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Wizkid, The Weeknd, others win Apple Music Award

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Apple today announced the winners of the third annual Apple Music Awards, recognizing the best artists of 2021 and their influence on global culture.

The Apple Music Awards honor achievements in music across five distinct categories — Artist of the Year, Songwriter of the Year, Breakthrough Artist of the Year, Top Song of the Year, and Top Album of the Year — and winners are chosen through a process that reflects both Apple Music’s editorial perspective and what customers around the world are listening to the most.

This year, the Apple Music Awards will introduce a new category of awards for Regional Artist of the Year, recognizing artists from five countries and regions: Africa, France, Germany, Japan, and Russia. The Regional Artist of the Year awards recognize artists who made the greatest impact culturally and on the charts in their respective countries and regions.

“The past 12 months have proved to be a remarkable year for music, and we’re thrilled to honor the artists who are shaping culture and connecting with fans around the world on Apple Music,” said Oliver Schusser, Apple’s vice president of Apple Music and Beats. “This year we’re also recognizing more regional artists, showing the world the impact of extraordinary talented musicians who are making waves globally.”

The Apple Music Awards celebration kicks off Tuesday, December 7, 2021, with interviews, original content, and more all streaming worldwide on Apple Music and the Apple TV app. Music fans who are not already subscribed to Apple Music can sign up for a three-month free trial at apple.com/apple-music.

And the winners are…

Global Artist of the Year: The Weeknd

Filtering R&B and pop through an ambitious widescreen lens, The Weeknd took over popular music and culture on his own terms. The global superstar’s 2020 album “After Hours” quickly surpassed one million pre-adds on Apple Music, and is the most pre-added album of all time by a male artist on the platform. “After Hours” also holds the record for the most streamed R&B/Soul album in its first week in 73 countries. The smash single “Blinding Lights” peaked at No. 1 on Apple Music’s Daily Top 100: Global chart, and ranks as one of the 20 most Shazamed songs of all time. The Weeknd also hosts the massively popular taste-making Apple Music Radio show “MEMENTO MORI,” celebrated for its eclectic playlists and major world premieres. He’s graced recent covers of TIME, Forbes, Variety, Rolling Stone, Esquire, Harper’s Bazaar, and GQ, and blew away fans with his 2021 Super Bowl LV Halftime Show, which was one of the most Shazamed moments of the year.

“I’m so grateful for this huge honor and want to thank Apple for all its support, not only for my work but also for great music by newer artists, where it matters so much for creators to be found and supported,” The Weeknd said.

Breakthrough Artist of the Year, Album of the Year, and Song of the Year: Olivia Rodrigo

For Olivia Rodrigo, 2021 will go down as the year of epic firsts. The 18-year-old singer-songwriter released her tear-soaked debut single, “drivers license,” in January, which quickly topped the charts and became one of the most streamed new releases of the year. “drivers license” registered the highest first-week streams ever for a debut single by an artist on Apple Music globally, reaching No. 1 on the Daily Top 100: Global chart, where it remained for over a month, and was the fastest-ever debut solo track by a US artist to accumulate five million Shazams. Her highly anticipated debut album, “SOUR,” followed in May, and was celebrated with an Apple Music First Listen virtual event with fans and an accompanying interview with Zane Lowe. “SOUR” carries the highest first-week streams for a debut album on Apple Music globally, with all 11 songs on the album ranked on the Daily Top 100: Global chart, as well as the Daily Top 100 chart in 66 additional countries. Rodrigo has been on the cover of Apple Music playlists Today’s Hits, A-List Pop, and New Music Daily, and closes her life-changing year as the deserving recipient of her first three Apple Music Awards. She took home Breakthrough Artist, Album of the Year (“SOUR”), and Song of the Year (“drivers license”).

“I did my first interview for ‘drivers license’ with Apple Music, and so much has happened since then,” Rodrigo said. “It’s truly surreal. Thank you to Apple Music for these amazing awards.”

Songwriter of the Year: H.E.R.

