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The 2017 Andrew J. Young International Leadership Awards, recognizing exceptional individuals whose activism, philanthropy and leadership are transforming lives throughout the global community, has been presented at the Foundation’s gala event on Saturday, at the Philips Arena in Atlanta. Former Miss Malaika winner and model, Hamamat Montia and Davido, who was on the line-up of performers. Singer, songwriter, rapper and producer Akon received an award for his Lighting Africa project is using small-scale solar energy systems and street lights to bring transformational change to communities in Africa whose development has been harmed by lack of electricity. The Chairman’s Award was presented to former Vice President Joseph Biden. The honor is given to an individual whose lifelong leadership has demonstrated excellence in areas that reflect Ambassador Young’s life’s work as Pastor (Community Engagement), Activist (Civil Rights and Civic Participation), U.N. Ambassador (International Humanitarian Initiatives) and Congressman and Mayor of Atlanta (Public Policy and Advocacy). The theme of the 2017 Andrew J. Young International Leadership Awards and 85th Birthday Tribute is “Lead Young,” highlighting the Foundation’s commitment to supporting and developing emerging leaders and their ideas. The 2017 Andrew J. Young International Leadership Award recipients are: Linda Sarsour, Tamika Mallory, Carmen Perez, and Bob Bland, National Co-Chairs of the Women’s March on Washington for inspiring and organizing a worldwide outpouring of positive civic engagement; Ron Clark, for creating a transformational school that models teaching excellence and nurtures future leaders, and opens its doors to share those strategies with thousands of other educators; Activist, commentator, and Dream Corps founder Van Jones, for promoting human rights and police accountability and helping young people fill jobs, not jails; and Former Vice President Joe Biden, whose lifetime of public service was recognized by President Barack Obama with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.   Anthony Anderson, star of ABC’s “Black-ish,” was the host for the gala evening, which included tribute performances from Usher, Jill Scott, Wyclef Jean, Estelle, Anthony Brown and more. ]]>

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Save lives by frequently donating blood; Jumia Ghana calls on Ghanaians

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Ghana experienced a shortage of over 111,000 units of blood in 2020, representing more than 39.7% of national demand. This means that thousands of Ghanaians with various health conditions that required blood transfusion died as a result of the non-availability of blood. According to the National Blood Service, regular blood donations by voluntary donors from low-risk populations is a prerequisite for achieving self-sufficiency in safe blood and blood products for every country. However, in Ghana, the national blood supply system continues to rely heavily on replacement donations by family relations and friends of patients who require blood transfusion. Due to the covid-19 pandemic that hit the country hard last year, blood supply nationwide decreased to 17% with a drop of more than 25% in the national blood supply when compared to the previous year.

21st of September each year is observed as a statutory holiday in Ghana to celebrate the birthday of Ghana’s first president, the late Osagyefo Dr.Kwame Nkrumah. Some Ghanaians, led by a youth group known as Accra Konnect have also marked this same day as ‘’National Volunteers Day’’. This day has been set aside for many Ghanaians to volunteer in different support activities to help the community, individuals and the nation. This year, Africa’s leading e-commerce company Jumia partnered with Accra Konnect and the National Blood Service to organize a blood donation exercise. This took place at Jumia’s head office in Accra where staff, vendors and consumers took turns to donate a pint of blood each to the National Blood Bank. Other individuals and members of Accra Konnect also donated blood.

 

Speaking about the blood donation exercise, Public Relations & Communications Manager of Jumia Ghana Mr. Bennet Otoo urged Ghanaians to make it a habit of donating blood if they are in good health. He said ‘’ Thousands of Ghanaians die each year due to the lack of adequate blood supply. Constant blood supply is essential to a sustainable health sector as accident victims, patients who undergo surgery and pregnant women often need high amounts of blood to recover well. Ghanaians in good health standing who can afford to donate should do so at least once a year. This will help increase stock at the National Blood Bank while saving many lives. Jumia believes in a healthy environment which is very important to national development. This is why Jumia organized this blood donation exercise. We had many employees, vendors and consumers join in to support this worthy cause’’.

 

Aside from helping others and saving lives, there are several other benefits that one can derive from donating blood. For example, it helps reveal health issues that the donor may have. Before giving blood, a donor is examined and that involves checking blood pressure, pulse, body temperature, and hemoglobin, among other factors. Additionally, a testing facility will check the blood for any infectious diseases or other issues. If the facility finds a problem, it will contact the donor and let them know. Additionally, donating blood at least once a year could reduce the risk of heart attack by up to 88%. People with high iron stores in their bodies are more likely to have cardiac issues as the iron constricts the blood vessels. Donating blood lowers the amount of iron in the body, providing more room for the blood vessels to operate. Other benefits of frequent blood donation include reduced risk of cancer, improved liver health, improved blood pressure and mental health boost.

