Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Explore investment opportunities in Ghana: Join the Trade Delegation and Cultural Tour of Ghana

Join Akbar Muhammad 
on a 
U.S. Trade Del 
egation and Cultural Tour


December 6-17, 2017 


U.S. trade delegations facilitate visits to key foreign officials and a cross-section of Ministries to educate and explore investment and import/export opportunities.

You will participate in dynamic business meetings that promote dialogue, engagement and  sharing of ideas. This is a unique networking opportunity for our travelers!

You will also experience Ghanian culture with customized tours and historical site  visits.

Ghana...Let's Go!!

 ITINERARY DRAFT (confirmed 90 days prior to departure)
 DEC 6   Evening departure from ATL @ 9:20 PM to Istanbul.   
 DEC 7   Evening arrival in Istanbul. Check-in hotel, Dinner and Rest.  
 DEC 8   Morning tour of Istanbul. Afternoon departure for Accra. Arrival, hotel check-in.  B
 DEC 9    City Tour: Kwame Nkrumah Memorial & WEB DuBois Center. Welcome dinner with  
                  Af-American business owners living and in  Ghana. B & D
 DEC 10  Morning religious services (optional) / Shop at the Art Center; Measurements for       
                  personal garments. Evening Business meetings  TBA.  B
 DEC 11   Morning  departure for Cape Coast Slave Castles and school visit. Overnight at
                  Anamabo Beach Hotel.  B
 DEC 12  Morning departure for Kakum Rainforest and clinic visit.  Evening African Naming 
                  Ceremony with Drumming and Dancing.   B & D   
 DEC 13   Morning departure for Accra. Hotel Check- in.  Afternoon Business meetings TBAB & L 
 DEC 14   Meeting with Ministries; Tour to select businesses TBA.   B
 DEC 15    Jummah prayer, meet with Muslim business leaders.  Evening entertainment.  B
 DEC 16   Farewell Lunch. Departure for Istanbul @ 9 PM   B & L
 DEC  17   Depart Istanbul @ 3 PM. Arrive in Atlanta @ 7:50 PM   B
$300 Deposit Due Today To Confirm Your Seat

Tour Activities
  • Try your skills at bartering in a local Market
  • Visit  Cape Coast Slave Dungeons
  • Mosque / Church / Traditional Services
  • Visit  Kakum National Rainforest Park
  • Participate in an African Naming Ceremony                                          Accra City Tour includes
  • W.E.B. Du Bois Center
  • Kwame Nkrumah Memorial
  • Art Market
  • Opportunities to meet and connect with Ghanaian professionals and African-American Expats

Tour Includes
  • International Airfare from Atlanta 
  • Overnight and Tours in Istanbul, Turkey
  • Deluxe Hotel Accommodations  Double Occupancy
  • Breakfast Daily
  • Welcome Dinner
  • Farewell Lunch
  • Ground Transportation & Baggage Handling
  • Professionally Guided Tours
  • Departure Taxes 
  • Visa (Ghana & Turkey)
  • Personal Expenses (Intl phone calls, tips, laundry services, meals not included on itinerary, etc.)

What's Next?


Read it. Sign it. Scan it. Send it over. 
Include payment in the form of a check or use the PayPal link to make your initial deposit.


Deposit is due by Sept 10 to confirm your seat on the tour.

Get a passport or make sure yours won't expire within 6 months of the trip date.  

Visit the Dept. of State website or  your local Post Office to apply for a US passport.
VISAS  (submit application 30-45 days prior to departure)
International laws require a Visa for entry into both Ghana and Turkey. Procedures for securing a visa are:

(1) Application form:  must completed online by visiting the link below.  

