Monday, 30 June 2014

Ghana defender John Boye named amongst top ten performers at 2014 World Cup

Ghana defender John Boye is ranked amongst the 10 best players so far at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. The Stade Rennes stopper came 8th in a statistical ranking done by FIFA after the first round of group games.

FIFA used information gathered from the renowned football engine Opta to conduct its rankings which sees German forward Thomas Muller on top of the pile with a 9.75 rating.

Boye lasted the entire duration in Ghana's shocking 2-1 defeat to the USA in their opening Group G game in Natal. The 27-year-old however appeared amongst the best statistical performers after the first round of matches at the World Cup despite playing in a jittery Black Stars defence in the defeat to the United States.

Boye ended up with a 9.45 rating having won five of his seven tackles, eight recoveries, eight clearances and a block in the defeat to the USA. He is also said to have completed 91 percent of his 44 passes in the game against the USA. The Black Stars defender's statistics bettered that of Chile's Alexis Sanchez and Tim Cahill of Australia. He is however behind the likes of Arjen Robben, Robin Van Persie and Phil Jagielka. Below is the full list of FIFA's best players at the 2014 World Cup thus far.

Africa Cycling Centre to boost tourism

The maiden Africa Rising Cycling Centre launched in Musanze will boost the tourism industry according to Rwanda cycling team coach American Jack Boyer.

The Centre is set to be a world’s cycling hub with professional and amateur cyclists set to benefit from its training and expertise given the uniqueness and the splendor of this gigantic facility in Africa.

Sixteen houses, a fully equipped service course, Rwanda’s 1st BMX pump track, an education centre, an organic vegetable garden are among the facilities at the centre located in the northern Musanze district, at 2000m altitude.

Boyer said that the Africa Rising Cycling Centre will focus on boosting the level of cycling in Africa and the World at large.

“This centre will be home to African teams and European professional clubs as they target to benefit from high altitude training. It will also be paramount in such a way that it will transform the Rwandan youth into better cyclists,” he noted. The region of Musanze is reknown for gorilla trekking, and the centre is looking to exploit that advantage. “Every single tourist that comes to Rwanda will be passing through our centre,” says the country’s national cycling coach.

The centre’s outdoor cafe will be open for the tourists to meet, relax and share their Rwanda experience. This will be a source of revenue for a team whose income is far from stable and rarely secured more than three months ahead. Boyer further added: “My goal is just to change a life. If you try to change things for everybody you just end up getting depressed. This is the most difficult thing we’ve ever done but it’s absolutely the most rewarding.”

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Airtel offers Nigerians affordable roaming rates in Brazil

Leading telecoms services provider, Airtel Nigeria, has announced a special discounted roaming package that will enable Nigerians, who are travelling for the on-going 2014 World Cup in Brazil, to stay in touch with friends, family members and business associates at affordable rates.

According to Airtel, the new package underlines its commitment to providing innovative and affordable telecommunications services to telecoms consumers across the country and abroad.

With the new value offering, Nigerians in faraway Brazil, can now enjoy affordable call rates within Brazil and also make and receive calls for as low as N60 to all mobile networks in Brazil and Nigeria. Customers will also enjoy discounted SMS rate of N50 and data rates of N1/10kb.

Speaking on the new roaming package, the Chief Commercial Officer of Airtel Nigeria, Maurice Newa, said the offering reflects Airtel's commitment to creating innovative and affordable telecoms services, noting that the company is passionate about realizing its vision of becoming the most loved brand in the daily lives of Nigerians.

'At Airtel, we will not relent in creating platforms and opportunities that will enrich the lives of our customers and also empower them to succeed in their respective endeavours.

'Our new discounted roaming package for Brazil 2014 is a glowing testimony to our quest of providing the right platforms to enable telecoms consumers achieve more in their professional and personal lives,' he said.

The discounted roaming package is available for both prepaid and post-paid customers. The service is default for prepaid customers on arrival in Brazil. However, prepaid customers must ensure that they have sufficient airtime in their account and may be required to buy additional airtime in the event they run out of airtime in Brazil.

Post-paid customers who have enabled roaming services on their lines will have access to the offer.

However, post-paid customers who are yet to activate roaming on their lines will be expected to visit the nearest Airtel Shop to activate the service before travelling to Brazil.

The Airtel World Cup roaming discounted offer rates are only valid for calls made to local networks in Brazil, calls made to Nigeria from Brazil, SMS's sent while in Brazil and data and internet activities while roaming in Brazil. Calls made to other countries will be charged at the existing roaming rates for those countries.

The Airtel World Cup roaming discounted offer rates are only available on CLARO network in Brazil.

It’s cheaper to shoot a music video in South Africa-EL

Award winning record producer, sound engineer and rapper EL says it is less expensive to shoot music videos in South Africa than in Ghana.

'It's cheaper to shoot a video in South Africa' he said. The young and talented musician disclosed during an interview on Hitz FM.

The 30-year-old known in real life as Elorm Adablah explained that it is cheaper shooting outside the country due to the exchange rate of the Dollar now.

He also said that Ghanaians love music videos shot outside the country, the main reason why he will continue to shoot his videos outside Ghana.

'I will keep going to South Africa to shoot my videos,' he said.

EL has produced hit songs for several of the country's top music acts including Sarkodie's "You Go Kill Me", D-Black's "Get On the Dancefloor", Reggie Rockstone's "Rockstone's Office" and Asem's "Check Your Weight".

I’ll forever remain NDC – Mr. Beautiful

After allegations early this year that he has been sidelined by movie producers in the Ashanti region for openly displaying his political colors and rallying behind the National Democratic Congress in the 2012 elections, the Fanti speaking witty actor, Clement Bonney, says his support for the ruling party will remain unshaken.

Describing movie producers who have refused to engage his services because of his political affiliation as 'immature', Mr. Beautiful as he is affectionately called, stated that political differences should not bring about enmity between people.

Reacting to a texter's question to an entertainment program on ETV over the weekend on why he joined politics, the audacious actor wondered why celebrities who openly mounted c a m p a i g n platforms and compose songs for the New Patriotic Party's 2008 and 2012 presidential candidate were not given the demeaning same treatment.

'Four years ago celebrities in this country supported Nana Akufo-Addo, but no one raised concern about their involvement in politics, so why the fuss over mine. I can assure you that I'll forever remain NDC and support President Mahama 1000 times,' Mr. Beautiful vowed.

Adding 'anybody who thinks that way is immature. Our political affiliations should not make us enemiesI will continue to support President Mahama and NDC.'

Asked about why he speaks Fanti in movies when most of the productions are done in the Ashanti region and the scripts written in Asante Twi, the well-known local actor retorted that he feels proud holding the flag of his mother region, the Central region.

'I have received calls from 'big men' and respected people of the Fanti land including chiefs for speaking my native Fanti in all my movies. I can speak very good Ashanti Twi, but I won't use it for movies. I'm proud of my language and if a producer gives me a script in Asante Twi I'll reject it. My people back home have been praising me for promoting the language,' he said.

