Category: News


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

The 3rd edition of Accra Marathon to take place on October 7

With a purpose of bringing people together to express freedom, togetherness and passion through running in the vibrant landscape of a beautiful African City the Accra Marathon represents a continental drive to promote the Sustainable development Goal number 3, Good health and wellbeing.

The third edition of the Accra marathon which was launched on September 7th by the Accra Mayor, Mr. Mohammed Adjei Sowah is to take off on the 7th of October with about ten thousand expected participants, participating in categories such as para-cycling, 5km and 21km races and also the CEO and elite challenge.

The event which is organized by Accra Marathon, an organization which is versed in the management of international running programs with the Accra Metropolitan Assembly playing a pivotal role in the event. According to Mr. Mohammed Adjei Sowah the event will be used to promote fitness and a healthy vibrant city, all towards the goal of making Accra the cleanest and healthiest city in Africa. Ghana’s premium gold hub company, Menzgold  is also on board as lead sponsors supporting this worthy course. Supported by  GNPC, GCB, Coral Paints, Rana Motors, Papaye, MTN, Total Ghana, Goil Ghana, Gridco, BS5, Twillium Ghana, Tang Palace Hotel, DDP, IPMC, AMS, Wigal,  Ghana Shippers Council and Millennium Insurance.

This year’s event promises to be not just a fitness exercise but also exciting and entertaining as social figures and other prominent figures have taken up the mayor’s challenge which he threw out on the launch date to the deputy minister of sport, Mr. Pius Enam Hadidze as well as other public figures to promote fitness and health. Okyeame Kwame has responded to the mayor’s challenge boosting the excitement and anticipation for the event.

Mr. Ashim Morton, Chairman of Accra Marathon who over the years has worked tirelessly to ensure a well –managed marathon and also maintained sponsors and brought on new ones to believe in the brand, and continue to support the brand. He promises his auspices have put in place a more thrilling and exiting package this year and he entreats people to come out in their numbers and run their way to a better and healthier life.

Registration is already underway and interested persons can register www.accramarathon.com or the AMA Head Office and Frankies in Osu.

This year’s theme is Accra, A VIBRANT AND SMART CITY.

NEW RESEARCH SHOWS IMPACT OF GHANA’S FIRST INTERACTIVE DISTANCE LEARNING EDUCATION PROGRAMME

Pupils benefiting from MGCubed programme reading more words more minute and are one year ahead of their peers in maths tests

New research to be published shows the extensive impact an innovative distance-learning programme is having on the educational attainment and life chances of marginalised girls and boys in Ghana.

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 more than 10,000 girls – and boys – in 72 government schools in some of the most deprived communities.

The schools – in Volta (Nkwanta South and Kadjebi districts) and Greater Accra (Ada East, Ada West, Ningo Prampram and Shai Osu-Doku districts) – 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), to be unveiled at a major education conference in Zambia later today, shows the model has had a significant impact on increasing literacy and numeracy skills among marginalised girls.

·      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 has been found to increase average scores by the equivalent of one school year.

In addition to the in-school classes, MGCubed delivers an after-school girls’ club called ‘Wonder Women’ to up to 50 girls per school, including out-of-school girls. The sessions cover topics such as early pregnancy, early marriage, reproductive health, financial literacy, entrepreneurship, career guidance and the environment as well as introducing girls to adult role models. The goal is to encourage girls to stay in or return to school, and  raise their aspirations for their futures.

MGCubed facilitators – either female teaching staff already at the schools, or female volunteers from the community – receive training in best-practice pedagogy to enable them to facilitate the in-school distance learning lessons and the after-school lessons, providing a critical link back into the communities to help reinforce the positive attitudinal changes towards girls’ education that the intervention hopes to achieve.

Internal research conducted by the Varkey Foundation, also to be published for the first time today, shows that, in addition to the literacy and numeracy improvements:

·      Teachers are more motivated to do their job. Teacher motivation is high, as evidenced by low absenteeism – the rate of teacher absenteeism in MGCubed classes was found to be just 0.5% over the whole project.

·      The project is correlated with improved class attendance. Data collected by staff until June 2016 indicates that over the course of the project, average attendance in MGCubed classrooms increased by nearly 7%.

