Category: News


Cornellians Win Award for Architecture Work in Ghana

Three Cornell students won the creativity award for their architectural design of an eco-friendly school to be built in Ghana at a major NGO’s gala aimed to raise funds.

With the recent finalization of their design, Voices of African Mothers’ vision of building the school came closer to reality, and brought the NGO closer to achieving its larger mission of developing African nations through the empowerment and education of women and children.

In the Volta Region of Ghana, where only 7.9 percent of girls attend secondary school, Arielle Tannin ’18, Ana Moura-Cook ’19 and Claudia Nielson ’18, as members of the design team Sustainable Education Ghana under Cornell University Sustainable Design, helped design and plan the construction of the school meant for girls in a town called Sogakope.

Already, VAM Girls Academy has a waiting list of 158 students waiting to enroll and SEG’s design of a six-classroom school will contribute to housing a substantial portion of those students, the team said.

Sustainable Education Ghana applied research on the intricate weather and climate conditions and the culture of the surrounding area to the design, which includes six classrooms and their desks and chairs.

The design also optimizes the building’s internal temperature by making it face the prevailing winds on the site to allow for passive cooling.

To account for the region’s wet seasons, SEG team members even designed a woven fabric that would cover an indoor path between classrooms when students need to travel between classes in the rain.

In line with the school’s desire to provide its students with an educational curriculum, which involves agriculture, the school will include learning gardens outside classrooms where students can receive hands on learning experience.

In preparation, Tannin, Moura-Cook and Nielson not only performed field work in Ghana but also conducted design testing with children in Ithaca middle schools, in collaboration with VAM.

“It’s important to let them know that people are willing to invest in them,” said Kachina Randall, executive director of VAM. “The act of people mobilizing and coming together to build schools and platforms lets these girls, children, mothers and women all know that they have a God-given right to live a prosperous life.”

In discussing the impact of the construction of this school, Eden Brachot ’15, director of marketing and outreach at VAM, added that fewer than 8 percent of girls get to go to school “just because there are not enough physical schools.”
For this reason, the work that SEG put into designing the school is especially meaningful, the team said, as it allows students to not only gain an education but also to do so comfortably.

The school is set to open on Jan. 27, 2018 but construction of the six rooms that SEG designed will continue throughout the year as VAM raises more funds, the team said.

In the future, VAM has long term plans to expand and open more schools, a task that is possible given the scalability of the classroom’s modular design.

 Source : http://cornellsun.com

Popular Online Comedian Don’t Jealous Me releases a new children’s book!

Tolulope Ogunmefun is known all over the world by his online social media name Don’t Jealous Me. His YouTube channel, which he launched in 2009 has been viewed over 41 million times and he has been entertaining fans, both young and old, with hilarious comedy sketches and vlogs.

With the birth of his daughter two months ago, he decided he wanted to do something for his younger fans – a children’s book! A book which was entertaining but also taught young children good morals. This lead to him writing The Frog and his Dancing Shoes and there are limited copies available NOW for you to buy for a young loved one this Christmas!

The Frog and his Dancing Shoes is a 40 page picture book about a frog who has a special talent for dancing and entertaining his friends with his magical shoes. One friend is jealous and plans a sneaky trick to take the shoes away from Paul.

Through patience and kindness, Paul teaches his friends the importance of recognising and celebrating talents in this cheerful story about sharing, forgiveness and friendship.

Join Paul in the park as he twirls and dances his way into your heart with valuable lessons about jealousy, the dangers of taking things that don’t belong to you and why helping others is fun and uplifting.

There are only a limited amount of books being printed so please support Tolulope on his quest to become a successful children’s book author and get copies for Christmas for your young loved ones TODAY!

Prices start from £7.99. Please visit his online bookshop via the below link to find out more!
https://www.djmbooks.com/

GHANA’S FIRST INTERACTIVE DISTANCE-LEARNING TEACHER TRAINING PROGRAMME HAVING ‘HUGE IMPACT’ ON QUALITY OF TEACHING

  • Independent evaluation shows Train for Tomorrow leading to more teachers using cutting-edge pedagogy
  • Findings come after similar independent study showed pupils in MGCubed programme are reading more words per minute and are one year ahead in numeracy tests compared to their peers
  • Varkey Foundation also opens five new studios to further enhance its programmes and assist in scaling up teacher training across the country

New independent evaluation shows the huge impact an innovative distance-learning teacher training programme in Ghana is having on the quality of teaching practices.

