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African Development Bank Group supports Ghana’s COVID-19 response plan with $69 million grant

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The Board of Directors of the African Development Fund (ADF) on Friday approved a $69 million grant to support Ghana’s efforts to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic and mitigate its socio-economic impact on the nation.

The grant from the ADF, the concessional arm of the African Development Bank , will provide fiscal budget support to finance the government’s national COVID-19 Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan, and Coronavirus Alleviation Program.

Specifically, the funds will help to upgrade the capacity of healthcare facilities to isolate, diagnose and care for patients, and provide more test kits, pharmaceuticals, equipment and beds. It will also ensure adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) for health workers and support financial incentives and an insurance package for health and allied professionals.

Ghana ranks fourth in COVID-19 infections in Africa after South Africa, Egypt and Nigeria. As of 24 July 2020, the West African nation has recorded 30,366 cases of the disease, with 26,687 recoveries and 153 deaths.

“Overall, the objective is to help contain the spread of the virus, expand testing and ease the impact of the virus on social and economic life, through measures aimed at protecting jobs, sustaining livelihoods and supporting small businesses,” said Marie-Laure Akin-Olugbade, the Bank’s Director General for West Africa.

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The ADF grant is a Crisis Response Budget Support operation, disbursable in a single tranche under the Bank’s $10 billion COVID-19 Response Facility. The grant aligns with one of the Bank’s High 5 priorities, namely to “Improve the quality of life for the people of Africa.

Under Ghana’s COVID-19 response program, all affected persons will receive free treatment and free water supply. Micro, Small and Medium enterprises (MSMEs) will benefit from a soft loan scheme with one-year moratorium and two-year repayment period. The private sector will also benefit from a tax freeze and refund, direct subsidies and a guarantee fund, enabling businesses to access bank credit.

The program also aims to increase the percentage of the population tested from one percent to three percent by the end of December 2020, boost the number of points of entry reporting suspected cases of COVID-19 from 1 to 14 by the end of September 2020, and increase designated treatment centers with adequate intensive care facilities to 100% by end December 2020.

As elsewhere, the pandemic has slowed down economic activity in the agriculture, industrial and services sectors. The agriculture sector, in particular, will likely record a lower performance since the disease has coincided with the onset of Ghana’s farming season.

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The economy of Ghana, which exports gold, cocoa and oil, is negatively affected by a significant increase in public spending due to COVID-19. Real GDP growth is projected at 2.1% in 2020 compared to 6.1% in 2019, while the current account deficit is forecast to widen to 3.6% compared to 3% in 2019, due to a decline in export earnings and lower tourism revenues and remittances.

The COVID-19 pandemic could also deepen inequalities between men and women, with far-reaching health, social, and economic implications, Bank officials noted.

People & Lifestyle

Inaugural GSA Ethiopian Startup Awards Set to Ignite Ethiopia’s Innovation Scene in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia June 3-4

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The Global Innovation Initiative Group (GIIG), an initiative dedicated to fostering innovation and entrepreneurship across the continent, announces the inaugural Ethiopian Startup Awards – a Global Startup Awards Africa event coming to Addis Ababa on June 3rd and 4th, 2024, proudly sponsored by Development Bank of Ethiopia, Ethio Telecom and Ethiopian Airlines.

The two-day event, hosted by GIIG, Ministry of Labor and Skills (MOLS), Ministry of Innovation and Technology (MINT), and Entrepreneurship Development Institute (EDI), promises an immersive experience celebrating the vibrant startup culture of Ethiopia and providing a platform for cross- vertical collaboration. Attendees can expect a series of workshops, training sessions facilitated by industry specialists, pitching opportunities, networking and an awards show announcing the Ethiopian finalists.

This year’s competition received an overwhelming response of 11,900 entries from 54 African countries with 24% of the Eastern region entries originating from Ethiopia. The entries spanning Sustainable Development Goals-aligned categories, including Agritech, Youth, Fintech, Green Tech, Women Empowerment, Health Tech, and Mobility, signify the remarkable growth and trajectory of Ethiopia’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.

As one of 120 countries participating in the Global Startup Awards program, Ethiopia, as the host nation for Africa, is gaining significant visibility and recognition on a global scale as a developing startup nation.

