Royal Philips Road show in Africa: Ghana to Get a Digital Display of its Historic Monument from Royal Philips Electronics

Ghana's Independent Monument since A.D 1957

Ghana’s Independent Monument since A.D 1957

The Dutch electronics giant, Royal Philips has announced that is giving Ghana a digital display of its historic monument at the country’s city square in the capital, Accra.

This according to Philips is a spectacular illumination of Ghana’s iconic Black Star Monument with its latest LED lighting technology, boosting the beautification of the city of Accra and cutting energy consumption by 80%.

Ghana’s iconic Black Star Monument is one of the most important landmarks in Ghana and the place is revered by most Ghanaians and Africans in general as the place for the emancipation of the African people from colonialism.

The area also includes a city square which is also one of the largest city squares in Africa. It was built by Ghana’s first President, Kwame Nkrumah in 1957 and was dedicated to Africans who were being colonized by Western imperial powers at the time. Ghana was the first country in Sub-Sahara Africa to gain independence in 1957 from the Great Britain.

The Dutch diversified Technology Company is showcasing its LED lighting solutions in Ghana as part of its fifth consecutive pan-African Cairo to Cape Town Road show.

The road show according to Philips focuses on key challenges facing Africa today and the need for energy-efficient lighting. Philips has therefore committed to lighting up and illuminating iconic monuments in every city it has visited during the road show with its latest LED technology, lighting makeover of historic and well-recognized monuments across the Ten African Cities it has projected to cover during the road show.

Philips said its digital LED lighting technology creates more light, while making it more focused and controlled. This state-of-the-art lighting system will allow the Black Star Monument to minimize light spill by directing the light exactly to where it is needed; emphasizing the vertical elements of the structure.

The company also added that has provided all aspects of the LED lighting at the monument, including design consultation, management of the installation with local contractors, programming, commissioning and overall project management.

Chief Executive Officer of Philips West Africa, Abdallah Hussein said in statement copied to the NationalTurk that his company is very proud to have brought innovation to Ghana which would benefit the country.

“The spectacular lighting of the Black Star Monument in Accra demonstrates the incredible advances that are being made in the efficiency and beauty in lighting, we are very proud to have placed its know-how and technology at the service of this iconic monument and contributing towards the preservation of Ghanaian heritage”.

“For us the challenge was to devise effective lighting while respecting the authenticity of this monument. The lighting really had to enhance the beauty of the site without at any time overwhelming it. We are very proud of the final result; this reflects how Philips’ lighting innovations provide completely new opportunities to policy makers and governments to enhance city beautification and at the same time contribute to energy saving”, Mr. Hussein said.

The new lighting solutions from Philips will highlight and enhance the architectural, structural quality and aesthetic beauty of the city of Accra, making it one of the most iconic cities in Africa.

Ghana’s city square attracts a lot of tourists around the world and tourism expert say this innovation by Philips would increase the number of tourists to Ghana.

Tourism is one of the areas in the economy the Ghanaian government has targeted of exploring to be able to attract investors and tourists all over the world into the country.

Issaka Adams / NationalTurk Africa Tourism News

Writer’s Email Address: Adamsisska@googlemail.com

 

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Kenya Ivory Seizer: Ivory Tusk Bound for Turkey Seized in Kenya

About 1,600 pieces of ivory were counted in the consignment and its market value is around $1.4m

About 1,600 pieces of ivory were counted in the consignments which were seized in the port city of Mombasa in Kenya

 

Officials of the Custom Exercise and Preventive Service in Kenya have seized a large consignment of Ivory which was bound for Turkey at the coastal port city of Mombasa.

The four tonnes of ivory were hidden inside sacks of sesame seeds in order to deceive port officials to be able to ship the Ivory to its destination.

The Kenyan Wildlife Service said more than 1,600 pieces of ivory were counted in the consignment and its market value is around $1.4m.

Kenya Wildlife Service President, Arthur Tuda said the ivory was found during two separate searches on different days at the port city of Mombasa.

