IWA Editor

The Special Envoy of South Africa’s President, Cyril Ramaphosa Meets with President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria Today.

President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, sent a special envoy who arrived Abuja yesterday 15th September to meet President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari. According to Ramaphosa’s spokesperson, Khusela Diko, Ramaphosa dispatched three special envoys to seven African countries to deliver messages of pan-African unity and solidarity as a result of xenophobic attacks in South Africa.

In a bid to make amends with Nigeria and other African countries affected by the xenophobic attacks, the special envoy were deployed to reassure Head of States of Nigeria, Niger, Ghana, Senegal, Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Zambia on South Africa’s stance on ‘No Xenophobia’ amidst the tension and violence in South Africa.

Acting South African High Commissioner to Nigeria, Bobby Moroe released a statement of the special envoy’s visit to Nigeria.

“The Special Envoy of President Cyril Ramaphosa, former Minister of Energy, Mr Jeff Radebe, has arrived in Abuja to deliver a special message from President Ramaphosa to President Buhari. He is accompanied by the Special Advisor to President Ramaphosa, Dr Khulu Mbatha. This follows a visit to South Africa by the Special Envoy to President Buhari over a week ago. The purpose of the visit is to reaffirm the cordial bilateral relations between the two countries and recommit the two countries to their long-standing historical relations dating back to the apartheid era. To this end, we express and reiterate our appreciation for the support received during the days of apartheid. It is this relationship that should inspire us to work together and build a formidable continent. The visit takes place ahead of the state visit to SA by President Buhari in October 2019. The envoys are looking forward to fruitful engagements with Mr President. It is our desire that the outcomes of the engagements will further cement the already cordial relations between the two counties,” Moroe stated.

On Sunday, South Africans sang and marched through the streets in South Africa against Xenophobia, South Africans from all walks of life joined migrants to march against the attacks on foreigners and to ask for forgiveness from Nigerians and other African nationals still in the country weeks after the Xenophobic attacks. They called for unity among Africans; Gabriel Hertis, the coordinator for social cohesion from the Africa Diaspora Forum, said they are deeply concerned about the attack, killing and looting.

“We stand together with South Africans in fighting xenophobia and crimes. We played a role in South Africa’s development and do not see reason why we should stop now. We are getting opportunities for our families and also contributing to the development of South Africa,” said Hertis

CWT Corporate Travel Brand Launch: Business Travel Management Limited unveils new Travel Management brand in Lagos.

Business Travel Management Ltd. (BTM) is proud to announce the partnership with CWT (formerly Carlson Wagonlit Travel), the business-to-business-for-employees (B2B4E) travel management platform.
Operating under the CWT brand in Nigeria, the company aims to elevate the standard of travel management in the region and, by partnering with a global B2B4E travel management platform, BTM will bring further focus and cohesion to positively impact the continent, enhancing value and service delivery levels.
Business Travel Management Ltd.’s (BTM) Predecessor travel management company started in 1979. In 1998 it joined a global travel group which evolved in 2006 to specialize in corporate travel and pushed the envelope for Managed Travel in the region. Business Travel Management Limited (BTM) has earned a reputation as a ‘one stop shop’ for everything travel related. Our core focus and strength being the provision of excellent corporate travel services to our clients, for over 20 years of being in existence. BTM has been an ISO certified company since 2008.
Our Management team consists of the most experienced travel professionals, especially as BTM is a member of the GHI Assets Group of companies (airline representatives and travel management specialists). The travel business is now in its third generation with a staff strength of close to 200. BTM has operations in Nigeria and Angola.
Benefits derived from representing the CWT brand in Nigeria include BTM’s ability to now deliver a global standard of service, travel technology and efficiencies, locally. The company continues to be the pace setter for Travel technology in the region. BTM will now have the ability to provide enhanced customer advice and services without compromising on ethics.

We will continue to operate in a developing market and improving industry standards with the support of a Globally Dominant Partner with sustainable business methodology.

