BrandArena: March 2015

Tuesday 31 March 2015

Application For Google's Sub Saharan Africa UX Masterclass Series Begin

Working on the next big idea and need to finalize the goals, features and interaction design of your product? The opportunity is here again as you can now apply for Google's Sub Saharan Africa UX Masterclass 2015.

Google has announced that designers from our UX team at Google will be visiting Sub-Saharan Africa to conduct a hands-on user experience masterclasses in Nairobi , Cape Town  and Lagos.

The masterclass will be conducted in collaboration with Deloitte Digital (Cape Town), the iHub (Nairobi) and the Co Creation Hub (Lagos).

Application closes on the 4th of April 2015.

So if you are looking to understand how to work the basics of user experience design into your product development cycle or have a publicly launched product and are interested in learning how to include user experience design methods to evaluate and improve - then take this chance.

Speakers include Masumi Matsumoto is a user experience designer and researcher at Google in Zurich, Switzerland; Blaine Billingsley, a user experience designer on Inbox by Gmail, Google's new approach to email.

To apply click and check after the cut for more details.

Orange launches the 4th edition of the music contest in Africa

In order to promote new African music talents, - Orange’s entertainment portal in Africa – is launching the fourth edition of the StarAfrica Sounds music contest. The 2014 edition was a great success with 88 candidates and more than 50,000 votes.

For this 4th edition, Marema, winner of the 2014 StarAfrica jury’s prize and of the 2014 “Prix Découvertes RFI”, will be the official sponsor of this edition.

A digital and participative competition:
From 31 March 2015 to 26 May 2015, the candidates (singers, groups, artists, musicians…) can register on, proposing an original song, representative of their musical style.
From 26 May 2015 to 7 July 2015, the public will be invited to vote for their favorite candidates on

A jury composed of music professionals will designate the Jury Prize from all the candidates. The Jury Prize winner will be announced on on 10 July 2015.

‘Furious 7′ Will Win Best Picture at the Oscars - Vin Diesel

Furious 7 isn’t even out yet, but the film’s star and producer, Vin Diesel is already thinking ahead to Furious 8.

Diesel predicts that “Furious 7’s” success won’t be limited to the number of tickets it sells but will also sweep a certain 2016 awards ceremony.

“Universal is going to have the biggest movie in history with this movie,” Diesel said in a lengthy interview with Variety for this week’s cover story. “It will probably win best picture at the Oscars, unless the Oscars don’t want to be relevant ever.”

Furious 7 will hit UAE cinemas on Wednesday, April 2, 2015. 

Jumia to sell items for Ksh. 1 on April fool’s day

On Wednesday April 1st hundreds of items will be on sale for Ksh. 1. Yes, one Kenya shilling is all you will need to part with on this year’s Jumia April fool’s day sale.

The sale that kicks off at 9AM will see hundreds walk away with rather high priced fashion, electronic and general merchandise products for a ridiculous 1 bob. Customers will have to spot the items valued at Ksh. 1, add to cart and complete the check-out process to claim the product.

Speaking on the sale Parinaz Firozi MD, Jumia Kenya said, “This is not a joke! I dare you to take the challenge and make your first ever online purchase for Ksh. 1 bob online, you still don’t believe it? Let’s see who the fool is on Thursday.”

And if one item isn't enough, the good news is that you will be able to purchase a maximum of 2 items only. The shipping and return policy for Jumia will apply as usual. While this amazing sale may seem like a practical joke out of this planet, don't be the April Fool and miss out on the historic sale! 

By: Robinson Murage, Communications Manager, Jumia Kenya

Twitter Hunts for UK Marketer as it Targets £180m advertising Revenues

Twitter is on the search for its first consumer marketer in the UK as the company chases ambitious targets to once again double advertising revenues year on year, to surpass £180 million in 2015.

According to reports by, the senior marketer will lead Twitter’s strategic development, execution and measurement of consumer campaigns and marketing programmes across the UK. The role will be based in London but report into the company’s global consumer marketing team in San Francisco, US.

The marketing push reportedly comes as the social media network hopes to challenge its larger rivals Facebook, Google and Yahoo for digital display spend.

The UK is Twitter’s largest market outside of the US, with revenues doubling from £45 million to £91 million in 2014. It represents around 10 per cent of the organization’s overall revenue of $1.4 billion (£940m).

Microsoft begins Lumia 430 rollout in Africa, Asia

Fulfilling its promise of smartphone ownership for many more people, Microsoft Corporation has flag-off its latest Lumia range, Lumia 430 Dual SIM in Afric and Asia.

Built with the latest Windows Phone 8.1 software, a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor featuring a dual-core CPU running at 1.2GHz, and with Microsoft Office, Skype and OneDrive pre-loaded, the company said the Lumia 430 Dual SIM was designed to help people achieve more at work, at play and on the go.

“Microsoft continues to expand its affordable smartphone portfolio, which now spans a diverse range of price points and capabilities, from the super-affordable Lumia 435 with Lumia Camera to the recently announced Lumia 640 and Lumia 640 XL, which come with a one-year subscription to Office 365 Personal. People can have their choice of Lumia device to suit their everyday needs and budget.

“Windows Phone 8.1 devices like the Lumia 430 Dual SIM will benefit from further innovation, with the ability to upgrade them to Windows 10 when the service debuts later this year,” Microsoft said in a statement.

