AfricanBrains Africa Education Innovation Technology Investment Networking Events News Social Media Blogs Fri, 26 Aug 2016 18:12:17 +0000 en-US hourly 1 2016 Finalists for Africa’s Leading Youth Entrepreneurship Award – the Anzisha Prize – Break New Ground in Innovation and Representation Fri, 26 Aug 2016 18:12:17 +0000 anzishaThe Anzisha Prize applauds outstanding youth entrepreneurs between the ages of 15 and 22 for effecting change through innovative, people-centred solutions across Africa.

African Leadership Academy (, in partnership with The MasterCard Foundation (, is proud to announce Africa’s top youth entrepreneur finalists for the sixth annual Anzisha Prize ( This year, the Prize celebrates increased presence in Northern African markets such as Morocco and Egypt, and francophone countries such as Madagascar and Niger, and increased diversity in the business ventures represented.

The increased reach is made possible by Anzisha Prize outreach efforts and a partner network of youth development organisations supporting the spread into new communities in order to recognize the yet uncelebrated youth agents of change across Africa. The 12 Anzisha Prize finalists were hand-picked from an applicant pool of 550 entrepreneurs from 32 African countries.

The Anzisha Prize applauds outstanding youth entrepreneurs between the ages of 15 and 22 for effecting change through innovative, people-centred solutions across Africa. The 2016 cohort comprises a diverse blend of young minds who are leading the mandate of socio-economic development and job creation in their communities and beyond. They are competing for their share of $100 000 USD in cash prizes. The 12 finalists receive an all-expenses paid trip to Johannesburg for a rigorous two-week business accelerator camp beginning on 13th October, 2016. The grand prize-winner will be announced at an exclusive gala event on 25 October, 2016.

“The momentum behind the Anzisha Prize has grown and we are starting to see a real impact,” said Koffi Assouan, Program Manager, Youth Livelihoods at The MasterCard Foundation. “Anzisha Fellows are forming a strong, African network of young business innovators that transcends their individual sectors and geographical areas. They are learning from each other, growing their ventures and advancing the spirit of social entrepreneurship.”

In addition to winning a share of the prize money, the finalists are given access to Anzisha Prize Youth Entrepreneur Support Unit services valued at $7,500 USD. The fellowship package includes business support, implementation of projects to grow their businesses, access to business subject matter experts and access to numerous networking opportunities.

“The tide is turning around the youth entrepreneurship narrative in Africa,” Anzisha Prize Senior Programs Manager Grace Kalisha said, “There has been an extraordinary rise of Africa-bred entrepreneurs in the continent and their stories are being told. We are pleased that such an impressive group of entrepreneurs will participate in the Anzisha Prize this year. This is a promise of great things to come for African entrepreneurship.”

Some of the innovations seen among the applicants and finalists for the 2016 Anzisha Prize are in the agriculture sector, which is gaining in prominence among youth. The entrepreneurs have embarked upon opportunities and explored a wider spectrum of the agricultural sector’s value chain. For example, 2016 Anzisha Fellows N’guessan Olivier and Heritiana Randriamananatahina are this generation’s players in food processing, while Benedict Ampofo empowers smallholder farmers and rural youth with requisite skills in agriculture. These forward-thinking entrepreneurs announce/herald an era in which Africa’s youth are driving job creation for other youth.

The 2016 finalists for the Anzisha Prize are:

There has been an extraordinary rise of Africa-bred entrepreneurs in the continent and their stories are being told.

Aly Abd ElAzem, 20, Egypt. Co-founder of Teens Club (, a city youth hub providing teenagers with a platform for professional self-development by linking them to experts, improving their skillsets, and providing a safe space for the expression of opinions and talents, with 30,000 youth applying to participate in the program in 2015 alone.

Issam Darui, 22, Morocco. Founder of (, the first electronic bus station in Morocco, available in 10 languages and 25 currencies, established to provide efficient travel services for the first time in Morocco, with schedules to over 150 destinations.

Ifrah Mohamed (, 19, Kenya. Founder of Supermom (, which empowers unemployed and under-employed women by providing them with jobs in a door-to-door last mile distribution network for essential goods in rural Kenya, with over 20 “super moms” in the network.

