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CHINA, AFRICA EXPLORE NEW OPPORTUNITIES TO COOPERATE ON HEALTH CHALLENGES, STRENGTHEN INNOVATIONS

Posted on 13 May 2013 by Amat JENG

Chinese and African leaders will come together at the 4th International Roundtable on China-Africa Health Cooperation to explore new partnerships to address some of the most pressing health challenges facing Africa and strengthen an innovative health partnership based on south-south cooperation. This year’s roundtable is the first to take place on the African continent. It will focus on promoting sustainable health solutions that meet the needs and priorities of African countries and draw on China’s unique expertise.

Officials will engage in two days of sessions aimed at determining how China and African countries can jointly tackle critical issues such as AIDS, malaria, schistosomiasis, reproductive health, access to lifesaving vaccines and non-communicable diseases. These health issues disproportionately affect African countries and have also been major health challenges for China. At the roundtable, China’s Director General of the National Health and Family Planning Commission will join Health Ministers from Botswana and Ghana; leaders from the African Union; representatives from the United Nations and non-governmental organizations; and entrepreneurs and business owners from China and Africa.

“Indeed, China and Africa have a long history of collaborating on health, built on shared challenges, experiences and addressing similar issues,” said Hon. Rev. Dr. John G. N. Seakgosing, Botswana’s Minister of Health. “China has a unique role in supporting African health progress. And with this roundtable, we look forward to deepening our partnership to benefit the health of our citizens.”

This roundtable comes as China and Africa mark the 50th anniversary of providing medical teams to Africa, with China also supporting African health personnel, infrastructure, malaria control and other programs such as scholarships for training health experts. At this year’s roundtable, officials will discuss how to shape health cooperation between China and Africa and help achieve long-term, sustainable gains, such as strengthening health systems and addressing the shortage of healthcare workers.

“Africa’s future is closely linked with our own and improving health is a critical building block towards a common prosperity,” said Dr. Ren Minghui, Director General of the Department of International Cooperation at China’s National Health and Family Planning Commission. “African countries have made tremendous gains to improve the health of their citizens. With China and Africa working hand-in-hand on health, we can have even greater impact.”

A major theme of the roundtable is how African and Chinese officials can create win-win scenarios that will benefit all partners. Much of China’s health assistance invests in expanding African capacity, which can help strengthen the continent’s self-sufficiency and economic development. China has a unique role in supporting Africa’s health progress, drawing from its investments in health research and development and its experience improving the health of its own citizens, such as its current health reform effort, which is the largest expansion of healthcare coverage in history.

When other countries send weapons to Africa, China sends water. China is gaining reputation for helping African countries develop

Roundtable participants will discuss how African countries can best work with Chinese scientists and pharmaceutical manufacturers to increase access to high-quality, low-cost health technologies, while ensuring products are safe and meet international quality standards. Participants will also explore how China can help support Africa’s local production of health products. At the same time, African leaders will share expertise on areas where China can learn from Africa, such as around AIDS prevention and treatment, to help improve China’s efforts at home. Africa has been very successful in scaling up HIV treatment as well as prevention of mother-to-child transmission programs.

“South-South cooperation facilitates optimization of resources, both human and material. This creates opportunities to share knowledge and experience, which contributes to sustainable health solutions,” said H.E. Dr. Mustapha Sidiki Kaloko, Commissioner of Social Affairs of the African Union. “China-Africa health partnership is based on a sense of shared responsibility and global solidarity in responding to health challenges.”

The roundtable comes as China and other emerging economies are bringing new resources and approaches to improve the health of people around the world. “The global health landscape is changing, with more partners than ever joining these efforts,” said Dr. Luiz Loures, Deputy Executive Director of Programme of UNAIDS. “The AIDS response and other experiences paved the way for transformative progress on health and can help China and Africa engage on a whole new level and innovate on a broad range of health issues.”

The roundtable sessions will be guided by discussion papers that draw on extensive research and discussion developed by the China-Africa Health Cooperation Taskforce, comprised of members of the Chinese government and leading technical institutions, with the support of international partners including the World Health Organization, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), UNAIDS, PATH, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Global Health Strategies Initiatives (GHSi) and other organizations.

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The papers propose pilot projects for China-Africa collaboration in areas such as strengthening laboratory systems; establishing national control systems for malaria and schistosomiasis; transferring ARV drug manufacturing technology and technical support for local production; training African health personnel; and sharing China’s expertise in cold chain management and surveillance systems to boost immunization coverage. Sessions will also address ways to ensure transparency in these efforts and to guarantee high quality products.

“China has tremendous potential to support Africa’s long-term development by leveraging innovation. The roundtable is an opportunity to define a path for China and Africa to make a positive impact together on health,” said Dr. Ray Yip, Director of the China Program of the Gates Foundation.
One aim of the roundtable is to develop joint recommendations that could lay the groundwork for a long-term strategic plan for China-Africa health cooperation, which could be considered at the Ministerial Forum of China-Africa Health Development, part of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), which will take place in August in Beijing.

This year’s roundtable is hosted by the Botswana Ministry of Health, the China Chamber of Commerce of the Ministry of Commerce and the Institute for Global Health of Peking University. The roundtable series, organized by the Institute for Global Health and the China Institute of International Studies, began in 2009 as part of a China-led initiative to evaluate and improve its foreign assistance.

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Branding Africa and debunking the myths about its potential

Posted on 13 May 2013 by Africa Business

CAPE-TOWN, South-Africa, May 13, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ Africa cannot continue to be marketed as a country, when it is a continent of 54 countries, which, by 2040 will have the largest workforce in the world. The statement was made by the Economic Commission for Africa’s Executive Secretary, Mr. Carlos Lopes at the World Economic Forum on Africa this week during a session aptly titled:Myth Busting; investing in Africa.