Award-winning singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist H.E.R.’s work within the R&B genre grew even more expansive in 2021 with the release of her acclaimed 21-track album “Back of My Mind,” which captures the artist at her most brilliant, confident, and freewheeling. The chart-topping album was the third most streamed R&B/Soul album on Apple Music in its first week of release by a female artist this year, with singles “Damage” and “Come Through” (featuring Chris Brown) both spending multiple weeks on the Daily Top 100 chart in over 30 countries. The former Apple Music Up Next artist also penned the anthemic original “Fight for You” for the celebrated motion picture “Judas and the Black Messiah,” and covered Marvin Gaye’s “Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler)” for Apple Music’s exclusive “Juneteenth: Freedom Songs” compilation. H.E.R. is a regular guest on Zane Lowe and Ebro Darden’s shows on Apple Music 1, and she has been featured as the cover of popular Apple Music playlists New Music Daily, R&B Now, and more.

“I am very honored and blessed to receive this recognition,” H.E.R. said. “As a young Black and Filipino artist, and a woman who is on the stage giving my all, there’s no doubt that representation is important. Thank you so much, Apple Music.”

Artist of the Year (Africa): Wizkid

Singer-songwriter Wizkid is one of Africa’s biggest crossover acts, having worked with Drake, Skepta, and Chris Brown, among others. The Nigerian musician first found regional success in 2011 with the massively popular single “Holla at Your Boy,” which appeared on his debut album, “Superstar.” Wizkid went global in 2016 after his collaboration with Drake on “One Dance,” which soared to the top of the charts in 15 countries. Between 2019 and 2020, Wizkid was featured in Beyoncé’s projects “The Lion King: The Gift” and its companion piece, “Black Is King.” In October 2020, he released “Made in Lagos,” his critically acclaimed and most commercially successful album, which included his hit song “Essence,” a track that gained 125 million plays on Apple Music and over 2.8 million Shazams. This past year, he’s been the most streamed African artist on the continent on Apple Music and ranked on the Daily Top 100 charts in 60 countries, in addition to his monthly plays on Apple Music growing by more than 250 percent outside of Africa. He’s also been featured on Apple Music’s Today’s Hits and R&B Now playlists, and he’s a frequent guest on Apple Music Radio shows, including “Africa Now Radio,” “The Ebro Show,” “New Music Daily with Zane Lowe,” and “OVO SOUND RADIO.”

“Thank you to Apple Music for this award,” Wizkid said. “It’s a blessing to get to do what I do, and I’m proud to be representing for Africa.”

Artist of the Year (France): Aya Nakamura

French-Malian pop singer Aya Nakamura is the most streamed Francophone artist in the world. Best known for her hit song “Djadja,” she has released three albums featuring countless chart-topping songs, including “Copines,” “Pookie,” “Plus Jamais,” and “Jolie nana,” and she has been on the cover of Apple Music’s Hits Français playlist. In France, Nakamura is one of the only female artists to consistently appear in the streaming charts in a market dominated by male rappers, and her album “AYA” garnered the highest first-week streams for an album released by a female artist on Apple Music. Her songs “Jolie nana” and “Plus Jamais” hold the top two spots for the highest first-week streams for a song by a female artist on Apple Music in France, and all 15 songs on the album entered the Daily Top 100 chart in France, Belgium, and Niger, with “Jolie nana” peaking at No. 1 in those countries. Her song “Bobo” also peaked at No. 1 on the Daily Top 100 chart in France, Niger, Cape Verde, and Micronesia. It marked her fifth single topping France’s Daily Apple charts.

“I am extremely honored to be the very first Francophone artist to win an Apple Music Award as Artist of the Year (France),” Nakamura said. “Thank you, Apple!”

Artist of the Year (Germany): RIN

Rapper Renato Simunovic, aka RIN, was born in 1994 in Bietigheim-Bissingen near Stuttgart in the south of Germany. After releasing his first EP, “Genesis,” in 2016, his debut album, “Eros,” followed quickly in 2017. A 25-time gold and three-time platinum artist, RIN has performed countless live shows, done features with legends, and collaborated with some of the world’s most influential brands. With his third album, “Kleinstadt,” RIN freed himself from the idea of what German rap should sound like, and fans and critics alike cite this album as hugely influential in shaping the current sound of rap in the south of Germany. He was the first German artist to host his own show on Apple Music, “KLEINSTADTRADIO,” tied to the new album, and he has graced the cover of Apple Music’s HYPED and Deutschrap 100 playlists.

“2021 was such a good year for me because it has borne a lot of fruit of things that I postponed for a long time,” RIN said. “My music has evolved in the same sense. I am much more personal.”

