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Samini and Amakye Dede ready for December 13 Black & White face-off!

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amakye samini landscapeThe maiden edition edition of the Black & White concert, which comes off on December 13, will host two of the biggest performers in Ghana Abrantie Amakye Dede and dancehall act Samini. All two have over the years consistently rocked every stage they’ve mounted, making them arguably the best performers of their respective generations.Both have a combined wealth of experience that is revered across board. On the 13th of December 2013, they will mount the stage at the Accra International Conference Center, to try and once again give patrons a dose of that unique stagecraft they’ve come to be appreciated for. They are supported on the night by Dr. Paa Bobo and Jeorge Jarra, Castro, Kofi Kinata and Guru.  ]]>

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Absa Announces Collaboration to Strengthen Digital Partnerships Ecosystem Across Africa

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Absa Group, one of the largest financial service providers in Africa, will strengthen efforts to grow its digital partnerships ecosystem across Africa with the appointment of HYBR and SystemicLogic, which will help Absa identify potential collaboration partners. 

 

“We believe in the substantial mutual value that is created by connecting with key local, regional and global ecosystem networks that have extensive activities on the continent across multiple industries,” says Absa Group Digital Partnerships Ecosystem Lead, Andrew Davies. “HYBR and SystemicLogic’s skill sets and networks will augment our efforts to connect and collaborate with Africa’s innovators and entrepreneurs,” says Davies. 

 

Absa is looking to work with start-ups that have innovative tech-based solutions which could ultimately be scaled and deployed to benefit its customers.

 

An Absa Digital Partnerships capability was established in 2020 with support from global collaborator Elixirr to create the strategy, operating model and execution capabilities to collaborate effectively with innovative, mature start-ups from around the world. This capability has enabled Absa to set up, mobilise and deliver a digital partnerships ecosystem through which the Group now continuously sources collaborators to innovate with and rapidly co-create new value propositions and capabilities that align to business objectives.

 

With a notable combined reach, the three scouting partners boast networks and memberships within the African and global start-up environments.

 

“Our collaboration with Absa Group is a long time coming, having been exposed to Absa’s work in the innovation ecosystem across Africa over the past five years,” says HYBR partner Vuyisa Qabaka. “We’re looking for companies with which to build solutions to align with the Bank’s ambition to deliver financial impact that improves lives,” says Qabaka. HYBR is a scale-up advisory firm with offices in both West Africa and Southern Africa.

 

SystemicLogic is actively involved in contributing financial and mentorship support to various networks and individuals in several markets.

 

“Every entrepreneur needs someone to believe in them, and there is no successful business that scaled without some involvement from a trusted financial partner,” says SystemicLogic CEO Audrey Mothupi. “We’re thrilled to be able to continue working alongside the bank and offering opportunities to other companies like ours,” says Mothupi.

 

Absa is looking to accelerate its digital transformation through strategic partnerships which collectively form an ecosystem that will deliver improved customer experience, reduce costs and support revenue growth.

 

“We believe strongly in the power of open innovation and true value exchange between large corporates and startups,” say Chris Weiss, Partner at Elixirr. “Absa’s Digital Partnership capability ensures that they are able to effectively engage with potential partners to define what the value exchange will be, setting both parties up for longer term success. We are proud to have supported Absa on this journey and look forward to great things from our continued relationship.”

 

“We will be focusing on establishing a meaningful exchange of value between Absa and future ecosystem members, as well as our scouting partners – for the benefit of all involved, and the ultimate benefit of our substantial customer base,” says Davies. Davies invites interested organisations to make contact with Elixirr,  HYBR or SystemicLogic.

 

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Vodafone Business Unveils Exciting Packages for SMEs in September

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Vodafone Business, the enterprise arm of Vodafone Ghana, has announced various support packages for the growth of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in the month of September. (more…)

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Optimizing Digital Services

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Navigating the Digital Age

Digital – along with its many variants and associations – has become a pervasive buzzword of our times.  More than just some contemporary hype, it is fast becoming the de facto medium for both social interactions and commercial endeavour.  Indeed, many organizations cite digital as the mainstay of their strategic ambitions, and the facilitator of the value-creating assets that will sustain their businesses well into the future.  And why not?  The opportunities and benefits that digital technologies promise to bring are set to dwarf and wildly disrupt traditional offerings.  But how do we get the most from our digital setups?

