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Nigeria worries over Ghana’s continuous closure of shops

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National Association of Nigerian Traders (NANTS) President, Ken Ukuoha (L) and the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa.(NAN)

 

Nigeria has expressed concern over the continued closure of Nigerians shops in Ghana two weeks after President Koffi Nana-Akudo gave the order to reopen them.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, said in Abuja when the National Association of Nigerian Traders (NANTS) led by its President, Ken Ukuoha, paid her a visit.

Ukuoha had led the Nigerian and Ghanaian Chapters of the union to present a petition on the continuous closure of their shops to President Mohammadu Buhari through Dabiri Erewa’s office.

Nigerian traders were shut-out of their business premises in pursuance of the eviction order dated 27th July 2018.

The Ghanaian authority was demanding that traders must have one million dollars as minimum foreign investment capital to do business in Ghana as stipulated its Ministry of Trade and Industry (GIPC) Act, 2013.

She expressed worry that in spite the assurance of President of Ghana to Buhari that the shops will be re-opened, and despite an instruction to reopen the shops on Sept 27, the shops still remain closed.

I am just going to start by appealing to you I know it is painful it is emotional, it is deep but I just urged to remain calm.

“I am surprised that after the announcement of President of Ghana on the reopening of the locked shops, they still remained under lock up till now.

“The president of Ghana paid a courtesy call on our president during the UN General Assembly in New York and he assured him that Nigerian traders were not being targeted

“When they said foreigners, he assured that Nigerians were not the target; and since that time which was on Sept. 27, I am very surprised that as at today over 400 shops were still under lock in Ghana,” she said.

Dabiri-Erewa expressed dismay that Ghanaian president yet to honour his promise to reopen the closed shops 13 days after.

The presidential aide promised to convey the union’s message to the president who he said was the Chairman of the ECOWAS about what their petition.

She said that President Buhari as the ECOWAS chairman would ensure that the matter is resolved once and for all.

She urged the traders not to take laws into their hands no matter how provocative the situation may but to remain calm

“I am sure that the matter will be resolved between the two presidents and will be treated as ECOWAS matter.

“I know it is not only Nigerians that are affected but other ECOWAS nationals as well but I know that Nigerians are the largest.

“On behalf of the government I advised and urge to remain calm because this is an ECOWAS matter and we cannot be doing this to ourselves,” she said.

While noting that millions of Ghanaian traders in Nigeria were treated as brothers she appealed to the union not to even think about retaliation but rather be calm and obey their laws.

“It is only a matter of time when this would resolved, it is a matter of days these long faces would soon smile because President Buhari would surely intervene,” she assured them.

Ukuoha said that in 2018, the Ministry of Trade and Industry(GIPC) and Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) in a joint operation established a taskforce with specific mandate to clamp down on Nigerian traders.

He said that this had eventually resulted in the ongoing closure of over 400 Nigerian Traders’ shops in Kumasi and the Ashanti region of Ghana.

“We are deeply worried with the high level of government complicity and state sponsored incitement and xenophobic attacks on Nigerians on the street of Ghana.

“We can provide evidence based on information in video clips and recorded attacks leaving countless Nigerian traders at various hospitals.

He noted with concern that Ghanaian security continually expressed helplessness by turning their eyes the other way, when Ghanaian hired thugs and criminals unleash mayhem on Nigerians, molesting and looting their goods and properties.

He said among NANTs demand, is the immediate reopening of the over 400 Nigerian owned locked shops in Ghana, as well as the immediate return of all seized goods.

He said the government should undertake to protect and provide security for all Nigerian traders and families and be held accountable for any ill treatment on Nigerian traders, or Nigerian citizens residing in Ghana.

Nigerians should not be subject to arbitrary and punitive taxation. GIPC Act should not be applied on Nigerian traders as we are not foreigners in Ghana but bonafide community citizens under ECOWAS Law, he stated. (NAN)

Press Release

AI for Good Global Summit founder Stephen Ibaraki confirmed as AI Expo Africa 2021 keynote speaker

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AI for Good Global Summit founder, Stephen Ibaraki (Source: AI Expo Africa)

AI for Good Global Summit founder, Chairman of the AI for Good Outreach Committee, industry analyst, venture capitalist and serial entrepreneur Stephen Ibaraki has been confirmed as a keynote speaker for AI Expo Africa 2021 ONLINE which takes place 7th to 9th September.

Ibaraki is the first VIP keynote speaker to be confirmed for AI Expo Africa 2021 ONLINE. In his keynote address, entitled, “5th Machine Age Driving Digital Reshaping” he intends to explore the “Society 5.0” and “Smart Humanity”.

