BLACK HISTORY MONTH 2011, The Netherlands

The Association of Students of African Heritage (ASAH) cordially invites you to the fourth edition of Black History Month on 18th and 25th February 2011.

Theme: “The Economics of Culture – the way we dress, eat and express ourselves from an economic perspective”

Many African and Afro-Caribbean countries are endowed with resources that could stimulate economic stability and independence. However, many of those are plight by economic inefficiencies coupled with a constant dependence on global resources. For example, “one may see a black woman elegantly clothed with traditional attire. But her cloth may be from Vlisco (the Dutch manufacturer of African prints), shoes/slippers from Italy and earrings/jewelleries from Thailand. Instead of local manufactures many prefer Hollywood movies over Nollywood/Ghallywood/Black films or even opt for Indian Basmati or American Uncle Sam rice instead of locally cultivated rice etc”.

Considering the trends of commerce, “to what extent are we (Blacks) economically independent when we portray the African/(Afro-) culture”?

***Day 1: Friday February 18th – Culture and Entrepreneurship

The first day of BHM 2011 focuses on culture and the similarities between Blacks from the Diaspora and the African continent. It also provides an opportunity to explore the economic aspect of culture. Furthermore, day 1 serves as a window to showcase and promote Afro-businesses, as well as a means to network.

The day is set up as follows:

*Through the conceptualization of culture and what constitutes the African/(Afro-) culture, a “Black Cultural Expert”, Mrs. Natasha A. Kelly from Berlin, will enlighten us with reference to the theme. The expert will talk about various developments in the Black culture over the years. She will give an extended view on "The Dynamics of Afro-Culture. Politics, Economics and Esthetics of Blackness in Europe".

*Fashion show: Traditional clothing from the African continent and the Diaspora will be displayed. Two different kinds of clothing from the following areas is to be modelled:
-West Africa
-East Africa
-Southern Africa
-Former Netherlands Antilles

During the fashion show, information will be provided about the attires, their origins, designer etc.

*Entrepreneurs: After the fashion show, Mrs. Lori van Echtelt of Mariposa Import, will share her views on “Black consumerism and entrepreneurship”.

*Cultural treats/snacks: There will be cultural snacks to enjoy. Information will be provided about the ingredients used, its origin, the caterers and/or where to buy them.

*There will also be a spoken word performance by T. Martinus. The day ends with a musical performance!

When: Friday, 18th February 2011
Venue: Afro Cultureel Centrum Samen Sterk,
Address: Zieken 103, 2515 SB Den Haag
A 3 minute walk from train station The Hague HS
Parking is available, free parking from 17:00
Doors open: at 17.30
The programme starts: at 18:00
Entrance: Free
Language: English and Dutch
Pre-Registration is appreciated, please sent a mail to

***Day 2: Friday February 25th – Presentation and workshop entrepreneurship

The second day of BHM 2011 consists of a workshop and an interactive presentation at the Erasmus University.

*Workshop: To encourage the youth and BHM participants of African heritage to take initiative to become entrepreneurs, Ms. W. Gillis-Burleson – managing director of Legato B.V. and the best Black Business Woman 1997 – will give a workshop on empowerment and entrepreneurship. This workshop aims to equip participants with some fundamental knowledge, tools and skills essential for business for starters.

*Presentation: Mr. T. Kofi – Director of the Foundation Africa Next Door – will talk about the consumption trends of Black people and its consequences. Mr. Kofi will show the correlation between the African continent and Black communities worldwide. Participants or the audience will have an opportunity to ask questions or share their opinion. Amongst others, there will be a debate/discussion on “Does our culture inhibit us to enterprise?” during the discussion round.

When: Friday, 25th February 2011
Venue: Erasmus University Rotterdam,
C-Building, Room CB-109
Doors open: at 16.30
The programme starts: at 17:00
Entrance: Free
Language: English and Dutch
Pre-Registration is appreciated, please sent a mail to

We, ASAH, look forward to celebrate Black History Month 2011 with you!
For further info: visit

Black History Month 2011 is presented in collaboration with
NiNsee (Nationaal instituut Nederlands slavernijverleden en erfenis) see:

Lawyer cautions against ratifying EU trade treaty

(Joyce van Genderen-Naar)

BRUSSELS–Joyce van Genderen-Naar, a Brussels based lawyer who is very much at home in European Union (EU) matters is cautioning Caribbean nations against ratifying the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between the European Union and the Cariforum countries.
“Ratifying this agreement will be disastrous to our countries, as it will open our doors to more imports from the EU … yes, our exports will have 100% access to European markets, but we don’t have the means to,” warned Suriname-born Van Genderen-Naar who in her capacity as lawyer acts as advisor to Caribbean organizations in EU matters.
The CARIFORUM-EU EPA, signed in October 2008, is a trade and development agreement which covers not only trade in goods, but also services, investment, social and labor standards, competition policy and transparency in government procurement. It is the first (and, to date, only) comprehensive regional EPA in any ACP (Africa, Caribbean, Pacific) region. The agreement was signed on 15 October 2008 and provisionally applied as of 29 December 2008. It provides for the gradual and asymmetric liberalization of trade in goods, services and investment between the Caribbean signatories and the EU with the objective of fostering the sustainable development of the Caribbean region.
Van Genderen-Naar said countries like Suriname should place their best judicial staff on this agreement before actually tabling it in Parliament for ratification. “These are very complex matters that even I as a lawyer who deals with them daily, have trouble understanding. But they should not be taken lightly, because if we’re not careful, products in our countries will become more expensive and people will suffer.”
She explained that under the EU regime, Caribbean countries will no longer be allowed to levy customs duties for imports from the EU. “And customs duties are a substantial source of income for Caribbean countries like Suriname,” she said.
Meanwhile, she continued, EU countries place high demands on goods that may be imported into their markets. “They have all sorts of rules and standards that you can only apply to, if you have the latest techniques and most modern equipment; we don’t have those techniques and equipments, so we will not be able to comply, which means that our exports will diminish. So while we earn less from customs duties, we also have less income from exports. . If we sign this agreement we will basically allow the EU at our bread and butter,” she said.
The lawyer hinted that this is no different from the track records European Countries have left over the past 500 years. “In their eyes we are still no more than territories there for their profit,” she said.
She said Suriname has enough other opportunities for its exports. “There are enough other countries and regions that want to do business with us. If we don’t ratify this agreement, the only thing that could harm is our banana export. But not our bauxite exports to Norway (Norway is not a member of the EU) or our oil exports. It cannot hurt our tourism industry. On the other hand, China is showing a lot of interest in Suriname, as is Brazil,” she said, emphasizing: “Suriname already has a tough time entering the Caricom Single Market and Economy (CSME) with its exports. Imagine how much tougher the EU will make it for us if we open our markets to them like this. We’re not at equal playing level, so we should think this through properly.”
Total EU trade with the Caribbean region amounts to more than €8.5 billion per year. EU exports to the Caribbean include chemicals and machinery and transport equipment. Caribbean exports to the EU include agricultural products, fuels and chemicals. The CARIFORUM region includes 15 countries: Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago. Haiti signed the Agreement on 10 December 2009.