduciary, we must keep information confidential when it comes to the beneficiary,” Mr. King said.
While the trusts allow celebrities and corporate executives to travel discreetly, they also help obscure who is operating vast fleets of aircraft and why.
 
The shadowy role of American banks in private aircraft ownership has grown even as financial regulators work to shine a light on Wall Street’s activities, a legacy of the 2008 financial crisis.
Bank dealings with Iran in particular are subject to extraordinary scrutiny by the United States government, part of a broader crackdown on the flow of money to foreign countries and individuals that American officials say is tied to terrorism.
 
The British bank HSBC, for example, reached a record $1.92 billion settlement with federal authorities in 2012 to resolve accusations that it funneled billions of dollars on behalf of Iran and enabled Mexican drug cartels to move tainted money through its United States subsidiaries.
Even before the current sanctions, American aircraft rarely landed in the country. The animosity between the two countries has grown so intense that even the occasional emergency landing by a United States commercial airliner sets off a flurry of speculative news reports.
 
For his part, Mr. King said Thursday in an interview that he was trying to get to the bottom of the aircraft’s presence in Tehran. “The Bank of Utah is very conservative, and located in the conservative state of Utah,” he said. “If there is any hint of illegal activity, we are going to find out and see whether we need to resign” as trustee.


Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/18/world/middleeast/mystery-shrouds-american-plane-at-tehran-airport.html?src=twrhp&_r=0

A Better Ghana: Mystery of N604EP plane is solved




The mystery of a US-registered plane spotted at a Tehran airport this week and reported on by the New York Times has apparently been solved.

The US-registered Bombardier corporate jet, carrying the registration number N604EP, is owned and operated by a Ghana-based engineering firm, an aviation expert said Friday. The visitors it bought to Iran last week were senior Ghanaian officials, an Iranian foreign ministry spokeswoman said Friday.
The plane was chartered by Ghanaian officials, no American was on board, Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman told Iranian media Friday, journalist Mojtaba Mousavi and Shargh newspaper reported.

Tyler Bowron, an aviation expert at Cerretanni Aviation group in Boulder, Colorado, told Al-Monitor that the company that in fact owns and operates the plane is called Engineers and Planners, based in Accra, Ghana.

The Ghana firm “owns and operates” the plane, Bowron told Al-Monitor. Bank of Utah, which is listed on Federal Aviation Agency records as the trustee for the 22-seat corporate jet, “is just the trustee,” Bowron said. “They have nothing to do with it.”

The New York Times first reported Thursday on the mystery of the US “N-registered” plane seen by the paper at Tehran’s Mehrabad airport on Tuesday. The Blaze first reported Bowron’s identification of the Ghana firm that owns and operates the plane.

A Bank of Utah spokesperson said the bank was solely acting as a trustee for the airplane’s real owner.

“Bank of Utah… acts as trustee for aircraft of behalf of the beneficiary,” Scott H. Parkinson, senior vice president for marketing at the Bank of Utah, told Al-Monitor by email Friday. “The Bank has no operational control, financial exposure and is not a lender for this transaction.”

“The Bank’s trust agreements do not allow aircraft be used in any illegal activity,” Parkinson said.
International law experts said the US-registered plane, even if owned by a foreign entity, would have probably required a temporary sojourn license from the US Treasury Department Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) to legally visit Iran. US officials declined to comment Friday on the specific facts of this case.

“We can’t comment on license applications or requests,” a Treasury Department spokesperson told Al-Monitor Friday.

U.S. Iranian Transactions and Sanctions Regulations (“ITSR”) prohibit the exportation of goods, services or technology directly or indirectly from the United States or by a U.S. person to Iran, and would generally prevent U.S.-registered aircraft from flying to Iran.

“A determination as to whether a violation of the ITSR has occurred is fact specific,” a source familiar with the matter, who requested anonymity, said.

The Ghana firm said to own the plane, Engineers and Planners, “was formed in 1997 to provide mining, construction and engineering services to the many mining companies that were setting up in Ghana at the time,” the firm said in a 2012 statement  concerning a plane it had acquired and would offer for lease.

“Recently, the company has entered into an agreement with an American Company to provide it with air services using a challenger 600 aircraft,” the company statement continued. “The arrangement makes the aircraft commercially available for rental by mining companies, oil service companies and other corporate institutions when not in use by Engineers and Planners.”

The company press statement identified its CEO as Mr. Ibrahim Mahama, the younger brother of Ghana’s then-Vice President H.E. John Dramani Mahama, who became Ghana’s president in July, 2012.

