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Deadline to Apply for the Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme Fast Approaching

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The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), Africa’s leading philanthropy empowering African entrepreneurs is accepting applications now on www.tefconnect.com for its 2021 TEF Entrepreneurship Programme. With the deadline fast approaching, this year’s intervention which includes $5000 funding, mentoring and training for each selected business, prioritizes the economic recovery of young African entrepreneurs following the severe impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic.

 

To address the unique challenges arising from the pandemic, lift millions out of poverty and create sustainable employment across the continent, the Foundation’s Entrepreneurship Programme will empower over 3,500 young African entrepreneurs.

The Tony Elumelu Foundation, which celebrated ten years of impact in 2020, is empowering a new generation of African entrepreneurs, through the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme.  Successful applicants receive a world-class business training, mentorship, non-refundable seed capital up to $5,000, and global networking opportunities.  The Programme is open to entrepreneurs across Africa, both new start-ups and existing young businesses, operating in any sector.

CEO of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, Ifeyinwa Ugochukwu stated, “The Tony Elumelu Foundation now more than ever is demonstrating our commitment to unleashing the potential of young African entrepreneurs, the key to Africa’s long-term economic transformation.  The pandemic has created challenges across the continent, but we know that with the Tony Elumelu Foundation’s tried and tested Programme, we can execute the largest Covid-19 economic recovery plan for African SMEs and break the cycle of poverty in Africa.”

The Tony Elumelu Foundation’s $100million Entrepreneurship Programme, launched in 2015 to empower 10,000 entrepreneurs over 10 years, is now entering its 7th year and has empowered to date, over 9,000 young African entrepreneurs from 54 African countries. Prospective applicants should apply on the digital networking hub for African entrepreneurs, www.tefconnect.com.

 

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Countries do not expect to achieve 2030 global education targets

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A new report released today by UNESCO’s Institute for Statistics and the Global Education Monitoring Report finds that, according to their own benchmarks, countries will not achieve Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4) of ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong learning opportunities for all by 2030.This is a wakeup call for the world’s leaders as millions of children will continue to miss out on school and high-quality learning.

The report, National SDG 4 benchmarks: fulfilling our commitments, compiles the findings from the culmination of a two-year global process convened by UNESCO. Participating countries identified their targets for 2025 and 2030 relative to six key SDG 4 indicators on: early childhood education attendance; school attendance; completion; minimum proficiency in reading and mathematics; trained teachers; and public education expenditure. The commitment made was to accelerate progress between now and the deadline relative to the rate countries achieved from 2000-2015. The findings show that even if countries reach their benchmarks, the world will still fall short of the ambition set out in SDG 4. This is even before taking into account the potential consequences of COVID-19 on education development.

“It is a real step forward that some two-thirds of countries are realistically assessing their chances of achieving the SDG 4 goals. It is critical that nations hold themselves accountable to their commitments for their children. However, almost halfway to our deadline, the process has shown that, even by their own assessment, most countries are not expected to get close to the 2030 goal,” said Silvia Montoya, Director of the UNESCO Institute for Statistics. “The next step must be to encourage all countries to submit benchmarks and determine which policies to prioritise before 2030.”

The report shows that according to their own measures, Latin America and the Caribbean and Central and Southern Asia are on course to achieve universal early childhood education. Sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa and Western Asia will not achieve this goal, where it is estimated that roughly two in three children will be enrolled in early childhood education by 2030 (up from less than half currently).

According to their plans, all regions will meet or be very close to achieving universal primary education. Challenges will remain in sub-Saharan Africa where 8% of children of primary school age are still predicted to be out of school in 2030 (down from 19% currently).

By 2030, countries in sub-Saharan Africa expect to be able to achieve a reduction in the rate of out-of-school upper secondary age youth from 47% to 32%; those in Central and Southern Asia expect to reduce their rate from 32% to 17%. In North Africa and Western Asia, the benchmarks show that countries believe they can reduce the rate from 28% to 14% and from 19% to 11% in Latin America and the Caribbean. The process has delivered a reality check with regards to the goal of universal completion of secondary education by 2030, which no region is on track to achieve. Completion rates are expected to land at 89% at lower secondary and 72% at the upper secondary level by the deadline.

Countries are the least confident about the ability to accelerate progress in mathematics skills: by 2030, globally, benchmarks show that an expected 26% will still not be able to do basic mathematics in the early grades, 32% at the end of primary and 34% at the end of lower secondary.

