Friday, February 27, 2009

Audio: Broad-Based Humanitarian Coalition Unveils Roadmap to End Global Hunger

Audio: Broad-Based Humanitarian Coalition Unveils Roadmap to End Global Hunger
Seeking to address a growing economic crisis that threatens to destroy the health and nutrition of millions of families worldwide, the nation's top humanitarian aid agencies joined Representatives Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) and Jo Ann Emerson (R-Mo.) today.

News Video Report: Africa's Cinemas Go Dark in Ouagadougou

The FESPACO film festival opening this weekend is an increasingly rare chance for cinema buffs in Africa to see works made by fellow Africans. Across the continent, movie theatres are going dark, victims to the flood of cheap DVDs. In Senegal's capital there are almost no movie theatres left.

U.S. Preventive Medicine(R), ParkwayHealth Sign Affiliation Agreement to Jointly Deliver Preventive Medicine Services in Asia

27 Feb 2009 00:10 Africa/Lagos

U.S. Preventive Medicine(R), ParkwayHealth Sign Affiliation Agreement to Jointly Deliver Preventive Medicine Services in Asia

ParkwayHealth Joins the Global Prevention Network(TM) as Asian Affiliate

NEW YORK and SINGAPORE, Feb. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- U.S. Preventive Medicine(R), a leader in disease prevention services, has signed an affiliation agreement with Parkway Group Healthcare Pte Ltd, a leading healthcare group based in Singapore and a subsidiary of Parkway Holdings Limited, to jointly participate in preventive medicine programs throughout Asia. Under the agreement, ParkwayHealth will become the Asian affiliate in The Global Prevention Network(TM), a select group of preeminent health care institutions with recognized preventive and executive health programs.

(Logo: )

U. S. Preventive Medicine and ParkwayHealth will collaborate in the delivery of preventive medicine programs, including wellness and disease management services to corporate executives, employees of sponsoring employers, and consumer members of The Prevention Plan(TM). As the Asian affiliate in The Global Prevention Network, ParkwayHealth will serve as a local referral partner for The Prevention Plan and executive health programs as well as an educational partner in U.S. Preventive Medicine's international outreach efforts. Affiliates in the Global Prevention Network serve as referral partners in their local markets, enabling U.S. Preventive Medicine to provide both a national and global prevention solution for employers, insurers and governments.

ParkwayHealth operates 15 hospitals in Asia, as well as 48 International Patient Assistance Centers (IPAC) throughout the world.

U.S. Preventive Medicine, an emerging leader in prevention, offers a suite of powerful prevention, early disease detection and chronic condition management programs, including its groundbreaking The Prevention Plan, that improve health outcomes while reducing health care costs. The Prevention Plan is the first-of-its kind benefit concept solely focused on preventive care, enabling individuals to determine their top health risks and receive a customized plan and ongoing personal attention to lower those risks and become healthier.

"ParkwayHealth is an ideal partner in helping us provide practical solutions for preventive care and disease management for The Prevention Plan members internationally," said Christopher Fey, Chairman and CEO of U.S. Preventive Medicine. "Prevention is a movement that is gaining momentum around the world and is going to revolutionize the way health care is delivered. We are thrilled to be working with ParkwayHealth."

"Our affiliation with U.S. Preventive Medicine will help us better educate and encourage our patients to take control of their health, and allow us to provide preventive and follow-up care to a new population of prevention-minded consumers," said Swee Yong Peng, CEO of the Primary Care division of ParkwayHealth. "We are firmly committed to prevention and we look forward to a fruitful working relationship with U.S. Preventive Medicine."

About U.S. Preventive Medicine(R)

U.S. Preventive Medicine(R), a privately-owned global prevention services company with clients nationwide and the United Kingdom, provides primary, secondary and tertiary clinical prevention services to government, employers and consumers that are data-driven and outcomes-oriented. Company products include the world's first preventive health benefit,

The Prevention Plan(TM), available to buy or test drive at, and

About Parkway Holdings Limited

Parkway Holdings Limited owns Parkway Group Healthcare Pte Ltd and Parkway Hospitals Singapore Pte Ltd which operates East Shore Hospital, Gleneagles Hospital, Mount Elizabeth Hospital, Parkway Cancer Centre and ParkwayHealth Day Surgery and Medical Centre. The Company also owns Parkway Shenton Pte Ltd, a major provider of primary healthcare services; Medi-Rad Associates Ltd, a leading radiology services provider; Parkway Laboratory Services Ltd, a major provider of laboratory services, and also operates 48 International Patient Assistance Centres (IPAC) across the globe. For more information, please visit the website at

About ParkwayHealth

ParkwayHealth is a leading healthcare group based in Singapore, operating 15 hospitals with more than 3,600 beds in Asia, as well as patient assistance centres throughout the world. It has an extensive network across Asia, Europe, North America and the Middle East with operations in Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, Canada, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Ukraine, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Uzbekistan and Vietnam. With a team of more than 1,300 accredited specialists covering 40 different specialties, such as orthopedics, cardiology, hematology and neurology. ParkwayHealth is committed to its vision to be a global leader in value-based integrated care. For more information, please visit the website at

PRN Photo Desk,
Source: U.S. Preventive Medicine

CONTACT: Kathy Fleming of U.S. Preventive Medicine, +1-904-562-6239,
+1-214-548-9083,; or Christopher Teo of
Parkway Holdings Limited, +65-6349-5763, +65-9724-5664,

Web Site: U.S. Preventive Medicine(R)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Samsung Electronics and International Youth Foundation Announce Employability Projects for Young Nigerians

26 Feb 2009 10:00 Africa/Lagos

Samsung Offers 'Real Dreams' for Youth

LAGOS, Nigeria, February 26/PRNewswire/ --

- Samsung Electronics and International Youth Foundation Announce Employability Projects for Young Nigerians

The International Youth Foundation (IYF), in partnership with Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., a market leader and award-winning innovator in consumer electronics, recently unveiled "Real Dreams" -- a youth employability program in Nigeria as a part of the company's corporate social responsibility commitment in the region.

The "Real Dreams" program aims to increase economic activity in the region, particularly by promoting job skills and preparing young people for successful, long-term careers.

The program will be implemented in cooperation with three local non-governmental, educational institutions: the Afterschool Graduate Development Centre (AGDC); FATE Foundation; and Pan-African University. Each organization will implement youth employment and development programs focused on delivering training in life skills, information and communication technologies, and entrepreneurship as well as providing work experience through internships. The program, which will potentially benefit over 600 young Nigerians, will commence in February and continue throughout the year.

"Over 60% of Nigeria's population is under the age of 25; and unemployment for youth ages 15-24 is about 20%," said Kyungtae Bae, President of Samsung Middle East and Africa. "Through these programs, we hope to empower Nigeria's young people and prepare them to compete for jobs, and fulfill their dreams and aspirations for a better future for themselves and their communities."

"Helping today's youth get decent jobs is a critical step forward, not only in terms of improving their own prospects, but also positively impacting the social and economic development of their country," said William S. Reese, IYF President and CEO. "We are deeply grateful to Samsung for its commitment to provide these young people with the skills and motivation they need to contribute to Africa's revitalization in the years to come."

Samsung and the IYF announced their partnership in November 2008 to jointly address youth unemployment in Africa. Under the agreement, Samsung and IYF will find ways to utilize the company's cutting-edge technology and expertise to help address the employment needs of Africa's youth.

