Friday, February 13, 2015

Rwanda's President Paul Kagame Prefers Capital Markets for Investment Finance, Not Aid

Rwanda's President Paul Kagame says African countries will not succeed economically if the continent does not embrace the spirit of integration and cooperation.
"No country on our continent on its own is big enough or rich enough to build and sustain the markets thatAfrica needs," Kagame said, adding that, "Regional, continental and even global integration is more essential than ever before."
Kagame made the remarks on February 12 while officially opening the East African Capital Markets Conference held in Rwanda's capital-Kigali. 
He told hundreds of regional and global players that Africa presents enormous opportunities in this industry, but for it to advance, "it should be as resilient and inclusive as Africa itself."
Kagame regretted that Africa is much poorer than it has any reason to be, because it has lacked the ability to accumulate its own wealth. "Wealth we have in Africa is being recycled to us in forms of aid...," he said.
He told participants that it's time Africa understood that capital markets are part of the infrastructure of optimism upon which Africa's prosperity rests.
"Look at the rest of the world. Capital markets can outweigh what we get in aid by thousands of times," he said.
He encouraged investors to consider capital markets in Africa as a lucrative area to invest in.
However, many investors were candid enough to raise their concerns. Yong Wang Deputy CEO and EVP, China-Africa Development Fund said, "Investing in Africa is risky," however adding that, "but not investing is even riskier."
The Rwanda Capital market is the youngest on the continent, but equipped with the latest technology, flexible and globalized laws and regulations. 
Barely five years old, the Rwanda Stock Exchange (RSE), has six listed companies, and four of them are foreign. But the government issues quarterly bonds as part of a plan to develop the industry.
Last year, IFC issued a US$22m bond on the RSE, which was oversubscribed by 400%.
Rwanda is regarded a risk-free economy with minimal inflationary risks and a positive growth rate averaging 8% over the past decade. Upon issuing a US $400m Eurobond on the Irish Stock Exchange in April, 2013, the 10-year sovereign debt was oversubscribed by 875%, earning the country US $3.5b.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Cannabis Science Highlights Additional Attendees at the Washington DC, African Union, CFA African Healthcare Infrastructure Forum and Brainstorm

Cannabis Science and Raymond C. Dabney Joins the Fight for a Better African Healthcare Infrastructure

Cannabis Science, Inc. (OTCQB: CBIS), a U.S. Company specializing in cannabis formulation-based drug development and related consulting, highlights additional attendees at the CFA African Healthcare Infrastructure Forum and Brainstorm held at the African Union, in Washington DC, on February 6, 2015.
As previously announced, Cannabis Science President & CEO, Raymond C. Dabney was appointed as the Vice Chair of the newly launched Constituency for Africa (CFA) Africa Healthcare Infrastructure Committee. ( ) ( )

The committee held its inaugural meeting on February 5, 2015 at the African Union Mission to discuss its charge from CFA President, Mr. Melvin Foote, and to approve a conceptual framework program of work. Building on the successful model by CFA of using Town Hall formats and commissioning lectures to highlight priorities, The Committee discussed to hold the Africa Healthcare Infrastructure Forum & Brainstorm Session on February 6 at the African Union Mission in terms of the expected outcome and to establish the five standing sub-committees on EDUCATION, AGRICULTURE, FOOD SECURITY, TECHNOLOGY & COMMUNICATION, LEADERSHIP, POLITICAL ENGAGEMENT & POLICY, and HEALTHCARE INFRASTRUCTURE to develop and sustain programs in these areas.

Mr. Dabney joined Dr. Roscoe M. Moore Jr. (retired US Assistant Surgeon General) who is Interim Chair of CFA and also Chair of the Africa Healthcare Infrastructure Committee, along with 13 others consisting of individuals with extensive experience working in or with Africa in the public and private sectors at the African Union for the African healthcare brainstorm session.

Among them is Dr. Julius Garvey, an accomplished board certified surgeon specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease, the son of the legendary pan-Africanist Marcus Garvey Jr., Dr. Sam Mbulaiteye, who is a senior investigator at the National Cancer Institute, and Prof. Allen Herman, an independent public health consultant who was the founding Dean of the National School of Public Health, Medical School of Southern Africa in South Africa.

