Mara Phones, a subsidiary company of the Mara Group owned by businessman Ashish J. Thakkar, has built a high tech smartphone manufacturing facility in Kigali’s Special Economic Zone, Rwanda.
The factory, which was launched by Rwandan President Paul Kagame at a ceremony on Monday, has the capacity to manufacture more than 2 million smartphones in a year. Speaking at the launch ceremony, Thakkar said the company aims to manufacture high quality smartphones at an affordable price while improving smartphone growth in Africa.
“We realized a few years ago that to create positive social impact on our continent and in emerging markets we need to have high quality and affordable smartphones. That’s when we came up with Mara Phones,” Ashish Thakkar said during the launch.
Smartphone penetration in Rwanda currently stands at around 15% with the most basic Tecno and Samsung models sold at $40 and $70 respectively. Mara Phones’ new factory will start manufacturing two phone models, the Mara X and Mara Z. Thakkar says both phones will retail for less than $200 and among other things will have a longer-lasting battery than other smartphones, greater storage space and a 2-year Android version update courtesy of a partnership with Google. Mara Phones has also partnered with local banks and telecommunications firms to create a finance model which will allows users to pay for their phones over a two-year period.
Mara Group says the new facility is Africa’s first high tech smartphone factory.
“What we have around Africa are basically mobile phone assembling plants. What we have built is Africa’s first smartphone manufacturing plant,” Thakkar said during the launch.
The factory already employs 200 people with women representing 60% of the workforce. Launching the factory, Rwandan President Paul Kagame commended Mara Group’s entry into the affordable smartphone market and underlined the need to boost the adoption of high-tech products in the East African country.
“The smartphone is no longer a luxury item, it is rapidly becoming a requirement of everyday life,” President Kagame said.
“That trend is bound to increase in the years to come as more and more services migrate to digital platforms. We want to enable many more Rwandans to use smartphones. The cost and quality is very important and the introduction of Mara Phones will put smartphone ownership within reach of more Rwandans.”
Mara Phones will be launching its second factory in South Africa later this month.
Ashish Thakkar, 38, is the founder of Mara Group, a Dubai-based, African-focused conglomerate with interests in the technology, financial services, manufacturing, real estate & agriculture industries.
Ursula Launches 2nd Phase Of Work, Pay, And Own Taxi Scheme.
Member of Parliament for Ablekuma West Mrs. Ursula Owusu Ekuful has launched the second phase of a work, pay and own taxi scheme in her constituency.
The move, aimed at empowering the unemployed in her constituency economically kick started in May 2019 with 10 taxis on a 3-year payment terms with the second phase launched on Friday, 8th November, 2019.
Speaking to journalists after a short ceremony to launch the scheme as well as handover the second batch of taxis to the drivers, Mrs Owusu Ekuful said the scheme will go a long way to provide employment to the otherwise unemployed youth in her constituency.
“Not everybody has skills for white colour jobs and so we need to look at how we can also empower the various kinds of young people in the constituency with employable skills,” she said.
She said per the arrangements with the coordinators of the scheme, the drivers will after three years own the taxis, making them financially independent while having skills that can “enable them stand on their two feet.”
“There is something for everyone, some will work in an office, some will do petty trading, and others are drivers who need support to also drive,” she added.
On behalf of the beneficiares, Jacob Osarfo expressed gratitude to the lawmaker for her extreme desire to empower her constituents through the provision of various schemes.
According to them, they were extremely taken aback by the gesture as they did not expect it.
“We are very happy, we didn’t expect that from the Minister, but today, we realized that the Minster is someone we can put our trust in,” he said
“I thank God and the MP for giving us this opportunity. I pray she retains her seat and continue to empower the lives of the constituents.” He added.
Mrs Owusu Ekuful urged the drivers to uphold to the terms and conditions of the scheme to ensure its success and expansion for others to also benefit.
Da Hammer, Noel Kojo-Ganson, Akofa Djankui, Other Listed In Inaugural 50 Most Influential CMOs in Ghana.
A comprehensive list chronicling the names of the 50 best minds in the sales and marketing field in Ghana have been announced in the inaugural list of the 50 Most Influential CMOs in Ghana.
The list, which is not ranked was compiled by Avance Media, Reset Global People and Afiba Consulting and seeks to recognise the works of the individuals who are motivating performance, broadening your market, creating new trends & brand perception and an impressive financial performance in the Ghanaian market.
