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Africa’s Female Focused Community, Herconomy, Raises $600,000 Pre-Seed Funding

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From a women-focused community on social media to planning Africa’s largest financial services platform for women, Herconomy is leveraging fintech to empower women.

Women account for half of the world’s population but are faced with more hurdles in accessing financial products and services that can improve their well-being and economic empowerment. UNCTAD, based on the World Bank Financial Inclusion data, estimates that while 72% of men globally had a financial account in 2017, only 65% of women did – a gap of 7 percentage points).

In Nigeria, this gender parity is a concern even though financial inclusion has progressed over the years. According to EfiNA, a financial sector development organisation that promotes inclusive finance in Nigeria, only 15% of women (compared to 27% of men) were banked in 2008 (a gender gap of 12 percentage points). By 2018, 33% of females were banked but the gender gap had worsened to 13 percentage points. In the Global Gender Gap Index 2020 rankings by the World Economic Forum, Nigeria ranked 128 out of 153 countries emphasizing the economic disenfranchisement of women. Given the urgency in bridging the gender divide and enhancing the quality of life for women, policymakers and the public and private sector have continued to collaborate on many fronts.

For Herconomy, Africa’s first women-focused digital platform, changing the course of the financial exclusion narrative and underrepresentation of women in the economy will require a frontline and hands-on approach. Formerly AGS Tribe, the female-focused organization has repositioned itself as a financial technology (Fintech) service provider to democratize economic opportunities for women and even the financial landscape. “We decided to rebrand this year to Herconomy so the essence of what we do is easily communicated,” said Ifedayo Durosinmi-Etti, the founder and CEO of Herconomy. “We understand that when the life of a woman is positively impacted, value is created not just for that woman but for the community at large.”

Following the success of her 2018 book “Accessing Grants for Startups” (which was forwarded by former Lagos State Governor Akinwunmi Ambode), Ifedayo founded the AGS Tribe due to popular demand as she kept receiving requests from people from various walks of life, including entrepreneurs and working professionals seeking to improve and build their skill sets and access global opportunities. Sensing a steep knowledge gap, the MBA degree holder decided to take a holistic approach by creating a community that would be a pan-African female-focused network.

To accommodate the growing community, the AGS Tribe was hosted on Telegram which was a fully paid community. “The time on Telegram served as a customer discovery time,” said Ifedayo. “We eventually had to migrate to our mobile application because Telegram was not as supportive and as flexible for what we wanted.”

Once their mobile app launched, they knew they wanted to reach even more women, so they introduced a free tier which gave members of their platform access to all opportunities on their platform for free. They also introduced another tier that offered up to 30 percent discount off various products and services. These brands ranged from sectors like fashion, travel, salons, spa and wellness, law, and hospitality so, Gold members with Visa cards enjoy services that enhance their well-being. As a result, the AGS Tribe community scaled up and the community snowballed to over 15,000 members by the middle of July 2021.

One of the success stories of the AGS Tribe is Mobaby Care Nigeria, whose founder Mariam Adebola-Salami won a grant of $1,000 in March 2019 and another N1,000,000 in June 2019. Mariam, with the advisory support of AGS, was able to achieve a 10.5% growth in her business in ten (10) months with a customer base appreciation of over 1,000. Subsequently, Mobaby Care Nigeria was able to secure equity investment.

“Some of our members have won international grants, and in November 2021 one of our members, Confidence Stalavey, became an Obama Leader,” said Ifedayo. “Another community member of ours died in an unfortunate incident of domestic violence in June 2020 and as a community, we facilitated a fundraiser, which eventually raised over N26 million which has been placed in an FBNQuest trust fund for education for her kids. The organization does so much to help each other as a community. Another community member successfully secured a job in the UK after attending one of its weekly capacity-building workshops.

Very recently too, through the AGS Savings Challenge, over 500 women were able to save $100,000 cumulatively in 6 months.

This year, they unveiled the Herconomy Cooperative Multipurpose Society, which was described as a first step on the community’s mission to owning a female-focused bank here in Nigeria. To fund the expansion of Herconomy, the community embarked on its capital raising exercise.

