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Warnock sacked by Crystal Palace after dismal run

first_imgBy Justin PalmerPremier League strugglers Crystal Palace ended manager Neil Warnock’s brief second spell in charge on Saturday following a dismal run of one win in 12 games, the club said in a statement.A 3-1 home defeat by Southampton on Friday left Palace in the relegation zone, third from bottom on 15 points from 18 games. Warnock, appointed in August, is the first Premier League manager to lose his job this season.“Crystal Palace Football Club can today confirm that Neil Warnock has been relieved of his duties and is no longer first-team manager,” Palace said on their website (www.cpfc.co.uk).“The club would like to put on record its thanks to Neil for all his hard work and energy over the past four months.”The London club have lost three and drawn three of their last six games, their last win coming against Liverpool on Nov. 23. Palace make the trip across London to face Queens Park Rangers on Sunday with Keith Millen taking charge as caretaker manager.Warnock, 66, returned to Selhurst Park after Tony Pulis, who had steered them to an 11th-place finish against the odds last season, departed two days before the start of the current campaign.Warnock left Palace in 2010 after they went into administration, joining Queens Park Rangers and taking them into the Premier League before being sacked eight months later, in January 2012.The following month he was appointed manager of Leeds United, only to be fired just over a year later.Warnock has managed 13 clubs, starting in non-League football almost 35 years ago.last_img read more

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Footballers say not given copies of their contracts

first_imgComplaints centering on allegations of irregularities with regards to footballer’s contracts have been sent to the Cyprus’ footballers association PASP, it emerged on Monday. In an announcement from PASP, local as well as foreign footballers, it said, have complained that they do not have in their possession an original or even a copy of the contract they signed with their respective clubs, which is a violation of existing legislation, the association said.PASP has called on all footballers and their agents to be fully informed on the legislation regarding the signing of contracts with their respective football teams.PASP’s announcement said: “We have received numerous complaints from our members that they have not been given duly-signed contracts by their teams and we call upon our members and their agents who are entitled by law to have either the original or a copy duly signed by the club’s authorised representatives – usually the president and secretary – with the official club seal.”“The refusal to grant original contracts and any supplementary agreements is a violation of the law and all signed agreements must be issued in triplicate, one copy for each party, federation-player-club,” it added.PASP has already received a notification from FIFPro, the worldwide representative organisation for 65,000 professional footballers, that they would inform and warn member countries with players who intend to sign a contract in Cyprus of the irregularity.It also calls on agents to contact the legal department of PASP for further clarifications before entering into any agreement.last_img read more

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PH to build on 3×3 World Cup experience

first_imgMissile-capable frigate BRP Jose Rizal inches closer to entering PH Navy’s fleet MOST READ Ai-Ai delas Alas on Jiro Manio: ‘Sana pinahalagahan niya ang naitulong ko’ READ: Against bigger foes, PH team to bank on teamwork in Fiba 3×3 “Looking at the bigger picture, this tournament is not for nothing. It’s a learning experience for us for the next 3×3 tournaments,” he said.For Chooks-Pilipinas 3×3 coach Anton Altamirano, he believes that the country must find players focused on 3×3 the Philippines wants to compete with the rest of the world.READ: Teng, Ravena aim for bigger prize in 3×3 World Cup“We need to have experienced players. It’s hard to make a new team with players who will play the 3×3 game for the first time and we’re facing teams that have been playing for seven to eight years together. We need to invest on these players so that they’ll get used to it,” he said.And this early, JR Quiñahan has extended a helping hand, especially with the Philippines hosting the 2018 tilt.“I won’t mind if I don’t get chosen as a player. I’m happy to be a practice player so that I can share my experience to the next 3×3 teams,” he said. Chooks-Pilipinas 3×3. Photo by Randolph B. Leongson/ INQUIRER.netChooks-Pilipinas 3×3 still considers its 11th place finish in the 2017 Fiba 3×3 World Cup as an achievement given the short time the country had in preparing for the tournament.The players, meanwhile, are looking at this stint as an eye-opener for the country when it comes to the 3×3 game.ADVERTISEMENT Gerald: Just because I’ve been bashed doesn’t mean I’d stop working 7 NPA members surrender in Isabela province This Philippine squad was considered as a dream team of sorts, with three second-generation stars bannering the team, but Paras said they paled in comparison with other countries who trot out professional players when it comes to the half-court game.READ: Defense a priority for talented Chooks Pilipinas 3×3“It’s rare that we get to France and rarer to be teammates with Jeron (Teng) and Kiefer (Ravena). We’re lucky that they entrusted us with this lineup, but with our opponents, they do 3×3 for a living. So this is an experience for us for the next 3×3 tournaments. We now know what to do and what we have to improve,” he said.The Philippines finished third in Pool B, finishing the tournament with a 2-2 slate after wins over Romania and El Salvador.But in Paras’ mind, though the country failed to progress from the group stages, this may just set the path for future 3×3 teams going forward.ADVERTISEMENT For Ina, portraying a zombie is like an ‘out-of-body experience’ Trump invites Duterte again to visit US – this time for March summit View commentscenter_img A dream fulfilled for Christian LATEST STORIES Recovering De Ocampo vows to be ready come Game 3 Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks PLAY LIST 01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Swing Out Sister back to PH this April “Though it’s still basketball, it’s a different type of game with how physical and how fast the game is,” said Kiefer Ravena. “It opened our eyes on what can be done and what to improve when it comes to 3×3. Having the knowledge of the game is very important so the next teams should be prepared and their minds should be well-conditioned.”READ: Ravena: Chooks-Pilipinas raring to bask in 3×3 limelight FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSMcGregor blasts Cerrone in 40 seconds in UFC returnSPORTSBreak new groundJeron Teng agreed, noting that though speed may clearly have been on the Filipinos’ side, those were negated by the level of physicality of their bigger European.“It’s super physical. We couldn’t take advantage of our speed because you might get past them, but they would really grab you,” he said. Duterte’s ‘soft heart’ could save ABS-CBN, says election lawyer Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. last_img read more

