Friday, 30 November 2012

Ghana comes in 8th & 10th place for the ‘Top Ten Best Universities in Africa….

Two of Ghana’s universities: University of Ghana and Ashesi -have been voted the best in Africa… The following is taken from African Spotlight via:

While students from across the continent continue to move abroad to study at leading learning institutions in the U.S. and Europe, Africa boasts its own league of great universities. Presented below is Part I of’s Top 10 Universities in Africa. Part II will feature the Top 10 Universities in South Africa, a country that is home to enough academic heavyweights to populate its own list.


Cairo University is a large public university with over 45,000 students and 5,000 faculty. The university publishes its prestigious Medical Journal of Cairo University, as well as publications in interdisciplinary science, pharmacology, information technology, and political science. Founded in 1908, the university was the region’s first secular university, and boasted some of Africa’s first medical and engineering schools.

Prominent alumni include cryptographer Dr. Taher Elgamal, whose work on digital signatures has been adopted by the American National Institute of Standards and Technology, and NASA researcher Taher Elgamal, who participated in the Curiosity’s historic landing on Mars in August.
A popular study abroad destination, Cairo University hosted over 4,000 international students in the academic year ending in 2010—two percent of its total undergraduate population.


Founded in 1919, the American University in Cairo is an American-style small liberal arts college with a heavy emphasis on quality of teaching. The university’s full-time faculty is complemented by an extensive adjunct teaching staff and frequent international visiting lecturers, including the Distinguished Visiting Professor program, which draws global experts from some of the world’s leading institutions.
The University is also on the cutting edge of climate change and women’s rights. Recent initiatives include a “Carbon Footprint Report” released in October, which was the first of its kind in the region, and the Heya Initiative, aimed at stopping sexual harassment, which recently gained recognition as both a United Nations and women-supported youth initiative.

Notable alumni include former Japanese Minister of Defense Yuriko Koike, Romanian diplomat and journalist Dan Stoenescu, and Saudi Arabia’s first female filmmaker, Haifa Al-Mansour.

International students comprise 13 percent of the student body.


Founded in 1972, Mansoura University is one of Egypt’s largest universities with a total student population of around 100,000 spread over its 17 faculties. A research powerhouse, Mansoura University boasts a world class array of medical centers, including those focused on oncology, urology and nephrology, gastroenterology, ophthalmic, and pediatric medicine. Its nephrology center is one of the largest in the region.

Recent student achievements include winning first place in the regional Remote Operational Vehicles (ROV) competition, and moving onto the international competition in the United States.


Founded as a technical school in 1922, Makerere University became an independent national university in 1970. The university developed a focused research agenda in line with the national government’s policy objectives, and seeks to support those programs with a multidisciplinary approach ranging from natural sciences to economics and education. Home to a top medical school, the University of Makerere also partners with the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine to host a medical exchange program, in which students complete rotations in the fields of cardiology, family planning, pediatrics, infectious disease, and trauma (emergency medicine), among many others.

In celebration of the university’s 90 years of existence and of Uganda’s Golden Jubilee, an extension of the main library is currently under construction, and will ultimately result in 8,000 square metres of reading space, 300 computers, a multi-media unit, and software for people with disabilities.

Makerere University is Uganda’s largest university, with an undergraduate population of about 35,000. Six percent of the student body is comprised of international students.
Notable alumni include Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki, former president of Tanzania H.E. Benjamin William Mkapa, and Archbishop of York in the Church of England John Tucker Mugabi Sentamu.


Tracing its roots back to 1956, the University of Nairobi became an independent university in 1970. Today, the university is home to about 50,000 undergraduate students, and boasts an extensive range of research faculties, from biotechnology and bioinformatics to HIV prevention and research, from nuclear science and technology to tropical and infectious diseases.

Indicative of its prominence in the region, the University recently hosted H.E. Ambassador Amina Mohammed, the assistant secretary-general of the United Nations, in a discussion about sustainable development.

Notable alumni include Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai; urologist Harcharan Gill, who is a professor at Stanford University, and former supermodel and entrepreneur Iman.


Following the dissolution of the University of East Africa, the University of Dar es Salaam was established as an independent university in 1970. Today, the University has five campuses and 10 faculties, including faculties in mechanical and chemical engineering and aquatic science and technology. A research-focused institute, the University of Dar es Salaam produced 279 journal papers in the academic year ending in 2008.

Notable alumni include President Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania; President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda; and Asha-Rose Migiro, the deputy secretary-general of the United Nations and a former minister for foreign affairs and international cooperation in the Tanzanian government.

Nine percent of the university’s student body is comprised of international students.