Artist of the Year (Japan): OFFICIAL HIGE DANDISM

Formed in Shimane, Japan, in 2012, OFFICIAL HIGE DANDISM, aka HIGEDAN, consists of lead vocalist and keyboardist Satoshi Fujihara, guitarist Daisuke Ozasa, bassist and saxophonist Makoto Narazaki, and drummer Masaki Matsuura. They released their debut mini album, “Love to Peace wa Kimi no Naka,” in 2014. Their first full-length album, “Escaparade” — which includes their popular song “No Doubt” — was released in 2018, but it was their second single, “Pretender,” that rocketed to the top of the Apple Music charts in Japan. HIGEDAN entered Shazam’s emerging artists lists in Japan and Australia for the first time in June 2019, ahead of the release of the band’s follow-up album, “Traveler,” which became their first No. 1 album in Japan. The group has been featured in three different Apple Music Japan commercials, with their hit songs “Stand by You” and “I Love…,” along with the 2021 song “Apoptosis,” taken from their third album, “Editorial,” which carries the third-highest first-week streams for an album released in 2021 in Japan, and was recently featured in an Apple Music Japan spatial audio with Dolby Atmos commercial. The band has also made several guest appearances on “J-Pop Now Radio” on Apple Music 1.

“We didn’t know Japanese artists could win this award and were shocked when we were told,” the band said. “We’re super happy to be the winners of the first Apple Music Award for Artist of the Year (Japan).”

Artist of the Year (Russia): Scriptonite

Rapper Scriptonite, aka Adil Zhalelov, was discovered by Basta and signed to his label Gazgolder in 2015. Scriptonite’s debut album, “House with Normal Activity,” became an instant classic and has been deemed one of the biggest records of the new Russian hip-hop revolution. In 2017, Scriptonite followed up with two more LPs on Gazgolder, rising to the top-ranked producer and performer of the current hip-hop era, with fans and critics crediting him as the most important voice and sound of the new generation. After starting his own label, Musica36, in 2019, Scriptonite’s “2004” album was released exclusively on Apple Music to critical acclaim, becoming the No. 1 streamed record of the year. Scriptonite also holds the record for the two most streamed albums for its first week on Apple Music in five countries (Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Moldova). His single “Baby Mama” landed him in the Top 20 of worldwide Shazam charts. In 2020, Apple Music exclusively released the short film “Behind Scriptonite’s ‘2004’” along with a “36 Jam” live concert of all Musica36 artists. This year saw the release of his album “Svistki Y Bumazhki,” as well as a COVID-postponed show in Moscow, both released exclusively on Apple Music. Scriptonite has graced the covers of Apple Music’s Kirillitsa, Russian Hits, and New Music Daily playlists, and he’s currently working on his first English-language record in collaboration with Gee Baller, a young Nigerian rising star who recently signed to Musica36.

“This award is the culmination of an incredible few years, and Apple Music has been with me for so much of it along the way,” Scriptonite said. “Thank you for the recognition.”

 

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Ghana Health Service Announces Vaccination Of Students In Senior High Schools Across The Country

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The Ghana Health Service (GHS) and Ghana Education Service (GES) have announced plans to vaccinated Senior High School (SHS) student as school re-opens.  This was contained in a statement jointly signed by Dr. Patrick Kuma-Aboagye Director-General, Ghana Health Service and Prof. Kwasi Opoku-Amankwa Director-General, Ghana Education Service.

The statement reads:

Ghana has been experiencing periodic outbreaks of COVID-19 in Senior High Schools. Fortunately, the Ghana Health Service received approval from the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) to expand persons eligible for vaccination to include 15-year-olds and above who are mostly in Senior High Schools. This vaccination comes to compliment the already existing COVID-19 preventive protocols such as wearing of face mask, washing of hands with soap under running water and the use of hand sanitizers.

The Ghana Health Service (GHS) working in collaboration with the Ghana Education Service (GES), commenced the vaccination of students who fall within the eligibility criteria, but the exercise had to be suspended during the vacation period. The students were however encouraged to get the vaccination in the communities where theylive.

The GHS in collaboration with GES has restarted the vaccination exercise in all schools.

In this vein, vaccination teams have been dispatched to schools to vaccinate students who have not yet been vaccinated. Students who have already been vaccinated are required to bring their vaccination cards to school for inspection.

The Ghana Health Service and the Ghana Education Service is by this release requesting the cooperation of parents and all stakeholders to make this exercise a success.