“Nigeria has a rich cultural and economic heritage, especially in natural resources, and corporate travel is a key facilitator of industry here. With BTM, we would like to build on our long-standing reputation for successful travel delivery in the country, and want our brand to be as synonymous with corporate travel as Zuma Rock is with Nigeria,” said Francisco Nunez, CWT’s Vice President of Global Partners Network.

“Business Travel Management Limited is proud to Partner with CWT. There have been some very exciting changes within the global company that we are looking forward to being a part of. Our company has operated in the Managed Travel space for almost forty Years as a TMC (Travel Management Company). This is what we do best, efficient service delivery, innovative ideas and cutting-edge travel technology,” says Lola Adefope, Managing Director of CWT in Nigeria (owned and operated by Business Travel Management Limited).

“The evolution of the travel industry is inevitable. With technology underpinning everyday life it is obvious that corporate travellers are going to want the same efficiencies in their Travel Programme that they get in their every day life. Partnering with CWT in Nigeria allows our company to bring new travel technology and ideas to the table. This partnership allows Business Travel Management Limited to remain at the forefront of Travel Technology in the region” says Olufemi Adefope, Company Founder & Chairman of Business Travel Management Ltd.

Amongst the long-term goals of the partnership between BTM and CWT is for Business Travel Management Ltd to encourage Corporate Brands in Nigeria to improve the efficiency of their travel programme and experience truly professional, open and honest travel services.

At an elaborate corporate event at the Civic Centre in Lagos on September 10th, 2019, the CWT brand will officially be launched as being operated by Business Travel Management Limited in Nigeria.

After a welcome evening cocktail, and delightful entertainment the “Who’s Who” of Nigeria’s travel industry and corporate brands will sit to dine, celebrate and learn about evolution of service delivery in the corporate travel space and the new look and products from CWT.

The brand launch is sponsored by BTM partners; Africa World Airlines
Air Cote d’Ivoire, Amadeus, British Airways, Delta Air Lines, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Air France, Emirates, Kenya Airways, Lufthansa, Radisson Blu, RwandAir Limited, South African Airways & Virgin Atlantic.

South African Tourism West Africa to host Annual Trade Roadshow in West Africa.

South Africa Tourism will be hosting another Trade Roadshow across the two (2) main economic centres in West Africa: Nigeria and Ghana. The Road Show will span across 5 top cities in the two countries namely: Kumasi and Accra in Ghana and Abuja, Port Harcourt and Lagos in Nigeria.

Nigeria and Ghana contributed 76% of Africa’s tourist arrival into South Africa in 2014, outbound travel and spending has grown over the years in the West African region with a 12.7% increase in trips over the period between 2013 and 2018 for the Ghanaian market and a 1.9% increase in trips from 2013 to 2018 for the Nigerian market with total outbound expenditure growing by 14.6%.

The South African Tourism Road Show will be across 5 top cities in the region, the roadshow will begin in Kumasi, Ghana on Wednesday, August 21; followed by Accra City on Friday, August 23, Abuja City on Monday, August 26, Port Harcourt on August 28 and Lagos on Friday, August 30. The roadshow will highlight South Africa’s affordable experiences and diversity of offerings to key travel partners in the West African region; spanning across travel, accommodation, entertainment and events in the city, with a focus on opportunity for partnership development between and among South African Product Owners (SAPO), Trade partners and other stakeholders.

The roadshow activities during the event will include, Trade Workshop/Engagement in Each city, SA Specialist Graduation Ceremony, Launch of the South Africa Trade Awards (Accra for Ghana & Lagos for Nigeria Only).
For more information on the West Africa Roadshow visit: www.southafrica.net
Also, Follow @Travel2SA1 Instagram, @Travel2SA1 on Twitter and Travel To South Africa on Facebook.

