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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.”

Redlands Police Department Teams with Micah House and others for Back2School Jam

REDLANDS, CA- The Redlands Police Department and Micah House, with help from local businesses, churches, community groups and City and County agencies, will give away bicycles and backpacks during a Back2School Jam and Community Resource Fair at Sylvan Park from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturday, August 2. There will be free snacks and music provided for the community.

The giveaway is held in conjunction with the Community Clean Up day from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Friday, August 1, at a number of neighborhood locations, including Post Street and Brockton Avenue, Cook Street and Cero Court, the Micah House (Oxford Avenue and Brockton), and Second Baptist Church, 420 E. Stuart St. Each participating child or teen giving one hour or more of community service will receive a free backpack and school supplies.

Organizers hope to match last year’s donation of more than 1,200 backpacks and school supplies to children and youth. Donations were funded by various groups including the Redlands Police Officers Association, Trinity Church, Walgreens Stores, Tom McGrath School Supplies, Fox Banquets and Events Inc., Kiwanis Club of Redlands Morning and grants from the Redlands Police Department.  Toyota of Redlands assisted in raising supplies by offering 10 percent discounts on services in exchange for donated school supplies. Sponsors from Music Changing Lives also donated backpacks and school supplies.

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.