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Writing Beyond a Hobby! Young & Cerebral’s Creative Instincts Writing Workshop Leaves Participants Inspired

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A Crowd of over 120 writers across Nigeria came together on Saturday, March 23rd, to improve their craft and take their writing career to the next level at the Young & Cerebral First Creative Instinct Writing Workshop event in Lagos, with the theme “Writing Beyond A Hobby.” The crowd was filled with representatives from literary organizations, Illustrators, Authors, Writers as well as students from schools and colleges.

The Event featured Authors, Editors and Publishers who lectured on the Journey to writing the first line, what it takes to Publish and also Writing as a trade with a Song Performance by Femi Adekoya. It was a day filled with  Inspiration, Humour and Passion.

The first speaker was Sally Kenneth-Dadzie, a Blogger and a Bestselling Author. With books such as In the name of Papa, Fourth finger, The little black book, Fish brain clan, Immortals code and many more. “I was scared
taking that first step but I started writing step by step because I had a story to tell,” she told the rapt audience as she spoke on the topic, ‘The journey to writing the first line.’

She spoke on the need for consistency and a well written content as one is to be careful of what he or she puts on Social media because it always leave a paper trail. “Your Social media is your resume. These Organizations are looking for people that will represent their brand,” she concluded. The next speaker was Ufuoma Emerhor-Ashogbon, whose talk was on “What it takes to Publish?” showed that one had to have a Vision, a Message, Talent, Skill as well as Passion to begin to Publish. “When it comes to Publishing ‘do you want to read your own story?’ she posed, ‘or does your story make sense ?’ she remarked.

Ufuoma Emerhor-Ashogbon a Self-Published Author & Writer, was also present during the event.During her talk, the self-published author and writer revealed that her faith in God had guided and inspired her to let it all out. With numerous books to her name Ufuoma took care to explain the journey behind each of her books even as she did not hold back in sharing her story. “You don’t put walls up when writing a story,” she advised.

Seun Odukoya, Writer and Author also presented “Writing as a Trade” which was about believing in oneself and putting value on whatever one does.

“If you are good at something don’t do it for free. The further you go in your career, the more you charge premium”, Seun said this while speaking at the event.

“So write, read, watch movies and meet people. There is nothing more of an inspiration than life”, he stated. To this he advised participants to be focused and Consistent. “If it is one fan you have focus on that person and if you give him reason to believe in you, it will become 5, 5 will become 10 and 10 will become 15”,he concluded. Collaborators of the event were Okadabooks, Ignite Africa, Fastizers and Rite foods.

ABOUT YOUNG & CEREBRAL
Young & Cerebral is a clan of curious and imaginative storytellers based in Lagos metropolis. We help enthusiastic 18-35 year olds to triumph by providing inspiration, empowerment & opportunities so that they can achieve personal fulfillment.

We preach “Self Actualization” through our Media & Brand Services. We profile thought-leaders, inventors, influencers, founders, whose lives embody our message. During our Saturday shows on Unilag103.1FM and LagosTalks 91.3FM, we celebrate & focus on individuals who make a difference across a wide variety of industries including but not limited to Marketing, Banking, Film, Telecom, Fashion, HR, Tech, Music, Food,
Education and Photography.

Find us on social media: @youngcerebral

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Gender equality: It’s time for disruption, time to shatter the status quo, we can’t afford to wait!

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Vanessa Moungar, Director of Gender, Women and Civil Society (Source: AfDB)

Women make up over 40% of African business owners yet only 2% are able to access finance according to a Mckinsey report

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast, November 22, 2019- If you are a gender champion, then you are familiar with the discussions around the glass cliff.  The story of women eager to defy the odds, accepting leadership roles at times of crisis, when the chance of failure is the highest. The truth is that many bold glass cliff climbers have succeeded without falling off.

Two of such champions come to my mind: the former Xerox CEO Anne Mulcah and Tokunboh Ishmael, co-founder of Aliethiea IDF.