In 1982, the “One Man One Beast” campaign was launched in Botswana to found an independent university that would reduce dependence on South African universities ruled under apartheid. Contributions poured in from all around the country in the form of cash, cattle, grain, eggs, and other crops. Today, the University of Botswana, whose motto is “Education is a Shield,” has an undergraduate population of roughly 16,000. The university offers comprehensive undergraduate programs in seven faculties. Degrees issued range from electrical and electronic engineering to media studies.
The University’s main library, one of the largest on the continent, is five stories high, has roughly 460,000 books, 123,000 full text journals, and 187 internet-dedicated workstations.

Notable alumni include radical feminist sociologist Patricia McFadden, who has served as faculty at Cornell University, Spelman College, Syracuse University, and Smith College in the United States.


Originally founded as an affiliate college of the University of London, the University of Ghana became an independent institution in 1961. Today, undergraduate students number around 26,000. Academic programming is spread over nine colleges issuing an array of academic degrees. A hub of research, the university has institutes focusing on seismology, population studies, migration studies, and ecology. The university boasts partnerships with the Norwegian Universities’ Committee for Development Research and Education, and the Commonwealth Universities Student Exchange Consortium.
Balm Library, the university’s main library, has a collection of over 300,000 volumes. Former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan is the university’s chancellor.
Four percent of the university’s student body is comprised of international students.


Established in 1962 with the aim of training professionals for the newly independent Nigeria, the University of Lagos is a comprehensive university that strives to learn through “knowledge and research.” The University houses nine faculties, and the Medical School is home to three faculties. With an emphasis on research, the University’s faculty has published over 1,700 papers, with the most publications coming out of the medical, science, and engineering faculties.
In celebration of its Golden Jubilee, the University of Lagos will host a three-day research conference and fair with the theme “Research and Innovation for Economic Development in a Globalising Nigeria.”
Notable alumni include Nigerian television actor Francis Agu; publisher and film producer Wale Adenugu; chairperson of the Nigerian Government’s Economic and Financial Crimes Farida Mzamber Waziri, and HIV/LGBT activist Bisi Alimi.


Established in 2002, Ashesi University’s mission is “to educate a new generation of ethical, entrepreneurial leaders in Africa; to cultivate within our students the critical thinking skills, the concern for others and the courage it will take to transform a continent.”

While learning takes place in a liberal arts setting, the University of Ashesi grants majors in computer science, management information systems, and business administration.

The University of Ashesi has been endorsed by former President Jimmy Carter and Peter Woicke, former managing director of the World Bank. In 2009, the university’s founder, Patrick Awuah, Jr. was awarded the John P. McNulty Prize, given to an individual making an impact on pressing social issues.

Seven percent of the university’s student body is comprised of international students.


First, as with any similar list that determines which universities are “best,” collected both quantitative and qualitative data to determine which universities in Africa would make the Top 10 List.

Second, we made a determination to create two distinct lists: a) Africa, excluding South Africa, and b) South Africa. If we were not to have made this distinction, our Top 10 List would be dominated by South African universities, and would not be useful to those seeking a pan-African perspective. At the same time, we wish to acknowledge the strength of South Africa’s many world-class universities, so we decided to dedicate a list that features just South African institutions.

Third, our criteria include the following: 1) undergraduate and graduate school reputation among higher education peers; 2) student selectivity for entering undergraduate class; 3) quality and quantity of faculty research, including depth of research facilities and engagement beyond immediate community, and 4) international student ratio—the degree to which institution draws students from outside of its national boundaries.

Fourth, in addition to collecting quantitative data on the criteria above, we used our extensive network on the continent for qualitative input as a “reality check” to the results that our data yielded. These “reality checks” resulted in some small, but important adjustments to the list.

We are very proud of our list of the best universities in Africa, and hope that it is a useful tool for those who seek a relative comparison of institutions of higher education on the continent.


Upcoming period drama - BELLE, a tale of passion and romance and tells the tale of a mixed–race girl raised as an aristocratic lady in 18th century England. Starring: Gugu Mbatha Raw (lead role), Penelope Wilton, Sam Reid, Tom Felton, James Norton, Tom Wilkinson, Miranda Richardson, Matthew Goode, Emily Watson and Sarah Gadon
Filming begins Sept. 24, 2012

Penelope Wilton and Tom Felton Join Cast of Amma Asante's 'Belle'

Tom Felton
Dave Hogan/Getty Images

The BAFTA film award winner's romantic drama also stars Tom Wilkinson, Miranda Richardson and Matthew Goode and is set in 18th century England.