Touching on why movie production has been concentrated in the Ashanti region and why other regions cannot do their own production, Mr. Beautiful, in an apparent swipe at Ghana's populous region, stated that the Ashanti dialect permits the use foul languages hence it is easy to use it for movie production.

'The Northern belt frowns on the use of foul language, it is the same in the Volta and the Southern coastal belt, those part of the country do not allow it either but those at the middle belt of the country consider the use of foul language as normal, so it is easy to produce movie in that part of the country because you have the liberty to say all the bad things,' he explained.

According to him the assertion that movies in the local dialect have no future is true, explaining that 'the movies are full of insults and anything made of insults certainly has no future. That is how the language is structured it is full of insults.'

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Sarkodie wins Best Hiphop at 2014 MTV Africa Music Awards

Ghana's fastest rapper, Sarkodie has won the 'Best Hip Hop' at the 2014 MTV Africa Music Awards at the Durban International Convention Centre (ICC) in Durban, South Africa.

Sarkodie beat AKA (South Africa), Ice Prince (Nigeria), Khuli Chana (South Africa), and Olamide (Nigeria) to win the award.

Nigeria's Tiwa Savage beat Ghana's songstress Efya to the 'Best Female' category. That category also had Arielle T (Gabon), Chidinma (Nigeria), DJ C'ndo (South Africa) as nominees.

Shortly after winning the award, Sarkodie took to microblogging site, Twitter to thank God and his fans for helping him win the award.

'Teamsark I looove you!!!! Thanks 2 God almighty!!! We won!!!! GHANA!!! Thanks for ur vote. God bless yall', he tweeted and added that, 'God is Good'.

MTN ranked among top sustainable global companies by Newsweek

MTN has been rated among the top 500 global companies on corporate sustainability and environmental impact in the 2014 Newsweek Green Rankings. The rankings are one of the world’s most recognized assessments of corporate environmental performance. The 2014 Newsweek Green rankings measured the environmental performance of large public companies using eight performance indicators, including combined energy and waste productivity, according to said Paul Norman, the MTN Group chief human resources and corporate affairs officer.

He said MTN was ranked in position 276, with a Green Score of 35.4 per cent. Newsweek partnered with Corporate Knights Capital and leading sustainability minds from non-governmental organizations and the academic and accounting communities to complete the rankings, he added.

“The ranking is particularly significant for MTN because we are in ‘a small select group of global companies whose revenue is generated off a relatively low environmental impact basis,” said Norman.

He said the firm operates in some of the most environmentallyvulnerable parts of the world, where their customers often have the fewest economic resources to cope with the effects of climate change. “As a result, we are conscious of the positive role they can play.”

In a similar development, MTN South Africa has partnered with the National Business Institute’s Private Sector Energy Efficiency in an initiative that complements MTN’s UN Carbon Emission Reduction trigeneration programme and other energy conservation activities. These initiatives will help MTN to further improve on efforts to reduce energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions.

Norman said the telecom’s efforts to reduce energy use and switch to alternative energy in Africa and the Middle East has seen customers in Uganda, Rwanda and Nigeria embrace affordable solar-powered charging solutions, while climate-friendly technologies have been implemented in Cyprus and Swaziland.

“MTN also offers cloud-computing and machine-to-machine products to address water leakage, air quality requirements, grid power and much more,” he added.

Orange and BNP Paribas open new retail mobile banking services in Africa with Orange Money

The service allows customers of the BNP Paribas group (BICICI in Côte d'Ivoire) to carry out real-time banking operations without going to their banks, simply by using their Orange Money account. Customers can transfer money to their Orange Money account directly from their BNP Paribas bank account, or vice versa, simply, quickly and securely.

This flexibility in transferring money between bank accounts and mobile accounts will make it easier to use the services already offered by Orange Money, such as payment for goods and services (water, electricity and television bills, etc.) and purchases of airtime credit. The large network of licensed Orange Money distributors will supplement the network of BNP Paribas bank branches, offering a maximum number of cash withdrawal points to all customers, particularly in more remote areas.

'Orange Money and BNP Paribas are joining forces to deploy Orange Money services to banking customers in their common sales territories in Africa. BNP Paribas customers will thus benefit from Orange Money functionalities such as money transfers, bill payments, merchant payments and purchases of airtime credit. The synergies of our businesses will make it easier for customers to manage their money, wherever they are in the country and at any time of the day,' says Thierry Millet, Director of the Payments and Contactless Programme at Orange.

'This agreement gives Orange Money customers access to new banking services (savings account, international bank card, etc.) and gives BNP Paribas customers access to an extensive withdrawal/deposit network and the possibility of paying bills or buying telephone credit from their mobile phones,' adds François Benaroya, Retail Director in the International Retail Banking branch of BNP Paribas.

Through the new partnership, Orange Money and BNP Paribas pledge to increase the percentage of the population holding bank accounts by offering a fast, secure and reliable service for managing all daily banking operations.

Orange Money currently has more than 10 million customers in 13 countries in Africa and the Middle East. Subscription to the Orange Money service is free of charge.

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Addis Ababa – Madrid, 3 times weekly by Ethiopian Airlines starting September 2

Ethiopian Airlines, the largest airline in Africa, is pleased to announce that it has finalized preparations to start three weekly services to Madrid, Spain starting from 2 September 2014.

Ethiopian flights to Madrid will be operated through Rome and will bring the number of the airline’s international destinations across five continents to 83. The flights will provide the best connectivity options between Spain and East and Southern Africa.

Madrid, the political, economic and financial hub of Spain, is the country’s biggest and Europe’s the third largest city. It also houses the headquarters of the World Tourism Organization and numerous major corporations.

"We are very pleased to announce to our esteemed customers that Ethiopian will start services to Madrid, bringing the number of our European destinations to ten. The continued expansion of our network in Europe will enable our customers to enjoy wider choice of connectivity options when travelling between Europe and Africa. Spain is a major tourist originating and destination country.

Our new route to Madrid will create opportunities for further strengthening the investment, trade, and tourism ties between Spain and 49 destinations in Africa with convenient and seamless connection through our main hub in Addis Ababa.", said Ethiopian Airlines Group Chief Executive Officer, Tewolde Gebremariam.

Passengers to and from Madrid will enjoy convenient connections to destinations in Ethiopian wide route network such as Zanzibar, Kilimanjaro, Dar es Salam, Nairobi, Entebbe, Lusaka, Luanda and Johannesburg.

Miss Seychelles 2014 Camilla Estico receives words of encouragement

Miss Seychelles... another world 2014, Camilla Estico is passionately living to her aspired vision of the Seychelles new beauty queen.

With Miss World beauty pageant coming up in December 2014, Camilla Estico is saying with conviction that she is not just going out there to win but to make Seychelles proud.

As she seriously moves on with her preparation for Miss World, she can only keep her head high up with the support of people around her who believe she is blessed with the quality to make a difference in Miss World 2014 and fly the Seychelles flag high.

