Monday, 30 November 2015

Arsenal partner iRENA in China

English Premier League football club Arsenal has signed a partnership with Chinese sports and cultural development company iRENA.

The deal with the club’s new official soccer schools partner will set a platform for the establishment of a widespread grassroots programme across China. Beginning in 2016, the 'long-term' deal will see the London side set up Arsenal Soccer Schools in cities across China. Five will be opened next year, with Shanghai and Chongqing the first planned.

Each soccer school will be led by Arsenal-trained coaching staff. Under the deal, iRENA will utilise a range of sponsorship rights including player and legend access, digital and social promotions and tours of Arsenal’s training ground facility.

“Football in China is growing more and more popular and the government is particularly committed to encouraging youngsters to play,” iRENA chief executive Hong Gao said. “We are happy to be contributing to this through our partnership with Arsenal, which has a fantastic reputation for nurturing young players. We will be opening a number of Arsenal Soccer Schools across the country, with approximately 300 children at each school.”

African printing industry can immensely benefit from SGI Dubai 2016

International Expo Consults (IEC) stated that the African printing industry stakeholders can immensely benefit by visiting the (Sign and Graphic Imaging) SGI Dubai 2016 trade show. The event will showcase the innovative products and services from various exhibitors from across the globe under a unified platform. As per the Smithers Pira report the printing revenues in Middle East and Africa are set to touch US$26 billion in 2018.

SGI Dubai 2016 in its 19th edition will be held on the 10th, 11th and 12th of January 2016, at the Dubai World Trade Centre.  This is also the largest and prominent trade event for printing and signage industry in the region.  SGI Dubai 2016 will also have dedicated pavilions for the players within the digital signage, textile printing and retail signage industry sectors.

Mr. Abdul Rahman Falaknaz, Chairman of IEC states, “We are looking forward to welcoming the trade visitors from Africa to our show. We received close to 13000 visitors from across 78 countries in the previous edition of our show and the numbers are slated to increase in 2016 as well.  There is a huge demand for state-of-the-art printing equipment and signage as the African economy is now consolidating and growing to the next level. Hence, a strategic approach from Africa’s print and signage industry can provide the ideal solutions that could contribute to the development of businesses within several vertical industry segments.”

“There is a huge potential in Africa’s printing industry. Stakeholders are looking to gradually phase out old equipment to bring in new technology. This growth translates into large scale opportunities for printers, raw material suppliers and print equipment suppliers in Africa. Growing requirement from industries such as retail, entertainment and healthcare are definitely expected to drive the local demand in the coming years,” added Mr. Falaknaz.

Quantum Global Advisory Board hosts Symposium of Female Entrepreneurism in Africa

Quantum Global played host to the group’s second Advisory Board Symposium during an event which reflected recent work conducted by both the African Union and G7 in looking at female empowerment. The high level moderated panel discussion addressed the impact, health and likely trajectory of female entrepreneurship in Africa and its impact on markets, civic society and the Continent’s overall leadership narrative.

The event, an important component of Quantum Global’s fledgling thought leadership programme, brought together an authoritative, all African female panel comprising Bineta Diop, the African Union Chairpersons special envoy for Women, Peace and Security and Executive Director of International NGO-Femmes Africa Solidarité-an organisation committed to promoting gender parity within Africa.

Joining her on the panel was Sophia Bekele, successful international entrepreneur and named in New Africa Magazine as ``one of Top 50 African Trailblazers” and by Bloomberg as ‘’one of the two leading ladies in Africa’s ICT sector.” Accompanying them on the panel was Andia Chakava, a decorated and African female fund manager (one of the first in Kenya) and awarded one Africa’s Most Influential Women 2014 (Financial Services Category) by CEO Magazine.

The Symposium, expertly moderated by Rolake Akinkugbe, VP and Head Energy & Natural Resources of Lagos based investment bank, FBN Capital and a successful entrepreneur in her own right, tackled a raft of issues associated with the influence of female leadership at both micro and macro levels in African business and society as well as highlighting the challenges and the hurdles which remain in place for inspirational female leaders in African societies.

Emirates reminds passengers to check before packing, for hassle-free travel this holiday season

Emirates is reminding all passengers to check the permitted list of carry-on and checked-in items for safe and undisrupted travel this holiday season.

To ensure the safety of passengers and crew, spare lithium batteries used for electronic devices such as cameras, mobiles phones and laptops are restricted from checked-in baggage. A popular item containing lithium batteries is the smart balance wheels also known as ‘hover boards’. Emirates restricts all smart balance wheels – with or without lithium batteries removed - from checked-in or carry-on luggage.

“With the upcoming holiday season, we expect many passengers to be carrying gifts for their loved ones including the popular smart balance wheels. We prioritise the safety of our passengers and crew, and regret we will not accept these as part of checked-in baggage or as hand luggage.  We urge all our customers to check the full list of restricted items before travelling for safe and undisrupted travels,” said Mohammed Mattar, Emirates’ Divisional Senior Vice President – Airport Services.  

All liquids, gels and aerosols, pastes, lotions, creams, drinks and other items of similar consistency must be in containers with a capacity no greater than 100ml. Those carried in containers larger than 100ml will not be accepted, even if the container is only partially filled.

Bayern Munich announces record profit after tax of $25.2 million for 2014-15

Bayern Munich made a record profit after tax of 23.8 million euros ($25.2 million) last season.

FC Bayern deputy chairman and finance director Jan-Christian Dreesen informed Friday evening’s Annual General Meeting at the AUDI Dome revealed that it had a turnover of 523.7 million euros ($555 million) for the financial year 2014-15, slightly below that of the previous year.

The turnover figure for FC Bayern München AG group (consolidated accounts for FC Bayern München AG, Allianz Arena München Stadion GmbH and all other subsidiaries) was €523.7 million, very close to the previous year’s new record of €528.7 million despite the absence of revenues from the UEFA Supercup and FIFA Club World Cup. At €111.3 million, the operating profit (Ebitda, previous year €98.7 million) passed the €100 million mark for the first time.

“FC Bayern München is in outstanding shape both in sporting and financial terms. Our increasing financial power will be used primarily to make the regular investments required in our first-team squad in order to ensure we remain competitive among the elite teams in Europe,” Dreesen said.

Profit before tax rose to €31.4 million (2013/14: €25.9 million) and profit after tax stood at €23.8 million (2013/14: €16.5 million), “record profits” according to Dreesen and unprecedented in the 115-year history of the club. FC Bayern is thus in the black for the 23rd year in a row.

Emirates wins accolades from Middle East travellers at industry awards

November is a month of accolades as Emirates clinched ‘Airline of the Year’ at the Arabian Business Achievement Awards, ‘Favourite Airline Premier Cabin Middle East’ at the Conde Nast Traveller Middle East Readers’ Choice Awards, and ‘Best Business Class’ and ‘Best Airline Lounge’ - at the inaugural Middle East Ultimate Luxury Travel Related Awards (ULTRAs).

