Business writing is crucial to business success. But time is also of the essence. How can business owners and employees optimize their use of time? The Internet is creating an environment in which business moves at breakneck speed; however, it is also generating tools, apps, and other aids for creating quality business writing faster. Here are a few tools that are great for improving the business writing process.
One very helpful app for those who should make the most of their time is Dragon Dictation. This is a high level dictation app for smartphones and iPads that allows people to “write” a rough draft while they are driving, walking, cooking, or engaging in any other activity that doesn’t allow for typing. It can be used for emails, drafts, and notes. In an increasingly fast-paced world, sometimes a business writer cannot afford to sit down and write. Also, sometimes inspiration strikes when the writer is driving and cannot simply pull off the highway to jot things down. “This tool increases productivity by allowing the writer to take advantage of inspiration whenever it strikes, and by capitalizing on time that is being used for what would otherwise be mundane personal chores,” notes Gill Payton, a business writer at APA Writing Service.
2. Unsuck It
One problem in business writing continually plagues businesses: the tendency to write in jargon that alienates the listener. “Using trendy words such as “going forward” is infamous for distancing clients, causing employees to balk, and even making the writer sound less professional,” explains Jeff Mitchell, Content Manager at ConfidentWriters. Unsuck It is a helpful tool for removing off-putting jargon and other unpleasant-sounding language from the copy. If the user types a trendy phrase like “going forward” into the tool, then they receive a selection of different ways to express the concept with more straightforward and pleasant language; in the case of “going forward,” it produces “in the future.” This increases productivity by acting as a helpful thesaurus, so the writer does not have to spend time brainstorming new phrases. The results also improve productivity by improving the reader’s attention to and sympathy for the message in the copy. If a company has a tendency to send communications that are ignored, Unsuck It can help them spend everyone’s writing and reading time more efficiently.
AtomicReach is another tool that helps business writing become more effective with less effort, particularly when it comes to businesses that depend on social media for their advertising and customer outreach. This app plugs into social media and analyzes whether the proposed piece of writing will lead to engagement with that account’s friends or followers. This way, a writer in charge of the business’s social media accounts does not have to waste time on guesswork when writing posts. It will also save time dealing with the fallout from ineffective posts.
This is an extremely helpful tool for business writing that involves a lot of research. Evernote Web Clipper captures and organizes screenshots of any page on the Internet that the writer chooses. Instead of keeping a dozen tabs open while doing research, or having to find their way back to a particular web address, the user can simply go into the Evernote app and have access to all of the necessary clips in the research project. This increases productivity by allowing the writer to centralize the research needed to complete the project.
5. Google Tasks
Finally, for business writers who find much of their time being absorbed by simply managing and remembering their tasks, Google Tasks is the simplest way to arrange and consolidate their scheduling and task list. This app simply uses the Chrome Omnibar to add tasks to the list quickly and easily; then, the tasks are displayed across all of the user’s devices and programs. Combined with the above tools, this central task manager can safeguard the user’s time and productivity with minimal effort.
Meet James Ganyo, the man who walked away with GHS 100,000 from AirtelTigo “To Gu Me So” PROMO
One man beat the odds among the over 50,000 customers who participated in the ‘To Gu Me So’ promotion. James Ganyo, a resident of Lakeside Estate who walked away with the amazing prize of GHS 100,000 in the just ended AirtelTigo “To Gu Me So” promotion is now the talk of the town.
Speaking to the media, James recounts how he was able to make the spot as the overall winner: “It feels good to win. I did what I do normally on AirtelTigo, this time around I did more; I engaged in the weekly trivia, made transactions with AirtelTigo Money and purchased extra points. This is just how it happened.”
“AirtelTigo has proven to be different and honoured their promise. I still can’t believe I am a GHS 100,000 richer, for just doing more with my AirtelTigo number.”
