BrandArena: July 2014

Thursday 31 July 2014

Ghana’s First Atlantic Bank Launches New Branch at Airport Residential Area

First Atlantic Bank has launched an ultramodern branch at the Airport Residential area as part of its expansion drive.

In her welcome address, the Board Chairperson of the bank, Mrs. Karen Akiwumi Tanoh stated that the bank has re-invented itself in keeping with the increasing demands of its esteemed customers.

According to Mrs. Tanoh the launch which is the third after Spintex Road and American House forms part of efforts by the Board and Management of First Atlantic Bank to bring closer to our customers a bank that is tuned to the discipline of global best practices and the passion of delivering a refreshingly different banking experience for every one that honours us with their business.

“Our branch roll-outs is a testimony of our strong belief in the resilience of the Ghanaian economy and its long term prospects,” the Board Chairperson concluded.

Mr. Gabriel Edgal, MD/CEO of First Atlantic Bank  mentioned that the Airport branch is a full service branch that offers everything across most banking categories – Corporate, Commercial, Retail, Institutional and Electronic banking.  And for those who want a more intimate relationship with the bank, First Atlantic Bank has a unique Private bank offering.

Lagos Contestants Rock with ROHD at MDA 8

Shows the final evelev contestants that qualify for the next stage.
 The atmosphere at the National Art Theatre Lagos, venue of the Maltina Dance All Season eight (MDA8) audition was charged as thousands of contestants rocked the dance stage with the new dance style Rhythm of Happiness Dance (ROHD) as the quest for places in the Maltina Academy heats up.

 The ROHD dance is a new easy to learn hip-hop dance style that reflects contemporary pop culture. The new dance style is a prelude to the popular family dance show, MDA season eight tagged “The Rhythm of Happiness” The contestants displayed attitude of champions as they learnt the new dance style with excitement. It is also predicted that the dance style will thrill the hip- hop world in the next two years.
 It would be recalled that Mr. Kufre Ekanem, Corporate Affairs Adviser, Nigerian Breweries Plc at the press briefing to kick-off the show, described the dance performance as just “a tip of the iceberg from this season of Maltina Dance All.”  And true to those words, Lagos contestants gave their best by showcasing their versions of the ROHD.

SES launches new digital TV platform for West Africa

SES, in cooperation with service provider Computer Warehouse Group, have announced the launch of a new digital TV platform for West Africa on SES’s ASTRA 2F satellite at 28.2 degrees East.

This independent and neutral TV platform in Nigeria will be the country’s first free-to-air (FTA) DTH digital TV platform and provide the opportunity for broadcasters to reach millions of satellite homes in West Africa which are pointing their dishes to 28.2 degrees East. Besides providing additional growth opportunities for local and international broadcasters, the platform could be used to quicken the pace of digital migration.

The platform provides end-to-end contribution, ground and space services to local, regional, national and international TV broadcasters across West Africa. SES will be providing the space segment and specific ground services, while CWG will be managing the teleport services as an SES partner teleport operator, providing high operational standards. The service will start in September 2014.

The 28.2 degrees East orbital position is SES's prime orbital position for West Africa and its FTA reach is one of the highest in the region. Today, SES already transmits 28 FTA channels at the 28.2 degrees East neighbourhood.

Austin Okere, Founder and CEO of CWG, said, “For years, the majority of households in West Africa has been shut out of the digital broadcasting experience. Together with SES, we are excited to enable broadcasters to deliver their content cost-effectively, and in excellent technical quality to millions of households across the region.”

Maxus Rated as World’s Fastest Growing Media Agency

Lindsay Pattison
Maxus is the world’s fastest growing media agency network over the last five years, according to media agency evaluators RECMA (July 2014). This follows growth of 13.3% in 2013, with global overall activity rising to over $11 billion.

In its global network Maxus India is the most dominant media agency, while Maxus Belgium is the fastest growing media agency, up 54%, followed by Maxus Canada, up 50%.

The past year has been highly successful for Maxus both in terms retaining existing clients and winning new business. In the UK it won the largest media account in the country for the last five years, L’Oréal, (worth £135m) and earlier this month it won the NBC Universal digital account in the US, adding to the offline account and making NBCU one of the largest accounts within GroupM North America.

Lindsay Pattison, global CSO and UK CEO, Maxus said: “When WPP decided to set up a fourth network, five years on this is exactly the result they would have hoped for; growth that outstrips our nearest competitor twofold. We see our role for clients as ‘leaning into change’ and this approach resonates with clients all around the world, as we help them navigate and exploit the fast-changing media landscape. This RECMA data shows the sustained growth Maxus has enjoyed since our inception five years ago and validates our strategy.”

Value Add Is the Key to Financial Inclusion, Valentine Obi at Business day Mobile Money Roundtable

Valentine Obi
Forging Inclusive growth in payment systems and financial inclusion initiatives In Nigeria was the theme of this year’s edition of the annual Business Day Mobile Money Roundtable held on the 24th of July, 2014 at Radisson Blu hotel, Lagos

The event which is in its 3rd edition is organized by Business Day Media Ltd, the publishers of Business day newspapers, and has always been an avenue for mobile money operators, regulators, consumers and members of the press to come together and dialogue on way to improve the spread of mobile money in Nigeria.

This year’s edition had in attendance Mr Valentine Obi, CEO of eTranzact International PLC, Mr Sim Shagaya, CEO of, Mr Niyi Ajao, ED(Technology & Operations), NIBSS, Mr Olaoluwa Awojoodu, CEO, CashEnvoy and Mr Emmanuel Okoegwale, Principal Associate, Mobile Money Africa amongst others.