Mr. Lopes underscored that by 2040, Africa will be more urbanized‚ connected and educated. “It will be a very different picture from what is now,” he said.

Discussions underscored that perceptions on risks and uncertainties with respect to investing in Africa have been made to look like reality. “While some issues may be real, there are many advancements that bust perceptions of corruption, lack of growth and lack of capacity, among others.

The session underscored that Africa has a growing middle class. With increased incomes, the emerging picture shows a continent where two-thirds of its growth comes from consumption; as a result, Lagos has a much bigger purchasing power than Mumbai.

“Africa has twice as much per capita than India, more cell phones than India, less poor people than India, and we can go on and on! The mega trends are in favor of Africa,” stressed Lopes

But for the Continent to reap the demographic dividends, it must address the question of infrastructure, which is necessary for industrialization and for bringing the Continent’s rural areas to the global market. In this regard, a significant amount of money is needed to realize the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA) and since markets do not invest in these kinds of projects, the session underscored the need for alternative sources of funding.

“The good news is that money exists in Africa – but a shift in mindset is needed to tap into the half a trillion dollars sitting in African Central Banks as reserves,” stressed the panelists. PIDA projects, participants noted, could be broken into ‘short-range projects’, all aimed at a long-term goal.

The session also addressed the perception that Africa is lacking in skilled personnel and underscored that Africa has been on the cutting edge of innovations. However, branding and marketing of these innovations fails beyond the borders.

“Many African economies are run by informal sector, where banks do not come to the party and so the entrepreneurs in these informal sectors do not grow,” said a participant, stressing that the myth that must be busted is that these informal entrepreneurs cannot grow into big business with appropriate financing. The session acknowledged, however, that the lack of depth in the capital markets is real and it limits the possibilities for innovations to grow.

On the question of “corrupt African leaders”, the session acknowledged that the weakness lies in the capacity to investigate and get convictions, as well as lack of consistency and leadership.

Participants highlighted that the lack of a strategic vision makes corruption lead the narrative and countries like Malaysia, Indonesia are able to project their narratives on their strategic visions and less on corruption.

The need for consistency in regulatory frameworks and policy was stressed, “as it reduces the meddling of government in areas where the private sector is meant to play.”

In addition, it was felt that consistency across administrations is also important to ensure that investors play fairly. “Investors do not always like regulations,” said a participant, highlighting that the commodity boom super cycle led to an increase in profits by mining companies “by at least 200 per cent, yet tax revenues in the affected countries increasing by only 30 per cent.”

Further, the perception that ’54 countries constitute one country where there are no positive stories to be told’ could be attributed to failure by the media and the lack of attention to marketing by African governments.

A key issue that emerged is the persistence of information gaps, created by lack of country assessments. In addition, participants wondered whether those doing business in Africa might be contributing to the myths. Doing so, they said, creates entry barriers for potential competitors, and keeps resident players laughing all the way to the bank with premium returns.

“It is important to be here in Africa to understand the context; one has to understand where to invest and why one is investing,” stressed an investor.

 

SOURCE

Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA)

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Donner un label à l’Afrique et briser les mythes à propos de son potentiel

Posted on 13 May 2013 by Africa Business

LE CAP, Afrique du Sud, 13 mai 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ L’Afrique ne peut continuer d’être commercialisée en tant que pays, alors que c’est un continent de 54 pays qui, en 2040, aura le plus gros effectif de travailleurs dans le monde. Cette déclaration a été faite cette semaine par le Secrétaire exécutifde la Commission économique pour l’Afrique, M. Carlos Lopes,à l’occasion du Forum économique mondial sur l’Afrique lors d’une séance judicieusement intitulée: « Á bas les mythes, investissons en Afrique ».

 

M. Lopes a souligné que d’ici à 2040, l’Afrique sera plus urbanisée, davantage connectée et plus éduquée. «L’image de l’Afrique seratrès différente de celle que nous avons maintenant”, a-t-il dit.

Les débats ont fait ressortir que les perceptions à propos des risques et des incertitudes concernant les investissements en Afrique ont été fabriquées pour sembler vrais. « Bien que certaines questions peuvent être réelles, il ya de nombreuses avancées qui font voler en éclats les impressions de corruption, de manque de croissance et d’insuffisances de capacités, entre autres ».

Les participants à la session ont souligné quela classe moyenne africaineest en pleine expansion. Avec l’augmentation des revenus, la nouvelle image montre un continent où les deux tiers de sa croissance proviennent de la consommation et, de ce fait,le pouvoir d’achat à Lagos est beaucoup plus élevé qu’à Mumbai.

«L’Afrique compte deux fois plus d’habitants que l’Inde, davantage de téléphones cellulaires que l’Inde, moins de gens pauvres que l’Inde, et la liste n’est pas exhaustive! Les grandes tendances sont en faveur de l’Afrique », a souligné M. Lopes.

Mais pour que le continent puisse récolter les dividendes de sa démographie, illui faut aborder la question des infrastructures, nécessaires pour l’industrialisation et pour donner aux zones rurales du continent un accès au marché mondial. À cet égard, il faut beaucoup d’argent pour mettre œuvre le Programme de développement des infrastructures en Afrique (PIDA) et comme les marchés n’investissent pas dans ce genre de projets,il fallait trouver d’autres sources de financement, ont ajouté les participants.

« La bonne nouvelle est qu’il y a de l’argenten Afrique, mais les mentalités doivent changer pour pouvoir puiser dans le demi-milliard de dollars qui constitue les réserves dormantes des banques centrales africaines », ont souligné les participants. Le projet PIDA, ont-ils noté, pourrait être scindé en «projets à court terme»,visant tous un objectif à long terme.

Les participants ont également parlé de la perception selon laquelle l’Afrique manque de personnel qualifié etsouligné que l’Afrique était à la pointe des innovations. Toutefois, la notoriété et la commercialisation de ces innovations ne dépassent pas ses frontières.