Description of the projects:

Afterschool Graduate Development Centre (AGDC)

To help address high unemployment rates among university and polytechnic graduates, the Samsung Real Dreams program will enhance the job opportunities of 240 Nigerian youth, ages 23 to 32. Working with the Afterschool Graduate Development Centre (AGDC) in Lagos, the program will provide employability training and internships as well as career development and job placement services to young people from six regions of the country.

FATE Foundation

Providing young entrepreneurs with training, mentorship, technical assistance, and business development services so that they can start and run their own small businesses is the goal of this Samsung Real Dreams program, being implemented in Lagos and Port Harcourt by FATE Foundation. Approximately 270 disadvantaged Nigerian youth, ages 16 to 35, will benefit.

Pan-African University's School of Media and Communication

Working with the Pan-African University's School of Media and Communication in Lagos, the Samsung Real Dreams program will enhance employment opportunities in the media industry for 100 disadvantaged Nigerian youth, ages 21 to 35, through classroom activities and practical hands-on projects. Participants will benefit from training sessions in new media, creativity, innovative thinking, entrepreneurship and life skills, as well as job placement and business development support services.

About Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. is a global leader in semiconductor, telecommunication, digital media and digital convergence technologies with 2007 consolidated sales of US$105 billion. Employing approximately 150,000 people in 134 offices in 62 countries, the company consists of two main business units: Digital Media & Communications and Device Solutions. Recognized as one of the fastest growing global brands, Samsung Electronics is a leading producer of digital TVs, memory chips, mobile phones and TFT-LCDs. For more information, please visit

About International Youth Foundation: The International Youth Foundation (IYF) invests in the extraordinary potential of young people. Founded in 1990, IYF builds and maintains a worldwide community of businesses, governments, and civil society organizations committed to empowering youth to be healthy, productive, and engaged citizens. IYF programs are catalysts of change that help young people obtain a quality education, gain employability skills, make healthy choices, and improve their communities. To learn more visit

Source: International Youth Foundation

Jakyung Kang of Samsung Electronics, +1-971-4364-8704,; or Jim Peirce, Vice President Planning and Outreach of the International Youth Foundation, +1-410-951-1606,

Releases displayed in Africa/Lagos time
26 Feb 2009
Samsung Offers 'Real Dreams' for Youth
25 Feb 2009
PROFNET EXPERT ALERTS: Education & Government
Muslim Publics Oppose Al Qaeda's Terrorism, But Agree With Its Goal of Driving U.S. Forces Out
24 Feb 2009
Former Employee of the Export-Import Bank of the United States Charged With Corruption and Tax Violations
Lamit Company Launches a New Network Solution for Improving the Internet Connection
United Energy Corporation Reports Significant Increase in Revenue While Reducing Operating Expenses
Report: Property Rights Linked to Economic Security
23 Feb 2009
The Bank of New York Mellon Appointed as Depositary Bank by Byblos Bank S.A.L.
Lamit Company Launches a New Network Solution for Improving the Internet Connection

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Dear Vint Cerf, We Are Re-Branding Nigeria

There is a subtext to “Don’t be evil” and that is “Don’t be illegal”
~ Vint Cerf

Dear Vint Cerf,

You may be the Chief Internet evangelist at Google, but I bet you that you will not get a standing ovation if you come to Nigeria, because Nigerians do not love anyone who is too much of an evangelist in being legit and most of the evangelists in the most populous country in Africa do not practice what they preach and their millions of followers have also followed in their fast footsteps of sharp practices of get-rich-quick schemes and scams, from the street to the corridors of power.. Nigerians do not think being illegal is evil; otherwise they will not be giving national honors and awards to Nigerian politicians and entrepreneurs whose main source of income is by bribery and corruption. The so called Nigerian public office holders are political contractors who rigged their way into office by hook or crook and to them; honesty is not the best policy in Nigeria.

Do not be disappointed that you will not get a red carpet reception if you come to Nigeria to insist on your gospel of honesty and transparency. You will find some hope in the beacon of the Nigerian intelligentsia of and other upright Nigerians who share your gospel of truth and can rub shoulders with you.

The news of Nigerians being the happiest people in the world is as bogus as their political hocus pocus, because these so called happiest people on earth are the same millions you will see smiling at you and still lying through their teeth as they grin pretending to be happy to see you. But before you can say VGC, they would have conned you online or offline. So, until further notice, beware of them.

As at present, we are set to re-brand Nigeria after we found out that many other African countries also claimed to be the heart of Africa, we have decided to go higher in the leadership of Africa in the world. So, Vint, you will be happy to see Prof. Dora Akunyili flying the Nigerian Flag in the flying colours of New Nigeria that is the Nigerian Dream of every true Nigerian in Nigeria and the Diaspora.

Nigerians Report and Guaranty Success Reported in This Day of Nigeria

The launch of two of my news blogs was reported in This Day newspaper in Nigeria last Thursday February 19, 2009. The new blog Nigerians Report - and GUARANTY SUCCESS - and the following is the news report in full.

2 News Blogs Launched

Nigerians and Guaranty are two of the most popular Nigerian news and information blogs on the internet, rich with 24 hours news videos from the BBC, Reuters, AP, ABC and other major news channels in the world.

"If you want breaking news from the grassroots, go to Nigerians and if you want better jobs and better career opportunities and free books on all subjects, Guaranty has it all," said Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima, the Publisher and Editor, who is fast developing the largest Nigerian news and information portal on the internet with over 37 websites so far.

Nigerians Report has been created to promote citizen journalism in Nigeria and so it is a Free For All (FFA) internet news blog for all literate Nigerians to report their own news and tell their own true life stories 24 hours daily.

"Nigerians are the best reporters of what is happening in Nigeria, because we are in the best position to break our own news and tell our own stories before the CNN, BBC or Sky rush to do so, "Michael Chima elaborated.

Guaranty is in fact the most syndicated Nigerian business success website. It has been syndicated more than 200, 000 times.

"My mission is to bridge the wide gap in communication between Nigeria and the rest of the world on the internet, and stop the misinformation and miseducation of millions of ignorant people on the internet, whose erroneous and ambiguous notions of Nigeria and Nigerians should be corrected to stop the further damage on the image of Nigeria and the global village," Michael Chima said.


Contact: Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima, Publisher/Editor, Tel: 234 07032366127

Recommended News of the Day:

Akunyili Slams UNICEF over World Children’s Report

Friday, February 20, 2009

Democracy in Retreat as Recession Deepens

20 Feb 2009 10:49 Africa/Lagos

Democracy in Retreat as Recession Deepens

LONDON, February 20/PRNewswire/ -- In a dire warning to global leaders, Robin Bew of the Economist Intelligence Unit warns that the march to democracy round the globe is now stalled and could move in to reverse. Regions of the world that have adopted economic liberalism allied to more political openess may very easily slide in to protectionism and more closed government, he warns in his monthly Global Forecast programme on This would bring to an end a political and economic phase in international development that might herald growing social instability. Organisations like the World Trade Organisation that monitor free trade face a respect deficit and could be increasingly challenged by countries unprepared to play by the rules anymore.

The interview and transcript are available now on

It's free to view. All you need to do is register at, the online financial broadcaster, features in-depth interviews, documentaries and webcasts with senior company executives. If you would like to contact us, please email or phone +44-207-936-1333.

Source: Economist Intelligence Unit

If you would like to contact us, please email or phone +44-207-936-1333.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Is Nigeria A ‘Wayward Child’, Her Father Long Ignored?