Cannes Lions Announces Judges for 2015

Cannes Lions has yesterday announced members of the 16 juries of the 2015 Festival of Creativity.
309 senior industry professionals from 44 countries have been named. This is the most diverse line-up in the history of the Festival and includes the first judges from The Czech Republic, Ecuador and Indonesia - testament to an ever-increasing diversity of countries now winning Lions. 
More women will judge than ever before (31.5% compared to 28.5% last year and 20% in 2013), while the range of job profiles represented also continues to expand, now including an architect, fashion designer and head of emerging technologies.
“Enormous consideration is given to who will judge,” said Philip Thomas, Lions Festivals CEO. “We seek out those who’ve distinguished themselves over the course of a career in creativity – people recognised for their professional achievements, but equally valued for their vision, admired for their passion and trusted for their integrity.”
Juries will convene in Cannes during the Festival for 11 days in total to review, debate and decide the fate of an anticipated 40,000 entries - a process that Thomas describes as challenging, inspiring and important to the future of the industry.

Microsoft Releases A Preview Of Project Spartan

For fans of the operating system, this is great news. Microsoft’s latest browser, Project Spartan, is keeping its promise so far.

On Monday Microsoft releases a new build of Windows 10 Technical Preview, with the number designation of 10049. In our hands-on, it’s definitely lightweight—if only because there isn’t much there yet at this early stage.

Spartan offers several improvements over Internet Explorer: lightweight browsing; support for plugins; the ability to mark up a Web page; scrawling comments using digital ink; a new reading mode; and the integration of Cortana, who serves as a personal assistant while browsing.

"This build is pretty much all about Project Spartan, so we hope you enjoy getting your hands on it for the first time. As with all other new features we’ve introduced, we have a ton of work left to do with Spartan so expect to see some bugs and rough edges in this first preview. As always, we look forward to hearing your feedback via the Windows Feedback App", says Brandon LeBlanc, Senior Marketing Communications Manager on the Marketing Group, Microsoft.

MTN Uganda awards outstanding women

The winners of the 2015 edition of MTN Women in Business Awards received a work trip to South Africa to meet the biggest SME and learn from them, MTN office Wi-Fi for six months, USD 10,000 from the Y'ello Rose program, CUG activation and free subscription for six months, five MTN Fixed lines, and one year hosting at MTN Uganda's Mutundwe data centre.

They also received advertising space for three months on NTV, free business advisory services from the Uganda Development Bank and a free strategic plan review for sustainable growth, and a 50 percent discount on adverts in Summit Business Magazine.
MTN CEO Brian Gouldie (L), Senior Presidential Advisor on Economy Maria Kiwanuka (3rd Left), MTN CMO Mapula Bodibe (2nd R) and GM MTN Business Reggie Kafeero (R) pose for a photo with winners
Other winners, who walked away with accolades at a dinner held at Serena Hotel Saturday night, were Lindsay Handler, the owner of Fenix International who took the MTN Women in Business Award for Excellence in Financial Services Award. The award recognises the Company's outstanding use of the company's Financial services (Mobile Money) proposition to grow her business to greater heights.

The third Award went to Kembambazi Sabiti the proprietor of Amadeus Travel Company in the Category of MTN Business Excellence in ICT. Amadeus Travel Company was recognised for its outstanding use of MTN Business ICT proposition to grow her business to greater heights.

Banks Won’t Charge Customers For BVN Cards – NIBSS

As bank customers intensify efforts to enroll for the Bank Verification Number (BVN), the managing director of the Nigeria Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS), Mr Ade Shonubi, has said that they would not be charged for the BVN cards that would be issued to them after they have completed their registration.

The BVN is an initiative aimed at protecting bank customers and further strengthening the Nigerian banking system. It is an initiative of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), in conjunction with the Bankers’ Committee meant to address the safety of customers’ funds, avoid losses through compromise of personal identification numbers and other criminal activities in the industry.

The NIBSS boss, who is responsible for the implementation of the BVN, explained that “We are giving the BVN cards out for free. The cost is borne by the Bankers’ Committee, which considers the whole biometric project very important. They have been bearing the cost; the cost of the cards, cost of almost everything else that has to do with the BVN.”

Shonubi, who noted that the number of bank customers that have so far obtained their BVN has been quite encouraging, said that going by the current high level of compliance by customers, he was optimistic that banks will achieve their targets of customer registration.

Win In The Kaymu Easter Egg Off Contest!!!

Wouldn’t it be great to win N10,000 worth of airtime to call family and friends this season, just for designing your own Easter egg?! challenges you to the Easter Egg Off Contest for the chance to win 10,000 worth of airtime.

To be part of this, follow these steps:
·        1.  Upload a picture of your creatively designed Easter egg on Instagram.
·         2. Follow and tag @KaymuNigeria on Instagram with the hashtag #KaymuEasterEggOff
·         3. Get your friends to follow @KaymuNigeria and like the picture of your egg.
The competition kicks off on Tuesday 31st of March and ends on Sunday 5th of April 2015.

FUN TIP: Eggs are easily designed when boiled!

Unilever Partners Cannes Lions on Global Marketing tech start-up Search

Unilever Foundry and Lions Innovation have partnered to launch “Foundry 50 at Cannes” – a search for the world’s top 50 marketing technology startups that are innovating to help brands better connect, engage and relate with people.

The Foundry 50 will be chosen by a panel of experts, including Founders Forum serial entrepreneur and co-founder Brent Hoberman, start up accelerator Collider co-founder Rose Lewis, Lions Innovation head Rob Dembitz, Karmarama group executive and creative director Caitlin Ryan, Unilever Ventures head Olivier Garel and Unilever senior VP global marketing Marc Mathieu.

Each winning startup will receive a ticket, including accommodation, to the inaugural Lions Innovation - a unique, new two-day event that brings together the worlds of data, technology and ideas during the 62nd annual Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.

At the event, to be held on 25 – 26 June, startups will have the unique opportunity to speed-date with industry leaders, pitch on the Unilever demo platform and introductions to organisations attending Cannes Lions Innovation.