Mulcah, Ishmael and likeminded agents of change have already shattered the status quo. So, when the first Global Gender Summit held in Africa kicks off on November 25th in Kigali, Rwanda, the international community will hurtle towards heeding the calls to dismantle barriers to women’s full participation and advancement economic development on the continent.

Women make up over 40% of African business owners yet only 2% are able to access finance according to a Mckinsey report. One in four women globally who start in a business come from Africa (Global Entrepreneurship Monitor).

The Summit, organised by the Multilateral Development Banks’ (MDBs) Working Group on gender, will be held in Africa for the first time ever, from the 25th to 27th November 2019 in Kigali, Rwanda. This year’s summit is hosted by the African Development Bank in partnership with the Government of Rwanda and supported by other multilateral development banks as key partners.

Under the theme “Unpacking constraints to gender equality,” the Global Gender Summit will share best practices and seek innovative solutions that can be harnessed to empower women and girls in Africa and around the world.

We are excited to be bringing the world to Rwanda, a country that has set a strong example when it comes to promoting women’s rights and representation.

Also Read: The Rockefeller Foundation Appoints Two African Female Leaders to Board of Trustees

Rwanda was the first country in the world with a female majority in parliament, currently at 67.5 %, following October parliamentary polls. Out of a total parliamentary membership of 80, women occupy 54 seats. This feat puts the nation ahead of even the most developed nations.

From the massive financing gap for women-led enterprises, inadequate data, laws and cultural norms that negatively affect women, to a lack of representation in business and politics, the challenges are great.

But the opportunities are there too.

Discussions will focus on the main barriers to achieving gender equality and women’s empowerment, namely: scaling up innovative financing, fostering an enabling environment and ensuring women’s participation and voices. Sectors to be addressed will include climate change, the digital revolution, private sector and human capital and productive employment.

In Africa, women-led enterprises face a whopping $42 billion financing gap. One of the Bank’s flagship gender-focused projects is its Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA), which seeks to accelerate growth and employment creation across African economies, by closing the financing gap for women.

Over the next 5 years, AFAWA is expected to unlock $3 billion in private sector financing to empower female entrepreneurs through capacity-building development, access to finance as well as policy, legal and regulatory reforms to support enterprises led by women.

Our Fashionomics Africa initiative supports the African textiles and fashion industries by building the capacities of small and medium-sized enterprises in the textile and clothing sector, especially those run by women and youth. By using technology as a driver for the development of skills and capacity in Africa’s creative industries, the African Development Bank aims to stimulate job creation on the continent. At the summit, we will unveil an innovative online marketplace for designers across the continent.

That’s just some of the exciting news. We will use the opportunity of the Global Gender Summit to launch a number of initiatives to dramatically transform the landscape of access to finance for women across the continent.

These include the Africa Gender Index- a joint African Development Bank and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) report that assesses African countries on gender equality.

The launch of the AFAWA/AGF Risk Sharing Facility, which will de-risk lending to women through AGF’s partial, guarantees to financial institutions and its capacity development to women entrepreneurs.

As well as these continent-wide initiatives, we at the African Development Bank understand that change begins at home. That is why in 2018, the Bank rolled out its gender marker system to process, monitor, and promote gender mainstreaming in all its operations, with gender specialists as part of project teams and Bank operations.

By the end of last year, 40% of public sector Bank operations had been organised under the gender marker system, a major shift in the Bank’s way of doing business and commitment to gender mainstreaming.

We continue to support and build the individual power of girls and women across the countries we work in and never has the time been more urgent.

We expect the Global Gender Summit, to be a milestone event in the empowerment of women in Africa and beyond.  See you there.

* This year’s Global Gender Summit, is hosted by the African Development Bank in partnership with the Government of Rwanda and supported by other multilateral development banks as key partners.

By Vanessa Moungar, Director of Gender, Women and Civil Society

African Development Bank Group (AfDB)

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Egypt to establish 12 investment zones

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The General Authority for Investment and Free Zones (GAFI)

CAIRO – 8 November 2019: Egypt plans to establish 12 investment zones, creating 500 thousand direct and indirect jobs and attracting investments worth LE78 billion, Minister of Investments and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr said Friday.