 

‘’I appeal to all Ghanaians to take part in blood donations regularly  to save lives because blood cannot be manufactured and there is no artificial substitute. It can only be donated. Many Ghanaians are afraid to donate although it’s just a simple process which has great benefits for the donor as well’’ said Mrs. Joyce Oppong Adu from the National Blood Service.

 

Many of the donors were excited about contributing their quota to the growth of the National Blood Bank while saving the lives of many Ghanaians in need. They pledged to continue donating regularly whenever they could and promised to educate more people about the importance of blood donation.

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Academic City students’ mentors Aburi Girls ahead of international robotic competition

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Mentor Benedict Amoako taking the girls through robotics lessons
Mentor Benedict Amoako taking the girls through robotics lessons

As part of measures to encourage and increase participation of girls in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) related fields, Academic City University College in partnership with STEMbees, a non-governmental organization have organized a robotic session for students of Aburi Girls Senior High School.

This activity is part of measures to prepare students of the school for the upcoming FIRST Global Challenge. The FIRST Global Challenge is an annual olympics-style, international robotics competition. Aburi Girls SHS is representing Ghana for this year’s competition which will be participated by 160 countries. The projects these students are undertaking for the competition include designing and developing a biodegradable nose mask from plantain fibre, CubeSat Prototype and robots for different purposes.

Academic City engineering students are currently assisting mentor these high school students as they develop their projects for the competition. The final and second year mentoring students of Academic City include Benedict Amoako, BSc. Information Technology, Barnabas Nomo, BSc. Computer Engineering and Louisa Ayamga, Electrical and Electronics Engineering.

Group picture of students of Academic City and Aburi Girls

Group picture of students of Academic City and Aburi Girls

Mr. Benedict Amoako, a STEMbees Robotics Associate is responsible for providing technical assistance for designing and building four different robots. Mr. Barnabas Nomo, a satellite enthusiast will provide technical guidance in preparing, inflating, and safely launching the weather balloon that will carry the nanosatellite.

The CubeSat prototype was successfully launched using a tethered weather balloon on Saturday, September 25, 2021 at Aburi Secondary School. The launch formed part of the FIRST Global Challenge pre-event activities.

Speaking at the session, Ms. Angela Koranteng, Co-Founder and Programmes Director, STEMbees noted that the session through Academic City has provided the students with genuine engagement with real-world engineering concepts and an opportunity to improve on the various projects for the competition.

“I believe the session has provided an opportunity for these young girls to improve on their ideas and boost the confidence to make a difference in the competition and ultimately emerge as the winners”, she added.

Mr. Benedict Amoako remarked “I’m blown away by the amazing concepts these girls came up with. The breadth of creativity depicted by them is astonishing and we promise to provide the necessary support required to make them successful in the competition”.

According to Mr. Nomo, the session with the young girls had broadened his understanding of not only engineering concepts but has also helped to strengthen his ability to lead projects in technical areas.

Academic City is a premium Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) and Entrepreneurial tertiary institution set to define modern tertiary education in Ghana and throughout the African continent.

The university’s fully digitized state-of-the-art campus is situated at Haatso, a suburb of Accra – Ghana. It has a diverse academic community of students, faculty as well as staff from across the world. The ultra-modern campus offers small class sizes in an environment that emphasizes one-on-one attention.

The university’s elite undergraduate degree programmes in Engineering, Information Technology, Business Administration and Communication Arts are carefully strategically designed taking into consideration world class STEAM education to develop students to become more practical, hands-on and productive. Click www.acity.edu.gh for more information.

 

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Maame Colours wins Discovery Media Personality Award

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Singer, TV personality Maame Colours has won her first ever honours at the  Time Ghana Arts and Entertainment Awards. The host of Obramusuahunu TV show on Royalty TV, picked the nod for Discovery Media Personality of the Year.

Commenting on the awards, she said “I have been in the art and entertainment industry which include the media for the past ten years and with all sincerity without mincing words, this is the very first time I have been honoured.The month of September happens to be my birth month and I feel appreciated for the opportunity given to me. My biggest appreciation goes to the CEO and STAFF of STIM GROUP OF COMPANIES. I am forever indebted and grateful to everyone knowingly or unknowingly who contributed in diverse ways towards my success , I say THANK YOU TO ALL.”