We count on the continuous support of parents and guardians in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic in our schools and communities.

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It Pays to Wear Your Seat Belt

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Victims of car accidents may sometimes contribute to their own injuries. Florida’s comparative fault statute is stated in Fla. Stat. 761.81, which provides that a driver’s contributory negligence reduces the amount of compensation received. In Florida, if you were not wearing a seat belt at the time of a car accident, the other driver may claim that not wearing your seat belt contributed to your injuries. This blog post explains the seat belt defense, which is allowed in only fifteen states.

 

Here is the situation

 

Imagine being in a serious car accident. Let’s say the other driver is clearly to blame. Perhaps the driver ran a red light or was speeding. You were driving perfectly fine, however, you did not have your seat belt on.

 

In this scenario, even if the other driver is fully at fault, his or her attorney may argue that you should carry some of the blame because you were not wearing your seat belt. The reasoning is that had you been wearing your seat belt, the injuries you sustained would be significantly less severe. This is an example of the seat belt defense.

 

The History

 

In 1992, Harold Ridley was driving his pickup truck when he and his daughter Tabitha, who was a passenger in the truck, were engaged in an intersection collision with a service truck driven by an employee of Safety Kleen Corporation.

 

Mr. Ridley filed a lawsuit against the Safety Kleen Corporation and Calhoun County. Mr. Ridley alleged that the driver of the Safety Kleen truck went directly through an intersection despite the word “STOP” written on the pavement. Mr. Ridley’s failure to use his seat belt was raised by the lawyer for Safety Kleen Corporation as an affirmative defense.

 

The case ultimately reached the Florida Supreme Court. The court held that failing to wear a seat belt can be used as an affirmative defense of comparative negligence. Fla. Stat. 316.614 now also contains this rule. The court explained that if a jury considers that a reasonably cautious individual would have put on their seat belt in the same circumstances, it can be considered proof of negligence, which may reduce the amount of damages you are able to recover. As a result, in Florida, a defendant is likely to raise the seat belt defense.

 

In 2000, a Florida court determined that a defendant must prove three elements to prevail on the seat belt defense. First, the defendant must prove that the driver failed to wear its available and functional seat belt. Second, the defendant must prove that the driver was unreasonable under the circumstances by not wearing its seat belt. Third, the defendant must prove that the driver’s failure to wear the seat belt caused or substantially contributed to the driver’s injuries.

 

How can someone prove a driver was not wearing a seat belt?

 

There are a few ways to prove in court that a driver was not wearing a seat belt. First, the testimony of a lay witness can be used to prove whether a seat belt was worn. For example, if someone spoke to the driver shortly after the accident and the driver admitted to not wearing a seat belt, this admission can be used in court for proof. Also, a vehicle technician who specializes in seat belts may be able to provide evidence showing whether a seat belt was worn in a crash. Lastly, oftentimes a doctor, after examining the injuries sustained in the crash, will be able to provide an expert opinion as to whether the driver was wearing a seat belt.

 

Would I have to pay for an expert to testify?

 

Yes, but only if you win. A car accident attorney is likely to handle case costs as they arise, deducting them from your part of a potential settlement or court award. It is uncommon for a personal injury attorney to bill a client for costs as they accrue. In a personal injury case, costs and expenses may very well include expert witnesses. They also can include medical records, police reports, investigators, postage and filing fees, depositions, transcripts, and trial exhibits.

 

This method of billing is called a contingency fee. You only pay your lawyer on the contingency that you win the case. Most car accident lawyers will handle case costs on a contingency.

 

Conclusion

 

Florida has a comparative fault statute. Regarding seat belts, Florida’s laws state that if you fail to wear an available, operable seatbelt, and the injuries you sustained could have been lessened had you worn that seatbelt, then you can have your reward for damages reduced. With that said, depending on the facts of your case, the seat belt defense can be complex. Make sure to hire an injury lawyer who specializes in car accidents that will assist you and adequately protect your rights. And remember to always wear your seat belt!

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Scott Leaser, Esq. is a car accident attorney serving Greenacres, Florida, and its surrounding areas. If you recently were injured in a car accident in Florida, call (561) 559-5048 for a free consultation.

 

 

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Tourism Ministry to invest $20m to improve tourism, arts

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The Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Dr Mohammed Awal has disclosed that the industry will invest over $20 million to improve tourism and arts attractions. (more…)

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When Can Escort Service Be Classified as Legal

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The idea of escorts often leads people to think about the assortment of benefits that such professionals can receive. They’re also known for greater comfort and less challenge in communication and interactions with their clients.