HOW FREE IS FREE TRADE

The period between the ages of 13 and 16 years in the life of a male child and between the ages of 11 and 14 years in the life of a female child is a period when parents should brace up to their parental duties to ensure that their wards grow up to become responsible citizens and adults. This period known as puberty is when sexual maturity occurs. This maturation is evidenced in females by the onset of menstruation, in males by the production of semen, and in both by the enlargement of their respective reproductive organs. Rapid growth occurs and is marked by a range of physiological changes. Various secondary sexual characteristics also appear for the first time during puberty; in males, production of body hair increases markedly, particularly in the pubic, axillary and facial regions, and the voice usually changes and becomes deeper in tone. In females, hair also appears in the pubic and axillary regions, and the breasts become enlarged.
Just as the parents are expected to brace up to their responsibilities, children also have major roles to play to ensure that they become the responsible adults the society expects them to be. In the first instance, children must accept that they need proper guidance and must deliberately follow wise counsel. Discreetness is a vital virtue for any child to covet. There is a popular Yoruba adage that says “ti iṣu ẹni ba ta, a fi ọwọ bo jẹ ni”, it simply means that if one’s yam sprouts healthy tubers, one is expected to discretely consume it. To contextualize this, using a girl going through puberty as a case study when she suddenly realizes that she is growing bigger and experiencing some unusual sensations in certain sensitive parts of her body, the wise and sensible thing to do is to become more discreet in the manner she carries or throws herself around particularly in the presence of the opposite sex so as not to attract the kind of attention that she may not be able to manage. For the sake of emphasis, any relationship that is consummated between a man or a matured boy and a girl going through puberty based on the girl’s new-found looks is unwholesome and can only lead to trouble. Like my people the Yorubas will say “ere kini aja nba ẹkun se”, meaning what kind of a relationship can exist between a dog and a tiger, except for one being the eaten and the other the eater.
Still dwelling on the above analogy, value appreciation is pivotal to resource optimization, so it is almost certain that one will most likely waste a resource that one does not know the actual worth of. According to British economist David Ricardo, analyzing the essence of comparative advantage in free trade, said that some nations lacked an absolute advantage in the production of any commodity. However, even these nations could gain from free trade if they concentrated on producing commodities in which they had the smallest disadvantage. One thing is clear, Africa cannot all of a sudden become industrialized; the reality as it is today is that Africa’s comparative advantage is in the area of supply of raw materials. The continent by the benevolence of God is the biggest producer of some of the raw materials for the production of most products in the world today. Consequently, Africa should take cognizance of its strengths and weaknesses so as to ensure that it always gets a good deal in return for the raw materials it’s able to bring to the market.
I am a member of what is known as the Borderless Alliance in West Africa and just finished our third annual conference with the theme, ‘’Enabling Growth”, so I thought it will be both interesting and instructive for us to examine in this edition of IWA some of the issues that were deliberated on which brought to the fore the need for and the efforts being made to remove all barriers to trade within West Africa. In addition, among other very interesting stories that we have complied for you, we also had the privilege of interviewing the Tanzanian High Commissioner to Nigeria, His Excellency Daniel O Njoolay, and he shared his thoughts on the need for Africans to do more business amongst themselves, according to him we have the population which is a large enough market to exploit just as countries such as China and India did for formidable trade growth. It is the only way African trade alliance can blossom. All these are packaged for your pleasurable reading as I welcome you to another year of great exploits as we transverse the great African landscape. I want to thank you so much for your commitment to IWA.

