Thursday, 31 October 2013

ITU to stage African Digital Woman Award

With the aim of recognising and celebrating women who take the lead in the digital industry in Africa, International Telecommunication Union (ITU) will launch a new award for African women in the digital industry at African ICT Days in Cameroon.

“I am delighted to serve as a patron of the new African Digital Woman of the Year award and congratulate the organisers for raising awareness among the African governments and girls themselves of the tremendous opportunities an ICT career can offer", Hamadoun Touré, ITU secretary general, said.

African ICT Days is an annual conference and debate centred around ICT as organised by the ICT4 Millennium Development Goals (MDG).

As part of the conference, workshops will be run on e-application, e-gamification, e-marketing, e-health, e-transportation, e-entrepreneurship, e-women, e-bigdata, e-business, e-learning and e-governance.

Nominations are open until November 5, building up to the event on November 16 in Yaoundé.

Photo: General Electric Attracts Foreign Investment

L-R: GE Africa Supply Chain Leader Phil Griffith, Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB)Ernest Nwakpa and President/CEO GE Nigeria Lazarus Angbazo at the GE Supplier forum held in Abuja recently

Emirates SkyCargo Named “Overall Carrier Of The Year” at Payload Asia Awards 2013

Ms Noryate Bte Abdul Rahman, Cargo Manager Singapore, accepting the ‘Overall Carrier Of The Year’ award on behalf of Emirates SkyCargo from Mr Willie van Heusden, Chairman of the Federation of Asia Pacific Air Cargo Associations (FAPAA), at the Payload Asia Awards 2013.
Emirates SkyCargo, the freight division of Emirates, has bolstered its position as a leading global player in air cargo industry by winning the ‘Overall Carrier Of The Year’ award at the Payload Asia Awards 2013.

The award was accepted by Noryate Bte Abdul Rahman, Emirates Cargo Manager, Singapore, on behalf of Emirates SkyCargo, at a gala dinner which took place on the side lines of the Air Cargo & Logistics Asia 2013 Conference & Exhibition held in Singapore, a biennial trade event for the air cargo, logistics and e-Commerce industry.

"We are honoured to have been named Overall Carrier of the Year and would like to thank the readers, many of whom are our customers, for voting for us,” said Nabil Sultan, Emirates Divisional Senior Vice President, Cargo. “This award not only recognises the excellence of our operations, but also the commitment and support from our teams throughout our global network."

Emirates was presented the accolade after being shortlisted by a panel of judges, and being voted the best in the category by Payload Asia readers. Criteria for the award included the carrier’s network coverage and development strategy, operational performance in 2012, customer service and product innovations, as well as market leadership, responsiveness and adaptability.

Ama @ 1O: NB PLC Restates Commitment To Nigerian Economy

Foremost brewing giant, Nigerian Breweries Plc has restated its commitment and confidence in the Nigerian economy. Mr. Kufre Ekanem, Corporate Affairs Adviser of the company restated the commitment at the tenth anniversary of the fully automated state-of-the art Ama Greenfield Brewery fitted with cutting edge technology in Enugu, Enugu State.

The occasion also availed the company the opportunity to showcase the facility to journalists with one remarkable feature being its impeccable condition even after ten years of operation. 

The Journalists were taken through the different production processes at the state of the art brewery. The 30MHL capacity Brewery which cost a whopping 220 million Euros (N30 billion) to build in 2003 has also created employment for over 1,000 workers, both full time employees, contractors and outsourced.

Ekanem said: “At a time like the 10th Anniversary of Ama Breweries, it is critical that we pull our friends together for two reasons. First, that 10 years after commissioning, the Ama brewery is still top-notch because of it is world-Class facility.Also, the quality of staff there can match their contemporaries from any part of the world. The heritage of forthrightness and forward thinking is a tradition with Nigerian Breweries. This is why we have decided to celebrate the milestone with our media partners and friends.”

Speaking during the media facility tour, John Richardson, Brewery Manager informed the Journalists that the milestone is a direct result of Nigerian Breweries Plc’s relentless effort to consolidate its leadership position in the beer market.  “For Ama Brewery, the past 10 years in the Nigerian market has been a success story. The decision to establish the facility here in Enugu was a very good business decision because it has resulted in 10 years of very strong business and community relationships. This success story is made possible by Heineken and the indigenous communities here in Enugu”. 

Since education is one core area of its CSR portfolio, the company donated a fully equipped laboratory complex to University of Nigeria, Nsukka. It has also supported Udi Local Government by constructing a block of six classrooms each, libraries, tables and chairs for pupils and teachers, complete with conveniences for all classes to Awhum Community School, Awhum, Community Primary School, Ngwo Uno and Nsude Community School.

JUMIA Morocco Launches FTC Apparel

One of Africa’s leading online shopping platforms, JUMIA has launched its first in-house brand, FTC Apparel, a collection of shoes for women, in Morocco.

With more countries to come, FTC Apparel will launch with a women wear collection featuring an exciting mix of cutting-edge and up-to-the minute pieces. Incorporating fun and glamorous designs for the Moroccan fashionista to modern classy for self-driven working girls who like to stand out from the crowd.

“Jumia has taken yet another step towards establishing itself at the forefront of online shopping in Africa,” a company statement said.

FTC Apparel is set to become a wardrobe staple for all fashion lovers, willing to be in-line with the best of global styles.

Etihad Airways to Screen Live News, Sport In-Flight

Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, is set to transform in-flight entertainment options with the introduction of eight live television channels which will broadcast live news and sport, including this weekend’s Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

The new live channels are BBC World News, BBC Arabic, euronews and Sport 24, which are available from November 1. CNBC, Japan’s NHK World Premium, and CNN, will be introduced during November; and Sky News Arabia will follow in the coming months.

The highlight of the sports coverage are the final three races of the Formula 1 season with the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix held this Sunday, November 3, at Yas Marina Circuit, as well as the US Grand Prix on Sunday, November 17, and the Brazil Grand Prix on Sunday, November 24.

Peter Baumgartner, Etihad Airways’ Chief Commercial Officer, said: “We are delighted to broadcast this weekend’s Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on many of our aircraft, ensuring that passengers who are flying on race day won’t miss any of the action from Yas Marina Circuit.”

In addition to the Formula 1, passengers can also watch a wealth of live top sporting action this November including the ATP World Tour Finals, English Premier League and German Bundesliga matches, and Euroleague Basketball.

The major sports coverage continues in 2014 and includes the Australian Open, French Open and US Open tennis championships, the Winter Olympics, the Masters from Augusta and Ryder Cup golf, and the FIFA World Cup from Brazil.

Shobanjo, Biakolo Reflect on Nigeria’s Image at BrandiQ’s Public Presentation

The quest to revamp Nigeria’s image using the country’s cultural and tourism potentials was given a boost at an intellectual feast organised concomitantly with the public presentation of fast-rising marketing Magazine, BrandiQ.
(L-R) Chairman Troyka Holdings, Biodun Shobanjo, Chairman of the Occassion, Apostle Hayford Alile, Secretary to the Government of the State of Osun, Alhaji (Hon) Moshood Adeoti and the Editor-in-Chief BrandiQ Magazine, Desmond Ekeh at the public presentation of BrandiQ Magazine and Symposium on Brand Nigeria at 53 in Lagos.

The event which created another opportunity for fruitful and eye-opening discussions on Nigeria brought together renowned marketing authorities, Communication experts and brand professionals to brainstorm on opportunities available for the country in the global market space. In a symposium tagged: Brand Nigeria @ 53, Opportunities, Challenges and Prospects held at Federal Palace last weekend, Mr Biodun Shobanjo, Professor Emevwo and other speakers repeatedly demonstrated that all hope is not lost in attempts to salvage Nigeria from its attendant challenges.

Speaking at the Public Presentation, the Editor-in-chief of BrandiQ Magazine and CEO of Synthesis communication, Desmond Ekeh informed the gathering which had in attendance some dignitaries like Hon Moshood Adeotu, representative of the Governor of Osun State, Rauf Aregbesola; Apostle Hayford I Alile, Former DG, Nigeria Stock Exchange; Prof Lanre Fagbohun,;Mr Idorenyen Enang; Dr. Austin Tam-George and others that BrandiQ is poised to give Nigeria a global presence among internationally renowned marketing communications magazines like Harvard Business Review and the Economist.

