AfricanBrains Africa Education Innovation Technology Investment Networking Events News Social Media Blogs Thu, 27 Oct 2016 18:52:22 +0000 en-US hourly 1 A step towards better science for education policy Thu, 27 Oct 2016 18:52:22 +0000 Copyright: Atul Loke / Panos
Copyright: Atul Loke / Panos

By Connie St Louis- SciDev.Net

Evidence-based policy. It’s one of those phrases that has become ubiquitous. But what exactly does it mean? And perhaps more importantly, where is that evidence coming from, and can it be trusted as a basis for formulating policy?

The NGO The International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie) has been wrestling with such questions in the field of education, and its most recent study ‘The impact of education programmes on learning and school participation in low- and middle-income countries’ was launched last week (September 27) at the What Works summit in London, UK.

The researchers synthesised evidence from 216 studies, reaching 16 million children across 52 low- and middle-income countries. They say there are no ‘magic bullets’ to ensure high-quality education for all, but there are lessons to be learned for improving future education programmes — about how cash gifts can boost school attendance, for example.

Because the systematic review process was a central element of this study, much of the meeting focussed on its methodology.
“We applied study inclusion criteria based on scientific research to make sure we captured studies with designs that minimise bias. So we excluded the most problematic studies.”

Birte Snilstveit, 3ie Peering in from the outside, it occurred to me that the total of 216 research projects seems a big enough number to examine and to perhaps be statistically significant. But how did the researchers assess this? And what about the wide variation in the methodologies used in many of the studies assessed?

Then there’s the dark side of science, including social science: the lack of transparency in data and methodology, for example, or a culture of publication bias that favours positive results over negative ones, or the poor use of statistics in the analysis of results. Oh and not forgetting to mention the lack of reproducibility of huge swathes of research.

How did 3ie evaluation specialist Birte Snilstveit, navigate the problems in the systematic review when, as she noted at the launch, some of the primary data is flawed?

“We tried to do the best we could with the data we have,” she said. “We applied study inclusion criteria based on scientific research to make sure we captured studies with designs that minimise bias. So we excluded the most problematic studies.“

This seems reasonable enough, but doesn’t go far enough. A more promising if small step for making educational research studies more robust is 3ie’s launch of a registry covering both randomised controlled trials and quasi-experimental studies conducted in low- and middle-income countries.

This was modelled on medicine’s All Trials project campaign, which has met a great favourable response. Its aim is to have all medical research projects pre-registered before any analysis takes place to prevent them going ‘missing in action’ if they produce negative results.

Snilstveit called for more funding for high-quality studies on the effects of education programmes. “Such studies should target substantive gaps: promising interventions, innovations, areas where effects are unknown, geographical contexts where there is a lack of evidence — for example, west and north Africa, Middle East, large, populous countries like Nigeria, Bangladesh and Indonesia,” she said.

She added to the list studies that incorporate equity, target the hardest to reach children, report on intervention costs and allow for cost-effectiveness analysis.

Uptake of the registry has been low, with only 91 studies registered so far. But at least it’s a step in the right direction.

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Exporters encouraged to utilise more of AGOA tariff lines Thu, 27 Oct 2016 11:35:41 +0000 agoaThis came through at the two-day Team Export South Africa (TESA) workshop which took place in Midrand in the past two days.

South African exporters have been encouraged to utilise more of the tariff lines negotiated under the Africa Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA). This came through at the two-day Team Export South Africa (TESA) workshop which took place in Midrand in the past two days.

According to the Director of Americas Bilateral Trade Relations in the International Trade and Economic Development Division (ITED) of the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) Mr Malose Letsoalo, South Africa is only utilising 141 tariff lines out of the 1835 that are there under AGOA. He added that with regards to the 3 400 non-reciprocal arrangements, South Africa was only utilising 459.