Benedict Kusi Ampofo (, 22, Ghana. Founder of Project KIRIKU, a demonstration farm aiming to create sustainable agricultural communities with reduced poverty, providing over 60 farmers with skills, knowledge and agricultural innovations.

Lamine Chamsiya (, 21, Niger. Founder of E3D Cosmetique (, which manufactures and markets a range of neem-based hair and skin cosmetic products with antiseptic properties.

Yaye Souadou Fall (, 21, Senegal. Founder of E-cover ( which produces innovative multi-purpose tiles for paving, playgrounds, swimming pools, shoe soles and other products, from recycled tyres, employing six people to date.

Geoffrey Mulei (, 20, Kenya. Founder of INKISHA (, aimed at increasing access to eco-friendly packaging among African consumers by partnering with advertisers and innovative brands, providing around 350,000 free bags monthly, supported by an innovative revenue model.

N’guessan Koffi Jacques Olivier (, 19, Cote d’Ivoire. Founder of The Yaletite Entrepreneurship Group CI (, an ambitious initiative producing and marketing food crops for profit, locating subsidies for students with disabilities, and mobilizing youth for employment, with over 30 people employed.

Heritiana Fabien Randriamananatahina ( , 22, Madagascar. Founder of FIOMBONANA, an agro-processing initiative that drives import substitution through local manufacture of dairy products and confectioneries, sourcing from local farmers with 12 people currently employed.

Faustino Quissico (, 22, Mozambique. Founder of TQ Group and Services, which supplies, installs and maintains hardwood floors, sourcing inputs and providing employment to 13 people.

Asha Abbas (, 17, Tanzania. Founder of Aurateen, an online platform providing teenage health and sex education by raising awareness of high-risk behaviours, working with medical practitioners and youth experts, and offering counselling services both online and in-person.

Andrew Ddembe (, 20, Uganda. Serial entrepreneur, and Founder of Heart for the Hurt, a diversified business supplying school uniforms, restaurant services and growing coffee, all of which reduce income variability for the business and around 30 employees, who predominantly have speech difficulties..

Don’t miss out on all the excitement, meet the finalists, hear more about their ventures and find out who wins by live streaming the full event here (

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China Sponsors Students from Botswana Fri, 26 Aug 2016 11:49:16 +0000 chinaEarlier this week the farewell event was hosted in Botswana to give a brilliant goodbye send off to the 34 nominated beneficiary students travelling to China to study.

During the ceremony Mr Moiseraela Goya Assistant Minister of Education and Skills development stated that the cost of education was increasing and without the help of the Chinese government the country could not have been able to offer the Botswanan students this amazing opportunity. Mr Goya thanked China by saying, “Tonight, we have come to bid farewell to 34 Botswana who have been nominated to study in China, thanks to the generosity and kindness of the Chinese government.”

Addressing the students Mr Goya stressed the importance of their behavior adding that they are representing their families and Botswana as a nation.

The Ambassador of China, Mr Zheng Zhuqiang spoke of the long standing bilateral relations China and Botswana have together especially regarding education he said, “Since 1980s, China has provided a total of almost 800 government scholarships to Botswana students. Given the growing interest among Botswana students to study in China, China greatly increase the number of scholarships offered to Botswana in recent years.”

Mr Zheng said 34 students had been already given scholarship under the ministry of education of china whereas 30 students were expected to benefit under ministry of commerce of China.

He also advised the students to be brave while in China and to overcome the challenges of unfamiliar situation as well as language difficulties.

Mr Zheng further encouraged the students to serve nation well after successful completion of their studies as Botswana was a promising country of development.

Mr. Zheng expressed his optimism for the student’s future and their time in China. He advised the students to focus on exploration, learning and expanding their knowledge in their chosen area of studies.

Zheng further commended Botswana for creating a strong foundation for its children to study a wide range of courses and gave thanks to the government of China for supporting Botswana and the education system.

Representatives of students who are going to study in China also spoke at the farewell ceremony with Ms One Jenamo, stating that they would carry along the spirit of ‘Botho’ to put the country in a good picture and represent it well. She said all the focus will be on their studies as to come back successfully and with good results.