Engineers and Planner’s listed executive director, Adi Ayitevie, previously served as procurement manager at a Maryland-based firm, MNM Communications, that received several U.S. government contracts to provide construction services at US embassies abroad and domestic facilities, including the FBI academy at Quantico, according to his Linkedin bio and the firm’s client list.

Iranian and Ghanaian officials have in meetings over the past year proclaimed mutual interest in cooperating on mining and other economic development projects, media reports show.

It is common for foreign entities to acquire US “N-registered” aircraft, using trusteeships such as those provided by the Bank of Utah, that conceal the owner’s identity, aviation and legal experts said.

(Photo of a US-registered corporate jet at Tehran’s Mehrabad airport last Tuesday by Thomas Erdbrink, the New York Times.)



Source: http://backchannel.al-monitor.com/index.php/2014/04/8179/mystery-solved-us-registered-plane-seen-in-tehran-was-used-by-ghana-officials/


Paulina says: I am tired!!!!!

The State of The Union: Diamond Girl, Isabel Dos Santos


Diamonds For Daddy's Girl: How Angola's Isabel Dos Santos Snared A Swiss Jeweller....

Back in August FORBES detailed how the richest woman in Africa, by the tender age of 40, had increased her net worth from zero to $3 billion: You have your father, the president of Angola, direct those who want to do business in the country to cut you in on their action. FORBES has learned, however, that Isabel dos Santos has added a more legitimate jewel to her crown: de Grisogono, a Swiss jeweler renowned among the Hollywood A-list for its extravagant, celebrity-studded parties in Cannes and Miami Beach and fans like Heidi Klum and Sharon Stone.

Newly uncovered documents show that a shell company called Victoria Holding Ltd. acquired 75% of de Grisogono in 2012 for more than $100 million through a subsidiary. The documents show that ownership of Victoria Holding Ltd. is evenly split between the Angolan state-owned diamond company, Sodiam, and a Dutch-registered company, Melbourne Investments. Dos Santos’ husband, Congolese businessman Sindika Dokolo, is listed as the sole beneficial owner of Melbourne Investments.

It is not clear whether Dokolo made any financial investment in Melbourne Investments or whether Melbourne contributed any cash to the purchase. Sodiam, as a state-owned company (its board, chair and CEO are all appointed by President Jose Eduardo dos Santos), is required to publicly disclose all its relevant ventures at home and abroad, but until now its partnership with Dokolo had remained a secret.

Sodiam, through its parent company, did not return calls to provide its side of the story. The chairman of de Grisogono said “no public funds or resources, namely from the Angolan State or Angolan State-owned companies, have been involved, directly or indirectly.” Dokolo has told the Portuguese press, “The mentioned investment … makes sense from a strategic point of view. …Any dollar that enters Switzerland or Europe is the object of an exhaustive verification process.” Perhaps, but it’s hard to figure out what the president’s daughter doesn’t have a stake in in Angola; even the publishing company that owns the right to license FORBES in Portuguese-speaking Africa, it turns out, is owned 70% by Isabel dos Santos, according to a press release from its co-owner, the Portuguese Zon Media. She had no comment for us.

Source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/kerryadolan/2014/01/22/diamonds-for-daddys-girl-how-angolas-isabel-dos-santos-snared-a-swiss-jeweler/



How Forbes' Estimate Of Isabel Dos Santos' Fortune Grew From $500M to $3B In Less Than A Year

In November 2012, Forbes listed the net worth of Isabel dos Santos, the eldest daughter of Angola’s president, at $500 million. In an article published on Wednesday, we estimated her net worth at $3 billion.  Did her fortune really grow six-fold in less than a year? The short answer: No.
Some billionaires really do skyrocket at that rate over the course of a year. In Isabel dos Santos’ case, it was a matter of coming up with evidence that she owned the assets various people had gossiped about. For the 2012 Forbes list of Africa’s 40 Richest, I could only find proof of her Portuguese shareholdings – primarily stakes in cable TV company ZON Multimedia and Banco BPI Banco BPI , which together were worth about $500 million. By January 2013, with help from Angolan journalist Rafael Marques de Morais, I had gathered enough evidence to call her a billionaire, adding stakes in a bank in Angola and a low estimate of her chunk of UNITEL, the country’s leading mobile phone network. By the time Forbes published our annual billionaires’ list in March, we counted the full value of  her 25% in UNITEL –worth $1 billion– which helped push her net worth to an estimated $2 billion.