« Nombre d’économies africaines sont aux mains du secteur informel dans lequel les banques ne sont pas ‘invitées’ et, de ce fait, les entreprises de ces secteurs informels ne s’épanouissent pas», a déclaré un participant, en soulignant qu’il faut faire éclater le mythe car ces entreprisesdu secteur informel ne peuvent pas devenir de grandes entreprises sans un financement approprié. Les participants ont toutefois reconnu que le manque de profondeur des marchés financiers est réel et limite les possibilités de créations d’innovations ».

Á propos de la question de la «corruption des dirigeants africains», les participants ont reconnu que la faiblesse réside dans la capacité d’enquêter et d’obtenir des condamnations, ainsi que dans le manque de cohérence et de leadership.

Les participants ont souligné que l’absence de vision stratégique conduit à la prédominance de la corruption alors que des pays comme la Malaisie ou l’Indonésie sont capables de se concentrer davantage sur leurs perspectives stratégiques et moins sur la corruption.

La cohérence nécessaire dans les cadres réglementaires et les politiques a été soulignée, «car elle réduit l’intervention du gouvernement dans des domaines où le secteur privé est supposé jouer un rôle ».

En outre, les participants ontestimé que l’harmonisation entre les administrations est également importante pour que les investisseurs agissent de façon équitable. « Les investisseurs ne sont pas friands de réglementation», a déclaré un participant, en soulignant que la période de montée en flèche des cours des produits de base a conduit à une augmentation des bénéfices pour les sociétés minières d’au moins 200 pour cent, mais que les recettes fiscales pour les pays concernés n’ont augmenté que de 30 pour cent ».

En outre, la perception selon laquelle54 pays constituent un pays où il n’y a pas d’histoires positives à raconter,pourrait être attribuée aux défaillances des médias et au manque d’attention que les gouvernements africainsaccordent à la commercialisation.

La persistance de lacunes dans l’information, due à l’absence d’évaluations dans les pays, s’est avérée une nouvelle question d’importance. En outre, les participants se sont posé la question de savoir si les entrepreneurs qui évoluent dans le milieu des affaires en Afrique pourraient contribuer à la fabrication deces mythes. Agir ainsi, ont-ils dit, crée des obstacles à la venue de concurrents potentiels et ceux qui sont en placese jouent des banques, forts de leurs rendements mirobolants.

«Il est important d’être ici en Afrique pour comprendre le contexte ; il faut savoir où investir et pourquoi investir », a dit un investisseur.

 

SOURCE

Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA)

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“Creating business and market opportunities for Africa’s poor is key to advancing sustainable development in the region.” UNDP Report

Posted on 10 May 2013 by Africa Business

CAPE-TOWN, South-Africa, May 10, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ Involving low-income communities in markets and businesses across Africa is essential for economic growth to translate into sustainable development, according to a United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) report released today.

 

“Realizing Africa’s Wealth – Building Inclusive Businesses for Shared Prosperity” draws upon 43 in-depth case studies and a database of 600 institutions to portray the state of inclusive business in Africa, looking at a wide spectrum of sectors from banking to agribusiness.

 

Prepared by UNDP’s African Facility for Inclusive Markets, the report examines the approaches and conditions required to bring economic growth closer to low-income communities in Africa, focusing on how businesses can more readily include them as consumers, entrepreneurs and employees. It describes the status of inclusive business in sub-Saharan Africa and the environment needed to support the enterprises and entrepreneurs. It identifies promising opportunities in enabling enterprises and entrepreneurs to build more – and stronger – inclusive businesses. The report calls for more efforts to support inclusive businesses with incentives and investment schemes as well as knowledge sharing about market information and implementation.

 

By working together to increase information, incentives, implementation support and investments required to make businesses more inclusive, the report makes the case that policy-makers, business owners and development practitioners in Africa will be in a position to make dramatic advances across the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

 

“Africa has seen some strong economic growth over the past decade. Nonetheless, rapid economic progress has not brought prosperity to all, and inclusive business represents a promising approach by bringing the benefits of economic growth directly to the poor by including them in value chains,” the Deputy Director of UNDP’s Regional Bureau for Africa, Babacar Cissé, said. “We need young entrepreneurs and innovators as drivers of inclusive businesses. We need organizations that are willing to take the roles of catalysts, supporters and funders of inclusive businesses.”

 

Making sure all African citizens can become entrepreneurs, consumers, employees or producers, requires business environments that provide opportunities for all. Market information, policies and legal frameworks that reduce transaction costs, financing and logistical assistance are key to ensuring businesses that are inclusive of the poor can succeed. Facilitating business and market creation not only generates income, but also basic goods, services and choices, with important implications for each of the MDGs, the eight internationally-agreed targets which aim to reduce poverty by 2015.

 

The report illustrates the impact that businesses and markets have had on the lives of the poor. In Burkina Faso, the French organic cosmetics company L’Occitane invested in the capacities of local women’s cooperatives, helping 15,000 employees to produce and export quality shea butter, and generate US$1.2 million in profits.

 

In Tanzania, a factory operated by local company A to Z, together with Japanese chemical company Sumitomo, produced 30 million long-lasting, insecticide-treated mosquito nets, and employed 7,500 people.

 

In Kenya, Equity Bank and K-Rep Bank funded the country’s national agricultural commodities exchange, which has successfully helped increase the income of thousands of small-scale farmers.

 

“Businesses are key to achieving these advances, but we certainly need more capacity-building entities, such as civil society organizations, governments, developing partners and research institutions, with demonstrated abilities to assist businesses in building inclusive models,” the Chief Executive Officer of Equity Bank in Kenya, James Mwangi, said.