Maame Colours who goes by the stage name Lily M can be found on  YouTube as ObramusuahunuTv
Facebook@ObramusuahunuwithlilyM
IG@Lilyndeicon1
Twitter@Lilymdeicon

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Jobberman Launches #LevelUp Campaign To Connect Job Seekers With Jobs and New Opportunities

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Ghana’s leading online recruitment platform, Jobberman Ghana has launched its new job seeker campaign, “#LevelUpWithJobberman” with the mission to connect job seekers with opportunities in Ghana through digital means. (more…)

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Mentoring: An Empowering Virtuous Circle

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As the world has developed, the chorus of the need for leaders to give back to today’s youth has shifted from an indiscernible background hum to a tuneful melody played on every online streaming service in various ways. Interestingly, this outcry is irrespective of gender, race or wealth across the world. The anthropologists out there have helped us put a name to this generation – I think we call them Gen Z, or maybe it is Gen Y? I am still working that out! I genuinely believe that what is missing is mentoring.

Where do I start with such an important idea? Perhaps it will be best if I reflect on my own growth journey to make my case.

I recall sitting in front of this man, soaking in everything he said, with only one question on my mind: why didn’t I do this sooner? I was a wide-eyed young banker and had just been given my first project. It is important to mention that I was straight from Business School in the 1990s, keen and confident in my abilities. However, I was humble enough to discuss my thoughts with a senior colleague. My colleague was a master professional; just listening to him was like diving into a well of wisdom. Through his experiences, from leadership to team dynamics, the advice he gave was a true eye-opener for me. They say, “once you have seen, you cannot unsee”, and I had just gone from viewing in fuzzy black and white to Ultra HD. It was like hitting the jackpot!

I am sure you are wondering if this was the “inception moment” of a long, fruitful mentor-mentee dynamic. No, that did not happen. Instead, I just began to view in Ultra HD and recognised the value of diversity, perspective and constructive criticism. Although I did not know it at the time, this experience showed me how valuable it is to receive as a mentee and give back as a mentor.

Building Butterflies – No Substitute for Hardwork or Experience

A story is told of a well-meaning boy who observed the struggles of a butterfly emerging from its cocoon. Curious and kind, he chose to free it by gently cutting open the tightly wound casing. What he expected to be a resounding triumph of cooperation between humans and nature, to his horror, turned out to be precisely the opposite. The creature that came out resembled nothing like the beautiful work of art that flutters by in nature. This one was wiggly, stunted and had tiny wings. It hobbled on the ground, unable to fly and fulfil its true potential.

Nature, as we are increasingly becoming aware, has value embedded in every experience. In this case, the butterfly builds the strength it needs to fly by struggling, sometimes desperately, out of its cocoon. I am sure there is a catchphrase amongst the butterfly community: no struggle, no flight. Unfortunately, the empathetic boy, who identified with the struggle of another living thing and wanted to help, had inadvertently deprived it of the very thing it needed.

Mentorship can be, and usually is, a great help, but it is no substitute for hard work or experience. For clarity view in Ultra HD, it is not about getting quick answers to the test or challenge faced but to see and understand for oneself how perseverance can lead to success. Great mentors acknowledge that challenges are vital to the development of leaders, and whilst offering support, they do not interfere with the process of growth.

Much has been written over the years about mentorship, from definitions to famous examples of successful mentorships. So, allow me a slightly different path; let me share how in my experience, the virtuous circle of mentorship is a two-way street, full of lessons for both mentor and mentee.

I have learnt, both as a mentee and mentor, that the relationship thrives on shared vulnerability. Being open with a person, especially those more junior to you, exposes some of your less desirable traits, which can be incredibly challenging. However, remember, you are helping someone to see more clearly and to look at the clearer picture with greater depth and understanding. With this style of mentorship, your mentee will undoubtedly see your rough edges and patches. However, vulnerability is not a weakness. I firmly contend that professional vulnerability is an increasingly important strength in leaders today. I believe that honesty in any thriving mentorship relationship makes both the mentor and mentee better. So, in order to help the Gen X’s, or Gen Z’s get to grips with the grounded picture of reality, here are a few of my stories that I hope will resonate and inspire.

The growth paradox

I have learnt from mentors, open enough to share their experience with me, the errors they made in their journey to the top. At the risk of looking less impressive, they shared their missteps, their regrets and most importantly, what they would have done differently. Nobody gets to the top without making mistakes. It takes being secure in your abilities and your own journey to bring a trusted junior into your professional inner circle and give them a peek behind the curtain. Let us pause for a moment and imagine the value of that conversation to the mentee, to see a revered leader talk about how they had failed. Practically, they have just gained years of wisdom in a fraction of the time. Emotionally, formatively, the mentee becomes less critical of themselves and more accepting of their mistakes. Their challenges are part of their journey (remember the butterfly) and thus a learning experience. Success is built on the foundation of lessons learned from decisions that did not work out. Mentees learn to fail fast, succeed faster, and thus, move forward and upward. That is the paradox of growth.