In August 2021, Ifedayo shared plans to raise capital for Herconomy on her Insta story, and 130 people indicated interest in participating. “I had previously spoken with some investors in the past and the vision was lost on them but I knew what I wanted and trusted my community,” said Ifedayo.

Ifedayo had gotten into the Startup Bootcamp, which is an accelerator, in June, so she shelved the capital raising project till September to free up time to work on the business model of Herconomy. By September, she sent an email to the 130 people who had indicated interest in investing in Herconomy saying to them that it was time for them to invest. She also attached a google form so they could indicate their investment amount. She then went on her instastory again to say that ‘if you indicated interest earlier, you’ve got mail’. All of a sudden, more people indicated interest. That list grew from 130 people to 509 people, but this time, with actual figures that they could commit to within the next 2 weeks. To their surprise, Herconomy recorded a massive 11.4x oversubscription as it raised $5.7 million compared to the $500,000 target within 24 hours of its capital raise exercise.

“70 percent of the funding we received came from our community while the rest was from Venture Capitalists and Angel Investors,” said Ifedayo. “Due to the minimum floor of $20,000 investment, a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) was created to onboard members with less than $20,000.”

The funds, according to the organisation, will be channeled towards hiring an in-house tech team, improving on their product, increasing their marketing efforts and expanding their operations.

Some Angels who invested in Herconomy include:

1. Nkiru Ayemere – CEO, Zephans and Co

2. Ehi Onwudiwe – Director, Business Transformation, Ernest and Young

3. Olanrewaju Smith – CEO, World Bay Technologies

4. Ope Makinwa – Head of Reserve, Diageo

5. Ama Akpata – Co – Founder, Jand2gidi

This is what some investors had to say;

“I have followed the Herconomy story right from the AGS Tribe days and I have witnessed tremendous growth over the years. Not just the business, but of the founder as well. I have been a member of the community from the beginning so when the opportunity came up to invest, I certainly was interested in deepening my commitment by contributing my own token as an investor towards building a future where women thrive. I love Ife’s passion, doggedness and drive and you know what they say…..you don’t only invest in business idea, you invest in the founder. Herconomy is the future and I chose to invest in the future!” – Ehi Onwudiwe – Associate Director, Business Consulting, EY.

“Our thesis is that community is very key to the future of consumer fintech in Africa. The company has a very strong community element, and also focuses on creating financial products and prosperity for women- who have historically been underserved with financial services. We like the company very much and are happy to be on this journey with the team” – Olu Oyinsan – Managing Partner, Oui Capital.

The female-focused organisation has also announced it would embark on additional capital raising exercises and is open to interests from investors that share the same vision of women empowerment, inclusion and diversity.

Inspired by the great strides made and the need to consolidate gains for women in the economy, Herconomy is setting its eyes on more audacious and ambitious targets. According to Ifedayo, the upward trajectory of Herconomy will lead to the creation of Africa’s largest digital bank that will be focused on financing women and projects that elevate the status of women in the economy. In the meantime, “Herconomy is committed to enabling women to learn, network, and earn high interest on their savings as they spend. ” said Ifedayo.

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E-commerce contributions to Ghana’s growth and development; 2021 Highlights

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Electronic commerce or e-commerce, popularly known in Ghana as ‘’online shopping’’ has come a long way since the days when we all thought it was just a myth or a way for certain people to be fraudulent. Today, nearly everything we need can be ordered online and customers even have the convenience of staying at home or in their offices to take delivery of such orders. In recent times, online payments have also made it possible to avoid long queues in banks and even reduce the risks of contracting Covid-19. E-commerce has brought convenience, safety and affordability into our lives. However, the contributions of e-commerce to Ghana’s growth and development cannot be narrowed down to only the above-stated benefits. In 2021, Africa’s leading e-commerce platform Jumia impacted Ghanaians with various milestones and activities. Below are a few of them.

FEBRUARY :
Corporate Social Responsibility (Covid-19 impact)
On valentines day, 14th February 2021, Jumia Ghana employees, consumers and partners went on the streets of Accra educating the children, elderly and vulnerable in society about the risks, symptoms and prevention of covid-19. They also distributed nose masks and sanitisers to hawkers and street children at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle bus station.