Train for Tomorrow, run by the Varkey Foundation, the education charity, and funded through a $2 million USD grant from Dubai Cares, is sub-Saharan Africa’s first live two-way interactive distance learning teacher training programme.

Since August 2015, 40 ‘hub’ schools have been provided with solar powered and satellite-enabled video-link equipment, allowing highly qualified ‘master trainers’ in Accra to conduct regular interactive training sessions that focus on best practice teaching methods, including group work, critical thinking, the use of higher order thinking skills, reflection and analysis – techniques that deliver better quality educational outcomes.  The head teachers and school leaders who participate in these sessions then go back to their own schools and repeat the training for the other teachers in their schools, reaching nearly 5,000 teachers and 90,000 students.

The independent evaluation, by Dalberg Global Development Associates, shows that teachers going through Train for Tomorrow showed a statistically significant improvement in instructional performance, including:

  • Wave 1 teachers in the 40 hub schools improved their scores on Direct Classroom Observations of their use of the improved teaching techniques by 38%, and Wave 2 and Wave 3 teachers by a huge 137%;
  • The percentage of Wave 2 and 3 teachers who encouraged cooperative learning – which enhances retention of learning through group work – increased from 13% in the baseline analysis to 60%;
  • Train for Tomorrow teachers are also more likely than other teachers to explain to students what they will be learning during a lesson and why; are more likely to be aware of the individual needs and students; and to provide a safer learning environment (physical and verbal threats can be a significant issue in many Ghanaian schools).  All these have been shown to have a dramatic effect on a pupil’s ability to learn.

Programmes like Train for Tomorrow are vital because so many Ghanaian teachers have not been formally trained to teach. According to 2014/15 figures from the Ghanaian Ministry of Education, almost 63,000 (45 per cent) of the 138,928 working primary school teachers were untrained, as were 31,208 (30 per cent) of the 103,358 junior high school teachers.  There is also a significant lack of in-service teacher training, so even those who have been trained initially are not able to update their knowledge and skills regularly.

The quality of teaching is also important due to the high numbers of children in sub-Saharan Africa either out of school completely, or dropping out of education – higher quality teaching is more likely to inspire children to attend school.  According to UNESCO, there were 413,314 out-of-school children in Ghana in 2014.

Train for Tomorrow therefore sets out to transform the experiences of both pupils and teachers by raising the quality of classroom instruction.

Vikas Pota, CEO of the Varkey Foundation, said:

“The results of this independent evaluation clearly demonstrate that pioneering edtech can improve learning in parts of the world that are often off the power grid, have limited access to the internet and have few resources to share. I hope it encourages investors to come forward and support similar projects and also inspire entrepreneurs to come forward with fresh tech ideas that are hardy enough to improve education in parts of the world that need their help most.

“We would like to acknowledge Dubai Cares for funding this programme as well as the contributions of everyone associated with making it a success, including all the teachers that have gone through the training and cascaded learning to their schools, the Girls’ Education Unit and the Ministry of Education.”

Speaking about the benefits of Train for Tomorrow, Mr. Isaac Affoh, headmaster of Bosovilla Presbyterian Basic School, said:

“Our classrooms are now modernised and have become very conducive for teaching and learning. Teachers enjoy lessons as much as pupils and academic performance is improving steadily, thanks to the  Varkey Foundation’s Train for Tomorrow project.”

His Excellency Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer at Dubai Cares, said:

“We believe that teacher training is the cornerstone of ensuring quality education. We also value and invest in innovative solutions aimed at eliminating obstacles that prevent children from having access to quality education. With Train for Tomorrow, our aim is to improve the quality of teaching, and create a positive teaching and learning experience for children in Ghana, through an innovative program model by utilizing technology.

“The learnings from the final evaluation of the program which has concluded, will contribute to the growing evidence surrounding teacher training modalities, helping strengthen the design and delivery of teacher training programs in developing countries.”

In addition to the independent evaluation of the programme, Varkey Foundation monitoring during summer 2016 found that:

  • Nine in 10 Instructional Leaders (teachers that undergo the initial training from the master trainers in Accra, and cascade it through their schools) had changed their way of teaching since undergoing Train for Tomorrow;
  • Eight in 10 Instructional Leaders indicated a change in pupil attitude since starting Train for Tomorrow;
  • Seven in 10 Wave 3 teachers had changed their way of teaching since starting Train for Tomorrow;
  • 74 per cent of teachers were communication lesson objectives (important for setting pupils’ expectations and helping facilitate achievement).