One of Seychelles key figures who believes in her success is Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister for Tourism and Culture. Camilla Estico accompanied by Sherin Naiken, the Chief Executive Officer of the Seychelles Tourism Board, paid a courtesy call on Minister St.Ange.

The Seychelles Tourism Minister St Ange wishes Camilla all the best of luck in her preparations for Miss World. He showered her with words of advice and cautions.

“Be Mellow and Confident. It will help you to reach to new heights in the coming world beauty pageant. You have a good chance to pull something out of this pageant and shock not only Seychelles, but the world at large. At the end of the day, you are a winner already because you are participating with the best in the world’’ said Minister St.Ange to Camilla Estico

Minister St Ange spoke of the Miss Seychelles.... another world pageant as another platform for putting the Seychelles cultural diversity in the forefront.

“When Seychelles Tourism Board launched Miss Seychelles... another world pageant, we wanted to remove the commercial side to the beauty pageant. Our goal was to put our people’s diversity of culture in the forefront’’ the Minister said

For Miss Seychelles... another world 2014, Camilla Estico, her preparation for Miss World is “on a good start” and as she rightly puts it she is “looking forward to the journey ahead’.

“Lots of hard work and determination is required of me throughout the year. Minister St.Ange gave me good and a very motivating advice. I am sure it will play positively in my preparations for Miss World" Camilla Estico, Miss Seychelles… another world 2014 said.

European Bank seeks to finance Zimbabwe business

The European Investment Bank said it was considering funding private businesses in Zimbabwe despite Harare's $300 million debt to the institution.

"We are here to explore the possibilities to reengage activities in Zimbabwe. We see possibilities with the private sector," said Diederick Zambon, who heads the banks division for southern Africa and Indian Ocean.

He told journalists that the private sector was "the backbone of the economy" and crucial to the further development of the country. The loan facilities will be channeled to small business enterprises including in the agriculture, manufacturing, water and telecommunications sectors.

Zambon stated that Zimbabwe's arrears to the EIB are over $300 million (220 million euros) and that his team would meet with the country's finance minister as well as central bank officials over the debt.

"At the same time we are here to discuss the problem of the arrears and to try to find a positive way forward," he said. Zimbabwe is battling to rebuild the economy battered by years of political turmoil that saw the seizure of white-owned farms.

The European Union imposed travel bans and asset freezes on long-ruling President Robert Mugabe, his inner circle and linked companies, following elections in 2002 which western observers said were rigged to hand him victory.

The EU lifted most of its sanctions last year but an asset freeze and travel ban remains for the veteran leader.
After winning elections last year Mugabe called for the EU to boost ties with Zimbabwe and the removal of sanctions. The EU and United States rejected the recent vote on grounds that the polls were not credible.

Friday, 20 June 2014

Nigerian wins RwandAir promo car

Julius Jayeola Adebowale, a 32-year-old Nigerian, has won a brand new KIA Rio in the just-concluded RwandAir’s Independence Prizes promotion.

The promotion was intended to reward customers in Nigeria for their loyalty to the airline, and as a token of gratitude towards the growing business opportunities between Rwanda and Nigeria,” the airline said while handing over the car key to Adebowale at the Kigali International Airport.

Other RwandAir customers also won prizes like a holiday package for two in Johannesburg and Kigali, as well as free flights to different destinations served by RwandAir, including Kigali, Mombasa and Bujumbura.
The promotion started in July last year and ended last month.

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Ugandan girls win Kwibuka Cricket for Peace T20 Tourney

Uganda won 4 out of the 5 games at the 2014 Kwibuka Cricket for Peace Women’s T20 Tournament at Kicukiro oval. Rwanda's star batter Veronique Iriho in action during the final game.

The 3-day event to mark the 20th anniversary of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi saw Rwanda and Uganda play five games between themselves. Rwanda’s coach Eric Ndangamyambi attributed the poor performance on the girls’ inability to do well with the bat.

This was evident as the girls failed to build long batting partnerships and poor communication. Rwanda’s longest batting partnership had 34 runs between Veronique Iriho and Mary Maina in the 2nd game.

However, Ndangamyambi commended the girls for doing well in fielding.

“We dropped very few catches and got six run-outs. The opening bowlers did extremely well to contain Ugandan batters in the power play,” he noted. Mary Maina, the Rwanda captain said her team played against a much stronger team, “We have learnt a lot from them and we are going to work hard especially in our batting.”

The best performances from Rwandan team were Iriho with 54 runs, Better Mukunzi, who took 6 wickets and Maina, who had 8 dismissals. Rwanda Cricket Association General Manager Joshua Mwanja said they hope to make the tournament an annual event and will invite other East African countries like Kenya and Tanzania to participate.

Cesar Azpilicueta: Cesc Fabregas a ‘special’ player

The Premier League giants are believed to be close to buying Fabregas from Barcelona, with the 27-yearold's Spain team-mate Gerard Pique letting slip the deal was all-but done.

Speaking to reporters, Azpilicueta, who will play alongside Fabregas at the FIFA World Cup, praised the former Arsenal midfielder.

"At the moment there's nothing official and he's a Barca player," he said.
"All I can say is what I already know about him. He's a great central midfielder with plenty of experience in the Premier League. The best players are always welcome at the best clubs.

"In my personal opinion, he's a special player. Few teams have this kind of player in their team, a central midfielder who gets forward really well and has great vision of the game, whilst there's also his statistics, which speak for themselves.

"He can adapt to various positions. Right now, we don"t have a player like Cesc at Chelsea."

On his own form, right-back Azpilicueta said he was happy to play wherever required by his club or the national team.

"I've played in various positions, that's true," he said.

"My natural position is right-back, although this year I've played on the other side. Whatever I can do to help the team, is best for me. I'm happy with how I've progressed."

Ghanaian gospel musician embark on Prisons Ministry

Precious Hannah Ewoo is a Ghanaian Gospel based in the USA who is embarking on a project to share the gospel through her music with convicts in respective prisons in her native Ghana and also create awareness to the plight of these prisoners.

In 2013, she released her album 'Onyame Adom' which is a contemporary Ghanaian Gospel music CD.

It has gained popularity in the Washington DC, Maryland and Virginia areas in the USA and back home in Ghana.

Based on this success, Precious Hannah and her band are embarking on a prisons ministry campaign named the Ghana Prisons Ministry Project (GPMP) to bring the awareness about the lack of proper hygiene, basic medical care and spiritual needs of prisoners in Ghana and Africa in general.

The musician says 'I felt touched by God to help meet the needs of inmates after visiting and worshiping with some prisoners a few months ago at the Nsawam Prisons in Ghana'. For this reason, she is holding a free Charity Concert on June 14, 2014 in Severn Maryland, USA with the theme "In His Footsteps'.

'We are hoping to raise funds to provide basic personal hygiene supplies (toothpaste, toothbrush, slippers, shoes, towels, soaps etc) to the inmates in prisons across Ghana starting with the Nsawam Prison' explained Hannah.

