Monday, 22 August 2011
I welcome you back to your once occupied seat as Nigeria's Federal Minister of Finance and now the Coordinating Minister of the Economic Management Team, which to me qualifies you as a de facto Prime Minister. I am most grateful to you for accepting to leave your highly-respected position in the world bank to take up this arduous challenge in Nigeria. I respect your courage and wish the country have many more leaders of your type, who have the interest of the country at heart and not the greedy bunch we’ve had in the past.
I say a big thank you to President Jonathan, who has played very good role in convincing you to take up this offer; I see this as the greatest achievement of his administration. I have great confidence in you, not just for your exalted position in the world bank, but for your performance, character and loyalty which surpasses every expectations. I acknowledge and appreciate your truthfulness, uprightness and discipline to achieve.
Just as I congratulate you, I also want to enjoin you to have the best interest of Nigeria at heart. The country is in such a state that mere mention of Nigeria despite the love I have for it bring tears to my eyes. The good image has been repeatedly bastardized, its people have experienced the worst poverty, bad leadership and worst human-suffering ever recorded.
Please do not be deceived by those fat-belly thieves with ruby cheeks surrounding you at the moment, seeing them around may make it seems that Nigeria is not as bad as it seems; try to look out from your armoured convoy while travelling on the streets of Nigeria and let the suffering and hapless people all around the country spurn your desire to cause a rapid change. Do not be lied to again this time, things have gone worse than you left behind previously.
I plead with you, most importantly not to be deceived by the 'chop and quench' big-men who will flock around you for another piece of the national cake, they have nothing to offer, they are simply there for their pockets and nothing more. They have been there from ages past with no inkling on economic reforms. They are specialist in slowing things down, manipulating the economy with their greed and selfishness, they are simply after the proceeds and don't care a bit about the economy. I support President Jonathan's advise to sack those unproductive people in government and those not ready to conform. You have the backing of Nigerians, we are solidly behind you and we shall not forget if you can turn things around. Our finances needs to be managed correctly for the first time and we need to see our money work for our development. I know the task is very demanding, but please do not despair.
I am particularly concerned about the state of the country and want you to take up the responsibility of turning things around. I clearly see you as the head of the the economic team inaugurated by President Jonathan, the President and Vice Presidents positions in that list as chairman and vice-chairman respectively are there as just nominal head. As the Coordinating Minister of the Economic Management Team, I see this role as the most important role and I am banking on you as one of the few I can trust now in Nigeria.
There is no doubt that we have very urgent need to revamp all sectors of the economy. I am particularly concerned about the power sector, there is need for a quick revolution there, power generation is not as difficult as they have made it seems, we have been in darkness long enough and we are long overdue for light. I also want you to pay attention to Security, Nigeria is shamefully very porous and the lives of the Nigerian citizens are cut short on daily basis by the police that should protect us, armed robbers, kidnappers and many more security crimes and lapses.
The other sector I am very concerned about is the education sector, we all know the importance of education to any economy. our public schools are simply social centres; the level of our education and resources to attain it has dissipated to the worst level, that is also attested to by the 80% failure recorded in the last O-level exam and our graduate are the worst for it.
The following are more areas I want you to play very important roles in revitalising; Hospitals and health management, water distribution, road and infrastructural development, job creation. Please do not ignore my demands, because it is the demand of every Nigerians. God bless you, God bless the President and God Bless Nigeria.
Abiola Olaifa writes (firstname.lastname@example.org, www.abiolla.com)
Monday, 15 August 2011
Music is the most important medium of communication in Africa. African music is highly significant and often requires participation from the audience, it involves sing and response. Africans have various songs for different events and activities, we have war songs, love songs, songs accompanying child birth, marriage, hunting, and political activities, we also have songs to ward off evil spirits and songs to pay respect to the good spirit, we have songs for the dead and the ancestors. African musicians are professionals and their music is important to our ways of life, their music have stories to tell and says a lot about our beliefs.
Africa is said to be the origin of music and dance. Music is the most exported commodity from Africa. Africans were known to be travellers, nomads and many were forced into slavery to many parts of the world, so they do a lot of moving around, taking their music and dance to everywhere they go. Africa music have been a major influence in many parts of the world, from African-Amerian music, to Jazz in Europe, Latin American music like salsa, rumba and samba, also the Caribbean calypso, zouk and soca, have all been influenced by African music as a result of the transatlantic slave-trade. The emergence of online music distribution mediums like Itunes, Youtube mobile phones downloads, and others have also helped to get these music across the world and easily for everyone to purchase. African musicians now have more avenues to spread their talent to the world.
Africa music has grown in bounds in the past decades, many new-age talents have been discovered and are already making waves on the world stage. These new artists have driven African music into the limelight and given it international recognition and acceptability in the global music world. A lot of African musicians are now collaborating with the world's best, producing platinum hits and generating good income. These music are also receiving the best awards in the world, if we can further harness these pool of talents, the continent have a lot to gain. Africa stands to benefit immensely from the international music industry as music is consumed globally.
Africa musicians use indigenous languages and instruments to propagate the traditions and cultural heritage in very positive ways, however good this is for the continent, there is still a lot more to be done if it is to gain from the pool of creativity in its musical talents. Africa have many types of music from North Africa to the South Saharan and there is need to give our music an international brand-image, so the multi-billion dollars music industry can be the much needed income stream for the continent.
As much as there is great potential in the African music industry, there is also need for these sector to be reassessed as the current potential is hindered by inadequate structuring, piracy and limited international social and economic patterns. African music producers needs to be professionally trained in artist management and international marketing skills so as to properly place the music on world stage. More of our artists needs to participate in more international gigs and music events. African musicians have really improved in the last decade and their music is world-class and deserving of better exposure and should be on the best stages in the world.
African music are rhythmic in nature and very danceable, our music were largely classified as afro-music and high-life. Some of our new talents are doing well blending the African style music with Afro-American musicians and musician from other parts of the world to produce all kinds of music ranging from soul, rock and roll, jazz, rap/hip-hop to Reggae, high-life, country and rock music. Many new artists are breaking-forth from Africa with new musical taste, blending our traditional musical instrument with new technology to produce scintillating and highly creative world class music. The fresh collaboration and latest technology combined with the creativity of our artists is pushing African music forward, our music is export-ready to take the worlds-music scene by the storm.
Africa musician have done really well and have all it takes to make music of same quality as any musician of the world, however there is need for us to promote our music to the worlds mainstream music industry. Reggae music has been a major export in Jamaica and the country have produced many world great musicians. Reggae is a positive, image boosting and good income generating venture for Jamaica.
There are many raw talents and artists springing up on a daily basis from every parts of Africa, producing very good music. More investors can invest into the potentials inherent in the industry by promoting and marketing the artists. Africa stands to gain immensely from this industry if well harnessed and could be one of the best income generating venture for the continent.