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HUMAN AND NATURAL RESOURCES

Rwanda, so Interesting

Interesting Places to Visit in Rwanda When we think Rwanda, most times the first word to come to mind is a dark period in the country’s history. However, there’s more to see in this city than its dark history. Let’s take a look at some interesting places you should visit in Rwanda and why this East African city should be on your travel list. 1.VOLCANOS NATIONAL PARK This location is a top favorite among tourists. It is a conservation area located in North-western Rwanda. Fun things you can do at this park include Gorilla trekking or gorilla safaris. This conservation houses a large number of mountain gorillas, golden monkeys, a variety of birds, elephants, bushbucks, reptiles etc. It is a complete safari experience and has absolutely breath-taking scenery with hills and lush grass adding to the distinct bright natural colors in its surroundings. 2.LAKE KIVU Lake Kivu is also known as the exploding lake and is located at the Congo-Rwandan border. It is described as one of the strangest lakes in Africa. Beneath lake kivu are hot springs that feed hot water, carbon dioxide and methane into the bottom of the lake. Scientists have dubbed it a disaster waiting to happen if for any reason the gas beneath the water is ignited. However, it is believed that if the gas is harnessed, it would be a great source of energy. Away from science, lake kivu is beautiful! It is 722 feet deep and contains numerous islands.   3. KIGALI GENOCIDE MEMORIAL This memorial was built to honor the about 250,000 people buried there in mass graves after being butchered by the Interhamwe army during the Rwandan genocide which lasted for 100days. Walking through the premises you are led on a journey to understand the events of that war and how the world watched as the genocide unfolded. It is a powerful and emotional experience as you are exposed to personal details of the individuals and children who were killed and the manner they died. The memorial is located in the northern Kisozi district of the capital. 4.KING’S PALACE MUSEUM Also known as the Royal palace of Nyanza, this museum takes you on a journey to understand the lifestyle of the Rwandan people and Rwandan royalty before the Rwandan kingdom was colonized. Set in a thatched dome replica of a king’s palace in the 15th century, the museum houses relics of the nation’s kings. The star attraction is the sacred cows known as inyambo. These cows have very large horns and are quite massive. All day, the traditional singers sing softly to the cows in amazing poetry which lulls the cows into a mellow state. This is a unique ritual of the Rwanda people. AKAGERA NATIONAL PARK If you would like to catch a glimpse of zebras, hippos, Nile crocodiles, elephants and giraffes, the Akagera national park is your best spot in Rwanda. You can have a drive through the beautiful landscape and spot the animals roaming in their natural habitat. If you are lucky, you may see a Lion or a Rhino.