 

The report calls for the development of new inclusive business ecosystem-building initiatives, at national and regional levels, with the support of finance mechanisms to provide resources for coordination, information and funding. It also calls for the creation of centres of excellence to undertake research, document successful approached and share knowledge.

 

The report was launched today by the President of the African Development Bank, Donald Kaberuka, and the Manager of the UNDP Regional Service Centre in Johannesburg, Gerd Trogemann, at a side event of the World Economic Forum for Africa.

 

SOURCE

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

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Business Opportunities and Franchise Expo Offers Celebrates its 20th Anniversary

Posted on 09 May 2013 by Africa Business

This year marks the 20th anniversary of one of South Africa’s most successful exhibitions for a niche, high value audience of aspiring and established entrepreneurs. The 20th annual Business Opportunities and Franchise Expo will take place from 12-15 September 2013 at the Coca-Cola dome in Northriding, Johannesburg.

According to Lynn Chamier, general manager of the Business Opportunities and Franchise Expo, “The expo’s success in the past two decades rests solely on its ability to marry entrepreneurs and investors with the best business opportunities available to them in the market at a given time”.

A proven formula and on-target efforts to keep its content and format current and relevant has resulted in a loyal core of exhibitors, who return each year to replicate the success of their previous experience exhibiting at this powerful expo. This pool of established exhibitors is refreshed annually with scores of new exhibitors with fresh ideas and business opportunities to share.

Included among these exhibitors are franchisors, established business opportunities across a range of industry sectors, companies offering business support services to entrepreneurs and established BEE businesses who come to showcase their products and services to corporate procurement officers with BEE targets to meet.

Chamier adds, “Today’s expo visitors typically have one of three agendas. Some come to find a business or franchise opportunity to invest in; others to seek BEE partners to meet their corporate BEE procurement quotas; and still others to find business support services, expertise and products”.

“All are goal-oriented, motivated and determined to find what they’re looking for at the show. They also value the ability to approach exhibitors directly and engage in one-on-one meetings with them to explore the opportunity being presented in greater depth and to forge relationships.”

Visitors can also look forward to participating in the expo’s programme of workshops, cut to the chase on topics of relevance, concern and importance to entrepreneurs.

Unmatched Marketing Opportunity

The Business Opportunities and Franchise Expo is currently accepting exhibitor bookings for the Johannesburg expo.

The expo offer exhibitors the chance to get straight to the core of their target audience; gaining unrivalled access and brand exposure to a high value audience of thousands of aspiring and established entrepreneurs and corporate procurement officers.

For further information for Johannesburg bookings, call Claire Taylor at Tel: (011) 549 8300 or email claire@tepg.co.za; www.tepg.co.za Join the Business Opportunities & Franchise Expo on Facebook and follow on Twitter @BOFExpo

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Year of the Artisan: Artisans needed to help grow the economy

Posted on 30 April 2013 by Africa Business

African Education Week to gather experts in Johannesburg in June

South Africa has a shortfall of about 40 000 skilled artisans and industries often have to import migrant workers at exorbitant costs.

In a recent speech, the South African Minister of Higher Education, Mr Blade Nzimande, quoted this figure when he opened a technical training academy in Cape Town.  Those involved in training artisans therefore rejoiced when Nzimande in March declared 2013 the Year of the Artisan.

“The Year of the Artisan is good news for the industry because we need to seriously focus on training people for the trades,” says Mr Sam Zungu, principal of the Umfolozi College, an institution for further education and training (FET) with five campuses in KwaZulu-Natal.

“Young people need to be made aware of the great need for skilled people. This country needs artisans across the board in fields such as electricity, plumbing, fitting and turning and mechanisation. The biggest need is in the energy sector where we need skilled people to maintain and build infrastructure.”

He continues:  “Eskom is battling and new power plants are being erected.  But we do not have a big enough pool of skilled people to draw from locally for these projects. We are moving towards the same situation as before 2010 when the country had to import artisans to work on the stadiums and infrastructure needed for the Soccer World Cup.”

The Year of the Artisan dovetails neatly with the South African government’s National Development Plan (NDP). This plan focuses on reducing poverty and inequality by 2013 and crucial to attaining to these goals is the stated aim of training at least 30 000 qualified artisans annually.

African Education Week
Sam Zungu is chairing a panel discussion on the future of FET Colleges during the upcoming African Education Week at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg from 19-22 June.

He explains that while artisans can earn quite high salaries, there is still a stigma attached to the trades which also impacts negatively on how the Further Education and Training (FET) colleges are viewed.

“We need to change perceptions and we need to create an awareness of the opportunities for artisans.  There are many opportunities for skilled people to become entrepreneurs thus creating work opportunities for others.”

South Africa needs specialist artisans
Another speaker at African Education Week, Wilson Nzimande, head of Imithente, an education and business consultancy, cautions that South Africa needs specialist artisans – amongst others in the maritime fields. Over 90% of South African trade takes place via the oceans.

“Many people want to train as, for example, general electricians or mechanics. But we need specialists – we need divers who can do specialist welding and painting underwater and we need ship building specialists.  In many fields South Africa relies on foreigners and this is not an acceptable strategy.  We need to develop artisans because they are incredibly important in helping to grow developing countries economically.”

He emphasises that strategic partnerships need to be formed between training institutions, government and the private sector.

“In this Year of the Artisan we need more than just words and rallies. We need a particular programme of action. This means that government should do more to structure incentive mechanisms to the benefit of all parties.”

Too much emphasis on university degree
Horst Weinert, managing director of Festo Didactics, says there is concern that the average age of South African artisans is 50.

“These people will soon be retiring and there will be few to take their place if we do not train enough people to fill their shoes.”

University educated Weinert believes there is too much emphasis on a university degree:  “there are about 800 000 university students and 600 000 students at universities of technology and only between 100 000 and 200 000 at FET colleges. This pyramid is the wrong way around. We need more enrolments at FET colleges.”