The Africa Healthcare Infrastructure Forum & Brainstorm Session was held on February 6, 2015 at the African Union Mission in a historic event graced by a Keynote speech by award-winning Actor and Social Entrepreneur, Jeffery C. Wright, who spoke passionately and intimately about the devastation of the Ebola epidemic on healthcare services in Africa and, recalling Albert Einstein's definition of insanity, doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results, he called for a new approach borrowing from the model used in the Marshall Plan, which worked in Europe after the second world war.

The meeting was addressed by Mr. Tarek Ben Youssef, Senior Political Officer in the African Union Mission as host who represented the AU permanent representative Amina Salum Ali, who was delayed returning from the African Union Summit in Addis Ababa.

The 5 panelists who followed Mr. Jeffrey Wright were Mr. Robert Mallet (President Accordia Global Health Foundation), Ms. Jessica Rookwood (President of International Health Advisors), Mr. Donald Shriber (Deputy Director for Policy and Communication, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), Dr. Pernessa Seele (Founder and CEO, The Balm in Gilead, Inc) and Mr. Gregory Simpkins (Senior Director, US House of Representatives, Sub-committee on Africa).

Five people responding to the panel were Ms. Julia Royall (Global Health Information Specialist), Dr. Gloria B. Herndon (CEO GB Herndon & Associates), Dr. Julius Garvey (Garvey vascular Specialists), Dr. Arikana Chihombori (Chair, African Diaspora Health Initiative, African Union) and Mr. Raymond C. Dabney (Chairman Board of Directors, Cannabis Science Inc., and the Cannabis Science Research Foundation).

The Africa Healthcare Infrastructure Forum & Brainstorm Session, coming on the heels of the 24th meeting of the African Union and the unprecedented international response to the Ebola epidemic, is poised to play a unique and catalytic role to radically transform the global health agenda of Africa from one that lurches from one crisis response to another crisis response to one that is built on health system strengthening, engagement of African communities and professionals, and long-term training and infrastructure investment.

Cannabis Science and the Cannabis Science Research Foundation, through its Chairman Raymond C. Dabney, is pleased to be associated with this historic session, and with the work of CFA, and to join the African Union and partner institutions to re-shape the debate and implementation healthcare reform and investment in Africa. Agreeing with keynote speaker, Jeffrey C. Wright, that the responsibility of healthcare lies with local governments in Africa, thus healthcare system strengthening.

Mr. Dabney believes and re-affirmed that Cannabis Science and the Cannabis Science Research Foundation would respond with urgency and seriousness of purpose, the Africa to support long-term efforts to rebuild Africa's healthcare infrastructure along the priorities established by the Africa Healthcare Infrastructure Committee. This work will include education and training to replace workers lost in epidemics such as the HIV/AIDS and the Ebola epidemics, revitalization of agriculture, and leadership training. The legacy of the Ebola epidemic in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia should not be a Cassandra Curse, but a vibrant partnership to do what is possible so Africans can manage and deliver health to their own peoples – in other words build the wealth of Africans by supporting the health of its peoples.

"A healthy and vibrant Africa is good for everybody. Imagine the potential of untapped resources of Africa making their fair share contribution to the global economy, including in agricultural production, drug manufacturing and distribution. It is a big....CONTINUES

Cannabis Science Highlights Additional Attendees at the Washington DC, African Union, CFA African Healthcare Infrastructure Forum and Brainstorming event:

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Sunday, February 8, 2015

President Barack Obama’s Power Africa Initiative Joins African Utility Week as Country Partner in Cape Town in May

African Utility Week has announced that Power Africa, US President Barack Obama’s initiative to improve access to power in sub-Saharan Africa, will be the official country partner of the upcoming conference and expo from 12-14 May at the CTICC in Cape Town, South Africa. The conference and expo bring together utility professionals from across the globe to learn, share knowledge and debate the key topics that will secure the future development of Africa’s power and water industries.