28 Apr 2021
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HUMAN AND NATURAL RESOURCES

Fascinating Architectural structures in Africa

Africa is filled with several amazing architectural structures. The East-gate centre in Zimbabwe self-ventilates on a natural cooling system. The Zeitz Mocca is the largest museum of contemporary art. The Clay Palace of Ghardaia is located in Algeria and was built with clay and stone. The Iskcon Gaborone boasts of delicate colors. The Big Pineapple is the world's largest pineapple and sits in South Africa. The Reunification Monument in Cameroon stands in memory of the unification of French and British colonies. Nigeria's National theatre constructed during the military rulership is also a sight you'd want to see..St. Paul's Cathedral in Cote d’Ivoire is world famous with a capacity of up to 5000 people! And Finally, the Church of St. George located in Lalibela in Ethiopia and is over 2000years old. Are you visiting the African continent for the first time? or you have always been here and you’re looking for amazing sites to see or even places to visit that have amazing architectural structures to behold then this article will take you on a virtual tour that will leave you wanting more. Coming to the continent of Africa, many would agree with the fact that the continent exemplifies nature’s true power.   The first architectural structure to look at is:   EASTGATE CENTRE: This awesome structure is located in the city of Harare, Zimbabwe, designed by a Zimbabwean architect called Mick Pearce, this structure was designed to self-ventilate and be cooled by the means and help of nature. This structure is amazingly the very first building in the world with so much sophistication to run on a natural cooling system. The structure was launched in 1996.   ZEITZ MOCAA: The full meaning of Zeitz MOCAA is Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa. Consider the architectural design of this structure then let your mind wander to the fact that it is a museum. This structure is located in Cape Town, South Africa at the V&A Waterfront. Opened on September 22, 2017, Zeitz MOCAA prides itself as the largest museum of contemporary art in the universe.   CLAY PALACE OF GHARDAÏA: As Africa is known for many empires and royalties, this beauty was constructed in the tenth century by the Mozabite. As the name implies, the whole palace is built with clay and stone, the building is cool during the summer and warm in the winter. It is located in the Southern part of Algeria in the city of GhardaÏa.   ISKCON GABORONE: The awesome delicate colors of the Iskcon temple are a sight to behold, the saffron, white, and salmon pink give the Botswanan blue sky a super beautiful scene.   THE BIG PINEAPPLE: The world's largest pineapple sits in Bathurst, South Africa, the building keeps standing at 56 feet tall. The pineapple building is a testament to the sustainable production process of the Bathurst people, below the 56 feet tall pineapple building is a museum that shows the history and also a gift shop that opens from 9 am to 5 pm daily and sells a large number of pineapple consumables.   REUNIFICATION MONUMENT: Moving to the city of Yaounde in Cameroon, we have the Reunification Monument that was constructed in the 1970s to stand in memory of the coming together of the French and British colonies in Cameroon during the colonial era.   NATIONAL THEATRE:  Located in the city of Lagos, Nigeria is the National Theatre that is still considered as one of the most important architectural monuments in Nigeria. Looking like a military camp, with all thanks to the architect for his brilliance, the Theatre was constructed in the 1970s during the military rulership of Chief Olusegun Aremu Obasanjo.   PAUL’S CATHEDRAL: Sitting pretty in the city Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire is this famous cathedral. The Cathedral was designed by Aldo Spirito with a capacity of up to 5000 people! CHURCH OF ST GEORGE:   Over 2000 years ago, Ethiopia’s history was characterized by royalty, dynasties, and religion, and in the city of Lalibela lies the Church of St. George among other medieval churches that are been kept till today. If you are so interested in exploring Africa and its different attractions, this list gives you a few places where you can begin before considering all the other options out there for you.  

15 Jul 2021
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HUMAN AND NATURAL RESOURCES

The Untapped Strawberry Gold Mine

When the phrase "natural resources" is mentioned, people think of gold, diamonds, crude oil, etc. but it doesn't get any more natural than what we put in our bellies. The strawberry capital of Nigeria is Jos in Plateau State. Several Jos communities, including Chaha community in Jos South, have been farming strawberries for decades, planting in July and harvesting up to 20kg of strawberries from two plots per week in November. A Chaha farmer makes between N300, 000 and N1, 000,000 per season. The main challenge is the hours it takes to transport the strawberries by road and preserve it. When the phrase “natural resources” is mentioned the first things that usually come to mind are diamonds, gold, platinum, uranium, and of course, we can’t forget crude oil. However, resources dont get any more natural than what we put in our bellies. If all the crude, diamonds, gold, uranium, and other so-called “precious metals” disappeared today, life will still go on, people will adjust, but there is no adjusting to hunger. For decades so much focus has been put on solid, inedible minerals whose mining has caused damage to the earth’s surface, while the agricultural gold mine remains untapped. Here’s something most people are unaware of: strawberries are grown in Africa. In Nigeria, strawberry farming has been ongoing for decades. Many are unaware of this because fruits like strawberries are partial to a cool environment and since Africa is notorious for its hot climate, it is taken for granted that not all of Africa is hot. Some places are cold enough to experience snow regularly because they are thousands of meters above sea level.  In Nigeria, there may be a lot of heat but the closer one gets to the northern part of the country, the higher the land is. As a result, these areas are colder, making the production of strawberries very possible. The Strawberry Capital of Nigeria is the Jos Plateau in Plateau State.  A lot of communities in the Jos Plateau have been strawberry farmers for decades. One of these communities is Chaha Community located in Jos South Local Government Area in Plateau State. In Chaha, the land is extremely fertile even without the addition of fertilizers. The farmers have constructed a very effective irrigation system that allows all the farmlands in the community to access the water from the lake in the village through pipes that run from the lake directly to each farm. A large percentage of these Strawberry farmers are in their early twenties to mid-thirties. These are young men and women who could very easily have gone looking for white-collar jobs and missed out on the gold mine in their backyards. These farmers usually plant in July and harvest in November . Most times they could harvest up to 20kilograms of strawberries a week from two plots of farmland.  The strawberries are sold in kilograms, with one kilogram being sold for One Thousand Naira (N1000) or less when supply is high. They sell to traders from Abuja in bulk, and retail smaller amounts to roadside sellers making between Three Hundred Thousand and One Million Naira per season (N300,000 – N1,000,000). These strawberries could also be sold to grocery stores, market traders, companies that manufacture fruit juices, beverages, and jams, businesses that make smoothies and health drinks, bakeries, and more. Strawberry farming is not a bed of roses. The main challenge is transportation and preservation. Strawberries are stored in the same way they grow; they need to be kept cool and in spacious containers. Transportation of strawberries by road from the north to south of the country is not ideal, as the journey could sometimes take Sixteen (16) hours. Strawberries are sensitive fruits, they do not like stress at all! For this reason, Nigerian home-grown strawberries are enjoyed mainly by people in the northern region while those in the south have to settle for the store-bought stuff. For those who feel their university degrees have made them too sophisticated to get involved in farming, the CEO of Ashley Strawberry Farms is a strawberry farmer from Plateau State who studied International Relations, Global Ethics, and Human Values in the United Kingdom. Her resumé is likely more sophisticated than yours, so don’t bother with that excuse. For others whose issue is financial, you don’t need to start big, start small, and don’t be scared to partner with the right persons.  In the Rustiro District in Rwanda, a group of 449 farmers (men and women) pooled their resources together in 2017 to start a strawberry farm, with each farmer contributing Ten Thousand Rwandan Francs (RF10,000). Today, from the profits of their venture they have purchased more farms. Nigeria and Africa as a whole are blessed with good weather, fertile earth, and more importantly, a community that gives everyone a sense of belonging. So, take advantage of all the gold mines in your area, do your research, and enrich yourself.

