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This is why Joe Biden appointed 26-year-old Nigerian – American, Osaremen Okolo as Covid-19 Policy Advisor

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President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris have announced additional members of the White House COVID-19 Response team. These diverse, accomplished, and crisis-tested individuals will work to quickly implement a comprehensive, whole-of-government COVID-19 response strategy to contain the pandemic, restore public trust, and protect all Americans.

Nigerian-American, Osaremen Okolo, was announced as a COVID-19 Policy Adviser. Osaremen was among the 100 names announced. According to Joe Biden, Osaremen Okolo and other members of the COVID-19 response team will work to get the pandemic under control.

Read ALSO: All you need to know about Adewale Adeyemo, the Nigerian-American expected to be Joe Biden’s deputy Treasury secretary

“This accomplished and experienced team will work to get the pandemic under control so that the American people can get back to their lives and to their loved ones. To recover from this pandemic, we must take aggressive action to manufacture, distribute, and administer vaccines, testing, and personal protective equipment in an equitable way. These individuals are deeply qualified and will restore public trust in the pandemic response by leading with facts, science, and integrity,” said President-elect Joe Biden.

“Containing the coronavirus pandemic is one of the defining challenges of our time. This outstanding team will help us defeat this challenge by helping us get this virus under control, responsibly reopen our economy, and safely reopen our schools. I look forward to working closely with these dedicated public servants to save lives, contain this pandemic, and build better preparedness for future pandemics and other public health threats,” said Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.

“To contain the COVID-19 pandemic, we must implement an aggressive response to slow the spread of the virus, protect frontline workers, and ensure the safe and efficient delivery of treatments and vaccines. This team is deeply qualified to help lead our White House efforts to protect the American people from the virus,” said incoming White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain. 

Osaremen Okolo serves on the Biden-Harris Transition domestic policy team. Prior to joining the transition, Okolo served as Senior Health Policy Advisor to U.S. Representative Jan Schakowsky of Illinois.

Okolo drafted, negotiated, and managed the Congresswoman’s legislation, oversight, and policy across a comprehensive health care and public health agenda, most recently focusing almost exclusively on the COVID-19 pandemic.

Previously, Okolo served as Legislative Aide for Health Policy on the US Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labour, and Pensions (HELP) for Ranking Member Patty Murray of Washington.

Okolo parents come from Edo state in Southern Nigeria. She was born and raised in Massachusetts.  She graduated with honours from Harvard University in 2017 with degrees in medicine and African-American studies.

Okolo previously served as Legislative Aide for Health Policy on the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labour, and Pensions (HELP) for Ranking Member Patty Murray of Washington.

All you need to know about Adewale Adeyemo, the Nigerian-American expected to be Joe Biden’s deputy Treasury secretary

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DKT International Ghana launches “SafeAbortion4All” campaign to mark ‘International Safe Abortion Day’

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DKT International Ghana in partnership with DKT WomanCare, on Monday, September 27, 2021, coordinated a campaign to create awareness on safe abortion ahead of the commemoration of this year’s WHO ‘International Safe Abortion Day’. (more…)

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People & Lifestyle

Huawei DIGIX Lab to empower developers on the African continent

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For developers out there, having a designated space to go to when working on your next big App idea will without a doubt play an instrumental role in the successful development of your App as well as its growth. The Huawei DIGIX Lab in Johannesburg is another way that Huawei Mobile Services (HMS) is proving its continued involvement and investment in the growth of App development and the people behind it across Africa.

In the spirit of collaborative innovation, the DIGIX Lab will allow developers to experience Huawei’s open capabilities and devices firsthand, master and share knowledge through hands-on practice and guidance, and directly access the HMS ecosystem. They will also have the chance to network, idea share and collaborate with fellow App developers.

When you visit the lab, you will have access to Huawei devices, which you can use in real time to perform App adaptation verification that will help you experience more comprehensive hardware debugging capabilities. Sounds like a great opportunity to make sure your App is Huawei device ready.

Another impressive thing to note about having access to this lab is the wealth of knowledge you will receive from the minute you walk in. The DIGIX Lab is divided into three main zones where developers, partners and tech enthusiasts can connect, communicate and collaborate.

For instance, the Experience zone is where a bank of screens provides loads of information about various parts of the Huawei Mobile Services ecosystem. As the lab grows, other devices will be added in this zone, including tablets, PCs, wearables and VR glasses. Definitely something to look forward to. This will provide you with a chance to interact with these technologies, allowing you to plan and scope out potential collaborations.

The Enable zone, is a meeting facility where you will be able to host events. Any developer who is seeking help or facing any challenges can receive hands-on support from Huawei’s technical engineers or business leaders. The Enable zone will also house debug terminals to support developers with resources.

