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The Customer Choice Awards Nominees Officially Announced At Private Reception.

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The inaugural Customer Choice Awards which will recognize and celebrate businesses and organizations that provide outstanding customer experiences hosted a launch reception on the 14th of September at the African Regent Hotel to officially announce its categories and nominees.

The reception featured a live performance by singer, Raquel and was hosted by award-winning sports journalist Nathaniel “Citizen” Attoh who declared the nominees in each of the 20 categories before an audience of business stakeholders, special guests, select media, and nominees of the awards ceremony including representatives from Zaina Lodge, Accra City Hotel, Puma Energy, GN Bank, Access Bank and Barclays Bank.

The Customer Choice Awards producer, Etornam James Flolu provided details of the award ceremony which will be held in January 2019, prize incentives for voters and introduced the mobile app, Speakupp, a technology platform that will be used to tally votes and encourage consumer participation. The presentation was followed by a networking cocktail on the rooftop terrace.

“At Eltor Consult, we have a guiding principle that the opinion of the customer rules. We launched the Customer Choice Awards to improve customer service delivery in the private and public sector and ultimately give the customer a voice. Our mission is to make more business owners as well as consumers aware of the importance of customer experience on the success and development of our businesses and ultimately the development of our nation,” shared Flolu, the Founder and CEO of Eltor Consult, a customer service training and advocacy outfit.

Etornam James Flolu

The awards categories cut across a wide section of industries that maintain customer experiences from banks to hospitals, telcos, grooming salons, and local eateries. Voting opened after the launch and the public has the opportunity to choose their preferred personality and organization as well as share both positive and negative experiences with the use of the Speakupp App. Voting is possible by USSD, web or mobile app and will end in December and winners will be awarded at a ceremony in January. The Speakupp app may be downloaded on the Google Play store or Apple Store.

To encourage the public to participate in voting and sharing their voices, incentives in the form of weekly prizes and gift certificates to some of the nominated establishments will be given as prizes. High participating voters will ultimately stand a chance to win an educational scholarship or an all-expense paid trip to any African country of choice or Dubai.

See the Full List of Nominees and Categories

Customer’s Telcos of the Year

  • MTN
  • AirtelTigo
  • Vodafone
  • Glo

Customer’s Bank of the Year

  • GCB Bank
  • Barclays Bank
  • Stanbic Bank
  • Zenith Bank
  • Cal Bank
  • Republic Bank
  • FBN Bank
  • UBA   Bank
  • Fidelity Bank
  • GN Bank
  • Access Bank
  • EcoBank
  • Standard Chartered Bank
  • Prudential Bank
  • GT Bank
  • UMB Bank
  • First Atlantic Bank

Customer’s OMC of the Year

  • Shell
  • Total
  • Goil
  • Allied Oil
  • Engen
  • Sel Energy
  • Puma Energy

Customer’s Waakye Joint of the Year

  • Atomic Waakye
  • Aunti Muni
  • Waakye Guy Guy
  • Haija Adiza
  • Tunga Waakye

Fans Artiste of the Year

  • Shatta Wale
  • Stonebwoy
  • Fancy Gadam
  • Sakordie
  • Efya
  • King Promise
  • Kwame Eugene
  • Patapaa
  • Mr.Eazi
  • Becca
  • Adina
  • Mzzvee
  • Joe Mettle
  • Sonnie Badu
  • Kwesi Arthur
  • Wiyala
  • Kidi

Customer’s Hotel of the Year

  • Fiesta Royale
  • Aqua Safari
  • Volta Serene
  • Kempinski
  • Holiday Inn
  • Peduase Resort
  • La palm
  • Labadi
  • Golden Tulip
  • Sky Plus
  • Zaina Lodge
  • Lou Moon Lodge
  • Coconut Grove
  • Elmina Beach
  • Busia Beach
  • Mensvic
  • Tomreik
  • Movenpick
  • African Regent Hotel
  • Royal Senchi
  • Accra City Hotel

Customer’s Shopping Mart of the Year

  • Shoprite
  • Game
  • Melcom
  • CityDia
  • Maxmart
  • Koala
  • Yoo Mart
  • Palace Mall

Customer’s Continental Food Joint of the Year

  • KFC
  • Papaye
  • StarBites
  • Vidae Café
  • Koffee Lounge
  • Enda
  • Imperial Perking
  • Barcelos
  • Basilisa
  • Chicken Republic
  • Sizzler
  • DNR Turkish Restaurant

Customer’s Pizza Joint of the Year

  • Papa’s Pizza
  • Eddie Pizza
  • Pizza Inn
  • Slices and Toppings
  • Pizza Hut

Customer’s Pub of the Year

  • Epo’s
  • Honey Suckle
  • BloomBar
  • CelsBridge
  • Chase
  • Kona Bar
  • Kiki Bees
  • BriefCase
  • Purple Pub

Nathaniel Attoh

Raquel

Watch a recap of everything that happened at the event below.

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Twellium Foundation Fulfils Its Promise To The People Of Dzabupko Community By Constructing A Six Classroom Block.

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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. 

One of the Classrooms presented to the people of Dzabukpo 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. 

The six classroom block for the Dzabukpo community

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.

The All New Verna Water
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“Unused Mobile Data Should Not Expire. – Mrs. Ursula Owusu To Telcos

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The Ministry of Communications wants mobile network operators (MNO) in Ghana to desist from allowing all unused data and voice bundles purchased by subscribers from expiring.

In a new directive issued by the Ministry to the network operators, it said, "all unused data and voice bundles purchased by subscribers do not expire and must be rolled over with the next recharge."

