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Guest Blog: The Legitimization of NAM1

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Guest Blog: The Legitimization of NAM1 Guest Blog: The Legitimization of NAM1[/caption] For a man who came to prominence from relative obscurity and controlled huge wealth, there is very little known about Nana Appiah Mensah, popularly known as NAM1’s background or how he came about his wealth. You would have thought that authorities in this country especially the National Security apparatus would have taken interest and looked into the background of such a person especially as he was blowing/investing millions lavishly and some may say, unwisely. Were any background checks done on NAM1 and how he acquired the millions he was investing? If yes, what were the findings? If no, why not?

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  From a photo on his Instagram page, NAM1, is seen meeting the President of Ghana at the Jubilee House. Now, this is a photo I place huge relevance on but I have some pertinent questions.
  1. How did this meeting come about?
  2. What background checks were done on the man who seems to have scammed thousands of Ghanaians? What were the findings of any checks? If none were done; why?
  3. What was the purpose of that meeting?
For a man who had unexplained wealth, it was such meetings that were going to gain him legitimacy and acceptance and the President certainly contributed to giving a potential fraudster the legitimacy he needed. I have personally heard accounts of Menzgold clients who say the photo of NAM1 with the President convinced them that the business was genuine and that made them invest in it. And, can you really blame them when the NAM1 being condemned as a fraudster now was given access to the father of the land? Ghanaians deserve answers from the President and his handlers. Also, NAM1 is on record to have visited the Manhyia Palace with an entourage which included some Ghanaians artistes to go and greet the Otumfour. I do not believe that any Asante businessman can simply have access to the Otumfour so the Monarch and/or his handlers will have to indulge us by explaining to us how the man behind Menzgold was allowed access and whether or not background checks were carried out.
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  The owner of Menzgold also had the privilege of meeting the leader of the Muslim faith in Ghana, the Chief Imam, Sheikh Dr. Osmanu Nuhu Sharubutu. A Menzgold client who is Muslim confessed to me that after seeing the photo of his leader with NAM1, that gave him the confidence to invest in the business. According to him, he planned to invest GHS 600,000 but increased it to GHS 1,000,000. That is power and influence a photo with the Chief Imam had.
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  We can only imagine how many more clients were influenced by these photos of NAM1 with the President of Ghana, the Chief Imam and the Otumfour. There was also a photo of the Menzgold CEO meeting the former President Kuffour and you really have to wonder if all these respected leaders and their handlers cared to look into the background of the man they were meeting. It is only right and proper that these eminent persons come out to explain to Ghanaians and admit their roles in legitimizing NAM1 and his Menzgold. This cannot be glossed over.
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The Ghana Police Service and the CID would also have to explain to us how a guy with criminal background was able to operate so freely and without any hindrance. Why was a blind eye turned by the Police and CID? Is it the money factor? I know the general consensus amongst Ghanaians is that “the Menzgold clients were warned several times”  Yes, this is true. There were several notices from the Bank of Ghana (BoG) and one from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Let us delve a bit deeper into the ‘warnings’ from BoG. But before that, here’s some background about Menzgold. The company started out as MenzBank and later rebranded to MenzBanc and finally, to their current brand name, Menzgold. The suspicion from the timeline of engagement between the authorities and MenzBank-MenzBanc-Menzgold is that the company changed name and tact each time BoG closed in on them for operating illegally and without a license for taking deposits. The final change from MenzBanc to Menzgold had the company changing it modus operandi with the introduction of a subsidiary named ‘Brew Marketing Limited’. A move ostensibly designed to get BoG to back off from their business. Now, back to the public notices (warnings) from BoG. In between the changes from MenzBank-MenzBanc-Menzgold, the BoG had issued warnings to the public specifically about the unlicensed deposit-taking of the company. The company and it’s owner pushed back each time there were such warnings insisting that they were not engaged in deposit-taking and that their operations did not fall under the ambit of BoG. As things stand now, it is not BoG that has determined that Menzgold is operating illegally neither is it BoG that issued a shutdown directive to Menzgold. It is the SEC. So, let’s zero in on the SEC and their role (or, lack of) in all of this. The Complete Failure Of SEC As A Regulator Let me state, first of all, that in the timeline of engagements between the authorities and MenzBank-MenzBanc-Menzgold which spans from October 2014 to June 2018, the SEC is completely missing in action and it is mainly BoG and Minerals Commission, to a lesser extent, who are the authorities featured in this timeline. From my research, I came across a public notice from the SEC on their website dated 22nd September, 2017 in which they were simply informing the public that Menzgold was not licensed by the SEC to operate in the Capital market. As we all know, the SEC, a year after their public notice found reason and basis to determine that Menzgold were operating illegally and directed Menzgold to shutdown their trading in gold collectibles. Let me be blunt here. From my understanding and