According to Weinert, artisans can demand monthly salaries of up to R50 000 and more.

“Highly skilled artisans are in short supply and those who can deliver the goods can basically determine their own salaries.”

His advice to people who are set on obtaining a university degree in fields such as engineering is to enrol at an FET college for at least one year.

“This practical training obtained at a FET college will enable the student to fly through university.”

Although the trades are dominated by men, Weinert says there are many opportunities for women in field such as fitting and turning, instrumentation mechanisation and mechatronics – a multidisciplinary field of engineering which combines mechanical, control, electrical and computer engineering.

“I am a huge supporter of competitions like WorldSkills International (previously known as the Skills Olympics). There top artisans from different countries compete against each other. These competitions set benchmarks. The winners are highly regarded and others look up to them as leaders and innovators in their field.  This can act as inspiration for young people to train as artisans. When magic is created productivity is boosted and this in turn boosts the economy,” says Weinert.

Highlights from African Education Week
The African Education Week Convention and Learning Expo is the meeting and trading platform for everyone who is passionate about improving the standard of education in Africa.  Now in its 7th year, it remains the continent’s leading educational resources and training event, attracting more education professionals than any other event.  The co-located Career Indaba attracted m
ore than 4000 learners last year.  The expo aims to bridge the gap for students between studying and entering the world of work.

Highlights of the African Education Week programme on Further and Higher Education:

· Panel discussion:  The turnaround strategy for FET Colleges:  Creating institutions of choice

o Chairperson and panelist:  Sam Zungu, CEO, Umfolozi College, South Africa

o Panelist:  Dan Nkosi, CEO, South West College, South Africa

o Panelist:  Wilson Nzimande, CEO, Imethente, South Africa

· Panel discussion:  Strategies to equip learners with the skills to build their own future in tomorrow’s world

o Chairperson:  Amanda van der Vyver, Centre for Prospective Students, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa

o Do we equip learners for the workplace? The solution to take education to the next level
Elaine van Rensburg, MD, Compass Academy of Learning, South Africa

o Developing an extended curicula for NCV L2
Gert Hanekom, Manager, Centre for Teaching and Learning, University of the Free State, South Africa

o Aligning courses with the needs of the workplace
Mziwakhe Ramos Sibuqashe, Centre for Curriculum Development, Central University of Technology, Free State, South Africa

o Entrepreneurship Education in Secondary Schools in Mauritius
Dr Sheik Abbass, Lecturer, Business Education Department, Mauritius Institute of Education, Mauritius

Event dates:
Wednesday, 19 June 2013: Pre-conference workshops
Thursday, 20 June 2013:  Opening keynote session, Learning Expo opens
Friday, 21 June 2013: Conference sessions, Learning Expo open
Saturday, 22 June 2013: Learning Expo open, Post conference workshops

Location: Sandton Convention Centre, South Africa
Websites: www.educationweek.co.za ; www.careerindaba.co.za

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Le Prix de l’innovation pour l’Afrique annonce les finalistes de l’édition 2013

Posted on 25 April 2013 by Africa Business

 

Des spécialistes de toute l’Afrique développent des solutions orientées vers le marché pour répondre aux enjeux liés à l’assainissement, au paludisme, à l’énergie, et bien d’autres, tout en stimulant la croissance économique sur le continent

À propos du PIA

Le Prix de l’innovation pour l’Afrique (PIA) est une récompense créée par la Fondation africaine pour l’innovation (http://www.africaninnovation.org) et la Commission économique des Nations unies pour l’Afrique (http://www.uneca.org). Il mobilise des innovateurs et des entrepreneurs africains en offrant un total de 150 000 USD aux lauréats qui fournissent des solutions axées sur le marché pour un développement mené par l’Afrique. Le PIA honore et encourage des réalisations innovantes qui contribuent au développement de nouveaux produits, améliorant l’efficacité et générant des économies pour l’Afrique. Le prix encourage également les investisseurs de fonds privés, les dirigeants des gouvernements et les leaders du développement à investir dans tous les secteurs et à créer un climat qui favorise la croissance économique de l’Afrique. Pour tout complément d’information, veuillez consulter le site Internet http://www.InnovationPrizeforAfrica.org. Pour de plus amples informations à l’intention des médias, rendez-vous à l’adresse Internet http://www.AfricanInnovationNews.org.

 

LE CAP, Afrique du Sud, 25 avril 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ Dix innovateurs africains ont développé des solutions pratiques pour résoudre certains des problèmes les plus insolubles du continent. Sélectionnés parmi plus de 900 candidatures venues de 45 pays, les finalistes du Prix de l’innovation pour l’Afrique (PIA) 2013 (http://www.innovationprizeforafrica.org) représentent des exemples pratiques du potentiel d’investissement de l’Afrique.

Les lauréats du PIA 2013 seront annoncés lors d’un dîner de gala qui se tiendra le 7 mai au Cap, en Afrique du Sud, organisé par la Graduate School of Business de l’Université du Cap et par la Sekunjalo Development Foundation. Le gagnant recevra 100 000 USD pour la meilleure innovation du point de vue de la qualité marchande, de l’originalité, de l’évolutivité, de l’impact social et du potentiel commercial visible. Un second prix de 25 000 USD sera décerné à l’innovation présentant le plus grand potentiel commercial, et un autre finaliste recevra 25 000 USD au titre du prix spécial pour l’innovation sociale.

« Alors que les leaders mondiaux se réunissent à l’occasion du Forum économique mondial sur l’Afrique pour discuter des approches pour respecter les promesses faites à l’Afrique, ces innovateurs montrent que la meilleure manière de renforcer les capacités du continent est d’investir dans l’innovation et l’entrepreneuriat locaux », a déclaré Jean-Claude Bastos de Morais, cofondateur de la Fondation africaine pour l’innovation et du PIA.