The panel discussion started up with Mr Valentine Obi, CEO of eTranzact International PLC,( whose company owns PocketMoni, a Central Bank licensed mobile money service which enables users create an e-wallet on their mobile phones for making payments, fund transfer, as well as for receiving money), sharing lessons that eTranzact has learnt so far in its financial inclusion efforts across the country

He said “Financial inclusion without value add will not work, and every day at eTranzact we are working on unique solutions that continue to add value to the end consumer.

Google unveils its 64-bit Chrome browser for Windows

Google announced in June that it had upgraded its Chrome browser for Windows 7 and Windows 8 to 64-bit, and now that version of the browser is available to the public in beta.

Upgrading the browser's bit count has made it faster and more secure, according to Google.

The 64-bit Chrome for Windows build first arrived in preview builds for developers last month, and this is the first time the general public has had access to a steady build.

Pictures: Google trains CEOs on Online Strategies

L-R:  Bunmi Oke, Chief Operating Officer, 141 Worldwide; Luke Mckend, Country Director, Google South Africa; Juliet Ehimuan Chiazor, Country Manager, Google Nigeria; Gur Biron, Head of Sub Saharan Africa, Google; Ediri Ose- Ediale, Executive Secretary, Advertisers Association of Nigeria (ADVAN) at the Google C- Level Breakfast Forum, targeted at making businesses grow online through digital marketing in Nigeria held in Lagos recently.

Juliet Ehimuan Chiazor, Country Manager, Google Nigeria addressing the participants at the Google C- Level Breakfast Forum

Kolawole Oyeyemi, General Manager; Consumer Marketing, MTN and Ediri Ose- Ediale, Executive Secretary, Advertisers Association of Nigeria (ADVAN)

Western Union out for single creative agency?

In a bid to expand beyond money transfers and become the go-to financial services provider for people not served well by existing financial institutions, Western Union is believed to be in a search for a  single creative agency.

The firm, according to recent reports is contacting agencies about the pitch and the shortlisted shops - that will be briefed at Western Union’s headquarters in Denver, Colorado, next month (August).

However, the company is yet to make any formal statement on the report.

The Omnicom agency 180 Amsterdam created Western Union’s most recent global campaign.

Premier League approves use of vanishing spray

The Premier League has confirmed that the vanishing spray that became a favourite amongst fans and referees at the Fifa World Cup in Brazil will be introduced for the upcoming season.

The vanishing spray - used by referees to mark out a distance of 10 yards for defensive walls at free-kicks in order to prevent encroachment and speed up play – gained a cult-status during the competition this summer.

UEFA has already announced it will adopt the system for Champions League and Europa League games.

Premier League Chief Executive, Richard Scudamore, said: “At the Premier League we are open to developments that enhance the competition and it was clear from watching the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil that Vanishing Spray benefitted referees, players, and all of those who watched the matches.

“Having witnessed that, and following consultation with our clubs and the PGMOL, we have decided to introduce it in the Barclays Premier League and look forward to having it in place for the 2014/15 season.”

Instagram launches its messaging app called “Bolt”

Instagram has begun to rollout its first standalone app, called Bolt.  Bolt allows you to send short-lived photo and video messages from mobile devices; this means the message disappears after it has been read.
Bolt will only be rolled out to users in 3 countries - New Zealand, Singapore, and South Africa

According to TechCrunch, here’s how Bolt works:

You sign up for Bolt with your phone number — no Instagram or Facebook account required. It sucks in your phone’s contacts and you can select to pull any of them into your Favorites list. You’re then given the Bolt camera. Rather than a standard shutter button, the faces of all your friends in your Favorites list are shown as a scrollable row across the bottom of the screen. Tapping one of their ugly mugs instantly sends them the photo with a single touch, which is supposedly Bolt’s big value proposition. Tap and hold to send someone a video.

On Bolt you can only share to one person at a time, and have to re-shoot to send to more. There’s no uploading shots from your camera roll.  A few buttons at the top let you switch the selfie mode, turn on your flash, or overlay big white text similar to Snapchat.

Russia Bans Ukrainian Juice Imports

Russia retaliated new U.S. and EU sanctions by prohibiting imports of juice from Ukraine, the second largest importer after China, from Wednesday, citing the absence of a certificate of their compliance with technical requirements, the consumer watchdog said in a statement Thursday.

According to PRIME reports, Moscow also slapped a ban on imports of any fruits and vegetables from Poland and Moldova and is considering banning on fruit imports from the Netherlands and said that it could extend the ban to the entire European Union.

Last year Russia banned imports of sweets from the Roshen factory belonging to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, saying a carcinogenic substance had been found in its chocolate.

Imports of meat and wine from Moldova, which has signed a free-trade and political cooperation agreement with the EU, have also been restricted.

Image credit:

UNAIDS, ASLM and Partners Launch Initiative to Improve HIV Diagnostics

The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and the African Society for Laboratory Medicine (ASLM) have joined with global partners to launch the Diagnostics Access Initiative which calls for improving laboratory capacity to ensure that all people living with HIV can be linked to effective, high-quality HIV treatment services.

Partners in the initiative include UNAIDS, the World Health Organization (WHO), the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI), UNICEF, the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and ASLM.

“Around 19 million of the 35 million people living with HIV don’t know they have the virus. If they don’t find out, they will die,” said Michel Sidibé, UNAIDS Executive Director. “This is why we have to make it simpler for people to test for HIV to be able to start lifesaving treatment when they need it.”

The Diagnostics Access Initiative specifically focuses on ensuring that at least 90% of all people living with HIV know their HIV status. It also aims to ensure that all people accessing HIV treatment have ready access to tests that monitor the levels of the virus in their bodies. app launched in Zambia

Facebook has announced the launch of the app in Zambia to bring affordable internet accessible to more people.

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the development via his profile page, stating: "Today, I'm excited to announce the launch of the app in Zambia. This provides people in Zambia with free data access to basic internet services like the ones I mentioned above, and means Zambia will now be the first country where we've been able to provide a whole set of free basic services."