Collecting the awards at the Middle East ULTRAs, Adel Al Redha, Emirates’ Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer said: “We are honoured by these accolades, which speak to our ongoing investments and efforts to provide exceptional experiences for our passengers day in and day out through our product offering.
Adel Al Redha, Emirates' Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer collected the "Best Business Class" and "Best Airline Lounge" awards from JP Fitzgerald.
When it comes to winning customers and retaining them, it is a long and rewarding journey. That is why we take a long-term view when it comes to investing in innovation and new product development. Combine that with our team of talented and passionate frontline service staff on the ground and on board, and that is our winning formula. I take this opportunity to thank all our team members for their effort and placing our customers’ needs as a priority.”

The Arabian Business Achievement Awards is an annual event that recognises success, innovation and ethics – for both corporates and individuals across the Middle East.

INTL FCStone’s Stuart Ponder Addresses Africa Breakfast Club

INTL FCStone Inc., a leader in the development of specialized financial services in commodities, securities, global payments, foreign exchange and other markets, today announced that Stuart Ponder, Senior Vice President, EMEA of its subsidiary INTL FCStone Ltd., addressed the Africa Breakfast Club on Thursday, November 26, 2015 on the topic of “Evolution of Structured Markets:  Challenges and Opportunities in Africa’s Agricultural Development.”  The event was hosted by the Planet Earth Institute.

“The lack of structured markets and investment in Africa’s agricultural sector has seen Africa’s maize yields stagnate for the last five decades the where the yields now are only 20% of developed economies,” commented Ponder.  “Structured markets provide farmers with a financial infrastructure to encourage lending to the agricultural sector, a price discovery method that can see a 20% increase in prices to farmers and the potential to manage farmer risk through derivative products.”

Ponder continued, “Currently there are 28 countries taking initiatives to develop commodity exchanges and both the public and private sectors play an important role in developing these structured markets.  The private sector needs to provide for product aggregation, including grading, storage and warehouse receipts, and for market infrastructure elements like trading platforms and clearing and settlements.  The public sector needs to provide a fair and consistent legal and regulatory framework, outreach programs and storage, transport and communications infrastructure.”

INTL FCStone is committed to developing Africa’s agricultural sector by providing capacity building support including educational opportunities on the topic of risk management and commodity trading.  There are three such opportunities being developed in 2016 in Abuja, Nairobi, and Lusaka.  INTL FCStone also sponsors work experience placements and study visits as well as actively seeking partners to extend these initiatives. 

GOtv Launches 'GO Pick Ya Own' Offer

In the spirit of the festive season, new and existing GOtv subscribers are being treated to another exciting end-of-year campaign tagged ‘GO Pick Ya Own’.

The festive offer which runs through to 12 February 2016, will give new subscribers three months complimentary viewing of all GOtv channels, while existing subscribers will be rewarded with household items.

For new subscribers, the GO Pick Ya Own offer is irresistible as N6,900 now gives new subscribers a GOtv DVB-T2 decoder, three months GOtv Plus subscription and an outdoor antenna (GOtenna).

GOtv offers two bouquets – GOtv Plus and GOtv Value. At the expiration of the complimentary three months, subscribers can choose either the GOtv Plus bouquet for a monthly subscription of N1,800 which gives over 40 channels, or GOtv Value for N1,200 monthly with over 25 channels.

Existing subscribers are not left out on this festive season delight as subscribers who renew their subscriptions and thereafter send a text with the words ‘YES’ and ‘PICK’ with their IUC number to the short code, 4688 will automatically qualify for the weekly draws and a chance to win exciting items.

Fortinet Survey: 71% of IT Decision Makers in SA Report Concerns Over Insufficient Wireless Protection

The new survey from Fortinet, the global leader in high-performance cyber security solutions, reveals that insufficient wireless security is a concern for 71% of the Information Technology Decision Makers (ITDMs); hardly surprising given that 29% of the enterprise wireless networks put in place for internal employees, do not have the basic security function of authentication in place.

A significant 16% and 21% of enterprises respectively, overlook firewall and anti-virus security functions when it comes to wireless strategies. Other security measures deemed critical to core infrastructure protection, such as IPS (deployed by 39%), application control (35%) and URL filtering (41%), play a part in even fewer wireless deployments.

When considering the future direction of their wireless security strategies, 56% of ITDMs said they would maintain focus on the most common security features – firewall and authentication while demand for more security is emerging with 22% prioritizing complementary technologies – IPS, anti-virus, application control and URL filtering – to guard against the full extent of the threat landscape.

Other survey highlights include:

•    South African ITDMs said the biggest risk to their organisations of operating an unsecured wireless network is the loss of sensitive corporate and/or customer data, with 69% citing this as a concern (vs 48% of global respondents).

The next highest risk, service interruption, was cited by 16% of ITDMs, followed by industrial espionage (7%), non-compliance to industry regulations (5%) and damage to corporate reputation (4%).

•    7% of ITDMs polled said their corporate wireless networks have no controls whatsoever for their guest or visitors access.

Formula E announces the world's first driverless car racing series

From 2016, the Formula E race series will include a championship for autonomous, driverless cars. The global championship is set to be called 'ROBORACE'.

The Formula E autonomous championship will feature ten teams, each fielding two cars in a one hour race. All teams will be provided with the same cars, but will be open to develop their own computing algorithms and artificial intelligence (AI) technology. The cars will race at over 300km/h (186mph).

Denis Sverdlov, Founder of Kinetik and RoboRace, said: "We passionately believe that, in the future, all of the world's vehicles will be assisted by AI and powered by electricity, thus improving the environment and road safety.

"RoboRace is a celebration of revolutionary technology and innovation that humanity has achieved in that area so far. It's a global platform to show that robotic technologies and AI can co-exist with us in real life. Thus, anyone who is at the edge of this transformation now has a platform to show the advantages of their driverless solutions and this shall push the development of the technology."

Though locations and dates for the 2016/17 Formula E championship are yet to be confirmed, London's Battersea Park will play host to theis season's finale.

PHOTO: HERITAGE BANK ED INDUCTED AS IOD MEMBER

L-R: Mr. Yemi Akeju, President/Chairman of Council, Institute of Directors (IOD); Mr. Jude Monye, Executive Director, Heritage Bank Limited and Chief Mrs. Eniola Fadayomi, the immediate past President of the institute at the induction of Mr. Monye as a member of the institute in Lagos…recently

Overstretched entrepreneurs say they can’t find time for innovation

The world’s small and medium business owners are struggling to innovate due to competing business priorities and a lack of appropriately skilled employees according to a new global survey by Sage.