According to Desmond, ‘‘ the vision of BrandiQ magazine is driven by the passion to be the authoritative voice in reporting Nigeria’s marketing communications activities in the global space. The BrandiQ team is also motivated to take ownership of branding in Nigeria and beyond. Apart from our style of brand reporting, our differentiating value proposition lies in the marcomm tutorial and Journal which seeks to assist students and researcher in  the fields marketing and communication’’ He submitted.

In his presentation, Mr Biodun Shobanjo hinged the opportunities and prospects of Nigeria’s economy on tourism. In his words, ‘‘Tourism is big business; in fact, the 3rd biggest industry in the world, after banking and the automotive industries. Tourism is a window to overall destination engineering-generating income and creating economic activity. By providing 1 out of 12 direct jobs in the world and 9.1% of global GDP, we can see why it inspires national competitiveness, with the attendant national pride that accrues to nations that are performing well on this score’’.

Professor, Biakolo, Dean of Communications, Pan-Atlantic University raised concerns about issues ranging from identity crises and ethnic polarities which seem to alienate Nigerians from their country.  In his words, ‘It is very vital for us to ask ourselves some serious questions: Is there a product to be branded as far as Nigeria is concerned? What is the nature and attributes of the brand? We also need to assure ourselves of, first having a product and corporate unanimity. In the light of these very germane concerns, I make bold to say that Nigeria is not a nation yet. The identification of Nigeria has been problematic over the years. A country where one feel alienated in a state which he has contributed in no small measure calls for introspective awareness plan’’

Etisalat Sponsors Saro, The Musical In Lagos

As part of its commitment to promote the expansion of the nation’s cultural heritage, fastest growing and most innovative telecommunications company in Nigeria, Etisalat, has called for revitalization of talents among Nigerian youth in arts and culture at the just concluded, Saro, The Musical. The Three day production sponsored by Etisalat is Nigeria’s first major drama, music and dance production.
(L-R): Director, Brands & Communication, Etisalat Nigeria, Enitan Denloye; Myma Belo-Osagie and Member of the Board of Directors, Etisalat Nigeria, Isabella Okagbue, at the Etisalat sponsored Saro, The Musical, held at Oriental Hotel, Lagos, on Sunday, 27th October, 2013.

Speaking at the show, Etisalat Nigeria’s Director Brands & Communications, Mr. Enitan Denloye said there is a need to encourage regeneration of arts and culture in the country because it is the cornerstone of a rich civic life. “Arts & Culture can be a powerful force for good and catalyst for change. It is our belief that this force can, and should be harnessed in a positive way to work for change in Nigeria. To this end, we believe in constructive engagement that an open, independent platform such as Saro, The Musical has to offer.”

Appreciating the sponsors, Executive Producer, Saro, The Musical, Mrs. Bolanle Austen-Peters, said she is pleased to have Etisalat as official telecoms partner of the show. “We are happy, to have Etisalat Nigeria as a partner on this journey because when we started it was challenging getting people and corporate organization to partner. I thank them for believing in the dream of Saro.”

Nakumatt partners with MasterCard to launch new Card

In a bid to further ease the stress of its teeming customers, leading Regional East African retail chain, Nakumatt Holdings Limited recently launched the Nakumatt Global Prepaid MasterCard card, in partnership with Kenya Commercial Bank and Diamond Trust Bank.
Division President SSA Mastercard, Daniel Monehin tries out his new Nakumatt Global MasterCard prepaid

The new card, which is EMV compliant, replaces the current Nakumatt Cybercash loyalty smartcard and provides a range of enhanced benefits and security features.

With the multicurrency Nakumatt Global Prepaid Mastercard card, existing Nakumatt smartcard holders will continue accumulating their smart points for all purchases made across Nakumatt outlets.

Guinness to hold Colourful World of More Concert in Lagos

Leading Nigerian music artistes, such as P-square, D-Banj, Wizkid, Ice Prince and Davido, are expected to set Lagos aglow as the Guinness Colourful World of More concert comes alive at the Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos on November 3.

In a statement by the company, Austin Ufomba, Marketing and Innovation Director of Guinness  Nigeria  stated that the Colourful World of More concert is  planned to be a big show,  with so much for guests to savour for a long time to come.

“Once again, Guinness is providing consumers an opportunity to interact with their music idols in a uniquely exciting atmosphere and colourfully showcase the best of talents that abound in Nigeria. Colourful World of More is a celebration of us as individuals and also our collective successes in our diverse fields. It is about inspiring one another to reach for more. The Colourful World of More concert, with its array of talents, is set to be the biggest music event this year and promises to connect consumers the Guinness style,” he said.

Ecobank launches Global CASHplus

Pan African financial institution, Ecobank has launched an international cross-border payment solution, enabling transactions across 30 African countries.

The roll out has taken place within two years in 30 countries on the African continent, resulting in a  22 per cent increase of electronic customers and transaction multiplication of 200 times after 18 months.

Albert Essien, deputy group chief executive officer (CEO) for corporate and investment banking at Ecobank, explained it was aiming to develop a cash management system catering for a diverse array for businesses while still supporting big amounts of transactions throughout its network. “We moved quickly to implement a robust solution that will facilitate cross-border and multi-currency business for our customers, removing many of the traditional bottlenecks in the cash management process,” Essien said.

Diamond Bank Leverages Innovative Products to Post N25.62bn PBT For Q3 2013

Diamond Bank PLC has announced its 2013 Quarter 3 results, reporting a 10 per cent  growth in profit before tax when compared to the corresponding period of 2012. The bank posted a profit before tax of N25.6 billion.
Dr. Alex Otti


In a statement released to newsmen from its corporate head office in Lagos, the Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Bank, Dr. Alex Otti, stated that the bank was delighted by the positive results as it demonstrated sustainable growth in its business. He added that the impressive figures were driven mainly by the wide acceptance of the Bank’s products.

According to Dr Otti, “We at Diamond Bank are pleased to report continued success in implementing our strategy across the group as demonstrated by sustained growth in our balance sheet and profitability. Our innovative product offerings have continued to gain traction and availed the Bank access to a larger portion of the un(der)banked population, with total deposits from customers increasing 17% from our December 2012 levels.”

Diamond Bank’s Q3 2013 results show improvement in various areas of the group balance sheet for the first nine months of the year with total assets increasing by 17 per cent to N1.3 trillion; loans and advances to customers increasing by 17 per cent  to N681.8 billion; and a nine per cent decline in non-performing loans ratio amongst others.

It will be recalled that in the course of the year the bank embarked on a number of initiatives in a bid to consolidate its market leadership in the retail banking space and further improve on its performance. These include the launch of the Agency Banking model – the BETA product, in partnership with Women’s World Banking (WWB); the launch of a dedicated proposition targeted at secondary and primary schools –the Diamond School Xpress Proposition; and the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with a leading telecoms services operator for the launch of a hybrid bank account –the Diamond Y’ello Account.

Governor’s Cup: Etisalat Reaffirms Commitment To Sport Development

Etisalat Nigeria, has reiterated its commitment to talent discovery and development in the country’s sport sector. Director, PMO and Operational Support, of the company, Ndidi Okpaluba made this known at the Grand Finale of the 2013 edition of the Governor’s Cup Lagos International Tennis Championship, held at the Lagos Lawn Tennis Club, last weekend.

According to her, the monumental success that Etisalat Nigeria has recorded in the last five years is due to the support and patronage the company has continued to enjoy, from Nigerians. She added that this explains why the company is committed to supporting activities that is targeted at benefiting the nation and the citizenry, one of which is sport.
Pix 1(L-R): Group Managing Director/CEO, First City Moment Bank Limited, Ladi Balogun; Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola; Winner, Men’s final of the 13th Governor’s Cup Lagos Tennis, Ante Pavic and Director, PMO & Operational Support, Etisalat Nigeria, Ndidi Okpaluba At the Etisalat sponsored 13th Governor’s Cup Lagos Tennis Grand Finale, held at Lagos Tennis Club, Onikan, Lagos, over the weekend

Okpaluba said, “The Governor’s Cup Lagos International Tennis Championship is more than just supporting Tennis; it is a partnership that we believe will uplift the nation’s sporting sector. The five-year partnership between Etisalat and the tournament organizers has proved productive, as can be seen from the success of this year’s and previous tournaments. We are delighted at the high standard that was demonstrated at this year’s tournament and we commend the LOC for its excellent organizational skills, which has been one of the reasons for the success of the tournament over the years”.

Governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Raji Fashola was among the dignitaries that graced the finals. Over 300 students drawn from various schools in Lagos were also in attendance.  In the finals, Ante Pavic and Gioia Barbieri emerged winners in the male and female categories respectively. They were thrilled with a musical performance by fast rising Hip-Hop artiste, Olamide.

André Siaka step aside as Chairman of Ecobank Transnational

The Board of Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI) has announced the decision of Kolapo Lawson to stand aside as its Chairman. He will retire from the Board on 31 December 2013 and hands over to André Siaka as interim Chairman with immediate effect.
Kolapo Lawson

Commenting on his decision, Mr. Lawson said: “The last few months have seen huge pressure on the organisation, and on me personally, in the media. These have culminated in allegations, which are untrue, made to the Nigerian SEC on issues of corporate governance. During this time, I led constructive discussions on the need for independent review of these allegations.

"The board has now taken the necessary decisions to appoint independent parties who, I am confident will investigate these allegations and review our corporate governance with the utmost professionalism. In order to give total credibility to these reviews, I have decided it would not be appropriate for me to be the person leading this process. The Board has assured me of its commitment to seeing these investigations through and I will continue to monitor this as an interested party.

I am very conscious of the uncertainty that current media speculation has cast over the institution. I therefore wish to take the necessary steps to bring this to an end. As the head of such a respected global institution, I must act when there is even the slightest perception that the interests of that institution might be at risk. I therefore step aside as Chairman of Ecobank Transnational.”

Speaking on behalf of the Board, Mr. Siaka said: “Kolapo Lawson has been a loyal servant of Ecobank for very many years and has played a major part in shaping the successful organisation we know today. His family is inseparable from Ecobank and Kolapo’s contribution to Ecobank is second to none: over twenty years, as a director of Ecobank Nigeria, of Ecobank Togo and of ETI, he has made a truly outstanding contribution to this great pan-African company. He has our very sincere thanks for all of his hard work and commitment, his leadership and his good company.”

Etihad Airways Moves to New Office in Lagos

Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, has moved its commercial operations in Nigeria to new offices located on the 11th Floor of Churchgate Tower Two, Churchgate Street, Victoria Island, Lagos.

The move comes shortly after Etihad Airways celebrated its first year of operations in Nigeria.

Maurice Phohleli, Etihad Airways’ General Manager, Nigeria and West Africa, said: “Our Lagos-Abu Dhabi service has witnessed significant growth since the launch of the route last year. Our new office location ensures that we are better positioned to serve our business and leisure travellers with ticket bookings, visa applications and enquiries.”

Customers wishing to book directly, can do so online at www.etihad.com,or contact the Etihad Airways Global Contact Centre on: +234 (0) 80 9993 6399. Note: all calls are toll-free for Etisalat customers.

Quantum Reflective Debuts in Nigeria, Set to Impact Africa’s economy

Korea based global manufacturer of promotional print reflective materials,Quantumm Reflective, is poised to formally make a decisive entry into the Nigerian  Market. Speaking to a select group of journalists in Lagos, Dr Herbert AdemolaAjayi, the Chairman of Quantum Reflective’s local partner, Electricare, revealed that the advertising industry will soon witness some earth- shaking changes as reflective materials capable of providing endless eye- catching impact, both day and night for the outdoor segment, would soon hit the streets.

Dr Herbert Ajayi, who was with the inventor and owner of Global Reflective, Tiger Taeil Kim, revealed that plans are in the pipeline to establish the third Quantum Reflective factory in Nigeria modeled after the ones in  South Korea and the US. “ The impact this factory would have on our economy can best be imagined. Jobs would be created and foreign exchnage will improve dramaticlly because the factory would serve the whole of Africa” Ajayi explained.

There was a brief display of of the pulsating impact of  this new reflective technology to the journalists present. Ajayi who is the immediate past National President of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines & Agriculture (NACCIMA) stated that although there are a few sub- standard outdoor reflective materials presently in the Nigerian market, such products cannot match the quality Quantum Reflective is now bringing into the market.

“The usage of these new products can only be limited by users’ imagination, there are varieties of ways they can be used, we have high quality reflective films that can easily be applied on vehicles, tall buildings and even curved surface using the heat gun and other wrapping tools.  However there are plans by Quantum Reflective to bring in engineers who will train our agents and users across the country,”

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Emirates SkyCargo Receives 10th B777F

Emirates SkyCargo has added a new Boeing 777 Freighter aircraft to its fleet, expanding its capabilities and capacity to meet current needs and long-term growth.

This latest delivery brings Emirates SkyCargo's B777F fleet to 10, and comes ahead of the move of its freighter operations to Dubai World Central’s Al Maktoum International Airport in May 2014. A dedicated freighter cargo terminal that will be able to handle 700 000 tonnes of cargo annually and various support infrastructure is currently under construction.

“Our global network is growing and we are investing in our freighter fleet to meet capacity requirements and future growth. With our fleet of freighters we can offer customers the flexibility and capability to move larger cargo volumes and operate more charter flights,” said Nabil Sultan, Emirates Divisional Senior Vice President, Cargo.

“Our freighters, coupled with the belly-hold capacity of our all wide-bodied passenger fleet and vast route network of over 130 destinations, gives us extensive global reach, allowing for greater flexibility, increased frequencies and speed to market,” he added.

The B777F aircraft is one of the most modern, technologically advanced freighters available and has the lowest fuel burn of any comparable sized aircraft. The aircraft is capable of carrying 103 tonnes of cargo and its main cargo deck is the widest of any freighter aircraft at 3.7 metres, which enables it to uplift outsized cargo and carry larger consignments.

Emirates SkyCargo now operates 12 freighters, 10 B777Fs and two B747-400ERFs which currently serve 43 destinations around the world.
During 2013, Emirates launched services to Warsaw, Algiers, Haneda, Stockholm and Clark, while Conakry, Sialkot and Kabul will join the network before the end of the year.

GE Attracts Foreign Investors to Nigeria

In furtherance of its overall local content drive, global infrastructure giants General Electric (GE) has attracted 3 Italian based investor-companies to Nigeria to explore partnership opportunities with indigenous Nigerian Engineering companies. The companies include Allimep, Duemme and Sime.

Their investment in Nigeria will help boost the capacity of indigenous engineering companies that will support GE’s operations in Nigeria. The move is in line with the Federal Government’s local content law which mandates that a substantial part of the operations of foreign companies in Nigeria must be localized.

Speaking at the event, the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Local Content Monitoring Board (NCDMB) Mr Ernest Nwakpa commended GE’s localisation initiative, which he said was flagged off by the Country-to-Company agreement which GE signed with the Federal Government to partner with other stakeholders in bridging Nigeria’s infrastructure gaps in critical sectors like Oil & Gas, Power, Transportation, Healthcare and Aviation. Nwakpa said other multinational companies had a lot to learn from GE’s holistic approach to local content. He said the visit of the Italian companies and GE’s increased investments in Nigeria was ample evidence that Nigeria was a fertile ground for foreign direct investment.

Speaking on behalf of the Italian companies, the Chief Executive Officer of Sime Engineering Mr Matteo Bertolini said they were pleasantly surprised at the technical depth of the Nigerian companies they would be partnering with in supporting GE’s facilities in the country.

British Airways Celebrates A380 to Hong Kong with Star-Studded ‘Gig on a Wing’

British Airways celebrates A380 launch to Hong Kong
with a specially created runway for Alice Temperley collection
The best of British music, fashion, design and cuisine came together in Hong Kong for one night only, to celebrate British Airways launching its brand new A380 on the Hong Kong to London route.  The exclusive event, billed as a ‘Gig on a Wing’ showcased the very best  of  British,  to  an  audience  that included Keith Williams, British Airways’  Chief  Executive  and  special  guests from Hong Kong’s aviation, travel, business, entertainment and hospitality industry.

Held  inside  Hong  Kong  International  Airport’s  China Aircraft Services Limited Hangar, British Airways’ state of the art A380 super-jumbo was the star  of  the  show  and  it formed the centrepiece for the invitation only event.