“We have seen many promotions that have been twisted in ways that have dampened the spirit of customers from active participation. Most of these promos already have winners, very high targets and organizers do not fulfill their promises to customers,” he added.
James, like many other customers who are skeptical about these promotions was declared the overall winner and walked away with such a huge prize. He echoed his sentiments: “AirtelTigo “To Gu Me So” has made me believe in promos.”
If you’re wondering, like many others, what James’ plans for the money are, he intends to invest the money wisely.
AirtelTigo’s “To Gu Me So” promotion was launched in October last year to show appreciation to customers. The promo rewarded customers hourly with call minutes and data as well as Daily, Weekly and Monthly Cash prizes, all based on Recharge and Usage. Overall, over 50,000 customers won One Million Ghana Cedis Cash plus other prizes.
Fly Emirates to Dubai together and save 25% on fares with brand-new offer
Emirates, the world’s largest international airline, has launched a new offer for passengers visiting Dubai with friends and family, when booking by February 6 2022.
Two or more passengers travelling to Dubai from January 24 2022 to April 30 2022 will have the opportunity to save 25% on fares when travelling together.
This special offer is valid for two or more travellers who book a return trip via emirates.com to Dubai in Economy or Business Class between January 24 2022 and February 6 2022 on the same booking reference. The offer is also available via travel and call centre agents and Emirates Retail shops.
Experience Dubai with Emirates
In addition to this exclusive new offer, there are plenty more ways to save on your Dubai getaway with Emirates and take advantage of its incredible winter sun, beaches, outdoor dining and events including:
- Free Emirates Expo Pass: It’s an amazing time to travel to Dubai with the much-anticipated Expo 2020 mega event taking place until March 31 2022. Emirates customers visiting and travelling through Dubai anytime during the final two months of Expo 2020, will be eligible to receive a free Emirates Expo Pass for every flight ticket booked with the airline. For more information on this promotion, please visit thededicated offer page.
- My Emirates Pass – Expo Edition: Customers travelling to or via Dubai anytime until March 31 2022, get to explore the city for less with My Emirates Pass Expo 2020 Dubai. Enjoy exclusive discounts and benefits at over 500 retail, dining, and recreational attractions by simply showing their Emirates boarding pass.
- Earn a Mile a Minute in Dubai: Emirates customers can earn 1 Skywards Mile for every 1 minute spent in Dubai until March 31 2022. Existing and new Emirates Skywards members who sign up for the program before March 31 2022, can benefit from the offer Mile A Minute, and will earn up to 5,000 Skywards Miles. The offer is applicable on all Emirates flight tickets purchased until March 31 2022, for travel during Expo 2020 Dubai. Emirates‑marketed, flydubai‑operated flights with an Emirates (EK) flight number are also included in the offer.
Visiting Dubai with friends & family
Whether seeking a city break, a beach getaway, a relaxing retreat or a unique desert experience, there is something for every traveller when visiting Dubai.
Dubai remains one of the world’s most popular holiday destinations, especially during the winter season, and visitors can choose from an array of hotels to stay at, to suit all budgets, as well as exciting entertainment, dining and shopping options for all ages. From sun-soaked beaches and heritage activities to world class hospitality and leisure facilities, Dubai offers a variety of world-class experiences.
As international borders reopen and travel restrictions ease, Emirates has resumed passenger services to over 120 destinations and currently operates 7 weekly passenger flights from Accra to Dubai.
Explore Dubai with Dubai Experience
Dubai safely re-opened for international business and leisure visitors in July 2020, and it remains one of the world’s most popular holiday destinations. From sun-soaked beaches and heritage activities to world class hospitality and leisure facilities, Dubai offers a variety of world-class experiences. It was one of the world’s first cities to obtain Safe Travels stamp from the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) – which endorses Dubai’s comprehensive and effective measures to ensure guest health and safety. Customers can create their own itinerary from hotels to Expo-themed packages with Dubai Experience.
