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Afrochella powers forward into the future on its vibrant opening day – TheGrio


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This year, Afrochella, the Ghanaian music festival that has been running every December since 2017, faced a number of challenges.

Not only was the festival hit with a copyright infringement lawsuit earlier this year because its name is similarity to Coachella’s, Rolling Stone reports, it also had to compete with the AfroNation Festival, which overlapped it by one day and is only four miles away.

But Afrochella, held on Dec. 28 and 29 in the nation’s capital of Accra, plowed on. And unlike AfroNation, which featured Meek Mill as a headliner this year, Afrochella featured major headliners who were all Africa-based musicians.

Attendees get their faces painted at the 2022 Afrochella Festival on Dec. 28, 2022 at El Wak Stadium in the greater Accra region of Ghana. (theGrio Photo/Chinekwu Osakwe)

“Afrofuturism” was the theme of this year’s festival. The scene on the ground was calm with an undercurrent of excitement for most of the day. Many attendees were clearly interested in connecting to their roots. Outfits featuring African-inspired prints and futuristic hairstyles such as locs wrapped in shiny metals could be seen at all turns.

Afrochella CEO and co-founder Abdul Karim Abdullah said in a statement earlier this year that the festival would explore the “endless possibilities of what ‘Afrofuturism’ could look like.” The festival’s activations did not disappoint.

An artist paints a futuristic mural in real time on Dec. 28, 2022 at the 2022 Afrochella Festival at El Wak Stadium in the greater Accra region of Ghana. (theGrio Photo/Chinekwu Osakwe)

Multiple artists, including Ghanian muralist Moh Awudu, painted a mural in real time. Other attractions included a floral UFO-like photo activation, a traditional face-painting station and plenty of other art installations worthy of picture-taking. But the activation that seemed to be the most popular wasn’t in a stationary location.

Horses adorned with ornate metal panels weaved through the activations behind a father-and-son horse jockey team leading the charge and offering rides to attendees. Aside from the unfortunate side effect of horse droppings, the animals were a sight to behold.

Horse Jockey duo Jonathan Lawal and his son Ebenezer Nartui stand in front of one of at least a half dozen horses used as an activation on Dec. 28, 2022 at the 2022 Afrochella Festival at El Wak Stadium in the greater Accra region of Ghana. (theGrio Photo/Chinekwu Osakwe)

Jonathan Lawal, who said he started riding horses when he was 7, owns four of roughly six horses used during the event. Lawal was born in a stable in Accra and recalled watching his grandmother care for horses.

He hopes the future of Ghanaian horse-handling won’t end with him. So far, his son Ebenezer Nartui is continuing the tradition and has won numerous medals, said Lawal. On the opening day of Afrochella, the horses seemed to be one of the most attractive and Instagram-able opportunities for festivalgoers.

The performers for the festival’s first day, including Ghanaian artists Kwesi Arthur, DJ Juls, King Promise and Stonebwoy as well as Nigerian artists Fireboy DML and Ayra Starr, began their sets just after sundown.

The main stage at the 2022 Afrochella Festival on Dec. 28, 2022 at El Wak Stadium in the greater Accra region of Ghana. (theGrio Photo/Chinekwu Osakwe)

Starr’s energy-filled performance was a highlight of the night. In the middle of her set, she slipped on the stage, but the audience didn’t have a moment to worry as the 20-year-old got up and continued with possibly more vigor than before. Starr even hopped into the crowd to sing her final hit song, “Bloody Samaritan.”

Burna Boy, who was set to perform Wednesday, instead took the stage on Day 2 of the festival. Ghanian superstar Shatta Wale, best known outside of his massive loyal fanbase as a Beyoncé collaborator on the song, “Already,” from 2019’s “The Lion King” soundtrack, stormed the stage, surprising the crowd, which erupted into a massive celebration.

The crowd was in a frenzy during Shatta Wale’s set — more so than for any other performer. Audience members stood on couches and shouted along to his catalog of songs. He commanded the stage like he was the only performer on the bill and the audience undoubtedly absorbed his energy and confidence.