The percentage of trained teachers is expected to increase between 2015 and 2030 to over 90% in each level of education. The fastest growth is expected at the pre-primary education level, from 70% to 94%. Still, by the deadline, countries in sub-Saharan Africa expect that, despite their best efforts, over a quarter of teachers at the pre-primary level will remain untrained.

“These nationally determined targets do not yet take into account the possible impact of COVID-19 on education which we know has significantly slowed down and may have even rolled back progress on education. It is also troubling that a fifth of countries do not have plans with targets, so there is still work to do before a full realistic picture of where we aim to be by 2030 is available,” added Manos Antoninis, Director of the Global Education Monitoring Report.

The current benchmarks will be reviewed in 2022 to see if countries deem a significant revision of expectations as a result of COVID-19 school closures is necessary.

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AFCON 2021: Ghanaian Creative Content Producer, Ekow Barnes, produces campaign for global sportswear brand, New Balance

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Ghanaian creative content producer and writer, Ekow Barnes, whose latest work is a campaign for global sportswear brand New Balance, is launching a new production company.

The company, called WB Group, brings together creatives across the African continent to meet the growing demand for high-quality production work.

Ekow Barnes, with years of production experience, has worked for many global brands including Mercedes Benz, Johnnie Walker, Away, Birkenstock and Facebook. Launching this new company with his co-partner, William Annoh is part of their vision to create a high-value team on the continent that can serve the global demand for creative production and services. ”Having so much creative talent on the continent, the launch of WB Group simply seeks to harness the wealth of African creativity through creative collaborations to produce for brands – data-backed and strategy-led visual stories that are nuanced with African values and exuberance” he says

“WB Group is a leading next-gen production studio that specializes in still and moving images and exists to champion the creative arts agenda by sharing relevant stories and brands that matter. We work in tandem with brands to create, produce, and distribute thought-provoking, purpose-driven content for ad editorial, cultural and other media projects. Working with teams of artsy photographers, artists, producers and crew, WB Group brings partner brand’s visions to life while averting stereotypes and re-representing marginalized communities through visuals and data-driven storytelling,” reads the newly formed company’s profile.

Setting the tone for the company’s excellence, the debuting campaign produced by WB Group for global streetwear brand: New Balance, features striking visuals of the New Balance ‘The Lion Roars’ boots designed for the Senegalese football player, Sadio Mané. Being an African focused production company, the visuals take a step from New Balance’s regular style and introduce new sceneries with African overtones that elevate the campaign and tell a compelling story. The campaign invites people to share in Sadio Mane’s vibrant and bright culture and his unrivalled drive to win.

Watch the full campaign visuals here follow WB Group on Instagram, and visit their website www.wbgrouprepresents.com to learn more

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The Embassy of Peru in Ghana honours Chris Koney

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The Embassy of Peru in Ghana has honoured Ghanaian Marketing Communications professional, Brand and Talent Management Expert and media practitioner, Jonathan Christopher Koney, popularly known as Chris Koney.

This took place during a ceremony to announce winners of the maiden Ghana – Peru Arts contest held at the Great Hall of the University of Ghana, Legon on Tuesday 30th November 2021.

The event was attended by several dignitaries including the Head of the Peru Mission in Ghana, His Excellency Abel Antonio Cardenas Tuppia, Honorary Consul of Peru in Ghana Hon. Ghassan Yared and the Director of the Centre for Latin American Studies, University of Ghana, Dr. Joanna Boampong. Others were representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, members of the Diplomatic Corps, traditional rulers, and members of the media.

A citation signed by His Excellency MC Abel Antonio Cardenas Tuppia read, “we applaud your selfless dedication towards the promotion of a positive image of Peru in the Ghanaian media. Your devotion and commitment in the framework of the Ghana – Peru Art Contest will forever be remembered and we are honoured to have partnered with you as a judge in the maiden edition of the contest. You are a real master of your craft. We appreciate you, thank you”.

The Embassy of Peru in Ghana launched the Ghana – Peru Arts Contest as part of activities marking the two hundredth independence anniversary celebration of the Republic of Peru. The contest was open to Ghanaian non-professionals between the ages of 18 and 25 years who were expected to produce artworks and literature that illustrates the theme of friendship between Ghana and Peru.

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How Mandla, an African language e-learning platform is helping to preserve African languages

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In the language learning community, African languages have long lacked the attention they deserve. For those of us living outside the African continent, the motivations for learning an African language can be both personal or professional. Fortunately, thanks to the development of free, online resources, there’s never been a better time to learn an African language.

Here are three reasons why you should take advantage and learn an African language today.