research on this Menzgold issue, it is clear to me that there has been a complete failure  on the part of the SEC to protect Ghanaian investors especially the unsuspecting and uninformed ones. And, this is why I hold this stance. The SEC have been aware of Menzgold since 2017 and yet, only found reason to issue a notice informing the public that Menzgold were not licensed by them. Between September 2017 and August 2018 (a full 12 months) when the SEC refer to a visit they made to Menzgold’s head office; what tangible steps did the SEC take to ascertain whether or not Menzgold were operating illegally and then act accordingly? The SEC cannot claim ignorance about the scale of patronage in Menzgold and/or the potential risks and consequences for the investors and the financial sector so, why did it take them so long to finally act decisively? Even the timing of their intervention is interesting because a little over a week before the SEC’s intervention, there was a news story with the headline ‘Menzgold Clients Furious Over Delay In Dividend Payment; Company Says Money Coming’. Was the business near it’s collapse already and was the SEC intervention designed to give Menzgold a legitimate cover to fold up; or was the timing just coincidental?
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You see, having been born and bred in Ghana and being an ardent observer of happenings in this country especially at the highest levels, I know how easy it is for people in positions of authority to connive with others to dupe the state. In this case, I believe very strongly that people in authority have collaborated with a business to scam Ghanaians. How else do you explain the long period Menzgold operated for before SEC finally realized they had legal basis to shut them down? The SEC claimed that they were waiting for Menzgold to produce certain information before they could proceed with further action but this is despite stating that had completed investigations and had determined that Menzgold were operating illegally. How do you find a business to be operating illegally and yet, you are depending on the same illegal business to cooperate before you take action against it despite the SEC law clearly stating ways to proceed?
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The SEC simply asked Menzgold to shutdown and went to sleep. Instead of handing over their investigation for Menzgold to be prosecuted, they have rather sat down for Menzgold to head to court first. Does this make sense? The Finance Minister mentioned last week that the mastermind behind Menzgold, Nana Appiah Mensah, was going to be picked up by BNI soon. Why has this not happened already? And, for a man who announced plans to build a theatre in Kumasi and also signed a sponsorship deal with the Ghana Premier League worth $10 million, you have to wonder if the Finance Minister bothered to use resources available to him to look into the source of the money NAM1 was blowing. It is very convenient for the Finance Minister, who is a man with great experience in investment business, to seek to heap all the blame on the clients when it is clear he nor his minstry paid any attention to NAM1 or Menzgold.
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  Talking about the inertia of public authorities; the engagement between them and Menzgold shows that on 19th September 2017, Minerals Commission wrote to Menzgold pointing out that the company was in breach of the law and the license they had due to Brew Marketing not being registered as a Licensed Buying Agent. What actions were taken against Menzgold for this breach? Here is an excerpt from an OccupyGhana statement on Menzgold from August 2017 which is, over a year ago. “The Bank of Ghana, the SEC and the MinCom have failed Ghana, by neglecting to take any of the statutory steps to ascertain whether MenzGold is involved in any illegal business, and then take control of its activities to ensure an orderly dismantling of it, including ensuring that the actors are punished in accordance with the law. This inaction by the Bank, and the silence of both the SEC and MinCom, are shockingly unacceptable.” It took another full year for the SEC to act decisively after remaining largely silent throughout the period. How can this not be the regulators completely failing in their duty to protect the investing public? In a serious country, I am certain an inquest into this failure would have been long underway with people losing their jobs and even facing prosecution but, this is Ghana. For how long are we going to let our leaders and authorities get away with failing us? Here is a message to my fellow Ghanaians. My people, for how long are we going to allow the elite and the authorities who have responsibility to protect the public interest get away with their failures? As we have seen in the Capital Bank saga, everything that had happened was facilitated by BoG officials who should have ensured the funds were not dissipated. How sure are we that Menzgold were not enabled and facilitated by state actors? We cannot let the authorities get away easily this time. They have questions to answer and they must answer. The lack of accountability must end. We have blamed the clients enough and many are suffering over the uncertainty of their investments. Let us now shift focus to those who were supposed to act as protectors and failed woefully. We must demand accountability and let these leaders know that we are not fools in this country. How and why were Menzgold able to operate fully and freely for so long? How was NAM1 able to meet and interact with the President of Ghana, the Chief Imam and Otumfour? A question for my fellow Ghanaians: Knowing how things work in this country, are we supposed to believe that one man and his company have been able to evade and outwit the authorities in executing their scam? If we do not hold the authorities to account now, we will only be emboldening them to continue scheming to create, loot, scam and share whiles ordinary Ghanaians suffer. This must end. Writer: Nana Yaw Obuoba Email: jaah4u@gmail.com]]>

