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Facebook, Instagram put African tourism on social media map

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Attending the Annual World Tourism Conference in Rwanda, Facebook and Instagram representatives were in Kigali this week (28-31 August) to discuss and explore ways in which social media can be used to effectively drive tourism growth across the Continent. Showcasing how both platforms can be used as a tool to creatively help change the narrative of Africa as a tourist destination, the team also took part in a live panel discussion exploring the ‘Evolution of Online Travel and Lifestyle Tourism: Leveraging Africa’s Diversity’.

The event, developed by the Rwanda Development Board, the Corporate Council on Africa (CCA) and the Africa Travel Association (ATA), saw government officials, tourism ministers, tourism boards and business professionals from across the world and the Continent descend onto the capital.

Social platforms offer tourism agencies and companies in Rwanda and across the Continent, wonderful opportunities to put their countries firmly on the map

Showcasing how tourism operators and agencies can leverage Instagram, Facebook Live and Facebook 360, the Facebook and Instagram team discussed how new technologies can be used to create a seamless experience for both the tourist and the operator; from immersive travel experiences to entice potential customers, to using WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger to allow tourism companies to build customer service channels and communicate with customers prior to booking, during their trip and on their return home.

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Commenting on Facebook’s involvement in the World Tourism Conference Akua Gyekye, Public Policy Manager for Africa at Facebook said: “Social platforms offer tourism agencies and companies in Rwanda and across the Continent, wonderful opportunities to put their countries firmly on the map. We’re excited to share ideas about how Instagram and Facebook can help Africa share its rich culture and beautiful landscapes with the world, and connect with the tourists of today and the future —an effort we’re proud to support.”

Ahead of the conference, Facebook undertook a number of training sessions including partnering with the ATA and Rwanda Development, the local business council, to train 100 tourism focused SMBs in how to use Facebook platforms to promote, engage with communities, and grow their businesses.

 

 

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Sports

FIFA President, Infantino tests positive for COVID-19

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FIFA Chief, Gianni Infantino has contracted coronavirus popularly known as COVID-19,  the world’s football governing body announced on Tuesday.

According to the information scooped from AFP, the 50-year-old has mild symptoms and will remain in isolation for a further 10 days.

“All people who came into contact with the FIFA President during the last few days have been informed accordingly and they are being requested to take the necessary steps,” the body said.

“FIFA sincerely wishes President Infantino a speedy recovery,” it added.

Infantino’s last public appearances was at FIFA’s Compliance Summit which ended on October 16 when all attendees were present via video.

Cases, hospitalisations and deaths from Covid-19 in the body’s base, Switzerland, have doubled from one week to the next throughout October.

The country’s government is expected to decide Wednesday on new measures to control the spread of the virus.

The spread of the illness has cast doubt over Wednesday’s potential meeting between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi in the Champions League after the Juventus attacker tested positive for the illness earlier this month.

 

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Health

Go for test, COVID-19 not defeated yet, Oyo govt. urges residents

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The Seyi Makinde led – Oyo state government,on Tuesday urged residents of the state with signs and defined symptoms of the COVID-19 to submit themselves for testing, adding that the state  is yet to defeat the virus.

The state government also urged them to adhere strictly to the preventive protocols as enumerated by the  experts.

Dr Bashir Bello, the Commissioner for Health, who spoke at a sensitization program organized for journalists in the state on COVID-19, held at Kakanfo Inn in Ibadan disclosed that the state had some high rise in the positivity rates recently which the government is steering up to.

Dr. Bello averred that the flouting of COVID-19 protocols during the #EndSARS protests which rocked the country over the last few weeks is no doubt going to increase the rate of transmission of the virus, but assured that the state is prepared to tackle any upsurge; stressing that the permanent structures have been put in place to fight the virus on a long term note.

The Commissioner, who admitted that testing has reduced in the state, further explained that factors like stigmatization and fear are responsible for the reduction in the rate COVID-19 tests are conducted in the state.