Zuckerberg added that right now, only 15% of people in Zambia have access to the internet. was launched out of the conviction that every person should have access to free basic internet services - tools for health, education, jobs and basic communication.

Are You The Lucky Child? Win Loads Of Gifts From!

Jovago, – Africa’s largest online hotel booking platform turns 1 on the 5th of August and has kicked off a competition to give back to Nigerians who have helped the company grow so quickly.
The competition requires parents whose children were born on the 5th of August 2013, to post a picture of the child on Jovago’s Facebook Page: or Twitter Page: @jovagotravel and write the child’s birthday. The lucky child, who was born at the same time when Jovago was established, would get loads of gifts from the company.
The company’s Managing Director, Marek Zmyslowski says “this is our way of not only giving back to our community, but also identifying with all the amazing families whose children share birth dates with”

2014 Commonwealth Games: Segun Toriola’s 41-shot rally goes viral

Segun Toriola
Table Tennis has been the most talked about sporting competition on many social media platform in the last couple of days. Segun Toriola of Nigeria produces a breathtaking defensive display to win a 41-shot rally against Singapore’s Ning Gao during the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

The rally made spectators go crazy. This effect extended to internet where the "41-shot table tennis rally" went viral.

Most of Table Tennis fans agree that this kind of rallies are normally seen in tournaments and better rallies deserved to get attention. However, the important thing to point out here is that Table Tennis got media's attention thanks to Toriola's and Gao's efforts.

Yet to watch the video? you can do that through: Commonwealth Games

UK's Social Buzz Awards are Open for Entries

Celebrate and reward the very best in social media communications in the UK, the Drum’s The Social Buzz Awards, are open open for entries.

By rewarding effective social media campaigns and strategies, these awards give recognition to those who are using social media to communicate in exciting and innovative ways.

Open to any individual, agency, company, brand or organisation, these awards are the perfect opportunity for you to prove that you are the best in your industry.

If you are at the forefront of social media, enter the 2014 Social Buzz Awards now - the entry will close by 6pm Wednesday 13 August.

OLX Kenya throws weight behind Social Media Awards 2014

Following the success of the inaugural edition last year, the leading online free classified service in Kenya, OLX Kenya has thrown it weight behind this year’s Kenya Social Media Awards (SOMA).

SOMA Awards, creates a platform for individuals and organizations to celebrate the contribution of social media in the social, economic and political spheres by recognizing those who have used it positively to impact lives.

This year’s Awards themed “Making Social Media Work for You” will bring together different players in the market including corporate organizations, personalities, SMEs, students, county governments, and national government agencies.

OLX Kenya CEO, Mr Peter Ndiangu’i said the initiative is in line with the company’s strategy to promote the growth of businesses and communication through social media. “The Awards, which are Online driven, offers a better platform to enhance product and consumer engagement through creativity and innovation,” he said.

The Director of OLX Social Media Awards, Mr. Martin Muli, said the Awards will be used to highlight the influence of social media on brand building and encourage companies to intensify online presence. Mr. Muli said new categories will be introduced this year to make the Awards more exciting and inclusive. “After the success of the inaugural Awards, we are reviewing the categories to ensure all those who have immensely contributed to the growth of social media are appreciated,” said Mr. Muli.

Africa’s largest LED Billboard unveiled in Lagos!

The LED Billboad at the end of third mainland bridge in Lagos
Have you passed through the Adeniji-Adele end of the Third Mainland Bridge, lately? Then, you would have noticed the largest LED billboard in Sub-Saharan Africa, situated right there. The billboard was unveiled on the 24th of July 2014 in Lagos, by Optimum Exposures, as a testament of the company’s trendsetting innovations in Nigeria’s outdoor advertising industry.

Managing Director of Optimum Exposures, Bayo Adio, said the LED billboard was a huge investment resource targeted at giving premium quality to brands.

‘It is also a result of the need to place Nigeria’s advertising industry on the same pedestal with global best practices. That way, we can offer brands an unrivaled out-of-home showcase platform. This new LED billboard keeps brands ahead of competition, while it serves the dual purpose of illuminating and beautifying our environment,’ he said.

Meanwhile, the company’s Head of Marketing, Bob Ononuju, gave some insight into its technicality.

‘This is the largest free-standing LED billboard in Sub-Saharan Africa, measuring 42m by 12m. The billboard self-regulates, meaning it does not require air-conditioning like other LEDs. It comes with an Intelligent Device Management (IDM) system, which allows our engineers to swiftly detect and correct errors promptly. Besides other expert features, the board is custom-built for this particular site by leading digital billboard manufacturer, Daktronics USA,’ he said.

“How GE is Addressing Child-Maternal mortality in Nigeria” – CEO Dr Lazarus Angbazo

Dr Lazarus Angbazo
Leading global technology and infrastructure giants - General Electric (GE) has said it is partnering with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Federal Ministry of Health in Nigeria on a 20 million dollar Maternal-New-born intervention programme. Specifically, the company said, the Initiative will bring together mobile and alternative powered health technology; task-shifting programs for nurses and midwives through a significant focus on training and consumer education for pregnant mothers to drive the right referrals at the right time to impact Millennium Development Goals 4 (reducing child mortality) and 5 (improving maternal health).

Under the terms of the agreement, each of the respective partners will contribute towards the $20 million program in the first phase for the acquisition of point-of-care equipment to strengthen the effectiveness, impact, efficiency and sustainability of primary care health facilities and services in rural and urban areas. The multilateral agreement provides scope for the addition of third parties in phase two, including donors, NGOs and other experts to ensure long-term sustainability and achievement of critical program objectives.

Other projects include ante-natal care training for 2500 health care officials in primary care centres across the country and the training of over 300 clinic attendants in Accident and Emergency (A&E) hospitals across eight states of the federation.