Nearly a third (32%) of small business owners around the world has neglected the development of a new business idea. The problem stems from a lack of time, despite small business owners working over 40 hours a week (as shown in the Sage global research revealed last week.

Some 42% attribute their long hours to the unavailability of appropriately skilled employees. South African entrepreneurs are finding this particularly tough, with 57% saying that improved skills amongst the workforce would help release that necessary time.

The development of new ideas was ranked as the most common area of neglect, with customer contact, staff development and bill payment also on the priority list. In a small number of countries, including the UK and Germany, entrepreneurs have said they would rather spend time on innovation than on general office administration.

But innovation isn’t the only thing to suffer as a result of time-poor entrepreneurs. Over a third (38%) of those surveyed say that time pressures result in losing customers and clients. In South Africa, nearly half (49%) report losing customers, a client or a new business opportunity at least once because they were too stretched to service the business.

Microsoft Partners Shoemakers, Others to Empower Youths through Employability portal

Toward continuing its commitment to empower individuals and organisations to achieve more, technology giant, Microsoft through its Citizenship Program has struck a strategic partnership with leading Nigerian footwear and leather products manufacturing company, Shoespeed and Italian Shoemaker, Scali Shoes to empower 100, 000 Nigerian youths with shoemaking skills.

According to Microsoft, the initiative which is designed to help mitigate the country’s unemployment challenge would provide youths with the skills required to unleash their entrepreneurial capacities, thus helping to create jobs for the local economy and lifting many out of poverty.

The leading technology company will upload a Shoe Making Video produced by Microsoft and Shoespeed on Microsoft Aiki portal for a month, where viewers will be trained on how to make shoes. Viewers would be required to make a prototype of the shoe to be able to participate in the campaign. The winners will then be trained by the shoemaking experts.

L-R: Public Relations Officer, Scali Shoes Italy, Iredia Osakwe; Microsoft Nigeria, Corporate Citizenship Lead, Olusola Amusan, Chairperson, Scali Shoes Italy, Silvia Scali; Manager, Scali Shoes Italy, Jide Johnson and MD, Shoespeed Nigeria, Abiodun Folawiyo at Microsoft/Shoespeed event recently.
Explaining Microsoft’s motivation for adopting the laudable initiative, Corporate Citizenship Lead, Microsoft Nigeria, Olusola Amusan said, “Earlier this year, McKinsey and Co estimated youth unemployment in Nigeria at around 50 percent. Our vision at Microsoft Citizenship is to scale the impact of the work that we do around youth and employment - by creating over 100,000 jobs over the next 2 to 3 years.’’

Amusan added that, ‘’ International organisations like the United Nations and World Bank have shown strong interest in working with Microsoft to increase the total of young individuals who have skills, so they can have and also create jobs.”

NBA Star, Kobe Byran To Retire At End Of Season

After over a 20-year career spent entirely in Los Angeles, five-time NBA champion, Kobe Bryant has announced on Sunday that he will retire after this season.

"My body knows it's time to say goodbye" he wrote in a first-person story titled "Dear Basketball" published on The Players' Tribune website.

The 37-year-old has scored 32,683 points, though in recent seasons his form has been hindered by injury.

Kobe was the bridge from the Jordan era to the likes of LeBron, Durant and Curry, imparting the lessons of His Airness to the next generation of stars.

The formality of Bryant announcing this season will be his last sent ticket prices skyrocketing Sunday night.

"Within 10 minutes of Kobe's announcement, we had thousands of inquiries and sales," said Harris Rosner, owner of Los Angeles-based VIP Tickets.

World AIDS Day 2015: Red Ribbon Coalition to Provide Free Counselling & Testing Across Nigeria

To mark World AIDS Day 2015, the Red Ribbon Coalition, an alliance of strategic NGOs and private sector partners in Nigeria, has concluded plans to directly provide free HIV Counselling and Testing (HCT) services for about 7500 persons and reach over 3.5million people with correct, up-to-date HIV/AIDS information.

Plans to actualise these include a four-day community outreach in various LGAs across Nigeria beginning from Tuesday December 1, and a grand finale on Saturday December 5 with a Celebrity Novelty HIV/AIDS awareness football match at UNILAG Sports Complex, Akoka, Lagos featuring ex-Super Eagles’ players. Other plans include stimulation of a broader stakeholders involvement, and various impactful activities targeted at reaching many Nigerians with free HIV/AIDS services to mark this year’s event which is venerated globally on December 1.

L-R: Communications Manager, Coca-Cola Nigeria Limited, Sam Umukoro; Executive Director, Youth Empowerment and Development Initiative, Anuoluwa Ishola; Convener 2015 Nigerian Red Ribbon Coalition and Community Affairs Manager, Coca-Cola Nigeria Limited, Emeka Mba; HIV AIDS Specialist, Society for Family Health, Lagos, Emmanuel Olaoti; and Executive Secretary, Youth Empowerment Foundation, Iwalola Akin-Jimoh at the 2015 World AIDS Day Pre-Campaign Media Parley organized by the Nigerian Red Ribbon Coalition in Lagos, recently.
The coalition which is chiefly funded by global beverage giant, Coca-Cola Nigeria Limited and MAC AIDS Fund (Makers of MAC Cosmetics), comprises three NGOs including Youth Empowerment and Development Initiative (YEDI), Youth Empowerment Foundation (YEF) and Society for Family Health (SFH); private partners like Owu Sportswear, Nigeria Business Coalition Against AIDS (NIBUCAA), the media, ex-Super Eagles stars, among several others.  

On the need for an alliance against HIV/AIDS, the coalition’s convener, Emeka Mba who is also the Community Affairs Manager, Coca-Cola Nigeria Limited , said: “In addition to mobilizing and sensitizing people to know their status with the provision of free HCT in a friendly environment we are poised to tackle issues of stigmatization, discrimination and fear of getting tested by promoting social inclusion and adequate care for People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) and stimulating Stakeholders involvement in the fight against HIV/AIDS.”

Airtel CEO, Ogunsanya, ex-CJN, Mukhtar advocate joint efforts to achieve SDGs

Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Airtel Nigeria, Mr. Segun Ogunsanya, has called on business leaders, corporate bodies, entrepreneurs, policy makers, individuals and government to work together in order for Nigeria to initiate the key programmes aimed at achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Mr. Ogunsanya made this remark at the 2015 Annual Dinner and Dance event of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Nigeria, where he was Keynote Speaker at the colourful occasion held in Victoria Island, Lagos on Friday, 27th November, 2015.

The dinner was attended by captains of industry, members of the diplomatic corps and dignitaries including former Chief justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Aloma Mukhtar (GCON); President, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Mr. Remi Bello; US Consulate General, Mr. Brian McCleary; South Africa Consulate General, Ambassador Mokgethi Monaisa among other guests.

ICC also used the occasion to unveil its Business Charter for Sustainable Development.