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Itel Ghana Donates Library and School Items worth GHC40,000 to Ayikai Dablo M/A school

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Itel Ghana Donates Library and School Items worth GHC40000 to Ayikai Dablo MA school6

Itel Ghana this Friday 24th June 2022  embarked on yet another corporate social responsibility project themed “ itel Wandering Library Project” in the Ayikai Doblo M/A Basic School. (more…)

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African-centric video games leap forward

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The number of gamers has skyrocketed in Africa, going from 77 million in 2015 to over 185 million by the end of 2021. Driven by ever-improving Internet access and the increasing affordability of smartphones, mobile gaming is leading the way. Estimations project that nearly 95% of African gamers use mobile devices. With 650 million smartphones in circulation, the mobile gaming market is even expected to grow at an annual 12%. And as gaming booms across the continent, so thrives the demand for games made in Africa. (more…)

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Best small business ideas to promote online

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If you have a passion for doing something but are lacking the capital you may be wondering how to start a small business with little money. Well, you are not alone. There are thousands of people just like you who are looking for the best ways to make money. The internet is a great resource for finding your clients. On the platforms like https://fee4bee.com/, you can use your skills and expertise to start your own small business and offer your services to sell a product online.

First, you must decide on your small business idea. Before choosing an idea, be sure to get some input from friends and family members. Often, they can help you come up with ideas that will help you earn money while still having a great time. And don’t forget to have fun while working! It’s very important to find a business idea that you can enjoy.

Starting a small business in Сanada

You have decided that starting a small business in Canada is the right choice for you. While it might seem like an overwhelming task, it does not have to be. You can start your own business while working your current job and still have time to devote to your new venture. Start by developing a business plan, which will outline your goals, milestones and success measures. Some of the most important parts of a business plan include the objective of the business, the market position, the competitive landscape, financials, and target market information. Before submitting your plan, you should know the differences between the various business structures that are available in Canada.

A winning business idea is essential to starting a small business. When creating your business plan, focus on the latest technologies and trends, and fill a gap in your local industry. You should also consider the needs and interests of potential customers to ensure that you have a profitable business. 

Small business ideas for little money

There are countless small business ideas for little money out there, but which one is right for you? While money is always a motivation to get started, there’s more to the idea than just making money. To find the right idea for you, bounce it off of friends and family to get their feedback. Also, don’t be afraid to have fun while you’re working! Listed below are some of the most popular small businesses:

  • Handyperson. One of the best small business ideas to start is to provide a service. Although this may not be the most passive form of self-employment, it is a viable choice if you have specific skills and time that others would be willing to pay for. Such businesses can range from home repairs to building construction. To be a handyman you don’t need a large amount of capital to get started.
  • Furniture assembling. If you know how to assemble Ikea furniture, you can start a profitable business. As the popularity of Ikea furniture grows, you can expand the service to other areas. Who knows maybe someday you grow into a full furniture factory.
  • The pet industry is also ripe for small business ideas. From grooming services to dog walking services there are countless opportunities. Dog walking is a common service, and you can set a schedule for walks and charge a flat rate. You can also offer pet boarding services if you are interested in earning extra money. 
  • Video content making. If you want to run a small business, you can opt for video production. Video content is popular across various social media platforms and on the internet. Whether you wish to produce videos for your own business or for clients, you can learn the skills of cutting, editing and shooting videos. Even if you do not have any previous experience in video production, there are many online courses that will teach you the skills.
  • If you’ve recently quit your job and still have the expertise to offer, you can turn that knowledge into a business. Consulting services, for example, are in high demand, with a $263.5 billion market expected by 2022. You can turn your knowledge and experience into a business by filling a need in the market. Many consultants are needed across different industries, and they charge for their services.

