Entries in angola (10)
(HN, September 13, 2011 - UPDATED 1940GMT WITH MISS UKRAINE CONTROVERSY) - In a stunning boost to Africa, Miss Angola, Leila Lopes, was crowned Miss Universe 2011 in Brazil Monday.
Lopes beat out 88 other competitors in São Paulo to win the title during the 60th anniversary of the world's biggest beauty pageant. The business management student replaces the 2010 winner, Ximena Navarrete of Mexico.
Lopes was born in Benguela, Angola, the daughter of Cape Verdean immigrants. She was recently crowned “Queen of Angolan beauty" in the United Kingdom, where she has been undertaking her studies.
It would appear that Lopes wooed the Miss Universe judges - which included American journalist Connie Chung, supermodel Isabeli Fontana and Indy race car driver Helio Castroneves - with her savvy answer to a question about what physical change she would wish for.
"Thank God I'm very satisfied with the way God created me and I wouldn't change a thing," Lopes said. "I consider myself a woman endowed with inner beauty. I have acquired many wonderful principals from my family and I intend to follow these for the rest of my life."
The first runner-up was Olesia Stefanko (Олеся Стефанко), 23, of Ukraine, followed by Priscila Machado of Brazil. The third was Miss Philippines and the fourth Miss China.
(Separately, a petition to revoke Miss Ukraine Universe's title began circulating on social networking sites Tuesday, on the basis that Stefanko allegedly spoke Russian - and not Ukrainian, the official language of Ukraine. It said petition participants are "appalled and disgusted" that Stefanko "represented our people and our homeland in a language that not only is not ours, but the language of our former oppressors.")
(Stefanko comes from western Ukraine, but is studying public prosecutor and investigation law in the mostly-Russian speaking city of Odesa).
As the results were announced, social media sites exploded with emotional comments from Africans. "I'm proud to be an African," tweeted Musuline.
Lopes of Angola, a former Portuguese colony, is only the second African to win the title. In 1992 Michelle McClean, who now resides in South Africa, became Miss Universe.
In a phone interview, Mariama Mounir Petrolawicz, a West African from Guinea and the founder of There Is No Limit Foundation, said she was extremely proud of the win.
"By the time I tuned in I saw that she was the only African girl representing, and I thought she would never make it," Petrolawicz said.
Asked how Africans would react, she said: "This will be one of the biggest gifts we can ever have...we are so proud...she will be such an inspiration. We feels as one tonight."
Miss Lopes is only the second African to win the Miss Universe title, and only the second national from Angola to reach the rank of Top Ten finalists.
In 2001, Agbani Darego of Nigeria was crowned Miss World.
On social media sites, many Filipinos expressed profound disappointment that their compatriot, Shamcey Supsup, did not win the Number One spot - especially after answering her question in flawless English.
This years Miss Universe was hosted by NBC "Today" anchor Natalie Morales and the Bravo network's Andy Cohen, and is co-owned by Donald Trump and NBC.
- HUM News staff
(HN, April 10, 2011) - Efforts to neutralize Laurent Gbagbo encountered fierce resistance over the weekend as violence-plagued Ivory Coast plunged deeper in what appears to be a protracted crisis.
In the latest developments Sunday, Gbagbo demonstrated he is still able to resist efforts to remove him from the heavily fortified bunker located in the Presidential Palace in Abidjan - even as UN and French forces launch new military operations.
Moreover Gbagbo is still able to communicate with loyal forces - and appear on air to rally his supporters.
According to reliable sources in Abidjan, HUMNEWS has learned that Gbagbo is using a mobile transmitter - in the form of two mobile vans supplied by the UN mission, also known as ONUCI. The former UN chief in Ivory Coast is understood to have supplied the vans seven years ago.
More than one million people are estimated to be displaced within the country and over 100,000 others have fled to Liberia for safety. The increasing pressure on weaker neighbouring countries and cash-strapped aid agencies is beginning to take its toll.