Kindly assist to find space for any of these pictures from the event in your esteemed medium.

Ahead of COP21, Stakeholders in the Diamond Industry Speak at IDC

Broad expertise in the field of diamond met in the Namibian capital, Windhoek. The second International Diamond Conference (IDC), this year brought together more than 150 worldwide stakeholders, Honourable Ministers, industry experts, academics, business leaders, manufacturers and the media. Their goal: to discuss challenges facing diamond beneficiation in Southern Africa: How to make this industry viable and sustainable.

The two-day successful conference was hosted at the Safari Hotel in the capital Windhoek on November 23rd - 24th. During the conference, the National Earth Science Museum at the Ministry of Mines and Energy showcased some prestigious pieces of the Shining Lights Diamond Design Collection, some crafted by award-winning Namibian designers. At the exhibition, Simeon Niilenge Negumbo, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Mines and Energy, launched the Diamond Book of Namibia “A Beautiful Journey”.

In his speech, themed “Diamond Beneficiation: Think global. Think Local.” Stephen Lussier, Forevermark CEO, De Beers Group – said: “Of course, it’s been a really tough time in the beneficiation sector but let me start by stressing that we absolutely recognise this. We fully understand and appreciate our government partners’ ambitions and desires when it comes to beneficiation and we are committed to playing our role in helping achieve these ambitions. Namibia’s success is our success; that is why achieving sustained beneficiation targets, is as much a key strategic priority for us, as it is for Government. We are also under no illusion concerning our producer partners’ need to earn a return on their capital to be sustainable.”

Industry expert Chaim Even-Zohar, who moderated the panels at the conference, said that despite the downturn, Namibia is still in a strong position. He argued that the country produces some of the best quality diamonds in the world, which often sell for high prices.

EA Sports Extends Partnership Agreement With LaLiga

EA SPORTS, one of the leading sports entertainment brands has officially renewed and expanded its partnership with the Spanish LaLiga for the next four years.

As part of the agreement, EA SPORTS branding will be visible on footballers' socks of 14 teams of Liga BBVA through the innovative advertising support of Sockatyes. This initiative represents one of many that will help provide experiences to fans of both brands.

Robert Wadsworth said, "At EA SPORTS we are delighted to extend our partnership with LaLiga, one of the most prestigious football leagues in the world. Our initiatives will enable us to create a deeper connection with LaLiga fan base and allow our FIFA franchise to continue delivering the most authentic and innovative experiences to all the players around the globe".

In the words of Adolfo Bara, "LaLiga willl use the platform that EA SPORTS is offering to us to reach the international markets in which we are not yet firmly established. It is a great support for our expansion strategy having this partnership with a leader company that gathers millions of users in each of the major geographic areas around the world. This is an agreement that goes beyond the videogame and it will allow us to create synergies at global level".

December Drives 30% More Ecommerce Revenue Than Non-holiday Months - Study

The e-commerce shopping experience is increasingly becoming a popular option for consumers during the festive season. Retailers therefore need to pay careful attention to their supply chains during this period, as operations and delivery are key to client satisfaction, maximizing brand exposure and increasing revenue.

Oliver Facey, Vice President of Operations for DHL Express Sub Saharan Africa points to the 2015 Benchmark report series: Ecommerce Holiday Trends, which shows that November and December drive 30% more e-commerce revenue than non-holiday months. “This surge highlights the impact of holiday season spending habits and why retailers need to optimize their service levels should they want to capitalize on consumers’ increased spending power over this period.”

Facey says that while Africa’s e-commerce industry is still relatively small in comparison to more mature markets, it continues to grow steadily each year, especially in light of consumers having increased access to the internet via mobile technology and a fast growing middle class. A McKinsey & Company report revealed that by 2025, e-commerce could account for 10% of retail sales in the continent’s largest economies and translate into $75 billion in annual revenue.

In the build up to the traditional festive season shopping rush, retailers – both brick and mortar and e-commerce stores – need to ensure that platforms are effectively managed to manage the influx of business. “Customer service is an area that needs attention. Often, businesses hire temporary staff during this period, so it is vital that adequate training is provided to guarantee that a high level of service delivery is maintained, and that employees are geared to handle any additional enquiries driven by the sudden surge in customers. As a service business, at DHL we ensure that have sufficient Certified International Specialists on duty, not only from an operational and customer service point of view, but also from support functions such as finance that will ensure we can resolve any account queries before the year closes.”

Ahead of COP21, Stakeholders in the Diamond Industry Speak at IDC

Broad expertise in the field of diamond met in the Namibian capital, Windhoek. The second International Diamond Conference (IDC), this year brought together more than 150 worldwide stakeholders, Honourable Ministers, industry experts, academics, business leaders, manufacturers and the media. Their goal: to discuss challenges facing diamond beneficiation in Southern Africa: How to make this industry viable and sustainable.

The two-day successful conference was hosted at the Safari Hotel in the capital Windhoek on November 23rd - 24th. During the conference, the National Earth Science Museum at the Ministry of Mines and Energy showcased some prestigious pieces of the Shining Lights Diamond Design Collection, some crafted by award-winning Namibian designers. At the exhibition, Simeon Niilenge Negumbo, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Mines and Energy, launched the Diamond Book of Namibia “A Beautiful Journey”.

In his speech, themed “Diamond Beneficiation: Think global. Think Local.” Stephen Lussier, Forevermark CEO, De Beers Group – said: “Of course, it’s been a really tough time in the beneficiation sector but let me start by stressing that we absolutely recognise this. We fully understand and appreciate our government partners’ ambitions and desires when it comes to beneficiation and we are committed to playing our role in helping achieve these ambitions. Namibia’s success is our success; that is why achieving sustained beneficiation targets, is as much a key strategic priority for us, as it is for Government. We are also under no illusion concerning our producer partners’ need to earn a return on their capital to be sustainable.”

Industry expert Chaim Even-Zohar, who moderated the panels at the conference, said that despite the downturn, Namibia is still in a strong position. He argued that the country produces some of the best quality diamonds in the world, which often sell for high prices.

Orange, ENGIE sign deal to expand rural electricity grid in Africa

Stéphane Richard, CEO of Orange, and Isabelle Kocher, Deputy CEO and Chief Operating Officer of ENGIE have signed a partnership covering two projects – the expansion of the rural electricity grid and ENGIE’s optimisation of energy supplied to Orange’s telecoms infrastructure in Africa.

The deal between Orange and ENGIE––both official partners of COP21––reasserts the companies’ willingness to use their technological knowledge to achieve sustainable progress and economic and social development in Africa.

The strength of the partnership is based on Orange’s expertise as an international telecoms carrier present in 19 countries in Africa and the Middle East, and ENGIE’s know-how as an international player in the the energy sector.

