Daily Archives: April 26, 2021

VALUE4HER Networking & Advocacy Breakfast – Burkina Faso


Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa – AGRA

Published on Apr 21, 2021

Ethiopia: Increasing productivity of selected crops for market


Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa – AGRA

Published on Apr 26, 2021

This documentary showcases the AGRA-funded IMPACT project implementation journey since 2019. It explores the unique implementation approaches and rationale for the consortium, its achievements with regard to increasing availability of seed through local multiplication cooperatives, impacts on farm level on awareness creation and adoption of improved technologies (improved varieties, post-harvest technologies) and agronomic practices (reduced seed rate, raw planting, proper fertilizer application techniques). The documentary features testimonials from farmers, SME service providers, cooperatives & government representatives on the impacts the project has made so far and how they have benefited from it in reducing post-harvest loss, labor and time, by using new technologies. It also highlights how their income increased through direct market linkages with offtakers, jobs created for unemployed graduate youth and women in agro-dealerships and post-harvest services.

Promo: Surviving Climate Change


CGTN Africa

Published on Apr 26, 2021

The Many-Headed Hydra: Sailors, Slaves, Commoners, and the Hidden History of the Revolutionary Atlantic: Peter Linebaugh; Marcus Rediker

Long before the American Revolution and the Declaration of the Rights of Man, a motley crew of sailors, slaves, pirates, laborers, market women, and indentured servants had ideas about freedom and equality that would forever change history. The Many Headed-Hydra recounts their stories in a sweeping history of the role of the dispossessed in the making of the modern world.

When an unprecedented expansion of trade and colonization in the early seventeenth century launched the first global economy, a vast, diverse, and landless workforce was born. These workers crossed national, ethnic, and racial boundaries, as they circulated around the Atlantic world on trade ships and slave ships, from England to Virginia, from Africa to Barbados, and from the Americas back to Europe.

Marshaling an impressive range of original research from archives in the Americas and Europe, the authors show how ordinary working people led dozens of rebellions on both sides of the North Atlantic. The rulers of the day called the multiethnic rebels a ‘hydra’ and brutally suppressed their risings, yet some of their ideas fueled the age of revolution. Others, hidden from history and recovered here, have much to teach us about our common humanity.

Review

For most readers the tale told here will be completely new. For those already well acquainted with the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the image of that age which they have been so carefully taught and cultivated will be profoundly challenged. –David Montgomery, author of Citizen Worker

“A landmark in the development of an Atlantic perspective on early American history. Ranging from Europe to Africa to the Caribbean and North America, it makes us think in new ways about the role of working people in the making of the modern world.”–Eric Foner, author of The Story of American Freedom

“What would the world look like had the levelers, the diggers, the ranters, the slaves, the castaways, the Maroons, the Gypsies, the Indians, the Amazons, the Anabaptists, the pirates . . . won? Peter Linebaugh and Marcus Rediker show us what could have been by exhuming the revolutionary dreams and rebellious actions of the first modern proletariat, whose stories~until now~were lost at sea. They have recovered a sunken treasure chest of history and historical possibility and spun these lost gems into a swashbuckling narrative full of labor, love, imagination, and startling beauty.” –Robin D. G. Kelley, author of Yo’ Mama’s Disfunktional!

The Many-Headed Hydra is about connections others have denied, ignored, or underemployed. In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, Europe, Africa, and the Americas came together to create a new economy and a new class of working people. Peter Linebaugh and Marcus Rediker tell their story with deep sympathy and profound insight. . . . A work of restoration and celebration of a world too long hidden from view.”–Ira Berlin, author of Many Thousands Gone: The First Two Centuries of Slavery in North America

“More than just a vivid illustration of the gains involved in thinking beyond the boundaries between nation-states. Here, in incendiary form, are essential elements for a people’s history of our dynamic, transcultural present.”–Paul Gilroy, author of The Black Atlantic

“This is a marvelous book. Linebaugh and Rediker have done an extraordinary job of research into buried episodes and forgotten writings to recapture, with eloquence and literary flair, the lost history of resistance to capitalist conquest on both sides of the Atlantic.”–Howard Zinn, author of A People’s History of the United States

About the Author

Peter Linebaugh, professor of history at the University of Toledo, is a contributing editor of Albion’s Fatal Tree and author of The London Hanged.