TRADING SENSE

My mother is from Ijebu, a town in Ogun state, south west Nigeria, where the people are generally noted for being astute business men and women with the propensity to save and conserve funds. I guess that is the reason my mum has always exhibited what I consider a never-give-an-inch posture, while haggling to buy anything. Unfortunately, I have turned out to be a weak negotiator because I seem to have failed to imbibe this very potent trading trait which is arguably a standard practice through which most people arrive at mutually agreed price for goods and services in Africa.
Since goods and services will always have to be exchanged, it is expedient for every human being to at least develop a level of trading skill. However, going by the trend in the international trading landscape, Africa and Africans has continued to fall short in this regard. Undeniably, several individuals’ particularly African leaders acquired stupendous wealth from being slave traders. Tinubu square, a commercial centre in today’s Lagos, Nigeria, is named after a major nineteenth century slave trader, Madam Tinubu who rose from a humble background to become a very wealthy woman and later one of Nigeria’s pioneering nationalists.
In evaluating this illicit trade and the state of trade in Africa today one cannot but ask oneself if Africa derived any socio-economic gain from slave trade and how far did the illicit trade impact on the social economic lives of Europeans, either positively or negatively? It is also imperative to carefully examine and ascertain if the quality of the goods and services that Africa is currently parading in the world market the very best she can offer? We also need to ask ourselves if the people we have put forward as leaders and negotiators are the best we can offer.
Africa is evidently holding on to the ‘short end of the stick’, as regards international trade, she deserves and can get much more than she is getting in exchange for her goods and services if only she can brace up and get sensible in the way she trades with the rest of the world.
Just like yesterday, IWA is five and as team leader I can confidently say that we are better prepared to face the next five years, having seen the good, the bad and the ugly sides of the publishing world in Africa, particularly in Nigeria where we are situated. As part of our plans to commemorate the fifth anniversary and in fulfillment of our commitment to you to always deliver good value for the money you invest in purchasing IWA, we had planned a flag off of another value adding product from our stable which we have tagged African Home Front Forum (AHFF), at the close of 2013 but have had to rescheduled the flag off to the beginning of the second quarter of 2014. We are also rebranding the tourism segment of IWA to be manned by a very experienced editor, Mr. Tayo Adelaja as well as also bringing on board an interesting contributor in the person of Laila St. Matthew – Daniel.
2013 was certainly an eventful year, but to my mind the most remarkable of the things that happen was the death and burial of “Madiba”, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, who because of the sacrificial life that he lived was probably one of the most celebrated Africans that ever lived, thus we are featuring some of his most popular quotes while on earth as well as some snap shots of some of the celebrities that attended his burial in this edition. On the cover page we decided to beam our search light on how Africa has continued to allow very careless poaching of elephants in her savannahs and forests such that they have become graveyards rather than the sanctuaries that they use to be for elephants. The release of this edition into the market is also likely to be to be slightly late because I attended the Calabar Festival and I am so glad to report that the government and people of Cross River state Nigeria have kept fate with what is today regarded as the biggest street party in Africa.
I will like to use this auspicious time to thank our ardent readers and customers for their unflinching support for IWA in the past five years for without you there won’t be us, so we thank you. I pray that GOD will continue to bless your various businesses. I will also wish you compliment of the season and may the New Year bring lots of goodness into our different homes. Salute!

