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#ISurvivedEbola App Connects Survivors to Share Life-Saving Tips



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#ISurvivedEbola, the groundbreaking West African multimedia campaign, has launched a new, interactive mobile app that allows Ebola survivors to connect with each other, share public health advice, and update the world on the challenges they still face during their post-recovery lives.

The innovative digital tool debuted in Guinea on January 5.

It is being piloted by the first Guinean survivor to share her story with the #ISurvivedEbola campaign.

The updates from the app appear on the newly launched #ISurvivedEbola website-, which also houses the stories of a growing community of Ebola survivors from Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea.

In the first-ever message sent via the mobile app, Camara “Fanta” Fantaoulen of Guinea stated in French, “Yes, I survived Ebola, thanks to the help of the brave healthcare workers who treated me. And I’ve learned that together, we can defeat this virus and protect our families and communities.”

After losing her father and five other family members to suspected or confirmed Ebola, Fanta believed her death was imminent when she tested positive for the virus.

Thanks to a combination of early treatment, strict adherence to her treatment plan, and sheer determination, Fanta recovered from the virus and is now providing psychosocial support to Ebola patients.

The mobile app is the latest component of the #ISurvivedEbola campaign, which leverages survivor stories from Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea to deliver vital public health information about Ebola to affected populations, and to reduce the stigma faced by Ebola survivors.

A key way in which the campaign does this is by documenting survivor stories in video, audio, and print formats; then disseminating these stories broadly via local, national, and international media, online platforms, and other distribution channels.

Educational radio dramas that tell fictional yet reality-based stories of survival, and radio call-in shows that feature Ebola survivors as guests, are among the equally important campaign activities.

Funded by Paul G. Allen’s Vulcan Productions in response to the Ebola crisis in West Africa, #ISurvivedEbola is part of the #TackleEbola initiative ( and the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation’s commitment of at least $100 million for Ebola relief.

The campaign is implemented by PCI Media Impact in collaboration with UNICEF.

Carole Tomko, general manager and creative Director of Vulcan Productions, states, “The mobile app really changes the face of this campaign by empowering the people of West Africa to share stories about Ebola and survivorship with each other and the world.  The app gives a human face to survivorship and has the potential to create a sense of community in which the survivors, rather than being stigmatized, become leaders and heroes in this fight. The new digital components of the campaign extend our reach beyond West Africa, allowing these very moving, personal stories to be seen and heard globally.”

Currently, campaign staff in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea are providing each survivor who has shared his or her story through the campaign with a smartphone installed with the app, thereby enabling these individuals to use the technology to share information about their lives after recovery.

The smartphones and the app were provided and developed with support from the charity fundraising website GlobalGiving.

Campaign staff expect survivors in all three countries to begin utilizing the app within two weeks.

The mobile app updates will be shared globally on the newly launched #ISurvivedEbola website.

With the release of the app and launch of the website, the #ISurvivedEbola campaign has completed Phase I of its roll-out in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea.

With active distribution of campaign products across radio, print, digital, and video platforms in West Africa and beyond, the #ISurvivedEbola campaign is also continuing to add stories of hope and resilience to the world’s focus on the Ebola outbreak. These stories include two additional survivor story videos from survivors in Liberia and Sierra Leone, respectively.

The latest Liberia video introduces the world to Decontee Davis, a 23-year-old who overcame Ebola but lost her fiancé to the virus.

Decontee now works in an Interim Care Center for children who have come in contact with Ebola patients and are under 21 days of observation.

Many of these children have lost one or both parents to the disease.

In the new Sierra Leone video, audiences meet Aminata Kargbo, a university student who, after surviving Ebola, has arisen as a leader in efforts to educate her fellow countrymen and women on the benefits of early treatment.

“The campaign is really accelerating, especially in the three countries hardest hit by the Ebola outbreak,” said Sean Southey, CEO of PCI Media Impact.

“We began in early December with the launch of the campaign and release of the first survivor video ( out of Liberia. Then, the campaign launched educational Ebola-focused radio programs in Liberia and released the premier survivor story out of Sierra Leone ( Now, we have activated the mobile app, released the first survivor story out of Guinea, and launched a website that will allow concerned citizens throughout the world to join the movement.”

The multiple #ISurvivedEbola campaign products and activities are reinforcing the existing work being done by organizations like UNICEF in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea to spread key messages on Ebola to the public.

“While treatment of Ebola patients is critical, the best way to end the Ebola outbreak in West Africa is to cut the chain of transmission and prevent further infections,” said Rafael Obregon, Chief of the Communication for Development Section at UNICEF.