 

The growing popularity of escorts Paris has prompted a lot of men and women to pay attention to the services they provide, which are merely intended to enrich one’s life, which includes the elimination of stress and anxiety.

 

This is what makes these services especially popular among men and women who are constantly being burdened by unwanted stress at their jobs or other problems in their day-to-day life.

 

In some countries, hiring an escort is entirely legal if it comes with no strings attached. Legal escort services adhere to stringent requirements.

 

What is an Escort Service

Escort service is a professional service that provides a client (escort client) with an escort (escort). Escorts are usually female, but there are also many male escorts. The escort would accompany the client to more places, such as social events and business functions.

 

The primary role of an escort is to accompany clients to social functions. An experienced escort knows how to behave appropriately at any event they attend with a client. The escort will also advise on how the client should present themselves at the function to fit in well with other guests attending the same party.

 

An escort also acts as an attendee to add to the glamour of a social event or function. This can be done by socializing with other guests and working as arm candy for clients. Escorts might also serve as hostesses at business events and parties.

 

How is a Legal Escort Service Defined

Legal escort service is a tricky subject to talk about. Laws, especially in America, change every day and all over the country.

 

Many people who run escorts services do so because they want to help people, not because they want to make money. Many states, such as California and Nevada, are legal for an escort to provide other services, such as companionship or massages.

 

If you are considering starting your escort service and there is any doubt that it might not be legal in your area, you should check with a lawyer before taking any action. The last thing you want to do is get yourself in trouble with the law when you could have just called a lawyer for free.

  

When Does Escort Service Become Legal

How to determine whether escort service is legal? The answer is quite simple. Once you have the correct information, the problem becomes easy to solve. Escort service can be classified as legal if it meets the following requirements.

 

The first condition is that your business must have a license to operate legally in the city or state where it is located. As long as you hold a valid permit, your business can continue operating regardless of how many people are employed by it or how much money you make from it.

 

The second condition is that only adults should work for an escort service. If you employ minors (people under 18), your business can be closed down and subject to fines and penalties. The only exception to this rule is if the minor has a working permit issued by the city or state. This can be obtained by minors willing to work on movie sets, commercials, music videos, and similar projects.

 

The third condition is that the people who work for your escort service must be willing to consent for their photos and information about them being made public. If someone does not agree with this, they will not be able to work for you legally.

 

When Does Escort Service Become Illegal

It is a known fact that escorting and prostitution are very similar. However, the two are not the same. Prostitution involves sex for money, while escorting does not necessarily involve sex.

 

Escort services entail the company of an independent woman to attend events, parties, etc., to provide companionship to men who are bored or lonely. Thus, it can be concluded that if a person charges for their companionship only, then their service is legal.

 

Countries Considered as Sex Destinations in the World

Many people view sexual encounters while traveling to enhance their travel experience. The sex industry is worth billions, and millions of illegal and legal sex workers are scattered across the globe.

 

These are the top sex destinations in the world.

 

Germany. Germany is a large and well-organized country with prostitution, including street and street prostitutes. It is fully legal. Since 1200 AD, the government has had a long history with sexual tourism and organized prostitution. It is interesting that people willfully join the flesh trade in Germany. There are also advertisements and job opportunities through human resources companies.

 

The Dominican Republic. Tourists visiting the Dominican Republic can expect to see legal brothels and marriage parlors, as well as prostitutes freely roaming the streets of Santo Domingo or Puerto Plata. The Dominican Republic is fourth in the world for exporting large sex workers.

 

Spain. Popular sex destinations include Madrid, Ibiza, and Barcelona. These cities are well-known for their vibrant club scene and bars.

 

Malaysia. Although prostitution in Malaysia is illegal, it is still widespread and readily available. Penang, Kuala Lumpur, and Ipoh are some of the most popular places where prostitution is common. The majority of sex workers are from China and other neighboring countries.

 

Kenya. It is also one of Africa’s most accessible countries. However, it has an enormous sex tourism industry on the continent. Despite the high prevalence of HIV and STDs, the country doesn’t discourage the practice. It is not surprising that Kenya is a popular choice for older white women looking to “buy” some time with a man. Tourists willing to pay high prices for sex in hidden locations lure children into prostitution.