“We have experienced a lot of change and diversification in terms of our exports to the United States of America market from just exporting mainly commodities between 1994 and 2000, to more value-added products since 2001 to date,” said Letsoalo.

He highlighted that the value-added products included among others nuts, automotives, chemicals and wines, and said more of the opportunities exited in the sectors of agricultural products, automotive components and capital equipment among others.

“TESA needs to take advantage of trade opportunities provided by trade agreements like the SADC protocol, The European Free Trade Agreement and the Economic Partnership Agreements with other countries. This will assist us to deal with the triple challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality,” said Letsoalo.

The Chief Director for the Incentive Development and Administration Division of the dti Mr Hawie Viljoen said the department was committed to assist exporters even under the tight budgetary constraints. According to Viljoen the department had introduced more stringent criteria in terms of providing funding for exporters into the international market.

“Some of the criteria that we had to introduce included improvement in terms of strengthening post-event export benefit tracking to ensure that the companies we fund are able to increase exports, to ensure high impact and value for money,” said Viljoen.

He highlighted that the importance of exporters making use of opportunities available for export but ensuring that there is value for money in terms of what government puts in.

Ms Jill Atwood-Palm from the South African Fruits and Vegetable Canners Association said she appreciated the interaction by government, agencies and export councils and highlighted the importance of continuous engagement, as sharing of resources will ensure that the common goal of increasing exports is achieved.

Export councils as well as provincial departments participating in the workshop expressed the need for collaboration, communication and increasing the partnership between the dti and the exporters. The workshop also resolved that Trade Invest South Africa (TISA) within the dti leads the process of developing an action plan derived out of the Integrated National Export Strategy to ensure that the objectives are realised.

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gridComm, Somerset Group Bring Smart Street Lighting Sensory Network Thu, 27 Oct 2016 09:35:38 +0000 gridcommgridComm, a leader in smart street light solutions and IoT sensor networks, and civic-minded investment firm Somerset Group have partnered to install smart street lighting sensory networks across the Kingdom of Swaziland.

A developing country with a small economy, Swaziland — a member of the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) and Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) — is flanked by the Republic of South Africa and the Republic of Mozambique. A majority of Swaziland is undeveloped, and its economy is highly focused on agriculture, forestry and mining. With these industries only accounting for approximately 13 percent of the gross domestic product, there is an urgent need to bolster productivity and increase the standard of living.

gridComm’s unique smart street lighting sensory network technology delivers intelligent, eco-friendly lighting to Swaziland, saving energy and money while also limiting carbon emissions. Concurrently, based on the existing street lighting infrastructure, the technology establishes a ready-to-use internet of things (IoT) sensory network which can be used to monitor crops, weather and more via data analytics. This will assist Swaziland’s farming communities by helping to optimize productivity and increase agricultural output.

gridComm’s smart street lighting sensory network system is built with hybrid communication technologies comprised of a next-generation multi-channel OFDMA (Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access) power line communication (PLC) transceiver (gridComm’s GC2200) and a wireless physical layer. gridComm uses its PLC and digital power supply technologies to convert traditional street lighting into energy-aware and remotely managed and monitored web-based networks.

“By deploying gridComm’s solution, the practice of sending engineering experts physically out into the field to fix connectivity issues becomes a thing of the past, as they can now be remotely monitored,” noted Mike Holt, CEO for gridComm. “Our technology has been thoroughly proven to be exceptionally robust and reliable, and our recent successes in more than 12 cities across Asia underscore this fact. We look forward to delivering more deployments in Swaziland and other parts of Africa in conjunction with Somerset Group.”

As the preferred technology for street light control, PLC is more reliable than wireless technologies — particularly low-power radio frequency technologies — which are more prone to interference in outdoor environments. Because many IoT sensors run on batteries, hybrid power line and wireless communication technology ensures connectivity between these sensors when they are in the vicinity of smart street lights. With gridComm’s solution, IoT sensors can be introduced to the network as they are needed. gridComm modules are designed to automatically attach to the nearest gateway without onsite tuning or configuration — for true ‘plug-and-play’ connectivity.

