MTN Group global sourcing and supply chain awards

The Global Sourcing and Supply Chain (GSSC) division of MTN Group has hosted its second Supplier Awards event to recognise suppliers and partners for their hard work and delivery of exceptional services across the MTN footprint.

This year’s virtual event, hosted by Group Executive and Chief Procurement office, Dirk Karl, was centred around three key pillars – Innovation, Collaboration and Excellence.

As we reflect on 2020, and the challenges presented by the spread of COVID-19, I would particularly like to commend our suppliers and partners on their agility and resilience, that ensured uninterrupted service to the MTN Group. It is only through strong partnerships and the support of dependable suppliers that MTN can ensure that everyone has the benefits of a modern connected life,” says Dirk.

MTN Group COO – Jens Schulte-Bockum joined the session where he congratulated the supplier partners and shared MTN’s recently announced Ambition 2025 plan with them. Group Chief Technology and Information Officer Charles Molapisi and Executive Group Consumer Enzo Scarcella –also delivered MTN’s plan around Ambition 2025. They also called out to all the supplier partners for their continuous support and commitment to deliver on MTN’s belief i.e. everyone deserves the benefit of a modern connected life. Verizon’s Chief Sustainability Officer, James Gowen, also attended the session, speaking on sustainable supply chain.

16 winners across nine categories were announced:

2020 Rise & Shine Award – recognizes our Rising Star Supplier for 2020:

  • Winner – Dell Technologies

2020 Digital Excellence Award: Most supportive of GSSC digital transformation:

  • Winner – Oracle

2020 Most Collaborative Supplier Award: Most responsive and supportive through the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • Technology Category Winner – Ericsson
  • Commercial Category Winner – Mobicel

2020 Outstanding Quality & Delivery Performance: Best performance in delivery, support, performance, quality and risk:

  • Technology Category Winner –FLYTXT
  • Commercial Category Winner – ZTE

2020 Commercial Excellence Award: Best provider of competitive pricing and costing transparency:

  • Technology Category Winner –Tecnotree
  • Commercial Category Winner – Valid

2020 Best Account Management Performance Award: Best account management support, flexibility and ease of doing business, including, timely reporting:

  • Technology Category Winner – Huawei
  • Commercial Category Winner – IDEMIA

2020 Supplier Innovation Award:  Most innovative and solutions driven supplier, who demonstrates and shares best practice:

  • Technology Category Winner – Tarana represented by United Wireless
  • Commercial Category Winner – Thales

2020 Performance Excellence Award : Most consistent in terms of delivery throughout the year:

  • Technology Category Winner – Ericsson
  • Commercial Category Winner – Omnicom Group

2020 Supplier of the Year: Best overall performer across several metrics, including quality, delivery & support, account management, performance and innovation:

  • Technology Category Winner – Deloitte
  • Commercial Category Winner – Valid

MTN congratulates all the winners of the GSSC supplier awards and looks forward to greater collaboration and partnership as we focus on our intent to provide leading digital solutions for Africa’s progress.

Source: MTN Blog

Goldman holds top rank in activism defense, Spotlight takes No. 2 spot

Goldman Sachs ranked as the top financial adviser to companies targeted by activist investors in 2020, holding onto the top ranking for the second straight year, according to Refinitiv data published on Monday.

During 2020, Goldman advised on 49 campaigns, including Twitter, EBay and Harley Davidson , down modestly from 53 in 2019.

The top 10 advisers worked on 186 campaigns last year, when the pandemic curbed activism, compared with 197 in 2019.

Morgan Stanley, which held the No. 1 spot for several years, slipped to the No. 3 position, having worked on 26 campaigns in 2020 after 44 campaigns in 2019.

Spotlight Advisors, which works for both companies and activists, moved into the No. 2 spot with 31 campaigns.

Bank of America, Lazard and Evercore followed with 22, 17 and 14 engagements respectively.