On the first page (Step 1), please select Counter Service as Mode of Submission and when the application should be presented at the Ghana Consulate.
IMPORTANT: On the last page of the application (Step 5), please RECORD the application Ref No at the top right of the page.  It will be needed to retrieve your application.
(2) Passport: must be valid for at least (6) six month with a minimum of two blank visa pages.
Note: Non-US citizens must include physical green card and passport with their application
(3) Two (2) Passport-Sized Photographs: taken within six months prior to application and showing full face of applicant, without hat, cap or sunglasses on a white background.
(4) Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate
(5) Copy of Travel Reservation or Airline Ticket
(we will provide this to you on Sept 15 via e-mail)
(6) Letter of Authorization: authorizing Cousin Trips to handle the visa application and travel documents on the applicant's behalf.
(7) Visa Fee: payable to The Mission of Ghana by Bank or Postal Money Order only.
Be sure to include a pre-paid return (addressed to you) envelope to receive your processed passport from the embassy.  Allow 3 weeks to complete the visa process to avoid delays.
Visa cost is $30 and will be processed and issued on arrival.
Please bring cash to pay visa fee.

We recommend travel insurance. Below is a link for your review.

International travel law requires that you have an up to date Yellow Fever shot for entry to Ghana. It is recommended that you also begin a course of Malaria prevention medication starting 7 days prior to travel.

Inquire with your health care provider or your local travel clinic to schedule an appointment.

For additional information contact:
Samimah Aziz @ 678 549-4775

Get on TheBlackList, for the Cause

Monday, August 28, 2017

Breastfeeding: A Gift that Lasts a Lifetime! 5th Annual Black Breastfeeding Week, August 25-31, 2017

Q&A with Ms. Calondra Tibbs, MPH, Senior Advisor, Public Health Programs, National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), Washington, DC, August 28, 2017

The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) in Washington, DC represents the nation's nearly 3,000 local governmental health departments. All of NACCHO's efforts focus on promoting health and equity, combating disease, and improving the quality and length of all lives. August 25-31, 2017 is the 5th Annual Black Breastfeeding Week observance and NACCHO's Senior Advisor Calondra Tibbs, MPH, describes the organization's work to improve breastfeeding rates among African-American and low-income women: 

Q1: Ms. Tibbs, August is National Breastfeeding Month and August 25 – 31, 2017, is the 5th Annual Black Breastfeeding Week. Why is breastfeeding a public health priority? 
A1: Breastfeeding is a critical public health issue, as it is the optimal source of infant nutrition, and has long-term health benefits for mom and baby.  Breastfeeding protects babies from infections and decreases the risk of leukemia, sudden infant death syndrome and obesity.  For mothers, it reduces their risk of breast and ovarian cancer, diabetes and heart attacks.
Q2: Breastfeeding has many benefits, so why are there still disparities among black women and women living in poverty?
A2: Disparities persist, as with many health outcomes, due to several barriers such as low availability and access to breastfeeding support, lack of family and community support, unaccommodating workplace and childcare environments, and aggressive marketing of infant formula.
Among infants born in 2014, black infants had the lowest breastfeeding rates of all reported race/ethnicity groups. Only 68% of black infants were ever breastfed as compared to 85.7% of white infants. Initiation rates for infants of mothers living in poverty was 73.2% among infants born in 2014.
Structural barriers disproportionately impact women of color and women living in poverty. For instance, birthing facilities using breastfeeding-friendly practices are less likely to be located in communities with high percentages of people of color or residents living in poverty.
In addition, the lack of federal legislation regarding paid family medical leave to support working families can impact decisions on returning to work.  One-in-four women return to work within two weeks of delivery, and low-wage earners return to work sooner than higher wage earners. This limits the ability of women to establish breastfeeding prior to returning to work. And, although there are mandates for workplaces to support breastfeeding women, those working in the service industry are less likely to have adequate accommodations to support the pumping and storing of human milk.
Q3: Why has it been so important to increase breastfeeding rates among black infants?
A3: Although there have been great strides in breastfeeding, this persistent disparity in breastfeeding rates suggests that there are other factors that impact breastfeeding in the black community. The goal of our collective efforts should be to improve maternity care practices for black women; champion workplace and paid family medical leave policies; provide skilled and culturally-attuned breastfeeding support in communities; and engage the broader community to promote a culture of breastfeeding.
Q4: What is the local health department's role in supporting breastfeeding?
A4: Local health departments can play a vital role in supporting breastfeeding and ensuring access to breastfeeding support.  Local health departments and their partners are uniquely positioned to address breastfeeding by supporting policy, systems, and environmental changes that enable women to breastfeed at optimal rates. These include encouraging breastfeeding-friendly workplace and hospital practices and expanding community-level breastfeeding support.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recognized the critical role local health departments have in supporting breastfeeding in underserved communities. This effort, led by the NACCHO, supported 72 projects in 32 states. Collectively, they provided over 90,000 one-to-one encounters and over 3,000 breastfeeding support groups. Grantees also instituted innovative practices to address structural barriers to breastfeeding by building workforce capacity, partnering with worksites and collaborating with hospitals and healthcare providers to ensure continuity of care for breastfeeding mothers. These efforts were positive steps towards increasing breastfeeding among black women and women living in poverty.
The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) represents the nation's nearly 3,000 local governmental health departments. These city, county, metropolitan, district, and tribal departments work every day to protect and promote health and well-being for all people in their communities. For more information about NACCHO, please visit
ContactTheresa Spinner
Director, Media and Public Relations
Direct:  202-783-5551
WASHINGTONAug. 28, 2017 /PRNewswire/ --
Get on TheBlackList - for the Cause.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Farewell, Elder Bankie F. Bankie, our Pan-African compass

