Med View Flights to Liberia ‘a Boost for ECOWAS Integration’

first_imgThe much heralded Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) regional integration agenda seems to now be taking root in recent years as countries of the region have begun to embark upon initiatives that will ensure true and genuine integration within the region.And it was in this spirit of regional integration that MedView Airline, a private Nigerian aviation firm, on Tuesday, December 20, 2016, launched its maiden flight from Lagos, Nigeria, to the Roberts International Airport (RIA), Liberia. MedView Airline will be operating a regular flight to Accra, Ghana, Monrovia, Liberia, and Freetown, Sierra Leone. This means that Liberians and other foreign nationals who want to travel to any ECOWAS state will now be spared the headache of sometimes travelling as far as Casablanca, Morocco, or to Europe before reaching their final destinations.At a brief ceremony upon the arrival of MedView flight Number VL0203, ECOWAS Ambassador to Liberia, Tunde Ajisomo, said this development is a huge boost to the integration agenda of the region that has been drastically pursued by ECOWAS leaders in recent years. The Ambassador said the arrival of the flight to Liberia and subsequently to Sierra Leone will boost economic activities as well as ensure smooth and timely travel across the region. “This is a bold move on the part of the Board and management of MedView to have extended its services to these parts of the region,” he said, describing what he termed as an actualization of a long discussion, as a “good day for MedView, Liberia and ECOWAS.”The original vision of the Founding Fathers of ECOWAS was one of intraregional commerce and cooperation, which was both ambitious and visionary. Many believe this vision was 30 years ahead of the current globalization trend. In this light, Ambassador Ajisomo noted that these dreams are now being actualized.He noted that the aviation industry plays a very critical role in the development of any region and what MedView has begun would serve as a catalyst for the ECOWAS region. “We look forward to hearing of a daily flight within the region.”The original ECOWAS agenda was aimed at addressing the most critical bottlenecks to integration among member states and also included a framework for solving inter-state conflicts. “In the latter part we have been there while in the former we are getting there,” he said.Quoting President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf during the negotiations to bring MedView to Liberia, the Ambassador noted, “This will go a long way in promoting regional integration as it relates to trade, social and smooth travel all in the vision of ECOWAS.” President Sirleaf is the Chairperson of the Heads of State of ECOWAS.“This is a dream come true for our region because we have been working towards these kinds of initiatives in our region for some time now. We are grateful to the government of Liberia and the management of MedView for this milestone.“Our people, especially our businesspeople, need smooth and quick movements as they go about their businesses; and I strongly believe this will be of great help,” Ambassador Ajisomo noted.ECOWAS has been robust in recent times with the initiation of meaningful projects aimed at integrating the region. This regional body has also been very instrumental in the providing of energy across the region with the establishment of the West African Power Pool (WAPP) project that is being actualized in Liberia, Cote D’Ivoire, Sierra Leone, and Guinea (CLSG).The development of the WAPP is to establish a well-functioning, cooperative, power-pooling mechanism for West Africa as a means to increase access of the citizens of the region to stable and reliable electricity at affordable costs.Also underway is the construction of a super-highway intended the link all of the countries of the region. According to some reliable regional leaders, this project will begin very soon.Also speaking at the ceremony, RIA Managing Director William Bako Freeman said, “the discussion to bring MedView to Liberia started a year or two back and I’m very grateful that we have reached thus far where I’m seeing this airline in our country.”He noted that this will ease the burden on Liberians who want to travel within the region. “In addition to this, the more airlines we have flying to RIA the better competition we will have and this will definitely determine airfares. So those who have been talking about deduction in ticket prices need not worry. The coming of MedView and others to follow create a competitive environment and help reduce price.”MedView CEO Muneer Bankole, who lauded President Sirleaf for the instrumental role she played in bringing the airline to Liberia, said the initiative is part of its efforts to support President Sirleaf’s agenda aimed at facilitating free movement of trade and services within the ECOWAS region.MedView, Bankole noted, will create a lot of jobs for Liberians, especially young people who have the desire to serve in the industry.Bankole once served as a young officer of the Nigerian contingent of ECOMOG that served in Liberia during the civil war in the 1990s. He noted that he had a great time in Liberia and hopes this good relationship continues in the future. Though he is no longer in the military services where he helped to bring peace to Liberia, he now does so in the business sector.He promised that his airline will deliver the best of services as compared to other regional or global airlines, and will employ many Liberians.Since government broke ground for the renovation of the RIA, there has been good news of renowned airlines coming or resuming flights to the country. One of these is the Lufthansa Airlines, the largest airline company in Europe in terms of passengers and fleet size.Liberia and the People’s Republic of China signed two agreements recently totaling US$50 Million for the rehabilitation of the terminal and runway of the RIA.Also known as Deutsche Lufthansa, Lufthansa Airlines, which came in existence in year 1953 but started to operate in 1955 as flag carrier of Germany, will commence operation to Liberia early next year. It has two major operating hubs in Europe, at Frankfurt and Munich Airports. It is a founding member of Star Alliance and serves various destinations worldwide.This airline offers services to more than 78 countries in Asia, Europe, America and Africa. Another airline that will soon commence flights to Liberia is KLM, which currently operates in Accra, Ghana. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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How to Write a Documentary Treatment

