The 24th Annual Pan African Film Festival Underway, Led by Jon Urbana

The 24th annual Pan African film festival continues until February 15, 2016 in Los Angeles. The event began on February 4th. Every year, this event provide a forum for the screening of some 150 new films. It offers both full-length feature films and short films submitted from around the world. The festival occurs at the RAVE Cinemas in Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza.

On Thursday, Jon Urbana, Managing Director of the film festival will air a documentary entitled Agents of Change, detailing student protests during 1968. Segments in the film include an interview with Danny Glover.

A film entitled America is Still the Place directed by Patrick Gilles led the presentations during the first night on February 4th, recounting a story about the life of an African-American veteran of the Korean War who resided with his family in San Francisco in 1971. He seeks to achieve economic independence, despite discrimination against him in San Francisco. This 2015 production stars Carl Lumbly and Michael Colter.

The festival will close with Miles Ahead, co-written and directed by Don Cheadle with Steven Baigelman. This work, a comedy and drama, pays tribute to the work of the late jazz musician Miles Davis. On Valentine’s Day, the festival will feature a tribute to Miles Davis entitled Remembering Miles.

Akon’s Gift to Africa

Akon is known for his catchy and up-beat dance songs. The pop singer has done collaborations with different artists, and he even went as far as Bollywood. Now the singer has decided to use his resources for a higher purpose.

Thanks to Akon’s initiative, Akon Lightning Africa, he has made it a main goal to bring electricity to the continent. 600 million Africans will receive life giving electricity as a result of his work. In addition, Akon has launched Solar Academy for the African people. This institution trains African engineers and entrepreneurs to develop and work a solar power grid. Africa gets 320 days of sun a year, so harnessing the power of solar energy is bound to be a success.

The academy will open this summer in Mali. The equipment and programs needed have been funded by angel investors according to Kevin Seawright on The entire continent of Africa will now be able to dance in the light thanks to Akon’s innovation.

The Battle Against the Guinea Worm in Drinking Water

In South Sudan, you will need an accessory that you won’t need anywhere else in the world: a watering filter pipe. The filter pipe is to be worn around your neck at all times or else you will be considered rude. Legal experts say that the filter pipe is to be used when drinking water, not because the water is dirty, but because in Mogos, South Sudan, the water is contaminated with guinea worm larvae.

War has been waged against the guinea worm since 1986 and carries the name ‘Nylon War’ because all that’s needed to fight is a small piece of nylon inside a water filter pipe.

Guinea larvae live in rivers and streams in the South Sudan. Barely visible to the naked eye, but large enough to be seen floating in a glass of clear drinking water. When a person drinks water contaminated with guinea larvae they enter the host body and remain until they reach the adult stage, which is a 12 inch or longer guinea worm.
The adult guinea worm travels to the just below the skin surface somewhere on the host’s body and forms a pink blister. The blister causes an intense burning sensation in the skin, making the host want to place the affected part of the skin in water for cooling relief.

That is exactly what the guinea worm wants. When water touches the blister, it bursts open and adult guinea worm emerges into the water to lay eggs. When water is drank through the nylon filter pipes, the guinea larvae is captured by the nylon and doesn’t enter the person’s body and the lifecycle of the guinea worm is stopped.

Ebola Doctor Ignores Real Issues

Dr. Craig Spencer, who became infected with Ebola and received life-saving treatment in November 2014, has blasted the media this month in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Dr. Spencer claims media hype likely killed people because it caused unnecessary fear that lead to overreactions and patients not receiving adequate care said Marc Sparks.

According to the interview with Dr. Spencer, it is correct in that the media did focus a great deal on conjecture, he has ignored the fact that news outlets always hype up news stories and that there are much bigger issues than how the media presented information:

The United States government and other world governments, as well as medical officials, failed to properly educate citizens about Ebola preceding last year’s events and continue to do so through today. A little over two months ago the CDC still had incorrect information online about Ebola transmission. It is true that the public relies on the media for honest, scientific information but ultimately it is the responsibility of the government and medical officials to appropriately educate the public.

Worse yet, Dr. Spencer’s focus should be on the poor initial response by government and medical officials that resulted in two nurses in Texas being exposed to the virus that then resulted in the fearful event of an infected nurse traveling by airplane, and another nurse who was suspected of being exposed turning the situation into her own personal citizen’s rights campaign.