LONDON – Penelope Wilton (The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel), Sam Reid (Serena), Tom Felton (Rise of the Planet of the Apes) and James Norton (Rush) are the latest names to join BAFTA award winner Amma Asante's sophomore movie effort, the period drama Belle.
The movie, written by Asante, also boasts Tom Wilkinson, Miranda Richardson, Matthew Goode, Emily Watson and Sarah Gadon in the cast, as well as lead Gugu Mbatha Raw.

The project is billed as a tale of passion and romance and tells the tale of a mixed–race girl raised as an aristocratic lady in 18th century England.
Produced by Damian Jones (The Iron Lady), Asante’s second film as writer/director following her BAFTA Award-winning A Way of Life in 2004, was originally developed with Chris Collins at the now defunct U.K. Film Council and also at the British Film Institute.

It marks one of the first productions to be awarded production finance by Ben Roberts, the new director of the BFI Film Fund. It will shoot in the Isle of Man, London, Oxford, as well as Pinewood Studios, for seven weeks beginning Sept. 24.
Executive producers are Steve Christian (Chico & Rita), Julie Goldstein (Shakespeare In Love), Ivan Dunleavy (Pinewood Shepperton CEO), Steve Norris (Me And Orson Welles), Phil Hunt (Trishna) and Compton Ross (Trishna).

Collins will oversee the production for the BFI Film Fund and the co-producers are Robert Norris and Jane Robertson (The Lady).

U.K. based banner Bankside Films is handling exclusive worldwide sales, with CinemaNX on board to distribute in the U.K.

Pre-sales inked by Bankside include Icon in Australia, Benelux Film Distributors in Benelux, Rialto in Switzerland, Shooting Stars in Middle East, Bonton in Czech Republic, and Jaguar for World Airline rights.

Belle is the third project to receive investment from Pinewood Studios as part of its Pinewood Films initiative which was established to help fund and support British, independent films.


Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Architecture & Design: David Adjaye makes cover of Blueprint magazine

   For more info visit:

Tourism & Culture: John Kuffuor -Brand Creator…

John Kuffuor, CEO African Regent Hotel, Ghana

Creating an African brand

In a market dominated by established foreign names, The African Regent stands out as a Ghanaian-owned quality hotel. CEO John Kuffuor discusses the advantages and challenges of being the only African player in the sector

What is your view on the business and leisure tourism industry in Ghana and where do you see this going?
It has great potential. The numbers are not what they should be; we could do better. We are mainly into business tourism at the moment. People come here for business opportunities and they are looking at Ghana first and foremost as a gateway to the sub-region. Most of the hotels and facilities you find here really cater for business tourists. That is what we are; we are a business hotel. We try to give you a little bit of a flavor of Africa in terms of what you see, the colors and the food. That is how we set out to differentiate ourselves.

The German tourism market was worth €80 billion last year, which is the highest in the world. Do you have any initiatives as business ties increase between the two countries in order to target this market?
Yes. We have trade shows and we try to visit them to build links. We usually go as part of the Ghana team. Germany is definitely one of the desirable markets for us.

As business tourism will inevitably increase here, do you have any plans to expand or start new ventures somewhere?
The business at the moment is mainly in the south of the country such as Accra. If things go well, we would like to be part of that story. Unfortunately Accra is built looking inwards, rather than looking out to the sea. We have a couple of good hotels on the coast, but there is potential all the way from the east to the west to do something fantastic. That is where leisure tourism may come in. I think there is a lot of potential and we would like to be part of that.

You are a local businessman and I can imagine that you have an advantage over your competitors because you know the market. Do you work with the tourism authority or areas of the government in order to create a better service sector and better experiences for tourists?

We are different to other hotels insofar as we are Ghanaian, and we are trying to build a brand. That is an advantage in itself, and we compete for market share. Foreign tourists however are attracted to global brands because they are comfortable with them and they know what they are getting. So we have the challenge of creating an African brand, but I think this is a good challenge to have. So far, we are succeeding in doing this.
There are not enough Ghanaian enterprises in the industry that are delivering world-class products. So there is now clearly a need and an opportunity for locals to come up, and that is what we are trying to do here. We are trying to create a local brand with world-class services. We want you to get everything you can get elsewhere here, if not more. I think that is a challenge for a local entrepreneur. We could do with a few more incentives from government. We are doing our best to present our views as to how best government could help. But we are slightly at a disadvantage compared to foreign investors, and we could do with a push.
African Regent Hotel
Your location is an advantage. As we all know, the traffic in the city is terrible.
Yes. That is linked to infrastructure. Believe you and me, the infrastructure has improved over the past few years, so you can imagine what it would be like if it had not improved. Everybody owns a car and these are some of the challenges that we have.