HE Ms Muferihat Kamil Ahmed, Minister of Labour and Skills, emphasized the significance of Ethiopia’s role as the host nation for this landmark event, stating, “Ethiopia’s selection as the host nation for the 2024 GSA Africa Awards holds immense significance and is already contributing significantly to the country’s growing reputation as a centre for tech innovation. The focus on youth entrepreneurship through the Youth category is a unique aspect that highlights Ethiopia’s commitment to nurturing the next generation of innovators and job creators and I look forward to celebrating their successes.”

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The festivities will start with an awards ceremony on June 3rd at the Entrepreneurship Development Institute (EDI), honouring the top Ethiopian startups that have progressed through the competition to become regional finalists.

Dr Hassan Hussein, CEO of EDI commented, “For Ethiopian startups, the GSA Africa Awards serves as a gateway to international recognition, funding opportunities, and invaluable connections. By showcasing Ethiopia’s potential as a hub for tech innovation and entrepreneurship, the event aims to elevate the country’s profile on the global stage.”

Jo Griffiths, co-founder of GIIG and GSA Africa, expressed her enthusiasm, stating, “Initiatives like the Global Startup Awards Africa exemplify our collaborative efforts, serving as catalysts for transformation, further amplified in Ethiopia by recent progressive legal reforms, signalling a new era of growth and innovation for the country’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.”

To REGISTER your attendance apply here https://qkt.io/ZH9zSX

For further information contact: Global Startup Awards Africa Email: [email protected]
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South Africa prioritizes safety of Ghanaians, other tourists, with a $10m security investment

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South Africa has invested over R174m (almost USD10m) in its public and private security services in the last few months to provide safety for Ghanaians and other travelers who have chosen the country for leisure and business.

South Africa, which ranks among the best tourist destinations in the world has over the years recorded some attacks on tourists. However, the country has delivered a swift response to the attacks and perceptions about the country in recent years. The government has invested millions of rands to strengthen its security.

The Minister of Tourism of South Africa, Patricia de Lille, disclosed this move during an interview with David Mawuli, editor of MawuliTravels.com and Ghanafuo.com, at the just-ended Africa’s Travel Indaba 2024 held in Durban.

According to Patricia de Lille, South Africa has formed partnerships with both private and public sectors, including the hospitality industry, to provide safe environments for travelers.

“We certainly for the past year formed a partnership with the private sector, police service, National Prosecuting Authority, all provinces and metropolitan cities,” she told David Mawuli on Tuesday, May 14, 2024.

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“We launched a safety forum and we have put a plan in place to deal with some perceptions — you know, sometimes, perceptions become a reality. “

She said in 2023, the country invested R174m in its security services. Part of it was used to identify ‘hotspots of most visited tourist sites’ and further recruited over 2,000 young South Africans whose job is to serve as ‘safety monitors’ for tourists.

“Last year, the government invested R174m to train and employ 2,300 young people as safety monitors. We identified what we call hotspots – frequently visited tourist establishments – and after we trained them, we deployed them into those areas, including a place like Table Mountain, where there is also a lot of attacks,” she said.

The Minister said the private sector has contributed enormously to addressing the security challenges in the country.

One of them is an app called Secura. With this app, visitors visiting South Africa can download and log in the number of days they will spend in the country during their stay.

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The security-tracking app can give visitors access to 300 security companies, including South African Police services, in case of any attacks. Health-wise, if there’s a medical emergency like a heart attack, visitors will get access to 200 medical organizations.

She further disclosed that in August 2024, the government launched a Control Operation Room that monitors when there’s a response needed from everywhere.

“We regret attacks on any tourist, and we regret sincerely. So when a tourist gets attacked, we’ve put in place what we call ‘After Care Service’. That tourist will be taken to the nearest police station and helped file some charges (against attackers), and we make sure the tourist is safe and in safe accommodation,” she said.

On the resolutions of criminal cases against visitors, she said: “We contact the embassy or the high commissioner of the country where the tourist will be coming from. We also assist with translation services.”

“Formerly, when a charge is laid with the police and the case gets to court, you have to travel back to South Africa to attend court proceedings. We have changed that now with the National Prosecuting Authority for virtual interconnections. This means you can attend South African court from anywhere around the world.”

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“We’ve also got a communication strategy around crime issues and the hospitality industry has come on board. In this case, you find a little [security alert] note in your hotel room. There are just certain places you don’t just go at certain times. So when tourists go on hikes, walks, and all of that, they will be monitored. It really helped us. The summer season is over now but we didn’t have many attacks this year.”

Hon. de Lille revealed that she has further communicated with embassies to echo these security messages to their citizens willing to visit South Africa.

