All For Africa Project, Big Winner

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[Election 2008]

A special evening of championship boxing, music, and charity was held recently at the Hammerstein Ballroom in honor of “Knock Out Poverty,” a project to support “All For Africa,” a non-profit organization campaign to fight poverty in Africa by designing sustainable revenue to schools, health facilities, vocational training centers and community centers across the African continent.

Nigerian Olympian Eromosele “Bad Boy” Albert (21-2-1, 10 K0s) and Ghana native Ossie Duran (23-6-1, 9KOs) fought to a 12- round draw in their IBF Continental Africa light middleweight title bout. The second featured match was between “King” Jaffa Ballagou (46-6, 40 KOs) from Togo and Manu Ntoh (17-15-1, 10 K0s) from Cameroon. Ballagou stopped Ntoh in the 11th round to win the vacant IBF Continental Africa cruiserweight championship.

“I felt rusty at first – two years off will do that – but I knew that I’d get him,” said Ballagou after the fight. “I’m looking to fight the best light heavyweights in the world – Antonio Tarver, Roy Jones, Glen Johnson. I need them right and I waited so long.”

The Knock Out Poverty affair was hosted by Jeff Johnson, Chief Correspondent  for BET’s, “The Truth with Jeff Johnson,” and in attendance were Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma, President of Republic of Sierra Leone, Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, President of United Republic of Tanzania, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, President of Republic of Liberia, President Abdoulaye Wade of Senegal, Vice President Gabriel Ntisezerana of Burundi.

Celebrity guests were Jeffrey Wright, Golden Globe, Emmy and Tony Award winning actor and chairman of Taia, LLC, Gbenga Akinnagbe, HBO’s The Wire, Grammy Award and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, Youssou N Dour, Grammy Award winning Angelique Kidjo and former Miss Universe Mpule Kwelagobe who came to lend their support and spirit to the event.

 “This is one of the most important initiatives ever taken,” said Haskell Ward, Senior Vice President of Global Alumina. “I have been involved with Africa in every aspect of policy nearly 50 years – and I know no more important initiative then All For Africa’s initiative.”

All For Africa’s goal is to serve as a conduit for individuals, corporations and other organizations to help design and coordinate economically sustainable projects in Africa by not delineating between the for profit and non-profit stakeholders.

All For Africa awarded their first grant to Georges Malaika Foundation for the construction of a school for 150 girls in the Democratic Republic of Congo.  “Quality education is a key to overcoming poverty in a single generation,” said Noella Coursaris, Congolese Cypriot model who founded the GMF. “Education is essential for altering long-held beliefs concerning gender equality. In many African countries, girls singularly face the challenging circumstances that keep children out of school. Educating girls yields a higher rate of return than any investment in the developing world.”

Georges Malaika Foundation is a non-profit organization based in New York City and is dedicated to educating young women in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

 “We realize that the quickest route to addressing Africa’s crucial needs is through encouraging Africa’s young social entrepreneurs such as Miss Coursaris,” said Bruce Wrobel, Executive Director of All for Africa. “This is exactly the type of initiative that All For Africa is looking to team with as we meet our goals of supporting sustainable development initiatives in Africa.”

All For Africa’s goal for the night was to raise $1,000,000 for their Palm Out Poverty initiative, which is to plant one million palm oil trees across the continent. The maturation of palm oil tree is seven years and can be used to make soap, soap powder, personal care products, wound treatment and feedstock for biofuel.

"I hope output from this palm initiative will be used to enhance other important areas such as education and technology developments in the region," said Tatsuro Seguchi, a top Japanese business executive, who attended the affair.

Others agreed with the assessment.
 “Africa’s potential is as great, if not greater, than that of any continent on the planet,” said Jeffrey Wright, Golden Globe, Emmy & Tony award winning Actor; and Chairman of Taia, a human rights organization. “Creative partnerships with non-African entities across sectors will be crucial to unleashing that potential, but the most progressive work will come from within.”

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