Is Nigeria a ‘wayward child’, her father long ignored?

~ADeleke Adeyemi

Not long ago1 noted Nigerian novelist Chinua Achebe posed the all-important question: “What is Nigeria?”

Chinua Achebe

Not surprisingly, he then whipped up an answer to it, one brimming with great insight:
“Our 1960 national anthem, given to us as a parting gift by a British housewife in England, called Nigeria 'our sovereign motherland' --the Mother image. The current anthem, which [replaced] that first one, was put together by a committee of Nigerian intellectuals, and in my view is actually worse than the first anthem. This second one invoked the Father image. So Mother image in the first one, Father image in the second one. But it has occurred to me that Nigeria is neither my mother nor my father. Nigeria is a child; gifted, enormously talented, prodigiously endowed and incredibly wayward.

“Being a Nigerian is abysmally frustrating and unbelievably exciting. I have said somewhere that…I want to come back as a Nigerian again. But I have also in a rather testy mood in a book called 'The Trouble with Nigeria' dismissed Nigerian travel advertisements with the suggestion that only tourists with an addiction to self-flagellation pick Nigeria for a holiday. And I mean both. Nigeria needs help; Nigerians have their work cut out for them, to coax this unruly child along the path of useful creative development…”

But the line must be drawn somewhere along the trajectory of Achebe’s extrapolation, where it goes awry and out of kilter. It’s quite simply illogical of him to assert that “We are the parents of Nigeria, not vice versa.” The two Anthems, respectively, assert not ‘Pater’ but ‘Patria’ (Latin patrialis “pertaining to your country”), ‘Matria’ not Mater’, quite opposed to Achebe’s reading of the lyrics. The Latin word ‘mater’ is the source of the following English words: madrigal (a song with parts for several usually unaccompanied voices popular in England in the 16th and 17th centuries), material, maternal, matriculate, matrimony, matrix, matron, and matter. Its Indo-European ancestor in turn gave rise to the English words mammal, metropolis, and, most tellingly, mother. The Latin alma mater (employed with fond affection to refer to a place of learning we’ve passed out from) means “bounteous mother”. Isn't 'a school a book in which is written the future of a nation'?

However, his summing-up of Nigeria as “a wayward child” is quite simply spot-on. Nigeria has a Father; only he has been long ignored, treated as non-existent by a turncoat omo on’ile ol’ona t’o d’agbero; omo wo’le iya bus’ekun (‘a pedigreed son-turned-rascal, now a spring of sorrow’). It is indeed true: “A foolish son is a heartache to his father and bitter grief to his mother.”2

Despite his faulty reading of the words of Anthems at points, Achebe’s conclusion remains apt: “Nigeria is a country where nobody can wake up in the morning and ask 'what can I do now?' Nigeria has work for everybody.”
And this must start with the following prescription: “Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations: ask your father, and he will show thee; your elders, and they will tell you: God Most High gave land to every nation. He assigned a guardian angel to each of them.”3

Can it be that Nigeria does indeed have a father, one whose memoirs we’re meant to consult, to “ask” of him a thing or two? It has to be the most intolerable thing for a father to be ignored and neglected; what else does honour, or the lack of it, consist in? This ignorance and neglect of patrimony always works to the developmental detriment of successive generations: “Honour your father and mother that everything may go well for you, and you may have a long life on earth.” This is an important commandment with a promise.” 4

Our Mother as Nigerians is the Niger Area, as proto-Nigeria: the matrix (womb) or crucible from which a nation, properly speaking, is waiting to be forged and birthed. A readily available well-documented example that should be amenable to adapt is the United States of America: a nation forged out of the crucible of territories settled by the Plymouth Pilgrims (a group of Separatists who broke away from the Church of England). They voted to travel to America from the Netherlands in 1620. The Mayflower landed at Plymouth, near present-day Provincetown, Massachusetts, among others. The land had been uncovered by Italian-born Spanish navigator Christopher Columbus in 1492.

Bishop Ajayi Crowther

Samuel Ajayi Crowther (c.1809 – 1891), Bishop (from Latin episcopus, ‘overseer’, from Greek episkopos, ‘watcher’) of the Niger, awarded a doctorate by Oxford in 1864 for his groundbreaking extensive linguistic work, was a pioneer member and leader of several Expeditions up and down the Niger and the Benue, Nigeria’s twin watermark feature (the pun is intended). But Ajayi Crowther was more than a surveyor; he was a shepherd who went on to codify and delineate various ‘land gauges’ or languages: Yoruba, Ibo, Nupe, Kakanda – entities on both sides of the Niger and Benue Rivers. He was spent working for the best interests of all to be entrenched, regardless of creed or ethnic derivation. In truth and in deed, he’s Nigeria’s long disdained “guardian angel.”
“Ajayi Crowther’s work, like his name, remains an imperishable monument of all his faith and labour. Whatever achievement … lies on the Niger, it will never be forgotten that he broke the hard and fallow ground. It was his brave heart and strong hand that cut the first path through the dense undergrowth of superstition; it was he, as a wise master builder, who laid the foundations of the work…that was to be. Like [first US President George] Washington, he was the father of his country; but he did more, for he proved in his own person the capacity of the African to serve his own people.... His life has silenced many who made us to differ, and in the advancement and development of the native, not only in spiritual but in civil responsibilities, he will be remembered as the forerunner of a potential race to be.”5

It cannot be gainsaid the truth of the saying, “writing maketh an exact man”, 6 like the eyewitness report, above, by the British Jesse Page. Further, since “in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established” 7 we’ll call on another ‘accessory after the fact’, so to speak, to make our case unassailable or watertight: first without, next within. Below is the full text of a letter of monumental historical import for the Nigerian nation. Dating back to 1881, it was written originally in Hausa – for the attention of none other than the Shepherd of the Niger:
“Salute Crowther, the great Christian minister. After salutation, please tell him he is a father to us in this land; anything he sees will injure us in all this land, he would not like it. This we know perfectly well.

“The matter about which I am speaking with my mouth, write it; it is as if it is done by my hand, it is not a long matter; it is about barasa (or gin). Barasa, barasa, barasa! My God, it has ruined our country; it has ruined our people very much; it has made our people become mad. I have given a law that no one dares buy or sell it; and any one who is found selling it, his house is to be eaten up (plundered); any one found drunk will be killed. I have told all the Christian traders that I agree to anything for trade except barasa. I have told Mr. McIntosh’s people to-day, the barasa remaining with them must be returned down the river. Tell Crowther, the great Christian minister, that he is our father. I beg you, Malam Kipo (Rev. C. Paul, native missionary) don’t forget this writing, because we all beg that he (Bishop Crowther) should beg the great priests (Committee of C.M.S.) that they should beg the English Queen to prevent bringing barasa into this land.

“For God and the prophet’s sake, and the prophet His messenger’s sake, he (Crowther) must help us in this matter, that of barasa. We all have confidence in him; he must not leave our country to become spoiled by barasa. Tell him may God bless him in his work. This is the mouth-word from Maliki, Emir of Nupé.”8

Our present generation of Niger Area dwellers can yet get things right–-by getting the essence of what the Shepherd of the Niger, Ajayi Crowther, stood for and went down fighting into the national consciousness: to vivify and recalibrate our long-moribund value system. The greatest help to destiny is direction and the fuel of destiny is vision. For some reason, this realization came as a thought couched in my language of second course– Yoruba. It rose up suddenly to confront me headlong with the force of its import: Iya l'oun to'mo; Baba l'oun t'omo s'ona. Meaning: It behooves Mother her child to nourish; but it is Father's direction that sets it up to flourish.