For the recent Forbes magazine article, Angolan journalist Rafael Marques de Morais connected the dots between Angolan state oil company Sonangol, Portuguese billionaire Americo Amorim, a Swiss-registered holding company called Exem Holding, and Isabel’s estimated 6.9% stake in Portuguese oil company GALP. That asset, combined with some dividends and a rising stock price at ZON, pushed Isabel dos Santos’ estimated net worth up by another $1 billion to $3 billion. She may have even more assets that could push up her net worth. If we find more, we’ll make that clear.
A spokesman for Isabel dos Santos insisted that she paid for the assets in all the companies she owns pieces of using proceeds from her earlier business ventures, but he would not provide specifics. “Mrs. Isabel dos Santos is an independent business woman, and a private investor representing solely her own interests. Her investments in Angolan and/or in Portuguese companies are transparent and have been conducted through arms-length transactions involving external entities such as reputed banks and law firms,” the spokesman said.

Despite years of combing public documents in Angola, my co-author Rafael Marques de Morais could not find public records showing how much Isabel dos Santos paid for her stakes – records that are typically published in the government’s Daily Gazette.
Watchdog organizations like Global Witness have written about missing assets and murky dealings in Angola in the past. “The looting of the Angolan state by a corrupt elite is a tragedy for the Angolan people. The country’s oil and mining sector continues to be opaque and riven with corruption,” says Global Witness campaigner Barnaby Pace. “In deals for the state’s natural resources it must be clear exactly what payments are being made, to whom and for what; also, who won the deal, how they won it, and who ultimately stands to profit. Only when this is achieved will Angolan citizens be able to hold their leaders to account.”

In Angola, Isabel dos Santos has the reputation of a more serious business person than some of her siblings do, says Marissa Moorman, a professor at Indiana University and an expert on Angola. The siblings are known for being involved with lighter-weight endeavors –glossy magazines or music projects, rather than Isabel’s stakes in the leading mobile phone network, a large bank, the country’s cement company and, previously, the Angolan diamond business. “She’s both respected and feared as a business person,” says Moorman, who lived in Angola for 10 months in 2010 and 2011. Isabel dos Santos is known for having good people skills, and even went on the Angolan equivalent of the Jay Leno show, Moorman added.

What do most Angolans think about her vast wealth? Says Moorman: “I don’t think anyone’s na├»ve about where her wealth came from.”

Source: http://www.forbes.com/

 

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

"A lion doesn't concern himself with the opinions of a sheep." Oprah Winfrey

 

Haute Stylish Moment: Bridgette Amofah at Coachella 2014..........


Bridgette Amofah of Rudimental onstage for day 3 of the 2014 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Club on April 13, 2014 in Indio, California.

 


"Coachella 2014 and decided to wear latex. And What. Hat courtesy of @hardwareldn and latex 2 piece custom made by @hangerinc the beautiful @cyurika xx #rudimental #rudimentalculture #coachella2014" Bridgette Amofah

 

 

Paulina says: While for some this year's Coachella Festival was all about rapper Kid Cudi, who according to some -has literally outed himself by wearing that navel revealing errrm t-shirt thingy, and has proven himself to be very much part of that uber exclusive, powerful black men on the down-low in the music and film industry who will not let you in unless you errrrm take part in one of those rich-old-men-mansion-party-rituals-circle-thingy (come on you know what I mean) -------for true fashionistas, it was all about Solange Knowles but for those of us in the know -it was all about Ghana Rising fave, chanteuse Bridgette Amofah!!!!

Dressed to kill and having the time of her life -our Bridgette Amofah a singer for Rudimental, added the Coach-to-the-ella and made this year's event beyond memorable!!!! Thus, I'm guessing that while some wait to see if Kid Cudi will wear the 'dress' and become part of the 'circle' --true music lovers and innate style watchers will be watching to see just how big Bridgette Amofah's about to blow-up..... Go Bridgette, go Bridgette xxx

For more info about Bridgette Amofah visit: https://www.facebook.com/bridgette.amofah.3
https://twitter.com/BridgetteAmofah & http://instagram.com/bridgetteamofah
 

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Peace Hyde Drives The Internet Crazy................







Title: African Queen! Ghanaian Beauty’s RIDICULOUS Body Damn Near Broke The Internet

Dated: April 15th 2014


Ghanaian Beauty Drives The Internet Crazy God is good. All the time. And all the time God is good. You want to know what real beauty is? It’s right there in the Motherland with a woman by the name of Peace Hyde. All we know is this: we want to go to Ghana as soon as possible because we’re in love. Here are her pics…whoo lawd!

Source: http://bossip.com/947503/ghanaian-beauty-drives-the-internet-crazy39204/

Nana Aba says: New Ghanaian actress Peace Hyde may not be the usual Ghana Rising material but she is causing quiet a stir in Ghana, thus I wasn't surprised to read this article by uber popular 'black' gossip website -Bossip. I'm guessing she has a very bright future ahead and behind her....

