Covid-19 could present new opportunities for businesses and other stories – May 2020 RED report

As the world continues to hurtle towards a new era, one defined primarily by the dismantling of physical spaces and everything that ties to it, we all are witnessing various forms of change, both good and bad. This might come to be our new normal if we intend to remain safe and successfully weather the storm.

With the Coronavirus forcing many businesses to rethink the very basis of doing what they do, a lot of the work we did in May, accurately captured that understanding, as well as the push for more innovative ways to serve our clients and keep our system working seamlessly.

“Working from home is a blessing in disguise,” says Adebola Williams, CEO, RED | For Africa

As Nigerians gradually return to work, and organisations face the uncertainties of work restrictions and curfews in major cities across the country, Adebola Williams, CEO RED | For Africa stated in an announcement made on 4 May 2020, that companies have a lot to gain from working from home in this season.

The need to reduce physical contact in these times has brought about a near halt in economic activities across the country and also seen the staff of major corporations working remotely to curb the spread of the virus. Nonetheless, as organisations continue to ponder on the future of their businesses, and long to return to work fully, Adebola Williams shared an insightful perspective on working from home and some tested benefits of the exercise.

Read more here.

RED | For Africa completes first virtual Bootcamp amidst the pandemic

RED | For Africa, the company with the highest number of youth-focused media brands in Africa completed a first of its kind virtual REDx Bootcamp amidst a global pandemic that has disrupted the cadence of life we are familiar with.

REDx is the company’s channel for training and recruiting young talents to meet the needs of a fast-evolving industry, with the first season of the Management Trainee Bootcamp receiving over 2,500 applications across Nigeria.

With 30 selected participants out of a pool of interested applicants, the virtual Bootcamp was an intense and close-knit week-long session where practical insights and first-hand knowledge were shared by industry experts and thought leaders.

Read more here.

#WithChude’s Retail Religion to host a 21-Day series of Instagram Live & Podcast conversations with frontline leaders from different faith communities

 Chude Jideonwo, co-founder, Joy, Inc., and RED, through his soon-to-launch radio show, Retail Religion, will host frontline leaders from different faith communities, and on an Instagram live series themed ‘The Future of Faith’, that explored conversations on contemporary religion, spirituality, the impact of the global pandemic on religion, and what the new world would look like for religious practices.

Retail Religion is a product of #WithChude, a special series of targeted multimedia conversations and investigations that leverage the voice, network and passion of its host to underline social issues, raise social consciousness and spark social movements, is at the media forefront of resetting society’s attitudes – across emotions, intellect and spirituality.

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Easily accessing interventions is at the core of the new BeatingCorona platform redesign

Nigeria’s leading virtual intervention database, BeatingCorona.ng, restructured its model to help disadvantaged Nigerians in need of interventions connect with the relevant non-profits. This pivot went into effect on Monday, 11 May.

The platform kicked off in April and has recorded a massive amount of data. It continues to actively connect interveners to the people who need access interventions, there were recommendations to resolve the platform’s challenges with making interventions accessible. With the new pivot, the intervention database properly complements the core of the platform’s mission.

Read more here.

Access Bank announced plans to open 10 ‘CLOSA’ branches

As part of its commitment to increase customers’ access to banking services in communities across the country, Access Bank concluded plans to commission 10 Access ‘CLOSA’ outlets in 6 cities in Nigeria.

‘CLOSA’ branches are Access Bank Branded Cabins situated in ‘Metropolitan areas’ offering banking services to its customers. This is also a timely intervention to mitigate the effect of restrictions caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

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Access Bank denies plan to sack 75% workforce, close branches

Access Bank Plc. denied news surrounding the rumoured layoff of 75% of its workforce, as well as the closure of over 300 branches.

The bank denied this in a statement signed by Mr Sunday Ekwochi, its Company Secretary, posted on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) website.

It said the closure of a bank branch was an action that required the approval of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

Read more here.

