Stevie Wonder contemplating moving to Ghana

Stevie Wonder has again said he will relocate to Ghana, citing the political turmoil in the United States, while speaking to Oprah Winfrey in an interview explaining his decision,

“I wanna see this nation smile again. And I want to see it before I leave to travel to move to Ghana because I’m going to do that.”

Winfrey then asked, “You’re going to permanently move to Ghana?”

“I am,” replied the singer, known for such hits as “You Are the Sunshine of My Life” and “I Just Called to Say I Love You.”

He added, “I don’t want to see my children’s children’s children have to say, ‘Oh please like me. Please respect me, please know that I am important, please value me.’ What is that?”

This isn’t the first time he has said he was considering moving to Ghana. In 1994, he said he felt there was “more of a sense of community” than in the US.

Wonder, a Michigan native, learned to play piano, drums and harmonica by age 9 and signed to Motown in 1961. Since then, he has won 25 Grammy Awards, an honorary award and has been nominated 74 times.

Credit: CNN

Ebola kills four in Guinea in first resurgence of disease in five years

Four people have died of Ebola in Guinea in the first resurgence of the disease in five years, the country’s health minister said Saturday.

Remy Lamah told AFP that officials were “really concerned” about the deaths, the first since a 2013-16 epidemic — which began in Guinea — left 11,300 dead across the region.

One of the latest victims in Guinea was a nurse who fell ill in late January and was buried on 1 February, National Health Security Agency head Sakoba Keita told local media. “Among those who took part in the burial, eight people showed symptoms: diarrhoea, vomiting and bleeding,” he said. “Three of them died and four others are in hospital.”

The four deaths from Ebola hemorrhagic fever occurred in the south-east region of Nzerekore, he said.

The four deaths from Ebola hemorrhagic fever occurred in the southeast region of Nzerekore, he said.

Keita also told local media that one patient had “escaped” but had been found and hospitalized in the capital, Conakry. He confirmed the comments to AFP without giving further detail.

The World Health Organization has eyed each new outbreak since 2016 with great concern, treating the most recent one in the Democratic Republic of the Congo as an international health emergency.

A rapidly spreading virus with a high fatality rate and no cure, Ebola was first recorded in Guinea in 2013 with the death of a local two-year-old boy. This marked the first outbreak of Ebola in all of West Africa. Since then, the highly fatal virus has been spreading throughout neighboring countries such as Sierra Leone and Liberia, leaving a trail of death behind it.

An epidemic of Ebola virus disease in Guinea from 2013 to 2016 represents the first ever outbreak of Ebola in a West African country. Previous outbreaks have been confined to several countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The epidemic, which began with the death of a two-year-old boy, was part of a larger Ebola virus epidemic in West Africa which spread through Guinea and the neighboring countries of Liberia and Sierra Leone, with minor outbreaks occurring in SenegalNigeria, and Mali. In December 2015, Guinea was declared free of Ebola transmission by the U.N. World Health Organization, however further cases continued to be reported from March 2016. The country was again declared as Ebola-free in June 2016.

West Africa: Experts Set to Discuss Oil and Gas Opportunities in the Region

Home to Africa’s largest and most established oil nation, Nigeria, as well as several emerging producers, West Africa has a long hydrocarbons history. Most recently, projects including Tortue FLNG, Bonga FPSO and Nigeria’s long-awaited petroleum reforms have hit headlines worldwide.

All demonstrate that West Africa remains an attractive prospect for Operators.

On October 8thAOW Virtual ( will unite key experts from Operators, geos, governments and more to discuss new ventures and opportunities in the region, with quickfire data presentations and ample opportunity for audience.

Speakers will include Hon. Fafa Sanyang, Minister of Energy & Petroleum, The Gambia; Dr. Ainojie ‘Alex’ Irune, COO, Oando Energy Resources; Christine Roche, Manager, New Ventures AMME, PGS    ; Eugene Toukam, Commercial Director – Sub Sahara Africa, Baker Hughes; and Chris Hindle, Director, Critical Resource.

Digital technologies are likely to be a key talking point, with the COVID-19 pandemic having accelerated their adoption in the oil and gas space. PGS’ Christine Roche commented: “Many areas [in West Africa] are relatively under-explored with abundant opportunities. Using the latest acquisition and imaging technology, new datasets will improve knowledge of the subsurface petroleum systems and reduce exploration risk”.

