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Nestlé announces the winners of the Sub-Saharan Africa innovation challenge

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The 3 start-ups winners have been awarded a 4-month residency in the new Nestlé R&D Accelerator for Sub-Saharan Africa

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast, September 4, 2019 – Start-ups SHOPIT, EXPORTUNITY and WAKULIMA from South AfricaBenin and Tanzania respectively, emerged today the winners of the Nestlé Research and Development (R&D) Sub-Saharan innovation challenge. Selected from among a highly competitive group of 174 submissions received from 27 different countries across Africa, these start-ups projects were judged by a panel of Nestlé executives as the most promising.

In addition, the initiative MAFANI led by 2 students from University Gaston Berger of Saint Louis (Senegal) was selected as the winner of university category of the challenge and will receive CHF 10,000 in prize money.

The 3 start-ups winners have been awarded a 4-month residency in the new Nestlé R&D Accelerator for Sub-Saharan Africa, located at the Nestlé R&D Center in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.

During their stay, the 3 selected start-ups will have the opportunity to tap into Nestlé’ R&D’s expertise, as well as have access to state-of-the-art infrastructure such as hot desks, labs, kitchens and pilot testing equipment to further advance and potentially commercialize their ideas.

According to Joëlle Abega-Oyouomi, Head of the Nestlé R&D Center in Abidjan, “the Sub-Saharan African innovation ecosystem is filled with creative energy and strong entrepreneurial minds. However, there is not enough infrastructure to test and validate new ideas therefore limiting access to a wider market’’. She highlighted that “Nestlé’s R&D science and technology expertise will contribute by providing a platform to deliver innovations adapted to African consumers’ needs and preferences.”

Also Read Cycles, Nigeria’s No.1 Bike-Sharing Platform Achieving The United Nations SDG Goal 11 – Damilola Soladoye

In May 2019, Nestlé launched the R&D innovation challenge in Sub-Saharan Africa as part of its efforts to stimulate innovative solutions across four areas: affordable nutrition, environmentally friendly packing solutions, sustainable cocoa plantlets, and new routes to markets. It has set a particular focus on universities and start-ups in Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal and South Africa.

Chair of the challenge selection panel, Mr. Rémy Ejel, Market Head for Nestlé in Central and West Africa, was pleased with the high level of participation from the region. “I am impressed by the original ideas pitched to us today.  With a majority of the submissions coming from Ghana and Nigeria and Côte d’Ivoire, the region is in an exceptional position to become an innovation hub for the African continent.”

Bruno Olierhoek, Market Head for Nestlé East and Southern African Region expressed his delight at the dedication showed by students and start-ups to this initiative. “We are thrilled that this innovation challenge resulted in such great interest from the East and Southern African Region. In the spirit of co-creation we can now look forward to joint ideation between the winners and Nestlé for solutions that will contribute to a healthier future of the people of Africa’’.

For more information see:

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CEO Corner

AVCA Board appoints Abi Mustapha-Maduakor as CEO

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AVCA CEO, Abi Mustapha-Maduakor (Source: AVCA)

AVCA: The Board of Directors of the African Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (AVCA) is delighted to announce the appointment of Abi Mustapha-Maduakor as Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

Ms Mustapha-Maduakor joins AVCA from MedAccess, a subsidiary of CDC Group, where she was Head of Business Operations and Finance, overseeing financial and risk management, strategy implementation, and organisational development.

During her tenure as AVCA’s Chief Operating Officer from 2016 to 2019, Abi played an integral role in driving the Association’s strategy, prioritising knowledge exchange and digitisation. Under her leadership, the Association strengthened focus on data and pioneering research, professional development support for private equity stakeholders, and strategic regional partnerships, all of which grew the membership to around 150 investors collectively managing US$1.5trn in assets.

The appointment follows an extensive global search led by the Board.

Abi will take up the position on 1 February 2021, and there will be a transition period with interim CEO, Dara Owoyemi, until her departure.

‘Tokunboh Ishmael, Chair of the Board, said: “After a rigorous process, it was clear to the selection committee that Abi is the right leader for this chapter in AVCA’s life. Her knowledge of the African investment landscape, advocacy, business strategy and risk management will be instrumental in her role leading the Association through its next phase and transformation, as investors and portfolio companies navigate various social, economic, political and institutional challenges. On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank Dara Owoyemi for her immense support and guidance as we searched for a permanent CEO.”

Abi brings several years of finance and banking experience to the role. Previously, she was Special Adviser on private sector development to the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment in Nigeria. She also held leadership positions at Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyds Banking Group and EY.

Commenting on her appointment, Ms Mustapha-Maduakor said: “It is an honour to be appointed as CEO during this time of tremendous change in the global economy. As the Association’s new leader, my priority will be to build on the success of the past 20 years and transform AVCA into a conduit for diverse and varied sources of private investment in Africa. I look forward to working with the Board and team to deliver first-class member services, putting digital transformation, smart data and collaboration at the heart of our work.”A

AVCA

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Novarick Appoints Otonye Lolomari as Non-Executive Director

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L-R: Non-Executive Director, Otonye Lolomari and Chief Executive Officer, Noah Ibrahim, both of Novarick Homes and Properties during the official presentation in Lekki, Lagos.

Novarick Homes and Properties Board of Directors has approved the appointment of Mr. Otonye Tony Lolomari as a Non-Executive Director. This takes effect from 21 of January, as the company is driven to reposition its management and business development for sustainable growth.