COVID-19: Medplus Founder, Joke Bakare keying into the brave act of giving

At a time when salary cuts, layoffs and reduced expenses are defining business processes for corporations both big and small, adapting to survive through this crisis, it is especially heartwarming when these corporations wield their power to intervene in the most precarious situations that many Nigerians currently find themselves in. The extent to which these corporations whose acts of benevolence can be seen at every turn, overrides the notion that this is simply another act of CSR.

Medplus, which was incorporated as the first-ever retail pharmaceutical company in Nigeria in 1993 proffers solutions to the challenge posed in accessing quality, genuine healthcare and beauty products in Nigeria, is a prime illustration of private entities stepping up and showing out. The renowned health, lifestyle and beauty supply outlet has spent the past weeks exploring new ways of reaching the members of its communities who are most in need of assistance. Although reaching out isn’t a particularly new concept for Medplus, the very notion of putting aside clinical and even necessary business decisions to remain present for those most in need is nothing short of commendable.

Read more here.

Sharing brings blessings: A lesson on empathy amidst COVID-19 from #RamadanWithMaltina

Understanding that sharing brings blessings, Maltina, a brand centred on sharing happiness, connected with Muslims across Nigeria in this season. This past Ramadan season was one Nigerians have never experienced before. In these challenging times, Nigerians were staying home to stay safe from the pandemic, and many did not have access to the necessary refreshments and essential food items to keep them nourished and happy as they broke their fast. Many Muslims were seeking platforms for them to learn how to navigate this ever-changing world in the face of the pandemic.

Thus, in the true spirit of Ramadan, Maltina worked to empower diverse Muslim influencers with food boxes from Maltina, healing prayers, free Maltina drinks, and a letter of hope to enjoy and pass on to others in their community. The influencers were tasked to identify people in their communities to continue the cycle of sharing of the Maltina care packs, drinks, and prayers. By starting the giving to share happiness, Maltina created a ripple effect of sharing, encouraging Nigerians to come together in support of each other as we all face a global pandemic.

Read more here.

Juliet Ibrahim, Etim Effiong, Ruth Kadiri, Segalink, Ruggedman join the BeatingCorona Campaign

Nigeria’s foremost intervention database, BeatingCorona rolled out a new awareness campaign to inspire radical responsibility and spotlight how people across various industries, demography and location are fighting the Coronavirus.

This campaign which is tagged “How I am Beating Corona to #Savethefuture” enlisted an impressive cachet of celebrities and influential figures who have significantly boosted the inspirational message. Using their visible platforms to share the huge and small ways in which they are contributing to the fight against COVID-19, this campaign, since its launch on Monday, 18 May, garnered a sizable engagement from everyday Nigerians.

Read more here.

COVID-19: RED | For Africa announced company-wide shutdown to support the team’s mental and emotional health

To support the mental and emotional health of its team across the continent, and cushion the likely effects of working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic, RED | For Africa announced a company-wide shutdown to take effect today, 21 May 2020.

One of the first companies in West Africa to fully adopt a work-from-home policy before the government-mandated lock-down in March, RED | For Africa has over the years embraced remote work culture, granting team members weekly work-from-home days, periodic work-from-home weeks, and more in its bid to build the continent’s most progressive workforce.

“People are our most valuable resource in RED, therefore we put our team members at the centre of everything we do,” said Adebola Williams, CEO of RED | For Africa. “Considering the ease with which work can spill into personal time, and how a constant presence in one space can considerably deplete creativity, the management thought it necessary to completely shut-down work and allow team members to recharge and come back fired up and ready to serve our clients better.”

Read more here.

‘We should be moving from generosity to justice’ | Top talking points from #ThursdayTalks Lagos

Thursday Talks Lagos which holds on the last Thursday of every month is an initiative of Enough is Enough (EiE Nigeria); a network of individuals and organisations committed to instituting a culture of good governance and public accountability through active citizenship, The Future Project (TFP); a not-for-profit organisation committed to building empowered citizens across Africa, through (inclusive) enterprise and (active) citizenship and BudgIT; a civic organisation that applies technology to intersect citizen engagement with institutional improvement to facilitate societal change.

