e& leads as the Top Telecoms Employer Brand in Employer Brand Index 2024

Top Telecoms Employer Brand
e& leads as the Top Telecoms Employer Brand
  • e& UAE is the Top Telecoms Employer Brand in Brand Finance rankings
  • e& ranked 16th in the Top 20 employer brands across all categories in 16 countries
  • Achievement reflects the broader reputation of UAE as a global talent hub

LONDON, June 07, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — e&, the global technology group, attained the highest position in Brand Finance’s inaugural Employer Brand Report 2024 with its UAE entity ranking as the Top Global Telecoms Employer.

The group also secured the 16th spot among the Top 20 Employer Brands across measured employer brands across financial services, telco, media, and tech (TMT), oil, gas, and energy, professional services, retail, automotive, and fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the United States.

Ali Al Mansoori, Group Chief People Officer, e&, said: “This recognition as an employer of choice reflects the incredible dedication and passion of our people, who are our greatest assets. It also reaffirms our commitment to cultivating a unified company culture where every employee is empowered to think differently, experiment fearlessly, and innovate continuously. In today’s rapidly evolving landscape, having a talented workforce is more critical than ever.”

David Haigh, CEO of Brand Finance, said: “Middle Eastern telecom brands are increasingly overtaking their European and American counterparts as desirable places to work. This reflects the career opportunities and exciting technological developments created by consistent, high-quality investment in the Middle East.”

Leading the way in employer branding and talent development in UAE, the group scored highly across several considerations, including as a ‘prestigious brand,’ an ‘inspiring vision,’ ‘enjoyable and rewarding work,’ and a ‘well-managed and governed company.’ e&’s achievement reflects the broader reputation of the UAE as a global talent hub and the preferred destination for people seeking to shape a prosperous future.

“At e&, we are committed to equipping our team with the skills necessary to navigate and thrive in the digital age. Our vision is not just to keep pace with change, but to lead it. We are building a resilient, forward-thinking workforce capable of driving our company and our community towards greater heights. Our strategy includes comprehensive training programs, partnerships with educational institutions, and an environment that rewards creativity and bold thinking. We are dedicated to creating opportunities for professional growth and supporting our team as they develop the technological skills and mindset essential for the future,” added Al Mansoori.

The inaugural “Employer Brand Index” report showcases the world’s top brands with global and regional league tables. The research-driven study is the first of its kind, measuring internal and external perceptions of employer brands from 16 countries. The Index is derived from responses from an anonymous survey of the public across various industries conducted via independent online panels.

The Brand Finance 2024 Employer Brand Index follows the release in January of the global brand rankings in which e& UAE was rated the strongest telecom brand globally (AAA rating) and the strongest brand in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) across all categories.

Brand Finance is the world’s leading brand valuation consultancy. For more than 25 years, it has been bridging the gap between marketing and finance by evaluating the strength of brands and quantifying their financial value to help organisations of all kinds make strategic decisions. Every year, Brand Finance conducts more than 5,000 brand valuations, supported by original market research, and publishes over 100 reports that rank brands across all sectors and countries.

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/5ab3f4e1-ad68-4a1f-b513-0f6dd6ce45d1

Contact:
Nancy Sudheer
nsudheer@eand.com

GlobeNewswire Distribution ID1000965168

Top 20 AI university graduates first Ph.D. cohort

101 graduates boost UAE’s AI ecosystem of research, development and commercial application advances – creating an AI tech hub of the Global South

MBZUAI Class of 2024 hat throw moment 240606
MBZUAI Class of 2024 hat throw moment 240606

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates, June 07, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — His Highness Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, attended the Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence’s (MBZUAI) 2024 commencement ceremony on June 6, celebrating 101 graduates from 22 countries, receiving post-graduate degrees in key AI fields including computer vision (CV), machine learning (ML), and natural language processing (NLP).

The event was also attended by His Excellency Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and Founding Chairman of the Board of Trustees of MBZUAI, and other dignitaries.

“Before many other countries recognized its potential, government-led policies encouraged the promotion of AI in the UAE,” Dr. Al Jaber said. “They nurtured the success of companies like G42 and large language models like Falcon. As a result, this small country is creating a world class ecosystem for AI talent and entrepreneurship. We are attracting major investment from tech leaders such as Microsoft and emerging as a significant hub for AI innovation and application.”