SWEET MOTHER

HUMAN BEINGS are distinguished by one appellation or the other. It becomes more interesting such that with maturity comes more appellations. For instance one can be a child and at the same time a father and as well as a husband. The most important thing to note is that all these appellations come with their attendant responsibilities.
Perhaps the importance of ‘responsibility’ informed the perspective of my people – the Yorubas, from the western part of Nigeria, in customarily referring to an offspring who has continued to behave in a manner that is not in consonance with the norm as being an ‘omolasan’- literarily, a worthless child! Someone unworthy of the appellation, ‘offspring’. You are also likely to hear my kinsmen say about a person that is generally cantankerous, ‘Ko n se eniyan’, which literarily means he or she does not deserve to be referred to as a human being. And in the case of a person married to a woman that is ill-mannered, they will simply tell him ‘oo ti ni Iyawo’ literarily meaning ‘you do not have a wife yet’, because as far as they are concerned, a wife who acts in a manner unbecoming should not be considered as a wife. This will also apply to a husband whose ways are inconsistent with the responsibilities required of that role.
I attended a wedding ceremony recently and I was having so much fun until the young comedian who compered the ceremony, jokingly said that the part of the evergreen Nico Mbaga’s song, ‘sweet mother’, that says, the mother will not sleep or eat if the child does not eat, was no longer applicable to today’s mothers. Whilst his pun was accompanied by laughter from people around me, it caused me to reflect, albeit with trepidation and sadness on whether the mothers of today cared less than those of yore. Surely this was no joking matter!
As such, after the ceremony, I decided to take a closer look at today’s mothers and the fact that it appeared, to my dismay, that I could identify some who appeared more preoccupied with themselves and generally with other things than they are with their children. I even became more worried when my enquiries elicited a peculiar response from a lady who asked me why I thought the woman is/was better positioned to take care of the child than the man. Is this a general supposition or simply an isolated stand point?
In any event, I am humbled by the extraordinary bond that exists between the mother and child, right from when Gestation occurs in the woman’s uterus from conception until the fetus (assuming it is carried to term) is sufficiently developed to be born. Usually, once the baby is born, the mother produces milk via the lactation process. The mother’s breast milk is the source of anti-bodies for the infant’s immune system and commonly the sole source of nutrition for the child for a while. With this nature of bonding, should there be any dispute about the important role that the womenfolk play in the development of the child and by implication, the human race?

THANKSGIVING DAY!

NELSON ROLIHLAHLA MANDELA was born on the 18th of July,1918, so in a couple of weeks, ‘Madiba’, fondly referred to as the father of the South African nation will be ninety five years old. Like most people in his age bracket, his health has not been in the best of state. His condition however deteriorated recently which has seen him, in and out of the hospital to the extent that he has now been confined to intensive care at the Medi-Clinic Heart Hospital in Pretoria, South Africa, for the past few weeks. As to be expected, news peddlers all over the world are trying to take advantage of the situation, churning out all sorts of news, most of which are not very pleasant and as such may have become disturbing to his family, who are obviously dealing with so much pain over the state of the legend himself who also happens to be a husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, etc.
My people always say that the bigger one’s head is, the more the head aches, so I am not really surprised, the world is literarily standing still for one of the greatest Africans living today and probably Africa’s most illustrious son. I agree that there is no way I can feel the exact pains of the family because I am not family, but I am an African who loves and admires this man who did not just say- “For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others”, but has also lived these words. In my opinion it’s time to take a cue from one of ‘Madiba’s books; ‘My long Walk to Freedom’ which says: “I am fundamentally an optimist. Whether that comes from nature or nurture, I cannot say. Part of being optimistic is keeping one’s head pointed toward the sun, one’s feet moving forward. There were many dark moments when my faith in humanity was sorely tested, but I would not and could not give myself up to despair. That way lays defeat and death.”
I see today as ‘Thanksgiving Day’, with the world collectively acknowledging that my hero has fulfilled his destiny. ‘Thanksgiving Day’, by definition is a day set apart for giving thanks; however those who are able to rejoice the most on ‘Thanksgiving Day’ are those who, in spite of all the odds are able to reap bountifully. Success usually does not come on a platter of gold; it’s only the fittest that survives in today’s world. Nonetheless, ‘Madiba’, in another quote of his, emphasizing the fact that success is possible for all, said that “It always seems impossible until it’s done”,
A lot of African Leaders have lived and died but none, and I stand to be corrected, has ever received this kind of global attention, accolades and empathy that this great African commands.
I am not sure that ‘Madiba’ himself bargained for this kind of over whelming recognition for the contributions he has made to the freedom of his people, he said, and I believe; “I have walked that long road to freedom. I have tried not to falter; I have made missteps along the way. But I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have come. But I can only rest for a moment, for with freedom come responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not ended.”
I, like most people in the world, send my prayers and heartfelt best wishes to ‘Madiba’, his immediate family, friends, government and the entire people of South Africa at this sober time and want them to really see that it’s time for Thanksgiving!