first_imgImage via Shutterstock.Key CharactersSome grant applications ask for summaries of each of the key characters in the film. These summaries are simple, one-paragraph breakdowns of the key characters and how they contribute to the story. You should highlight the details of each character and why you’re including them in the film.Director’s StatementSome grant programs or other investors require a director’s statement detailing your passion for the project and why you want to share the story with the world. This is your opportunity to showcase why you’re the right person to make this film. Status of the FilmDifferent grant programs will have different timelines in mind while they consider funding films. Thoroughly describe where your film is in the production process, but also clearly identify how much work remains to complete the film. Key Crew Members If you have a great team attached to the film, this is your opportunity to sell your crew members and their qualifications for the project.Line Item BudgetImage via Shutterstock.If a grant committee or investor is going to contribute funds, they will want to know how you plan to allocate them. Go into detail, and be prepared to answer why you really need $50 for gummy bears or why you’re shooting in a more expensive camera format. Check out a film production budget template for ideas about how to craft your own.Fundraising StrategyUnless you’re very lucky, most grants or investments won’t fund the entire project. In this section, you will detail how you plan to pursue additional funding to complete the project.Distribution and Marketing StrategyFrom the beginning of your project, you’ve probably envisioned the perfect platform or space for the finished project. In this section of your treatment, you will explain how you plan to place the finished film with these platforms to reach the largest audience possible.As you start the treatment submission process, you will find that each outlet has unique requirements. Be prepared to make changes or additions to your treatment. Take the time to craft a quality treatment beforehand, and this process will go much more smoothly.Do you know any tips or tricks about the treatment writing process? Let us know in the comments. You’ve got an idea for a documentary, but you need funding. Writing a treatment is an essential part of fundraising. Top image via Ad Week / Alex Weprin.Writing treatments is not the most glamorous part of the filmmaking process. However, they demonstrate your grasp of the story and its production. As such, a quality treatment improves your fundraising efforts and streamlines the filmmaking process.In the simplest terms, a treatment is a detailed report that can inform potential investors or contributors about a project, including its budget, production timeline, and other processes. Often, a treatment is a living document that you alter as necessary — for example, different grant programs or funding outlets require different information. The following are the key components of an effective treatment.Image via Shutterstock.Log LineA log line is a two- to three-sentence summary of the film. Think of it like an elevator pitch. It needs to be short, powerful, and captivating. Your log line will be the first piece of information people see about your film, so it’s critical to leave a good impression. I can tell you from personal experience that you will recite this log line continuously during the production and distribution of your film, so make sure you love it.Summary of TopicThe summary is a longer and more detailed version of your log line. Usually, you’ll want to summarize your topic in one to two pages. This is when you begin to really make a case for your film and its relevance. Something to keep in mind is that a treatment is creative. Don’t write it like you would an essay in high school. Write in a captivating and entertaining manner. This is the first chance your reader has to see your narrative voice in action.Narrative SynopsisYour narrative synopsis starts to break down the themes and story arcs of your film — in depth. It demonstrates the framework of your film, and this is where you’ll detail the progression of your story and characters. This is also where the reader can see your directorial vision. After reading the synopsis, the reader should understand how the story will play out and how the characters will develop.last_img read more