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Sovereign Wealth Fund: A proposed framework for Guyana’s Petroleum Sector – (Part 1)

first_imgGuyana is just two years away from the commencement of commercial oil production in 2020. Hence, in the coming weeks, this column will be dedicating a series of articles on a proposed framework for a Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF) for the extractive sector. The Government of Guyana (GoG) has assured that a SWF will be in place well in advance of the production of oil in 2020. However, this should not be treated lightly given the slothful pace at which things are being done sometimes, if not at all time – for it will call for a lot of work on the part of the Government to establish.Over the last two years or so (2016/2017), there has been much public discussions and/or debates on the model of the SWF that Guyana should adopt. As a contribution to the discussions, this newspaper carried a beautiful piece in one of its Editorials on June 22, 2017, with the caption – “Guyana’s Sovereign Wealth Fund”. The editorial highlighted that the Opposition Leader suggested that Guyana should adopt the Norway model instead of Trinidad and Tobago’s. Indeed, the Norway model is among one of the bests in the world as compared to Trinidad and Tobago.But surprisingly, in the last press release on the subject of a SWF sometime in December 2017, the Finance Minister implied that the Government has crafted a preliminary legislation by looking closely at Uganda’s legislation, and which has been reviewed by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Commonwealth, United States and the United Kingdom.Despite it has been (hopefully & truthfully) submitted for review by these international institutions, according to the Minister; this column is not convinced and/or impressed with this development – chiefly the mirroring of Uganda’s model. The Finance Minister sought to justify this approach by stating that Uganda is at a similar stage of development of its petroleum sector to that where Guyana is currently or will be (I stand corrected). This justification (if its indeed true) is in itself an unjustifiable and unfathomable justification, simply because – if Uganda is at the same stage as Guyana, then they are still at the trial and error phase and it is thus logically a weak framework, or certainly not the best.One may naturally have the proclivity to wonder, why such a harsh assertion as stated above. Uganda is an oil producing country in East Africa, but the problem with Uganda is that it is known to be one of the most corrupt countries in the world. In fact, this is not just an universal perception, it is a factual ideology supported by an 11-page report which was published on the “Overview of corruption and anti-corruption in Uganda,” by Transparency International (www.transparency.org).Also, recently there was a video on YouTube – which went viral on the Internet – showing a huge ‘brawl’ in Uganda’s Parliament. The video was circulated just around the same time on social media, when our own Parliament went into a moment of chaos, paralleling the exact drama in Uganda’s Parliament; but the only differences were, (1) the Police did not intervene in Uganda’s Parliament and, (2) the politicians were seen, literally and physically assaulting one another.For a developing country like Guyana, the least you want to do is to adopt a weak framework, susceptible to corrupt tendencies by politicians. The wisest and brilliant thing to do is to adopt one of those frameworks that were proven to be successful and yield the best results for the country and its people, by the much more advanced economies.Norway, on the other hand, is one of the most peaceful and clean countries and it ranks among the least corrupt countries in the world (http://www.business-anti-corruption.com/country-profiles/norway), noting that according to the 2016 Corruptions Perception Index reported by the Transparency International, Norway is the 6th least corrupt nation out of 175 countries. In further citing the report, “Corruption Rank in Norway averaged 8.09 from 1995 – 2016, reaching an all-time high of 14 in 2008 and a record low of five in 2013. In the same report, Uganda was ranked 151 least corrupt out of 175, ranking on average 112 from 1996-2016, reaching an all-time high of 151 in 2016 and a record low of 43 in 1996 – while Guyana was ranked 108 least corrupt out of 175 nations, averaging 123.58 from 2005 – 2016, reaching an all-time high of 136 in 2013 and a record-low of 108 in 2016.In closing for today, should we not try to emulate a country like Norway that has done remarkably well in these key areas? Why do we want to emulate a globally perceived corrupt country that is even worse off in that regard than our own country? What does this tell you about where we are heading and the kind of framework that the Administration wishes to set up?*The Author is the holder of a MSc. Degree in Business Management, with concentration in Global Finance, Financial Markets, Institutions & Banking from a UK university of international standing.last_img read more