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IBM Research Opens in South Africa – Cognitive Computing and the IoT help Track Diseases and Forecast Air Quality Fri, 26 Aug 2016 07:58:50 +0000 ibmIBM Research today opened its second research location on the African continent and announced several new project collaborations in the areas of data driven healthcare, digital urban ecosystems and astronomy.

IBM researchers in South Africa with backgrounds in machine learning, mathematics, computer science, robotics, genomics and computational biology, are exploring the use of cognitive computing, the Internet of Things and Big Data to support South Africa’s national priorities, drive skills development and foster innovation-based economic growth.

“South Africa is a tremendous growth and transformation story, yet its increasing population and healthcare delivery shortfalls continue to pose challenges in the country,” said Solomon Assefa, director, IBM Research Africa. “With the ability to detect patterns and discover new correlations, cognitive and cloud computing and the Internet of Things can provide potential solutions.”

The lab’s team of scientists are already collaborating extensively with local universities, research institutions, innovation centers, start-ups and government agencies. This will help foster South Africa’s emerging technology ecosystem and develop and scale new innovations.

As part of a 10-year investment program through South Africa’s Department of Trade and Industry and working closely with the Department of Science and Technology, the new research lab is based at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits). The university was recently ranked amongst the top 10 in emerging economies by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings.

“The launch of the IBM Research laboratory is an exciting milestone in the move towards a new era of globally competitive research, innovation and entrepreneurship that will be emerging out of the Tshimologong Precinct in Braamfontein. Wits is delighted to be collaborating with IBM. We look forward to seeing top talent congregate to address the continent’s most intractable problems and work on the world’s next game changing technologies,” said Professor Adam Habib, Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of the Witwatersrand.

Aligned with areas of strategic national importance, the lab’s focus areas include:

Data Driven Healthcare

  • In support of the World Health Organization’s End TB (Tuberculosis) Strategy, IBM scientists are designing wearable sensor technology connected to the Watson Internet of Things to trace the spread of highly infectious, communicable diseases. This innovation will help healthcare organizations and health officials develop prevention strategies and respond effectively.
  • IBM scientists are developing cognitive learning approaches to transform cancer reporting, prevention and precision medicine in Africa. In a proof of concept study, IBM scientists have discovered a basic molecular link between cancer causing genes and those associated with metastasis, the cause of 90% of cancer related deaths*. Preliminary results from this work have been presented recently. Using anonymous, unstructured data provided by the National Cancer Registry in South Africa and in collaboration with the University of Witwatersrand Medical School, the team is developing cognitive algorithms to automate the inference of national cancer statistics in South Africa. This technology is expected to reduce a five-year time lag in cancer statistics reporting to real-time.
  • With the support of the City of Johannesburg, IBM scientists have collected 65 samples of microbes and bacteria from 19 bus stations across the city as part of the global Metagenomics and Metadesign of the Subways and Urban Biomes (MetaSUB) international consortium. Once the samples are processed the results will be available to city planners, public health officials and scientists who will use the data to help officials predict and prepare for future disease outbreaks and discover new species and biological systems.
  • In early September, scientists from IBM, H3ABioNet and the University of Notre Dame will host a hackathon on anti-malarial drug resistance and drug combination prediction.

Digital Urban Ecosystems

  • Building on IBM’s global Green Horizons initiative, researchers at the new lab are working closely with experts from South Africa’s Council for Scientific and Industrial Research to analyze historical and real-time data from environmental monitoring stations. Using machine learning and cognitive models, the data collected in the City of Johannesburg, the City of Tshwane and the Vaal Industrial Triangle will help provide more insight about air pollution and model the effectiveness of intervention strategies. The project has recently been extended to predict ground level ozone and air quality forecasting.
  • Commuters in the City of Johannesburg currently spend 35 minutes extra travel time per day due to traffic congestion, according to the TomTom Traffic Index. Unreliable traffic light infrastructure provides challenges to traffic light management in the city. Using real time anonymized traffic data from TomTom combined with Twitter, IBM scientists have developed a traffic optimization recommendation tool which can help city officials dispatch traffic volunteers, known locally as pointsmen, to the intersections where they are most urgently needed.
  • The City of Cape Town often battles with devastating wild fires, due to its unique topography and vegetation. Using data from The Weather Company, an IBM business, and the City of Cape Town’s Open Data portal, IBM scientists have developed a cognitive dashboard. This can assess fire incidence risk and severity to help officials raise public awareness and prepare for emergency response.
  • The number of people living off-the-grid in Africa has grown by 114 million since 2000**. To help meet the energy needs of communities who are living remotely or would like to make use of renewable energy, IBM scientists have developed a mobile app which uses analytics to determine the solar requirements of users based on their energy needs and location.