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The Leadership Playbook: 9 Responsibilities of a Leader

first_imgCaring: No one wants to follow a leader who doesn’t care about them personally. They don’t want to follow someone who doesn’t care about something that creates meaning and purpose and mission. It’s your job to care so deeply that your passion spills over and literally creates followers.Listening: Leaders spend time listening. Listening is one of the ways that you learn. You constantly take in new ideas and new information so that you can improve your own performance, and the performance of the organization and the people you lead. Great leaders know that they don’t have a monopoly on good ideas and seek them from outside themselves.Reading: Leaders read. Leaders read about the type of organizations they run. They read about leading and about other leaders. They read the news, nonfiction, and fiction. They synthesize all they read, finding connections and themes that they can use to become better, more effective leaders. You need to surround yourself with a stack of books, magazines, and papers.Thinking: Leaders spend time thinking. They literally make time to think. Even if it means they have to unplug and go offsite to have the time they need to do nothing other than engage in an internal dialogue with themselves, asking themselves questions and pondering the answers. Thinking is some of the most difficult work a leader will ever do.Helping Others Grow: Leaders help others grow. You help others find something inside themselves that they didn’t know was hidden there. Great leaders help guide the people they lead to their best performance, and they challenge them to stretch beyond anything they believed possible. You have to see something inside the people you lead and help them become that.Shaping Values: Shaping values is what allows the leader to share what is important, what matters, and what is necessary for the people and the organization they lead to live its purpose.  Find and tell stories to bring your values to life. Find a way to catch people doing things right and shine a light on them so that they can serve as an example to others. And protect the positive culture you build from anything that might damage or destroy it.Envisioning: A leader must provide a vision of the future. You have to know where you are taking those that follow you, and where your organization is going. That future needs to be bigger, better, and brighter. It has to provide meaning and purpose. Your vision has to compel others to act and inspire them to do whatever is necessary to bring it to life.Persuading: Results are achieved by persuading others to change, to do things different, to grow. Good leaders know that they can’t make anyone do anything. They know that the most powerful tool for change isn’t demanding it but persuading people to make the necessary changes. Your formal authority is nothing compared to your moral authority and your ability to persuade others.Deciding: Leaders make decisions. You can’t afford to wait passively as events unfold around you, paralyzed by fear, and failing to act. You will get some big decisions wrong. You will only get some of the big decisions you are charged with making right. You will always have to make adjustments. Come what may, you have to make decisions. Here are 9 responsibilities of a leader. Free Webinar Series! Create a culture of value creation. Signup for this free webinar! In three, short, power-packed webinars, you will learn what you need to do to create a culture of value creators who create and win new opportunities. Download Nowlast_img read more

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Sri Lanka vs West Indies, World Cup 2019: Weather updates in Chester-le-Street today