But it is a good challenge to have. As a lot of people have cars now, this indicates that it is becoming a middle income nation. Real progress is being made.
Yes, it is happening. I am not sure what the statistics are, but I think in 2007 the number of registered cars increased by something like 60%. But the infrastructure is not growing as quickly as the wealth in people’s pockets, and that is a challenge. We are lucky enough to be in an area which is a counter to the old district, and that comes with its own challenges. The other day a project was launched to build a very modern and efficient office building in the airport. We are going to get more of these types of initiatives, and it is going to become a hub. So you can imagine the traffic and the demands for power, water and accommodation. I am glad that we have been able to make something out of this opportunity.

The inflation rate remains relatively stable.
Yes, depending on who you speak to. I think if you talk to any ordinary person, they would tell you that there are challenges, especially when it comes to things like accommodation and water and electricity. But there are opportunities and some people are making some money. I do not know if everyone is making money.

We have heard that the number of flights between Accra and Frankfurt is being increased to seven times a week. This shows that business people are doing something here. Would you be open to working with investors that were interested in the industry?
Yes, why not? Many airlines are coming over.

I also hear that there will be a direct flight to Brazil next year.
Yes. It is an opportunity, if we can manage it. It has got to be nurtured. We are the chosen ones if you like, but we have got to nurture it and grow it over the next 10 to 20 years to actually reap the benefits. I think that is a challenge for the country as a whole. Is the airport going to be big enough to cater for this? Is it in the right place? How many billions is it going to cost? What about the power situation? Are we going thermal or what, because we have gas now. What about water, hospitals and schools? There is talk of 30,000 more expats coming to live here because of the oil. Where are they going to live? Are they coming with their families? I think as a country we should focus more on getting the best out of these opportunities. We have to see if we can do something with the ECOWAS region to see if we can deal with these opportunities as they come through. There must be something in it for the locals.

Another challenge is keeping the money in Ghana.
Yes. How many Ghanaian owned hotels are in the group? If a European business with a big brand comes in with tens of millions and invests in a 5-star hotel, that money has to be paid back to justify the investment. So that money has to go back, so Ghanaian entrepreneurs need Ghanaian funding and backing and they need to replicate themselves. We need Ghanaian role models, mentors and so on. That is an opportunity, but as a country we need to see that opportunity and take it.

There are approximately 25,000 Ghanaians living in Germany. Are you proud of the fact that you are one of the few Ghanaians in the game with all these international competitors? Do you feel like you are representing the Ghanaian flag?
We could have gone and brought in a management company like many others have, but we decided that we were capable and we could do it. Effectively, we have done it. For now we have proven that it can be done at least. I am happy that I am a part of this. The Ghanaian diaspora are a valuable asset, whether they are in Europe, Asia, America or wherever. They have been exposed, so they know what is expected and what international standards are. We need a critical mass of the Ghanaian diaspora doing things differently, or taking the Ghanaian way to the next level, so that they mentor the rest of the Ghanaians. If you have the right people in the right places doing the right thing, I have no doubt that we can do great things in Ghana.
African Regent Hotel

Credit: Worldfolio

Villa Monticello Boutique Hotel wins coveted ‘World Travel Award’ as Ghana’s leading hotel…..

The Unique Boutique -

Located in one of the most desirable residential districts of Ghana’s capital, the Villa Monticello Boutique Hotel surrounds guests with intimate luxury, while never neglecting business necessities

Winning the coveted World Travel Award as Ghana’s leading hotel after being in operation for little over a year is an affirmation that Villa Monticello’s goal of setting a new benchmark for luxury and service in the region is being achieved.
This is a hotel where attention to every detail is the norm, not the exception. Staff will remember not only your name, but also your favourite drink, and nothing is too much trouble. Here, you will instantly feel at home. Villa Monticello believes that real luxury is personalised, and it will go out of its way to achieve this.
Conveniently located at the Airport Residential Area, Accra, Villa Monticello indulges guests with an unexpected boutique experience that embodies the style, personality and luxury found only in a one-of-a-kind hotel.

Boutique suites
The moment guests are picked up from the nearby international airport in the hotels’ impressive SUV or coupé vehicles, to the moment they leave its stunning décor, high-tech touches and individually customised suites, Villa Monticello breaks the mould of the predictable chain hotel. Its sophisticated ambiance and thoughtful amenities present innumerable possibilities for business or leisure. At check-in guests can take a seat on plush armchairs in the elegant foyer, or enjoy a cocktail in the lounge while they wait to be taken to an immaculately designed suite.