“The ivory came through the Kenya-Uganda border stashed in sacks, and they were hidden in two 4ft containers, export documents declared the containers as carrying sesame seeds,” he said.

But customs official said smugglers sometimes ships Ivory Tusks through countries not normally associated with demand for ivory and thereafter, ships it to Asia where demand for Ivory is believed to be very high.

Searches at Mombasa port were being increased in a bid to stop smugglers from evading and violating laws on Ivory.

In January this year, two tones of ivory worth around $1m were seized in Mombasa port while in transit from Tanzania to Indonesia.

In July too, officials seized large consignment of some 770 pieces ivory tusk hacked out of elephants which had come from neighboring Uganda and was bound for Malaysia.

The Kenyan government and many African nations have banned trade in ivory which made poaching subsequently declined but there has been a rise in the illegal practice in recent years with poachers resorting to other methods in perpetuating their trade.

Kenya has recently taken a more aggressive stance against poaching as it tries to combat a surge in demand for ivory from Asia.

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species has also banned the trade in ivory in 1989 but in recent years poaching has increased across sub-Saharan Africa with criminal gangs slaughtering elephants for ivory markets in Asia.

Issaka Adams / NationalTurk Africa News

 

 

Africa Elections: Ex-Prime Minister Takes Lead in Mali Vote Count as Votes Count Begins in Zimbabwe

Two African nations are selecting their new leaders in a crucial elections

Two African nations are selecting their new leaders in a crucial elections

 

Two African nations are officially yet to see who gets to lead their nations after they all voted in general election this week to select their leaders.

Mr. Ibrahim Boubakar Keita is reported to have a clear lead over his rivals in Sunday’s presidential elections in Mali which is aimed at restoring democratic rule in the country after more than a year of instability.

Former Finance Minister, Soumaila Cisse is believed to be in second place after about a third of the valid votes counted so far in Mali.

27 people contested the elections but it seems now as a two horse race between Mr. Keita and Mr. Cisse and political analysts say it is likely that there will be no second round of voting if the trend did not change.

Some 6.8 million people were eligible to vote at 21,000 polling stations across the country and election officials say the turnout was high although no official figure cannot be given for now.

The minister of territorial administration, Col Moussa Sinko Coulibaly told journalists in the capital, Bamako that Mr. Keita is in clear lead and described the conduct of the poll as the best since Mali’s independence.

“There is one candidate, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, who has a wide margin compared with the other candidates, if maintained, there will not be a need for a second round,’’ he said.

France, who intervened in the country in what it described as preventing insurgents from using Mali as hub to destabilize other nations in West Africa, praised the elections and said is a step in right direction for the country.

Votes Count Begin in Zimbabwe

Meanwhile, Votes cast in the Zimbabwean elections are being counted amid praises from both international and local observers including the African Union as peaceful elections ever in the history of the country.

Election officials also say voters’ turnout was high and some polling stations had to be remained open into the evening to allow those already queuing at closing time to cast their votes.

The police have given a stern warning that they would take action against anyone who tries to leak early results. The result is expected to be officially announced by the Electoral Commission in five days.

President Mugabe, 89, came face to face with Prime Minister Tsvangirai, 61, in the presidential ballot which political analysts say it is very difficult to predict the outcome. Some say it is too close to call.

The two long-time rivals have been sharing power since 2009, under a peace accord mediated by regional leaders in the South African Region to end the conflict that marred the elections in 2008.

Mr. Mugabe promised to accept the results if even he is defeated. He has ruled the country since 1987.

Issaka Adams / NationalTurk Africa News

 

Ghana Tourist Attraction: The Legacy of the Mole National in Northwestern Ghana

Elephants are common in the park

Elephants are common in the park

The Mole National Park in Ghana over the years has proven to be one of the best wildlife reserve on the African continent dating back as far as pre colonial era in the then Gold Coast now Ghana.