Dr. Al Jaber noted that the growth of AI is one of three megatrends shaping the future, alongside the accelerating pace of the energy transition and the rise of emerging markets and Global South: “The Class of 2024’s growing expertise will hold the keys to unlocking solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges. In fact, if we are to achieve the ambitious goals of the historic UAE Consensus agreed at COP28 in December in Dubai, AI must play a critical role.”

MBZUAI’s third and largest commencement celebrated the university’s first Ph.D. graduates in ML along with master’s graduates in ML (55), CV (28) and NLP (12) with students hailing from countries including UAE, Canada, United Kingdom, France, India, Vietnam, Pakistan, Ethiopia and Sri Lanka.

MBZUAI President and University Professor, Eric Xing, said: “MBZUAI’s Class of 2024 are the future leaders of technology, innovation, and creativity, they are equipped to accept the responsibility that comes with the stewardship of something so powerful and transformative. They depart us with the knowledge, skills, and a profound understanding of the opportunity before them – the chance to shape a future where AI serves humanity with compassion and unwavering ethical standards – they are ready to tackle the greatest challenges facing our world today.”

Five years since its inception, MBZUAI is now recognized as one of the world’s top 100 computer science universities and is ranked in the top 20 for its specializations in AI, CV, ML, NLP, and robotics (CSRankings).

To apply for admission, visit mbzuai.ac.ae or contact admission@mbzuai.ac.ae. For press inquiries, please contact:

Amy Rogers, MBZUAI’s Senior Communications Specialist
media@mbzuai.ac.ae

Roger Field/Aya Hassan
mbzuai@wallispr.com

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/bdfc68d2-c10f-449c-85d5-dd39d3b960bd

GlobeNewswire Distribution ID 1000965139

Top 20 AI university graduates first Ph.D. cohort

101 graduates boost UAE’s AI ecosystem of research, development and commercial application advances – creating an AI tech hub of the Global South

MBZUAI Class of 2024 hat throw moment 240606
MBZUAI Class of 2024 hat throw moment 240606

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates, June 07, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — His Highness Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, attended the Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence’s (MBZUAI) 2024 commencement ceremony on June 6, celebrating 101 graduates from 22 countries, receiving post-graduate degrees in key AI fields including computer vision (CV), machine learning (ML), and natural language processing (NLP).

The event was also attended by His Excellency Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and Founding Chairman of the Board of Trustees of MBZUAI, and other dignitaries.

“Before many other countries recognized its potential, government-led policies encouraged the promotion of AI in the UAE,” Dr. Al Jaber said. “They nurtured the success of companies like G42 and large language models like Falcon. As a result, this small country is creating a world class ecosystem for AI talent and entrepreneurship. We are attracting major investment from tech leaders such as Microsoft and emerging as a significant hub for AI innovation and application.”

Dr. Al Jaber noted that the growth of AI is one of three megatrends shaping the future, alongside the accelerating pace of the energy transition and the rise of emerging markets and Global South: “The Class of 2024’s growing expertise will hold the keys to unlocking solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges. In fact, if we are to achieve the ambitious goals of the historic UAE Consensus agreed at COP28 in December in Dubai, AI must play a critical role.”

MBZUAI’s third and largest commencement celebrated the university’s first Ph.D. graduates in ML along with master’s graduates in ML (55), CV (28) and NLP (12) with students hailing from countries including UAE, Canada, United Kingdom, France, India, Vietnam, Pakistan, Ethiopia and Sri Lanka.

MBZUAI President and University Professor, Eric Xing, said: “MBZUAI’s Class of 2024 are the future leaders of technology, innovation, and creativity, they are equipped to accept the responsibility that comes with the stewardship of something so powerful and transformative. They depart us with the knowledge, skills, and a profound understanding of the opportunity before them – the chance to shape a future where AI serves humanity with compassion and unwavering ethical standards – they are ready to tackle the greatest challenges facing our world today.”