·      MGCubed is having a spillover effect on classroom instruction. MGCubed facilitators do not restrict their improved knowledge and skills to the MGCubed classrooms, but have been found to employ MGCubed strategies in “regular” classes.  Over three-quarters of facilitators interviewed stated that they used starter activities and nearly three-quarters group work.

·      MGCubed has increased participation and motivation in school, beyond its principal pupil beneficiaries. In in-depth interviews with girls, nearly 70% of respondents noted a change in the way the MGCubed facilitator teaches in a non-MGCubed class. Key changes include a reduction in caning, with a third of girls voluntarily reporting that teachers in MGCubed classes did not use the cane.  Other reported changes include teachers “taking their time” or being more patient (23%). Over 40% of pupils cited the use of group work/pair work/”joining in” activities as their favourite aspect of the project because they were able to learn from peers and “discuss freely” rather than “feel shy”. Of the 230 feedback surveys in which facilitators were recorded as saying they used MGCubed techniques in their classrooms, 100% made an explicit reference to pupils in their classes being more engaged, performing better, and working well as a group.

·      MGCubed has raised levels of self-esteem, with an increase in girls who volunteer for leadership positions, and a 14% increase in girls who volunteer to answer questions during MGCubed lessons.

The research findings will be announced today by Leonora Dowley, the Varkey Foundation’s Country Director for Ghana, at the Forum for African Women Educationalists 2017 conference in Lusaka, Zambia.

Leonora Dowley said: “This new research shows MGCubed’s interactive distance learning model has been incredibly effective at increasing literacy and numeracy skills for disadvantaged girls and boys. 

“In addition, it is improving girls’ life chances by combatting deep-seated cultural values about girls and their educational potential.

“The results are also testament to the efforts of the Ghana Education Service, including its Girls’ Education Unit, who have worked closely with the Varkey Foundation to design the programme and monitor activity in schools.”

She Leads Africa is bringing its signature travelling boot camp “The SheHive” back to London!

The SheHive is a must-attend event for any woman of colour who’s determined to build the skills and networks needed to achieve professional/entrepreneurial success. It’s a platform to brainstorm with like-minded individuals and connect with opportunities on the African continent, and it’s coming to London September 21st – 24th!

SLA has hosted previous versions of this event in cities including Accra, Abuja, New York, Nairobi, London, Lagos, Cape Town, Johannesburg, Washington DC, and Toronto. Their SheHive in London in 2016 (hosted in partnership with Facebook) was live streamed by BBC Africa.

Some of the amazing speakers who’ll be sharing their secrets to success include:

  • Afua Hirsch, Social Affairs and Education editor for Sky News and previous correspondent for The Guardian
  • Emeka and Ifeyinwa Frederick, co-founders of Chuku’s London
  • Eryca Freemantle, Global beauty ambassador, product developer and TV personality
  • Khalia Ismain, founder of Jamii
  • Mariatu Turay, founder of Gitas Portal Fashion Boutique
  • Nicole Pretorius, co-founder of tech startup She Can Code
  • Jacqueline Shaw, founder of Africa Fashion Guide

And more! Full schedule here.

We promise you’ll walk away from #SheHiveLondon with new business development skills, a fuller contact list, and the motivation to go out and SLAY with the support of the entire SheHive Squad behind you.

Get your tickets and more info at sheleadsafrica.org/shehivelondon2017 !

And there’s a special discount exclusively for MeFiri Ghana community! Use the code “diaspora” to get 20% off tickets here

BBC News broadcasts a week of special programming on Africa’s rising population

BBC News have announced a week-long series exploring the steep incline in Africa’s population and the continent’s coping mechanisms.

The population of Africa is predicted to double to two and a half billion in just 30 years. On a continent where nearly two thirds of people are already under 25, this vast new baby boom has the potential to provide a huge pool of workers ready to transform African economies, or the potential to create an even greater migration problem.

BBC Africa Correspondent, Alastair Leithead, has been investigating the potential of this “demographic dividend” in a series of special reports from across Africa.

