Community Op-Ed: Social Media and Youth Mental Health

New York City has always been a hub for technology and innovation. And while technology has helped create jobs, opportunities, and prosperity, it has also the potential to cause new dangers, especially when it comes to social media and the mental health of our children.  Our administration came into office two years ago with a mission to protect public safety, and protecting our young people’s mental health is very much a part of that agenda. That is why, last week — along with the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, New York City Health + Hospitals, and the New York City Department of Education — we filed a lawsuit against the companies that own and operate five social media companies in an effort to hold these companies accountable for role they have played in fueling a mental health crisis among our young people. Our most recent data found... Read more

M23: Four things you should know about the rebel group’s campaign in Rwanda-DRC conflict

Fighting between the Democratic Republic of Congo’s national army and the rebel group M23 has displaced thousands of people in the eastern border city of Goma. Formed 10 years ago, the Rwanda-backed Mouvement du 23 Mars (M23) soon made its first mark when it briefly occupied Goma, a city of 1 million today. An African-led effort resulted in a ceasefire and M23’s demobilisation – until the resumption of hostilities in 2021. Delphin Ntanyoma sets out the four things you should know about the rebel insurgency, which threatens regional stability. 1. What is the background to M23’s insurgency in eastern DRC? The current force is what’s left of the original M23 Movement formed in April 2012. M23 was an offspring of the National Congress for the Defence of the People, better known by its French acronym CNDP, a rebel group which fought the DRC government between 2006 and 2009. Both groups draw on a claim that the Congolese Tutsi and other ethnic communities... Read more

Community Op-Ed: What We Need From Albany

New York City is all about what is possible. It’s a place where you can start a business, raise a family, and make a difference. Our administration came into office with the aim of keeping that American Dream alive by protecting public safety, rebuilding our economy, and making our city more livable for everyday New Yorkers. I went to our state capital last week with the goal of furthering that vision. We laid out an agenda to advance working-class families by extending mayoral accountability of our public schools for four years, granting the city the authority to shut down illegal smoke shops, and creating more affordable housing. Finally, we outlined the city’s fiscal challenges, including state funding for asylum seekers and increasing New York City’s debt limit. New York City public schools are leading the way in New York state and across the nation because of mayoral accountability. Thanks to mayoral... Read more

“They Devour” an African movie that tells Africans ‘stories from Gambia

The   premiere of a new movie “They Devour,” took place on January 21, 2024, at Regal Cinema Theater in Manhattan. They were several moviegoers who converged to Regal Cinema Theater that Sunday evening to delight “They Devour,” a movie that tells a story, an African migrant ‘story. A mother at age 15 decided to leave her lovely African country ( Gambia ) to experience a new life in another country where nobody know here. The story takes place in New York where the mother starts her new life. She meets people in various places by day and by night:  restaurants, stores, streets, etc.  And every place tells its own story that becomes her story. We can see her falling in love for example with a man in a restaurant. Sometimes her relationship with some other people turns to a fight as she squeezed a collar of a young man. [caption... Read more

Nigeria: Africa’s biggest oil refinery begins production in Nigeria with the aim of reducing need for imports

Africa's biggest oil refinery has begun production in Nigeria, the company has said, ending a yearslong wait for a plant that analysts said Monday could boost refining capacity in a region heavily reliant on imported petroleum products. The $19 billion facility, which can produce 650,000 barrels per day, has started to produce diesel and aviation fuel, the Dangote Petroleum Refinery company reported Saturday. As Nigeria's first privately owned oil refinery, the project "is a game-changer for our country," it added. Nigeria is one of Africa's top oil producers but imports refined petroleum products for its use. The nation's oil and natural gas sector has struggled for many years, and most of its state-run refineries operate far below capacity because of poor maintenance. The Dangote refinery is "not a silver bullet" for Nigeria's energy crisis, according to Olufola Wusu, an oil and gas expert who was part of a team that... Read more