02 Jul 2021
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HUMAN AND NATURAL RESOURCES

Africa Could Feed the World

Instead of treating agriculture like a dirty job that ends in the ranches, Africa would be doing a lot by incorporating effective Human resource management programs. Africa's rural zone has 60% of 1.166 billion people on the continent and over 90% of agricultural harvest depends on rainfall. There are 33 million domestic farms with up to 2 hectares in Africa. With HRM, here are eight things to help feed the world; rural scouting, social media marketing, employment, planning, budgeting, employee training encouragement, communication, and resolving conflict. Blessed with a perfect blend of rainfall, sunshine, and a hardworking population, Africa can feed the world! As cliché as it sounds, Africa innately depends on agriculture. Blessed with a perfect blend of rainfall,  sunshine, and a hardworking population, we should be able to feed the world but something is missing; efficient human resource management (HRM) in the agricultural sector. Our drift as a nation is to push food production to beat the world's standard, especially in a pandemic crisis. Before we dive into our plan let’s look at some facts, right? Africa’s rural zone has 60% of 1.166 billion people on the continent and over 90% of agricultural harvest depends on rainfall. Lastly, Africa has 33 million domestic farms with up to 2 hectares. The plan still boils down to using HRM as a core to implore employees to divide labor and make the African economy profitable. On that note, here are eight things HRM can do to help feed the world! Rural Scouting: As 60% of the African population are rural and do not have phones nor social media, agencies should take the marketing team into villages to scout for unemployed youths and adults fit for the role.   Social Media Marketing: We need more contemporary marketing strategies such as the use of social media, flyers, advertisements, etc. Both students in Agricultural Universities, expert workers, and prospective workers in that field could be automatically enrolled into a forum for discussions, evaluations, teamwork, and challenges that would push them as a team to find business ideas for the common goal of Africa's economy. HR Managers could use LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to sell their company as well as reach out to people for job openings.   Employment: Recruitment agencies on the other hand could observe and scout for employees from prospective platforms and pick individuals that match their requirements.   Planning: Agricultural firms need to map out their how, when, and why they are producing; where would we graze our animals, what plantation is best for this crop, how much can we produce, how can we maximize our output, how do we preserve and ship, etc. The demographic, target market, capital, produce, production and preservation need to be checked accurately.    Budgeting: This one needs strategy and devotion. Capital, salary, distribution, miscellaneous, etc. are all reasonable budget expenses to consider for managing human resources.   Employee Training: This is the most crucial aspect of management. Employees should be trained on maximum returns individually. There is an everchanging and rapid advancement of tools and technologies used for production. There is also science and biology involved. Employees should be trained and up-to-date in applying modern-day education and techniques for maximum profit and competition. The primary focus should not only be on slow learners, rural workers, or old people; everyone must be constantly trained and updated in line with the firm's principles of work.   Encouragement: Firms should do well to encourage workers especially those from the rural areas as they are the most disadvantaged when it comes to not knowing the worth of their service or goods because of their previous environmental lifestyle and abundance in produce. It is best to give incentives and bonuses, personal tools, and comfort due to the nature of their jobs.   Communication and Resolving Conflict: The HR department must communicate with the employees and be ready to trash out conflicts erupting before they slow down or disrupt the company. The HR Manager should have studied the behaviors of each employee, taking account of their backgrounds and imploring human perspectives and people skills to judge matters smartly.   In essence, the agricultural sector would be doing a lot by incorporating effective Human resource management and programs instead of treating agriculture like a dirty job that ends in the ranches. If this is what feeds Africa and our net worth, then much should be invested as well. As the saying goes, to whom much is given, much is expected. Thus, for maximum output, give to Agriculture what belongs to Agriculture, give to employees, what belongs to employees, give to Africa what belongs to Africa, and overall, give the world food for it belongs to us, ha-ha!