HEINEKEN USA Appoints Ronald den Elzen As CEO

HEINEKEN USA has appointed the current Managing Director of HEINEKEN Portugal, Ronald den Elzen as its new Chief Executive Officer, succeeding Dolf van den Brink who will be the new CEO of Cuauhtemoc Moctezuma/HEINEKEN Mexico.

The appointment will take effect from July 1st, 2015.

Van den Brink has been with HEINEKEN for 17 years. During his six year tenure at HEINEKEN USA, he led a successful turnaround of the business, restoring top line growth and driving consistent market share gains. In his new role, van den Brink will lead Cuauhtemoc Moctezuma/HEINEKEN Mexico, HEINEKEN's largest operating company.

With over 16,000 employees, a high performance culture, a clear innovation agenda and strong brands such as Heineken, Tecate and Dos Equis, van den Brink will help CM/HEINEKEN Mexico achieve its vision of becoming the leading brewer in Mexico.

Symphos 2015: The Third Symphos, Sustainable Agriculture on Focus

The OCP Group is planning its third "International Symposium on Innovation and Technology in the Phosphate Industry" (Symphos) from the 18th to 20th of May 2015 in Marrakesh. This technological and scientific event focuses on innovation, technology and current trends in processes to upgrade phosphates and derivatives, as well as research and development prospects in the phosphate sector.

Following the success of the two previous events held in 2011 and 2013, Symphos 2015 will be the place to be for major international players in the phosphates and phosphate derivatives industry. A wide range of scientific subjects, phosphate innovations and the use of advanced technology for sustainable agriculture will be discussed during Symphos 2015.

Renowned international experts will take part of this event to contribute to, and to benefit from its various programmes. It is also an opportunity for these experts to share the results of their researches, and of their different projects. There will be also debate sessions organised by a high-level international and technical committee.

Symphos will be also open to biotechnology, fertilizers of tomorrow and to "slow & - controlled releases". As well as a forum to share ideas and to discuss sustainable development topics including water & energy management, industry-related challenges, and the development of innovative processes and sustainable agriculture.

First Bank named best retail bank

First Bank of Nigeria Limited has been named “The Best Retail Bank in Nigeria” at the just concluded Asian Banker International Excellence in Retail Financial Services Awards in Singapore.

Organised annually by the Asian Banker magazine, the award is renowned for its rigorous and transparent process in selecting outstanding financial institutions in retail banking, the lender said in a statement.

It quoted the Asian Banker as saying that First Bank had continued to dominate the retail space with over 40 per cent of the market share in retail customer deposits, adding that it remained the largest retail lender in the country with more than 20 per cent market share in gross loans, with increased customer and deposit base in 2014.

The bank also saw a 17 per cent cost-to-income ratio, earning a profit of $752,770 in 2014 with total assets amounting to $7.8bn, the statement said.

First Bank was said to have grown its credit cards issuance by 350 per cent in 2014, in addition to launching credit products for individuals and small businesses.

Puma and Italian Football Federation Extend Partnership

Puma has has extended its equipment and licensing deal to its partnership with the Italian Football Federation (FIGC).

The sportwear has been a partner of FIGC since 2003 and remain their official technical supplier of all associated teams in the country.

A statement confirming the agreement said the contract “will entail shared marketing investment allocated to core areas of focus within the FIGC programme including youth development, women’s football, countering racism and the internationalisation of the FIGC brand.”

Puma chief executive Björn Gulden, said: “Extending this long standing partnership with the FIGC is extremely important to Puma and is another key step towards our goal to become the ‘fastest sport brand in the world’.

Unilever Nigeria Launches Re-packaged of Lux Soap

Unilever Nigeria Plc, has launched a re-packaged Lux soap into the Nigerian market with five variants that include Soft Care, Soft Touch and Velvet Touch, among others. It is targeted at helping women get the needed confidence and inspiration that would keep their relationship alive.

According to the company, the launch was informed by the need to assist couples, particularly women, in reigniting the spark in their relationship.

Speaking at the launch held in Lagos, marketing director, Unilever, David Okeme, stated that for a brand that has been in existence for close to a century, it was imperative to continue to re-inventing as this would help maintain the relevance and respect that consumers have for the brand.

He said, “Lux is a brand that is 90 years in the making and had served Nigerian women for the better part of their lives. We believe for such long years of existence, it is important for us to continue to renew it so that it would stay relevant to Nigerian women.

Top 5 Best and 5 Worst Pranks for April Fools Day

On the first of April every year, people around the world celebrate April Fool’s Day. It is a day of light-hearted jokes and pranks on friends and loved ones. Before you play victim to one of your friends pranks, Africa’s No.1 Hotel Booking Website has layed out five of the best pranks for you to play and five of the worst pranks so you know what to expect.

Once a year you get to play a prank and get away with it so make the best of this friendly holiday and try one of our best...or worst pranks.


1. Water Trapped

Put your hand palm-down on a table and balance a full glass of water on the back of your hand. Challenge your friend to try balancing a glass of water on both palms. Help him put one glass of water on the back of one hand and another glass of water on the back of the other hand then walk away. They will be stuck there with no other option but to spill the water to escape.

2. Onion Candy

Get a set of small sized onions and clean the outer skin. Cover the onions in caramel and wait for it to dry. Serve the caramel covered onions in a tray with toothpicks for snacking. Your victim will think they are chocolate delights but be surprised to find out that they’re just onions.

Rwanda to initiate One Digital ID per Child Program

Rwandan students learn computer skills on Intel classmate PC. Source: Intel
Following partnerships with major ICT corporations such as Intel and Positivo BGH, the Rwandan government is transforming its One Laptop per Child program into a One Digital ID per Child Program.