De la Tunisie à l’Afrique du Sud, les finalistes du PIA 2013 sont des leaders dans les domaines de l’agriculture, de l’environnement, de la santé, des TIC et de la production. Ils comprennent :

•    Le convertisseur éolien sans pales (Tunisie) – Les innovateurs Hassine Labaied et Anis Aouini de Saphon Energy, une start-up tunisienne de R&D, ont développé une éolienne sans pales qui ne tourne pas – elle utilise une technologie inspirée des voiliers pour créer une énergie rentable par le biais d’un mouvement de va-et-vient en 3D.

•    SavvyLoo (Afrique du Sud) – L’innovateur Dr. Dudley Jackson a développé des toilettes sèches pour les zones rurales et les campements provisoires qui séparent les liquides et les solides pour améliorer l’impact environnemental, réduire les risques de maladie, limiter les odeurs et assurer une meilleure élimination.

•    Le filtre à eau TBag (Afrique du Sud) – L’innovateur Prof. Eugene Cloete a créé un filtre à eau qui utilise un matériel en forme de sachet de thé électrofilé pour assurer que même l’eau la plus polluée soit totalement potable.

•    Le kit de diagnostic pour le paludisme pf/PAN (pLDH) (Afrique du Sud) – L’innovatrice Ashley Uys a créé un nouveau test pour le paludisme qui indique en 30 minutes si un traitement est efficace. Ce kit de diagnostic est un des neuf à avoir été développé dans le monde entier et est le seul test de ce type à être entièrement détenu par une société africaine.

•    La décortiqueuse de fonio (Sénégal) – L’innovateur Sanoussi Diakite a développé une machine électrique et thermique qui décortique 5 kilogrammes de fonio – une céréale d’Afrique occidentale – en seulement 8 minutes.

•    Le système de construction Novatech (Cameroun) – L’innovateur Njokikang Faustinus a créé un processus de construction efficace. Son produit vedette est une presse à briques manuelle qui fabrique en toute facilité 3 000 briques emboîtables par jour.

•    Mobenzi (Afrique du Sud) – L’innovateur Andi Friedman et son équipe ont développé un logiciel qui fournit une solution mobile de collecte de données et d’études de terrain, permettant de déployer des moyens de recherche sophistiqués dans toute l’Afrique par le biais d’Internet ou de téléphones mobiles.

•    La production d’énergie solaire à partir du mimosa (Nigeria) – L’innovateur Justus Nwaoga a développé une nouvelle manière de recueillir l’énergie solaire renouvelable en utilisant la racine de mimosa pudica, une plante médicinale africaine.

•    La ferme modèle d’agroforesterie (Soudan) – L’innovateur Muna Majoud Mahoamed Ahmed a créé une ferme modèle d’agroforesterie à Khartoum qui génère des sources de revenu innovantes à partir des feuilles et des graines de moringa et des graines de jatropha.

•    AgriProtein (Afrique du Sud) – Une équipe de chercheurs innovante d’AgriProtien Technologies a développé une nouvelle source de protéines destinées à l’alimentation animale qui réduit le coût de l’alimentation pour les fermiers et les producteurs africains.

« Nous observons une forte tendance aux innovations qui ont un impact social important en Afrique », a affirmé le Dr François Bonnici, directeur du Centre Bertha pour l’innovation sociale à la Graduate School of Business de l’Université du Cap.

Le prix encourage les Africains à développer des solutions créatives pour relever les défis du quotidien.

Le comité de sélection du PIA est composé d’investisseurs de fonds privés, de bailleurs de fonds, d’investisseurs en capital-risque, d’entrepreneurs et de leaders du développement en quête de nouvelles idées qui font avancer l’Afrique.

L’appel à candidatures pour le PIA 2014 sera annoncé en juillet 2013. Pour de plus amples renseignements sur les catégories du concours, les modalités de participation et les détails de candidature, rendez-vous à l’adresse Internet : InnovationPrizeForAfrica.org (http://www.innovationprizeforafrica.org). Pour des faits marquants et de plus amples renseignements, suivez le PIA sur Twitter (https://twitter.com/#!/IPAprize) et Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/InnovationPrizeforAfrica).

 

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Prix de l’innovation pour l’Afrique (PIA)

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Innovation Prize for Africa Announces 2013 Finalists

Posted on 25 April 2013 by Africa Business

Experts from across Africa develop market-oriented solutions to address sanitation, malaria, energy and other challenges while driving economic growth on the continent

About IPA

The Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) is an award founded by the African Innovation Foundation (http://www.africaninnovation.org) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (http://www.uneca.org). It mobilizes African innovators and entrepreneurs by providing a total of USD 150 000 to winners who deliver market-oriented solutions for African-led development. The IPA honours and encourages innovative achievements that contribute toward developing new products, increasing efficiency or cost savings in Africa. The prize also encourages private equity investors, government and development leaders to invest across sectors and build a climate that fuels Africa’s economic growth. For more information visit http://www.InnovationPrizeforAfrica.org. For additional media background visit http://www.AfricanInnovationNews.org.

 

CAPE-TOWN, South-Africa, April 25, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ Ten African innovators have developed practical solutions to some of the continent’s most intractable problems. Chosen from more than 900 applications from 45 countries, the finalists for the Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) (http://www.innovationprizeforafrica.org) 2013 provide practical examples of Africa’s investment potential.

The winners of the IPA 2013 will be announced at a gala dinner on 7 May in Cape Town, South Africa hosted by the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business and the Sekunjalo Development Foundation. The winner will receive USD 100 000 for the best innovation based on marketability, originality, scalability, social impact and clear business potential. A runner up will receive USD 25 000 for the best commercial potential and another finalist will receive USD 25 000 as a special prize for social innovation.