The park is located in the Upper West region of Ghana specifically, on the northwestern on a grassland savanna and riparian ecosystems at an elevation believed to be 150 m, with sharp escarpment forming the southern boundary of the park.

The nearby town to the park is the famous town of Larabanga which also has one of the oldest and wonderful Mosques in Ghana and West Africa in general which can be compared to those in the historical town of Timbuktu in Mali.

Tourists preparing to take a stroll in the park

Tourists preparing themselves to take a stroll in the park with their Land Rover

The park covers an area of 4,840 km2 of undulating terrain with steep scarps and its beautiful vegetation of pristine Guinea savanna with gallery forests along the rivers and streams in the park.

The park’s land was set aside as a wildlife reserve in 1958 by the first President of Ghana, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah but poachers and encroachers started living around the reserve, making it unable to serve the purpose upon which the land was reserved.

By 1971, the poachers and the encroachers had grown to be a small human population living around the park due to poor enforcement of wildlife laws in Ghana then.

The Larabanga Mosque which is believe to be the oldest Mosque in West Africa not far from the Mole National Park

The Larabanga Mosque which is believe to be the oldest Mosque in West Africa not far from the Mole National Park

But the then government in that same year took pragmatic measures to relocate the population who had grown a little in numbers to a different place and the land was designated as a national park for wildlife reserve for the Republic of Ghana, with wildlife division established in the area to strictly enforce wildlife laws governing wildlife parks in Ghana.

This indeed brought about a new beginning in the history of the Mole national park which today has stood the test of time in terms of the contribution it has given to Ghana and the West African sub-region.

Over the years, the park has become an important study in the area for scientists because of the removal of the human population from within the park allowing for some long-term studies, in particular, of relatively undisturbed sites compared to similar areas of densely populated equatorial West Africa wildlife areas.

It is believed that one of the findings of the studies done on the park has revealed that resident population of about 800 elephants, for example, indicates that elephant damage to large trees varies with species.

A monkey playing with its baby

A monkey playing with its baby

So therefore, it was established that elephants have a greater tendency to seriously injure economically important species of cash trees such as Burkea africana, which is an important tropical hardwood in Africa, and the Butyrospermum paradoxum, the source of shea butter which is also by far, one of the source of livelihood for the people living in northern Ghana.

This study has enable scientists to make a very good generalization in the analysis of wildlife reserve in the West Africa sub-region.

The Beautiful Lovi and the Mole Rivers flows through the park making the centre of the park very fascinating and exciting scene to witness but during the dry season, it leaves behind only drinking holes because of the low rainfall the area receives annually.

The park receives as low as 1000 mm per year of rainfall which indeed is at very low limit considering the nature of the park and the kind of species inhabiting the park but yet still, the park is able to survive this long dry season which normally start from November to May in Ghana.

There is satellite at the Mole National Park to facilitate communications

There is satellite at the Mole National Park to facilitate communications

The park according to statistics, homed about 93 mammal species, and the large mammals of the park include the elephant’s population, hippos, buffalo, hyenas, lions and leopards Zebras and warthogs. But the authorities of the park say it was initially considered a primary African preserve for antelope species including kob, Defassa waterbuck, roan, hartebeest, oribi, the bushbuck, and two duikers, the red duiker and yellow-backed Duiker.

Monkeys too are not left behind among the species in the park and it include Olive baboons, black-and-white colobus monkeys, the green vervet and patas monkeys are the known species of monkeys resident in the park.

As many as 33 species of reptiles including slender-snouted and dwarf crocodile, snake among others are the known reptiles found in the Mole National park.

The park in its wide view

The park in its wide view

A tourist from Romania could not hold what she thought was a magic by how close she came into contact with the elephants, during her visit to the park and she told the NationalTurk tourism team that it was exciting and an adventure for her.

“Quite exciting to have a view of nature at its best in Ghana, I was thrilled by how close we could get to the elephants’’.