Luxury at every corner
To ensure every guests’ experience is uniquely exceptional, the designers drew inspiration for each suite from famous people and places all over the world. Featuring 14 custom-decorated guestrooms, the hotel has an impressive level of detail – from the rich vibrant colours of the Marrakech suite, to the NYC skyline and downtown feel of the Manhattan suite.
Irrespective of choice, luxury amenities in each guestroom are a constant: Aqua di Parma toiletries, iPod docking stations, hotel-wide free high speed Wi-Fi, Nespresso machines in the presidential suites, flat screen televisions, and luxurious bathing facilities.

Tasteful dining
The collection of suites is only one part of what makes Villa Monticello a delight. The hotel is also home to what is quickly becoming one of Accra’s most popular restaurants – 1A. The cocktail lounge and restaurant that are located on the ground floor continue the visual elegance synonymous with the hotel. Tastefully decorated and providing an intimate setting for up to 40 guests, walking into 1A is akin to walking into your own private members club, where the quietly attentive staff are always on hand to help. All of the dishes prepared and cooked on site use fresh local and regional ingredients, and the cellar boasts an excellent selection of wines from around the globe.

The View is a two-storey private meeting room facility, overlooking the hotel’s tranquil swimming pool. Guests are granted complimentary usage of the flexible space, which can host any event, whether a two-person business meeting through to a private cocktail party for 25 people. The range of services for business clientele offers the flexibility that many global executives require, without any sacrifice on fundamental quality.

From organising board meetings, last minute flights, round-the-clock dinner menus for jet-lagged guests, or in-suite treatments and personal trainers, the in-house luxury concierge service aims to make things easier for the busy business traveller.
Further information:

Credit: Business Destinations


Business: Ghana's middle-class hitting the mall – American style

Ghana's first American-style shopping mall in the capital, Accra, is changing the way Ghanaians spend their free time. A typical scene on a weekend could be from a shopping mall anywhere in the USA - boys in skinny jeans, girls wearing hot pink lipstick, families eating pizza at a food court. Asante-Appaih, owner of a pharmacy and dental clinic at the mall, explains: "It's become a good pastime for Ghanaians after church on Sunday. Parents can relax with their kids just strolling and shopping, much like families in Europe or in America." Developers forecast more of such malls would spring up across the country replacing the beach as a place for middle-class Ghanaians to spend their weekends. According to Euromonitor International statistics, Ghana's growth expanded to 13.6% in 2011 from 7.7% the year before - driven by new oil production and the construction sector.

Credit: Euromonitor International

Telecom: Huawei brings new devices to Ghana…

By: By Nana Appiah Acquaye Dated: 2-11-2012

By Nana Appiah Acquaye, Accra, Ghana
The Huawei brand is among the leading and well-known brands in Ghana, particularly in the provision of internet modems used by the local telcos in Ghana. Now, Huawei Ghana has also introduced new state of the art smartphones and tablets onto the Ghanaian market.
The introduction of these devices serves as the flagship for Huawei mobile telephony in Ghana which, according to the Marketing Manager of Huawei Ghana, Richard Ike, are very user friendly. The devices are the Huawei Ascend P1, Huawei Honor, Ascend G302D and Huawei Media Pad. Industry gurus, together with some selected media organisations, were invited to have a first hand experience with the device during it formal launch at the plush Movenpick Hotel in Accra.

All these devices, especially the Ascend PI, combine smart features and a sleek design, representing a significant milestone for Huawei devices in Ghana.

The Ascend P1 is the epitome of beauty colliding with brains- proof that technology and good looks can go hand in hand.It features a dual-core 1.5 GHz TI OMAP 4460 Cortext-A9 processor and measure 7.69mm thin and 64.8 mm long, providing a very comfortable grip. With a 4.3-inch super AMOLED 960 x 540 touch screens with Corning Gorilla Glass, an 8-megapixel BSI rear-facing camera with AF and a Dual Flash, as well as Dolby Mobile 3.0 = 5.1 surround sound technology, the Ascend P1 provides a home theatre experience in the palm of your hands.

The Huawei Honor presents itself with an HD display and 4.0 inch LCD. The compact Honor measures 10.9mm in thickness and just 122mm in length. It features a 1.4GHz processor and a 8-megapixel high definition camera. The Honor is a perfect smartphone with a 1900 mAh big capacity battery lifespan.

The Ascend G302D features dual-SIM functionality with a better view experience on a 4.0 inch IPS hard screen without extrusion deformation, protecting your eyes. It runs on a 1GHz high performance processor with a 5 megapixel plus 0.3 MP Dual camera, offering users an excellent entertainment experience.