We have the memory of Ajayi Crowther to mine for the meaning of our shared destiny, what will power us past the bounds of the present love-hate togetherness of the Niger Area polity. Then and only then will we blossom into the reality of true nationhood.
AD 2010, a marginal year to the Ajayi Crowther Bicentennial in commemoration throughout this year, will be Nigeria's golden jubilee. Let us jubilate at this timely rediscovery of the impeccable heritage of service of distinction left us by a long forgotten father, one who taught his wards, composed of kin of every creed and ethnic derivation: “Only the best is good enough for us.”

1. The Guardian Newspapers Silver Jubilee Lecture, October 9, 2008: Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Victoria Island, Lagos; delivered from US base via projector

2. Proverbs 17:25

3. Deuteronomy 32:7-8 (King James and Contemporary English Versions)

4. Ephesians 6:2-3. Even the honour once accorded Ajayi Crowther’s grandson, Herbert Macaulay as the father of Nigerian nationalism seems to have been withdrawn by the authorities since. His portrait that adorned the erstwhile one-naira note is now numismatic nonsense on a coin without credit as currency. Like you, I am yet to handle one since its issuance; least of all move about with it as legal tender– unless you are engaged in coin collecting as a hobby, or amass it and others for other purposes - like smelting!

5. Ajayi Crowther’s biographer, Jesse Page: The Black Bishop, 1916: London

6. Sir Francis Bacon (1561-1626), English philosopher and statesman. “One of the pioneers of modern scientific thought” (Encarta Encyclopedia).

7. Matthew 18:16
8Quoted in Jesse Page, The Slave Boy Who Became Bishop, 1892: London. The original letter along with tomes of other Crowtherma is archived in The Crowther Centre, Oxford, England. Ajayi Crowther spoke the emir’s language, Nupé, fluently – as he did Ijaw, Hausa as well as Igbo; he published the first book ever written in it. His son, Dandeson (‘child of liberty’), who worked in the Niger Delta, spoke a number of stock dialects there.

Unregulated Money in Politics Is Greatest Corruption Threat Globally, Study Finds

18 Feb 2009 16:00 Africa/Lagos

Unregulated Money in Politics Is Greatest Corruption Threat Globally, Study Finds

Iraq and Somalia Included For First Time in New Report Assessing Anti-Corruption Mechanisms and Government Accountability in 57 Countries

WASHINGTON, Feb. 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Regardless of income levels, the #1 corruption threat facing a majority of countries is the unregulated flow of money into the political process, a new report finds. The report, a major investigative study of 57 countries, was released today by Global Integrity, an award-winning international nonprofit organization that tracks governance and corruption trends globally.

"For the third straight year, poor transparency around the financing of political parties and candidates was the weakest element of most countries' anti-corruption frameworks," said Global Integrity's Managing Director, Nathaniel Heller. "If we're serious about rolling back corruption and abuse of power in both the developed and developing worlds, more effective safeguards to curb the influence of money in politics are desperately needed. The Rod Blagojevichs of the world are just the tip of the iceberg."

The Global Integrity Report: 2008 covers developed countries such as Canada, Japan and Italy as well as dozens of the world's emerging markets and developing nations, from Argentina and China to the West Bank and Iraq. Rather than measure perceptions of corruption, the report assesses the accountability mechanisms and transparency measures in place (or not) to prevent corruption through more than 300 "Integrity Indicators." Gaps in those safeguards suggest where corruption is more likely to occur.

Global Integrity's new Grand Corruption Watch List, introduced as part of the 2008 report, includes Angola, Belarus, Cambodia, China, Georgia, Iraq, Montenegro, Morocco, Nicaragua, Serbia, Somalia, the West Bank, and Yemen, all countries viewed at serious risk for high-level corruption. The Watch List identifies countries where the lack of effective conflicts of interest regulations, unregulated flows of money into the political process, and poor oversight over large state-owned enterprises combine to pose a systemic risk of large-scale theft of public resources. "Watch List countries are unfortunately characterized by a toxic mix of corruption risk factors that should be cause for alarm," said Heller.

Other major findings of the report include the following:

-- The most significant anti-corruption failure in much of the Arab world
is poor access to government information. While the countries in the
Middle East and North Africa assessed in the 2008 Report struggle to
match global medians on many factors, their comprehensive lack of
effective access to government information is virtually double those
countries' deficit on any other issue assessed by Global Integrity.

-- Several key countries experienced gains or backsliding since 2007.
Important anti-corruption improvements were noted in Bangladesh and
Nigeria; in China, a more positive assessment was linked to the
introduction of a new regulation granting citizens access to
government information. Noticeable decliners included Bosnia and
Herzegovina and Ecuador; Georgia also slipped for the second straight
year and continues to struggle consolidating democratic gains since
the 2003 Rose Revolution.

-- Corruption and transparency challenges appear to be worsening on the
Horn of Africa, threatening to exacerbate tensions in an
already-fragile security situation. Drops in performance in Kenya and
Ethiopia, combined with Somalia's ignominious honor of boasting the
worst-ever overall Global Integrity country score, do not bode well
for establishing the kinds of checks and balances in all three
countries that could promote good governance and improve stability.

"The country assessments that comprise the Report offer among the most detailed, evidence-based evaluations of anti-corruption mechanisms available anywhere in the world," said Global Integrity's International Director, Marianne Camerer. "They provide policymakers, investors, and citizens alike with the information to understand the governance challenges unique to each country and to take action."

The report is the product of months of on-the-ground reporting and data gathering by a team of more than 260 in-country journalists and researchers who prepared more than a million words of text and 20,000 data points for their respective countries. The 2008 report covers the following diverse countries:

Bosnia and Herzegovina
D.R. Congo
Kyrgyz Republic
Macedonia (FYROM)
Solomon Islands
South Africa
West Bank

To access the Global Integrity Report: 2008, please visit

The Global Integrity Report: 2008 was generously supported by the Australian Agency for International Development, the Canadian International Development Agency, the Legatum Institute, and the World Bank.

Global Integrity is a leading international non-profit organization that tracks governance and corruption trends around the world. Working with a network of several hundred in-country journalists and researchers in 92 countries, we aim to shape and inform the debate around governance and anti-corruption reforms through in-depth diagnostic tools at the national, sub-national, and sector levels. Our information is regularly used by aid donors, civil society advocates, and governments alike to press for governance reforms in both the developed and developing world. For more information about the organization, visit

Source: Global Integrity

CONTACT: Nathaniel Heller, +1-202-449-4100,, or Jonathan Werve, +1-202-449-8123,, both of Global Integrity

Web Site:

Releases displayed in Africa/Lagos time
19 Feb 2009

Bill-und-Melinda-Gates-Stiftung und Partner setzen 90 Millionen US-Dollar zur Steigerung der Einkünfte von Kleinbauern in Afrika ein
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Partners Pledge $90 Million to Boost Incomes of Small Farmers in Africa
18 Feb 2009
Recycling Electrical and Electronic Equipment: Shipment for Re-use Overseas - A Statement From Electrolink
Unregulated Money in Politics Is Greatest Corruption Threat Globally, Study Finds
Bristow Group Announces Preferred Dividend
Zain Dials up Mobile Banking in Africa With Zap
Zain Group Selects Oberthur Technologies' End-to-End Security Platform for Africa's Biggest Mobil e Commerce Service