Explore Dubai with Emirates Holidays
Dubai safely re-opened for international business and leisure visitors in July 2020, and it remains one of the world’s most popular holiday destinations. From sun-soaked beaches and heritage activities to world class hospitality and leisure facilities, Dubai offers a variety of world-class experiences. It was one of the world’s first cities to obtain Safe Travels stamp from the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) – which endorses Dubai’s comprehensive and effective measures to ensure guest health and safety.
Customers can book their holiday to Dubai, including other Expo-themed packages through Emirates Holidays.
Emirates Holidays’ dedicated 24/7 On Holiday Service team will be there to support holidaymakers for every moment that they’re away.
Travelling with Emirates
Keeping the health and wellbeing of its passengers as top priority, Emirates has introduced a comprehensive set of safety measures at every step of the customer journey. The airline has also been building on its contactless technology offering and has scaled up its digital verification capabilities to provide its customers even more opportunities to utilise the IATA Travel Pass.
Emirates continues to lead the industry with innovative products and services that address traveller needs during a dynamic time. The airline has taken its customer care initiatives further with even more generous and flexible booking policies, its covid-19 medical travel insurance, and helping loyal customers retain their miles and tier status.
Customers are encouraged to check their latest government travel guidelines and ensure they meet the travel requirements of their final destination. For more information on entry requirements for international visitors and residents returning to Dubai visit: https://www.emirates.com/gh/english/help/covid-19/dubai-travel-requirements/
I spent $40,000 on my ‘Eyɛ Woa’ video – Empress Gifty
GSA Africa exposes African Edtech solutions empowering tomorrows future leaders
The COVID-19 crisis has irrevocably changed education. At the outset of the pandemic, 180+ countries mandated temporary school closures, leaving about 1.6 billion children and youth out of school and affecting approximately 85% of children world-wide. All countries were able to deploy remote learning technologies using a combination of TV, radio, online and mobile platforms. Currently, most countries are working towards re-opening schools, but there will still be intermittent closures and use of hybrid learning. However, school closures and limited access to remote learning means that learning poverty is likely to worsen from 53% to 63% especially in low-income countries.
“This begs the question: how can technology help today’s children and the adults of tomorrow?” says Jo Griffiths Co-founder of the Global Innovation Initiative Group (GIIG), the exclusive rights holder of the Global Startup Awards (GSA) Africa – the first and only continent-wide Sustainable Development Goal-aligned tech innovation competition.
iSchool, Northern Africa Regional Winner has created an online education platform for 6-18 year olds, with over 8,000 graduates and 100+ coding coaches. The platform has recently become both STEM and AI accredited and has been voted in the Top 10 EdTech startups in the world. Mohamed Algawish, Founder of iSchool, states: “From day one we at iSchool believe in the potential of our nation’s young minds, that is why we are working day and night carrying a mission to empower today’s generation so that they become tomorrow’s technology leaders.”
Hanae Bezad Founder / President of Douar Tech, an inclusive tech hub and platform that contributes raising the resilience of vulnerable youth, especially rural women in Morocco and other countries in Africa, shares that her hope is for parents to understand the potential of technology to empower their children. “A lot of kids have to walk many kilometres just to go to school. I’ve also been in areas where I’ve had discussions with parents who have decided to take their daughters out of school because they are now hitting puberty and they don’t want them to risk getting pregnant or to have their period at school as there’s no infrastructure for them. Preventing their children from attending school is basically killing any chance for them to thrive in the 21st century. Technology has to solve this and empower people with knowledge to become the best version of themselves.”
Douar Tech is the Northern Africa Regional Winner of GSA Africa’s ESG Tech category and provides vulnerable youth with innovative entrepreneurship and web development skills.