These small business ideas are a great source of extra cash, and they’ll also give you a sense of independence. So, start today. Don’t wait until your next paycheck is coming in – invest in yourself and your small business idea today.fee4bee small business ideas img2

How to promote small businesses online?

There are many cost-effective ways to promote small businesses online. Two models of promoting your business online include your own website promotion and cooperation with grand marketplaces.

Not for all the local businesses you need a business website. You have to build high-quality landing pages on your site and budget for large expenses so that the website generates income. 

If you don’t have the time or the budget to do this yourself, you can consider alternative ways to promote online. Social media presence and services marketplaces are great places to list your business for free. These sites are often well-known with high search engine rankings. Listed businesses tend to get local customers. Profiles on these marketplaces don’t take long to set up and can help you promote your business to nearby customers. 

Reviews are another way to get local customers to try your business. Word-of-mouth can be very powerful for your small business. Getting customer feedback on services platforms is the best. This way, potential customers can read what others have to say about your business and decide if it is the one for them.

Another free way to promote your business is through social media. Tik-tok, Instagram, and Pinterest are among the most popular social media sites. Make sure to include your contact information on your page, and create useful and engaging content to attract users. These platforms are great for local businesses because they can promote their products and services 24/7.

Using video on your social media is a great way to reach a wide audience for free. Also, you can use hashtags and contests to increase your exposure. Update your profile regularly. And don’t forget to follow your competitors, too. These social media sites are a great way to reach local customers.

 

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EMY Africa CEO, Kojo Soboh ranks among 50 Top Young CEOs in Ghana

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EMY Africa CEO, Kojo Soboh has been ranked among Avance Media and YCEO Africa’s Top 50 Young CEOs in Ghana for 2022.

The YCEO top 50 young CEOs in Ghana is a yearly classification which acknowledge and recognizes young Ghanaian Chief Executives Officers who are contributing to various sectors of the economy, including sports, manufacturing, agriculture, social entrepreneurship, energy, entertainment, real estate, health media among others.

An official tweet by Avance Media Africa on June 27, applauded Kojo for being one of the selected young leaders ranked among the 2022 Top 50 Young CEOs in Ghana.

The congratulatory message requested the public to visit http://yceo.votinghubgh.com to vote for the 2022 Young CEO of the Year.

The selection of the winner will be from the 50 and will be decided by the public in a 100 percent voting exercise before official declaration of the eventual winner.IMG 1260 2

Making a remark on the ranking, Kojo said, “It’s a big honour to be named as part of the 50 top young CEOs in Ghana for 2022. This means more to me and my team of other young dedicated staff who are vibrant and zealous about Emy Africa’s mission and assignments”.

“At Emy Africa, we celebrate and recognize people’s achievements. It is the reason why I am elated that the works of EMY is also being recognized by YCEO Africa and Avance Media” Kojo said.

“When you get recognition for the things you do out of passion, it brings more fulfilment to do more to cause positive change in society” he added.

Other key young leaders who made it to the list this year include, Emmanuel Kojo Jones-Mensah; CEO of Empire Domus, Sadiq Abdulai Abu; CEO of 3 Music Networks, Sammi Awuku; CEO of NLA, Gwyneth Gyimah Addo; CEO of HairSenta and Dentaa Amoateng MBE; CEO and president of GUBA Enterprise.

Kojo is the founder and executive director of EMY Africa, which produces the annual EMY Africa Awards, One of West Africa’s biggest and most prestigious awards event and the quarterly EMY Africa Magazine.

The awards and its complementary events have been carefully designed to celebrate men’s achievements across local industry, community, culture and public service to inspire the youth to aspire to be better.

Every year, the Awards also gives complementary honours to women who have made an impact in society.