28 Jun 2021
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HUMAN AND NATURAL RESOURCES

People: Africa’s Greatest Resource

As a people, the African continent saw structures like the pyramids of Egypt, Sudan, and a host of other architectural wonders. Landmarks like the groundnut pyramid of Nigeria, no fatal and successful cesarean sections done in Africa centuries ago, as well as massive empires like the vibrant Mali empire whose wealth kept the world in awe. Africa is blessed with an abundance of natural resources, so why is the continent so poor? The African continent lost it when all focus shifted from the greatest resource which is its people to natural resources. One way to restore the greatness of the continent is via education that inspires innovation and encourages creativityHistorians have said that the whole existence of man and life started from the continent of Africa, needless to say, that civilization also started from Africa. As a people, the African continent saw structures like the pyramids of Egypt, Sudan, and a host of other architectural wonders. Landmarks like the groundnut pyramid of Nigeria, the successful cesarean section done in Africa centuries ago, as well as massive empires like the vibrant Mali empire whose wealth kept the world in Awe, the Wolof empire that was so famous in ancient Africa for her wealth, the Moors that conquered the seas and the Dahomean women who were dreaded by people around the world. Without the help of anyone, Africa saw the earliest civilization. When it comes to natural resources, Africa as a continent is blessed with so many amazing natural resources. To this day, more resources are being discovered. Africa’s natural resources include minerals like diamonds (girl’s best friend), Tin-ore, crude oil, gold, and so many others. Two questions that come to mind are: What went wrong? Where exactly did the African continent lose it? You will agree with us when we say that the African continent lost it when all focus shifted from the greatest resource which is the people to natural resources. Understand that without the people, these natural resources wouldn't have been discovered, and also without the people, there wouldn't be a continent called Africa. Beyond every reasonable doubt, the greatest asset/resource of the African continent is her people. Seeing all these, the next question is how can we make Africa great again despite all the ills that have occurred? One of such ways would be a focus on education that inspires innovation and encourages creativity. This could cause a shift from our economies being consumer-based to more forward-thinking societies. It is also important that we tell the great stories from Africa to the younger generation. They must know that Africa wasn't the underdog, Africa had empires and civilizations that were more advanced than we have been made to believe. They must hear these stories and believe in a greater future. What other ways do you think we can take advantage of this great resource?