The ranking provides a list of heads of marketing, sales and commercial of various companies in Ghana who are doing exciting things to put their companies out there and record impressive marketing performance according to Prince Akpah, MD of Avance Media
21 of the 50 people listed are women and sectors cut across media, technology, banking and finance, insurance, food & beverage, telco, oil & gas, insurance etc
According to Kwame A.A Opoku, CEO of Reset Global People, “the reason for putting this list together is to fill a gap because marketing is one of the most instrumental things that drive any cause, movement and product”
The ranking should create a conversation on how do we change the marketing front in Ghana and how do we ensure we are putting the marketing mind at the forefront of change within the corporate world and the country, said, Jesse Agyepong, Managing Partner of Afiba Consulting.
Profiles of the 50 individuals have been published on https://avancemedia.org/profiles-2019-50-most-influential-cmos-in-ghana/
Below is the list of the 2019 50 Most Influential CMOs in Ghana arranged in alphabetical order
- Abdul-Rahim Siddique || Total Ghana
- Akofa Djankui || StarTimes Ghana
- Ali Ajami || Twellium Industries
- Anne Sackey || MultiChoice Ghana Ltd
- Asiedua Addae || Standard Chartered Bank
- Belo Cida Haruna || Indomie Ghana
- Benedicta Baaba Anokye || SIC Insurance Company Limited
- Charles Kollo|| DreamOval Ltd
- Daniel A. Pabby || Mantrac Ghana
- Delali Dzidzienyo || First National Bank Ghana Limited
- Dennis Baidoo || GNPC Ghana
- Doreen Plange || Media General
- Ebenezer Tetteh || Promasidor
- Edward Nana Poku Osei || A1 Bread
- Edwin Amoako || Fanmilk Ghana Ltd
- Ekyi Quarm || Multimedia Group
- Elaine Arthur|| Allianz Life Insurance Ghana
- Elsie Bram || Hubtel
- Eric Vlidzo || AfricaWeb Holding
- Esther Gyebi-Donkor|| Ghana Ports & Harbours Authority
- Eunice Adjei Bonsu || Kasapreko
- Ewurafua Addo-Atuah || Accra Brewery Limited Ghana
- Frances Baaba Ofori || Prudential Life Insurance Ghana
- Francis Anyebase Afulani || Beiersdorf Ghana
- Georgina Gifty Mensah || Woodin International
- Gillian Hammah || Databank Group
- Jennifer Bebli|| Donewell Ghana
- Jerry Boachie-Danquah || Vivo Energy Ghana Ltd
- Jude Ekow Addison || Wilmar Africa Limited
- Marcus Deo Dake || GOIL Ghana
- Mawuko Afadzinu || Stanbic Bank
- Michael Dowuona Laryea || PZ Cussons
- Nana Essilfuah Boison || Barclays Ghana
- Nana Philip Archer || Ghacem
- Nana Yaa Kissi || Unilever Ghana
- Noel Kojo-Ganson || MTN Ghana
- Omane Mensah Bonsu || Omni Media Ltd
- Patrick Awotwi || Coca Cola Ghana
- Patrick Kyei ||Opportunity International Savings and Loans
- Petra Aba Asamoah || Akosombo Textiles
- Phyllis Woode-Nartey || Enterprise Group
- Raj Mirpuri || BelAqua
- Richmond Carlos Otu|| DHL Global Forwarding
- Rita Adu Boateng || Old Mutual Ghana
- Ruweida Salifu || Kempinski Hotel
- Samori Gambrah || Guinness Ghana
- Seth Ntiamoah-Asare|| Lexta Ghana Limited
- Tetteh Akornor || Samsung Ghana
- Tyrone Adu || Devtraco Plus
- Victoria Abena Takyi|| Africa World Airlines
Three Ways African Leaders Can Tackle Food Insecurity.
Many African countries totally depend on agriculture for economic growth, however, many people have nothing to eat. As we commemorate the Africa Day of Food and Nutrition Security, we bring to light three immediate steps which need serious attention if our leaders are to find solutions to starvation and malnutrition on the continent.
2019 marks exactly half a decade since African leaders renewed their commitment to achieve inclusive agricultural transformation on the continent by implementing the Malabo Declaration. Despite increasing public attention to agriculture, most countries have failed to honour the commitments, including spending 10% of their budget on agriculture. Hunger and malnutrition has been on the rise, thus making Africa the region with the highest prevalence of undernourishment, at almost 20%.
