Tuesday, 30 June 2015

MainOne celebrates 5 years of transforming West Africa’s internet landscape

MainOne, a leading telecommunications and data services company in West Africa, today celebrated five years of leadership in transforming the region’s Internet landscape. 

Speaking at a Press Conference organized to intimate the media on the company’s five year milestone, the Chief Executive Officer, Ms. Funke Opeke, discussed the evolution of the company, initially started as a submarine cable operator to becoming a full-service business-to-business communications services provider. 
L-R: Head of Marketing; Jumoke Akande; Chief Financial Officer, Babatunde Dada; Chief Executive Officer, Funke Opeke and General Manager, Corporate Services and Development, Lynda Madu, all of MainOne, at the company’s #MainOneAt5 Anniversary Press Conference in Lagos… on Tuesay, June 30.
Ms. Opeke noted that within its five years of operation, the company had made further investments in growing directly and through partnerships its fiber terrestrial network and POPs across the region and opened a Tier III Data Center, MDX-I, which was first of its kind for the region in Lagos earlier this year.
  
She explained that since inception, MainOne’s objective has been to bridge the digital divide in West Africa and to become the preferred provider of wholesale Internet services and enabler of online business within the region. 

Samsung Electronics Wins Big at 2015 Cannes Lions

A round of applause for Samsung Electronics! The tech giant player again proves to the world that creativity and innovation are in its DNA. The company set a new record for itself by carting away 27 awards in 20 categories at the world's largest advertising festival, the Cannes Lions. Last year, Samsung bagged 16 awards at event.

The giant brand made its hallmark with its Launching People campaign, which at this year's International Advertising Festival in Cannes won a total of seven awards. The campaign is a orchestrated to help people realize their dreams.

Look At Me, a smartphone app that helps children with autism, received a total of five awards, including the Gold award in the Cyber category. The team behind the app has also previously won other top awards, including those at The One Show and the New York Festivals.

Other award-winning campaigns at the event include Safety Truck, a design concept to prevent traffic accidents, won seven awards including the Titanium Lion in the Titanium and Integrated category which recognizes breakthrough ideas that lead the industry in a new direction. Back Up Memory, an app designed to help early stage Alzheimer’s patients received three awards, including a Gold award in the Lions Health/Health & Wellness category. Hearing Hands, a sign language service for the hearing impaired won two Bronze awards in the Promo & Activation and PR categories.

Employers responsible for developing talent in Africa

While many global companies are expanding, or seeking to expand in Africa, the availability and retention of talent is proving to be one of the main challenges facing growth and expansion on the continent. According to Lebo Tseladimitlwa, VP of Human Resources at DHL Express Sub Saharan Africa, talent is perceived to be one of the major challenges facing business leaders in the region, with 83%(1) of African CEOs admitting that they are especially worried about availability of key skills on the continent. 

Tseladimitlwa says that in addition to this statistic, the PWC Africa Business Agenda1 report also reveals that most CEOs expect to increase and maintain staff headcount in the next year. “In Africa’s competitive labour environment, these statistics highlight that attracting and developing the right skills is crucial.”

Tseladimitlwa adds that it is therefore important to adopt leadership styles which will support and nurture the skills and talent needed for growth. “Essentially, talent will no longer be the main concern when it comes to employees’ skill-sets, but rather the leader’s ability and responsibility to teach and develop these skills.” 

She adds that a recent EY survey(2) reported that while managers in Africa are perceived to be performing well at day-to-day operational activities, they are considered to be less capable when it comes to people management, especially in relation to retention, productivity and engagement.

#CardExpo2015: Nigerian National e-ID Card Wins Award for Financial Inclusion

The Nigerian National Electronic Identity (e-ID) card, powered by MasterCard, has been named “the Best Financial Inclusion Product”  at this year’s Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) Card, ATM and Mobile Expo Awards, held in Lagos last week.  Supported by Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System and CBN, the award recognises the payment product that has effectively expanded financial inclusion and advanced Nigeria’s cashless policy.
The National e-ID card with MasterCard’s prepaid payments functionality is currently being issued by the Nigerian Identity Management Commission (NIMC) to 13 million Nigerians 16 years and older as part of a pilot program launched in August 2014.  Upon completion of the pilot program, NIMC plans to introduce more than 100 million cards to Nigeria’s 170 million citizens, making this the largest  rollout of a an electronic payment solution in the country and the broadest financial inclusion program in Africa. 
R-L: Kenny Teller of MasterCard, Mrs Onadeko and Mrs Ejiofor staffs of NIMC and Taiwo Adebayo of MasterCard.
We are extremely honoured to receive this prestigious award, which recognises the strides we are making in providing a convenient, safe, and cost effective electronic payments product to Nigerians - 64 percent of whom do not have a bank account,” says Barr. Chris ‘E Onyemenam, Director General and CEO of NIMC. 

“Combining an identity card with MasterCard’s prepaid payment capability creates a game changer as it breaks down the most significant barrier to financial inclusion – proof of identity - while simultaneously enabling Nigerians to access state-of-the-art financial services.”

Using the e-ID as a payments tool, cardholders can deposit funds, save, withdraw cash at ATMs, and pay for goods and services at any of the millions of MasterCard acceptance locations globally or via online shopping portals. The card also enables citizens to receive funds electronically including government subsidies, social grants, salaries and other disbursements, rather than physically transporting themselves to receive the cash, which is costly, unsafe and inconvenient.

Guus Hiddink takes a bow as Holland manager

Guus Hiddink will be taking a bow as Netherlands coach. The Oranje's official website confirmed on Monday the 68-year-old would resign as coach of the national team on July 1

"I am sorry it went this way. I thought it was an honour to again coach the Dutch national team and I wish my successor, the staff and the players every success on the way to the European Championships in France," Hiddink said in a quote on the website.
Guus Hiddink (AFP)
The Netherlands currently sit third in their Euro 2016 qualifying group, behind the Czech Republic and Iceland, having failed to improve upon the results seen under Louis van Gaal at last year's tournament in Brazil. His assistant Danny Blind will be taking over for now, according to reports.