The findings on Train for Tomorrow come shortly after a similar independent evaluation of another interactive distance-learning programme that is aimed directly at pupils.

Making Ghanaian Girls Great! (MGCubed), a three-year pilot project funded by the Department for International Development (DFID) and run by the Varkey Foundation, is the first project in the country to use interactive distance learning technology to deliver Maths and English lessons daily to 10,000 girls (and boys) in 72 government schools in some of the most deprived communities.

The schools are equipped with solar panels and a satellite connection in order to link with live broadcasts of lessons from highly-qualified teachers, using internationally-approved teaching methods, from a studio in Accra.

Independent evaluation of MGCubed conducted by Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA), published in August, showed the model has had a significant impact on increasing literacy and numeracy skills among marginalised girls and boys.  In literacy tests, MGCubed students were able to read between 3.21-3.74 more words per minute than those in regular classes; and in numeracy tests MGCubed teaching was found to increase average scores by the equivalent of one school year.

The Varkey Foundation last month also opened new studios to enable it to continue to deliver its high quality interactive distance learning programmes.  

Whereas the programmes initially operated from three studios, a move to new offices means the Foundation has increased the number of studios to five.  As well being larger, they’ve also been fitted with the latest technology to help the Foundation to continue to deliver high quality education and training to children and teachers across the country.

OTUMFUO and AGROECOM TRAINS 4,946 SCHOOL CHILDREN IN ICT

Four thousand, nine hundred and forty-six (4,946) pupils in eight districts in the Ashanti and Brong Ahafo regions of Ghana, have benefited from free computer training lessons in the past three months. This training initiative was undertaken by the Otumfuo-Agroecom Mobile Library Project (OAMLP), a subsidiary of the Otumfuo Charity Foundation in collaboration with Agroecom Ghana Ltd, a cocoa buying company.

Among its aims are to ensure that less fortunate children in deprived communities have the same learning conditions as other children in the cities and urban areas. It also serves to encourage the habit of reading and the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) among basic school pupils. The beneficiary districts include Sekyere North, Bekwai Municipality, Atwima Mponua, Bibaini-Anwhiaso-Bekwai, Bosomtwe, Offinso Municipality, New Edubaise and Goaso district.

Crucial role

The Country Coordinator of Agroecom Ghana Ltd, Mr Muhammadu Muzzammil, described the role of the OAMLP as very crucial in bridging the gap between pupils in urban areas and their counterparts in the hard to reach areas of the country. He stated that the project christened ‘Otumfuo-Agroecom Mobile Library Project’ consists of three major parts namely Reading, ICT and Cinema. The cinema is intended to bring a message from His Royal Highness Otumfuo Osei Tutu II as it exhibits the rich Ghanaian culture and educates farmers on good agricultural practices, farm management and information from the cocoa industry and projection of Agroecom in the communities.

Tour outcome

After touring some schools in the cocoa growing areas, it came to light that about 40 per cent of the pupils in the selected villages confirmed that they had not seen physical computers before except the drawings they see in their textbooks. Almost, all the students did not know how to operate the computer and were assisted to use it as some had knowledge on some of the basic computer software but did not know their uses. Although, there were ICT teachers in some of the schools, resources such as textbooks and computers were not available for the students, adding that some of the communities had rooms intended for ICT but there were no computers in them.

Background

Since the inception of the Otumfuo mobile library project, it has covered parts of Ashanti, Brong Ahafo, Volta regions where the children have benefitted from ICT training. It focuses on improving learning conditions of children by providing basic academic resources such as reading books and computer lessons (ICT) to pupils in primary, junior and senior high schools. With the help of generators, staff of the project spent several days in communities where the children and some members of the communities take turns to access the computers, internet services, variety of library books among other counselling services.
Support
In June 2017, Agroecom Ghana Ltd presented a cheque of Gh1.4 million to the Otumfuo Charity Foundation at a special ceremony in Kumasi to support the operations of the Otumfuo Mobile Library project for the next four years. The amount presented was meant to help in the procurement of a pickup, a cargo van, 60 laptops, a generator, two projectors and screens, a video camera and allowance for 30 staff of the Otumfuo Charity foundation
for the four years that the project would be in place.

