International Roots Festival in Gambia

Published on 5th February 2008

A one-week International Roots Festival will be held in The Gambia. Members of the national organizing committee of the event’s 9th edition were upbeat about the one-week biennial festival that is observed in commemoration of the forced enslavement of millions of Africans to the Americans and the Caribbean during the 17th and 18th centuries. It is organized by the Department of State for Tourism and Culture in collaboration with the National Centre for Arts and Culture and Gambia Tourism Authority. The festival, which started in 1996, continues to be a form of cultural pilgrimage for African/Americans and Africans in the Diaspora in search for the African experience and a return to their motherland. Over 243,000 Sene-gambians were forcibly transported on registered Trans-Atlantic slave ships between 1645 – 1800’s.

Instant Coffee, Made in Uganda

Starting next month, Uganda will have a third company making instant coffee.  Zigoti Coffee Works, the makers and exporters of roasted coffee, will produce instant coffee by March this year. “The company's strategy was to meet the growing demand for instant coffee in Asian and Middle East countries,” said Company Director, George Kisekka.  He went ahead to say that they have invested heavily in machinery that is going to make instant coffee. At the beginning, the company intends to produce over five metric tonnes per month. Zigoti, which uses organic Arabica coffee from Sebei and Mountain Elgon slopes, has outlets in Nagoya Japan, Malaysia and China.

Farmers Upbeat Over Airport Services

Since it began its operations in 1997, Eldoret International Airport for the first time exported flowers out of the facility last weekend. This came in the wake of political instability that had caused delay in transporting produce in good time. The move was a sigh of relief to farmers, who have all along been transporting the flowers by road for sale. Former Central Bank of Kenya governor Micah Cheserem, who is also a flower grower, described the move as a ‘dream come true’. “This is expected to maintain high quality flowers, which would otherwise risk damage due to long hours spent on the road,” he added.

Dam to Tame Botswana Waters

The perennial water woes that trouble Botswana may be seeing their last destruction before completion of Dikgatlhong Dam, which is expected to be the largest in the country. Construction is set to begin after a groundbreaking ceremony held in Robelela last week. The Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources, Ponatshego Kedikilwe, performed the ground breaking at the proposed site. To be built at the confluence of the Shashe and Tati rivers, the dam will also provide water for power generation, particularly for the multi-million Pula Mmamabula project, as well as mining activities in the area. The Minister said the commissioning of the dam was a milestone in the history of the Southern Africa country.

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