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Sunday, June 28, 2020

Abiola Ajimobi Buried At Residence In Ibadan Amid Tight SecurityOgun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, Thursday, described as "end of an era" the death of the former Governor of Oyo State, Senator Isiaka Abiola Ajimobi.


Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, Thursday, described as "end of an era" the death of the former Governor of Oyo State, Senator Isiaka Abiola Ajimobi.

The late former governor of Oyo State, Senator Abiola Ajimobi was buried at his Oluyole country home at 10 am on Sunday.

The burial took place amid tight security from the Oluyole main road to the Yemoja street residence of the late former governor.

Cleric at the burial include, Alhaji Kunle Saani, Shik Muideen Bello, Chief Imam of Ibadan land, Shik Abubakri Abdleganiyu Agbotomokere, among others.

The 70-year-old who died in Lagos was on life support machine at First Cardiology Hospital in Ikoyi, Lagos before his final breath.

The Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof Akin Abayomi confirmed he died of multiple organ failure.

Earlier, the family had informed the general public that the remains of the former governor would be taking to his Oke-Ado mosque and his Oja-Oba family house.

But the story was different when Vanguard correspondent noticed that some Islamic cleric who performed the burial in Islamic rite moved out of his house after the burial.

No journalist was allowed to near the graveside of the former governor.

At 12 noon, prayers would be offered for his repose at the Sen. Ishaq Abiola Ajimobi Mosque, Oke-Ado

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

FG submitted proposed guidelines for reopening of schools

The Federal Government has submitted proposed guidelines for the reopening of schools across the country to the National Assembly.
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The Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba made the presentation on Tuesday during a meeting with the Senate Committee on Basic and Secondary Education.
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According to the News Agency of Nigeria, he intimated the lawmakers of the ministry’s plans for students to resume across the country
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The FG had in March shut schools across the Federation as part of measures to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus disease.
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At the presentation today, the minister said, “In the document provided, we have suggested how we can move our education sector forward during this pandemic.
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“We don’t want to make it known at this time so that some people will not take our proposed guidelines for school reopening.
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“Even if the Senate has not called us, we would have come to you to discuss with you because we have already discussed with the House of Representatives.
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“The documents were presented to you so that you can criticise and make inputs as major stakeholders.”
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Vice-Chairperson of the Committee, Akon Eyakenyi, who presided over the meeting, expressed fears that the academic calendar could be distorted in public schools where no visible arrangement was being made to teach pupils and students at home, unlike their private school counterparts.

How Do I Find Orphan Pages?


Ultimately you will always need to compare two sets of URL data in order to find orphaned pages. If it helps you can go full-on with the analogy here by thinking of these two URL data sets as each parent:

The discrepancy between the two URL data sets should uncover all of the orphaned pages on your website.

Find All Your Pages Using Log Files

The easiest way to get your log files is logging into your cPanel and find an option called Raw Log Files. If you are still not able to find it, you may need to contact your hosting provider and ask them to provide the log files for your site.

Raw Access Logs allow you to see what the visits to your website were without displaying graphs, charts, or other graphics. You can use the Raw Access Logs menu to download a zipped version of the server’s access log for your site. This can be very useful when you want to quickly see who has visited your site.

Raw logs may only contain a few hours’ worth of data because they are discarded after the system processes them. However, if archiving is enabled, the system archives the raw log data before the system discards it. So go ahead and ensure that you are archiving!

Once you have your log file ready to go, we now need to gather the other data set of pages that can be crawled by Google, using Screaming FrogAlternatively, you can:

Find All Your Pages in WordPress

A useful WordPress plugin, quite aptly named Export All URLs, can help you to export all of the pages, posts and custom post types on your Content Management System. By exporting all of these pages from your WordPress site you will be able to compare and contrast against a list of the pages that were found when you crawled your site. Should there be any outliers, you will have uncovered pages that were not found with a site crawl.

From here you can simply evaluate whether there are pages that should be part of your site and incorporate them back in by simply linking to your orphan page from a page that you know has been crawled and is accessible by a bot.

Please back up your database before installing and activating any plugins.

  1. Install and activate the Export All URLs plugin.
  2. Select all types (pages, post and custom post types)
  3. Select all additional data (URL, Titles, Categories)
  4. Post Status: Published
  5. Export Type: .csv

Once you have all your WordPress pages, we now need to gather the other set of URLs that can be found when crawled, using Screaming Frog SEO Spider.

Crawl Your Pages with Screaming Frog SEO Spider

Screaming Frog is a fantastic tool that we hold in high regard here at UpBuild. Using the Screaming Frog SEO Spider, we can crawl our website as Googlebot would, and export a list of all the URLs that were found.

  1. Once you have Screaming Frog ready, first ensure that your crawl Mode is set to the default ‘Spider’.

Screaming Frog Spider Crawl Mode

  1. Then make sure that under Configuration > Spider, ‘Check External Links’ is unchecked, to avoid unnecessary external site crawling.

Check External Links

  1. Now you can type in your website URL, and click Start.
  2. Once the crawl is complete, simply
    • a. Navigate to the Internal tab.
    • b. Filter by HTML.
    • c. Click Export.
    • d. Save in .csv format.

Filter by HTML

Uncovering Orphan Pages

Now we should have our two sets of URL data, both in .csv format:

  • All of the page URLs ever created for your website from log files or WordPress.
  • All of the page URLs that can actually be crawled from Screaming Frog.

All we need to do now is compare the URL data from the two .csv files, and find the URLs that were not crawlable.

Uncover Orphan Pages for WordPress Using Spreadsheets

If you gathered your data from WordPress you can use a spreadsheet to uncover the discrepancies:

  • Open a new spreadsheet in Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets, or your spreadsheet tool of choice.
  • Place all the URLs from the WordPress .csv into column A.
  • Place all the URLs from the Screaming Frog .csv into column B.

Should there be any orphan pages you will notice that one column (most likely column A) contains more URLs.

Next, we remove all duplicate values from column A and column B:

Using Microsoft Excel:

Simply use the Remove Duplicates command in the Data Tools group on the Data tab. Then follow the on-screen instructions to select and remove duplicates from the columns containing the two sets of URLs. Once the removal of duplicate URLs is complete, all of the URLs that remain are your orphan pages!

Remove Duplicates Excel

Using Google Sheets:

With Google Sheets we can use a =VLOOKUP formula to point out the URLs that were not found with our crawl, which in this case would be our orphan URLs.

  1. Open up a new Google Sheet.
  2. Place the data URLs from your WordPress .csv in column A.
    • Note: It is important that the WordPress data is in column a, as the VLOOKUP formulates using the data in the leftmost column, for all succeeding columns.
    • Place the data URLs from your Screaming Frog .csv in column B.
    • In column and cell, C1 simply type the following:
      • =VLOOKUP(A1,A:B,2,0)
      • Then drag cell C1, all the way down as far as the amount of URLs that are in the spreadsheet.
      • Wherever VLOOKUP returns “N/A” that indicates an orphan page (one that was found in your WordPress .csv, but not your Screaming Frog .csv).

