Social media is undoubtedly the greatest trend of the 21st Century, wherever you may live in the world. However, there is a new trend emerging in Africa - banning the use of free OTT (Over-The-Top) services such as such as Facebook, Viber, Twitter, Instagram, Skype and Whatsapp. In other words, the most popular social media and internet telephony (VoIP) apps available.
Let’s begin with one example.
Ethiopia Cites “Distracted Students”
Ethiopia, the most recent country to enforce bans, used the excuse of student exams to block free services for the entire country, citing students becoming distracted at such an important time. In reality, there is evidence to suggest the Ethiopian government acted because some of the questions in the end-of-year exams were actually being posted online. It’s not only using education as a reason - violent anti-... Read More
Mother's Day of course!
Many countries around the world will celebrate Mother’s Day this weekend. In today’s mobile society, many families do not live close enough to visit on this special day. The number of expats is increasing every year, and for many of those living abroad, traveling home to see Mom is just not possible. So what’s the next best thing to being there in person? Making a long-distance phone call so she can hear your voice and know you are thinking of her on her day!
Knowing that Mother's Day is right around the corner, people wonder what they should give their Mom on her special day. A thoughtful card or flowers is nice, but if you ask most Moms, the gift they want to receive is simply spending time with their children. In fact, 35% of Moms would just like to have dinner with their family this year.
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Ghana’s Founder’s Day is a national public holiday observed on September 21st each year to mark the birthday of Ghana’s first president, Kwame Nkrumah, and Ghana’s Founding Fathers. Although Nkrumah was a prominent Pan-Africanist and led Ghana to its independence from Britain, there are still debates as to whether he was the primary leader in Ghana’s quest for independence.
Founder’s Day in Ghana
In the late 1940s, Nkrumah joined the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC), a political party who aimed for Ghanaian independence from Britain by initiating a pro-independence nationalist movement. In 1949, Nkrumah broke away from the UGCC, which led him to eventually become Ghana’s first president in 1960. Since Ghana earned its independence under Nkrumah’s presidency, he has been referred to as the Founder of Ghana; however, many consider the original five UGCC members who were already fighting for Ghana’s independence to be Ghana’s... Read More
Where paved roads and electricity fail to make connections, mobile phones are shortening the communication gap in Africa. Landlines are basically non-existent in African countries, but as of December 2014, 89 percent of adults in Africa own a cell phone, which is up 46 percent since 2002. The surge of mobile phone use in Africa is changing lives in more ways than just the ease of making phone calls.
Mobile Phones Promoting Communication
While Africa continues to catch up to the U.S. for mobile phone networks, they have essentially skipped landline development and moved right on to cellphones. Despite the lack of landlines, Africa is no longer limited in phone communications with the expansion of mobile networks. Mobile networks, combined with affordable calling services like VIP Communications, allow Africans to not only connect... Read More
It may come as a surprise to some that Ethiopia was named as the “World’s top tourism destination” for 2015, but to many Ethiopian expats living in the Unites States it is a sign of elation. It’s safe to say that Ethiopians living in America aren’t conveniently close to their native land. So, how’s one way they feel connected? They EAT!
It may not be your family’s home cooking; however, there are plenty of incredible eateries throughout the country that bring authenticity, tradition and flavor of Ethiopian cuisine to thousands of Ethiopian expats living in the United States. Of the dozens of restaurants we looked at, here are 10 “must-try” recommendations whenever you are in the region looking for a true Ethiopian dish:
Whether you’re visiting one or a few African countries, or you’ve lived in Africa for years, the culture is so diverse and incredible throughout the entire continent that you’re sure to learn and experience something new no matter what.
Africa is made up of 54 different countries, and each country has countless different languages, tribes, and cultures within themselves. While the entire continent shares some basic similarities in terms of culture, no other place on earth has so much versatility and diversity than Africa. Let’s take a look at some of the most important aspects of a few of the different countries of Africa and what makes them stand out from their neighbors. The countries we’ll focus on include... Read More
Nelson Mandela...we’ve heard the name, and seen the face- a true activist and leader who died less than 2 years ago (December 5, 2013). He was a humanitarian, civil rights icon, peacemaker, and rebel. He not only helped South Africa but he helped the world.