Dear Friends,

Very sadly our friend and colleague, Mr. Bankie F. Bankie, has passed on. It is taking some time to piece together all the rather patchy information on the circumstances surrounding his demise. I have been in touch with his wife, friends and colleagues in Namibia since the morning of the 6th August when the first news reached me from his sister in Ghana. We have set up a working group in Namibia, which is making all the necessary preparations for his funeral. His request, according to his will, is that he wanted to be cremated. The date for the cremation has not been fixed. I spoke yesterday to the former Prime Minister of Namibia, Mr. Nahas Angula, who is the most senior person involved in the preparations for his funeral. The Namibian authorities and colleagues have done a splendid job on announcements in the country.

Mrs Rita Bankie discovered Bankie’s decomposing body when she arrived from travels on the evening of Tuesday, 1st August. I was called by Estelle Appiah, Bankie’s sister on Sunday morning at 1 AM, who informed me that she had received news of her brother’s death and whether I could confirm the sad news. Early in the morning of Sunday, I made contact with two colleagues in Namibia who, after investigations, confirmed the news. Apparently, his body was decomposed. Mrs Estelle Appiah, Bankie’s sister, has asked for official reports and a death certificate through the Ghana High Commission in Namibia so that his will can be formally registered in the High Court in Accra.

We are awaiting a decision on the date for the cremation.