Orange is keen to take part in such a major challenge to expand the electricity grid in Africa and encourage responsible power consumption on the continent based on the expertise of ENGIE, one of the world’s leading energy companies.

ENGIE currently supplies 760 MW of power in Africa and aims to become one of the major energy leaders on the continent by 2025 with several major projects planned. To reinforce its position as the leading independent producer of electricity in Africa, ENGIE has created a dedicated Business Unit with around a hundred employees.

Guinness committed to fair resolution of issue with NAFDAC

A dividend of N4.8bn has been approved by shareholders of Guinness Nigeria Plc, a subsidiary of Diageo Plc, for the period ended June 30, 2015 with a pledge by the board and management to maintain sustainable growth for the business through good business strategies and quality products.

The Chairman of the company, Babatunde Savage, speaking at the 65th Annual General Meeting in Abuja on 26 November 2015, said although the operating environment remained daunting during the period under review, the company recorded a credible performance in its full year results and is now poised for better performance in the 2016 financial year and beyond.

“Going into the 2016 financial year, the board and management are resolute in their commitment to improve the performance of the company and deliver greater value and return on investments to shareholders,” he stated.

L-R, Bismarck Rewane, Non-Executive Director, Guinness Nigeria Plc, Sesan Sobowale, Company Secretary, Babatunde Savage, Chairman and Peter Ndegwa, MD/CEO during the 65th annual general meeting of Guinness Nigeria Plc in Abuja recently. 
Guinness Nigeria and its parent company, Diageo, Savage said, remain strongly committed to supporting Nigeria’s developmental aspirations through strengthening the country’s manufacturing base, employment creation, manpower development and fuelling overall economic growth. In the area of corporate social responsibility, the Chairman stated that the company has continued to maintain a strong focus on impactful projects across its host communities, be it in the area of health, water provision, environmental protection and road safety.

Responding to questions on the issue of sanctions on the company announced by the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) over alleged infractions, Savage emphasized that Guinness would continue to explore every path for a fair resolution of the matter. “We have had very robust relationship with NAFDAC for as long as I can remember. We intend to maintain that relationship. Discussions are ongoing. I believe the issues will be amicably resolved.”

Twitter Appoints Nasr UK Managing Director

Twitter UK hired former Google executive Dara Nasr as its new managing director.

Nasr, who joined Twitter in 2012 initially running its sales operation, is currently UK sales director of the social media company.

He replaces Bruce Daisley, who was named vice-president of direct sales for Europe earlier this year.

At Google, Nasr was responsible for key agency relationships for YouTube and display advertising.

Twitter opened a UK office in 2011 and employs about 200 people.

Red Star Announces Special Holiday Season Offer Tagged “Pay-Less Ship More”

Determined to bring joy to shippers across Nigeria as they shop for the holiday season, Red Star Express Plc., the foremost logistics services solution provider in Nigeria is set to roll out its own special holiday offer for Nigerians tagged “pay-less ship more”.

Starting from December 01, 2015 to January 15, 2016, this offer will ensure that customers save as much as 50% on each package using our services.
L-R: GM, Finance & Planning, Mr. Vincent Ihemenwa,  GM, Operations & Services, Mr. Mohammed Isah Panti,  MD, Mr. Sule Umar Bichi,  COO, Mr. Nasir Turaji, GM Sales Mr. Victor Ukwat. All of RedStar Express Plc., during a media round table session recently in Lagos. 
Speaking on this incredible offer, the Managing Director, Red Star Express Plc, Sule Umar Bichi said “our company has enjoyed great loyalty from its customers and we think it is time to reward them. The offer, is for both loyal and new customers who require simplicity in sending their packages at lower rates across Nigeria”

Announcing this unbelievable offer “Pay-Less Ship More” the General Manager Sales, Victor Ukwat stated that “Red Star believes in maximizing the utility of customers. However to appreciate its customers during the festive period, we are out to reward every customer with as much as 50% off their regular delivery spending. We intend to use this promo offer to appreciate our customers for their patronage, strengthen the bond we share, stimulate trial by new customers, and create top of the mind awareness”.

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Actis invests $62m in Nigeria’s Sigma Pensions

Actis, the global pan-emerging markets investor has completed an investment of $62 million for a majority stake in Sigma Pensions (Sigma), a leading Pension Fund Administrator (PFA) in Nigeria.  Actis is partnering with Sigma’s founder and Chief Executive Officer, Mr Umaru Modibbo and the current management team.

Founded in 2004 and headquartered in Abuja, Sigma was one of Nigeria’s first PFAs and now has over 650,000 registered customers. Working from 11 offices and 32 service centres, it administers and invests funds on behalf of its customer base which spans the entire country. Actis sees great scope for further growth of the business.

The pensions industry in Nigeria remains significantly underpenetrated, with pension assets constituting only c.5% of GDP. Over the last decade, the PFA industry has demonstrated strong growth and is poised for further expansion. There are currently only c. six million pension-holders in a population of c.170 million, with a median-age of only 19, which supports the growth outlook for the industry.

Actis is one of the biggest financial services investors in Africa with over $570m invested in the space; over $1 billion invested in financial services globally and c. $3 billion invested across African businesses overall.

Union Bank Appoints Cyril Odu As New Chairman

Union Bank of Nigeria Plc has appointed Mr. Cyril Odu as Chairman of the Board of Directors following the resignation of previous Chairman, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, who was recently appointed Minister of Budget and National Planning by President Muhammadu Buhari. Mr. Odu joined the Board of Union Bank in 2012 following a $500 million (USD) investment in the Bank from Union Global Partners Limited, a private equity consortium.

“The Board and Management of Union Bank thank Senator Udoma for his astute leadership and support over the past three years. Under Senator Udoma’s guidance, the Bank defined its strategic direction, outlined its transformation roadmap, and has made significant strides executing its priorities as is evident in our achievement of critical operational and financial milestones. We wish him success as he is called to serve our country in a higher capacity and to assist the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari in the transformation of the Nigerian economy,” says Emeka Emuwa, Group Managing Director and CEO of Union Bank.
Mr. Cyril Odu
On the appointment of Mr. Odu, Mr. Emuwa continues, “We are very pleased as Mr. Cyril Odu assumes the role of Chairman of the Board of Directors. As a non-Executive Director since 2012, he has brought his extensive knowledge and experience to bear and has provided critical input and direction to support Union Bank’s transformation.  His appointment brings continuity and ensures that the Bank will continue to execute its defined strategic initiatives over the next few years.”

Mr. Odu has nearly 45 years of professional and management experience. His 40-year distinguished career at ExxonMobil saw him rise from Trainee to Vice Chairman of the Board of Mobil Producing Nigeria and Chief Financial Officer of ExxonMobil Upstream Companies in Nigeria, making him the highest ranking Nigerian in the organisation until his retirement in 2012.