The program is in line with the effort of the government to transform education into a student centric system enabled by technology.

Rwanda’s Minister of Education Silas Lwakabamba said: “We are currently working on a holistic ICT for education master plan which includes four pillars such as upgrading of school infrastructure that involves access to the network and also access to devices, the development and acquisition of digital content, the training of teachers and students to be able to use the devices and also access the digital content, and the maintenance of the devices.”

Lwakabamba said: “With connectivity more and more available and major cloud solutions being implemented by companies like Microsoft, an opportunity is unvailed for students to share the device and through a login and password process.”

Philips Launches Electrician Loyalty Scheme in Ghana

Philips Lighting West Africa headquartered in Ghana has launched an Electrician loyalty scheme, the first of its kind in the country.

The mutually beneficial scheme is intended to empower and reward electricians across the country for their patronage of Philips’ quality products and lighting solutions.

The event was officially launched by Philips Lighting West Africa’s General Manager, Mr. Felix Darko, the event was also graced by over 200 Electricians working in different sectors of the economy, eager to be part of the scheme that would add value to their businesses.

He acknowledged the important role electricians play in every sphere of the lives of Ghanaians – at homes, offices, business or in Government establishments and related projects – in ensuring that good quality products are used for installation.

Mr. Darko spoke about Philips’ leadership role in the lighting segment and how it has diligently delivered good quality lighting products over the past one hundred plus years.

Experts blame social media for high divorce rate in UAE

The UAE during 2011-2013 recorded the highest divorce rate in the region. With more than 12,000 divorce cases within the three years and experts believe the embracement of social network is one of the major reasons for the high rate.

Figures by the National Statistics Centre for 2011-2013 showed there were 12,279 divorces and more than a third of them were recorded in 2013, with 4,233 cases.

During that year, divorces between Emirati couples stood at 1,749 and Abu Dhabi emirate, the largest and richest member of the UAE, accounted for nearly 71 per cent, with 810 cases, according to the report.

According to a report, published in the Dubai-based Emarat Al Youm daily, Dubai had the second highest rate with 355 cases, followed by Sharjah with 224 cases.

The publication quoted the experts as saying authorities should act to tackle this serious problem, which has made the UAE one of the countries having the highest divorce rates in the world relative to its native population.

Emirates Airline Offers Free Wi-Fi to Passengers

Now it’s free to blog, post or tweet from your seat on Emirates. The Dubai airline is now offers free Wi-Fi on 106 of its aircraft, with two to three more aircraft being installed with Wi-Fi connectivity every month. After updating the service in early February with a simpler sign-on process on top of other software updates, Emirates has seen a further 25% increase in uptake.

Emirates continues to invest over US$20 million annually on installing and operating inflight connectivity systems which enable onboard Wi-Fi services. On Emirates’ ultra long-haul flights (over 14 hours), over 30% of passengers typically use Wi-Fi services, and on a recent flight to New York, 66% of passengers used onboard Wi-Fi.

Currently, Wi-Fi service is available on all of Emirates’ 59 Airbus A380 aircraft and 47 of its Boeing 777 aircraft. On over 60% of the installed fleet, *the first 10MB data is free – sufficient for an update on social media accounts or texting via instant messaging apps. Thereafter, and for the rest of the fleet, users can enjoy 500MB of data for a token $US 1 charge. By giving either free access or charging a token amount since last October, Emirates has seen a near fivefold increase in usage.

Besides offering Wi-Fi connectivity on all A380 flights, Emirates is in the process of converting all of its Boeing 777-300ERs and 777-200LRs to become Wi-Fi ready at the rate of two-to-three aircraft per month.

Monday 30 March 2015

PZ Cussons to merge two subsidiaries

Cussons Nigeria Plc is undertaking a major corporate restructuring aimed at streamlining its operations and curtailing costs.

Regulatory filing showed that the Board of Directors has resolved to embark on a corporate restructuring with a view to simplifying the company’s structure and operations.

The restructuring involves business combination of two of PZ Cussons Nigeria’s subsidiaries – PZ Power and PZ Tower with the parent company. The business combination would be effected through a scheme of arrangement.

According to the conglomerate, the restructuring would lead to reduction in administrative costs while simultaneously improving operational efficiency.

However, the proposed merger will be subject to the receipt of the appropriate approvals from the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal High Court.

Who Will Be Premier League Next Title Sponsor?

Premier League title sponsors Barclays will not renew its £40million-a-year deal when the current partnership comes to an end next year.

The bank agreed a £120m three-year deal in 2012 for the rights - an increase of almost 50% on its previous £82m contract – having sponsored the competition since 2001.

It is rumoured that the likes of Guinness, Ford and Mastercard are among a pack of blue-chip companies supposedly considering bids for the title sponsorship. 

Why Nigerian airports remain uncertified

Indications emerged at the weekend that none of the nation’s airports had been certified more than 35 years after they were built because they were yet to meet requirements stipulated by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA). The reasons why the nation’s airports remained uncertified came on a day the President, National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies, (NANTA), Alhaji Aminu Agoha, said that the recent devaluation of the naira has led to a slight drop in the number of people travelling within or outside the country.

New Telegraph gathered that the items on the checklist had to do with two major issues – security and safety, which have not been complied with to get the classification and regulation they require. The security aspect has to do with control of access to the airport’s sterile areas or airside and the security of other major points such as the catering departments, boarding gates, check-in points and perimeter fencing.

The safety feature, on the other hand, involves the runway light, taxiway light, approach light, fire station and airport emergency response system, among others. Equally worrisome is the rot in the nation’s aviation sector that experts said may have found deep expression in the assessed parlous infrastructural facilities bedeviling the gateways over the years, with little succour coming from the much publicised remodeling scheme.