Five years since its inception, MBZUAI is now recognized as one of the world’s top 100 computer science universities and is ranked in the top 20 for its specializations in AI, CV, ML, NLP, and robotics (CSRankings).

To apply for admission, visit mbzuai.ac.ae or contact admission@mbzuai.ac.ae. For press inquiries, please contact:

Amy Rogers, MBZUAI’s Senior Communications Specialist
media@mbzuai.ac.ae

Roger Field/Aya Hassan
mbzuai@wallispr.com

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/bdfc68d2-c10f-449c-85d5-dd39d3b960bd

GlobeNewswire Distribution ID 1000965139

Hitachi Energy to invest additional $4.5 billion by 2027 to accelerate the clean energy transition

Order backlog more than tripled to over $30 billion since 2020 — More than double new investments in manufacturing, engineering, digital, R&D and partnerships across all major markets from 2024 to 2027 — Around $330 million in capacity expansion, modernization, and new build in Sweden, across all product portfolios with additional 2,000 employees — Global Technology and Innovation Center in India will increase to more than 4,000 employees to serve more than 40 countries

Zurich, Switzerland, June 07, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Hitachi Energy will invest an additional $4.5 billion in manufacturing, engineering, digital, R&D and partnerships by 2027, doubling the investments done in the last three years. This complements the recently announced $1.5 billion investment in April this year to ramp up global transformer production.

These investments will enable the company to meet customers’ commitments and market demand, increasing its global R&D, engineering and manufacturing capacity of transformers, high-voltage direct current (HVDC) and high-voltage products. It will also support the deployment of power electronics-based solutions, grid automation and software solutions, and services in line with the Hitachi Energy 2030 Plan.  Investments will also go into partnerships, supply chain, digitalization and automation, which are enablers to support capacity expansion and increase speed to market.

Electrification is pivotal to achieving Net-Zero goals and the energy transition requires innovative software solutions and services and a significant increase in the production of critical technologies for an expanded electricity grid. Integrating more renewable energy sources like solar and wind, alongside meeting the electrification demands of transport, buildings, industry, and other sectors, necessitates a secure and flexible grid infrastructure. According to IEA, the increased usage of Gen AI and the ever-growing quantity of digital data requires an expansion of data centers and the global electricity demand from data centers and AI could double towards 2026.

The company also announced today that it is investing around $330 million to expand and modernize its flagship factory in Ludvika and a new campus in Vasteras, Sweden, across all product portfolios. The Ludvika factory, with over 120 years of innovation, manufactures transformers, high-voltage products and HVDC systems, and will expand by more than 30,000 square meters. This will especially enable new manufacturing capacity of large transformers to meet the deliveries of key HVDC projects. A new campus in Vasteras will accommodate 1,800 employees, including an R&D center and a state-of-the-art production facility for grid automation. The workforce in Sweden will additionally grow by 2,000 to support the accelerating energy transition.

According to the IEA Report in October 2023: The recent clean energy progress we have seen in many countries is unprecedented and cause for optimism, but it could be put in jeopardy if governments and businesses do not come together to ensure the world’s electricity grids are ready for the new global energy economy that is rapidly emerging. This report shows what’s at stake and needs to be done. We must invest in grids today or face gridlock tomorrow.

“Electricity will be the backbone of the entire energy system and the change is happening faster than many thought possible. New business models, harmonization of designs, along with partnerships are key drivers for the increase in the pace of change,” said Claudio Facchin, CEO, Hitachi Energy. “The world is in a race to transform energy systems. Technology is not the bottleneck and electrification is creating unprecedented demand for power grids systems combined with digital solutions and services. As the market leader, we are responding with an unprecedented level of investment, people and innovation to meet that demand.”

Just in the last month, key HVDC projects were announced that are urgently needed to meet rapidly growing market demand. Underpinned by new scalable business models pioneered by Hitachi Energy, framework agreements were signed with RTE in France, RWE in Germany, Marinus Link in Australia, in addition to a service contract with Pattern Energy in the US. The company also announced the Sa.Co.I.3 interconnection between Italy and France, another industry-leading multi-terminal solution.