 

The Netherlands. It is often considered one of the most popular destinations for sex globally. Prostitution is legalized and regulated. Amsterdam’s De Wallen is the most well-known red-light area in the city and is a popular destination for international sex tourism.

 

The Philippines. There are a large domestic sex industry with approximately 800,000 people, both men, and women, working in this trade. The country’s reputation as a sex destination is believed to have been created by the popularity of ‘girlie bars’ during World War II.

 

Brazil. Brazil is another country where prostitution can be legalized. However, Brazil prohibits the operation of brothels or the hiring of sex workers in other ways. There are still dozens of brothels in cities where prostitutes can engage in sexual activities.

 

Colombia. Colombian women are considered some of the most beautiful in the world. This is perhaps one reason why sex tourism has flourished in Colombia. Although sex trading is legal in Colombia, the government has reduced illegal activities, such as child prostitution.

 

Thailand. According to some reports, the industry was established in Vietnam during the Vietnam war. It is now a legal profession in the country, with more than three million sex workers making a living.

 

The legality of escort service depends on the circumstances. Some countries regulate the activity directly, while others penalize it indirectly by punishing related activities. It is up to you to determine if an escort service is legal where you live, but it is safer to rely on legal escort agencies than dangerous ones.

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BezoMoney Disrupts Savings Market with New Platform, BezoSusu

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BezoMoney, Ghana’s leading fintech provider of out-of-the-box financial tools and solutions for young people and the unbanked has launched its new savings platform, BezoSusu.

The platform allows users to make deposits through their mobile money wallets or bank accounts, track and monitor the growth of their money and eventually reach set savings goals. BezoSusu is a part of Bezomoney’s growing portfolio of products and services tailor made to help mainly young people and the unbanked make smart money moves and earn their way to financial freedom.

With Bezosusu, customers who are keen to save, have access to a growing selection of features and  benefits from the wider choice, safety and convenience offered by the platform. Some of these features include; automated daily and weekly deposits to your savings goal, Auto Lock function; track and monitor savings goal; and a whopping 9% interest per annum on savings. The platform also optimizes users’ saving options by allowing deposits via mobile mon ey.

Speaking on the Launch, The CEO, Mubarak Sumaila noted, “Ghana is lagging behind in providing financial products and services for the unbanked and today’s digitally savvy generation. This is a huge market, largely untapped and Bezomoney has positioned itself to disrupt this space and provide a safe, timely, easy to use innovative platform that allows you to grow your money with convenience. The arrival of Bezosusu brings an exciting innovation to this market. Essentially, Bezosusu can do for the savings market what PayPal did for the payments space.”

The platform is robust and has been built by Bezomoney’s world-class tech teams in Ghana and around the globe.

Dawuda Iddrisu, Chief Technology Officer at Bezomoney, explained; “With Bezosusu, we are offering a robust platform that is end-to-end encrypted and prioritizes the data security and privacy of our users. Our platform is super easy to use, intuitive and has a beautiful user interface for our users.”

The launch of Bezosusu is timely given the general post-pandemic climate with many people looking to save and make smarter money choices.

VP of Marketing, Emma Tandoh  said, “With the launch of our Bezosusu platform, we are reaffirming our ambition to provide a new infrastructure for Africa’s growing savings business. We also plan to capitalize on additional partners and bring our vision of upward social mobility to all young people and the unbanked.”

“Of course, today’s launch of Bezosusu is just the beginning: We now plan to expand the product offering on the platform with additional features and benefits over time as we assess what users desire from time to time.  Our digital and offline channels will primarily dominate our launch efforts but we intend to leave no stone unturned to stay visible and create maximum adoption for our product” remarked Head of Marketing, Adwoa A. Nyamesem.

The Bezosusu platform is the digital savings platform of choice and the new way to save, grow and secure your financial future. To sign up for a new account, users will have to visit app.bezosusu.com .

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E-commerce contributions to Ghana’s growth and development; 2021 Highlights

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Electronic commerce or e-commerce, popularly known in Ghana as ‘’online shopping’’ has come a long way since the days when we all thought it was just a myth or a way for certain people to be fraudulent. Today, nearly everything we need can be ordered online and customers even have the convenience of staying at home or in their offices to take delivery of such orders. In recent times, online payments have also made it possible to avoid long queues in banks and even reduce the risks of contracting Covid-19. E-commerce has brought convenience, safety and affordability into our lives. However, the contributions of e-commerce to Ghana’s growth and development cannot be narrowed down to only the above-stated benefits. In 2021, Africa’s leading e-commerce platform Jumia impacted Ghanaians with various milestones and activities. Below are a few of them.

