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Ethiopian Wins Airline of the Year Award, Orders 777 Freighters

By Abdi Ali and eTurboNews Published November 16, 2017 Ethiopian Airlines has, for the sixth consecutive year in a row, won Airline of the Year Award. Ethiopian won the award during the 49th Annual General Assembly of the African Airlines Association (AFRAA) in the Rwandan capital, Kigali, on November 13, 2017. The aims of the AFRAA awards are to recognise excellence in service delivery, innovation and competitiveness in airlines, individuals and service providers in the African aviation industry. RELATED:Five Nominated for BBC African Footballer of the Year 2017  “As a truly indigenous and home-grown Pan- African airline owned, managed and operated by Africans,” says Tewolde GebreMariam, Group Chief Executive Officer of Ethiopian Airlines, “we are highly honoured to receive this recognition by fellow sisterly airlines in the continent for the 6th consecutive year. I would like to thank AFRAA and sisterly airlines in the continent for recognising our efforts in nurturing cooperation with other sisterly African Airlines and in availing efficient passenger and cargo networks within, to and from the continent, while registering sound financial performance and record profit in 2016.” Saying Africa is at the heart of Ethiopian Airlines’ “15 year fast, profitable and sustainable growth strategic roadmap, ‘Vision 2025’, GebreMariam says the airline has already surpassed all its goals in passenger number, cargo uplift, fleet size, revenue, profitability and customer service seven years into its Vision 2025 strategy RELATED:Important Africa-Related Artistic Activities Around the World GebreMariam says Ethiopian currently serves “55 African cities, the largest network in the continent, connecting them with each other and to more than 100 international destinations in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and the Americas using state of the art aircraft offering superior on-board aircraft such as the B787s and A350s.” Terming air transport an “essential and critical public service and a key …

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British Charity Sends Books to Africa’s Oldest Modern Republic

Liberia lags behind most other African countries in nearly all education statistics.

By Khalifa Hemed Published November 3, 2017 A British book-donation and library-development charity has donated thousands of new book to Liberia, Africa’s oldest modern republic. Book Aid International says the more than 23000 books donated by UK publishers are now on their way to Liberia. The books will be used to support education across the country and enrich the lives of thousands of readers. Originally home to freed African slaves from United States of America, Liberia was devastated by two periods of civil war that raged from 1990 to 1997 and again from 1999 to 2003, leaving an estimated 250000 people dead and 80% of schools destroyed or damaged and most of the country’s teachers fled. RELATED:Lola Kenya Screen Turns Interns into Professionals Liberia’s recovery was further impacted by the Ebola outbreak in 2014 in which 4809 people lost their lives. More than 4400 schools were closed for six months during the epidemic leaving 1.5 million children without access to education. Today, Liberia lags behind most other African countries in nearly all education statistics. “One of the major problems in our Liberian schools is lack of books and this shipment from Book Aid International will really help in meeting that need,” says Michel Weah from the WE-CARE Foundation through which the books have been donated. “Trained teachers and books readily available to the students create an environment where learning is taking place. These will be part of the effort to fill the chronic need for current books that is endemic at all levels of the Liberian school system.” RELATED:Charity Ships 11000 Books to Somalia On her part, Alison Tweed, Book Aid International’s Chief Executive Officer, says, “The need in Liberia is great and we are very pleased to be able to provide thousands of brand new books to support Liberian …

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Agriculture Initiative to Guarantee Youth Employment and Food Security

Dr Akinwimi Adesina says “ENABLE Youth is about investing in small agribusinesses today so that they can grow into large enterprises tomorrow.”