Jovago’s Black Friday Sale goes live at Midnight!

The biggest day of the holiday shopping season is here and Jovago, Africa's largest hotel booking portal is getting ahead of the e-commerce extravaganza.

As we count down to the largest sale of the year, the first 1000 customers who book on Jovago.com will get as much as 50 percent OFF in discounted deals on select hotel across the country.

Jovago’s Black Friday Sale, which is the first of its kind for the hospitality industry in Africa, will begin at 12am on Friday the 27th of November, 2015 and last throughout the day.

Speaking on the event, Kushal Dutta, Managing Director at Jovago Nigeria said, “We are excited to launch this year’s Black Friday deals where every customer will get unbeatable discounts on each hotel room they book with us. From 12 a.m at midnight, we will work round the clock to make sure everyone gets the opportunity to participate in the global shopping excitement and kick off the holiday season in style”.

With the successful unveiling of the Jovago.com Hotels Booking app on Google Play users of Android devices in over 40 countries worldwide stand the chance to get first hand information on all bumper packages available at the click of a button before they are sold out.

As the first African company to partner with Google Hotel Ads, Jovago provides a vast portfolio of 8,000 hotels in Nigeria and over 200,000 hotels around the world at the best prices possible.

More Pictures From WISCAR's 7th Induction/Graduation Ceremony

Discussants at WISCAR's 7th induction, graduation ceremony
Presentation of 4th Distinguished WISCAR's  award to Mrs. Ifueko Omoigui Okauru 
WISCAR 6th stream graduands presenting cheque
Guests at the ceremony
Suzanne Iroche, Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, FinBank
Prof. Remi Sonaiya, first female presidential candidate

ZTC 2015: Nokia Networks helps Zain address the digital transformation

Zain Group, a market leader in the Middle East region, is hosting its fifth annual Zain Technology Conference (ZTC 2015) from November 30 - December 2 in Manama, Bahrain.

During the event, Nokia Networks will demonstrate its industry leading solutions for big data and analytics, mobile broadband, 5G, the Internet of Things (IoT), telco cloud and telco security. For more than two decades, Nokia Networks has been a key supplier of network equipment and professional services to build the Zain Group's networks in all its key markets.

Scott Gegenheimer, CEO, Zain Group, said: "We are pleased to be hosting ZTC 2015 in Bahrain once again having held our very first technology conference in the Kingdom back in 2009. As a provider of integrated digital lifestyle services, we are aiming at supporting consumers and businesses alike with attractive services. Nokia Networks, one of our key strategic partners helps us meet these goals with its reliable network infrastructure and its profound services expertise when it comes to planning, optimizing and implementing next-generation networks. This really makes a difference on the road to a fully digitalized world."

Bernard Najm, Vice President and Head of Middle East and Africa, Nokia Networks, said: "We are committed to helping Zain on its successful journey to bring a digital transformation to the dynamic markets of the Middle East. Our comprehensive portfolio will help Zain provide super-fast data services with the best possible customer experience, via highly secure networks, to consumers and enterprises across various countries in the region. Together with industry standardization bodies, we are also working on the important topic of creating common standards for 5G, IoT and public safety applications. This will help operators like the Zain Group enable an integrated digital lifestyle toward realizing the smart city concept."

Caterpillar launches free e-learning website for future technicians in Africa

Caterpillar has launched the pilot-phase of the Technicians for Africa Project, an e-learning website for people who aspire to become a technician in Nigeria, Mozambique and DR Congo. The website, which is available in French, Portuguese and English, is leveraging Caterpillar’s existing, state of the art e-learning solutions and makes them available for anyone in the three countries that has the ambition to develop a career as a heavy equipment Technician.

“This is just one of the ways that we’re looking to boost the skills in the industry as a whole. There is a vital need for skilled labour across these sectors in Africa. We are proud to see the launch of this initiative,” said David Picard, Region Manager responsible for Caterpillar’s distribution in Africa.

The pilot websites in English, French and Portuguese have already been launched and during the pilot stage they will be available in Nigeria, DR Congo and Mozambique. The access to the basic Caterpillar Technician curriculum is free. Those who register for the curriculum will have the opportunity to upgrade their knowledge and upon successful completion of the curriculum, will earn a certificate of completion.

“Many School leavers are unable to enter the job market because they have been unable to receive enough technical knowledge when they leave school. In schools, the latest technical information isn’t always available,” explained Maurice Manders, Caterpillar’s Learning and Development Manager and also team leader of the e-learning project. “Offering an Internet-based basic learning curriculum that is available to schools and students is an efficient solution to this challenge,” he added.

The website’s URL is: https://techniciansforafrica.caterpillaruniversity.com/.

5 things to know about Jumia Côte d’Ivoire 2015 “Mad Friday” offers

In November 2014, while more than 100 million people around the world were shopping over the Black Friday holiday, millions more were shopping online on Jumia in Africa. Last year, Jumia reached an all-peak in sales within 24 hours and had over 1,500,000 online visitors.

Over 50% of the visitors accessed the website through a mobile device via Android or iOS. Further, the Black Friday sales of 2014 experienced an extraordinary tenfold order increase compared to 2013.

1. 100 smartphones Infinix Hot 2 will be offered free of charge - first come, first served!

2. Jumia is joined by MTN. The two partners will offer extra 10% discount on all purchases made via MTN Mobile Money.

3. ITEL will launch exclusively on Jumia in Côte d’Ivoire, its new tablet ITEL 1702 at the exceptional price of 45,800 CFA francs.

4. Discounts on all categories of the assortment, over 50 000 items, will reach up to -70% and will be available until Monday, November 30th.

5. The "Mad Friday" will also be highlighted by six flash sales in a single day: on Friday 27th prices will drop even more at 8 a.m. for televisions; 10 a.m. for small appliances and the first 50 Infinix Hot 2 free of charge will go online; 12 p.m. for watches and shoes; 2 p.m. for telephony and tablets (the ITEL 1702 price will drop for just few minutes at 42,400 CFA francs); at 4 p.m. for computing and finally at 6 p.m. the last 50 Infinix Hot 2 will be offered.

Toyota seals Paralympics sponsorship deal through 2024

Japanese automotive manufacturer Toyota has signed a partnership agreement with the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) which will see the company provide vehicles, technology services and mobility support robots to the Paralympic Games through 2024.

The partnership will begin in 2016, when sponsorship will be limited to Japan, and will extend globally from 2017.

The announcement was made in the 2020 Paralympic Games host city Tokyo by IPC President Sir Philip Craven and Toyota President Akio Toyoda.