JUNE :
Making insurance accessible online
Jumia also partnered with insurance group, Hollard Ghana to make insurance policies easily accessible online. The e-commerce company leveraged its technology and network to provide an efficient platform for Ghanaians to purchase Hollard’s general and life insurance products. This new feature is available on the JumiaPay platform and came at a time when the pandemic had affected most people reiterating the need for various types of insurance policies.

JULY :
Celebrated 9 years of e-commerce in Ghana
This was a milestone worth celebrating after 9 whole years of making the lives of Ghanaians easier and better through the internet. This was marked with a mega sale where consumers were given discounts of up to 50% to shop for their essential needs. There were daily flash sales and many giveaways as well.

AUGUST :
Safeguarding our environment
Jumia also partnered with Solar Taxi in Ghana to provide eco-friendly and affordable deliveries to online shoppers. With a shared vision of ensuring a clean and sustainable environment using renewable energy, coupled with the need to keep consumers safe especially during the many waves of the COVID-19-, Consumers who ordered food, groceries and other essential items on Jumia got their orders delivered conveniently and environmentally friendly to their homes or offices by SolarTaxi riders.

SEPTEMBER :
Corporate Social Responsibility (Blood donation exercise)
In collaboration with the Ghana Blood Service and the National Blood Bank, Jumia organized a blood donation exercise at their office in Accra to mark the Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah memorial day. Staff, customers, partners and the general public came in their numbers to donate blood. This was to help increase stock at the National Blood Bank while saving many lives.

OCTOBER :
Launch of e-commerce index 2021
Jumia published its first e-commerce report, Jumia Africa e-Commerce Index 2021 with a Ghana section, which leveraged data from the Jumia platform to illustrate the importance of shopping online in a pandemic context as consumers leveraged Jumia for their needs using their smartphones. The index unearthed a shift in consumer shopping behaviour from more electronics to essential products. This shift was part of a broader economic transformation led by the continent’s young, urban and tech-savvy population. The report was a partnership with UNCTAD, IFC, and Mastercard, highlighting the impact of e-commerce on the African economy.

NOVEMBER :
Supporting preterm babies on oxygen
The e-commerce company partnered with NICU soldiers and Fiona’s Foods to raise funds for preterm babies on oxygen in Ghana. This was dubbed #sconesforlife and the fundraiser was in the form of delivering scones and pies to generous people who bought them at higher amounts than their original costs just to support the project. Every Friday and Saturday, Jumia Logistics Ghana’s delivery agents sent the scones/pie orders to these consumers at no cost of delivery.

BLACK FRIDAY SALE
Jumia in partnership with thousands of sellers and brands offered consumers a wide assortment of products at the best prices. Discounts of up to 90% OFF, daily flash sales and treasure hunts where some lucky winners got the iPhone 13 at 100ghs and other great items at mindblowing discounts. There were also freebies and free shipping to selected areas. This was to ensure that customers enjoy the best deals and excellent services while sellers and brands grow their businesses. Being the biggest online sale of the year, it was an opportunity to also create awareness in Ghana about e-commerce and its benefits in our growing economy.

DECEMBER :
Expedient deliveries and top tier customer service
E-commerce giants Jumia partnered with Ghana Post. The strategic partnership sought to transform the customer experience of Ghanaians with faster and more efficient e-commerce flows. The new partnership supports Jumia’s commitment to leveraging its advanced technology and extensive network to provide a seamless and powerful platform for Ghanaians to purchase everyday needs online. Ghana Post also supports Jumia by delivering packages to consumers via efficient and expedient courier services.

All in all, 2021 was a great year of e-commerce impact. The opportunities and benefits of doing business online are endless. With Jumia’s commitment to improving its technology, 2022 promises to be more successful. Happy new year!

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Meet the new HUAWEI nova 9; The latest and most stunning smartphone in Ghana

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A great smartphone is one that is styled for the ages, equipped with a great camera, has a large battery that charges up swiftly, and if you throw in some cool futuristic features then you have something special and all of these things are not easy to find in one single phone!