Festival goers interact with a futuristic activation at the 2022 Afrochella Festival on Dec. 28, 2022 at El Wak Stadium in the greater Accra region of Ghana. (theGrio Photo/Chinekwu Osakwe)

Toward the end of the day, there was another bright spot for the future of African music. Emerging Ghanaian artist Bleau was announced the winner of the Afrochella Rising Star competition on the main stage. She received a recording contract with Sony Music Africa, among other prizes.

The final performance of the day was Stonebwoy’s. He came on the stage with a brass instrument band and closed out the show with fan favorites from his catalog.


Chinekwu Osakwe is a weekend editor for theGrio. She is a graduate of NYU and Columbia University and has written for Rolling Stone and Reuters.


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Agriculture

Zim takes investment opportunities to Türkiye indaba – The Herald

Africa Moyo Deputy News Editor
Zimbabwe’s investment opportunities will take centre-stage during the 4th Türkiye-Africa Business Forum where Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Ambassador Frederick Shava is expected to lead the country’s delegation.
The economic business forum is set for Thursday and Friday next week at the Istanbul Congress Center in Istanbul.
In an interview yesterday, Zimbabwe’s Ambassador to Türkiye, Alfred Mutiwazuka, confirmed Harare’s participation.
He said Zimbabwe’s delegation will comprise officials from ZimTrade, the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI), Government institutions and private sector companies.
“In line with Zimbabwe`s engagement and re-engagement drive, Minister Shava will have a meeting with Professor Dr Omer Bolat, Minister of Trade of the Republic of Türkiye to discuss among other issues: the Trade and Economic Cooperation Agreement signed in 2018 and ratified by Türkiye in February 2022 and implementation of the Agreement to Establish the Türkiye-Zimbabwe Business Council signed in 2016 by the CZI and Türkiye’s Foreign Economic Relations Board,” said Ambassador Mutiwazuka.
“The Minister will engage players in the agriculture, manufacturing, mining, transport and infrastructure sectors with a view to inviting them to invest in Zimbabwe.”
Ambassador Shava is also expected to participate in a panel on “Türkiye and Opportunities under the AfCFTA”, a topic that the Turkish authorities have shown great interest in, as they advance Türkiye-Africa cooperation.
Some members of the Zimbabwe delegation will participate in other panel meetings on digital transformation, health technologies, sustainability of value chains in the agro-industries and manufacturing sectors, women entrepreneurship, free zones, the AfCFTA, financing of trade and investments and banking during the two-day conference.
Ambassador Mutiwazuka said the Türkiye-Africa Economic Business Forum offers mutual benefits to both Africa and Türkiye, through increased economic cooperation.
“The Forum demonstrates the emerging role of African countries as dynamic players in the global business arena. African countries and Zimbabwe, in particular, benefit from the increasing economic development of Türkiye economic cooperation hinged on the ‘win-win’ principle,” he said.
Africa benefits from this forum in various ways including facilitating increased trade and investment between Africa and Türkiye by promoting economic relations and encouraging Turkish businesses to invest on the continent.
Increased investments are expected to lead to job creation, infrastructure development, and increased revenue for African nations.
African countries are also expected to benefit from infrastructure development since Türkiye has expertise in infrastructure projects such as construction, transportation, and energy.
Through the forum, Africa can benefit from Turkish investments and technologies, which address crucial infrastructure gaps in many African countries.
Türkiye also has experience in the manufacturing and industrial sectors, which can be shared with African nations to enhance their own industrialisation efforts.
President Mnangagwa has reiterated that Zimbabwe is on an unrestrained path to industrialisation and modernisation, and the country is expected to benefit from its participation in the business forum.
It is expected that collaboration with Türkiye in the manufacturing and industrial sectors can help Africa develop local industries, reduce import dependency, and create employment opportunities.
With many countries experiencing food shortages, it is expected that through participation in the business forum, African countries will benefit Türkiye’s advanced agricultural technologies — machinery and implements — and knowledge that help to improve productivity, increase food security, and enhance agricultural value chains.
This knowledge transfer can contribute to sustainable agricultural development in Africa.
The Türkiye -Africa Economic Business Forum also promotes tourism and cultural exchanges and investment in the tourism industry, thereby creating employment opportunities, and fostering cultural understanding.
African Union Commissioner for Economic Development, Trade, Tourism, Industry and Minerals, Ambassador Albert Muchanga has said this year’s Türkiye-Africa Economic and Business Forum convenes against the background of global challenges of climate change and its adverse impact of heat waves, flooding and drought, inflation, geopolitical tensions, food and energy insecurity as well as the lingering Covid-19 pandemic is some parts of the world.
But he said while this is a period of multiple challenges, it is also a period of opportunity and hope, and the “key lever is cooperation because it is a vital instrument in meeting the world’s complex challenges which no country or region can solve on its own”.
“The Türkiye-Africa Economic and Business Forum is a strategic lever in this regard,” said Ambassador Muchanga.