Skip ahead to learn what to do when you find orphan pages, or:

Uncover Orphan Pages Using Screaming Frog Log File Analyser

If you decided to analyze a log file instead, we can use the Screaming Frog SEO Log File Analyser to uncover our orphan pages.

The program is very easy to use and as you can see from the image below, we have the ability to import the two data sets that we need to analyze. Referred to here simply as Log File and URL Data (this would be our Screaming Frog SEO Spider .csv).

Screaming Frog Log File Analyser

  1. Import Log File.
  2. Import URL Data (Screaming Frog SEO Spider)
  3. Navigate to the URLs tab:
    • Change your view to Not in URL Data. This will show you all of the URLs that were found in the Log File, but not in the crawled data.

Not in URL Data

What to Do When You Find Orphan Pages

Once you have your list of orphan pages, all you need to do is determine the value that each orphan page holds:

  • If you want to keep a page, then adopt it!
    • Internally link to your orphan page from a page that you know is already accessible by users and bots. Think about your users; where would this orphan page naturally fit and provide value to my user.
    • Ensure that your new page is added to both your HTML sitemap and your XML sitemap.
  • If you don’t want to keep a page, then remove it and 301 redirect!
    • If an orphan page has thin content, duplicate content, or no value then you can simply remove the page altogether.
      • Note: Be mindful that you should provide a 301 redirect for the orphan URL from this page to the next most relevant page, as it could possibly be accessible from an external source.
  • If you want to keep a page orphaned, then noindex it!
    • Understandably you may have pages that you simply don’t want as part of the user journey. In which case you will simply want to ensure that your page has a clear noindex meta tag.

Verification

Once you have decided and implemented one of the three choices above for each of your orphan pages, you should run through the entire process again. This time you should be able to ensure when comparing the two URL data sets, that all of your outlying pages contain a noindex meta tag. If you have pages still without this directive then simply choose an option from above, until all your pages are firmly given a permanent home.
Lastly, you will want to make sure that all your hard work is on Google’s radar.

Note: If you are using the Yoast SEO plugin to manage your XML Sitemap, then your newly adopted pages should automatically be included and the next few steps should not be necessary. However, if you still don’t have Google Search Console setup for your WordPress site then Yoast provides some specific instructions on how you can achieve that when using their plugin.

For those of you who don’t use Yoast SEO plugin, go ahead and open up the Screaming Frog SEO Spider one more time, so we can crawl our website again, and create a shiny new XML sitemap.

  1. Type in your website URL, and click Start. Once your crawl reaches 100%, simply choose Sitemaps from the menu then Create XML Sitemap.

Create XML Sitemap

  1. This will open up a number of sitemap configuration options. However, since the default XML sitemap export settings are as they should be, and only include HTML pages included in the ‘internal’ tab with a ‘200’ OK response from the crawl, you can go ahead and click Next.

Default XML Sitemap Settings

  1. Once you have saved and downloaded the XML sitemap, you can submit it to Google Search Console. This will help you with tracking the indexation of your pages and is a direct way to let Google know that you have pages you want to be indexed. That’s it!

Google Search Console

In Summary: Adopt Don’t Block

Googlebot crawls the pages on our sites by using internal links we have created. Always be mindful that if a user can’t access it, then it’s likely that neither can Google. Auditing for orphan pages can help you uncover valuable pages, and maybe even avoid penalization.

Think of your website like a tree. It can be easy to assume that all pages are accessible, but if you cut off a branch, you may find that you have removed more limbs than you think. So when your website is undergoing any sort of architectural change, be sure to audit for orphan pages. Adopt, don’t block.

What is orphaned content?


Orphaned content is content that doesn’t get any links from other posts or pages on the same website. As a result of that, this content is hard to find, for both Google and visitors. Posts and pages need internal links to them, to fit into a site’s structure and to be findable. Note that ‘links’ in this case means: contextual links. If content is linked to from the homepage, sitemap, or category and tag pages, but lacks text links, it’s still considered orphaned content. The reason for this is that text links provide both users and search engines with context and therefore, add more value.

Why does orphaned content affect your SEO?

To rank content, Google obviously needs to know about it. Search engines follow links and save all the content of pages in their index. Orphaned content has few meaningful internal links from other pages or posts to it. Google will consider this type of content less important. So, if an article is important to you, you should make that clear to Google (and your visitors). Link to that specific article from other (similar) content.

How is orphaned content created?

If you write a new blog post, publish it and then forget about it, you probably won’t link to it anymore in your new posts and pages. Is this a bad thing? Well, that depends on the blog post. It is definitely a bad thing if you want people and Google to find this post because it’s important. In that case: make sure Google and your audience can find that orphaned blog post. Linking to it from articles that generate a lot of traffic in the search engines will help Google and your audience get to your blog post.

How do I use the orphaned content check?

You can find the orphaned content filter in your post overview. If you have Yoast SEO premium installed, your post overview will look like this:

Clicking on the orphaned content filter will give an overview of all the posts without text links linking to them. On Yoast.com, we have quite a few orphaned articles as well (content-team are you reading this? We have some work to do here ;-)).

Scrolling through our own orphaned articles, made me very aware of the fact that recent articles are often orphaned. We just don’t get around to adding links to these articles in our older blog posts. Still, for articles that are important to our SEO strategy or to our brand, we should make sure to add links in posts that generate a lot of traffic. That’ll help Google and our audience to find those important posts.

You’ll receive a notification in your SEO dashboard if your site has orphaned content.

Should you always fix orphaned content?

For some articles, it isn’t that important to fix an orphaned content status. Some blog posts are only important for a short period of time. At Yoast, we’re writing a lot about YoastCon at the moment, because that’s a big event coming up. Announcing such an event makes for a great blog postb, but such a post probably has less value next year. It’s no problem for such a post to remain orphaned. In fact, perhaps you should consider deleting these pages (properly of course!) altogether. That’ll clean up your site a bit.

Conclusion: keep an eye on that orphaned content!

As I have shown, it’s easy to unwittingly create orphaned content, if you’re writing a lot of posts. Luckily, you can use the orphaned content feature of Yoast SEO premium to stay on top of things. You can easily check which posts and pages are orphaned, and add links to important content, so both Google and your users can find it!

Thursday, June 18, 2020

What To Do If You Lose Your 401(k) Employer Match


a person standing in front of a mirror posing for the camera: An older African-American man talks on the phone in his home © shapecharge/Getty Images An older African-American man talks on the phone in his home

In the wake of all the economic carnage unleashed by the coronavirus, many companies are cutting jobs and benefits such as the company match on 401(k) plans. If you're among the fortunate ones still employed, you may still have to deal with reduced benefits, too. While experts generally recommend saving as much as you can in your 401(k) plan, you'll want to consider many other things in these exceptional times, including not contributing at all.

CONSTELLATION BRANDS, INC.