 

Variations of Digital

Though most organizations have resolved to ply the digital path, for obvious reasons, the nature and extent to which they have invested in and committed to this journey varies significantly.  While some are merely digitizing and others are digitalizing, a bold few are executing all-encompassing digital transformations.  It is worth noting that these descriptions are not just different words to describe the same practice, but actually represent different faces and varying degrees of the “digital movement”.

The first – that is digitization – is the creation of technology-based versions or replicas of existing processes and artifacts.  It is thus another word for basic automation.  The second – digitalization – involves a more substantial (re)construction of key assets using digital technologies such as analytics and artificial intelligence.  Digital transformation, on the other hand, is a more extensive strategic activity that seeks to challenge and reimagine an organization’s value co-creation and capture capabilities, to the extent that it may materially alter the entire business model (or large aspects of it).

 

The Make-up of Digital

Digital is not equal to technology.  It is far more involving than that.  It is the facilitation of human activities and experiences – from socialization to commerce – using new age technologies and devices.  Simply put, it is the use of modern technologies to enable things to be done simpler, faster, more conveniently, and in a more customized way.  In that sense, digital is more than the sum of its component parts.

Building digital assets to solution needs or drive service delivery requires bringing together a number of important elements. These make up the various components, which fit and work together to enable interfacing, processing, and servicing.  They include core services and platforms, channels or user interfaces, analytics and AI, and digital marketing, all of which are enabled by technology and encapsulated in a conducive culture.  Additionally, as our reliance on technology increases and its associated threats become a menace, the need for robust controls is also brought to the fore.

 

Optimizing Digital Components

Regardless of whether an organization is merely digitizing or wholly transforming, both the digital capabilities used by its personnel and those used to service customers must perform optimally if goals are to be achieved.  Optimal performance essentially means the organization must undertake some concerted work to fine-tune all components across the spectrum.  Since the digital construct is made up of distinct components, each must be improved in a manner that is commensurate with the nature and size of the organization and its customer base.  The objective is to make each as good as possible.

So, how should this optimization manifest?  Those responsible for the separate components should ensure best-in-class configuration and execution, as per the typical standards described below:

  • A robust, resilient, and scalable technology infrastructure, to provide the necessary processing power, storage and network connectivity. This will ensure that platforms and applications have the needed resources (dynamically allocated) and function in a highly available environment.
  • An effective data management approach that ensures appropriate access to, use of, and protection for customer and transactional data. This will be the “fuel” for all services.  Solid analytics would also birth optimized product development, tailored experiences, and targeted sales and marketing.
  • Effective operational and security controls that safeguard assets and processes, as well as assure efficient day-to-day operations. The objective here would be to achieve >70% controls automation.
  • A set of well-architected and highly available core platforms and services. This is where the servicing or solutioning of customer needs or requests happens.  For a Bank this will most likely be the Core Banking, while a Telecoms Operator may point to the IN (Intelligent Network).
  • Friendly, intuitive, and consistent channels that make it easy for customers to engage and transact. This will be a primary touchpoint and will therefore be perceived as the key value delivery hub.  Obviously, top-notch design considerations must be applied here, including user interface (i.e. look and feel), fulfilment processes, and usability.
  • A strategically-aligned digital marketing machinery that churns out well-crafted, targeted, and well-timed messages (and stories) using all available media.

A culture that is agile and future-oriented will be the glue that makes these components work well together.  It will also create Ambassadors who will evangelize the offering to colleagues and customers alike.  The eventual result will be a digital machine that is not only well-oiled and optimized, but also greater than the sum of its parts in terms of impact and outcome.

Ebo Richardson, Chief Enablement & Information Officer, Absa Bank Ghana_1-2

Ebo Richardson, Chief Enablement & Information Officer, Absa Bank Ghana_1-2

Management buy-in is key

The requirements of a digital setup that is both fit-for-purpose and fit-for-use tend to be extensive.  Building such an asset requires substantial investment and sustained support.  Consequently, buy-in from top management is a critical success factor.  They must see a clear line-of-sight between the substantial investment needed and the benefits expected to accrue.  To create sustainable value, management must then strategize to achieve a good balance between what their organization is good at today and what it must be good at tomorrow.  With such commitment, the chances of success will outstrip the likelihood of failure.