Governments, industries, and consumers are accelerating the switch from fossil energy to electricity to power transport, building heating and cooling, and industrial processes. Decision-makers and operators require real-time grid data for insights and collaboration. Digitally enabled transformers, switchgear, substations, converter stations, Lumada Asset Performance Management and digital twin data platforms like IdentiQ™ are critical for a more sustainable, flexible, and secure energy system. The company is also leveraging synergies between Hitachi Energy and Hitachi Digital to provide the unique position across IT, OT, product and service capabilities to support our customers throughout the entire lifecycle.

About Hitachi Energy 
Hitachi Energy is a global technology leader that is advancing a sustainable energy future for all. We are advancing the world’s energy system to be more sustainable, flexible and secure and we collaborate with customers and partners to enable a sustainable energy future – for today’s generations and those to come. Hitachi Energy has a proven track record and unparalleled installed base in more than 140 countries, serving customers in utility, industry, transportation, data centers and infrastructure sectors. With innovative technologies and services including the integration of more than 150 gigawatts of HVDC links into the power system, we help make the energy value chain more efficient, making electricity more accessible to all. Together with stakeholders across sectors and geographies, we enable the digital transformation required to accelerate the energy transition towards a carbon-neutral future. Headquartered in Switzerland, we employ around 45,000 people in 90 countries and generate business volumes of around $13 billion USD.
https://www.hitachienergy.com
https://www.linkedin.com/company/hitachienergy
https://twitter.com/HitachiEnergy

About Hitachi, Ltd.
Hitachi drives Social Innovation Business, creating a sustainable society through the use of data and technology. We solve customers’ and society’s challenges with Lumada solutions leveraging IT, OT (Operational Technology) and products. Hitachi operates under the 3 business sectors of “Digital Systems & Services” – supporting our customers’ digital transformation; “Green Energy & Mobility” – contributing to a decarbonized society through energy and railway systems, and “Connective Industries” – connecting products through digital technology to provide solutions in various industries. Driven by Digital, Green, and Innovation, we aim for growth through co-creation with our customers. The company’s revenues as 3 sectors for fiscal year 2023 (ended March 31, 2024) totaled 8,564.3 billion yen, with 573 consolidated subsidiaries and approximately 270,000 employees worldwide. For more information on Hitachi, please visit the company’s website at https://www.hitachi.com.

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Media Relations
Hitachi Energy Ltd
media.relations@hitachienergy.com

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Nouvelle présidence à l’AMEC

LONDRES, 06 juin 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — L’association internationale pour la mesure et l’évaluation de la communication, ou International Association for the Measurement and Evaluation of Communication, ci-après « AMEC » annonce avoir désigné une nouvelle Présidente.

L’AMEC, le plus grand organisme professionnel mondial de renseignement et de veille médiatique, annonce avoir nommé Raina Lazarova, cofondatrice de l’organisation mondiale de veille médiatique Ruepoint pour un mandat de deux ans à compter de juin 2024. Dans ce rôle, elle dirigera le Conseil d’administration de l’AMEC qui poursuivra l’exercice de sa mission axée sur la définition, la promotion et le développement des meilleures pratiques en matière de mesure et d’évaluation de la communication, de recherche, d’analyse, d’éclairages et de renseignements dans l’environnement si volatile de la communication.

La passation officielle a eu lieu lors de l’ édition 2024 du sommet mondial de l’AMEC, qui s’est tenu à Sofia du 21 au 23 mai. L’événement a rassemblé plus de 200 professionnels issus des secteurs de la communication, des relations publiques, du milieu académique, de la recherche et de l’analyse.

Le Président sortant, Aseem Sood, PDG de la société Impact Research and Measurement Pvt témoigne : « Je me réjouis de passer le flambeau à Raina Lazarova à l’issue de mon mandat de deux ans. Sa vision et ses idées novatrices sont essentielles à la croissance et à la réussite futures de l’AMEC, et font d’elle la meilleure pilote possible à cet égard. J’ai toute confiance en ses capacités. Sous sa direction, l’AMEC continuera son essor et enregistrera des succès encore plus importants. À l’issue des délibérations qui se sont déroulées lors de la dernière réunion du Conseil d’administration organisée à Sofia, le Conseil a établi la liste des domaines clés sur lesquels se focaliser, ainsi que le plan stratégique pour les deux prochaines années. Je conserve mon siège au Conseil d’administration de l’AMEC, et j’exercerai une attention toute particulière au développement d’un calendrier éditorial teinté de leadership éclairé à son attention. »