Power Africa works with African governments, the private sector, and other partners to add more than 30,000 megawatts (MW) of cleaner, more efficient electricity generation capacity as well as increase electricity access by adding 60 million new home and business connections throughout all of sub-Saharan Africa.

The 15th African Utility Week and Clean Power Africa is expected to again attract more than 5000 attendees and feature 250 exhibitors, 190 speakers, eight conferences, free technical workshops on the expo floor, three high-profile plenary sessions and the coveted industry awards gala dinner.

Fitting to gather in Cape Town
Andrew Herscowitz, Coordinator for Power Africa, says: “President Obama launched Power Africa in Cape Town in late June 2013 and it is therefore fitting that we will gather and engage Africa in Cape Town in May, to talk about solutions and partnering with African utilities to connect Africa to the global grid.”

He adds: “We are excited to participate and engage with thousands of power professionals from around the continent gathering at African Utility Week to discuss their shared challenges and how they can work together to improve the way Africans live and work. We look forward to continuing to be part of this on-going conversation and making a difference in the African power sector.”

African Utility Week event director Evan Schiff says “African Utility Week is the right place for Power Africa to engage with stakeholders as there are strong synergies between our respective strategies on the continent. This is the only ‘in territory’ event, that Power Africa will be participating in, with US exhibitors supported by the US Commercial Services and Power Africa partners like USAID,OPIC, EXIM Bank, US Department of State, US Department of Energy and the Power Africa Private Partners. We therefore share a common goal with clear objectives.”

He continues: “African utilities have been gathering at African Utility Week for 15 years engaging, with their peers to find African solutions to African challenges in the power sector. International partners have participated in this conversation and added best of breed technology and financial solutions. Long term strategic partnerships between initiatives and organisations like Power Africa and African Utility Week therefore are in Africa’s interest.”

DNV-GL has already confirmed its exclusive diamond sponsorship of the event while Accenture, Building Energy, MarelliMotori, Rubbytad and Edison Power Group are the platinum sponsors.

African Utility Week and Clean Power Africa are organised by Spintelligent, leading Cape Town-based trade exhibition and conference organiser, and the African office of Clarion Events Ltd, based in the UK.

African Utility Week and Clean Power Africa dates and location:
Exhibition & Conference: 12-14 May 2015
Industry awards: 13 May 2015
Site Visits: 15 May 2015
Location: CTICC, Cape Town, South Africa

Spintelligent (Pty) Ltd is an African media business, specialising in Exhibitions, Conferences and Publishing. Head-quartered in Cape Town with a team of 90 experienced professionals, Spintelligent is a dynamic and recognised organiser across multiple industry sectors and geographies. A specialist organiser with the ability to deliver key growth projects in the early emerging markets of the African continent. Spintelligent is the African partner office of Clarion Events Ltd, the UK based organiser operating in 36 countries worldwide with 9 subsidiary offices delivering over 500 exhibitions and conferences annually.

Spintelligent delivers projects in African growth industry sectors; Power & Utilities; Energy; Mining; Education & Careers; Agriculture; Infrastructure; Military & Defence.

Spintelligent delivers projects in the emerging African markets; South Africa; Nigeria; Ghana; Kenya; Tanzania; DRC; Angola; Mozambique; Zambia.

Spintelligent is recognised for its print and electronic publications, with market-leading brands including Metering International, ESI Africa and Mining Review Africa.

Its regular global events and exhibitions, as well as its critical business intelligence and integrated marketing services make it a leader in its field. The company’s highly skilled resources in management, marketing, research and production allow for unique products bridging the developed and developing markets.

Cape Town, South Africa, February 08, 2015 --( 

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Black History Month and Superheroes: Changing the Perception of Blacks in Sci-Fi and Fantasy

Television director Eric Dean Seaton continues to break stereotypes of African Americans in science fiction and fantasy with his third book in the "Legend of the Mantamaji" graphic novel series. Drawing on his experience as a successful director in Hollywood, Seaton crafts a thrilling story that supports the simple notion that the world needs to see that people of color can be superheroes and save the day with all of the fun, action and history found in any other popular comic today.