For a week, beginning Monday 21st AugustBBC World News and BBC World Service will broadcast daily features within Focus on Africa, looking at matters such as the rapid urbanisation in Nigeria, the industrial revolution in Ethiopia, contraception in Niger and food sustainability in Kenya.

From Monday, more information can also be found on bbc.com/africapopulation, including a written in-depth analysis, a series of short videos and additional features.

A special documentary, Africa’s Population Explosion, will also broadcast on BBC World News(DStv 400) at 2330 GMT on Friday 25th August and 1130 & 1630 GMT on Saturday 26th August.

 

Africa has entered the space race, with Ghana’s first satellite now orbiting earth

The GhanaSat-1―Ghana’s first satellite―began its orbit recently, with a little help from some friends.

The cubesat, built by a Ghanaian engineering team at All Nations University, was delivered to NASA’s International Space Station in June on a SpaceX rocket that took off from pad 39a at Kennedy Space Center, a NASA spokesperson confirmed.

The GhanaSat-1 deployed into orbit from the Center in July, and is now operational, according to project manager Richard Damoah, a Ghanaian professor and assistant research scientist at NASA.

“This particular satellite has two missions,” Damoah told TechCrunch. “It has cameras on board for detailed monitoring of the coastlines of Ghana. Then there’s an educational piece―we want to use it to integrate satellite technology into high school curriculum,” he said.

GhanaSat-1 will send a signal to a ground station at All Nations University’s Space Systems and Technology Laboratory. That’s where it was developed by a team of engineers that included Benjamin BonsuErnest Teye Matey, and Joseph Quansah. 

While Ghana’s president Nana Akufo-Addo applauded the launch and congratulated the team directly, the project did not receive official Ghanaian government support, according to Damoah. Instead, Japan’s national space agency, JAXA, provided the bulk of the resources and training to develop the satellite.

The GhanaSat-1 deployment marks increased interest and activity in Africa toward space exploration.  Nigeria’s first cubesat launched on the same SpaceX mission. “Several nations, such as South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya and Ethiopia have space agencies. Angola announced its intention to launch a satellite over the coming year,” said Elsie Kanza, Head of Africa at the World Economic Forum.

She also pointed to Pan-African efforts to coordinate space efforts, such as the African Union’s African Space Policy and Strategy initiative―adopted last year―that prompted AU members states  “to realize an African Outer space Programme, as one of the flagship programmes….of the AU Agenda.”

Damoah believes the GhanaSat-1 deployment could prompt Ghanaian government  resources toward a second satellite project coordinated by All Nations University and the country’s Science Space and Technology Center. “After this launch, we now have the support of the president and cabinet support,” he said. “We are looking to develop a GhanaSat-2, with high resolution cameras, that could monitor things such as illegal mining, water use, and deforestation in the country.”

Article via TechCrunch

VOICE EXCLUSIVE: Get 2 for 1 tickets to Jamaica House 2017!

The Voice is offering readers an exclusive 2 for 1 offer for tickets to Jamaica House 2017 at the o2 in London.

The much-anticipated Jamaica House 2017 starts tomorrow at the o2 and runs until August 13. Performers include Freddie McGregor, Ziggy Marley, Luciano, OMI, Nesbeth, Protégé and more.

The races will be shown on the big-screen, so you won’t miss Usain Bolt and other Jamaican athletes as they compete at the IAAF World Championships.

View the Jamaica House 2017 promotional video here -https://youtu.be/J-99HzNWvvk

Click the link below to get this exclusive Voice offer of 2 for 1 tickets to any of the Jamaica House 2017 shows from August 5-13. To take advantage of the offer, book your tickets anytime between now and this Sunday August 6, 2017 at 12 midnight GMT

August 8 Tickets 
August 11 Tickets 

GHANA – A NATION IN RETROSPECTIVE, FRIDAY 4 AUGUST, 18.00 – 21.45, VICTORIA & ALBERT MUSEUM

This Friday the V&A Museum invites you to a special event..  ‘Ghana – A Nation in Retrospective’ with a welcome and opening address at 18.00 by Lord Boateng of Akyem and Wembley.

Historians, cultural theorists, scholars, museum curators, artists and performers of the diaspora, will look retrospectively at a nation that over the last 60 years has shaped a modern vision, and established Ghanaians as trend-setting ‘Afropolitans’.

