Category: News

David Beckham, Malaria No More launches first global voice petition to end malaria

David Beckham, former captain of the English national football team, today joined Malaria No More, a United Kingdom-based organisation to launch the world’s first voice petition to end malaria with the campaign Malaria Must Die, So Millions Can Live.

In a short film using emerging AI video synthesis technology, the petition reveals David Beckham speaking nine languages – calling on people to join the campaign and demand action by visiting malariamustdie.com. The petition aims to get the attention of world leaders ahead of critical funding decisions for the Global Fund, to tackle malaria in six months’ time.

Through Beckham, eight malaria survivors including Dr Elvis Eze, Marie Murorunkwere, Hussein Omar and Jean Bosco Niyonzima, are using their stories to help raise awareness about malaria’s devastating effects.

Dr Elvis Eze and David Beckham

The film opens with Beckham speaking in English but changes as he begins to speak fluently in Spanish, Kinyarwanda, Arabic, French, Hindi, Mandarin, Kiswahili and Yoruba – each language representing a part of the world affected by malaria.

Dr Elvis Eze, whose voice features in the film speaking Yoruba said, “My life changed when I worked at a hospital in Lagos, Nigeria and I saw the intolerable toll of malaria. It doesn’t have to be this way. I now work for the NHS in the UK and have seen how this is a global challenge. Through the Voice Petition, we each have a chance to inspire change wherever we are”.

The ‘Malaria Must Die’ campaign is designed to amplify the voices of those affected by malaria and gives everyone the opportunity to speak out. Each voice collected via the petition will contribute to a unique piece of audio art known as a sound sculpture, grabbing the attention of leaders in a unique and memorable way.

Speaking in a statement, David Beckham said: “I have been working with Malaria No More UK for over 10 years and to be a part of this campaign and to help share some of the real stories behind malaria is really important to me. Dr. Elvis Eze who was with us on set has suffered from malaria many times and as a doctor, he has seen how dangerous this disease can be. For me, it was so important to learn how he is using his experiences to raise awareness of malaria with young people in the UK and abroad. It’s unacceptable that malaria still kills a child every two minutes so please add your voice to the petition.”

David Beckham is a founding member of Malaria No More UK Leadership Council and a committed champion in the fight against malaria with over a decade of support for Malaria No More UK. In his long-term role as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, he has seen the impact of malaria on people’s lives in countries such as Sierra Leone.

History shows that ending malaria is achievable with the right resources and action. Since 2000, a combination of powerful new tools increased investment and strengthened international political commitment including from the UK, has cut malaria deaths globally by more than 60%, saving almost 7 million lives, mainly young children.

Watch the video here and here.

Award-winning photographer, Emmanuel Oyeleke unveils second solo exhibition, The Huemanist

Nigerian visual artist and fashion photographer, Emmanuel Oyeleke, launched his second solo exhibition themed ‘The Huemanist’, today at Terra Kulture, Victoria Island, Lagos.

The exhibition which was attended by notable personalities is intended to directly impact the society, as a percentage of proceeds goes towards supporting Women at Risk International Foundation (WARIF), a non-profit organization established to raise awareness and address the prevalence of sexual assault, rape and human trafficking occurring amongst young girls and women.

The Huemanist is a collection of pictures that explore several elements of the human experience. The approach focuses on the innate human capacity to be good, to love, and overcome hardship and achieve self-actualization and satisfaction in life.

Speaking at the event, Emmanuel Oyeleke said, “I hope that the pieces will resonate with the viewers on a personal level and that the viewers will not only see the works and be inspired but be as a mirror reflecting positivity in their lives and society”.

Capturing an optimistic and individualistic outlook about the human experience, the collection employs the use of minimal aesthetics, hues, and floral entities throughout the body of work. The techniques include the use of paint on bodies, large canvas prints to give a life-size experience, collages, multiple exposure, and mixed media.

The weeklong exhibition starts on Friday, 5 April and runs till Thursday, 11 April 2019 at Terra Kulture Art Gallery.

Access Bank announces dual listing of N15 billion Corporate Green Bond

 

Access Bank Plc. is pleased to announce the dual-listing of a fully certified Green Bond on the FMDQ OTC Securities Exchange and the Nigerian Stock Exchange. This follows the formal approval of the bond by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The Bond is the first of its kind to be issued by an African corporate and represents a major milestone in the development of the local green finance market.

The N15 Billion, 5-year Fixed Rate Senior Unsecured Green Bond is rated AA- by Agusto & Co, the underlying framework is verified by PwC (UK) and certified by the Climate Bond Initiative as having met the Global Climate Bonds Standard.

The issuance was fully subscribed by way of bookbuild. The Bond is priced at a coupon of 15.5%, with participation from a wide range of asset managers and pension fund administrators.