When people think of superheroes and science fiction, they often imagine the strong chiseled features and extraordinary powers demonstrated primarily by white male characters. Critically-acclaimed television director Eric Dean Seaton wants to remind comic book and sci-fi fans that Black people can be superheroes, too. With the launch of his third book in the Legend of the Mantamaji graphic novel series on February 11th [available at Barnes & Noble bookstores, comic book shops and online at, iTunes, Comixology, etc.], Seaton hopes positive representation of people of color in comics will go a long way to shatter stereotypes about Black involvement and interest in science fiction and fantasy. Books One and Two were named "Top Graphic Novels of 2014" by and Atlanta Black Star. With Book Three's release just days away, the success of the series shows no sign of slowing.

"Science fiction and fantasy stories give people of all ages something to dream about. What does it say to children when the only heroes they read about are white?" Seaton, whose television hits include Disney's Austin & Ally, NBC's Undateable and Nickelodeon's Bella and the Bulldogs said. "Black people do survive the zombie apocalypse, people of color exist in the future. They don't have to be the first person the monster eats. And our interests go beyond civil rights and slavery. Our history is incredibly important, but so are our dreams and creative imaginings. Legend of the Mantamaji is first, a really great story with lots of action, fun plot twists, a rich history and well-rounded characters. The characters are as diverse as the world around us. It's a point of view that really isn't represented regularly in the comics and literary world. "
The third book in the Legend of the Mantamaji series tells the story of Elijah Alexander, an Assistant D.A. who has learned that his childhood storybook of legends are actually the true stories of his heritage and that he is the last of a race of mystical knights known as the Mantamaji. After realizing he's only part human, Elijah has struggled with the shift in his world and becomes a hunted man charged with ridding the world of an ancient evil no other Mantamaji has ever been able to defeat. The full-color, action packed series has hair-raising plot twists and smart storytelling for all superhero fans ages 9 - 99.

"Standouts include female characters who are smart, strong warriors equal to the male characters in the book with no “a**-to-the-camera” poses, great pen work by Brandon Palas, coloring by Andrew Dalhouse of Boom!, D.C. and Marvel, and lettering by Eisner-nominated artist Deron Bennett." --Buzzfeed Community
"Fans who bemoan the 'big two' for a lack of vision, or effort, to create bold new characters and franchises, should learn that innovation can often be found elsewhere. 'LEGEND OF THE MANTAMAJI' has all of the excitement, imagination and suspense to be a TV or film series on its own, but instead it is here as a comic to be enjoyed by the masses who crave them. 'LEGEND OF THE MANTAMAJI' volume one is a must read for those who crave all of the spectacle and action of superhero comics, yet want a comic which offers creative new ideas and a progressive storyline with real weight behind it," Alex Widen, Brooklyn Comic Book Examiner

"Legend of the Mantamaji is teevee director Eric Dean Seaton's (Sonny with a Chance, That's So Raven, Good Luck Charlie) first shot at writing comics, but this is clearly a professional storyteller with writing chops and a lifelong love of the medium, both of which are on full display here. I am not sure what I expected when I was invited to review Legends of the Mantamaji, but I can tell you I was definitely impressed by the quality world-building and storytelling."

As an episodic director, ERIC DEAN SEATON has directed 195 television episodes of 38 different shows, 18 music videos and two pilots for Nickelodeon, as well as two pilots for Disney XD. He has also directed episodes of the NBC/Warner Bros. comedy Undateable, TBS's Ground Floor, BETs Lets Stay Together and Reed Between the Lines. He is a Cleveland, Ohio native and attended The Ohio State University. Eric, his wife, son and daughter live in California. LEGEND OF THE MANTAMAJI is his first graphic novel series.
FOR MEDIA INTERVIEWS | BOOK REVIEW REQUESTS CONTACT: Terreece M. Clarke, (614) 467-0361 | Press(at)Mantamaji(dot)com or TClarke(at)LifeSliceMedia(dot)com |

Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) February 03, 2015