The third zone, the Engage zone is a multi-purpose space with a collaboration area and training rooms to support community building. Developer programs such as integration trainings, workshops, industry and networking events will be held in this area. Additionally, tech buffs or individual developers can also book the space to host community events related to mobile App development.

Huawei’s DIGIX Lab project consists of seven labs globally, located in Singapore, Dusseldorf in Germany, Moscow in Russia, Dubai in the UAE, Mexico City in Mexico, Dublin in Ireland and now Johannesburg in the Republic of South Africa.

With this innovative new offering, Huawei continues to prove the high esteem in which it holds its African developers from across the continent.

Readers interested in learning more about the DIGIX Lab are invited to contact the lab by emailing,  developersa@huawei.com to request an in person or virtual tour of the facilities. They are also invited to visit the DIGIX Lab website by clicking here for more information.

 

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Binance educates over 350,000 crypto beginners in 2021 …remains at the forefront of blockchain education

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As Binance continues in its mission to increase the freedom of money for users, drive blockchain adoption and enable greater accessibility, it remains dedicated to crypto education globally. The company has provided free crypto education classes to Africans, on topics ranging from user protection to building careers in blockchain.

Through Binance Academy, a one-stop guide to all things crypto, and ongoing free crypto education classes in Africa, where crypto interest & adoption continue to increase, Binance remains at the forefront of blockchain education, equipping crypto beginners with resources for lifelong financial and career development.

Since its inception in January 2020, the Binance Masterclass has provided free crypto education to over 400,000 Africans. Due to many crypto beginners often being victims of crypto scams from bad actors, the free webinars were primarily targeted at helping users understand the fundamentals of cryptocurrencies, how to identify scams and keep their crypto safe as they get started on their crypto journey.

As the global pandemic surfaced and many individuals lost jobs, lost income and were forced to stay home, the classes also focused on teaching new skills such as crypto trading and careers in blockchain development.

By the end of 2020, over 70,000 Africans were educated in the first year of the launch of the Masterclass. Binance has since doubled down on its efforts, providing education resources to over 177,000 Africans in Q1 2021 and over 179,500 in Q2 2021- creating the education infrastructure Africans need to be financially free and informed.

“Blockchain education is at the heart of our focus in the global market. As a blockchain infrastructure provider, we are committed to ensuring that more and more people have access to the right information about the workings of the ecosystem. Africa is a very important market for Binance because we see the profound opportunity blockchain brings to the entire continent.” said Emmanuel Babalola, Director at Binance Africa.

In addition to training newbies and enthusiasts, Binance is also dedicated to blockchain developers and equipping them with tools and skills required to build solutions and emerge as exceptional blockchain talent.

In Q1 2021, Binance trained over 1000 blockchain developers in Africa and allocated a US$1million fund for African developers. The 8-week masterclass was concluded with a demo show by top attendees showcasing newly built products using blockchain technology and skills acquired from the developer course. Below is a testimonial from Opeyemi Olabode, one of our Binance Masterclass graduates:

“The 8-week Masterclass exceeded my expectations. I got to learn so much technically as well as the business side. Also, being given the opportunity to lead a team also helped to boost my leadership abilities considering students with diverse backgrounds, cultures and timezones.

My team won third place, and with the promise of support and resources from the facilitators, I see this as a big opportunity. Lastly, I got the opportunity to share what I knew with other students, and I have met very talented developers like myself who are surely going to make Africa proud.”

Some of the channels Binance Africa has used to provide crypto education & accelerate financial inclusion include:

  • Newbie Walkthroughs – A webinar series for newbies that provides an introduction to cryptocurrency and the Binance platform, ensuring beginners have access to the right information about the workings of the crypto ecosystem.
  • My Binance Class – A campaign that creates an opportunity for tutors to get rewarded for their efforts in spreading knowledge about crypto and blockchain to all. The goal of the campaign is to decentralize and deliver sound crypto education through the creation of smaller learning communities.
  • Blockchain Student Corner – An AMA webinar series for students across Binance communities in Africa opportunities in blockchain, the basics of cryptocurrency trading and much more.
  • Hackathon Workshops – Most recent hackathon spanned 21 days and saw participants building DeFi and NFT solutions to solve real problems identified in the African systems in place today. 20 teams kicked off the hackathon building DeFi & NFT projects covering Savings, Lending and Borrowing, Swaps, Royalties and Renting, Elections, Identity Management, Land Ownership, NFTs marketplaces. The community engaged in weekly workshops, as the hackathon progressed.

Binance is the world’s leading blockchain ecosystem and cryptocurrency infrastructure provider with a financial product suite that includes the largest digital asset exchange by volume. Trusted by millions worldwide, the Binance platform is dedicated to increasing the freedom of money for users and features an unmatched portfolio of crypto products and offerings, including: trading and finance, education, data and research, social good, investment and incubation, decentralization and infrastructure solutions, 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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