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Youth and unemployment

first_imgUnemployment and poverty are two of the main challenges that countries, including Guyana, are faced with at present. Unemployment leads to financial crisis and reduces the overall purchasing capacity of a nation. This in turn results in persons getting in the bracket of poverty followed by increasing burden of debt.It is true that unemployment and poverty are mostly common in the less developed and developing economies. For example, just a few days ago it was reported in the media here that there is a whopping 40 per cent unemployment rate among youths in Guyana. This is quite a high percentage of our young people not being able to find the right kind of jobs to meet their expenses and to develop professionally.In 2012, the Bureau of Statistics conducted a survey which found that 10,326 or 37 per cent of the 17,571 Guyanese between the ages of 15 and 19 were unemployed. The high rate of youth unemployment has triggered a number of negative effects such as crime etc. In fact, only in January, Caricom Secretary General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque said that 80 per cent of prosecuted crimes are committed by youths in the region are between the ages of 19 and 29.Statistics show that young people constitute one-quarter of the world’s population in the developing nations. This signals a vibrant and hopeful resource for the world. However, far too many young people are being pushed to the margins of society – unable to obtain a quality education or secure a good job so that they can help to break the cycle of poverty which continues to plague their families and communities.Young people are crying out for decent jobs and opportunities to develop themselves. Some persons who would have obtained the necessary skills and qualifications at the University of Guyana and other tertiary learning institutions have written letters to media complaining about the difficulties they are facing in securing employment.On the 2015 elections campaign trail, the APNU/AFC Coalition had promised that once elected, steps would be taken to provide jobs for young people so that they would chose to remain and work here, but four years into government and many are still waiting to see these promises fulfilled. This is not to say that governments alone are responsible for creating jobs, but they have an obligation to the citizenry to create an enabling environment through effective and efficient policy implementation to make this possible.Governmental bodies must display vision to initiate long term measures for poverty alleviation since generation of employment opportunities and equality in income distribution are the two key factors that are of utmost importance to deal with the dual problem of unemployment and poverty.There is need to scale up the most effective and innovative strategies so that more of our youth will find success and realise their full potential in the years ahead. It doing so it is necessary to have more collaboration between governments and the public and private sectors to increase the scale of youth programmes and to seriously engage stakeholders in promoting job and skills opportunities.Further, it is not only the quantity, but also the quality of jobs that matters. Decent work is the best way young people can realize their aspirations, improve their living conditions and actively participate in society. However, there is no one-size-fits-all solution to the youth employment challenge. The UN has pointed out that policy responses depend on national circumstances, hence it is necessary that policy options should be part of an integrated framework that promotes economic development and employment growth.Young people have different experiences and their needs depend on individual characteristics such as age, gender, national origin, socio-economic background and educational and training levels. This calls for combining policies for employment expansion with targeted programmes that overcome the specific labour market disadvantages faced by many young people.Therefore, policies and national programmes that provide incentives to enterprises to hire young people, promote youth entrepreneurship, and facilitate access to finance and to other targeted active labour market measures can also help countries to improve decent work prospects of its young population. The development of national action plans on youth employment that are focused on these elements can guide countries to translate national commitment into action.last_img read more

