Global – CNN and Nokia Announce International Partnership


Nokia and CNN have announced an international partnership whereby the handset manufacturer will become part of CNN’s roster of mapping providers, delivering mapping services to its international news network.

The collaboration harnesses the companies’ strengths in global newsgathering, user-generated content, mapping technologies, and location-based services. The collaboration debuted with the use of Nokia’s 3D Maps across CNN’s platforms in its recent coverage of the British royal wedding.

Nokia Ovi Maps 3D

“This collaboration is a great fit for us as both companies share a similar philosophy on connecting people beyond borders through the combination of compelling news content and highly sophisticated technology,” said Tony Maddox, Managing Director, CNN International. “The international scale of each of our businesses makes the scope of the collaboration particularly exciting.”

“Nokia and CNN share the belief that news is now mobile, powerfully democratic, and can immediately be shared by people around the world,” said DeVard, Chief Marketing Officer, Nokia, in the press release.

“We are pleased that CNN wants to use Nokia’s innovative mapping services for its international news platforms, and we are excited to work with CNN to deliver a compelling news service to users of Nokia phones.”

The collaboration also includes the CNN App for Nokia which provides mobile access to CNN’s world, business, sport, entertainment and technology reporting, as well as live streaming video.  The app also allows users to share CNN’s news via their own social channels, and participate in the reporting process with direct access to CNN’s participatory news community, iReport. The CNN App for Nokia is available in Ovi Store.

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Accra Wi-Fi Map Launched


On September 2, 2009; I was inspired by Rebecca Wanjiku’s article; Free Wi-Fi hotspot locator in Nairobi to also write on Free Wi-Fi Hotspots In Accra which pointed out the various FREE Wi-Fi spots in Accra about 2-years ago.

This morning, one of my tech and social media mentors; Erik Hersman shared the link to the Nairobi Wi-Fi map which made me decide on creating and developing the Wi-Fi Map for Accra.

The site is designed and built on the Crowdmap platform by the Ushahidi Team from Kenya. Its allows you to

  • Collect information from cell phones, news and the web.
  • Aggregate that information into a single platform.
  • Visualize it on a map and time-line.

Accra Wi-fi Map

Accra Wi-Fi Hotspot map will provide data on all Wi-Fi hotspots located in the heart of Accra. The various categories include:

  • FREE Wi-Fi Hotspots
  • Hotels & Guest Houses With Wi-FI
  • Cyber Cafes & Coffee Shops

I entrust all dwellers, visitors, bloggers and techies in Accra to feed in enough data unto the site. Visit the site: http://accrawifi.crowdmap.com/ and submit a report of all Wi-Fi Hotspot you’ve accessed recently. You can also submit a report by texting to the number: (+233) 262.220.210

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Salif Keita LIVE In Lagos, Nigeria.


Salif Keita - Mali

Internationally recognized afro-pop singer-songwriter from Mali; Salif Keita (known as ‘The Golden Voice of Africa’) would be performing alongside other bands & dancers from Nigeria and Congo at the Oriental Hotel, Lekki/Epe Expressway, Lagos. Nigeria.

Date: Friday, May 6, 2011.

If you are a great fan of Francophone music & Salif Keita, this if for you. Hope to see you there…!

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2 Represent Ghana At Big Brother Africa Amplified


On May 1, 2011; M-net Africa; organizers of this year’s Big Brother Africa Amplified revealed the new 26 young, energetic, talented & adventurous housemates for the season 6 reality show.  Among the 26 house-mates; two Ghanaians; AlexConfidence are presenting Ghana in the competition.

Big Brother Amplified Logo

The competition running 91 days and 24/7 non-stop with a dream prize of USD200 000. The sixth season of Africa’s biggest reality show, according to organizers, will include more drama, emotions, excitement and suspense. Fourteen of the housemates are ‘somewhat’ celebrities in their countries, with careers ranging from radio and television personalities to models and actors.

