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TikTok Starts A $200 Million Fund To Pay Users For Content



TikTok will begin financing emerging creators on its short-form video platform with a $200 million fund that it announced today, an unusual move by a social media company and one that comes after several weeks of concerns about TikTok’s future.

The company, which is owned by China-based ByteDance, didn’t provide many specific details about how it will give out that money or who may qualify for it. It may be directed toward users from minority groups—with the press release about the fund’s debut singling out creators like Boman Martinez-Reid, a LGBTQ comedian who has signed with CAA, and Tabitha Brown, who’s become famous for her videos about family life and veganism.

TikTok is in a multi-front battle right now. The Trump Administration is considering banning the app over concerns it may share data with the Chinese government, and the users who flocked to TikTok over the past year have been exploring other platforms for their content. In the past few weeks, TikTokers have posted videos urging their fans to also follower them on apps like Instagram, while others have turned to rival music-and-video apps such as Dubsmash and Byte to produce work.

The best way to keep them on TikTok is to offer a clear path toward earning money. Instagram and other social platforms have struggled to do that, and YouTube’s ad-sharing scheme—based on the views generated by someone’s videos—remains the quickest and simplest monetization for influencers. Companies such as Chipotle and E.L.F. cosmetics are already paying for sponsored content on TikTok, where influencers post videos advertising these companies for a fee, as much as six figures now for the top stars. But those deals are typically hashed out between the brands and the influencers without the social media companies getting involved.

TikTok’s $200 million fund is a different step, something neither Instagram nor YouTube have done. It theoretically would allow more creators to flourish as they start out and begin searching for commercial work, such as the sponsored content posts.

– Abram Brown, Forbes Staff, Business


MTN Ghana Foundation Complete Screening Applications For Its Bright Scholarship Scheme



MTN Ghana Foundation has completed screening applications for its Bright Scholarship scheme for tertiary students for the 2020/2021 academic year. A total of 1,180 applications were received out of which 184 applicants were shortlisted for the final batch of the Scholarship. The shortlisted applicants comprised 134 males and 52 females selected from 20 tertiary institution across country.

The shortlisted candidates will be interviewed by a panel composed of members of the academia and accredited human resource personnel from 17 th – 21 st August 2020 (Southern Sector) and 24th – 28 th August 2020 (Northern Sector).

After the interviews are completed the panel will select 100 qualified students in public tertiary institutions to be awarded Bright Scholarship from MTN Ghana Foundation. The scholarships will cover the cost of tuition, accommodation and a stipend for books and other relevant reading materials for the duration of their studies. Shortlisted applicants will be contacted for the interviews.

Commenting on MTN Bright Scholarships, the Corporate Services Executive of MTN, Mr. Samuel Koranteng said, “the surge of the Coronavirus has aggravated the plight of students whose parents have lost their sources of income. Through the screening process, it was evident a lot of students have been impacted and will need a helping hand to complete their studies.”

Mr. Koranteng further said “I am glad the MTN Ghana Foundation which has been contributing toward the fight against covid 19 has reached out to students in need to enable them complete their education. Hundred students will be awarded with MTN Bright Scholarship”.

The commencement of MTN Bright Scholarship in 2018 was in fulfillment of a commitment MTN made to Ghanaians during the commemoration of its 20 th Anniversary in 2016. During the celebrations, MTN, through the MTN Ghana Foundation promised to award a total of 300 scholarships over a period of three years. So far, 200 scholarships have been awarded to students in public tertiary institutions across the country for 2018/2019 and 2019/2020 academic years respectively. The final batch of 100 scholarships will be presented for the 2020 edition of the Bright Scholarship scheme.

The MTN Ghana Foundation has over a 12 year period awarded over 1000 scholarships to students from basic school to the tertiary level.

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Samini Inks An Ambassadorial With FBNBank



FBNBank Ghana has announced the signing of the award winning Reggae and Dancehall recording artiste, songwriter and performer, Samini as ambassador of its new product, quick banking *894#. Samini will be featured in a gripping integrated advertising campaign for the quick banking *894# product which will run on radio, print and online channels.

Africa1 Media, Samini’s management company expressed incredible excitement about FBNBank Ghana’s partnership with Samini. The company was optimistic that the partnership will yield amazing results for both brands.