Focus
The collaborative project is aimed at not only bettering the learning facilities in villages in the cocoa growing areas but also provide knowledge on cocoa farming and build pride and understanding of the glorious history of the Asante kingdom. Agroecom Ghana Ltd has been present in Ghana from 2013 when it took over Armajaro’s Global Cocoa, which was established in 2000. It has since then been involved in the rural part of the country to create a better livelihood for farmers. Within this period, it had invested close to 40 million dollars in the country in providing clean drinking water, better schooling facilities and health care across the country.

Appreciation
Dr Thomas Agyarku-Poku, Executive Director of the Otumfuo Charity Foundation when contacted lauded the Agroecom Ghana Ltd for the support which had come to boost the strength of the OAMLP. He called for more of such support from all and sundry so they would be able to extend the programme to all regions in the country.

Ghana To Host 100 Global Speakers For the Largest Tech Summit in Africa

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Ghana makes history by hosting the largest annual gathering of innovators at the Ghana Tech Summit

Announced At: Forbes 30 Under 30 Summit (Boston, USA)

Accra, Ghana- October 3, 2017 – In an effort to accelerate startups from emerging markets, the Global Startup Ecosystem will be hosting major summits in developing countries across the globe. Haiti was the first country to host the largest annual gathering of innovators addressing humanity’s grandest challenges with over 100 global speakers in 2017. Ghana will join the global initiative with top companies, celebrities and government officials in 2018.

The central theme of the global summit is to “catalyze startup ecosystems in emerging markets”. Day one is centered on “Drivers of startup ecosystems” with a deep dive look at the contributions of VC fund managers, angel investors, accelerators, incubators and media reporters on tech innovation hubs around the world. Day two is centered on “Disruptors of startup economies” with an analysis exponential technologies in transforming future industries via Ai, virtual reality, drone, robotics, space, etc.

The event will host speakers from Google, Facebook, Uber, Airbnb, Twitter, IBM, Microsoft, and more. Over 40+ media representatives from Forbes, Inc Magazine, Fast Company, Black Enterprise, NY Times and more will be in attendance.

Hosting the event in Ghana not only aims to revitalize economic activity in the country but to also provide a new narrative for Ghana and emerging markets. “Ghana, the gateway to Africa can redefine how we leverage exponential opportunities across the continent…” says the founding organizer of the event- Einstein Ntim.

Tickets are now live via www.ghanatechsummit.com.

About Ghana Tech Summit: Ghana Tech Summit brings together hundreds of entrepreneurs, investors, digital marketers and creatives under one roof together to address humanity’s grandest challenges via technology and entrepreneurship. It is a part of a 13-year initiative of the Global Startup Ecosystem-the first and largest digital accelerator that accelerates 1000 companies to market annually across 190+ countries entirely online.

About Global Startup Ecosystem: Global Startup Ecosystem (GSE): is a central hub designed to educate, inspire and prepare startup communities for the digital age. GSE primarily provides online digital accelerator programs for startup ecosystems in different geographic regions, industry verticals, and impactful topic areas. Regions of focus are: Africa,Asia,America,Caribbean Europe, Latin America and the  Middle East . Frontier tech areas of focus are: Space , Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality, Blockchain, Drones, IOT (Network + Sensors), Robotics, Synthetic Biology (Nano Tech) and Manufacturing (3d printing). Topic and industries of focus are: Fintech, Ed tech, Health Tech, Sustainable Development Goals. Smart City, Diversity and more. GSE culminates digital programs by providing unique ecosystem experiences through a series off offline summits, bootcamps, and tours.

About the Founder: Einstein Ntim is a Ghanaian-British entrepreneur and startup ecosystem builder that connects innovators to Ai, space, and other exponential tech networks. As the founding partner at the Global Startup Ecosystem(GSE)-the first and largest creator of digital online accelerators- Einstein provides access to capital experts and speaks on topics covering entrepreneurship, Artificial Intelligence, and exponential technologies. Formerly a serial entrepreneur, Einstein relocated to the US and founded two health care startups- Enabled AI (The AI Mental Health App for Exponential Innovators) and Bloomer Tech (which embeds IOT sensors into fabrics to tackle cardiovascular disease). During his time in silicon valley, Einstein worked on connecting startups to Tim Draper’s venture networks and university and currently sits on Singularity University’s Advisory Board for Inclusion.  Prior to his work in the USA, Einstein was selected for Ghana’s Future Leaders Under 30 and had a diverse career in capital markets (UBS, Statestreet, Deutsche Bank), military (UK), and professional sports (Harlequins Rugby). Einstein studied Economics and Policy at London School of Economics (LSE), Chinese Languages and Philosophy at Nanjing University, Faith and Theology at the Methodist Church of Britain, and acted as British Council GenUK Ambassador in India and China.