"With more employers suspending retirement benefits and company matches, consumers are facing greater financial responsibility for how to save for the future and act in their own best interests," says Pam Krueger, CEO of Wealthramp in the San Francisco area.

Here's what to do if you lose your 401(k) employer match and what alternatives you may have.

Assess your financial picture

The 401(k) plan is one of the most popular retirement savings programs in the U.S., and the company match is one of the easiest ways for workers to quickly earn extra retirement funds. Workers contribute directly from their paychecks, and the company contributes additional funds, often as much as 3 to 5 percent of the worker's salary each year, depending on the plan.

A 2019 study by Natixis Investment Managers of 700 workers with defined contribution plans such as a 401(k) found that the top reason (56 percent) for participating was the company match. And 57 percent said that a larger match would incentivize them to save more.

So it's definitely a shame if your company cuts its matching funds. But if it has, you'll want to do two things at first:

  • Determine why the company cut the match and its overall financial health.
  • Assess your own financial health.
  • By looking at these two factors you'll get a better read on what kinds of actions are best for you.

    "First, is your company healthy enough to survive this period," says Nicholas Stuller, founder at MyPerfectFinancialAdvisor in West Cornwall, Connecticut.

    Did the company cut its matching plan because it's in serious financial trouble that it's unlikely to recover from, or is the problem more short-term in nature?

    But you'll also want to get a read on your own personal finances. Could you muddle through if one spouse lost a job? Do you have money stashed away in an emergency fund such as a high-yield savings account - not the stock market - that is risk-free and easily accessible?

    What actions you can take

    Depending on your assessment, you may have several courses of action. Importantly, continuing to contribute to your retirement plan won't always be the best path to take. It's critical to make it through to the other side of tough times without ruining your financial health. Taking on loads of debt during a downturn may hurt your long-term future more than not saving for a year or two.

    "If your company has simply decided to no longer match funds, then there's nothing you have to do," says Michelle Sloan Jones, chief external affairs officer of Money Management International, a nonprofit in financial education in the Atlanta area.

    1. When your company is in poor financial shape

    If your company is not healthy, Stuller recommends looking to shore up your own personal financial and career situation before worrying about retirement, a move that others echo.

    One of the first options is getting your emergency fund in order while you can. Experts recommend having at least six months of expenses on hand, but in tougher times having more is not going to hurt you. You can always return to your retirement accounts later.

    "If you are already struggling to make ends meet or are uncertain about the security of your job, put more cash into a liquid savings account instead," says Laura Hearn, CFP, a wealth advisor at RMB Capital in Chicago. "Why? If you increase the savings to your 401(k) and find yourself crunched for cash, tapping into your 401(k) savings can be costly."

    Hearn notes that 401(k) withdrawals will incur a 10 percent bonus penalty on top of any taxes already due on distributions, if you're under age 59 1/2. Thanks to recently passed legislation, however, you can wriggle out of the bonus penalty, If you have a COVID-19-related hardship and withdraw the money this year.

    "If you can't make up for the lost match this year due to uncertainty of cash flow, don't fret," says Hearn. "One year of not having a company match savings is unlikely to derail your long-term financial plan."

    From here you can then think about the next best move, both financially and career-wise.

    2. When your company appears relatively stable or healthy

    If the company and your personal situation are stable, then you'll have more options. But even then you may still want to shore up your finances before you commit to further retirement savings. From there you have a few avenues you can take advantage of.

    "If [your company] is healthy, then can you afford to personally make up the match and continue to save? If so, do it," says Stuller. "Consider paring back other expenses to re-allocate those monies to savings if you can."

    But without the match, workers are missing out on one of the most important benefits of a workplace retirement plan.

    "Continuing to contribute to your retirement is highly recommended but, without an employer match, the only real benefit to staying with your employer's plan is convenience," says Jones.

    Still it can make sense to stay in your employer's plan for other reasons, such as a good selection of funds and the convenience of having money invested straight from your paycheck.

    "If the company has promised to restore the match in the near future, it may be in your best interest to stay put," says Jones. "But if not, assessing plan performance should be your next step. If you find stronger performance and better gains elsewhere, you can always choose to voluntarily move the funds."

    On the one hand you can roll that 401(k) money into an IRA - either traditional or Roth IRA - but you'll want to understand the advantages and disadvantages of such a move. But you have other alternatives to your company's 401(k) plan, and even a taxable brokerage account could be a good option if you need penalty-free access to your money.

    On the other hand, don't be in such a hurry to move the money, if the company is in otherwise solid shape, as experience from the last recession shows.

    "Remember, employers by and large returned to making matches once the economy recovered," says Steve Parrish, co-director of the Center for Retirement Income at the non-profit American College of Financial Services in Des Moines, Iowa.

    Should you always contribute to your 401(k)?

    If your job and personal finances look secure, then adding to your retirement savings is a great option. Some experts recommend always opting for retirement savings.

    "The most important step consumers can take is to continue contributing to their retirement plan because contributions are automated and therefore help you to systematically invest," says Krueger. "Then there's the benefit of tax deferral on those 401(k) contributions."

    "Keep up your retirement savings for two reasons," says Parrish. "First, the government is allowing access to retirement funds if you have a COVID-19-related need," he says. "If tough times continue, they will likely extend this liberalized access. Second, call it behavioral finance or human nature: If you continue to contribute, you're less likely to touch your savings."

    By keeping up the commitment to your retirement account, you'll tend to see it as untouchable money that must be maintained for your future, allowing the money to compound over years.

    Still, you have to balance the future against your present needs.

    Other alternatives to consider

    Sometimes in personal finance there may not always be a trade-off for a decision. That might be the case now with low mortgage rates. If your financial situation is strong - and maybe even if it isn't - you may be able to take advantage of historically low mortgage rates to refinance.

    "Perhaps the best way to take advantage of these record-low interest rates is not within a 401(k)," says Tim Shaler, economist in residence at iTrustCapital in Encino, California. "As soon as the Fed and Treasury actions in the mortgage market normalizes originators’ ability to help borrowers, everyone who can save money should refi their mortgage on their homes."

    The savings there could total hundreds of dollars a month alone, depending on the size of your loan. Any money could then be rolled into savings, either to bolster your emergency fund or allowing you to add more into your 401(k). In effect, you can create your own match via savings.

    "I'd also encourage consumers to look for every dime of benefits at work you may be ignoring, like health savings accounts (HSA)," says Krueger. "These are triple tax-advantaged accounts that can be used for qualifying medical costs in retirement and you don't lose the funds like flexible spending accounts (FSA)."

    Bottom line

    Contributing to your retirement savings - and your future financial security - is important, but you'll want to carefully assess your own financial situation to see if continuing your contributions during uncertain times really does make sense for you. If it doesn't, shore up your finances and then return to your retirement savings as soon as it does make sense for you to do so.

    “Most importantly, 401(k) investors are reminded to 'know thyself' — what are your goals, what is your situation and what kind of volatility comes with your return requirements," says Shaler.