Fellow speaking company, Baker Hughes, also has a wealth of data and experience to share on which current technologies are helping to boost production and enhance oil recovery in West Africa. The E&P tech company was recently awarded contracts on BP’s Greater Tortue Ahmeyim natural gas project offshore Mauritania and Senegal.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, gas is also likely to emerge as a key discussion point. Participating speaker and Oando Energy Resources COO Dr. Ainojie ‘Alex’ Irune certainly sees it playing a significant role in Africa’s energy transition. He recently commented: “It’s interesting that we hold 500 tcf of gas and are not the industrial hub of the world. China does not hold that much gas in reserves, we certainly do”. With huge announcements regarding the Train 7 project and AKK pipeline recently coming from Nigeria, there is certainly a lot of ground to cover.

Brought to you by Africa Oil Week (AOW), AOW Virtual ( (7-8 October 2020) is a free to attend online conference aimed at reigniting African oil, gas and energy. True to AOW’s roots, the conference will be packed full of strategic outlooks, debates, and a much-anticipated government bidding round. It will offer AOW’s global oil and gas audience a platform to discuss insights, challenges and opportunities post COVID-19.

Hundreds of C-level executives from across the value chain are expected to attend, as well as government representatives from countries including Somalia, The Gambia, South Africa and the USA. Plus,

Sierra Leone President Reminds ECOWAS of the Need for Peace in Mali

Sierra Leone President Julius Maada Bio has reminded the ECOWAS Commission via a video conference on Monday that there is an urgent need for a peaceful settlement to the political crisis in Mali, while extending his deepest gratitude for its mediation missions.

He was addressing the Extraordinary Session of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), noting that maintaining peace and stability in the region was critical for the collective development agenda of the region.

“Our democratic credentials in the region are being challenged. Sierra Leone stands with the rest of ECOWAS on fostering and maintaining a culture of democracy across the region.

“Excellencies, may I reiterate that it is highly important to maintain peace and order in Mali. Extremist terrorist activity in the North of Mali has spread to neighbouring Niger, Burkina Faso, and further threatens the security of the entire region,” he warned.

The President also commended the President of the Commission, Jean-Claude Kassi Brou, Vice President Madam Finda Koroma; Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security, General Francis A. Behanzin; and, Heads of ECOWAS Institutions and agencies for their continued dedication and commitment.

“In line with the views expressed, Sierra Leone condemns all forms of violence and urges all concerned parties to consider the recommendations put forward by the mediation team led by Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Additionally, Sierra Leone urges strong support for a more robust mandate for MINUSMA.

“Sierra Leone reaffirms its commitment to and support for a peaceful resolution in Mali and encourages President Keita and all other parties to adhere to the decisions of this extraordinary session within an agreed timeline,” he urged.

President Bio concluded by suggesting that in order to maintain good governance, peace, and security in the ECOWAS region it was important to resolve the current socio-political crisis in Mali without delay.

Sierra Leone: President Bio chairs WAMZ Summit, Encourages Member States to Unite on Single Currency Agenda

President Dr Julius Maada Bio has encouraged an extra-ordinary virtual summit with colleague Heads of State and Government of the member states of the West Africa Monetary Zones, WAMZ, to unite in achieving the single currency agenda.

President Bio

With Eco being the proposed name of the new currency, the goal is to merge it with the West African CFA franc, used by most French-speaking members of the Economic Community of West African States. This will create a common currency for much of West Africa.

In his presentation President Bio, who is Chairman of the WAMZ Authority of Heads of States and Governments, said that they were meeting for the development of their union and for the continuation of what their predecessors had started. He noted that even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, they were expected to take actions and move the project forward because a lot of efforts had gone into it.

Sierra Leone’s Minister of Finance, Jacob Jusu Saffa, who is the chairman of the Convergence Council, commended the Heads of State on behalf of the Convergence Council and Committee of Governors of WAMZ for participating in the extraordinary summit, noting that their participation was a manifestation of their belief in and passion for monetary integration in ECOWAS.

President of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo, expressed appreciation for the initiative of President Bio in conveying the meeting, saying that it was their strongest conviction that the pandemic, notwithstanding the process of regional integration which was absolutely critical to the future progress and prosperity of their people, must by all means continue and if possible be further accelerated.

Other Heads of State, who spoke at the summit, included the President of the Republic of Gambia, Adama Barrow, President of the Republic of Guinea, Alpha Condè, President of the Republic of Liberia, George Weah and President of the Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari.