Ibaraki who is a 16 time recipient of the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award, most recently in the Artificial Intelligence (AI) category, is also the chairman and managing general partner of REDDS Capital. In addition to more than 300 awards and recognitions as well as over 300 global engagements impacting over $100-trillion in sustainable investments, Ibaraki is also a contributor for IT World Canada and Forbes on issues around AI.

Ibaraki’s keynote abstract states, “In popular stories about Chaos Theory, the wing beats of a butterfly in Geneva, are connected to the violent storms in your hometown in Africa. Global ecosystems, all interconnected thus force multiplied and amplified, are at an historical inflection point. These are founded on technology acceleration, with more disruption in 5 years, than the last 10,000 years. This Digital Reshaping will forever change governments, industry, academia, education, investments, startups, media, society, culture, our lives and our children’s future. What will the world look like, advanced by Smart Humanity, Society 5.0, 5th Machine Age, AI and innovation trends addressing global challenges and opportunities? What are the exponential change making innovations you must track, implement, and resources you must use to ensure success and not failure during these chaotic next five years?

Now entering it’s fourth successful year, AI Expo Africa is Africa’s largest B2B / B2G AI, RPA and 4IR smart tech trade event and conference, with the 2021 edition building to be the biggest yet with over 5000 delegates registering interest and expected to join the three-day online event.

Dr Nick Bradshaw, founder of AI Expo Africa and CEO of AI Media Group commented, “It’s a real honour to welcome Stephen as one of our VIP keynote speakers.  We have been working with the ITU, Geneva since 2019 around partnering with the global AI4Good movement and the Africa region and this is another great commitment towards growing collaborations around AI4Good in our region. This announcement follows the recent conclusion of the first African focused ITU AI4Good Innovation Factory Challenge that received 44 applications from 12 African countries & 5 finalists using AI-powered innovation for diverse sectors in Africa covering Fintech, Agritech, Cleantech, and Insurtech.”

Over 30 organisations have so far signed up to exhibit at the expo. These include headline event partner Intel, Darktrace, Future Tech, Automation Anywhere partner 1ai, The Embassy of Switzerland in South Africa, InstaDeep, Aizatron, IBA Group, Zindi, Versus, Comparisure, Robotiq AI Africa, ecosystem Ai, Cognizance, Inspired Testing, Atura, Amathuba AI, COGO People Analytics, Elzware, WizzPass, Fliptin, Kosa AI, Learning Machines, Social Lab, Ashanti AI, and Curacel.  In all about 80 speakers will make up the speaker list at AI Expo Africa 2021 ONLINE, with more keynotes set to be announced in the coming weeks.

 

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Hospitality & Tourism

Radisson Hotel Group renews partnership with SGS and continues global application of the Radisson Hotels Safety Protocol

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Radisson Hotel Group is proud to announce the extension of its partnership with SGS, the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company recognized as the global benchmark for quality and integrity, and the continued global roll out of the Radisson Hotels Safety Protocol to further strengthen Radisson Hotel Group’s existing rigorous sanitation, cleanliness and disinfection program across its portfolio around the world.

In 2020, Radisson Hotel Group worked closely with SGS to conduct a thorough review of all existing health and safety processes and worked with a team of experts to develop and validate the Radisson Hotels Safety Protocol, a comprehensive series of 20-Step and 10-step protocols for hotels and for Meetings & Events. These enhanced protocols which include comprehensive health and safety procedures such as increased cleaning and disinfection especially in high touch point areas, sanitizing stations, team member personal protective equipment (PPE), physical distancing measures and hybrid solutions for meetings, improved air circulation, and strict food safety procedures, have all been validated by SGS, building on local requirements and recommendations to ensure guests’ safety and peace of mind from check-in to check-out. In addition, Radisson Hotel Group has adapted the Radisson Hotels Safety Protocol specifically for Resorts, with attention to services like sports, spa facilities and kids’ clubs.

The Radisson Hotels Safety Protocol is an official cleanliness and disinfection label which can be used by hotels only after an in-depth centralized validation process has been conducted by SGS. In addition, selected hotels receive the additional SGS Disinfection monitored & Cleaning Checked label upon completion of a comprehensive local audit including on-site testing using the latest technology.

“At Radisson Hotel Group, the health and safety of our guests, team members and partners continue to be a top priority. The world has been fundamentally changed by COVID-19, so it is key that we continue innovating and striving to deliver a clean and safe environment to all who walk through our doors, stay in our hotels and conduct meetings in our properties. SGS has been a key partner to ensure our hotels are providing the best and latest health and safety measures, and we are proud to renew our partnership for a second year,” says Federico J. González, CEO, Radisson Hotel Group.