Lolomari brings over 24 years of industry experience which includes his position as a director of ICE Commercial Power in 2018, then moved to Chevron, Husky Energy and Schlumberger in Trinidad before joining the Novarick team. He also worked with leading companies and experts in different Continents like Europe, Africa and the USA.

According to Noah Ibrahim, CEO Novarick Homes, the new affiliation will position the company to make better decisions and propel the brand to a greater height. “We intend to continue collaborating with top professional within and outside our industry to achieve a well-rounded organization”, he noted.

Prior to his appointment, Lolomari has contributed and rendered supports in various forms to the goals and objectives of Novarick. The strong passion for inclusion, experimentation and empowerment drives his career towards a distinguished level of proficiency.

Furthermore, Novarick Homes operates other subsidiaries in segments like Property Development, Property Investment, Property Procurement & Advisory, Joint Ventures and Facility Management. The company is also working actively to achieve number 7, 9 and 11 of the 17 World Sustainable Development Goals.

Over the years, the firm has provided green, sustainable and smart real estate solutions using clean and renewable energy. Some major on-going projects include the Ruby Apartments, Nova Gardens and WAZOBIA Courts, all in Lagos State.

Novarick Homes and Properties is a fast-rising real estate development firm which was incorporated in 2018 and based in Lagos. The company is also focused on bridging the housing gap by building affordable and eco-friendly communities in Nigeria.

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Qatar Airways Expands Africa Network with Increase in Flight Frequencies

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Qatar Airways Aircraft (Source: YouTube)

Cape Town, Casablanca and Tunis will increase to five weekly flights, while Johannesburg will increase to 18 weekly flights, offering passengers more flexible and reliable travel options

Airline’s young mixed fleet of sustainable aircraft has enabled it to continue flying throughout the pandemic and rebuild its global network to more than 800 weekly flights to over 120 destinations via the Best Airport in the Middle East

Qatar Airways continues to be the leading global carrier connecting Africa, operating one of the largest and most reliable networks in the region. Having become the largest international carrier during the early stages of the pandemic, the airline has applied its unrivalled knowledge of global passenger flows and booking trends to rebuild its Africa network to 23 destinations and more than 100 weekly flights.

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said: “We are proud to be the leading international carrier connecting Africa with Asia-Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and the U.S., offering more flexible travel options and a global network of flights that passengers, trade and business partners can rely on. Having launched three new destinations in Africa with Abuja, Accra and Luanda joining our network in 2020, we continue to demonstrate our commitment to the region by adding new routes and steadily increasing frequencies across the continent. With the resumption of Alexandria and Cairo, we will operate over 100 weekly flights to and from Africa with connections via the Best Airport in the Middle East, Hamad International Airport, to our global network of over 120 destinations. As global travel recovers in 2021, we look forward to further expanding our network and offering more connections to and from Africa.”

In line with the airline’s steady rebuild of its Africa network, Qatar Airways plans to increase frequencies to the following destinations:

  • Alexandria (two weekly flights resumed 25 January)
  • Cairo (up to 16 weekly flights resumed 18 January)
  • Cape Town (increasing to five weekly flights from 1 February)
  • Casablanca (increased to five weekly flights from 21 January)
  • Durban (increasing to three weekly flights from 14 February)
  • Johannesburg (increasing to 18 weekly flights from 26 January)
  • Maputo (increasing to three weekly flights from 14 February)
  • Tunis (increased to five weekly flights from 24 January)

The national carrier of the State of Qatar continues to rebuild its network, which currently stands at over 120 destinations with plans to increase to over 130 by the end of March 2021.

Qatar Airways has become the first global airline in the world to achieve the prestigious 5-Star COVID-19 Airline Safety Rating by international air transport rating organisation, Skytrax. This follows HIA’s recent success as the first airport in the Middle East and Asia to be awarded a Skytrax 5-Star COVID-19 Airport Safety Rating. These recognitions provides assurance to passengers across the world that airline health and safety standards are subject to the highest possible standards of professional, independent scrutiny and assessment. For full details of all the measures that have been implemented onboard and in HIA, please visit qatarairways.com/safety.

Passengers can book flights with peace of mind, knowing that Qatar Airways offers unlimited date changes and fee-free refunds for all tickets issued before 30 April 2021, for travel completed by 31 December 2021. The carrier’s industry-leading flexible booking policy also provides the permanent feature of exchanging tickets for a travel voucher with 10% additional value for all customers booking travel via qatarairways.com. For full terms and conditions visit qatarairways.com/Flexibility.

A multiple award-winning airline, Qatar Airways was named ‘World’s Best Airline’ by the 2019 World Airline Awards, managed by Skytrax. It was also named ‘Best Airline in the Middle East’, ‘World’s Best Business Class’, and ‘Best Business Class Seat’, in recognition of its ground-breaking Business Class experience, Qsuite. The Qsuite seat layout is a 1-2-1 configuration, providing passengers with the most spacious, fully private, comfortable and social distanced Business Class product in the sky. Qsuite is available on flights to more than 45 destinations including Kuala Lumpur, London, Melbourne and New York. It is the only airline to have been awarded the coveted ‘Skytrax Airline of the Year’ title, which is recognised as the pinnacle of excellence in the airline industry, five times.

Issued by Qatar Airways

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