Exploring the Universe

  • In 2018 the, Square Kilometer Array (SKA), the world’s largest radio telescope, will be built in South Africa and Australia. IBM scientists are collaborating with SKA South Africa (SKA-SA) on the development of unsupervised algorithms which can make groundbreaking astronomical discoveries. Scientists expect to eventually apply the cognitive technology to other applications, including the development of new pharmaceuticals and genomics. IBM and SKA-SA have signed an agreement to explore the advancement of this technology and to lead some major developments in data science over the next decade.
  • IBM scientists in South Africa are joining NASA, the SETI Institute and Swinburne University to develop an Apache Spark application to analyze the 168 million radio events detected over the past 10 years by the Allen Telescope Array (ATA). The volume and complexity of the data requires advanced machine learning algorithms to separate noise from true signals of interest. These requirements are well suited to the scalable in-memory capabilities offered by Apache Spark when combined with the big data capabilities of the IBM Cloud and IBM Bluemix Spark.

Open Infrastructure, Sustainable Design

The new lab features an Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) platform based on OpenStack connected to IBM Storwize for efficiently provisioning 80TB of storage for research projects.

The lab is located in the Tshimologong Precinct in Braamfontein an inner-city area which is today re-emerging as a vibrant Johannesburg district. The two-level, 900 square meter lab has a DIY maker space with electronic design equipment and a 3D printer.

Agile work spaces provide a collaborative environment for IBM scientists to train and mentor Wits students and local start-ups. Developer communities across Africa will also have access, at no charge, to a LinuxONE Community Cloud located in Johannesburg, which acts as a virtual R&D engine for creating, testing and piloting emerging applications via the cloud.

IBM Research Innovating for Africa

IBM has operated in Africa for almost 100 years. Today, its operations span 24 countries, including South Africa, Morocco, Egypt, Nigeria, Ghana, Angola, Kenya and Tanzania. IBM Research – Africa is the first commercial research organization on the continent, conducting applied and far-reaching exploratory research into Africa’s grand challenges and committed to delivering commercially-viable innovations that impact people’s lives.

IBM’s first African research lab was opened in Nairobi, Kenya in 2013. The South African research facility supports IBM’s Equity Equivalent Investment Programme (EEIP). In recent years, IBM has also invested in the development of an IBM Client Centre, an Innovation Centre, Service Delivery Centre and a number of offices and data centers across South Africa.

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China becoming the world’s major source of innovation Fri, 26 Aug 2016 07:15:21 +0000 technologyThe Chinese economy is quickly transforming from a low-cost manufacturing economy to a higher value innovation led economy.

Metrics on China’s innovation show the increase of this figure of merit is outstanding, from 0.5 % in 1995 to 2% in 2014. The objective is to reach 2.5% in 2020, thus overtaking the average investments of the European Union.

Given the rapid growth of China’s economy, numbers in absolute terms are even more impressive. In 2014, R&D investments in China are expected to total $270 billion. Following the recent trend, this number may overtake that of the USA as early as 2023.

The leading patent owners in China are those such as ZTE and Huawei both telecommunication companies as well as the car maker Chery. Huawei, Lenovo and Haier are one of the only Chinese firms that have ventured abroad however this is steadily growing with the number of Chinese investments going abroad now equaling the flow of investments going into China.

Chinese firms contribute a rapidly growing share of innovations that are private and entrepreneurial. They are very active in the ICT – information and communication technologies and electronic games. The weight of the state-owned enterprises (SOE) is decreasing, both as a factor of GDP and in the production of innovative offerings.

A strong entrepreneurial spirit, a relentless market-orientation, an agile and rapid implementation in a vibrant economy demanding outstanding quality to price ratios: these are the basic descriptors of Chinese society.