As the digital race heats up, those organizations that manage to find the pulse of their customers and leverage it to optimize their digital offerings will undoubtedly deliver superior experience that will set them apart from their competition.  It will also engender levels of loyalty that may well stave-off likely digital disruptions.

The race is make-or-break and very much on!

Written by Ebo Richardson, Chief Enablement & Information Officer, Absa Bank Ghana

 

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Nanotech and Cannabidiol: Exploring the Biggest 4 Benefits of Nano CBD

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With all the attention nanotechnology is getting lately, it’s no surprise that discoveries are being made every day. And nanotechnology may prove highly beneficial to the medical community— perhaps especially so for individuals who rely on CBD oil.

Nano CBD is quickly becoming one of the most popular ways to use CBD. It is any product that contains tiny particles of CBD suspended in either oil or water. The particles are so small, and it’s practically impossible to detect them with the naked eye.

But what are the benefits of these tiny CBD particles? And why are products that contain nano CBD becoming so widely used? There are four main benefits of nanotech—and all of them have to do with the body absorbing CBD faster and more efficiently.

  1. Higher Bioavailability

Who wouldn’t want a product that works better and faster? Nano CBD products offer higher bioavailability than other forms of CBD.

CBD molecules are lipophilic, which means they bind to fat. Using oils as suspending agents for nanoparticles is the perfect solution because it enhances absorption and makes their benefits available quickly and efficiently.

Due to their lipophilic nature, CBD particles can diffuse through the cell membrane and travel throughout the body. Their increased absorption rates allow them to deliver a more concentrated dosage of CBD where it is needed most. If you need a dosage of 10mg, for example, you could take one nano product with 10mg instead of two products, each with 5mg.

  1. Fewer Side Effects

Because CBD particles are smaller, they can target specific areas that need relief. For many individuals with medical conditions who rely on CBD oil, this is incredibly beneficial. When using CBD oil products, some individuals report experiencing specific undesired side effects during the onset of treatment.

When smaller particles are used, the CBD molecules can target specific areas of the body experiencing inflammation. It is because nano CBD oil and related products can cross biological membranes and pass through cell walls with greater ease than other forms of CBD.

The smaller size also means that they travel more efficiently throughout the body, which positively impacts the pain and discomfort that individuals experience.

CBD nanoparticles are so minute that they’re able to pass through the blood-brain barrier, which means individuals can experience CBD’s positive effects for treating seizures and other neurological problems without getting high. Also, CBD oil doesn’t dissolve as well in water, which means nano CBD products can dissolve much more quickly. You’re less likely to experience gastrointestinal distress when using CBD nano products, which is another benefit.

  1. Longer Lasting

The smaller the particles, the longer they last—plain and simple.

CBD nanoparticles are tiny, which means they can disperse in water for a very long time before binding with proteins or cell membranes. Due to this, they can remain suspended in oil for much more extended periods without clumping. You don’t have to worry about the product separating over time.

Also, nano CBD has a much longer shelf life. It’s estimated that nano CBD products remain suitable for up to two years, provided they’re stored in the right conditions. It is because there are fewer particles in each product to oxidize and degrade faster.

  1. Non-Addictive

Patients who suffer from the effects of opioid addiction, such as withdrawal or cravings, may find CBD nano products beneficial.

CBD particles are so small that they’re able to bypass the brain’s blood-brain barrier without binding with cell membranes and triggering a high. Using CBD oils in their nano form can provide long-lasting relief from pain and other ailments, minus the risk of addiction. The victimization of opioids is a significant problem in the United States. CBD nanoproducts may provide individuals suffering from pain or addiction with an alternative way to manage their condition.

Since nano CBD products are non-addictive, it means you can use them for a more extended period without the fear of becoming addicted.

