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THE YCEO: Stonebwoy, And Others Make 2019 Top 50 Young CEOs in Ghana List.

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Multiple awards winning Ghanaian Reggae/ Dancehall and Afro-fusion heavyweight, Livingstone Etse Satekla, professionally known as Stonebwoy, has peaked 35 of 50 slots as the young Ghanaian Chief Executive Officer(CEO) 2019.

TheYCEO & Avance Media have officially released the 2019 list of the Top 50 Young CEOs in Ghana, an annual ranking which celebrates and acknowledge young Ghanaian CEOs excelling in various sectors of the economy. The 2019 list features 50 of Ghana’s most successful young business leaders across finance, technology, entertainment, agribusiness, fashion, social enterprise, media and has representation in both private and public sectors.

The list which was launched in 2018, has set out to honour distinguished young people pursuing the agenda of providing solutions to some of Ghana’s and the world’s pertinent problems.

According to Martin Sedem, TheYCEO & Avance Media is elated about the accomplishments of the honourees and their passion towards creating a better economy for all by leading the way to create jobs and solve unemployment in Ghana and the rest of Africa.

According to research lead, Prince Akpah, this year’s list themed, Futuristic CEOs, features young entrepreneurs and leaders selected from notable private and public institutions who have displayed outstanding leadership with an inspiring story worth emulating by other young people across Africa.

Notable among the honourees are entrepreneurs such as, Stonebwoy of Burniton Music & DBlack of Black Avenue Music, Beryl Agyekum Ayaaba of EchoHouse, Dentaa Amoateng MBE of GUBA Awards & Richie Mensah of Lynx Entertainment.

Below is the full list of the 2019 Top 50 Young CEOs in Ghana arranged in alphabetical order:

1.      Alhaji Salamu Amadu || Afro Arab Group of Companies

2.      Anthony Dzamefe || Caveman Watches

3.      Awura Abena Agyeman || Wear Ghana

4.      Beryl Agyekum Ayaaba          || EchoHouse Ghana

5.      Caroline Pomeyie || ProFish Ghana

6.      Claud Kweku A. Hutchful || DreamOval

7.      Daniel Kojo Soboh || Cabon AV

8.      David Asante || Ghana Publishing Company

9.      Dentaa Amoateng MBE || GUBA Awards

10.  Desmond Kwesi Blackmore (Dblack) || Black Avenue Music

11.  Elsie Appau-Klu || Acreaty Management Plc

12.  Emmanuel Ansah Amprofi || TROTRO Tractor Ltd

13.  Emmanuel Kojo Jones-Mensah || Empire Domus

14.  Emmanuel Sin-nyet Asigri || National Youth Authority

15.  Eric Ofosu Nkansah || Accra Digital Center

16.  Ernest De-Graft Egyir || Chief Executives Network Ghana Ltd

17.  Francis Obirikorang || Agrocenta

18.  Gloria Akoto || First Finance Company Limited

19.  Gregory Rockson || mPharma

20.  Hanan Abdul-Wahab || National Food Buffer Stock Company

21.  Hayford Siaw || Ghana Library Authority

22.  John Dumelo || Farmer

23.  Jorge Appiah || Kumasi Hive

24.  Josiah Kwesi Eyison || iSpace

25.  Kafui Adzah || Akosombo Bar

26.  Kevin Okyere || Springfield Group

27.  Kofi Asamoah || Kofas Media

28.  Kosi Yankey || NBSSI

29.  Kwabena Boateng || Plantation Resources Limited

30.  Kwadwo Safo Jnr. || Kantanka Automobile

31.  Kwaku Boateng Akuoko || Brommon Bespoke

32.  Kwame A.A. Opoku || The Reset Global People

33.  Latif Abubakar || Globe Productions

34.  Lexy Owusu-Boahene || LX HR Solutions

35.  Livingstone Etse Satekla (Stonebwoy) || Burniton Music

36.  MacCarthy Mac-Gbathy          || Hopin Academy

37.  Mustapha Ussif || National Service Scheme

38.  Nelson Amo || Innohub

39.  Peter Sedufia || OldFilm Productions

40.  Prince Bonney || iCode Hub

41.  Rashida Nasamu || I-ZAR Group

42.  Regina Honu || Soronko Solutions

43.  Richard Adjei Mensah Ofori Atta || E ON 3 Group

44.  Richard Briandt || Codetrain

45.  Richie Mensah || Lynx Entertainment

46.  Roberta Annan || Roberta Annan Consulting

47.  Sadiq Abdulai Abu || 3 Music Network

48.  Sangu Delle || Golden Palm Investments Corporation

49.  Shadrack Frimpong || Cocoa360

50.  William Edem Senyo || Impact Hub Accra

Business

“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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Rwanda Launches First ‘Made in Africa’ Smartphones.

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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.

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