Learning an African Language Can Shape Your Professional Trajectory

Sub-Saharan Africa alone is home to more than a billion people—roughly 1/7th of the world’s population. Africa is both young and growing, and the economic explosion of countries like Nigeria suggests the continent is set on a growth trajectory— despite centuries of inequities and marginalization from the twin forces of racism and colonial exploitation.

For the continent in the present day, it’s clear that challenges remain. But the region is bolstered by a young population and natural resources offering the potential to foster equitable economic growth and development. Young professionals and students intrigued by the prospect of a career in development, non-government organizations, translation and interpretation, or international business could all benefit from professional proficiency in one of the many African languages, including Yoruba, Twi, Swahili, and others.

Learning African Languages Can Help Connect to Your Culture

The population of the African diaspora is estimated to number around 140 million in the Western Hemisphere. Countries like the United States, Brazil, and others in both North and South America and the Caribbean boast sizable Black populations, which are the lasting legacy of the African slave trade.

Black people in these nations and elsewhere have been systematically subject to racist attempts to erase their history, identity, and shared-sense of culture throughout history. For many, however, learning an African language in 2022 represents an opportunity to meaningfully connect with a cultural and linguistic legacy that has been suppressed for centuries. And now, with the ubiquity of the internet and educational language learning platforms, the barriers to entry have never been lower.

Learning an African Language Can Combat Inequality in Language Education

The teaching of African languages can help connect Black and African people in the diaspora to their cultural and linguistic roots. It can also make for more robust and diverse language offerings in the traditional places where languages are learned.

Efforts have been made to diversify the languages on offer in American universities. Progress is hampered by a general decline in funding for foreign languages in general—even though African languages are of strategic importance to governments in the Global North.

Even technology has been slow to accommodate African languages. Language-learning giant Duolingo is expected to add Zulu and Xhosa to its roster in 2022—after many years of only hosting Swahili on the platform. However, new language-learning platforms are arriving on the scene with the express goal of promoting access to African languages—and the future of African language learning in the US and elsewhere looks bright.

Start Studying African Languages Today for Free

The bottom line?

Technology is making it easier than ever before for users around the world to explore their cultures and take advantage of all that learning an African language has to offer.

Looking to learn African languages at no cost? Then check out Mandla—the seamless new app designed for those looking to strengthen their connections to their African roots.

Click here to get started with Mandla on your desktop, or download the app on your Apple or Android device today.

 

Mandla, an African language e-learning platform started by a group of passionate first generation African students studying at elite colleges including Harvard, Vanderbilt, MIT and Cornell. The team was inspired by their personal desires to learn their mother tongues and found that there was a lack of resources to do so. Due to these challenges they decided to create Mandla. They are currently building a platform that not only teaches popular indigenous African languages but preserves others that are at risk for extinction.

 

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Absa Bank’s Corporate Banking campaign to light up Accra

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What does a Bank have in common with a cup of coffee, an adaptor, a cowrie or cake?

This is part of the thrust of Absa Bank Ghana’s new corporate banking advertising campaign that is set to get the capital talking for the most part of the first quarter of 2022.

The thought-provoking advertising campaign uses powerful creative imagery of unique products from several sectors of the economy and links their relationship to Absa Bank’s corporate banking mandate across the country and the continent. This is complemented by sector specific executions (Infrastructure, manufacturing, agriculture, telecommunication, oil and gas, power, mining financial institution and consumer goods) across a multiplicity of media channels and platforms.

The campaign, designed to shimmer and glitter in Ghana’s capital city and other regional centers on January 24th, 2022, uses four proof points – global reach, digital solution, value chain and expert solution– to drive home the Bank’s corporate banking credentials.

Absa Bank Ghana’s significance in Ghana’s economy has been a constant feature in the country’s developmental journey for more than a century. The Bank has supported several sectors, including empowering businesses to be sustainable and helping clients with transformative investment services. It has become a symbol of the Ghanaian financial identity since it first commenced operations as Barclays Bank in 1917.

The corporate banking business, especially, has a history of consistent financing support to many areas, including License Buying Companies in the cocoa sector and the largest single day domestic currency issuance in sub-Saharan Africa at US$2.25bn in 2017. Additionally, Absa Bank has acted as lead arranger for a number of big-ticket deals in Ghana’s finance and energy sectors.