 

"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough." - Albert Einstein



 
 
 

Objects of Desire: Adinkra Inspired Luxe Jewellery by Jendayi Collection



Naya White Topaz Ring 14K
Gorgeous Diamond accented White Topaz set in our signature Gye Nyame Undercarriage Basket

Center Stone: White Topaz. Carat: 3. Size: 8x8mm. Semi Mount: 14k White Gold Diamonds: .25 tcw. Color: H-I Clarity: SI. Great Diamond Alternative. Also available in faceted Clear White Quartz Crystal.
For more inquires give us a call 323-898-7468 or visit Jendayi.com
 

 

Adinkra Symbol: Odo Nyera Ne Fie Kwan South African Sugilite Pendant with Adinkra Symbol Love Lights Its Own Path & Never Gets Lost On The Way Home. 14k white gold. Diamonds 33pts. 92 individually hand set diamonds. Stunning piece. Stone: Hand cut South African Sugilite. Also available in Black Onyx, Lapis & Turquoise. Approximate Length: 15mm

 

 

Sankofa Heart Collection* (Go Back and Fetch It) Sankofa Heart- Respect for heritage, history and wisdom of the elders. The curved ends represent reaching back to retrieve and revive the honorable and useful aspects of ones past to guide the present and future.

 
Prices: POA
Purchase from: http://jendayi.co


Paulina says: Uber luxurious, beautifully designed quality jewels made from real diamonds and gold and silver et al ---and culturally significant, -whats not to love? I covet all of Jendayi Collection's Adinkra inspired pieces --and can't get enough of the above lovelies!!! I'm thinking that its time to grow up and investment in real pieces like the collectables and future heirlooms above!!! For more information about Jendayi Collection visit: http://jendayi.co & https://www.facebook.com/JendayiCollection

Objects of Desire: Nyame Biribi Wo Soro Gold Earrings (Assorted Shapes) by Ebenezer Akakpo Designs





 

 
Price: From $42 - $54
Purchase from: http://www.stylevisa.com/akakpo-co-nyame-biribi-wo-soro-gold-earrings-assorted-shapes.html

 

More Info:
These earrings are from Akakpo & Co., a made in the USA brand that produces handcrafted, affordable earrings featuring traditional Ghanaian symbols called Adrinkra. All designs are created by Ebenezer Akakpo, a native of Ghana who is now based in Maine. These earrings feature the Nyame Biribi Wo Soro symbol, which stands for hope. Featuring 22kt Gold plated over Brass and 14kt Gold Filled Ear wire.

Available in Square, Square Hoop, Round, Round Hoop and Oval designs.

Size: Oval Earrings: 2" drop by 1" wide; Square, Square Hoop, Round & Round Hoop Earrings: 2" drop by 2" wide.

 
For more info about jeweller Ebenezer Akakpo visit: http://www.akakpo.com/
https://www.facebook.com/akakpoco

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Fashion: CNN Celebrates Heel the World.......




"Deegbe is determined to put Ghana firmly on the map of luxury shoemaking: "Eventually people will not think of HTW and question it anymore -- people will think about it and think quality and think the most awesome brand coming out of Africa," he says." CNN



Made in Ghana: Luxury shoes put sparkle in your step
Dated: 9th April 2014

Every week, African Start-Up follows entrepreneurs in various countries across the continent to see how they are working to make their business dreams become reality.
 
(CNN) -- Fred Deegbe was standing outside a shop window five years ago, marveling at the shiny pair of wing-tip Oxfords he'd just bought, when he started wondering whether such beautiful designer shoes could ever be produced in his country, Ghana.

"Impossible," a nearby shoeshine boy purposefully declared after being asked by Deegbe; later, at home, his friends were equally dismissive. "Everyone was convinced that these high-end shoes could not be made in Ghana," recalls Deegbe.
 
Everyone? Not exactly.
 
Despite not having any real knowledge about the shoe market, Deegbe, who was a banker at the time, decided to prove them all wrong and take on the world's leading shoe brands. Soon after, he teamed up with a friend and started Heel The World (HTW), a high-end shoemaking company based in Accra, Ghana.
 
That was in 2011, and one year later Deegbe quit his banking job to dedicate himself fully in his new ambitious venture.
 
"We started buying machines (and) brought them over to the house," says the young entrepreneur, who launched the company from his parents' garage. "We had no intentions of starting the factory in the house, but one thing led to another and we just had to start."
 
 
Currently, HTW has five full-time employees.
 
