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(Photo by Axel Rouvin via wikimedia)

Gabon is the First African Nation to Be Rewarded for Conservation Practices

The country will receive $150 Million in support of its exceptional sustainable forestry.

Gabon just made history as the first African country to receive payments for preserving its rainforests. On Sunday, Gabon signed a 10-year deal with Norway that will give the country $150 Million for their efforts at sustainable forest conservation, reduced greenhouse emissions and carbon dioxide consumption. The money will be paid as both a reward for past environmental performance and as an incentive to continue their good work.


The deal was made via Central African Forest Initiative (CAFI), a project launched in 2015 by the United Nations to link European donors with African countries. According to CAFI, Gabon has previously been active in environmental preservation, creating 13 national parks in less than 20 years to protect much of their forestation. Considering 88 percent of Gabon is rainforest and the country hosts 60 percent of Africa's living forest elephants–the actions taken to sustain forests and decrease greenhouse emissions have a strong global impact.

From CAFI's statement announcing the agreement:

Led by Gabon, leaders from the region have joined to put forward, during the Summit, the role of Central African forests in mitigating climate change. Called the Earth's second lungs, the region's vast rainforests cover the size of Western Europe and, with the peatlands they harbor, store up to 70 billion tons of carbon, equivalent to 5 to 10 years of global greenhouse gas emissions.

Gabon's Minister of Forests, Professor Lee White, said that the deal with Norway will "improve the living standards of the Gabonese people by creating jobs and livelihoods, whilst also sustaining natural capital, and to preserve our natural treasures and biodiverse ecosystems." Gabon has been a leader in the region for pushing strict conservation laws. This type of activity garnered attention and support for Gabon from the global community.

Financial sponsorships from countries with capital to those with natural resources–like Norway's to Gabon–are intended to help promote sustainable practices while also actively reducing the global carbon footprint. These sponsorships are becoming more common as of late. As Quartz reports, the Seychelles also traded part of their national debt with a promise to protect a third of its waters in 2018. The Africa Times states that the Republic of Congo has signed an agreement to promise increased conservation to a sponsorship tune of $65 Million from CAFI.

The news came sandwiched in the middle of a climate focused weekend with the global youth protests over climate change on Friday to the Climate Action Summit happening today at the UN.

News Brief

Ludacris Has Become a Gabonese Citizen

"I just became an official citizen of Gabon, of Africa."

Ludacris is officially a citizen of Gabon.

The Atlanta rapper and actor confirmed his new citizenship in an Instagram post from Libreville. His wife, Eudoxie Mbouguiengue, is originally from Gabon.

In an Instagram video Ludacris mentioned. "Ladies and gentleman, I just became and official citizen of Gabon." He also wrote, "Starting my new year off with dual citizenship! AFRICA IM OFFICIAL!! Momma & kids too. The best gift of the decade."

Ludacris will retain his American passport making him a dual citizen of both nations.

Over the holidays, the rapper and his family also visited Ghana for The Year of Return, where they spent New Year's Eve.

During his time in Accra, Luda wrote: "Our ancestors never gave up Faith. You can never imprison our minds nor our spirits. They empowered me to Return. I have completed the cycle and I'm beginning a new Cycle. The Chains have been Broken and the indomitable resilience of African People Triumphs."

Luda was also spotted dancing to Burna Boy and Zlatan's "Killin Dem" over the holiday celebrations.

Check out all the posts below!

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(Album art courtesy of the artist)

Hear a Trippy New Compilation from 80s Gabonese Musician, François N’Gwa

Made during the golden age of 80s synthesizers, Ogooué is a nostalgic journey into African music's exploratory past.

Buckle up and get ready for a bit of rhythmic and synthesizer-laced time travel. Gabonese musician François N'Gwa has been making music since the early 80s, toying and playing with sound during the era of electronic exploration. The sound he produced is a vibrant, enthusiastic and attention-grabbing one that blends African rhythms and sentiments with digital noises that seem to play tug of war with the air around it. New French record label Into the Deep Treasury is releasing an 8-track compilation of N'Gwa's tracks made between 1985 and 2004, called Ogooué.

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Still from YouTube.

Yemi Alade Enlists Djimon Hounsou for New Music Video 'Remind You'

The veteran Beninese actor stars in the sultry music for Yemi Alade's latest single.

Yemi Alade shares her latest music video for her single "Remind You," and it stars none other than celebrated Hollywood actor Djimon Hounsou.

"Remind You" is a sultry R&B track from the singer's latest album, 2019's Woman of Steel. The vibrant music video, directed by Ovie Etseyatse, sees the singer gallivanting in an empty mansion in various elegant gowns. Honsou graces the screen throughout the video as well, but the two don't meet until the very end, when things take a funny and unexpected turn.

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Photo courtesy of Afro Nation.

Interview: Afro Nation Festival's Smade On Unifying Africans Across the Continent & Diaspora

As the festival prepares to make its Puerto Rico debut this spring, we sat down with Afro Nation co-founder Adesegun Adeosun aka Smade to talk about how it all started and what the future holds.

Within minutes of speaking with Adesegun Adeosun, it's apparent that Afro Nation is much more than an urban music festival.

The Afro Nation co-founder, better known as Smade, talks passionately about connecting Africans across the globe. In less than a year since its debut edition, Afro Nation has successfully done this and gone on to establish itself as the largest festival celebrating African culture on the continent and in the diaspora.

This year, Afro Nation will touch down in Puerto Rico for the first time over spring break—from the 18th to the 21st of March—on the beach of Balneario de Carolina. Headliners will include Burna Boy, Chronixx, Davido, 2Baba, Naira Marley and many more.

As the festival prepares to make its Puerto Rico debut this spring, we sat down with Smade to talk about Afro Nation, how it all started and what the future holds.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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