World Cocoa Foundation and Leading Chocolate Industry Companies Partner with Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to Significantly Improve Cocoa Farmer Liv

19 Feb 2009 07:00 Africa/Lagos

World Cocoa Foundation and Leading Chocolate Industry Companies Partner with Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to Significantly Improve Cocoa Farmer Livelihoods in West Africa

Five-Year, $40 Million Investment to Focus on Increasing Cocoa Farmer Knowledge, Marketing Efficiency and Incomes

WASHINGTON, Feb. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- The World Cocoa Foundation today announced a new, $40 million program funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and chocolate industry companies to significantly improve the livelihoods of approximately 200,000 cocoa farmers in Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon and Liberia. The innovative, five-year West Africa Cocoa Livelihoods Program will focus on enhancing farmer knowledge and competitiveness, improving productivity and quality, promoting crop diversification and improving supply chain efficiency. These initiatives will help increase farmers' incomes and significantly improve cocoa community well-being.

The program will be managed by the World Cocoa Foundation and be implemented through a consortium of five organizations including ACDI/VOCA, Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) GmbH, the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)/Sustainable Tree Crops Program, SOCODEVI and TechnoServe. In addition to the $23 million in funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, over $17 million in financial support and in-kind contributions come from the private sector: major branded manufacturers The Hershey Company, Kraft Foods and Mars, Incorporated; cocoa processors Archer Daniels Midland Company, Barry Callebaut, Blommer Chocolate Company and Cargill; and supply chain managers and allied industries Armajaro, Ecom-Agrocacao, Olam International Ltd. and Starbucks Coffee Company. The governments of the participating West African countries will support and be full partners in the program's implementation.

"We know from experience that cocoa can play a significant, positive role in improving farm family incomes in the developing world," said Bill Guyton, President, World Cocoa Foundation. "However, many cocoa farmers today lack the practical knowledge and organizational support needed to grow this unique crop profitably and sustainably. Thanks to our new partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, we will be able to dramatically expand our efforts to reach these farmers in West Africa and to promote economic and social development as well as environmental conservation in cocoa-growing communities."

Implementation plans and site selection for the West Africa Cocoa Livelihoods Program will be finalized over the coming months. On-the-ground program activities are expected to begin in late 2009 and early 2010. Once underway, the program will train farmers in better production techniques, quality improvement and business skills; professionalize farmer organizations to better meet member needs; and improve farmer access to agricultural inputs and improved-quality seedlings. The project will also improve farmers' access to market information and opportunities for diversification into alternative food and cash crops to maximize farmer income and security.

"Cocoa is West Africa's largest agricultural export, providing a living for nearly two million smallholder farmers and their families in the region," said Madame Amouan Acquah Assouan, Vice President, Coffee-Cocoa Sector Management Committee, Republic of Cote d'Ivoire. "Too many of them grow cocoa on a subsistence basis, failing to realize the economic benefit this important crop can provide. The new West Africa Cocoa Livelihoods Program can change this situation for the better, lifting thousands of these farm families out of poverty."

"Agriculture offers powerful pathways out of poverty, but without access to knowledge, tools, and markets, millions of smallholder farmers - most of whom are women - aren't able to prosper from their land and labor," said Dr. Rajiv Shah, Director of Agricultural Development at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. "We're excited to support this partnership, which will create opportunities for these farmers to sustainably boost their incomes and lift themselves and their families out of hunger and poverty." To date, the foundation has committed more than $1 billion in agricultural development efforts to increase opportunities for small farmers to succeed at every step of the way--from seed to sale.

About the World Cocoa Foundation

Established in 2000, the World Cocoa Foundation is a leader in promoting economic and social development and environmental stewardship in 15 cocoa-producing countries around the world. With nearly 70 member companies from the Americas, Europe and Asia, the Foundation actively supports a range of farm-level programs harnessing sustainable agriculture practices to improve the quality of life for the millions of smallholder farmers growing this unique crop. For more information about the World Cocoa Foundation, visit:

About the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. In developing countries, it focuses on improving people's health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. In the United States, it seeks to ensure that all people - especially those with the fewest resources -- have access to the opportunities they need to succeed in school and life. Based in Seattle, the foundation is led by CEO Jeff Raikes and Co-Chair William H. Gates Sr., under the direction of Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett. Learn more at


ACDI/VOCA is a nonprofit international development organization that delivers technical and management assistance in agribusiness, financial services, enterprise development, community development and food security in order to promote broad-based economic growth and vibrant civil society. Based in Washington, D.C., ACDI/VOCA has empowered people in developing and transitional nations to succeed in the global economy for 45 years and in 145 countries. ACDI/VOCA currently has approximately 80 projects in 40 countries and revenues of approximately $100 million.

About GTZ

As an international cooperation enterprise for sustainable development with worldwide operations, the federally owned Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) GmbH supports the German Government in achieving its development-policy objectives. It provides viable, forward-looking solutions for political, economic, ecological and social development in a globalised world. Working under difficult conditions, GTZ promotes complex reforms and change processes. Its corporate objective is to improve people's living conditions on a sustainable basis. The company works on public benefit.

About the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture

Africa has complex problems that plague agriculture and people's lives. We develop agricultural solutions with our partners to tackle hunger and poverty. Our award winning research for development (R4D) is based on focused, authoritative thinking anchored on the development needs of sub-Saharan Africa. We work with partners in Africa and beyond to reduce producer and consumer risks, enhance crop quality and productivity, and generate wealth from agriculture. IITA is an international non-profit R4D organization since 1967, governed by a Board of Trustees, and supported primarily by the CGIAR.


SOCODEVI is a network of Canadian cooperatives and mutuals that cooperate and share technical expertise and know-how with partners in developing countries in order to create, protect and distribute wealth. Since 1985, SOCODEVI has supported over 500 cooperative and mutual enterprises and organizations in 30 countries. SOCODEVI measures its success by the extent to which the enterprises supported become models for their sustainability and the benefits their activities provide. The ultimate goal of SOCODEVI: improved living conditions for the communities.

About TechnoServe

TechnoServe is leading a movement that empowers people in the developing world to build businesses that break the cycle of poverty. Growing enterprises generate jobs and other income opportunities for poor people, enabling them to improve their lives and secure a better future for their families. Since its founding in 1968, the U.S.-based nonprofit has helped to create or expand thousands of businesses, benefiting millions of people in more than 30 countries. The Financial Times has rated TechnoServe one of the top five NGOs for corporate partnerships. Charity Navigator has also awarded its highest Four Star ranking to TechnoServe.

Source: World Cocoa Foundation

CONTACT: Bill Guyton of World Cocoa Foundation, +1-202-737-7870,

Web Site:

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

National Daily Awards for "Excellence" or Pretence

Awards events in Nigeria are mere publicity stunts by many newspapers and NGOs who have been giving awards to many so called worthy Nigerians who should rather be prosecuted for fraudulent activities and arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and not collecting fake awards like the strange bed fellows I saw at the last National Daily Awards for “excellence” or pretence on Thursday February 12, 2009.
Does the fake Senate President deserve an award?
For what? Rigging election?
How was he elected?