Africa Moyo Deputy News Editor

Zimbabwe’s investment opportunities will take centre-stage during the 4th Türkiye-Africa Business Forum where Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Ambassador Frederick Shava is expected to lead the country’s delegation.

The economic business forum is set for Thursday and Friday next week at the Istanbul Congress Center in Istanbul.

In an interview yesterday, Zimbabwe’s Ambassador to Türkiye, Alfred Mutiwazuka, confirmed Harare’s participation.

He said Zimbabwe’s delegation will comprise officials from ZimTrade, the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI), Government institutions and private sector companies.

“In line with Zimbabwe`s engagement and re-engagement drive, Minister Shava will have a meeting with Professor Dr Omer Bolat, Minister of Trade of the Republic of Türkiye to discuss among other issues: the Trade and Economic Cooperation Agreement signed in 2018 and ratified by Türkiye in February 2022 and implementation of the Agreement to Establish the Türkiye-Zimbabwe Business Council signed in 2016 by the CZI and Türkiye’s Foreign Economic Relations Board,” said Ambassador Mutiwazuka.

“The Minister will engage players in the agriculture, manufacturing, mining, transport and infrastructure sectors with a view to inviting them to invest in Zimbabwe.”

Ambassador Shava is also expected to participate in a panel on “Türkiye and Opportunities under the AfCFTA”, a topic that the Turkish authorities have shown great interest in, as they advance Türkiye-Africa cooperation.

Some members of the Zimbabwe delegation will participate in other panel meetings on digital transformation, health technologies, sustainability of value chains in the agro-industries and manufacturing sectors, women entrepreneurship, free zones, the AfCFTA, financing of trade and investments and banking during the two-day conference.

Ambassador Mutiwazuka said the Türkiye-Africa Economic Business Forum offers mutual benefits to both Africa and Türkiye, through increased economic cooperation.

“The Forum demonstrates the emerging role of African countries as dynamic players in the global business arena. African countries and Zimbabwe, in particular, benefit from the increasing economic development of Türkiye economic cooperation hinged on the ‘win-win’ principle,” he said.

Africa benefits from this forum in various ways including facilitating increased trade and investment between Africa and Türkiye by promoting economic relations and encouraging Turkish businesses to invest on the continent.

Increased investments are expected to lead to job creation, infrastructure development, and increased revenue for African nations.

African countries are also expected to benefit from infrastructure development since Türkiye has expertise in infrastructure projects such as construction, transportation, and energy.

Through the forum, Africa can benefit from Turkish investments and technologies, which address crucial infrastructure gaps in many African countries.

Türkiye also has experience in the manufacturing and industrial sectors, which can be shared with African nations to enhance their own industrialisation efforts.

President Mnangagwa has reiterated that Zimbabwe is on an unrestrained path to industrialisation and modernisation, and the country is expected to benefit from its participation in the business forum.

It is expected that collaboration with Türkiye in the manufacturing and industrial sectors can help Africa develop local industries, reduce import dependency, and create employment opportunities.