The Media Pad presents itself as fast, very slim, light and clear. It’s the first tablet computer to support Android Ice Cream Sandwich and phone call function and comes with 7 inch screen 1280x800 WXGA IPS, leading as the industry clearest screen with an incredible 3D visual experience. The media Pad has a powerful processing capacity of 1.2GHz dual core CPU.

The Head of Devices, Huawei Ghana, Yang Fufu told BiztechAfrica, that all the devices are user friendly and come bundled with the necessary social network applications.

Credit: Biz Tech Africa


Former president of Ashanti Goldfields is named as one of the many identities behind Britain's secret property deals…….

Revealed: the real identities behind Britain's secret property deals

Latest part of investigation into offshore firms comes as government promises to investigate sham directors

Credit: Guardian By: David Leigh, Harold Frayman and James Ball Dated: 26-11-2012

Disclosures about property ownership follow pledge by Vince Cable to look at evidence of sham directors. Photograph: Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images
The real identities behind British property deals previously cloaked in secrecy are revealed in the latest part of a major investigation into offshore firms, which prompted the government on Monday to promise that it would investigate any abuses revealed involving sham nominee directors.

Previously secret owners are identified in a sample of almost 60 UK homes and offices, ranging from multimillion-pound commercial premises in the heart of London to a small hotel in Southend, Essex.

They typify the 100,000 such purchasers who have set up offshore companies, largely registered in the British Virgin Islands (BVI), since 1999. The owners of BVI entities use them to hide their dealings in UK property and to take advantage of tax loopholes.
New disclosures about property ownership follow a pledge by Vince Cable, the business secretary, that his department would look at evidence of sham directors putting their names to thousands of anonymous offshore companies.

"We are not complacent or naive. We recognise there are individuals who will seek to abuse or evade," he said. "We will investigate fully any specific allegations and ensure appropriate action is taken … If we identify a need for further action as a result of that review, we will not be afraid to take it."

Cable was responding to a worldwide investigation into offshore abuses by the Guardian, the BBC's Panorama programme and the US-based non-profit group, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalism.

It is not illegal in Britain to use offshore companies to buy property or to exploit tax loopholes. Capital gains tax, inheritance tax or stamp duty on property purchases can often be avoided by offshore owners. The tax breaks open to offshore buyers have attracted a flood of foreign property money into Britain, particularly into central London. This has forced up the capital's house prices in defiance of the recession, often to levels that are unaffordable for ordinary British residents. According to the estate agent Knight Frank, the price of prime residential property in London has increased by 49% since March 2009 – five times more than the UK as a whole.

But, until now, the full scale of this invasion has been hidden by the anonymity conferred on the owners of BVI companies. Britain's land registry controversially allows offshore property owners to keep their true identities secret, despite its official status as a public record.

Owners identified by the Guardian on Monday include:
• Peter Vastardis, who used legal loopholes to sell a London flat to a Latvian businessman without paying stamp duty;
• Raheem Brennerman, a 29-year-old of Nigerian extraction, who borrowed £118m from the Royal Bank of Scotland;
• A Hertfordshire businessman, Lawrie Alderman, whose BVI entity bought London office premises;
• Sir Sam Jonah, former president of Ashanti Goldfields in Ghana, who bought a luxury flat near Regents Park
• Bruce Rockowitz, billionaire head of a Hong Kong garment firm, who used a Cook Island trust as well as a BVI company
• Bobby Wahi, who said he was a United Nations "goodwill ambassador" and acquired 42 properties around Skegness, Lincolnshire before going bust;
• Andreas Stavrinides, who owns care homes and the Skylark Hotel in Southend;
• Yoram Yossifoff, an Israeli lawyer who has acquired more than £1bn of UK property for himself and clients;
• A Rotherham builder, Keith Wilson, who set up two BVI companies to carry out a barn conversion.
The Land Registry's chief executive, Malcolm Dawson, said: "Our register records the legal owner of property, both residential and commercial, whether that is an individual or a company and regardless of whether that company has been registered in the UK or not."
He said the Land Registry was to look into "our practice for capturing price paid" but had no evidence that it was being deliberately concealed


Paulina Opoku-Gyimah says: Its important to note that successful entrepreneur, Sir Sam Jonah, former president of Ashanti Goldfields in Ghana, who bought a luxury flat near Regents Park didn’t do anything -illegal, merely -if this is the truth, -used a loophole, used by many businesses to avoid paying certain taxes… Plainly, its not illegal to own a property in a company’s name… -whether its morally decent or not is another question!!!!

