Anything that raises money for charity is great, and I am fully behind sending relief money to help the Ebola crisis that is happening in West Africa. Nevertheless, like many others, aspects of the new Band Aid 30 single make me feel uncomfortable with regards to its portrayal of West Africa and West Africans.
Adele was brought up by a single mum who struggled for money but provided her daughter with a stable and loving home. That Adele is now wanting to do the same should be supported and applauded, not attacked as a sign of selfishness. It is the egotistical rock star who wants to play God that is selfish.
Band Aid reinforces negative stereotypes of Africa and Africans. It reflects a colonial mindset that is so deeply entrenched in Western culture that we aren't even aware it exists. The sight of a bunch of rich pop stars parading themselves as paragons of virtue and heroes is crass and eminently offensive. While it may allow them to wallow in self congratulation and positive PR, it is paternalism of the most grievous kind.... Ultimately, it is not Africa that needs to be saved, it is us. Only when we are saved from the greed and paternalism that distorts our understanding will Africa and the rest of the developing world finally begin to emerge from under the iron heel of Western hegemony.
Okunoren, the brothers well recognised brand, has since set high standards on the direction menswear should take by providing supreme quality in presentation and product. Over 12 years later, the brand continues to hold the number 1 spot as the top menswear brand in Africa with a clientele base of celebrities and business magnates.
Ten years ago, in October 2004, there were 812m internet users worldwide - 12.7 per cent of the global population. The web had 50m sites; a Harvard student, Mark Zuckerberg, had just started Facebook, and Flickr had just been launched as a chat room for an online multiplayer game with real-time photo sharing.
The world of IT is the fast growing one with new gadgets making way into the market every day, be it laptops, phones or personal computers. Rapid development in technology is encouraging equally rapid abandonment of old models of gadgets of personal use. All that's recyclable and considered a 'waste' is landing in Asia's or Africa's backyard.
Newspapers and broadcasters already self-censor when reporting suicides. That is because studies have shown that detailed reports of suicide lead to copycat cases. Perhaps it is time, then, for the media to help reduce the impact of Ebola by showing a little restraint. Tales of desperate, gruesome deaths make better newspaper copy than tales of survival, but they also fuel the hopelessness that can kill those unlucky enough to contract the virus.
Ideological positions and poor understandings have created a set of assumptions about development that are fundamentally challenged by the Ebola experience. Can this terrible crisis provide a moment for reframing development? Surely now is the time for a fundamental rethink of development approaches.
On Thursday, Rwanda's Prime Minister, Anastase Murekezi, launched the Fund for the Environment and Climate Change, modelled on a 'green bank' concept and designed to invest in projects that promote sustainability and tackle climate change. The fund is the first of its kind in Rwanda and the biggest in Africa and comes just weeks after the UN Climate Summit in New York...
I believe that if children are to enjoy their right to an education they must be taught by teachers who are properly trained and supported. There is a pressing need to consider how best to train teachers - both new teachers and up-skilling the large numbers of currently unqualified and under-qualified teachers through in-service training.
Oxfam and other aid agencies are warning that rival groups in South Sudan are regrouping ready to resume violence once the rainy season ends this month. An upsurge in fighting would exacerbate what is already the world's worst food crisis and could lead to famine. The number of people facing dangerous levels of hunger is expected to increase by one million between January and March.
"It's now time for there to be an official place to say if you have this problem, you can come here," says Thorpe. "We will be able to challenge the powers that be, no matter who you are, be you a lecturer, be you a president, we'll be able to take you to task. Once we begin to name and shame people, that would be an achievement."
Emotionally I'm way out of my depth. I'm just a smart-alec comedian who wants to try and help. (Or do I just like the idea?) Now the teenagers have trickled back, cheated of innocence and bringing with them their trauma and children born in slavery. Some seem dead behind the eyes, but physically alert and ready to fight or run at a moment's notice. Soon after we arrive I'm asked to entertain about 80 youths, who don't speak English and have been waiting two hours in the sun for 'the internationally famous comedian' to make them laugh. This could go wrong.