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2nd Annual Jollof Festival slated for July 7th in DC – let the jollof wars begin

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Jollof Festival judgesCome July 7, 2018, at Union Market in District of Columbia (DC), African countries in the Diaspora prepare for battle at year two of the annual jollof wars to discover the best jollof rice in the African Diaspora community. June 2017 saw the successful launch of Jollof Festival by Afropolitan Insights in Washington, DC. Nigeria became the first ever winner, both in DC and New York. But even before the battle enters DC, media partner for the DC event TheAfricanDream.net is reliably informed by festival producers Afropolitan Insights that Liberia pulled off a surprise victory in Atlanta, and yes they are coming to DC to attempt a double whammy like Nigeria did last year.
Questions however are: will Nigeria put up a stronger defense this year, are the Liberians here to disprove their underdog status, will Ghana redeem her painful loss from last year, is Cameroonian jollof the best as claimed by its capital city Yaoundé, or will the originators of jollof — Senegal — have the last laugh?
While you are contemplating the above questions the hope is that you already have your tickets to the July-7 event, if not get it now at this link bit.ly/2KMwJoL because festival creator and Afropolitan Insights Founder Mr. Ismael Osekre promises a more exciting event this year. “We have learned a lot from last year, so this year we are coming with a big bang,” Mr. Osekre informed TheAfricanDream.net in a phone interview. He adds, “over 600 people came to support us last year in DC, so this year we want to give people more, hence there will be four judges in the persons of Executive Chef Francis Otoo of the Embassy of Ghana, Lauren Bernstein of the Culinary Diplomacy Project, Nigerian Chef Dadisi Olutosin of Plated Food Groupe — all DC-based individuals and CEO of Diversity Is A Verb — Gina Humber, from Connecticut.” Besides the increased number of judges, entertainment will be fun-packed with exciting personalities like Ghanaian YouTube star Clifford Owusu, aka Kappacinco, celebrity blogger Ameyaw Debrah, and Afrobeats dance and fitness session duo, Melanin Kings. Also on the bill will be a host of DC’s finest DJ’s like DJ Akuaa, DJ Earthkwak, DJ Psmoov DJ Young Legend and DJ Mulukuku. Holding all this together will be co-hostesses Risikat Okedeyi of LiL SoSo Productions and Washington Posts’ Karen Attiah. The event begins at 2 PM with general admission, drumming and dancing and then, yes, at 3 PM — the jollof wars.
On the sidelines will be a conversation on food, heritage, and culture, plus lots of photo fun, lots of African fashion, beauty and accessories will be on sale (psssst, watch out for the jollof wars T-shirts), plus other exciting surprises. Oh and yes afterward is an afterparty at 1230 Restaurant and Champaign Lounge on 9th Street North West in DC.
Jollof rice, by the way, is the most debated dish in West Africa, with almost every west African-country claiming to own the best jollof. The basic one-pot meal has its chief ingredients being rice, tomato-based stew, spices and garnishing of choice with whatever meat, poultry, fish or vegetarian type accompaniment. That said, all foodies, culinary diplomats and or experts, African food lovers, jollof rice ninjas, and curious cultural wanderers, let’s meet up and all vote to decide who wins this 2018 jollof wars.Visit Till then, visit jolloffestival.com for more info and please, be bold and exploring like the legendary Chef Anthony Bourdain (may his soul rest in peace), and try jollof rice from other countries for you only live once. Written by Oral Ofori of TheAfricanDream.net
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YouTube’s Alex Okosi Highlights The Need For A Comprehensive Digital Trade Strategy For Africa

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YouTube’s Managing Director, Emerging Markets, EMEA, Alex Okosi, was among the key speakers at the Africa Debate 2023, which took place on Thursday, May 11, 2023, at the Guildhall in London.

 

Okosi’s session, titled “Building a Comprehensive Digital Trade Strategy for Africa,” highlighted the challenges facing Africa in terms of digital infrastructure despite advancements in digital trade and e-commerce. He debated the best path forward for a digital trade strategy, with a focus on the 7th protocol of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) on e-commerce.

