AfricanBrains http://africanbrains.net Africa Education Innovation Technology Investment Networking Events News Social Media Blogs Fri, 24 Apr 2015 15:30:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Nigeria: A Government that Hits the Ground Running http://africanbrains.net/2015/04/24/nigeria-a-government-that-hits-the-ground-running/ http://africanbrains.net/2015/04/24/nigeria-a-government-that-hits-the-ground-running/#comments Fri, 24 Apr 2015 15:30:00 +0000 http://africanbrains.net/?p=29554 .

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No sooner than Gen Muhammadu Buhari emerged President-elect of Nigeria was he also selected as one of TIME magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World. The magazine recognizes that people’s expectations of Buhari are high in keeping with “… the historic conditions of the election”.

Those historic conditions ushered in a significant landslide for the All Progressives Congress party (APC) with victories at the Federal Government, a clear majority in the Senate and lower house of assembly as well as a significant win in the most important state in the country – Lagos.

Those expectations will mostly be gauged directly from the quality of people who will be in this government. Up for grabs are powerful positions in Ministries and parastatals where the country needs progressive and definitive action in areas like Power, Education and Agriculture to mention just a few.

To achieve any significant progress, this Government must hit the ground running, and behind the scenes, Buhari and the Vice President-elect Yemi Osinbajo are already vetting people who need to surround them in the process.

Throughout this, they also maintain that the APC remains committed to executing its signature programmes – huge policy and social initiatives that cannot be hijacked. The incoming regime has made it clear that tokenism will not solve the major problems that ail the country.

Chief among these programmes include plans to curb poverty by creating jobs and setting up social welfare schemes that cater to the poorest Nigerians. One of these schemes is a Conditional Cash Transfer that pays N5000 – N7500 monthly to 25 Million of the poorest Nigerians over the next four years as long as they send their children to school and get them immunized. Another provides free meals to children in primary schools nationwide while there are plans to stimulate the Agricultural sector and institute a National Health Insurance Scheme that provides healthcare cover for poor people for just N500-N1000 yearly contribution.

Judging by the bold and massive nature of these initiatives, for many Nigerians – May 29, the date for the formal handover of Government cannot come quick enough.

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African Utility Week Gathers Renewable Experts in May to Show Wind and Solar Energy Solutions http://africanbrains.net/2015/04/24/african-utility-week-gathers-renewable-experts-in-may-to-show-wind-and-solar-energy-solutions/ http://africanbrains.net/2015/04/24/african-utility-week-gathers-renewable-experts-in-may-to-show-wind-and-solar-energy-solutions/#comments Fri, 24 Apr 2015 13:28:47 +0000 http://africanbrains.net/?p=29551 .

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This is according to Sliman Abu Amara, Area Manager Africa, DNV GL Energy, a leading global testing, certification and advisory services company that has been working on the largest wind and solar energy projects in Africa, including South Africa, Egypt, Kenya and Morocco. “We encourage the whole sector to anticipate these developments and continue helping South Africa to stabilise its energy sector and solve the load shedding problems”.

In South Africa alone, DNV GL has been involved in nine wind projects (including Dorper and Gouda Wind Farms), and one solar project. In Kenya, DNV GL is the engineering partner in the 300MW Lake Turkana project, which will be the single largest wind park in sub-Saharan Africa.

At the upcoming African Utility Week from 12-14 May in Cape Town, the continent’s leading renewable energy project managers, investors and technology providers will gather in Cape Town as part of the largest utility conference and expo in Africa. DNV GL is the exclusive diamond sponsor at the event.

“We have noticed a lot of things happening in the African market, in South Africa, in sub-Saharan Africa and in Northern Africa,” says DNV GL’s Abu Amara. “The African market is ready for the penetration of larger scale renewable energy on the continent.”

Strong solar deployment expected
“Everybody always smiles when you talk about solar in Africa” says Abu Amara,“the continent has abundant sunshine so solar is its most logical choice. There are several projects starting, with South Africa again leading the market. Morocco has developed a few projects and so has Egypt, Other countries are following suit but unfortunately it is still going too slow. And that is despite the fact that during the last decade, solar has become much cheaper.”

Abu Amara notes that “for African utilities to continue attracting investments in solar, they have to solve issues related to grid integration. In 2020, we will see very strong deployment of solar technologies in Africa, like never before.”

Egypt the renewable market to watch
DNV GL also sees Egypt as a renewable energy market to watch: “They are very ambitious in terms of renewable energy with a target of 20% renewable energy in the country. The political instability has caused delays, but the current government is dedicated to enable financing of renewable projects. We see Egypt as a very important market for the renewable energy sector it is going to be growing very fast.”

Playing role in boosting confidence
According to Abu Amara, DNV GL is very selective about the markets it operates in. “We see a lot of potential in many countries but we are more interested in their governments and the utilities that have to implement the commitments. There has to be political will to do something and improve the situation in their countries. We have established excellent relationships with utilities, with governments, but also with investors and developers. When we arrive in a country as an independent, third party electrical engineering company and start with a pioneering project, we assist the project developer with the technical challenges and boost confidence, making the project visible.”

“We want to be South African in South Africa”
During the upcoming African Utility Week, DNV GL wants to demonstrate its commitment to the development of the power sector in Africa. “We have identified the challenges that this sector faces in these countries through our experiences. We have identified the issue of capacity and we have now developed a strategy to localise in terms of resourcing, working with universities in African countries to empower Africans to make DNV GL localised. We want to be African in Africa and we want to be South African in South Africa.”

The company will also release findings at African Utility Week from a large survey for Africa regarding three dynamics reshaping renewable and grid connection. “We know that renewables and the grid is a complex issue worldwide”, says Sliman Abu Amara. “It is the same in countries such as Germany and the US, but we are also aware of this from our work in South Africa, Tanzania, Kenya, Egypt and Morocco. This is why at African Utility Week, we will announce the results of our survey to develop tailored solutions for African grid challenges, to enable African utilities to connect and integrate more renewables into the grid.”

African Utility Week and Clean Power Africa are organised by Spintelligent, leading Cape Town-based trade exhibition and conference organiser, and the African office of Clarion Events Ltd, based in the UK.

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BRVM Investment Days: West Africa’s financial centre meets the London Stock Exchange http://africanbrains.net/2015/04/24/brvm-investment-days-west-africas-financial-centre-meets-the-london-stock-exchange/ http://africanbrains.net/2015/04/24/brvm-investment-days-west-africas-financial-centre-meets-the-london-stock-exchange/#comments Fri, 24 Apr 2015 11:00:52 +0000 http://africanbrains.net/?p=29544 .

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The regional stock exchange for the eight countries of the West African Economic and Monetary Union has chosen the London Stock Exchange as the venue for the second round of “BRVM Investment Days”

The Bourse régionale des valeurs mobilières (BRVM) (http://www.brvm.org) is to hold a high-level meeting at the London Stock Exchange on 28 April 2015. The conference, which will be attended, amongst others, by Ms Nialé Kaba, Côte d’Ivoire’s Minister of Economy and Finance, will provide an opportunity to present the financial centre of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) to international, and especially British, investors. The London Stock Exchange is Europe’s premier financial centre.

“Following the success of the BRVM Investment Days in Paris in October 2014 (http://www.brvminvestmentdays.org), the British capital was the natural choice for the second round. The London Stock Exchange is developing cooperation with African finance and constitutes a real springboard for growth for the BRVM,” explains Gabriel Fal, Chairman of the BRVM’s Board of Directors.

With market capitalisation having doubled in three years – standing at 7458 billion CFA francs (around USD 13.8 billion) on 31 December 2014 – and transaction volumes growing constantly, the BRVM is becoming a destination of choice for many international investors, eager to diversify their asset portfolio while simultaneously contributing to the development of African economies. “Along with Johannesburg, Lagos, Casablanca and Nairobi, our regional exchange embodies this new frontier of finance that offers safe investments with high returns,” says Edoh Kossi Amenounve, CEO of the BRVM.

After a record 2013, which saw the BRVM 10 and BRVM Composite indices swell by 33.85% and 39.28% respectively, that growth was consolidated in 2014, as the BRVM 10 rose by 8.60% and the BRVM Composite by 11.23%. With two new entrants in recent months (Bank of Africa Senegal in December 2014 and Total Senegal in February 2015), the BRVM now has 39 listed companies. The last company to be floated on the exchange had been Bank of Africa Côte d’Ivoire back in April 2010.

“If we add to that our inclusion in the S&P and MSCI international indices, we can see that the BRVM is now moving in a direction that is beneficial for everyone. The region’s companies are raising finance, while investors are increasing the value of savings in the UEMOA zone. Lastly, more and more citizens are becoming shareholders, which is the best way for our people to take ownership of our growth drivers and means of production,” says Edoh Kossi Amenounve.

“To speed up this process, the BRVM has to attract international investors in search of emerging or pioneering financial centres. That is how we are going to deepen the market and increase its liquidity. To this end, the BRVM has brought itself into line with international standards: our market is monitored and regulated, and what is more, it is offering returns that you can’t find in the North at present,” explains Gabriel Fal.

The role of the banking and finance sector in accelerating African growth, technological innovation and telecommunications as a driver of development, the rise of the middle class and the changing retail sector, and private and sovereign debt in the face of infrastructure financing challenges will be the main topics addressed at this second round of “BRVM Investment Days”. Top executives from several BRVM-listed companies (BMCE Bank, a shareholder in Bank of Africa, Ecobank, Orange, a shareholder in Sonatel, Total Senegal, Palmci, SAPH, and CFAO, a shareholder in CFAO Motors Côte d’Ivoire) will be taking part in this second round of “BRVM Investment Days”.
For further information: http://www.brvminvestmentdays.org

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Oracle Academy and Raspberry Pi Foundation Launch Global Interdisciplinary Computing and Science Project http://africanbrains.net/2015/04/24/oracle-academy-and-raspberry-pi-foundation-launch-global-interdisciplinary-computing-and-science-project/ http://africanbrains.net/2015/04/24/oracle-academy-and-raspberry-pi-foundation-launch-global-interdisciplinary-computing-and-science-project/#comments Fri, 24 Apr 2015 06:38:22 +0000 http://africanbrains.net/?p=29537 .

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Weather Station for Schools” Project Aims to Build Students’ Skills in Computer Networking and Databases

Oracle Academy (https://academy.oracle.com/oa-web-overview.html) and the Raspberry Pi Foundation (http://www.raspberrypi.org) today officially launched Oracle Raspberry Pi Weather Station for Schools (http://www.raspberrypi.org/education/weather-station), an ambitious project to join thousands of schools in Africa and around the world in a global science experiment. Participating schools will receive a Raspberry Pi hardware kit for students to build and operate their own weather station with the aim of gaining valuable skills spanning computing, meteorology and geography. Schools are encouraged to register their interest on Raspberry Pi’s website (https://www.raspberrypi.org/education/weather-station).

The first 1,000 kits have been funded by a grant from Oracle Giving (https://www.oracle.com/corporate/citizenship/corp-giving/index.html), which along with Oracle Academy, is part of Oracle’s philanthropic efforts, and will be provided to schools free of charge while supplies last. Half of the free kits have been set aside for Oracle Academy schools. In addition to building a weather station, the kits teach students to write application code that logs a range of weather data, including wind speed, direction, temperature, pressure, and humidity. Supplemental teaching materials for classroom use will be made available on the Oracle Academy website.

The Oracle Raspberry Pi Weather Station project is targeted at students aged 11-16 years old. Students will be asked to write applications to operate their weather station and record data in a cloud-hosted Oracle database, which they can then query through SQL elements developed in collaboration with Oracle Academy. They will also develop a website on Raspberry Pi to display local weather conditions that can be accessed by other participating schools. Additionally, students will be able to access a “Weather Station for Schools” microsite to blog about their experiences, interact with other participating schools around the globe, and receive online technical support.

Jane Richardson, Director, Oracle Academy EMEA, commented: “From application programming to database management, computer science skills can lead to rewarding and fulfilling careers. Our goal with the Oracle Raspberry Pi Weather Station project is not only to show students how computer science can help them measure, interrogate and understand the world better, but also to give them hands-on opportunities to develop these skills. We believe this is one of the best ways to inspire the next generation to take up the computer science roles that economies around the world need filled.”

Eben Upton, CEO, Raspberry Pi (Trading), stated: “This ambitious project adds another string to the Raspberry Pi bow, using the Raspberry Pi to introduce children to the art of data management and SQL. The kits themselves are really exciting, containing everything you would expect from a fully-functioning weather station. We’re confident that students will find the project a very engaging way of learning new and useful skills, and that they’ll have a lot of fun in the process.”

Colleen Cassity, Executive Director, Oracle Education Foundation, and Oracle Giving and Volunteers, commented: “It is exciting to support this global learning initiative that aims to generate awareness and interest in computer science and the natural world. The project will help to ensure that the next generation is well-prepared to lead and create value, not only in the digital economy, but also in the global community.”

Following the distribution of the 1,000 free weather station kits, they will be made available for schools to purchase at a later date.

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Win the APO Energy Media Awards and travel to Dubai to attend the Africa Energy Forum http://africanbrains.net/2015/04/23/win-the-apo-energy-media-awards-and-travel-to-dubai-to-attend-the-africa-energy-forum/ http://africanbrains.net/2015/04/23/win-the-apo-energy-media-awards-and-travel-to-dubai-to-attend-the-africa-energy-forum/#comments Thu, 23 Apr 2015 15:30:11 +0000 http://africanbrains.net/?p=29534 .

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APO will offer transport, accommodation and perdiem for the first-place winner to attend the Africa Energy Forum held in Dubai from 8-11 June 2015

APO (African Press Organization) (http://www.apo-opa.com), the sole press release wire in Africa and the global leader in media relations relating to Africa, announced today that entry is now open for the 2015 APO Energy Media Awards (#APOEnergyMediaAward).

APO will offer transport, accommodation and perdiem for the first-place winner to attend the Africa Energy Forum (http://www.africa-energy-forum.com) held in Dubai from 8-11 June 2015, as well as one year of access to over 600 airport VIP lounges worldwide.

The Africa Energy Forum (AEF) is the only international Forum focused on power generation for Africa with attendance restricted to stakeholders (investors, consultants, developers, ministries, utilities, regulators etc.) from the power sector.

APO Energy Media Awards celebrates brilliant and inspiring stories about Energy in Africa. The subject matter may comprise a single topic or a variety of subjects, including – but not limited to – oil, gas, electricity, geothermal energy, hydropower, solar energy, wind power, nuclear, coal, biomass and more.

APO Energy Media Awards is open to African journalists and bloggers, whether directly employed or freelancers, working in the continent of Africa who have produced a story that has been broadcast or published in English, French, Portuguese or Arabic in the form of a printed publication, a television feature, a radio story, a website or a blog whose primary audience is based in Africa.

Stories are judged on content, writing, analysis, creativity, human interest and community impact.

Stories must have been broadcast or published between January 1, and April 30, 2015.