Observers say forces loyal to Gbagbo have taken advantage of a lull in fighting brought about by cease-fire talks last week to re-group and launch fresh assaults. This weekend the UN forces launched another assault on Gbagbo, alongside Forces Républicaines de Côte d'Ivoire (FRCI), after the ostracized strong man tried to launch an assault on the Golf Hotel, the base of the newly elected and internationally recognised leader, Alassane Ouattara.
"They are not quite finished , but he (Gbagbo) will have absolutely no capacity in the morning," one well-placed source in Abidjan told HUMNEWS.
An indication of the spreading violence is the number of corpses that are being found in Abidjan - where some of the worst fighting has taken place - and other cities. The UN has reportedly found 60 bodies in one incident and 40 in another - some of them burned alive. There are also reports of mass graves being found, and of innocent civilians being raped and abused.
International observers and others suggest that forces loyal to Outtara are under suspicion of carrying out some of the murders, as well as those of his opponent, Gbagbo. The latter is hiding out in an underground bunker in the heavily-damaged Presidential Palace. Over the weekend, his men have managed to re-capture new ground in Abidjan.
Charles Ble Goude, Laurent Gbagbo's fiery youth minister, is said to be hiding in the Angolan Embassy. Angola is believed to be Gbagbo's last major ally.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has warned Gbagbo of severe consequences if he continues to defy demands to surrender: "This is his last opportunity to gracefully exit from this. It is absolutely necessary at this time, that before too late, he has to cede his power to a democratically elected leader."
Ban also said the international community "will continue to protect the innocent civilians and we will try to bring those who commit mass atrocities to justice."
Addressing the need to use heavy weaponry against Gbagbo forces, Ban said today: "I am particularly concerned about the humanitarian situation across the country and about human rights abuses. Civilians are bearing the brunt of the violence. The fighting must stop. Mr. Gbagbo needs to step aside immediately."
Meanwhile, health care, sanitation and other vital services have virtually collapsed while food and water supplies are shrinking. The UN warned today that supplies of clean water in the commercial capital of Abidjan would run out Sunday.
Moreover, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) said civilians in Ivory Coast are "at grave risk as targeted political and sexual assaults increase, tension escalates and an already massive humanitarian crisis worsens."
One former western diplomat based in Abidjan told HUMNEWS that even if Gbagbo is captured quickly, tensions have progressed to the point where the country could be plunged into a protracted civil war.
“What we have now in Ivory Coast is an explosive mix of political, economic and ethnic tension that’s boiling over into incidents like the killings in Duékoué,” says Louis Falcy, the IRC’s country director in Ivory Coast. “Even if the political and military showdown in Abidjan ends today, we’re concerned that looting, hostility, bloodshed, reprisal killings and sexual assaults will escalate in communities across the country.”
Separately, sources close to HUMNEWS said western diplomats have reported concerns about Gbagbo, an evangelical Christian, being under some sort of mystical hold that he must remain waiting for a sign from God.
In the US, several key evangelical leaders - including Oklahoma senator Jim Inhofe, an evangelical Christian with close links to the Gbagbo regime - have been openly voicing support for Gbagbo, claiming that he was the rightful victor of the November election and billing him as a Christian bulwark against the spread of Islam, according to The Guardian newspaper in the UK.
(HN, February 14, 2011, Las Vegas) – This was how Sebastian Kopulande, Chief Executive Officer of the Zambian International Trade and Investment Centre opened the historic first ever Africa-USA Business Executives Conference tonight in Las Vegas, Nevada. The conference runs February 14th-15th.
For the first time, the city of Las Vegas, has welcomed hundreds of African business executives from countries such as Angola, Botswana, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa and Zambia for two days of meetings with their counterparts from the US, for the first-annual Africa - USA Business Executives Convention and Expo.
The conference is designed to explore and create relationships and alliances between business leaders of both continents, allowing them to meet investment partners in a dynamic and vibrant environment of panels and exhibits for the purpose of forming sustainable and capacity-building agribusiness partnerships locally, regionally and internationally.
“Many global commentators agree that this is the `African Century’. For investors, this means an understanding of the available opportunities as well as offering the chance to develop meaningful relationships among those doing business together,” says Ted Alemayhu, Executive Chairman of the event.