“We can change the world and make it a better place. It is in your hands to make a difference.”
Nelson Mandela was born on July 18, 1918 into a royal family of the Xhosa-speaking Thembu tribe in the South African village of Mvezo. He began his studies at the University College of Fort Hare in South Africa. However, he did not complete his degree for he was expelled for joining in a student protest, talk about foreshadowing! In 1941 Nelson ran away to Johannesburg with his cousin Justice... Read More
Ghana is a West African country situated along the Gulf of Guinea and Atlantic Ocean. According to the Government of Ghana, the official language of Ghana is English and is spoken by more than half of Ghanaians. Climate-wise, there are two main seasons in Ghana, the wet season and the dry season, both bring with them warm, tropical temperatures that make Ghana a popular tourist destination.
Tourists visit Ghana to see the diverse wildlife; Kintampo Waterfalls and the largest waterfall in west Africa, Wli Waterfalls; beautiful sandy beaches; caves; mountains, rivers; and lakes such as Bosumtwi meteorite crater and the largest man-made lake in the world by surface area, Lake Volta; not to mention... Read More
Djibouti, a small country on the Horn of Africa, is a mostly French and Arabic speaking country. With the area made up of dry shrub lands, volcanic formations and Red Sea beaches, the climate is hot, dry, and harsh. The country is bordered by Eritrea to the north, Ethiopia in the west and south, and Somalia in the southeast. The remainder is bordered by the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden.
Independence Day in Djibouti
Independence Day for Djibouti is a highly celebrated and public holiday. According to Maps of World, this day marks the independence won by this country in the Horn of Africa from their erstwhile masters, France. Djibouti Independence Day is celebrated... Read More
With Father’s Day quickly approaching, minds are consumed with thoughts on how to make the annual day exciting yet memorable. Around the world Father’s Day is not a fixed holiday; however, the spirit and ideology remains the same. It is a celebration and day to honor your father or someone who has been a father figure in your life.
Generally, it is celebrated on the third Sunday in June. Many people take this day to thank everyone from their father, grandfather, and uncle; to stepfather, or foster- father. As if there wasn’t enough pressure for Mothers Day, you are now are left with trying to find the perfect card, tie, or coffee mug. Nevertheless, take a look at how it all started, and how this day is celebrated in different parts of the world!
History – Father’s Day in the USA
Americans love their holidays, if there’s a day to celebrate you can guarantee we... Read More
For Kenyans around the world, June 1st is Madaraka Day, a day to celebrate a historical event that led to the independence of Kenya.
What is Madaraka Day?
Madaraka, meaning “autonomy” or “self-rule”, Day is a national Kenyan holiday to commemorate the day that Kenya became a self-ruling nation in 1963.
How is Madaraka Day Celebrated?
Madaraka is a festive holiday where Kenyans all over the world gather together for celebration, dancing, food and family. Some people plant trees to honor and remember those who fought and gave their life for the country’s independence.
According to the Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife office in Nairobi, "On this day, the main event takes... Read More
Every person who packs up and goes overseas has a story to tell. Extended vacations, long-term employment & academic opportunities, refugee resettlement, or simply striking out boldly in pursuit of a different (hopefully better) life – leaving home and heading abroad is scary, exciting and fun all at once.
VIP Communications connects ex-pats with their home countries every day. We’re fortunate enough to hear about those individual stories all the time. And over the past 20 years, they’ve accumulated into quite a collection of trials & triumphs, overcoming the odds, assimilating into foreign cultures, and creating a new way of living.
Our company is built on connecting over 100,000 customers to their friends, family and loved ones back home. Yet those connections go far beyond a chat with mom or catching up with an old friend from school. If you listen closely... Read More
Earth Day's 45th anniversary is almost here.
Wednesday, April 22 is the day when people around the world come together to talk about Mother Earth.
This year, the Earth Day Network is urging global leaders, businesses and citizens to commit to do their part to bring more awareness of the link between economic growth and sustainability. They are calling out to the leaders of the world to support massive climate change policies and make larger investments in renewable, less impactful energy... Read More
On April 4th, 56 years ago this year, in 1959, Senegal and French Sudan merged to form the Mali Federation. This Saturday, Senegalese pepole all over the world will celebrate Senegal Independence Day. And even though actual independence for Senegal was on June 20, 1960, the holiday is celebrated on the anniversary of the founding of the Mali Federation.