The listing of the bond closely follows the completion of the Bank’s merger with Diamond Bank and the launch of its new brand identity that fuses the Bank and Diamond Bank’s visual identities symbolizing their shared philosophy.

The Green Bond issuance highlights the Bank’s commitment to sustainability and its status as a pioneer in green financing in both the domestic and international capital markets. The bond comes amidst a global drive for responsible and sustainable green financing and will allow the financing of new loans and refinancing of existing loans in accordance with the Bank’s Green Bond Framework. It will support projects directed at flood defence, solar generation facilities and agriculture.

Speaking on the occasion of this landmark listing, the Group Managing Director/CEO of Access Bank Plc, Herbert Wigwe, said:

“At Access Bank we are a pioneer in both domestic and international capital markets, leading the way with our commitment to sustainable banking. We hope that this bond issuance inspires other African companies to support the long-term development of the green finance market whilst simultaneously realizing the growth potential of the fast-developing low carbon economy.”

Praising Access Bank’s efforts in promoting sustainability in Africa through the financing of green projects, Justine Leigh-Bell, the Climate Bonds Deputy CEO said:

“This first Climate Bond certified corporate green bond out of Africa represents a major milestone in the development of the local green finance market. In addition to being an inspiration to other private companies, the leadership demonstrated by Access Bank is critical for the long term development of the green finance market in Nigeria and a great example for other African nations to follow.”

RED | For Africa CEO, Adebola Williams, to be hosted by Young Global Leaders in Nigeria

Adebola Williams will today be hosted to a welcome party at the Capital Club, Lagos by Young Global Leaders based in Nigeria.

Initiated by the World Economic Forum, Young Global Leaders is a forum which creates experiences for the next generation of global leaders to enhance their skills and broaden their world view through a peer network that challenges innovators.

Williams was selected among thousands of nominations from across the world following a rigorous vetting process designed to identify global leaders and young visionaries working to shape the future through inspired leadership. Read More

From Africa to the world | A letter from RED, as 2019 kicks into gear

Our fourth presidential win.

It was completely worth waiting for before writing this year’s letter. Our company, StateCraft Inc., after almost two years of sterling work in Senegal, ended it with its fourth win in a presidential election, and its first in Francophone Africa.

Of course, electoral wins are not created by consulting companies. The candidate, the country’s citizens, the campaign machinery, and the passionate volunteers are responsible for every victory. It is a privilege to bask in the reflection of that shining light.

With that glow, StateCraft Inc. has officially made our media group, RED one of the leading communication and consulting firms on the continent – working across Ghana, Kenya, Sierra Leone and Senegal, in addition of course to Nigeria – and, without a doubt, the leading elections and governance consulting company in these parts.

But what makes us proudest is the thing that came easiest to us – this is a completely home grown African company. Our ambitions have always been global, our vision has always been African, our sights have been set across borders, but we are completely made-in-Africa.

But it’s still a small miracle isn’t it? The chief executive officer of the group, Adebola Williams has delivered keynotes and sat at panels at Harvard, Stanford, Columbia, Oxford and Yale including a standing ovation from President Barack Obama. I have been priviledged to do the same across these schools and to be selected for programmes at Yale and Oxford and Stanford. Our team members from Isime Esene to Remi Ogunkayo have also had this priviledge by virtue of our work. But we are all home-made African products.

I like to say I am born, bred and buttered in Nigeria. I went to nursery, primary, secondary and university schools in Nigeria, and got my Master’s degree from a Nigerian city, and so did much of our management. When people say ‘from Nigeria or Africa to the world’ in our case, it is literally that.

And that makes us very proud. That makes it impossible for us to be anything but true believers in the limitless potential that our continent gives, I remember saying to my colleague Roqeebah Olaoniye as we spent time in Freetown in early 2018 consulting on the country’s elections, and the possibilities it offers within and beyond borders.

We set out to build a global company, and – pulling ourselves by the bootstraps without debt, investment or any other kind of intervention – we see ourselves steadily doing that, even as we are just now scratching the surface of the scale of our vision.

The Future Awards Africa already spread its reach across over a dozen countries in the past 13 years since it moved from idea to institution – it is set to hold its first franchise event in Ghana this year. Our Media and Public Relations Agency, Red Media Africa has also worked for clients across markets from Ghana to South Africa.

This network of media companies continue to be as focused as it ever was on one mission: being the media network that can galvanise the largest number of Sub Saharan Africa’s youth at any time. The vision includes a massive continental network of television, event and digital platforms supported by a web of communication and consulting companies. It is, we dare say, the kind of media company that has yet no model to follow, and a path that we are clearing with both confidence and trepidation, humility and a sense of pride.