Community Op-Ed—The Safest Big City in America

Since day one, our administration has been clear about our vision for the five boroughs — creating a city that is safer, more economically viable, and more livable for the 8.3 million hardworking New Yorkers who call the greatest city in the world home. I always say that “public safety is the prerequisite to prosperity.” That’s why, since coming into office 24 months ago, we’ve been dedicated to making sure New Yorkers are safer and feel safer. Two years later, the results are in. Crime has gone down across the city and jobs have gone up. We have recovered all of the nearly 1 million private-sector jobs we lost during the pandemic, and New York remains the economic engine of this nation. When we came into office in January 2022, the city was emerging from the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, and, in just one week, an 11-month-old baby... Read more

Community Op-Ed—Keeping Nightlife Safe in New York City

New York City is the city that never sleeps. We are a 24-hour city that is the nightlife capital of the world. And we remain the safest big city in America. When I came into office two years ago, we had a mission: Protect public safety, revitalize the economy, and make this city more livable for hardworking New Yorkers. Our bars, restaurants, music venues, and nightclubs employ workers across the city and are home to every level of our live performance industry. But across the five boroughs, local residents often deal with noise, trash, and crime from nightlife. Complaints can lead to unannounced inspections that shutter nightlife businesses, sometimes permanently. Just because our nightlife establishments throw a great party, residents and businesses should not be stuck with a hangover the next day. We want to protect public safety, while keeping our nightlife businesses open. So, last week, I joined the owners of the... Read more

Community Op-Ed: Staying Safe for the Holidays

The upcoming holiday season is a festive time of year. It’s getting colder, so we try to stay warm, we invite friends and family over, cook more, light candles, maybe burn a fire in the fireplace or use space heaters, buy Christmas trees and string them up with lights, and fill our homes with other decorations. That is why the winter season is also unfortunately known as the fire season, and more than one-third of all home fires occur between December, January, and February. Early during our administration, in January 2022, 17 people were killed and many more were injured in a tragic fire at the Twin Parks apartment building in the Bronx. The fire was caused by a defective space heater and self-closing doors that didn’t work properly. That loss and devastation remains with us, which is why we are asking all New Yorkers to work together and take... Read more

MAYOR ADAMS, DOT COMMISSIONER RODRIGUEZ, LYFT ANNOUNCE EXPANSION, IMPROVEMENTS TO CITI BIKE SYSTEM AS RIDERSHIP REACHES RECORD HIGHS

New York City Mayor Eric Adams, New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez, and Lyft today unveiled plans to expand and improve the Citi Bike system to meet ridership demand and growth and to promote cycling and micromobility. By the end of next year, Citi Bike will double its electric bike fleet and pilot at least two electrified charging/docking stations, with plans to electrify 20 percent of stations in the coming years. Citi Bike will also introduce new price caps to its e-bike pricing model, and has already added 2,800 classic bikes and replaced 2,200 existing bikes as a part of its Phase 3 expansion.  Since its launch 10 years ago, Citi Bike has become a ubiquitous part of the fabric of New York City, and now is the largest bike share program in the nation and the fastest-growing transportation network in the city’s history with 200 million... Read more

BurkinaBe In Action Inc., “ My passion is to bring community together,” said Chairwoman Alizeta Diallo

BurkinaBe In Action, Inc. in partnership with Association des Burkinabe de New Jersey,   has brought together in October 29,2023 in New Jersey community groups and panelists from different agencies such as immigration, and labor department. The event called “cultural bridges: navigating legal /immigration services together ,” was an opportunity to discuss issues related to immigration, jobs, and family with several attorneys. [caption id="attachment_7696" align="alignleft" width="300"] Alizeta Diallo chairwoman of BurkinaBe In Action[/caption] “My passion is to be able to bring people together and to offer programs to community,” said Alizeta Diallo the founder and the chairwoman of “BurkinaBe In Action, Inc.” a nonprofit organization. Six attorneys were available to talk about themes such as family  and humanitarian immigration, child and delinquency cases, labor and unions. The audience has a chance to ask questions, and to discuss in private with attorneys. Dean Dafis the Maplewood mayor has welcomed the event and... Read more