Precious Hannah continued to say that the project also plans to 'provide Christian literature like Bibles and possibly musical instruments too for prison authorities to help inmates experience a much fuller atmosphere of the presence of God in their prison church services'.

As part of reasons for her GPMP project, Precious Hannah quotes a section of Matthew 25: 34 - 36 which says 'For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me...'

The desire to reach out and show kindness to these prisoners is very strong for the gospel musician who hopes to use her actions as an example for others to emulate and to above all make society more aware of the fact that prisoners are also God's children.

'I am very glad there are others pursing a similar purpose as mine in Ghana and I pray we will all be able to improve upon the state of deplore in which some of the country's prisons are today' she hoped.

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Gasmilla joins Airtel rising stars

Azonto King Gasmilla with stage Africa host, Kwame Ayensu, at the launch of the 4th edition. Hiplife star and Ghana's King of Azonto has been contracted to teach the proper way to dance Azonto at all Airtel Rising Stars events around the country.

Gasmilla, often described as the inventor of Ghana's famous Azonto dance would engage fans during break time for Airtel Rising Stars.
Gasmilla said, 'I will be teaching fans the right way to dance Azonto and Azonto plus which include moves like Alkaeeda and Kobay also known as Amanda.

'On the first day of the event, I will teach everybody and then on the second day people will dance for me to judge them. I am looking forward to a lot of fun on the road. My target is to teach at least 10,000 people how to do the Azonto. We will also post all the videos on Airtel's social media platforms for people to enjoy. I am really excited.'

Gasmilla, also known as the International Fisherman, is enjoying heavy rotation on the Ghanaian music scene with his song 'Three Points' and is threatening the charts with another hit song 'Letter to the President.'

The ever-smiling Gasmilla said that he decided to support the Airtel Rising Stars because the competition identifies people who need opportunity to blow up.

'I used to sell at the Agblobloshie market with my mum. Everybody knew I could dance and rap but where was the help. With a lot of struggle and God's grace my first single blew up and things started happening. For most of the players on Airtel Rising Stars, all they need is the right help and things will change in their lives. That is why I am on Airtel Rising Stars,' Gasmilla said.

Airtel Chief Executive Officer, Lucy Quist, agreed with Gasmilla, saying, 'The 2014 Airtel Rising Stars is all about the power of potential. I settled on running while I was in school after doing many things. If somebody had discovered me then, maybe I will be running for my country and not running a company. Airtel believes in the power of your potential. If you have the talent, Airtel Rising Stars will find you and when we do, we will put you on the right path to success in your career for you to live the dream.'

Pan Africa Christian Varsity holds first ever beauty contest

The Pan-Africa Christian University College (PACUC) has held it maiden beauty pageant to crown its queen. The event was organized by the Student Representative Council with the purpose of promoting decency among modern Africa ladies.

Apart from beauty and grace on the catwalk, the models were also supposed to show that they had brains, too. It was the first ever event of its kind in the school, and it was quite a success.

Despite the biting cold that defines the area at night, the models and organizers pulled out all stops to make the event a hit.

It was all colour and glamour when more than 10 students who had been scouted from the school took part. They showcased traditional, formal and casual wear as music boomed at the assembly hall.

At the end of the event that went past 11p.m., 19-year-old Maureen Chinyere Ikechukwu emerged the winner. She was outstanding in her stage style and dressing, and she gave a talk on theme 'Promoting Decency in the Modern African Lady.' impressed the judges and the audience.

Chinyere Ikechukwu, who is a Human Resource student, could not hide her excitement. 'It is a surprise that I have managed to shine among others. And to be honest, this was too far from my expectations,' she said.

In her speech, the Women Commissioner Ms. Bernice Stephanie Baku congratulated all the contestants, especially winners, advising them to take part in similar competitions beyond the school.

'I am grateful to parents who give their children a chance to take part in these competitions and to you (students), it's your turn to prove that you can build on what you have,' she said.

The crown holder's aims to use her position to organize events aimed promoting decency among females. She would also like to organize community service initiatives both in the campus and the neighbouring community. On a lighter side, Maureen Chinyere Ikechukwu would like to crusade against skin bleaching which has for long been associated with some females.

Her hobbies include reading novels, playing basketball and singing. She has had to make a few adjustments to her lifestyle now that she is Miss PACUC. She is conscious on where to hang out and with whom. Her parting shot? 'Never give up and believe in yourself as an Africa woman'.

Broadband company grabs $10m for wireless data

TLG Capital, a frontier market investment company, has led a $10 million financing into Ghana's first and largest indigenous broadband provider, Broadband Home Limited (BBH).

The deal, which is among several fundraising efforts which BBH had put together, is to enable it cover the entire country with its broadband services.

Zain Latif, Founder and Principal of TLG Capital, said: 'Investing into a dynamic company in a growing s ub- S a h a r an African economy by working with the best class of local banks has enabled us to create financing structures that are scalable throughout the region with the aim of enabling indigenous companies to grow where they otherwise would not be able to.'

Osei Owusu-Korkor, Founder and Chairman of BBH, commented: 'TLG's ability to do this deal is very welcoming. In our bid to build a very modern Quad-play network from various sources, TLG has proven to be a partner we can confidently rely on.'

The team at TLG was led by Abbai Belai, who worked with Dominic Clive. Legal advisors include MJ Hudson in the UK and Bentsi-Enchill Letsa & Ankomah in Ghana, while Blue Nile Investments LLP was the lead financial advisor.

Formed in 2009, TLG Capital's investment holding company structure allows it to efficiently deploy capital to its portfolio companies while maximizing returns to investors.

TLG invests profitably with the caveat that its investments should have a socially beneficial impact. To date, TLG has made 12 investments and three exits, all above the target return.

BBH, Ghana's premier data/ internet service provider, has become not only the most reputable quality broadband provider in Ghana, but a leading provider of highly sophisticated and intelligent IP services.

The company, which currently plans to deploy 4G TD-LTE technology and expand its consumer network countrywide, is one of four licensed 4G operators in Ghana.

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Zipnet wins 4 Telcos Awards

Zipnet has won two corporate and two personality awards at the 2014 Ghana Telecom Awards held at the Movenpick Hotel few days ago. Zipnet won the ISP of the Year Award in recognition of its quality and reliable fixed wireless broadband Internet services to both the Enterprise and Residential Markets.

Zipnet established itself as the leading player in distribution and retailing Internet capacity using its own end-to-end IP network, pursuing its vision of making Internet Access available to all.

The Telecom Awards themed 'Celebrating Excellence in the ICT Industry' saw Zipnet taking three other ICT related awards.

Zipnet against strong competition from other telecom and IT companies won ICT Company of the Year Award for offering a complete portfolio of Internet, Data Communication and IT Applications/Services to both Enterprise and Residential Customers.

Zipnet Founder and Executive Chairman, Mr. Osei Owusu Korkor was awarded ICT Entrepreneur of the Year for his investment, vision and drive in getting ZIPNET to where it is today as the largest indigenous Internet Service and Data Communication Company in Ghana.

