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By Jenny Marchal

You’ve finally got through to the end of the interview and your potential employer asks you the most common question – “Do you have any questions?”

Many people don’t think of this as an important question, and actually the most common reply is “no.”

Perhaps you had some basic questions in your mind but felt they were already covered during the interview?

Perhaps you didn’t think of any at all because surely an interview is more about what you’re saying than what your potential employer is saying?

If this is the case, then you may be hindering your chances of getting the job more than you realize.

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You’ve already taken the steps you need to file for your federal tax id number and know you need to know how you go about checking the status of an application you’ve put in.  When you put your application in through the IRS-EIN website online, you may have your number back within an hour of filing. However, some applications can take up to two weeks to process and gain your tax id number. If you want to check the status of your EIN application, it’s a very simple process.

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BY ASHLEY PEREIRA

A common piece of fitness advice is to “find comfort in discomfort.” The basic premise is that you cannot move forward and grow without pushing yourself past the boundaries of your comfort zone and into new territory. You need to learn to recognize that being uncomfortable means positive change. This advice is beyond fitness enthusiasm: it is a mantra for achieving life success.

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The African Innovation Foundation (AIF) (http://www.AfricanInnovation.org) driver of The Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) is pleased to announce today the launch of the sixth edition of the IPA awards by calling for applications to the prestigious competition. The competition once again offers Africa’s top crop of innovators a share in a grand prize of US$150 000 and additional scalable entrepreneurial opportunities. Enterprises and individuals that have invested in delivering market-oriented solutions for African-led development are especially invited to take part in the competition.

The call for entries runs for three months starting Tuesday 27 September 2016 with a submission deadline of Tuesday 3 January 2017 at 11:59pm GMT. The IPA is looking for applications in social and economic innovation including manufacturing and service industry, health and well-being, agriculture and agri-business, environment, energy and water, and ICT showcasing ground-breaking innovations. IPA welcomes Innovations beyond the scope of these sectors.

Pauline Mujawamariya Koelbl, the IPA Director commented: “We are extremely pleased to officially launch the IPA 2017 edition for African innovators. We strongly believe that investing in today’s home-grown innovations will propel tomorrow’s prosperity for Africa.”

Investing in African prosperity

The theme for IPA 2017 is African innovation: Investing in prosperity. In line with the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) No. 9 which calls on countries to build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation, AIF believes that funding streams, investment and resources are critical to obtain a clear value chain for innovation in Africa, contributing to sustainable development.

Walter Fust, Chairman of the AIF Board states: “IPA has demonstrated that African innovation talent is abundant, but funding and resources remain a challenge.  For IPA 2017, we are expanding our outreach beyond innovators to include investors and other key movers and shakers across the innovation landscape to help address this challenge.  To meet this objective of increasing support to individual innovators, makers, training institutions, existing hubs and networks, the IPA will offer sponsorship opportunities to investors and other innovation enablers who can demonstrate their commitment to support the building of more robust African innovation ecosystems.”

Why enter IPA 2017?

IPA is a leading platform on the African innovation landscape with a network of 6000+ African innovators spanning 50 countries. Its core goal is to strengthen African innovation ecosystems through its platforms and mobilize a network of innovation enablers, driving business development and cross-collaboration.

Now in its sixth year running, IPA is open to all Africans living in Africa or the diaspora. In addition to the lucrative US$150 000 cash prize, IPA is more than a mere competition. The 10 nominees are featured at the IPA 2017 event, along with lucrative entrepreneurial opportunities such as funding, communications training, active participation in the IPA network of innovators and innovation enablers, publicity in Africa and beyond across major media channels, business opportunities, as well as collaboration with enablers and investors to shape potential innovations for viable business success.

Last year’s winners (http://APO.af/w7LNRg) were selected from nearly 1 000 entries across 46 countries, reflecting the truly Pan-African flavour of the competition. Previous IPA editions were held in Botswana (2016), Morocco (2015), Nigeria (2014), South Africa (2013) and Ethiopia (2012). IPA was endorsed at its inaugural edition in Addis Ababa in 2012 where African ministers at the joint Africa Union (AU) and United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) passed a resolution to support AIF to promote innovation-based societies across the continent.

