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Women’s History Month Art Event Honors the Eco-Feminist Artist Mira Lehr at the Kimpton EPIC Hotel Miami through April 20th

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Celebrating the 60th anniversary of Mira Lehr founding “Continuum,” one of the country’s first-ever women artist collectives

Featuring all new works by Lehr never exhibited before, on view now through April 20th at the Hotel’s new 16th floor gallery space

Panel discussion event about Women in the Arts will premiere the worldwide release of new 400-page international volume about Mira Lehr by Skira Editore, one of the world’s leading art book publishers

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The eco-feminist artist Mira Lehr (photo by Michael E. Fryd).

The Kimpton EPIC Hotel, one of Miami’s leading boutique hotels, presents a new art exhibition celebrating Women’s History Month titled Mira Lehr: Continuum, on view now through April 20th.

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The nationally acclaimed, eco-feminist artist is celebrated for co-founding Continuum in 1961, one of America’s first art collectives for women artists. It thrived for more than 30 years, and her vision to kickstart the local art scene influenced the evolution of the visual arts in Miami.

The Hotel created its new EPIC Art initiative to advance the works of local artists and provide its visitors an insider’s look into the destination’s vibrant art scene.

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Sunkissed from Within, by Mira Lehr (2022) Burned and dyed Japanese paper, handwriting, ink, and ignited gun powder on canvas (48” x 60”).

Critics praise Mira Lehr as the real-life Marvelous Mrs. Maisel of the male-dominated art scenes in 1950s New York and 1960s Miami. 

Now, at the bold age of 87, Lehr is creating more new work now than ever before in her six decades of artmaking. The all-new works in this exhibition have never been exhibited before and were created by Lehr in 2022 and 2021.

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Lehr is now gaining even more national and international acclaim, and she is the subject of a major new 400-page artist monograph book by Skira Editore, celebrating its worldwide release in April.

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Reproductive Genesis, by Mira Lehr (2021) Burned and dyed Japanese paper, handwriting, ink, and ignited gun powder on canvas (48” x 60”).

The exhibition is on view through April 20th, and will feature a panel discussion event about the role women artists played in the evolution of Miami’s art scene.

The moderator of this event will be The Miami Herald’s Jane Wooldridge, and the panel features some of South Florida’s groundbreaking cultural leaders, including: Lorie Mertes (Executive Director of Locust Projects, formerly of the National Museum of Women in the Arts); Melissa Diaz(Cultural Arts Curator of the Deering Estate); Vivian Donnell Rodriguez (former Director of Miami-Dade County Art in Public Places, now on the Palm Beach County Public Art Board); Diane Robinson (filmmaker); and Ombretta Agro (curator, environmental activist, and Executive Director of ARTSail).

The public will have the opportunity to meet the artist at this panel discussion, where she will sign advance copies of the new 400-page book by Skira Editore, the renowned art book publisher. Learn more about this major new international monograph honoring Mira Lehr at skira.net/en/books/mira-lehr-arc-of-nature-the-complete-monograph.

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The marvelous Mira Lehr in the 1950s (Rome)

Mira Lehr blazed trails as a woman artist in the 1950s during the male-dominated art scenes in New York and Miami during the mid-century era,” says Ericka Nelson, general manager of Kimpton EPIC Hotel and director of operations for Kimpton’s Florida hotels.

“Today, sixty years later, Lehr is recognized as one of the early influencers who helped Miami become an epicenter of creativity and diversity, and her new art continues to inspire new generations throughout her six decades of propelling the art movement forward. The launch of our Hotel’s EPIC Art initiative has infused the visual arts into the guest experience ‒ paying homage to the extraordinary creative talent that has served to make our city a cultural destination,” adds Nelson.

“I feel the urgency of both our global climate problems and our

continuing need for progress for women in the arts,” says Mira Lehr.

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“It is a privilege to be on the Earth and I believe we are

meant to be a success on the planet.”

“If we can expand our thinking to cross borders and transcend places,

our united vision for the planet can raise our awareness.

It is this sense of hope and purpose

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that calls me to action through my art,” adds Lehr.

 

Mira Lehr was recently selected by PBS Television for this virtual town hall about Women in the Arts — pbs.org/video/women-in-the-arts-virtual-town-hall-obqsgn/ 

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Watch the PBS Television “Women in the Arts” virtual town hall at pbs.org/video/women-in-the-arts-virtual-town-hall-obqsgn/

From 1956 to 1960, Mira Lehr had her art studio at Carnegie Hall in New York while she also raised a young family. She had just graduated from Vassar College in 1956 with a degree in Art History, under the mentorship of Linda Nochlin, the renowned feminist art historian.

