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Jack Ma Foundation’s ANPI Launches Search for “Africa’s Business Heroes” 2020

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The Jack Ma Foundation has officially launched the second edition of the “Africa’s Business Heroes” (ABH) prize competition with applications now open to African entrepreneurs from all 54 African countries, as well as every sector, age group, and gender. Applications will also now be available in both French and English.

The ABH prize competition and show is organized by the Africa Netpreneur Prize Initiative (ANPI), the Jack Ma Foundation’s flagship philanthropic program in Africa. ABH made its debut last year, and aims to identify, support and inspire the next generation of African entrepreneurs who are making a difference in their local communities, working to solve the most pressing problems, and building a more sustainable and inclusive economy for the future.

Every year, ten finalists will be selected to compete in a finale pitch competition show that will be broadcast online and across the continent.

“At this year’s grand finale, all ten finalists will share a prize pool of US$1.5 million, up from $1 million last year, as well as gain access to the ANPI community of business leaders to leverage the community’s shared expertise, best practice, training and resources.

Last year, the prize received nearly 10,000 applications from 50 African countries. The 2019 top ten finalists pitched their business ideas to a prominent judging panel during a televised grand-finale show in Accra, Ghana. The finalists represented a variety of industries – including cloud kitchens, tech agribusiness, healthcare and pharma, e-commerce, consumer goods, and water supply solutions.

“It was an incredible honor to be named Africa’s Business Hero last year. The Prize enabled me to expand to multiple states in Nigeria and become a truly pan-Nigerian business, and I was truly inspired by my experience and by all my fellow winners.

“I am looking forward to serving as an Ambassador for this year’s prize and to seeing the next group of entrepreneurs come forward to showcase the best of Africa’s entrepreneurial spirit and strength,” said Temie Giwa-Tubosun, founder and CEO, LifeBank.

“We find ourselves in unprecedented and extraordinary times. Now, more than ever, we need entrepreneurs with courage, initiative, and vision to do what they do best – solve problems for society.

“With this prize competition, we are looking to inspire and reward African business heroes in all sectors and encourage any aspiring applicants to seize this opportunity to break through barriers and create hope for the future,” said Jason Pau, Senior Advisor for International Programs, Jack Ma Foundation.

Global leaders Graca Machel, Chair of the Graca Machel Trust Board and Ban Ki-moon, Former UN Secretary- General and Co-chair of the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens serve on the ANPI advisory board. Over a ten-year period, the ANPI will recognize 100 African entrepreneurs and commit to allocating US$100 million in grant funding, training programs, and support for the broad African entrepreneurial ecosystem.

This year, ANPI will work with a select group of Anchor Partners, including Ashesi, Dalberg, Janngo and RiseUp to identify and support African entrepreneurs. ANPI will also partner with Pulse.Africa to highlight stories of African entrepreneur heroes.

More partners will be announced in due course. In addition, Anita Erskine, UN SDG Advocate and Founder of the STEM Woman Project, joins ANPI to serve as the official host of “Africa’s Business Heroes” program and Brand Ambassador. Her advocacy for social good reflects the boldness, creativity and strength that the Prize will be looking for in their entrepreneur heroes.

Applications will be open online from April 6th to June 9th 2020 with semi-finalists announced in August, and the top ten finalists for 2020 unveiled in September.


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Bristow Helicopters Sacks 100 Pilots

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Management of Bristow Helicopters Limited has terminated the appointment of 100 pilots, according to a statement by the company.

Bristow Helicopters Sacks 100 Pilots

The company said the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic necessitated its decision to lay off workers.

While describing the sacking as painful, the airline’s management said the move was inevitable in order to ensure the continuity of its business and delivery of essential services to its clients.

“This decision has not been made lightly, but having considered the state of the business and the very serious constraints caused by the spread of the COVID-19 disease and the downturn in the oil and gas market, the company must now take this painful, but decisive step to ensure the continuity of its business and delivery of essential services to its clients,” the statement partly read.

“One of these measures includes the right-sizing of the business to ensure that the company has the optimal level of personnel to continue the safe delivery of its services to its clients, whilst allowing the appropriate capacity for future growth.

“Accordingly, and with much regret, the company has taken the very difficult decision to release over 100 pilots and engineers (both National and Expatriates) over the next couple of weeks.”

This comes barely 24 hours after Air Peace sacked scores of pilots across its fleet while slashing staff salaries by up to 40 percent.

According to Mr. Stanley Olise, the airline’s spokesman,  the retrenchment, and shedding of workers were not unlinked with the economic devastation wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic.


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SSASCGOC Asks FG to Intervene in FIRS, NIPOST Stamp Duty Crisis

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Senior Staff Association of Statutory Corporations and Government Owned Companies (SSASCGOC), has called on the Federal Government to immediately wade into the brewing crisis between the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and the Nigeria Postal Service (NIPOST), over the production of stamp duty in the country.

SSASCGOC Asks FG to Intervene in FIRS, NIPOST Stamp Duty Crisis

The union, which insisted it had the responsibilities to protect the interest of all senior staff in Statutory Corporations in the country, including the FIRS, called for a stakeholders meeting between government, SSASCGOC, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy, and the two agencies concerned.

A statement signed by Ayo  Olorunfemi, general secretary, and made available to newsmen in Abuja, maintained that SSASCGOC would not hesitate to declare full industrial action should the Federal Government failed to convene the stakeholders’ meeting at the expiration of a 21-day ultimatum issued to government.

He said: “As a responsible union, we have called on the Federal Government in the spirit of social dialogue, to convene a stakeholders’ meeting of FIRS, NIPOST, SSASCGOC, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy, to discuss the issue of stamp as it relates to stamp duties.

“Failure to do this, the union shall have no other option than to declare full industrial action. A 21-day ultimatum/notice had been given to federal government already.

“We are calling on President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene in this matter before it degenerates into an avoidable industrial relations crisis, which is capable of embarrassing Nigeria in the committee of nations. “SSASCGOC recognises the power given to FIRS by the law to collect stamp duty, The power given to NIPOST by law to produce the stamp must also be recognized

That is the reason we are saying that stamp, which is the major instrument to demote duties is a legal product owned by NIPOST and should be procured by FIRS to carry out the collection.

“SSASCGOC has responsibilities towards the protection of the interest of all senior staff of statutory corporations in Nigeria, including FIRS as pronounced by the NIC judgements of 17th December 2019 and May 2020.”

                                                                                      


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KAS Print Rolls out Initiatives Using Canon Equipment & Training for COVID-19 Response in Nigeria

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Canon Central and North Africa (CCNA) a leader in imaging solutions, is proud to support and highlight its partners making a special effort to support vulnerable people through the COVID-19 crisis. Today, CCNA would like to put a spotlight on KAS Print in Nigeria, as they find innovative ways to assist brave healthcare workers and public safety efforts in Africa’s most populous nation during the coronavirus pandemic.

Nigeria is home to over 200 million people, many without the financial means to protect themselves from the novel dangers of the COVID-19 pandemic.

On the 27th of February 2020, Nigeria confirmed its first case and after one hundred days (June 6th), the country had officially registered 11,844 confirmed cases and 333 deaths on a curve that is still expected to rise, especially if the virus reaches the vulnerable refugee populations of the country’s northeast.

Stay-at-home orders have increased financial pressure on many, while the sharp drop in the oil price has put a strain on the Nigerian economy as a whole.

To fight the virus head-on, KAS Print have created protective face shields made of laser cut and shaped transparent acrylic. Covering the entire face, the shield protects the mouth, nose, and eyes from the droplets that carry the virus, while giving a full field of vision and adequate airflow for user comfort.

The design also offers personalised labels, printed on the Canon Colorado UV Gel Printer, to reinforce health and safety messages alongside company or sponsor branding.

KAS Print has already produced more than 100,000 protective face shields, which have received approval from the relevant regulatory authorities, and plans to produce more than one million by the end of 2020.

As the number of cases in Nigeria continues to rise, it is essential that this kind of personal protective equipment (PPE) is made available.

The protective face shield is just one of the three essential products in the COVID-19 PPE kit box. Produced by KAS Print, the kit is designed for distribution in hospitals, companies and government entities, to help reduce the spread of the virus between workers, customers, and visitors.

Every kit box contains a face shield, a face mask for additional protection of the mouth and nose, and liquid sanitiser for the hands, covering all four key areas of the body in one kit. The PPE kit box itself, is cut and creased using a flatbed cutter and personalised with instructions printed on the Canon C10000 and Colorado.

“COVID-19 is an unprecedented global crisis and personal protective equipment (PPE) is central to the solution in all affected nations. In order to slow the spread of the virus in Nigeria, it is essential that we make more PPE available through initiatives like those of KAS Print,” says Ben Gossage, B2B Sales and Marketing Director at CCNA.

“KAS Print has been a loyal customer of Canon and we are especially proud that our printing solutions can be used to support their worthy efforts. We will need many more stories like this to protect the vulnerable through these challenging times.”

The collaboration between Canon and KAS is based on multi-sector knowledge, secure data management, and value-added solutions that foster customer-focused innovation.

These skills have been influential in KAS Print’s crisis response for schools and public health campaigns.

Using the Canon Colorado and C10000, the company has produced awareness leaflets, signage, and floor instruction for retail, hospitals, government offices, and other public spaces. Educating and reminding the public to stay vigilant are fundamental elements of this health emergency and, in Nigeria, KAS Print is playing a key role in that space.

The nature of this pandemic is forcing us to re-think many aspects of our lives related to human contact and sharing of objects that could transmit the virus.

For schools in Nigeria, the sharing of textbooks between numerous children is commonplace and represents a key challenge in the efforts to maintain education while safely social distancing.

KAS Print has launched a campaign in several schools to print individual and personalised school books for every student, helping to protect the education process and entire neighbourhoods from the spread of the disease.

“We have found in Canon a trusted partner that shares our values and is committed to helping us successfully anticipate our customers’ needs. The equipment and training we have received from Canon certainly contributed to our various initiatives during the COVID-19 crisis in Nigeria,” says Ademola Kasumu, Managing Director and CEO at KAS Print.

“We hope for a quick resolution to the crisis in Nigeria and around the world, and appreciate the support of international partners like Canon in our local efforts to slow the spread of the virus here in Nigeria.”


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