In my previous post: Big Brother Africa – Season 6 Is On; I made mention how Big Brother Amplified will be showcasing Housemates from 14 countries including:

Angola, Botswana, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

There are two housemates from most countries except Angola and Mozambique, with one housemate each. In total, there are 16 female housemates and 10 male housemates.

Alex - Ghana

Alex – 31-years old Fashion Designer from Accra is pretty sure, Africa would like him whiles in the house. He’s once worked in the fashion district of New York and believes in empowerment of the individual. According to Alex; he wanted to be in Big Brother Africa because he believes he “can bring it home for Ghana”.

Confidence on the other hand is a 37 years old Night Club owner also from Accra, Ghana.  She’s also the CEO of a Multimedia company in Ghana. According to Confidence; she would love to turn out like her role model aunt who, she believes, is “sexy, strong and principled”.

Confidence-Ghana

The rest of the 24 house-mates are:

Ernest & Sharon O – Kampala, Uganda

Vimbai & Wendall – Harare, Zimbabwe

Millicent & Nic – Nairobi, Kenya

“Miss P” – Peo & Zeus: Gaborone, Botswana

Lotus – Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Weza – Luanda, Angola

Michael – Maputo, Mozambique

Karen & Vina – Jos & Lagos, Nigeria respectively

Kim & Mumba – Livingstone & Lusaka; Zambia respectively.

Felicia & Lomwe – Lilongwe & Blantyre Malawi respectively.

Bernadina & Jossy – Keetmanshoop & Windhoek; Namibia respectively.

Luclay  & Nkuli, Cape Town & Johannesburg; South Africa respectively.

Wishing all the house-mates the very best. Meanwhile, you can catch all the action on DStv Channel 198 24/7.

You can follow the discussion on the social media platforms here; e.g. Facebook or on Twitter with the hash-tag: #BBAamplified

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MTN-Ghana, Airtel & Other Major Telecom Organizations Wins Laurel at Ghana Telecoms Awards 2011


Two telecommunications giants, MTN-Ghana and Airtel Ghana shared honors at the maiden edition of the Mobileworld Ghana Telecoms Awards 2011 held at the La Palm Royal Beach Hotel on Friday evening. The two companies won three awards apiece.

MTN-Ghana Logo

MTN-Ghana won:

The Telecom Operator of the Year Award,

The Best Mobile Money Service Company of the Year  and;

The Best Corporate Social Responsibility with its MTN Foundation.

Airtel-Ghana Logo

Airtel-Ghana on the other hand won;

The Best Customer Care Company of the Year,

The Best Marketing Campaign, with the CEO of the company, Mr Phillip Sowah emerging the best telecoms CEO of the year.

Vodafone also won two key awards –

The Wholesale Telecom Company of the Year and the Best Telecom Brand.

Corporate Communications Manager of Vodafone, Mrs. Carmen Bruce-Annan told journalists after the awards ceremony that the latter honour received by her company was the most prestigious of all the awards presented on the night.  That, according to her was because every company’s character and quality of service it delivers to its customers were summed up by its brand. “Without the brand you have nothing,” she emphasized, adding that the award was only a confirmation of a similar one that adjudged Vodafone the 5th largest global brand in the world.

“This is ample proof that we are doing the right things and delivering quality services to our products,” she stated.

Mrs. Bruce-Annan, said despite the award, the company will continue to strive hard to give its customers value for their money.

Prestigious award

In other categories, Helios Towers won the Best Telecommunication Infrastructure Company; Esoko Ghana took home the most Innovative Mobile project of the Year, with Mobile Content Ghana winning the Best Mobile Content Provider of the year.  Mobile phone of the Year went to Samsung while Ericsson won the Vender of the Year award. The Standard Chartered Bank was adjudged the Best Telecom Financing bank of the Year.

Director of the Kofi Annan Center for ICT, Mrs. Dorothy Gordon was honored for her contribution to the ICT & Telecoms sector, while the Communications Minister Haruna Iddrissu was given a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Mr Akin Naphtal, Group Publisher and Chief Executive Officer of Mobileworld; organizers of the awards, said the awards were in recognition of the tremendous contribution of the telecom companies to Ghana’s economy.