Source: New Telegraph | By Wole Shadare 
For complete report, click link original report 

Wolverine 3: Hugh Jackman Last Wolverine Appearance?

Having played Wolverine seven times since Bryan Singer’s original X-Men film in 2000, Actor Hugh Jackman has hinted that he will be bowing out of the Marvel comic book franchise after the third Wolverine film.

In an Instagram post from yesterday, the 46-year-old Australian star posted a photo of his right hand with the famous adamantium claws and the caption: “WOLVERINE…ONE LAST TIME. HJ.”

It’s unclear if “ONE LAST TIME” means one last time after the upcoming X-Men: Apocalypse—there has been no official word on whether Jackman will appear in that film

Wolverine 3 will be written by David James Kelly and released by 20th Century Fox. The film will be released by March 3, 2017.

Social Media: Musicians Unite Behind Jay Z On Tidal Relaunch

On Sunday night, Madonna, Beyoncé, Kanye West, Rihanna, and Nicki Minaj turned their social media profiles blue in a PR stunt for Tidal, Jay Z’s Tidal music streaming service.

Coldplay, Jack White and Deadmau5 also joined the list of all-star muscians that also supported the music streaming service.

The artists all using the same #TIDALforALL hashtag and changing their profile pictures to display the streaming service's signature color: a striking shade of cyan.

The site re-launches on Monday, promising CD-quality streaming and thousands of music videos, for a subscription fee.

The superstar rapper Jay-Z acquired the outfit for $56 million.

GRAMMY Foundation Grant Program Awards More Than $200,000 For Music Research And Sound Preservation

The GRAMMY Foundation Grant Program announced today that more than $200,000 in grants will be awarded to 14 recipients in the United States to help facilitate a range of research on a variety of subjects, as well as support a number of archiving and preservation programs.

Research projects include a study that will investigate the impact of listening to music and how it is associated with emotional regulation in service members with post-traumatic stress disorder, and a study that will research a musical biofeedback-based intervention for epilepsy.

Preservation and archiving initiatives include the assessment of Halim Abdel Messieh El-Dabh's life's work in electronic music production as well as a project preserving comedy pioneer Lenny Bruce's personal tapes. A complete list of grant awards and projects is below. The deadline each year for submitting letters of inquiry is Oct. 1. Guidelines and the letter of inquiry form for the 2016 cycle will be available beginning May 1 at

"The Recording Academy is proud to provide the financial support for our GRAMMY Foundation's longstanding Grant Program," said Neil Portnow, President/CEO of The Recording Academy® and the GRAMMY Foundation. "Not only have we awarded more than $6 million to more than 300 worthwhile initiatives over the course of this program, but we have funded such a diverse and outstanding group of grantees and significant projects that the Foundation has become a driving philanthropic force in the fields of archiving, preservation and scientific research."

NIM Inducts New Members

The Nigerian Institute of Management (NIM) on Wednesday, 25 March inducted another batch of its National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) graduate members at a splendid event held at the Multipurpose Hall C of the University of Lagos.

The induction ceremony formally admitted the corps members into the professional body as graduate members of NIM.

Speaking at the occasion, the NIM’s President and Chairman of Council, Dr. Nelson Uwaga, charged the inductees to be responsibile as managers and to let their new portfolio reflect in their attitude to work, the institute and the nation.

He said the inductees are expected to show commitment in upholding the standards enshrined in the codeas professional managers, as they have become ambassadors of the institute with unique behaviour in the values of the institute. “As a professional manager you are an ambassador of the institute with unique behavior in the values we share; integrity, transparency, responsibility, accountability, equity, fairness, efficiency and effectiveness”, he said.

Brand Extension: Dangote Cement Kicks Off Operations in Senegal, Cameroun

Dangote Cement has recorded significant strides in its African expansion project as the cement company’s new plants in Senegal and Cameroun commenced operations. Dangote Cement plants in Ethiopia and Zambia are expected to start production next month even as the company recorded a profit of N159 billion in the year ended December 2014.

The new Senegalese plant, located in Pout district, about 75 kilometers from Dakar, the country’s capital, expected to create more than 1,000 jobs, with a total production capacity of 1.5 million tons annually.

With the new plant, the company hopes to improve the country’s cement production capacity with an additional 1.5million tons, while serving an export market demand of two million tons along the Mali axis.

Country Head, Dangote Industries, Senegal, Luk Haelterman disclosed that the Group has invested about $300 million in the cement plant, adding that actual production and sales started on January 10, 2015.

He said ’in this country, Dangote will not only stop at producing cement, we also have helped beyond cement. Which is the idea of the owner, to become a pan-African enterprise.Senegal is a market with over-capacity of cement, because it had two cement factories before now. But today, Dangote has become the biggest and best because we have and produce the 42.5R only, which is better than what we met on ground, which is the 32.5R’.

Meet The Worlds Most Powerful Girl - Zuriel Oduwole

Its Official !! Earlier this month, ELLE Magazine Canada released its annual list it tags "33 Women Who Affected The World" in 2014 in its current March 2015 edition, now on shelves. There are more than 2 and half Billion women in the world. Some on the critically impressive list include the Federal Reserve Chairperson - Janet Yellen, The President of General Motors Worldwide - Mary Ibarra, ABC Producer Shonda Rhimes [all accomplished women], and then in number 21 is 12 year old Zuriel Oduwole.

She was listed because of her many programs last year between the ages of 11 and 12; speaking with hundreds of children in Ethiopia and the UK about Education, inviting First Ladies from across Africa to talk Girls Education, taking 2 Footballs across 6 countries on 3 continents during the FIFA world cup to make the education topic exciting, launching a hand hygiene campaign for children during the Ebola crisis, and then premiering her first movie for the big screen, making her the youngest film maker in the world today.