And to do that, we have blazed a trail in creating a global best-practise institution that takes a keen interest in its systems and processes. A historic handover of the group chief executive position in 2016 has also led to the appointment of chief executives across the  companies under the group on the inside, and a process of internal engineering from one of the most dedicated + driven teams you will find anywhere has created a sparkling brand on the outside.

RED | For Africa.

That’s who we are. That’s what we are. That’s why we are.

Proudly home-grown. Proudly African. Proudly global.

Oh, and just before I sent this off to be published, Adebola was announced the latest Young Global Leader for Nigeria by the World Economic Forum.

2019 has already begun to witness our incredible excitement.

Chude Jideonwo

Chief Storyteller

18/03/2019

Adebola Williams named Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum

Adebola Williams, the co-founder and chief executive officer of RED, Africa’s leading omni-media company, has been selected to join other change-makers in the Forum of Young Global Leaders (YGL), an independent organization under the World Economic Forum (WEF).

Williams was selected among thousands of applications from across the world following a rigorous vetting process designed to identify global leaders and young visionaries working to shape the future through inspired leadership.

Created to recognise the most distinguished young leaders from around the world, the Forum creates experiences for next-generation leaders to enhance their skills, broaden their world view through a peer network that will challenge innovators, and influence them to do more and be more via a series of engagements from Davos to Harvard.

“Every year, the Forum of Young Global Leaders recognizes the world’s leading change-makers under 40. Our role is to further cultivate their ability and influence to improve the state of the world,” said Mariah Levin, Head of the Forum of Young Global Leaders at the World Economic Forum.

Speaking on the announcement, Adebola Williams acknowledged the importance of driving economic advancement collectively, especially by recognising specific issues in different African communities and addressing them through global collaborations and sustainable projects.

“The world is witnessing fast-paced transformation across many sectors – social, economic and technological – and Africa cannot afford to be left behind. In order to build a continent that is ready for the future, there has to be strategic investments in young leaders who would in turn invest their talent, time, and energy to address critical challenges, achieve global relevance, and improve multi-faceted growth for all communities,” he stated.

Past YGLs include former UK Prime Minister, David Cameron; co-founder and chief executive officer, Google, USA, Larry Page; Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg; co-founder and executive chairman of the Alibaba Group, Jack Ma; Professor of Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA, Esther Duflo, amongst others.

Created in 2004 by Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum as a way to help the world meet increasingly complex and interdependent challenges, Adebola Williams will join a multi-stakeholder community of the world’s next-generation leaders in influencing decision-making through the contribution of new ideas, perspectives and energy.

Timi Dakolo, Iyin Aboyeji, Adaora Mbelu, Bolanle Olukanni, others turn up for official opening of The Joy Hub

Timi Dakolo, Iyin Aboyeji, Adebola Williams, Adaora Mbelu, and Bolanle Olukanni were among the personalities present yesterday in Surulere, Lagos at the launch of the pilot location of The Joy Hub.

Initiated by Joy, Inc. in partnership with Mentally Aware Nigeria and Olamma Cares, the hub is a non-clinical, non-judgmental, non-discriminatory emotional and mental health walk-in centre where young people dealing with depression, trauma, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts can access help.

Speaking at the event, the founder of Joy Inc., Chude Jideonwo expressed excitement at the launch while stating that the vision is to build at least 20 more centres across West Africa by the end of 2020, with a hub set up in every community across the continent by 2035.

He explained that depression and anxiety have become a global public health crisis, and with Joy, Inc.’s research in partnership with NOI Polls revealing that 60 million Nigerians are at risk of depression, it has become urgent to marshal the public imagination and resources across Africa to tackle the issue and build more healing communities.

“Leveraging on the 353 million mobile phone subscribers on the continent, these mental and emotional health resource centres will be supported by an integrated tech platform and community. We will work with funders and investors across the world to achieve our ambitious but achievable goal of transforming Africa into a mental, emotional, and spiritual safe space,” Jideonwo added.

In his remarks, Dr. Kitan Jinadu, the representative of the Lagos State Mental Health Desk and Special Assistant to the Commissioner of Health, commended the team on the brilliant initiative, stating that such initiatives are needed to address the mental health epidemic.

Dr. Gbonjubola Abiri, a psychiatrist and member of Joy, Inc.’s Global Advisory Council said, “The Joy Hub is very important because young people need safe spaces where they can go to let out their emotions and speak to people that they feel are safe and can pour out their hearts to. The Joy Hub has come to stay for this purpose and the partnering organizations will work on ensuring that the work continues to progress.”

Led by the Ag. Chief Operating Officer of Joy, Inc., Damola Morenikeji, the guests were taken on a tour of the Hub, with workspaces for the partnering organizations, lounge, counseling rooms, meeting rooms, The Affirmation Wall and the ‘screaming room’ – for those who need space to let out their emotions (loudly).