It was important to recognize the role of the telecoms in nation building and to encourage and motivate them to contribute more to better the lot of the ordinary Ghanaian, he said.

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Ghana ICT & Telecoms Summit and Best Customer Service Awards 2011


The first ever Ghana ICT & Telecoms Summit and Awards Night takes place in Accra, Ghana from April 28 – 29, 2011 at the Kofi Annan ICT Center and the La Palm Royal Hotel respectively.

Ghana ICT & Telecoms Summit

 About:

Ghana ICT & Telecom Summit 2011 is designed to explore the critical business, service and technology strategies needed to ensure market competitiveness and exploit emerging opportunities for increased growth and profitability in Ghana ICT market.

Keynote presentations, dialogues and round-table discussions will feature C-level executives from the major operators in Ghana including Ministry of Communication, National Communication Authority of Ghana, Information Technology Enabled Services (ITES), and Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communications (GIFEC), as well as government and regulatory authorities, influential institutes and associations.

Selected operators from overseas markets will share first-hand experiences and case studies relevant to Ghana’s broadband development aspirations.

As part of customer’s feedback/response for the Best Customer Service Company category, the organizers of the Awards Night have teamed-up with Ghanaian start-up; NandiMobile who are offering a customized version of it award winning Gripeline service for the purposes of collating votes for the telecoms company in Ghana with the best customer service.

Best Customer Service Awards platform by NandiMobile

Among the different categories, the Best Customer Service Category (bcsc) is the only one open to the general public.

Individuals can vote (i.e. MTN, Expresso, Airtel, TiGO and Vodafone) by sending their choice to 1945 proceeding with the keyword BCSC. e.g. (bcsc Safaricom to short code 1945) where Safaricom is the telecom company’s name.

2 Ghanaians For CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Awards


CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Award 2011

Finalists in the prestigious CNN MultiChoice African Journalist awards for 2011 have been announced by Joel Kibazo, Chair of the independent judging panel. The competition is now in its 16th year and this year, Ghana has two journalists vying for laurels in the prestigious competition.

They are Kofi Akpabli, Freelance for the Daily Graphic and Portia Solomon for TV3 News.  Kofi Akpabli won the prize for Art and Culture in 2010 for his beautiful piece on soups.

Announcing the finalists, Joel Kibazo said:

“African journalists are becoming noticeably more challenging, showing greater courage and strength which would have been unimaginable just a few years ago. Entries this year have demonstrated this – bolder, more determined on their home patch and with a new found zeal to cover countries beyond their own borders.”

This year the competition received entries from 42 countries across the continent, including French and Portuguese speaking Africa. There are 27 finalists from 13 countries:

  • Kofi Akpabli, Freelance for  Daily Graphic, Ghana
  • Claudine Efoa Atohoun, ORTB, Benin
  • Rabin Bhujun, L’Express Dimanche, Mauritius
  • José Bouças de Oliveira, Televisão Santomense, São Tomé
  • Sylvia Chebet, Citizen TV, Kenya
  • DispatchOnline Team, Daily Dispatch, South Africa
  • Kimani Githae, Citizen TV, Kenya
  • Lamia Hassan, Business Today, Egypt
  • Virgil Augustin Pascal Houesson, L’événement Précis, Benin
  • Mahamud Abdi Jama, Waaheen, Somalia
  • Norman Katende, Freelance for The New Vision, Uganda
  • Farouk Kayondo, UBC, Uganda
  • Mark Klusener, eNews Africa, South Africa
  • Selma Marivate, Record, Mozambique
  • Melini Moses, SABC, South Africa
  • Lindile Mpanza, e.tv, South Africa
  • Kamau Mutunga, DN2 Magazine, Daily Nation, Kenya
  • Nigel M. Nassar, The New Vision, Uganda
  • Fatuma Noor, The Star, Kenya
  • Oluwatoyos Ogunseye, Sunday Punch, Nigeria
  • Nnamdi Okosieme, Next Newspaper, Nigeria
  • Benon Herbert Oluka, Sunday Life Magazine, Sunday Monitor, Uganda
  • Beryl Ooro, K24 TV, Kenya
  • Sonny Serite, Freelance for The Sunday Standard, Botswana
  • Portia Solomon, TV3 News, Ghana
  • Kipchumba Some,  The Standard, Kenya
  • Nkula Zau, Televisão Pública de Angola