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Grace Fika to speak at next Synergy FSJ Mingler

first_imgFor more information on Synergy FSJ, visit its website. Grace Fika, Deputy Chief Election Officer for the upcoming 2011 municipal election, will be speaking at the event. She will be speaking about how to run for mayor or council as well as giving information about the November 17 election. Attendance is free for employees of businesses that are members of the Fort St. John Chamber of Commerce. For non-members, Synergy FSJ membership is $25 annually. Synergy FSJ is a network of young professionals in the Fort St. John area, and has ties with the Chamber of Commerce. It plans social events, conferences and keynote speakers.- Advertisement – Also in the works is a mentorship program that will match a young entrepreneur with an experienced mentor. The September mingler will be held in the boardroom of Urban Systems, 10808 100 Street at 5:30 p.m.Advertisementlast_img read more

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Special ed takeover

first_imgFourteen school districts in the Antelope and Santa Clarita valleys potentially stand to lose about $15 million. Officials say a new law would unfairly penalize the districts for taking over the operation of special education programs for severely disabled students from Los Angeles County. School officials said the law, Assembly Bill 2947, would require districts to repay the state for part of the cost of constructing special education classrooms that were built with 100 percent state funding given to the county when it ran the programs. “The law is saying the money that was approved by the state to build the classrooms, since you did a program transfer after the fact, you have to give money back. We believe there is no reasonable basis for that,” Wilsona School District Superintendent Ned McNabb said. “The districts don’t have that kind of money.” The special education programs were transferred from LACOE to the districts between 2000 and 2004. At the time school officials said the districts had grown to such a point that they commanded the resources to assume responsibility for providing such services. The law was authored by termed-out state Assemblywoman Jackie Goldberg and approved last year. Several superintendents are traveling to Sacramento at the end of this week to discuss the law with the Office of Public School Construction. The districts are also seeking assistance from state Sen. George Runner and his wife, Assemblywoman Sharon Runner, Republicans from Lancaster. “The way the law was written, there was some retroactivity to it and they put in a reimbursement requirement that doesn’t make a lot of sense,” George Runner said. “The problem with the retroactivity, if they all knew, they would have either not done it (the program transfer) or made a different kind of agreement.” Goldberg was not sympathetic to the districts’ plight. She said the payback provision was put in the bill at the request of the OPSC. “Let’s say the county builds $7 million dollars worth of funding for schools. We have a program where districts pay 50 percent of the cost. Later the districts say, `We want to run it county, we are kicking you out and we will run it ourselves,”‘ Goldberg said. “They are only entitled to $3.5 million. They had no eligibility to get 100 percent of the money. If they are going to run it instead of the county, they have to go by the rules as if they built it themselves.” Goldberg said if the districts don’t have the money to reimburse the state, they can give control of the special education programs back to the county. “The inequity is people who run their own programs in their own districts for special education had to pay 50 percent. It doesn’t matter they had no malicious intent. They would get an advantage over every school district who didn’t do it that way.” LACOE officials said they sought the legislation but did not intend for it to affect the districts. The transfer of the special education programs led the OPSC to consider LACOE as having declining enrollment, which LACOE considered to be “erroneous methodology.” “It basically tanked LACOE’s eligibility,” said Kenneth Shelton, LACOE’s assistant superintendent for business services. When the local officials told the state of its dilemma, OPSC officials said the problem could be corrected through legislation, Shelton said. The legislation included a provision where OPSC would recalculate LACOE’s eligibility going back three years, Shelton said. LACOE also suggested Goldberg insert language that when new county school facilities are built with hardship funding from the state, that no special education program transfer take place to a district for five years. Shelton said that was proposed because there was a “belief in Sacramento that there was collusion to scam the state. “It was let’s be reasonable and try to address the concern. If that was a true concern, then make a proposed way of dealing with it.” What ended up in the final version of the bill was a surprise to LACOE officials, according to a letter from LACOE Superintendent Darline Robles to Newhall School District Superintendent Marc Winger. “We had no advance knowledge of this approach. It was never our intent or expectation that the funding model for previously completed facilities projects be impacted while solving the calculation error with the status of our construction eligibility,” Robles wrote. OPSC officials disputed LACOE’s version and said LACOE was fully aware of the amendment to the bill that contained the payback provision. “OPSC has long been concerned with preserving a level playing field for all school districts in the use of those bond funds and making sure the potential doesn’t exist for anyone to game the system unfairly and obtain bond money they are not entitled to,” OPSC spokesman Bill Branch said. “I want to be absolutely clear that, in saying this, we are not accusing anyone of gaming the system – we are merely trying to make certain that adequate safeguards are in place.” Any suggestion that the districts in north Los Angeles County did something intentional to gain classroom space free of charge couldn’t be further from the truth, officials said. “They think there was collusion, which wasn’t the case. We took the program back. We didn’t do it to try to get free buildings,” former Lancaster School District Superintendent Steve Gocke said. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! “This is going to be devastating to my districts,” said Margaret Cherene, director of the Santa Clarita Valley special education local plan area, or SELPA. “The districts would have to repay the state out of general fund money, out of money that we need to operate the schools and teach students.” AB 2947 states that if the Los Angeles County Office of Education transfers title of the classrooms to the districts within 10 years of it being occupied, then the districts would have pay the state back. The county still has title to the classrooms but wants to transfer it to the districts because the law says LACOE’s eligibility for special education school construction funding, which was hurt by the transfer, can’t be restored until the title transfer occurs. County offices of education generally receive hardship funding from the state in which the state pays for the total cost of constructing school facilities when other resources aren’t available. School districts pay 50 percent of the cost unless they qualify for hardship funding. Ten Antelope Valley school districts could be out more than $12 million, and four elementary school districts in the Santa Clarita Valley could lose $2.3 million, based on the number of classrooms that were built. last_img
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Warped Tour heats up Fairplex