Former president of Zambia, Rupiah Banda to lecture at the University of Ghana tomorrow….

Former president Rupiah Banda is tomorrow scheduled to leave for Ghana where he is due to lecture at the University of Ghana as part of the Boston University’s African studies programme, according to Mikatazo Wakumelo, his administrative assistant.

Former Zambian President Rupiah Banda

The former Zambian head of State, who is President-in-Residence at Boston University’s African Presidential Archives and Research Centre in the United States of America, is expected to discuss his experiences in office, trends of democratisation and the state of African politics.

The residency enables democratically elected former African leaders to spend some time at Boston University, sharing insights and expertise on contemporary trends in Africa. It is funded by a grant from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

The University of Ghana is part of the Boston University’s collaborative schools that include Morehouse College and Elizabeth City State University in the USA, and the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania. President Banda spent nearly three months at Boston University early this year and is set to lecture at the University of Dar es Salaam next month.

The former president on Wednesday returned from Switzerland where he was honoured by the Crans Montana Forum with the Prix de la Fondation award, which is presented to personalities in recognition of their contribution towards peace, democracy and the creation of a better world.

Some of the past recipients of the award include former Soviet Union president Mikhail Gorbachev, US civil rights icon Jesse Jackson and Burmese opposition leader and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Syu Kyi.



Sunday, 25 November 2012

Ghana Rising Hearts Elizabeth Kweku Quintero…..

Paulina Opoku-Gyimah says: Looking for the latest news on Kweku Adoboli, he’s been sentenced to seven years (I’m thinking he’s already served quiet a bit of time, so will probably be out in about a year and a half), -I happily stumble upon the uber beautiful, Tenerife born, Los Angeles based Spanish-Ghanaian high fashion model and actress, Elizabeth Kweku Quintero… I don’t know much about Ms Kweku Quintero but found the following info via her official website….

Ella Kweku inherited her dark skin from her father, originally from Ghana. Born and raised in Tenerife, Spain, she is the youngest of two daughters. From an early age her mother, encouraged her to attend dance classes. After years of dedicated work she earned her Classical Ballet Titles by The Royal Academy of London. During this time she also explored her singing skills.
In 2004 she was scouted by the modelling agency "Ole Group" and had her first editorial shoot two weeks later. What started as a way of earning some extra cash soon became part of her career and an opportunity to travel around the world.

In the year 2006 she was selected among thousands of young contestants to be part of Spain's Next Top Model, a new TV program that was about to break all of the audience ratings in the country.

Her great personality and friendly attitude, as seen throughout the show, enabled her to later keep working on a variety of shows such as KKo Canario where she was hired by Television Canaria as a TV reporter.

After a couple of years based in Madrid she decided to keep expanding her career and auditioned for acting schools in London and Los Angeles. Upon invitation she began her studies at The American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA) and was granted a scholarship for talent.

She recently graduated from Amda and has since beenombining her love for fashion and passion for acting. Among her peers in the fashion industry she is known as Elizabeth Kweku. When it comes to acting she makes use of her given stage name Ella Kweku.

Ghana Rising sees a very bright future for Elizabeth Kweku. For more info visit:

Elizabeth Kweku can be booked via Bella Agency at: for modelling assignments….

Herty Twens is named as Model Of The Year…..


Photo comes courtesy of © 2012 OAB Photography


Herty Twens at Ghana Fashion & Design Week…Day One


Herty Twens is a Facebook friend, -and its lovely to see this Accra based model, celebrating her win at this years Ghana Fashion Awards 2012 ceremony. Herty pictured above in a Shik Collection dress, photographed by OAB Photography -is uber new to le Ghana Rising Blog. As with most models in Ghana, I know very little about her -but wish her every success in her modelling journey. Herty is on the books of Gold Model Agency at: -**I must state at this juncture -that I know very little about this agency, thus if you want more info, do contact them direct.

OAB Photography can be booked via:

Ghana Fashion Awards:

Also check out: -I’m going to add this website to sites I must visit on the regs….

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Ghana Rising Hearts Bongani Jewels…….

Here to show you our latest addition to the Bongani line - our handmade gift box! This item is complimentary when purchasing Limited Edition designs, and can also be acquired for an extra fee with any other purchases too :-)
Like any other Bongani products, every single one of these boxes is handmade in Ghana and comes with a white and black logo - We hope you like it!
♥ Bongani Jewels
1.2 Carat Indian Diamond pavé bead

 1.2 Carat Indian Diamond pavé beads in 8 and 10mm

Black Diamond pavé beads in 8 and 10mm and also in 12 and 10mm

Paulina Opoku-Gyimah says: adding to the uber luxe explosion that’s taking place in Ghana is Danish-designed-made-in-Ghana, Bongani, -a high-end jewellery brand that’s making the ladies-who-lunch in Ghana very excited..