Nasr added while witnessing the signing of a protocol between the General Authority for Investment and Free Zones (GAFI) and the National Bank of Egypt that The protocol aims at boosting cooperation between GAFI and the National Bank of Egypt in developing the Small and medium-sized enterprises (SME).

The protocol will introduce a package of services including finance, and consultancy.

Also Read Interview With Deborah Ogwuche, Founder Of Food Channel Africa

The Investment Ministry also plans to establish seven free zones, which are expected to create around 120 thousand jobs in Minya, South Sinai, New Ismailia, Aswan, Kafr el Sheikh and other places, the minister added. 

Egypt Today

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Wefarm secures $13 Million in funding to scale its Smallholder Agricultural Ecosystem

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Wefarm Marketplace hits $1 million in sales in its first eight months

LONDON, United Kingdom, November 6, 2019- Wefarm the digital network for global small-scale agriculture, today announced it has raised $13 million in a Series A financing round led by Silicon Valley venture capital firm True Ventures (TrueVentures.com).

This financing round will help Wefarm further scale its network of 1.9 million farmers, and its newly created Marketplace, to connect farmers in Africa, even those without internet access, to the information, products and services they need to be more successful. Investing alongside True Ventures are AgFunder and June Fund, among others. The company received significant follow-on investment from LocalGlobe, ADV and Norrsken Foundation.

Founded in 2015, Wefarm is on a mission to create a global eco-system for small-scale agriculture. With more than 1 billion people directly involved in small-scale farming, it is the biggest industry in the world. Wefarm is building the network of trust for those farmers.

Wefarm Marketplace allows farmers to easily access quality products and services, such as seeds, fertilizers and a range of other non-agricultural items from trusted retailers and brands. In line with Wefarm’s bottom-up model, all products, services and retailers on the platform have been recommended by Wefarm users and can even be purchased through SMS.

Disproportionally, smallholder farmers lose too much time and money due to fake or faulty agricultural products. Farm yields in many parts of Africa are just one-fifth of farm yield in the United States or Europe. Poor-quality seeds and fertilisers also limit growth in plants and animals. Given that smallholder farmers grow roughly 70 percent of the world’s food, Wefarm intends to use its technology to help close this yield gap.

The company’s funding announcement coincides with another notable growth milestone of reaching $1 million in total sales from the Wefarm Marketplace in just eight months since launch; that’s faster growth than both Amazon and eBay in their early stages.

With Marketplace sales growing at more than 40 percent month on month, the business is on a rapid growth trajectory. Over the next 12 months it aims to diversify into supporting farmers with both financing and delivery, as well as enabling them to trade the commodities and crops they grow, with the goal of becoming a key part of the global supply chain on behalf of the farmer.

Wefarm CEO and Founder Kenny Ewan believes the platform’s Marketplace will grow into an expansive ecosystem for smallholder farmers.

“If we can inspire 100 million farmers to work together on one platform, we can fundamentally shift global agriculture and trade in their favour, and this round of funding will take us even closer to bringing this vision for improved farm yields into fruition,” said Ewan. “It’s about harnessing AI to champion human intelligence. Our network of trust empowers farmers to find solutions to problems by knowledge sharing. In tandem, the marketplace will give them access to first-rate products that help to deliver better produce. The combination of the two has limitless potential to influence and fight the major agricultural crisis we face.”

Also Read Meet Sivi Malukisa, The Congolese Entrepreneur Whose Food Startup Is Promoting DRC Cuisine

“We are enormously inspired by how Kenny and the Wefarm team have empowered the world’s farmers, and we see great potential for their future,” said Jon Callaghan, co-founder of True Ventures. “The company is not only impact-driven, but the impressive growth of the Wefarm Marketplace demonstrates exciting commercial opportunities that will connect those farmers to more of what they need to the benefit of all, across the food supply chain. This is a big, global business.”

Wefarm

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