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Green conference re-shapes the career focus of Ghanaian architecture students

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Olufemi Abodunrin, Cheryl Omani-Baah and David Gifat Ampiaw in Capetown.

Architecture students from the Central University in Accra say the have started the new year with a clearer career focus following their participation in the Green Building Council of South Africa’s annual conference in Cape Town.

The students, Cheryl Omani-Baah, Olufemi Abodunrin and David Gifat Ampiaw, have a new perspective after the conference, placing a larger value on the importance of sustainable design.

Bringing their experience home to Ghana, the students aim to be change agents, inspiring their colleagues to design green and help the Ghanaian government enforce their new green building code.

The students told News Ghana in an interview that they were pleasantly surprised to see that people in Cape Town were so conscious of the environment.

“The property sector in Cape Town has gone far in making the city sustainable,” said Cheryl Omani Baah. “The materials that we normally throw away in Ghana are being reused in Cape Town and not as much waste is being produced. I hope that one day our building sector gets to the level where we are equally enthusiastic about saving the environment.”

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Olufemi Abodunrin agreed. “What I gathered from the conference is that Cape Town is advanced in terms of green buildings and people are very conscious of protecting the environment.”

The students continued with how the experience in South Africa has helped to influence their interest in sustainable design.

“Since returning from the conference, I’ve been more focused on how to reduce carbon emissions,” said David Gifat Ampiaw. “I’ve also been sharing the knowledge I acquired at the conference with my peers to influence them to think of the environment as they design their projects.”

Cheryl Omani-Baah agreed. “Since we came back, I’ve been able to influence my mates to design in a new way. When we leave the classroom, we’re going to influence other architects, our friends and families to also go green. It really starts with one person spreading the concept.”

The students concluded their conversation with News Ghana with advice for architects to be more conscious of the environmental impacts of buildings when executing projects.

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“In Ghana, we tend to design to fit what the client wants,” Cheryl Omani-Baah said. “We’re not thinking of how we may end up destroying the environment. In the design stage, we should inform the client of the environmental impact of the building and suggest a greener way. If we do that, we will help the entire economy of Ghana.”

David Gifat Ampiaw, Olufemi Abodunrin and Cheryl Omani-Baah are winners of the Architectural Design Competition organized by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and its partners in July 2019.

The competition challenged students to design a cutting-edge, single-family home intended for a young family on the outskirts of Accra, using locally-available materials and IFC’s EDGE software. Homes had to reach the EDGE standard of a minimum savings of 20 percent less energy, water, and embodied energy in materials.

Winners of the competition travelled to Cape Town to attend the Green Building Council of South Africa’s conference in early October last year.

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People & Lifestyle

Open letter to customers from Sir Tim Clark, President Emirates Airline

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To all our valued customers,

This week has been one of the toughest for Emirates operationally, as record storms hit the United Arab Emirates.

I would like to offer our most sincere apologies to every customer who has had their travel plans disrupted during this time.

On Tuesday 16 April, the UAE experienced its highest rainfall in 75 years. Lashing storm winds and rain disrupted activity across the cities. Our 24/7 hub in Dubai remained open, with flight movements reduced for safety, but flooded roads impeded the ability of our customers, pilots, cabin crew, and airport employees to reach the airport, and also the movement of essential supplies like meals and other flight amenities.

We diverted dozens of flights to avoid the worst of the weather on Tuesday, and over the next 3 days we had to cancel nearly 400 flights and delay many more, as our hub operations remained challenged by staffing and supply shortages.

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We were clear on our 2 priorities: Look after our customers who have been impacted by the disruption and get our operations back on schedule.

To free up resources and capacity to manage impacted customers as a priority, we had to suspend check-in for passengers departing Dubai, implement an embargo on ticket sales, and temporarily halt connecting passenger traffic from points across our network coming into Dubai.

We deployed additional resources to aid our airport and contact centre teams with rebooking and put on additional flights to destinations where we identified large numbers of displaced customers.

We sent over 100 employee volunteers to look after disrupted customers at Dubai Airport departures and in the transit area, prioritising medical cases, the elderly and other vulnerable travellers. To date, over 12,000 hotel rooms were secured to accommodate disrupted customers in Dubai, 250,000 meal vouchers have been issued, and more quantities of drinking water, blankets, and other amenities.

Behind the scenes, it was all hands-on deck for thousands more employees across the organisation to get our operations back on track.

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As of this morning, Saturday 20 April, our regular flight schedules have been restored. Passengers previously stranded in the airport transit area have been rebooked and are enroute to their destinations. We have put together a taskforce to sort, reconcile, and deliver some 30,000 pieces of left-behind baggage to their owners.

It will take us some more days to clear the backlog of rebooked passengers and bags, and we ask for our customers’ patience and understanding.

We know our response has been far from perfect. We acknowledge and understand the frustration of our customers due to the congestion, lack of information, and confusion in the terminals. We acknowledge that the long queues and wait times have been unacceptable.