Join them to review and re-contextualise your history, heritage, culture and future by exploring Ashanti Goldweights & Regalia(1874); William Ansah Sessarakoo (1736 – 1770); kings, family and colonialism in Keta (mid 1880s – mid 20th century); women, cloth & culture; the story of Pan-Africanism (late 1700s – 1963); an immersive simulation of Nkrumah’s WE MUST UNITE NOW OR PERISH (1963); a re-discovery of heritage through food; pop-up photo salon; soulful rock, and DJs with an Independence soundtrack.

Date: Friday, 4 August 2017

Time: 18.00 – 21.45

Venue: Sackler Centre Reception, V&A Museum

Ticket price: £3.00 – £5.00

For More information and to book Tickets visit – https://www.vam.ac.uk/event/1KWB4x8a/ghana-a-nation-in-retrospective-aug-2017

Join the Future of Ghana Research Study

Research Survey…

Future of Ghana Ltd are pleased to announce our research survey aimed at the 2nd generation British Ghanaian demographic is now live on futureofghana.com. The survey follows a pre-survey released last month undertaken to give us a better sense of our potential data and refine our research.

This survey forms part of a wider research study (to include focus groups and interviews) on the ways in which the 2nd generation British Ghanaian engages with Ghana, why they do so and how they would like to. At the same time building up a profile of who the 2nd generation actually are.  

The findings will be published in a report in time for Independence Day next year.

 

Why?…

The purpose of the study is to explore the ways in which diaspora groups interact with their ‘home’ countries.  As stated the focus of this study is 2nd generation Ghanaians in the UK, how they engage with/desire to engage with Ghana (i.e. through social, cultural, economic/financial and skills channels) and its implications for diaspora engagement efforts, policies and development.

The study will attempt to understand the underlying factors driving engagement with Ghana, the priorities and patterns of 2nd generation engagement (in comparison to 1st generation) and what, if any, barriers to engagement exist. We are intent on ensuring your collective voices are represented, which we hope will help shape policy, add to the dialogue around the diaspora and contribute to Ghana’s diaspora engagement efforts.

 

Who?…

We are inviting all 2nd generation British Ghanaians who resides in the UK aged 18 years old and above to participate in this study by taking the survey.
For the purposes of this study, 2nd generation British Ghanaian is being defined as:

  • UK born children of at least 1 Ghanaian born parent
  • Ghanaian born children of at least 1 Ghanaian parent who emigrated to the UK before primary school age (5 years old) and settled here.

 

Results..

The results of the survey will be analysed with data collected from focus group discussions and interviews and used towards a research report to be published by Future of Ghana Ltd.

The final report will be completed by March 2018, and we will be sharing the report with all participants. It will be formally launched at an event in mid-2018.
For more information on the study visit our website and you can take the survey here.

Is This the Woman Who Will Save Uber?

A little over a year before Bozoma Saint John became the first chief brand officer at Uber, the transportation company’s best hope to rehabilitate its tarnished image, she hailed a ride from the Four Seasons hotel in Austin, Tex., to a nearby business dinner. What pulled up was a wreck.

“Hey, nothing’s going to happen to me in this car, right?” Ms. Saint John said half-jokingly to the driver. “You can drive, right?”

She expected him to banter back. Instead, he told her that a group of taxi drivers at the airport had vandalized the vehicle and that he needed the money from this ride to fix it. He also mentioned that he had been saving to see Iggy Pop, his late brother’s favorite rocker, at the South by Southwest festival, which Ms. Saint John was attending as the head of global consumer marketing for iTunes and Apple Music.

She gasped. Her dinner was with Iggy Pop. Would the driver, perhaps, like to come along?

Cue the tears (and the five-star passenger rating).

“Everybody was like: ‘What’s happening? Is this your date? I don’t understand. Why is this guy here?’” Ms. Saint John said. “It was such a beautiful, human moment,” one that was chronicled on her Instagram account, @badassboz, where she has more than 40,000 followers.

“We’re all rushing in our lives, and I was so concerned with getting from here to there, and if not for the moment of humanity where we just started talking, that connection would not have happened,” she said. “What a miss that would have been. What a miss!”