“In November, I called all the High Commissioners, Console Generals, and Ambassadors together to inform them about our safety plans and asked them to inform their potential tourists planning to visit South Africa. Through our own Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, we shared the plan for all the South African missions across the world.”

“That is what we’ve done for now and we have already seen improvement,” she concluded.

Between January and March this year, South Africa received 1.8 million tourist arrivals from the African continent, marking a significant 74.5% of all arrivals.

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Ghana was among the top countries that stood out for its remarkable growth. Ghana recorded a 249.4% surge when compared to 2023, reaching 7,904 arrivals from January to March 2024.

Patricia stated that the recent visa-waiver agreement between Ghana and South Africa contributed to this impressive growth within a short period.

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The Ghana Wellness and Healthcare Top 10 Heroes Outstanding Contribution to Ghana’s Healthcare Post- Covid

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Top 10 Heroes Outstanding Contribution to Ghana's Healthcare Post- Covid

Certain individuals and institutions do not just stand out for their expertise, but also for their unwavering commitment to improving the lives of others.

During the Covid 19, these outstanding individuals and institutions contributed immensely by demonstrating exceptional dedication, innovation, and compassion thereby making a profound impact on public health, patient care, and medical research.

We celebrate a few remarkable figures whose work exemplifies the highest standards of excellence in Wellness and Healthcare.

*Apostle Eric Nyamekye and the Church of Pentecost*:
The church of Pentecost, led by Apostle Eric Nyamekye donated medical supplies worth GH¢ 45,000.00 to the Ministry of Health to combat COVID-19. They also donated their facilities as centers to help the Government of Ghana in treating Covid 19 cases. They also consistently donated hundreds of Ghana cedis to support the sector.

*Pastor Mensah Otabil and the International Central Gospel Church*: The International Central Gospel Church (ICGC) has donated an amount of GHS100,000 to the National COVID-19 Trust Fund to aid the government’s fight against the spread of Corona Virus in Ghana. Every year, the church has consistently donated 200,000ghc to Ghana’s Mental Health Sector. Indeed they deserve to be mentioned and celebrated.

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*Lady Rosa Whitaker Williams*: A Global Facilitator who has dedicated her career in facilitating trade and investment between US and Africa. Lady Rosa is a beloved figure in the healthcare and wellness community. Her works as Director for Mercy Ships(providing free surgeries for the world) has not only improved health outcomes but empowered individual Health Workers to serve humanity globally. As a Ghanaian woman raising the bar and serving as a key role model for younger girls, she deserves to be celebrated.

**Passion Air*: In the past, movement of patients with terminal illnesses, with complex care and time of travel of patients from one point to another to seek consult, translocation of health consultants from one health facility to another, the death of some health workers via road accidents while going to other regions to help strengthen their healthcare systems caused shiver to many within the industry untill Passion Air showed up. Today, they even joined in renovating some special health facilities and this we believe is worthy of commendation.

*Dr. Sheikh Osman Nuhu Sharubutu (National Chief Imam)*: The National Chief Imam, Dr Shiekh Osumanu Nuhu Sharubutu has been a relentless advocate for equal healthcare and wellness. He led the Muslim community to donate a million face masks to students within the community. His community continuously obey the pillars of Islam especially Zakat by helping pay millions of hospital bills through fundraising.

**Nana Ama McBrown* : Nana Ama has been a vocal champion for Ghana’s healthcare and wellness awareness in helping raise funds in diverse ways to support many individuals in needs and communities who deserve financial support especially. Her advocacy and support have played very instrumental roles in shaping public perceptions around entertainment and health.

**Dr Patrick Aboagye* : The Director of Ghana Health Service is well known for his tremendous advocacy and contribution for health equity and social justice. His leadership skills and initiatives include excellent health programs, education and more and this Service that has positioned Ghana on the Health Globe, handsomely deserves recognition. His efforts have improved healthcare and wellness outcome affecting all Ghanaians Globally.

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*Mr. Joseph Siaw Agyapong* :  It is his vision of keeping the nation clean through the birth of his brand that keeps making our nation healthy. During the Covid 19 era, the Zoomlion brand partnered with the Government of Ghana and Ghana Health service to fumigate all Senior High Schools. He also helps pay huge medical bills and deserve to be celebrated.

*Mr. Kwesi Twum and Multimedia Group:* His Brand the Giant Media House contributes to the healthcare and wellness industry by keeping the public informed through excellent health conversations and programs of Public Health Importance.