Frankie Ng, CEO of SGS, adds that: “Expert and documented validation by SGS of health, safety and prevention protocols related to COVID-19 has allowed the Tourism industry and Radisson Hotel Group to inspire trust and confidence to travelers around the world.  The goal of our continued partnership is to ensure that the highest hygiene standards are met, and to protect guests as well as Radisson Hotel Group team members and partners.

As part of the Group’s ongoing commitment to the safe return of travel and to allow for a swift return to business, Radisson Hotel Group recently launched its new comprehensive testing program as the first hotel group to roll out a rapid testing service for meeting and event attendees at properties across their EMEA portfolio. In addition, hotels will be able to direct guests to an easily accessible and affordable PCR testing location. The comprehensive testing program for guests is groundbreaking in its coordinated approach across EMEA to reinstall confidence and peace of mind to travelers as the world returns to business by providing a safe environment and seamless testing facilitation.

Radisson Hotel Group continues play a key role in the development of the World Travel and Tourism (WTTC)’s “Safe Travels” and “Seamless Travel” health and safety protocols, a global framework and stamp for a safe return to business and to create consistency across the Travel and Tourism industry. The WTTC’s Safe Travels stamp is currently endorsed by over 200 destinations around the world.

 

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Investment

MoneyHash Raises Six-Figure Pre-Seed to Build the Middle East and Africa’s First Payment and Fintech Super-API

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MoneyHash Founders Nader Abdelrazik (CEO), Anisha Sekar (CPO), and Mustafa Eid (CTO)

MoneyHash, an Egyptian US-based fintech startup that uses a universal API and a unified checkout experience to help businesses consolidate and grow their payments and financial tech stack across Africa and the Middle East, closes a six-figure pre-seed round to launch its services across the region. The round was led by UAE’s venture capital firm COTU Ventures, with participation from the Ventures Platform, Kepple Africa Ventures, and angel investors.

MoneyHash was founded late 2020 by three co-founders: Nader Abdelrazik (Egyptian), Mustafa Eid (Egyptian), and Anisha Sekar (American). Combined, they have over 30 years of experience and worked for 11 startups, in addition to a portfolio of employers and education such as Microsoft, UpWork, NerdWallet, UC Berkeley, SigFig, and Brown University. The startup provides a unified checkout experience built on top of a secure Super-API that aggregates payment and fintech solutions through a single integration and a central dashboard consolidating technical infrastructure and centralizing data and operational reporting.

According to a company statement, MoneyHash is currently in a private beta with plans to go live soon in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and UAE. The startup aims to be fully operational across various countries in Africa and the Middle East by 2022.

“MEA is one of the fastest growing emerging markets with a rapidly evolving payment and fintech scene. As many companies in the region and abroad plans their expansion across the region, they are faced with a devastating technical and operational hassle: building a separate connection with each service provider while providing a unified experience for their customers. This results in a complicated tech stack wasting valuable resources with increased vulnerabilities to errors, fraud, and technical debt. MoneyHash’s technology abstracts the complexities of this fragmented market and allow businesses to scale and grow with a complete focus on their product, and without compromising security and efficiency,” said Nader Abdelrazik, co-founder and CEO of MoneyHash

“We are crafting a comprehensive revenue solution built for flexibility and scaling. With a unified checkout experience powered by a single API integration, businesses throughout MEA can instantly access the providers and products they need to grow. We increase speed to market and save weeks of effort upfront, and with a complete view of the revenue stack, we provide insights, automations, and smart routing to save time and money in the long term. Our mission is to build an efficient, secure, comprehensive solution that helps – rather than hinders – growing businesses.” said Anisha Sekar, co-founder and CPO of MoneyHash

“It’s rare to find such a well-rounded and complete team with deep domain experience and technical prowess so early in a company’s life. We’re very excited to back Nader, Anisha and Mustafa, as they look to tackle a problem that suits a fragmented region like the Middle East. The clarity with which they articulated their vision and strategy, and the chemistry we felt from the start, convinced us to support them in kick starting their plans to build a payments super API for the region and beyond. We are grateful they chose us as partners and are looking forward to what’s ahead.” said Amir Farha, Managing Partner of COTU Ventures

“We are excited to back the MoneyHash team. The team’s vision is compelling, and the product enables companies to scale their products and services across Africa and the Middle east with minimal friction. They are essentially powering the growth and expansion of startups and enterprise across the region.” said Kola Aina, Founding Partner of Ventures Platform

 

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