 

As Regional Corporate Director for West Africa at Absa Bank, Ellen Ohene-Afoakwa says:

“Our fundamental task is to deliver value, experience, expertise and reach to ensure that our clients can put their businesses at the forefront of the financial world, whilst positively impacting their communities and powering their global vision. We are relevant in every sector of the Ghanaian economy from private, public, small and large entrepreneurship ventures and we shall continue to make capital available to grow the markets, transform the continent and maintain our image as the go-to partner of choice.”

 

Ultimately the advertising campaign is a call to action for both prospective and current businesses to partner a bank with demonstrable bravery and expertise to get things done. The campaign will utilize all key touchpoints in the external media space (TV, Online, Radio, outdoor, PR) together with an ambitious digital and social media approach.

It’s innovative creative execution, will undoubtedly elevate the conversation around the crucially important role Absa Bank plays in Ghana’s economy.

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Here is our top picks for smartphones in Ghana and why the HUAWEI nova 9 stands out from the pack

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Fancy a new smartphone? This is a good time to buy one, and our top smartphone guide will help you compare and contrast the top 2021 smartphones available on the market today in Ghana.

There are so many good phones to choose from right now but which one is the king of the castle? Is there even a winner? Smartphones come in all shapes, sizes and prices. Here, we have ranked and reviewed the top three 2021 smartphones money can buy today.

 

What can you expect from a new smartphone in 2021? There are many factors you need to consider but primarily the things you need to keep a close eye on are; design, camera, battery life and charging speeds in addition to cool features that spice up the user experience.

With that said, trust us -these smartphones are all top-notch and if you want to know more, simply read on to find out how each ones shines in its own way.

 

HUAWEI nova 9

Specs roundup:

Display: 120Hz curved OLED 6.57-inch display

Camerasetup: Rear Cameras: 50MP +8MP +2MP +2MP –Selfie: 32MP

Charging: 66W HUAWEI SuperCharge

Storage: 8GB RAM +128GB internal storage

Chipset: 6nm Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G

Dimensions: 160mm x 73.7mm x 7.77mm

 

Huawei recently released the HUAWEI nova 9, the latest addition to its popular and loved HUAWEI nova series. Dubbed as the Trendy Flagship Camera King, this latest hotshot from Huawei inherits the HUAWEI nova Series’ unique aesthetic and sophisticated design, bringing along powerful performance and features that help users capture and create. It is a helpful assistant for creating and sharing video content especially when it comes to vlogging features!

 

The latest smartphone from Huawei debuts with a new colourway –Colour No. 9 that is created with an all-new Starry Flash AG Glass process that adds a unique texture to the chassis and highlights the iconic camera module, giving it greater visual emphasis. Colour No. 9 is a mix of low-saturation blue and purple hues meticulously blends with the glittering particles to form a dreamy colour spectrum 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.

 

Both the front and back sides of its body are slightly curved, making it feel thinner and more comfortable to hold. Packed with a 6.57-inch curved display, the HUAWEI nova 9 remains sleek with a thickness of only 7.77mm and a weight of approximately 175g. Speaking of display, the HUAWEI nova 9 sports a 6.57-inch 120Hz Original-Colour Curved Display that can render 1.07 billion colours delivering smooth visuals in fine details. The incredibly curved screen slides from the centre to both sides just like a waterfall, which offers immersive visuals and a comfortable grip at the same time.

The HUAWEI nova 9 follows HUAWEI nova 8’s Star Orbit Ring design concept that is similar to the old look, but comes with a nova ring emblem that highlights the Star Orbit Ring, making it even more recognisable and eye-catching.

 

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 2MP Macro Camera. Whether it is city night photos, panoramas, portraits with bokeh effects or close-upshots, the HUAWEI nova 9 lets users capture images in high quality and deliver pro-grade clarity.

Meeting the demand for an excellent vlogging experience, the HUAWEI nova 9 features a 32MP High-Res selfie camera. The HUAWEI nova 9 supports 4K video shooting at 30fps with high definition and high frame rate, it delivers an enjoyable video experience with fascinating details and smooth motion.

 

Moreover, users of HUAWEI nova 9 can easily switch between front and rear cameras whilst filming to produce a single video featuring both footage in one go. Alternatively, you can use Dual-View Video to show both front and rear perspectives simultaneously, or to put a zoomed shot and wide shot together, both taken on the rear camera system, in one frame. Again, this switching of camera occurs seamlessly, allowing you to create unique videos by just pressing the record button.

 

Regardless of the task, the HUAWEI nova 9 delivers excellent battery life with the high capacity 4300mAh battery. In addition, charging down time is kept to a minimum, with the new smartphone supporting 66W HUAWEI SuperCharge for high speed charging.