All that between school work, playing, doing chores, doing science projects, sleeping, eating, and just being a regular 12 year old - Right?

In class at Ashesi University
In the last 2 weeks alone, she has premiered her documentary in 2 more countries [South Africa and Ghana], been welcomed to SA by the countries Deputy Tourism Minister [Xosa], spoken to hundreds of children in Soweto, appeared on CNBC & 8 other TV and radio platforms, addressed students at the University of Pretoria, presented her annual Gender Minister award to Ghana's Hon Nana Oye Lithur, presented awards at the annual South Africa Film & TV Awards event, spoken to hundreds of children in Accra about education, attended a class at Ashesi University, and held a private meeting with President Jerry Rawlings in Accra.

Friday 27 March 2015

All Set For Mobile World Congress Shanghai 2015

All is set for the Mobile World Congress Shanghai 2015 that will be held on July 15 to 17 at the Shanghai New International Expo Center.

The event will celebrate the amazing possibilities that mobile brings us.

The conference will attract top industry professionals and mobile-passionate consumers alike to experience the future of Mobile Unlimited. Previously known as Mobile Asia Expo, this year's conference will focus on the mobile technologies that are constantly changing the world we live in.

From connected cars and wearable tech to mobile payments and smarter cities, mobile is revolutionizing and enhancing every aspect of our lives. Don't miss the opportunity to network, experience and debate the exciting future of mobile technologies in Shanghai this year! 

Rebels wanted! Star Wars Rebels™: Recon Missions now in the Windows Store

Ever since Disney purchased the licence for "Star Wars," "Star Wars" has continuously made the headlines.

Star Wars Rebels: Recon Missions game is now available for download from Windows Phone Store. You will battle against the Empire as Ezra Bridger, the street-smart hero, and dodge TIE fighters.

With in-app purchases, wield a Lightsaber™, fight Star Wars™ bosses, drive an AT-DP, and unlock 30 more levels and 50+ unique challenges.  Customize and expand a secret Rebel Haven where heroes can hide out and rescue citizens.  And, interact with characters like Zeb the muscle of the Ghost team, Hera the pilot, and even Chopper the grumpy Droid™. 

Accra Edition of Monopoly Board Game Launched

World’s largest toy and game manufacturer Hasbro has launched the Accra edition of Monopoly, leading to the partnership between Bestman Games and Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts in the development of the Accra edition of Monopoly. This was revealed during a press conference at the African Regent Hotel on Wednesday 25th March 2015.

To attract Ghanaians, Bestman is offering Ghanaians the oppoutunity to say what they want the game board to a made up off - giving them the chance to vote which landmarks in Accra can be featured on the boardgame now named MONOPOLY:Accra Editon Board.

There will be a special Facebook page for "Accra MONOPOLY" where suggestions and votes can be registered.

The Chief Executive Officer of Bestman Games Nimi Akinkugbe speaking at the launch said Accra, the capital city of Ghana is the second African country to have its own customized edition of the local board game.

Cityscape Global Real Estate Summit 2015 to hold in September

Cityscape Global Real Estate Summit 2015, will be taking place at the prestigious Dubai World Trade Center in the UAE from September 8 to 10, 2015.

The Summit is the only conference in the region that offers detailed insight into the global real estate market, whilst also providing unparalleled on-the-ground analysis of local and regional Middle East markets.

As the most established real estate investment and development conference in the region, Cityscape Global Real Estate Summit 2015 is your chance to network with leading industry peers, obtain insights on investment strategies, secure partners and business contacts worldwide in order to improve your success!

FIFA and the European Club Association extend collaboration agreement

Recognising the importance of clubs’ contribution to global football structures, FIFA and the European Club Association (ECA) are pleased to announce an extension to their collaboration agreement, which was established for the first time for the 2010 FIFA World Cup™.

The extended agreement, which was signed by FIFA President Blatter, FIFA Secretary General Jérôme Valcke and ECA Chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, aims to further enhance consideration of club football interests at FIFA level.

The FIFA President welcomes the agreement, which addresses a series of areas for stronger integration between international and club football, stating that with it, “we are taking a huge step forward in promoting relations between FIFA and the clubs in a spirit of mutual and constructive cooperation”.

Part of the agreement governs the distribution of benefits generated by the FIFA World Cup™ to the clubs. Based on the model developed for the 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cups™, a total of USD 209 million will be distributed among the clubs releasing players to the participating teams in the 2018 FIFA World Cup™. The same amount has been agreed for the 22nd edition to be staged in Qatar in 2022.

China, Africa Explore Opportunities for Collaboration on Health Care for All

More than 350 health leaders from China and Africa — including government officials, academics, and representatives from the private sector and international organizations — convened in Beijing this week at the 5th International Roundtable on China-Africa Health Collaboration. 

The meeting explored how Chinese and African resources and experiences can be leveraged to mutually support greater health development.

Today, meeting participants officially published the Beijing Policy Recommendations, a document outlining how intercontinental cooperation can be strengthened to drive sustainable impact, with a focus on the theme, “Contributing to Universal Health Coverage, Expanding Access to Essential Medicines.”

Drawing on decades of joint health efforts, the Policy Recommendations called for deepened dialogue between Chinese, African and international stakeholders, increased investments in health, and alignment with African regional and national strategies. The Recommendations emphasized commitments to a variety of issues including universal health coverage (UHC) and access to safe, high-quality drugs and vaccines, as well as the need for improved government accountability through better monitoring and evaluation.