 

Joining Okosi on the panel were Michelle Chivunga, a Digital Trade Expert for AfCFTA and Chief Executive Officer & Founder of Global Policy House, who moderated the session, as well as Wayne Hennessy-Barrett, Chief Executive Officer, 4G Capital; Peter Njonjo, Chief Executive Officer, Twiga Foods; Toulay Oueslati, Head of Trade Finance & Commodity Trade Finance, Bank of Africa United Kingdom and Hardy Pemhiwa, Chief Executive Officer & Chairman, Cassava Technologies.

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Organized by Invest Africa, a leading business and investment platform with over sixty years of experience on the continent, and in partnership with Africa Finance Corporation, the event was in its 9th year and focused on Africa’s trade profile through a comprehensive programme of talks, discussions, and networking opportunities.

 

“I believe that digital trade has the potential to transform Africa’s economy and improve trade relations with the rest of the world. However, to achieve this goal, we need to address the challenges of infrastructure development, regulatory frameworks, and digital skills training,” Okosi said.

 

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The panel discussion explored the future of African trade and how the private sector can best support and prepare for a more integrated and competitive African trade environment.

 

“Collaboration between governments, businesses, and financial institutions is crucial in creating an enabling environment for digital trade. This includes developing regulatory frameworks, financing solutions, and digital infrastructure,” Okosi added.

 

Okosi is a highly experienced television, content, and tech executive with over 25 years of experience building successful businesses and brands globally. He has a track record of identifying and scaling new business opportunities, generating multi-million-dollar revenue streams, and delivering profitable growth.

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Currently serving as Managing Director, Emerging Markets, YouTube EMEA, Okosi has been instrumental in driving the platform’s growth across key verticals, including music, gaming, TV/film, kids & family, news, and sports. In 2022, Okosi was named one of the UK Powerlist’s 100 most influential people of black heritage for the second year in a row.

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LETSHEGO GHANA PARTNERS WITH GHANA COMMODITY EXCHANGE TO PROVIDE FUNDING TO FARMERS, BROKERS AND AGGREGATORS AND IMPROVE THE FARMING VALUE CHAIN

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Letshego Ghana, a subsidiary of Letshego Holdings Limited (“Letshego Group”) recently partnered with the Ghana Commodity Exchange (GCX) to facilitate and provide funding for farmers under the Warehouse Receipt Financing Scheme. The strategic partnership was confirmed through a partnership agreement held between Letshego Ghana and Ghana Commodity Exchange.

The Ghana Commodity Exchange’s Warehouse Receipt Financing Scheme is a financial instrument that receives, grades and stores farm produce and commodities for the local farmers in the Ghana Commodity Exchange’s ‘certified warehouse’. The farmers are then issued with certificates, enabling them to use their stored farm produce as collateral for loans from Letshego Ghana worth up to 70% of the value of the commodities in the certified warehouse for a maximum period of 6 months. This represents a great example of impact financing that aims to accelerate the sustainable transformation of the local economy to deliver beneficial outcomes and improve lives for local players, regardless of their scale or size. 

Letshego Ghana’s Director Geoffrey Kitakule said, “Letshego’s partnership with the Ghana Commodity Exchange will provide working capital for their farmers, brokers and aggregators in support of their operations. It will also enable farmers in the Accra region to deliver more produce to store in the warehouse operations, helping to reduce their financial burden and enabling them to focus on their core business and to grow and become more competitive in domestic and regional markets.”  

The financial support from Letshego Ghana also helps to increase liquidity in the farming value chains by improving the financial security of the farmers and stakeholders along the agricultural value chain making the sector more resilient to market shocks.

The Chief Executive Officer for the Ghana Commodity Exchange Mrs. Tucci Goka Ivowi said, The Ghana Commodity Exchange remains committed to improving the livelihood of smallholder farmers and easing the burden on farmers, especially during the planting season, until they receive their returns upon harvest. In meeting this objective, we will seek every opportunity to engage with the brokers, aggregators, smallholder farmers and other stakeholders in the agricultural value chain, to understand challenges and provide solutions for farming communities across the country. 

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Ghana Commodity Exchange’s key goal is to link Ghanaian smallholder farmers to diverse agricultural and financial markets to ensure Ghana’s farmers secure competitive prices for their commodities, assuring the market quantity and quality as well as timely settlement of their trade in ways that meet the nutritional needs of the Ghanaian people.