Marcus Rediker, professor of history at the University of Pittsburgh, is author of Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, winner of the American Studies Association’s John Hope Franklin Prize and the Organization of American Historians’ Merle Curti Social History Award.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

From the Introduction

With Rachel Carson, let us first look from above: “The permanent currents of the ocean are, in a way, the most majestic of her phenomena. Reflecting upon them, our minds are at once taken out from the earth so that we can regard, as from another planet, the spinning of the globe, the winds that deeply trouble its surface or gently encompass it, and the influence of the sun and moon. For all these cosmic forces are closely linked with the great currents of the ocean, earning for them the adjective I like best of all those applied to them—the planetary currents.” The planetary currents of the North Atlantic are circular. Europeans pass by Africa to the Caribbean and then to North America. The Gulf Stream then at three knots moves north to the Labrador and Arctic currents, which move eastward, as the North Atlantic Drift, to temper the climates of northwestern Europe.

At Land’s End, the westward foot of England, break waves whose origins lie off the stormy coast of Newfoundland. Some of these breakers may even be traced to the coast of Florida and the West Indies. For centuries fishermen on the lonely shores of Ireland have been able to interpret these long Atlantic swells. The power of an ocean wave is directly related to the speed and duration of the wind that sets it in motion, and to the “length of its fetch,” or the distance from its point of origin. The longer the fetch, the greater the wave. Nothing can stop these long waves. They become visible only at the end, when they rise and break; for most of their fetch the surface of the ocean is undisturbed. In 1769, Postmaster General Benjamin Franklin noted that packets from Falmouth took about two weeks longer to reach New York than merchant ships took to sail from Rhode Island to London. In talking to Nantucket whalers, he learned about the Gulf Stream: the fishermen and the whales kept out of it, while the English captains stemmed the current, “too wise to be counselled by simple American fishermen.” He drew up some “Maritime Observations” in 1786, and with these the chart of the Gulf Stream was published in America.

The circular transmission of human experience from Europe to Africa to the Americas and back again corresponded to the same cosmic forces that set the Atlantic currents in motion, and in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the merchants, manufacturers, planters, and royal officials of northwestern Europe followed these currents, building trade routes, colonies, and a new transatlantic economy. They organized workers from Europe, Africa, and the Americas to produce and transport bullion, furs, fish, tobacco, sugar, and manufactures. It was a labor of Herculean proportions, as they themselves repeatedly explained.

The classically educated architects of the Atlantic economy found in Hercules—the mythical hero of the ancients who achieved immortality by performing twelve labors—a symbol of power and order. For inspiration they looked to the Greeks, for whom Hercules was a unifier of the centralized territorial state, and to the Romans, for whom he signified vast imperial ambition. The labors of Hercules symbolized economic development: the clearing of land, the draining of swamps, and the development of agriculture, as well as the domestication of livestock, the establishment of commerce, and the introduction of technology. Rulers placed the image of Hercules on money and seals, in pictures, sculptures, and palaces, and on arches of triumph. Among English royalty, William III, George I, and George II’s brother, the “Butcher of Culloden,” all fancied themselves Hercules.1 John Adams, for his part, proposed in 1776 that “The Judgment of Hercules” be the seal for the new United States of America.2 The hero represented progress: Giambattista Vico, the philosopher of Naples, used Hercules to develop the stadial theory of history, while Francis Bacon, philosopher and politician, cited him to advance modern science and to suggest that capitalism was very nearly divine.