Community Op-Ed: Keeping Our Communities Safe From Fentanyl

Public safety is our administration’s top priority, and keeping New Yorkers safe from the growing threat of fentanyl is a core part of that mission. All of us have heard about the danger fentanyl poses to our children and our communities. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is approximately 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine. It is inexpensive, widely available, highly addictive, and extremely dangerous. Drug traffickers are increasingly mixing fentanyl with other illicit drugs to drive addiction and create repeat business. Over 3,000 people fatally overdosed in New York City in 2022, with fentanyl detected in 81 percent of drug overdose deaths. The tragic death of Nicholas Dominici, the toddler who died after being exposed to fentanyl at a daycare center, was a shocking and heartbreaking reminder that we must take immediate action to get this crisis under control. Last week, we... Read more

4th annual African Heritage Month of the African Immigrants’ Commission of NY & CT, inc. : Promoting African community and honor our people is the leitmotif

The 4th annual African Heritage Month of the African Immigrants’ Commission of NY & CT, inc. was held on September 30th, 2023, in Harlem. The African Immigrants’ Commission of NY & CT, inc. has been organized African Heritage Month for four consecutive years. Once again, the African community has come together to celebrate unity and fraternity. “ We can succeed when we remove ethnicity, religion, regionalism and see each other as just a brother or a sister,” said one recipient. According to Mory Kouyate chairman of the African Immigrants’ Commission of NY & CT, inc.  the particularity of the 4th annual African Heritage Month of the African Immigrants’ Commission of NY & CT, inc. was that it was focused on promoting African textiles. Indeed, the 72 hours of African textiles was an opportunity for craftsmen  who came from Guinee, and  Burkina Faso, West Africa to exhibit handmade clothes, shoes, handbags,... Read more

The African Immigrants’ Commission of New York and Connecticut ‘s 4th Annual African Heritage Month Parade and Festival is coming soon 

The African Immigrants’ Commission of New York and Connecticut incorporated is organizing its 4th Annual African Heritage Month Parade and Festival 2023, which is starting on September 28,2023.  Who: The African Immigrants’ Commission of New York and Connecticut incorporated, a community-based organization (CBO) that advocates for issues important to our community.  What: 4th Annual African Heritage Month Parade and Festival 2023. African Heritage Month Parade is an annual free cultural event that recognizes the amazing contributions of our Community leaders, Business leaders, and community-based journalists. Moreover, we promote the arts and culture of the African immigrant community in New York and Connecticut and encourage unity among all people of different races, creeds, and ethnicities. When: First day, September 28th 2023- press conference. Time: 5pm-6pm                      Second day, September 29th,2023- A street fair (a display of African textiles outside on                         tables, merchandise, Food, Music, fashion show, art). Time:10 am to 6:00 pm                      Third... Read more

Community Op-Ed: Outdoor dining is here to stay in New York City

This past week we made it official: outdoor dining is here to stay. New Yorkers were hungry for an outdoor dining program that was cleaner, safer, and healthier. And by signing a new bill to bring al fresco dining to all five boroughs, we’ve delivered for them. Our new outdoor dining program, “Dining Out NYC,” will be the largest outdoor dining program in the nation and will shape New York City’s streets going forward. It’s going to help our small businesses thrive, get visitors and residents alike to spend money in our neighborhoods, and support good jobs for working-class New Yorkers. Before the pandemic, outdoor dining was largely limited to Manhattan — and only allowed on the sidewalks. On top of that, the city charged thousands of dollars in fees to restaurant owners, many of them small business owners. When the pandemic started, outdoor dining was temporarily expanded to every borough in the... Read more

  Grand “Dasandaga” is coming in the Bronx

The 5th edition of Grand “Dasandaga” will be held on August 26, 2023, at Claremont Park in the Bronx. Initiated by the “Association des Femmes Battantes” or “Association of Fighter Women” in French, the Grand “Dasandaga” or Big Street Fair is an annual event that has been organized for 5 years and has always brought together several people from all over New York. The event will be held this year in the Bronx at Clearmont Park. According to the organizers hundreds of people are expected to attend the historic event. Here are some activities : sale exhibition, exposition, recreational activities, business promotion, quizzes. It is not too late to register. Just contact the organizers for more information.   Read more

9th anniversary of September 18th HWPL world peace summit in Seoul, the HWPL New York branch has held a pre – event

Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light ( HWPL) will hold on September 18, 2023, the World Peace Summit in Seoul, South Korea. In prelude to that summit, the HWPL New York branch has held on August 13, 2023, a pre – commemoration event in New York to take a look at the progress made within the past decade to promote harmony among religions, spread a culture of peace and create a world free from war and conflict. [caption id="attachment_7512" align="alignleft" width="300"] chairman of HWPL Lee Man – hee[/caption] Amanda Dixon, the administrative manager of HWPL New York branch has given a presentation that summed up some initiatives that were carried out by HWPL in its effort to build a sustainable peace. And that includes: “ HWPL peace education that fosters peace values among futures generations is being conducted in 90 countries; and the International Peace Youth Group ( IPYG),... Read more

African Heritage Month celebration in New York: Achievement of African leaders honored  

Africans in New York have celebrated on September 9, 2021, at African Center,  “African Heritage Month,” which is designed to honor the Africans' contributions in diverse ways in New York. Organized in collaboration with the African Heritage Month celebration committee, the New York City Commission on Human Rights, the Mayor’s office of Immigrant Affairs, the Mayor’s Community Affairs Unit, New York City Health and Hospitals, the Mayor’s office of faith and community partnerships, NYC department of cultural affairs, the Africa Center, DSI International, and African Communities Together, the event brought together some African leaders, some political leaders, and some African organizations. Manhattan Brough president Gale Brewer thanked African Community in Manhattan and gave a certificate to a hair braider to honor  the hardworking of all those African women who every single day occupy the streets of Manhattan singing that lovely mantra: “Hair braiding Miss.” The chair of the New York... Read more

Embassy of Burkina Faso in Washington DC and  Azaaba give the opportunity to some Americans to know better Burkina Faso and its people

Azaaba, a  nonprofit organization  in collaboration with the Embassy of Burkina Faso in the United of America, has organized on  March 6, 2021, a zoom meeting, which was focused on African Americans who wanted to be reconnected with their root in Burkina Faso. The organization has been doing that for a while for African Americans who after a DNA test, were identified as Burkinabe. It was the turn last week  for those who were identified as belonging  to Samo people, one of the more than sixty ethnic groups who are living in Burkina Faso and the theme was: the Samo people of Burkina Faso.      It has been a long time  Antonio Williams, an American was looking for a way to know where exactly in Africa his ancestors came from. After a DNA test, he has  found out that his family story starts In Burkina Faso, a country located... Read more

Rihanna is back with a new lingerie extravaganza for Amazon Prime Video – “Savage X Fenty Show Vol. 2.”

  https://twitter.com/i/status/1311685297663606784 The pop icon's event celebrating her Fall 2020 collection debuts on the streaming service October 2 and features an array of models and guests including Rosalia, Demi Moore, Paris Hilton, Irina Shayk, Christian Combs and Willow Smith. Models of all shapes, sizes and skin colors will showcase lingerie that offers consumers extravagant lines at affordable price points.   Rihanna says her latest collection – a follow up to last year's Savage X Fenty range – is about empowerment and inclusivity. "I want to have representation and aspects that are outside of that where women aren't usually projected as sexy, but they are, they're sexy, and they need to know that," she said. "They need to be validated about that no matter what size they are." she stressed.   Read more

The cost of a child marriage in Africa

Child marriage is costing African countries at least $60 billion in lost lifetime earnings, more than what the world gives the continent in aid each year, the World Bank said on Wednesday. Be it high school dropout rates, teen pregnancy or poor health outcomes, the cost of child marriage is far from just monetary, the Bank said in its report. But the vast sums lost might just be the headline that helps provoke long-awaited change, activists said. "When it comes to policy making, money talks. What this research shows is that ending child marriage is not only the right thing to do, it is also the smart thing to do," said Lakshmi Sundaram, Executive Director of Girls Not Brides. Sub-Saharan Africa has the highest child marriage rates in the world, with more than 3 million - or one in three - girls marrying before they turn 18. The report said... Read more

First – ever albinism contest held in Uganda

Uganda has held its first-ever beauty contest for people with albinism. Among the twenty two candidates from six districts, the judges chose 5 men and 5 women to represent Uganda at the Mr. and Miss East Africa’s beauty contest in Nairobi at the end of November this year. ‘‘Today was an important opportunity because we had the first hearings in Uganda of people with albinism for Mr. and Ms. Albinism from East Africa. This is extremely important because representation is important. That says a lot about how society perceives this difference’‘, said director of the Malengo foundation and judge, Michelle Omamteker. For contestants, the platform was an opportunity to showcase their incredible talents and be seen. “I think next year it will be huge, there will be even more than the 22 of today. I think the numbers will reach a hundred, or even 200 and more”, said Brenda Boonabaana, a... Read more

Local Histories of African Cinema: Interview with Projectionist Boureima Ouédraogo

By : Boukary Sawadogo, Ph.D.