China’s strong focus on being a knowledge economy primarily focused on ICT is something well recognized, being described as “a strong entrepreneurial spirit, a relentless market-orientation, an agile and rapid implementation in a vibrant economy demanding outstanding quality price ratios.” Chinese enterprises will contribute to making the country a global source for innovation, especially in the ICT sector.

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More Success for Rwanda-China Investments as ICT is labelled a key focus Thu, 25 Aug 2016 15:31:01 +0000 kayonga
Charles Kayonga, Rwanda’s ambassador to China

Rwandan and Chinese ambassadors have been strongly advising Chinese firms to set up business in Rwanda and take full advantage of the great security and new rising opportunities in the country.

Charles Kayonga, Rwanda’s ambassador to China further explained the immense opportunities in various sectors Rwanda has to offer for Chinese business such as; ICT, manufacturing, hospitality, logistics, telecom sectors and many more. Kayonga also added that Rwanda has geographical convenience as an inland hub on the continent.

Over the weekend the Rwanda-Shanghai Investment Forum was organized by the Rwanda embassy in China and coordinated and facilitated by Touchroad Media Holdings and the Shanghai Science and Technology Development and Exchange Centre saw the business community and investors of Rwanda and China come together.

During the event the ambassador expressed explained he was optimistic for China and Rwanda’s future thanks to China Africa Co-operation program that was announced in South Africa. Furthermore, Liu Beimin, the deputy director for foreign economic co-operation at Shanghai Municipal Commission of Commerce applauded Rwanda for focusing on enhancing the business environment and friendships between international enterprises, ensuring an increase in trade relations.

Yin Bangqi, the director of Shanghai Science and Technology Development and Exchange Centre, said “Technology is essential in all sectors of the economy,” adding that “both countries are working together to spur the capacity of Rwanda’s ICT infrastructure.” Bangqi said “Rwanda’s nationwide broadband coverage and growing Internet penetration will be instrumental in the country development.”

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IMF Statement on Ghana, Attributable to Joel Toujas-Bernate, IMF Mission chief for Ghana Thu, 25 Aug 2016 13:35:02 +0000 .

Discussions between staff and the authorities are currently ongoing to update macroeconomic projections.

IMF Statement on Ghana, Attributable to Joel Toujas-Bernate, IMF Mission chief for Ghana:

Subject to a quick and positive conclusion of these discussions, staff expects the third program review to be considered by the IMF Executive Board around mid-September.

“A visiting IMF Staff team in Accra last May assessed the implementation of the program to be broadly satisfactory and identified a few areas where further work and discussions were needed before the third review under the ECF-supported program could be completed. Since then several important legislations have been adopted by Parliament, including the Banks and Specialized Deposit-Taking Institutions Bill, the Deposit Insurance Bill, the Public Finance Management Law and the Amended Bank of Ghana Act. The authorities have also initiated discussions to address pressures that have emerged in the main State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) in the energy sector.

“Discussions between staff and the authorities are currently ongoing to update macroeconomic projections, firm up the fiscal outlook for the remainder of 2016 and ascertain that financial pressures in SOEs will not pose additional risks to the central government budget. Subject to a quick and positive conclusion of these discussions, staff expects the third program review to be considered by the IMF Executive Board around mid-September.”

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China-Ghana Trade Increase Lauded by Officials Thu, 25 Aug 2016 13:30:42 +0000 .

Recently Ghana was ranked 6th in Africa in terms of trade volume with China and during the commemoration of the 55th anniversary of the signing of the treaty of friendship between Ghana and China Mr Bombande insisted that the Ghanaian business community is being pursued and encouraged to expand their production capacity for export to China.

Mr Bombande said, “We acknowledge the enormous contribution of the People’s Republic of China to Ghana’s socio-economic development, as exemplified by the presence of many Chinese companies and institutions operating in various sectors of our economy namely Education, Health, Energy, Infrastructure development, Transport, and Commerce.”

Mr Bombande further noted that over recent year’s people to people exchanges and high level exchange visits have been on the rise and over 4000 Ghanaian students have been benefiting for multiple Chinese training programmes.

Bombande added, “Indeed, the inauguration of a second Confucius Institute on the University of Cape Coast campus to teach the Chinese language, culture and philosophy is laudable as it would promote inter-cultural relations between China and Ghana. We cherish China’s friendship, cooperation and contribution towards Ghana’s development efforts over the years.”