While in New York, Lehr studied painting within the Hans Hofmann circle, and met many of the great American artists of that famed time in New York ‒ including Helen Frankenthaler, Joan Mitchell, Lee Krasner, James Brooks, Ludwig Sander, and Robert Motherwell.

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The marvelous Mira Lehr in the 1950s (New York)

Then, in December of 1960, she moved her family back to Miami Beach. “I was shocked at the lack of an art scene in Miami in 1960, especially for women artists,” said Mira Lehr.

“So we decided to take matters into our own hands and banded together our group of women artists to form Continuum as a working co-op to showcase women artists when no one else would, and it thrived for more than 30 years,” adds Lehr.

“We learned on our own how to create opportunities for ourselves, to display our work via DIY exhibitions throughout the 1960s, the 1970s and 1980s, an era in the art world that would be difficult for today’s young artists to imagine.”

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Historic photo of the Continuum group of women artists in Miami, circa 1970. Lehr is standing on the balcony, top-right.

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In honor of Women’s History Month, one of the new paintings in this exhibition is titled Julia’s Prophecy (for Julia Tuttle). Known as “the mother of Miami,” Tuttle was pivotal in pioneering the City of Miami in the 1890s.

The Hotel is located near the very spot where Julia Tuttle first settled.

The term Continuum is equated with being limitless

and with the idea of boundlessness, and this current time

has been a powerful period of creativity for Lehr.

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Installation image of the exhibition at the Kimpton EPIC Hotel Miami

New techniques and discoveries have paved the way for new visions and experiments in her art, and this exhibition thrives on that sense of newness for Mira Lehr.

I am grateful to have been selected for this art exhibition honoring Women’s History Month, and to share this new series of works, some definitely representing a departure point,” says Mira Lehr.

I no longer feel as though I have those Masters of art history sitting on my shoulders, watching what I am doing. I am more of an explorer now. I can now create in a more powerful way. I find that this realization often comes late in life, after a long career and I believe my sixty years of work has made me, in Hans Hofmann’s words, ‘search for the real’ in a more profound way,” says Mira Lehr.

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The eco-feminist artist Mira Lehr (photo by Michael E. Fryd).

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To emphasize the peril of climate change that we are now experiencing, Lehr experiments with the use of fire. “This natural element of fire, often controlled and abused by man, is a major medium in my work and my interest in the environment has become a driving force.”

“Drawing with fuses and loose gunpowder on top of subtle hand drawing, I set the entire work ablaze, embracing the risk that such a gesture could destroy my entire painting. Afterward, only a trace of the flame’s path remains, bringing an exciting energy to the work and the suggestion of destruction,” says Lehr.

In her essay for Skira Editore’s new book about Mira Lehr, the art historian Eleanor Heartneystates: “The 20th century opened with a burst of optimism, as advances in art, science and technology seemed to presage the birth of a marvelous new reality.”

“In the first two decades of the 21st century, by contrast, the news has been relentlessly grim at times. It takes a brave person these days to hold onto hope for a better future ‒ yet Lehr is not, however, a starry-eyed romantic,” adds Heartney.

“She is well aware of the challenges that face us, and she has the advantage of a long perspective. In the over sixty years that she has been active as an artist, Lehr has lived through any number of social upheavals,” says Heartney.

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Installation image of the exhibition at the Kimpton EPIC Hotel Miami

“These paintings reflect Lehr’s conviction that the current crises are planetary in scale, and she has shifted her work into new, more activist directions and explorations that push the limits of painting, experimenting with a wide range of new techniques and materials,” says Heartney.

“Such innovations have allowed Lehr to reach out to new audiences, to create whole new worlds that draw viewers into an awareness of their relationship with the natural world. But like all her works, they resist literal readings, instead inviting viewers to create their own narratives about the worlds they conjure.”

“She leavens her message with a seductive beauty that is designed to inspire contemplation about what is at stake,” adds Heartney.

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The artist Mira Lehr (photo by Michael E. Fryd).

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“I feel the urgency of both our global climate problems and our

continuing need for progress for women in the arts,” says Mira Lehr.

“It is a privilege to be on the Earth and I believe we are

meant to be a success on the planet.”

“If we can expand our thinking to cross borders and transcend places,

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our united vision for the planet can raise our awareness.

It is this sense of hope and purpose

that calls me to action through my art,” adds Lehr.

 

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My Love Letters, by Mira Lehr (2021). Burned and dyed Japanese paper, handwriting and ink on canvas (60” x 72”).