Yours sincerely,

Prof. K.K. Prah
Director, CASAS
Cape Town, South Africa

Activist Romona Epifania Hidileko, who worked very closely with the late elder Bankie F. Bankie at the National Youth Council (NYC), delivered the news that our Pan African teacher and guide has departed from this earth.
Indeed, he has proceeded into the ancestry from where, as African spirituality guides us, he will be watching over us. With the defeat of African spirituality in the arena of death related metaphysical, there is only one way to react and interpret death – the European missionary interpretation.
Thomas Sankara, one of Africa’s greatest African revolutionaries that lived, helped us deal with death.
Listen to how he guided the people of Burkina Faso, on 19th October 1986, following the death of Samora Machel, then revolutionary leader of Mozambique: “avoid falling into sentimentalism… with sentimentalism one cannot understand death. Sentimentalism belongs to the messianic vision of the world, which, since it expects a single man to transform the universe, inspires lamentation, discouragement and despondency as soon as this man disappears.
Samora Machel is dead. His death must serve to enlighten and strengthen us as revolutionaries . . . I ask you to name streets, buildings and so on after Samora Machel over the whole expanse of our territories, because he deserves it.”
Similarly, Bankie is dead. His death must to enlighten and strengthen us as Pan-Africanist. Bankie was a Pan-African activist in his own class. He would not want us, I believe, to fall into sentimentalism. He would want us to dedicate our work to the liberation of the African people, particularly towards black people’s knowledge of self.
The best we can do is to recall his ideas, thoughts and principles for reflection and action. It is for us to think about our engagements with him for reflections and safekeeping for he is gone for good into ancestry.
Although I understood the struggles of the African people and constantly sought personal development of my objective and subjective consciousness when I left Iipumbu Secondary School for the University of Namibia after 2005, I had not reached a refined understanding and appreciation of Pan-Africanism until I met and had personal relationship with Bankie. He taught me Pan–Africanism.
I was not alone, we were with many others, such as Etuna Jakobus Joshua and Shidumifa Lot Ndamanomhata. He had many students under his Pan-African tutelage before us. Many of them hold high positions in society today. The best universal reflection of Bankie, therefore, is that of a Pan-African activist, Pan-Africanist teacher and compass for those of us that got closer to him.
It must be clarified that he did not teach us Pan-Africanism in classrooms, but through personal, social and political encounters. Bankie had successfully integrated himself with the youth.
Politics aside, Mandela Kapere assisted a great deal in this integration by finding a place for Bankie at the NYC. This has been a significant development in Bankie’s Pan-Africanist work in Namibia. Kapere, therefore, played an important role in the work of our teacher within the small circles of Pan African youth.
Bankie was an action-orientated teacher. He loved us dearly. In 2010, he took me out of the World Youth Festival in Pretoria to meet the freedom fighters of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM). At that time the people of South Sudan were still fighting for independence from Khartoum. The ANC had given diplomatic status to the SPLM.
He had long hours of discussion with Dr John Gai and Sabir Ibrahim, who then ran the office. When South Sudan got independence, he asked me to accompany him to a workshop in Addis Ababa to meet with African activists, including those from the newly independent South Sudan dealing with the questions of the challenges of decolonisation.
Bankie was passionate about the struggles of the people of South Sudan. He introduced us to the problem of
‘Islamisation’ and the ‘Arabisation’ of Africa, with Sudan being a case study. He often, in private conversations, chastised the Swapo elites for prioritising the struggle of Palestine over the struggle of people of South Sudan.
He had the following to say about Pan Africanism in Namibia: “In Namibia the youth are disinterested in Africa and its Diaspora. It will come eventually, but it’s two to three generations away. PACON failed its mission of disseminating Pan-Africanism. I wanted to resign from its Eminent Board in 2005 but was asked to stay on. Despite many efforts to change its board, the powers-that-be have insisted on keeping the board. During the armed phase of the struggle Swapo was generally felt to lack ideological direction. We are paying the costs of that now.”
What we must do, as Pan Africanists, is to continue the activism of elder Bankie. I will continue to make him proud with my little efforts as Commissioner of the African Diaspora and External Affairs. I will work with African activists in the Diaspora.
Although he may not be around to call me to his house for hours and hours of discussions, I will forever cherish our time together, avoid falling into sentimentalism, and complete his task. Our Pan-African guide will continue watching over us, from ancestry.
Job Shipululo Amupanda is a commissioner for the African Diaspora and External Affairs of the African Youth Commission and a political science lecturer at the University of Namibia.
More tributes:
On Thu, Aug 10, 2017 at 11:52 AM, Line HILGROS wrote:
Hotep Majestic family,

Bad news, one's of us Bankie FOSTERS Bankie a great lawyer from Caribbean is dead early this morning. He has worked variously in administration, diplomacy, education and research. He currently lives and works in Juba, South Sudan, where he is associated with the Kush Institution and is actively interested in Afro-Arab relations and their impact on the African unity movement. After a stop in Gambia and Ghana, he has chosen to live in Namibia like a Professor and Dean, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Namibia. In addition to his Pan African interests, his expertise is in information and knowledge sharing for the development of grassroots groups in Africa. Here he is between Sis. Dowoti DESIR and Brother Peter LEMA, with Sister Malaak SHABAZZ. I had planned to invite him for Kwanzaa in December but God decided otherwise. Honor and Respect for this great Pan africanist (This is my point of view).