The initiative is proudly supported by YNaija, the internet newspaper for young Nigerians, focused on the issues and ideas that matter for an evolving generation.

Read more here.

RED | For Africa unveils Employee Alumni Council

RED | For Africa, the media company to reach and inspire the largest number of Africa’s youth at any time, recently unveiled its Employee Alumni Council, a committee comprising business professionals, thought-leaders, and creative minds who are past employees of the company.

Thanking the council for their presence and contribution at the inaugural meeting, Adebola Williams, CEO of RED | For Africa stated that the company has one of the most engaged alumni communities in Nigeria.

“At RED, we consider everyone that has passed through the company our alumni. They will always be a part of the family no matter where they are or the industries they play,” said Adebola Williams.

Read more here.

Some Future Awards Africa Announcements.

Ahead of its fifteenth edition, The Future Awards Africa has rolled out an exciting lineup of activities surrounding its iconic award event.

TFAA is pioneering a near-complete pivot to virtual platforms in response to global trends accelerated by the Coronavirus pandemic. The Future Awards will be hosting many of the now-familiar beats on its journey to the cumulative award ceremony via The Future Awards Africa Instagram handle while maintaining the physical presence of the award itself. The virtual activities will be carried out with multiple interfaces with other Future Project associated social media platforms.

In anticipation of the main event, some announcements were made on Monday, 25 May by Adebola Williams, CEO RED | For Africa. These announcements, which are integral to The Future Awards Africa event structure, introduced the public to the season’s hosts and made public some of the new projects The Future Project plans to embark on.

Read more here.

The fight against COVID-19 is not even close to being over – Adebola Williams

In April, in the heat of the COVID-19 crisis in Nigeria, my team at RED carefully assessed the impact of the pandemic on the weak and vulnerable in the society – especially the youth. And what we found out was that because of the high rate of infection and unusually high mortality rate in older and immunocompromised people, attention had been taken away from young people who form the bulk of the population in Africa and bear the multidimensional negative impact of the pandemic.

We identified three key ways to intervene as a company and as individuals, which is to: raise awareness on the nature of the virus and proffer ways to avoid getting infected; support social-economic initiatives against the virus by keeping young people employed and engaged, and to bridge the gap between many who need help during the protracted sub-national lockdown and those willing to help.

Since we are aware of the impact of misinformation, disinformation, and fake news on the spread of the virus, RED – through its sister companies: Red Media Africa, StateCraft Inc., and Y!/YNaija.com worked with clients and partner organisations to create content and identify effective platforms to engage with young people, urging them to take responsibility and do their part in flattening the curve.

With this, we were able to reach millions of young people across the country who would otherwise be subjected to unverified news and information.

We made available masks, sanitisers, and other hygiene materials for team members who need it, and also implemented an indefinite work-from-home policy to reduce the risk of infection and observe social distancing guidelines.

But what I am most proud of is the resolve to keep all our team members – who are mainly made up of young people – intact and engaged while many organisations across the globe are cutting salaries and offloading their staff as a result of the bad economic outlook.

We believe that a potent way to fight COVID-19 and its aftermath is to provide people around us with the economic wherewithal to cater for their welfare and dampen the effect of the virus on themselves and their family.

And to facilitate this on a larger scale, we launched the BeatingCorona web platform which is aimed at identifying and showcasing organisations, brands, groups, corporations, and individuals actively responding to the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria.

Through this we’ve been able to track over N1.5trillion worth of donations to people in need, by more than 750 contributors.

The fight against COVID-19 is not even close to being over. But young people are right in the thick of it, working hard to ensure that its spread is slowed and its effect is relatively minimal.

I call on all young people across the continent and beyond to collaborate and double down on this fight to defeat Coronavirus which many had believed will decimate the African landscape and render it desolate.

We still have a lot of work to do.

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