How to start your own online business & common mistakes to avoid

Starting an online business is the dream of many. This is understandable given the many benefits an online business offers. However attractive the prospects may seem, owning an online business is not so simple a process. What steps should you take should you want to venture into this global playing field? Here is a guide by Business Consultant, Mr. Oluwaseyi Adepoju (@oluseyi_adepoju) on setting up your online business.
Oluwaseyi Adepoju

Inception & Research

This stage is very important. This is where you get to decide what type of online business to run.

Most people who are just starting out make the mistake of looking for a product first, and a market second.

To boost your chances of success, start with a market. The idea is to find a group of people who are searching for a solution to a problem, but not finding forth coming solutions.

The internet makes this kind of market research easy or you could look at your immediate society & identify societal problems:

You can also use Google search to find keywords that people are searching for, but for which there is little or no solution yet.

Take a look at websites in your chosen niche. Observe what they are doing to fill the need.

Monday, 29 June 2015

We Will Transform Nigeria's Hospitality Industry - Jovago MD, Marek Zmyslowski

The Managing Director of Jovago Nigeria, Marek Zmyslowski has reiterated the commitment of the hotel booking portal to develop the hospitality industry by offering seamless online hotel bookings anywhere consumers travel in the world.

Speaking during the weekend at the first e-commerce exhibition and seminar, organised by the Ideas Hub in Lagos, Zmyslowski said: We will transform the hospitality industry in Nigeria. At the moment, we offer seamless online hotel bookings anywhere you travel in the world, with a focus on the African market, where we have built the biggest inventory of verified hotels you can choose from.  This is to ensure you get best possible customer service, combining worldwide experience with local know-how.”
Marek Zmyslowski
The programme tagged ‘eCEX’ which brought together the disruptive thinkers across the information technology and trade sector had participants explore the nation’s internet opportunities as well as chart a course to tap into the burgeoning growth expected.

Speaking at the panel discussion, Omolara Adagunodo, Head for Customer Service, Jovago Nigeria said, “Customer Service is the pivot on which a successful business runs. No matter what you are doing, excellent (not just good) service will always distinguish you and that is what we offer at Jovago.”

MOBOfree launches First-of-a-Kind ID Verification program in Nigeria and Uganda

MOBOfree, the leading African social marketplace, today announced the launch of the first-of-a-kind ID verification program in Nigeria and Uganda, further strengthening its position as Africa’s safest social marketplace for both buyers and sellers alike.

MOBOfree’s ID verification process is seamless and can be performed from any device. It does not require a scanner or computer. The user simply takes a photo of his/her identity document and uploads it onto MOBOfree’s platform along with their e-mail and mobile phone number. The entire procedure takes 2 minutes and the user is confirmed or rejected within 48 working hours.

Members who opt in to the verification program are eligible for additional benefits on MOBOfree.com, one of the main benefits being that their classifieds will be displayed in a more prominent position and enjoy much better exposure.

“By preventing fraud rather than simply dealing with the issue after fraud has been identified, MOBOfree is highlighting its commitment to a safer environment for e-commerce in Africa,” said MOBOfree’s CEO Cristobal Alonso.

Facebook opens first African office in Johannesburg

Facebook has opened its first office in Africa to further the company’s commitment to help businesses connect with people and grow locally and regionally. Based in Melrose Arch, Johannesburg, Facebook's newest business office will be headed by Ogilvy veteran, Nunu Ntshingila, the company's new Head of Africa.

Facebook is already an important part of how people and business connect in Africa. This office will support the significant growth in businesses and people using Facebook -- Facebook’s active user population in Africa has grown 20% to 120 million in June 2015 from 100 million in September 2014. More than 80% of these people access Facebook from their mobile phones.
 
Nunu Ntshingila-Njeke, Head of Africa, Facebook
 “We are inspired by the incredible ways people and businesses in Africa use Facebook to connect. This momentum in Africa comes on top of strong advertiser partnerships and excellent adoption of our products across all regions. In Q1 2015, 52% of our total ad revenue came from outside the US and Canada. But we’re just getting started,” says Nicola Mendelsohn, VP, EMEA, Facebook.


“Mobile is not a trend; it’s the fastest development in communications we’ve ever seen. This couldn’t be more true in Africa – where so many people are mobile-only. This new office is a significant milestone for Facebook and our teams want to partner with businesses across the continent,” Mendelsohn adds.

“Africa is important to Facebook, and this office is a key part of our strategy to expand our investment and presence across EMEA. Facebook is already a central part of people’s lives in Africa, and with more than a billion people in Africa, we want to do more to help people and businesses connect.”

How Affordable Is Fuel to the Average Nigerian?

Global consumer demand for petrol has steadily grown thanks to low oil prices combined with economic growth, according to the International Energy Agency. In 2014, global oil demand was 92.6 million barrels per day, and demand for 2015 is expected to increase by 1.4 million barrels each day, to a total of 94 million. 

This phenomenon truly spans the globe; gas prices have decreased from the pumps in Pakistan to stations in Senegal. But while most countries have seen savings, the price of gas differs wildly across the globe.

Carmudi, the leading online car platform, examined the fuel price and general affordability of petrol in eighteen emerging marketsIn Africa, it comes as no surprise that fuel prices in Nigeria, the biggest oil producer in the region, are among the cheapest standing at $0.46 per litre or 5.6% of the national average income per day. Fuel prices look different for those East African countries with significantly lower average incomes. In Rwanda, where fuel costs $1.17, the average person makes only $1.55 per day. One liter accounts for over 75% of a typical daily income, almost a full day’s work.

In Indonesia, where fuel subsidies have been cut by the government since early 2015, most people are forced to spend over 30% of their daily earnings to buy a single litre of petrol. In Sri Lanka a single litre of fuel costs $0.96, taking up to nearly 45% of the national average daily.

