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AGED Summit Returns for Its Second Year

Karen Bass

Karen Bass

LOS ANGELES, CA – United States Congresswoman Karen Bass, now in her second term representing California’s 37th Congressional District, will continue her steadfast support for innovative job creation and economic development in both the U.S. and Africa, when she delivers a keynote address to a historic assemblage of African business leaders, bankers, entrepreneurs, investors, high-level government leaders and regulatory officials, along with their American counterparts, at the African Global Economic and Development Summit (AGED Summit), which will be hosted by Global Green Development Group (GGDG) at the University of Southern California (USC) from August 7 through August 9, 2014.

Experts agree that Africa is on the brink of an expansive economic growth period.  In recognition of this, the AGED Summit returns for its 2nd year at USC by welcoming Rep. Bass to participate in a unique three-day gathering among a diverse and synergistic group of stakeholders in African economic development, which is profoundly impacting the prospects for job creation and entrepreneurial opportunities in California and elsewhere in the U.S.   As Rep. Bass notes, “Africa is currently home to 6 out of the 7 fastest growing economies in the world and is viewed by investors from Europe, Malaysia, China, India, Turkey and Brazil as a priority region for investment.”  She went on to say that investment in Africa helps Americans as well.  As the Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Rep. Bass recognizes that U.S. trade agreements with Africa, such as the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), are “critically important for many reasons. First it supports jobs across the continent. There are some 300,000 jobs attached to AGOA and many of those are jobs that go to African women. If you count the jobs that are indirectly linked to AGOA that number rapidly approaches one million or more jobs.”  Regarding the impact of AGOA in the U.S., Rep. Bass pointed out that, “AGOA can only serve to facilitate greater trade and investment with the United States.  It can be a win-win for both African nations and the U.S. if we truly recognize and seize the opportunity.”

Unique among forums on Africa, the AGED Summit presents an enabling environment, which demystifies the process of doing business in Africa by bringing together entrepreneurs, investors, financiers, investment guarantors and other necessary linkages in order to actually position transactions to be structured and completed in a manner that maximizes safety without compromising profitability. “Whether you’re a multinational corporation or a small entrepreneur, everything required to put together a business deal with Africa will be available through the AGED Summit”, says Mary Flowers, CEO of GGDG. This year’s theme is “Walking the Talk”.

Among other outstanding agenda items, the AGED Summit will highlight ways for attendees to tap into the U.S. Government’s “Power Africa Initiative” that has committed over $7 billion to add more than 10,000 megawatts of clean, efficient electricity generation capacity to sub-Saharan African countries. The need is tremendous since the installed power capacity of all of sub-Saharan Africa is less than that of Delaware.  Regarding Power Africa, which she has championed since its announcement last year, Rep. Bass says, “Power Africa and Trade Africa, ultimately are aimed at strengthening the capacity of Africa to trade locally, regionally and internationally.”

African-Soul Singer Launches New Album and Track Featuring Rapper Common

Somi WSS SITE

Few contemporary albums bare as particular a narrative as The Lagos Music Salon. The new album by the superb chanteuse Somi, finds her breaking new ground with a hybrid style of music that organically integrates the essence of jazz and soul with the musical depth of her African heritage.

The Lagos Music Salon (available Tuesday, August 5th) marks Somi’s major label debut for Sony’s OKeh Records and features a range of originals that are sublimely melodic, percussively textured.  A socially informed and adventurous vocalist, Somi sings with a soulful beauty about her experiences in Lagos. While there, she kept a journal of her observations and collaborated with a community of musicians, writers and artists who helped her to envision what would become The Lagos Music Salon.

The album covers a broad swath of styles and features a number of carefully matched guest performances. These include a fast-paced groove with Afro-pop sensibilities on the Fela Kuti-inspired “Lady Revisited” with Angelique Kidjo, and a rap-inflected cinematic reflection on Africa’s pollution, “When Rivers Cry,” that features Common.

For more information on Miss Somi, please visit www.somimusic.com.

Celebration of Homegoing for Lt. Calvin H. Pierce

CalvinHPierce-Pic2_ColorCalvin Howard Pierce of San Bernardino passed away on Sunday, July 27, 2014 in Loma Linda, California after a short illness.  He was 85 years old.  Calvin retired from the San Bernardino County Marshal’s Department in 1989 after more than 30 years of service.  At retirement he received the designation of honorary captain.  During his career as a Marshal he also served as a bailiff in the Superior Court system and earned several awards and commendations for improving court system operations. In fact, his initiative resulted in Marshals being assigned department vehicles.  One of the first African American Marshals in the department, he also designed the Marshal’s department badge.  Before joining the Marshal’s department, Calvin was a mechanic for Santa Fe Railroad.

A lifelong resident of San Bernardino, he was born January 11, 1929 to Emmett Caldwell Pierce and Eula Mae Carter, the second of three sons.  He graduated from San Bernardino High School in 1947.  That same year he married his sweetheart– the love of his life! – Barbara Pulliams.  To this union three children were born:  Francis, Brenda, and Valerie.

Throughout life, Calvin had many interests including architecture, photography, jewelry making, and beaded walking sticks.  Another of his favorite hobbies was fishing (including deep sea) with his buddies.  He also enjoyed cruising on a motorcycle with Barbara.  A remarkable athlete, he was nicknamed “Windmill Cal” in recognition of his cake walk style of running, which he used to return kickoff returns of up to 99 yards.  He was an award winning sprinter, runner (Loma Linda Lopers), cyclist, and bowler who participated in multiple marathons and tournaments.  A leader and generous by nature, he was a member of San Bernardino Kiwanis.

Calvin was tremendously loved by his family.  He is remembered for his sharp and charming sense of humor.  Calvin was a calming and steady presence in the lives of his family members and friends; and will be always remembered as loving, humorous, and dependable.

Calvin is survived by his wife of 67 years Barbara Pulliams Pierce; three children: Francis Howard Pierce of Grand Terrace, Brenda Joyce Lilly of San Bernardino, and Valerie Ann Futch (Terry) of Grand Terrace.  An adored grandfather, he is lovingly remembered by four grandchildren:  Tiffany Hinton (Glenn), Cherysa Cortez (Jerome), Corey Futch, and Shandyn Pierce; seven great grandchildren, and two great-great grandchildren.  Also left to cherish his memory are his brothers Mr. Tyree Pierce of San Bernardino and Dr. Robert Pierce of St. Louis, Missouri.  He was also a favorite uncle, cousin, and nephew in a large extended family rooted in California, Arizona, and Missouri. Calvin also will be remembered by a host of friends he held dear.

A memorial to honor him will be held Thursday, July 31, 2014 at 10 a.m. at New Hope Missionary Baptist Church, 1575 W. 17th Street, San Bernardino, California 92411.