Pour la nouvelle Présidente, Raina Lazarova, « C’est un grand honneur d’avoir été élue Présidente du Conseil d’administration de l’AMEC. Organisme majeur du secteur, l’AMEC maintiendra ses opérations de promotion envers les bienfaits de la mesure et de l’évaluation de la communication tout en retournant de la valeur à ses membres et à tous les acteurs du secteur de la communication. La déferlante de l’IA générative est synonyme de l’entrée du secteur de la communication dans une nouvelle phase fascinante. À ce titre, l’AMEC assume ses responsabilités et fournira les éclairages et l’accompagnement nécessaires à la profession pour qu’elle embrasse les nouvelles technologies.

Johna Burke, Directrice générale de l’AMEC, ajoute « L’élection des administrateurs du Conseil international est renouvelée chaque année pour permettre à chaque membre de s’engager et de faire entendre sa voix au moment d’analyser les projets complexes majeurs de notre secteur. En revanche, l’élection à la présidence n’est renouvelée que tous les deux ans. Pendant la période de transition, nous célébrons la direction et les contributions de Monsieur Sood en tant que président sortant, et nous accueillons Madame Lazarova, qui est bien connue de nos services. Elle travaille déjà sur les efforts de collaboration nécessaires aux membres de l’AMEC pour naviguer en eaux inconnues lors des deux prochaines années, pour qu’ils puissent apprendre les uns des autres et tirer profit de l’expérience collective du plus grand acteur du secteur des renseignements média. »

L’AMEC réunit une communauté mondiale de plus de 200 organisations partenaires, y compris des entreprises de veille et d’analyse médiatique, des agences de relations publiques et de communication, des marques et des cabinets d’étude de marché. Elle se décline sur quatre continents, à savoir la région EMOA, l’Asie-Pacifique, l’Amérique du Nord et l’Amérique latine.

L’association s’efforce d’appuyer l’industrie mondiale de la communication au moyen de ressources éducatives gratuites et de conseils non moins gratuits sur les meilleures pratiques à adopter dans la double optique de relever les normes et démontrer la valeur des relations publiques et de la communication à l’échelle mondiale.

L’AMEC est à l’origine de plusieurs ressources en matière de meilleures pratiques incontestablement reconnues, notamment ses « principes de Barcelone », ou Barcelona Principles (versions 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0) et son cadre d’évaluation intégré, ou Integrated Evaluation Framework (IEF).

Pour en savoir plus sur l’AMEC, rendez-vous sur : https://amecorg.com.

Rejoignez-nous sur LinkedIn

Pour prendre contact avec Johna Burke, Directrice générale de l’AMEC : johna@amecorg.com

Une photo annexée au présent communiqué de presse est disponible à la page : https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/af364038-c24f-444b-b1fc-311ac3875883

GlobeNewswire Distribution ID 9150306

AMEC Anuncia Nova Presidência

LONDRES, June 06, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — A International Association for the Measurement and Evaluation of Communication (AMEC) (Associação Internacional para a Medição e Avaliação da Comunicação) anunciou o nome da nova presidente da associação.

A AMEC, maior órgão profissional de inteligência e insights de mídia do mundo, anunciou que Raina Lazarova, cofundadora da organização global de inteligência de mídia Ruepoint, assumirá o cargo por um mandato de dois anos a partir de junho de 2024. Como Presidente, Raina Lazarova liderará o Conselho de Administração da AMEC, dando continuidade à sua missão de definir, promover e avançar as melhores práticas de medição e avaliação de comunicação, pesquisa, análise, avaliação, dados e insights em um cenário de comunicação em rápida mudança.

A cerimônia oficial para a transferência do cargo ocorreu durante a 2024 AMEC Global Summit on Measurement, em Sófia, de 21 a 23 de maio, que contou com a presença de mais de 200 participantes presenciais, incluindo comunicadores, profissionais de relações públicas, acadêmicos e pessoas envolvidas na indústria de pesquisa e análise.