These same rulers found in the many-headed hydra an antithetical symbol of disorder and resistance, a powerful threat to the building of state, empire, and capitalism. The second labor of Hercules was the destruction of the venomous hydra of Lerna. The creature, born of Typhon (a tempest or hurricane) and Echidna (half woman, half snake), was one in a brood of monsters that included Cerberus, the three-headed dog, Chimera, the lion-headed goat with a snake’s tail, Geryon, the triple-bodied giant, and Sphinx, the woman with a lion’s body. When Hercules lopped off one of the hydra’s heads, two new ones grew in its place. With the help of his nephew Iolaus, he eventually killed the monster by cutting off a central head and cauterizing the stump with a flaming branch. He then dipped his arrows in the gall of the slain beast, which gave his projectiles fatal power and allowed him to complete his labors.

From the beginning of English colonial expansion in the early seventeenth century through the metropolitan industrialization of the early nineteenth, rulers referred to the Hercules-hydra myth to describe the difficulty of imposing order on increasingly global systems of labor. They variously designated dispossessed commoners, transported felons, indentured servants, religious radicals, pirates, urban laborers, soldiers, sailors, and African slaves as the numerous, ever-changing heads of the monster. But the heads, though originally brought into productive combination by their Herculean rulers, soon developed among themselves new forms of cooperation against those rulers, from mutinies and strikes to riots and insurrections and revolution. Like the commodities they produced, their experience circulated with the planetary currents around the Atlantic, often eastward, from American plantations, Irish commons, and deep-sea vessels back to the metropoles of Europe.

In 1751 J. J. Mauricius, an ex-governor of Suriname, returned to Holland, where he would write poetic memoirs recollecting his defeat at the hands of the Saramaka, a group of former slaves who had escaped the plantations and built maroon communities deep in the interior jungle, and who now defended their freedom against endless military expeditions designed to return them to slavery:

There you must fight blindly an invisible enemy
Who shoots you down like ducks in the swamps.
Even if an army of ten thousand men were gathered, with
The courage and strategy of Caesar and Eugene,
They’d find their work cut out for them, destroying a Hydra’s growth
Which even Alcides [Hercules] would try to avoid.

Writing to and for other Europeans assumed to be sympathetic with the project of conquest, Mauricius cast himself and other colonizers as Hercules, and the fugitive bondspeople who challenged slavery as the hydra.

Andrew Ure, the Oxford philosopher of manufactures, found the myth to be useful as he surveyed the struggles of industrial England in 1835. After a strike among spinners in Stayleybridge, Lancashire, he employed Hercules and his rescue of Prometheus, with his delivery of fire and technology to mankind, to argue for the implementation of the self-acting mule, a new machine “with the thought, feeling, and tact of the experienced workman.” This new “Herculean prodigy” had “strangled the Hydra of misrule”; it was a “creation destined to restore order among the industrious classes, and to confirm to Great Britain the empire of art.” Here again, Ure saw himself and other manufacturers as Hercules, and the industrial workers who challenged their authority as the hydra.

When the Puritan prelate Cotton Mather published his history of Christianity in America in 1702, he entitled his second chapter, on the antinomian controversy of 1638, “Hydra Decapita.” “The church of God had not long been in this wilderness, before the dragon cast forth several floods to devour it,” he wrote. The theological struggle of “works” against “grace” subverted “all peaceable order.” The controversy raised suspicions against religious and political officials, prevented an expedition against the Pequot Indians, confused the drawing of town lots, and made particular appeals to women. For Mather, the Puritan elders were Hercules, while the hydra consisted of the antinomians who questioned the authority of minister and magistrate, the expansion of empire, the definition of private property, and the subordination of women.

It would be a mistake to see the myth of Hercules and the hydra as merely an ornament of state, a classical trope in speeches, a decoration of ceremonial dress, or a mark of classical learning. Francis Bacon, for example, used it to lay the intellectual basis for the biological doctrine of monstrosity and for the justifications of murder, which themselves have a semantics of Latin euphemism—debellation, extirpation, trucidation, extermination, liquidation, annihilation, extinction. To cite the myth was not simply to employ a figure of speech or even a concept of analytic understanding; it was to impose a curse and a death sentence, as we will show.

