According to the New York Times, Abiy Ahmed, the prime minister of Ethiopia, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for his work in restarting peace talks with neighboring Eritrea and beginning to restore freedoms in his country after decades of political and economic repression.
To quote the article:
Abiy, 43, broke through two decades of frozen conflict between his vast country, Africa’s second most populous, and Eritrea, its small and isolated neighbor. When he became prime minister of Ethiopia in 2018, he threw himself at a breakneck pace into reforms at home, and peace negotiations with the rebel-turned-dictator Isaias Afwerki, president of Eritrea.
Lots of the news from sub-Saharan Africa is about war, famine, poverty or political upheaval. So it’s understandable if many Americans think most Africans who immigrate to the United States are poorly educated and desperate. That’s the impression that President Trump left with his comments to members of Congress opposing admission of immigrants from “s***hole countries” in Africa and elsewhere.
But research tells another story.
While many are refugees, large numbers are beneficiaries of the “diversity visa program” aimed at boosting immigration from underrepresented nations. And on average, African immigrants are better educated that people born in the U.S. or the immigrant population as a whole.
“It’s a population that’s very diverse in its educational, economic and English proficiency profile,” said Jeanne Batalova, a senior policy analyst at the Migration Policy Institute think tank in Washington and co-author of a report last year on sub-Saharan African immigrants in the U.S. “People came for a variety of reasons and at various times.”
Overall, their numbers are small compared with other immigrant groups but have risen significantly in recent years. The U.S. immigrant population from sub-Saharan Africa (49 countries with a total population of more than 1.1 billion) grew from 723,000 to more than 1.7 million between 2010 and 2015, according to a new report by New American Economy, a Washington-based research and advocacy group. Still, they make up just half a percent of the U.S. population.
Drawing from U.S. surveys and Census Bureau data, the report found that the majority come from five countries: Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Ethiopia and South Africa.
The Pew Research Center reported that African immigrants are most likely to settle in the South or Northeast, and that the largest numbers — at least 100,000 — are found in Texas, New York, California, Maryland, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Virginia. Many African refugees have also relocated to or have been resettled in states such as Minnesota and South Dakota.
The Refugee Act of 1980 made it easier for people fleeing war zones to resettle in the U.S., and today there are tens of thousand of refugees from Somalia, Sudan and Congo. About 22% of African immigrants are refugees, according to Andrew Lim, associate director of research at New American Economy.
At the same time, the diversity visa program — also known as the visa lottery — has opened the door to immigrants from more peaceful places. Of the sub-Saharan immigrants who have become legal permanent residents, 17% came through the program, compared with 5% of the total U.S. immigrant population, according to Batalova.
Applicants to the program must have completed the equivalent of a U.S. high school education or have at least two years of recent experience in any number of occupations, including accountant, computer support specialist, orthodontist and dancer. As a result, the influx includes many immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa who are highly skilled professionals.
Ethiopian Airlines, the national flag carrier of Ethiopia made history on Saturday when it deployed an all-female crew for a special flight from Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to Murtala Mohammed International Airport in Lagos, Nigeria.
The historic airlift, which is the airline’s first flight to Nigeria in the hands of an all-female crew, has grabbed headlines across the world, with some people lauding it as a major milestone for the womenfolk.
Under the supervision of Captain Amsale Gualu and First Officer Tigist Kibret, the 13-member crew flew 391 passengers to the Nigerian capital on Boeing B777-300 ER, an exciting journey that took approximately four and a half hours.
Speaking at the reception party in Lagos, the chairperson of the Nigerian House Committee on Aviation Mrs. Nkiru Onyejeocha thanked Captain Gualu and the rest of her crew for the successful flight, saying it was enough proof that women can achieve great things when given the chance.
Onyejeocha added that the historic flight is an inspiration to Nigerian women to venture into the aviation sector and have the courage to hold key positions in the lucrative industry.
Speaking at the event, Captain Gualu, who called on women to have passion in what they do, said flying aeroplanes was her childhood dream. “Since I was a child, I wanted to be a pilot. After my University education, I joined Ethiopian Airlines as a first officer and flew the Fokker 50 and the Boeing B737 and then became a captain,” Captain Gualu was quoted by Nigerian news portal This Day.
Since the momentous flight on Saturday, many people have taken to social media to congratulate Ethiopian Airlines, which is the most profitable airline in Africa, for giving women an opportunity to prove their potential.