Food insecurity is more than just hunger. Considering all the people in Africa affected by moderate levels of food insecurity together with those who suffer from hunger, it is estimated that almost 700 million people or more than half of Africa’s population do not have regular access to safe, nutritious and sufficient food. Africa remains a net importer of food despite accounting for the bulk of uncultivated arable land globally, creating further pressure on foreign reserves and making the continent highly vulnerable to global food prices when it cannot feed itself. To make matters worse, the agricultural production required to create long-term food and nutrition security in most countries is at risk: droughts, floods, and other forms of extreme weather can hurt farmers in countries already vulnerable to food and nutrition shortages. If this trend continues, at least 890-million Africans will be facing food insecurity by 2030. Malnutrition costs governments in Africa between 2% and 16% of GDP annually.
Africa has the potential to change this trend. Africa has the largest share of uncultivated agricultural land in the world and a rapidly growing workforce that can help boost agricultural growth and attain food security. If this potential is fully harnessed, African farmers could meet the food needs of the entire world. However, young people are continuously drifting away from agriculture in pursuit of profitable and attractive sources of livelihood. Agriculture remains unattractive to young people due to limited access to quality seeds and fertilizers, insecure access to land, inadequate rural infrastructure, high cost of financing, and low involvement of youth in policy dialogues that shape investment in the sector.
There are three immediate and critical steps that African leaders must take to find solutions to starvation and malnutrition in Africa.
1. Prioritise agriculture as an economic and security agenda
African leaders must prioritize investment in agriculture and food systems, not only as an economic agenda, but as a security agenda. Investment in agriculture has been found to be 11 times more effective in reducing poverty than any other sectors in Africa. Additionally, if Africa prioritises investment in youth, it could reap additional $500 billion in return to its economy every year.
2. Make agriculture profitable and attractive to young people
Involve young people in the planning, design, and implementation of agricultural policies. ONE has observed low involvement of youth in policy dialogues, budget consultation process, and program implementation. As a result, policies often fail to provide them with adequate support that aligns with their aspirations. To attract young people into the sector, government spending must be targeted at reducing real and perceived agribusiness risks, enable financing and improve infrastructure. Currently, high lending rates are stunting the growth of small and medium scale agribusinesses. Rural agri businesses can thrive when they have access to finances and are well connected to local communities and markets.
3. Policy alignment, implementation and accountability
African leaders must take leadership and prioritize the implementation of Malabo commitments on Accelerated Agricultural Growth and Transformation for Shared Prosperity and Improved Livelihood. The Biennial Review (BR) scorecard is an important tool for learning and monitoring our collective progress. Often times, several policies are developed but not fully implemented. If Africa must make significant progress, each country must report its progress and respond swiftly to its policy formulation and implementation gaps.
Africa now has the tools in order to reach SDG 2 Zero Hunger by 2030 – our youth and arable land. However, our leaders must prioritize the three steps in order for Africa to be well on the way to tackling food insecurity, while also creating jobs for our teeming youth.
Twellium Foundation Fulfils Its Promise To The People Of Dzabupko Community By Constructing A Six Classroom Block.
In line with the ultimate goal of changing people’s lives with every bottle of Verna Mineral Water purchased. The story of Dzabukpo community in the Volta Region came to a climax when Twellium Foundation fulfilled its promised to the people.
Earlier this year, the subsidiary in charge of social change under the Twellium Industrial Company, Twellium Foundation embarked on a journey to bring light and hope to the people of Dzabukpo. Mainly by constructing a classroom block to help nurture and develop the minds of the young ones.
After handing over a two-unit classroom block and washrooms to the people in July, Twellium Foundation further promised to construct a six classroom block for the community.
For every Verna Mineral Water purchased, a brick was laid. And with support from UN Youth, On The Road, celebrities including Fella Makafui, Nana Aba Anamoah, Victoria Lebene and most importantly, our consumers, the vision came to fruition on October 5, when the building was inaugurated.
According to a post by Nana Aba Anamoah, a renowned news anchor and tv presenter on her Instagram account, she wrote ‘Verna Mineral Water is changing the narrative one step at a time.’
Fella Makafui also posted on her Instagram to celebrate the purpose of life in relation to the inauguration on October 5. Which according to her is rooted in service to one another and most importantly reaching down to the less privileged and lifting them up.
Verna Mineral Water is still in the business of changing people’s lives. And Twellium Foundation can only to more when you drink more.