The EMY Africa Awards have honored an impressive list of inspiring personalities including former President of Ghana, John Agyekum Kufuor, Tony Elumelo (Founder & CEO, United Bank of Africa), Togbe Afede XIV (President, African World Airlines ), His Eminence Sheikh Dr Osmanu Nuhu Sharubutu (Chief Iman of Ghana),  Sir Sam Jonah (CEO, Jonah Capital),  Abedi Pele (Ghanaian football legend), Azumah Nelson (boxing legend), Meiwey (Ivorian music legend),Marufatu Abiola Bawuah (Regional CEO for UBA, West Africa),  Togbe Afede XIV (President of the Asobgli Traditonal Area and Executive chairman- World Trade Center , Accra), Patricia Obo-Nai (CEO, Vodafone Ghana),  Dr Daniel McKorley (CEO, McDan Shipping), to name a few.

Kojo was named among the top 50 young CEOs in Ghana in 2019 by Avance media. He was also named in the 2021 African Event Influencers list by Avance media and Oasis Magazine.  In 2018, Forbes Africa Magazine  featured him as one of the finest emerging event managers in Ghana. Kojo is very thrilled to be part of a platform that inspires people to be better.

 

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Africa No Filter Launches the Tony Elumelu Storytellers Fund to Empower Emerging African Creative Talent

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Africa No Filter, a donor collaborative working to transform stereotypical narratives of Africa, has launched the Tony Elumelu Storytellers Fund.  Named after African business leader and philanthropist Tony O. Elumelu, the Fund will award grants to emerging artists and storytellers, whose work shines a light on entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship in Africa.

The $30,000 fund is sponsored by Heirs Insurance and Heirs Life Assurance, the insurance subsidiaries of the pan-African investment group, Heirs Holdings.

Tony Elumelu, Chairman of Heirs Holdings and Founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, has led the championing of entrepreneurship in Africa and has empowered over 15,000 young African entrepreneurs across the continent through a $100 million commitment made by his Foundation.

The Tony Elumelu Storytellers Fund is a standalone initiative and an extension of his commitment to catalysing a redefined African success story, powered by Africa’s youth and their creative ideas. The Fund calls on journalists, filmmakers, content producers, and visual and performing artists to submit multimedia creative ideas, that tell the stories of inspiring entrepreneurs and showcase the true and positive spirit of entrepreneurship in Africa. Applicants must be aged between 18 and 35 years, living on the continent or in the Diaspora.  They must have a platform or portfolio of work that shines the light on entrepreneurship in Africa.

Read Also: CSOs call on government to depoliticize social protection delivery and pass the ‘Social Protection Bill’

Speaking on the Fund, Tony Elumelu said:I have always believed in the potential of young African entrepreneurs to transform Africa. This initiative aligns with our belief and extends the work that we do at the Tony Elumelu Foundation.  Empowering young creative entrepreneurs and the creative sector provides a channel for us to project Africa’s positives globally.  We need their voices to tell our often less-told stories of triumph, resilience, hard work and innovation.”

Moky Makura, Executive Director at Africa No Filter, said: “Our partnership Is significant because this is the first African funding we have received towards the fight for narrative change.  We are also excited to be partnering with one of Africa’s leading entrepreneurs to celebrate entrepreneurship on the continent through storytelling.  We need more success stories, more awareness and more celebrations around entrepreneurial ideas and the dynamic young people driving change here

Ifesinachi Okpagu, Chief Marketing Officer, Heirs Insurance and Heirs Life, said: “We are pleased to support this initiative that directly impacts the lives of young African creatives. As frontrunners of digital innovation in the insurance space, Heirs Insurance and Heirs Life both recognise the important role the creative sector plays in transforming Africa’s narrative. We are on the same transformative path, and this initiative clearly demonstrates that the ideas that we need to boost Africa are right here on the continent.”

The Fund is open for applications on the Africa No Filter website with a closing date of 29 July 2022.

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CSOs call on government to depoliticize social protection delivery and pass the ‘Social Protection Bill’

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SEND GHANA and other Civil Society Organisations in the country have appealed to the government to increase its spending on social protection programmes to help improve livelihoods based on finding in the Social Protection Mirror Report 2021. (more…)

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