Kind Regards
Be blessed
Kisses from Guadeloupe

Sis. Makeda knows as Line HILGROS`
Dear Line,
Thank you for this news. Brother Bankie was a giant in the Pan African Movement. He regularly sent out news and advancements in Pan Africanism, he organized and coordinated many meetings and conferences, and just simply got serious Pan African work done on a daily basis.. He will be sorely missed. May he rest in peace, knowing he did his part majestically.
Stay strong.
David L. Horne
All hail the life and times of BFB. May he journey forth and return to us. A great comrade he was, and will always be.
Hilary (M. Beckles)
I struggle to accept the departing of our Brother Bankie F. Bankie......
I have rarely met, learned from and actively interacted with someone as practical as Elder Bankie F Bankie. His absolutism about Pan-Afrikan progress, ideological accuracy and revolutionary commitment was not only reflected in his speech and writing, but in every pore of his life. He was a huge provocation and upsetment to anyone who adores talking nonsense, pretending to be an activist and falsely projecting Afrikan progress. 
His undying commitment to Afrikan Youth was unquestionable and a HUGE challenge to "arrogant Pan-Africademics" who like to put youth at the back and reserve frontseats for themselves only. To Brother Bankie, young Afrikans belonged in front. Always. Also, his awakened analysis and positioning himself as a recurring alarm-system for Arab-led enslavement, anti-Black terrorism and Arabization was important beyond what many lenient Afrikans could comprehend.   
Many experienced his "rough" and non-negotiable stubbornness, but if you took time to study where that came from, the source was his impatience with our collective non-progress. Brother Bankie had no time for chatting, chilling and celebrating. His stance was no-rest, no-sleep, no-fear.
His passing is a HUGE loss to Afrikan Progress. Warrior Bankie was a Ph"DO" (rather than a PhD....) - an ultra-practical Pan-Afrikanist, having completely internalised the struggle and living an Afrikan urgency day and night. 
On behalf of eBukhosini Solutions in Johannesburg, myself and all entities I have engaged closely with him through, we want to say RISE IN POWER to our departed Brother, Elder, Father, Friend and Progressive Force. May his spirit continue to live through those of us who are still fearless, faithful and militant in our dedication to Afrikan Freedom. 
May his Ancestral Soul visit us relentlessly, trouble us, wake us up, challenge us, irritate us and PUSH us as hard as necessary - to continue the work that must be done. By ANY means necessary.
Peaceful Journey, Beloved Brother and Friend. 
The struggle does - INDEED - continue.
Your life was not in vain.
We'll take it from here.
Baba Buntu
Executive Director
eBukhosini Solutions
Afrikan Salutations, BABA BUNTU
Executive Director

Muhammad Jalal Hashim:
Dear Baba Buntu and all, I still find it very difficult to comprehend the fact that Bankie F. Bankie is no more with us living in flesh on this earth. There are some people you grow up believing without being aware of it that they are immortal. Once they pass away, things stop from being the same things you used to know; the world stops from being the same world. This is how I am feeling since our brother and friend Glenroy Watson broke out to me the sad news.
What can we say! Denying it? Bankie hated nothing more than living in denial of life facts. There is nothing that we can do better than keeping his torch aflame and pursuing the same ends and goals he spent his honourable life fighting to either fulfil or to eradicate. Bankie fought his honourable wars on two sides, on one side to make ends meet, such as the welfare of all black Africans; on the other side, to stop certain things, such as racism, from existing.
Hereby, I call upon you all: let us write about him and try to collect all his written materials he had sent us so as to see the possibility of compiling them in a book.
Further, let us all think of a way to annually commemorate his honourable life and departure.
All remain well.

Mavis G. Biekman wrote:
Good Afternoon Baba,
It is always sad to share these kind of information, especially when it concerns someone who was an activist, warrior, revolutionist, a leader, with the aim to create awareness and concsiousness on his people, but also an empowerer for the youth!
It is also sad that people who are valuable for  the society live shorter than those people who are sowing destruction within civilization/societies and havoc in countries worldwide, or in their own backyard!
Brother Bankie has set an example for African societies, and I hope that they, especially youth, will follow his footsteps to bring the necessary CHANGE!!!!!
I wish his family, friends, fellow activists/warriors, you Baba and friends strength to carry this loss!!! 
As you said Baba, MAY HE REST IN POWER!!!!
Who is Bankie Foster Bankie? 
Get to know Bankie Foster Bankie: