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From Accra To Africa

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Move over, Lagos and Johannesburg, Accra too has a burgeoning media and entertainment sector. A 2016 report by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) predicts the sector in Ghana could be worth more than $1 billion in 2019.

Proving this are events such as the Exclusive Men of The Year (EMY) Africa Awards, which last year brought together 1,000 people including some of Ghana’s top CEOs, founders and achievers. Held on Father’s Day the last two years, it spotlights businessmen who are also role models at home, a campaign Daniel Kojo Soboh, Executive Director of EMY Africa, is hoping will transform the role of men in societies across Africa.

“We did a lot of research and realized there were homes that had no positive male role models young children could look up to. We know that the father’s role is very key, so it’s very important we project some of these men who are doing so great with their family, their work and their business,” says Soboh.

The event is dedicated to celebrating men in Ghana and Soboh is looking to expand his footprint in other African countries as well.

Those awarded include previous FORBES AFRICA covers, Papa Kwesi Nduom and Joseph Siaw Agyepong, for their impact as leading business magnates and inspirational role models.

READ MORE: The Father Of Ghanaian Theater

“We select people from across various industries, people whose work is impacting society positively. We wanted to present them to young people who learn about them and who can read their stories and be inspired…,” says Soboh.

His own experiences growing up in a mining area in the Western Region of Ghana with a father he looked up to helped shape his outlook.

“My father encouraged us to be anything we wanted to be so long as it was 100% legal,” he reminisces as we sit down in his office in downtown Dzorwulu, Accra.

Soboh’s dream was to become a pilot. He opted for computer science at university instead until he stumbled into the entertainment sector.

“Two years into my course, I wanted to quit because I realized it was not something I wanted to pursue. I fell in love with entertainment… I organized a lot of events so everything pointed to the fact that I was an entertainment person. I loved putting stuff together and putting smiles on people’s faces and I also loved organizing and giving people a good time.”

Soboh joined Imajin Advertising, an events company in Ghana, where he was part of organizing some of Ghana’s most successful events such as the Legends and Legacy Ball, The Stand Up GH concert, and The Ghana Stands In Worship concert. The time was right.

According to the PWC report, Ghana’s entertainment and media sector generated revenues of $685 million in 2016, representing a year-on-year- growth above 25% from its $214 million mark in 2012.

Soboh decided he wanted a chunk of this lucrative market.

Daniel Kojo Soboh. Photo supplied.

“I started my own agency called Carbon AD to partake in opportunities in this growing sector. I partnered with Exclusive Men’s Magazine as a managing partner and together we created the EMY Africa Awards… The event has grown very quickly and become a household name…”

Ghana’s entertainment industry has seen significant changes over the past decade, and it has become imperative for companies like Soboh’s to continue to innovate. This relies on sponsorships, and that has not been an easy task for Soboh.

“We strive to raise the bar in terms of events in Ghana… I mean other people are doing it in Nigeria and Kenya, where they are producing state-of-the-art events and these things come at a cost,” says the man promoting exclusive men in Africa. Are they listening?

Entrepreneurs

The Foodies With A Drive For Business

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Two taxi commuters who went on to become friends and tenacious business partners selling gourmet cuisine out of a food truck.

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Billionaires

Abducted Tanzanian Billionaire Mo Dewji Returns Home

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Tanzanian billionaire entrepreneur Mohammed Dewji, who was abducted by unidentified kidnappers on October 11 in Dar es Salaam, has been released and has returned home safe.

 

In a statement released by MeTL group at 3.15AM today, the prominent businessman says: “I thank Allah that I have returned home safely, I thank all my fellow Tanzanians and everyone around the world for their prayers. I thank the authorities of Tanzania, including the Police Force for working for my safe return.”

The Tanzanian police have also released a video in which Dewji, dressed in a t-shirt and who looks visibly shaken and worn out, thanks his supporters.

Said a source who works closely with Dewji to FORBES AFRICA: “He was released in the middle of Dar es Salaam around 3AM today, unharmed, after which he ran to the nearest security guards who dropped him off home. He does not know who his abductors were. He was only taken about 20 minutes away from the city center, so he has been in Dar es Salaam since the abduction. He has no visible bodily harm with the exception of marks from the handcuffs.”
She also revealed that the abductors wanted ransom but let him go on account of the media hype around the kidnapping.

Dewji was on his way to a gym session at a luxury hotel in Oyster Bay, Dar es Salaam, in the early hours of October 11, when he was kidnapped by the masked gunmen.

Dewji’s family had earlier offered 1 billion Tanzanian Shillings ($436,674) to anyone who could help them find him.
Dewji, popularly known as “Mo” in Tanzania, is the CEO of MeTL active in textile manufacturing, flour milling, beverages and edible oils in eastern, southern and central Africa. He is also the main sponsor of football club Simba.
Dewji was featured on the cover of FORBES AFRICA in July 2013 and was named FORBES AFRICA’s Person of The Year in 2016. The 43-year-old single-handedly turned his father’s trading business into Tanzania’s largest import-export group.

Dewji’s personal networth is $1.5 billion, according to the Africa billionaires list released by FORBES earlier this year. He is also Africa’s youngest billionaire.

Dewji’s office has said it will release a personal address by Dewji “once he is settled”.

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Entrepreneurs

No Wasted Opportunities For Swazi Entrepreneur

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In the mountainous kingdom of eSwatini, a former pre-school helper is turning trash to treasure.

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