George Akilimali, CEO and Founder of Tanzanian digital learning content development agency Smartcore, one of the GSA Africa country winners, shares that in Sub Saharan Africa there are more than 65 million students who are out of school. “That number is terrifying. Additionally, for those who are lucky enough to be in school, the quality of education is unfortunately low. That is why we have the challenge of unemployment; people lack skills because of the quality of education itself. These are the biggest problems in education in Africa today.”
Another GSA Africa country winner, Ibrahim Oredola, Founder of SKillNG, a skill acquisition accelerator startup based in Nigeria, adds that while students do learn some skills, they aren’t equipped with the right skills that are demanded globally. “Unemployment is one of the greatest problems in Africa, especially in Nigeria, where we have over 80% of the workforce either unemployed or underemployed because there is a skill mismatch and skill gap. In fact, recent research has found that 90% of job applicants are not qualified for the jobs they apply for. With tech being the backbone of every single industry nowadays, we need people to be tech-empowered.”
Looking to the future, Mustafa Abd Ellatif, Co-Founder and CEO of EYouth, the Egyptian country winner, believes that education will be completely online – especially universities. “Not only will it be cheaper, but this will also enable students to attend any university in the world to get the learning they desire.”
Griffiths concludes by saying:” To have a chance of impacting SDG Goal 4 – providing access to quality education on the continent, we need to first find the solutions that are solving educational challenges on the ground. Through the GSA Africa 2021 competition, Edtech constituted 19% of the 7500+ nominations. Our aim is to give visibility to these solutions and connect them to the right networks to help ensure inclusive and equitable quality education, promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all.”
For more information, go to https://www.globalstartupawards.com/africanstartupawards
Big Brother Mzansi: Meet the colourful housemates
2022 brought with it the revival of a reality television fan-favourite in the form of Big Brother Mzansi (BBMzansi) and the show seems to be a smash hit on social media.
The show began trending from the second the premiere episode aired on Sunday evening and it continued trending well into Monday.
The show’s new host, Lawrence Maleka, also seems to be part of the reason fans are so enamoured with the show. Maleka was recently unveiled as the show’s host, taking over from Lungile Radu.
Big Brother Mzansi is the modern version of Big Brother South Africa, which first aired in South Africa in 2001. The live shows back then were hosted by TV legends Mark Pilgrim, Gerry Rantseli (now Gerry Elsdon) and Zuraida Jardine.
After 13 years, the show rebranded as Big Brother Mzansi, with Radu in the driver’s seat as the show’s host.
Maleka is the new face billed to usher in a new era of Big Brother, which unveiled an interesting set of housemates on Sunday evening.
Meet the Big Brother Mzansi housemates:
Gugu Refiloe Bonga, aka Terry Treasure, is a 26-year-old from Johannesburg. Terry says she is honest almost to her own detriment. The OnlyFans adult content creator says she has a very big personality and stands for acceptance and non-judgment. She doesn’t like fake people and considers herself to be very open.
Big Brother Mzansi 2022 housemates: Terry Treasure | Picture: Supplied
Adindu Asuzu, aka Zino, is a 21-year-old from Johannesburg who is self-confessed mommy’s boy. This season’s youngest housemate describes himself as both bubbly and mellow. He reckons he won’t start drama – but will be the one to end it. He says his Nigerian side won’t let people take advantage of him.
Keamogetswe Motlhale, aka QV, is a 23-year-old from Mahikeng. Self-described as easy-going, Keamogetswe is a sharp-shooter and straight talker. She says she has no interest in keeping her annoyance to herself when someone gets on her wrong side. She describes herself as a tomboy.
Libo Njomba, aka Libo, is a 32-year-old from Johannesburg. Born in Uitenhage, Libo says he is an avid lover of life who enjoys the outdoors. He says people are his weakness and, as a result, he tends to befriend “strange characters” – but also considers himself a loner.
Gashwan Brandon Mthombeni, aka Gash1, is a 28-year-old from Pretoria. Having overcome a troubled past, Gashwan describes himself as a deep thinker with varied interests and talents. He’s deeply spiritual and enjoys giving people advice and motivation.