“This is a monumental day for the entire Paralympic Movement as it is the first truly worldwide partnership to involve the IPC, every single NPC and forthcoming editions of the Paralympic Games,” said IPC President Sir Philip Craven.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Financial Experts Deliberate Funding Opportunities For Nigeria Franchises

SME and Franchising Nigeria Exhibition and Congress, organised by Informa Life Sciences Exhibitions, is Africa’s first and largest business to business platform with a focus on SME and Franchising. The event will take place for the first time on December 2-3 2015 at the Eko International Convention & Exhibition Centre, Lagos, Nigeria.

SME and Franchising Nigeria is supported by governmental bodies SMEDAN, NOTAP, NIFA and NASME. It provides a unique platform for Nigeria's entire SME and franchising value chain to meet under one roof.

According to Simon Page, Managing Director, Informa Life Sciences Exhibitions, “We are pleased to be launching this initiative and tapping further into Nigeria’s rich and growing economy. It is important to be on the forefront of its development and this event seeks to provide numerous opportunities for SME and Franchises to further expand their presence and grow. The event offers an unrivalled opportunity to meet and network with potential partners, suppliers, customers and investors.”

With 500m2 of exhibition space, local, regional and international companies can meet, network and forge new business ties with entrepreneurs and SME's in Nigeria. The event also enables face-to-face relationships to blossom with potential franchisees who are interested in finding out more about the exhibiting brands.

The event will attract more than 1000 attendees, entrepreneurs, decision makers and business leaders, all in search of lucrative business opportunities. It's the ideal channel for those who attend to expand their reach and connect to like-minded professionals.

Lagos Places Nigeria on Top of Global Mileage Ranking

At present, Nigeria a country dependant on crude oil is experiencing a shortage of the product called petrol which has affected the daily activities of commuters. Even with the scarcity of petrol, Nigeria still comes on top in the average mileage ranking. The Carmudi team compared average country mileage and found out that population growth; rise in the price of real estate and petrol subsidy affects the distance cars travel. The cars examined ranged from 2 to 5 years old.

The research revealed that Nigeria’s average is 22.8% higher than the global calculation. The average mileage for used cars in Nigeria amounted to 51,764 km. After the first two years of driving, cars in Nigeria averaged 35,714 km. The number of miles on average almost doubles after five years to amount to 59,938 km showing a steady increase in the distance travelled by commuters.

The leading contributor to the higher than average mileage in Nigeria is Lagos. The city population has grown 20% since 2006 due to urban migration, favorable business conditions and high birth rates. Due to the population increase, the former capital is experiencing a significant housing shortage, as well as high levels of migration from the countryside, pushing real estate prices up. Lagos state government estimates that 4 million homes must be constructed to close the current housing gap.  The outskirts of Lagos have become preferable in terms of residential areas and people prefer to travel from the outskirt to the city and back on a regular basis to avoid sky high real estate prices. This has increased the collective millage for Lagos state and ultimately Nigeria on the global ranking.

When examining diesel vs. petrol cars in Nigeria, we see that cars powered by petrol fuel are clearly driven more. Petrol cars in Nigeria were driven 77% further on average than diesel cars. The main contributing factor is petrol state subsidies, which make driving petrol cars cheaper on average. It’s also the reason for continuous increase in amount of petro cars on Nigerian roads.

Catch the Pope’s first visit to Africa LIVE on DStv and GOtv

Following the success of the live coverage of United States President, Barack Obama’s historic visit to Kenya in July 2015, MultiChoice Africa is bringing DStv and GOtv subscribers yet another historic event this month.

From Wednesday, 25 November till Friday, 27 November 2015, DStv channel 199 and GOtv Plus channel 29 will showcase Pope Francis’ first visit to Africa since he was elected the 266th Pope of the Roman Catholic Church and Head of State of the Vatican City in March 2013.

DStv subscribers on Access, Family, Compact, Compact Plus and Premium packages and GOtv Plus subscribers will be able to view the pastoral and state visit live from the minute the papal plane touches down at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi on 25 November until Pope Francis’ departure from Kenya on 27 November to continue his tour in Uganda and the Central African Republic.

The extensive live coverage will include the Pope’s visit to the State House where he will hold a joint address with Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta to kick off the tour. Then on the 26th of November, viewers can look forward to one of the highlights of the papal visit, the Holy Mass celebration themed “Stand firm and be strong” at the University of Nairobi where an estimated 1, 4 million people are expected to attend.

The mass will be followed by more coverage of the pontiff’s visit to the United Nations Office in in the Gigiri area of Nairobi where he is expected to discuss climate change with members of the diplomatic corps at the United Nations Environment Program headquarters, This meeting will commence a few days before the U.N. climate change conference in Paris from 30 November to 11 December.

Nigeria To Launch New Nationwide Reorientation Campaign

In line with the change mantra of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration, Nigeria’s Ministry of Information and Culture is in the process of launching a new nationwide reorientation campaign.

At the opening session of a meeting on the campaign in Abuja recently, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed stated that there was the need for Nigerians to positively change their attitudes in order to achieve a paradigm shift in the way they do things.

According to him, ''the impending campaign must take on the indiscipline, the lack of respect for time, loss of our time-tested values and generally lead to attitudinal change in such a way that there will be a paradigm shift in the way we do things". Adding that this is also in line with my vision as Minister of Information and Culture.

”Make no mistake about it; we need to change the way we do things in Nigeria. It is important to let our people know that we cannot continue to do things the same way and expect a different result.”

The Minister stressed his earlier statement that the National Orientation Agency (NOA) will be in the forefront of the campaign, because it is in line with its mandate to positively change attitudes, values and behaviours.

Former FIRS Chairperson, Ifueko Advocates Change at WISCAR’s 7th Graduation Ceremony

Women In Successful Careers (WISCAR), a non-profit organization recently held its seventh End of Year graduation/induction Ceremony and presented the 4th Distinguished WISCAR Award at the Agip Recital hall, Muson Centre, Onikan, Lagos.

The event themed: “Women Leading Change” had in attendance Prof. Remi Sonaiya, Mrs Ibironke Kazeem representing the wife of the Governor of Lagos State, Mrs. Barbara WEY representing the Permanent Secretary Lagos State Ministry of Tourism Arts and Culture. Also in attendance were members of the WISCAR Advisory Board; Maryam Uwais, Muni Shonibare, Boma Ozobia, Suzanne Iroche, Habiba Balogun amongst others. Mrs. Ifueko Omoigui Okauru, former FIRS Executive Chairperson and recipient of the 4th Distinguished WISCAR Award delivered a keynote Speech titled “Our Paradigm and our Lens”.
L-R: Yewande Sadiku, Executive Director, Stanbic IBTC Bank , Prof. Remi Sonaiya; first female presidential candidate, Lynda Saint-Nwafor; Chief Technical Officer, MTN Nigeria and Mrs. Amina Oyagbola; founder Women in Successful Careers (WISCAR) at the WISCAR induction, graduation and award ceremony held in Lagos recently.
During her keynote speech, she pointed out that to lead change we must first champion a mindset change, not from a societal level but on a personal level. “We need to champion a change of mindset from those cultural frameworks that limit us. We need to build a mindset of innovation, learning, improving and taking records. We can't fight corruption without proper records. We must not just accept societal norms, but question it so as to improve on it.” Those who have achieved in life do not change the world, they change their space”.