Speaking during an interactive session with the media, GE Nigeria President and CEO said the projects were being executed under an umbrella country-to-company agreement it signed with the Federal Government five years ago. “GE attaches importance to all these projects because of the importance of saving the lives especially women and children who sometimes die avoidably due to poor infrastructure or inadequate human capacity. Nigeria has one of the highest child-maternal mortality rates in the world and this should not be so.” Dr Angbazo stressed.

African oil & energy sector fuelling global investor growth, says DHL

Steve Harley
This is according to Steve Harley, President, DHL Energy Sector, who says that while Angola and Nigeria have always been the most notable producers within the Sub-Saharan region, more recently, significant gas discoveries in Tanzania and Mozambique, has led to East Africa now receiving its share of attention from global oil companies and potential investors.

“Oil discoveries in Uganda and Kenya have also added to the excitement in the sector as new players look to enter these markets, including some of the largest independent and international oil companies, otherwise known as the super majors, who are now also witnessing the potential in this region.”

He says that in addition to the developments in East Africa, both Namibia and South Africa are also on the radar of investors within the sector. “South Africa in particular is receiving much attention, mostly because of the potential of shale gas in the Karoo, but also because it has a long and largely unexplored coastline, off which many believe large hydrocarbon fields may exist. As a result of the region’s potential, there are several offshore drilling exploration expeditions currently being planned in South Africa by the major oil companies.”

“While exploration activity in Africa is at its highest level ever, the continent remains largely unexplored”, says Harley. PwC’s Africa Oil & Gas review titled From promise to performance released in June 2013, revealed that Africa currently supplies approximately 12% of the world’s oil and boasts untapped reserves estimated at 8% of the world’s proven reserves.

PwC announces investment to accelerate Africa growth opportunities

PwC has announced it is increasing its investment in Africa and building closer links between PwC UK and PwC Africa, to meet increased demand for professional services as trade activity between the two regions grows.

The investment is part of PwC’s ongoing strategy to develop high potential markets, and follows the UK firm’s successful investment in Central and Eastern Europe.

Ian Powell, UK Chairman and Senior Partner, commented: "This is an exciting development which enhances our ability to serve clients across the fastest growing region in the world. Africa has an abundance of natural resources and seven of the world’s fastest growing economies meaning the opportunities for UK business are significant.”

Suresh Kana, PwC Africa Network Territory Senior Partner, said: “This is great news for our network. Over the years we have built PwC into the leading network in Africa. We now see huge opportunities to build our capabilities further as we will be able to invest even faster in key industry sectors such as Capital Projects & Infrastructure, Oil & Gas, Government & Public Sector and Financial Services. We have great teams in Africa and this investment will help us build more local capacity, and create teaming and secondment opportunities.”

Emirates innovates with inflight entertainment for the visually impaired

Emirates, the global connector of people and places, continues to set industry standards by becoming the first airline to introduce Audio Description on movies for visually impaired customers on its inflight entertainment system, ice Digital Widescreen.
Emirates’ ice (information, communication and entertainment) was recently awarded the ‘World's Best Airline Inflight Entertainment’ award at the SKYTRAX World Airline Awards for the 10th consecutive year.  ice now offers Audio Description soundtracks on 16 Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures films including Frozen, Saving Mr. Banks, Cars 2, Monsters University , Marvel’s The Avengers, Toy Story 3 and all four Pirates of the Caribbean movies. Audio Description, increasingly common in cinemas and TV, is a recorded narration explaining the scene during the gaps in dialogue, while the film soundtrack continues at its normal pace.  

In 2007, Emirates also worked with Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures to introduce Closed Captions, the technology used by the hard of hearing, for the first time in inflight entertainment. As well as showing the actors' dialogues in subtitles, Closed Captions also include references to sound effects used in the movie. This August ice Digital Widescreen will offer over 50 movies with Closed Captions.

“Our focus is not just the depth and diversity of our on-board entertainment, but also relevance. Making entertainment accessible to our diverse customers is very important to us. It was our motivation to introduce movies that can be enjoyed by customers with visual difficulties. Our greatest satisfaction comes from delivering an exceptional customer experience, which we hope our constant innovation fulfils. In future, we want to add more content with Audio Description, so visually impaired passengers can be entertained with an even wider choice of content when flying with us,” said Patrick Brannelly, Emirates’ Vice President Corporate Communications Product, Publishing, Digital & Events.

Tuesday 29 July 2014

WeChat concludes agreement with Resolve Mobile

Resolve Mobile has been appointed as an approved WeChat official accounts integration and support partner.

It is the mobile strategy and product development arm of Imperial Holdings and is headed by managing director and cellular industry expert, Tracy Surkont.

As a WeChat partner, it is able to build brand official accounts in a way that enables them to connect with clients on a personal level. Integrated into the WeChat offering for brands, its proprietary dashboard reveals hourly customer insights, such as the number of new followers, as well as their gender, age and geographic distribution.

Emirates adds Benfica to football line-up

Emirates and Sport Lisboa e Benfica (Benfica), Portugal’s most successful football club, have signed a three-year agreement. Emirates is now the Official Airline Partner of the club until 2016.

The deal comes just two years after Emirates began flights from Dubai to Portugal, and highlights the airline’s on-going commitment to expand its presence in the country. Lisbon joined the Emirates network in July 2012 and all four daily Emirates flights from New Zealand provide direct connections at Dubai with the Lisbon services.

The announcement was unveiled overnight by Hubert Frach, Emirates' Divisional Senior Vice President Commercial Operations West, and CEO of Benfica, Domingos Soares de Oliveira, during a press conference held in Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica.