Various providers compile league tables that are often used as data points to woo new clients. But they seldom tell the entire story, bankers say, noting that discrepancies can arise because many companies fend off activists privately and ask their advisers to stay silent about their involvement.

Elliott Management held onto its spot as the busiest activist, having launched 17 campaigns last year after 11 in 2019.

Olshan Frome Wolosky was the busiest law firm, working on 85 engagements for activists. Vinson & Elkins LLP, which handled 47 campaigns, including six for activists and 41 for companies, followed in the No. 2 spot. Sidley Austin LLP tied V&E with 41 company engagements and ranked in the No. 3 spot.

Innisfree and Okapi Partners were the top proxy solicitors.

Grammys 2021: Burna Boy and Wizkid win at music awards

Nigeria Afrobeats stars Burna Boy and Wizkid have both won awards at the 2021 Grammys.

Burna Boy won the Best Global Music Album category while Wizkid won the Best Music Video for his song with Beyoncé; Brown Skin Girl, from Lion King: The Gift album.

Beyoncé’s daughter Blue Ivy was also a winner on the song.

The Best Music Video award is given to the artist, video director and video producer.

Burna Boy, real name Damini Ogulu, a nominee for a second consecutive year, won with his Twice As Tall album.

The 63rd Grammy Awards is being held in Los Angeles. Traditionally billed as “music’s biggest night”, this year’s ceremony is different because of the coronavirus pandemic.

There is no audience, and performers have been separated onto five stages, arranged in a circle inside the Los Angeles Convention Center to maintain social distancing.

Burna Boy, 29, beat four others including the Malian band, Tinariwen.

image captionWizkid’s Made In Lagos album, released in 2020, was a huge hit with fans

The Grammys nomination described Twice As Tall as “a masterclass in the vibe and hustle that have made Burna Boy an international musical force”.

“[He] continues to torch limitations, seamlessly blending styles and genres and fearlessly fuelling the fire heating the melting pot of pop, Afrobeat, dancehall, reggae and more,” it said.

The album features a wide range of international artists such as Stormzy, Youssou Ndour, Naughty By Nature, and Chris Martin of Coldplay, and had Sean Combs as executive producer.

Second time lucky

Burna Boy was nominated in the same category in 2019 – then known as Best World Music Album – but lost out to Angelique Kidjo at the awards ceremony in 2020.

However, Kidjo dedicated her win to him, saying: “Burna Boy is among those young artists that come from Africa that is changing the way our continent is perceived and the way that African music is the bedrock of all music.”

Born in Nigeria’s Port Harcourt, Burna Boy released his first album, LIFE, an acronym for Leaving an Impact For Eternity, in 2013.

That album was followed by the release of Redemption in 2015 and Outside in 2018 that included the international hit track, Ye.

Watch Video on YouTube:

But it was with his 2019 African Giant album that Burna Boy really hit the international scene and earned his first Grammys nomination.

Often compared to Nigerian superstar Fela Ransome-Kuti, whose songs Burna has sampled generously, he has become increasingly vocal about social causes in Africa.

At the height of the xenophobic attacks in South Africa in 2019, he threatened to never set foot in the country again unless the government took action, although he has since performed in the country.

He was also closely involved in the #EndSARS anti-police brutality protests in Nigeria last year, setting up a fund for victims and releasing a song in memory of those killed on 20 October 2020 at the Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos.

He also recently tweeted his support for protesters in Senegal who took to the streets after the arrest of opposition leader Ousmane Sonko.

View original tweet on Twitter

Last of Us 2 leads Bafta Games Awards nominations

With a record-breaking 13 nominations, The Last of Us 2 leads the field at the Bafta Games Awards.

It’s the most nominations any game has received in the awards’ history, beating last year’s record of 11 by two titles: Control and Death Stranding.

Ghost of Tsushima, an action-adventure game, also received 10 nominations, including for best game and multiplayer.

The winners will be announced on 25 March.

The awards will again be held online, a year on from being the first major awards to be held virtually.