The discussants of the day;   Prof. Remi Sonaiya, first female presidential candidate, Lynda Saint-Nwafor, Chief Technical Officer, MTN Nigeria and Yewande Sadiku, Executive Director, Stanbic IBTC Bank shared their experiences and adviced on how to succeed as a career woman without it having adverse effect on the home.

Airtel voted Best Company in CSR Health Intervention at SERAs 2015

Leading telecoms operator, Airtel Nigeria, has emerged the ‘Best Company in CSR Health Intervention’ at the 2015 Nigeria CSR Award, otherwise known as the Social Enterprise Report Awards (SERAs).

Themed ‘Building Partnership for a Sustainable Future,’ the 2015 SERAs Awards, which is the 9th Edition, held at the Muson Centre, Onikan Lagos, with notable personalities in attendance.
L-R, Chief Sales Officer, Airtel Nigeria, Godfrey Efeurhobo while receiving the SERAs Award for ‘Best Company in Health Intervention’ from the MD/CEO, Film House Cinemas, Kene Mkparu at the SERAs Awards 2015 event in Lagos on Friday.
Airtel, at the event, bagged the award category which had Shell, Exxon Mobil, Sahara Oil and Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) as key contenders. The telco was also nominated in other categories including the ‘Best Companies in Partnership for Development,’ ‘Best Company in Promotion of Gender Equality,’ and Best Company in Sustainability Reporting.’

According to the organizers, Airtel Nigeria won the Best Company in CSR Health Intervention’ owing to its outstanding impact through its health intervention programmes in Millennium Village Projects (MVP) in Pampaida, Kaduna that has improved healthcare system and saved many lives.

The Chief Sales Officer, Airtel Nigeria, Godfrey Efeurhobo, received the award on behalf of the company’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Segun Ogunsanya.

EnergyNet to host second annual Powering Africa

 EnergyNet is to host the second annual Powering Africa: Summit at the Marriott Marquis, Washington, D.C. from 27-29th January 2016.

Industry leaders from the USA and Africa who have confirmed to attend include H.E. Hon Minister Jeannot Matadi Atadi Nenga Gamanda, Minister of Energy and Water Resources, DRC, H.E. Hon Minister Obeth Kandjoze, Minister of Energy and Minerals, Namibia, Andy Herscowitz, Co-ordinator, Power Africa and Trade Africa, Anita Marangoly George, Senior Director, Energy and Extractives, The World Bank Group and Karen Breytenbach, Head of IPP Office, Department of Energy, South Africa.

The Powering Africa: Summit (PA:S) is an investment conference where African ministers of finance and energy and US government agencies behind the Power Africa initiative meet with private sector investors and power developers from across North America and Africa. The first meeting, held in January 2015, saw 17 African countries represented with 57% of attendees originating from North America.

Programme Manager Veronica Bolton-Smith commented, “PA:S is a valuable platform as it enables dialogue between key stakeholders and developers, chiefly heads of African utilities, US-based private equity houses and wealth management establishments.”

The aim of the meeting is to drive forward strategic partnerships between investors, project developers, governments, utilities and regulators to achieve the goal of bringing power to Africa.

The Future Awards Africa 2015 Nominees Announced

Following the announcement of nominees for The Future Awards Africa (TFAA) 2015 in a continent-wide broadcast on EbonyLife TV and Channels TV on Monday, the awards yesterday unveiled photos of the nominees in an exciting art campaign with Comic Republic.
The 50 young Africans who are the nominees for the 2015 season – with nominees from 11 countries across Africa- are an inspiring mix of superstars like television host Trevor Noah (South Africa), singer Yemi Alade (Nigeria)and change makers such as Botswansian Queen Baboloki and Segawa Patrick (Uganda).
The comic illustrations, created by Comic Republic, a comic start up passionate about expiring young Africans through comics, plays on the nominees’ individual story arcs, as well as TFAA’s tradition of inspiring the continent through enterprise and industry.

Superheroes don’t always have to be fictional,” said Eduvia Oyaide of Comic Republic. “We are inspired by the incredible work of TFAA over 10 years and then by 2015 crop of nominees who represent Africa’s youth population making extraordinary efforts to better their communities. We imagine this set of future leaders, thinkers and innovators as superheroes who have come to reclaim and rewrite the narrative of the African continent.
“We are happy to partner with Africa’s most prestigious youth event in celebrating Africa’s next set of leaders.
This year’s nominees, following an open call for nominations, come from across Kenya, Liberia, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Botswana, Ghana, Nigeria, Gambia, Rwanda, Tanzania and Cameroon.
The nominees participated in a judging process supervised by a jury including the Board of Judges and an Independent Audit Committee.
Meet The Future Awards Africa Class of 2015:

SPAN Graduates 29 Artists, Showcase Talents and Creativity

After years of hard work and intensive training session, the Society for the Performing Arts in Nigeria (SPAN), recently graduated its second set of 29 artists at a colorful and elaborate ceremony. The event which was held at the prestigious Eko Hotels and Suites showcased the best of contemporary African dance and music styles among youngsters in Lagos.

The graduation was a true reflection of the world-class standard for arts education in Nigeria as SPAN used the opportunity to exhibit the richness, faith and diversity of Nigeria’s culture. A colorful gathering of art enthusiasts, iconic dancers, music lovers, members of the diplomatic community and high profile personalities like Mr. Aditya Chellaram, Mrs. Evita Moussalli, Mr Ingo Herbert, and Mrs. Olufunmi Olajuyegbe among others.

SPAN displayed a combination of dance and musical performances from graduating students who thrilled guests to a show-stopper with the likes of Abimbola Fakiya, Ambila Jaja, Bamidele Olonisola, Blessing Elikwu, Bobi Odafe, Bryan Ogini-Peters, Busayo Olawole, Daniella Ilechukwu, Promise Enweribe, Bidemi Shokunbi, Nneoma Onyekewelu, Gloria Idundun, and Obinna Jackson to mention a few.
L-R: Head of Dance, SPAN, Ukalina Opuwari; Dance Graduate, Nneoma Onyekwelu and Dance Instructor, Ikem Ohia, during the presentation of certificates at SPAN second graduation ceremony in Lagos
During a chat session with the Founder of SPAN, Mrs. Sarah Boulos, said “In ten years, we have served the Lagos community by educating Nigerian youths to achieve greatness in the performing arts and created opportunities for young people to develop and also overcome limitations using the arts as a transformational tool. The graduating students we have today are prepared for the future.”