Contact:

Ghana Tech Summit Team

(E) info@GhanaTechSummit.com

(W) www.GhanaTechSummit.com

(F) www.facebook.com/Ghanatechsummit/

(T) www.twitter.com/ghanatechsummit

EU lifts ban on Ghana’s vegetable exports

As from 1st January 2018, Ghanaian farmers will be able to resume exports of all plant commodities to the European Union (EU) market.

This follows the European Commission’s decision to lift the current ban on the exports of five plant commodities from Ghana to the European Union (EU) market on 31st October 2017, according to a statement from the EU.

The five Ghanaian plants (chilli pepper, bottle gourds, luffa gourds, bitter gourds and eggplants) will from 1 January 2018, have duty-free and quota-free access to the EU market like any other product from Ghana.

The five commodities will have to fulfil the EU phytosanitary legislation to ensure the freedom of quarantine pests.

This decision follows an audit undertaken from 12 to 21 September 2017 by the Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety of the European Commission and the evolution of the numbers of import interceptions with quarantine pests notified by Member States for commodities not subject to the ban.

A statement from the European Union said, “Since the beginning of the ban in October 2015, the Ghanaian authorities have taken significant corrective measures to improve the inspection and control system for plant health at exit points, in particular at Kotoka International Airport.”

“The European Commission congratulates Ghana for reaching this important milestone and encourages Ghana to consolidate the upgraded system and to continue further improvements in the phytosanitary certification system to obtain full compliance with the EU phytosanitary requirements.”

The statement continued, “This outcome has been possible thanks to combined efforts of the Plant Protection and Regulatory Service Department (PPRSD) and coordinated support from several development partners including the European Union through the Trade related Assistance and Quality Enabling programme (TRAQUE), the German International Cooperation (GIZ), the Netherlands Embassy through the GhanaVeg project and USAID. This harmonised approach has been instrumental to reach the objective of complying with EU requirements this year.”

The resumption of exports of all plant commodities to the EU market will enable Ghana to fully benefit from the 100% preferential access to the EU market provided by the Stepping Stone Economic Partnership Agreement which entered into force on 15 December 2016.

Agric Minister on ban earlier

Dr. Afriyie Akoto earlier on said the ban of vegetables to the European market will be lifted by the end of November.

“Oh definitely, may be in the next one month, they’ve indicated to us unofficially that everything is ok now, we’ve put in so much effort in the nine month to correct all those things that were really hampering the progress in the lifting of the ban,” he said.

Dr. Afriyie Akoto said, “We’ve put reforms in place, we’ve changed personnel, and we’ve infused new qualified personnel into the system…so now we are that we are confident that we have a sustainable system to ensure good quality products to the European market.”

Background

From 2012 to 2015, the number of intercepted plants from Ghana at the EU borders due to the presence of harmful organisms had increased significantly, leading Ghana to face the highest number of interceptions globally in 2015.

On 13 October, 2015, the European Commission decided to prohibit the introduction of 5 plant commodities from Ghana into the EU market until end of December 2016.

The ban was purposely restricted to those commodities that have had the highest number of interceptions.

The five concerned plants were chilli pepper, bottle gourds, luffa gourds, bitter gourds and eggplants. Following an audit undertaken in September 2015, decision was taken by the European Commission to renew the ban by one year until December 2017.

Over the past years, the Plant protection and Regulatory Service Department (PPRSD) of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture has received support from several development partners notably to improve the inspection and control system at the airport, to improve traceability as well as to develop and implement the Ghana Green Label Scheme.

Coordination of the received support has been successfully done through the SPS Task Force setup and chaired by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture.

Article via MyJoyOnline

M-Learning in Ghana, the perfect educational solution?