Samsung re-signs as Regional Partner for Generations For Peace

Samsung, the global technology giant and TOP Partner of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), have renewed its regional partnership with Generations For Peace for the eighth year running.

Samsung has renewed its commitment to Generations For Peace - the only peace-through-sport organisation officially recognised by the IOC - based on the organisations’ shared values and the success of Generations For Peace programmes in the region, which use unique sport-based games as a powerful vehicle for education, behaviour change and youth development.

The support is part of Samsung’s globally-respected Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programme “Hope For Children”.

Expressing Samsung’s commitment to Generations For Peace, Mr. Bumsuk Hong, President of Samsung Electronics Levant said, “Since 2008, our partnership with Generations For Peace has been driven by our shared interest in social development through sport and education, and our shared focus on innovation, quality, impact and sustainability. We have been especially impressed with Generations For Peace’s recent ranking at #32 in the ‘Top 500 NGOs in the World’, and the results being achieved by empowering youth leaders and teachers to reduce violence, promoting tolerance and responsible citizenship in their communities and schools.”

Guinness Nigeria MD Promises Continued Partnership

Managing Director/CEO of Guinness Nigeria Plc, the nation’s leading brewer, Mr. John O’Keeffe, during his first official outing since resuming office paid a courtesy visit to the management of the Nigerian Stock Exchange and was given the honour of ringing the closing gong to bring trading activities to a close for the day.

Mr O’Keeffe who made the visit with members of his Executive leadership team said that the visit was appropriate because of the long standing partnership that the two institutions have shared. “Guinness has a long and rich history in Nigeria and with the NSE having first listed here in 1965 and today being one of the top listed companies on the platform. I am aware of this great partnership and I and my executive team are committed to doing all that we can to continue this partnership to our mutual benefit.”

During the visit, Mr O’Keeffe used the opportunity to share his strategic plans towards enhancing operational efficiencies and maximising shareholder value for Guinness Nigeria. He discussed the depth of investment that Guinness Nigeria and its parent company, Diageo Plc have made in the Nigerian economy, including a N52b investment into increasing capacity launched in 2011 and recently completed at two of the organisations plants in Lagos and Benin. He went on to add that this level of investment was testament to the belief of the organisation in the potential of the Nigerian economy. “As well as extensive investments in the economy, we are investing behind our core brands like Guinness, Harp and Malta Guinness and are always looking for fresh new innovations to bring to market to meet the needs of our esteemed consumers.”

Mr. O’Keeffe also spoke about the company’s strength in innovation. Diageo is well known globally for its track record of successful innovation. “About 18 months ago, we launched Orijin, which is made using natural herbs and fruits. The brand only uses natural sugar and contains no artificial sweeteners, unlike some of its competitors in the market which have as part of their ingredients at least two artificial sweeteners. It is the original and biggest bitters brand in the market and I am not surprised that discerning Nigerian consumers have embraced it. I wish to assure our consumers that they can expect more of such innovation from our stable in the near future”.

AIG Unveils Internship Opportunities For UNILAG Students

Students of the University of Lagos (UNILAG) can now apply for internship opportunities at some of Africa Internet Group (AIG) companies in Nigeria which includes Carmudi, Jovago and Kaymu. This announcement was made at TEDxUnilag tagged ‘Breaking Through the Box’ .

Christian Keller, Managing Director Carmudi Nigeria announces the internship opportunities available in Carmudi, Jovago and Kaymu. He said ‘This partnership with the TEDxUnilag event and the internship offer is part of Carmudi’s efforts to create a well balanced team of talented, dynamic and highly motivated leaders. This internship will provide the interns the opportunity to learn firsthand what it’s like to work with an online company startup company.”

Oluwatosin Adeshokan TEDxUnilag founder and organizing committee member said “we put together this event to offer the Unilag community an opportunity to share its passion and ideas with communities in Lagos and the world”.

The independently produced event, operated under a license from TED, was organized by community volunteers and is aimed at creating dialogue as well as giving people a forum to share their passions, ideas and experiences. The event is sponsored by Jovago, Carmudi, and Kaymu among others.

PEP Stores Donates over N20 million Items to Orphanages

In line with its Corporate Social Responsibility thrust, PEP Stores Nigeria, a multinational retail company that specializes in clothing, home wears, footwears, as well as other fast moving consumer goods, reached out to three orphanages – Beth Torry Home for the mentally handicapped, Little Saint Orphanage and Hearth of Gold Hospice – by renovating their buildings and donating items worth over 20 million naira.

The company spent about N1.5Million in fixing doors and furniture at Little Saint branches in Egbeda, Ogudu and Abole and Heart of Gold in Surulere while it donated items (Clothing & Foot wear) valued at about N11.5 Million to Little Saints Orphanage, Lagos and another N6.8 Million worth of items to Beth Torry Home for the mentally handicapped.

According to Mr. Deon Conradie, general manager, PEP Stores Nigeria, said the donations to the orphanages and the renovations was in line with the company’s strong belief in giving back to the society in which it operates as a socially responsible corporate citizen. “This Corporate Social Responsibility initiative is part of our brand’s DNA. PEP believes in giving back to the communities it serves and each PEP region is empowered to give back to the communities at a local level,” he said.

He also revealed that the renovation of the three orphanages was carried out at a value of about N1.5 million. “To achieve this, we worked in partnership with Cussun Generators to pool our limited resources together to fix the roofs of some of the homes and we have also started a vegetable growing programme and provide Physiotherapy visits to these homes,” he added.

Colgate introdces new toothpaste brand in Nigeria

A leading global brand, Colgate Palmolive has brought into the market Colgate Maximum Cavity Protection plus Sugar Acid Neutraliser.

The toothpaste is described as the first and only family toothpaste with a unique sugar acid neutraliser technology and fluoride.