The country of Senegal is located in Western Africa, and has some of the most beautifui landscapes and interesting wildlife West Africa has to offer.The Senegalese people are known for their friendliness and hospitality. Approximately 75 percent of Senegalese live in its capital, Dakar, the African continent’s westernmost city and most speak French.
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The United States, it is said, is a nation founded and built by immigrants. As U.S. population trends show, the Washington, D.C. area remains a preferred destination for immigrants. And in the capital area, perhaps no other group has grown as quickly as African-born immigrants. Some VIP Communications customers (including immigrants from Ghana and elsewhere) are already aware of this trend, yet the news still surprises many people, including recent and long-time African immigrants to the United States.
According to a story in the Washington Post by Pamela Constable, the African-born population has doubled every decade in the greater Washington metro area for the past 40 years. Those numbers parallel the overall U.S. growth of African immigrants; in 1970, there were roughly 80,000 African-born immigrants in the U.S. Today,... Read More
Over the past ten years, texting has become a huge part of our daily lives. But, as it turns out, making an actual phone call is still the most popular way to communicate, and there are lots of reasons why.
A recent survey revealed that the majority of adults–56 percent–would rather make a call than text, and texting is at a distant 25 percent for the preferred type of communication. People prefer phone calls even more–76 percent–when it comes to sharing a special moment or news with family and friends. Even Millennials–notoriously incessant texters–admitted to preferring calling when it came to important news. So, you’re probably wondering just why calling trumps texting. Well, here are a few compelling reasons:
- Less Time Consuming... Read More
Making long distance phone calls to loved ones is just one of many popular Valentine’s Day activities. Much more than a day to express love, Valentine’s Day includes its own rituals, rites of passage and regional ceremonies.
Valentine’s Day, perhaps more than any other holiday, has gone global. Halfway across the world or even right across your nearest national border, there’s a good chance how you celebrate Valentine’s Day differs from pretty much everybody else. Let’s take a trip around the globe – the Far East, Africa, Europe and South America – for some unique, unexpected and interesting Valentine’s Day traditions.
Known for fascinating flora, Taiwan brings Valentine’s Day and flowers together in romantic fashion. In fact, the country loves Valentine’s Day so much, they celebrate it twice (February 14th and July 7th). Men... Read More
As anyone with family or friends overseas knows, making international phone calls can be quite an adventure. And even if you don’t make frequent out-of-country phone calls, the process itself is somewhat daunting. Who has the best rates? What kind of sound quality will I get? What happens if my conversation lasts a long time – will I be charged an arm and a leg? These are just some of the issues that an international call presents.
We thought it would be beneficial to compile a “cheat sheet” for international calling. With VIP Communications, many of those unknown variables and questions are eliminated right off the bat. Our superior service and ultra-affordable rates make it easy for anyone to call anywhere, at any time.
Get a mobile app. These days, everyone has a cell phone. With... Read More
At VIP Communications, we know a thing or two about affordable international calling. It’s hard to believe, but at one time, “long distance” meant only a few hundred miles and within the same country.
Clearly, long distance calling has advanced considerably from the beginning to the present day, where you can enjoy cheap and dependable international long distance calls.
Here’s a brief history of long distance calling, with key dates & events.
1892 – AT&T creates the first interconnected long-distance telephone network, which stretched from New York City all the way to…Chicago? Yes, Chicago Well, it was the days of horses & buggies, so that was pretty impressive!
1911 – Loading coils... Read More
Those fortunate enough to be in Lalibela this coming January will enjoy a timeless Christmas celebration with at least 50,000 other pilgrims. Carved out of the red volcanic stone common in the area, the 11 monolithic churches of Lalibela are a symbol of Ethiopian resilience and ingenuity. Similarly, modern participants of Ethiopian Christmas often have to exercise more than a bit of ingenuity and resilience when in search of Ethiopian Christmas festivities outside of the country. If you've never heard of Ethiopian Christmas until reading this article, be sure to check out some pages with great info... Read More