Bottom line

CBD nanoparticles are some of the best ways to supplement with CBD. Nano CBD products bind efficiently with cell membranes, which means individuals can enjoy all the benefits of CBD without experiencing unwanted side effects. With more efficient absorption rates, individuals can find relief faster. And because it contains only pure CBD molecules, there is nothing in the product that would trigger a high.

If you’re interested in nano CBD products, check out joy organics. They offer a line of CBD soft gels that are flavored with all-natural flavors. Their CBD gummies are also made from nano CBD particles suspended in water, making them faster-acting and more accessible to absorb than other CBD products.

It’s important to note that some CBD products are not nano. If you’re using a product that is not nano, it’s essential to research the brand or company before making a purchase. Many knockoff brands are selling big bottles of CBD oils with little-to-no research backing their claims about nano CBD.

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Congo’s Christelle Awa Crowned Winner Of Maiden African Most Beautiful USA

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It was a night of bliss, fashion, music and great African cultural performances at the first edition of the much anticipated African Most Beautiful USA Beauty pageant.

 

The African Most Beautiful USA pageant is organized by the Abofrem Area Foundation Inc. with the goal of celebrating the diverse yet beautiful culture from all parts of the African continent in the United States of America.

 

With a car, crown and cash prize for grabs, 9 beautiful well-groomed African ladies graced the Ritz Theatre in New Jersey on the night of September 4 representing various countries to showcase their talents, culture, intelligence and to educate patrons on the values of the countries they represent.

 

Ahead of the main show, the glitz and glam came alive on the red carpet as patrons trooped in to experience the first edition of African Most Beautiful USA. The Red carpet was graced by patrons including celebrities like Koo Fori, Ayisha Modi, Counselor Lutterodt, Pope Skinny, Joy Industries CEOs, Traditional leaders and many others.

 

The first ever African Most Beautiful USA main show started with cultural displays from contestants representing various countries from the continent of Africa, including Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Egypt and more. And then followed by showcase of talents to impress judges and thrill patrons of the show at the Ritz Theatre.

 

It was also a night of entertainment as musicians Kinaata, Stonebwoy, Kwaw Kese and others thrilled patrons to some good music throughout the show that got everyone on their feet anytime there was a performance.

 

In the end, the judges and votes decided. Christelle Awa from Congo emerged winner of the 2021 African Most Beautiful USA pageant and walked away with a crown, cash and a car. Priscilla Assifuah representing Mauritania came second and Ghana’s Hannah Agyapong took the the third prize. All participants were rewarded gifts on the night for their efforts and contributions towards a great show.

 

Speaking to the CEO of Abofrem Area Foundation, Nana Akosua Nkrumah Adasa III, Nkawie Abofrem Hemaa after a successful event, she was very impressed by the good show put on by her team despite it being the first edition and promised an even better show for the next edition in 2022. She quoted;

We have all witnessed this spectacular show of our beautiful African culture; its great values and quality entertainment. We at Abofrem Area Foundation are bent on using this to change the story in our rural areas through development. We will be back stronger and better next year to tell the world our beautiful African story. Well done to my team and everyone who supported us one way or the other. See you all again next year

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Emirates offers even more reasons to visit Dubai and Expo 2020

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Emirates, the Premier Partner and Official Airline of Expo 2020 Dubai has launched its latest initiative under a global campaign to promote destination Dubai to people from all walks of life this winter season.

 

The airline’s Early Bird Expo 2020 Dubai deal, launched this week across its global markets, will enable customers to save up to 20% on fares to Dubai when they book their flights early.

 

Adnan Kazim, Emirates’ Chief Commercial Officer said: “Dubai truly has something for everyone and this winter, as our home city hosts Expo 2020, the excitement and range of attractions for visitors will ratchet up, including various once-in-a-lifetime experiences.”

 

He added: “As Dubai’s home airline, Emirates is launching a series of initiatives to make it even more compelling for travellers to plan their visit and experience Dubai. Last month, we announced that we’ll give a free Expo Day Pass to every Emirates customer travelling to Dubai during the Expo period, and we introduced an innovative ‘mile a minute’ offer for our Skywards members. Today we are launching an early booking discount on flights to Dubai across all our markets. In the coming weeks, we plan to roll out offers tailored for families, a special Expo edition of our popular ‘My Emirates Pass’ product, a celebratory offer for the UAE’s 50th jubilee anniversary and more, so stay tuned.”