View original tweet on Twitter

In addition to its 13 nominations, The Last of Us 2 is also up for a new award – EE Game of the Year, which is the only category to be voted for by the public.

The Bafta Games Awards has been recognising achievements in the gaming industry for more than a decade.

And while there might not be a traditional red carpet, champagne reception or live audience, organisers will be hoping to retain some of the magic of a live event.

Analysis by Steffan Powell, Newsbeat’s gaming reporter

On paper it might be a surprise that a game set in the midst of a world altering global pandemic became so successful in 2020. Not much escapism in that.

It’s less of a surprise to anyone who’s played The Last of Us Part 2.

The shock would have been if the game did not dominate the BAFTA nominations. 

It’s already won big at the 2020 Game awards and was crowned BBC Sounds podcast Press X to Continue’s game of 2020.

Despite controversies over its depiction of violence, divisive plot twists and character portrayals (dancing very carefully around spoilers here) the title had an overwhelmingly positive reaction from players and critics. 

The praise for its storytelling, diverse cast and sheer jaw-dropping emotional moments have also clearly won the BAFTA nominations panel over.

Usually a place where independent games thrive – this year the awards look like they could be dominated by PlayStation exclusives made by big studios.

Not only does The Last of Us Part 2 have the most nominations for in history, but other PS only titles like Ghost of Tsushima (10), Spiderman: Miles Morales (7) and Dreams (6) have landed a hatful of nominations too.

Bafta has announced the show will be a 90-minute online live stream, hosted by presenter and journalist Elle Osili-Wood.

Ecobank Group wins Awards from EMEA Finance, The Banker and Global Finance

Leading pan-African banking group, Ecobank has won awards from EMEA Finance, The Banker and Global Finance.

Ecobank’s awards in the EMEA Finance African Banking Awards 2020 includes the pan-African award for Financial Inclusion, and ‘Best Bank’ in Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Chad, Gabon, The Gambia, Guinea, Liberia and Mali.

The Banker’s Bank of the Year Awards 2020 saw Ecobank win Bank of the Year for Africa (Regional Award) and Bank of the Year for its affiliates in Gabon, The Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau and Togo.

The award of ‘Outstanding Crisis Leadership – Finance & Business’ was awarded to Ecobank by Global Finance.

Ade Ayeyemi, Ecobank Group CEO, said: “The Ecobank Group has long been recognised as a pioneer and we are proud to be playing a major role in digital banking, financial inclusion, driving economic and social development through our multi-channel approach. 

“These latest awards are the result of hard work from Ecobankers across the group as well as a fruitful and sustainable relationship with our various stakeholders and partners. They affirm the effectiveness of our strategy and our impact on businesses and livelihoods across sub-Saharan Africa.”

“Our one bank model, which sees us develop our products, services and solutions centrally, and distribute them locally, is empowering people, businesses, corporates and the public sector across Africa with convenient, affordable and secure 24/7 banking solutions. We are now positioning our payments business as an enabler of trade and payments across Africa.”

Among the group’s banking products, services, solutions and community initiatives that swayed the respective judges’ decisions were the Ecobank Mobile App; Xpress Accounts- Know Your Customer (KYC)-lite account opening which drives financial inclusion; Ecobank Pay, the digital contactless QR payment solution; the rapid expansion of the Xpress Point agency network; digital-only Xpress Loans. 

These are in addition to e-token generation cash out; newly launched internet banking platforms, Ecobank Online, Omni Lite and Omni+ for retail, business and corporate customers respectively; the scalability of Ecobank’s digital ecosystem and platforms; and our Group-wide initiatives providing support to people, communities, businesses, health authorities and governments with support and relief during the Covid-19 pandemic.

These new Awards add to the Ecobank Group’s recent Award wins which include:

  • African Banker (EMEA Finance)
  • Most Innovative Bank in Africa (Global Finance)
  • African Bank of the Year (African Banker)
  • Africa’s Best Bank for Corporate Responsibility (Euromoney)
  • Innovation in Financial Services Award (African Banker)