Wizkid Reveals Why He Became #ProudGloAmbassador

Nigeria’s music superstar, Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun popularly called Wizkid, has shed light on the circumstances surrounding his new endorsement deal with Nigeria’s telecommunications giant, Globacom.

In a statement released in Lagos by his Manager, Mr. Sunday Are, Wizkid said Globacom is a brand he had admired for a very long time considering its strong persona and its very massive impact and image in the entertainment industry in Nigeria.

“Globacom is huge in my industry and I see the evidence of the company’s commitment to improving the industry and the lives of its practitioners everywhere I turn. To be honest, it’s been a dream to have a working relationship with the Glo brand. An opportunity to turn this dream to reality came, and I took it.”

“It’s an incredible blessing to be sought after by arguably Nigeria’s two most powerful brands at the same time. My decision to go with Globacom this time is not an act of spite against MTN. I simply seized an opportunity to move from Yellow land to greener pastures. God bless.”

China investors to resuscitate Osun based Cocoa product industry in six months

The moribund Cocoa Processing Company in Ede, Osun state has on Thursday received a lifeline with the intervention of two Chinese firms who have promised to resuscitate the comatose Cocoa industry.

This disclosure was made when the Chinese firms paid a courtesy call on the governor of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola at the Government House in Osogbo.

The companies resuscitation of the Cocoa products company promises creation of many jobs in the state.

The two China-based companies -Skyron Corporation and Golden Monkey Group of Company promised that production will commence in the next 6 months.

Mr. David Shi who led the Skyron group stressed that ?the company has been in the business of Cocoa processing in the last 10 years and that their firm is similar to that of Ede.

He held that the company is sure of turning around the moribund Cocoa processing company in no distant time.

According to him, "Cocoa processing industry is not a new terrain to Skyron having been engaging in similar sector and company in the last ten years.

"Skyron group has a turn over of 6.4billion Dollars in the year 2014 with visible investment in Agriculture and construction sector established across the world including Lagos and other states in Nigeria".

St Gregory, The Queens Snatch GTBank Masters Cup Season 4

The GTBank Masters Cup Season ended in a grand style as St Gregory Obalende distraught St Finbarrs Akoka Yaba in an enthralling 3-1-football match. It was an epic finals between two eternal rivals at Onikan Stadium while on the female side, Queens College Yaba showed Ansar UD-Deen, Itire why they are called “The Queens”.

What a Friday to remember for youth football at Onikan Stadium when St Gregory gave a night mare to St Finbarrs Boys and Alumni to win the glorious cup and the Queens came from behind three times to stun Ansar-UD-Deen girls to retain her title.

The encounter which attracted capacity crowd that included some old boys of both colleges was the climax of a month-long GTBank sponsored Masters Cup tournament, organised by the Lagos First Generation Heritage Colleges Association.

The Season 4 of the prestigious football tournament commenced in November 2014 with 20 Male teams and 10 female teams from participating schools, Queens college and St Gregory showed they are force to reckon with in building tomorrows leader through football.

The atmosphere was electric when the girls – Queens College, Yaba and Ansar Ud Deen Girls High School, itire – filed out to play. Ansar UD-Deen, Itire was the only school to have played in three consecutive finals. This is the second time both sides will be playing at the GTBank Masters Cup Finals and both teams were ready for the face off. But Ansar Ud Deen Girls drew the first blood 14 minutes into the game when Durojola Zainab pounced on rebound that Adefunke Adeleke of Queens College replied immediately too.

Friday, 26 June 2015

CDC-backed businesses in Africa and Asia create nearly 1.3 million new jobs

CDC Group plc, the UK’s government-owned development finance institution, has today announced its 2014 annual results. The organisation, which invests to support the growth of businesses and create jobs in developing countries in Africa and South Asia, made 19 new investment commitments totalling £296.5m and reported a total return after tax of £420.2m (2013: £117.3m). 

New analysis also showed that CDC-backed businesses contributed to the creation of nearly 1.3 million new direct and indirect jobs in 2014.

The new findings show that businesses in CDC’s Africa and South Asia portfolio directly employed 533,000 workers and were responsible for a further 10.8 million people when indirect employment effects, such as their supply chains, wages and increased access to power and financial services were taken into account.
 
Diana Noble, CDC’s Chief Executive
2014 saw the value of the businesses in CDC’s portfolio grow, with total assets rising from £2,948m in 2013 to £3,369m in 2014. This growth allows CDC to continue to support and make new investments in new businesses.

Diana Noble, CDC’s Chief Executive said: “CDC’s mandate is to deliver development impact in poor countries while being financially sustainable. 2014 was a year of good progress for CDC on both fronts. Since launching a new strategy in 2012 to focus on job creation in poorer countries, I am hugely encouraged by our new analysis that suggests CDC’s portfolio of companies in Africa and South Asia contributed to the creation of nearly 1.3 million new direct and indirect jobs last year.

Orange finally opens first physical Cape Town store

The first physical Orange Store has finally been opened on Thursday in Cape Town after several months of delay. The outfit which is its first Orange Store in South Africa is to support the online store that sells low cost smartphones.

“The opening of a physical store is a logical step for us,” Orange Horizon‘s CEO Sébastien Crozier told Gearburn.

“The response to the Orange Online Store by South African consumers exceeded all or expectations, which led to a local warehouse being established to service this market. We therefore have sufficient stock levels to justify the opening of our first retail store in the country.”


Image credit: Gearburn

10 Mistakes Hotel Owners Make Most Often

Hotel owners often make some basic mistakes when operating their hotels and then cannot understand why they either make no money or the hotel eventually closes down - below are just some general mistakes but these are not the only ones owners can make.

First there is the tendency to base room rates only on what competitors are doing instead of what is actually offered to the guest in relation to what it costs the hotel. There has to be a balance between perceived value and the guests paying a fair value for what they are getting. Should a guest feel cheated the guest will never return. It is very rare for a hotel to be premium in its reputation and location for it to charge what it wants.

