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Big Barrels: The New Narrative on Africa’s Oil & Gas that is Captivating Global Markets

Author NJ Ayuk, a prominent African energy lawyer (Source: Centurion Law Group |

LONDON, United Kingdom, August 9, 2018/ — A year after its release, the global momentum created by the bestseller on Africa’s oil and gas industry, “Big Barrels: African Oil and Gas and the Quest for Prosperity”, has led to its re-launching in French, Spanish and German.

“The narrative of the book makes its success,” explains author NJ Ayuk, a prominent African energy lawyer. “Big Barrels tells a hidden story of Africa’s oil & gas industry, one that speaks of positive achievements and lays out the capabilities such an industry has to transform the future of African economies and people.”

The English version of the book was launched in English in June 2017 at Africa Oil & Power 2017 in Cape Town, and has since become a huge hit in Africa and abroad, taking aim at the perception that in Africa oil and gas can do no good, arguing against the perception of a “resource curse.”

The book uses specific case studies from countries like Nigeria, Ghana, Angola, Tanzania and Equatorial Guinea to showcase what African nations have done right with regards to exploiting their oil and gas resources. It notably highlights specific areas of success including good governance in Ghana, environmental stewardship in Gabon and employment and enterprise creation in Nigeria. In doing so, Big Barrels effectively allows Africans to recapture the narrative surrounding their oil & gas industry, and open it up to non-cursing, African voices.

Since its first launch, Big Barrels has received extensive global media attention, being notably repeatedly featured and debated over on BBC Africa, CNBC, Forbes Africa, Bild Zeitung, Financial Afrik, SABC, DW and Voice of America. As Funke Michaels, a Mason Fellow at Harvard University, said in a review, “I see readers coming away encouraged by these cases, and effectively freed from the myth that Africa cannot be cured of the age-old “resource curse.”

The new languages editions of the book will be launched at Africa Oil & Power 2018 in Cape Town from Sept. 5-7. The book can be ordered from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other retailers.

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… On NYC fans of the World Cup 2018

... On NYC fans of the World Cup 2018

Teshome M. Borago | PT Staff writer

As the World Cup progresses forward, New Yorkers are running out of favorite teams to support.

In a city like New York, where one can find a significant population of residents from countries all around the globe, the World Cup is always a major event. But with the locally favored national teams of the United States, Ireland, Italy, Ghana and Ecuador not even qualifying to this year’s tournament, 2018 was already one of the least anticipated World Cups in recent memory. Certainly, it has not been as lively as four years ago. These team absences have particularly affected the Bronx communities where such ethnic enclaves are found; from Little Italy at Arthur ave & Pelham; to Little Ireland in Woodlawn and the Ghanaian community of east Grand Concourse.

Nonetheless, some local immigrants from South America and Africa started backing their neighboring countries like Brazil, Senegal, Columbia and Mexico – who have qualified for the event. In NYC, there are various tight nit Brazilian and Senegalese communities while Mexican Americans are the fastest growing hispanic community in the Bronx. According to US Census 2010, the NYC and North NJ area also has the largest urban concentration of Colombians in the whole country.

In the beginning of the contest, Brazil and Mexico breezed thru easily but Columbia and Senegal had to face each other with the former barely advancing.

Far away from the Bronx is also a sizable Russian-American community in southern Brooklyn area of NYC, enjoying a rare success as the host nation; until their eventual downfall against the gritty Croatian club.

As for the local favorites MEXICO, their anticipated run was cut short, thanks to the great Brazilian footballer Neymar, who scored one goal and assisted on another. But the physical and emotional contest with Mexico put a heavy toll on the 145 pounder NEYMAR; as Belgium worn him down and the European media influenced the referees, disseminating a negative image of a foul-prone soft player. The referees seemed to buy that Neymar stereotype, as they ignored several cases of Belgian foul play, including a potential Penalty Kick for Brazil after Neymar was pushed while in the air during an attempted header. Thus, Brazil lost by one goal.

As the tournament winds to the finish line, New York fans are hoping the next World Cup will have more of the local favorites in 2022. Many local businesses and bars, especially the Italian, German and Irish pubs, are counting on it. The consensus among many sports analysts is that, both Italy and the United Stated missing out on a same World Cup again, is virtually impossible.