West Africa: What is NOSPETCO?, Aid Does Not Work, Dogon Architecture and Tourism As A Therapy

As we delve into the West African blogosphere this week, our first stop is Nigeria. One issue that is attracting so much attention among Nigerians bloggers is NOSPETCO. What is NOSPETCO?
According to the Nigerian blogger Deolu Akinyemi,

If you have never heard of Nospecto before, it is an investment opportunity where you put in 450,000 naira and get 40,000 naira returns monthly, it’s also a joint venture business arrangement, where you share profits with the owners of the company at a rate which makes your share 40 out of every 450 in a month. Nospetco’s arrangement is the standard convinient arrangement for devout muslims, who because of their beliefs in not collecting interests on their money can only be comfortable with sharing profit.

He goes on to ask: NOSPETCO – How much longer!

It is wit to be able to ask the right questions, know when to move in, and know when to move out. If you ask the generation that is between 45-60 today, they’ll tell you about the finance houses of the 70/80s and how in one little sweep, millionaires became paupers. Those who do not know the past are bound to repeat it!

His in-depth analysis is worth reading.

Nospetco is high risk, and an investment you should make with your eyes open and your brain alert. A certain Ade guy* (The site also has useful information about Nospetco), used good strategies that are more difficult today. I also played with it before, went in and out bigtime. There are however some current happenings that in my humble opinion are red lights for investmenting.

Another Nigerian blog Timbaland asks: Nospetco: Time to exit or what?

The story started getting interesting when I learnt they had increased the initial investment capital from ₦300k to ₦450k. A couple of friends of mine and I were setting up a private fund to invest into the opportunity but had stalled for a number of reasons (including the increase in the initial capital required).
It was interesting to find out that Deolu Akinyemi had blogged about something I regard as being timely. It’s becoming clear that there’s a big possibility this fantasy is coming to an end. The Nospetco investment may quickly be going out of business if indeed these statements are true.

Still in the world of business and finances, Emmanuel Oluwatosin asks: In search of a business mentor?

Are you just starting out in business or already in business? Are things not turning out the way you planned? This is the time to seek a mentor – someone who will can show you the way, someone to teach and advise you and enable you to become a wise and effective human being. Stepping on the shoulder of a mentor helps you to avoid some mistakes and achieve success earlier than you expect.

These set of people are everywhere around you. You only need to identify what you are looking for in a mentor.

He then goes on to suggest potential business mentors.

Aid Industry in Africa and Cameroon's Version of Affirmative Action

Still on money, but this time in Cameroon. Cameroonian blog Enanga's Pov reproduces a report by The African Report.

Foreign aid: This kind of ‘help’ is just no help at all

The multi-billion dollar aid industry has largely failed in Africa. Not only have they failed along with others in the aid industry, most nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) have become part of the problem. Not that they will admit their failure. They refuse to share the blame for the grim record. Instead they have closed ranks – along with UN development agencies and bilateral agencies – and all sing from the same hymn sheet: ‘Aid works’, they claim. ‘Give us even more money and we will complete the job…’

They would say that, wouldn't they? The alternative is far too uncomfortable. The rapid growth of NGOs dealing with Africa has given them enormous power, but they have been slow to adapt to their responsibilities.

Looking at aid from a different angle, Home of the mandinmories blogs about The Bill and Melinda Gates foundation‘s activities in Africa.

Besides funding research to fight disease that plague third world nations, the foundation is investing in companies that run power plants, which can pollute and cause respiratory disease. In fact, the foundation has been investing in lots of energy companies to earn more money to pay for vaccines and research.

And therein lies the contradiction.

Energy companies are not known for their environmental friendliness. But they generate great returns on investment. The cauldron becomes: should the Gates foundation shy away from what is otherwise a good investment or would it be better for the foundation to invest in solar power and fuel cells? Just where is the greater good?

Still in Cameroon, Scribbles from the Den is asking “Should admissions into state-owned universities be based solely on merit or should “sociological balance” be taken into account?” in Deconstructing Regional Balance and Higher Education in Cameroon:

At the root of the deadly crisis that engulfed the University of Buea in November / December 2006 were deep-seated disagreements over the application of the principle of “regional balance”, Cameroon’s attempt at affirmative action. The crisis began when Prof. Fame Ndongo, the Minister of Higher Education invalidated the list of successful candidates eligible to participate in the oral part of the entrance examination into the Faculty of Medicine which had been published by that university’s Vice Chancellor.

According to the Minister, the Vice Chancellor’s list was null and void because it was based solely on merit (it consisted of the best 127 candidates who sat for the written part of the exam) and failed to “respect of the sociological balance [of Cameroon], the guarantor of national integration and stability”.

Dogon Architecture and Tourism As A Therapy in Cape Verde

Now to Mali, Africa Shrine blogs about Dogon Architecture.

The homes the Dogon people of Central Africa are an excellent example of how the original container is reproduced almost literal form. Although these people live quite simply in our terms, their culture is very complex and closely aligned with nature. To the Dogon, home is not a particular building, but a series of stages, which includes several buildings. The home is closely related to the development of the individual. For example a Dogon wife stays with her father until she has had her third child. She does however sleep with her husband during the night and returns to her father’s house during the day. It is a hierarchical system where the family is spread over several houses until they have achieved the status required to own their own home. Their homes are not owned by individuals as such, but are stages in one could say, psychic development and are shared as such.

Our final stop for this week is Cape Verde, where Cape Verde – Land of Morabeza blogs about São Nicolau Island.

Visitors to the island may discover the town of Ribeira Brava, filled with many squares, narrow streets and alleyways, a typical example of colonial influence. The school-seminary is an essential site to visit, along with the parish church and the ancient Sé Catedral (Sé Cathedral). The seminary was the first secondary school in Cape Verde and the entire Western coast of Africa.

The town on Tarrafal is renowned for its beach of black sand, rich in titanium and iodine, and visited by many people in search from relief from physical pains, such as rheumatism.

Author's note:
* Deolu Akinyemi is making reference to a fellow Nigerian blogger, Dipo Tepede who blogged last year, about NOSPETCO.


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