 This is the first in a series of interviews with key participants in African cinema that I hope will provide more insight into the local history of African moviemaking than what has been provided repeatedly in scholarly articles and books. By talking with projectionists, actors, private movie theater managers, and moviegoers, I hope to unearth the nuance and texture that are missing from the official history to help increase our understanding of African cinema, particularly the cinema of Burkina Faso. This first interview looks at the physical condition of movie theaters and how it affects the moviegoing experience. The overall condition of movie theaters in Burkina Faso is mixed, and theaters are unevenly distributed among the two major cities—the capital, Ouagadougou, and the second-largest city, Bobo-Dioulasso—and the regional provinces. Ouagadougou has three main theaters in operation, Ciné Neerwaya, Ciné Burkina, and Canal Olympia Yennenga, which are in relatively good condition... Read more

Review: “Medan vi Lever” Showcases Complex Identity Crise

By : Boukary Sawadogo, Ph.D.

The struggle of finding your place in an increasingly globalized world is examined in this Gambian-Swedish dramedy. Medan Vi Lever, is a haunting study of identity, acceptance, and the tug-of-war between tradition and modernity by the critically acclaimed and award-winning Burkinabe director Dani Kouyaté. Kouyaté’s extensive filmography since the early 1990s addresses the complex social dynamics of tradition, modernity, history, and shifting identities, and this film is an extension of his work on these themes. Medan Vi Lever, set in Sweden and Gambia, tells the story of the conflicting relationship between a single mother, Kandia, and her aspiring-musician son Ibrahim, known as Ibbe, age 18. Kandia is a nurse from Gambia who has been living and working in Sweden for more than twenty years. Ibbe is the result of her relationship with her deceased Swedish boyfriend, whose parents Ylva and Olof were not accepting of the relationship. Olof is portrayed... Read more

A Closer Look At Burkinabe Cinema

By : Dr. Boukary Sawadogo

 Dr. Boukary Sawadogo provides an insight into Burkina Faso: one of the African continent's most important countries for cinema. At the international level, the mention of Burkina Faso is quickly associated with either its slain revolutionary leader, Thomas Isodore Noël Sankara (1949-1987), or the Pan-African Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou (FESPACO). During his four-year rule, from 1983 to 1987, Thomas Sankara changed the name of this former French colony from Upper Volta to Burkina Faso (“Land of Upright People”) and developed progressive policies for women’s conditions, the environment, education, health, and culture. The sense of pride and confidence of Burkinabe people in themselves and their country has been unparalleled throughout the history of this poor, landlocked country. The aura of the Marxist and Pan-Africanist president brought unprecedented global attention to Burkina Faso, particularly during the Cold War. Today, Sankara is a celebrated revolutionary and Pan-Africanist icon like Kwame Nkrumah,... Read more

Why and How FESPACO Needs To Reform

By : Boukary Sawadogo, Ph.D.

   Africa's most important film festival is fast approaching its 50th anniversary. Boukary Sawadogo suggests how it can improve and better prepare for the future. The Pan-African Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou (FESPACO) takes place every two years in Burkina Faso (formerly Upper Volta). Fespaco was created in 1969, building on the ‘Semaine du cinéma africain’ (African Cinema Week) initiative launched by the Centre Culturel Franco-Voltaïque’s ciné-club in 1968. Initiated and promoted by François Bassolet, Alimata Salembéré, and Claude Prieux, the ‘Semaine du cinéma africain’ initially sought to create a space for Africans to see and discuss their own cinema. In 1972 the government institutionalized Fespaco as a public state-funded biennial event. For a poor, landlocked country like Burkina Faso, which had no internationally recognized filmmakers or significant national film corpus at the time of the festival’s inception, the creation of such a Pan-African festival stands as a truly... Read more