From left to right: Fred Jordan of F.E. Jordan Associates, Princess Omolara Haastrup and Prince Clement Haastrup. Photo by Carla Thomas.
Prince Clement Haastrup and his wife Princess Omolara Haastrup of the gold rich kingdom of Ijeshaland, in Nigeria, want to do business with African Americans.
They are the owners of ENL Apapa Terminal Seaport, the largest port in Lagos. They also own a construction company that can handle projects up to $500 million in size. They say they hope to include African Americans in their home land projects as well as invest in U.S. projects.
Prince Haastrup, a Howard University graduate, sees African Americans as his brothers and sisters and feels combining Africa’s resources with African Americans’ education as a perfect combination. “I see the plights in the African Diaspora and I see also there is a lot of knowledge that can impact the development of Africa. Africa has the resources and some skills, but these skills are not as advanced as our African American brothers and sisters in United States, because of their exposure.”
Prince Haastrup, the former Deputy Governor of Osun State in Nigeria and currently Chairman of ENL Consortium Limited, considers working together as a symbiotic relationship. “We have the resources and they (African Americans) have the skill and putting it together we will be better off as a race.”
Prince Haastrup’s current project is the rehabilitation of 175 miles of road from Shagamu-Benin Highway, a 6 year venture that will begin this year. Dr. Obi Gbabebo, Managing Partner of Cowrie Capital, LLC, has made arrangements through the U.S. EXIM Bank to secure $220 million for the first phase.
Prince Haastrup feels other nations tend to exploit Africa and that he welcomes African Americans to come back home and make Africa great. “Any Afro American coming to Nigeria or any African country is a good homecoming and as our brothers coming back home and coming to help us in the development of our countries.”
During this present economic downturn the Haastrups have also invested seven million dollars in several other American businesses and franchises.
The economic down turn is not slowing the Haastrups down. They recently acquired property near the University of Minnesota and TCF Stadium and will begin construction this summer on a 17 unit condo complex with a ground floor of restaurants and grocery stores. “This area has one of the largest student populations in the nation with about 50,000 students,” said Princess Haastrup.
The Haastrups recently visited MoAD (The Museum of the African Diaspora) in San Francisco and the African American Chamber of Commerce. Prince Haastrup further expressed that he was impressed with bay area Black businesspersons desire to “participate in the emancipation of Africa.”
“We took a risk in Minnesota and we are willing to take risks in the San Francisco bay area as your brothers and sisters in Africa,” said Princess Haastrup.
Prince Haastrup says he plans to aggregate a billion dollar fund and says he has offers from Chinese and British companies. “But I feel real a desire to go with my U.S. brothers to also participate in the emancipation of Africa.”
Haastrup says that with Obama as president, the timing could not be better for African Americans. He said, “If the Germans, Chinese, British people and others are rushing to have their own share of opportunities, in Africa, why not America?” Haastrup said that African nations would want African Americans to succeed and will give then priority status.
“This is the time for all of us to be involved and make this relationship a reality,” he smiled.
Qaddafi and Obama confer at a recent meeting.
In a recent national NewsOne/Black Planet poll, African Americans split on their thoughts on President Obama bombing Libya and President Qaddafi and other issues.
Close to 35 percent of African Americans believe Obama is doing so because of Qaddafi’s treatment of Libyans. Twenty-one percent believe that Qaddafi and his army are a serious threat to the nation.
On the flip side, many think this is just political posturing by Obama because 15 percent of Blacks believe he’s to make peace with Republicans. Twenty-three percent believe this is all about oil. Seven percent believe it about support for America’s ally Israel.
Pernessa C. Seele
By Jesse Brooks
“The National Week of Prayer for the Healing of AIDS”, which began March 2, is a time for African American churches to become centers for AIDS education and compassionate care.
AIDS is destroying the Black Community. The stigma of AIDS continues to persist. Our religious institutions must lead the struggle in stopping the spread of AIDS and command more services and resources for people who are infected and affected.
The idea of a week of prayer in churches originated in 1989 when Pernessa C. Seele, CEO of The Balm In Gilead, started, The Harlem Week of Prayer for the Healing of AIDS. It was so successful that it became known as “The Black Church Week of Prayer” which has continued till today.
Seele wanted a way to invite all believers to step forward beyond the walls that divide us into the circle of conscious prayer for the healing of AIDS. “Let us not allow the issues that divide us to prevent us from entering into a circle of prayer and education with all of our brothers and sisters”, she says, “Let us seek divine guidance for our own individual and congregational paths toward AIDS awareness, advocacy and service”.
The Black Church Week of Prayer for the Healing of AIDS was the nation’s first national HIV/AIDS mobilization campaign. It has reached more than 5 million African Americans.
The late Dr. Dorothy Height, Civil rights pioneer, spoke to President Barack Obama at the White House, “We need to be able to talk about HIV as we talk about jobs, as we talk about housing, as we talk about civil rights. We all have a responsibility to break the silence about this disease – to speak out about HIV, to know that our families and friends and churches are there to support us. And if someone talks to us about HIV, to listen, to learn, and to accept and help if we are called upon”.
On Friday, March 4, Oakland will participate in REAL TALK II, 6 to 9 pm, at Word Assembly Church with Bishop Keith Clark at 410 14th Street. And a youthful ‘Chat ‘n Chew’ program will be held 10:00am to 1:00pm, Saturday, March 5, at the Allen Temple Baptist Church Life Center, 8400 East 14th Street, Oakland with Reverend Dr. J. Alfred Smith, Jr. Both events will feature music, free refreshments.
The time is now to raise the visibility of HIV and AIDS. Let us confront and overcome the stigma that helps keep HIV alive in our communities. We need to talk openly about tough issues like homophobia and discrimination that prevent too many African-Americans from seeking HIV testing and treatment, and support from their friends and family. I invite the readers to join with me, especially those that can’t attend the events listed above, to offer daily noon prayers.