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People & Lifestyle

YouTube’s Alex Okosi Highlights The Need For A Comprehensive Digital Trade Strategy For Africa

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YouTube’s Managing Director, Emerging Markets, EMEA, Alex Okosi, was among the key speakers at the Africa Debate 2023, which took place on Thursday, May 11, 2023, at the Guildhall in London.

 

Okosi’s session, titled “Building a Comprehensive Digital Trade Strategy for Africa,” highlighted the challenges facing Africa in terms of digital infrastructure despite advancements in digital trade and e-commerce. He debated the best path forward for a digital trade strategy, with a focus on the 7th protocol of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) on e-commerce.

 

Joining Okosi on the panel were Michelle Chivunga, a Digital Trade Expert for AfCFTA and Chief Executive Officer & Founder of Global Policy House, who moderated the session, as well as Wayne Hennessy-Barrett, Chief Executive Officer, 4G Capital; Peter Njonjo, Chief Executive Officer, Twiga Foods; Toulay Oueslati, Head of Trade Finance & Commodity Trade Finance, Bank of Africa United Kingdom and Hardy Pemhiwa, Chief Executive Officer & Chairman, Cassava Technologies.

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Organized by Invest Africa, a leading business and investment platform with over sixty years of experience on the continent, and in partnership with Africa Finance Corporation, the event was in its 9th year and focused on Africa’s trade profile through a comprehensive programme of talks, discussions, and networking opportunities.

 

“I believe that digital trade has the potential to transform Africa’s economy and improve trade relations with the rest of the world. However, to achieve this goal, we need to address the challenges of infrastructure development, regulatory frameworks, and digital skills training,” Okosi said.

 

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The panel discussion explored the future of African trade and how the private sector can best support and prepare for a more integrated and competitive African trade environment.

 

“Collaboration between governments, businesses, and financial institutions is crucial in creating an enabling environment for digital trade. This includes developing regulatory frameworks, financing solutions, and digital infrastructure,” Okosi added.

 

Okosi is a highly experienced television, content, and tech executive with over 25 years of experience building successful businesses and brands globally. He has a track record of identifying and scaling new business opportunities, generating multi-million-dollar revenue streams, and delivering profitable growth.

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Currently serving as Managing Director, Emerging Markets, YouTube EMEA, Okosi has been instrumental in driving the platform’s growth across key verticals, including music, gaming, TV/film, kids & family, news, and sports. In 2022, Okosi was named one of the UK Powerlist’s 100 most influential people of black heritage for the second year in a row.

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LETSHEGO GHANA PARTNERS WITH GHANA COMMODITY EXCHANGE TO PROVIDE FUNDING TO FARMERS, BROKERS AND AGGREGATORS AND IMPROVE THE FARMING VALUE CHAIN

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Letshego Ghana, a subsidiary of Letshego Holdings Limited (“Letshego Group”) recently partnered with the Ghana Commodity Exchange (GCX) to facilitate and provide funding for farmers under the Warehouse Receipt Financing Scheme. The strategic partnership was confirmed through a partnership agreement held between Letshego Ghana and Ghana Commodity Exchange.

The Ghana Commodity Exchange’s Warehouse Receipt Financing Scheme is a financial instrument that receives, grades and stores farm produce and commodities for the local farmers in the Ghana Commodity Exchange’s ‘certified warehouse’. The farmers are then issued with certificates, enabling them to use their stored farm produce as collateral for loans from Letshego Ghana worth up to 70% of the value of the commodities in the certified warehouse for a maximum period of 6 months. This represents a great example of impact financing that aims to accelerate the sustainable transformation of the local economy to deliver beneficial outcomes and improve lives for local players, regardless of their scale or size. 

Letshego Ghana’s Director Geoffrey Kitakule said, “Letshego’s partnership with the Ghana Commodity Exchange will provide working capital for their farmers, brokers and aggregators in support of their operations. It will also enable farmers in the Accra region to deliver more produce to store in the warehouse operations, helping to reduce their financial burden and enabling them to focus on their core business and to grow and become more competitive in domestic and regional markets.”  

The financial support from Letshego Ghana also helps to increase liquidity in the farming value chains by improving the financial security of the farmers and stakeholders along the agricultural value chain making the sector more resilient to market shocks.

The Chief Executive Officer for the Ghana Commodity Exchange Mrs. Tucci Goka Ivowi said, The Ghana Commodity Exchange remains committed to improving the livelihood of smallholder farmers and easing the burden on farmers, especially during the planting season, until they receive their returns upon harvest. In meeting this objective, we will seek every opportunity to engage with the brokers, aggregators, smallholder farmers and other stakeholders in the agricultural value chain, to understand challenges and provide solutions for farming communities across the country. 