 
Wearing it with pride
Inside the HTW workshop, underneath fashion images hanging from its bright yellow walls, the startup's workers are busy cutting pieces of leather and gluing soles at their work stations.
The materials are imported from places like the United States and Italy but all shoes are crafted by hand here.
 
It's a meticulous task, one the HTF staff tend to perform while wearing their bespoke creations -- anything from retro brogues and elegant loafers to stylish dress slippers and eye-catching Oxfords.
"They want their friends to ask them, 'Where did you buy that?' and they say, 'no, we made it; we made it in a garage, in Accra, with our own hands,'" says Deegbe.
 
 
The company produces a wide variety of styles.
 
 
Convincing people
HTW, which currently has five full-time employees, has built a website to take orders and relies heavily on social media for marketing. Yet, one problem for some potential customers is the cost -- from between $200 to $400, the price would be limiting anywhere, let alone in Ghana, where many people are still hit by economic hardship despite the country's remarkable growth and record poverty reduction in recent years.
 
"That's an uphill challenge that we still face," says Deegbe. "It's because most of this stuff is imported," he explains.
 
 
"You have to convince people that these things can be made here and these things is worth all the money we are asking for," he adds.
 
Proving doubters wrong
HTW has also started producing accessories such as so-called "empowerment beads" -- these are handcrafted creations made of glass and brass that are designed to represent all the hard work that goes into reaching a goal.
 
It's something Deegbe has learned first-hand, having taken the challenge of launching HTW to demonstrate that a high-end shoe brand can be made in Ghana.
 
"The good things is we're all quite young in the company -- everyone's under 30 -- and we have a long time to prove people wrong," says Deegbe.
 
"Eventually people will not think of HTW and question it anymore -- people will think about it and think quality and think the most awesome brand coming out of Africa," he adds. 


 

 
Paulina says: A big congratulations to team Heel the World who can now boast of having CNN profile their brand --clap clap!!!

This pioneer of made-in-Ghana shoe brand truly deserves the accolade -and much success -they have paid their dues, but they mustn't 'rest on their laurels'!!!

CNN is an incredible platform, offering uber exposure --but that means ---the world will be watching and taking note (and some might be copying -welcome to the real world). Thus, its now time for team Heel the World to up their game, luxe-up their website, get stockists in London, NYC, Paris and SA --and keep their FB fan page up-to-date!!! But all in all -good luck to team Heel The World. x

For more info about Heel The World visit: http://htwshoes.com/site/
https://www.facebook.com/Heel.the.World.HTW
http://instagram.com/htwshoes


P.S ---The Heel The World's write-up by CNN goes to show just how very important it is for the likes of bloggers/websites/Ghanaian media-rites (and beyond) like me to write about made-in-Ghana labels/services/goods!!!

We also need to be aware/understand that the world (because of the Internet/Social media) has gotten smaller -thus, one can no longer afford to limit oneself or brand or services et al1!! Also, it is imperative that Ghanaian media-folk start to add contact details to all articles -otherwise what is the point????

Note, this............"I will talk/write about you to big-up my own website/blog/newspaper but I won't bring business your way ---green eyed monster must stop --now!!!! Just saying...

Sweet Charity: Menaye Donkor Muntari commissions land for new Menaye School of Hope at Konongo....



Menaye Donkor Muntari, wife of Sulley Ali Muntari, on Tuesday March 25th 2014, along with chiefs and elders of Konongo in the Ashanti Region of Ghana, commissioned land demarcated as site of the next Menaye School of Hope.

The school, which will operate from kindergarten to junior high level, will be the second such school being wholly funded and operated by Menaye Charity Organisation, which is run by Mrs. Muntari. Menaye School of Hope presently operates at Agona Asafo in the Central Region of Ghana, and provides free, quality education for deprived and rural children.




The land for the school was donated by the chief of Konongo, Nana Batafo Acheampong to Menaye Charity Organisation, as a gesture because Menaye’s husband, Sulley Ali Muntari hails from the town of Konongo. Present at the commissioning to lend her support was Hajia Kande, mother of Sulley Ali Muntari.





Credit: Text & Photos: http://www.enewsgh.com/enews/2014/04/13/menaye-donkor-chiefs-commission-land-for-next-school-of-hope/

Paulina says: Its truly heart warming to see one of Ghana Rising's Fave fashionistas doing good worksss back home in our sweet motherland Ghana.....we must let it inspire us. God Bless the Muntari's --our Menaye's not just a pretty face -Amen!!!

 

For more info about Menaye Donkor Muntari's School of Hope visit: http://www.menaye.com/
https://twitter.com/MenayeDonkor