IPA 2017 winners will be announced at an annual awards ceremony in July 2017 (exact dates and country to be confirmed). The Awards bring together innovative talent from multi-disciplinary sectors, as well as media practitioners, investors, innovation hubs and technology parks, government institutions and innovators.

For more details, please check out our brand new IPA website www.InnovationPrizeforAfrica.org and apply for IPA 2017 now through clicking onhttps://IPA.AfricanInnovation.org Watch https://youtu.be/9SR8xVj1guw  for all the information you need on IPA 2017.

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The Africa Initiative for Governance (“AIG”) (www.AIGAfrica.org) has today issued a call for applications for its 2017 scholarships for a Masters Degree in Public Policy at the renowned Blavatnik School of Government, the UK’s first school of Government, at the University of Oxford. The call was issued by the AIG Chairman and Founder, Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, and Founding Directors, Mrs. Ofovwe Aig-Imoukhuede, Mr. Herbert Wigwe and Dr. Jeya Wilson, ahead of the inaugural meeting of the Initiative’s Panel of Advisors in Lagos, Nigeria. From 2017, the AIG will fund five scholarships each year as part of a new five-year partnership which is based on the shared purpose of building good governance and public leadership.

The AIG is a Foundation established in recognition of the fact that Africa’s poor record of public sector governance is a critical factor preventing the continent from achieving its true potential. The initiative brings together proven private sector innovation, leadership and funding into a private-public partnership to attract, inspire and support future leaders of Africa’s public sector. The AIG believes that the high-calibre individuals trained at the Blavatnik School will drive best practice standards of governance across Africa, ensuring sustainable economic growth and social justice.

The AIG Scholarships will have an initial focus on candidates from Nigeria and Ghana, allowing the students to study for a Master of Public Policy (MPP) alongside classmates from across the globe. The scholarships will be available to those who can demonstrate academic excellence, proven leadership and commitment to public service and who intend to return to the public sector in Africa after completing their studies.

Along with the scholarship scheme will be an academic fellowship scheme. The AIG Visiting Fellowship will also be available from 2017, open to candidates who can demonstrate an outstanding contribution to public policy that has yielded meaningful impact on the public good, and commitment to public service in their country, region and globally. The Fellowship is open to senior officials or practitioners working in or with government and who are resident in West Africa.

Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, Chairman of the Africa Initiative for Governance, said: “The AIG Scholarship and Fellowship initiatives are scalable interventions aimed at tackling Africa’s intractable challenge of poor public sector leadership. I am confident that our partnership with Oxford University’s prestigious Blavatnik School will become fertile ground for growing future statesmen and women who will change the African continent for good. I encourage anyone who believes that they fit the profile for these scholarships and fellowships to apply.”

Professor Ngaire Woods, Dean of the Blavatnik School of Government, said: “We are deeply grateful to the Africa Initiative for Governance for partnering with us. The Blavatnik School of Government shares with the AIG a clear purpose – to transform government through effective leadership and better governance. The shared programme will enable excellent West African scholars, from all backgrounds, to study for an MPP and will also bring senior practitioners from the region to the School as AIG Visiting Fellows – providing opportunities to help drive transformational public sector leadership across the African continent.”

The AIG Panel of Advisors is made up of eminent personalities selected from across West Africa and will act as the selection panel for the award of scholarships and fellowships, as well as mentors to successful applicants. The Panel will also meet regularly to debate the challenges that Africa’s public sector faces and to conceive and propose solutions with long term impact. The panel is made up of:

  • His Excellency, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
  • Dr. Enase Okonedo, Dean of the Lagos Business School
  • Alhaji Abubakar B. Mahmoud (SAN), Managing Partner, Dikko and Mahmoud
  • Mr. Ernest Chukwudi Ebi, MFR
  • Mr. Segun Adeniyi
  • Mrs. Yemisi Ayeni
  • Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta, Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of Databank, Ghana

Biographies of panel members are available upon request. Online applications will open on the AIG website (www.AIGAfrica.org) on Monday, 10 October, 2016.