Keith Williams, British Airways’ chief executive, said:  “Today marks another milestone in our long and proud tradition of connecting Hong Kong and London – two truly global hubs. For over three quarters of a century, this city has been an important part of British Airways’ worldwide network, so we are extremely delighted to be operating the state-of-the-art A380 onthe route, and to also be the first to fly it non-stop between Hong Kong and Europe.”

British Airways’  ‘Gig on a Wing’ event launched with a glamorous fashion show by acclaimed British designer Alice Temperley MBE. Fresh from showing at last month’s London Fashion Week, Alice treated guests to her Spring/Summer 2014 collection from the award winning Temperley London collection.

Dell Delivers Connected Security Vision with Innovative Solutions and Capabilities

Dell has announced the release of four products that tackle today’s biggest IT imperatives ─ including BYOD, cloud, network security, and compliance ─ and make Connected Security a reality for customers worldwide.

Dell’s holistic and connected approach, which spans from endpoint to datacenter to cloud, helps solve today’s most complex security and compliance problems.

As part of Dell’s Connected Security portfolio, Dell™ One Identity Cloud Access Manager, Dell™ SonicWALL NSA 2600 next generation firewall, Dell™ ChangeAuditor 6.0, and Dell™ InTrust™ 10.7 all provide new levels of protection, and  empower organizations to  collectively gather, analyze, report and act in a proactive way when managing security threats.  

According to Matt Medeiros, Vice President and General Manager, Security Products, Dell Software, “Today’s mega-trends ─ cloud, BYOD/mobility, and big data ─ each introduce a magnitude of new threats and vulnerabilities. The new challenges these threats create for the IT environment ─ insufficient visibility, siloed security, compliance requirements and new reporting ─ all must be managed with limited resources. The only true line of defense is a comprehensive set of predictive, context-aware security solutions that break down silos and protect data where it resides.  Dell Connected Security provides a dynamic solution portfolio that gives organizations the power to solve today’s biggest security and compliance challenges, while helping them better prepare for tomorrow.

LAIF Awards: AAAN Commends Etisalat

The Executive Board of the Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria (AAAN) has lauded Etisalat Nigeria for its backing to ensure successful hosting of the 2013 edition of LAIF Awards, which will hold at Intercontinental Hotel, Lagos on November 9, 2013.

The 8th Anniversary edition of the award is themed: “It’s a Gr8 Laif”. AAAN President, Mrs. Bunmi Oke affirmed that the sponsorship would go a long way in the realisation of the objective of the creative awards and hoped that the sponsorship would be sustained for the growth of creativity in particular, and the nation’s economy in general.

The Chief Marketing officer, Mr. Wael Ammar said Etisalat’s decision to sponsor the Creative Awards is in keeping with the commitment of promoting excellence in brand strategy development as well as encouraging craftsmanship in the creative industry. He noted that the company is committed to recognising outstanding creativity and creating an avenue for the celebration of world-class ideas.

Mr. Denloye Enitan the Brands and Communication Director of Etisalat Nigeria, noted that as a market leader in the telecoms sector, Etisalat’s position as the “most innovative telecommunication” provider is always reinforced through provision of world-class services.

The Chairman of the LAIF Management Board Mr. Charles Abraham also commended the telecoms company for its partnership with the awards management board.

Etisalat Advocates Standardization at 2013 CTO Forum

(L-R): Director, Government and Regulatory Affairs, Etisalat Nigeria, Ibrahim Dikko;  Director, Policy and Competition in charge of International Affairs of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Lolia Emakpore; and the Honorable Minister of Communication Technology, Omobola Johnson at the 11th Annual Commonwealth Telecommunications Organization (CTO) Forum sponsored by Etisalat, held at Transcorp Hilton in Abuja...recently.
Nigeria’s innovative telecommunications company, Etisalat, has posited that great economies of scale can be achieved through standardization in the industry and this can be obtained when there is cooperation across stakeholders.

The company’s Director of Regulatory and Government Affairs, Mr. Ibrahim Dikko made this assertion at the 11th Annual Commonwealth Telecommunications Organization (CTO) Forum held at Transcorp Hilton in Abuja last week.

The Forum with the theme, ‘Innovation Through Broadband’, was organized by the CTO in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Communication Technology and co-sponsored by Etisalat. The one-week forum served as a hub of communication technology experts from Nigeria, other commonwealth African nations as well as their international counterparts who deliberated on critical issues bordering on the deployment of a broadband strategy and policy for Nigeria.

He disclosed that Etisalat has always focused on customer-centricity to endear itself to its subscribers in Nigeria. “The level of growth we have experienced at Etisalat is traceable to our customer-centric and innovative approach to business,” he said.

Guinness Nigeria Signs Endorsement Deal With Olamide, Wizkid, Davido

Global alcoholic beverage company, Guinness Nigeria has signed Nigerian musical trio, Olamide, Wizkid, and Davido as their brand ambassadors.

Although the details about the monetary worth of the deals are undisclosed, but it is believed that the deals are worth multi-millions naira.

After signing the contracts, the excited artistes took to social network, Instagram, to share the news. Tola Odunsi, the entertainment icon, posted a picture of Wizkid, Godwin and himself breaking the news with the caption “New deal #Guinnessthinz”.

Samsung Unveils GALAXY Note 3 in Nigeria

Samsung GALAXY Note 3 and the Samsung GALAXY Gear were on Thursday unveiled in Lagos. The devices have been available in Samsung stores and dealer outlets since the 1st of October 2013.

The audience that graced the occasioned was thrilled at the presentation and the magic that can be performed by the phone.

As prospective customers expect to have the phone plus the Samsung Gear in their hands, the Samsung GALAXY Note 3 is thinner than the GALAXY Note II, equipped with 13-megapixel camera that features Samsung’s proprietary Smart Stabilization which enables high performance photography even in low light conditions with motion.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

RPT-Fitch Affirms Ecobank Transnational Incorporated; Outlook Stable

Fitch Ratings has affirmed Togo-based Ecobank Transnational Incorporated's (ETI / the holding company of the pan-African Ecobank group), Long-term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) at 'B-' with a Stable Outlook, Short-term IDR at 'B', Viability Rating (VR) at 'b-', Support Rating at '5' and Support Rating Floor at 'No Floor'.

The affirmation of ETI's IDRs with a Stable Outlook and VR reflect the banking group's (i.e. the consolidation of ETI and its subsidiaries) improving financial performance due to its growing footprint across Africa. The ratings continue to reflect ETI's weak capital position, despite recently raised equity and its high risk profile reflecting a wide network across several low rated sovereigns. ETI's IDRs are based on its standalone risk profile and are therefore aligned with its VR.

ETI raised USD350m of new equity in 2012 leading to an improving Fitch Core Capital ratio (end-H113: 12.2%). Nonetheless, Fitch believes capital to be weak given its high double leverage (end-H113: 124%), modest capitalisation at some subsidiaries and high sensitivity to sovereign risk. ETI's high double leverage is the result of past acquisitions and is unlikely to improve until 2014 if/when Nedbank exercises its option on a USD285m convertible loan and acquires additional shares to take a 20% stake in the holding company.

ETI has a solid franchise and is one of the largest pan-African banking groups with fully fledged banking subsidiaries in 32 countries in Africa. These countries are either not rated or rated between 'B' and 'BB-' highlighting the risks in lending to emerging industries and sectors. ETI's largest subsidiary is Ecobank Nigeria (c. 40% of group assets) which means that the group's prospects are to a large extent linked to that of the performance of its Nigerian operations, which are evolving.

Always Celebrates Friendship in Lagos

To encourage the passion for success among young Nigerian ladies, Always - leading Nigerian sanitary towel brand - hosted a group of ladies to a relaxed dinner at Zen Garden Restaurant, Ikeja Lagos with award winning artiste - Chidinma ‘Miss. Kedike’ as the special guest.

The event brought the ‘Always Celebrating Friendship’ program to a close. The program was a fun online platform through which ladies were encouraged to celebrate and value the friends in their lives.

At the event, P&G’s Always Brand Public Relations Manager, Olatomiwa Akande explained that the ‘Always Celebrating Friendship’ program emphasizes the part that women need to play in motivating each other to achieve greatness.