The venue of the awards ceremony, the Expo Hall of the Eko Hotel on the Victoria Island was a gathering of wolves in sheep clothing and many pretenders.
It was a comedy of errors.
Why should you give an award to a public official for simply doing his job?
A governor building a road with tax payers money is given a standing ovation?

A forgotten singer Mandy Ojugbana suddenly resurfaced to strangulate the National Anthem and got a lashing from Prof. Dora Akunyili, the new Minister of Information and Communication who was a fearless crusader against fake drugs whilst she was the Director-General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).

Releases displayed in Africa/Lagos time
17 Feb 2009
14:40 'AL-KIAMA: The Life After': Sequence Leading to Armageddon Battle and Commencement of Judgment Day
14:35 'HAMZA: Strive for a Wiser Life': Author Offers Accessible Introduction to Druze Faith in Story of Faith and Tradition

Postilion Showcases New Customer Administration Portal at Africa's Premier Banking Technologies Conference

16 Feb 2009 13:00 Africa/Lagos

Postilion Showcases New Customer Administration Portal at Africa's Premier Banking Technologies Conference

Postilion co-sponsors East Africa 2009 Banking & Payment Technologies Conference

JOHANNESBURG and NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb. 16 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Postilion, a leading provider of software solutions for self-service banking and payments and a division of S1 Corporation (NASDAQ:SONE) , today announced that they will be participating at the annual AITEC event in Nairobi from 17 to 19 February. This year's event will focus on the customer's experience of technology implementation and services, challenging suppliers and bankers alike to evaluate their systems in light of customer needs and preferences.

The latest enhancements to Postilion's market leading payments solutions, a new customer administration portal, will be on show at stand E1. Payments experts will be on hand to demonstrate the Postilion Portal, which gives a unified view of customers, accounts, transactions, and activity across various payments channels via a web browser.

Four speakers will showcase Postilion's customer-centric payments solutions at the conference:

* Case Study: The Umoja Switch in Tanzania, by Paul Nilsen, GM of
Business Connexion, a Postilion client based in Tanzania (Session 3)
* Innovating for EFT Success, by Andre Niemand, Sales Manager, Postilion
Africa (Session 3)
* Point of Sale Value-Added Services, by Ophias Sherewa, MD of Transaction
Payment Systems, a Postilion reseller in Africa (Session 6)
* Facilitating Prepaid with Electronic Voucher Distribution, Jim Baird, MD
of ATM Africa, a Postilion reseller in Africa (Session 7)

More than 90 organizations in Africa now use Postilion to enhance their customers' experience of electronic payments. Internationally, more than 300 clients have successfully implemented various Postilion solutions. Postilion drives major transaction switches and processors in numerous African countries, including the continent's largest economies: South Africa, Nigeria, and Kenya. Smaller regional switches, such as those in Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Uganda, also run on Postilion platforms. Africa's top three banks and top three retailers use Postilion to drive their electronic payments. Postilion has a presence in 15 countries across the African continent.

About Postilion

Postilion, a division of S1 Corporation (NASDAQ:SONE) , is a leading provider of integrated solutions for self-service banking and payment processing. Our offices, on five continents, serve over 1,500 customers in more than 50 countries. Postilion solutions drive self-service financial transactions and payments, including advanced transactions such as prepay, through Internet access points, ATMs, POS terminals, and phones.

More than 100,000 ATMs and 500,000 POS terminals worldwide run on Postilion solutions. In the United States, over 1,250 credit unions and community financial institutions use Postilion solutions. Built on open systems, Postilion solutions provide consolidated management information, card management, 3DES and EMV enablement, and loyalty management. At the forefront of compliance with new regulations and security enhancements, such as the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) and Visa's Payment Application Best Practices (PABP), Postilion can help customers achieve compliance with the latest data security standards developed by the payment card industry. More information is available at

About S1 Corporation

S1 Corporation (NASDAQ:SONE) delivers customer interaction software for financial and payment services and offers unique solution sets for financial institutions, retailers, and processors under three brand names: Postilion, S1 Enterprise and FSB Solutions. Additional information about S1 solutions is available at,,, and

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act. These statements include statements with respect to our financial condition, results of operations and business. The words "believes," "expects," "may," "will," "should," "projects," "contemplates," "anticipates," "forecasts," "intends" or similar terminology identify forward-looking statements. These statements are based on our beliefs as well as assumptions made using information currently available to us. Because these statements reflect our current views concerning future events, they involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions. Therefore, actual results may differ significantly from the results discussed in the forward-looking statements. The risk factors included in our reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (and available on our web site at or the SEC's web site at provide examples of risks, uncertainties and events that may cause our actual results to differ materially from the expectations we describe in our forward-looking statements. Except as provided by law, we undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statement.

Source: S1 Corporation

CONTACT: Eduan Swanepoel, + 27 21 525 5000,

Web site:

Releases displayed in Africa/Lagos time
17 Feb 2009
Coartem(R) Dispersible, le premier ACT* Dispersible pour enfants, est lancé cette semaine en Afrique par Novartis et par Medicines for Malaria Venture
16 Feb 2009
Postilion Showcases New Customer Administration Portal at Africa's Premier Banking Technologies Conference
Foris and Runcom are Launching a WiMAX Network in Mozambique
Coartem(R) Dispersible, the First Dispersible ACT* for Children, Launched This Week in Africa by Novartis and Medicines for Malaria Venture
13 Feb 2009
Ebiakpo Jituboh and DeKeisha George of Queens, NY Named as the Winners of ESSENCE Magazine's Will You Marry Me? 2009 Contest!
12 Feb 2009
Oscar Nominated Films Raise Polio Awareness
World's poor to be helped by 'txt msg' technology

KBB.Com Names the Best 2009 New Family Cars


Editors Focus on Top 10 Fuel-Friendly Family Haulers, Feature Wide Variety of Vehicle Segments

IRVINE, Calif., February 17, 2009 /PRNewswire/ — - Kelley Blue Book, the leading provider of new- and used-car information, today announces its picks for the honor of being named one of 2009's Best New Family Vehicles. The American family has never had so many choices when it comes to safe, roomy and affordable family cars. While a sea of vehicles is ultimately a good thing, it can also make it more difficult for families to pick a winner. To help consumers determine which new cars should be on their family's consideration list, the editors of Kelley Blue Book's compiled a list of the top 10 Best New Family Vehicles, evaluating an ever-lengthening list of eligible vehicles on such factors as resale value, fuel efficiency, capability and kid-friendliness.

This year, the editors chose to put extra emphasis fuel economy when choosing their list of the top 10 best cars for families. Gas prices have dropped sharply from their record highs, but the sluggish economy is now dictating smart spending with a focus on overall value. Comprising a wide range of vehicles that includes a compact sedan, a full-size SUV, hybrids, non-hybrids and a clean diesel,'s list of the 10 Best New Family Vehicles for 2009 features something for everyone.'s 2009 Best New Family Vehicles

Chevy Malibu Honda Odyssey
Chevy Tahoe Hybrid Toyota Camry Hybrid
Chevy Traverse Toyota Highlander Hybrid
Ford Escape Hybrid Toyota RAV4
Honda Civic VW Jetta SportWagen TDI

Vehicles above listed in alphabetical order by brand

"Given the current state of the economy, parents want to get even greater value for their money while buying a new vehicle that will also accommodate their family's lifestyle and needs," said Jack R. Nerad, executive editorial director and executive market analyst for Kelley Blue Book and "Fuel-friendly family cars come in so many shapes and forms these days that, no matter the segment or powertrain, there is an efficient – both economically and environmentally – choice out there to suit everyone's needs." Editorial Comments on the 2009 Best New Family Vehicles
(Vehicles below listed in order of overall passenger/cargo roominess)

2009 Honda Civic
29 mpg (25 city, 36 highway)
For families that pride themselves on thinking small, the Honda Civic is a perennial all-star. Combining impressive fuel economy, unrivaled reliability and class-leading resale values, the winner of our 2009 Small Sedan Comparison is one of those special vehicles by which all its competitors are measured.