Obregon added, “As the global UN lead for the Social Mobilization Pillar of the Ebola response in West Africa, UNICEF is at the helm of efforts to stop transmission by working with national governments and partners to educate the public in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea about how to protect themselves, their families, and their communities from the virus. #ISurvivedEbola is reinforcing our efforts by providing this information in multiple, highly entertaining forms, including through the testimonies of actual survivors.”


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Africa Day in Russia Aimed @ Celebrating 60th Anniversary of the Liberation of Africa



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Africa Day is traditionally celebrated in Russia on May 25. This day commemorates the establishment of  the Organization of African Unity in 1963, which later transformed into the African Union. For Russia, the development of relations with Africa is an important strategic direction.

Russia plays a vital role in supporting the political, economic, and technological sovereignty of African states, while also fostering partnerships and cooperation with African countries. Additionally, Russia actively promotes awareness and understanding of Africa’s rich cultural heritage.

To mark Africa Day, a wide array of cultural and business events are planned in cities across Russia. These events include exhibitions, performances by creative groups, and business missions.

Russian universities take an active part in educational activities on this day. The Centre for African Studies at the Higher School of Economics will host a special celebratory event and present the book “Africa 2023: Opportunities and Risks.” Furthermore, Peter the Great St.Petersburg Polytechnic University will host the Youth Festival “Africa in St. Petersburg,” aimed at capturing the attention of young people and showcasing Africa’s cultural and educational legacy.

Importantly, the African agenda is not limited to a single day of celebration. The International Festival of African Culture “AFROFEST” will be held in Moscow on July 22-23 and in St. Petersburg on July 28-29, marking its fourth occurrence. This festival serves as a platform to broaden cultural horizons and challenge stereotypes by acquainting Russians with Africa’s history, customs, and traditions.

A high-profile business event, the Russia-Africa Summit and the Economic and Humanitarian Forum, is scheduled to take place from July 26 to 29 in St. Petersburg. This Summit and Forum hold paramount importance in Russian-African relations, aiming to strengthen comprehensive and equal cooperation between Russia and African countries across various spheres, including politics, security, economy, science and technology, culture, and humanitarian affairs

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LEAP Africa, International Youth Foundation Launch New Fund



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LEAP Africa, a youth-focused leadership development organisation, and the International Youth Foundation (IYF), a global youth development organisation with over 30 years of experience, have entered into a partnership to launch the Youth Enterprise Fund (YEF).

Both groups in positive youth development (PYD) said the YEF project would allow IYF and LEAP Africa to resurrect their historic partnership to implement new and innovative approaches that leverage their shared expertise.

Technical Advisor, Youth Agency and Engagement at the IYF, United States, Sarah Jonson, in a statement said: “When we first partnered LEAP in 2013 to support the strengthening of their Social Innovators Programme, our work together really focused on building the skills of young social entrepreneurs, facilitating access to networks and resources for youth-led projects, and advocating for the importance and credibility of youth-led social innovation.

“We are excited to work together again to build that model and success, and explore new frontiers in facilitating more sustainable access and strengthen the ecosystem for early to mid-stage social entrepreneurs.”

The YEF is funded by the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation to support the critical work being done by early and mid-stage social entrepreneurs. With flexible grants that will be sub-awarded to social innovators within LEAP Africa’s Alumni network, the Youth Enterprise Fund will support them to increase the impact of their work.

Also, LEAP Africa said it has been strengthening and advancing youth-led innovation and entrepreneurship in Nigeria for the previous decade through its social innovator’s programme (SIP).

Each year, an annual cohort of fellows is equipped with new knowledge and skills, supported to expand their networks and partnerships, and elevated through national and regional showcase events.

This model has resulted in greater personal effectiveness, organisational sustainability, and impact. With time, the Social Innovators Programme has created a network of change agents across Africa, the group stated

Jonson noted that the Youth Enterprise Fund (YEF) seeks to build on the success of the Social Innovators Programme by facilitating access to flexible funding for SIP alums.

In his remark, the acting Executive Director of LEAP Africa, Kehinde Ayeni, said: “Africa is not in short supply of self-willed, talented, innovative people (particularly young people), but what is lacking is direction, resources, and training to empower and equip our young change-makers to build sustainable and thriving enterprises to address the issues peculiar to Africa. With a partner like the IYF, LEAP Africa looks forward to improving social entrepreneurs’ change outcomes.”

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MTN Nigeria Shines at SABRE Awards Africa with Five Certificates of Excellence



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In acknowledgment of its accomplishments in harnessing public relations and communication to foster public-private partnerships and shared value in Nigeria, MTN Nigeria has received five Certificates of Excellence at the 2023 SABRE Africa awards.

L-R: Dr Omoniyi Ibietan, Head of Media, Nigerian Communications Commission; Lakinbofa Goodluck, PR Manager, MTN Nigeria; Njideka Akabogu, Regional Manager East Africa, ID Africa (BHM Holdings); Yomi Badejo-Okusanya, President, African Public Relations Association at the SABRE Africa Awards in Lusaka, Zambia on May 19, 2023.

The ICT company received nominations at the awards for its services and innovations over the past year in categories including Company of the Year; Corporate Image; Corporate Social Responsibility and; Special Event/Sponsorship and CEO of the Year.

MTN’s growth is evident in its revenue which has doubled from N1 trillion in 2018 to N2 trillion at the end of the financial year in 2022 with its strongest growth achieved in 2021 and 2022 at 22.9 percent and 21.6 percent respectively.

In December 2021, MTN Nigeria became the first Nigerian company to make its public offer of 575 million sales in shares accessible to retail investors through a unique digital platform, Primary Offer. Similarly, the company partnered with the Nigerian government to rehabilitate the Enugu-Onitsha 110-kilometre expressway under the 10-year Road Infrastructure Tax Credit Scheme (RITC). In 2022, the company also launched the Media Innovation Programme in partnership with Pan-Atlantic University to upskill media practitioners in Nigeria.

These initiatives, with efficient public and private stakeholder engagement and communication support by Public Relations and Communications company BHM, culminated in MTN Nigeria and its leadership becoming recipients of the 2023 SABRE Africa Company of the Year and CEO of the Year certificates.

MTN Nigeria’s recent rebranding to a technological company offering a bouquet of digital services has attracted widespread commendation in recent times, and its excellent achievements in the technology space were also rewarded with its recognition as having a great Corporate Image.

The recognition was bolstered by the technology company’s successful acquisition of the 5G spectrum and the launch of the advanced 5G network in different parts of Nigeria in 2022. If properly harnessed, the 5G network is predicted to deliver $13.2 trillion in global economic value by 2035 and can generate 22.3 million jobs in the 5G global value chain alone within the same period. The advanced network has the potential to boost Nigeria’s socio-economic ecosystem, particularly by improving access to essential services such as finance, health, and education.

MTN was also recognised as an organisation with an impactful Corporate Social Responsibility for its innovative Y’ellopreneur, which is distinctive for its ambition to bridge the gender gap in Nigeria’s employment and entrepreneurship landscape. In its debut phase, at least 500 women entrepreneurs were able to build capacity, with 101 receiving funding worth N2 million for their respective businesses under the empowerment programme.

MTN’s contribution to the development of grassroots football in Nigeria and its partnership with the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) as the Official Communications Partner earned it a Certificate of Excellence in the Special Event/Sponsorship category.

Over the past two decades, MTN has demonstrated its commitment to elevating Nigeria’s standing in world football by collaborating with the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) and investing in various football camps and scholarship programs to develop young footballing talents in the country. The most recent of such transformative programmes by the ICT company was the establishment of the NPFL/La Liga U-15 tournament in 2022 to identify and train the best young football talents in Nigeria.

In a related event, Funso Aina, MTN Nigeria’s senior manager, external relations, became the first African to win the “Innovator of the Year” award in the brands’ category at the 2023 SABRE IN2 Awards.

Speaking on the SABRE recognition, Tobechukwu Okigbo, Chief Corporate Services Officer, MTN Nigeria, said, “We are deeply honoured to have been recognised across multiple categories at the SABRE Africa awards. These accolades are a testament to the hard work and dedication of the team and the contributions of all our partners towards our success.

At MTN, we remain committed to delivering innovative and impactful solutions that enhance the lives of communities where we operate. These certificates are a clear validation of our efforts and we will continue to strive towards excellence in all that we do.”

Effective PR and communication strategies are critical in driving brand awareness, facilitating partnerships, and expanding market share. Due to its increased adoption and its potential to impact brand growth, the global public relations market size is expected to grow to $133 billion in 2027 at a CAGR of 5.7%.

The 2023 SABRE Africa awards ceremony was held in Lusaka, Zambia, as part of the 2023 African Public Relations Association (APRA) Conference. The annual event, organised by PRovoke Media, celebrates public relations and communication excellence in Africa, particularly in the areas of branding, reputation, and engagement.




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