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Free bikes for students Ghana… Ghana Bamboo Bikes Initiative announces 5-year Cycle to School Program

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The Ghana Bamboo Bikes Initiative (GBBI), social wing of Envirotech Bamboo Limited, has announced a five-year free bamboo bicycle distribution programme, to promote inclusive education in rural communities across Ghana.

Under the programme, thousands of transport-dependent school children will receive bamboo bicycles to facilitate travelling between their homes and schools.

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Chief Executive of Ghana Bamboo Bikes Initiative, Mrs. Bernice Dapaah

During a launch event in Manso Adubia, Amansie South District,  Chief Executive, Mrs. Bernice Dapaah highlighted the importance of building a cycling culture to bridge social inequality and enhance environmental safety. She said the Ghana Bamboo Bikes Initiative is open to partnership with international distributors of bamboo bicycles and other development agencies with a shared interest in promoting equality of education.IMG 20201201 WA0099

According to Mrs. Dapaah, education is the bedrock of Ghana’s progressive development and it must be our solemn commitment to provide every child the opportunity to attain to greater heights in learning. It is a national obligation to eliminate social inequality and limited access to education especially among remote communities.IMG 20201201 WA0100

She comments: “Gaining access to school is the first bold step to building a promising future for our children and this should be top on the agenda. It is a course requiring the contribution of government, organizations and individuals.
For this reason, Ghana Bamboo Bikes Initiative announces to the public its 5-year Cycle to School Program in which thousands of bamboo bicycles will be freely given to transport-dependent marginalised school children. “IMG 20201201 WA0096

She adds: “This program is aimed at promoting inclusive education through increased access and participation in school. For a child far away in an unknown community, a bicycle could be the difference between success and failure in life. The long-term goal is to build a culture of cycling which has the positive outcome of ensuring cleaner environment. We have a shared vision to ensure sustainable mobility for all and this event is a critical part of that broad vision. It is my hope that today marks a turning point in the lives of the recipients of these bikes as they dream of a better future.”IMG 20201201 WA0101

The Ghana Bamboo Bikes Initiative is working closely with the Ghana Education Service (GES) and the Ministry of Education to establish the first modern semi-automated bicycle assembly plant, to enhance technical and vocational skills training and deepen practice-based learning.

“The long term goal is to facilitate the creation of greater opportunities for industrial employment for technically equipped trainees, especially in the bicycle industry,”.

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Bisa Kdei working on a new song with UK rapper Ivorian Doll

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Ghanaian highlife singer, Bisa Kdei has shared photos of himself working in a studio with British rapper Vanessa Mahi, popularly known as Ivorian Doll. (more…)

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Showmax calls for pitches for 10 live action films from first-time African filmmakers

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On the opening day of The Joburg Film Festival, Showmax released an open commissioning brief to the African film industry calling for pitches for a slate of 10 live action films.
The African streamer has won the South African Film and Television Awards’ Made-for-TV Movie Award for two years in a row, first with Loving Thokoza and then with Boxing Day, the first two feature films from Mandla N. In addition, another Showmax film, Kelsey Egan’s debut feature, Glasshouse, was the most awarded feature film overall at the SAFTAs last year, with five Golden Horns.
The new brief, in partnership with the Joburg Film Festival, is aimed at finding new talent and opening up the industry. The proposals must have a first draft screenplay and be set in contemporary Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria or South Africa, with a first-time director attached who is a resident or citizen in those countries. All official Ghanaian, Kenyan, Nigerian and South African languages are welcome and the final films should be more than 40m, in line with the SAFTAs Best Made-for-TV Movie Award category.
“Showmax’s audience prefers local content, with seven of the ten most streamed titles in South Africa, eight of the top 10 titles in Kenya and Nigeria, and nine of the top 10 in Ghana last year being African,” says Yolisa Phahle, CEO of Showmax and Connected Video at MultiChoice. “Making your first film is a key turning point in any director’s career. So this brief is another way we are trying to empower local filmmakers to tell their own stories for their own communities in their own languages. We’re looking for authentic stories that will resonate with our local audiences. Popular genres like romcoms, family dramas and thrillers are always welcome.”
Submissions are now open on https://submissions.mnetcorporate.co.za/channel/showmax; entries close on 1 April 2023. The selected projects will be announced in the second half of 2023 and screened on Showmax in 50 countries across sub-Saharan Africa in 2024.
Pitches should take the form of a video pitch in English of no more than five minutes. This video pitch should include short bios of the writer, director and producer; a concise summary of the story, including the ending; an introduction to your lead characters; and a discussion of your chosen genre and stylistic approach, with visual references.
For inspiration, watch Mandla N’s Showmax x Actor Spaces directing masterclass here:
For more about Joburg Film Festival, visit www.joburgfilmfestival.co.za.
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Mr Eazi calls out Bad Bunny over song theft