Thus stated, where a hotel has no clear rate policy that dictates what the standard room type rates are and what is discounted to companies, groups or frequent guests can be costly for an owner. Quoting on an individual negotiated basis can lead to mistakes. Some clients may abuse the discounts they are used to and if a hotel refuses to honour what they did before the guest may actually go elsewhere. Though guest loyalty is a fallacy, if guests know how the hotel’s policy works and they know what to expect, they can actually become regulars and trust that for what they are paying for is fair in relation to what they are getting.

Such a rate policy is usually an internal document not shared with guests but highlights what the normal rates are and what a guest is offered for what they pay. Furthermore, it would also specify what discounted rate they would get based on a justification such as they are actually a group or a regular company or a regular guest. The guest is given the full rate and then the rate offered that best describes the qualification for such a discounted rate. No percentages should be used but rather the value of the discounted rates.

"OLX Gives Back' Raises N746,000 for Pacelli School

‘OLX Gives Back’ initiative in partnership with Dan Foster and Olisa Adibua makes charitable donation of N746,000 to Pacelli School for the Blind and Partially Sighted.

The two personalities sold items on OLX and proceeds from the sale of the item were donated to Pacelli School for the blind.

Speaking at the event, Lola Masha, OLX country manager, said “We are the number one classified site in Nigeria and we recognize the importance of supporting our local communities. Masha also added that we partnered with Olisa and Dan because we appreciate their commitment to supporting the youth through their work on radio.

Radio personality Dan Foster stated that he joined the OLX Gives Back Campaign because it is important for Nigerians to know that items that are no longer needed at home can be traded for cash and used for a good cause. “With OLX, everyone's a winner”, said Olisa Adibua “I was able to sell my TV and washing machine to folks who bought them on OLX at a very good deal and I get to support Pacelli where visually impaired children go to school for free”.

Delta Air Lines Extends Chelsea Sponsorship Deal

English Premier League Club Chelsea Football Club has announced a new three-year partnership agreement with Delta Air Lines as the club's Official Global Airline Partner.

Delta first teamed up with Chelsea in 2012 and will continue to serve as the football club’s official global airline partner under a fresh three-year deal that runs from the 2015-16 season until the end of the 2017-18 campaign.

Delta is synonymous with sport in the United States where the airline is the official airline sponsor of sixteen leading U.S. sports teams including baseball’s New York Yankees, hockey’s Los Angeles Kings, American football’s Minnesota Vikings as well as Super Bowl winners Seattle Seahawks. This summer, Delta will welcome the Chelsea team as they tour the United States, playing matches in New Jersey, Charlotte and Washington D.C.  

“Chelsea Football Club and Delta are both winning brands and since the partnership began three years ago, both have gone from strength to strength,” said Perry Cantarutti, Delta’s Senior Vice President – Europe, Middle East and Africa.  “We look forward to another three great years and to working with the club in promoting their activities in the United States.”

Microsoft Office apps launch for Android Phones

Microsoft’s Office applications for Android smartphones was officially unveiled on Thursday following the release of the preview version which was released six weeks ago to Android smartphone users.

The Microsoft Office suit, Word, Excel and PowerPoint, will be available in the Google Play Store. Microsoft Office offers support for a variety of common tasks, including the ability to edit and review tasks on-the-go, present your PowerPoint slides directly from your Android phone, and also the ability to access all of your files stored on any of your third-party cloud storage.

Microsoft has also partnered with over 30 global, local and regional OEM’s to preload these apps on their Android phones. For users in China, Microsoft Office is now available in the following app stores: Tencent, Baidu, Xiaomi, CMCC, and through the Samsung Galaxy Store worldwide.

Bosch Unveils Regional Subsidiary in Nigeria

Bosch, a global supplier of technology and services has officially opened a new sales, marketing and service subsidiary in Lagos. Bosch group sees Africa in general and Nigeria in particular as an important long term growth market.

“We see high potential for our business in Africa. Thanks to its rapidly growing population, low median age, increasing middle class, and optimistic economic forecast we expect a significant demand for Bosch product ‘invented for life,” a member of Bosch’s board of management, Uwe Raschke, said at the opening ceremony of the company’s office in Lagos recently.

The company is operating a sales, marketing and service office in Lagos, covering all of Bosch’s four business sectors which are mobility solutions, industrial technology, consumer goods, and energy and building technology.

Bosch group also said the company will particularly focus on catering to demands in the food processing as well as energy and infrastructure industries- working closely with local partners to ensure the best possible customer benefit and, on a larger scale, the benefit of Nigeria’s economy and Society.

Photos From EXP Nigeria Children’s Day With Barney & Friends




Thursday, 25 June 2015

JCDecaux becomes the number one outdoor advertising company in Africa

JCDecaux SA, the number one outdoor advertising company worldwide, announced today that it has completed the acquisition of Continental Outdoor Media, the leader in outdoor advertising in Africa, in partnership with a community owned investment company, Royal Bafokeng Holdings (RBH), with a shareholding split of 70/30. 

RBH’s long-term investment approach, coupled with their commitment to the African markets resonated with JCDecaux, leading to the formation of this strategic partnership which leverages the strengths of both partners.

With more than 36,000 advertising panels and a presence in 16 countries (Algeria, Angola, Botswana, Cameroon, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe), JCDecaux becomes the number one outdoor advertising company in Africa.

Key Figures for JCDecaux:

-          2014 revenues: €2,813m
-          JCDecaux is listed on the Eurolist of Euronext Paris and is part of the Euronext 100 index
-          N°1 worldwide in street furniture (491,950 advertising panels)
-          N°1 worldwide in transport advertising with 140 airports and 279 contracts in metros, buses, trains and tramways (379,060 advertising panels)
-          N°1 in Europe for billboards (180,590 advertising panels)
-          N°1 in outdoor advertising in the Asia-Pacific region (215,350 advertising panels)
-          N°1 in outdoor advertising in Latin America (51,150 advertising panels)
-          N°1 in outdoor advertising in Africa (36,000 advertising panels)
-          N°1 worldwide for self-service bicycle hire: pioneer in eco-friendly mobility
-          1,078,370 advertising panels in more than 70 countries
-          Present in 3,700 cities with more than 10,000 inhabitants
-          12,300 employees

Everjobs announces expansion to East Africa

Everjobs, the leading job portal for emerging markets, has announced its expansion into East Africa today. The company will start its operations in Uganda, followed by Tanzania and Ethiopia. Launched in April 2015, Everjobs is currently active in Cameroon, Senegal and Ivory Coast, as well as in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Cambodia and Myanmar in Asia.