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Ghana Commodity Exchange’s key goal is to link Ghanaian smallholder farmers to diverse agricultural and financial markets to ensure Ghana’s farmers secure competitive prices for their commodities, assuring the market quantity and quality as well as timely settlement of their trade in ways that meet the nutritional needs of the Ghanaian people.

 

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Osae Nyampong VI donates $10,000 Adisadel College millennium group legacy project

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Otwasuom Osae Nyampong VI (Kamenahene of the Akwamu Traditional Area) has donated $10,000 towards the legacy project of the Adisadel Millennium (2000 year) group.

Osae Nyampong VI, who is also the Patron for the 2000 year group, made the presentation when the President of the group, Mr. Richard Nii Amu Arthur paid a courtesy call on him.

The $10,000 cheque presentation adds to the group’s fundraising efforts towards the restructuring and modernisation of the Job 600 block in Adisadel College, to include an Amphitheatre, classrooms, a media centre, a robotic centre and a counselling centre.

Commenting on the patron’s gesture, Richard Nii Amu Arthur said: “I am elated by this kind gesture from our Patron.
Indeed, he has set the tone for what our contributions as the host year group should be, and I am proud to acknowledge him as my mentor. This should encourage everyone to reach out to other Santaclausians and also corporate Ghana to ensure that we exceed our intended target and deliver a very successful project.”

The Board Chairman of Gensar Energy, Osae Nyampong VI g, has over three decades of experience as an entrepreneur in diverse industries, including procurement and logistics, real estate, and trucking.

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Although the Kamenahene of the Akwamu Traditional Area has worked hard to achieve all his successes, he attributes his training from Adisadel College as the shaping point of his life.

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SCY JIMM SHARES NEW VIDEO SINGLE “SET IN STONE”

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The newest QC signee, SCY Jimm has just shared his new video single “Set In Stone”. Hailing from the small town of Bunnell outside of central Florida, Jimm recently garnered the stamp of approval from label boss Pee, being crowned with his official QC pendant chain earlier this year.

After SCY Jimm’s breakthrough year in 2022 with his mixtape ROOKIE OF THE YEAR, which was highlighted by a string of successful singles, as well as collaborations with his contemporaries like Luh Tyler, Goldenboy Countup and Wizz Havinn, Jimm has proven that he’s become a household name within his state’s booming scene. Earlier this year, SCY Jimm officially made his QC debut with his fifth project, Trench Baby, and made a standout appearance on frequent collaborator Luh Tyler’s debut project. Looking to continue his monstrous momentum into the new year, “Set In Stone” already serves as SCY Jimm’s fourth single of the year.

As SCY Jimm continues to keep his foot on the gas, he’s working to transition from a regional star to breakthrough international success. On “Set In Stone”, a quick yet authoritative offering, Jimm reflects on his ascending come-up. ”I was servin’ fiends for loot before I ever hit the booth and started rappin’”, he raps in the first verse, before flexing his status in the rap game later on –  “We finna hit the top, know it won’t be long / Told my mama, ‘you ain’t gotta worry, I’m gon make it home”. With his signature Floridian flair on full display, as he effortlessly riddles off his bars informed by his growth and maturity as an artist, SCY Jimm is continuing to expand upon his dynamic sound with the release of “Set In Stone”, and looking to proudly cement himself as a central member of Florida rappers putting on for their state.

Please find links below to watch and stream “Set In Stone”, and stay tuned for more announcements to come:

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Gordon’s Pink Berry Spirit Drink Soiree Unites Trendsetters, Influencers, and Media in an Unforgettable Night of Music, Cocktails, and Good Vibes

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The Gordon’s Pink Berry Spirit Drink Soiree transcended the boundaries of an ordinary gathering, becoming a night of opulence, sophistication, and delightful pleasures. This exclusive event served as a magnet for trendsetters, influencers, and members of the media, bringing them together to revel in an unforgettable fusion of good music, delectable cocktails, and an overall atmosphere of pure indulgence. 

 

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The Gordon’s Pink Berry Spirit Drink Soiree was meticulously curated to provide a sensory journey like no other. The venue itself, adorned with plush decor, exuded an air of elegance and exclusivity. The dimly lit room was bathed in a soft pink hue, reflecting the spirit of Gordon’s Pink Berry drink itself, creating a visually stunning backdrop for the night’s festivities.