Madam Sun Baohing, the Chinese Ambassador, commended the strong economic and trade cooperation between the two countries and advised them to continue to strengthen win win strategic long term cooperation. “We also need to strengthen our interaction and consultation in international and regional affairs to uphold justice, and contribute our share to the building of a new type of international relations underpinned by win-win cooperation and the construction of the China-Africa community and international community of shared destinies.”

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Africa could become ‘The New China’, says Frost & Sullivan Thu, 25 Aug 2016 11:45:02 +0000 f & sGIL Africa congress reveals that new digital transformation strategies can lead to revenues of up to $5.7 million per day.

Africa has been identified as the continent with the potential to become the next China. Africans have embraced mobile communication technologies faster than any other parts of the world and the continent is being recognised as the next potential enabler of sustainable economic growth, driving innovation for the developing world.

The  Growth Innovation Leadership (GIL) Africa congress, which recently took place in Cape Town, saw over 200 high profile executives from various industry sectors gather to discuss digitisation as part of their new growth strategy and business models.

frost and sull conventionFrost & Sullivan’s Senior Partner Dorman Followwill opened the day with a keynote address on “Digital Transformation – The New Strategic Imperative”, highlighting the immense amount of opportunities available to businesses operating on the continent. “Africa could become the new China, and may serve as a classic staging ground for new technologies, as we have already seen with mobile communications and mobile payment platforms,” he stated. “Rwanda with its topography of many hills, for example, may be the perfect staging ground for drones deployed for delivery of various products for companies like Amazon or DHL or Google.”

Wayne Houghton, Frost & Sullivan’s Director of Growth Implementation Solutions for Africa, presented the Think Tank on “Digital Transformation as a New Business Model”. Using Pokémon Go as an innovative case study example of the success of digital transformation, he stated that “The app now generates staggering revenues of up to $5.7 million per day, and the start-up cost was only around $50,000.”

“In order to adapt, like Nintendo who made the business model shift from game maker to IP licensor, organisations need to evolve towards Digital DNA to instil a culture of continuous innovation, incubate the best ideas and be bold enough to cannibalise their traditional business models,” said Houghton.

CEO of Wesgro, Tim Harris, engaged the audience with his talk on “Attracting and Retaining International Investments in Africa”. Harris pointed out that Cape Town has now become Africa’s largest start-up scene and that the retail, agriculture and asset management industries are leading the way in terms of innovation.

The ever-popular CEO panel session, moderated by Frost & Sullivan’s Operations Director, Hendrik Malan, included senior level executives from T-Systems, the Engineering News, Botswana Special Economic Zones Authority (SEZA), Uber, Wesgro and Symphonia. The session proved to be an interesting discussion on the visionary perspectives CEOs share around the digital revolution of Africa as a continent. South Africa was highlighted as a potential platform for innovation in Africa – for Africa, given the excellent financial infrastructure and ecosystem.

“The digital revolution of Africa has great potential for the continent, but is also a source of risk and uncertainty,” said Malan. “Stakeholders across the continent need to ensure a greater degree of focus on empowering the next generation with the right skills and digital infrastructure to take advantage of these opportunities.”

Other key highlights included Think Tank sessions on the Internet of Things (IoT), FinTech in Africa, Connected mobility and how digitisation is transforming the African transport and automotive industry, as well as the realistic possibility of Smart Cities in Africa.

Birgitta Cederstrom, Global Commercial Director for GIL presented this year’s Growth Innovation Leadership (GIL) Africa awards to recipients: Zyda Rylands, CEO of Woolworths, who received the GIL award for Visionary Innovation; and Douglas Hoernle, Founder of Rethink Education, who received the GIL Young Entrepreneurial award for expanding the benefit of education to a number of learners across Africa.

To attend next year’s Growth Innovation Leadership (GIL) 2017: Africa congress, or for media partnership opportunities, please contact Samantha James, Corporate Communications for Frost & Sullivan Africa at:-

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African arts; a language to drive and integrate Africa’s economic and development agenda Thu, 25 Aug 2016 09:10:49 +0000 aucThis delegation was led by Ms. Bisi Silva, the founder of ASIKO and Dr. Desta Meghoo, CEO of DYMDC Creative Consultancy and Liaison Officer to the African Diaspora Forum.