Speaking during the media briefing in Lagos, Colgate Marketing Director EWA, Mr. Chris Hall said the new Colgate toothpaste is a major breakthrough in the treatment and prevention of cavities, noting that with regular twice daily use, the product which contains Sugar Acid Neutraliser formula works to neutralize harmful acids that are formed by bacteria from sugar, to reduce early caries. He said the product also strengthens and restores enamel to help prevent cavity formation.

“Colgate Maximum Cavity Protection plus Sugar Acid Neutraliser toothpaste has been demonstrated in various clinical studies to be more effi cacious at reducing cavities than conventional toothpaste with fl uoride alone,” Mr. Hall said.

Adidas unveils strategic plan to boost growth until 2020

On Thursday at its Investor Day held in Germany, the Adidas Group unveiled its new strategic business plan until the year 2020, which aims at further accelerating growth by significantly increasing brand desirability.

"This is expected to spur top- and bottom-line growth, with revenues projected to increase at a high-single-digit rate on average per year on a currency-neutral basis until 2020 compared to the expected 2015 results,” Adidas said in a statement.
Herbert Hainer, Adidas CEO
The Group’s net income is expected to grow at a considerably higher rate than the top line and is projected to expand by around 15% on average in each of the next five years.

The company also said it will pay 30 percent to 50 percent of profit in dividends, up from a previous range of 20 percent to 40 percent.

"We are living in a fast-changing world. Only what is new is relevant to the consumer. Therefore, we have to relentlessly focus on ‘creating the new’ for our consumers, Herbert Hainer, Adidas CEO said in the statement by the sportwear company. "And we have to constantly re-invent ourselves as an organisation to lead the change in our industry. Going forward, speed will be a key competitive advantage for us as we transform the adidas Group into the first true fast sports company".

Google Appoints New Chief Financial Officer

Ruth Porat
Tech giant, Google Inc. has announced that Ruth Porat, currently Chief Financial Officer at Morgan Stanley, will join its management team as CFO.

Ruth will start at Google as CFO on May 26, reporting to Google CEO and Co-Founder, Larry Page.

The finance bigwig will reportedly get nearly $71 million in salary and stock grants in her new role.

“We’re tremendously fortunate to have found such a creative, experienced and operationally strong executive,” said Larry Page. “I look forward to learning from Ruth as we continue to innovate in our core--from search and ads, to Android, Chrome and YouTube--as well as invest in a thoughtful, disciplined way in our next generation of big bets. Finally, huge thanks to Patrick Pichette for his seven super successful years as CFO”.

"I’m delighted to be returning to my California roots and joining Google,” said Ruth Porat. “Growing up in Silicon Valley, during my time at Morgan Stanley and as a member of Stanford’s Board, I’ve had the opportunity to experience first hand how tech companies can help people in their daily lives. I can’t wait to roll up my sleeves and get started.”

The Top 7 Insight From February's Social Media Week

With February’s edition of Social Media Week 2015 all wrapped up, we’ll look at the highlights from around the globe. Here’s our top insights from 1,000+ events during Social Media Week in February.


One of the most popular events during SMW Bangalore covered social strategy integrated with email marketing, which explored a future where social media experiences will be specifically connected to your email inbox. Visiting a brand’s Facebook page or interacting with a Facebook post will eventually trigger a hyper-targeted email, and while it sounds like a complicated practice, if executed properly, can transform a businesses’ newsletter methodology and efficiency.1908364_932565013429785_5083115604307534975_n
The top-rated event from SMW Copenhagen discussed the Internet of Things (IoT), and how this will impact social media for businesses and individuals. IoT is young, it is powerful, and it is the future. If This Than Than (IFTTT) is a diet-version, connecting users’ social networks to one another. But the IoT potential is much greater. Imagine your air conditioner turning on once you unlock your front door, or your refrigerator ordering your groceries for you after it recognizes you’ve run out of items. There are countless possibilities for consumer convenience, and company integration.Screen Shot 2015-03-12 at 6.58.21 PM

Fire Outbreak: "No Life Lost, Fire Contained", Ascon Oil Management says

The fire incident at Ascon Oil filling station at Lekki Phase 1 this afternoon has been contained. Contrary to earlier speculations, the main building and the reservoirs are unaffected.

According to a statement by the company, the incident emanated from a discharge at the point of offloading product from a tanker, engulfing two tankers and some vehicles parked by the road side.

"Ascon Oil has always taken safety of lives and property seriously that was why they took the measure of building their discharge point away from the station's main activity.

"It was an accident compounded by the current fuel scarcity in the country with ASCON OIL being one of the few stations with a reliable steady supply even in times of scarcity", ", part of the statement reads.

No life was lost to the incident, the pumps are intact and emergency fire service officers were already on site containing the flames as at the time of this report.

Thursday 26 March 2015

Twitter launches Periscope, a Meerkat-like live video streaming app

On Thursday, Twitter introduced Periscope, an app which allows people to stream live video from their smartphones directly to their followers.

The app is a direct competitor to Meerkat, which launched in February.

Periscope is an app which was acquired by Twitter in January for a reported $100m (£67.2m) and launches today for iPhone with an Android version in the works. The app works in much the same way as Meerkat in that it allows users to stream live video and automatically notify all their Twitter followers when a stream kicks off.

However, unlike Meerkat, Periscope will allow those who may have missed the live broadcast to replay the stream at a later date with the videos viewable on your iPhone or on the web. While it may seem like a minor feature, the ability to replay streams will likely be the main selling point of Periscope.

Add to this the fact that this is a Twitter-owned app and Periscope is likely to quickly overtake Meerkat and become the de facto live video streaming service for Twitter users.