A yummy collection of precious and semi-precious beads and stones jewellery that are on-trend, well designed and lovingly made, Bongani jewellery are a treat -and will make the perfect Christmas present…

For more info or to purchase the above pieces visit:

Stockist in Ghana:
Stellar DeluxeThe Movenpick Hotel
Victoria Borg
Accra, Ghana
302 611000

Sango BoutiqueAccra Mall, Accra Ghana

Tema Point of SaleTema, Ghana
Comm. 2, Next to Agba Maame
Tel : 0303 210967 or 0289546 666

More Info:
What started out as a dream, quickly became an adventure for young Danish designer Sebastian Thempler. Several years ago, he moved to Ghana in search for inspiration and education that would offer more, or help him apply what he had already learned in Denmark. Coming to the country empty-handed, he had to keep all options open and went to the City of Gold in Ghana; Kumasi.

There, Sebastian was introduced to, and inspired by the Ghanaian people's love for jewellery-making along with the great variety in their beautiful designs, and the vast choice of minerals found in the African soil.

Bongani Jewels is founded by the Danish designer Sebastian Thempler. The company is located in Accra Ghana, but all the precious and semi-precious stones, beads, and other materials you see in the Bongani collections, are hand-picked by the designer and originates from all parts of the world, with the unique stones represented in African jewellery making. Each product is individually hand-made in Ghana, and appears unique in its own way.

The name Bongani comes from the Zulu name, which means "be grateful" and refers to the exclusiveness behind the Bongani jewellery, and how we appreciate the precious things in life. The bracelets are handmade in the design studio, and supervised by Sebastian to ensure that every single product meets the high expectations that is the signature of our design. Bongani Jewels combine the exclusive beads from all over the world, the distinct Danish design and the support and appreciation of Ghanaian handcraft. This philosophy and initiative is what have made Bongani Jewels famous in no time in its home country Ghana, and the country of Bongani's founder, Denmark.

We do believe it is important to repay those that help you on your way, and at Bongani, that is no exception. Whenever a product is sold, some of these profits go to the local people of Accra in some sense, to support those in need of help for a better life, and hopefully aid them to reach higher living standards and a life of education and opportunities.

For the first time, jewellery is more than something you wear - it is a contribution to something much bigger.

Grace Sarfo 4 Akuchi Clothing….

“The collection Jadeite makes use of luxe blend knits, cottons and prints with a range of minimal and beautifully cut full-skirted party frocks, cocktail miniskirts and romantic blouses. The collection consists of pieces that show colour combinations for a dynamic confident woman.” Akuchi Clothing

Paulina Opoku-Gyimah says: Ghana Rising fave, model Grace Sarfo is the face of fab fashion label, Akuchi Clothing’s S/S 13 Jadeite Collection. Shot by photographer Steven Adusei, the Jadeite collection is a capsule of beautiful must-have pieces for the girl-about-town.. Grace looks absolutely beautiful, her skin is a dream -and the entire shoot is lovely….


To order the above pieces call 0242045500, email:    or visit:


More Info
Akuchi is a womenswear fashion house designing wearable wardrobe favourites,with classy silhouettes and trendy twists.

Akuchi’s vision is to merge mass appeal and fashion credibility by coupling the sophisticated detail of European tailoring with the casual ,unfussy spirit of American sports wear to GLAMORIZE the African prints, tie and dye and the traditional African look

For more info or to book Steven Adusei visit:

The African Regent Hotel Celebrates Five Years with Numerous Fab Offers this December 2012…..

“We are so excited to offer some relief to all our loyal guests! Check our unbeatable five nights for four offer at $155 [per night]”


“We just love it when our celebrities decide to give back to the kids and ensure they have a fun Xmas...karaoke, autographs, games, photos and great kiddie mingling on 26th December at our INDOOR STAR KIDS PARTY!”


“Starting 1st December...the tradition and festive cheer starts with our Christmas Tree Lighting at 6pm in our lobby. Come meet the locals (Cocktails to remember with a local flavour)”


“Save these dates. Our fab fab fab profiled fashion designers will do a trunk sale together with true passion!”

“Save the Date, Saturday, 1st December 2012, the tradition goes on...come help us light our Christmas Tree and lets all look forward to a lovely Christmas.”



For more info visit:!/TheAfricanRegent