“As global leaders gather for the World Economic Forum on Africa to discuss approaches to deliver on Africa’s promise, these innovators demonstrate that the best way to build Africa’s capacity is to invest in local innovation and entrepreneurship,” said Jean-Claude Bastos de Morais, a co-founder of the African Innovation Foundation and the IPA.

From Tunisa to South Africa, the IPA 2013 finalists are leaders in the areas of agriculture, environment, health, ICT and manufacturing. They include:

•    Zero-Blade Wind Convertor (Tunisia) – Innovators Hassine Labaied and Anis Aouini from Saphon Energy, a Tunisian R&D start up, developed a wind turbine with no blades that does not rotate – it uses sailboat technology to create cost-effective energy through a back-and-forth 3D motion.

•    SavvyLoo (South Africa) – Innovator Dr. Dudley Jackson developed a waterless toilet for rural areas and temporary settlements that separates liquids from solids to improve environmental impact, decrease the potential for disease, reduce odour and ensure easier removal.

•    The TBag Water Filter (South Africa) – Innovator Prof. Eugene Cloete created a water filter that uses electrospun tea bag material to ensure one litre of the most polluted water is 100 percent safe to drink.

•    The Malaria pf/PAN (pLDH) Test Kit (South Africa) –Innovator Ashley Uys created a new rapid malaria test that indicates within 30 minutes if treatment is effective. The test kit is one of only nine developed globally and is the only test of its kind fully-owned by an African company.

•    The Fonia Husker Machine (Senegal) – Innovator Sanoussi Diakite developed an electric and thermal powered machine that husks 5 kilograms of fonia – a West African cereal – in just 8 minutes.

•    Novatech Construction Systems (Cameroon) – Innovator Njokikang Faustinus created an efficient construction process. Its flagship product is a manual brick press that more easily produces 3,000 interlocking bricks per day.

•    Mobenzi (South Africa) – Innovator Andi Friedman and his team has developed a software that provides mobile data collection and field research solution, allowing sophisticated forms of research to be conducted across Africa online or via mobile phones.

•    Mimosa for Solar Powered Production (Nigeria) – Innovator Justus Nwaoga developed a new way to collect renewable solar energy by using the mimosa pudica weed, an organic African medicinal plant.

•    Agroforestry Model Farm (Sudan) – Innovator Muna Majoud Mahoamed Ahmed created an agro-foresty model farm in Khartoum that produces innovative sources of income from moringa leaves, seeds and jatrofa seeds.

•    AgriProtein (South Africa) – An innovative team of researchers from AgriProtien Technologies developed a new source of animal feed protein that lowers the cost of feed for African producers and farmers.

“We see a strong trend emerging of innovations that have significant social impact for Africa,” said Dr.Francois Bonnici, Director Bertha Centre for Social Innovation at the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business.

The prize encourages Africans to develop creative ways to overcome everyday challenges.

The IPA selection committee represents private equity investors, seed funders, venture capitalists, entrepreneurs and development leaders who are looking for ideas that move Africa forward.

The call for applications for IPA 2014 will be announced in July 2013. For detailed information of competition categories, conditions of entry, and submission details, please visit: InnovationPrizeForAfrica.org (http://www.innovationprizeforafrica.org). For highlights and more information, follow the IPA on Twitter (https://twitter.com/#!/IPAprize) and Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/InnovationPrizeforAfrica).

 

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Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA)

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Property players in for a great ride 2013

Posted on 30 March 2013 by Thandisizwe Mgudlwa

It looks as if 2013 is set to provide opportunities for commercial investors, that is if experts are to be believed.

According to many economists, the outlook for the local commercial property sector for 2013 seems to be dim. However, according to Gerrie van Biljon, Executive Director of Cape Town-based Business Partners
Limited, on the back of these dismal views, the current environment in fact provides a good opportunity to purchase commercial property, due to the market still offering reasonable returns.

Van Biljon says that some analysts are talking about rental renewal rate increases of very low percentages or even no escalations for commercial property. “Well-known property economist Erwin Rode predicts a real drop in office rentals of between 7% and 14% throughout South Africa. However, even with low escalations investing in commercial property should be considered. It is after all a long term investment”.

He adds that investing in commercial property as a long term strategic investment decision may offer the long term results other investment instruments do not. “Cash for example offers very low yields for investors.”

However, he stresses that several factors specific to a business owner’s situation should matter much more than the general condition of the market. “If a business is doing well in a prime retail location and the location is important for the future viability of the business, buying should be considered. The final decision should not be an emotional one and should be made with the facts in mind.
Additional cash flow pressure due to the deposit requirements and additional payments should also be considered.”

He remarks that a common mistake made by entrepreneurs is to compare the instalment that will be paid with the rental payments. “Property costs such as rates, maintenance and insurance should be considered. If a business owners purchases wisely and pays a 30% deposit, the cash flow will usually break even within the first two years.”

Van Biljon says that when it comes to commercial property, such as industrial parks and shopping centres, different rules apply. “When it comes to this type of property the focus is on the value and strength of the leases involved. These factors also form a direct correlation with the price the buyer is prepared to pay. For example, having a long term lease with a national company in place will push the value of the property up, whereas multi tenanted units in rural areas with a lesser profile and no anchor tenant  is a less attractive option for investors.”

He explains that the property market has changed significantly over the past five years. “The property boom came to a halt in 2008 and this affected the residential market mostly – property prices hardened and the call for new units reduced dramatically. The commercial market did not experience the same trend. The capitalisation rates, which is used in the market to determine the value, did not negatively change to the same extent as residential prices changed. This resulted in commercial properties holding their value better than most of the residential market segments.”

Van Biljon further comments that in the current situation there are still sound investments available within the market. “When purchasing commercial property much research into the area as well as the structure needs to be conducted by a business owner to ensure that they will reap the benefits of ownership.