first_img• Photo Gallery: 6/29: Warped Tour ’07 When 85 Marines from Twentynine Palms received their marching orders Thursday, they prepared for a different kind of battle. They geared up for crowd surfing, mosh pits, screaming girls and a few casualties from the heat. It was the Vans Warped Tour 2007 at Fairplex in Pomona, a major concert event featuring seven stages boasting more than 70 bands. “It’s our first time at Warped Tour. We came to see Red Jump Suit Apparatus, Paramore, Amberlin and a lot of them,” said Shona Severijin, 24, of Torrance. Mikail Schuurmans, 18, of Norco claimed that he didn’t have a favorite band at the show, although he had allowed his friends to write a lineup of groups and their performance times in black marker from his chest to his tummy. “I’m looking forward to Ozzfest,” Schuurmans said. Local rockers The Briggs offered up a party-style set for a growing crowd that was content to stand in the sun and listen. Halfway through, the audience caught the mood with some forming a mosh pit and the rest singing along with the bands. Long Beach’s I Am Ghost moved up to a bigger stage this year, appropriately for their growing fan base. All the members dressed in black for their onslaught of dark melodic hard rock, including the popular tune, “Eulogies and Epitaphs.” Children were lined up at the top of the skate ramp patiently waiting their turn. In full safety gear they executed elaborate maneuvers with ease. The Bros. Grimm sideshow was set up like an old-fashioned freak show with banners bearing illustrations of what lay inside. A barker stood out front luring in passers-by with his intriguing patter. There was also a wrestling ring offering luche libre demonstrations throughout the day and a wide variety of vendors. The event ended with the usual casualties – smiling, sunburned fans plodding to the parking lot and a sea of trash covering the once-green grounds. michelle.mills@sgvn.com (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2128160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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Racketeering charges challenged