By Irene Gaitirira Published October 25, 2017 Africa’s next billionaires are going to come from agriculture. The African Development Bank (AfDB) has come up with an initiative called Empowering Novel Agri-Business-Led Employment (ENABLE) Youth programme through which it plans to train 10000 agriculture entrepreneurs (agripreneurs) in African countries, launching at least 300000 enterprises and creating 1.5 million jobs over the next five years. “By empowering youth at each stage of the agribusiness value chain, we enable them to establish viable and profitable agribusinesses, jobs and better incomes for themselves and their communities,” says Dr Akinwumi Adesina, President of AfDB and winner of the World Food Prize 2017. He explains that attracting a new cadre of young, energetic and talented agripreneurs from Africa’s current 420 million youth aged 15-35 to drive the adoption of new technologies throughout the value chain, raise productivity and meet rising food demands is an urgent priority. RELATED:Nairobi’s Premier Critical Movie Platform Celebrates Youth Creativity Studies indicate that as African economies transform, there are expanding opportunities for youth employment and entrepreneurship throughout high-potential value chains – literally from lab to fork – where consumer demand is increasing, including horticulture, dairy, oilseeds, poultry and aquaculture. In addition, there are huge opportunities for engaging African youth in services and logistical sectors in key off-farm activities such as transportation, packaging, ICT and other technology development and light infrastructure – that add value to on-farm productivity and efficiency, in ways that could not envisioned before. The idea of connecting farms to markets, particularly rising urban and regional markets, is where Africa needs to plug in this bulging youth population, Dr Adesina says. RELATED:Pay TV Company Marks 20 Years With Investment in Local Productions Farming, Adesina says, shall be made ‘cool’ by providing young Africans with new business opportunities, modern and practical …

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How to Develop African Animated TV Series for Global Distribution

Fighting rich and powerful opponents with limited resources means the girls will have to be smart and resourceful in a show in which taking down the bad guys and turning in your homework is all in a day’s work forMama K's Super 4 !

By Iminza Keboge Published October 19, 2017 Animators and storytellers across Africa are set to hear first-hand what it takes to develop African TV series for worldwide distribution. During a webinar streamed on YouTube Live, Triggerfish Animation Studios of South Africa shall on November 4, 2017 share insights from two years of developing TV series through The Story Lab that, to date, has led to two worldwide distribution deals for series set and made in Africa. “If you have ever thought about bringing your own characters to life as an animated TV series, this webinar is for you,” says Stuart Forrest, Chief Executive Officer of Triggerfish that ran a search for animation writers throughout the African continent in 2015 that attracted 1378 projects from 30 countries across Africa, with eight chosen to be taken into full development. RELATED:Startup Focuses on Building the Largest African Comics, Cartoons, Gaming and Movie Database At the webinar, Triggerfish will discuss what made those eight projects stand out and also share some of the feedback they’ve received from international distributors. Triggerfish has in September 2017 announced its partnership with leading children’s entertainment specialist, CAKE, to co-produce Mama K’s Super 4, one of its comedy action series. Aimed at 6-11-year olds, Mama K’s Super 4 is set in the Zambian capital, Lusaka, where four teenage girls are recruited by former secret agent Mama K to help her save the world. Fighting rich and powerful opponents with limited resources means the girls will have to be smart and resourceful in a show in which taking down the bad guys and turning in your homework is all in a day’s work! RELATED:Australian Book Celebrates Lola Kenya Screen At the webinar, Zambian creator Malenga Mulendema and her Cameroon-born character designer, Malcolm Wope, will discuss Mama K’s Super 4 as …

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Important Africa-Related Artistic Activities Around the World

Swahili Fashion Week provides a platform for fashion and accessory designers from Swahili speaking countries and beyond to showcase their talent, market their creativity and network with clients and international fashion industry.

By Irene Gaitirira Published October 10, 2017 The seventh edition of Film Africa (FA) takes place in London, Britain, October 27-November 5, 2017. Presented by the Royal African Society (RAS) at the British Film Institute, FA shall open with South African director John Trengove’s debut feature, INEXEBA (The Wound), that is described as a bold exploration of sexuality, masculinity and cultural values in modern-day South Africa. INEXEBA, that has sparked controversy and debate across the country, is also South Africa’s official entry to the 2018 Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film. Lead actor and award-winning musician Nakhane who is reputed to be one of the country’s most exciting new talents will be in attendance for a post-screening discussion, which will be followed by an exclusive after party. Nakhane will also perform live for the first time in the UK at the Rich Mix on October 29. RELATED:Why Africa Should Adopt Intelligent Transport Infrastructure RAS says FOREIGN BODY, Tunisian director Raja Amari’s audacious and visceral fourth feature movie, shall be shown during the closing ceremony of FA. “The film boasts a terrific cast, including Sarra Hannachi (Child of the Sun) as Samia and Hiam Abbass (The Lemon Tree) as Leila. The screening will be preceded by the public announcement of the winners of the Film Africa 2017 Audience Award for Best Feature Film and the Baobab Award for Best Short Film, which will also be screened. We hope director Raja Amari will also be in attendance for a post-screening Q&A,” RAS says. Coming up at the National Gallery Singapore on November 10-12, 2017 is the Annual Conference of the International Committee for Museums and Collections of Modern Art (CIMAM) that shall look at The Roles and Responsibilities of Museums in Civil Society. RELATED:Competitive Gaming Comes to East Africa Saying its “conference …