22 Jun 2021
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HUMAN AND NATURAL RESOURCES

5 Facts About Bauxite Mining in Guinea

Did you know that of all the seven continents, Africa has the largest store of natural resources? One of which is Bauxite? Bauxite is the world's source of aluminum. Aluminum is extracted when bauxite is heated to at least 150 Degree Celsius. Bauxite is found in abundance in Guinea Conakry, at an estimated Seven Billion Metric Tonnes. Bauxite mining and exportation began in Guinea in the 1960s and 70s respectively. Mining accounts for half of Guinea’s exports. Guinea’s bauxite is most abundant in Boke. China is the largest purchaser of Guinea’s bauxite.  Did you know that of all the seven continents that make up the earth, Africa has the largest store of natural resources? Africa has the highest concentration of natural resources buried within its lands, and these resources are used by countries the world over in various industries and sectors such as construction, engineering, technology, medicine, etc. And to this day, new reserves of precious resources are being discovered in Africa. One of these extremely valuable natural resources found abundantly in Africa is Bauxite. Bauxite is a rock that happens to be the entire world's source of aluminum. Aluminum is a very important metal used in manufacturing electronics, household and industrial appliances, ships, cars, and plane parts. Aluminum is the preferred metal for the manufacture of these machine parts because it is light, corrosion-resistant, easy to bend, and a great conductor of heat. The aluminium is extracted by heating the bauxite ore to a temperature of at least 150 degrees Celcius depending on its quality. The extreme heat turns the aluminium liquid, allowing easy extraction. The largest reserves of bauxite in Africa are in Guinea (also known a Guinea Conakry). In 2020 Guinea was named the country with the highest bauxite reserves globally, and these reserves are estimated to be over Seven Billion Metric Tonnes. The bauxite mining industry is an important sector in Guinea, employing thousands and boosting the country’s national revenue. Here are some facts you didn’t know about bauxite mining in Guinea: Bauxite mining in Guinea began as far back as the 1960s: Guinea's bauxite mining industry took off in 1960, and by the 70s Guinea was exporting bauxite to the world. Thanks to bauxite, the mining industry in Guinea makes up half of the country’s total exports. The Bauxite mined in Guinea is one of the best in the world: Experts have examined the bauxite produced by guinea and have found it to be of very high quality. Guinea's bauxite has a very low silica oxide content, and this allows the aluminum to be easily extracted with less effort and expenditure. The largest bauxite deposits in Guinea is found in Boke: Boke is located in the western part of Guinea, and it shares its borders with Guinea Bissau and Senegal. Boke region is a relatively rural area and its people are largely farmers. China is the largest purchaser of Bauxite mined in Guinea: Aluminum is in very high demand in the Chinese manufacturing industry for the manufacture of cars, soda cans, etc. As a result, China is Guinea's largest purchaser of bauxite. The bauxite ore is exported to China in its natural form where it is then processed to extract the aluminum. Bauxite mining has negatively impacted the livelihoods and environment of its citizens: As vital and beneficial as bauxite is to the world, mining in Guinea is yet to be sustainable. Lands belonging to citizens are acquired by mining companies, depriving such citizens who make their living from farming of their only source of livelihood. The mining process which requires the removal of the top layer of the soil causes land degradation and water pollution when the particles are washed into the rivers and streams As important as bauxite is to the world, we must remember that there is only one planet earth, and we all have to preserve it for those who are bound to come after us. More sustainable mining processes must be developed in Africa, by Africans.

18 Jun 2021
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HUMAN AND NATURAL RESOURCES

What Happened to the Groundnut Pyramids?