Having said so, Huawei recently launched the all new HUAWEI nova 9, and you can pre-order now before 27th January at the Huawei Experience Store Accra Mall and other accredited retail shops  for GHS 3099 and get free gifts valued up to GHS 519

Dubbed as “the Trendy Flagship & Camera King”, this latest gem from Huawei comes soaring with a stunning design, a 50MP Super Sensing Camera, a large battery that supports 66W HUAWEI SuperCharge in addition to next generation Super Device features which allow you to do more than one things on multiple devices all at once. Let us take a look at its feature closely and you will understand why it is our favourite choice for a smartphone this season!

Breathtaking design

The HUAWEI nova 9 is simply an outstanding smartphone and it comes in a new colourway called: Colour No.9, what a cool name that is! Polished with a brand-new Starry Flash AG Glass process, the device is a pleasure to the eyes. Colour No. 9 is a mixture of low-saturation blue and purples hues that gives off a hint of mysteriousness. Under different lighting, the colour finish reflects vivid and colourful patterns.

Under a spotlight, the whole device shines and sparkles. It reminds users of the subtle moments in their life, which are inspiring and exhilarating. The HUAWEI nova 9 inherits the HUAWEI nova Series’ unique aesthetic and sophisticated design. The Trendy Flagship and Camera king sports a 6.57-inch curved display that can render 1.07 billion colours, and supports up to 120Hz display refresh rate, 300Hz touch sampling rate and the P3 colour gamut to produce smoother and more immersive visuals that are brimming with details.

The HUAWEI nova 9 is sleek with a thickness of only 7.77mm and a weight of approximately 175g only. In terms of industrial design, colourway is always an important factor for the HUAWEI nova Series to showcase its uniqueness and commitment. It also comes with a more iconic camera setup that is updated based on HUAWEI nova 8’s Star Orbit Ring.

 

Ultra-Vision Camera

The HUAWEI nova 9 comes with an Ultra Vision AI Quad Camera system, which includes a 50MP Ultra Vision Main Camera with RYYB colour filter array, an 8MP Ultra Wide Angle Camera, a 2MP Depth Camera and a 4cm Macro Camera. The upgraded hardware synergies with flagship-class algorithms to empower users capture in high clarity across different scenarios. Meeting the demand for an excellent vlogging experience, the HUAWEI nova 9 is fitted with a 32MP High-Res selfie camera. Similar to the rear camera, it also supports 4K video capture and AIS (AI Image Stabilisation) Video Stabilisation, allowing users to capture high definition footage of themselves as they talk to the camera, as well as the exciting events happening around them.

Thanks to Continuous Front/Rear Recording, users can also switch between the front and rear cameras, allowing them to fluidly capture their story within a single video file. Dual-View Video recording allows users to showcase their live reaction to events, simultaneously using the front and rear cameras with no editing required or, for when you want to show the big picture and the detail, you can simultaneously capture a close up shot and wide-angle shot at the same time.

Large Battery with HUAWEI SuperCharge

Considering how much of our daily lives are tied to the smartphone, battery life is perhaps one of the most important concerns that users have, if not the most. After all, no matter how powerful or well designed a smartphone is, it is of little use to us when its battery is depleted. The HUAWEI nova 9 packs a proprietary 4300mAh battery to provide all-day battery life. Furthermore, the Trendy Flagship Camera King supports 66W HUAWEI SuperCharge, enabling it to charge much faster. It takes only 15 minutes to charge to 53% and 38 minutes to 100%.

Visionary and Inspirational User Experience

 

The HUAWEI nova 9 runs on EMUI 12, which offers a straightforward, smooth, safe and reliable user experience for working, studying, remote communication, gaming, entertainment or video editing. Thanks to the Super Device features, Huawei has consolidated different menus into the Control Panel with a simple swipe users can explore the Control Panel and get quick access to audio playback, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth settings, as well as making it easier to control multiple devices as if they were controlling just one device.

For example, users can tap on the HUAWEI MatePad icon to activate Smartphone-Tablet Multi-screen Collaboration; tap the HUAWEI MateBook icon for Smartphone-PC Multi-screen Collaboration or tap the HUAWEI FreeBuds icon to seamlessly switch their audio output to their Huawei earbuds.

With the Distributed File System, the HUAWEI nova 9 can also function as a wirelessly connected external storage unit for the PC, meaning users can access the files they want more easily than ever before. This means when users are drafting an email on the PC, they can add smartphone files as an attachment or when they see an image they like when browsing the internet on the PC, they can save that image directly to the smartphone.