All stories must be submitted in electronic format:

a) Print: upload the scan(s) of the published article.

b) Radio: upload the SoundCloud link (SoundCloud is an online audio distribution platform that enables its users to upload and share sounds they have created themselves – https://soundcloud.com).

c) Website: upload the URL.

d) TV: upload the YouTube link.

TV material must first be uploaded to YouTube (www.youtube.com) and radio material to SoundCloud (www.soundcloud.com). If you are not a member of these sites, you will need to sign up in order to upload the video or radio material. Once you have obtained the link, you must enter it in this online entry form when inputting your story details.

Online Entry Form is available here:

http://www.apo-opa.com/apo_energy_media_award.php?L=E&vc=EMA

The deadline for entries is 1 May 2015.

The finalists will be announced on 6 May 2015.

The winners will be announced during the Africa Energy Forum in Dubai.

Follow APO on Twitter: https://twitter.com/apo_source

Follow the hashtag: #APOEnergyMediaAward

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PwC and Strategy& map the road ahead for power sector transformation http://africanbrains.net/2015/04/23/pwc-and-strategy-map-the-road-ahead-for-power-sector-transformation/ http://africanbrains.net/2015/04/23/pwc-and-strategy-map-the-road-ahead-for-power-sector-transformation/#comments Thu, 23 Apr 2015 11:21:25 +0000 http://africanbrains.net/?p=29523 .

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A new report from PwC and Strategy& warns that the Power Sector is transforming fast and companies that don’t stay ahead of change are in danger

  • Megatrends have major implications as to how electricity is generated and distributed
  • Profound implications for the strategies and future role of companies all along the power utility value chain is imminent
  • Countries and companies need to make the right moves to ensure they are a successful part of energy transformation
  • Countries and companies need to ask themselves if they have a clear vision of likely new market models and the new business models that will deliver future success

Download the report: http://www.apo-mail.org/150422.pdf

A new report from PwC (http://www.pwc.com) and Strategy& warns that the Power Sector is transforming fast and companies that don’t stay ahead of change are in danger. New market models and new business models will become established as a result of energy transformation and could quickly eclipse current company and country strategies.

The report, The Road Ahead: gaining momentum from energy transformation, finds global megatrends such as technological breakthroughs, rapid urbanisation and resource shifts are creating new opportunities and challenges in customer behaviour, new forms of competition, different generation models and changes in regulation.

Among the issues:

  • Existing generation assets could be left stranded as local energy systems and self-generation by customers eat away at the traditional centralised grid and large-scale generation model.
  • Sector transformation could shrink the role of some power utility companies to providers of back-up power.
  • Developing countries may ‘leapfrog’ conventional centralised system models in favour of local energy systems.
  • Existing grid and network systems may be unable to rapidly evolve to meet the needs of decentralised assets delaying the adoption of advanced technologies.

Angeli Hoekstra, Africa power and utilities leader, PwC, said:

“The disruption taking hold in the power sector is just the start of a transformation in the energy industry. It’s not a question of whether new market models will be taken shape, as this is already happening around Africa and the world, but also which new business models will be pursued in the sector and what countries and regulators will do to increase access to reliable electricity supply and what existing power utilities will do to keep up with the change and alter their course.”

The report identifies a number of market models that could emerge such as:

  • (Green) Command and control – markets in which governments own and operate the energy sector and mandate the adoption of (renewable) or other forms of electricity generation.
  • Ultra-distributed generation – markets in which generators have invested in distributed (renewable) generation, with investment decisions based on policy incentives and/or economic business cases.
  • Local energy systems – markets in which there is significant fragmentation of existing  transmission and distribution grids and local communities demand greater control over their energy supply, or markets in which a local approach is adopted for serving remote communities.
  • Regional supergrid – markets which are pan-national and designed to transmit renewable energy over long distances, requiring large-scale (renewable) generation, interconnectors, large-scale storage and significant levels of transmission capacity.

Angeli Hoekstra further said:

“We don’t believe there will be a single winning market or business model. We see a range of market and business models that build on existing models or fill new service or product needs. Incumbent companies may not be as nimble or focused as some new entrants. But they have a number of potential advantages with regards to existing assets, relationships, pricing and partnering. New companies will mainly play in providing additional generation capacity, building self-sustainable local energy systems without grid connections or behind the meter solutions.”

Alongside the evolution of current asset-based business models, the report also identifies eight new and emerging business model strategies and what capabilities companies should be building now to stay competitive in the future or to enter a new market.

Examples include:

  • Product innovator model – we anticipate that many product innovators will seek to be active players in “behind the meter” products to customers, such as smart thermostats, energy efficiency solutions and the management of roof-top solar.
  • Partner of partners model – a ‘partner of partners’ utility will be a company that offers not only standard power products and associated services, but also a range of other energy-related services, for example the management of net metering.
  • Virtual utility model – aggregating the generation from various distributed systems and acting as the intermediary between, and with, energy markets.

In Africa, according to Hoekstra, governments, businesses, regulators, incumbent and new utilities, donors, investors and customers need to work together to increase access and supply of reliable electricity and embrace new market and business models to achieve this.

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Rwandan girls should take up studies and careers in ICT – Minister Nsengimana http://africanbrains.net/2015/04/23/rwandan-girls-should-take-up-studies-and-careers-in-ict-minister-nsengimana/ http://africanbrains.net/2015/04/23/rwandan-girls-should-take-up-studies-and-careers-in-ict-minister-nsengimana/#comments Thu, 23 Apr 2015 11:07:13 +0000 http://africanbrains.net/?p=29541 Panelists; from R-L_ Lucy Mbabazi from Girls in ICT, Minister Nsengimana, Alex Ntale from ICT Chamber, Auke Lootsma of UNDP and Redempter Batete from MIGEPROF

Panelists; from R-L_ Lucy Mbabazi from Girls in ICT, Minister Nsengimana, Alex Ntale from ICT Chamber, Auke Lootsma of UNDP and Redempter Batete from MIGEPROF

The Minister of Youth and ICT, Jean Philbert Nsengimana, has called on Rwandan girls to take up studies and careers in ICT as these offer a chance for them to enhance their skills and tackle unemployment challenges.

Minister Nsengimana made the call yesterday in a discussion on YouthConnekt Hangout about the International Girls in ICT Day slated to be celebrated on Saturday 25 April 2015 with the conclusion of the Ms. Geek Competition – an annual competition in which young women, mostly university students, compete based on their innovative ideas as well as their ability to develop a certain technology or business idea based on a given problem statement and challenge reflecting issues faced by Rwandans today.

The Minister stressed that the youth need to focus on their goals by owning their passion, vision and determination which – in the end – will bring partners to support their initiatives.

It is very important for young girls and women globally, more especially in Rwanda, to take up studies and careers in ICT. Our country is on the move, we are busy transforming our economy from agricultural base economy to a knowledge-driven economy. ICT happen to be the engine of that transformation.”

He further added that embracing ICTs opens doors to new opportunities: new jobs, new careers, new markets, and new connections.

Let’s encourage Rwandan girls to join ICT in big numbers. We have to keep spreading the word about the opportunities available in ICT.”

The President of Girls in ICT, Rwanda, Lucy Mbabazi, remarked that “Technologies enable solutions. We want girls to know that they can use ICT to solve the different problems they face.”

During the Youth Connekt Hangout, the speakers encouraged the youth to keep improving their ICT innovations. “When your idea (ICT project) is viable, you get sponsorship and your business is likely to be overly productive, and therefore you will be enhancing your community’s welfare,” one of the speakers pointed out.

YouthConnekt is a platform that serves as a channel for the youth, private sector, and government to discuss solutions to address issues facing the youth, specifically those pertaining to employment and entrepreneurship.