 

About The AIG Scholarships and Visiting Fellowship:
As part of a 5-year partnership with the Africa Initiative for Governance, from 2017, five fully-funded scholarships (covering tuition fee and living expenses) will be awarded to students who meet the Master of Public Policy selection criteria (academic excellence, strong commitment to public service, demonstrable leadership). Applicants must be resident in Ghana and Nigeria. For academic years 2020-21 and 2021-22, or if there are insufficient applications from Nigeria and Ghana in academic years 2017-18 to 2019-20 other West African nations will be considered. These include: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo. Other countries with the agreement of the Benefactor.

About the Blavatnik School of Government:
Founded at the University of Oxford in 2010, the Blavatnik School of Government (www.BSG.ox.ac.uk) exists to inspire and support better government and public policy around the world. We teach current and future public leaders through innovative programmes, conduct deep research into pressing issues facing policy makers around the world, and convene leaders and experts to foster better public policy. With a strong global outlook, we combine insights from a range of academic disciplines and derive lessons from the public, private and third sectors. The school was made possible through a £75 million donation to the the University of Oxford by American philanthropist Leonard Blavatnik.  For more information, visit www.BSG.ox.ac.uk.

About the Africa Initiative for Governance (AIG):
Africa’s poor record of public sector governance is a factor that currently prevents the Continent from achieving its true potential.
AIG’s (www.AIGAfrica.org) pioneering initiative brings proven private sector innovation, leadership and funding in a private-public partnership to attract, inspire and support future leaders of Africa’s public sector. With AIG’s continuing support, high-calibre individuals will be able to drive best practice standards of governance in Africa, ensuring sustainable economic growth and social justice.  For more information, visit www.AIGAfrica.org.

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By Elise Moreau

So, it’s 2016 and you’re ready to get your life organized, once and for all. The question is how? There’s only so much that you can manually manage all by yourself, and trying to take on too much can cause you to get stuck in the never-ending cycle of “busy work” that keeps you from working on the things that really move the needle.

If you’ve been really struggling to hold it all together lately, perhaps it’s time to take advantage of some of the following productivity resources and tools that are freely available to use online. They can help automate some of your most tedious tasks, speed up your progress, and keep track of everything while you’re at it.

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By Sean Kim

Wish you could learn faster?

Whether you’re learning Spanish, a new instrument, or a new sport, we could all benefit from accelerated learning. But the problem is, there’s only so much time in the day.

The key to accelerated learning is not just putting in more hours, but maximizing the effectiveness of the time spent learning.

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By Travis Bradberry

Starbucks continues to grow relentlessly, with CEO Howard Schultz just announcing plans to open 500 new stores a year over the next five years. Much of this growth will happen in China, where Schulz is undeterred by the recent economic slowdown.

While many factors contribute to Starbucks’ immunity to economic trends, most are driven by Schultz. Starbucks’ massive size hasn’t stopped him from realizing his vision of creating a company that’s about much more than making money selling coffee; Schultz is committed to selling an experience and a lifestyle, both of which are inspired by a trip to Italy as a child, where he was drawn to the cafe scene.

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By Sean Kim

Skills are the gateway to a better quality career and life.

The problem is, money is tight for most of us after covering rent/mortgage, car payments, and just maintaining our quality of life. But don’t worry, there are many ways for you to acquire new skills without breaking the bank.

Here are seven life-changing skills you can learn even if you’re broke (and where to learn them).

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By James Clear

In the 1920s, a German man named Eugen Herrigel moved to Japan and began training in Kyudo, the Japanese martial art of archery.

Herrigel was taught by a legendary Kyudo master named Awa Kenzo. Kenzo was convinced that beginners should master the fundamentals of archery before attempting to shoot at a real target and he took this method to the extreme. For the first four years, Herrigel was only allowed to shoot at a roll of straw just seven feet away. (1)

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