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Obstacles to New Education System

Wilson Sossion, Secretary-General of Kenya Union of Teachers and Nominated Member of Parliament

By Khalifa Hemed Published October 8, 2017 As the pilot phase of Kenya‘s new education system enters its final stage ahead of its introduction in pre- and lower primary school across the East African country in January 2018, players in the education sector caution against its hurried implementation. Wilson Sossion,Secretary General of Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT), describes the introduction of the 2-6-3-3-3 curriculum as ‘a hurried process without adequate preparations and consultations with key players’. Warning against the system being influenced by what he terms as ‘politics’, the trade unionist-cum Nominated Member of Parliament, argues that though it is teachers who are supposed to instruct and examine learners, they do not know what is happening as only a handful officers of the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) and the Ministry of Education push through the agenda for the new system. RELATED:Do Standardised Exams Enhance Learning? Urging the government to involve external evaluators in assessment of the new curriculum before the official roll out, Sossion said “The new curriculum needs to be piloted in January [2018] for a whole year and then be reviewed. Once teething problems have been identified and rectified, the earliest national roll-out should be in January 2019. We need a needs assessment, a proper communication strategy, policy regulation (matter not brought before Parliament), curriculum framework and syllabus designed and content developed.” Global standards, Sossion contends, require external evaluation of any new curriculum to provide informed implementation. RELATED:Focus on Animation Reveals Wanting Film Training The pilot programme of the new system that shall be based on continuous assessment tests instead of one-off national examinations, commenced in 470 schools across Kenya in May 2017. Education Minister Fred Matiang’i said the pilot of the system that is categorised into Early Years Education (Nursery-Grade 3), Middle School Education (Grades …

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Focus on Animation Reveals Wanting Film Training

Movie lovers during the 101st Lola Kenya Screen film forum at Gothe-Insitut, Nairobi, on 25.09.17.

By Dorcas Wanjau Published September 29, 2017 When Nairobi’s premier critical movie gathering convened for the 101st session on September 25, 2017, its focus was on animation but it ended up exposing the shame that masquerades as university training of moviemakers in Kenya. Wilfred Ngugi, whose two short animated movies—JOEL’S WORLD and POLITIKHO MANYALIST—were screened and discussed during the bi-monthly Lola Kenya Screen film forum (LKSff) at Goethe-Institut in Nairobi, said he had learnt animation not from the four years he had spent studying theatre arts and film technology at Kenyatta University, but from what he termed as self-training at ‘YouTube University’. As if taking cue from Ngugi, Kibui Kavita, Gatehi Mwaniki and Arnold Asin—the moviemaking communication students at Daystar University whose GHOST PUNCHERS live action movie was also screened and discussed, said they had largely taught themselves the craft of making moving images from their own shared love for comics and computer games. Their film, GHOST PUNCHERS, is the tale of a man who, rather than run from ghosts, opts to fight them with punches and kicks. RELATED:Why Lola Kenya Children’s Screen Exists! Participants in the LKSff that brings together players in the motion pictures of eastern Africa to critically appreciate movies with a view to encouraging filmmakers to aim for higher production values, expressed concern that a student should not have to waste four years and a tonne of money in an institution of higher learning studying what is described as filmmaking only to come out empty-handed and then have to teach themselves the craft online. RELATED:Mass Media Student Meets International Mentors and Touches Camera for the First Time Screened alongside Ngugi’s animation for inspiration and not discussion were Adede Hawi, Samora Oundo and Karama Ogova’s LITTLE KNOWLEDGE IS DANGEROUS that looks at calamities brought about by ignorance, Kwame …

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Strategy for Ending Cholera by 2030 Launched