 

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Osae Nyampong VI donates $10,000 Adisadel College millennium group legacy project

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Otwasuom Osae Nyampong VI (Kamenahene of the Akwamu Traditional Area) has donated $10,000 towards the legacy project of the Adisadel Millennium (2000 year) group.

Osae Nyampong VI, who is also the Patron for the 2000 year group, made the presentation when the President of the group, Mr. Richard Nii Amu Arthur paid a courtesy call on him.

The $10,000 cheque presentation adds to the group’s fundraising efforts towards the restructuring and modernisation of the Job 600 block in Adisadel College, to include an Amphitheatre, classrooms, a media centre, a robotic centre and a counselling centre.

Commenting on the patron’s gesture, Richard Nii Amu Arthur said: “I am elated by this kind gesture from our Patron.
Indeed, he has set the tone for what our contributions as the host year group should be, and I am proud to acknowledge him as my mentor. This should encourage everyone to reach out to other Santaclausians and also corporate Ghana to ensure that we exceed our intended target and deliver a very successful project.”

The Board Chairman of Gensar Energy, Osae Nyampong VI g, has over three decades of experience as an entrepreneur in diverse industries, including procurement and logistics, real estate, and trucking.

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Although the Kamenahene of the Akwamu Traditional Area has worked hard to achieve all his successes, he attributes his training from Adisadel College as the shaping point of his life.

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SCY JIMM SHARES NEW VIDEO SINGLE “SET IN STONE”

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The newest QC signee, SCY Jimm has just shared his new video single “Set In Stone”. Hailing from the small town of Bunnell outside of central Florida, Jimm recently garnered the stamp of approval from label boss Pee, being crowned with his official QC pendant chain earlier this year.

After SCY Jimm’s breakthrough year in 2022 with his mixtape ROOKIE OF THE YEAR, which was highlighted by a string of successful singles, as well as collaborations with his contemporaries like Luh Tyler, Goldenboy Countup and Wizz Havinn, Jimm has proven that he’s become a household name within his state’s booming scene. Earlier this year, SCY Jimm officially made his QC debut with his fifth project, Trench Baby, and made a standout appearance on frequent collaborator Luh Tyler’s debut project. Looking to continue his monstrous momentum into the new year, “Set In Stone” already serves as SCY Jimm’s fourth single of the year.

As SCY Jimm continues to keep his foot on the gas, he’s working to transition from a regional star to breakthrough international success. On “Set In Stone”, a quick yet authoritative offering, Jimm reflects on his ascending come-up. ”I was servin’ fiends for loot before I ever hit the booth and started rappin’”, he raps in the first verse, before flexing his status in the rap game later on –  “We finna hit the top, know it won’t be long / Told my mama, ‘you ain’t gotta worry, I’m gon make it home”. With his signature Floridian flair on full display, as he effortlessly riddles off his bars informed by his growth and maturity as an artist, SCY Jimm is continuing to expand upon his dynamic sound with the release of “Set In Stone”, and looking to proudly cement himself as a central member of Florida rappers putting on for their state.

Please find links below to watch and stream “Set In Stone”, and stay tuned for more announcements to come:

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Gordon’s Pink Berry Spirit Drink Soiree Unites Trendsetters, Influencers, and Media in an Unforgettable Night of Music, Cocktails, and Good Vibes

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The Gordon’s Pink Berry Spirit Drink Soiree transcended the boundaries of an ordinary gathering, becoming a night of opulence, sophistication, and delightful pleasures. This exclusive event served as a magnet for trendsetters, influencers, and members of the media, bringing them together to revel in an unforgettable fusion of good music, delectable cocktails, and an overall atmosphere of pure indulgence. 

 

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The Gordon’s Pink Berry Spirit Drink Soiree was meticulously curated to provide a sensory journey like no other. The venue itself, adorned with plush decor, exuded an air of elegance and exclusivity. The dimly lit room was bathed in a soft pink hue, reflecting the spirit of Gordon’s Pink Berry drink itself, creating a visually stunning backdrop for the night’s festivities.

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There was an  exceptional mixology experience where Skilled barsenders, armed with the finest ingredients and a vast array of spirits, showcased their craft by creating imaginative and enticing cocktails featuring Gordon’s Pink Berry Spirit Drink. Each cocktail was a work of art, capturing the vibrant essence of the pink berry infusion, resulting in a medley of flavors that delighted the taste buds of attendees.