This year the recipient of the Free Press Africa Award is Mahamud  Abdi Jama, Editor of Waaheen, an independent private newspaper published in Somaliland.  Waaheen, part of the Waaheen Media Group, is known for its critical coverage of the Government. Mahamud was sentenced to three years in prison and fined in connection with a story alleging public corruption.  After pressure on the Government Mahamud was granted a Presidential pardon and released after spending over a month in prison.

He is awarded this prize for working under stressful conditions, and in the face of opposition and providing the public with important information, regardless of the consequences to himself.

The winners of the competition will be announced at an Award Ceremony and Gala Evening in Johannesburg, South Africa on Saturday 25 June 2011. The hosts for the evening will be Isha Sesay, presenter of CNN International’s weekly programme ‘Inside Africa’ and Robert Marawa, the face of one of DStv’s SuperSports channel and regular host of Metro FM’s Discovery Sports Centre.

Google’s Zeitgeist Announces 12 Winners For Young Minds Competition


Google's Zeitgeist Young Minds Competition

Somewhere in February, 2011; Zeitgeist & Google announced the commencement of applications for the Young Minds Video Competition 2011 via this website: http://www.zeitgeistyoungminds.com/ which saw young people between the ages of 18 and 24; passionate about making a difference in your community apply.

Google has always championed innovation and is proud to help young people showcase their ideas and achievements. Zeitgeist Young Minds is an incredible platform for future world-changers to meet some of the most powerful and inspiring people on the planet today.” Philipp Schindler, Vice President of Northern & Central Europe, Google

The competition was to find 12 exceptional, motivated and inspiring young adults from across Europe, the Middle East and Africa; who are making a positive impact in their worlds. Those 12 individuals have been found and selected. See below for full details of the selected:

  • Orly Keit Setton – South Africa
  • Karabo Thosa – South Africa
  • Phofane Ludwick Marishane – South Africa
  • Brian Magwaro Mogaka – Kenya
  • Grace Ihejiamaizu –  Nigeria
  • Michael Mulunga – Namibia
  • Paul “slim” Banda – Zambia
  • Matheus Zancul Ortega – Haiti
  • Richard Serunjogi – United Kingdom
  • Sebastian Thiel – United Kingdom
  • Anna Debenham – United Kindom
  • Sadiq Miah – United Kingdom

Click here to read their profiles and watch the winning entries!

About

Zeitgeist is Google’s annual European partner forum held just outside London, currently in its 6th year, bringing together around 400 business and thought leaders from across Europe. Highlights from last year’s event can be seen at: http://www.youtube.com/user/eurozeitgeist

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Garage48 Opens in Accra, Ghana


Garage48 : 13 - 15 May, 2011. Accra, Ghana.

Garage48 : 13 - 15 May, 2011. Accra, Ghana.

The past couple of months saw several technology focused events happening in the capital of Ghana, Accra. Most recent was the Innovation Week 2011 [iWeek 2011] which again offered me the opportunity to show-case my Social Media know-how to participants and other technocrats who attended.

Just yesterday; I heard about Garage48; an event started in Estonia in April 2010 that have expanded to other countries in Northern Europe and Africa. All Garage48 events are held in English and have about 100 participants from different countries. Participants have different skills, ranging from software development to design, marketing and management.

Garage48 is happening from May 13 -1 5, 2011 at the Kofi Annan ICT Center. The event starts at 5pm on Friday with the presentation of various product ideas.