Few love stories resemble a fairy tale as much as the courtship and marriage of Ariana Austin and Joel Makonnen. Of course, it helped that the groom is an actual prince and the bride has a prominent lineage of her own. Mr. Makonnen, known as Prince Yoel, is the 35-year-old great-grandson of Haile Selassie, the last emperor of Ethiopia. And Ms. Austin, 33, is of African-American and Guyanese descent; her maternal grandfather was a lord mayor of Georgetown, the capital of Guyana.
As the couple noted on their wedding website, their union happened when “Old World aristocracy met New World charm.” The old and new combined on Sept. 9, in a marathon day of events that lasted from 11 a.m. until late in the evening, and took place within two states.
The festivities began with a ceremony at the Debre Genet Medhane Alem Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church in Temple Hills, Md. In an incense-filled sanctuary, guests in stockinged feet watched as at least 13 priests and clergymen helped officiate the Ethiopian Orthodox ceremony between Mr. Makonnen and Ms. Austin, who just days before had converted to the religion.
Hours after the ceremony, the pair celebrated with a formal reception at Foxchase Manor in Manassas, Va., with 307 guests, amid gold sequins, platters of Ethiopian food and preboxed slices of Guyanese black cake for people to take home. Their marriage had been more than a decade in the making. In the nearly 12 years since they first met on a dance floor at the Washington nightclub Pearl, in December 2005, Mr. Makonnen and Ms. Austin have pursued degrees, jobs and, at times, each other. Eventually, planning a wedding just became the next item on this ambitious couple’s to-do list. “I think we both had this feeling that this was our destiny,” Ms. Austin said. “But I felt like I had things that I had to do.”
When the two met, Mr. Makonnen didn’t tell Ms. Austin about his royal background, and Ms. Austin, who was 21 at the time, wasn’t necessarily looking to meet her future husband. She was in the middle of a time in her life she fondly referred to as “the summer that never ended.” Mr. Makonnen, himself in bachelor mode, approached Ms. Austin and her friend Jami Ramberan, and told the two women that they looked like models for a brand of alcohol. “I said, ‘You guys look like an ad for Bombay Sapphire,’ or whatever the gin was,” Mr. Makonnen recalled of the pickup line, one now infamous with Ms. Austin’s family. (At the wedding, even Ms. Ramberan, a bridesmaid, recalled the strangeness of that evening: “You don’t expect to meet the person you’re going to marry at Pearl.”) Mr. Makonnen quickly focused on Ms. Austin: “Not even five minutes later I said, ‘You’re going to be my girlfriend.’ ”
Ruth Negga is the January 2017 cover model for Vogue Magazine. The Irish-Ethiopian actress is starring in Loving, a film directed by Jeff Nichols, about an interracial couple who desire to be married in 1958 Virginia. Loving is the first full-length film to be screened at the new National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Ruth delved to Vogue about growing up with interracial parents and losing her father at a young age. Ruth and her mother went to Ireland and was waiting for her father, but he died in Ethiopia in a car crash. She found out via a letter. “This was 1988. There wasn’t any grief counseling for kids.” Ruth admits to going to therapy in her early 30’s to deal with the loss of her father.
Ruth identifies as Irish-Ethiopian, adding, “I become very territorial about my identity because it’s been hijacked by so many people, with their own projections.” Deep and a struggle, many racially ambiguous women must address. Ruth explains, “I’m always very careful to say I’m Irish-Ethiopian because I feel Ethiopian and I look Ethiopian and I am Ethiopian. But there are 81 languages in Ethiopia, and I don’t know any of them.”
As the Ministerial Conference on Immunisation in Africa commences today in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, vaccine experts and officials representing 26 African countries from the ‘meningitis belt’ celebrate the introduction of MenAfriVac® and its achievements in the continent’s public health system. In five years, MenAfriVac, which is designed, developed and produced for use in Africa, has nearly eliminated serogroup Ameningococcal disease from the meningitis belt countries and is now being integrated into routine national immunisation programs.
Since the vaccine was first introduced in Burkina Faso back in 2010, the World Health Organisation (WHO) reports that 16 of the 26 countries in the African meningitis belt, between Senegal and Ethiopia, have conducted initial mass vaccination campaigns to protect their citizens. As a result of this, more than 235 million children and young adults, between the ages of 1 and 29 years old, have been immunised, eliminating meningitis A disease in those areas.