 

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Talented band Made Music took the stage, enveloping the venue in a captivating aura. Acclaimed DJs curated an eclectic mix of tunes, encouraging guests to let loose, dance, and immerse themselves in the joyous atmosphere.

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The Gordon’s Pink Berry Spirit Drink Soiree was an extraordinary gathering that transcended the boundaries of a typical event. It brought together trendsetters, influencers, and media in a celebration of elegance, creativity, and the joy of living in the moment. From the mesmerizing cocktails to the captivating music and the vibrant connections made, every aspect of the evening contributed to an unforgettable experience. This soiree was not just a party but a testament to the power of indulgence, collaboration, and the creation of cherished memories.

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Ogilvy Africa Introduces InfluenceO: An end-to-end solution for effective Influencer Marketing in Africa

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Akua Owusu Nartey Ogilvy Africa Regional MD at a panel with content creators during the launch of InfluenceO Ogilvys Influencer Marketing solution in Africa

Ogilvy Africa has officially launched InfluenceO, its end-to-end influence solution designed to empower businesses, brands, and creators in Africa to excel in the realm of influencer marketing. 

By leveraging cutting-edge technologies and innovations from around the world and Africa, InfluenceO enables brands and influencers to establish genuine partnerships and drive highly impactful marketing campaigns like never before.

“In today’s rapidly evolving landscape, influencer marketing has emerged as a powerful tool for brands to connect with their target audiences. It goes beyond mere reach, allowing them to establish and maintain deep connections with their audience. However, the methods of thinking, planning, and executing influencer marketing have fallen behind the pace of its evolution. With the launch of InfluenceO, we now possess the power to transform our approach and fully harness the potential of influencer marketing as a formidable channel,” commented Patou Nuytemans, CEO EMEA at Ogilvy.

InfluenceO revolutionizes the brand-influencer collaboration process while expanding marketers’ perspectives on and strategies for influencer engagement. By integrating the best global and local tools, Ogilvy equips brands with a more robust strategy, enhanced methods for influencer identification, industry-leading legal and financial processes, more impactful creative capabilities, seamless integration with media buying models, and advanced measurement techniques for assessing campaign effectiveness.

Key features of InfluenceO include:

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  1. AI-powered influencer identification: Utilizing AI technology, InfluenceO identifies the most influential figures for brands, ensuring an authentic fit with the target audience. It also locates micro and nano influencers who may otherwise go unnoticed.
  2. Streamlined onboarding, contracting, and payment processes: InfluenceO incorporates world-class technology to simplify these crucial steps for clients, ensuring creators are recognized and rewarded more reliably.
  3. Integration with Ogilvy’s proprietary media technology Feed: InfluenceO seamlessly integrates with Feed, Ogilvy’s media technology platform, to amplify the impact of influencer marketing through dynamic, effective, and efficient methods.

In addition to these innovative features, InfluenceO provides clients with comprehensive analytics and performance metrics. These insights go beyond traditional metrics like clicks and engagement rates, delving into conversion rates and long-term changes in brand sentiment, delivering valuable data on campaign effectiveness.

To facilitate transparent and efficient collaboration between brands and influencers, InfluenceO offers a centralized dashboard where both parties can manage campaigns, review content drafts, negotiate terms, and track deliverables. This streamlined approach eliminates communication barriers, enhances efficiency, and ensures mutual satisfaction.

Moreover, InfluenceO goes beyond technology by reinforcing Ogilvy’s commitment to support creators across sub-Saharan Africa. It aims to assist them in developing their skills, enhancing their profiles, and advancing their careers.

Commenting on the launch, Vikas Mehta, CEO Ogilvy Africa, said “Today marks an important milestone as we introduce InfluenceO to Africa. It’s an award-winning global asset, cutomised meticulously to the need and nuance of sub-Saharan African countries. It brings world-class functionalities and rich databases to hitherto underserved markets. With InfluenceO, we hope to unleash the vast potential of this continent’s content and influence landscape.”

InfluenceO is now open for brand and influencer registrations. To learn more about the platform and join the influencer marketing revolution, visit www.ogilvyafrica.com/influenceo or send your query to info@ogilvy.africa   

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