Hubert Frach said: "We see our partnership with Benfica as an opportunity to connect with football fans in Portugal as well as the 14 million fans of the club spread across the world. Benefica has a growing international reputation as one of the most successful clubs in European football history, and fits in perfectly with our own rapidly expanding worldwide network."

Puma appoints Soerensen as new COO

Lars Soerensen
Just a little more than a year in his position, Andy Koehler will leave his job as Chief Operating Officer (COO) at Puma.

According to a company statement, Koehler wishes “to leave Puma for personal reasons, effective July 31, 2014”. He will remain available to the Kering Group as a consultant.

Following this decision, Lars Radoor Soerensen has been appointed new COO of the Puma SE as of August 1, 2014. Soerensen joined Puma in November 2013 and has led the areas of Business Processes and Intelligence as well as Information Technology since. Previously, the Dane has been employed as COO at the Bestseller Group and Esprit and before that held leading roles at Adidas and Lego.

In announcing Puma’s better-than-expected financial results for the second quarter of 2014, chief executive Bjorn Gulden said that Puma was not on the verge of acquiring a stake in Dortmund. It emerged yesterday (Monday) that the club is interested in selling 10 per cent of the club to two strategic investors over the next two months, and Puma has been linked with a possible investment due to its existing commercial partnership with Dortmund.

Glasgow 2014 auction site launched

Glasgow 2014 has launched the official Commonwealth Games auction website,, where fans can bid on more than 10,000 items of special sporting mementoes being auctioned.

The site was launched on Sunday with a range of items including souvenirs from the Opening Ceremony and the first days of sporting action.

Hundreds of new items from all 17 sports will be added throughout the competition and, according to organisers, will quickly grow to become the largest ever Commonwealth Games auction.

Gerry Carey, licensing and merchandising manager said: ‘This is the best opportunity for Games fans and supporters to own an authentic piece of Games history. All official auction items are exclusive, limited edition and come complete with hologram and letter of authenticity. Bidding starts as low as £1 but we expect some items will be very popular and will go for considerably more.’

Pfizer Mental Health Journalism Awards for 2014/15 open for entry

South African journalists are encouraged to enter the Pfizer Mental Health Journalism Awards for 2014/15, which close for entries on 25 September 2014.

Pfizer in partnership with the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG), offers the awards.

"This is the fourth year the company supports this important initiative. The over-riding objective of the Pfizer Mental Health Journalism Fellowship Awards is to continue to place a firm focus on mental health awareness and education for patients. Mental health is a growing national concern and in our small way, by partnering with SADAG, we're able to make a well-intentioned contribution to the plight of mental health sufferers across South Africa", Brian Daniel, CEO and country manager of Pfizer South Africa's Biopharmaceutical Division was quoted has saying by BizCommunity.

"Our 2013/14 awardees had 20 articles published in major newspapers and 37 interviews on radio in South Africa, with the title of Pfizer Mental Health Journalism Awardee going a long way to opening doors.

Arsenal extends partnership with BT Sport for 2 more years

Arsenal FC and BT Sport have extended their partnership, which will see the UK TV channel continue to serve as an official club partner. 

The broadcaster, whose UK football rights will include Premier League and Champions League games this season, will continue to promote its coverage through the Gunners’ digital channels in the UK and Ireland.

The sponsorship, which was first agreed with a deal last October, also gives BT Sport access to first team players and the team’s manager, Arsène Wenger, to create exclusive content.

A number of Arsenal fans let their feelings known last month when BT Sport unveiled an advert as part of its campaign for the new season, focusing on the club’s 5-1 defeat to Liverpool at Anfield in February.

David James, Marketing Director at BT Consumer, said the pay-TV provider is "delighted" to extend its partnership with Arsenal.

Top speakers at the Loeries Creativity Seminar announced

Are you a marketer finding innovative ways to differentiate your brand in tough economic conditions and/or making the most of opportunities in Africa? ...If yes, then this is good news for you.

Creative leaders from around the world will be speaking at the DStv Loeries Creativity Seminar on 19 September, offering compelling insights into the link between creativity and the impact on business results.

Headlining the day is Rob Newlan, Facebook Creative Shop’s Head of Europe, Middle East and Africa. Two of the hottest trends in marketing communication today are data and storytelling, and Rob is an expert in bringing together both. He runs a team of creative directors, strategists, entrepreneurs, and technologists dedicated to building creative ideas through a combination of art and science, which delight people, and deliver business results.

Another key speaker is Unilever Nigeria MD Yaw Nsokrah. After starting his career 20 years ago as a shift leader in the factory in Unilever Ghana, Yaw has worked in diverse markets across Europe, Asia, South Africa and East Africa. He will be speaking at the Seminar of Creativity about Afrocentric approaches to marketing.

Other speakers: Patrick Baron - McCann Australia's Executive Creative Director; Arno Lindemann - Chief Creative Officer of Lukas Lindemann Rosinski; PJ Pereira - CEO and co-founder Pereira and O'Dell, San Francisco; Stephen Doyle - Creative Director, Doyle Partners, New York City and Ali Ali - Cannes gold-winning commercials director and former Executive Creative Director and Founder of Elephant.

Barcelona announce club-record revenue

Spanish Liga football club, Barcelona have announced a club-record revenue of €530million for the fiscal year 2013-14.

The Catalan giants suffered a disappointing campaign on the pitch last season, with their only silverware coming courtesy of victory in the Spanish Super Cup.

They defeated Atletico Madrid over two legs to lift that crown, but Diego Simeone's men went on to claim the Liga title as well as dumping Barcelona out of the UEFA Champions League.

Barca also suffered defeat to fierce rivals Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey final, but remain in rude health financially.

In a press conference on Tuesday, vice-president Javier Faus revealed details of the club's financial records.