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE WHOLE CONVERSATION: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-6ZSVRD49Q8

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Africa vital for SA economy: Minister http://africanbrains.net/2015/04/23/africa-vital-for-sa-economy-minister/ http://africanbrains.net/2015/04/23/africa-vital-for-sa-economy-minister/#comments Thu, 23 Apr 2015 09:35:35 +0000 http://africanbrains.net/?p=29527 Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel

Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel

By– SAnews.gov.za

Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel has told factory workers that the continent is vital for the country’s economy.

We sell R260 billion worth of goods to other African countries… That R260 billion creates more than 160 000 jobs in South Africa,” Minister Patel said.

These jobs are in clothing, car manufacturing and the selling of agricultural produce to other African countries.

Speaking at a general meeting with factory workers in Pretoria on Wednesday, he warned workers that if South Africa cuts the rest of Africa out of its economy and the rest of Africa cuts South Africa out of its economy, people in the country will lose their jobs.

We need to stop the attacks on fellow Africans. We need to deal with the frustrations and problems in a different way,” Minister Patel said.

He said the top countries that South Africa’s clothing industry sells to are Mozambique, Zambia, the United States of America and Zimbabwe.

In the footwear sector and leather products, the top countries that SA sells to are Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mozambique, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Angola.

In the textiles sector, the top country that SA sells to is Zimbabwe.

The attacks on foreign nationals must stop. We cannot take the law into our own hands and kill fellow human beings,” Minister Patel said.

He said government is hard at work to address the problems of South Africa, including unemployment, lack of housing, the provision of water and electricity. This also includes managing migration properly.

We must make sure at our border posts, we have proper procedures. We must make sure that people have papers if they are here legally. We must make sure we manage the numbers of people who come into South Africa,” Minister Patel said.

He called on companies to treat all workers equally, regardless of race or whether they are foreign nationals or not.

We must make it clear to companies – don’t exploit foreign workers. Don’t pay them less than South African workers… so much so that South African workers are put aside.

Let everybody be treated equally because the law applies to everyone equally,” Minister Patel said.

He said he will have a meeting with the Department of Labour to request an inspection in companies to ensure they are complying with labour laws.

We are going to deal with the frustrations of our people,” Minister Patel said.

He said the country needs to deal with the people who are in the country illegally.

Foreign workers who are here legally belong in the union movement, in our churches, they belong in our communities.

We’ve got to organise them and make them feel welcome. They are part of us,” he said. 

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Ministry of Mineral Resources and Energy in Mozambique to continue support of the EnergyNet Student Engagement Initiative http://africanbrains.net/2015/04/23/ministry-of-mineral-resources-and-energy-in-mozambique-to-continue-support-of-the-energynet-student-engagement-initiative/ http://africanbrains.net/2015/04/23/ministry-of-mineral-resources-and-energy-in-mozambique-to-continue-support-of-the-energynet-student-engagement-initiative/#comments Thu, 23 Apr 2015 08:02:35 +0000 http://africanbrains.net/?p=29530 .

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The Powering Africa: Mozambique meeting will be held in Maputo next month from 7-8th May

Following the recent changes to the energy sector in Mozambique, it is hardly surprising that His Excellency Minister Couto is the most sought after man in Southern Africa’s energy sector today.  The transformation of the Ministry that is currently in the planning stages will change the dynamic of interaction for many established investors, as well as what is required for new investors looking to enter the sector.

With all this considered, EnergyNet (http://www.energynet.co.uk) is delighted to announce that the newly combined Ministry for Mineral Resources and Energy has agreed to continue its support of the ‘EnergyNet Student Engagement Initiative, first launched in 2014, which continues to finance students from Mozambique to travel internationally and participate in high level investor briefings, taking advantage of the training programmes generously provided by the initiative’s strategic partners, Norton Rose Fulbright and Aggreko.