Manuel Fontaine, the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund’s (UNICEF) Regional Director for West and Central Africa stated that “It’s clear that the rollout of the meningitis A vaccine has been a great success story in sub-Saharan Africa. At UNICEF, we’ll continue to work with national authorities, health workers and traditional and religious leaders so that vaccines remain well accepted and reach every community across the meningitis belt.”
The officials at the conference thereby plan a transition from mass campaigns to vaccine use in childhood immunisation programs to prevent the resurgence of deadly epidemics. Cases of meningitis A reduced from over 250,000 during an outbreak in 1996 to just 80 confirmed cases in 2015 and those were in countries that had not yet conducted mass immunisation campaigns.
Speaking ahead of the conference yesterday, Prof. Awa Marie Coll-Seck, the Minister of Health and Social Services of Senegal, encouraged African countries to reflect on the common goals and aspirations made in 2012 regarding achieving Universal Access to Immunisation by 2020 and improving healthcare for children.
“Thanks to immunisations, there has been a 55 percent reduction in child deaths in the past 25 years…Vaccines are a cost-effective proven investment that spur national development. Studies show that every dollar spent on immunization programs can provide economic returns up to sixteen times for a given country. Treating vaccine-preventable diseases places an enormous strain on public health systems by redirecting limited human and economic resources towards treatment instead of prevention.”
Furthermore, she stated it is essential to prioritise health for every child in every part of Africa to support the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. According to her, the Ministerial Conference on Immunization in Africa represents a key moment for African nations to catalyse support and accountability to ensure that universal immunization is made a reality.
The scene backstage last November at the American Music Awards, that annual gathering of pop perennials and idiosyncratic arrivistes, was carnivalesque: Niall and Liam of One Direction toddled about trying to snap a picture with a selfie stick, while Zayn, their bandmate at the time, smoked coolly out of frame; Ne-Yo was there in a leopard-print blazer two sizes too small; Lil Wayne was wandering around, alone, wearing absurd shoes. In the middle of it all, Abel Tesfaye, better known as The Weeknd, remained calm, slow motion to everyone else’s warp speed.
Allergic to these sorts of scrums, he found his way to his trailer to hang with his friends, five or so fellow Canadians, all of them art-goth chic, wearing expensive sneakers and draped in luxurious, flowing black. Tesfaye, 25, was dressed down by comparison, in a black corduroy jacket and paint-splattered jeans (Versace, but still). He stands 5-foot-7, plus a few more inches with his hair, an elaborate tangle of dreadlocks that he has been growing out for years, more or less letting it go where it wants. It spills out at the sides of his head and shoots up over it, like a cresting wave. Casually, Tesfaye did some vocal warm-ups and sat indifferently as his underutilized makeup artist dabbed foundation under his eyes and balm on his lips.
He’d just had his first flash of true pop success: ‘‘Love Me Harder,’’ his duet with Ariana Grande, the childlike pop star with the grown-up voice, cracked the Top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100. He was scheduled to make a surprise cameo here at the end of a Grande medley. Until that song and, in a sense, that moment, Tesfaye had been a no-hit wonder: a cult act with millions of devotees and almost no mainstream profile.
When Tesfaye came out from the shadows midway through Grande’s performance, the crowd screamed. For two minutes, the singers traded vocal riffs and unflinching eye contact, Grande playing the naïf and Tesfaye the aggressor. The performance was quick and sweaty, and seconds after it was over, Tesfaye was already speeding for the exit, stopping only for a quick embrace from Kendall and Kylie Jenner. When he reached the parking lot, a yappy talent wrangler for an entertainment-news show sensed an opportunity and asked for an interview. Tesfaye gave him an amused half-smile and kept walking. ‘‘Hey!’’ the guy shouted in desperation, fumbling for a name before landing on the wrong one: ‘‘A$AP Rocky!’’ Tesfaye turned his head and said, ‘‘C’mon, man,’’ arching an eyebrow, then picked up the pace.
Even though he had just performed for an audience of millions, Tesfaye was still, to many of them, a total stranger. When he began releasing music in 2010 — murky Dalí-esque R.&B., sung in an astrally sweet voice, vivid with details of life at the sexual and pharmacological extremes — Tesfaye chose to be a cipher. The only photos of him in circulation were deliberately obscured; he didn’t do interviews. His reticence was an asset — fans devoured the music without being distracted by a personality. Their loyalty was to the songs and, in a way, to the idea of the Weeknd. He was happy to stay out of the way.