If the hydra myth expressed the fear and justified the violence of the ruling classes, helping them to build a new order of conquest and expropriation, of gallows and executioners, of plantations, ships, and factories, it suggested something quite different to us as historians—namely, a hypothesis. The hydra became a means of exploring multiplicity, movement, and connection, the long waves and planetary currents of humanity. The multiplicity was indicated, as it were, in silhouette in the multitudes who gathered at the market, in the fields, on the piers and the ships, on the plantations, upon the battlefields. The power of numbers was expanded by movement, as the hydra journeyed and voyaged or was banished or dispersed in diaspora, carried by the winds and the waves beyond the boundaries of the nation-state. Sailors, pilots, felons, lovers, translators, musicians, mobile workers of all kinds made new and unexpected connections, which variously appeared to be accidental, contingent, transient, even miraculous.

Our book looks from below. We have attempted to recover some of the lost history of the multiethnic class that was essential to the rise of capitalism and the modern, global economy. The historic invisibility of many of the book’s subjects owes much to the repression originally visited upon them: the violence of the stake, the chopping block, the gallows, and the shackles of a ship’s dark hold. It also owes much to the violence of abstraction in the writing of history, the severity of history that has long been the captive of the nation-state, which remains in most studies the largely unquestioned framework of analysis. This is a book about connections that have, over the centuries, usually been denied, ignored, or simply not seen, but that nonetheless profoundly shaped the history of the world in which we all of us live and die.

  • ASIN : 0807033170
  • Publisher : Beacon Press; 2nd ed. edition (September 3, 2013)
  • Language : English
  • Paperback : 448 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 9780807033173
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0807033173
  • Item Weight : 1.45 pounds
  • Dimensions : 5.95 x 1.2 x 8.96 inches

The Heat: U.S. Climate Change Summit

CGTN America– Apr 23, 2021

The United States played host to the Leaders Summit on Climate Thursday, as the nation seeks to reassert itself as a global leader on climate action. China, the world’s biggest emitter, announced an ambitious target of its own vowing to curb carbon emissions by 2060. Earlier I spoke with Jared Blumenfeld, California’s Secretary for Environmental Protection and started by asking him about China’s goals. Joining the discussion: Changhua Wu is Executive Director of the Professional Association for China’s Environment. Barbara Finamore is a Senior Visiting Research Fellow at the Oxford Institute of Energy Studies. Sweta Chakraborty is a risk and behavioral scientist.

Climate crisis: Researchers fear global tipping points already here

CBS This Morning – Apr 23, 2021

As global leaders convene to discuss the planet’s climate-related path forward, researchers have identified a number of tipping points that, if pushed past, could be life-changing for humanity. CBS News climate specialist and meteorologist Jeff Berardelli helps explain. Each weekday morning, “CBS This Morning” co-hosts Gayle King, Anthony Mason and Tony Dokoupil deliver two hours of original reporting, breaking news and top-level newsmaker interviews in an engaging and informative format that challenges the norm in network morning news programs.

When Victims Become Killers: Colonialism, Nativism, and the Genocide in Rwanda: Mahmood Mamdani

“When we captured Kigali, we thought we would face criminals in the state; instead, we faced a criminal population.” So a political commissar in the Rwanda Patriotic Front reflected after the 1994 massacre of as many as one million Tutsis in Rwanda. Underlying his statement is the realization that, though ordered by a minority of state functionaries, the slaughter was performed by hundreds of thousands of ordinary citizens, including even judges, human rights activists, and doctors, nurses, priests, friends, and spouses of the victims. Indeed, it is its very popularity that makes the Rwandan genocide so unthinkable. This book makes it thinkable.

Rejecting easy explanations of the genocide as a mysterious evil force that was bizarrely unleashed, one of Africa’s best-known intellectuals situates the tragedy in its proper context. He coaxes to the surface the historical, geographical, and political forces that made it possible for so many Hutu to turn so brutally on their neighbors. He finds answers in the nature of political identities generated during colonialism, in the failures of the nationalist revolution to transcend these identities, and in regional demographic and political currents that reach well beyond Rwanda. In so doing, Mahmood Mamdani usefully broadens understandings of citizenship and political identity in postcolonial Africa.