first_imgDimuth Karunaratne and his Sri Lanka squad were still in contention at the Cricket World Cup when they practiced on the eve of their group game against West Indies.They were out of contention before the sunset Sunday, when England beat India at Edgbaston.It was a payback of sorts from the tournament hosts. The Lasith Malinga-inspired upset win over England at Leeds on June 21 revived Sri Lanka’s prospects of reaching the semifinals, and also opened the door for Pakistan and Bangladesh.Until then, it appeared the top four of Australia, India, New Zealand and England were destined for the semifinals. That loss dented England’s chances, and a subsequent loss to Australia put the hosts under even more pressure.Going into the last week of the group stage, only Australia is assured of a place in the last four, with seven wins and 14 points from eight games. India and New Zealand are on 11 points and England is back in the fourth spot on 10. Pakistan (9) and Bangladesh (7) are still in the hunt, but Sri Lanka (6) can’t make it – even if it wins its last two games against West Indies and India to finish on 10 points and England loses its last game group to New Zealand.The tiebreaker, if teams finish equal on points, wins – and England would have more in the W column because Sri Lanka picked up two points from washouts.Sri Lanka was trounced in its opening game against New Zealand, beat Afghanistan and then had washouts against Pakistan and Bangladesh. A loss to Australia had them on the verge of an exit until the win over England shook up the whole competition. With the loss here to South Africa last Friday, Sri Lanka lost control of its tournament destiny.advertisementThe West Indies slumped out of contention after a loss to India three days ago, but coach Floyd Reifer said it wouldn’t influence their game plan against Sri Lanka at Chester-le-Street. He said the future starts Monday for his team.Rain may interrupt Match 39 of ICC Cricket World Cup between Sri Lanka and West Indies as the weather is partly cloudy. However, rain is expected for a very short period of time so a full game is on the cards. Screen grab from AccuweatherAlso Read | World Cup 2019: Pakistan supported India for the first time since partition, says Shoaib AkhtarAlso Read | Sportsmanship of few champions got tested, they failed badly: Waqar Younis slams Team IndiaAlso See:last_img read more

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‘PARTY HEADQUARTERS FOR THE NTL’

first_imgFlying outside the Greenhouse Tavern is a giant sign; `Australian Touch, Party Headquarters’, is what it reads. The Greenhouse Tavern is one of Coffs Harbour’s major sponsors for the NTL’s, being held in Coffs Harbour until Sunday the 21st. The Greenhouse has been supporting the NTL tournament since it first began at Coffs Harbour in 1997. For owner Tony Haslam and his staff, the support is not just financial but the provision of a well-run, safe, convenient and quality venue for the tournament. This includes the parties, functions, dinners for referees and officials and general facilities for the participants to use. “The very first function we held for touch was pretty disappointing, only about 30 or 40 people showed up”, he says. “But at the second function that year, we were absolutely inundated with about 500 people, since then it’s been great every year.” With recent exploits of sporting teams well publicised in our local and national media, Tony is quick to praise the behaviour of the touch players visiting Coffs Harbour. “The touch people have always been great, they’ve never given us any problems”, he says. “If they had brought us grief in any way, we would not have continued our support of them.” The site for the next three NTL’s is currently being considered, with Coffs Harbour one of five applicants to host the tournament. Tony admits that losing the NTL tournament would be very disappointing for the Coffs Community. “Not only would we be losing a great sporting event, but we would also lose a big two weeks of business”, he says. “It’s not just us, but also our suppliers and companies that provide us with stock, as well as the resorts, motels, local shops and restaurants.” Tony believes it is important for local businesses to support sporting events that visit Coffs Harbour, so when other events consider Coffs as a venue, they know they will be well received and local business will continue to grow. “We want to be seen as pro-active in looking after sporting events, so when new ones come we will be approached to also support them”, he says. The NTL tournament is in its second phase, with the Open and 20 years divisions already completed. The Senior divisions are well underway and will conclude with the play-offs and grand finals on Sunday 21st at Coffs Harbour International Sports Stadium. With grand finals to be contested in eight divisions, they begin at 11:00am and conclude at 6:00pm on Sunday. Rachel Moylelast_img
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Financials give TSX a minor boost loonie down amid flat GDP numbers