    How Much Money Should A Startup Allocate To Digital Marketing


    Digital marketing has become one of the cornerstones of brand development and cultivating user knowledge of your existence. With so many people connected on the web, it’s easy to see why more and more businesses rely on digital marketing to boost their exposure – even more so right now during the coronavirus pandemic.

    The reality is that if you’re operating a startup at the moment, you’re likely working with a shoestring budget in order to stay afloat. Maybe your ‘doors’ aren’t even permitted to be open. Regardless, when considering your budget, you’ll need to allocate sufficient capital for digital content creation that will capture the attention of your target demographic. 

    The difficult part is figuring out just how much capital is necessary to build and maintain a solid marketing plan for your startup. Because buyer behaviour is constantly morphing in response to how the current situation develops, you need to maintain a high level of flexibility in order to react.

    Every dollar counts and online advertising is where it’s at least for the foreseeable future. Here’s how best to get started with your budget strategizing.

    Evaluate Your Revenue 

    Before making any rash decisions on how much money needs to be spent on digital marketing, you need to figure out the revenue and projected income of your business. This is the first step in crafting a great living budget.

    By default of being a startup, you’re likely going to be just a tiny spec on any user’s radar at present. This means that now more than ever, you’ll need to allocate some additional funds to marketing. You haven’t yet made a name for yourself, so you’ll have to dish out a bit more in order to have an impact.

    According to a recent CMO Survey, on average companies that make more than 10% of sales online allocate 13% of their total budget to marketing. It varies greatly by industry. But since you’re the new kid on the block, you may want to up those numbers in the beginning (if at all feasible).

    Spice Up Your Social Media Marketing

    This brings us to our next stop – social media. It’s something you really can’t afford to go without in the modern business world. There’s honestly such a massive audience, especially now while many people find themselves quarantined at home.

    Over 90% of businesses in the United States use social media for their marketing. Let that sink in for a moment. When going about social media marketing strategy, you’ll have to work extra hard to stand out from all the noise.

    You can do most of the digital marketing yourself, but it can be a challenging and time-consuming endeavour. If your budget allows, it’s worth it to consider hiring a professional specifically for this purpose. 

    If you go down the route of a marketing strategy consultant, a social media management package may cost you anywhere from $600 – $2,500 a month depending on your business’ needs. You may be able to find cheaper freelancers or higher-end companies, depending on your revenue realities.

    At the end of the day, though, leaving it to the pros and freeing up your time to focus on all the other tasks on your ever-growing agenda can work wonders.

    Optimize Your Website

    In order to stay competitive in the digital age, you can’t effectively conduct business without a proper website. Along with your social media, this helps you get established in the online community. We’re talking digital marketing, after all.

    Maybe you have a basic understanding of web technology, and you’d like to attempt to build your website or start a blog from scratch. But if not, it may be wiser to outsource this job.

    On average, an all-inclusive website costs around $3,000 – $6,000 if you rely on a professional’s help. And, of course, prices can vary greatly from your location, and how experienced your website engineer is.

    You need to be incredibly careful when dealing with website design. While ensuring users experience an interactive onboarding walkthrough, you also have to be sure that everything is mobile-friendly. 

    More and more people access the internet and do their browsing on the move. If you don’t create a mobile friendly online environment for them, you’ll miss out on valuable traffic.

    Carefully Curate Content 

    Content is the ketchup to your digital marketing hotdog. Valuable content is essential for creating user engagement on the web. Your website, social media pages and guest blogs are all outlets for content, so they must be curated properly to garner the right audience and foster interaction.

    Again budget-wise, you’ll need to allocate to this depending on you and how hands-on you want to be. You can attempt to go it alone and rely on top content marketing tips from the pros, or you can again solicit the help of outside content consultants.

    A regular flow of evergreen content will help establish your startup as thought leader customers and prospects turn to. Increased traffic and more page views will, in turn, result in Google indexing your site more often. A win-win if there ever was one.

    Bear in mind that “Youtility” is the name of the game. Instead of focusing on grandiose marketing campaigns, try to hone in on the creation of consistently useful and usable content. 

    If going the outsourcing route, small scale content creation agencies tend to charge anywhere from $1,000 – $3,000 for content strategy and creation. But as with everything else, these are just estimates and can vary depending on your situation and location.

    Hit the Ground Running

    As I bet you’ve gathered, digital marketing does come with a cost. It can be done with the minimal capital requirement, but for more effective results, you will need to sink some cash into it. See what works well with your budget and go from there.

    Don’t rush when deciding whether to go with the DIY approach or hire consultants. Do your research carefully and be sure of your choice. Given everything that’s going on, it’s completely understandable if you just do the best you can when you can.

    However, if you can afford it, hiring an experienced professional can save you tons of time, money and stress. Stay safe and choose wisely!

    How To Bring Digital Transformation To Marketing


    Every large-scale organization today has employees separated into different teams and scattered across the business (often across geographies). Many of those people are now working from home and more disconnected than ever.

    If teams aren’t careful, fragmented information and disconnected processes can quickly hamper progress. According to an analysis by McKinsey, in an average workweek, employees spend 20% of their time “looking for internal information or tracking down colleagues who can help with specific tasks.” That’s why it’s important for members of the organization to come together with shared tools, knowledge and processes to achieve common goals.

    Many organizations are turning to digital strategies to foster cross-department success in business growth and customer service — particularly now that physical sales and marketing events are off the table. While it’s true that digital transformation can have far-reaching implications across a company, marketing arguably has the most to gain. According to Frost & Sullivan’s 2019 “Top End User Priorities in Digital Transformation” report, which surveyed 1,636 IT decision makers, more than two-thirds of organizations believe sales and marketing departments will be most impacted by digital transformation.

    What Will Marketing Gain From Digital Transformation?

    For most organizations, the twin goals of digital transformation are increasing organizational efficiency and improving customer experience. In fact, these goals should be directly linked: increasing efficiency in order to improve customer experience.

    While the implications of this notion are far-reaching for marketing, one key ramification is ensuring organizational cohesiveness, consistency and responsiveness. From marketing messages and materials to customer journey and touch points, each disparate business line or geography should speak with one voice and engage customers with a consistent experience.

    The larger an organization, the more important this brand consistency, yet, the harder it becomes to maintain. Digitalization, thus, becomes a dual-edged sword for marketing: It can supercharge the ability of disparate teams and geographies to “roll their own” chaotic approach in tweaking digital assets, campaigns, customer engagement, etc. Versioning challenges, inconsistent approval processes, local or individual preferences, and different (and often incompatible) systems and software can all contribute to the mayhem.

    Conversely, digital can be a transformation for global marketing. Materials can be easily findable, rapidly propagated and consistently delivered, while customer experience can be cohesive across systems, offerings and geographies. Best practices and successful campaigns can be quickly identified, iterated and disseminated across teams. The overall result can be a dramatic improvement in organizational cohesion, agility and responsiveness. 