2009 Toyota Camry Hybrid
34 mpg (33 city, 34 highway)
The hybrid version of the best-selling car in the country delivers an average of 135 more miles from a 15-gallon fill-up than its gas-only counterpart. On long family road trips, you'll have even less of a chance of making it through a full tank between restroom breaks.

2009 Chevy Malibu
26 mpg (22 city, 33 highway)
As a fuel-friendly family sedan, the newest Chevy Malibu has some seriously strong credentials. Not only does it offer class-leading fuel economy topping out at an impressive 33 highway miles per gallon, it also edged out the Honda Accord to win our 2008 Family Sedan Comparison Test.

2009 VW Jetta SportWagen TDI
34 mpg (30 city, 41 highway)
Thanks to the new technology and new clean diesel fuel that make it emissions-legal in all 50 states, the Jetta TDI's cult-like following is at risk of being absorbed by the mainstream. For some, the Jetta SportWagen TDI is the gold standard of responsible family transportation.

2009 Ford Escape Hybrid
32 mpg (34 city, 31 highway)
After undergoing a major overhaul for the 2008 model year, the Ford Escape Hybrid is improved again for 2009 with a more powerful and more efficient gas-electric powertrain. Its city fuel-economy rating of 34 miles per gallon is one better, even, than that of the Toyota Camry Hybrid's.

2009 Toyota RAV4
24 mpg (22 city, 28 highway)
In addition to class-leading fuel economy, the Toyota RAV4 offers one especially family-friendly feature uncommon in the category: a third row of seats. It's a tight squeeze back there for some, but we ran into a family who shuttled seven people from Northern Utah to Southern California – and back – in a RAV4.

2009 Toyota Highlander Hybrid
26 mpg (27 city, 25 highway)
The three-row crossover continues to fortify its recently acquired status as the quintessential family car. This gas-electric version of Toyota's Camry-based crossover has the distinct advantage of being the most fuel-efficient three-row vehicle on the road.

2009 Chevy Tahoe Hybrid
21 mpg (21 city, 22 highway)
Car-based crossovers continue to displace traditional SUVs in suburban driveways, but for big families with big passenger/cargo/towing needs, the full-size SUV remains indispensible. The Chevy Tahoe Hybrid is as green as it gets in this arena, and still offers towing capacity of up to 6,200 pounds.

2009 Chevy Traverse
19 mpg (17 city, 24 highway)
Boasting more cargo volume than even its Chevy Tahoe stablemate, the Traverse is the biggest crossover on the road — yet it beats the fuel economy of many smaller three-row vehicles. We like all the Traverse's siblings – Buick Enclave, GMC Acadia, Saturn Outlook – but the Chevrolet has the lowest starting price, which makes it our family pick.

2009 Honda Odyssey
20 mpg (17 city, 25 highway)
20 mpg (17 city, 25 highway) We've always thought an Acura badge would look right at home on the sharply styled, thoroughly refined Honda Odyssey. The most premium-like minivan on the market is also the most fuel efficient, thanks in part to its (optional) ability to cruise on three of six cylinders.

Family Vehicle Research Tools Available on Kelley Blue Book's
Full expert car reviews of 2009 model year vehicles, including written and video reviews
2009 model-year car safety information
Crash test data
Rollover ratings
Air bag information
Specifications and information on optional features, including:
Child door locks
Rear entertainment systems
Optional third-row seating
Perfect Car Finder® Tool
Side-by-Side Car Comparison Tool
Consumer car reviews
Car incentives and rebates information
New car pricing, including MSRP, dealer invoice price, New Car Blue Book® Values and projected resale value information
Used car values, including trade-in, retail and private party values
Environmental information on KBB® Green
For more information about the 2009 Best New Family Vehicles, visit

About Kelley Blue Book (
Since 1926, Kelley Blue Book, The Trusted Resource®, has provided vehicle buyers and sellers with the new and used vehicle information they need to accomplish their goals with confidence. The company's top-rated Web site,, provides the most up-to-date pricing and values, including the New Car Blue Book® Value, which reveals what people actually are paying for new cars. The company also reports vehicle pricing and values via products and services, including software products and the famous Blue Book® Official Guide. According to the C.A. Walker Research Solutions, Inc. – 2008 Spring Automotive Web Site Usefulness Study, is the most useful automotive information Web site among new and used vehicle shoppers, and half of online vehicle shoppers visit is a leading provider of new car prices, car reviews and news, used car blue book values, auto classifieds and car dealer locations. No other medium reaches more in-market vehicle shoppers than

Media Contacts:
Robyn Eckard
Joanna McNally
Brenna Robinson

Saturday, February 14, 2009

'The More Things Change, the More They Remain the Same'

'The more things change, the more they remain the same':

Ajayi Crowther on the Challenge of Education in the Niger Delta

"On these days [holidays] every one appeared in his or her best dress, the males in long shirts like nightshirts, but made of the best Manchester goods they could obtain, such as rich silks, silk velvets, damasks, etc., their under wrappings being of the same materials. The head coverings are black or straw hats or caps, decorated with coral beads of the best quality obtainable. The females appeared in the same rich drapery, but their dresses are cut into lengths of cloths about the size of a moderate table cover. Many such are passed round in layers on the waists and bent in the front until they become a large pile of goods, which make their gait awkward. In addition to all this rich drapery, strings of large, expensive, real coral beads are suspended on the necks of both males and females, at the lowest rate to the amount of ₤50 or ₤60 on the body of an individual. The necks of some females are quite weighed down with them. These coral beads are of very large grains, which are much preferred to small grains, mostly long pipe, round, or drum shape. During the late amusements a new ornament has been introduced in addition to corals as jewels, viz. coins. Gold sovereigns, silver dollars, florins, shillings, and sixpenny pieces are bored through and strung up with coral beads for the neck, wrists, or ankles to the amount of as many pounds as each one was able to purchase. These are exhibitions of greatness and the test of superiority in riches. In consequence of this English gold sovereigns and silver coins have become articles of great demand in the palm oil trade, for ornamental dresses as above stated. One of the native chiefs at New Calabar was said to have purchased coins for his own ornaments, wives', and children's to the amount of ₤500, paid for in palm oil. It was estimated by gentlemen competent to judge that the hat of another chief was valued at forty puncheons of palm oil, which at ₤12 per puncheon, as oil was rated in the river, was equal to the value of ₤480, of coral beads, gold and silver coins, with which the hat was decorated.

This being one of the chief objects of their emulation, one may guess how eager each one much be to make as much by trade as possible, and even to increase their accumulated stores by enormous overcharges on their native produce or materials, and how wasteful it must appear to some of these ignorant people to pay ₤2 a year school fee for the education of a child, because education is not a visible appendage for exhibition as an ornament, as two sovereigns, twenty florins, forty shillings, or eighty sixpenny pieces would have been on their persons."