“For a developing country like Swaziland, adopting the right technology solutions is crucial to shaping a sustainable environment,” noted Henri Thompson, group managing director of Somerset Group, South Africa. “We envision that gridComm’s smart technology will deliver the data analytics needed to boost crop yields and positively affect Swaziland’s economic development. We intend to bring gridComm technology and all of its benefits to other countries on the African continent as well.”

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SA: Roadmap needed to finance higher education Thu, 27 Oct 2016 07:40:28 +0000 Pravin_Gordhan_-Wikimedia commonsBy–

Cape Town – A roadmap to finance the study costs of poor and working class students is needed to address the ongoing university fees protests across the country, government said on Wednesday.

“A roadmap is needed to fully finance the costs of study for students from poor and working-class families. The plan needs to consider the impact of different education interventions to maximise social and economic transformation,” said government in its 2016 Medium Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS) tabled by Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan.

Minister Gordhan, who tabled the MTBPS in Parliament, said university education benefits society and it also improves graduates’ income and employment prospects.

The Minister said universities and students will receive an additional R17 billion over the term – R9 billion for the National Student Financial Aid Scheme over the period ahead and over R8 billion to meet the costs of fee increases for students from households with incomes up to R600 000.

In his maiden MTBPS since returning to the National Treasury portfolio, Minister Gordhan said the “fees must fall” movement by university students has placed the issue of education funding at the centre of the policy debate.

“It has also generated welcome suggestions on how to fund tertiary education,” noted the document.

The 2016 MTBPS which is also dubbed as the mini budget proposes to accelerate the growth of spending on post-school education. Despite fiscal constraints, subsidies to universities grow at 10.9 % each year and transfers to the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) grow at 18.5 %.

In the 2016 Budget, R5.7 billion was added to university subsidies to fund the zero percent fee increase for the 2016 academic year, while the NSFAS received additional funding of R10.6 billion over the MTEF period.

However, students across the country have continued their protests across various universities, calling for free higher education, despite the announcement by Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande. Minister Nzimande at a briefing last month said universities could increase fees by no more than 8%.

“In the 2017 Budget, government will fund the increase in fees at higher learning institutions for the 2017 academic year up to a maximum of 8% for students from households earning up to R600 000 per year,” said the MTBPS on Wednesday.

Speaking at a media briefing ahead of tabling the country’s 20th MTBPS, Minister Gordhan said concerns were raised by students.

“We hear them absolutely clearly. There’s no room for violence in any form. The objective is to ensure that people have access [to higher education] and become a dynamic part to our economy,” said Minister Gordhan.

He stressed that government is listening to students. “This is not a government that is not listening.”

Adding to the Minister’s comments, Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation Minister Jeff Radebe said that the task team set up to look into the matter is seized with bringing about normalcy to higher education institutions. “We need to protect the future of our children,” said Minister Radebe.

Speaking at the same briefing, Minister Nzimande said the country needs to expand its colleges and that the country is facing a shortage of mid level skills.


In addition, government said two concerns lie at the heart of the issue of the call for free higher education. The first concern according to government is that despite massive increases in allocations to the NSFAS, the enrolment of academically deserving students from poor communities has grown faster than available funding.

In addition, there is no clear national framework for financing students who – although not affluent – are above the modest threshold established by the NSFAS means test.

“As a result, many students face financial hardships that undermine their ability to succeed academically,” said the MTBPS.

Over the past 20 years government has significantly expanded funding of education with basic education being the largest item in the national budget that is tabled annually in February.

Higher education priorities

Despite this, the education system is not achieving the desired outcomes. In the years ahead, priorities for government include expanding access to and the quality of early childhood development, overcoming institutional weaknesses in basic education, broadening access to effective vocational and technical skills, and improving the impact of resources devoted to vocational training.