There have been few attempts to explain the Rwandan horror, and none has succeeded so well as this one. Mamdani’s analysis provides a solid foundation for future studies of the massacre. Even more important, his answers point a way out of crisis: a direction for reforming political identity in central Africa and preventing future tragedies.

Reviews

“The strengths of the book are clear and admirable. First, it provides what might be called an intellectual history of the Hutu-Tutsi division that is invaluable. . . . Anyone from now on who writes on identity in Central Africa–and there will be many–will have to wrestle with the case that Mamdani has made.”—Jeffrey Herbst, Foreign Affairs

“[Mamdani’s] analysis of Rwandese society, in particular the role of the church in the genocide, is fascinating. . . . Mamdani believes that the tens of thousands of killers who wielded the machetes that murdered 800,000 people in three terrible months of 1994 saw themselves as victims who feared losing out in the struggle for power.”—Victoria Brittain, The Guardian

“Mr Mamdani’s political settlement is not democracy, which would simply restore the majority Hutus to power, but an acceptance of the Hutu and Tutsi with political, not cultural or class affiliations. He recommends a broad-based constitutional settlement that includes everyone prepared to give up violence whatever their ideology.” ― The Economist

“A welcome, powerful, and clear-sighted addition to this literature. . . . When Victims Become Killers represents a great achievement. It is a passionate and strongly argued work, memorable both as scholarship and as a brilliant political polemic.” ― Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History

“Nuanced and ground-breaking . . . a book that, unlike any of its kind, holistically encompasses all the underlying factors of the 1994 Rwandan genocide. [It] would be useful to anyone who is interested in not only knowing more about Rwandan history, but also how such a tragedy could occur in the modern era.” ― African Studies Quarterly

“[A] brilliant study of political identity and violence.”—Elisa von Joeden-Forgey, H-Net Reviews

“This book is a must-read. In terms of historical research and analytical depth, When Victims Become Killers is an invaluable academic work. . . . [Mamdani’s] arguments are compelling even to those who may wish to disagree with him.” ― Monitor

“A genuinely original contribution to understanding the Rwandan catastrophe.” ― Dissent

“Few are better qualified to explain the tensions of post-colonial Africa than Mahmood Mamdani, a Ugandan political scientist with a sharp perspective on the colonially inspired differences between ‘subject races’. His Rwandan case-study provides powerful evidence that the Tutsis came to be crushed between colonist and native.”—Richard Synge, The Independent

Reviews

“This well written and strongly argued book qualifies Mahmood Mamdani as one of the most articulate, original, and stimulating African social scientists. His interpretation of the Rwandan genocide crisis will cause considerable controversy and will prove a fresh turning point in the process of ‘de-inventing’ Africa.”―Mamadou Diouf

“This is a very impressive piece of work―a scholar’s attempt to move beyond the clichés of horror towards a genuine understanding of the social dynamics which made horror possible. It’s a good example of relevant, committed, and passionate scholarship.”―Michael Ignatieff

“Daring, knowledgeable, and wise, Mahmood Mamdani places the terrible massacres of 1994 in historical, regional, theoretical, and moral perspective. His analysis of Hutu and Tutsi as historically grounded and incessantly changing political identities not only clarifies struggles of the 1990s in Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, and Congo but also helps identify ways of preventing future bloodshed.”―Charles Tilly

“Mamdani’s central argument is coherent, consistent, and compelling, and his account of the Rwandan crisis is riveting from beginning to end. It is also rendered with eloquence, generosity of spirit, and political shrewdness. His uncanny ability to use scholarly methods to cast light on public life is admirable and a model for the rest of us.”―Carlos Forment

From the Back Cover

“This well written and strongly argued book qualifies Mahmood Mamdani as one of the most articulate, original, and stimulating African social scientists. His interpretation of the Rwandan genocide crisis will cause considerable controversy and will prove a fresh turning point in the process of ‘de-inventing’ Africa.”–Mamadou Diouf