Ghana is a country that does not have a coherent policy for education infrastructure. At the same time, rising rates of mobile phone use among the population make this country ripe for an m-learning revolution. School infrastructure in Ghana can be very poor, with inadequate ventilation, security features (for example, for laboratory equipment) safety for flooring and other issues. These conditions can make it especially difficult for learners with disabilities either to make it to school in the first place or to learn in comfort once they are there. M-learning is a viable nation wide solution to these defects in Ghana’s present education infrastructure. M-Learning has the potential to reach all students in the country through the simple medium of their mobile phones. As a result, it would surmount the difficulties inherent in Ghana’s less than perfect current educational infrastructure.

The power of m-learning in Ghana: the current situation

Ghana has one of the best developed mobile phone markets in all of Africa. In fact, most Ghanaians do not only own a mobile, they also prefer to use their mobile instead of using a landline. Most Ghanaians also prefer to access the internet through their mobile phones rather than via a fixed wifi or cable internet system in the home. Though 3G coverage in Ghana is relatively new, this is also growing as well, which again suggests that the future of m-learning in Ghana will be a very positive one. MTN Ghana, Vodafone, Tigo and Airtel are the four largest mobile phone providers in Ghana, with MTN Ghana being by far the biggest provider (having cornered around 50 % of the market). With both affordable pay as you go and sim packages readily available in Ghana, m-learning has the potential to reach the whole of the country’s population. Ghana is currently classed as a middle income country, which means that its citizens are usually able to afford items such as mobile phones. In addition, app literacy in Ghana is very prevalent, with exciting new apps for both learning and leisure (like Esoko and RetailTower) being developed in the country every year.

Integrating m-learning with secondary and tertiary educational institutions in Ghana

The secondary education system in Ghana is known as Senior High School, and it can often be supplemented or even (in parts) replaced by m-learning. What is particularly pertinent to know is that ICT is actually part of the ‘integrated science’ section of the SHS curriculum, which means that new generations of Ghanaians are growing up with the skills that they need to learn via the web. Though the buzz of the classroom environment can be something that benefits learners, as mentioned above, not all schools in Ghana are totally fit for purpose and thus m-learning is a viable alternative to both the SHS curriculum and to TVET (vocational training) curricula that are offered after completion of the SHS.

When it comes to tertiary education, Ghana has 49 private universities and 6 public universities. Many of these institutions are focused around a specific subject, such as Agriculture. E-learning is already well integrated into the curricula of many of Ghana’s top universities. For example, the University of Ghana has recently created the KEWL – Knowledge Environment for Web Based Learning – initiative. Many online courses are also available as part of the rise and rise of e-learning in the country. In addition, the edtech phenomenon of MOOC has really been taking off throughout Ghana and Sub-Sahara Africa. MOOC is an initiative which offers an online course to a large number of people and it is usually free of charge. This initiative is, as may be expected, particularly useful for low income or very poor communities in Sub-Sahara Africa for whom financial factors would otherwise pose a significant barrier to their ability to access education. As a result, mobile learning projects could simply adapt and build on the existing e-learning infrastructure in Ghana’s tertiary education system.

There is a rising amount of local and regional companies which provide products and materials for online courses and exam preparations, the classical fields of m-learning. This African providers guide illustrates a list of edtech startups in several countries.

Estimation of the future of the power of M-learning in Ghana

The future of the power of m-learning in Ghana looks very bright. This is due to two key factors. Firstly, the existing educational infrastructure is – particularly at the secondary level – often physically and materially inadequate for students to learn successfully. As such, there is a clear problem here that mobile learning could solve. Secondly, Ghana’s population is made up of some of Africa’s most skilled, savvy and frequent mobile phone users. The ubiquity of mobile phones means that the uptake of m-learning strategies would likely be very high. Add to this the fact that many tertiary education institutions in the country are already using e-learning platforms and other edtech to teach students remotely (for example, through online courses) and the future of m-learning across the country looks very positive indeed.

By Jens Ischebeck

African delegation takes part in the 19th World Festival of Youth and Students in Sochi

A delegation of young talents from Africa are actively participating in the World Festival of Youth and Students (WFYS) which is currently being held in Sochi, Russia. The festival started on October 14 and will run until October 22 in the resort town which recently hosted the Winter Olympic Games and Formula 1 Grand Prix in 2014. Young people aged between 18 and 35 are engaged in numerous activities, discussions and competitions, nearly 25,000 guests from 185 countries are participating in this year’s festival. 