 

HUAWEI nova 9 also boasts some Super Device features staying true to Huawei’s innovative spirit! 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 smartphone 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.

Running on EMUI 12, the HUAWEI nova 9 offers a smart and seamless experience to users. The trusted, innovative and secure AppGallery is available on the HUAWEI nova 9, where users can download a wide range of high-quality apps.

 

Samsung Galaxy S21

Specs roundup:

Display: 6.2-inch 120HzDynamic AMOLED 2XDisplay

Camera setup: Rear Cameras: 12MP +64MP + 12MP –Selfie: 10MP

Charging: 25W Samsung Super-Fast Charging

Storage: 8GB RAM +128/256 GB internal storage

Chipset: 5nm Samsung Exynos 2100

Dimensions: 151.7mm x 71.2mm x 7.9 mm

 

From the front, the Galaxy S21 comes with a 6.2-inch 120Hz Dynamic AMOLED display complete with a neat punch-hole selfie camera in the top middle part of the screen. Look closer and you will see the S21 has dropped its predecessor’s curved display and opted for flat edges. However, in practical use the Galaxy S21’s display is great. Stick it in “Vivid” mode and you will see heaps of contrast and colour. The display is also good for watching videos and movies, or simply scrolling through your pictures or playing games.

Hardware-wise, the Galaxy S21 comes with a triple camera array which comprises of a main 12MP wide-angle lens, a 12MP ultra-wide lens and a 64MP telephoto lens with 3x hybrid optic zoom and 30x space zoom. On the video front, the Galaxy S21 covers a lot of bases. It offers up to 8K capture at 24 fps that lets you snap high-quality photos while recording high resolution videos.

 

Other high-end features include 1080p video recording at 30/60/240 fps, which makes them super-smooth. Speaking of smooth, the Super Steady mode, which uses AI to compensate for shaky recording, works on 1080p 60 fps video capture.

Samsung Galaxy S21 comes with a 4,000-mAh battery. Fast charging is on offer over the USB-C PD standard, charging up the battery to 55% in 30 minutes. Samsung only puts the USB-C cable in the box. If you do not have a charger then you can buy a 25W charger.

 

Samsung Galaxy S21 runs on One UI. The interface is elegant, complete with a redesigned Quick Panel and a notifications screen that feels less cluttered. Users would especially appreciate the redesigned lock screen widgets as well as the ability to place widgets on the screen and adjust their transparency. One UI 3 still comes with many options to tweak your Galaxy experience.

 

 

Samsung Galaxy A72

Specs roundup:

Display: 6.7-inch 90Hz Super AMOLED display

Camera setup: Rear Cameras: 64MP +12MP +8MP +5MP –Selfie: 32MP

Charging: 25W Samsung Super-Fast Charging

Storage: 8GB RAM +128/256GB internal storage

Chipset: 8nm Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G

Dimensions: 165mm x 77.4mm x 8.4mm

 

Dominating the front of the Samsung Galaxy A72 is a 6.7-inch FHD+ Super AMOLED display. The screen is vibrant with colours, excellent sunlight visibility, and great viewing angles. A layer of Gorilla Glass 5 protects the panel.

In terms of colour, the Samsung Galaxy A72 is available in Awesome Black, Awesome White, Awesome Violet or Awesome Blue. It comes in at 165 x 77.4 x 8.4mm and weighs around 203g. The overall design comes with a large camera block in the top left corner of the rear, and a –hole selfie camera in the top centre of the screen.

 

The Samsung Galaxy A72comes with a camera setup, which consists of four lenses. There is a 64MP wide camera, 12MP ultra-wide camera, an 8MP telephoto camera in addition to a 5MP macro camera. On the front, it comes with a 32MP camera for capturing some good selfies.

Samsung Galaxy A72 houses a 5000mAh battery and supports 25W Samsung Super-Fast Charging for a quick refill. Fast charging capability lets you spend more time playing, scrolling and sharing and less time charging. The Samsung Galaxy A72 comes with One UI 3.1 based on Android 11 out of the box. As it’s usually the case with Samsung phones, there is more than enough customisation on offer.

 

Choosing the right one

Making the final choice comes down to you and your preferences. A variety of reasons including sleek design, display, photography, videography, charging speeds, and of course cool features will be the ultimate deciding factors on what your next 2021 smartphone will be. However, amongst all the 2021 trendy flagships, the HUAWEI nova 9 ticks all the above boxes and has an exceptional design and some cool futuristic features!

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