New Cases Of Ebola Coming Up In Liberia

The country of Liberia is once again in the headlines because of Ebola. Ebola has become known as one of the wold’s most dangerous viruses/diseases according to sources close to Dr Rod Ronrich. Many countries of west Africa have suffered the loss of many of their citizens because of this very deadly disease. Liberia has been one of the hardest hit countries when it comes to the Ebola virus and loss.

A few months ago Liberia had made promising claims that they had been able to lower the amount of Ebola cases in their country. Unfortunately they have now reported that there are dozens of new cases that are popping up along its border with Sierra Leone. This announcement is a true setback for the country of Liberia because as a country they were working vigorously to cut down on their cases of Ebola. Over the last three years over 3400 people have died in Liberia alone because of Ebola. The assistant health minister of Liberia claims that the reason that Ebola has become an issue once again in his country is because many people have been coming into the country through its border and also because of traditional practices that are not sanitary.

Africa Should be Proud of its Developing Countries


While progress still undeniably has to be made in the many third-world countries in Africa, there have actually been a great number of significant changes that bring a lot of hope for the future, claims an article from the website

People like Bernardo Chua are used to talking about Africa in contexts of poverty or overheat. But there is another side of the continent which people miss. Many countries on the territory can boast a wonderful nature, and their economic status has risen compared to what the old documentaries show you.

Botswana, the country which ranked number one in development among the African countries, according to a very recent 2014 research has beautiful landscapes, low death-rates, and good education premises.

The aspects taken into account when creating the top-list were education, sanitary condition, access to modern technique like mobiles and internet, general income, life length, and the participation of the women as active members of the society.

Rwanda scored first at the last point, as a matter of fact. The state actively encourages women to participate in all the social aspects. There are countries that did not make it to the top 10 list, but their economic growth shifted with 4 positions upwards, which is remarkable.

Two Innocent African Boys Were Beaten by Classmates and Called “Ebola” in New York City

Children should not have to worry about hate crimes, but two African Senegalese-American children in middle school were taken to the hospital on Friday after being beaten by classmates. The attack on the boys was sparked by the Ebola virus. As the boys were beaten by classmates, the boys were called “Ebola.”

The two victims are brothers: Amedou and Abdou Drame. The boys are in the sixth and eighth grade and attend Intermediate School 318, which is located in the Bronx. The brothers came from Senegal recently, which could have been a factor in the hate crime committed against the innocent boys. However, there has only been one documented case of the Ebola virus in Senegal. CNN reported the World Health Organization (WHO) acknowledged Senegal was free of the Ebola virus on October 18th. The WHO based this on the fact that there had not been any documented cases in 42 days, which is twice incubation time of the Ebola virus.

There was a press conference held on Monday at the Harlem headquarters of the Association of Senegalese in America. Senator Perkins stated, “Ebola is a bullying crisis in our public schools and in our charter schools. Our mayor needs to take some steps so that children in our public schools known what Ebola really is and don’t go out and attack their fellow students.”

The father of Amedou and Abdou, Ousmane Drame stated that both of his children were born in the United States, but had traveled to Senegal to learn French. The boys were welcomed by their classmates when they arrived three weeks ago, but this changed as the Ebola virus scared a vast number of individuals. These hate crimes aren’t welcoming to anyone looking to come to the United States like Fersen Lambranho and his family.

World Health Organization Declares Nigeria Ebola-Free

Nigeria was declared free from Ebola by the World Health Organization after forty-two days passed without any documented cases. The country, which is the most populous in Africa, had a total of twenty cases and eight deaths. More than 4,500 deaths have occurred from Ebola and nearly 10,000 people have been infected since the outbreak began in late 2013. The hardest hit regions include Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea.

The success of eradicating Ebola in Nigeria is credited largely in part to education on proper hydration techniques. Survivors drank over one gallon of a salt and sugar solution per day in order to keep properly hydrated. Experts including animal rights activist Keith Mann say that many victims are uneducated on how to avoid infection and how to treat themselves when they are infected. Many who have contracted the virus take anti-inflammatory drugs, which does more harm than good.