This story was part of what convinced Arianna Huffington, a founder of The Huffington Post and a high-profile member of Uber’s board, that Ms. Saint John was the right person to shepherd Uber out of its recent thicket of legal and ethical scandals.

She moved to New York, and through a temp agency got gigs as a catering server and a receptionist for an Upper East Side dog-washing salon. She also began going to nightclubs, where she made friends with influencers like Rene Mclean, who ran a D.J. boot camp. Her temp agency sent her to SpikeDDB, Spike Lee’s advertising firm. Mr. Lee had fired his assistant and wanted someone to answer phones while he looked for a new one.

“She walked in, she got the job,” he said. “It was evident that she was going to go places.”

Ms. Saint John went from making coffee runs to helping Mr. Lee brainstorm campaigns, like casting Beyoncé, who had just left Destiny’s Child, as Carmen in a Pepsi commercial.

“That became the turning point where, O.K., I can actually use my knowledge of pop culture, running around these streets with my friends, knowing the inside track on things, to help inform business decisions,” she said. She also met her husband-to-be, an advertising executive, in the company cafeteria.

After a stint selling smoking cessation products for GlaxoSmithKline, Ms. Saint John took a marketing job at Pepsi, coming up with projects like the “Pepsi DJ Division,” which included D.J. Khaled.

In 2013, she orchestrated the halftime show Pepsi sponsored at the Super Bowl featuring Beyoncé. Four months later, her husband’s illness was diagnosed. Their daughter had just turned 4.

“Towards the end of his life, as everything started to fail, he was very adamant that I not stop what I was doing,” Ms. Saint John said. “He was telling me to hold his hands because he couldn’t grasp anymore, saying, ‘Promise me, you’re going to keep going.’”

On the 13th anniversary of their first date, Ms. Saint John posted a status update on Facebook, saying in part, “we reflect over our years together as he has a chemo cocktail and I drink red wine in a paper cup.” Mr. Saint John died in December 2013. Ms. Saint John, true to her word, kept going. In February 2014, Jimmy Iovine, a founder of Interscope Records, found out she was in Los Angeles for a sister’s wedding and requested a meeting at his house in Malibu. He had just started Beats Music, a streaming service, with her teenage idol, Dr. Dre. Who was Mr. Iovine? How did streaming work? She wasn’t quite sure, but she drove to the beachside residence.

“We ended up talking for four hours,” Ms. Saint John said. “I was raw. I needed something to give me some hope for the future. I needed something that could help me see further. When he was talking about all this newfangled stuff, I said: ‘That sounds like the future! I’m going to the future!’”

Ms. Saint John quit Pepsi and moved to Los Angeles as the head of global marketing for Beats. Her role expanded when Apple acquired Beats for $3 billion in 2014, and she came up with popular ad campaigns for Apple Music, like a 2015 commercial in which Mary J. Blige, Kerry Washington and Taraji P. Henson bond over post-breakup songs in a light and palm-frond-filled mansion (“Siri, play ‘I Will Survive,’” Ms. Washington says). Last year, Ms. Saint John walked on stage at Apple’s developers’ conference — the first black woman to do so — blasting old-school rap and commanding the room of mostly white men to bounce to the beat.Wired wondered, “Who the hell is this badass woman, and how did Apple keep her secret for so long?”

After hearing Ms. Saint John’s story of her Austin ride, “I had a flash — ‘Wow, she’d be great at Uber,’” Ms. Huffington said. “I thought she would be a great person to tell these amazing stories of our drivers, to touch people’s hearts, to bring more humanity to the brand.”

In May, Ms. Saint John and Travis Kalanick, an Uber founder and then chief executive, spent eight hours at Ms. Huffington’s home in Los Angeles, discussing what she might do for the company, both grand and simple.

“I think I might need to wear a disguise, but I want to drive,” she said. “What happens when someone gets in the car and they’re upset? Is that a moment? Do you just stay quiet or do you talk?”

Mr. Kalanick would step down as chief executive a month later. The hunt is on for his successor. But whoever it is will have Ms. Saint John helping steer from the passenger seat, stilettos and speakers on.

Source: www.nytimes.com