Using the HUAWEI nova 9, users can also transfer MeeTime calls onto HUAWEI Vision smart TV and conduct the call by taking advantage of the larger display, camera and speakers. Users may also conveniently share their screen during a video and even mark key places, to bring important insights directly into view.

Offering a smart and seamless experience to users, the trusted, innovative and secure AppGallery comes preinstalled on the HUAWEI nova 9, where users can search for, and download a wide range of high-quality apps.

In short, if you are looking for a new smartphone that truly ticks all the boxes and also that comes at a reasonable price range, then the new Trendy Flagship Camera King HUAWEI nova 9 is your go-to option right now! Preorder now for GHS 3099 at the Huawei Experience Store Accra Mall and other accredited retail shops and get free gifts valued up GHS 519.

Visit: https://consumer.huawei.com/gh/phones/nova9/ to learn more about the New Huawei Nova 9.

 

 

 

 

 

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How To Keep Your Kids Safe On The Internet

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There is so much that is unknown about the internet – new and potentially unpleasant or even dangerous sites are springing up every day, and the problem of online bullying is ever-present. It’s no wonder that parents can be very worried about the kinds of things that their children might be seeing and the people they might be interacting with online.

Although it’s difficult, as a parent you must take the time to educate yourself on the internet and to ensure that your kids are safe. This is not an easy task, but here are some ways it can be done.

Keep Up To Date

If parents are lagging behind in their knowledge of the internet and new tech, it’s highly likely their children are not. With this in mind, it’s crucial that you educate yourself on what is happening online so that you can be aware of the dangers and steer your children in the opposite direction, or at least be able to have a frank conversation about the issues that the internet can bring. Make sure you also learn its good points, though; otherwise you will find that your children may well miss out on the positive side of it and that could also be problematic.

 

You might also choose to learn about the internet with your children. Sit down together and explore some interesting sites and work out what is good and what isn’t. If you’re together, you can be sure of what your children are seeing, and your children can feel confident that they won’t find something unsavory by mistake.

 

Use Parental Controls

You won’t always be able to be close to your children when they want to go online; it’s just not entirely practical. If this is the case, you’ll need to set up some parental controls on their devices. When you do this, you can block certain sites or limit how long your kids go online for.

 

Although this might sound difficult, parental controls are quite simple to set up, and they are important too. Alternatively, you can find a Gabb Wireless discount code and get a smartphone specifically designed for kids. In this way, you can be sure that they are safe and they also have their freedom – this combination is ideal to allow them to grow and learn but stay protected.

 

Give Them Limited Screen Time

The more time children are online, the less they are outside in the fresh air, the less exercise they are getting, the less homework or reading they are doing, and the more they could be exposed to the bad side of the internet. With this in mind, it’s a good idea to limit the amount of screen time your children have – although the internet is a fantastic resource, and it’s a great way to relax, too much of it is detrimental to health and even happiness.

 

Make sure you have rules revolving around how much screen time your children can have. We’ve discussed implementing limits on the devices themselves, but it’s also important to be in charge of this. Don’t allow devices during meal times, for example, and make sure that devices aren’t used at least an hour before bedtime

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10X Thrive Conference: World-Class Speakers and Business Leaders Explore Practical Tips for Thriving in The Next Normal

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For two days in February 2022, a retinue of world-class speakers and business leaders will converge for the first ever 10X Thrive Conference to explore thriving in the next normal.

The global conference which will welcome speakers and attendees from all over the world, is scheduled to open on the 10th of February with The Job Suite: a three-hour comprehensive guide to the world of work – be that getting a job, a promotion, pivoting in the workplace and more. From resume hacks to insights on the most sought-after skills, best employers, most valuable skills, and a sweeping guide to the Future of Work.

The second day is The Growth Suite, focusing on growth across multiple facets of career, business and personal development, while also connecting with some of the best minds in branding, marketing, funding, career development, digital technology, self-development and leadership.

Organised by Omawumi Ogbe, managing partner at Lagos-based GLG Communications, and Rachel Onamusi, founder and CEO of London-based VN Sync, the conference is a combination of keynote interviews and fireside chats, one-to-one coaching, networking opportunities, and conversations delivering real, practicable tips that attendees can immediately apply to their personal and professional lives for success.