EnergyNet’s Managing Director Simon Gosling commented, “With so many investors such as Sasol, AfDB, IFC, World Bank, Comargo Correa, Eskom, OPIC, ACWA Power, Nedbank, Ncondezi Energy, EIB and AIIM attending the Powering Africa: Mozambique meeting in Maputo next month from 7-8th May (http://www.poweringafrica-mozambique.com), we’re also delighted to again have the support and presence of the Ministry, FUNAE and EDM, whose board members will contribute to the agenda and meet with investors to discuss future thinking.”

The next six months are a critical time for the Ministry and absorbing private sector thinking will certainly benefit both sides. Therefore for the Ministry to continue to support EnergyNet’s endeavours in promoting Mozambique’s power sector is a huge compliment and a clear demonstration of the country’s commitment to maintaining momentum in its gas and power markets. EnergyNet is deeply grateful.

Discussions taking place at the meeting will centre around future opportunities, what the relationship between public and private sector investors can look like and how Mozambique can increase efficiency within the sector to hasten the pace of development.  “We will of course be discussing Mozambique’s important role regionally and how gas utilisation will continue to be a central enabler of long term economic success, as well as featuring exceptional projects such as the EDM/Sasol/ACWA Power IPP” confirmed Gosling.

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Farmers make more money with ecological farming- Greenpeace http://africanbrains.net/2015/04/22/farmers-make-more-money-with-ecological-farming-greenpeace/ http://africanbrains.net/2015/04/22/farmers-make-more-money-with-ecological-farming-greenpeace/#comments Wed, 22 Apr 2015 15:03:38 +0000 http://africanbrains.net/?p=29520 .

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More money for small scale farmers with ecological farming – this is the message contained in a Greenpeace Africa report released in Nairobi today. The report, entitled Fostering economic resilience: The Financial Benefits of Ecological Farming in Kenya and Malawi, marks the start of Greenpeace Africa’s campaign for ecological farming in East Africa.

The report – based on research by Greenpeace in Kenya and Malawi – shows that ecological farming provides substantial financial benefits to small-scale farmers when compared to those farmers that use agro-chemicals.

In partnership with theKenya Biodiversity Coalition (KBioC) and the Kenyan Organic Agriculture Network (KOAN), Greenpeace will host a food fair –to celebrate ecological farming – on Saturday 25th April at Central Park, (behind Serena Hotel) Nairobi.

The food fair will also have a cook off, aimed at celebrating the diversity of Kenyan food. Five (5) participants will compete to cook the tastiest meals using typical East African ingredients. Coupled with that is an organic farmers’ market where people will be able to buy healthy organic foods and meet as well as interact with famers.

“Bring your family to the food fair this Saturday for entertainment to celebrate foods grown in harmony with nature. Be Food Sovereign, choose foods that are naturally nurtured” enthused KOAN’s WanjiruKamau.

KBioC continues to urge the government of Kenya to support family farmers who have practiced ecological agriculture for hundreds of years, “Agroecology can comfortably feed everyone in the country. All we ask is for the government to start a national irrigation fund and invest substantial financial resources into it. With enough water on our lands, we will be able to grow more food throughout the year using sustainable and ecologically friendly farming methods and eradicate hunger across Kenya”Anne Maina, the director KBioC said.

The three (3)organisations have come together to show how farmers can benefit from ecological farming. Together, they aim to work towards a healthy and food secure population for today, tomorrow and our future.

“The chemical intensive practices of the Green Revolution are increasingly unsustainable, Greenpeace Africa wants to show that ecological farming is not only good for the planet, but provides superior economic benefits to farmers,” explained Greenpeace Africa executive director, Michael O’Brien Onyeka.

Greenpeace Africa already works in South Africa, the Congo Basin and Senegal, and is now looking to begin working, specifically on agriculture, in East Africa. With agriculture taking centre stage in many governments efforts to ensure economic growth, Greenpeace Africa believes ecological farming is the solution to agricultural development in the region.

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