Everjobs mission is to simplify the job search and hiring process in emerging markets. Connecting job seekers with employers in a simple and convenient way, the portal is a key driver in redirecting the best talent to international companies as well as small local enterprises (SME’s).

“We see great potential in the East African markets. There is high demand for an online platform that helps people build careers,” says Eric Lauer, co-founder of Everjobs Africa. “The main objective for both job seekers and companies is to find the right match, and we aim to facilitate this.”

Although internet penetration in East Africa is relatively low (Uganda 16%, Ethiopia 2%, Tanzania 4%), growth rates are high. Ethiopia has more than doubled the number of online users in the past four years. “It’s not a question if online business models will succeed in these countries, it’s only a matter of time,” says Eric Lauer.

OAAN’s Poster Awards Holds Today In Lagos

The much anticipated 9th edition of the Outdoor Association of Advertising Agencies (OAAN) Exhibition and Posters Awards will hold today (Thursday, June 25) at Intercontinental Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos.

The event is expected to be a grand spectacle exhibiting glamour and glitz as creativity in the industry will be rewarded for innovation demonstrated in the industry for the past year. Similarly, companies who frequently utilise the outdoor advertising medium as a means to showcase their products would also be honoured for their consistency in making use of the platform.

This year’s awards received an unprecedented number of nomination entries for the various awards categories which are fourteen in total. The categories are- Diary Food and Beverages, Alcoholic Drinks, and Non-Alcoholic Drinks. Other award categories include- Financial Services, Public Services/Real Estate, Electronics/Electricals, Automobile/Accessories, Household Products, Pharmaceuticals/Cosmetics, Telecoms, Information, Computer and Technology, Grand Poster, Legend Out of Home, and Oil and Gas.

Various agencies and renowned advertisers are expected to keenly jostle for the awards, which are expected to spring up few surprises. The crème-de-la-crème of the industry as well as stakeholders, professional bodies and other prominent individuals has confirmed their participation and are expected to grace the event.

Tecno Launches New WinPad 10, 2 in1 PC with Intel and Microsoft

Innovative Mobile phone Company, Tecno today announced the launch of the WinPad 10, its latest mobile device which would run on one of Intel’s Atom Processor for tablet. The device, which is a cross between the tablet and laptop would be available for sale across the country and is expected to offer users a whole new experience.

L-R: Mark Ihimonya, Consumer Director, Microsoft Nigeria; Womiloju Olabanji; Consumer Business Lead Sub -Saharan Africa, Intel Corporation; Yewande Oyebo, Device Specialist Microsoft Nigeria;; and, Attai Oguche; Activation and Event Manager, Tecno Mobile at the official launch of the new Tecno WinPad 10 on Thursday, 25th June, 2015 at Westown Hotels, Ikeja, Lagos
According to Tecno Management, WinPad 10 is a 10.1 inch HD screen device and it is expected to offer consumers an entirely unique watching video and browsing experience. The device comes with a 5.0 MP Back Camera and 2.0 MP Front Camera that give a captivating interface, virtual quality and a smooth operating experience on its preloaded Windows 8.1, while running on Intel Atom Processor Z3735F, Quad Core 1.83 Ghz, a 32GB ROM and 2GB RAM. The broader ROM and RAM also offer space to users to store and run apps at the same time.

The Tecno WinPad is more mobile than a laptop, more productive than a tablet and more affordable than an Ultrabook. It has dual “Boom” speakers with amazing surround stereo sound which offers high quality sound and brings a new experience of sound perception to its users, thus offering more than a triple package.

Speaking at the launch of the device, the Vice General Manager of Tecno Mobile Nigeria, Chidi Okonkwo said the new WinPad will help to expand the company’s market and provide new opportunities to those who desire to work on the Windows Operating System.

Top Nigerian Takeout Food Delivery Sites

Do you still order food from local restaurants over the phone? Seriously, you need to get with the program! 

Thanks to the growing number of takeout food delivery start-ups, you can order your food online now without the cost and stress of searching for and dialing several restaurants. Whether you have a craving for Pizza, Chinese food or local Nigerian meals (even indigenous meals), these start-ups have created sites on which you are presented with abundant food choices, varied delivery plans and a range of prices, and you are at liberty to make your preference. All you need to do is simply click and type your way toward satisfying your hunger, without even getting up from the comfort of your bed, seat or desk.

No more standing in queues or waiting on the phone. Jovago.com, Africa’s No. 1 online hotel booking site presents you with the top sites to order takeout food online in Nigeria.

HELLOFOOD
Backed by MTN, Millicom and Rocket Internet, HelloFood is undoubtedly Nigeria’s No. 1 online food delivery portal as it caters to locations outside Lagos, including Abuja and Port Harcourt. Begin by Selecting your city from the list presented and the area within the city that is closest to.

After that, the list of restaurants will be displayed, containing information like the time of delivery,delivery rate, and Pick up time. There is also a filter on the left corner that allows you to sort list in order of relevance, price,minimum order value, ratings and delivery rate.

There is also a filter for ‘Restuarants’ and ‘Cusines’. Hit the “Menu” button to place your order. Restaurants that are currently open and delivering are displayed on top. Below that are the places that are closed, but you’re still free to schedule a future order by clicking on a ‘preorder’ button.