Puma gets boost from World Cup, Arsenal deal

German sportswear firm Puma said sales of World Cup football boots and national team shirts as well as new Arsenal jerseys beat its expectations as it reported second-quarter earnings that fell less than feared and reiterated its outlook.

Puma said on Tuesday sales fell 5.8 percent to €652.2 million, but were up 0.6 percent when stripping out the impact of volatile currencies. Earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) fell 60 percent to €12.6 million.

Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast sales of €654 million and EBIT of €10.4 million.

The company, which has slipped further behind sportswear giants Nike and Adidas in recent years after a foray into fashion, reiterated a 2014 forecast for flat currency-adjusted sales and for EBIT and net earnings to rise by 5 percent and 3 percent respectively.

Puma hopes for a boost to sales in the second half after it ousted Nike as kit supplier to English football club Arsenal from next season. It will also launch its biggest campaign to date on 7 August timed to coincide with the busy back-to-school season, showcasing athletes including sprinter Usain Bolt, football star Mario Balotelli and golfer Rickie Fowler.

SA's Volcano wins Ad Age International Agency Award

South Africa-based full-service advertising agency, Volcano, has been awarded Silver in the Ad Age Small Agency of the Year Awards (International category), held last week in Austin, Texas - the first African agency to take home this prestigious award. The Volcano Group saw a substantial increase of 18.4% in its revenue and has acquired a considerable number of new accounts over the past year.

“We are ecstatic to have won this award and this will further motivate us to continue to create and design impactful ideas for our clients that will start earlier and live longer,” says Paul Jackson, Grey Africa’s managing director.

"We were pretty blown away by the incredible talent and powerful ideas coming out of the small agency community," said Abbey Klaassen, associate publisher - editorial and audience, Ad Age. "Their ambition and abilities make these kinds of firms highly attractive to clients seeking creative and agile partners as well as to potential acquirers. Perhaps it's not surprising then, that between the time they entered to the time the winners were announced, two of our international agency honourees where snapped up by larger firms."

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg Fortune Rises To $33.3Billion

Mark Zuckerberg
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg added $1.6 billion to his fortune since the social network closed at record high on Thursday. The author of The Facebook Effect, David Kirkpatrick, said the 30-year-old chairman is just getting started and he is going to become “the richest person on the planet.”

The company set a new record and gained a larger market capitalization than AT&T, Coca-Cola and IBM. Over a decade since Facebook was created, the social network is close to the $200 billion-plus club. Apple, Google and Microsoft are in this club. The company’s market capitalization is now worth $192 billion.

In the second quarter of 2014, mobile promotions revenue was 62 percent derived from advertisement sales. In the prior period the number was 59 percent. These promotions are one of the highlights of the company’s earnings. The California-based social network’s income has grown from $562 million to almost $1.5 billion in the last year. Facebook’s costs, meanwhile, have risen 21 percent between April and June of 2013 and 2014. In itself, the company cost-base for generating sales increased modestly and Facebook made more in sales this year than previously.

Mark Zuckerberg added $1.6 billion to his fortune and Facebook CEO subsequently surpassed Google co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. At the age of 30, the chairman has a net worth $33.1 billion, as Forbes announced, moving him past 40-year-old Brin and Page, 41. He is richer than Jeff Bezos, chief executive on Amazon, as well. On Thursday Amazon reported its biggest loss since 2012 considering Bezos built more distribution warehouses, developed new tablets, smartphones and added online grocery deliveries. The company had a quarterly loss of $126 million even as revenue up 23 percent. A year earlier Amazon loss’ was $7 million.

Easy Taxi raises $40m from new investors

Easy Taxi, a leading mobile taxi app in Latin America, Africa, Middle East and Asia, secured $40million in Series D funding led by the Russian Phenomen Ventures with participation of Tengelmann Ventures, the investment company of Germany’s multi-sector retailer Tengelmann Group.

The confidence new investors put into the world’s farthest-reaching taxi app is a testament to Easy Taxi’s successful expansion during the past year and its leadership position across multiple markets.

Dennis Wang, co-CEO at Easy Taxi said that “We are very proud to have secured this new round of funding, which will allow us to continue our growth trajectory in existing markets, advance our technology, scale our operations and improve our service towards more audiences and geographies. In particular, the expertise of our new investors aligns with our ambition to further increase our market share in Asia and consolidate our leadership in Latin America.”

“We are very proud to have secured this new round of funding, which will allow us to continue our growth trajectory in existing markets, advance our technology, scale our operations and improve our service towards more audiences and geographies. In particular, the expertise of our new investors aligns with our ambition to further increase our market share in Asia and consolidate our leadership in Latin America,” Dennis Wang, co-chief executive officer (CEO) at Easy Taxi, said.

“In the last year we were able to add over 150,000 drivers to our network, bringing it now to around 185,000. We complete millions of rides per month across 160+ cities in 30+ countries worldwide, and the additional funding will enable us to continue working towards our mission of making the traditional taxi industry function in a much more convenient and safe way than it ever has,” said co-CEO Tallis Gomes.

Product Review: Samsung S5 vs. HTC One M8

One of the most difficult decisions that can be made is deciding what mobile phone to upgrade to. The Samsung Galaxy S5 and HTC One M8 are two flagship phones of the year, and two of the most searched for mobile phones in the last month on online marketplace Kaymu. However based on these features, which is better? We’ll let you choose for yourself.

The display of the One (M8) is 0.1 inch smaller than the Galaxy S5, but its screen is actually sharper. Its pixel density, measured in pixels per inch of display, is 2.08333333333% higher than the display of the Galaxy S5.

Both the GS5 and One M8 have terrific battery life. Battery capacity is the most accurate indicator of overall battery performance, and both of these phones have capacities above the average of 1,750 mAh).