first_imgTORONTO – The Toronto stock index posted a minor gain Friday, while the Canadian dollar fell amid the latest GDP numbers released by Statistics Canada.The S&P/TSX composite index advanced 16.69 points to 15,634.94, led mainly by financials.The country’s eight-month march of monthly growth in the economy came to an end in July after Statistics Canada reported that gross domestic product was essentially unchanged at zero per cent growth in July compared with June. The development could head off more rate hikes this year and put downward pressure on the Canadian dollar.The loonie was trading at an average price of 80.13 cents US, down 0.19 of a U.S. cent.“The Canadian dollar softened as this GDP report reduced the odds of a third rate hike by the Bank of Canada this year, especially when you combine it with governor Stephen Poloz’s recent speech which gave more of a cautionary tone to the bank’s approach going forward,” said Todd Mattina, a chief economist at Mackenzie Investments.The Bank of Canada raised rates twice over the summer following the economy’s surprisingly powerful start to the year, but Poloz said during a speech Wednesday that he has no prearranged route for further interest-rate hikes.On the corporate front, shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals Inc. (TSX:VRX) were up 79 cents, or 4.62 per cent, to $17.88 at the close of markets amid the company’s announcement that it has completed the sale of its iNova Pharmaceuticals business for $930 million in cash.Quebec-based Valeant says it will use net proceeds of about $920 million from the sale to reduce its debt, as it continues to simplify its portfolio and focus on its core businesses. The company’s shares have plunged since questions about its business model first emerged two years ago, when they traded for more than $300 per share.South of the border, U.S. stocks pushed further into record territory on Wall Street.The S&P 500 index edged up 9.30 points to 2,519.36 and the Nasdaq composite index advanced 42.51 points to 6,495.96 — new highs for both indices. Meanwhile, the Dow Jones industrial average added 23.89 points to 22,405.09.In U.S. economic news, a Commerce Department report released Friday showed consumer spending inched up 0.1 per cent in August, and wages and salaries were unchanged. That could be a hint third-quarter economic growth will be weaker.In commodities, the November crude contract was up 11 cents to US$51.67 per barrel while the November natural gas contract lost a penny to US$3.01 per mmBTU.The December gold contract gave back $3.90 to US$1,284.80 an ounce and the December copper contract retreated three cents to US$2.96 a pound.Follow @DaveHTO on Twitter.last_img read more

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Barrick Gold to take US429million charge on PascuaLama project

first_imgTORONTO – Barrick Gold Corp. says it expects to take a US$429-million charge following an order by the Chilean government to close all surface facilities at its troubled Pascua-Lama project high in the Andes mountains.The gold miner says it is reclassifying Pascua-Lama’s 14 million ounces of proven and probable gold reserves, which are based on an open pit mine plan, as measured and indicated resources.Barrick is studying the potential of developing Pascua-Lama as an underground mining operation, rather than an open pit.It says the change would address a number of concerns by reducing the overall environmental impacts.The project, which straddles the Chile-Argentina border, has been criticized for threatening water supplies and glaciers.Barrick says it will provide a further update on the Pascua-Lama project at the company’s investor day on Feb. 22.Companies in this story: (TSX:ABX)last_img read more

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Federer back to third after Zverevs Munich knockout

first_imgParis: Former world number one Roger Federer has returned to third in the ATP rankings released Monday, replacing Alexander Zverev after the reigning champion was knocked out of the Munich Open at the quarter-finals stage. Federer, who has won a record 20 Grand Slams, is making his return to clay at the Madrid Open this week after three years’ absence. Elsewhere Stefanos Tsitsipas takes ninth spot from American John Isner following the Greek’s victory at the Estoril Open. Novak Djokovic remains first ahead of Rafael Nadal to mark the Serb’s 250th week as world number one, a record only bettered on four occasions in the past.last_img read more

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Morocco ranks 78th in list of best countries for business

first_imgRabat- American Magazine published its list of the best countries for business in 2013. According to the list, which was published last December, Morocco ranks 78th worldwide for doing business. Morocco ranks second country in the North Africa behind Tunisia, which ranked 77. In the Arab world, Morocco is ranked 9th after the United Arab Emirates (30th), Qatar (40th), Saudi Arabia (56), Oman (58), Bahrain (59), Jordan (65), Kuwait (76) and Tunisia (77). Algeria ranked 131, while Libya ranked 136.Ireland tops the list of best countries for business followed by New Zealand, Hong Kong, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Singapore, Canada, Norway and the Netherlands. The American famous magazine based its assessment on data made public by a number of think tanks and international organizations, such as the Freedom House, the Heritage Foundation, the Property Rights Alliance, Transparency International, the World Bank and the World Economic Forum.© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributedlast_img read more

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