Zipnet Executive Director Mr. Ernest Brown was awarded ICT Personality of the Year for his contribution to ICT development in Ghana. He is currently the President of the Ghana Internet Service Providers Association (GISPA).

Speaking at the Awards Ceremony the Zipnet Executive Director for Strategy, Marketing and Consumer Market, Emmanuel Mensah-Baah said 'It's been a great night for us and we appreciate this well-deserved recognition of our contribution to ICT sector in Ghana. We will however not rest on our laurels as we continue to work to serve our loyal customers'.

Mensah-Baah further added 'We are currently at the final stages of developing new entertainment, communication and security applications for our consumer customers and business applications and cloud solutions for our Enterprise Customers. He attributed Zipnet success to the leadership of management and the dedicated staff. He concluded 'We dedicate this award to our customers and business partners.”

Defeating Terrorism and Achieving Security Top agenda of newly elected Egyptian President

Ruler to some and redeemer to others, Egypt's newly elected President Abdel Fatah el-Sissi grimaces the intimidating mission of piloting a turbulent Egypt that has witnessed disputes knock down to two presidents in three years.

Egypt's former military chief Abdel Fattah el-Sisi was sworn in recently as President, promising to spark the country through essential alterations. Regardless of the political turmoil Egypt has faced in recent years, el-Sisi fêted the transition from interim President Adly Mansour.

In its next phase, Egypt "will witness a total rise on both internal and external fronts, to compensate what we have missed and correct the mistakes of the past," the president said.

In an address in front of the Supreme Constitutional Court's General Assembly in Cairo, the newly elected President said "In the long history that goes back thousands of years, our homeland did not witness democratic transfer of power. Now, for the first time, the President-elect shakes hands with the outgoing President, and together they sign a power transfer document in an unprecedented occasion."

It was a magical moment when El-Sisi won 96% of the vote in last month's presidential election for a four-year term. An energetic gala exploded in Cairo's Tahrir Square, fulfilled with sparklers and balloons carrying his image, when he was professed as the winner.

Washington is looking forward to working with el-Sisi "to advance our strategic partnership and the many interests shared by the United States and Egypt," the White House press secretary said.

The White House said while it is delighted that international spectators were endorsed to participate in the election, "we also share concerns raised by observation groups about the restrictive political environment in which this election took place."

El-Sisi's sole opponent, Hamdeen Sabahy, received 3.9% of the vote, the country's election commission said. Sabahy agreed defeat but raised questions about the political process.

According to the Egypt's staterun Ahram Online news agency, accusations were made that Sabahy campaign reps were lashed out and imprisoned, and that el-Sisi's representatives were certified inside polling stations.

"We cannot give any credibility or ratification to the announced numbers of turnout or results," Sabahy said last month. "The announced results are an insult to the intelligence of the Egyptians."

He said his election after a landslide win in May was "a historic moment", and pledged no reconciliation with those who had "committed violence".

The retired field marshal defeated President Mohammed Morsi last July. He has since been chasing a shutdown on Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood, which insisted a boycott of the elections.

Monday, 16 June 2014

Gold Fields Ghana wins Platinum

Gold Fields Ghana, the country's largest gold producer with mines in Tarkwa and Damang in the Western Region, was presented with a platinum award at the 10th Anniversary of the Ghana-Africa Business Awards, organized under the auspices of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration.

The Awards recognize the contributions businesses make towards Ghana's development through the promotion of trade, investment, and other economic relations between Ghana and sister African countries.
The company was honoured for its investment promotion in the mining sector, having spent over US$2.4 billion in direct investments since it started operations. This is apart from the over US$26 million that the company has spent on the socio-economic development of its stakeholder communities. Gold Fields Ghana's award was received by the Executive Vice President and Head of West Africa, Mr. Alfred Baku. Mr. Baku said, 'even in such a tough economic and fiscal environment, the company is still pumping over US$180 million this year into its operations in both Tarkwa and Damang.

In 2013, we paid almost US$218 million in taxes and royalties to the government of Ghana. We continue to honour our legal obligations to government, and social commitment to our stakeholder communities.'

Gold Fields Ghana established a Foundation in 2004, the first to be set up by a mining company in Ghana, to serve as a vehicle for its social investment in stakeholder communities, focusing mainly on education, agriculture, health, water and sanitation, and infrastructure. For every ounce of gold produced, Gold Fields Ghana donates a dollar to the Foundation, and tops it up with an additional 0.5% of the company's pretax profit.

Traders urge govt to give industrialists more support

Traders want government to give local industries more support.

Rwanda’s trade deficit was at $564.6m during the fourth quarter of 2013, down from $689.3m in the second quarter. The country imported goods worth $415.5m, while exports fetched just $121.5m.

According to local traders, Rwanda imports almost every product used in the country, which they said poses a big development threat.

Mohammed Mazimpaka, Director of Chamber of Commerce and Industries at the Private Sector Federation, said the country’s manufacturing sector is still weak and needs a lot of government support to grow and become competitive.

“You can’t develop without industries. Therefore, the coming financial year, the government should focus on industrial growth to promote trade within the country and the region,” he said.

“Because we import almost everything, we need to support the local manufacturing sector to enhance its performance. Besides, it’s the government’s responsibility to help develop the sector,” he noted.

Mazimpaka, who is also a foodstuffs importer, pointed out that most local industries operate on a small-scale and, therefore, cannot create a lot of employment opportunities for Rwandans. He said only a few industries, including Inyange Industries and Bralirwa, were performing well.

Mazimpaka said imported foodstuffs could be sourced locally if Rwanda’s industrial sector was strong.

Uganda Foreign Minister selected as President of the 69th Session of the UN General Assembly

The United Nations General Assembly has elected by acclamation Sam Kahamba Kutesa of Uganda as President of its upcoming 69th session in New York.

Taking the charge immediately after his election, Mr. Kutesa, who is Minister for Foreign Affairs of Uganda, said that today, “our world continues to be confronted with different challenges of global reach and impact,” including poverty and hunger; unemployment; myriad impacts of climate change; armed conflicts; and emerging security threats such as transnational organized crime, terrorism, piracy and human trafficking.
“Collectively, we must continue to take concerted action to address these challenges. This is what has made the United Nations a strong, unique and indispensable organization,” he said, proposing that theme of the 69th session would be: “Delivering on and Implementing a Transformative Post-2015 Development Agenda.”

That theme, Mr. Kutesa extended, shapes on the significant work and development being made in the current session.

It emphasises the demand to stress, not only on providing or agreeing the post-Millennium Development Goal (MDG) agenda, but also, and most prominently, on safeguarding its operative application.

“I am motivated by putting people at the centre of everything we do. I am motivated by the need for socio-economic transformation,” he declared, looking forward to working with all Member States to develop an agenda that will eradicate poverty and hunger, create sustained and inclusive growth, employment and better livelihoods for all.