MY CONDITIONAL LOVE

The love story of Romeo and Juliet, particularly the tragic death, is undoubtedly very popular but I dare say that most people do not know or ever address their minds to the fact that the death of the two lovers actually brought about the abrupt end to the long drown enmity between their two families- the Verona’s and the Montague’s.
Since love is said to come without limits and is expected to exist in highly committed relationships; between mother and child, family members, fraternities, comrades in arms, etc, then what existed between Romeo and Juliet can easily be termed ‘unconditional love’, at least for the little time it lasted.
The love that exists between parents and their children appears to rank most significant and arguably the strongest of relationships. As such, the term, ‘unconditional’ will be most apt in describing the love shared; at least when the children are in their infancy. The truth is, as the child grows up, the love of the parents and its manifestation will depend largely on the active participation of both the parents and the child. My people will say that it is the child that shows the willingness to be carried by stretching out his or her hands that will be carried.
I have continued to critically consider what we all refer to as ‘love’ and I have come to the conclusion that people always love for one reason or the other, whether the reason is obvious or not. In comparison to other couples who can boast of decades of their formal union, I probably do not have enough experience in marriage but with humility and a heart full of thanks, I can say that my marriage has worked so far. The truth is, long before I got married to my wife, Oluwaremilekun Adegoke Adeyemo, it was clear to my mind that I needed to be true to myself; ‘love is not cheap’. If I want her to love me, I must be ready to love her. It is for this reason that I have also continued to plead with her to help me to love her. As it will be foolhardy for me to think that she will continue to love me even if I refuse to fulfill my own part of the deal. In the same manner it will be difficult for me to really love her if she refuses to fulfill her part of the deal.
The African Union (AU) as in the case of the earlier institution known as the Organization of African Union (OAU) was formed to promote continental peace, unity, and cooperation. Although the Organization has over the years helped to strengthen ties among African nations and settle disputes, it is still faced with many problems that have undermined its ability to achieve its goals. In the same manner, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), as founded in 1975 to encourage economic, social, and cultural development in West Africa has also continued to battle with its countless challenges. Apart from these two organizations there other organizations, treaties and agreement that Africans have gone into to foster a united Africa but Africa it is not yet to unite. Maybe one of the things we need to come to terms with is the fact that GOD, for reasons best known to Him decided to spread the “milk and honey” in Africa across the continent. Simply put we need each other to survive and we cannot just walk across or over our neigbours to get what we want. Love cannot be taken for granted! Neighbours or relatives will not just love themselves just because they are neighbours or relatives. For us to have peace and development in Africa, I recommend my kind of love – ‘conditional love’. All hands must be on the deck for we all must continue to work very hard at integrating the continent from all fronts in order for all of us to bountifully reap from the harvest of the land.

THE VILLAGE BANK; SMALL BUT BIG

I have observed that people generally do not have any qualms with oppressing others with their achievements. Perhaps man derives pleasure in flaunting his strength, influence or advantages, no matter how small. No wonder man has justified his conquest nature in this regard with the saying “if you have got it, flaunt it’’

Most people started from humble beginnings even though a few people, due to a number of factors or privileges, did not have to start from humble beginnings like others. Yet, judging by the way we all react to small things, it seems that there is something wrong with being small or why is a small beginning often treated with contempt? After all, some of the most widely celebrated global brands today were not polished diamonds when they started; examples of such are Microsoft, Google, Facebook, etc. The list is endless.

No matter how urbanized we may have become, there is need to reminisce on our roots as we all owe our origins to one rural community or the other. The rural setting which ordinarily prides on shared values, less pollution, opportunity for communal farming, sense of peace and security (vigilance group) is now being turned into congested cities with their attendant problems.

There are villages everywhere, even in the mega cities. The truth is, the hamlet can easily become a village, in the same vain a village can become a town, likewise a town becoming a city, they are all directly connected to one another. I have lived in Africa all my life and travelled round the continent considerably, and what stands out more in all the areas we live in whether in the villages or cities, are the cons of urbanization– insecurity, pollutions, criminality, corruption and mindless killings.