However both phones also have a terrific new feature that can really extend your battery life in a second. Samsung’s is the GS5's Ultra Power Saving Mode launched in February. Switch the feature on, and it will shift its screen to black & white and severely limit background processes. You're left with email, text messaging, a web browser, and a few other options. Samsung says that Ultra Power Saving Mode will give you an extra 24 hours of battery life from just 10 percent juice.

Dell drives workstation innovation with European Centre of Excellence

Earlier this year, Dell opened its first Virtual Workstation Centre of Excellence (CoE) in Round Rock, Texas to provide customers and partners with the necessary resources and expert advice to help them leverage virtualized workstations and architect a solution to best suit their business needs.

Dell is delighted to announce that the Dell Solutions Centre in Limerick, Ireland, has now expanded to include its first European Virtual Workstation Centre of Excellence.

By providing a physical location with remote access capabilities, Dell customers, channel partners and independent software vendors will be able to replicate and test their desired configuration or full end-to-end model to ensure the hardware and software environment meets their requirements. This will help more European organisations transition their environments, allowing customers to safely access their data from multiple devices and locations - supporting better collaboration and increased productivity for today’s dispersed teams.

Customers will also be able to schedule meetings with virtualization specialists to discuss their unique IT infrastructure challenges, overcome any concerns they may have about no longer having physical workstations on every desk, and explore how Dell technology and applications can enhance their end users performance, mobility and security.

African Civil Society Calls for Official Participation at US-Africa Leader Summit

With just weeks to go before the first ever U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, which takes place August 4–6, a coalition of international NGOs and African civil society have called on President Barack Obama to provide official space for civil society participation and to address key issues of human rights and good governance.

The website and #WeAreAfrica campaign are the results of a Civil Society Forum, which was convened in Washington, DC in late June.

This meeting was organized by the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights, Open Society Foundations, Freedom House, Amnesty International USA, and Front Line Defenders. The Forum convened 18 prominent human rights activists from 12 different countries to develop specific policy recommendations ( for the United States government, African heads of state, and civil society to strengthen democratic governance and respect for human rights.

Recommendations were developed in three key areas – the rule of law, transparency and corruption and discrimination against marginalized groups – and presented to high-level representatives from the White House, Department of State, and the United States Congress.

Carnegie Mellon University in Rwanda Graduates Its First Class

Carnegie Mellon University in Rwanda Graduates Its First Class
Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) in Rwanda is proud to announce that its first class in Africa graduated on 24 July, 2014. The ceremony, which took place at the Serena Hotel in Kigali, Rwanda, awarded 22 students with master’s degrees in information technology (IT).

The graduation underscores Carnegie Mellon University and the Government of Rwanda’s commitment to educating engineers and entrepreneurs who are striving to make an economic impact in East Africa. Many of the students have ambitions to be the next technical innovators and business leaders responsible for ushering the region’s economic and social growth into the future.

In 2007, the International Telecommunication Union, the United Nations agency for information and communication technologies, recommended establishing Centres of Excellence throughout Africa to cultivate the science and technological skills required for developing an IT workforce and expertise in Africa. Motivated to elevate global intellectual and economic vitality, Carnegie Mellon University became the first U.S. university to offer a master’s degree programme taught by full-time faculty resident in Africa.

“Being present in East Africa is the only way to understand the region’s technology needs,” says Bruce Krogh, the inaugural director of CMU in East Africa. “Creating a long-term education programme is critical, because it gives students time to analyze problems and develop solutions in the context in which they occur.”

Entrepreneurship through new technology: a real opportunity for job creation in Africa

Fatoumata Ba, founder and CEO of JUMIA Ivory Coast, discusses youth employment in Africa
As part of the conference on youth employment in Africa involving 25 Ministers from the PQIP/DCTP, which took place this week at l’Hôtel du Golfe in Abidjan, Fatoumata Ba talked about the problem of young people’s entry into the workforce and of their access to the world of work, mentioning entrepreneurship through new technology as a solution for job creation in Africa.

In the course of the conference of the African Ministers of Employment, Fatoumata Ba mentioned entrepreneurship through new technologies as a real and lasting solution in the fight against youth unemployment in Africa. “According to McKinsey Global Institute, the internet penetration rate in Africa has now reached 16%, with 167 million internet users. It is predicted that internet penetration rate will reach around 50% and the number of internet users will rise to 600 million by 2025 in Africa. Taking this into account, entrepreneurship through new technologies is a massive and innovative answer to the problem of youth unemployment in Africa” she stated.

In just one year, JUMIA Ivory Coast has created more than 80 permanent jobs, more than 100 jobs including internships and contracted positions, and more than 200 jobs counting the entire ecosystem it involves (logistics co-ordinators, suppliers etc.). Considering the democratisation of the internet and the expansion of e-commerce in the Ivory Coast, JUMIA plans to continue recruiting in the coming months and years.

The organisation Africa Internet Holding (of which JUMIA is a part), the continent’s internet leader which is already successfully established in over 20 countries in Africa, has created more than 2500 jobs in the continent since 2012. The impact of the internet in Africa is therefore significant, and this is only the beginning. The jobs created in this sector will allow young African countries to access employment on a massive scale and to benefit from specialised training.

Aftermath of Lagos Audition: 11 Finalists for Next stage of MDA 8

(R-L)  Senior Brand Manager Maltina, Wole Adedeji presenting prizes to winners of the age 5-12 category, First runner up, Segun Ahmed, Overall winner of the category, Okafor Favour and the Second runner up Precious Npamugo during the Maltina Dance All season eight (MDA 8) audition in Lagos.
After a gruelling ten hours battle at the Lagos audition of Nigeria’ number one family dance show Maltina Dance All (MDA) season eight which held at the National Art Theatre Iganmu, eleven outstanding contestants were selected to proceed to the next stage after showing exceptional dance steps move.