The launch of the Hub was commemorated by the official opening of the helpline 0700-THE-JOY-HUB [0700-843-569-482], which people can call for necessary mental and emotional help or just someone to talk to.

For support, partnerships, and investment in rapidly expanding our impact, you can reach The Joy Hub via phone or email on [email protected], and donate using the link, donate.joyinc.xyz.

SEC approves Access Bank’s Book Build for proposed Green Bond subscription

Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the institution in charge of regulating the Nigerian Capital Market has approved the book build in respect of the proposed Green Bond, issued by Access Bank Plc.

Following the approval, the book build commenced on Thursday, February 21, 2019and will be concluded in exactly one week, after which the funding of commitment will begin on Friday, March 1, 2019.

The Bond, a 5-year Fixed Rate Senior Unsecured Green Bond of up to N15 Billion is the first ever Climate Bonds Standard Certified Corporate Green Bond to be issued in Africa. It has been awarded a B2 rating by Moody’s and verified by PwC (UK) following certification by the Climate Bond Initiative as having met the Climate Bond Standards.

The Bank’s management had in anticipation of the approval, launched the Nigerian Green Bond Market Development Programme in June 2018, in partnership with FMDQ OTC Securities Exchange and the Securities Exchange Commission.

While reacting to the approval, the Group Managing Director, Herbert Wigwe described it as a step in the right direction adding that it lends credence to the process and gives hope of a favourable outcome. According to Wigwe, the final approval of the Green Bond will mean another feat that is commendable and speaks to the vision of being a key player in the country’s finance sector. In his words, ‘With over a decade’s experience leading Sustainability in the Nigerian financial sector, we believe that the issuance of this bond will create a path to financing Nigeria’s climate change objectives and also unlock the country’s economic growth potential’.

He continued, citing the Bank’s rich experience in the area of sustainability as a factor that will guarantee its success, ‘With our pace-setting experience in the mainstreaming of sustainability in our business operations, we are confident that this Issue will further help in supporting environmentally friendly investors to meet their investment objectives whilst simultaneously supporting the Bank’s customers towards realizing growth opportunities in the fast-developing low carbon economy’, he said.

The Issue proceeds will be used to finance eligible green projects that meet the Climate Bonds Initiative (CBI) standards. The Issue will serve as a turning point for Nigeria, attracting both domestic and international investors and will set the pace for other Nigerian corporates to raise green capital.

The Youth Debate is back! Watch TeamPMB and TeamAtiku face off on Rubbin’ Minds tomorrow

Rubbin’ Minds will tomorrow, 10 February, 2019 hold its widely anticipated Youth Debate, with young party representatives defending their party manifestos and explaining policies bordering on the economy, security, healthcare, infrastructure development, and more.

Anchored by Ebuka Obi-Uchendu, this edition is aimed at spotlighting the policy direction of Nigeria’s two major political parties – the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) – as we inch closer to the general elections.

The debate builds on the show’s ‘Election Series’ where presidential candidates such as Prof. Kingsley Moghalu, Young Progressives Party (YPP); Obiageli Ezekwesili, Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN), and Omoyele Sowore, African Action Congress (AAC) discussed topics ranging from citizen participation in elections to underage voting among others.

TeamAtiku will be represented by Demola Rewaju, Ndi Kato, and Ilemona Onoja while TeamPMB will be represented by Ikem Isiekwena, Lola Essien and Myani Bukar .

The debate is powered by Rubbin’ Minds, a YTV and ChannelsTV production,  and supported by Enough is Enough Nigeria and The Future Project.

Chude Jideonwo speaks on finding happiness amidst chaos at the 2019 Social Media Week Lagos

Participants at the 2019 Social Media Week Lagos joined Chude Jideonwo, the founder of Joy Inc. for a session focused on how young Nigerians can truly flourish and find fulfillment in chaos – especially in the age of social media.

Tagged ‘Stop Hustling; Signal in the Midst of the Social Media Storm’, the event which took place in 6 February, 2019 engaged the audience on the fundamentals of achieving happiness and building resilience, while leveraging on latest research and evidence on decision making processes integrated with personal stories and experiences on how humans can truly experience joy.

Jideonwo shared passages from the bestseller ‘21 Lessons for the 21st Century’ by Yuval Noah Harari, a book that explains how social and existential questions can impact humans worldwide.

He also shared principles based on how participants can live a life determined by their own choices, follow their path, and enjoy their journey by leveraging positive emotions, healthier habits, and powerful self-awareness practices.

“You are supposed to find where you thrive the most, how you thrive the most — how you learn, how you love, what you love, who you need, what makes your heart sing, and to do your best to stay true to that unique mix,” Jideonwo emphasized at the event.

The 1-hour class also featured a question-and-answer session where participants engaged the host on best ways to curate one’s experiences for joy, happiness, and positivity.

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