*Mr Ibrahim Mahama* It is his track record of consistently flying vulnerable Ghanaians seeking quality medical care including those going for Cancer treatments that align him with these indefatigable men and women. Donations of hospital supplies makes him a well deserved recipient of this honor.

President of Ghana Wellness and Healthcare Awards Mr OB Sinachy is super excited about these special awards recipient and grateful to the Research Team for an excellent job in bringing to light the amazing contribution of these individuals and institutions.

According to the Chairperson of the Planning Committee of the Awards Mrs Sara Nana Yeboah; “These heroes will be welcomed to the GWHA Hall of Fame on the night, celebrating the achievements of these exceptional individuals and institutions at the La Palm Royal Beach Hotel on Friday, 14th June, 2024.

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The 2024 Ghana Wellness and Healthcare Awards is proudly partnered by Sangy Global, La Palm Beach Hotel and Sunny FM.

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Star Wars: The Old Republic Free Rewards Codes

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Star Wars: The Old Republic Free Rewards Codes

Star Wars: The Old Republic allows players a place in the Star Wars universe, set thousands of years prior to the Skywalker story. Future Jedis can pick from eight unique classes and make choices that align them with the Light or Dark side.

While the SWTOR game is free, it offers additional content and expansions through a subscription model. Players can also buy currency in the game to get cosmetic SWTOR items and other upgrades. Some rewards are available for free, without any payment. Here’s a list of the current Swtor codes:

Note: Released in 2011, Star Wars: The Old Republic offers a limited but valuable selection of active codes. It’s surprising that these Swtor codes are still working. If you’re looking to get your hands on some more Swtor coins, be sure to check out U7BUY!

List Of Active Swtor Codes

As of May 2024, here are the codes:

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– **NYCANTINA16** – Black and Blue Korrealis Mount

– **SWCANTINA17** – Orange Korrealis Viceroy Mount

– **SWCELEBRATION17** – Small Droid Pet M8-3R

– **NYCANTINA19** – Golden Border for character portrait

All SWTOR codes are usable by any character, whether they are Human, Twi’lek, or Chiss.

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In addition to the rewards mentioned, subscribers gain access to exclusive story expansions, faster levelling, and priority login. They can also enjoy more inventory slots, higher credit limits, and additional SWTOR character slots. 

Players should make sure to regularly check the in-game SWTOR Cartel Market for limited-time offers and special deals. For those looking to maximize their experience, joining an active guild can provide additional social rewards and group content opportunities. 

Furthermore, participating in seasonal events and in-game celebrations often yields unique items and special achievements.

List Of Unactive Swtor Codes

The following SWTOR codes do NOT work anymore

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SQUADRONS – Stardrive Vanguard Mount

CantinaLivestream2020 – 4 Korrealis Mounts

SWCELEBRATION19 – 4 Poster Decorations with Flair

SWCANTINA2018 – Flair, Event 2018

NYCANTINA17 – Mount, SW Celebration 2017 Cantina Event Promo Item

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CelebrationCantina16 – Mount, SW Celebration 2016 Event

KOTORSPEEDER – Special Event

ER7K-YUDH-725X-VZVS – Special Event

SWTORSHARETHELOVE – Special Event

SPECIALFORCES – Special Event

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SDCANTINA19 – Special Event

How To Redeem Swtor Rewards Codes

Players can redeem these Swtor codes on the SWTOR official website 

  1. First, they need to “Sign In” with their game credentials.
  2. Then, click on the “Account” option in the upper right-hand corner.
  3. Lastly, select “Redeem Code” from the menu.

Only one redemption is allowed per account. Rewards might not show up right away; they may be delivered to your in-game mail. So, check your in-game mail after redeeming a SWTOR code. Be sure to use the codes promptly as they do expire.

Where To Find More Swtor Codes

The SWTOR subreddit is a hotspot for finding active codes and free rewards. This community frequently shares the latest offers. Follow the game’s official website and social media channels to stay informed.

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This guide provides all the details needed to claim free rewards in Star Wars: The Old Republic. Which reward are you looking forward to? Share your thoughts with us!

Of course, some of these rewards are now unobtainable, but that can be fixed because we’ve got some Swtor account for sale over at U7BUY!

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UNIJAY AMALEBOBA FOUNDATION SECURES GRANT AGREEMENT WITH INVESTING FOR EMPLOYMENT (IFE)

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In a monumental leap forward for vocational education and employment opportunities in Ghana, UniJay Limited and Unijay Amaleboba Foundation have joined forces with The Facility Investing for Employment (IFE), acting on behalf of KfW Development Bank and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), to sign a pivotal grant agreement.