Ghost’ DNA In West Africans Complicates Story Of Human Origins

About 50,000 years ago, ancient humans in what is now West Africa apparently procreated with another group of ancient humans that scientists didn’t know existed.

An artist’s rendering of DNA. Scientists have found traces of DNA that they say is evidence that prehistoric humans procreated with an unknown hominin group in West Africa.
Westend61/Getty Images/Westend61

There aren’t any bones or ancient DNA to prove that theory, but researchers say the evidence is in the genes of modern West Africans. They analyzed genetic material from hundreds of people from Nigeria and Sierra Leone and found signals of what they call “ghost” DNA from an unknown ancestor.

Our own species — Homo sapiens — lived alongside other groups that split off from the same genetic family tree at different times. And there’s plenty of evidence from other parts of the world that early humans had sex with other hominins, like Neanderthals.

That’s why Neanderthal genes are present in humans today, in people of European and Asian descent. Homo sapiens also mated with another group, the Denisovans, and those genes are found in people from Oceania.

The findings on ghost DNA, published in the journal Science Advances, further complicate the picture of how Homo sapiens — or modern humans — evolved away from other human relatives. “It’s almost certainly the case that the story is incredibly complex and complicated and we have kind of these initial hints about the complexity,” says Sriram Sankararaman, a computational biologist at UCLA.

The scientists analyzed the genomes of 405 West Africans. Sankararaman says they used a statistical model to flag parts of the DNA. The technique “goes along a person’s genome and pulls out chunks of DNA which we think are likely to have come from a population that is not modern human.”

Credit: npr

President Julius Maada Bio lunches first national drone corridor in West Africa

President Bio has said that his government is proud to launch the first national drone corridor in West Africa and putting
innovative technology to the service of Sierra Leone’s development aspirations.

“As I have reiterated, we may be a small nation, but we are doing big things. We
believe, as a nation, that we can leapfrog the constraints of history, of infrastructure,
and of geography to champion the small things that have a huge impact for our
development agenda and to reach the last mile.

The President reiterated that Sierra Leone was an inspired and innovative nation and
would continue to embrace technology because of the boundless opportunities it
offered to a growing nation. He added that his government was particularly energised about the possibilities of a drone technology that could service primarily
the human capital development priorities in free quality education, food security, and
quality healthcare and other ancillary development benefits.

“Here is a profile of possibilities: For Agriculture and food security, drone technology can provide a bird’s eye view of a farmer’s crop, help in damming and irrigation pathways, spray fertilisers and insecticides more efficiently, and help in general crop monitoring and management; drone technology can help monitor green cover loss and adequately anticipate general problems related to climate resilience and biodiversity loss as a result of human activity.

“In education, drones offer dynamic experiential learning for students especially in STEAM disciplines and expand the possibilities for teaching new curricula and new disciplines that are critical to national development from waste management, urban planning, to infrastructure management to eco-tourism.

“For healthcare, drones can facilitate the rapid delivery of medical supplies for
pregnant women undergoing Postpartum haemorrhage and help stem maternal
mortality, vaccines, and life-saving medicines such as snake-bite serum, or deal with medical emergencies in otherwise inaccessible areas where there may be an outbreak of communicable diseases.

“For disaster management, drones can help with aerial surveying, mapping, and
closely examining disaster areas in order to predict and act on possible developments.

“Let me first thank UNICEF, DSTI, Njala University, the Civil Aviation Authority, and
citizens of the great Kori Chiefdom for collaborating to establish this seminal national drone corridor,” he said.

Vice Chancellor and Principal of Njala University, Professor Abdallah Mansaray, said that the event was a commemoration of the manifestation of the vision of President Bio and the tremendous strides that had been taken within a short time of the governmentin harnessing technology for development. He said that his institution was determined to face the challenges and transform itself into an institution that would surmount challenges of the twenty-first century.

UNICEF Representative to Sierra Leone, Sulaiman Brimah, commended the
government for the successful launch of the corridor, saying that that was an
example of a broad bold partnership framework. He said that he was excited to
witness the launch of West Africa’s first Drone Corridor that would support social
good and improve the situation of children of Sierra Leone.

Minister of Basic and Senior Education and Chief Innovation Officer, Dr David
Moinina Sengeh, said that he was pleased that they were using technology to
address the challenges of government. He said that the most important thing for
them was about the future of learning, research and industry in the country.
Dr Sengeh urged the administration of Njala University to consider making the
University a center of excellence for the Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies,
where students would be able to access research and innovation.