NAIJA EATS
Naijaeats.com is another great site that allows you to order food online from local restaurants in Nigeria, with current focus on Lagos. Start by selecting the part of town you are located. Choose from the restaurant with options that meet your needs, then checkout by selecting an option of pay-on-delivery or online payment with a credit card. Your meal is then delivered to you in less than an hour. Naijaeats.com website is currently under construction as they are working on making it a lot faster and convenient for their customers. However, the actual restaurant menu has a clean and simple layout, allowing for easy navigation and clearly displayed prices.

Listen to your favourite radio station and stand to win a VIP MAMAs experience in Durban

Taking place in the city of Durban, South Africa on July 18th this year, the MAMAs is a celebration of the best of African music cutting across the continent with the recognition of top artists. Four lucky winners will win an all-expense paid trip courtesy of South African Tourism, to enjoy a five-star Durban experience and attend the MAMAs VIP style.
South African Tourism (SAT), the agency responsible for marketing South Africa as a preferred tourist destination, is leveraging Durban Tourism's partnership with MTV Base Africa to give travellers an amazing Durban experience.

South African Tourism has put together a superlative VIP itinerary which includes a return flight ticket; top beach-front accommodation; elegant transportation including VIP style limousine ride and of course, exquisite dining experience.
In Durban, the winners will enjoy a rejuvenating spa pampering experience and have a feel of the Ushaka Marine World, an acclaimed family vacation spot. They will also have a test of adrenalin bungee jumping from the only stadium with a bungee swing in the world, Moses Mabhida stadium.
Other features of the winners’ itinerary include the urban frenzy culture of Zulu dance and a shopping experience at the Gateway mall which is the largest shopping centre in the Southern hemisphere.
All winners will also receive assistance with Visa processing procedures.

Hilton Heads Hotel Development Boom in Africa

The findings of this year’s Hotel Chain Development Pipeline Survey, produced by Lagos-based consultancy W Hospitality Group, show that Hilton is leading the race to develop new hotels in Africa with 7,250 rooms in its pipeline, spread over 29 new properties, 18% up on the previous year. Hot on its heels is Carlson Rezidor, with 6,953 new rooms in development spread across 32 hotels. Marriott is in third place with 6,412 rooms in its pipeline spread over 36 new properties, 22% up on 2014. 


If one creates a ranking not by number of rooms but instead by the number of hotels, Marriott would take the top spot with 36 in their pipeline, followed by Carlson Rezidor with 32 and Hilton with 29.
Trevor Ward, Managing Director,
W Hospitality Group

Best Western has 12 new hotels in its pipeline, but the average size of hotel is lower, at 93 rooms, and therefore drops out of the top ten when the pipeline is analysed by number of rooms.  Both Kempinski and Fairmont focus on large, luxury hotels (Kempinski with their single brand, and Fairmont developing Raffles, Fairmont and Swissotel) and have the largest average number of rooms in the survey. 

Mangalis is a new chain, launched in 2013, with its first hotel openings expected in 2015, in Conakry and Dakar.  It is of note that Mangalis is achieving its very rapid growth by adopting an “asset-heavy” strategy, funding the development of nearly all of its hotels.  This is in contrast with virtually every other chain in the survey, who are “asset-light”, seeking management agreements or, exceptionally, franchises and leases.

Smile Communications: Unleashing Broadband Innovation

Undebatably, Africa is also one of the fastest-growing in the world interms of connectivity and usage especially in mobile telephony which has become more widespread than fixed line telephone. The opportunity lies more in Broadband Wireless Access technologies as the key to make Internet available to the population at large, several telecommunication companies in Africa are looking at this option as a more viable option.

The service providers, especially those that specialise in Wi-Fi technology, are introducing different incentives to make their brands more compelling. But the common selling point adopted by different brands in the relatively new but fast-growing industry is the 4G Long-Term Evolution.

Smile Communications has continued to unleash innovations that has future make access to internet easier not only in Nigeria but across Africa. The Internet service provider signed a managed services agreement with Ericsson which will last for five years.

Under the terms of the five-year multicountry managed services agreement, Ericsson will provide a fully managed end-to-end service that includes network operations, performance, optimization, field support and maintenance for Smile’s LTE networks in Tanzania, Uganda, Nigeria and – later – in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Smile Communications Nigeria Limited, the 4G/LTE broadband provider, has activated free WiFi in over 200 Metrotaxis in Lagos. The initiative was sequel to the partnership deal signed between Smile Communications and the auto service firm, Metro-taxi.

ROAD TO #MTVMAMA2015 ...CLUB TOUR HITS LAGOS, NAIROBI

As the countdown begins for the 2015 MTV Africa Music Awards KwaZulu-Natal (MAMA), an all-star line-up of MAMA nominated artists is to headline MTV Base’s latest Road to MAMA party.

The pan-African party tour, criss-crossing the continent in the build up to the MAMA awards in July, kicked off in Durban before heading to Lagos and Nairobi.

Road to MAMA Lagos, an off-the-hook club night and celebration of Africa’s musical evolution, will take place on Friday 3 July at The Marquee, Federal Palace Hotel, 6-8 Ahmadu Bello Way, Victoria Island, Lagos. Headlining the gig are Song of the Year and Best Hip Hop nominee Olamide, Yemi Alade (nominated for Best Female and Song of the Year), Phyno (Best Hip Hop), Lil Kesh (Song of the Year), and Iyanya (Best Collaboration). As an added treat, Tanzanian artist Diamond Platnuzm will be showing off the moves that earned him three nominations (Best Male, Best Live & Best Collaboration).
Rounding out the evening with some hot deck action will be DJ Neptune, DJ Xclusive & DJ Caise.

Doors for Road to MAMA Lagos open at 21:00 CAT. Tickets will be available at www.afritickets.com priced N5000 (standard tickets only). A small number of tickets will be available at the door at the Federal Palace Hotel in Lagos on 3 July.

XLR8 to manage the Guinness Nigeria Corporate Brand

XLR8, a communications management consultancy has been appointed by Guinness Nigeria to manage its corporate brand. The appointment follows an extensive selection process that included an open pitch for credentials presentations followed by panel discussions.