The Citizen’s Diaspora Directorate (CIDO) of the African Union Commission under the leadership of Mr Ahmed El-Bashir the Acting Director of CIDO received a delegation from ASIKO International Arts School. This delegation was led by Ms. Bisi Silva, the founder of ASIKO and Dr. Desta Meghoo, CEO of DYMDC Creative Consultancy and Liaison Officer to the African Diaspora Forum. The main objective of the visit was to identify ways in which African artists and the African Union (AU) through CIDO’s facilitation can collaborate and add value to the ongoing continental initiatives.

The group of artists, drawn from twelve (12) countries got an overview of CIDO’s objectives and activities particularly the revival of Encyclopaedia Africana which aims to provide knowledge about the history, cultures, and social institutions of African people and people of African descent. They also received an in-depth presentation of the AU’s flagship development agenda; Agenda 2063, particularly Aspirations 2, 5 & 6 (free movement within the continent & integration, a culturally strong continent and finally economic development).

The CIDO department’s director challenged the delegation of artists to look for ways in which they can help disseminate key messages using their respective art of choice regarding issues of health, economy and education, among others, on the continent. CIDO recognized the power of the Arts as a medium of communication and a driver of development on the continent, calling art “the Africa Union’s fifth language”.

The discussion also touched on how African artists can look at the value chains of the arts and get involved in other related fields like policies, laws and trade through arts. Of note, the artists wanted to know the frameworks put in place by the AU to ensure that AU member states were motivated to ratify the Charter for Cultural Renaissance and how they could get financial help from the AU.

The delegation of artists were advised to organize themselves into registered CSOs to make it easy to partner and collaborate with Economic, Social and Cultural Council (ECOSOCC) and CIDO; facilitate the tapping into financial grants; and track implementation of policies that deal with the arts within the AU. They were also encouraged to engage with local governments in their respective artistry so as to strengthen Aspiration no. 5 of Agenda 2063 which seeks to see “An Africa with a strong cultural identity, common heritage, values and ethics”.

This meeting in part, set the ball rolling for the next Workshop to be facilitated by CIDO in conjunction with DYMDC and Diaspora African Forum slated for September.

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Huawei Create New Training Opportunities in Angola Wed, 24 Aug 2016 15:39:32 +0000 huaweiThe Chinese based leading Information Communications and Technology provider Huawei are a key player in Angola, leading the market with increasing results between 15% and 20% in 2015 and have and exclusive contract with Unitel, Angola’s biggest telecom operator.

Huawei have now extended their connections with Angola, after creating training centers across the country to help teach and train hopeful Angolan technicians about the world of ICT. Angola is one of only seven countries in which Huawei have set up training centers something that researched Benjamin Tsui expressed his gratitude over and excitement for the country to use this opportunity to acquire the knowledge they need.

According to a study for the China-Africa Research Initiative, at US Johns Hopkins University, stated that greater collaboration and support by telecommunications enterprises such as Huawei, “Can help improve infrastructure and cultivate local staff through transfer of knowledge and technology.”

US researches emphasize the need for the countries where Huawei are present to help set up more training programs and internships with local telecommunication companies and to create incentives for foreign companies to also open up training centers and more flexible labor legislation.

The Director of Huawei in Angola, James Yang declared that over 800 Angolan technicians had received Huawei training and the enterprise had ensured over 500 jobs to Angolan locals since entering the market in 2006.

The Vice President of “Mozambican Seeds for the Future” project, Guo Tian Min, recently claimed that Huawei are collaborating with them in order to provide training in Mozambique to help promote the project.

Across the continent Huawei provide training to an estimated 12,000 students per year, working towards the aims with-in the framework of social responsibility of knowledge and transfer and hiring of skilled local labor. Benjamin Tsui recently stated that 60% of Huawei’s workforce in Africa are locals.

Angola, one of the telecommunications markets with greatest growth in recent years in Africa, also attracted another Chinese group from the sector, ZTE, which launched with Movicel, another Angolan operator in the country, the fourth-generation network (4G).

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