O Presidente que passou o cargo, Aseem Sood, CEO da Impact Research and Measurement Pvt. disse: “Após um mandato bem-sucedido de dois anos como Presidente da AMEC, tenho o prazer de entregar as rédeas da liderança à Sra. Raina Lazarova. Sua visão e ideias inovadoras fazem dela a pessoa ideal para guiar a AMEC no seu próximo capítulo de crescimento e sucesso. Estou confiante de que, sob sua liderança, a AMEC continuará a prosperar e alcançar realizações ainda maiores. Durante a recente reunião do conselho em Sófia, o Conselho da AMEC deliberou e estabeleceu as principais áreas de foco e um plano estratégico para os próximos dois anos. Continuarei a atuar como membro engajado do Conselho de Administração da AMEC, com foco específico em liderar o desenvolvimento de um calendário editorial de liderança de pensamento para o conselho.”

A nova presidente eleita Raina Lazarova disse: “É uma grande honra ter sido eleita presidente do conselho de administração da AMEC. Como entidade líder do setor, continuaremos a promover os benefícios da medição e avaliação da comunicação, ao mesmo tempo em que agregamos valor aos nossos membros e à vasta comunidade de comunicação. O advento da IA generativa resultou em um momento muito interessante para o setor de comunicação, e a AMEC reconhece seu papel em fornecer liderança de pensamento e apoio à profissão na utilização de novas tecnologias.”

A CEO da AMEC, Johna Burke, disse: “Temos eleições para Diretores do Conselho Internacional todos os anos, o que garante o engajamento e a representação dos membros à medida que consideramos as iniciativas complexas e importantes do setor. Realizamos uma eleição especial para o cargo de Presidente a cada dois anos. Durante esta transição, celebramos a liderança e as contribuições de Aseem como Presidente e damos as boas-vindas à Raina, que é uma defensora da comunidade AMEC. Raina já está trabalhando em colaborações que permitirão que os membros da AMEC possam navegar pelo conhecido e pelo desconhecido durante os próximos dois anos como um coletivo para aprender uns com os outros e se beneficiar da experiência global do mais amplo ecossistema da indústria de inteligência de mídia.”

A AMEC representa uma comunidade global de mais de 200 organizações, incluindo empresas de monitoramento e análise de mídia, agências de RP e comunicação, proprietários de marcas e empresas de pesquisa de mercado. A associação tem filiais em quatro continentes – EMEA, Ásia-Pacífico, América do Norte e América Latina.

A AMEC se esforça para apoiar o setor de comunicação global com recursos educacionais gratuitos e orientações das melhores práticas sobre como planejar, medir e avaliar o desempenho, para que possamos elevar os padrões e promover o valor da RP e da Comunicação em todo o mundo.

É a organização fundadora dos recursos de melhores práticas proeminentemente aceitos, adotados e aplicados, incluindo os Barcelona Principles (Princípios de Barcelona 1.0, 2.0 e 3.0) e a Integrated Evaluation Framework (IEF) (Estrutura de Avaliação Integrada) usados em todo o mundo.

Para mais informação sobre a AMEC, visite https://amecorg.com.

Conecte-se conosco

Entre em contato conosco através da CEO da AMEC e Diretora Administrativa Global, Johna Burke – johna@amecorg.com

Foto deste comunicado disponível em https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/af364038-c24f-444b-b1fc-311ac3875883

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Enhancing Hygiene Standards in Ghana’s Baking Industry