    Breaking Silos

    One important roadblock to consider for any digital transformation is the existence of silos. Whether those are organizational, geographic or systemic, they will hinder the drive for consistency and efficiency. From a marketing perspective, those silos might be at the team or business level, driven by geography, or they might be a reflection of disparate systems and procedures.

    The right approach to digital transformation can eliminate silos without the need to scrap everything and start from scratch. The answer lies in the use of automation to wrap and connect silos so that their existence no longer matters — not so much “breaking them” as making them disappear. For marketing, this might take the form of a unified content repository/dissemination, or automation that pulls and presents data insights from various tools, or process automation to route a customer journey through various systems.

    In all cases the key consideration is that this automation eliminates the delays, errors and inconsistency that exists in manual approaches and disconnected silos.

    Centering Excellence

    Every transformation is a journey, and like any journey, it’s necessary to get and stay on track. For digital transformations, many organizations look to maintain bearings using what’s known as a center of excellence (CoE), which Gartner describes as “concentrating existing expertise and resources in a discipline or capability to attain and sustain world-class performance and value.” For marketing transformation, this means centralizing and sharing best practices across teams and identifying potential opportunities for digital media and technology to better meet marketing goals.

    In creating a CoE, it’s important to begin holistically with the business’ long-term goals. What is marketing trying to achieve, and how does it support the larger business plan? How does marketing collaborate with and support other parts of the organization? Outlining specific objectives and best practices will guide team members within the organization in sharing resources and streamlining processes.

    Since we’re talking about digital transformation, the members of that CoE must embrace agility and innovation. This isn’t about the digital technology itself as much as the business transformation; it means identifying change, understanding risk and moving rapidly to adjust and improve.

    With objectives and teams in place, it’s important to identify how to measure success. This means not only establishing the key performance indicators (KPIs) but also the metrics relevant to the CoE itself (resource utilization, best practice propagation, etc.), along with assigned responsibility for achieving each goal.

    The CoE should encapsulate a library of go-to marketing materials to drive consistency and efficiency. These materials could be as simple as document templates (for case studies, e-books, etc.) to branding kits or process guides. Clear and centralized assets and processes lead to faster iteration, as members across the organization gain visibility into successful campaigns. Without this insight, teams might duplicate efforts or wander in directions that don’t match the overall business plan.

    The CoE also plays a critical role in keeping the transformation on track and constantly adapting. This is one journey that’s never done, and an iterative methodology ensures relevance as the organization evolves. Done correctly, the CoE helps enforce consistency, currency and collaboration.

    Automation And Excellence In Action

    The combination of automation and a CoE can drive cohesive transformation, ensuring a company’s digital assets are available to everyone, ready for use as needed. This can allow marketing leads to proactively monitor what is being used inside and outside the organization, and understand where to concentrate for continuous improvement.

    Most marketing departments are ripe for digital transformation. Done correctly, it can have an outsized impact on the organization as a whole.


    How To Make A Career Transition Into Web Development


    Over the past ten years, there has been an explosion of interest in web development, and the number of people looking to make a career transition into the field.

    The 2008–09 financial crisis caused millions of young adult workers to lose their jobs and rethink their entire careers from scratch. From the ashes of this crisis, web development has become the darling of the job market.

    An increased number of companies, small and large, have turned to the wonders of web development to disrupt or adapt to the new “web 2.0” environment. These companies know that without a web presence, their businesses are doomed to be ignored.

    The spike in interest in web development has led to millions of young adults thinking of it not just as a skill to learn, but as a career to adopt. But for those who have already gone through college and spent a life worth of savings to get their degree, switching their careers to web development seems like a tough proposition.

    If you’re in this position, the questions are hard. Do you have to start all over again, taking expensive and lengthy classes to learn the skills? Or can you jump ship from a traditional career to web development and still make it until you get a well-paying job?

    The answer is, no, you don’t have to go back to college to become a web developer. And yes, you can make a career transition to web development if you prepare yourself for it.

    People from all backgrounds have been able to switch to a career in web development. Their advice will shine a light for those who want to do the same without having to sacrifice everything in the way.

    To say that it is possible to become a web developer through self-education may have seemed like alchemy 20 years ago. In 2020, self-education appears to be the rule rather than the exception.

    The 2016 StackOverflow annual survey found that almost 70% of its respondents considered themselves as “self-taught.” Whether they learned to code entirely on their own or partially is something the survey left out. However, it still shows the relevance self-education has for professional web developers.

    For someone who wants to become a developer, learning on their own is more of a pragmatic obligation than a moral one. Without a formal degree, self-education is the only path to acquire the skills necessary to launch a web development career.

    The question, however, shouldn’t be focused on whether self-education is a good idea or not. What truly matters, according to several developers, is to pick the right language and put all energies available into mastering it before focusing on a specific framework. It seems, unlike what the business saying goes, that it’s better to put all the eggs in one basket than to spread them out.

    For Lexis Hanson, a former finance professional turned developer, mastering a programming language first — one based on her needs — and focusing on frameworks and libraries second was critical to her self education.

    [Mastering a programming language first] forced me to stay focused on getting extremely comfortable with vanilla JavaScript before diving into frameworks, which made that next step significantly easier.

    Putting language over frameworks may be the smart decision, but it still doesn’t help to pick the right one. One solution that can shine a light on the issue is to pick a personal project. The specific technical needs required to fulfill your project will guide your choices better.

    One self-taught developer who’s in favor of this approach is Avi Flombaum. Instead of picking the first language that pops into a Google search, he explains:

    Beginners shouldn’t care about the languages they’re using. They should care that their chosen language matches their goals, if they’re getting expertise and depth and in it — and, of course, if they love using it.

    A personal project will foster your passion for programming, and it will help you decide on the language you should consider to build it. Some common ideas include:

  • a static website
  • a basic app, like a to-do list
  • an automation script

  • Another vital aspect to consider before settling on a specific language is to think about your natural problem-solving methodologies. How do you break down problems? How do you think about their solutions?

    In the case of Hanson, she wasn’t sure whether to choose a language based on object-oriented programming or functional programming. But instead of going with the wisdom of the crowds and picking a popular language, she thought about the way she solved problems in general. Based on that introspection, she chose the programming paradigm that best suited her (which happened to be JavaScript).

    Functional programming resonated with me (you might have other preferences), and I challenged myself to approach problems from a “functional-first” perspective. In my opinion, this forced me to think more flexibly about programming and how functions and components should “compose” with one another.

    As you learn the basics of a language, consider reading its documentation, especially if you’re already toying with a specific framework. At first, this may seem hard, but the more you practice your skills, and the more you read the documentation, the more sense it will all make.

    Angular - Career Transition Into Web Development

    Vinicius Brasil recommends using GitHub to find and read production code in the language you’re learning. He adds, “If you are confident to contribute, that’s even better.”