“This is a very impressive piece of work–a scholar’s attempt to move beyond the clichés of horror towards a genuine understanding of the social dynamics which made horror possible. It’s a good example of relevant, committed, and passionate scholarship.”–Michael Ignatieff

“Daring, knowledgeable, and wise, Mahmood Mamdani places the terrible massacres of 1994 in historical, regional, theoretical, and moral perspective. His analysis of Hutu and Tutsi as historically grounded and incessantly changing political identities not only clarifies struggles of the 1990s in Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, and Congo but also helps identify ways of preventing future bloodshed.”–Charles Tilly

“Mamdani’s central argument is coherent, consistent, and compelling, and his account of the Rwandan crisis is riveting from beginning to end. It is also rendered with eloquence, generosity of spirit, and political shrewdness. His uncanny ability to use scholarly methods to cast light on public life is admirable and a model for the rest of us.”–Carlos Forment

About the Author

Mahmood Mamdani is Herbert Lehman Professor of Government and Director of the Institute of African Studies at Columbia University. He is the author of Citizen and Subject: Contemporary Africa and the Legacy of Late Colonialism (Princeton), which won the Herskovitz prize of the African Studies Association. Among his other books are The Myth of Population Control, From Citizen to Refugee, and Politics and Class Formation in Uganda. He is currently President of the Dakar-based Council for Development of Social Research in Africa (CODESRIA).

  • Publisher : Princeton University Press; First Paperback Printing edition (September 1, 2002)
  • Language : English
  • Paperback : 384 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 0691102805
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0691102801
  • Item Weight : 1.19 pounds
  • Dimensions : 6.14 x 0.85 x 9.21 inches

Discover Ivory Coast’s City of ABIDJAN. Greenest City in Africa

African Insider – Nov 22, 2020

Abidjan is a city on the southern Atlantic coast of Côte d’Ivoire, in West Africa. It’s the country’s major urban center, with skyscrapers rising above the Ébrié Lagoon. Modern landmarks include La Pyramide, a ziggurat-like building.
RECOMMENDED videos https://bit.ly/2UCjj5Q
SUBSCRIBE here https://goo.gl/jYw6so​ Abidjan means you are in Ivory Coast — an amazing place for trade and travel in Africa. Despite hardships, Abidjan is one of the most developed cities in Africa with some impressive skylines you can ever find. As the capital of Tanzania, Dar es Salaam is the most peaceful city in Africa.

Yamoussoukro, Ivory Coast’s abandoned capital


Jan 25, 2019

FRANCE 24 English
FRANCE 24 live news stream: all the latest news 24/7 http://f24.my/YTliveEN

In 1983, Ivorian President Félix Houphouët-Boigny moved the country’s capital city from Abidjan to Yamoussoukro, his birthplace. Huge building sites were set up to transform what was a small village into a modern city: an international airport was built, a polytechnic institute, a presidential palace and even the world’s largest church. But most institutions were never transferred to Yamoussoukro and few people ever moved there. FRANCE 24 takes a closer look at Ivory Coast’s abandoned capital.

Accra Ghana vs Lagos Nigeria; Which City is Most Beautiful? Visit Africa


NickAfrik- Visit Africa – Dec 12, 2020

#GhanaVSNigeria#AccraVSLagos#GhanaNigeriaJollof​ VISIT AFRICA STORES
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Check out these tourist sites in Ghana

Kakum National Park
Mole National Park
Cape Coast Castle
Elmina Castle
Kwame Nkrumah Museum
Independence Square
Kintampo Waterfalls
Lake Bosomtwi
Aburi Botanical Gardens
Labadi Beach

Check out these tourist sites in Nigeria

Lekki Conservation Center
Yankari Game Reserve
Zuma Rock
Victoria Island
Olumirin Waterfalls
Olumo Rock
Idanre Hill Park
Elegushi Royal Beach Lekki Lagos
Erin Ijesha Waterfall
Tarkwa Bay Beach