Something very fundamental happened in my life in 2006 just about the time we were starting out with IWA. A Bangladeshi banker and professor of Economics, Mohammad Yunus, was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize for his effort to create economic and social development at the grassroots – the poor. And for this feat, I was motivated to read his profile. It was reported that in 1976, having visited the poorest households in the village of Jobra near Chittagong University, where he was head of the Economics department, Yunus discovered that very small loans could make a disproportionate difference to poor persons. Jobra women, who were making bamboo furniture, could not breakeven because they usually expended all their profits on loan repayment to the moneylenders (usurers). The don actually advanced out his first loan of about 27 dollars to 42 women from his personal savings. The women were then able to make their first net profit of about a quarter of a dollar each. Yunus was able to later secure a loan from a government-owned bank — Janata Bank — to increase the loan facilities to the poor in December 1976. The institution continued to operate by securing loans from other banks for its projects. By 1982, the bank had a workforce of 28,000 and on October 1, 1983, the project blossom into what became– the Grameen Bank (meaning a Village Bank) with the sole mandate of giving loans to the poor.

STAND UP, DON’T STAY DOWN

Arnold Toynbee, English historian and historical philosopher, (1889-1975), once said that “Civilization is a movement, not a condition; it is a voyage, not a harbor”, this wise saying further confirms the fact that, there will always be changes in our world but the crux of the matter is, we all owe the responsibilities to determine the kind of change we want. In the 1400s while Europe was still in the diseased Dark Ages China flourished as one of the world’s leading civilizations with advanced technology and expansive naval exploration. The Ming Dynasty’s capital city of Nanjing was the largest in the world, with the world’s longest city wall, able to house 3,000 soldiers. Yet the centralized, monolithic Chinese civilization lacked the competitive decentralization of Europe. From 1500 Europe’s autonomous cities, nations, and corporations increased exploration and colonization for money and power, while at the same time China closed itself off in a fragile bubble.

The Chinese soon realized their folly and since 1978, they began to make major reforms to their economy and today in 2012, the American economy that is generally regarded as the worlds’ biggest was recently bailed out of financial woods by China, without a doubt, China is back as super powers. Survive is simply for the fittest, a very good boxer could be knocked down in the first round and come back into the match to win the bout.. A proverb in my place when translated literarily says that when someone is been pursued by a masquerade, the person should endure and keep running because as he or she is getting tired so is the masquerade pursing is also getting tired, in a little the chase and race will be over.

So if the Chinese could bounce back why can’t Africa? We also at some point were world leaders. Constantin Francois de Chassebceuf, comte de Volney, who is simply known as C.F. Volney, was a French philosopher, historian, orientalist and politician. In late 1782 he embarked on a voyage to the East and reached Ottoman Egypt where he spent nearly seven months. Thereafter, he lived for nearly two years in Greater Syria in what is today Lebanon and Israel/Palestine in order to learn Arabic. He returned to France in 1785 where he spent the next two years compiling his notes and writing on his Voyage en Egypte et en Syrie, which was published in 1787, and Considérations sur la guerre des Turcs et de la Russie in 1788. I had the privilege of browsing through these works recently and stumbled at a statement that I consider very intriguing and a food for thought; “And this race of Blacks who nowadays are slaves and the objects of our scorn is the very one to which we owe our arts, our sciences and even the use of spoken word, and finally recollect that it is in the midst of the people claiming to be the greatest influence of liberty and humanity that the most barbarous of enslavement has been sanctioned, and the question raised whether Black men have brains of the same quality as those of white men”. However, to my mind, from our general disposition we seem to be content with all the patronizing encouragements that our economies are growing when in the reality if we take ‘the bulls by the horns’, Africa could return as world leaders once again. Until recently I thought I was the person most informed musically in our home but going by my recent discussions with my children it seem to me that I need to review and upgrade my knowledge of music or I may soon lose my coveted job as the family’s music consultant to one of the kids.