“Being a highly successful Nigerian artiste at a young age, Chidinma was seen as a great fit for this program. Her story is inspiring we wanted her to share it with the Always’ fans. This is in line with Always’ brand purpose of empowering girls to live their lives to the fullest”, Akande said.

Chidinma spoke with the ladies saying that being focused is crucial to being successful. She stressed the need to be adequately prepared and to follow through in achieving ones dreams, even in the face of difficulties.

Chidinma encouraged Always to keep up the good work saying that “I am really excited when I get to share my experience with girls to help motivate them; I always look forward to this kind of activity. For me it is way above music because it’s a way of prodding people to become better.”

IFC, Diamond Bank to increase access to finance for Nigerian agricultural sector


IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, said today it will provide advisory services to Diamond Bank Plc to help the lender increase access to finance in Nigeria’s agricultural sector by up to $33 million over two years, strengthening a vital but severely underfinanced sector in Nigeria’s economy and boosting  small businesses.

The projected lending will be extended to small and medium enterprises across the sector, including livestock farmers, producer groups, distributors, processors, traders and retailers. It will also target almost 2,000 small holder farmers. IFC will provide Diamond Bank with advisory services on strategy, product development and risk management, and help develop a financing model to viably lend to small and medium agribusinesses.

Alex Otti, Group Managing Director/CEO, Diamond Bank, said, “Diamond Bank has always demonstrated market leadership in the provision of innovative financial services and solutions to all segments of the society. Through this partnership with IFC, we are better positioned to serve a faster growing share of Nigeria’s newly emerging bankable population in the agricultural sector, and create more growth opportunities for the players as well as the economy.”
                                              
IFC Financial Markets Manager in Sub-Saharan Africa, Ian Weetman, said, “Increasing growth and employment in the agricultural sector is a critical objective for IFC in Nigeria and Sub-Saharan Africa. To this end, IFC’s Advisory Services aim to increase access to finance throughout the agricultural and food supply chain. We are very pleased to be working with our longstanding partner, Diamond Bank, in the pursuit of these objectives.”

Turkish Cosmetics Trade Delegation arrive Nigeria

A special trade delegation of highly influential cosmetics manufacturers from Turkey has arrived Nigeria, for high level business meetings with leading importers and manufacturers of cosmetics in Nigeria. Starting Tuesday October 29th, the

Turkish cosmetics manufacturers will be holding a series of business meetings and close deals with selected leaders in the Nigerian cosmetics sector and provide fast track support for the cosmetics sector in Nigeria.

This underscores the growing strategic importance of Nigeria as a key emerging market and the increasing reputation of Turkey as a world class manufacturer and a reliable supplier of top quality goods and cosmetics. The Turkish cosmetics sector is particularly growing and realized over $ 1 billion in export value in 2012 alone. With Nigeria's large population and equally growing cosmetic industry, Nigeria and Turkey are poised for stronger ties and a mutually beneficial trade partnership

The delegation from Turkey, will consist of: 11 companies, two senior representatives of IKMIB Istanbul Chemicals & Chemical Products Exporters Association and the owner of the project, two representatives from the Ministry of Economy of the Government of Turkey, Metin Cobanlioglu the Director of Globrand, Coordinators of the project. The Head of the delegation is the Chairman of IKMIB Mr. Murat Akyuz

The top cosmetics companies coming from Turkey include: Akdeniz Dis Tic. Gida San. Ltd. Sti.; Alfar Kozmetik San. A.S.; Beyaz Kozmetik Ith. Ihr. San. ve Tic. Ltd. Sti.; Dogatek Ic ve Dis. Tic Ltd. Sti.; Ipek Idrofi I Pamuk San. ve Tic. A.S.; Nucos Kozmetik Kimya San. ve. Tic. Ltd. Sti.; Pinkar Kimya Sanayii ve Tic. A.S.; Rebul Kozmetik San. ve Tic. A.S.; SCK Zeta Dis Ticaret Pazarlama Ltd. Sti.; Sebat Kimya Sanayi Ic ve Dis Ticaret A.S. and Turkuaz Medikal, Kozmetik ve Dis Ticaret Ltd. Sti.

Photo: World Brand Congress held in India

Mr. Sven Arn, Managing Director & Partner, Happy Thinking People, a Marketing firm in Berlin, Germany, Mr. Charles Igbinidu, Managing Director, TPT International and Mr. Idorenyen Enang, Country Managing Director, L’Oreal West Africa at the ongoing World Brand Congress taking place in Mumbai, India. ( Monday, Oct. 21, 2013).

Students, Academics Commend Etisalat on Youth Development

Academics and student community of the Federal Polytechnic, Offa, Kwara State have commended Nigerias most innovative telecommunication company, Etisalat for showing genuine interest in youth development in the country. The commendation came on the strength of the successful hosting of the Etisalat Cliqfest in the Polytechnic recently.

Many of the students who bared their minds to reporters during the event which held at the Stella Obasanjo Hall, Federal Polytechnic Offa, Kwara State, gave kudos to Etisalat for its interest in the future of the Nigerian students as could be seen from its youth-oriented programmes including Cliqfest. They described the programme as a far reaching youth development initiative that will also help to improve the nation’s educational system.

Adewunmi Simeon, an HND 1 Electrical Engineering student who won a brand new Kia Picanto car during the raffle draw conducted at the two day programme, described Etisalat Nigeria as an organization that has not only raised the bar of service delivery in telecommunications, but also committed to contributing to educational development in the country. “I have heard a lot of good news about what Etisalat is doing in the education sector with the Cliqfest programme, and I really must say that after witnessing this two-day event; both the seminar and the concert, they really deserve commendation,” Simeon stated.

Manager, Youth Segment, Etisalat Nigeria, Mr. Idiare Atimomo restated Etisalat’s commitment to the development and promotion of Nigerian youth in the country, saying that aim of Cliqfest was to impact the Nigerian youths positively.

"Etisalat is dedicated towards enriching the lives of its customers; We recognise the individual roles the youth will play in the future of Nigeria, this is why we came up with this motivational and entertaining series of events that encourage the all-round development of our students, with the hope that it will help prepare them to be game changers who will spur the development of Nigeria,” he said.

U.K. Government Launches Tobacco Smuggling inquiry

The Association of Convenience Stores is urging the government to rethink how it goes after tobacco smugglers.

U.K. retailers are applauding a government probe into tobacco smuggling, The Grocer reports. The Home Affairs Committee is starting an investigation into how the country should be doing to stop the sale and import of contraband tobacco. Contraband tobacco sales cost the United Kingdom an estimated £2 billon each year.

“The U.K. has one of the highest rates of tobacco duty in the EU, which makes it one of the most lucrative markets for smugglers. The role of Border Force is therefore vital in reducing the supply of illicit tobacco. We will be looking at the scale of the problem and what more can be done to tackle it,” said Keith Vaz MP, who chairs the committee.

Part of the investigation will center on the reasons behind a drop over the past three years in the number of arrests, prosecutions and convictions for smuggling tobacco. The committee will also look into why the Border Force missed its own goals for seizing illegal tobacco in 2012/2013 and how Ireland’s plain packaging regulations would impact contraband tobacco in the United Kingdom. Ireland is experiencing its own uptick in tobacco smuggling.

“It is not good enough that the government has missed its own targets for reducing tobacco smuggling this year,” said James Lowman, CEO of the Association of Convenience Stores. “It is time for a rethink about the resources available to police and trading standards in prioritizing the detection and closing down the criminal operations that blight our communities and damage the livelihoods of legitimate retailers.”

Friday, 18 October 2013

Brand Nigeria: Shobanjo, Other Experts Brainstorm at BrandiQ Symposium

Stakeholders, scholars and experts within the Integrated Marketing Communications sector in Nigeria will gather under one roof on Friday, 25th of October, 2013 to examine Nigeria’s image challenges at an event that will also witness the formal public presentation of the country’s flagship Marketing publication, BrandiQ Magazine. The thought-provoking Symposium themed, “Brand Nigeria @ 53: Opportunities, Challenges and Prospects” will take place at the prestigious Federal Palace Hotel in Lagos. It will feature distinguished experts from diverse fields who will brainstorm on major reputation issues confronting Brand Nigeria.

Among the distinguished personalities billed for the event are: Former Director General Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) Apostle Hayford Alile, who will serve as the chairman of the occasion.

