The Noah Project

Rebuilding a sustainable world.

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Fela Kuti

The musical style of Felá is called Afrobeat, a style he largely created, which is a complex fusion of JazzFunk, Ghanaian/Nigerian High-lifepsychedelic rock, and traditional West African chants and rhythms. Afrobeat also borrows heavily from the native “tinker pan” African-style percussion that Kuti acquired while studying in Ghana with Hugh Masekela, under the uncanny Hedzoleh Soundz.[15] The importance of the input of Tony Allen (Fela’s drummer of twenty years) in the creation of Afrobeat cannot be overstated. Fela once famously stated that “without Tony Allen, there would be no Afrobeat”.

Afrobeat is characterized by a fairly large band with many instruments, vocals, and a musical structure featuring jazzy, funky horn sections. A riff-based “endless groove” is used, in which a base rhythm of drums, shekere, muted West African-style guitar, and melodic bass guitar riffs are repeated throughout the song. Commonly, interlocking melodic riffs and rhythms are introduced one by one, building the groove bit-by-bit and layer-by-layer. The horn section then becomes prominent, introducing other riffs and main melodic themes.

Fela Kuti’s biography and a complete collection of his music can be found here.

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UAE Firm To Create Green Farm in Ghana

George Itty, chief executive of Nahtam Social Responsibility, says the company is acquiring 4,000 acres of land. Ravindranath K / The National

Caline Malek at The National reports on Nahtam, a socially responsible company that is planning to set up a sustainable organic farming system in Ghana.

Nahtam will acquire 4,000 acres of land in the capital city of Accra, which will produce food while offsetting carbon production.
“Carbon footprint is a global issue and the simplest and easiest method to offset carbon is to plant as many trees as you can,” said George Itty, chief executive of Nahtam.
“Since we are based in Abu Dhabi, planting trees in a desert like the UAE can be very expensive, so you can plant them in Ghana or anywhere else in the world. As long as the trees are there, we are offsetting carbon footprint.”
The project will employ 2,000 Ghanaians to work on the land, where 36 villages have already been set up. Crops will include bananas, palm oil, avocados, mangoes and pineapples. The products will be sold locally and exported to countries including the UAE.

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Agrochemical Companies and their stockholders the only ones who need genetically engineered crops

In the opinion section of Pambazuka News, Ali Masmadi Jehu Appiah, a Chairperson for Food Sovereignty Ghana, asserts, “The only people who need genetically engineered crops are the foreign seed and agrochemical companies and their stockholders.”  He provides a compelling argument for why Ghana should reject genetically engineered Bt cotton:

After several years of apparent short-term success in Burkina Faso of Bt cotton in increasing yields, and improving profits of small scale cotton farmers, authorities in Ghana have decided to go down the same road.
Ghana’s National Biosafety Committee (NBC) has just approved field tests of GE rice in the Ashanti Region, and GE cotton field tests at 6 different locations in the Northern Region. Bt is bacillus thuringiensis, a pesticide used to control bollworms in cotton, and stem borers in rice.
Why is Ghana looking only to the short-term gains of Burkina? Why not also look at the much longer-term experience of Bt cotton in India, China, the USA, and Indonesia? In all of these countries, there is evidence of huge problems arising from Bt crops after the first few years. Continue reading

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Food Sovereignty Ghana Tells US Embassy to Be Transparent

Food Sovereignty Ghana, a civil society group, has asked the US Embassy in Accra to join its call for openness and transparency on the issue of genetically modified (GM) foods and crops in Ghana.
In a statement signed by the Chairperson of FSG, Ali-Masmadi Jehu-Appiah, the group said it was ready to “critically examine every single claim in favour of GM technology,” but it wanted “this very important national conversation” to be public.

The statement indicated that the group was reacting to a letter from the US Embassy in Accra inviting the group to a closed-door “Roundtable Discussion and an Interdisciplinary Presentation on biotechnology at the US Embassy on July 10”.

FSG had earlier called for a ban on the importation, cultivation, consumption, and sale of GM foods until the people of Ghana are satisfied that such an important and irrevocable decision is a sound and proper one to make.

“After a careful deliberation we have decided to turn down the invitation because it does nothing to advance our cause for a public debate on the issue,” FSG said in the statement, adding: “We believe that it is of primary importance for the general public to know and evaluate the arguments for and against the introduction of GMOs into our food chain.”

In the statement, FSG reiterated its call for a moratorium on GM crops in Ghana, saying that the call has even become more poignant as a result of comments coming from Members of Parliament indicating the level of ignorance of our parliamentarians who passed the Ghana Biosafety Act.

The statement alleged that “Mr Maxwell Kofi Jumah, Member of Parliament for Asokwa, categorically stated during the morning show on Adom FM, hosted by Adakabre Frimpong Manso, on Thursday, July 4, 2013 that “Members of Parliament had no knowledge of biosafety, so on what grounds did they pass the Biosafety Act? We need to listen to reliable experts on the subject.”

The FSG stressed that since the first-ever International Assessment of Agricultural knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD) and the UN Report in 2008, claims that GM technology could play any role in feeding the world or alleviating poverty have consistently failed to stand any independent scrutiny.

The FSG noted that for the avoidance of doubt, “we are not in opposition to science. We insist that Ghana needs to listen more to experts such as the 400 independent scientists assembled by the United Nations that recommended that there are indeed a number of very sensible, uses of biotechnology agriculture.”

“These are cheaper, effective, and not subject to the monopoly of multinational corporations,” the FSG statement said.