The baking industry has long been a cornerstone of the culinary landscape, serving as a vital component of the breakfast economy and a source of nutrition for people all over the world. Globally, the baking industry hit a total market value of USD 203.8 billion in 2018 and is expected to increase by 3.2% by 2025, according to research. In Africa and the Middle East, the industry is expected to grow at a rate of 4.9% between 2022 and 2030. The sheer size of the industry and its role in providing food security for huge sectors of the population make the issue of food safety and hygiene very critical. Food hygiene and safety are essential to prevent the spread of foodborne illnesses and ensure the safety of the food we consume. It is only through proper hygiene and safety practices in our food industries, that we can prevent the contamination of food by harmful bacteria, viruses, and pathogens that cause illnesses and dangerous diseases. Olam Agri's Grain Business, operators of a multimillion wheat mill facto ry in Tema and a leading manufacturer of wheat flour, has, over the years, demonstrated ample commitment to the highest food quality and safety standards, and in 2021, achieved the Food Safety Standard Certification (FSSC)22000. It is on this score that we have Baibhav Biswas, Business Head of Olam Agri's Grains Business in Ghana, to share with us some insights into the baking industry in Ghana and also highlight some of the key initiatives by Olam Agri in promoting food safety and hygiene in the country. Interviewer: How would you describe the baking industry in Ghana? Baibhav: Significantly, Ghana's baking industry occupies a distinct position, characterized by its rich tradition and culture, particularly, within the breakfast economy. According to a report by Statista, revenue in the bread and bakery product market will amount to 4.43 billion USD in 2024, and it is expected to grow annually by 7.65% between 2024 and 2028. The baking industry plays a crucial role in the breakfast economy, providing the population with staple foods like bread, which form the very foundation of many Ghanaian meals. Today's market is primarily driven by convenience, accessibility, and nutrition profile, as there has been a growing preference for healthy, organic, and all-natural baked food, produced under good quality. Interviewer: What would you identify as some of the pressing issues in the industry that you think need urgent attention? Baibhav: The industry operates in a system that is highly fragmented, constrained by limited capital, the use of outdated equipment, and critical issues relating to hygiene and safety. These factors contribute to operational inefficiencies and increased costs, ultimately impacting both producers and consumers. To ensure the growth and sustainability of Ghana's baking industry, it is imperative to address the existing challenges head-on. Without intervention, these issues threaten to stifle progress and hinder the industry's ability to meet the evolving needs of consumers. Interviewer: It has been reported that Olam Agri in Ghana has launched the Grains Hygiene Standard Management (GHSM) initiative to help improve the hygiene situation of bakers. Can you tell us more about the program? Baibhav: Recognizing the pivotal role of hygiene in ensuring food safety and consumer confidence, our Grains business, which is the leading producer of flour and wheat-based products in the country, initiated the Grains Hygiene Standard Management (GHSM) Program in collaboration with the Food and Drugs Authority and Twentyth Consult, a food and beverage consultancy firm in Ghana. This novel initiative aims to bring bakers across the nation together under a comprehensive framework, to promote cleanliness and hygiene practices to tackle the problem of fragmentation and safeguard both the integrity of the products and the health of consumers. The GHSM program encompasses a range of initiatives designed to elevate hygiene standards across the baking industry. This includes the provision of workshops and training sessions to enhance baking practices and improve hygiene conditions among bakers. Additionally, the GHSM program offers incentives, including reward schemes for bakeries that demonstrate exceptional adherence to hygiene protocols under the program. Interviewer: The GHSM program is indeed groundbreaking. We have not seen any company do something like this in the industry. Now, how do you ensure the sustainability of this initiative? Baibhav: Central to the initiative is the establishment of standardized parameters for evaluating hygiene practices. Dedicated third-party hygiene controllers work closely with bakeries to ensure compliance with these standards, providing guidance and support where they are needed. By fostering a culture of accountability, the program seeks to instill confidence in both industry stakeholders and consumers. We have over 800 bakers from Accra, Kumasi, and Takoradi who participated in the maiden edition of the program's annual award scheme. Some 141 bakeries from these centers rece ived certification for improving hygiene standards in their operations, 35 bakeries stood out as the most compliant and were ranked as 4-Star Bakery Operators. So far, we are very impressed with the interest from bakers across the country. We are also working on expanding its coverage across the country over time. We are projecting over 1000 bakeries nationwide to participate in next year's program. Interviewer: By way of conclusion, what do you think is the future of the Bakery Industry? What are your general observations about the growth of the industry in Ghana? Baibhav: As a community, we cannot rely solely on the government and its agencies to initiate productive change. I believe that stakeholders must take an active role in problem-solving. The GHSM program is an initiative we can hold on to, build upon, and improve the hygiene situation of our bakers while improving food security in the country. With this program, we can ensure that the country's rich culinary heritage thrives. Source: Ghana News Agency