The teams are formed and derived organically. By the end of weekend, the teams will have a working products or prototypes. On Sunday evening, starting at 5:00pm, every team will showcase their product with live demo on stage in front of other participants and big audience. The jury and the audience will choose their favorite team or service.

“The event is mainly for tech practitioners namely graphic designers as well as front-end and back-End software and mobile developers. But we need also people with business skills – project managers, visionaries and marketing specialist. Everybody with great skills can apply to our event, but we will choose only around 100 best applicants to the event,” explained Ragnar Sass.

Inspiring and supporting environment is an important prerequisite to the birth of new ideas. Business and social network is increasingly important to start a new successful business. Despite that in many countries in Africa the market is huge, tens of millions of people, the IT sector is making its first steps.

According to Ragnar Sass again; while visiting Nigeria and Ghana in March, he met dozens of talented developers. The purpose of the events, in addition to build the local startup community, is to help those talented developers to get connections with successful entrepreneurs in Europe and America.

How does it work?

Garage48 events usually start at 5pm on a Friday evening. All participants gather together in a big room and pitch about 30 to 40 ideas on stage. Each idea is put on the wall and everyone can choose their favorite idea and team. Usually about 12-15 ideas will be selected and teams start working.

If you consider organizing Garage48 event in your country, please contact us info@garage48.org for further details.

Registration and more information for Accra’s maiden event here:  Garage48 Accra

See Map below for direction.

Map of Kofi Annan ICT Center, Accra. Ghana

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Google Appoints Female Country Manager for Nigeria


Juliet Ehimuan - Google Country Manager : Nigeria

Google Nigeria recently appointed Ms. Juliet Ehimuan, the former General Manager of  Strategic Business Units at Chams Plc as its Country Manager for Nigeria.

Responding to her new appointment, Joe Mucheru; Google’s lead for Sub Saharan Africa said:

“Google sees great potential in the Nigerian market. We are excited to have Juliet Ehimuan bring her expertise and knowledge to help fulfill that potential.”

“It’s a very exciting time to be joining Google where, amongst other initiatives, I will be helping Nigerian enterprises take advantage of the online world, to better engage with their customers and grow their businesses,” Ms. Ehimuan said.

“The Internet is set to play a critical role in the country’s socio-economic development; Google is committed to investing in Nigeria and to making the internet accessible and relevant for all Nigerian users,” she added.

Ms. Ehimuan brings her industry expertise in technology that spans experiences in Europe, Middle East, (EMEA) Africa and the United States to the role. For more information, read her bio below.

Bio:

Prior to her appointment at Google, Ms. Ehimuan was the General Manager, Strategic Business Units of Chams Plc where she was responsible for leading and formulating strategies for the Chams Strategic Business units. She holds an Executive MBA from the London Business School, a Post Graduate degree in Computer Science from the University of Cambridge, UK; and obtained a Bachelors degree with 1st class honours in Computer Engineering from the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife. She is a recipient of the London Business School Global Women’s Scholarship, and at Cambridge University she received two scholarly awards – Selwyn College Scholar and Malaysian commonwealth Scholar.

She worked with Microsoft UK for 6 years, initially as a Program Manager managing Strategic Projects for MSN Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA).  She received the Microsoft “Ship-IT” award for successfully launching the new MSN online subscription business in the UK, Spain, Italy, and Germany. She is a pioneer member of the African Computer Network for Developing Countries sponsored by the International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP), Trieste, Italy in 1995. She also worked with the Shell Petroleum Development Company as a Performance Monitoring and Quality Assurance Supervisor from 1995 – 1997.

In 2005, she left Microsoft to start SI (Strategic Insight) Consulting Ltd UK, focused on providing collaborative programs that connect African Business leaders and Professionals with their global counterparts. The SI team clients are made of an eclectic mix of organisations including MSN, BP (British Petroleum), Royal Bank of Scotland, Harvard Business School alumni club, representatives from all banks in Nigeria, the Central Bank of Nigeria etc.

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