Are Corsets/Waist Trainers Good for your health?

It is a typical desire for women to have a slim waist and a slender figure.

Of course, the 18th-century women have proven that wearing corsets and waist trainers can give a seeming effect on the body. 

It can shrink your waistline if you wear it consistently and certainly, the intention is to wear it for at least 8 hours in a day.

While wearing a corset and slimming your waist might look like a clean magic trick, the reality is that you are NOT eliminating the fat. You are simply moving it around to produce the hourglass shape you fancy.

The real question now is where does the fat go when you do corset training? 

When you wear a corset, you are not magically eliminating fat. You are simply moving it, and when you do it correctly, the effect can be very satisfying.

However, several doctors from all over the world hold that corset/waist training can hurt your external body parts and also squeeze the frame of your internal body organs.

Doctors urge that you move with care when undergoing waist training. Also, do not allow unnecessary pressure on your midsection as this too limits the flow of blood to your organs which could be very harmful. Besides, the upper organs can move upwards and the lower organs can move downwards. As your internal organs become misplaced, the results can be painful, not to mention dangerous.

It should be made clear that corset/waist training has its positive and negative effects. You ought to keep your mind open to the negatives too, because it is your own body that is in danger.

Anglophone Cameroon Needs Total Peace, Not Just for a Day!

As the world observed the International Day of Peace this Monday, it became all the more clear that the restive Anglophone regions of Cameroon need more than just a day of peace — in fact, they deserve total peace every day.

For close to four years now, these two regions have hosted persistent gun battles between Anglophone separatist fighters and regular security forces. The conflict in the bilingual Central African country, stemmed from complaints of marginalization of the Anglophone minority by the Francophone dominated government.

Today, the armed conflict is taking a great toll on the citizens, as well as the economy.

The United Nations declared September 21 of every year as a day of peace around the world, with the aim that peace could be strengthened. The hope is to have 24 hours of non-violence and ceasefire, in areas plagued by conflict. But, is 24 hours really enough for peace?

Belligerents in the Anglophone armed conflict might have respected the UN`s 24-hour ceasefire call to an extent, but their actions so far leave much to be desired.

In March, the UN Secretary General António Guterres implored all warring parties around the world to drop their weapons and observe a ceasefire, due to the ravaging impact of the Coronavirus pandemic worldwide.

“The fury of the virus illustrates the folly of war. End the sickness of war and fight the disease that is ravaging our world,” he said.

“That is why today, I am calling for an immediate global ceasefire in all corners of the world. It is time to put armed conflict on lockdown and focus together on the true fight of our lives,” Mr Guterres stressed.

However, despite this plea, both the military and Anglophone secessionists turned a deaf ear. They continued to engage in fighting, to the detriment of the civilian population. They have rendered the area void of any peace, leaving the people helpless.

How severe is the situation?

The security situation in the English speaking regions of Cameroon is quite dire. As a result of the conflict, over 3000 people have died, with nearly a million people estimated to be displaced.

Cameroon used to enjoy relative peace before 2016 when the Anglophone crisis started. So, the figures are quite shocking for the country.

Most schools in the Anglophone North West and South West regions have remained closed for almost four years, following a separatist order for school boycott. Some who have attempted to go to school to either teach or learn, have faced kidnap, torture and in some cases, death, in the hands of separatists.

Moreover, belligerents have allegedly set homes and villages aflame, with violence being on the rise. The continuous tension forced some Anglophone Cameroonians to flee into the bushes for safety.

Also, economic activities have been paralyzed, thereby affecting the economy badly.

Way out

The severity of the conflict proves that there is only one way out — dialogue. The government of Cameroon needs to engage in sincere and unconditional talks with leaders of the Anglophone separatist fighters.

Both local and foreign observers have prescribed dialogue as the only solution, yet the government remains intransigent. They are seemingly not willing to hold talks with the separatists.

This probably accounts for why the conflict has lasted this long, without clear signs of the situation ebbing anytime soon.

No one is too big to negotiate — not even the government. Make concessions, reason things out with the separatists, for lasting peace to return to the two Anglophone regions.