The directive was contained in a letter dated October 9, 2019, signed by the Minister of Communications, Mrs Ursula Owusu Ekuful and addressed to the Director-General of the National Communications Authority (NCA), Mr Joe Anokye with a copy to the Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of MTN and Vodafone as well as the two Deputy Ministers of Communication, Mr George Nenyi Andah and Mr Vincent Sowah-Odotei.

The letter, a copy of which has been by Graphic Online states that the move was following a series of meetings held between the Ministry, NCA and the MNOs.

The letter explained that the directive was coming as a result of the increase in the Communication Service Tax (CST) from 6% to 9% and the subsequent decision by the MNOs to pass the entire burden of CST to subscribers contrary to a previous arrangement.

"We must emphasise that the fact that CST was increased from the existing rate of 6% to 9% effective 4th September 2019. The tax has been in existence since 2008 and was increased to provide revenue for cybersecurity initiatives to protect the digital infrastructure and policies being used by both the public and private sector."

The letter stated that, "At the series of meetings held between the Ministry of Communications, Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) and the NCA on 7th and 8th October, 2019, we were informed that prior to 4th September 2019, MNOs had not been passing on the CST to subscribers but had decided to take advantage of the 3% increase to pass on the entire tax to subscribers. This has effectively increased their profit margin at the expense of subscribers."

It said all efforts to get them [MNOs) to revert to the September 2019 situation has failed as they "literally exact their pound of flesh from their consumers."

The Ministry explained that to help minimise the negative impact of the current mode of deduction of the CST, it has therefore directed that "CST should be treated the same way VAT, NHIL, GETFund levy and all other taxes and levies imposed on entities doing business in Ghana are treated."

It said the "extraordinary upfront deduction of CST and notification of same to subscribers must stop with immediate effect."

"All unused data and voice bundles purchased by subscribers do not expire and must be rolled over with the next recharge."

"MNOs will be subjected to strict compliance with existing Quality of Service (QoS) standard to ensure value for the subscribers' money in accordance with their license obligations," it added.

The letter indicated that the directives were to take immediate effect.

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Google Might Announce A 5G Pixel 4 Next Week.

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Google appears to be working on a 5G version of the Pixel 4, and it’s possible the phone will be shown as early as next week, according to Nikkei. The standard versions of the Pixel 4, which will be announced at an event next Tuesday, will only support LTE. But Nikkei says that Google has begun “test production” on a model of the phone that includes 5G, too.

It’s not clear when the 5G model will be previewed or released, though. Nikkei says it could be shown next week, but its sources said the announcement could also be held until spring to appear alongside a new budget phone, a successor to the Pixel 3A.

If the phone is revealed on Tuesday, it’s likely that it would just be a teaser for a launch later on. It sounds as though development isn’t finished, and devices aren’t ready to go into production yet. Such an early tease seems somewhat unlikely: Pixel 3 sales were slow at launch last year, and Google would risk slowing sales of this year’s model by previewing a higher-end version that no one can buy yet.

Either way, the goal seems to be getting a 5G phone on the market within the next year, ahead of a 5G iPhone that’s expected next September. 5G networks are still in their infancy, and for consumers, there’s still not a lot of reason to get one of these phones. But being early to 5G could still help Google get some attention for its phone line.

Nikkei reports that Google might also unveil a new smartwatch and a laptop at Tuesday’s event. A new version of the Pixelbook has already been rumored, but a smartwatch isn’t something we’ve heard about. Google hasn’t had much luck with smartwatches in the past (and Android smartwatches aren’t in a particularly great place right now), but given how many are on the market, it doesn’t seem like it’d be all that hard for Google to put one together if it really wanted to.

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Volvo’s First EV Will Run Native Android.

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Volvo is one week away from unveiling the first EV under its own brand, an all-electric version of the company’s popular XC40 SUV. On Wednesday, the Swedish automaker said the car will mark another first, too: it will be the first Volvo car with an infotainment system built on Google’s new embedded Android Automotive software.

That means the new electric XC40 will come with features and apps like Google Assistant and Google Maps built in, with no need for an Android smartphone. The SUV’s infotainment system will also have access to the Play Store, allowing owners to download apps that Google’s approved for automotive use. Built-in maps, assistant, and Play Store — no phone required

We’ve known for more than two years that Volvo was working on integrating Android into its cars. In fact, Google showed off an early version of the software running on a gas-powered XC40 at its 2018 I/O conference. Now, this won’t necessarily be the first car with embedded Android, nor will it be the first all-electric in the wider Volvo Group. Volvo’s performance sub-brand Polestar has claimed both of those titles with its Polestar 2 EV, which is slated to go on sale in 2020. But Volvo’s XC40 is a more affordable, higher-volume car that will reach more customers.

a car on the phone

The deep integration of Android will allow drivers and passengers to use Google Assistant to change things like climate settings, and it will also enable over-the-air updates that can add new features or address some maintenance issues, according to Volvo. And yes, Google and Volvo’s system will allow people to plug their iPhones in and use Apple CarPlay.

While all of this added functionality will make for a different experience compared to what is currently available inside a Volvo car, the new infotainment system will still look familiar to anyone who’s used the automaker’s existing Sensus software.

That’s one of the main goals of this whole partnership model Google’s pursuing. The tech giant provides a reliable software backbone, which each automaker gets to develop and brand to their liking. Beyond Volvo, Google’s also signed up big names like General Motors and the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance. It’s a far cry from a few years ago when automakers were so hesitant to let tech companies take over any small slice of the in-car experience that many slow-rolled their initial adoptions of Android Auto and CarPlay.

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