Mr. Ban went on to say that the position of Assembly President “demands a variety of skills” – bridge-building among all UN Member States; patience to guide the body through lengthy and complex negotiations; and “as a quiet guide, a messenger, a seeker of consensus.”

He said that a General Assembly President is steered above all by the standards, principles and responsibilities of the UN Charter – which will make merry of its 70th anniversary during Mr. Kutesa’s term. “These many roles will also be especially important during the Assembly’s upcoming session, when many critical streams of work will converge and reach moments of truth,” he added.

Mr. Ban said that the organization’s endeavours to quicken its work in the direction of the MDGs will come into the home stretch, and deliberations among Member States on the period beyond 2015 will move towards what is hoped will be an stirring yet practical vision and a brief set of sustainable development goals.
Underlining that the 69th session will take place among a period of “great consequence for the well-being and shared fate of people and the planet,” the Secretary-General pressed cooperation to “keep ambition high and meet the expectations of the billions across the globe who look to the Assembly, this house of all nations, for dialogue, decisions and action to bring about the world we want and a life of dignity for all.”

Friday, 13 June 2014

Meet Karigirwa, the pillar of APR women v-ball club

The women volleyball team is one of the most successful and well organized teams in the country. It has produced some of the biggest names like Denise Mutatsimpundu, Brigitte Mutakwampundu and Charlotte Nzayisenga among others.

However, we also have new kids on the block like APR’s Grace Karigirwa who previously featured for Ruhango volleyball club and Lycee de Nyanza (LDN).
As a child Karigirwa did not have any particular interest in sports until she joined secondary school. When she moved to Ruhango and Nyanza for secondary school in 2005, she picked interest in volleyball and has never turned back.

In 2008, she played for former league side Ruhango VC before featuring for her school team, Lycee de Nyanza in 2009 and 2010. “Back in the days, I wasn’t interested in sports but when the time came, I went for volleyball, which to me is the best sport,” she told Saturday Sport.

Future plans

“I’m still in love with volleyball, and I feel I still have a lot to accomplish before going for a different challenge. I am happy at APR and I’m even looking forward to more success as far as retaining the league title this year is concerned,” Karigirwa said when asked about his future plans.

“It would be a golden opportunity if I get a chance to play in a better championship; Kenya is my preference because it would really improve my game,” he added. On plans to retiring he said he is still too young and very ambitious to even start thinking of retiring. “All I think about now is how best I can help my team to achieve more success. I’ll start to think of a different challenge when I turn 30 but now,” she noted boldly

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Algiers to host 3rd African Youth Games

The President of the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (Anoca) General Lassana Palenfo has confirmed Algiers as hosts of the 2018 African Youth Games. Palenfo handed over the Anoca flag to Algeria Olympic Committee president, Mustapha Berraf on Saturday at the closing ceremony of the 2014 Africa Youth Games in Botswana.

Anoca Executive Committee decided, by a wide majority, to entrust the organisation of the youth jamboree to Algeria, which presented an impeccable bid. The final decision was made following an inspection tour of several scheduled venues by a high-level Anoca delegation in March this year.

Among the sports facilities they inspected were the local suburbs of Souidania, Koléa and Cheraga as well as the Mohamed- Boudiaf Olympic Complex and the Ouled Fayet Students’ Hostel, where athletes will stay during the Games.

The African Youth Games target the 14 to 18 age group, and is thought to contribute to the development of African sport and to the growth of Olympic values, as well as act as a trial run for the Olympic Games.
The 2018 African Youth Games will follow other major events that have been held in Algeria, including the 2007 All Africa Games.

Algiers 2018 will be the third edition of the quad-annual Games, following a maiden event held in Rabat, Morocco in July 2010, with the second version taking place in the Botswana capital of Gaborone from May 22 to 31.

KKR Winning IPL second time is incredible

It was a splendid night, when the 7th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) T20 tournament came to end at M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru. The Kolkata Knight Riders kept their collective calm in a high-scoring final for the second time in three years to become one of the most successful teams of the IPL.

Manish Pandey’s 94 off 50 balls assisted the side pull off a chase of 200 and even though Kings XI Punjab coming back with several late strikes, Kolkata slipped home in the thriller with three balls and three wickets to spare.

With their ninth win in a row of the edition, Kolkata hinged the Chennai Super Kings, whom they had crushed in the final two years ago, as the only side to have claimed multiple IPL trophies.

For Punjab, who lost the toss and were asked to bat, the combine of Glenn Maxwell, David Miller, George Bailey and Virender Sehwag, whom reputation and recent history have marked out as match winners, could only manage nine runs between the four of them. Instead, it was Wriddhiman Saha who came up with the most destructive innings in an IPL final so far. The wicketkeeper batsman cracked his way to a 55-ball unbeaten 115 and was helpful in Punjab reaching 199/4 batting first.

If his rigid hitting was just credible, so was the fact that such a knock could truly end up in a losing cause. It was equally uncanny that Punjab’s Akshar Patel (four overs for 21 runs), the only bowler to have gone at less than six runs an over in a game where 400 runs were scored in less than 40 overs, also did not end the day with his hands around the trophy.

Manish Pandey (KKR) was the Man of the Match. Robin Uthappa (KKR) wins the Orange Cup. Mohit Sharma (CSK) wins the Purple Cap. Glenn Maxwell (KXIP) wins the Most Valuable Player of the IPL 7.Akshar Patel (KXIP) wins the Emerging Player of the Tournament. Chennai Super Kings win the Fair Play Award.

DJ Black nominated for 2014 African Music Magazine Awards

One of Africa's finest DJ brands and household name in the Ghanaian music industry, Kwadwo Ampofo, also known as DJ Black, has been tipped to win the Best DJ Africa category in the maiden of The African Music Magazine Awards (AFRIMMA).

DJ Black, who has gradually established himself as the Africa's leading and most in demand name in dance music, has transcended musical genres to create a unique 'DJ Black' brand trusted for quality performance.

The award ceremony that caters for all musical genres including Afrobeats, Assiko, Bongo, Decale, Funana, Genge, Highlife, Hiplife, Kwaito, Lingala and Soukous would be held at the plush Charles W. Eisemann Centre for Performing Arts and Corporate Presentations in Richardson, Texas on July 26, 2014.

DJ Black is a professional DJ with over 16 years’ experience in the entertainment business, a voice-over artiste and co-founder of Blaqbone International and Toontoom recently in Austin, Texas where he presented a paper on Digital Media/Music in Africa during 2013 SXSW Music Festival.

Rothmans Best DJ in West Africa 2001, 2009 Red Carpet Awards, Independent Artiste and DJ Award Winner. Check him out every weekend on Joy 99.7 Fm in Accra or you could just find him hosting a show or voice booming in your ear or making it happen on of the many parties or clubs in Africa.

In 1997, DJ Black moved on to manage Dope Rhyme Studios in Nima, giving rise to his clench on hiphop in Ghana.