The Great Groundnut Pyramids of Northern Nigeria! Here one day, and gone the next. The great groundnut pyramids were structures made of about 15,000 bags of groundnuts per pyramid and weighing 1000 tons. They were first erected in North-West Nigeria in the center of Kano city. Invented by Alhaji Alhassan Dantata, they led to the establishment of the Groundnut Marketing Board in the mid-1900s. Pyramids were also built in Malam Madori, Jigawa State, before the rosette virus outbreak in 1975, 1983, 1985, and 1988 which caused a decline in groundnut farming, making the aroma of the pyramids a distant memory.   The proverb “out of sight, out of mind” is a tribute to the forgetfulness of humans. Once something is no longer visible, it might as well not have existed. If something was not videoed when it happened, no one believes it happened. If one goes on holiday and has no photos to show as proof, no one believes them. This is the fate of the Great Groundnut Pyramids of Northern Nigeria; they no longer exist so no one remembers them, and few acknowledge that they ever existed. Everyone talks about the Egyptian pyramids because they are not mere stories, they can be seen and felt, and they form part of Africa’s rich history. But in one key area, they pale in comparison to the pyramids that existed in Nigeria in the early 1900s; they are inedible and if you try to eat them… well, just don’t.  The Nigerian pyramids were located in the center of Kano City in the northwestern part of the country and were created by thousands of bags of groundnuts stacked upon each other by hundreds of laborers. A single pyramid could contain up to 15, 000 bags of groundnuts, weighing more than 1000 tons and towering over trees and buildings. These amazing pyramids were not scattered haphazardly but were arranged in rows like the buildings you would see in a well-planned town, and there could be over 60 pyramids in the city at any given time. You may be wondering why they would stack bags of groundnut in the hot sun in the first place, here is why: For one, groundnuts are preserved by putting them in cloth bags and stacking them in piles, this keeps them safe from insects and other pests, but this could have been done anywhere, so why did they have to bring them to the center of the city, hire laborers and begin stacking them in the sun?  Before the invention of the groundnut pyramids, farmers sold their groundnuts as best they could individually; there was no organized system, and this continued even up to the early 1900s when groundnut became highly sought after by manufacturing industries who used it as a raw material for the production of their goods. By 1912, a lot of farmers motivated by the returns on investment in groundnut farming began to farm groundnuts.  In 1919 when groundnut farming was at its peak, a successful businessman and trader in groundnuts and kola nuts named Alhaji Alhassan Dantatareturned to his hometown of Kano and completely revolutionized the groundnut industry. He invented the groundnut pyramids which allowed farmers from across northern Nigeria to bring their harvests to the city of kano and sell them to traders who hired laborers to arrange them into pyramids until they could be transported to the end-users in different cities. A railway ran through Kano to the city of Minna, and from there connected to a railway that led to Lagos. For this reason, the pyramids were carefully arranged close to the railway. This led to the establishment of the Groundnut Marketing Board in the mid-1900s. It licensed agents who went into the villages every season to purchase groundnuts directly from the farmers. These groundnuts were transported by donkeys, camels, or vehicles to the center of the city where they were piled on the pyramids and sold at a fixed price.  So, the pyramids functioned as a groundnut collection center for the entire northern region.  Thanks to the efforts of Alhaji Dantata, the tireless farmers and traders of Northern Nigeria, groundnut became a major export in Nigeria with an estimated 1.6 to 1.8 million tons of groundnut being produced every year. As production increased, so did the number of groundnut pyramids and the number of towns that built them, including the town of Malam Madori in Jigawa State. As to the question of what happened to the pyramids; drought, an outbreak of the rosette virus in 1975, 1983, 1985, and 1988, and the shift in Nigeria’s economy from agriculture to petroleum led to the decline of groundnut production and brought the era of pyramids to an end. In recent years, Nigeria has begun to look into ways to increase its groundnut production, and perhaps if we're lucky we will get to see the groundnut pyramids again; the piles and piles of groundnut bags that once represented the country’s wealth and creativity, and filled the nation with the sweet aroma of groundnuts.  

11 Jun 2021
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HUMAN AND NATURAL RESOURCES

Blood Diamonds

What comes to your mind when you hear blood diamonds? Diamonds laced with dark magic? Blood diamonds are diamonds mined in a war zone and sold to finance conflict in a region. Diamonds mined during the civil wars in Angola, Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea, and Guinea Bissau have been given this label. They are also called conflict diamonds, red diamonds, or hot diamonds. In 2003, the UN, trade associations and human rights groups began what has come to be known as THE KIMBERLY PROCESS which ensures that legally mined diamonds are certified before being sold in the market.What comes to your mind when you hear blood diamonds? Red diamonds? Diamond laced with dark magic? Or perhaps killer diamonds! They say Diamonds are a girl's best friend but how much is a diamond worth? Blood diamonds are diamonds mined in a war zone and sold to finance conflict in a region. The sale of these diamonds and their proceeds are seen as blood money, hence the use of the term "Blood diamonds" to highlight the negative consequences of such activity. Diamonds mined during the civil wars in Angola, Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea, and Guinea Bissau have been given this label. They are also called conflict diamonds, red diamonds, or hot diamonds. Rough Diamonds were mined in rebel-controlled areas and sold either directly to diamond merchants or smuggled to neighboring countries where they were sold alongside legitimately mined diamonds. Revenue gotten from sales was used to purchase guns and war materials which the rebel groups used to kill citizens and carry out various violent activities. Once a blood diamond is polished and cut, there's no way to differentiate it from the legally mined diamonds. In the year 2000, the UN Security Council raised alarm over the large presence of blood diamonds in the international market. De Beers Consolidated Mines, a South African company was implicated in the sales of these diamonds. In 2003, the UN alongside trade associations and human rights groups began what has come to be known as THE KIMBERLY PROCESS. The Kimberly process ensures that legally mined diamonds were certified before being sold in the market. Any Uncertified diamond was most likely a conflict diamond. So next time you are getting a diamond it’s best to check if it’s certified. However, in recent times the definition of Blood diamonds has been expanded to include diamonds whose trade is based on aggression or violence of any kind. This became necessary as some leaders began to use proceeds from the diamond trade to enrich themselves while their citizens remained in poverty. Africa is a rich continent, endowed with so much wealth and resources. We must change the narrative of poverty amid wealth and rise to take our place as world powers in today's world!