For their part, the separatists should express a desire to compromise. No need to keep putting ordinary citizens in peril.

When the guns stop “talking” in Anglophone Cameroon, displaced people would love to return home, and activities would surely go back to normal.

Dialogue — genuine dialogue — is the magic wand for peace to return to the restive regions, not just an international day of peace.

Japan To Surpass China in Race for Africa

The resignation of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will open a new chapter in the historic competition between Japan and China for resources and influence in Africa.

Abe’s departure due to ill health will not mean an immediate dramatic change.

His successor will be chosen from a list of Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) candidates that largely share his views on foreign policy, though perhaps not with the same focus or tenacity. Yet his departure could be a turning point that will make or break the long-term success of his initiatives in Africa.

His successor faces a challenging task in trying to roll back Beijing’s influence in Africa.

China is the largest financier of African infrastructure, backing one out of every five projects and is Africa’s largest trading partner, with trade in 2016 totaling $114 billion.

In addition, Chinese President Xi Jinping promised in 2016 to invest $60 billion into Africa at the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), while Japan could only contribute $30 billion.

Much of China’s success in Africa has been its foreign direct investments both in the public and private sectors.

COVID-19 has made debt more of a concern and a liability for African countries. China’s lending practices on the continent have been dubbed “debt trap diplomacy” where credit is extended to a debtor country with the intention of extracting concessions when it cannot sustain the loan payments. Easy access to Chinese credit has sometimes been disastrous for some African economies.

Zambia took out a series of loans to pay for airports, hospitals, and infrastructure, increasing the amount owed to China to a third of its external debt, and forcing the government to restructure.

Large infrastructure spending in Nigeria has prompted concerns that Lagos would lose some of its sovereignty in a dispute with China over loan repayment. China backs 11 infrastructure projects in Nigeria totalling $3.1 billion or 11.2% of its external debt.

An oil-panicked Japan first began seeking ties with Africa in the mid 1970s to stave off a flat-lining economy and increasing inflation. With no other reasonable alternatives, it began to seek natural resource extraction from Africa. Japan increased development assistance from $5 million in 1972 to more than $900 million by 1991.

In the decades preceding Abe’s arrival, Japan launched the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) in 1993 and began to focus on building schools, capacity building in a variety of fields, supporting good governance initiatives, and contributing to African human security. But China’s emergence and competition soon overshadowed the Japanese.

Using the framework of its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), China’s presence in Africa is now ubiquitous, through roads, railways, textile factories, public infrastructure and industrial developments.

Meanwhile, Japan’s emphasis is on infrastructure development, essential in connecting emerging economies in Western and Southeast Africa and expanding African trade.

Japan has concentrated on areas of the continent in most need of connectivity, such as the Nacala Corridor that connects the Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi, and Zambia by rail to the eastern deepwater port in Mozambique, giving regional farmers access to broader markets.

 Africa under Japan’s Abe

Abe’s approach has been to present Japan as more of an economic partner rather than a donor or creditor.

Japan seeks to distinguish itself from China by arguing that it would not seek to burden national partners with debt, seeking rather to jointly develop a more sustainable approach in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Agenda 2063, endorsed by the African Union.

In that approach, sustainability is linked to capacity building, technical assistance, infrastructure, connectivity and trade expansion. Japan has also shown leadership and expertise where China has not, having a successful track record of developing sustainable public transport infrastructure.

Part of Abe’s success in Africa has been the formation of strategic partnerships, such as the signing of a $270mn loan deal with Kenya to boost the capacity of Mombasa port. Japan has also made efforts to increase maritime security capacities in the Horn of Africa, working with Djibouti, a key access point to the Suez Canal.

Working in collaboration with India has put greater emphasis on the Asia-Africa Growth Corridor (AAGC), which emphasises areas that are critical to African economic and social development, such as health care, agriculture, food security, and disaster management.

Further, the AACG is an alternative mechanism for African countries to hedge against unnecessary risk, by reducing reliance on Chinese credit and development finance.

These efforts are not altogether altruistic, as Japan also hopes that its support to Africa will be rewarded by their support of its long-time efforts to reform the UN Security CoUnion.