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There was an  exceptional mixology experience where Skilled barsenders, armed with the finest ingredients and a vast array of spirits, showcased their craft by creating imaginative and enticing cocktails featuring Gordon’s Pink Berry Spirit Drink. Each cocktail was a work of art, capturing the vibrant essence of the pink berry infusion, resulting in a medley of flavors that delighted the taste buds of attendees.

 

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Talented band Made Music took the stage, enveloping the venue in a captivating aura. Acclaimed DJs curated an eclectic mix of tunes, encouraging guests to let loose, dance, and immerse themselves in the joyous atmosphere.

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The Gordon’s Pink Berry Spirit Drink Soiree was an extraordinary gathering that transcended the boundaries of a typical event. It brought together trendsetters, influencers, and media in a celebration of elegance, creativity, and the joy of living in the moment. From the mesmerizing cocktails to the captivating music and the vibrant connections made, every aspect of the evening contributed to an unforgettable experience. This soiree was not just a party but a testament to the power of indulgence, collaboration, and the creation of cherished memories.

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Ogilvy Africa Introduces InfluenceO: An end-to-end solution for effective Influencer Marketing in Africa

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Akua Owusu Nartey Ogilvy Africa Regional MD at a panel with content creators during the launch of InfluenceO Ogilvys Influencer Marketing solution in Africa

Ogilvy Africa has officially launched InfluenceO, its end-to-end influence solution designed to empower businesses, brands, and creators in Africa to excel in the realm of influencer marketing. 

By leveraging cutting-edge technologies and innovations from around the world and Africa, InfluenceO enables brands and influencers to establish genuine partnerships and drive highly impactful marketing campaigns like never before.

“In today’s rapidly evolving landscape, influencer marketing has emerged as a powerful tool for brands to connect with their target audiences. It goes beyond mere reach, allowing them to establish and maintain deep connections with their audience. However, the methods of thinking, planning, and executing influencer marketing have fallen behind the pace of its evolution. With the launch of InfluenceO, we now possess the power to transform our approach and fully harness the potential of influencer marketing as a formidable channel,” commented Patou Nuytemans, CEO EMEA at Ogilvy.

InfluenceO revolutionizes the brand-influencer collaboration process while expanding marketers’ perspectives on and strategies for influencer engagement. By integrating the best global and local tools, Ogilvy equips brands with a more robust strategy, enhanced methods for influencer identification, industry-leading legal and financial processes, more impactful creative capabilities, seamless integration with media buying models, and advanced measurement techniques for assessing campaign effectiveness.

Key features of InfluenceO include:

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  1. AI-powered influencer identification: Utilizing AI technology, InfluenceO identifies the most influential figures for brands, ensuring an authentic fit with the target audience. It also locates micro and nano influencers who may otherwise go unnoticed.
  2. Streamlined onboarding, contracting, and payment processes: InfluenceO incorporates world-class technology to simplify these crucial steps for clients, ensuring creators are recognized and rewarded more reliably.
  3. Integration with Ogilvy’s proprietary media technology Feed: InfluenceO seamlessly integrates with Feed, Ogilvy’s media technology platform, to amplify the impact of influencer marketing through dynamic, effective, and efficient methods.

In addition to these innovative features, InfluenceO provides clients with comprehensive analytics and performance metrics. These insights go beyond traditional metrics like clicks and engagement rates, delving into conversion rates and long-term changes in brand sentiment, delivering valuable data on campaign effectiveness.

To facilitate transparent and efficient collaboration between brands and influencers, InfluenceO offers a centralized dashboard where both parties can manage campaigns, review content drafts, negotiate terms, and track deliverables. This streamlined approach eliminates communication barriers, enhances efficiency, and ensures mutual satisfaction.

Moreover, InfluenceO goes beyond technology by reinforcing Ogilvy’s commitment to support creators across sub-Saharan Africa. It aims to assist them in developing their skills, enhancing their profiles, and advancing their careers.

Commenting on the launch, Vikas Mehta, CEO Ogilvy Africa, said “Today marks an important milestone as we introduce InfluenceO to Africa. It’s an award-winning global asset, cutomised meticulously to the need and nuance of sub-Saharan African countries. It brings world-class functionalities and rich databases to hitherto underserved markets. With InfluenceO, we hope to unleash the vast potential of this continent’s content and influence landscape.”

InfluenceO is now open for brand and influencer registrations. To learn more about the platform and join the influencer marketing revolution, visit www.ogilvyafrica.com/influenceo or send your query to info@ogilvy.africa   

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