“We are meant to give people initiative. As you have seen that the problem of stigmatization is one of the problems that we are having. You could now see that the few positively tested ones are refusing to give us their contacts. First of all, they don’t want the public to know that they have tested positive. Two, since they know it has affected you, you are now pointing to other people.

“So what actually happen is that we have left those centres, about 27 centres out of the 33 LCDAs so that people can willfully go without the problem of being stigmatized. It’s a place you can walk to without people knowing you. It’s like the HIV in those days that we were begging people to do test. HIV has now become a common thing even every pregnant woman is ready to get tested.

“So this COVID-19 issue has not been… although we still know we have it. For example, we are having high rises in the positivity rate which the government is steering up to and thanks to God we are not unprepared. We have had a very good output. A reliable arrest of the case but it is just like the motto of the ‘Boys Scout’ which is: we are prepared.

“We are only telling the public that COVID-19 is still very much around and we implore each and everyone of us to at their own free will go and get tested. Nobody will report that because we only send you the result through a coded number and a coded message to your personal phone number which you will have given in the form which is a fairly confidential way”, he added.

He also revealed that Oyo State is the only state where residents can undergo COVID-19 test free of charge,noting that other states now charge various amounts of money.

The Commissioner, however stated that the only set of people who pay to undergo COVID-19 test in the state are those who are planning to travel out of the country and they need a proof to certify that they are COVID-19 free.

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Politics

Exclusive: Ex-Oyo SSG, Alli may lose more loyalists

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The 2019 governorship candidate of the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) and former Secretary to the Oyo State Government, Chief Sharafadeen Alli may lose more  followers to other parties before 2023 elections, Mega Icon Magazine exclusively gathered.

Mega Icon Magazine also confirmed that some members of the ZLP, including Alli’s close supporters are now comfortable in the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), while others are now weighing the options of joining the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state.

It will be recalled that the former Secretary to Oyo  State Government, Alli was the gubernatorial nominee of the ZLP, one of the political parties that formed alliance with Governor Seyi Makinde of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), to defeat the All Progressives Congress (APC), candidate, Oloye Adebayo Adelabu during the March 9 , 2019 gubernatorial election.

Justifying their decisions, the followers informed that they left the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) because it was becoming directionless.

“As at now, the group is still believing a third force will emerge and clinch the day, and that force will be ZLP. Honestly, ZLP doesn’t have the financial and political muscle to do that”, they said.

The demoralized loyalists wondered why Barrister Sharafadeen Alli (BSA) can not stand on his own feet and make decisions instead of waiting for directives from former Governor Rasidi Ladoja who they believed is double faced in the circumstances and getting patronage from Governor Makinde.

“We don’t seem to understand why BSA has to tie himself down to the whims and caprices of Baba Ladoja”.

They averred that though, the coalition was a good idea, but lamented that the parties involved, particularly the ZLP guber candidate, Alli failed to document and made legal the agreement, describing it as a mere ‘gentleman agreement’ which was not  binding.

One of his close loyalists who confided in our reporter further explained, “Before the March 9 governorship elections, I was of the opinion that while the coalition was a good idea, whatever was going to be agreed on must be documented, if possible signed and made legal. But Alli went on to do a ‘gentleman agreement’ which was not binding just because Baba Ladoja said so.

“After  the governorship elections, Chief Alli wanted to be SSG but instead of talking to Governor Makinde directly, he was counting on former Governor Ladoja to fix things. Unfortunately, Baba Ladoja never discussed it with the governor.

“Later, he (Alli) was offered membership of Advisory Committee and Ladoja told him to decline, yet the former governor accepted the Commissioner slot given by Governor Makinde.

“At that point we had two options. Go to APC or PDP. Instead of taking a stand, we were waiting for a directive from Baba Ladoja who is getting patronage from the present administration.

“My brother, ZLP is directionless; remaining in that party meant a bleak future for some of us. We are now in PDP, while others are already discussing with the APC”, he added.

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