In a release by the firm, the Corporate Relations Director, Mr. Sesan Sobowale, said: "Throughout the selection process, we were impressed by XLR8's industry and market knowledge and we feel confident that the organisation possesses the wherewithal to add value and provide support as we partner to achieve our business objectives."

Chief Executive Officer of XLR8, Calixthus Okoruwa enthused that XLR8 is both delighted and honoured to have Guinness Nigeria join its impressive roster of blue-chip brands. "Any organisation that has been able to build a brand and sustain its iconic status for more than 250 years deserves all the respect and adulation it gets," said Okoruwa. "We are indeed, humbled by this opportunity to be of service to this formidable organization and will continue to seek to justify the confidence which it has reposed in XLR8."

With a solid track-record of market performance, Guinness Nigeria has been in Nigeria since 1960 and is a member of the Diageo Plc, the world's foremost premium alcoholic drinks company. Its robust portfolio of products includes a wide range of premium alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages including Guinness, Foreign Extra Stout, Harp, Malta Guinness and Orijin.

Lamudi looks at how you can buy a house without deposit

Back in the day to buy a house without a deposit was not possible. You had to save up at least 20 percent of the initial price of the house to get financing from a mortgage institution. The developments that allowed the 20 percent downpayment were also few so in some cases one had to plan to save for the whole amount of the house in order to own their dream home.

In 2015, things are different. You can now buy a house with no deposit at all. Mortgage institutions have now introduced 100 percent mortgage and some offer 105 percent. This means, they offer 100 percent financing for the purchase of the property or the construction of a home and an extra five percent on the closing costs which include; stamp duty, valuation and legal fees. You can also acquire furniture financing incase you do not have furniture for your new home.  

Lamudi Kenya Managing Director Dan Karua said: “Although this is a good deal that helps many people own their dream homes faster than before, one needs to make sure they do their research on the best interest rates available right now.

Some institutions offer 16 percent while some offer as low as 13 percent interest rate. Plan your finances and get as much information as you can to know how to pay back the mortgage in the shortest time possible.”  

FirstBank's GMD Headlines CEO Roundtable On Nigerian Economy

Consistent with FirstBank’s thought leadership stance, the bank’s GMD/CEO, Bisi Onasanya will be participating in the C-suite panel on ”The Nigerian Banking Environment in a Low Oil Price World” at the maiden edition of The Nigerian Stock Exchange/Bloomberg CEO Roundtable scheduled to hold at The Event Centre of the NSE on June 25, 2015 from 10.00am.
Bisi Onasanya

The event will convene African captains of industry and key influencers to share in-depth knowledge about their sectors with key players in the capital market, with the aim of improving investment in capital markets in Nigeria.

Other panelists on this session are: Paul Wallace, Senior Industry Expert, Bloomberg L.P; Herbert Wigwe, Chief Executive Officer, Access Bank Plc; and Peter Amangbo, Chief Executive Officer, Zenith Bank Plc.

In a statement by the GMD/CEO of FirstBank, Bisi Onasanya, the Bank would continue to support initiatives that will create opportunities for the advancement of the Nigerian capital market. “We will continue to drive the discourse on development of our equities market to place Nigeria on the same pedestal with industrialized economies”, he said.

Microsoft connects with SMEs at Night of Business Unusual

As part of its strategy to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more, Microsoft Mobile Devices and Services ( MMDS) in Nigeria connected with over 150 Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) business owners at an event tagged, Night of Business Unusual.
L-R: Amit Sagar, Executive Director- Midcom Group, Paul Okeugo- Senior Business Manager, Microsoft Mobile Devices and Services, Joseph Umunakwe- General Manager, Microsoft Mobile Devices and Services and Kabelo Makwane- Managing Director, Microsoft Nigeria exchanging pleasantries during A Night of Business Unusual.
At the event, Microsoft shared with the business owners its end to end business mobility solution as well as products and services that can enable them and their businesses do more and be more productive on the go.

Kabelo Makwane, Managing Director, Microsoft Nigeria in his welcome address shared with guest the new trends in technology which includes; social, cloud, mobility and big data, he also gave insights to Microsoft strategy for the future with emphasis on mobility and productivity.

He said, “We would be re-inventing productivity and business processes to achieve more on the go .Technology is moving at a fast space.  We live in a social world, where there are about 6.8 million devices that are out there.  We communicate with these devices whether smartphones, tablets, you name it.  It has become a part of our daily lives creating a platform for businesses to explore.”

11th consecutive SKYTRAX Award for Emirates’ in-flight entertainment

Emirates continues its record-breaking streak for its ice entertainment system which has been awarded the ‘World's Best Airline Inflight Entertainment’ at the 2015 SKYTRAX World Airline Awards for the 11th consecutive year.  

The Skytrax World Airline Awards polled over 18 million business and leisure air travellers from more than 160 countries. The award was accepted by Patrick Brannelly, Emirates’ Divisional Vice President – Customer Experience, at the awards ceremony on 16 June, 2015 in Paris. Emirates additionally won an award for ‘Best First Class Comfort Amenities’.   

Always pioneering, Emirates’ in-flight entertainment system continuously sets industry standards from being the first airline to launch personal TV screens in all seats in 1992, to Live TV in 2013 and free WiFi on its compatible aircraft in 2014. Now with over 2,100 channels on ice Digital Widescreen, Emirates continues to push boundaries in the depth and breadth of content it offers the global traveller. Emirates’ second award at the 2015 SKYTRAX World Airline Awards for Best First Class Comfort amenities highlights the popularity of its men’s and women’s kit with products from luxury Italian brand Bvlgari.

“These awards are particularly gratifying as they reflect a vote of confidence from global travellers, who appreciate our ongoing efforts to deliver high-quality content. We don’t believe in resting on our laurels, and will keep pushing the limits of what is possible. We aim to stay creative, stay relevant, and keep building content that appeals to the broad cultural diaspora that travel on Emirates,” said Patrick Brannelly, Emirates’ Divisional Vice President – Customer Experience. “Receiving this honour for the 11th year is truly a testament to our unrelenting effort to offer a consistently great product that surprises and delights customers, and I believe that this is what sets us apart.” 