    Angular - Career Transition Into Web Development

    Whenever you get stuck, don’t panic. Web development is a friendly skill whose practitioners share solutions to common problems. Stack Overflow is the most popular place developers go to ask questions and share advice. And when you can’t seem to find a solution, remember: “Google is your friend.”

    Stack Overflow - Career Transition Into Web Development

    Among the many challenges self-educated developers often face is getting accustomed to the rather strange way of writing code. Many experienced developers will tell you that the way you write a string of code is as important as what that code is meant to do. The truthfulness of such a statement is a discussion of its own, and it has its merits, but for a beginner developer who’s learning on the side and with their own resources, writing perfect code is more of a luxury than a necessity, at least in the beginning.

    Such is the case of Jeremy Gunter, whose “learn first, clean later” mentality became the greatest boon to his confidence during the early days of his self-education. His methodology consisted of using pseudo-code to make his code work and then Googling how they are supposed to be written.

    Instead of going mental trying to remember method names, I focused on what action I needed to perform. When I wanted to add an item to the beginning of an array, I found it easier to google the phrase “add item to beginning of array JavaScript” than to try and use my own memory to differentiate between shift(), unshift(), and pop().

    Any experienced developer will probably grind their teeth at the idea of using pseudo-code over syntax. Still, for the self-educated folk, Gunter’s approach resembles more to Mark Zuckerberg’s “learn fast and break things” mantra than to Tim Peters’ “beautiful is better than ugly.”

    All in its time, Mr. Peters, all in its time.

    Build a Network

    College education is often seen as a mechanical process where a student acquires all the required knowledge to become a professional in their chosen field. Under this mentality, anything that doesn’t imply studying and memorizing technical concepts is secondary.

    This simplistic idea leaves a significant advantage that college-educated developers have over self-taught ones, and on which the latter must work if they want to be in an equal position to the former. That is, the professional network college provides to its students.

    A professional network is built upon a web of mentors, professors, job seekers, and classmates. Some of these people will eventually become colleagues, and some will act as referrals and references for job prospects, both critical elements to succeed in any professional career.

    To dismiss the importance that a network like this has over web developers is to undervalue one of the most prominent advantages colleges bring to their students. Thus, anyone who is considering switching to a career in web development must prioritize building this network while they develop their skillset.

    As a self-educated developer, you may not have professors or job seekers around you. The work, then, should be focused on building strong relationships with those developers who may help you in your journey.

    To start, you need to consider participating in local development events and meetups. Whether these meetings are general or language-specific isn’t important. What matters is that you proactively meet other people and become a part of the community.

    Nnena Ndukwe, a college dropout and former tanning consultant, explains the usefulness of attending meetups throughout her self-education journey:

    Having these conversations about tech with people in the field helped me gain more knowledge about opportunities for work, organizations to volunteer for, and tech or social events to attend that would be fulfilling. One opportunity always leads to the next via networking.

    To prove her point, Nnenna says she got her first development job through a bootcamp she heard about in one of the meetups she participated in. Whether meetups generate jobs directly or indirectly isn’t relevant. The point is that they compound the opportunities available for switching to a web development career.

    The most popular site to find local meetups is Meetup.Com, but you can also use Facebook events and Eventbrite. A quick search in any of these sites will bring you dozens of meetups in your area.

    MeetUp - Career Transition Into Web Development

    Just like Google is your friend when it comes to learning to code, you can also use it to find events in your area. You can use a general search query like “web development” plus your city, or a more specific one like “Python” (or any other language or framework you want) plus your city, and you’ll get many events close to you.

    Google - Career Transition Into Web Development

    You can both participate as an attendee and use the networking available to meet others who can help you, or you can give a talk on your self-taught process.

    Most attendees will be surprised and glad to meet someone who’s trying to make the switch without a degree. You may even meet others who happened to achieve your career switching goal and who can give you feedback and support on your journey.

    Another option to build a network is to participate in online communities. There are dozens of Slack chats for developers, and these will provide you with a great deal of information about the latest news, ideas, and people to connect with. You can even search for developers in your area you can meet for a coffee.

    These events and meetups aren’t just useful for meeting colleagues. As Nnenna Ndukwe attests, they are also effective for meeting potential clients or employers as well.

    Leverage the Gig Economy

    There will be a point in your journey to becoming a web developer where you’ll start to consider the idea of getting a job. No amount of studying will prepare you for the responsibilities of a real job, regardless of your educational background. When should you start sending applications?

    The most straightforward answer is that there’s never a right or wrong time to do so. You can start applying for jobs soon after you start studying web development or years later. If you’re afraid you’re still not ready to make the switch, one method you can apply to build confidence and experience is to leverage the “gig economy.”

    Sites like Craigslist, Fiverr, and PeoplePerHour allow for people like yourself to get paid “gigs” — time-limited, contracted work. Not only do these gigs help you make some money on the side, but they help you get working experience (and maybe even references and referrals).

    Gigs - Career Transition Into Web Development

    According to Walt Schlender, gig jobs are unique in the sense they are —

    too small, too specialized, or too experimental to warrant hiring a full-time employee. The employers they work for hire them because they need to get a temporary job done, and the gig worker is available and willing to do the work.

    The revenue potential from using these platforms is famous for being low—demand, is often cost-oriented, and the offer adapts accordingly, having a large chunk of its user base from low-wage countries like Pakistan and the Philippines. To think it’s possible to make a living from these platforms isn’t necessarily the smartest idea, but for someone who lacks professional experience, this can be a great opportunity — especially for those with a severe case of “impostor syndrome.”

    Self-taught developer and former chef Tania Rascia explains that freelancing on Craigslist helped her build her resume and learn on the go while still making some money on the side. She kept applying to jobs as she studied until she finally got a full-time web development job. As an interesting note, she says:

    The biggest thing that helped me was making a blog to document everything I learned, and I would recommend the same to anyone who wants to learn.

    Other freelancing sites like Upwork and Freelancer are good alternatives for these types of jobs. One individual gig may not be the be all and end all to your career, but over time, they compound. Before you know it, a dozen or more of these gigs in your resume may work as well as having studied in college, especially if you’ve forked everything in your GitHub account.

    What’s more, some of these gigs can transform into bigger jobs. Schlender, who started his web development career through the use of the gig economy, explains:

    I would bill out a gig for 2 hours (the gig actually took me a bit longer) and I would deliver exactly what my client asked me for. The next day the client would ask if I had time for another project.

    Every project I created was another project I could add to my portfolio. Every project also expanded my network. People I met would refer their friends and colleagues to me. Over the years, I ended up working for some pretty big-name companies.

    Another similar (and equally valid) alternative is to give away your skills to non-profits, local businesses, or your network. Free work, if used correctly, is a currency of its own. It may not have monetary value, but it has moral significance. It builds good-will, and if the person or company receiving it knows about your journey and gets value from it, they’ll likely recommend you to people who need a professional developer in their team.

    Companies like Catchafire or donate:code can be the perfect leverage to practice your new skills in real projects that get you experience and build your confidence. As long as you treat these non-profit projects as work and not just a fun thing you do for selfish reasons, you’ll learn a lot, and the organizations involved will benefit greatly. And you’ll also build good karma if you’re into that.