A mirror that is a window to the future

Similarly, mentorship allows the mentor to see how far they have come. I recall times, often very vividly, in places that I had closed off, when I had to deal with many challenging situations. I led teams comprising of colleagues older than me. I managed egos of young and ambitious professionals who had attended the best schools, gotten the best grades and were constantly consuming articles on billion-dollar startups and million-dollar bonuses and therefore did not see the need to listen to me. There were moments where I felt so overwhelmed, but I drew on my inner strength and just like the butterfly emerging from the cocoon, I pulled through. The new skills I learnt, the competencies I built, the hard work it took, have made me a better, more empathetic leader.

In all of this, the mentee is given hope to keep keeping on. They recognise that their leaders did not just magically appear; like them, their journey was fraught with many a banana skin. Through a mentor-mentee relationship, the mentee is helped to navigate the sometimes-choppy waters of the corporate world, and in so doing, they become more empowered to pass their own lessons on to others. The virtuous circle builds mentor and mentee, and the next generation all stand to benefit together.

 

 

 

Time is Priceless

Throughout our journey, we constantly need to go back to the basics. Our return to the fundamentals keeps us grounded. It is these same principles that guide the next generation of leaders. What changes, however, are the “ology’s” (technology, methodology and psychology). The mentor is investing in the future by passing these principles onto their mentee. The mentee takes the base principle, applies the current “ology”, and repackages it appropriate for a generation. The more leaders embrace professional vulnerability and pour themselves into their juniors in a relationship built on trust, the more things improve over time.

By virtue of age, mentees are often more adept at the technology that makes life and work easier. Learning solid and time-tested principles enables the mentee to stand firm on what works while finding more empowered ways to achieve the same thing. Time is a priceless constant, and by learning the ideologies (another “ology”) of today’s leaders, tomorrow’s decision-makers do not reinvent the wheel but use it as a basis for things appropriate to their time that we are yet to imagine.

 

Here today, further tomorrow

If mentoring is giving back to enrich others and the world around us, will you reach out to bring along a junior colleague? Will you find a mentor yourself today? As we pour ourselves into the lives of others, we will see ourselves grow, the next generation mature, and the whole world blossom just a little bit more. “He that watereth shall be watered also himself.”

 

The writer is Abena Osei-Poku, Managing Director of Absa Bank Ghana.

 

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Peace Hyde’s ‘Young, Famous and African’, selected as only African Netflix Original to be premiered at Netflix Tudum Global Fan Event

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“Tudum” is the way to spell out the sound you hear when you press play on Netflix. Tudum is also the name of the streamer’s first ever global fan event.

 

The inaugural Netflix Tudum celebration was held on Sept. 25, with more than 70 of the streamer’s properties represented during a three-hour virtual show, where talent from fan-favorite Netflix series, films and specials revealed exclusive news and unveiled first-look trailers and clips.

 

The fan event also featured interactive panels and conversations with the creators and stars, including some of the Netflix’s most popular returning shows like “Stranger Things,” “Bridgerton,” “The Witcher,” “The Crown,” “Emily in Paris,” “La Casa De Papel” and “Cobra Kai.”

 

British/Ghanaian Media Maven, Peace Hyde who just secured the first Netflix Africa Original reality TV series for Africa with Young, Famous and African where she is both creator and executive producer of the series that follows the glitzy lives and relationships of Pan African superstars, has been selected as the only African title in the prestigious festival alongside the streamers biggest upcoming films and series.

 

This is what Peace had to say about the remarkable achievement on her social media page:

 

When we set out to create #YFA, we just had one goal in mind: to show the world an Africa that they have never seen before. An Africa that can tell its own original stories. Super excited that @Netflix selected ‘YOUNG, FAMOUS and AFRICAN’ as the official African Original Netflix title to represent our continent at the prestigious Netflix global #TUDUM festival where we were among 55 titles including the Witcher, Bridgerton, Stranger Things and Extraction to be premiered for the 2022 slate.

 

I can’t wait for the world to see African excellence in action! So proud to be a part of an incredible team that made this possible! Deeply grateful!

 

YFA is scheduled to show early 2022.

 

Source: Brenda Omawumi
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