FEBRUARY :
Corporate Social Responsibility (Covid-19 impact)
On valentines day, 14th February 2021, Jumia Ghana employees, consumers and partners went on the streets of Accra educating the children, elderly and vulnerable in society about the risks, symptoms and prevention of covid-19. They also distributed nose masks and sanitisers to hawkers and street children at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle bus station.

JUNE :
Making insurance accessible online
Jumia also partnered with insurance group, Hollard Ghana to make insurance policies easily accessible online. The e-commerce company leveraged its technology and network to provide an efficient platform for Ghanaians to purchase Hollard’s general and life insurance products. This new feature is available on the JumiaPay platform and came at a time when the pandemic had affected most people reiterating the need for various types of insurance policies.

JULY :
Celebrated 9 years of e-commerce in Ghana
This was a milestone worth celebrating after 9 whole years of making the lives of Ghanaians easier and better through the internet. This was marked with a mega sale where consumers were given discounts of up to 50% to shop for their essential needs. There were daily flash sales and many giveaways as well.

AUGUST :
Safeguarding our environment
Jumia also partnered with Solar Taxi in Ghana to provide eco-friendly and affordable deliveries to online shoppers. With a shared vision of ensuring a clean and sustainable environment using renewable energy, coupled with the need to keep consumers safe especially during the many waves of the COVID-19-, Consumers who ordered food, groceries and other essential items on Jumia got their orders delivered conveniently and environmentally friendly to their homes or offices by SolarTaxi riders.

SEPTEMBER :
Corporate Social Responsibility (Blood donation exercise)
In collaboration with the Ghana Blood Service and the National Blood Bank, Jumia organized a blood donation exercise at their office in Accra to mark the Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah memorial day. Staff, customers, partners and the general public came in their numbers to donate blood. This was to help increase stock at the National Blood Bank while saving many lives.

OCTOBER :
Launch of e-commerce index 2021
Jumia published its first e-commerce report, Jumia Africa e-Commerce Index 2021 with a Ghana section, which leveraged data from the Jumia platform to illustrate the importance of shopping online in a pandemic context as consumers leveraged Jumia for their needs using their smartphones. The index unearthed a shift in consumer shopping behaviour from more electronics to essential products. This shift was part of a broader economic transformation led by the continent’s young, urban and tech-savvy population. The report was a partnership with UNCTAD, IFC, and Mastercard, highlighting the impact of e-commerce on the African economy.

NOVEMBER :
Supporting preterm babies on oxygen
The e-commerce company partnered with NICU soldiers and Fiona’s Foods to raise funds for preterm babies on oxygen in Ghana. This was dubbed #sconesforlife and the fundraiser was in the form of delivering scones and pies to generous people who bought them at higher amounts than their original costs just to support the project. Every Friday and Saturday, Jumia Logistics Ghana’s delivery agents sent the scones/pie orders to these consumers at no cost of delivery.

BLACK FRIDAY SALE
Jumia in partnership with thousands of sellers and brands offered consumers a wide assortment of products at the best prices. Discounts of up to 90% OFF, daily flash sales and treasure hunts where some lucky winners got the iPhone 13 at 100ghs and other great items at mindblowing discounts. There were also freebies and free shipping to selected areas. This was to ensure that customers enjoy the best deals and excellent services while sellers and brands grow their businesses. Being the biggest online sale of the year, it was an opportunity to also create awareness in Ghana about e-commerce and its benefits in our growing economy.

DECEMBER :
Expedient deliveries and top tier customer service
E-commerce giants Jumia partnered with Ghana Post. The strategic partnership sought to transform the customer experience of Ghanaians with faster and more efficient e-commerce flows. The new partnership supports Jumia’s commitment to leveraging its advanced technology and extensive network to provide a seamless and powerful platform for Ghanaians to purchase everyday needs online. Ghana Post also supports Jumia by delivering packages to consumers via efficient and expedient courier services.

All in all, 2021 was a great year of e-commerce impact. The opportunities and benefits of doing business online are endless. With Jumia’s commitment to improving its technology, 2022 promises to be more successful. Happy new year!

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