The Concoction

An Ethiopian woman's musings on Africa, the world and everything in between

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        Tuesday, March 11, 2008
        Fair trade getting fairer
        I think the press release below is exciting. It is exciting because this will take fair trade to a new level - about time, too; it will give African fashion designers access to global market; Western designers won't get away with fashion plagiarism. But most importantly, I hope it will open up the global market for other commodities produced in developing countries.

        WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has won the best exhibit award at one of the apparel industry's largest trade shows. Fifteen companies receiving aid from USAID's three trade hubs in Africa showcased garments with unique fabrics, patterns and colors at the Feb. 12-15 event in Las Vegas known as MAGIC Marketplace.

        Each trade hub - located in Southern Africa (Botswana), Western Africa (Ghana, Senegal), and East and Central Africa (Kenya) - helps entrepreneurs in the region develop professional businesses capable of competing in the global arena.

        The hubs also promote economic development within Africa by training African business owners to operate companies prudently and profitably. Business management and marketing skills are also strengthened in the process. African manufacturers seeking American markets are supported by the trade hubs to exhibit their goods at international trade shows. The U.S. African Growth and Opportunity Act waives the duty for imports from Africa, further enabling African businesses to participate in formal economic trade.

        The 15 companies, representing nine African countries, set up their displays inside the "Source Africa Pavilion," which was sponsored by USAID. Hundreds from the fashion industry attended MAGIC Marketplace each year hoping to attract the attention of buyers from the retail industry. Fulfilling USAID's humanitarian mandate, the African-designed goods are not only attracting buyers, but are also building economic momentum and putting Africa on the map as a viable supplier of apparel for American and international outlets.For more information about USAID and its other programs in Africa, visit

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        posted by Fikirte @ 9:34 PM   0 comments Digg!
        Monday, March 10, 2008
        Drugged up water

        If you are one of those people who think that Americans over-medicate, the following is going to be disturbing news. Drinking water in several states is contaminated by drugs. Personally, I'm less worried about my drinking water being contaminated by drugs including antibiotics, sex hormones and anti-convulsants and mood enhancers and quite grossed out by how....
        People take pills. Their bodies absorb some of the medication, but the rest of it passes through and is flushed down the toilet. The wastewater is treated before it is discharged into reservoirs, rivers or lakes. Then, some of the water is cleansed again at drinking water treatment plants and piped to consumers. But most treatments do not remove all drug residue.
        Scientists are - surprise, surprise - divided in their opinions whether the contaminated water is harmful to humans or not. But surely they are seeing effects on fish - like the males laying eggs. I'm wondering how all this is going to play out in epigenome since the environmental problems that our grandparents faced can affect our genes. Will doctors in the future be able to determine that somebody had grown up in S. California where the major pollutant in the drinking water is sex hormones?

        "In an age when man has forgotten his origins and is blind to his most essential needs for survival, water along with other resources has become the victim of his indifference" Rachel Carson.

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        posted by Fikirte @ 8:24 PM   1 comments Digg!
        The face of VAW

        Kamilat - victim of acid burning The face of VAW - violence against women. It should and can be stopped with enough commitment. Helping one woman at a time is a start.
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