    Conclusion

    Switching to a technical career like web development is undoubtedly a scary proposition. Despite what college can bring you, a deep passion for the field, and a lot of hard work can compensate for most of the advantages educational institutions bring to their students.

    Studying, practicing, and sharing what you learn form a trifecta for success for anyone who’s self-learning any skill. If you embrace it, your new web development career will have a great chance of success. Good luck!

    Ready to begin the journey? There’s plenty more you can do to prepare. Learn how top developers ace job interviews, how to prepare for a remote job search and find the right remote job for you, and how participating in the development community can improve your career prospects.

    And when you are ready, find the best remote jobs in tech on SitePoint Remote.

    FG says it's not possible for domestic flights to resume

    The Federal Government has reversed its decision to resume domestic flights operation on Sunday, June 21, 2020, saying the date is no longer feasible for the restart.⁣
    .⁣
    The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika announced this on Thursday, June 18, 2020, at a Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 briefing in Abuja.⁣
    .⁣
    On Monday, June 1, the PTF coordinator, Sani Aliyu had requested the aviation industry to develop protocols for the resumption of domestic flights from June 21.⁣
    .⁣
    But Sirika, who was represented by the Director-General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Capt Musa Nuhu, said despite the pressure to restart operations, “June 21st is not a feasible date to resume domestic operations”.⁣
    .⁣
    He said, “The civil aviation authority despite pressures coming from all quarters will not approve the start any day until we are sure and we confirm that we are ready to start in a safe, secure, organised and efficient manner. To do otherwise is disastrous for all of us.⁣
    .⁣
    “If we open the industry when we are not ready, and we are guilty of spreading coronavirus, God forbid we have any incident, I believe the government will come hard on us and it is going to be counterproductive and disastrous for the industry.⁣
    .⁣
    “We are not too far, we are close but there is a need for the timing to ensure that we are ready, positively, absolutely ready to start work.”⁣
    .⁣
    Nuhu also made it known that the NCAA has been receiving feedbacks and addressing concerns following its meetings with the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, airlines and other stakeholders

    Federal government to setup special court for rape cases

    The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami (SAN), said on Thursday that his office had commenced talks over plans to establish special courts for rape and other sexual and gender-based violence cases.
    .
    He also said the Federal Ministry of Justice had started a review of relevant laws aimed at proposing relevant legislative changes to enhance preventive, investigative and counter-measures.
    .
    Malami, represented by the Solicitor-General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Justice, Mr Dayo Apata (SAN), said this at a press conference jointly held with the Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission, Mr. Tony Ojukwu.
    .
    The press conference focused on modalities for the eradication of rape and other sexual and gender-based violence in the country.
    .
    Malami said the talks over the establishment of the special courts to hear cases relating to the offences were being held with heads of various courts.
    .
    He said the proposed court would help to ensure expeditious trial of all pending and future rape and gender-based violence cases.
    .
    He said, “To tackle this hydra-headed menace headlong, my office (the Federal Ministry of Justice) is currently engaging with the respective Heads of Courts, for the establishment of specialised courts for the speedy and seamless trial of rape/gender-based violence offences in Nigeria.
    .
    “The aforestated specialised court when established will necessarily create a timely/speedy trial of all pending and incoming rape and other related gender-based cases and facilitate their conclusion within record time."

    Saturday, June 6, 2020

    Ronaldo became first ever footballer to be a billionaire


    Cristiano Ronaldo has become the first footballer in history to become a billionaire during his career.

    According to Forbes, the Juventus star made $105 million (£83m) before tax in the last year, taking his total worth over the $1 billion (£789m) mark.

    The 35-year-old attacker has been named the fourth-highest earning celebrity in 2020 by the magazine, behind tennis legend Roger Federer, rapper Kanye West and Kylie Jenner.

    Barcelona talisman Lionel Messi, who Forbes said earned $104m (£82m) in the last year, came in fifth while Paris Saint-Germain forward Neymar took seventh place with $95.5m (£75m).

    After golf icon Tiger Woods and former boxer Floyd Mayweather, Ronaldo is just the third athlete ever to accumulate such wealth and the first to do so in a team sport.

    The Portugal international is said to have made $650m (£513m) in wages over his 17 years as a professional athlete, with the rest made from endorsements. He has been tied to a lucrative lifetime deal with Nike since 2016 and is attached to several other big-name brands.

    The five-time Ballon d’Or winner is also building a business empire, with his fashion and lifestyle brand, hotel chain and the CR7 museum in his hometown of Funchal in Madeira.

    His 2020 earnings have been hit by the coronavirus pandemic, as his salary has dropped after the Juventus squad agreed to take a 30 percent pay cut.

    Although Messi’s salary this year was drastically reduced by 70% because the crisis, Forbes predicts the Argentine sensation will join his eternal rival in the billionaire’s club next year.

    Having been on hiatus since March, Serie A will return later this month, with Juve facing an away trip to Bologna on their first game back on June 22. They will then host Lecce four days later.

    The Turin giants are a point ahead of Lazio in Serie A with 12 games left to play.

    Maurizio Sarri’s team are chasing down a ninth consecutive title, while Ronaldo is trailing Lazio star Ciro Immobile in the goal charts.

    The Portugal hero has netted 21 times in 22 games, while Italy international Immobile is on 27.

    Wednesday, June 3, 2020

    What Is Tear Gas, And What Should You Do If You Come Into Contact With It?


    What Is Tear Gas, And What Should You Do If You Come Into Contact With It?

     A civilian runs during a protest against the death of George Floyd in Indianapolis, USA. Chris Owens/Shutterstock

    During the current wave of protests against systemic racismpolice brutality, and the murder of George Floyd taking place in the United States, thousands of people have had encounters with the burning, stinging, and choking sensation of tear gas. But what exactly is this stuff? Why is it so dangerous? And what should you do if you come into contact with it?

    Tear gas was first used by the French Army during World War I (1914-1918) as a means to drive the enemy out of trenches. But as of 1997, it's now illegal to use tear gas in international conflict and war.

    Under the global Chemical Weapons Convention, it states: "Each State Party undertakes not to use riot control agents as a method of warfare,” defining a riot control agent as "Any chemical not listed in a Schedule, which can produce rapidly in humans sensory irritation or disabling physical effects, which disappear within a short time following termination of exposure.” However, the convention does not cover domestic use against civilians, so use against protestors as "riot control" is fair game in the eyes of international law.

    Tear gas is a loose term for a chemical agent that temporarily makes people unable to function by causing irritation to the eyes, mouth, throat, lungs, and skin. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the most commonly used compounds are chlorobenzylidenemalononitrile (sometimes referred to as CS gas) and chloroacetophenone (CN). Another common form of tear gas is pepper spray, which contains capsaicin, the irritant that gives chili peppers their heat.