 

Whether exploring Dubai solo, as a family, or reconnecting with family and friends, there has never been a better time to visit Dubai than this winter season. Emirates’ current special promotions include:

 

  • Early bird discount: This special offer is valid on any return tickets booked to Dubai as the final destination for travel dates between 26 September 2021 and 31 March 2022. It is applicable to bookings made from 6 – 27 September, 2021 via Emirates.com, through Emirates call centre or retail outlets, or via a travel agent. The offer applies to Emirates Business and Economy base fares; on Saver, Flex, Flex+ fare brands.*

 

  • Free Emirates Expo Day Pass: Emirates customers visiting and travelling through Dubai anytime during the much-awaited Expo 2020 mega event, will be eligible to receive a free Emirates Expo Day Pass for every flight ticket booked with the airline. For more information on this promotion, please visit the dedicated offer page.

 

  • Earn a mile a minute in Dubai: Emirates customers can earn 1 Skywards Mile for every 1 minute spent in Dubai between 01 October 2021 and 31 March 2022. Existing and new Emirates Skywards members who sign up for the program before 31 March 2022, can avail the offer on Emirates.com, and will earn up to 5,000 Miles. The offer is applicable on all Emirates flight tickets purchased between 01 August 2021 and 31 March 2022, for travel during Expo 2020 Dubai. Emiratesmarketed, flydubaioperated flights with an Emirates (EK) flight number are also included in the offer.

 

  • Extra Baggage allowance: During this offer period, passengers from Ghana will be able to enjoy extra baggage allowance of one additional piece of luggage to and from Dubai.

 

As international borders reopen and travel restrictions ease, Emirates has resumed passenger services to over 120 destinations and currently operates 7 weekly passenger flights from Accra to Dubai.

 

Explore Dubai with Emirates Holidays and Dubai Experience

Dubai safely re-opened for international business and leisure visitors in July 2020, and it remains one of the world’s most popular holiday destinations. From sun-soaked beaches and heritage activities to world class hospitality and leisure facilities, Dubai offers a variety of world-class experiences. It was one of the world’s first cities to obtain Safe Travels stamp from the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) – which endorses Dubai’s comprehensive and effective measures to ensure guest health and safety. Customers can book their holiday to Dubai, through their nearest travel travel agent or www.Emirates.com, including Expo-themed packages through Emirates Holidays or create their own itinerary with Dubai Experience.

 

Expo 2020 Dubai

Dubai will host the world for Expo 2020 between October 2021 and March 2022. Through the theme of Connecting Minds, Creating the Future, Expo 2020 Dubai aims to inspire people by showcasing the best examples of collaboration, innovation and cooperation from around the world.

 

Expo 2020 Dubai is the first World Expo ever hosted in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region. Its six-month program is packed with experiences to suit all ages and interests, including a rich line-up of themed weeks, entertainment, and edutainment. Art and culture fans as well as food and technology enthusiasts can explore exhibits, workshops, performances, live shows and more. Visitors can also drop by their national pavilion for a taste of home or experience the 190 other country pavilions. Architecture aficionados can look forward to soaking in the many inspiring designs throughout the Expo 2020 site, while those interested in future innovations that are making a difference in tomorrow’s world can stop by the various thematic and special pavilions.

 

Travelling with Emirates

Health and wellbeing: Keeping the health and wellbeing of its passengers as top priority, Emirates has introduced a comprehensive set of safety measures at every step of the customer journey. The airline has also recently introduced contactless technology and scaled up its digital verification capabilities to provide its customers even more opportunities to utilise the IATA Travel Pass this summer.

 

Travel assurance: Emirates continues to lead the industry with innovative products and services that address traveller needs during a dynamic time. The airline has taken its customer care initiatives further with even more generous and flexible booking policies, an extension of its multi-risk insurance cover, and helping loyal customers retain their miles and tier status.

 

Customers are encouraged to check the latest government travel restrictions in their country of origin and ensure they meet the travel requirements of their final destination. For more information on entry requirements for international visitors to Dubai visit: https://www.emirates.com/gh/english/help/covid-19/dubai-travel-requirements/

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