07 Jun 2021
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HUMAN AND NATURAL RESOURCES

PLACES WHERE IT SNOWS IN AFRICA

Snow, white beautiful snow is another of nature's mysteries and beauty. Its angelic cascade makes for one of the most picturesque views nature can ever offer. Africa, the hottest continent in the world also has snow usually in the middle of the year, though it doesn’t expect much of it. Due to the high altitude of mountains and its lower temperatures, snow is common in mountainous areas. Places, where it snows in Africa, include South Africa, Morocco, Tanzania, Lesotho, with Lesotho being the coldest country in Africa. Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania is a famous tourist destination to watch African beautiful snow. Snow, white beautiful snow is another of nature's mysteries and beauty. Its angelic cascade blanketing mountain tops makes for one of the most picturesque views nature can ever offer. The Major Hit Disney Movie Frozen, made such a central theme of snow that at the time if snow were a packageable commodity, dealers would have made quite a fortune selling anything stamped with snowflakes themes, from t-shirts to school bags hit rocket sales. All thanks to the snow. It's comforting and interesting to know that Africa the hottest continent in the world also has bragging rights to this particular endowment of mother nature as there are places it snows in Africa! Exciting isn't it. If you have never seen or played in the snow; making snowmen and throwing snowballs at your loved ones, you don't have to travel to the western part of the globe where Snow falling is more common. You can choose rather, to visit the unique places in Africa where Snowfall is a most enthralling occurrence, another one of the many ways Africa has cheated the other continents of the world. Snowfall is a natural phenomenon formed at low temperatures when tiny ice crystals in clouds stick together forming snowflakes. Snowflakes then fall through cold dry air producing powdery snow. It occurs mostly in regions with higher altitudes from the sea level resulting in lower temperatures, hence mountain peaks and hilly regions have much snow. In Africa one of such leading places is South Africa. There is regular Snowfall in Lesotho. Viewing the beautiful mountainous Country covered in snow is a terrific vision. Do you know the snowfall in Lesotho is heavy enough for them skii at the Afrisky mountain resort? It includes the famous Atlas mountain. Lesotho is also the coldest country in the continent with a record low temperature of -4.7°F/ -20.4°C measured in Letseng-le-Draai in 1967. Also, there is snow in Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia. Capetown, Sneeuberg Mountains karoo, Tiffendale Skiing resort Drakensburg, Matroosberg, Harrismith, the under belt in-between Duban and Johannesburg, South Africa, are other places to catch beautiful snowfall. In Africa, the amount of snowfall varies from place to place, it may seem rather uninteresting to foreigners, may not be knee-deep waddling-worthy fluffy ice but it is African Snow, it's our Snow. We are proud of it and love it just the way it is!   Northern Africa also has abundant regions of snowfalls in its inventory. Ifrain in Morroco, Algeria's Ahaggar Mountains on certain occasions, Tunisia, The Tibesti Mountains in Chad, Southern Libya, Ethiopia are remarkable places to see snow in Africa. Even farther into the continent, there is snow in the western Democratic Republic of Congo. Snow in these places is a must-see as they are rare occurrences. In 2013, Cairo Egypt experienced its first snowfall in a century. You can only imagine the awe and delight on the streets of Cairo! On a comical note, does this posit a glimmer of hope for other hotter regions in the continent? Likely not!   But still, In January 2018, the 5th snowfall in 40 years was recorded from the Algerian town of Aïn Séfra in the Sahara Desert. Aïn Séfra, which at other times of the year is one of the hottest places in the world had its dunes mesmerized in the beautiful snow. Amazing! It was simply an unforgettable sighting.     Oukaïmeden in Morocco is one of the best Ski resorts in Africa. The resort boasts six plunging downhill runs, as well as beginner and intermediary slopes and an area dedicated to sledding.       In East Africa, Tanzania is a major attraction port to visitors around the July to August time frame when snow falls in Africa. Mount Kilimanjaro, the tallest mountain in Africa is a fascinating converging point for citizens and visitors during the snow periods. Rwenzori Mountains of Uganda, Mount Kenya in Kenya, and Ethiopia's Simien Mountains have snowfalls in the middle of the year. These are high-altitude snowfields with higher humidity and more frequent snowfalls.   The continent's relatively hot history makes imagining an area covered with snow difficult but it does snow in Africa!     A fervent spirit of Unity, New beginnings, and Adventure comes down with the snow whenever it snows in Africa and this is why Africa and its snow are special and different from the snow in other parts of the world.   Snow, beautiful African snow is waiting for you!