For the birds this site gets high marks. It’s absolutely breathtaking to go bird watching in Mole. The kobs, monkeys and wart hogs are present mostly all year round, but still no lions, leopards or hyenas spotted in a while.

Elephants more likely in the dry season but you could get lucky in the rain watching them crossing the dusty roads in the park or sometimes coming to the rest house to relax their huge bodies.

There are local flights from the capital Accra to the northern parts of the country and the few kilometers from the northern regional capital Tamale, can be done in luxury buses to the park.

A motel for visitors is available at the Park headquarters in the town of Mole and parks guards are also available anytime to take visitors and tourists round the park.

The Ghana government is currently leaving no stone unturned in the tourism sector and is calling for tourists from all over the world to patronize Ghana’s tourists attraction sites as the country is force to reckon with in good hospitality in tourism on the African continent.

All in all, Mole national park is a great wonderland of safari and every visitor on tourism mission to Ghana need to see it.

Issaka Adams / NationalTurk Tourism News

 

 

Egypt-Ethiopia Nile Row: Egypt Vowed to Secure the Nile from Ethiopia

Egypt has vowed to secure the Nile river from Ethiopia

Egypt has vowed to secure the Nile river from Ethiopia

The Egyptian Foreign Minister has said that Egypt will not give up a single drop of water from the Nile River to Ethiopia.

Mohamed Kamel Amr reportedly told the Egyptian state news agency, the Middle East News Agency (MENA) that any obstacle to the Nile River’s flow is a threat to national survival of the Egyptian people.

Ethiopia started diverting the flow of the Blue Nile in preparation for the building of the $4.2bn hydroelectric dam which will be the biggest in Africa if completed.

The Blue Nile is one of two major tributaries of the Egyptian Nile and Egypt consider the building of the dam by the Ethiopians as a threat that will reduce the water level of the Nile which they use in their irrigation and many other activities.

“No Nile, no Egypt,” Mr. Amr was quoted directly by the state news agency as saying in highlighting the pressure on the Egyptian government to stop the Ethiopian government from building the dam.

“Egypt won’t give up on a single drop of water from the Nile or any part of what arrives into Egypt from this water in terms of quantity and quality’’, Mr. Amr stressed further.

He also in addition spoke at a news conference on the same matter declining to detail the action Egypt will take next but noted Ethiopian has said the building of the dam will not cut water supply to the Nile.

“We have a plan for action, which will start soon, we’ll talk to Ethiopia and we’ll see what comes of it, Ethiopia has said it will not harm Egypt, not even by a liter of water…We are looking at … if this will be implemented by Ethiopia”, He rounded the topic at the news conference with reporters.

The Ethiopian government has stated clearly that it would not bow to the Egyptian pressure over building the hydro dam.

Ethiopia reportedly summoned the Egyptian ambassador last week to answer some questions, after politicians in Cairo were caught unaware on state television suggesting military action or supporting Ethiopian rebels to destabilize Ethiopia in an attempt to disrupt the building of the dam.

Ethiopia’s decision to construct the dam challenges a colonial-era agreement that had given Egypt and Sudan rights to the Nile water, with Egypt taking 55.5 billion cubic metres and Sudan 18.5 billion cubic metres.

If the dam is completed, it will be a Grand Ethiopian Renaissance which would be Africa’s largest dam ever in the history of the African Continent.

The dam is expected to produce 6,000 megawatts of power and its reservoir is scheduled to start filling next year.

Issaka Adams / NationalTurk Africa News

 

Mandela’s Health Status: Mandela Back in Hospital with Serious Lung Infection

Nelson Mandela has been admitted in hospital for a serious lung infection

Nelson Mandela has been admitted in hospital for a serious lung infection

The Office of the President of the Republic of South Africa has said that African icon; Nelson Mandela is back in hospital with a serious lung infection this time around.

President Jacob Zuma said in a statement that the former president, who is 94, had been ill for several days and his condition deteriorated on Saturday morning, and he was transferred to a hospital in Pretoria for treatment.