The agreement, inked amidst a momentous ground-breaking ceremony, marks a significant milestone in the establishment of the UniJay Centre of Excellence and Hostel Facility for Apparel and Garments. This ambitious project represents a collaborative effort to revolutionize vocational training in the textile industry and address the pressing need for skilled workers.

With the generous support of the KfW Development Bank and the BMZ, facilitated through IFE, UniJay Limited and Unijay Amaleboba Foundation are poised to embark on a transformative journey towards creating a state-of-the-art training facility and hostel. Part of the successful graduates from the training centre will be hired directly by the grantee to work at its new garment factory. This endeavour underscores their shared commitment to nurturing talent, fostering innovation, and bolstering employment prospects for Ghanaian youth. A total of 1.977 new jobs will be created by the project: 796 at the grantee’s entity and 1.181 at third party textile factories in Ghana. Around 1,300 of the new employees will be women and around 2,000 will be younger than 24. The IFE grant will be used for the construction of the training and boarding centre and purchase of equipment.

Mr. Steffen Kuhl, Managing Director of IFE, reiterated that “We are not here only for the opening of a factory but also for complementary aspects of a College. We look forward to creating more than just jobs, but an ecosystem that can see to the sustainability of jobs”.

The UniJay Centre of Excellence will serve as a beacon of excellence, equipping students with the practical skills and knowledge essential for success in the apparel and garments sector. Coupled with the provision of modern hostel facilities, the project aims to create a conducive learning environment conducive to holistic growth and development.

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Speaking as the Special Guest of the ceremony, Her Royal Majesty Lady Julia Osei Tutu, wife of His Royal Majesty Otumfour Osei Tutu, King of Ashanti stated that “It is an honour to join you all for the sod-cutting ceremony of Unijay Amaleboba Centre of Excellence which for me is an important milestone of addressing the employment deficit that plagues our country’’. She emphasized the critical importance of training our youth in the necessary skills required by industries. Therefore, projects like the UniJay Centre of Excellence and Hostel Facility for Apparel and Garments deserve commendation, encouragement, and support.

In furtherance, the Chief Executive Officer of UniJay Limited and Unijay Amaleboba Foundation, Mrs. Janet Abobigu expressed her gratitude for the unwavering support of IFE, KfW Development Bank, and the BMZ. She emphasized the transformative impact of this collaboration in empowering the next generation of skilled professionals and driving socio-economic development in Ghana.

The ground-breaking event drew distinguished guests, including government officials, industry leaders, and community stakeholders, all united in their shared vision of a prosperous and inclusive future. The ceremony served as a testament to the power of partnership and collective action in effecting positive change.

As construction commences on the UniJay Centre of Excellence and Hostel Facility, stakeholders remain steadfast in their commitment to realizing this transformative vision. With innovation, dedication, and collaboration at the forefront, UniJay Limited and Unijay Amaleboba Foundation are poised to set new standards of excellence in vocational education and empowerment in Ghana and Africa as a whole.

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MTN remains top African brand, as well as leading brand ‘doing good’

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MTN Group has retained the top spot in the annual ‘Brand Africa 100: Best Brands’ survey, also continuing to lead the list of African brands ‘doing good for society, people and environment’ in recognition of our ESG efforts to create shared value and a sustainable business, society and world.

This Africa Day, we take heart from this accolade and would like to acknowledge and thank our partners everywhere for their support,” said MTN Group President and Chief Executive Officer Ralph Mupita.

“MTN is committed to meeting our customers’ current and future needs, leveraging digital capabilities for a more sustainable future, and fostering strong partnerships to drive meaningful change. These awards inspire us to keep focused,” he added.

 

The Brand Africa awards are the result of independent research in more than 30 markets which account for 85% of the continent’s population and economic activity.

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MTN Group has mobile operations in 17 countries on the continent. Since 2021, our strategy has been ‘Ambition 2025: Leading digital solutions for Africa’s progress’.

Among our ESG commitments are those to eco responsibility and achieving Net Zero emissions by 2040; driving digital and financial inclusion and a diverse society; being a committed partner to stakeholders to create and protect value; and boosting inclusive economic growth across the continent.

In April, Brand Finance ranked MTN as the most valuable South African brand, as well as the top South African brand by ‘sustainability perceptions value’, assigning MTN a brand value of R68.2 billion and a sustainability perceptions value of R5.7 billion.

 

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