According to Desmond Ekeh, Editor-in-Chief of the publication, doyen of Advertising in Nigeria and founding CEO of Nigeria's largest marketing communications conglomerate, Insight Communications, Biodun Shobanjo will be the Special Guest Lecturer at the symposium. Already, the entire industry is agog as brand analysts wait with great eagerness to digest the presentation of Nigeria’s ‘Advertising Man of All Times’.

Discussants at the event include: Prof. Emevwo Biakolo, Dean, School of Media and Communication, Pan Atlantic University Lagos. Prof. Emevwo would be speaking on the topic, ‘Culture and Morality in Nation Branding’. Another discussant, Prof. Lanre Fagbohun, a Professor of Environmental Law at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, University of Lagos, will also be speaking on ‘Environment and Nation Branding’.
Another discussant billed for this event,, Dr. Austin Tam-George, former lecturer at the University of Cape Town, South Africa and Executive Director of Institute of Communication and Corporate Studies (ICCS), Lagos, will also be speaking on the ‘Strategic Communication of a Nation Brand’.

Marketing kingpin, Idorenyen Enang, who is the Director General, Bureau Nigeria of L’Oreal Central West Africa, will bring his wealth of experience to bear at the symposium where he will deliver a lecture on ‘Strategy; A Critical Imperative for Nation Branding’. Mr. Enang is expected to bring a different flair to the event with his expansive marketing experience working with multinational companies like Samsung, Coca-Cola and Guinness.

From the entertainment angle, Madu Chikwendu, Regional Secretary of the Pan-African Federation of Filmmakers (FEPACI), will also deliver a lecture at the symposium.

Apart from the various presentations on Brand Nigeria, the symposium will also feature the formal launch of BrandiQ Magazine, one of Nigeria’s most exhaustive journalistic explorations ever undertaken in the country’s Marketing Communications space. This expansive magazine is an interdisciplinary store house of knowledge. From inception, the publication has remained a must-read, not just for industry players but equally for students of advertising, branding, public relations and other areas of marketing communications.

The publication is designed to cover areas in marketing communication such as Marketing, Advertising, Branding, Media, Public Relations and its adjuncts like Event Management, Graphics/ Design, Marketing Research. “The magazine is fashioned after the intellectual heritage of Harvard Business Review, with the reportorial typology of the Economist and the Content patterned after Ad Age, brandchannel, bizcommunity.com, Adweek etc.

The Marcomm tutorial segment of the magazine is also designed as a specific tutorial package to meet the research and academic needs of the teeming population of students who really have the desire and need to understand the marketing communications world beyond the theories they are taught in school.

Lagos State Govt. signs MOU with Microsoft on eGovernance initiative

The Lagos State government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with one of the world's leading software company, Microsoft on e-Governance initiatives that will assist in driving governance in the state.

The agreement was signed when the Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola lead delegation to the U.S. based company at the Redmond Washington, headquarters in US. The Governor said the that the agreement would focus on eGovernance strategies to better serve the people of Lagos.

The governor also stated that the e-governance will focus on a platform of delivering services to the citizens of Lagos State using smart phones and mobile devices while enabling him to be able to monitor the performance of each Ministry, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in the discharge of services and to monitor all ongoing projects especially those around the medium term budgetary objectives of PATH (Power, Agriculture, Transportation and Housing).

As part of the agreement, Microsoft has agreed to train 100 Microsoft certified applications support personnel who will not only assist the State government but other states in Nigeria to implement Microsoft application and the private sector for both Nigeria and the rest of Africa.

‘Girl Rising’ Premieres in Nigeria … Celebrates the Nigerian Girl Child

In order to shine the spotlight on the transformative power of girls’ education across Africa and the world, the groundbreaking feature, ‘Girl Rising’ was screened for the first time in Nigeria at the Silverbird Cinema, Victoria Island, Lagos as part of the celebration to mark the  International Day of The Girl Child. The Nigerian Premiere was co-hosted by the United Nations Information Centre, Lagos (UNIC), Zonta International Clubs in Nigeria, Kudirat Initiative for Democracy (KIND), and Nigerians Report Online.

The event brought together 350 girls, boys and young women from primary, secondary and tertiary institutions, members of the press, civil society and representatives of the Deputy Governor, and the Lagos State Commissioner of Education. Also present were several partners and sponsors of the event including The United Nations Information Centre (UNIC), Zonta International Clubs in Nigeria, The Kudirat initiative for Democracy (KIND), Nigerians Report Online, Kiddies & Brands Company, and Cool FM. The Girl Rising Nigerian Premiere was also proudly supported by the British Deputy High Commission in Lagos; Silverbird; MTN Foundation; Educare Trust; Queens College Old Girls Association; Peter Zion Nigeria Ltd; and Rite Foods.

The partnership is part of a global movement to educate girls and empower them to be world changers and to believe in their dreams.

‘Girl Rising’, apart from being a ground-breaking feature, is a movement dedicated to empowering and achieving educational equity for Girls around the world. The film spotlights the stories of nine unforgettable girls born into unforgiving circumstances; the film captures their dreams, their voices and their remarkable lives.

The event brought together members of the Private sector, Government dignitaries and members of  Civil society, to raise global visibility about the importance of educating girls.

In her welcome address, the President of Zonta International Club of Lagos 1, Ms. Shade Bembatoum-Young, restated the commitment of the organizers to empowering the girl child in Nigeria.

“We, the co-hosts of the Nigerian Premiere of Girl Rising, believe in the power of education to change not only a girl, but the world.” she said.

Etisalat Unveils Judging Panel for 2013 Pan-African Prize for Innovation Award

Nigeria’s most innovative telecommunications company, Etisalat, recently unveiled the judging panel for the second edition of its ‘Pan-African Prize for Innovation at a private dinner reception held at the Milano Italian restaurant in the prestigious Intercontinental Hotel, Lagos. The reception served as an avenue to acknowledge their commitment to drive Etisalat’s vision of recognizing and celebrating innovation across the African continent.

Judging panel for this year’s edition include Senior Director of Business Development and Managing Director, West Africa, Qualcomm, Mr. Alex Dadson, Head of Developer Outreach in the Emerging Markets team, Google, Mr. Chukwuemeka Afigbo, also on the list are: Mr. Reinaldo Fiorini, Principal, McKinsey & Company and Mr. Simdul Shagaya, a serial technology and media entrepreneur, and Founder/Executive Chairman of Dealdey and Konga.

Others include Mr. Tayo Oviosu, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Paga, a leading money transfer and payments service in Nigeria; Mr. Audu Maikori, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Chocolate City Group and Mr. Wilson Feng, Director at Huawei.

According to the Chief Commercial Officer, Etisalat Nigeria, Mr. Matthew Willsher, the Etisalat Pan-African Prize for Innovation was founded on the premise of rewarding the most innovative mobile broadband idea, product, or service that provides a significant utility to mobile users. “There is an abundance of innovative talent in technology residing in the continent. We believe in showcasing these talents that not only create viable opportunities for individuals but also improves the social and economic livelihood of people who use these technologies,” he said.

The Etisalat Pan-African Prize for Innovation will be awarded at the 16th Annual AfricaCom Conference holding in Cape Town, South Africa, from the 12th to 14th of November 2013. Entries for the award will be received in two sub-categories: 1st Prize for the most innovative product or service that was launched in the last 18 months, and 2nd Prize for the most innovative idea driving or facilitating mobile broadband use in Africa.

The first prize winner will get a sum of $25,000, 3 Devices, a Business Development Mentoring (in-House) programme, and a possible commercial partnership with Etisalat while the second prize winner will receive a sum of $10,000, 3 Devices, Product Incubation Programme, Business Development Mentoring (in-House) programme, access to network resources for testing, knowledge base, as well as a pilot study and analysis via Etisalat’s customer base. The award is open to manufacturers and customizers of handsets, dongles & modems, embedded Devices, tablets and eReaders. Also eligible are SMEs and individuals developing innovative mobile broadband solutions.

Etisalat, Kelechi Amadi-Obi, International Photographers at LagosPhoto FundRaiser 2013

This year's LagosPhoto Fundraiser themed 'Observation no be Crime', was a delightful experience for bidders, guests and lead sponsor, Etisalat Nigeria. The event's theme was coined from one of the celebrated songs of African Afrobeat legend, Fela Anikulapo Kuti. The Fundraiser held at the signature Eko Hotel and Suites, on September 22, 2013.