“Whatever you buy, always do a careful due diligence,” concludes van Biljon.

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Regional Manager Gulf, Google: “Mobile search is becoming increasingly crucial”

Posted on 29 March 2013 by Africa Business

Mohamad Mourad, Regional Manager Gulf, Google is delivering a keynote of the opening day of the Broadband MEA conference, taking place on the 19th-20th March 2013 at the JW Marriott Marquis Hotel, Dubai, UAE. Ahead of the show we speak to him about his role and what opportunities he sees for Google in the region.

What excites you most in your role as Regional Manager Gulf, Google?

For me, Google is all about doing cool things that matter, about thinking big, then thinking bigger. We are lucky in the Gulf to get to work with some of the most powerful brands and teams. I am always inspired by the people I meet with – from entrepreneurs and developers to content creators and everyday users.

How important is online video for the Middle East region?

The Middle East region is a global leader on YouTube with 285 million views a day, putting the region in the second place globally behind the U.S. and ahead of Brazil. In addition to that, more than two hours of content are uploaded onto the platform every single minute.

Naturally, much of the content coming in from and being consumed by the Middle East is in Arabic, which is why providing locally relevant content was a priority. We developed local domains in eight countries: Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Saudi, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. By localising the YouTube experience, we made it easier for people to find popular videos in their country along with those that are rising in popularity which were locally relevant to their language and interests.

In the Middle East alone, YouTube playbacks grew by more than 28 per cent between October 2011 and October 2012; demonstrating the impact that video content has in the region and how important it is to make it accessible.

Saudi Arabia also leads the world in the number of daily video views conducted on mobile devices with mobile views making up 25 per cent of total YouTube views around the world. In fact, YouTube traffic through mobile devices has more than tripled since 2011.

The internet was lauded for the effect it had in supporting the Arab spring over the last two years. However, in the face of censorship from governments, can technology continue to have the same impact?

Free expression is a core Google value and critical to our mission to organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. At Google we have a bias in favour of people’s right to free expression in everything we do. We are driven by a belief that more information generally means more choice, more freedom and ultimately more power for the individual. But we also recognise that freedom of expression can’t be — and shouldn’t be — without some limits. The difficulty is in deciding where those boundaries are drawn. For a company like Google, with services in more than 100 countries – all with different national laws and cultural norms – it’s a challenge we face many times every day.

For all our various products, services and platforms, we work hard to create a community which everyone can enjoy and can enable people to express different opinions. This can be a challenge because what is OK in one country can be offensive elsewhere.

It is important to note that Google is not, and should not become, the arbiter of what does and does not appear on the web.

How important is the creation of local content for the Middle East region?

Local content creation is on the top of our priorities in the MENA region. Creating a web that is relevant to the average Arabic speaking internet user is vital, particularly when you consider that the total Arabic content on the web represents just three per cent of the total digital content online— while Arabic speakers make up more than five per cent of the global population. We have launched initiatives aimed at just that, with last year’s “Arabic Web Days” – a month long series of online and offline events dedicated to boosting the amount of Arabic content on the web, in collaboration with several international, regional and local partners.

With video being a huge star in MENA, eight different countries in the region have their own local YouTube domain where locally relevant content, including top videos and top channels for each country can be viewed.

Numerous businesses and other entities have channels that act as a tool for education and news. In the UAE, important figures such as Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashed Al Maktoum communicate via video about their initiatives. Competitions such as YouTube’s Your Film Festival enable talented directors from the region to submit their short films for voting and a chance to develop them into a feature-length movie. Media entities such as The Dubai Press Club upload videos of important discussions that highlight current issues in the media, which help garner awareness for local issues, and much more.

As the world goes mobile, what opportunities do the wide-scale global LTE rollouts offer for the Google?

2012 was a great year for mobile search. As consumers continued to turn to their mobile devices, we also saw marketers embrace mobile in a big way. Marketers have moved beyond asking why they should be on mobile, and are now talking about how they can maximize their mobile efforts. We fully expect that this will continue in 2013, and that mobile search will continue to play a key role in every advertiser’s marketing mix.

We live in a multi-screen world now where people are constantly connected, moving back and forth between different devices throughout the day. Search plays a key role in helping people pick up where they left off between devices, with 63 per cent searching again on the second device when they continue an online activity. As this cross-device behaviour continues to grow, there’s also an important opportunity for marketers to reach customers on search as a way of bridging experiences across devices, particularly on mobile.

Because the mobile device arena has evolved so much, even within the last year, we expect that in 2013 we’ll continue to see devices change and proliferate at breakneck speed. The lines between devices are quickly blurring, particularly between laptops and tablets with the introduction of hybrids like ultrabooks and convertible tablets. In the near future, we think we’ll see all devices have capabilities like touchscreens and GPS, with lines between device form factors continuing to blur. As that happens, mobile search will need to get smarter to better understand user context beyond devices – such as whether someone on the go is looking for a nearby restaurant for lunch – so that we can deliver the best, most relevant ads. We think the industry will make big strides in the next few years to better understand user context based on signals such as location and time of day so that we can help advertisers reach the right person with the right message.

What’s your prediction for the most exciting development of 2013?

Mobile, mobile, mobile! For those marketers who have yet to fully dive into mobile, I would say that it’s not too late. Mobile search is becoming increasingly crucial to the way your customers interact with you, so the first thing I’d recommend is that marketers make sure they’re present on mobile search and provide customers with a good mobile experience with things like click-to-call and mobile-optimised websites. We also see the trend of watching video on mobile growing exponentially – so it’s important that desktop or laptop video experiences are adapted or created on mobile.

What piece of tech could you not leave the house without?

That has to be my Nexus phone of course!

Source: http://mea.broadbandworldforum.com/regional-manager-gulf-google/

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