DFID Head Pete Vowles speaking during day one of Kenya Trade Week. UKinKenya

By Iminza Keboge Published September 28, 2017 Efforts to combat cholera that affect 2.9 million people each year across 40 countries has been launched. While clean drinking water and advanced sanitation systems have made Europe and North America cholera-free for decades, more than 2 billion people, most of them in Africa, remain without access to safe water and sanitation. RELATED:How I Made My First Film World Health Organisation (WHO), through an initiative called Global Task Force on Cholera Control (GTFCC), has brought together more than 50 organisations to intensify efforts and strengthen partnerships to reduce death from cholera by 90% by 2030. GTFCC, that will be expected to issue a Declaration to Ending Cholera, focuses on: a multisectoral approach to control cholera in hotspots in endemic countries – with a focus on improving water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services early detection and response to contain outbreaks at an early stage – including strengthened disease surveillance systems, cholera vaccination campaigns and improved case management, and an effective mechanism of coordination for technical support, resource mobilization and partnership at local and global level But, as demonstrated in Kenya, cholera does not only affect the poorest and most vulnerable segment of the population; a cholera outbreak that affected 146 people attending a wedding party at an up-market Karen estate and health and scientific conference at a 5-star hotel and a further 136 attending an international trade fair in the central business district of the capital, Nairobi, in June and July 2017, respectively, caught news headlines around the world. RELATED:Kenyans Pay Tribute to Country Music Star Pundits argued that ‘Public Health’ gets on the agenda of the Kenyan state only when its cabinet ministers and permanent secretaries get cholera.Then, after a series of denial and cover up incidents, the state remembers that Chapter 242 …

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Competitive Gaming Comes to East Africa

Nairobi Comic Convention (Naiccon) was held July 29-30, 2017 in Sarit Centre, Westlands, Nairobi, Kenya.

By Liquid Telecom Published September 23, 2017 An international gaming tournament held in Kenya has revealed pent-up demand from a new generation of African gamers. But the rise of competitive gaming in the region hinges on the rollout of more advanced network infrastructure. On the last weekend of July 2017 at the Sarit Centre in Nairobi, Kenya, more than 3000 comic book, gaming, animation and movie fans descended upon the Nairobi Comic Convention (Naiccon) for two days of creative workshops, cosplay competitions and gaming tournaments. Now in its fourth year, Naiccon is only going from strength-to-strength. This year, however, it was competitive gaming that stole the limelight as the event hosted the region’s first ever international multiplayer gaming tournament. The tournament saw a total of 16 PC and console gaming teams from Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda battle it out for Sh150,000 ($1,500) in cash prizes in front of enthusiastic audiences. Such was their dedication to the tournament that many gamers – all of different age and ability – arrived at 9:00 AM and played straight through the night until 7:00 PM the following day when the event closed. This is just the beginning for gaming in Africa, which is yet to truly make its mark across on the region. RELATED:How to Secure That Internship in Media & Information! Organised, competitive computer gaming, known as eSports, is emerging as a major spectator sport globally, and can be staged in front of millions of online viewers. In 2016, eSports generated £400 million in global revenue, with a global audience of approximately 320 million people. By 2020, those figures are expected to almost double to £1 billion in revenues and a global audience of 600 million, according to analyst firm Newzoo. In South Korea, eSports has become so ingrained in society that professional …

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Here is How to Get Value Out of the Arts

As the title suggests, this book by communication specialist Ogova Ondego guides you on how to successfully write on literally any subject under the sun.

By Victor Juma Published August 8, 2017 Are you looking for where to get skills in critical thinking, analysis and effective communication? Look no further than How To Write On 1001 Subjects! manual for creative writers, critics and journalists. As the title suggests, this book by communication specialist Ogova Ondego guides you on how to think logically and analytically in order to successfully write on literally any subject under the sun. The first chapter introduces you to what writing is and all that it entails. You are informed about the benefits of writing and encouraged to read widely and intensively. Besides advising you to be honest, you are also introduced to the figures of speech that could flavor your writing. Elements like metaphors, hyperbole, dramatic irony and Sarcasm among many others are defined and adequately explained with example.  RELATED:Here’s How to Write on 1001 Subjects! Top Rated 3D Pens The second chapter introduces you to cultural journalism, arts criticism, mass media, news and interviewing skills. The book explains that criticism, that it also refers to as critical appreciation, is meant to increase understanding of and guide artists in pushing boundaries in their quest for creative excellence. The chapter also raises awareness about the role of mass media which includes providing information, education, entertainment and persuasion. It is also explained that news is anything that feeds one’s curiosity and for it to be news it has to be clear, novel, true and accurate. The third chapter dwells on Culture and challenges you to have knowledge of your cultural history. The book stresses that if people are not educated into their place in human history, they become powerless and vulnerable to strange beliefs. The approaches to appreciating creativity and the analysis of Literature, Art and Music are also discussed here. It is made …

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