Works by photographers from over 12 countries were auctioned by LagosPhoto Auctioneer, Roger Woodbridge. Nigeria's Kelechi Amadi-Obi's work called 'Family' was snagged up at a handsome price while other works received equally enthusiastic bidding and appreciation. Some of the auctioned works included ‘Landmark’ by Netherlands’ Hans Wilschut, ‘Mali’ by USA’s Joseph Penney and ‘The Afronauts’ by Spain’s Cristina de Middel. On display were works by the likes of Delphine Fawundu from Sierra Leone, Rija Solo from Madagascar, Stanley Greene from the United States of America, Alixandra Fazzina from the United Kingdom, Robin Hammond from New Zealand and Benedicte Kurzen.

At the event, Chief Commercial Officer, Etisalat Nigeria, Matthew Wilsher, said the awe-inspiring works were the essence of purely imaginative thinking. 'Lagos is one of the cities in the world with tremendous potential and minds. It is amazing to see such creativity and innovation expressed in photography.'

Meanwhile, Brand Director, LagosPhoto, Wunika Mukan, said there was an emerging trend of digital photography in the world, and Nigeria has taken the lead. ‘We, as a people, have realized that it is important to document what is going on today. We are very excited about the multitude of artistes and leading global photographers working with us this year,’ she said.

Folake Folarin-Coker of Tiffany Amber, Ebisan, Olisa Adibua and other celebrities coloured the night. The Fundraiser is a part of the annual LagosPhoto Festival.

Konga.com Launches Biggest eCommerce Fulfilment Centre and Warehouse In Africa

BrandArena blogger, Lukmon Oloyede among other journalists
during the media tour at the KONGA fulfillment Centre
Nigeria’s Largest Online Mall, Konga.com makes history with the unveiling of its 120,000 sqr feet fulfillment centre, the biggest of any single online retailer in Africa.

Konga.com, an online retailer which launched in July 2012 is gradually becoming “the everything store” with its wide selection of products via its marketplace and fulfillment by Konga platforms, giving Nigerian businesses the opportunity to come online and consumers the opportunity to shop online.

In just one year of operations, KONGA has laid solid foundations of a retail, technology and logistics company, building a system by which buyers and sellers can find each other, providing unprecedented levels of retail convenience, choice and customer satisfaction.

The new distribution centre is another critical step towards the company’s vision of building a world class online retail business in Nigeria. The facility offers the infrastructure ‎required for KONGA to make this happen.

Commenting on  Fulfilment Centre, COO of KONGA, Alex Kamara said "Our new Fulfilment Centre is another critical step towards Konga’s vision of a world-class eCommerce business built in Nigeria for Nigeria. With the support of our customers and business partners we look forward to further significant milestones in the future".

KONGA continues to create jobs, with staff strength growing from just 7 to over 400 in such a short period of time further demonstrating the level of growth within the company.

Photo: General Electric Re-opens Technology Service Centre in Portharourt

(L-R) Mr Akonu Teye Maintenance Advisor on Agbami Deepwater Project, Mr George Njenga GE Africa Distributed Power Leader and Shado Dasilva, Plant Manager at the official reopening of the GE Technology Service Centre in Port Harcourt recently

(L-R) Mr Gurucharan Singh Gidda General Manager Dangote Power Plant, Mr George Njenga GE Africa Distributed Power Leader and Mr H.K Yogeesha Deputy General Manager Obajana Power Plant at the official reopening of the GE Technology Service Centre in Port Harcourt recently

Ex-Super Eagles Players, Captains of Industries, Celebrities Hold Novelty Charity Match for Keith @60

L-R: Mr. Tope Asiwaju, Chief Wip, Mr Bode Medale, President, Mr. Femi Onikunle, Secretary General, Mr. Hamzat Olayiwola Barshan, Director of Studies Iganmu Film Institute, all of Orile Iganmu Progressive Association (OIPA) and Chief Keith Richards, Managing Director, Promasidor Nigeria Limited (middle) donating the proceeds of the novelty charity match to the OIPA Computer Project in Lagos recently.
It was a day of excitement when former Eagles stars, who is who in corporate and entertainment industries and other celebrities lined up for a novelty charity match to celebrate the Managing Director, Promasidor Nigeria Limited, Chief Keith Richards, who clocks 60 years on October 14.

The novelty charity match which took place at Campos Square mini stadium, Lagos Island on Friday also attracted friends and well wishers of the managing director. The match was organized in line with Richard's personal preference and his love for the less privileged.

The line up of the eminent personalities that participated in Team A (blue) category included Charles Igbinidu,  Eze Martins, George Richards, Yomi Adenson, Niyi Ojemuyiwa, Tom Richards, Sunday Odunaye, Ahmed Abaza, ex- international Monday Odiaka, Chris Richardson, Ben Eke, Jonathan Akpoborie and host of others.

While Team B(orange) category included Keith Richards, Toks Modupe,  Patrick Udoh, Jide Oguntuase, Alex Goma, Segun Koleoso, Taju Disu, Demola Bakare, Austine Orumen, Seun Kuti, Vitus Ezinwa, Mike Omoigui, Ovie Aghomi and Jethro Iruobe among others. 

The two squads had fun tossing the ball around and trading tackles for 90 minutes at the stadium. At the end of the match, Team B defeated Team A by 2-1, through goals from Seun Kuti and Taju Disu while Ahmed Abaza scored the only goal of Team A.

Earlier, in the day Apapa/Ajegunle centre of Cowbell Football Academy beat their Surulere counterpart by a lone goal scored by Emeka Odimega in a supportive match to honour Keith at 60.

Keith was born 60 years ago in the United Kingdom (UK) on October 14th, 1953. He has at different levels held various leadership positions in Nigeria as managing director and corporate executive board member of top ranking companies such as John Holt Plc, International Equitable Association, Guinness Nigeria Plc and presently Promasidor Nigeria Limited. His involvements and hard work on diverse community projects has gained him recognition as one of the most respected Nigerian chief executives.

Saturday, 12 October 2013

GE Africa CEO wins Africa Investor ‘Business Leader of the Year’

For the second consecutive time, Jay Ireland President and CEO of GE Africa, has been named the Business Leader of the Year by Africa investor. GE was also named the Africa Investor employer and Human capital Investor of the Year. The awards were presented at the World Bank Annual meetings in Washington DC, United States.
President and CEO of GE Africa, Jay Ireland

Under Jay Ireland’s leadership, there have been significant GE investments across Africa. Early this year GE announced a $1billion manufacturing and Assembly facility in Calabar. The facility will service the Oil and Gas as well as the Power sector in Nigeria. Before then the infrastructure giants signed an MOU with the Federal Government of Nigeria to help develop an additional 10,000MegaWatts of power over the next ten years.

In Angola GE signed an MOU with the Ministry of Energy and Water of Angola on the 24th of June to generate 2000 MW of electric power generation. This will include the accomplishment of on-going generation projects in the northern region of Angola while providing the framework for cooperation in other parts of the country.

Apart from playing a major role in the reforms in the rail transportation sector with locomotives in South Africa, GE Africa has signed a partnership worth up to $5 million (R50million) with Johannesburg-based African Leadership Academy (ALA) aimed at transforming Africa by identifying, developing and connecting the next generation of African leaders.

The Africa Investor Awards are the longest-standing international awards on Africa to reward exceptional business practices, economic achievements and investments across Africa. They recognize the institutions and individuals improving the continent’s investment climate.

British Airways Offers Customers 50% off ‘Companion Fare’ to UK, Europe, North America

Due to popular demand, leading global airline, British Airways has announced the reintroduction of its ‘Companion Fare,’ a special promotion that affords customers the unique opportunity to purchase a ticket for their companion at a very amazing discount rate.

The airline had introduced the offer in May this year, with great reviews from customers. Then the airline offered customers the opportunity to purchase a ticket for their companion for just $50!

The latest offer which is available for trips to the United Kingdom, and select destinations in Europe and North America, comes hot on the heels of the just ended ‘Independence Anniversary Special’ offer which gave the airline’s customers the opportunity to travel at special discount rates to London, the United Kingdom, and selected destinations in Europe and the United States from Lagos and Abuja.