With many countries experiencing food shortages, it is expected that through participation in the business forum, African countries will benefit Türkiye’s advanced agricultural technologies — machinery and implements — and knowledge that help to improve productivity, increase food security, and enhance agricultural value chains.

This knowledge transfer can contribute to sustainable agricultural development in Africa.

The Türkiye -Africa Economic Business Forum also promotes tourism and cultural exchanges and investment in the tourism industry, thereby creating employment opportunities, and fostering cultural understanding.

African Union Commissioner for Economic Development, Trade, Tourism, Industry and Minerals, Ambassador Albert Muchanga has said this year’s Türkiye-Africa Economic and Business Forum convenes against the background of global challenges of climate change and its adverse impact of heat waves, flooding and drought, inflation, geopolitical tensions, food and energy insecurity as well as the lingering Covid-19 pandemic is some parts of the world.

But he said while this is a period of multiple challenges, it is also a period of opportunity and hope, and the “key lever is cooperation because it is a vital instrument in meeting the world’s complex challenges which no country or region can solve on its own”.

“The Türkiye-Africa Economic and Business Forum is a strategic lever in this regard,” said Ambassador Muchanga.

Continue Reading

Agriculture

Zim takes investment opportunities to Türkiye indaba – The Herald

Africa Moyo Deputy News Editor

Zimbabwe’s investment opportunities will take centre-stage during the 4th Türkiye-Africa Business Forum where Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Ambassador Frederick Shava is expected to lead the country’s delegation.

The economic business forum is set for Thursday and Friday next week at the Istanbul Congress Center in Istanbul.

In an interview yesterday, Zimbabwe’s Ambassador to Türkiye, Alfred Mutiwazuka, confirmed Harare’s participation.

He said Zimbabwe’s delegation will comprise officials from ZimTrade, the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI), Government institutions and private sector companies.

“In line with Zimbabwe`s engagement and re-engagement drive, Minister Shava will have a meeting with Professor Dr Omer Bolat, Minister of Trade of the Republic of Türkiye to discuss among other issues: the Trade and Economic Cooperation Agreement signed in 2018 and ratified by Türkiye in February 2022 and implementation of the Agreement to Establish the Türkiye-Zimbabwe Business Council signed in 2016 by the CZI and Türkiye’s Foreign Economic Relations Board,” said Ambassador Mutiwazuka.

“The Minister will engage players in the agriculture, manufacturing, mining, transport and infrastructure sectors with a view to inviting them to invest in Zimbabwe.”

Ambassador Shava is also expected to participate in a panel on “Türkiye and Opportunities under the AfCFTA”, a topic that the Turkish authorities have shown great interest in, as they advance Türkiye-Africa cooperation.

Some members of the Zimbabwe delegation will participate in other panel meetings on digital transformation, health technologies, sustainability of value chains in the agro-industries and manufacturing sectors, women entrepreneurship, free zones, the AfCFTA, financing of trade and investments and banking during the two-day conference.

Ambassador Mutiwazuka said the Türkiye-Africa Economic Business Forum offers mutual benefits to both Africa and Türkiye, through increased economic cooperation.

“The Forum demonstrates the emerging role of African countries as dynamic players in the global business arena. African countries and Zimbabwe, in particular, benefit from the increasing economic development of Türkiye economic cooperation hinged on the ‘win-win’ principle,” he said.

Africa benefits from this forum in various ways including facilitating increased trade and investment between Africa and Türkiye by promoting economic relations and encouraging Turkish businesses to invest on the continent.

Increased investments are expected to lead to job creation, infrastructure development, and increased revenue for African nations.

African countries are also expected to benefit from infrastructure development since Türkiye has expertise in infrastructure projects such as construction, transportation, and energy.

Through the forum, Africa can benefit from Turkish investments and technologies, which address crucial infrastructure gaps in many African countries.

Türkiye also has experience in the manufacturing and industrial sectors, which can be shared with African nations to enhance their own industrialisation efforts.