Five areas have been identified as being the most attractive for growth, namely agriculture, banking and finance, energy, telecommunications and aviation, travel and tourism. All will be featured at this year’s meeting.
Realizing the need to go beyond discussing issues, ideas and strategies for increasing livelihoods in Africa, the organizers say they are taking bold steps to not only learn how to “fish for our own food but to create partnerships to sell the fish”.
One of the most prominent delegations at the conference are the Zambians.
Zambia is one of the most highly urbanized countries in sub-Saharan Africa with 44% of the population concentrated in a few urban areas, the largest city being the capital Lusaka with more than 1 million people. Unemployment and underemployment are serious problems, while most rural Zambians are subsistence farmers. Yet, in 2010 The World Bank named Zambia as one of the worlds fastest economically reforming countries.
The Zambian economy has historically been based on the copper mining industry, yet attendees here say they are interested in talking about issues such as solar power, farming (agriculture) and financial services.
Over the past 30 years the infrastructure in Zambia has been crumbling and the government is seeking not only new investment from the likes of Merrill Lynch, Credit Suisse and Societe Generale - who are all here too - but also from the entrepreneurial Diaspora Zambian community here in the US to help make their homeland a star in the African growth landscape.
This element is so important in fact that the central Zambian government has set up a special office as a representative from the President’s office to the Diaspora community, and given the community a full time staff member.
The country has sent 54 people from Zambia to the first of its kind gathering. More than 50 other people who now live in other countries around the world - such as Belgium, the UK and Canada, and the US - have also come to see how they can be a part of `making Z the first letter of the alphabet’ as Angel Mondoloka, Chief Operating Officer of the Zambian International Trade and Investment Centre, says.
“We are lucky that the previous President Levy Mwanawasa began intensive business reforms in our country before his death (in 2008),” said Mondoloka. “This is our future and we are going to make it happen with smart investment, and entrepreneurship”.
The conference is serving as a matchmaker between small and medium sized businesses in Africa, US counterparts, and investment firms. Participants were asked to submit proposals before the convention began so they could be matched with the most appropriate contacts.
Patrick Kolata, who had travelled from Lusaka, wanted to create a solar power business and has been matched with a solar panel manufacturer. He said, “We have had to learn as Africans to be resourceful, now we want to be cutting edge entrepreneurs. Solar power will be a big industry for us in our future.”
He finished by saying, “We’re ready!”
The formal panels and business expo begin later today.
"The conditions of expulsion are still terrible. In many cases, sexual violence is reported and even cases of torture," said the report.
It documents 657 instances of sexual violence based on evidence collated by welcome committees in the two territories of Luiza and Tshikapa/Kamonia, in Western Kasai province, in two waves during October.
The UN has called for an immediate investigation into the reports.
"I call upon the authorities of both countries to investigate these allegations and to proceed in compliance with relevant legislation," said Margot Wallström, the Secretary-General's Special Representative for Sexual Violence in Conflict, in a statement issued yesterday. "I expect the authorities of Angola and the DRC to respect human rights and to do everything in their power to prevent abuses of all kinds during any further expulsions."
Word of the allegations comes after publication of reports of systematic rape of up to 500 civilians in eastern Congo between July 30 and August 3 by rebel militiamen in the town of Luvungi, while UN peacekeepers were stationed nearby.
Atul Khare, the UN Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping, said UN peacekeepers had "failed" to protect the victims.
Meanwhile, UNICEF has raised the alarm on a polio epidemic in Angola.
Polio was on the brink of eradication in Angola at the end of 2004, UNICEF says, when the country had experienced three consecutive years without new cases. Then, in 2005, the wild poliovirus reappeared, and Angola now has one of the biggest polio caseloads in Africa. So far this year, 25 cases have been reported.
“While stopping the transmission of polio by the end of this year is on track,” says UNICEF Representative in Angola Dr. Koen Vanormelingen, “more effort and funding is still required."
SAO TOME & PRINCIPE
REGION – Africa and Middle East
CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC