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ExxonMobil and NBA Africa Launch Jr. NBA League in Angola

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ExxonMobil and NBA Africa today announced the launch of a new Jr. NBA league in Luanda, Angola operated by PanAfricare, a non-profit organization that seeks to improve the health, education and productivity of African communities. The new league, which features 40 boys’ and girls’ teams for youth ages 16 and under, tipped off its inaugural season on Friday, May 17, at Escola Nº 2055 Quedas de Kalandula with former NBA player Muggsy Bogues in attendance. 

The league, which will reach more than 10,000 youth participants this year through basketball clinics, competitions and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) sessions and culminate with the playoffs and finals in September, will also feature all-girls basketball clinics as part of the NBA’s Her Time to Play initiative, which provides opportunities for girls and women to play basketball and pursue careers in coaching and athletic leadership.   

“ExxonMobil is very proud to work with NBA Africa to leverage the sport of basketball and develop the youth in Angola,” said ExxonMobil Angola Lead Country Manager Katrina Fisher. “Together we will not only grow the game, but will also support personal development of our youth. Just as in STEM fields, where experimentation and collaboration are key, sports teach young individuals the value of perseverance and working together towards a common goal.”

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“Launching a new Jr. NBA league in Angola, where there is a strong tradition and affinity for basketball, will provide more opportunities for Angolan youth to learn and play the game,” said NBA Africa Head of Basketball Operations Franck Traore. “We look forward to continuing our collaboration with ExxonMobil and using the game to teach important life skills that have application on the court and in life.”

“The youth are pivotal to Africa’s growth and hold the potential to lead and solve an array of socioeconomic challenges limiting sustainable development in their communities,” said PanAfricare Director of Programs Rachel Ochako. “We are honored to be collaborating with ExxonMobil and NBA Africa to provide a platform for the youth to strengthen their leadership skills and use the game of basketball to further develop their interest in and knowledge of STEM.”

The launch of the Jr. NBA League in Angola follows ExxonMobil and NBA Africa’s launch of a Jr. NBA league in Maputo, Mozambique last month.

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Canon Celebrates 10 Years of Empowering African Youth with the Miraisha Programme

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Canon Miraisha Programme focuses on delivering job opportunities and future livelihoods to young people across Africa through skills workshops, training programmes and enterprise support; The programme has educated more than 7000+ future professionals across the continent, helping them to gain qualifications, secure employment and set up their own businesses.

Canon Central and North Africa, a global leader in imaging solutions, proudly announces the 10th anniversary of its Miraisha Programme, marking a decade of empowering young Africans through skills development and job opportunities. Since its inception, the Miraisha Programme has achieved significant milestones, including the establishment of 33 partnerships with various organisations, the training of over 7,000 participants, and a target to train 10,000 participants by 2027.

Aligning with Canon’s corporate philosophy of Kyosei, which means living and working together for the common good, the Miraisha Programme fosters job opportunities in Africa by providing workshops for photographers, videographers, filmmakers, and print business owners. The name ‘Miraisha’ is a fusion of Japanese and Swahili, symbolising the programme’s cross-cultural approach.

Since 2014, the Miraisha Programme has worked with a wide range of organisations across Africa, including Kenyatta University, Kenya Film Commission (KFC), Kenya Photography Awards, Yabba College of Technology in Nigeria, Uganda Press Photo Award (UPPA), The NRB Bus, Zebra Productions Kenya LTD, and Lens on Life, PEFTI Film Institute in Nigeria and National Film & TV Institute of Ghana (NAFTI) amongst many other organisations and events. The programme has played an instrumental role in fostering future livelihoods across the African continent.

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“We are excited to celebrate the 10th anniversary of our Miraisha Programme, which embodies our ongoing commitment to empowering youth and supporting sustainable development across Africa,” says Somesh Adukia, Managing Director of Canon Central and North Africa. “This programme has been instrumental in fostering talent, creating opportunities, and catalysing positive change. As we reflect on a decade of impact, we reaffirm our dedication to nurturing talent and driving societal progress through initiatives like Miraisha.

“Our company’s purpose goes beyond making profits; it’s about serving communities and enhancing people’s lives. We recognise the critical importance of developing skills and promoting livelihoods, particularly in regions like Africa, where growth opportunities are paramount. As the Miraisha Programme enters its second decade, Canon looks forward to expanding its reach and empowering even more young people to pursue their passions and build successful careers in the imaging industry.”

To celebrate this significant milestone, the company has planned a series of activities throughout the anniversary year. These activities include a portfolio review exclusively for photographers residing in Africa, with a specialized focus on documentary and wedding photography. Upon submission, selected portfolios will undergo comprehensive reviews by Canon experts, offering participants valuable insights and constructive feedback.

Chosen individuals will be rewarded with  personalised mentorship, allowing them to refine their craft and further develop their skills under the guidance of seasoned professionals within the industry.

Furthermore, as part of the commemoration, Canon will issue a coffee table book, showcasing the outstanding work and achievements of both Miraisha students and Canon trainers throughout the past decade. This visually stunning publication will serve as a tribute portraying the talents and dedication cultivated within the programme, highlighting inspiring success stories and key projects undertaken by participants.

Additionally, there will be panel discussions conducted in collaboration with Miraisha partners and Canon, focusing on key topics such as the programme’s vital role in addressing skills gaps across Africa. These will serve as a platform for in-depth exploration and exchange of ideas, aiming to shed light on the challenges and opportunities within the industry.  These discussions will also lay the groundwork for the development of future feature articles, providing a comprehensive analysis and commentary derived from the insights garnered during the talks.

The Miraisha Programme will also offer online training master classes conducted by industry experts in both English and French. These sessions, available via social media registration, will cater to passionate photographers and filmmakers, offering invaluable skills development opportunities. Centered on the business aspects of photography, they will empower attendees with the expertise and acumen necessary to either initiate their own ventures or enhance their current business models and strategies.Through a variety of courses, participants will have the chance to dive deeper into their craft, refine their techniques, and acquire new skills under the guidance of seasoned professionals.

Canon remains committed to nurturing young talent and driving positive change in Africa through initiatives like the Miraisha Programme. By providing access to essential skills, mentorship opportunities, and resources, the company aims to unlock the full potential of the continent’s vibrant youth demographic, driving economic growth, innovation, and societal progress.

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LG Electronics brings Korean Rhythm to Nigeria with K-POP Fiesta

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LG Electronics, a global leader in technology and innovation, is delighted to announce the launch of the highly anticipated K-POP Fiesta contest in Nigeria. This exciting event offers fans a unique platform to showcase their passion for Korean pop music and dance, while providing an opportunity to engage with fellow enthusiasts from all corners of the country.

The contest will be to four major cities in Nigeria, including Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, and Ibadan. The K-POP Fiesta contest aims to bring the electric energy and vibrant culture of K-POP to Nigeria, a country known for its love of music and dance. The K-POP Contest invites talented individuals and groups to contest in various categories, including singing, dancing, and performance. As part of its commitment to fostering cultural exchange and embracing diversity.

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“We are excited to bring the K-POP Contest to Nigeria and provide a platform for talented individuals to shine,” said Mr. Hyoungsub Ji, Managing Director at LG Electronics West Africa. “By taking the contest to multiple cities, we aim to reach a diverse range of participants and celebrate the rich cultural exchange between Korea and Nigeria. Contestant will have the opportunity to win exciting prizes and recognition for their talent”.

Nigerian Award-Winning Actor, singer, and dancer, Adeeze Onyegbula Sharon, General Manager, Audio, LG Electronics West Africa, Mr. Daesun Hwang, Head Corporate Marketing, LG Electronics West Africa, Mr. Hari Elluru, Winner of the Nigerian 2006 Idol , Akunna Okechukwu and The Finalist of the 2015 K-POP Fiester 2015, Pebble Joseph, VJ Adams at the official announcement of the 2024 LG K-POP Fiesta contest in Nigeria in Lagos today.

“We are thrilled to bring the K-POP Fiesta contest to Nigeria, a country with a rich musical heritage. This event is a testament to LG’s dedication to providing unique and exciting experiences for our customers. We believe that K-POP has the power to unite people from different backgrounds and create a sense of joy and unity.” Mr. Hyoungsub added

The K-POP Contest tour will kick off in Ibadan on the 2nd and 3rd of May, where fans can experience the electrifying energy of K-POP through dance and singing competitions, and also interactive experiences. From there, the tour will travel to Lagos, Port Harcourt, and Abuja, giving aspiring performers in each location the chance to showcase their talent on a grand stage at the finale which will take place in Lagos sometime in June.

The K-POP Fiesta contest will provide participants with a platform to showcase their talent, creativity, and love for K-POP. Participants will have the opportunity to compete in various categories, including singing, dancing, and even creating their own K-POP-inspired music videos. The contest will be judged by a panel of industry experts, ensuring a fair and unbiased evaluation.

Three winners in music and dance will emerge at the regional contest in these four cities with five hundred thousand naira up for grabs while the winner at the grand finale gets two million naira plus other exciting prizes.

In addition to the contest, attendees will also have the opportunity to experience LG’s latest innovations in entertainment technology. From high-quality sound systems to immersive displays, LG continues to push the boundaries of what’s possible in entertainment and lifestyle.

LG Electronics is committed to supporting and nurturing talent in Nigeria, and the K-POP Fiesta contest is just one of the many initiatives undertaken by the company to empower individuals and encourage artistic expression. By bringing the K-POP phenomenon to Nigeria, LG aims to create a memorable experience for both participants and fans alike.

To participate in the K-POP Fiesta contest, fans can register online at https://www.lg.com/africa/LG-Kpop-Fiesta or Join the conversation on social media (Instagram) using the hashtag #LGKPOPNigeria.

The contest is open to all K-POP enthusiasts in Nigeria, regardless of age or background.

The event had in attendance Management of LG Electronics, Nigeria Video Jockey & TV Presenter, V.J Adams, Akunna Okechukwu, 2021 Nigerian Idol finalist, among others.

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Universal Music France and Binetou Sylla partner to lead Def Jam Africa

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Universal Music France (UMF), a division of Universal Music Group (UMG), the world leader in music-based entertainment, today announced a new strategic relationship with Binetou Sylla, acclaimed producer and founder of leading independent label Wèrè Wèrè Music to lead Def Jam Africa within French-speaking markets on the continent, in collaboration with Universal Music France and its Capitol France division.

Dedicated to developing French-speaking African artists, the partnership will help foster the discovery and nurturing of new and existing talent, enabling Def Jam Africa artists to excel globally and continuing to follow the blueprint of the iconic Def Jam Recordings label, which has led and influenced the cutting-edge in hip-hop and urban culture worldwide for more than 35 years.

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With more than 10 years’ experience running independent record labels between Paris and the African continent, including the historic Syllart Records label, Binetou Sylla, brings a wealth of expertise to the newly formed partnership, which will focus on unearthing and producing authentic artists through innovative, pan-African musical projects capable of reaching a global audience. Combined with Universal Music France’s expertise and network, Def Jam artists signed in French-speaking Africa will be uniquely positioned to reach largest possible global audience. Def Jam Africa was first launched across French-speaking markets in 2020, and the appointment of Sylla marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter for the label, with further announcements on signings and projects to follow in the coming months. 

African music is fast emerging as the new dominant force in the global music space; the Sub-Saharan African market was the fastest growing region in 2023 according to the IFPI’s Global Music Report (+24.7%). The partnership also complements UMG’s strategy to increase its presence and accelerate its growth in high potential music markets around the world, highlighted by the recently announced acquisition of a majority stake in Nigerian label Mavin Global (subject to regulatory approval).

Binetou Sylla, Director of Syllart Records and founder of Wèrè Wèrè Music, said: “I’m proud to join forces with Universal Music France with a shared vision and passion to develop regional artists in French-speaking Africa internationally.  In partnering with Def Jam and Capitol, Wèrè Wèrè Music is uniquely positioned to deliver commercial and global success to unique African talent from across the continent. Def Jam, our driving force, is a powerful, unifying brand in the French-speaking and international ecosystem. Def Jam Africa is more than just a music label; it is the embodiment of a set of authentic values that make no compromise on artistic excellence.”

Olivier Nusse, President, Universal Music France, said: “We are incredibly honored to be able to draw on the unique expertise of Binetou Sylla and her team to bring new talent from French-speaking Africa to Africa, France and the rest of the world. In the wake of recent worldwide successes by English-speaking artists, I’m absolutely convinced that the French-speaking scene will also without doubt shine on the world stage, with Def Jam Africa as the spearhead!”

Franck Kacou, Managing Director, Universal Music Africa, said: “Having launched and developed the Def Jam Africa brand in this region of the continent, I’m delighted to see it take on a new dimension through this partnership. I know Binetou’s passion and expertise and combined with the skills of our Capitol and Universal Music France teams, this will only create more opportunities and success for the many talents from French-speaking Africa.”

Alexandre Kirchhoff, Managing Director, Capitol Label Services, said: “French-speaking Sub-Saharan Africa is the biggest growth engine in Africa and remains a world-class centre of musical talent that has greatly influenced and impacted French music past and present, thanks in particular, to the diasporas. The Capitol team in France is delighted to partner with Binetou Sylla. Our shared vision knows no boundaries, and we look forward to this exciting and what will be an extremely productive musical adventure.”

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