President Mnangagwa has reiterated that Zimbabwe is on an unrestrained path to industrialisation and modernisation, and the country is expected to benefit from its participation in the business forum.

It is expected that collaboration with Türkiye in the manufacturing and industrial sectors can help Africa develop local industries, reduce import dependency, and create employment opportunities.

With many countries experiencing food shortages, it is expected that through participation in the business forum, African countries will benefit Türkiye’s advanced agricultural technologies — machinery and implements — and knowledge that help to improve productivity, increase food security, and enhance agricultural value chains.

This knowledge transfer can contribute to sustainable agricultural development in Africa.

The Türkiye -Africa Economic Business Forum also promotes tourism and cultural exchanges and investment in the tourism industry, thereby creating employment opportunities, and fostering cultural understanding.

African Union Commissioner for Economic Development, Trade, Tourism, Industry and Minerals, Ambassador Albert Muchanga has said this year’s Türkiye-Africa Economic and Business Forum convenes against the background of global challenges of climate change and its adverse impact of heat waves, flooding and drought, inflation, geopolitical tensions, food and energy insecurity as well as the lingering Covid-19 pandemic is some parts of the world.

But he said while this is a period of multiple challenges, it is also a period of opportunity and hope, and the “key lever is cooperation because it is a vital instrument in meeting the world’s complex challenges which no country or region can solve on its own”.

“The Türkiye-Africa Economic and Business Forum is a strategic lever in this regard,” said Ambassador Muchanga.

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Southern Africa

Farmers urged to intensify fodder production and meet demand – The Herald

Farmers urged to intensify fodder production and meet demand


Filda Gwati and Ashton Mutyavaviri

WITH demand for livestock feed projected to soar in the wake of the forecast El Nino weather phenomenon that will most likely devastate pastures, farmers across the country need to intensify fodder production to curtail the subsequent shortages of quality animal feed, enhance livestock health and boost overall agricultural output.

Livestock Farmers Union chairperson Mr Sifiso Sibanda yesterday told this publication that farmers must intensify fodder production to address the shortage of quality feeds and enhance livestock health.

“We now have farmers who are into fodder production so they just need to intensify their activities,” he said.

Mr Sibanda said in Region 5, which receives little rainfall, farmers are doing the fodder production to increase their feed options in case of droughts.

“In Beitbridge, for example, fodder producing farmers are drilling boreholes to sustain their fodder projects given that the water table in most parts in high as we move towards Limpopo. Farmers are drilling as little as 10 metres to hit the water table and start drawing water,” said Mr Sibanda.

Fodder, which primarily consists of grasses, legumes, and other crops, serves as a vital source of nutrition for livestock, including cattle, goats, and sheep, he said.

Insufficient access to high-quality fodder has been a persistent challenge for Zimbabwean farmers, resulting in reduced productivity, malnutrition, and economic losses within the livestock sector.

Added Mr Sibanda: “The intensified fodder production drive is expected to have a cascading positive effect on the livestock sector, leading to improved animal health, increased milk and meat production and enhanced farmer incomes. It will also contribute to food security by reducing the country’s reliance on imported animal feeds.”

Recognising the importance of fodder in ensuring the well-being of livestock and the subsequent impact on the national economy, Government launched the on-farm forage improvement programme (OFFIP) to climate-proof the livestock sub-sector.

Under this initiative, farmers are being encouraged to adopt modern farming techniques, such as improved pasture management, conservation agriculture, and the utilisation of drought-resistant crop varieties.

Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development permanent secretary Dr John Basera recently revealed that farmers were provided with velvet bean seeds and labula bean seeds for planting to sustain their livestock during periods of drought.

Extension services and training programmes are being rolled out to equip farmers with the necessary knowledge and skills to implement these practices effectively, said Dr Basera.

“Local agricultural research institutions are playing a pivotal role in the initiative by developing and disseminating improved fodder varieties that are well-suited to Zimbabwe’s agro-ecological conditions. These varieties exhibit enhanced drought tolerance, disease resistance and high nutritional value, thereby contributing to increased livestock productivity,” he explained.

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