France: Cameroon embassy refutes Colonel’s allegations of rape

By Nchendzengang Tatah A Cameroonian colonel on diplomatic mission to France is reported by the French daily newspaper Le Parisien, on June 5, 2024 to have raped his 16 year old daughter. The Cameroon Embassy in France has said the report was inaccurate. In an article on it's website, the French paper stated that '…it's an embarrassment of protocol. For the French judiciary, it's a slap in the face. And for the presumed victim, a rape.' The paper further lamented that the alleged perpetrator risk going unpunished, based on his diplomatic coverage though investigations have been opened. 'The police weren't even able to arrest him. On first contact with the police, the suspect brandished his diplomatic immunity. A totem which completely blocked the investigation,' Le Parisien read. The Cameroon Embassy in a release on June 7, following the publication said the reports of Le Parisien, were derailed and highlighted unscrupulously the use of the diplomat's status to avoid prosecution. 'The Cameroonian Embas sy in France denounces the lightness of this article, whose accusatory wording seems biased and one-sided in relation to practices commonly applied to such situations in which a diplomat is presumed to be involved,' the press statement stated. The Embassy further noted that the said diplomats house was searched in his absence and without authorisation from the Cameroon Embassy to France. The release opined that this act 'can undoubtedly hamper the uncovering of the truth and the smooth running of justice.' The statement of the Cameroon Embassy emphasized that the two states were govern by the rule of law and respect for international conventions of which the actions of the press must take cognisance. Source: Cameroon News Agency

Chief Justice plants trees, urges illegal miners to halt activities

Chief Justice Gertrude Sackey Torkornoo Friday led members of the Judicial Service to plant trees at the Supreme Court premises to commemorate this year's Green Ghana Day. The theme for this year's event is 'Growing for a greener Tomorrow'. The Chief Justice was joined by the Accra Metropolitan Assembly Mayor, Madam Elizabeth Sackey, George Agbenowoshi, Deputy Regional Manager, Forestry Commission, and other Justices of the Superior Court. Speaking to journalists, Chief Justice Torkornoo said the need to protect the environment had become extremely urgent and appealed to those engaged in illegal mining to desist from the act and think about the health effects on humanity. She also encouraged those disposing of rubbish indiscriminately to have a change of mind. The Chief Justice said the Judiciary would partner with the Forestry Commission to continue with the tree planting initiative. Mr George Agbenowoshi, Deputy Regional Manager, Forestry Commission, said about 10 million trees were being planted nat ionwide. He commended the Chief Justice for taking part in the tree planting exercise. Source: Ghana News Agency

FG woos foreign investors, pledges to overcome insecurity

The Federal Government has reaffirmed its commitment to improve the security situation in the country for the better. The Minister of Interior, Dr Olubunmi Tunji Ojo, said this when the Swedish Ambassador to Nigeria, Mrs Annika Hahn-Englund, led a delegation to pay him a courtesy visit on Thursday in Abuja. 'We are gradually winning the war against terrorism and violent extremism going by the various measures put in place so far to tackle the menace headlong 'Nigeria is the best-kept secret on global investment hence your investment is safe and secured in Nigeria. 'We look forward to more mutually beneficial collaborations in areas such as economics, business and migration control', the minister told his guests. Tunji-Ojo commended the historic relationship between both countries, saying Nigeria's trade volume with Sweden was now valued at $183 million. He said that Sweden was one of Nigeria's important trade partners. 'We value our relationship with Sweden. Trade relationships from 1995 have been on the increase from $29.6million. At the moment it is US $183m which is a 6.7% annual increase in terms of trade volume. 'This shows that the collaboration and partnership are working because when your growth rate goes to about 6.97 per cent which is almost 7 per cent per annum, it shows that the relationship is working well', he said. The minister emphasised that the Federal Government was making efforts to ensure that the security situation of the country improved tremendously to stimulate more foreign investment and cooperation. Earlier, Hahn-Englund said the purpose of her visit was to know more about the priorities of the Ministry of Interior, get updates on the security situation in Nigeria and discuss Swedish investments in Nigeria. Source: News Agency of Nigeria