He became the DJ for the streets as he made mixtapes and spinned for hiplifers as VIP, Buk Bak, Obrafuor, among others and being in the forefront of people who strengthened the movement hiplife. DJ Black started radio in 1997 at Radio Univers host in Space Jam and gave birth to his controversial Hiphop Show which is still airing.

DJ Black on Joy Fm in Accra, Ghana is without doubt something unforgettable as he controls weekend radio in the city of Accra, the Weekend Warmer which has throwbacks and guest spots has a mature audience entertained whilst the Open House Party on Saturdays keeps the youth awake.

DJ Black founded Blaqbone International together with partners Schwarz Bless'on (Radio Cardiff) and Notse A.Amarteyfio in 2005 and manage artistes and DJs such as Dretonio, Philo, E-dBle, among others.

In 2010, DJ Black formed Toontoom the brand. With Toontoom Agency Studios at Kokomlemle; DJ Black has expanded the brand as a voiceover artiste and a mentor.

In 2011, DJ Black performed on Big Brother Africa Amplified and won the Best Radio DJ in Ghana, adding on to 2010′s Africa's Number 2 Top Radio DJ of The Year and the 2010 Red Carpet Award from Sniper Squad DJS.

DJ Black recently won the 2013 Best Ghanaian DJ, Best Radio DJ and has been nominated in three categories, Best African DJ, Best West African DJ and Best Radio DJ in the African Global DJ Awards.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Galaxy S5 users to get free repairs on accidental damage

Samsung Electronics has urged all users of its new Galaxy S5 to register their phones on ADH Premium within 30 days of purchase to enable them enjoy the service.

The Accidental Damage from Handling warranty (ADH Premium), which forms part of Samsung's Smart Eco System, will ensure that users of the Galaxy S5 get their phones replaced or repaired for free once they get screen or liquid damage.

Mr. Jaspreet Singh, Director for Mobile at Samsung Electronics West Africa said the electronic giant would continually strive to provide a worryfree life to its customers by offering them smart solutions and innovative services. 'A year ago, Samsung's 24-month ADH warranty was introduced onto the Ghanaian market, the first of its kind in Africa and we are offering our valued Galaxy S5 customers the ADH Premium which we first introduced to our Galaxy Note 3 customers to guarantee their peace of mind,' he said.

He said in the event of broken screen or liquid damage, registered customers could take their device to any authorized Samsung Service Centre for repair or replacement. Mr. Singh however reiterated that the ADH Premium was exclusive to customers who purchase their phones from authorized Samsung dealers in the country and they must also register their devices on the ADH Premium App within the first 30 days of purchase in order to benefit from the service.

'Our Service Centre is also dedicated to offering our customers quality after sales service at their convenience,' he said.

Airtel Ghana picks three Awards at 4th Ghana Telecom Awards

Airtel Ghana's effort at making a difference in the lives of customers and communities was recognized at the 4th Ghana Telecoms Awards (GTA), when it picked three awards including the enviable Best Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Company.

Airtel Money was also adjudged the Best Mobile Money Service of the year 2013, and its recently out-gone Managing Director, Philip Sowah won the Telecom CEO of the year, for the second time. Philip Sowah won the first ever CEO of the Year at the first GTA.

It would be recalled that last year, Airtel Ghana was also adjudged the Telecoms Company of the Year by the prestigious Chartered Institute of Marketing Ghana.

Commenting on the GTAs, the current Managing Director of Airtel Ghana, Lucy Quist said 'this is great news, not only for Airtel as a company but for each employee whose tireless contribution made this happen. Our customers are our stars, and everything we do is aimed at not only meeting their needs but also wowing them.'

She said CSR played a very important role in Airtel Ghana's strategy, because it was the means the company used to give back to its customers and community.

'It is amazing that industry watchers have consistently recognized the passion we have for and put into our CSR activities,' she added.

Touching on the Award for Best Mobile Money Service, which was conferred on Airtel for its Airtel Money product, Lucy Quist said, 'of course, Airtel prides itself for being the first to introduce its M-commerce product in Ghana. We haven't disappointed our customers since, as we have consistently introduced innovative and convenient products under our Airtel Money umbrella.' she stated.

She revealed that Airtel was poised to provide unbeatable service this year, and was focused on building a stronger, formidable brand.

'Airtel is a brand you can trust; we provide more than a service; we stand for something real and meaningful; an assurance that with us, you are always connected to the people you love. We aim to delight our customers more by providing exquisite quality and a truly pleasurable experience on our network,' she added.

The Director in charge of M-Commerce at Airtel Ghana, Luck Ochieng also stated that, 'we are very excited by this award and the recognition that we have received from the industry stakeholders. It encourages us and reinforces our commitment to continue with innovation and new products and services that improve and enrich the lives of our customers.'

According to him, Airtel Money offers Airtel customers innovative value addition, including the ability to link bank accounts to Airtel Money wallet and move money to and from bank accounts securely, as well as purchase data bundles conveniently, 'With a network of over 2,500 active agents, Airtel Money is your most reliable Mobile Commerce partner', he stated.

In its fourth year, the Ghana Telecom Awards continues to grow in participation and prestige, setting the highest industry standards for honouring organizations and individuals in Telecoms and its related industries in Ghana and beyond.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

FDIs into Africa projected to hit $80 billion this year

External financial inflows as well as tax revenues and regional integration are tipped to remain the key drivers of Africa’s development and growth prospects, according to Africa’s economic outlook 2014.

The report released by the African Development Bank at the ongoing 49th AfDB Annual Meetings in Kigali, indicates that Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) have fully recovered from the effects of the economic crisis and are projected to reach $80b this year.

Over the past two years, FDIs to Africa were $50bn and $56 billion for 2012 and 2013 respectively.

The manufacturing and service sectors will continue attracting a big share of the FDIs into Africa and could fetch up to $67.1b this year, the report indicated.

According to the report, financial inflows have quadrupled since 2000 and are projected to reach over $200b this year. The report also indicates that Africa’s exports grew faster than in any other region in the world, driven by strong commodity prices and attractive trade policies and regional integration.

Intra-African trade with value-added manufacturing grew faster than exports to the rest of the world. However, Africa accounts for just 3.5 per cent of world exports, and this has remained low over the years.

Speaking after the launch of the report, Valentine Rugwabiza, the CEO of Rwanda Development Board, said Africa can further improve its trade by removing bottlenecks to trade and strengthening industrialisation.

“We are already seeing the impact regional integration is having in terms of doing business across the region. There is no doubt that the cost and time of conducting business has immensely reduced, especially along the Northern Corridor,” she said, referring to recent commitments by tripartite countries; Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda to ease movement of goods from Mombasa port to the hinterland.

Mario Pezzini, the director of the OECD Development Centre, said attracting FDIs in the value chain requires targeted trade reforms and policies, efficient trade infrastructure and incentives to support value-added technology.