Luthando Mthembu, aka B.U, is a 31-year-old from Johannesburg. The aspiring musician says one of the highlights of his life was quitting his high-flying corporate job to follow his artistic dreams. A vegan, he is focused on centering himself.
Mvelo Ntuli, aka Mvelo, is a 28-year-old from Johannesburg. Describing himself as loud and lovable, Mvelo is a lover of people and passionate about education. Bubbly and candid, he hides a more complex side behind his infectious humour.
Naledi Mogadime, aka Nale, is a 24-year-old from Pretoria. A self-described “fine gyal, not a sad gyal”, the model is as much a firecracker as she is calm and zen. She considers her ability to understand and analyse people her strength. Naledi predicts that she might not be everyone’s cup of tea in the beginning of her time at the Big Brother Mzansi house.
Michelle Dimpho Mvundla, aka Mphowabadimo, is a 27-year-old from Daveyton. The sangoma describes herself as outgoing and kind, but says she has “zero tolerance for nonsense”. She is also a doting mom who considers herself to be a nurturer who loves cheering people up when they’re not feeling their best.
Norman Nhlapo is a 24-year-old from Johannesburg. The daycare worker says he has an adaptable personality and is a sporty person. Despite a tough upbringing, he says his life has been a “bundle of blessings”. He runs a non-profit organisation and daycare with his mother.
Rethabile Potsane, aka Dinkybliss, is a 29-year-old from Johannesburg. Rethabile describes herself as “loud and proud” and says she can transform people’s moods and lift spirits when she is around. More of a boys’ girl than a girls’ girl, she enjoys socialising and loves fashion.
Thando Mcopela, aka Acacia, is a 30-year-old Soweto resident who is family orientated and describes herself as a free spirit and a risk-taker. She also says she is a foodie who loves community and togetherness. She considers herself relatable and is as comfortable ekasi as she is in upmarket suburbs.
Tulani Madala, aka Tulz, is a 28-year-old radio DJ from Johannesburg. The velvet-voiced straight-shooter says he has a softness beneath his tough exterior. He also says he is currently single because he was “badly behaved” in the heyday of his career.
Thato Mokoena is a 28-year-old from the Vaal who says she is not one to limit herself. Thato is an accountant and TikToker who describes herself as a “world within worlds”. Bubbly and energetic, she’s bluntly honest and is comfortable with her transparent nature.
Themba Karabo Mabaso is a 30-year-old heavily-inked tattoo artist from Johannesburg. He describes himself as “simple”, “basic” and “normal”, and says despite his attention-grabbing looks, he doesn’t actively seek the spotlight. And yet he is a housemate on Big Brother Mzansi…
Thobeka Mtshali, aka Venus, is a 25-year-old from Richards Bay. In her own words, when it comes to her “you just never know what you’re gonna get”. She says she embodies creativity as she writes music, makes beats and plays the piano. She considers herself to be a layered person.
Ukho Samela, aka Sis Tamara, is a 25-year-old from Johannesburg. The multifaceted and bubbly Ukho goes by the pronouns he/ him/ she/ her/ they/ them. Known as “Sis Tamara”, they describe themselves as “a gender non-conforming experience”. They are also passionate about trans and queer representation.
Yolanda Glover, aka Yoli, is a 30-year-old from Durban who says she is outgoing and effervescent and describes herself as “Berocca without the medicine”. She loves being around people and says they are drawn to her infectious energy. She can sometimes be too honest and upfront and says she’s an open book.
There is also a daily highlight show on Mzansi Magic (DStv channel 161), Tuesdays to Fridays, starting on 25 January 2022 at 10:30pm.
Sunday eviction shows begin on 30 January at 6pm and will be broadcast on Mzansi Magic.