Government spokesman Mac Maharaj also reportedly told local television on Saturday morning that the 94-year-old anti-apartheid hero and the country’s first black president was taken to hospital early on Saturday and described his condition as serious.

“The situation is serious this time but doctors have assured us he is comfortable,” Mac Maharaj told eNews Channel Africa Television Network.

Mr. Maharaj further added that doctors are doing everything possible to make him comfortable and better and that people should relax.

Nelson Mandela recently suffered a series of health problems and this is believed to be his fifth visit to hospital in two years.

The latest being in April when he was discharged after undergoing a treatment in pneumonia for ten days in hospital in Pretoria.

Mr. Mandela was reportedly taken to hospital, from his home in a suburb of Johannesburg, at about 01:30 local time, according to local media reports.

Nelson Mandela served as president from 1994 to 1999 and became South Africa’s first black President and ending the white apartheid rule in the country.

He was imprisoned for 27 years in the struggle against the white rule (apartheid) and many believed he contracted the lung infection when he was working in a prison quarry.

He contracted tuberculosis in the 1980s while being held in jail on the windswept Robben Island with cruel treatment before he was freed in the 1990s.

Mr. Mandela is therefore regarded by many South Africans and the entire Africa Continent as the father of the nation and a hero for leading the struggle against apartheid.

Issaka Adams / NationalTurk Africa News

 

China Illegal Miners Arrest: 124 Chinese Citizens arrested in Ghana for Illegal Mining

These Chinese illegal miners were arrested in the Ashanti Region of Ghana by the Ghana Immigration Service

These Chinese illegal miners were arrested in the Ashanti Region of Ghana by the Ghana Immigration Service

Immigration officials in Ghana have said that at least 124 Chinese illegal miners have been arrested for engaging in small scale mining.

The Chinese illegal miners were arrested in various locations in Ghana including the Ashanti, Western, Central and the Eastern regions of Ghana in a special operation by the security service.

Laws governing mining in Ghana strictly prohibits foreigners from engaging in small scale mining in the country. Small scale mining is sole reserved for the local people to help them develop their initiatives in the transformation of the mining sector and as a source of employment.

Immigration officials confirmed that most of those arrested were mining illegally without visas, work and residency permits and that they are being currently held in detention at the Immigration Headquarters in the capital Accra.

The Chinese embassy spokesman in Ghana Yu Jie confirmed to reporters that such an arrest has taken place and that they are negotiating with the Ghanaian government for their release and repatriation back to China.

He added further that they have already cautioned all Chinese nationals in Ghana to strictly abide by the related laws and regulations in Ghana.

But he however failed to give further details about how they managed to arrive in Ghana without proper documentation.

This arrest is part of an ongoing crackdown on foreign nationals working in small-scale gold mines especially Chinese nationals. The Chinese nationals have turned Ghana into their province engaging in all forms of illegalities thereby prompting nationwide out cry of the activities of these Chinese in Ghana.

In October last year, a Chinese boy was killed during a security crackdown on an illegal mining amid violent clashes between the Chinese nationals and the indigenous people living in the gold deposit areas in Ghana.

Lands and Natural Resources Minister, Inusah Fuseni has given a stern warning to foreign nationals who engage in these small scales mining to desist from it or face the wrath of the government.

“We have warned all nationals engaging in these illegal mining to desist from it, this government is ever ready to flush them out because they are destroying our lands and I hope that the immigration service will cooperate with us’’, Mr. Fuseni said on Good Morning Ghana, on the Metropolitan Television Network.

Most Chinese workers flock to Ghana in search of gold in a very rush way with the assistance of some unscrupulous local people aiding and abetting their activities.

Most of them are from impoverished county of Shanglin in China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region with the hope that their fortunes will change as a result of the gold deposit they imagine in Ghana.

Ghana is believed to be Africa’s biggest gold producer after South Africa, producing more than 1.6 million ounces in the first half of 2012, according to official figures on the international market.

Issaka Adams / NationalTurk Africa News

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