first_imgThose charged in the case also include include Steve Carmona, an ex-Los Angeles planning commissioner and Pico Rivera resident who George Torres-Ramos is accused of bribing with an apartment, a pickup truck and Dodgers tickets in an attempt to get liquor permits. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy Searight told the judge that Torres-Ramos’ 11 markets provided a steady source of cash, from which Torres-Ramos allegedly skimmed an estimated $20,000 per week. Torres-Ramos amassed considerable wealth, according to the government.Searight told the judge that authorities estimate Torres- Ramos has assets worth $200 to $300 million. Searight alleges the killings and other violence cited in the indictment, including a beating of a rival market owner, were part of an effort to protect the markets and their income, which constituted a criminal enterprise. Sun disputed that allegation, saying the markets are a “real-live business” that provide a needed place for residents to buy groceries in low-income neighborhoods underserved by other supermarkets. No motions have so far been made regarding the issue, and the judge did not indicate how he might rule on the matter during Tuesday’s status hearing in the case. Both sides are due back in court Sept. 4 for another status hearing. Torres-Ramos, 50, and his brother, Manuel Torres-Ramos, 53, who is also charged in the indictment, will also appear in court July 18 to request that they be granted bail. Both have been jailed since their arrests. LOS ANGELES -A lawyer representing the owner of South Los Angeles’ Numero Uno supermarket chain told a judge Tuesday that he intends to challenge whether federal prosecutors properly charged his client with racketeering. The remark came after U.S. District Judge Stephen Wilson noted what he called the “somewhat disparate violations” encompassed by the 59-count racketeering indictment, which pairs allegations concerning stolen meat and under-the-counter payments to illegal immigrants with accusations that Arcadia resident George Torres-Ramos ordered the killings of two gang members, as well as a former employee he believed had stolen $500,000 from one of his stores. Torres-Ramos’ attorney, Brian Sun, responded that the defense believes the indictment was returned after authorities “cobbled something together because they felt it was time” to wrap up the investigation of his client. Sun said he believes the investigation began over a decade ago. But the lead prosecutor told the judge that Torres-Ramos’ alleged actions do fall under the federal anti-racketeering act, which allows U.S. Attorneys to prosecute a range of offenses that violate state laws – including murder – if they are part of a pattern of racketeering activity. last_img read more

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MTN offers life insurance in Ghana

first_imgRay Maota Ordinary Ghanaians will be able to afford life insurance after the creation of mi-life life insurance by MTN, Hollard Insurance and MFS Africa. (Image: Pitch Invasion) Sifiso Dabengwa will become MTN’s CEO and President at the end of March 2011 as Phuthuma Nhleko steps down after nine years at the helm. (Images: MyBroadband.co.za) MEDIA CONTACTS • Maphamola Lebelo MTN Group Communications +27 83 212 9918 RELATED ARTICLES • MTN: Africa’s most valuable brand • MTN appoints new CEO • Ghana’s world first in legal timber • Black Stars shine for AfricaMTN, Africa’s most valuable brand, is making it easier for people in Ghana to buy life insurance by offering deals through mobile phones.The telecoms giant has partnered with Hollard Insurance and MFS Africa to bring low-income earners in Ghana a product called mi-life, a mobile money life insurance policy.MFS Africa is a mobile financial services provider based in Mauritius and South Africa.The partnership is designed to substantially reduce the cost of insurance.The service enables life insurance seekers to send a text message to a number on their mobile phones – this takes them to a menu of products on offer. Alternatively, the person can contact an MTN service centre to register for a policy that can be managed over the phone.Ghanaians who buy mi-life life insurance for two people can have coverage from US$765 (R5 293) up to $3 062 (R21 188).Premiums are paid via MTN’s mobile money service, which was launched in Ghana in 2009, or through agents at the networks’ service centres. The mobile money service enables users, the majority of whom do not have bank accounts, to receive and send money from their phones.The network has mobile money services in 11 countries around the world and about 4.3-million subscribers.Jeremy Leach, head of micro-insurance for Hollard, said: “Until now, insurance hasn’t really been made available or targeted at that low-income market. It allows us to reach our market in a fantastic way.“Typically, insurance has been predicated around bank accounts, and in Ghana only 34% of people have a bank account.”Other kinds of mobile micro-insurance that will be explored by the network are policies to pay bills and school fees, in the case of a family losing a breadwinner.Bruno Akpaka, GM for MTN’s mobile money operations in Ghana, said: “It’s not a generic life insurance where we’re using phones as a medium to connect to the cash, we’re talking about very, very low premiums.“Customers would be able to submit claims, queries and make premium payments using handsets. We are encouraging customers to go through agents because they also have an educating role.”Partnering to make insurance cheaperMTN was recently named Africa’s most valuable brand, said to be worth $4.7-billion (R32-billion). This was revealed by Brandirectory, an online resource that tracks the performance of the world’s top trademarks.Its closest rivals were Vodacom, Orascom Telecom of Egypt, Standard Bank and First National Bank.Established in 1994, the mobile network has cemented its presence in South Africa and another 20 countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.Hollard Insurance is South Africa’s largest privately owned insurance group and has been in existence since 1980. Over the years the group has given R50-million ($7.2-million) to the Hollard Foundation, which is an independent trust that provides assistance for HIV/Aids orphans.The insurance group also has educational programmes and rural and informal sector development programmes. It has renovated clinics in KwaZulu-Natal and has set up a craft markets for small-scale entrepreneurs.last_img read more

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