This season will also see the return of fan favourite segments such as Shower Hour at 10pm on Mondays to Thursdays on Mzansi Magic, Saturday night parties with Channel O (DStv channel 320) and Friday night games.
What is the state of play with iGaming in South Africa?
In September 2020, the iGB Africa Report revealed that some of the leading players in the African iGaming market were multi-market operators. South Africa attracted the likes of Powerbets and Betway to its country, with the latter operating its own ‘Betway Africa’ offshoot that spans the most influential nations for online gambling in the continent.
Mathew Symmonds of Web Analysis Solutions, described Africa’s iGaming industry as “not one of the priorities” for “many European bookmakers”. However, that may be because of a string of “local heroes” within each nation’s market, according to SB Betting’s chief operating officer Michal Glowacki. Glowacki believes that many intercontinental iGaming operators have mostly “failed” to resonate in sub-Saharan nations in the same way as the western world.
One of the biggest reasons that local operators continue to thrive ahead of more established overseas iGaming operators is the cultural divide. Every African nation has its own cultures and traditions and too many of the larger intercontinental brands overlook the importance of resonating directly with locals. Yellowbet’s managing director Neil Wilkie says that bettors in African nations “only know what’s going on in [their] own immediate vicinity”. Wilkie used the example of bettors in Tanzania not being fussed about playing a slot’s “jackpot being linked to other African countries”.
It’s a very similar story in South Africa, with many of the most popular and reputable online casinos being those founded within the nation’s borders rather than offshore arrivals. The flourishing nature of local casino operators is aided by the growing importance of online directories that help to pinpoint the positive traits of operators and rank them accordingly in lists of the best online casinos in South Africa. This not only gives consumers a good handle on the safest and most reputable platforms to play, but it also drives operational standards among the casinos themselves to strive to maintain their solid rankings.
There is plenty of time for iGaming technology to mature in South Africa
One of the main reasons that there is such optimism surrounding the iGaming scene in South Africa – and indeed elsewhere in the continent – is the growing percentage of the young generation. While this has developed in the news and over the last years, almost half of the entire African population is due to be under the age of 25 by 2050. This means that the concept of immersive, state-of-the-art iGaming technology will capture the imagination of bettors of legal age. Increased accessibility to iGaming platforms – through growing mobile penetration – also suggests that subsectors of iGaming are likely to flourish in South Africa and beyond too.
Online sports betting is sure to take flight, with established European online sportsbook Betway demonstrating how intercontinental operators can successfully onboard African customers across multiple gang verticals – online casino, sports betting and eSports betting too. According to Zimbabwesituation.com, almost a quarter (24%) of all iGaming revenue in South Africa is already generated from sports betting. The penetration of smartphone and tablet devices is also going to reap dividends for operators that deliver fully responsive gaming experiences across all platforms. By 2018, mobile penetration in the continent had hit 80%, so it’s clear that the appetite for mobile iGaming will continue. Particularly as the continent evolves into an increasingly younger, tech-savvy demographic.
Perhaps the biggest challenge awaiting the iGaming operators of South Africa and those elsewhere in Africa is delivering safe and responsible gambling experiences. Steering players away from ‘black market’ operators that offer unlicensed and unregulated games leaves too many people at risk of problem gambling and unfair gaming.
The likes of the Western Cape Gambling and Racing Board (WCGRB) are a prime example of a regulatory body that’s seeking to control and regulate online gambling within the Province of the Western Cape. The more regulatory bodies in South Africa, the better. It will be easier for legitimate sites to flush out those simply seeking to prey on the vulnerable.
Although, more regulatory bodies and individual jurisdictions within South African Provinces also brings its own challenges. Sean Coleman, CEO of the South African Bookmakers Association, said that the jurisdictions in each South African Province have “their own status”, which means that for “suppliers of product” each game is tested and regulated differently within the country. Coleman believes that “national norms and standards” are imperative to create a unified approach to iGaming that can futureproof its industry and economic benefit.
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