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AFRICA NOW: Nigeria Celebrates 57 Years of Independence

Nigerians across the country are celebrating 57 years of independence from colonial
British rule.

The event will be marked by weeklong festivals, celebrations and activities, though Sen. Babajide Omoworare of the Osun East District urged citizens not to lose sight of the event’s significance.

“While congratulating ourselves on this historic day, we must make unity, peace and
progress of Nigeria our primary concern,” Omoworare said in a statement. “This will uphold the vision of a founders and help in realizing the dream of greater and prosperous country as seen in successful and advanced democratic models across the globe.

“We cannot afford a recline from the gains made under the APC and President Buhari,” Omoworare said. “Corruption, unemployment, insecurity and wastage in governance have been seriously addressed since restoration of democracy in 1999, Nigerians have not seen meaningful and sincere governance as we are seeing today.”

Ghana’s Cocoa Season Starts Late

Ghana, the world’s second-largest cocoa producer, prepares to commence their 2017-2018 cocoa season.

Though Cocobod, Ghana’s industry regulator, usually begins their season during the first
week of October, officials have chosen Oct. 13 as this year’s start date as they wait for the proceeds of a $1.3 billion syndicate loan to pay farmers.

“We are waiting for the first tranche of the $1.3 billion syndicated loan to hit cocoa
board’s accounts before we open the season,” Joseph Boahen Aidoo, Cocoa Board Chief
Executive Officer, said in a statement.

The regulator signed a $1.3 billion loan with international lenders this month for the new
season’s purchases, estimated at about 850,000 tonnes. The first of the money is reportedly expected to arrive in the regulator’s account next week.

Last year Ghana closed its crop season on Sept. 14 with an output of an estimated
950,000 tonnes — the highest since a record 1 million tonnes in 2010/11, with hopes to do even better this year.

Rwandan Women Get New Opportunity With New Jewelry Line

Owners of jewelry-production co-op Chirpwood recently announced the launch of a
new jewelry line that will benefit working women in Rwanda.

Scott Moody, owner of Chirpwood, said that the new line, EJD Mercantile, is set to launch Nov. 1 and will safely employ dozens of Rwandan women and provide decent wages and health care.

“Our goal with our EJD Mercantile line of products is to provide real, sustainable
economic opportunities for women around the world, and to provide you with amazing products with an amazing story,” Moody said. “I have watched job sites in Rwanda where barefoot women carried bags of cement on their heads for nine hours per day to make two dollars. There is no absence of work ethic — just an absence of work. That is a pressing problem in Rwanda and we hope to be a small part of the solution.”

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Lauren M. Poteat

Lauren Poteat is a versatile writer with a strong background in communications and media experience with an additional background in education and development.

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