July 23 – August 5, 2015
On The Dock This Issue:
Ambassador Donald Gips agreed with Sahara Reporters
founder, Omoyele Sowore, that Africa should not be branded as one entity, but that each of the 54 countries should tell their own stories and create their own image.
An example would be to contrast the image of an unprogressive Africa with that of Mozambique. On June 25, the southeastern African country celebrated forty years of political independence and generated an economic growth rate of 7 percent over the last five years. On June 29, Mozambique became the latest country in Africa to decriminalize homosexuality, making the southeast African nation the 21st country in Africa to legalize same-sex relationships.
Gips and Omoyele were part of a panel moderated by Zambian born Dr. Monde Muyangwa, Director of the Wilson Center’s Africa Program
in Washington, DC. Florizzelle Liser of the U.S. Trade Representative office and Valentina Saltane of the World Bank Group were also on the panel.
But as the speakers talked about the immediate promise of Africa and the progress and stagnation in individual countries, Gips reminded the audience, which include Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders
students, that the gross domestic product (GDP) of those 54 states is equal to the GDP of North Carolina, one of the 50 United States. He believes instead of having 54 small markets, “breaking down the barriers of trade” and creating larger, more competitive markets within Africa would propel Africa for greater growth. (GDP is the total value of goods produced and services provided in a country during one year.)
To help bring down those barriers, China and the African Union recently agreed to a program that would knit Africa’s infrastructure, including rail, road, and power lines together. The agreement currently is not detailed, but aims to have Africa become more like North America and Europe. For instance, unlike North America and Europe, Africa lacks a pan-African electric power grid, road, or rail system.
The former U.S. Ambassador to South Africa added that most of what Africa trades is “commodities on the lower end of the value chain.”
However, growth in trade should be accompanied by Africa becoming a “production center,” said Gips. The former U.S. Ambassador to South Africa added that most of what Africa trades is “commodities on the lower end of the value chain.” Sowore, who has contributed to Port Of Harlem, gave an example of Ivorian cocoa farmers having never seen refined cocoa, most of which is refined abroad into chocolate candies. This lack of adding value to basic commodities result in Africa only accounting for five percent of international trade.
While all the participants were optimistic about Africa’s future, Sowore remained the most positive during the discussion. However, when challenged he listed corruption as one of the impediments to Africa’s progress. He ended, there are “too many buffoons running Africa.”
Coming Up: Brown Capital will provide the funds for additional discussions in September called the Brown Capital Africa Forum. The Baltimore-based firm is the second oldest African-American investment management firm in the United States.
New: Mobile-Friendly Design
Port of Harlem is now using a mobile friendly layout that adjusts its size to the mobile, tablet, or desktop device you are using. There should be no need for you to “pinch,” “squeeze,” or “swipe left and right” to see and read the magazine. More than 50 percent of Americans access their e-mails via mobile devices compared to about 25 percent of global users and about 25 percent of Port Of Harlem readers.
“Since 1995, when we started, we have changed the magazine as technology changed,” says publisher Wayne Young. The first publication in 1995 was in black and white, as color printing cost dropped, Port Of Harlem published its first full color issue in February 2005 and went completely green with the release of its last print publication in November 2011.
Feedback Welcome: I welcome your thoughts and suggestions on our new layout. Reach me via email or on Facebook.
on Being Black
“If people feel misled or deceived, then sorry that they feel that way, but I believe that’s more due to their definition and construct of race in their own minds than it is to my integrity or honesty, because I wouldn’t say I’m African American, but I would say I’m black, and there’s a difference in those terms.”
“It’s hard to collapse it all into just a single statement about what is,” Dolezal says. “You can’t just say in one sentence what is blackness or what is black culture or what makes you who you are.”
Astronaut Gregory Landed at Gregory Library
Astronaut Frederick Gregory (pictured left, in thought) came home, home to Hillcrest/Fort Davis, DC and to the library named for his father, Francis Gregory. “He was my best friend,” says the man who has flown Discovery, Atlantis, and Challenger space shuttles.
The Anacostia High School graduate recalled growing up with men visiting his parent’s home and listening to with them about flying. Later, he learned that those men were Tuskegee Airman. He attributes his interest in flying to them, Uhura (played by Nichelle Nichols) of the Star Trek series, and General Benjamin Davis, Jr., the first African American general in the Air Force and a former Tuskegee Airman, who asked him to enter the astronaut training program.
But Gregory was not at home to talk about himself, but his father, an educator who served for 12 years as president of the Public Library's Board of Trustees and was the board's first Black president, and his family. While showing pictures of his family, he revealed that many were highly educated including his paternal great grandfather, who was in the first Howard University graduating class, and his maternal uncle, the famed pioneering physician Charles Drew. His mother, educator Nora Gregory, remained active as a library supporter until her health prevented her involvement.
Asked why he stopped flying, he said, “I was bored, we do the same thing over and over again.” Now, he spends time with his second wife, who was one of his mother’s caregivers, sightseeing right here on Earth.
Anti-Zionist Orthodox Jews Support Iran Deal
Anti-Zionist Orthodox Jews counter protested the Stop Iran Rally in New York’s Times Square Wednesday. Unlike the “historic mistake” message delivered by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the group says, "Torah True Jews condemn Zionist impeding world peace initiated by President Obama. " Anti-Zionist Orthodox Jews believe that the Torah forbids the creation of a Zionist state.
In an open letter, Neturei Karta, an organization of anti-Zionist Orthodox Jews, explained their position. “Although, according to the principles of the Torah, Jews are not to meddle into political relations between nations, but peace initiatives and peace pacts are to be celebrated and prayed for. It falls under the Biblical commandment, “Seek the peace of the city to which I have exiled you” (Jeremiah 29:7).”
From Our Archives: Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) Shows Diversity in Washington
Annual Peoples’ Festival 4PEACE & Tribute to Bob Marley
Tubman-Garrett Riverfront Park
Sat, Jul 25, noon-10p, $20 advance / $30 @ gate
Sat, Jul 25–Sun, Jul 26
Pride in Black Block Party
10 Lexington Street
Sat, Jul 25, 4p-10p
National Urban League Conference
Broward Convention Center
Wed, Jul 29-Sat, Aug 1
Underground Railroad Homecoming Events
Dismal Swamp State Park & Canal
South Mills, NC (Camden County)
Fri, Aug 7–Sat, Aug 8
Akwa Ibom State Association of Nigeria (USA)
Valley Forge Casino Resort and Convention Center
King of Prussia, PA
Thu, July 30-Sun, Aug 2, $
Green Party 2015 Annual National Meeting
Thu, Jul 23-Sun, Jul 26
LBJ & JFK: A Time for Greatness
(includes coverage of Johnson’s role
in passage of the Voting Rights Act on August 6, 1965 –
50 years ago)
Tue, Aug 4, 9p-10p, free
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