    CS gas causes discomfort by targeting a specific receptor found on cells called TRPA1, which sparks the perception of pain in the nervous system. Once the agent comes into contact with the body, the immune system identifies the foreign substance and attempts to flood out the irritant with body fluids, like tears and mucus, which can cause further discomfort.

    Miami Downtown, FL, USA - MAY 31, 2020:  Crowds of people at a demonstration against racism and police brutality. Tverdokhlib/Shutterstock

    In theory, tear gas causes sore eyes, blurred vision, coughing, and a runny nose for up to 30 minutes, but its effect can be much harsher if there’s prolonged or intense exposure. A 2016 medical review on the effects of tear gas found it can be responsible for skin burns, blistering, choking, vomiting, and bleeding. It's especially nasty if the agent comes into close contact with the eyes, where it can cause tearing, bleeding, cornea burning, and even ocular nerve damage. Deaths are rare, but not unheard of.

    The effect of tear gas on the respiratory system has also raised concerns that excessive use of the chemical agent by police on protesters during the current US protests could increase the spread of Covid-19, a disease that has hit a staggeringly high proportion of Black people in the US. In an online petition, infectious disease experts in the US warned that tear gas could “increase risk for Covid-19 by making the respiratory tract more susceptible to infection, exacerbating existing inflammation, and inducing coughing.”

    If you’ve been exposed to tear gas, there are a number of things you should do. 

    First things first, get far away from the gas cloud if possible. As soon as you're able, thoroughly rinse your eyes with clean water or saline solution, as well as wash exposed skin with lots of soap and water. Some activists suggest using milk or mixing water with antacid indigestion tablets, although there’s little scientific evidence to back this up. It’s also important to remove any clothing that may have the chemical agent on it as this could cause further irritation. Take a long shower as soon as possible, until you can't smell the gas anymore, to ensure it is thoroughly rinsed off. This can take as long as 30 minutes.

    If your symptoms don’t pass within 30 minutes, then you should consider seeking medical attention.

    If you are planning on protesting, there are also things you can do to minimize risk. Glasses and goggles can provide some physical protection, although it’s highly recommended protestors do not wear contact lenses as this can lead to further irritation to the eyes. Wearing make up creates a surface that allows tear gas to stick to your face. Face masks — which are also a good idea to protect against the spread of Covid-19 — will also provide some protection, as will long-sleeved tops and trousers to minimize risk of skin contact. 

    10 valuable currencies in Africa

    African currency was originally formed from basic items, materials, animals and even people available in the locality to create a medium of exchange.

    This started to change from the 17th century as European colonial powers introduced their own monetary system into the countries they invaded.

    Since the advent of legal tender in the form of paper or polymer notes and ditching the old trade by barter system, currencies have continued to remain a fundamental factor in analyzing the strength of the economies of nations across the globe. Here is the current list of top 10 highest currencies in Africa,

     

    1. Libyan Dinar (1 USD – 0.77 LYD)

    Libyan dinar is known for its vast deposit of crude oil, which accounts for 95% of the nation’s total export earnings and 60% of its GDP. Libya sits at the top with the most stable currency in Africa. The country was made quite famous by its late leader Muammar Gaddafi. Although ravaged by war, its standard of living is not as bad as the oil sector. Compared to Nigeria, the continent’s largest economy, One Libyan Dinar goes for about a staggering N225.

     

    2. Tunisian Dinar (1USD – 2.3 TND)

    The Tunisian comes second after the Libyan Dinar. This North African nation has a diversified economy based on phosphate, oil, car parts manufacturing, tourism, and agro-food products.  The country is an island with a 99% of inhabitants being Muslims. The average living standard here is relatively on the prime side with a high minimum wage. The economy is rock stable, thriving and with a small populace. More interestingly is its unemployment rate is stooping so low at 14%.

     

    3. Ghanaian Cedes (1USD – 4.75 CEDI)

    Ghana has a stable diversified economy rich in hydrocarbon, tourism, solid minerals, and automobiles among and many more. Its economy rose to prominence in the days of the gold boom and the cocoa era. The booming economy has steadied its currency and made it a promising nation in the globally. Ghana was ranked the fastest developing country in the world.

     

    4. Sudanese Pound (1 USD – 6.41 SDG)

    The Sudanese pound is one of the highest currency in Africa.  Sudan has gone through a series of wars and divisions but manages to maintain a stable currency exchange rate. Sudan’s economy is yet still afloat despite the split that saw South Sudan gaining their independence. Sudan is seen in at the top due to its consistency in the foreign exchange market over time. To a Nigerian a Sudanese pounds is equal to N47.63.

     

    5. Moroccan Diharm (1 USD – 16.2 Mad)

    The conservative Islamic caliphate still in North Africa has the 5th largest economy in the continent and also the 5th highest currency in Africa it. It runs a liberal and a capitalist economy gaining major control over the economy. Some of its industries include mining, tourism, automobiles, construction, and textiles. A flourishing economy that has made its GDP stand at an impressive $148.1 billion. 1 Mad equates to about N33.

     

    6. Botswana Pula (1 USD – 10.7 Pula)

    Botswana is a landlocked state in Southern Africa with a well-defined landscape defined by the Kalahari Desert. It holds a record for retaining one of the world’s longest economic boom streak. The economic growth rate of Botswana is fast-paced and fairly consistent. Its economy depends on agriculture, copper, diamonds, textiles, and livestock. This South African nation is a major key player in the economy of its sub-region and it houses the South African development community corporate headquarters.

     

    7. Zambian Kwacha (1 USD – 10.0 ZMK)   

    Zambia prides itself as the largest producer of copper in the continent before its neighbors, the Democratic Republic of Congo eyed the title with green eyes and used it. It is a landlocked of rugged terrain and diverse wildlife. Zambian’s economy has always been anchored on copper which is it’s a major source of export earnings. Although the country has been characterized by economic woes and fluctuations in it’s a price of commodities, it still finds itself on the top 10 list.

     

    8. South African Rand (1 USD – 13.4 Rand)

    It is the currency used in South Africa. It is the most developed democratic state in the African continent. South Africa has the second largest economy in Africa, trailing behind Nigeria. It has a very vibrant and competitive economy and is the only African member of the G-20 economic group. Its economy is diversified, comprising of mining (41% gold in the world and 90% platinum), automobiles assembly, textiles, agriculture, gold, fertilizer.

     

    9. Eritrean Nafka (1 USD – 15.0 ERN)

    Eritrean is an island nation in Africa, a remote country in the horn of Africa is quite small in economy, land area and population, its currency is Nafka. After parting ways with Ethiopia, it still shares the same currency with the old nation. Eritrea has a stable currency from a not too lively economy.

     

    10. Egyptian Pounds (1 USD – 17.8 EGP)

    Egypt is a famous Arab nation that as existence since the biblical times. Well known for its civilization and home to the ancient pyramids. The nation is Africa’s third largest economy and one of the most developed in the continent. Its capital Cairo is the second largest city in Africa. 

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