Why You Need To Advertise Your Business

Advertising plays a major role in the business world. Why do companies spend millions of Naira’s in advertising? What benefits are there in advertising? SD Motions share some of advertising’s major advantages.

Introduction of New Products

When a company launches a new product, advertising helps to promote the product and create awareness about it. It would take a lot of time and invariably a lot of money to get people's attention to a new product without advertising it.

Increase in Sales

Advertising increases awareness of a product and leads to increase in sales. When sales increase, the result is an increase in production. Increased production usually lowers the cost per unit of production. So, in the long run, advertising boosts sales and lowers production costs.

Makes a Lasting Impression

A creative advert can have a lasting impression on people. Some people can still remember some television advertising they saw as kids well into their adulthood. One way to create this type of impression is through repeated advertising. Some marketing books prescribe advertising a product about 20 times for it to be able to reach the potential customer's subconscious mind. Advertising using a consistent medium and format will achieve this and make customers to readily purchase your product.

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Google Joins Music Steaming Battle With Free Offering

Google has joined the battle of the music streaming, taking on Apple, Spotify and Pandora by unveiling a free ad-supported version of its Play Music All Access streaming service in US.

Google’s free music service comes two years after it introduced its paid version, which gives users access to more than 30 million songs for $10 per month.

Web listeners can try it on their devices, but the corresponding Android and iOS app updates won't be available until later in the week. 

Stay healthy during Ramadan with these 6 super foods

Getting through the month of Ramadan is hard enough- when you haven’t had food all day, you really don’t feel like watching what you eat or counting calories after sunset! However, as we have learnt, most people actually put on some weight during this time. To help you avoid this, hellofood.com.ng has gathered tips for healthy food to eat before and after the fasting, which also keeps you full for a long time!
#1 Yogurt
This great source of vitamin B is perfect for a snack on the go. It naturally reduces hunger and is also known for its great effect on the gut flora. And with about 100 calories per serving (170 g) it is absolutely weight-friendly as well.

#2 Avocados
Avocados are rich in natural fats which are a core component of a healthy nutrition. Fun fact: they can also be used as a substitute of flour in baking. Plus: the yellow-green fruit is able to lower cholesterol levels which are the main reason for heart diseases if too high.

#3 Coconut water
Coconut water is best known for its miraculous effects on body, hair and skin. It also helps you to stay hydrated – drink a glass of coconut water with every meal and you will be surprised by its benefits. It also helps you lose weight the healthy way.  

Airtel picks Akpoborie, others for Rising Stars

Ex-internationals Jonathan Akpoborie, Mutiu Adepoju and Ann Chiejine have been selected as technical advisers for the 2015 Airtel Rising Stars, which kicked off on Tuesday across Nigeria.

The technical advisers will oversee the selection of players in both the boys’ and girls’ categories in all the zones. The competition started on Monday and will end on September 4.

Airtel Rising Stars is Africa’s largest grassroots Under-17 football tournament aimed at discovering future football stars.

The initiative has helped turn 129 teenagers into professional footballers since it was launched in 2011.

Airtel Nigeria last Wednesday in Lagos unveiled Manchester City midfielder, Yaya Toure, as the brand ambassador for the Airtel Rising Stars, a move that was described as increased motivation for the participating players.

Deadline Extended for Maltina Teacher of the Year Awards

Organizers of the recently launched Maltina Teacher of the Year initiative have announced the extension of the deadline for submission of entries for the innovative awards. This announcement is coming on the heels of appeal by secondary school teachers across the country for more time to enable them file their entry for the coveted prize worth over N50 million.
Disclosing news of the extension in Lagos on Monday, Mr Kufre Ekanem, Corporate Affairs Adviser of Nigerian Breweries Plc. on behalf of Nigerian Breweries-Felix Ohiwerei Education Trust Fund stated that “submission of entry has been extended to Friday July 17th 2015.
“We have extended deadline for the submission of entries for Maltina Teacher of the Year because of the overwhelming appeal by teachers across the country who pleaded for the extension. This initiative is for teachers, we believe it is just fair for us to take their interest into consideration. As a company, we always listen and take the voice of the people into consideration in our decision making process,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) has commended the company for initiating the project. According to the union, Maltina Teacher of the Year will not only help in improving teaching conditions and the education sector generally, it will go a long way in restoring the pride of teachers and the dignity of the teaching profession in the country.
The union which announced its endorsement of Maltina as its official drink at all occasions recently, reiterated its commitment to the success of the social investment project.

Nike Tops Fashion Brands Taking Over On Instagram

Nike is the fastest growing brand on the social networks. Despite posting just five photos last month on Instagram, the apparel company added an impressive 1.4 million followers in the last month, WWD reports.

Victoria Beckham's apparel company was the only one that came close to Nike. It added 1.2 million followers. Other high-fashion labels in the top five include Dior, Louis Vuitton, and adidas.

Instagram has become a destination for fashion brands as the photo-sharing platform makes an easy way to share snaps of new clothes. fashionistas and fashion conscious consumers are watching out for trends and new styles.

One of the most successful campaigns that Nike launched was their PHOTOiD program, which gave their community the unique opportunity to create custom Nike’s based on the colors in their favorite Instagram photos.

Gmail Now Lets You 'Unsend' Emails

After trialling it for six years, Google has officially added a new feature which allows you to unsend emails.

The feature which was announced on Tuesday, is now an optional setting on the web version and app. For those that turn it on, the service will now delay sending mail for up to 30 seconds, in order to give you time to change your mind.

To activate the function, simply click onto Settings > General, and check the “Enable Undo Send” function. Then, you can choose whether to leave the function on for 5, 10, 20 or 30 seconds.

Whenever you send emails from now on, the "sent" notification will also ask if you'd like to undo the message.


The gmail logo. Photo: Gmail.