We take our commitment to our customers very seriously, and we have taken learnings from the last few days to make things right and improve our processes.

I’d like to also acknowledge and thank our teams across the airline, and our many suppliers and partners for their tireless efforts around the clock this week, despite the challenging conditions, to support customers, recover our network, and bring our operating schedule back to normal.

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Finally, and once again, I want to offer, on behalf of myself, and all the teams across Emirates, our apologies to each and every customer affected by this disruption.

We will continue to work hard to live up to your expectations, and to our Fly Better brand promise.

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People & Lifestyle

Payroll Outsourcing Strategies for Success

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Managing payroll efficiently is crucial for the success of any organisation. However, handling payroll in-house can be complex, time-consuming, and prone to errors. That’s where payroll outsourcing services in UK come in. Payroll outsourcing involves hiring a third-party provider to handle all aspects of payroll processing, from calculating wages to disbursing payments and filing taxes. This article will explore some effective strategies for successful payroll outsourcing.

Define Your Needs

Before outsourcing your payroll, it’s essential to define your organisation’s payroll requirements clearly. Consider factors such as the number of employees, pay frequency, benefits administration, and compliance requirements. Understanding your needs will help you choose the right outsourcing provider and ensure they can meet your specific requirements.

Research Potential Providers

Not all payroll outsourcing providers are created equal. Take the time to research potential providers thoroughly. Look for companies with experience in your industry, a track record of reliability, and positive client testimonials. Don’t hesitate to ask for references or case studies to gauge their level of expertise.

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Evaluate Technology Solutions

Technology plays a crucial role in payroll outsourcing. Look for providers offering user-friendly payroll software with automated calculations, direct deposit options, and secure data storage. Additionally, consider whether the provider offers mobile access, which can benefit remote employees and managers.

Consider Compliance and Security

Compliance with tax laws and regulations regarding payroll processing is non-negotiable. Ensure that your chosen outsourcing provider stays up-to-date with changes in legislation and has robust security measures in place to protect sensitive employee data. A reputable provider should comply with industry standards such as SOC 1 and SOC 2 certifications.

Communicate Effectively

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Clear communication is essential for successful payroll outsourcing. Establish a communication plan with your provider, including regular check-ins, reporting requirements, and protocols for addressing any issues or concerns. Ensure all stakeholders are informed about the outsourcing arrangement and understand their roles and responsibilities.

Monitor Performance Metrics

Track key performance indicators (KPIs) to evaluate the effectiveness of your payroll outsourcing arrangement. Some relevant metrics to monitor include accuracy rates, timeliness of payroll processing, compliance with deadlines, and customer satisfaction levels. Use this data to identify areas for improvement and make informed decisions about your outsourcing strategy.

Stay Flexible and Adapt

As your business evolves, your payroll needs may also change. Stay flexible and be prepared to adapt your outsourcing strategy accordingly. Whether it’s scaling up to accommodate growth or adjusting processes to address new regulatory requirements, choose a provider that can grow and evolve with your organisation.

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Invest in Employee Training

While outsourcing payroll can streamline processes and reduce administrative burdens, it is essential that your internal team understands how to work effectively with the outsourcing provider. Invest in training programs to familiarise employees with the new payroll system, address concerns, and promote collaboration between internal staff and the outsourcing team.

Review Contracts Carefully 

Before finalising any agreements with a payroll agency, review the contract carefully to ensure that all terms and conditions are clearly defined and aligned with your expectations. Pay close attention to pricing structures, service level agreements, termination clauses, and data security provisions. Seek legal advice if necessary to ensure that your interests are protected.

Seek Feedback and Continuous Improvement

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Finally, don’t overlook the importance of soliciting feedback from employees, managers, and other stakeholders regarding payroll outsourcing. Use this feedback to identify areas of strength and areas for improvement, and strive for continuous improvement in your payroll operations.

In conclusion, successful payroll outsourcing requires careful planning, effective communication, and ongoing collaboration between your organisation and the outsourcing provider. By following these strategies and choosing the right partner, you can streamline your payroll processes, improve accuracy and compliance, and focus on driving the success of your business.

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People & Lifestyle

How Live Dealer Games Are Transforming Hugewin Casino

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Live dealer games are reshaping the landscape of online casinos, offering a blend of traditional gambling excitement and the convenience of digital play. At the forefront of this evolution is Hugewin Casino, a prominent online gambling platform known for its innovative approach and diverse gaming offerings.

This article delves into how Hugewin Casino is transforming through the integration of live dealer games, providing players with an immersive, real-time gaming experience that mirrors the atmosphere of physical casinos. By examining the technological advancements that make these games possible, their impact on player engagement and retention, and the future prospects of live dealer offerings, we’ll explore how Hugewin Casino is setting new standards in the online gambling industry. Through this lens, readers will gain insight into the growing appeal of live dealer games and how they are becoming a pivotal part of the modern casino experience.