Ajayi Crowther, quoted in "The Black Bishop" by Jesse Page, 1908

It's the Bicentenary - 200th birthyear- of Samuel Ajayi Crowther! Let's celebrate the life and work of the legendary African educator, pioneer linguist and visionary leader in books, comics, films and other media to benefit generations yet unborn.
For details, check out

Friday, February 13, 2009

Continental Airlines Offers Support to Colgan Air in Providing Assistance to Families of Flight 3407 Passengers and Crew

13 Feb 2009 08:18 Africa/Lagos

Continental Airlines Offers Support to Colgan Air in Providing Assistance to Families of Flight 3407 Passengers and Crew

HOUSTON, Feb. 13 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Continental Airlines (NYSE:CAL) this morning expressed its profound sadness concerning the accident involving flight 3407, operated by Colgan Air, that occurred Thursday night near Buffalo .

"Continental extends its deepest sympathy to the family members and loved ones of those involved in this accident," said Larry Kellner, chairman and CEO of Continental Airlines. "We are providing our full assistance to Colgan Air so that together we can provide as much support as possible for all concerned."

Continental representatives are traveling to Buffalo to provide assistance to Colgan in its response to the accident. A family assistance center is being established in the area.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with all of the family members and loved ones of those involved in the flight 3407 tragedy," Kellner added.

Family members of flight 3407 passengers and crew should contact the airline at 1-800-621-3263.

Source: Continental Airlines

CONTACT: Corporate Communications, +1-713-324-5080,

Web site:

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Breaking News: Theodore Orji Wins At the Court of Appeal

Theodore Orji

Appeal Court in Port Harcourt has declared Theodore Orji of the Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA) as the bona fide Governor of Abia State.

The court dismissed the petitions filed by Onyema Ugochukwu, of the People's Democratic Party (PDP) and other contenders who challenged the inauguration of Orji on May 29, 2007, because of the cases of electoral fraud reported during the gubernatorial elections of April 14, 2007.

Orji who returned to Umuahia on Tuesday after a three-day working visit to Abuja said he knew that he would win the court case. Most people in Abia State hailed the verdict.

More Breaking News!
Tsvangirai becomes Zimbabwe's PM
Zimbabwe's opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai is sworn in as prime minister by his bitter political rival President Mugabe.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Virtualization Saves Microsoft Customers Nearly a Half-Million Dollars Per Year

Virtualization Saves Microsoft Customers Nearly a Half-Million Dollars Per Year

Businesses gain value via server consolidation, integrated management tools and application management.

REDMOND, Wash. - Feb. 9, 2009 /PRNewswire/ — Microsoft Corp. today announced that some business customers around the world have saved on average $470,000 (U.S.) per year through IT projects using Microsoft virtualization software. Microsoft's business customers have been able to use virtualization to help reduce operations and capital expenses via reduced electrical power consumption and cooling within datacenters, reduced hardware acquisition costs, automation of desktop and server management, and centralized application deployment.

The cost of running IT systems has increased as electrical power, cooling and physical space has become constrained. In his 2008 refereed journal article, "Worldwide electricity used in data centers," Jonathan Koomey, Ph.D., of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Stanford University concluded that total datacenter power was about 1.5 percent of all U.S. electricity use in 2005, with 80 percent of that amount going toward powering and cooling servers.

A separate report, by Gartner Inc., stated that "the effective use of virtualization can reduce server energy consumption by up to 82 percent and floor space by 85 percent" (Gartner: "Energy Savings via Virtualization: Green IT on a Budget"; Nov. 12, 2008).

"Businesses are looking to reduce and manage computing costs in datacenters and across server and client computing devices," said David Greschler, director of integrated virtualization at Microsoft. "Virtualization software allows businesses to pool computing resources to drive down IT costs, increase IT efficiency and be more responsive to business needs. Customers are getting a better bang for their buck with the Microsoft platform and virtualization solutions because virtualization is in both the operating system and in the holistic management tools. Customers can manage IT services and a broad set of applications across the datacenter and desktops. There is less of a learning curve for customers, and it eases interoperability with existing systems."

Savings Through Available Built-In Virtualization and Management Automation
Microsoft's approach to virtualization, which incorporates server and presentation virtualization into Windows Server 2008 and unlimited virtual machine management with Microsoft System Center suite license, is helping break down barriers to broad virtualization adoption.

"The VMware ESX solution would have cost $30,000 (U.S.) for four servers. With Microsoft, we have a service provider agreement that allows for monthly payments with no capital costs — costing us less than $1,000 over the life of the contract," said David Straede, president and chief operating officer for Santa Barbara Web Hosting. "Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V has the core features businesses need. It's the Windows people know, is installed just like other Windows-based applications, and works in a management console that IT staff are already using. The ESX feature set simply doesn't justify its additional expense."

If making it easy for customers to implement virtualization is important, making it easy to manage the environment is just as critical for saving time and money. With Microsoft System Center, customers have a single solution for managing the entire IT life cycle, from deployment and provisioning to monitoring and backup. Equally important, customers can manage both server and desktop resources, both virtual and physical assets, and both Microsoft and VMware hypervisors, all with the same platform.

These capabilities helped Banverket ICT choose Microsoft for its virtualization strategy. "We knew we wanted to build a compatible virtualization platform that would encompass server consolidation, Terminal Services and application virtualization that we could manage with a single set of tools," said Pontus Blomkvist, service design manager, Banverket ICT. "With Microsoft Application Virtualization for Terminal Services, we have been able to reduce the number of terminal servers because we can run many applications on any server at any time, without worrying about conflicts. With Hyper-V, we are now running 50 virtual machines in production, with a utilization rate of 80 percent for some of the servers as opposed to 15 percent before we deployed Hyper-V."

Savings Through Consolidation, Reductions in Power
By running multiple virtual machines on fewer physical servers, Microsoft customers are drastically cutting hardware requirements and easing server management. For example, Indiana University's Auxiliary IT Department went from 152 to just 32 servers, which it expects will save $85,000 (U.S.) annually. Saxo Bank had an average physical server utilization of just 20 percent and was deploying nearly 200 new servers per year before using server virtualization. Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V allowed the bank to reduce the number of servers needed by 36 percent and realize savings equivalent to $1 million (U.S.), because of lower server hardware costs and associated reductions in space, power and cooling costs.

Many customers have realized similarly dramatic electrical savings as a result of server consolidation, which is a particularly important benefit in today's climate of volatile power prices. TALX expects to save approximately 50 percent in annual power and cooling costs by consolidating its server environment with Hyper-V. HotSchedules, which noted that its No. 1 cost in the datacenter is power, spent about $11,000 (U.S.) a month on datacenter power costs, but with Hyper-V it anticipates that this monthly figure will go down to $2,500. Santa Barbara Web Hosting uses Hyper-V to reduce its power consumption costs by $5,220 (U.S.) per month, helping the company provide more cost-effective services to its customers. And Slough Borough Council took advantage of the savings from eliminating 10 physical servers to preserve the electrical power needed to turn on a new storage area network.

"I wouldn't be surprised to see us virtualize 60 servers once our physical-to-virtual analysis is complete, which represents nearly half our server holdings," said Chris Wintermute, technical infrastructure manager for Slough Borough Council. "We've achieved hardware savings of $148,000 (U.S.), and we expect to reduce server deployment costs by $23,700 (U.S.) annually, based on rolling out 20 servers a year."

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at on Microsoft's corporate information pages. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may since have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft's Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at
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