Giving details of the new offer, British Airways Country Commercial Manager for West Africa, Mr. Kola Olayinka stated that the offer which is aimed at promoting the spirit of companionship among its customers will be available for sale until October 31, 2013. To take part in the offer, he explained, the customer pays the current fare, but pays only 50 of the fare for his or her companion on the flight.

According to him, with the offer which is available on the World Traveller, World Traveller Plus and Club World cabins,  customers can now extend to their companions or loved ones, the opportunity to experience the unparalleled service within the luxurious ambience of British Airways cabins at up to 50 per cent less the fare.

He disclosed that outbound travel for the offer runs from November 1 till December 6, 2013. All fares, he added, are exclusive of all surcharges and taxes, and subject to availability. Both passengers must also be booked together and travel together.

Olayinka said the that tactical offers enabled the airline to encourage travel when there were seats available, but advised customers to book quickly as the special fares were likely to be popular. He advised customers to contact their travel agents for more information or call the British Airways Call Centre on 08002-222-557.

Intel, UN Partner KIND for ‘She Will Connect Campaign’ on International Day of The Girl Child

Intel Corporation today unveiled the ‘She Will Connect Campaign,’ a new program designed to expand digital literacy skills among young women in developing countries. The novel campaign was flagged off with an exclusive screening of the Intel ‘Girl Rising’ movie at the Silverbird Galleria Cinema.

The initiative seeks to reach 5 million women and reduce the gender gap by 50 percent.

The event, hosted by The United Nations and the Kudirat Initiative for Democracy (KIND) brought together young girls from schools all over Lagos State in celebration of the International Day of The Girl Child.

The event enjoyed the support of several NGO’s and other organizations namely: Zonta International Clubs in Nigeria, Kudirat Initiative for Democracy, Nigerians Report Online and the United Nations Information Centre, among others.

Speaking at the event, the Country Manager, Intel West Africa, Mr. Olubunmi Ekundare restated Intel’s commitment to bring about positive change for the African Girl Child, and stressed the importance of educating the girl child.

“Here at Intel, we believe, and I’m sure we all agree, that smart girls are the equivalent of a smart world. What we seek to do, more than encouraging you all to do your best in school and seize the opportunity, is to build a world where youth are inspired to be advocates for change,” he said.

Ekundare further stated that technology plays an important role in empowering the girl child through education. “The Internet has transformed the lives of billions of people. It functions as a gateway to ideas, resources and opportunities that never could have been realized before. But our research shows that girls and women are being left behind. We believe that closing the Internet gender gap has tremendous potential to empower women and enrich their lives as well as all the lives they touch,” he added.

Also speaking, internationally acclaimed producer and producer of the Intel ‘Girl Rising’ film, Holly Gordon explained in her address to the students, the rationale behind the documentary.

“When you educate girls, good things happen. The individual stories in this movie are not remarkable; they focus a light on barriers girls face trying to get an education every day,” she said.

The film tells the stories of nine girls in countries from Haiti to Nepal who fought for their chance to go to school in the midst of extreme poverty, natural disasters and forced labour.

The She Will Connect Campaign demonstrates Intel’s commitment to this action by not only providing digital literacy skills to girls and women, but also by pushing the concept of digital literacy forward through new, innovative and scalable models.

Intel has set out a grand design to work with a diverse set of partners including global and local NGOs, corporations and governments to achieve its goal of educating as many girls as possible starting from Africa.

In conjunction with the She Will Connect cause, Intel pledged a 2013 Clinton Global Initiative Commitment to Action and is celebrating the United Nations’ second International Day of the Girl on October 11. The theme for this year’s International Day of the Girl emphasizes the importance of girls’ education worldwide.

Promasidor Donates Borehole to Isolo Community

As part of its corporate social responsibility, Promasidor Nigeria Limited, makers of Cowbell milk, has donated a borehole and water treatment plant to Isolo community in Lagos.

The managing Director of the company, Chief Kieth Richards speaking at the commissioning ceremony also pledged continuous support to the development and empowerment of the youth in the community.

Richards noted that Promasidor as a young company of 20 years  is trying to build up innovation and relationship to be close to the community by understanding the need of consumers in a given community.
According to him, one good thing about the commissioning of the borehole was to provide clean water for the community, adding that erecting the borehole in the palace of Oba symbolizes a great partnership with the community.

“We want to demonstrate that Promasidor is a good corporate citizen, drinking water is a fundamental human right of any citizen hence, we will be committed to the monitoring of the project in a bid to keep the water running. In Isolo we have done something in the area of health care, street light and security. So this project is just one of them, we also work with communities around the federation, we have worked with people that had been impacted by disaster, those affected by floods in the middle belt and the in southern part of Nigeria,” he said.

Oba Kabiru Kolawole, Osolo of Isolo Kingdom earlier in an address of welcome commended Promasidor for its support to the cause of empowering the active poor in the community, describing the company as greatest financier, supporter and source of inspiration due to its passion and concern for the downtrodden.

Kolawole who also described the water project as another most thoughtful, generous and kindest corporate act said Promasidor has been the only corporate positive voice in the kingdom who has demonstrated an unmatched and unprecedented corporate concern and action by providing borehole and water treatment plant that cost millions of naira.

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Nokia Announced as Platinum Sponsor of DEMO Africa: Six finalists from West Africa to compete

Nokia has confirmed its participation and support once again as the platinum sponsor for this year’s DEMO Africa to be hosted in Nairobi in October.

The newest addition to DEMO's Global Launch Program, DEMO Africa in its second year will provide the most innovative new and established companies from across Africa the opportunity to launch their products on stage at this high profile event.

“Nokia has a long and rich history on the African continent,” says Nick Imudia, Managing Director for Nokia West Africa. “Our core strength comes from our local presence, deep consumer understanding and the ability to ignite and enable the local innovation ecosystem. DEMO Africa is the perfect showcase for this innovation, and we are extremely proud of our association with this flagship event and with our ongoing support for local developers”.

Nokia and DEMO are also members of Liberalizing Innovation Opportunity Nations (LIONS@FRICA) Partnership with the U.S. Department of State, Microsoft, African Development Bank and USAID. This is a public-private alliance aimed at enhancing Africa's startup and innovation ecosystems.

16 Finalists Emerge in Nokia Don’t Break Da Beat

The contest in the ongoing Nokia Don’t Break Da Beat rap completion put together in conjunction with Trace TV, the number music urban channel is approaching the peak with 16 lucky finalists from Nigeria and Ghana set to battle for the ultimate prize.

Marketing Manager, Nokia West Africa, Ogbemi Kesiena, said “the 16 finalists got this far by posting a rap line on Facebook and Twitter, using one of the key features of the Nokia Asha 210 Smartphone launched in July 2013.”

On the progress of the competition, Ogbemi explained that from the audition stage it has been really interesting with many youths from Nigeria and Ghana entering for the audition with creative rap lines. “We decided to take the competition online to give more youths the opportunity to participate and win the cash prize of $20,000. We had over 3,000 entries at the audition which the judges have scaled down from 300 to 32 and now 16 lucky finalists.”

The 16 finalists include Frank Kwarteng, Charles Ugochukwu Opara, Muyiwa Adebayo, Francis Ikhine, Chukwuebuka Dusten Anyasie, Bobai Bitiyong, Henry Chukwu, Samuel Falowo, Idowu Michael Kayode, Anthony Chukwuma Isamade, Muhammed Nasir Abubakar, Henry Onazi, Oshodin Imadeode Israel, Golden Worlu, Emmanuel Egwere and Miekharry Adefemi Brice.

At this stage, the 16 contestants will now have to video-record their rap performance to get votes. The video will be uploaded on Nokia Nigeria and Trace YouTube page so viewers can watch and vote for their favourite contestants. Voting will commence on the 14th of October.

Nokia Don’t break Da Beat rap competition was introduced in 2012 to inspire consumers to express themselves and appreciate Nokia’s range of Asha devices. The show was warmly received by youths in Nigeria and produced TKO as the winner of last year’s competition. Round II of the competition was introduced this year along with the launch of two new cool, sleek, social, youthful and colorful Asha devices, Asha 210 and Asha 501.

Photo: Ecobank Day Celebration in Nigeria

Ecobank boss giving our souvenir to students

Some of the Ecobank staff at a school construction site

Another student receiving a souvenir from Ecobank boss