Participants from anywhere in the world can register to attend the conference for free at The 10X Thrive Conferenceportal.

“After the prolonged period of uncertainty and disruption we’ve all experienced in the last 2-years, this conference will offer actual action items that participants can start working on in order to achieve some great feats for 2022 as we make peace with the constant changes around us.” said Rachel Onamusi.

“We are focused on helping people to unlock their potential, and enhance their performance and impact in the workplace. This is why we’re bringing well respected speakers from across Africa, Europe, North America and Asia to share beyond theory, practical tips and tools that can be actioned now to thrive in today’s world of work. We’re also building a global network and supportive community of like-minded people.” added Omawumi Ogbe.

The conference has attracted speakers from a wide range of fields from some of the world’s most successful companies and businesses. According to the organisers, the powerful speaker lineup will be announced on the 10X Thrive registration portal and social media platforms. Speakers range from popular celebrities to C-Suite and seasoned business owners from leading organisations such as Dell, PwC, VMware, CNN, Coca Cola, and much more.

Some of which include renowned life coach, Lanre Olusola; actor and show host, Nancy Isime;  award winning actor and founder of Dakore Beauty, Dakore Egbuson Akande; IT Director at Dell Technologies, Tiffany Wilson; Founder of Ameyaw Debrah Media, Ameyaw Debra; to mention a few. The conference is open to career professionals and business owners, including small and medium scale entrepreneurs, entry-level and C-Suite professionals from all parts of the world.

Dates: 10th and 11th February, 2022

Time: 3pm GMT start on both days.

Register for free at 10X Thrive and follow @10xthrive on social media for updates and speaker announcements.

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Assemblies of God Ghana Launches TV station – (AGTV)

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Assemblies of God, Ghana has launched a television station – AGTV – in a bid to widen the outreach of the gospel across the world.

Sunday’s launch at the Assemblies of God Headquarters in Accra attracted senior members of the clergy, church members and other invited guests.

The free to air television network would show a variety of programs including sermons, gospel music, Christine movies, news bulletins and sports highlights.

Launching the station, the General Superintendent of Assemblies of God, Ghana, Rev. Professor Paul Frimpong-Manso, said the vision for the television station was hatched during initial variant of COVID-19 which necessitated the closure of churches and other public gatherings. According to him, a lot more souls can be reached through the power of television.

“With about 6,000 AG churches and almost 700,000 membership across the country, the TV station owned by AG was handy in reaching the entire nation for Christ. Rev Frimpong – Manso expressed the Church’s gratitude to all its pastors and members for their immense support in making the vision of the AGTV attainable.

The General Manager of AGTV Mr. Abraham Asare, emphasized that the objectives of the

channel are to be a point of reference as the leading Christian television station in Ghana,

and make the gospel of Jesus Christ common through the broadcast of life changing messages. They also seek to promote relevant AG church activities and programs, thereby presenting AG as the church of choice.

Whiles providing quality Christian entertaining programs and Broadcast programs

that give guidance and hope to the Christian youth, he further stated that

AGTV shall be the preferred destination for businesses with quick returns for their investments.

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Professor Robert E. Hinson is Acting Vice Chancellor of the University of Kigali

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Professor Robert E. Hinson has been appointed Acting Vice Chancellor of the University of Kigali, effective. 19th January 2022. A Skilled University Administrator, Professor Hinson started his academic career in the year 2003. He has acted as Director of Institutional Advancement at the University of Ghana, Head of Department, Head of Hall and Coordinator of the MSc. International Business Degree Programme in the same University. He also had the privilege of serving a short stint as Rector of the Perez University College in Ghana.

 

Professor Hinson holds a doctorate degree in Marketing from the University of Ghana and a second in International Business from the Aalborg University Business School. In Denmark. He also holds a Chartered Marketing qualification from the Chartered Institute of Marketing, UK.

 

 

Ranked the leading Marketing Scholar in Africa in 2021, Professor Hinson is the Deputy Vice Chancellor Academic at the University of Kigali and edits the Palgrave Studies of Public Sector Management in Africa as well as the Palgrave Studies of Marketing in Emerging Economies.

 

 

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