The Russian State Atomic Energy Corporation Rosatom has also made its contribution, by inviting and hosting gifted young African professionals and students, who are interested in science and innovation. “We are happy that we were able to provide this exciting opportunity to our future African leaders, to gain knowledge and exchange experience with their peers on a global level,” said Viktor Polikarpov, Rosatom regional Vice-President of Sub-Saharan Africa.

A specialized programme includes events related to science and education, group discussions as well as cultural and sport activities. The main agenda of the discussion programme encompasses the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, adopted by the United Nations.

The festival attracts proactive young people from all over the world, most of whom are already leaders in their respective fields. Numerous young specialists from Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria, Zimbabwe and South Africa are among the attendees, most of whom are oriented towards research and the development of new technologies.

The young talents are engaged in various activities, creative workshops, brainstorming sessions and round tables to try find answers to some of the globes most burning questions. Issues of ecology, sustainable development and international cooperation are in the limelight of the scientific focused section of the Festival.

During a round-table discussion the representative from Zimbabwe, Simbarashe Mhuriro, demonstrated benefits of sustainable energy development. He leads the company Oxygen Africa, which focuses on energy, mining and agriculture. Simbarashe argues that in Africa only two percent of the population has stable access to electricity, and the use of diesel engines is both expensive and destructive for ecology. Therefore, the young businessman is championing sustainable sources of energy, which can help global population to resolve current energy problems.

Nigerian born Chukwudi Ojinnaka, who currently studies nuclear engineering at the National Research Nuclear University MEPhI in Moscow, notes that the Festival provides exciting opportunities for young professionals to meet different people with different ideas from all over the world. He highlights that these very ideas will help the future generations achieve their goals.

In collaboration with other participants of the festival, this young Nigerian talent is working tirelessly on the project of the ‘aqua-cities’ – self-sustainable cities floating cities, that will be engineered to help to solve the overpopulation problem in the future.

Out of the System festival by critically acclaimed dance artist Freddie Addaie-Opoku comes to Shoreditch

Dance Umbrella, London’s leading international dance festival, has invited critically acclaimed dance artist Freddie Addaie-Opoku to create a festival-within-a-festival at Rich Mix in Shoreditch.

Described by Time Out as a “buzzing global mix of grassroots music and dance” Out of the System showcases artists who take the liberty of making up the rules and breaking them as they go along.

With influences stretching from South Africa to Spain, Ghana to Belgium, Britain to the USA, get ready for an evening of ingenious local and global talent. Come and roam through the performances, exploring a vibrant fusion of cultures and influences as you go.

Live music is provided by two bands and a DJ: the groove machine band Yaaba Funkand Composer/ DJ artist session with Kweku Aacht can be seen on Monday, and multicultural Kioko bring their head bopping tunes to the party on Tuesday.

If you’d like to find out more about the thinking behind Out of the System, and from other artists who work in a similar way, come along to Dance Umbrella’s panel discussion on Wed 18 October at Wayne McGregor Studio.

Venue: Rich Mix (35-47 Bethnal Green Rd, London E1 6LA)

ON 16 & TUE 17 OCTOBER
TICKETS
£25 (£20 for 2+)
£12 bands only, from 9.15pm

BOOK HERE

Panel Discussion
A discussion on how artists navigate their way through, in and out of the system

Chair: Peggy Olislaegers
Panel: Yinka Esi Graves, Simeilia Hodge-Dallaway, Sello Pesa & Charlotte Spencer

WED 18 OCTOBER7 – 8.30pm
Studio Wayne McGregor, Here East E20

£5, free to Out of the System ticket holders
BOOK HERE

Win Tickets To The London Film Festival Premiere Of ‘Mudbound’

This week marks the beginning of the BFI London Film Festival, and we’re giving away two pairs of tickets to our lucky readers to attend the BFI London Film Festival International red carpet premiere of Mudbound.

Mudbound which stars Garret Hedlund, Jason Clarke, Cary Mulligan and Mary J. Blige, tells the story of a friendship between two Second World War veterans, which ignites racial tension in Dee Rees’ majestic epic about two families in the Deep South.

The glittering film event, which will be attended by the A-List actors, will take place Thursday October 5, 7.15pm at the Odeon Leicester Square, London.

COMPETITION:

To win a pair of tickets to this Thursday’s BFI London Film Festival premiere of Mudbound, email competitions@thevoicemediagroup.co.uk with your name, email address, phone number and Twitter handle by Wednesday October 4, 2017 at 2pm