03 Jun 2021
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HUMAN AND NATURAL RESOURCES

5 ANIMALS YOU CAN ONLY FIND IN AFRICA

Africa is home to about 1100 species of mammals and 2600 species of birds some of which can only be found in Africa. The African Elephant is the world's largest land mammal and weighs about 6 tons. The greater kudu is a species of antelope. The horns of a mature bull kudu have a length of 120cm. The grey-crowned crane is the National Bird of Uganda and loves to dance. The African civet are known for their musk (known as civetone) which is used to produce perfume while the Warthog can be best remembered as Disney’s Pumba. Among the things that make Africa special is the fact that Africa is the home to about 1100 species of mammals and 2600 species of birds.  These species roam the varied beautiful landscapes of Africa and make Africa a top destination for animal lovers. There are some of these species you cannot find anywhere else so here’s 5 animals you can only find in Africa! THE AFRICAN ELEPHANT The African Elephant is the world's largest land mammal and weighs about 6 tons. They are known as gentle giants and are fascinating creatures to watch. The largest population of elephants is found in Botswana. The difference between the African Elephant and the Asian Elephant is the shape of their ears. The Ears of the African Elephant are shaped like Africa! How cool is that! Pregnancy for the African Elephant lasts for 2years and they have very strong family relationships. THE GREATER KUDU The greater kudu is a species of antelope only found in Africa. It is tall with very long horns, stripes, and spots on its body. They are shy and hard to approach. When they sense danger, they raise a hoarse alarm and run with a rocking horse motion. The horns of a mature bull kudu have two and a half twists which if they are straightened have a length of 120cm. The horns do not begin to grow until the bull reaches 6-12 months. Only 118000 kudus are remaining in the wild. THE GREY CROWNED CRANE The grey crowned crane also known as the African crowned crane is the National Bird of Uganda and appears on their national flag. They are currently endangered species as a result of human activity in the marshes and grasslands. They eat both meat and plants and are therefore classified as omnivores. They love to dance and can be seen dancing at any time of the year including non-breeding periods. These dances are done by both the young and the old and are an interesting sight to behold. THE AFRICAN CIVET The African civet is a large type of civet that lives throughout Sub-Saharan Africa. They look like cats and have dark brown stripes, spots, and blotches on a white, cream, black, or brown background. They have a black mask close to their eyes and beneath their eyes just like a raccoon. They are good swimmers and love to eat fruit. They are known for their musk (known as civetone) which they secrete to ward off predators. This musk has been used to produce perfume for centuries. THE WARTHOG This animal species became popular after being featured as Pumbaa in Disney’s animated film "The Lion King". They were called warthogs because of warts on their bodies. However, these aren't actually warts but growths made of cartilage or bone. They live for 15 to 20 years and are known for certain weird behaviors like entering their burrows backward and bending on their wrists to eat. They are fierce creatures and have razor-sharp teeth. Despite their aggressiveness, they get along well with other animals. Sadly, they are hunted by poachers for their tusks.

31 May 2021