The eleven, who are known as family representatives will still have to perform with their respective family members and if they meet the tough criteria and pass the stringent medical tests they will then be admitted into the Maltina academy alongside families from other regions. The next stage will then signal the commencement of the highly entertaining family dance show.

 They are: Nwaeze Favour 20, Aina Damilola 24, Tolu Okelowo 22, Ndulue Uche 22, Eniola Awokoye 19, Nwankwo Josephine 22, Akin Afolajuwon 21, OreOluwa Oladapo 18, Samuel Owusu 18, Abunwa James 24 and Awokoya Gbenga 18.

The first day of the auditions - which was the general session - was set aside for dancers from age categories; 5 - 12, 13 – 19, 20 - 29 and 30 and above, to compete for prizes ranging from Home Theatres, 22-inch Flat screen television sets and 5.5KVA Generating sets.

d.light Reaches 500,000th Pay-As-You-Go Customer, Launches Access Initiative

d.light, a for-profit social enterprise that manufactures and distributes solar lighting and power products in the developing world, today announced it reached sales of 500,000 financed units, providing modern energy access to 2.5 million people on a pay-as-you-go basis.

In response to this success, d.light has launched the Energy Access Accelerator, an initiative focused on integrating the company’s growing range of solar power products and services with a diversity of payment and distribution systems. Known as pay-as-you-go solar, d.light’s financed solar systems are helping to transform the lives of 1.2 billion people in the developing world without access to energy.

“As pioneers in pay-as-you-go solar products and services since 2009, we’ve learned that base-of-the-pyramid consumers can and will pay for modern power solutions—and that energy access is not a ‘one size fits all’ market,” said Donn Tice, Chairman and CEO. 

“d.light’s Energy Access Accelerator will be focused on scaling distributed energy solutions for the diversity of energy impoverished geographies. Scale requires a consistent user experience, reliable energy and flexible payment options.” To date, d.light has sold over 6 million products around the world, impacting the lives of more than 36 million people. Pay-as-you-go products currently represent 20 percent of d.light’s sales, but are expected to grow to 30 percent in the coming year.

Nigeria has the potential to become a major economic force in the coming decades - McKinsey report

There is no disguising the challenges that Nigeria is facing. The world is well aware of the concerns around terrorism and Nigeria’s ongoing struggle with poverty.

 PNGHowever, there is another side to the Nigeria story that has been overshadowed both by the recent headlines and the persistence of outdated beliefs and assumptions about Nigeria’s economy. A new report from the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) and McKinsey’s Nigeria office, Nigeria’s renewal: Delivering inclusive growth in Africa’s largest economy, examines the country’s economic potential and finds that with the right reforms and investments, it can become one of the world’s leading economies by 2030.

Since 1999, Nigeria has proven to be both politically and economically stable and new data released this year show that it is now the largest economy in Africa, in addition to being the most populous.(1)  The new data also show that Nigeria’s economy is far more diverse than previously understood. While the nation’s rich oil reserves remain a critical source of government income and exports, the entire resources sector today is only 14 percent of GDP. Agriculture and trade are larger and faster-growing. It is also not generally recognized that Nigerian productivity, which remains low, has been growing recently and now contributes more to GDP growth than does the expanding population.

“What people overlook is Nigeria’s extraordinary advantages for future growth, including a large consumer market, a strategic geographic location, and a young and highly entrepreneurial population,” says Reinaldo Fiorini, director and location manager of McKinsey’s Lagos office. The results of Nigeria’s progress, however, have not been spread evenly across its economy. More than 40 percent of Nigerians live below the nation’s official poverty line and 130 million (74 percent of the population) live below the MGI Empowerment Line(2)—a level of income and access to vital services that provides a decent standard of living.

Tuesday 22 July 2014

ArKay Beverages Inc. is Inviting African Wealthy Individuals to Invest in the USA and Obtain their US Green Card

Sylvie Grattagliano, President of ArKay Beverages
ArKay Beverages Inc., the world’s first maker of alcohol free liquors, is inviting African wealthy individuals to invest in the USA in a new concept of ArKay Non Alcoholic Bar & Lounge that will serve food and non-alcoholic cocktails during the day and transform itself in a fun place at night.

"The reason behind ArKay expansion into “the non-alcoholic bar and lounge market” is obvious, peoples want to have fun without having to drink liquor, with ArKay the party never stops!", said Sylvie Grattagliano, President of ArKay Beverages.

According to the company, ArKay non-alcoholic bar & lounge will be serving up an assortment of high end coffee, sandwiches, salads, and even, croissant burgers. Not to mention, over 100 non-alcoholic cocktails .

ArKay non-alcohol bar and club will be very successful because ArKay is unique concept in its kind, ArKay anticipate opening hundreds of locations in the USA and overseas where consumers are trying to get away from liquors and still want to have fun.

Huawei Turns to Europe Football Clubs to Market Phones

As China’s Huawei Technologies tries to sell more smartphones in Europe, the company is turning to the region’s popular football clubs for help. The latest — and the most obvious — move is a smartphone unveiled this week by Huawei and English Premier League team Arsenal Football Club.

The Ascend P7 Arsenal Edition comes with the north London club’s crest on the back, dozens of Arsenal wallpaper images, pre-loaded soccer video games like FIFA 14 and an app that provides updates on matches. Huawei says this is the first time it is selling  a  soccer club edition of a smartphone. The description on the new phone’s official Web site launched by Huawei and Arsenal reads: “Arsenal fans deserve a smartphone that reflects the quality of their team.”

The Arsenal phone is the latest example of Huawei’s focus on soccer as one of its main branding themes in Europe.

Vinai Venkatesham, the sales and marketing director at Arsenal Football Club, said: ‘The experience for our fans both live and digitally is very important to us, so we’re really excited about the launch of the Huawei Ascend P7 Arsenal Edition.’