Samini, the quick banking *894# product ambassador said “FBNBank Ghana has a rich heritage of being a constant financial partner throughout its customers’ lives and I am thrilled to work in partnership with the bank.” While stating that the product ambassadorial collaboration is sure to be a winner, Samini said “more importantly, I urge you to dial *894# now to enjoy easy and simple banking.”

Quick Banking *894# is a mobile application that enables customers to conduct banking on their mobile phone wherever they are at any time. Customers dial *894#, follow the prompts to enroll and activate for quick and easy banking.

In a statement, Victor Yaw Asante, FBNBank Ghana Managing Director was delighted that the bank partnered with Samini. He noted that with a career spanning over twenty years and amassing multiple awards, the Samini brand has been instrumental in the growth of several brands. Mr. Asante was convinced that as Product Ambassador of quick banking *894#, Samini will in no small measure, contribute immense value to the FBNBank brand.

The FBNBank Ghana MD disclosed that the First Bank of Nigeria Limited subsidiary in Ghana is continuing its quest to endear the brand to its stakeholders in the Ghanaian market. “This is because we take pride in being exclusively customer-centric and we go to great lengths to put the needs of our customers at the heart of our business. Our commitment is to set the gold standard of customer experience and excellence in financial services solutions. Since 1894, our brand has developed a unique culture of making the people we serve our utmost priority and today, we reinforce our application of this culture, even as we provide unrivalled value to all our customers during this integrated advertising campaign and beyond.”

Mr. Victor Yaw Asante called on Ghanaians and businesses to take full advantage of FBNBank’s distinctive values and rich heritage which has made its brand a leading African brand and one of the most credible financial institutions on the globe.

(Source: Africa 1 Media)

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Arts & Culture

Beyoncé Promoting Black-Owned Businesses Via Her “Black Parade Route” Initiative



“Black Parade” (stylized in all caps) is a song by American singer Beyoncé. It was released as a single on June 19, 2020, also referred to as Juneteenth, a day that originated in Beyoncé’s home state, Texas, commemorating the end of slavery in the United States. An online directory of black-owned businesses called “Black Parade Route” was launched alongside the single’s release.

Due to the release of “Black Parade” and the accompanying “Black Parade Route” initiative, Black-owned businesses have received increased attention. The Black-owned laundromat Celsious experienced “a massive uptick in online orders”.

The talented artist and philanthropist has also listed a directory of Black-owned businesses that was created and curated by @ZerinaAkers with @black.owned.everything on her website. The site lists several hundred Black-owned companies. The companies can be searched by category, including Art and Design, Beauty, Fashion, Home and Living, Lifestyle, Restaurants and Bars, Services, and Wellness and Health.

“Being Black is your activism. Black excellence is a form of protest. Black joy is your right,” the site states. “Black Parade” benefits BeyGOOD’s Black Business Impact Fund, administered by the National Urban League, to support Black-owned small businesses in need.”

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Kwame Sefa Kayi And Kofi Abban Unveil New Land Rover Defender 2020



Alliance Motors, the exclusive distributors of Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles in Ghana, has officially launched the all-new Land Rover Defender 2020, the brand’s latest model.

Seasoned Television Presenter Jay Foley hosted the event, which took place this morning at the Range Rover Showroom in the Grand Oyeeman Building, Accra.

A welcome address was given by The General Manager for Alliance motors Richard Akomah, who welcomed the press and invited guests to the press launch.

Chairman General Kwame Sefa Kayi and Oil and gas entrepreneur Dr. Kofi Abban unveiled four of the cars and led the media and several invited guests on a tour of the vehicles.

Sales Manager for Alliance Motors Peter Boateng spoke to and answered questions from the media about the car’s specifications, numerous features, and capabilities.

The Land Rover Defender offers a choice of five, six, or 5+2 seating configurations, and its next-generation Pivi Pro infotainment system is more intuitive and user-friendly.

Customers can personalize in more ways than any previous Land Rover with four Accessory Packs – Explorer, Adventure, Country and Urban and three engine options and six specification packs, which are available at launch.

The car’s world-class off-road geometry with a ground clearance of up to 291mm is specifically designed to tackle the toughest terrains in Africa.

In a quest to make it easier for more Ghanaians to acquire their Jaguar, Range Rover and Land Rover vehicles, Alliance Motors allows for 20% down payment to take possession of cars, with the remaining funds spread out and paid in 3 years.

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