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Mr Eazi has taken to social media to call out Bad Bunny over a song theft. (more…)

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Ghanaian footballer Christian Atsu reportedly ‘trapped in rubble’ after earthquake in Turkey

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Ghanaian Footballer Christian Atsu is reportedly among those trapped after an earthquake hit Turkey. (more…)

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South Africa’s Wouter Kellerman, Zakes Bantwini & Nomcebo Zikode win Grammy Best Global Music Performance

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South Africa’s Wouter Kellerman, Zakes Bantwini & Nomcebo Zikode have  won the 2023 Grammy award for Best Global Music Performance for Bayethe. (more…)

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Idris Elba attends Akwasidae in Asante Kingdom

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Idris Elba attends Akwasidae in Asante Kingdom

British actor of Ghanaian and Senegalese heritage, Idris Elba has paid homage to the Ashanti King, Otumfour Osei Tutu II as he attended Akwasidae at the Manhyia Palace in Kumasi.

The Akwasidae Festival is celebrated by the Ashanti people and chiefs in Ashanti, as well as the Ashanti diaspora. The festival is celebrated on a Sunday, once every six weeks.

Earlier in the week, Elba revealed that he and his partners have undertaken some groundwork aimed at facilitating the building of a film studio in Ghana and across West Africa.

Speaking to President Akufo-Addo during a visit to the Jubilee House, the actor explained that although so much can be achieved in the film industry in Africa, facilities are lacking.

Hence, Idris Elba is convinced that the project, when completed, will be robust and competitive to attract filmmakers to choose Ghana for their productions.

“Currently, we call it West African Studios, but that’s a working title. We’ve been working on this for three or four years to raise a plan that puts a facility at the centre of African filmmaking. There’s a lot for African filmmaking, but the facilities are lacking.”

Idris Elba added that although their plans are in place, they believe that there needs to be policies that would encourage filmmakers to make the trip to Ghana and other West African countries.

He stated that in their preparations and research, they put together the parameters for the policy, adding that they sought to understand what international filmmakers need from Ghana.

The ‘Beast of No Nation’ actor stated that without the policy framework, the country can have as many film studios as possible, but it will not attract filmmakers.

“We realized that policy is where the actual groundwork needs to be laid. We’ve studied the models of South Africa, incredible incentive packages, Greece, Morocco and these are all places where they realize the value of the filmmaking and they’ve brought that policy into play.”

“National Film Authority has done the work and put together a very comprehensive plan to propel Ghana into the forefront. It needs to be robust and competitive to the rest of the world. We believe for sure that Ghana should step up in terms of attracting those filmmakers. I’ve come and seen you and presented to you essentially, just the parameters of what we need to do.”

President Akufo-Addo assured Idris Elba that the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture is developing a policy framework to guide filmmaking in the country.

He advised that the director of the Creative Arts Agency will liaise with the Tourism Minister to look through the proposal presented, in relation to what the Ministry is doing to ensure there are no gaps.

He stated that this will ensure the film industry has a comprehensive document that guides their activities.

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