The Essence

While it has been one of the largest UN donors, it has failed to achieve the required support for a permanent council seat, which it hopes Africa’s 54 countries will help it to rectify.

There are still many obstacles to competing with China in Africa. Tokyo’s strategic reach compared to China is still massive, as the balance of direct investment by China approached the U.S. with $43b, while Japan stands at roughly $9b. Japanese companies are often risk-averse to African conditions, noting that the business environment is not stable enough for Japanese companies, particularly for those without connections to local African companies.

A leading priority for Abe’s successor will be to define a risk-taking strategy that can convince African countries that Japan can rival or at least complement the financing that Beijing has to offer.

Russia-Africa Nuclear Deal: More Harm than Good

18 African countries just signed Nuclear deals with Russia. Hopefully, they did their home work before signing these deals.

By Bovet Maloba

Europe is running away from Nuclear plants, there are hundreds of thousands of antinuclear protesters in France, meanwhile Germany is leading the antinuclear campaign in Europe because of how dangerous this form of energy is. But guess what. While European is making sure to reduce the nuclear matter in their space and soil, Africa seems to be all to willing to bear the weight for Europe.

I don’t see why Africans should embrace it. We have huge waterfalls that can generate electricity or, better still, we can go into solar technology not Nuclear. Corporate and government opinion on nuclear energy have often been skewed towards what I will call the politics of benefitting some parties against others. Najat Mokhtar, deputy director-general and head of the Department of Nuclear Sciences and Applications at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) told a discussion panel on nuclear energy at the Sochi economic forum that: “Nuclear technologies are a very important tool in the development and drafting of sustainable development goals.”

African statemen are buying into this rhetoric. Claver Gatete, minister of infrastructure of the Republic of Rwanda, seemed to be corroborating Moktar when he said “We have a dream: we want to become a highly developed country by 2035 and a country with a high standard of living by 2050. Nuclear energy should be the main driver for achieving the goals facing our country.”

The truth, however, is far from what these politicians are saying. let us take a scenario that no one actually prays for as an example. If one nuclear plant has an accident it can cause a terrible disaster to that entire region for hundreds of years. Accidental release of harmful radiation is one of the biggest drawbacks of nuclear energy. Moreover, nuclear energy requires an enormous amount of capital for just a single plant to go operational. Some data show it might cost up to $12 billion to build a modern nuclear plant. 

Furthermore, not only is it outstandingly expensive to build a plant, it is also expensive to run a nuclear plant successfully, as it cannot function without Uranium, a mineral which is in high demand for the creation of nuclear weapons by the most powerful countries on earth. Now if you weren’t thinking about it, Uranium is also extraordinarily costly.

One must note that Africa’s greatest worry in this deal should be how to dispose of or manage nuclear waste? Nuclear waste contains unstable elements and is highly radioactive. It’s very dangerous to our environment, as not even the sea or  oceans can be used to dispose of the waste. The waste also has long term implications that can be very dangerous to human health. It can take hundreds of years for any nuclear matter to be fully absolved of its calamitous properties to humanity and the environment. Cit can cause cancer and other diseases.

If ever Africa should consider this sort of agreements, perhaps, in my opinion, the only thing connected to the word nuclear that some African countries should embrace is nuclear weapons. The world seems to be built on the principle of power being in the hands of those who possess nuclear weapons. Perhaps, in other to be a contender in the international scene, Africa should vie for nuclear weapons. But then, that is another stretch of debate on a whole new level.

Do not forget the Chernobyl and fukushima nuclear disasters that left lastingly devastating effects in their wake. Dangerous nuclear accidents happen very often. Scientists estimate that hundreds of thousands of people were severely affected by Chernobyl nuclear disaster in Ukraine and the radiation from it spread throughout Europe. It will cost billions of USD to clean the atmosphere and environment completely after such disasters. Imagine Africans who don’t take anything serious, where will they get the money and technology to manage such a disaster, if that lot ever became theirs? 
The way forward, in my opinion, is for Africa to embrace renewable energy, especially solar technology, which is less expensive and relatively safe for humanity and the environment. Please warn your leaders!