“The more the economy is integrated in a global value chain, the higher the productivity. This, however, must be carried out at both regional and national levels,” Pezzin said. Today, 80 per cent of global trade is linked to multinational corporations, while 60 per cent of global trade in goods is in form of intermediate products and on average foreign value added makes up 25 per cent.

“Successful integration and upgrading in value chains call for openness and product-specific, sometimes firm-specific, strategies,” Pezzin noted.

However, African states have not participated fully in this import growth, according to Pascal Lamy, the former director general of the World Trade Organisation.

Lamy said there was need for an enabling trade environment to help African suppliers to scale-up involvement in services value chain.

“Regional bodies have launched important initiatives to boost industrialisation and investment in regional infrastructure, but these need to be strengthened by global value chains and Africa’s industrialisation agenda,” Lamy said.

According to the report, in 2013, Africa maintained an average growth rate of about 4 per cent, against the 3 per cent average growth of the economy globally.

Powering Science and Technology for Africa’s economic transformation

Africa has achieved exceptional economic growth over the past decade, averaging 4.5 percent a year and underpinned by prudent macroeconomic management. Now we must achieve economic growth that is accompanied by significantly less poverty and greater prosperity for all the people of the continent.

With new discoveries of oil, gas, and minerals seemingly every month, we need to be able to extract, market, and invest the new-found earnings from these resources in higher quality education, health, and other vital development priorities.

As Africans move to cities in ever-growing strength, we must also address unprecedented rates of urbanization and new needs for housing, infrastructure, and agricultural productivity to feed urban residents as well as increase food security in rural areas.

At the same time, these challenges also bring opportunities for joint research that would benefit scientists across the world as well in Africa.

There is scope for similar research collaboration between African and foreign scientists in medicine and biodiversity, irrigation, engineering, mining and other fields.

Thanks to Africa’s recent progress in school enrolment, more and more students are completing primary and secondary school.

This new generation of young Africans must be equipped with the modern skills and knowledge they need to find African solutions to Africa’s challenges. Earlier this year, at a High-Level Forum on Higher Education for Science, Technology and Innovation hosted by the Government of Rwanda and the World Bank in Kigali, participating countries and partners called for a bold target to double the share of African university graduates in science and technology fields within a decade, by 2025. This is key to transform Africa into a knowledge-driven continent within a generation.

So how can we do it? There are proven steps that can be taken to realign higher education with the needs of the 21st century economy and to brighten the career prospects of young Africans today. Partnership is the operative word, between academic institutions both in Africa and abroad, between universities and the private sector, and with new investment partners in Asia and Latin America.

African universities have much to gain from joining forces with universities abroad, such as through the University of Michigans STEM-Africa initiative which has nurtured young scientists and advanced research networks with institutions in Africa, and also their work in training mathematicians and doctors on the continent. In fact, the African Diaspora can play a very critical role in advancing science and technology in their countries of origin by helping generate new interest in supporting the STEM fields in Africa. We must mobilize a wide alliance of supporters including policymakers, international financial institutions such as the World Bank Group, and academics, both in Africa and abroad. At the same time, universities in Africa now need to achieve the next level of home-grown excellence.

Students must also be able to apply what they learn once they graduate and look to cross the threshold of the jobs market. Following the example of countries like Kenya and Senegal, ministries responsible for higher education should aim to boost private representation on their university boards and engage with the private sector to strengthen links with employers, including on curriculum design.

The World Bank is working with eight African governments and the Association of African Universities on the Africa Centres of Excellence initiative, which will strengthen 19 centres of excellence in West and Central Africa. This initiative aims to build and sustain excellence in higher education in Africa, particularly in science and technology, by fostering regional specialization, concentrating limited top-level faculty and generating knowledge spillovers.

Africa’s new partners countries such as Brazil, China, India and Korea can play an important role in building human capital in Africa. These countries have rich experience in developing higher education programs that serve the needs of modernizing economies, and have much to offer by way of lessons learned and active partnerships. The World Bank is working towards building a Partnership for Skills in the Applied Sciences, Engineering and Technology (PASET) that brings together new partners and African policymakers, to catalyse this process especially in high-potential sectors.

Partnership among all of these networks will commit us all to a coordinated, faster approach to advancing science and technology in Africa and helping Africans young people achieve their aspirations. It will also help companies to find young Africans with advanced skills and knowledge locally, allowing them to compete and thrive in international markets.

As more than 11 million young Africans try to join enter the job market every year over the next decade, we need to make strategic investments in their education and other development prospects in order to drive and sustain Africa’s economic transformation.

Makhtar Diop, the World Banks Vice President for Africa, is in Rwanda attending the AfDB Annual Meetings.

Indian donates Tata’s to Seychelles People’s Defence Forces further strengthening friendly relations

In a ceremony at the Seychelles People’s Defence Forces headquarters, outgoing Indian High Commissioner to Seychelles, Thangrula Darlong, presented the Chief of the Defence Forces, Brigadier Leopold Payet two military grade Tata suburban vehicles on behalf of the Republic of India.

High Commissioner Darlong described the relationship between Seychelles and India as one of friendship and this latest donation serves as a genuine example of that close collaboration in areas relating to defence and security.

Minister for Foreign Affairs, Jean- Paul Adam was given the honour of officially putting key to ignition and starting the vehicles.

Monday, 9 June 2014

USD$10 Million investment to boost food production and security in Ghana

Magcor is investing $10 million USD to boost food production and security in Ghana after investing in Agricon Global last year. Magcor has announced further plans to grow more rice, maize and vegetables in Ghana. Mr. Michael Glynn said this joint venture is a pilot farming project of 33 hectares which currently specializes in growing vegetables, water melon, maize and rice.

The project is led by Mr. Alexander Stoica, a successful and experienced Romanian farmer with track records of achievements in big farming projects here in Ghana and overseas. The plan is to roll out this model project throughout the country. Mr. Glynn commended Mr. Stoica for all the hard work, research and testing carried out in the last 18 months.

Ghana's agriculture sector which is the mainstay of the economy continues to rely on the two major seasons to plant and harvest crops to feed Ghanaians and that has increased the nation's dependence on importation of foodstuffs such as rice, tomatoes and other vegetables from neighboring countries.

Magcor and Fast Fresh farms will use drip irrigation system and other modern farming technology to ensure all year round availability of fruit, vegetables and rice on the local market at affordable prices to feed the people of Ghana.

In a latest development Fast Fresh and Magcor have won a long term contract to supply fruits and vegetable to all Shop Rite Supermarkets in Ghana and Nigeria. The Managing Director of Shop Rite visited Fast Fresh farms last week to seal the Fruit and vegetable supply deal.

Mr. Michael J. Glynn said that his company is motivated to reach the production target of 2 million tons of rice, maize, fruits and vegetables in 5 years.

He said this is a challenging target set by his company and Investment Consortium to help improve food security in Ghana and neighbouring countries.

In his final words in this interview The CEO of Magcor, Mr. Michael J Glynn said Magcor and its consortium are fully committed to eradicating poverty and improving the quality of life in Ghana and will continue to target investment to achieve this objective.