Ethiopian runner Genzebe Dibaba has set a new world record in the 1,500-meter run as she ran 3:50.08 at the Monaco Diamond League meeting on Friday.
“I’m the first from Ethiopia to get the 1,500-meter world record. That is amazing,” Dibaba said after the race. “I think Tirunesh (Dibaba) will be happy. All Ethiopia will be happy.” Dibaba’s time surpasses a 22-year-old world record of 3:50.46 by Qu Yunxia of China set in Sept. 1993.
The 24-year-old Dibaba said she may attempt the 1,500-meter/5,000-meter double at next month’s IAAF World Championships in Beijing. No woman has ever medaled at both distances. She will have to run the 1,500-meter race three times (Aug. 22, heat; Aug. 23 semi-final; Aug. 25 final) over three days. The 5,000-meter run will have two rounds—a heat on Aug. 27 and a final on Aug. 30.
Dibaba now has her sights set on the 5,000-meter world record of 14:11.15, set by her sister, Tirunesh, in 2008. Genzebe Dibaba ran 14:15.41 at the Paris Diamond Legaue Meeting on July 4.
Second place finisher Sifan Hassan finished in 3:56.05. Two-time Olympian Shannon Rowbury ran 3:56.29 to set a new American record in the event. The previous record of 3:57.12 was set by Mary Slaney in 1983.
Dibaba’s World Record splits: 400-meters at 60.3; 800-meters at 2:04; 1,200-meters at 3:04 before crossing the finish line in 3:50.7.
CHICAGO (AP) — Kenyans ruled the Chicago Marathon on Sunday, with Eliud Kipchoge leading a 1-2-3 men’s sweep and compatriot Rita Jeptoo repeating as the women’s winner.
Kipchoge pulled away over the last two miles for his first major marathon victory, finishing in 2 hours, 4 minutes, 11 seconds. He was followed by Sammy Kitwara in 2:04:28 and Dickson Chumba in 2:04:32.
Jeptoo was timed in 2:24:35 in winning her fourth straight major marathon. She also captured the 2013-14 World Marathon Majors points championship and took the Boston Marathon in April.
Mare Dibaba of Ethiopia (2:25:37) was second and Florence Kiplagat of Kenya (2:25:57) was third.
The winners earned $100,000. Jeptoo receives an extra $500,000 for winning the series championship.
Ideal conditions – sunny skies and 46-degree temperatures – greeted runners at the start. The men’s pack stayed together for about 20 miles before Kipchoge, Kitwara and Chumba drew away.
Kipchoge and Kitwara were side by side with Chumba right behind after 24 miles. But Kipchoge made it look easy down the stretch. He made a quick burst and was in command as he headed toward the finish at Grant Park.
Jeptoo hasn’t lost a major marathon since she finished second in a sprint to Ethiopia’s Atsede Baysa in the 2012 Chicago Marathon. She smashed the course record to repeat as Boston Marathon champion in the spring and came away with an easy victory in Chicago for the second straight year.
She pulled away after 23 miles, with no one near her at the end. Jeptoo raised her arms as she crossed the line and sank to her knees.
One of the great things about being the Lifestyle Editor for GBN is that I sometimes get to share positive stories about things that people and companies are doing purely for the betterment of society. When I heard about World Sight Day and TOMS I had to share.
From a fashion standpoint, I simply love the styles. I discovered TOMS had an eyewear line when my own eyesight started to de-crisp a few years back. Since no one wanted to read me food labels, pill bottles or menus anymore, I knew it was time for glasses to become a daily part of my life. But it wasn’t really that big of a deal because I had the privilege of going to the doctor, getting a prescription and driving the saleswomen completely nuts when I couldn’t decide which frames best flattered my face. I’m lucky. But what about the millions globally who can’t afford glasses or don’t have access to proper eye care? Everyone on the planet knows someone who is affected by some sort of visual impairment and TOMS wants to help out.
TOMS is asking a very important question: WHAT DOES SIGHT MEAN TO YOU? Every year, World Sight Day raises global awareness about blindness and visual impairment. This year, World Sight Day is on October 9 and TOMS is hosting an all-day event at the their Flagship store in Venice, California. TOMS is also supporting the day by encouraging fans to take to social media and contribute to an Instagram gallery with images of what sight means to you with the hashtag #givesight. The images collected with the designated hashtag will be curated online leading up to October 9, and select images will appear in TOMS stores around the world on World Sight Day.