“In all these areas, additional resources may be needed – and strong interventions to unblock institutional constraints are required.”

The current government policy framework calls for the progressive expansion of post-school education within available resources with the largest gains in student access being envisaged in technical and vocational colleges.

“Improving the quality of teaching at these colleges and building stronger links with industry so that skills are relevant and can support economic growth are policy imperatives.”


Over the past five years, expenditure on post-school education and training has grown much faster than other budgets.

Allocations have increased from 1% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2008 to 1.5 % today. Most of this increase benefited vocational colleges, sector education and training authorities and the National Skills Fund, rather than universities.

“Building on the successful expansion of access to higher education, government acknowledges the need to correct its course and increase the number of graduates, while improving teaching and research,” said Minister Gordhan.

The mini budget said those who go on to become affluent citizens have a responsibility to contribute a share of these gains to the next generation.

“In higher education, as in all areas of public policy, decisions and trade-offs are required to ensure balanced, sustainable development that meets the vast needs of the population using available resources.”

Added to that, government is working to expand post school education and training to produce a larger pool of mid to high level skills as envisioned in the National Development Plan.

Improving learner throughput rates by developing teaching and learning support plans for technical and vocational education and training (TVET) colleges is a priority.

The colleges will receive support to refurbish workshop facilities and to obtain equipment and protective gear for practical training. Training for artisans will be expanded while community education and training will receive support.

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Successes realised by Abagold is Testimony that South Africa can grow Jobs in the Aqua-Culture and Processing Sector Wed, 26 Oct 2016 15:55:37 +0000 waterAbagold Way cultivates, produces and markets natural abalone

The Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies says that successes achieved by Abagold Way aqua enterprise in increasing its employee workforce even during tough economic times is testimony that there is an existing abundance of job growth opportunities in the aqua-culture and processing industry. Davies was speaking in Hermanus during the “Taking the dti to the factories” campaign that was embarked upon by the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) in partnership with Productivity SA to witness Abagold Ways’ successes since its uptake of the Workplace Challenge Programme. Abagold Way cultivates, produces and markets natural abalone.

“We need to unearth more of these opportunities and we need to move this work further forward. We look forward to strengthening this partnership and to helping Abagold become the gold standard in the global abalone farming industry,” said Davies.

Minister Davies highlighted that the programme is trying to bring up improvements in competitiveness based on productivity.

“The Programme we’re celebrating here today is something called the workplace challenge. It’s a programme supported by the national economic labour council. The national productivity institute is part of that. Over the years they have supported 250 enterprises with about 500 000 people. What happens is that there is a small contribution from the enterprise itself and a larger portion comes from the dti through the skills for the economy programme. That is how we come into the picture as the dti. Abalone farming is a high value industry which we have identified as part of our oceans economy strategy,” added Minister Davies.

Abagold Way Managing Director, Mr Tim Hedges stated that the Workplace Challenge Programme has made a big difference in the company.

“It was through the implementation of the Workplace Challenge programme that the company was able to successfully increase its employee workforce from 323 in 2012 to 463 in 2016. As an organisation we have been blessed in that we recently received the Exporter of the Year Award from the Cape Chamber of Commerce in recognition of our efforts. A lot of the accolades we have received from the industry have been a great motivator,” said Hedges.

Abalone farming is a high value industry which we have identified as part of our oceans economy strategy.

In 2015, the dti renewed the Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) with Productivity SA as a programme management entity for the Workplace Challenge Programme.

The Programme aims to improve the productivity and competitiveness of enterprises through collaboration between employers and employees on issues such as developing common goals, implementing improvements that lead to a world class competitiveness and best operating practices.

The Chief Executive Officer for Productivity SA, Mr Mothunye Mothiba said that the Workplace Challenge Programme is about building a culture of dialogue between management and employees in an organisation.

“And I have seen the fruits of that today. If you listen to employees at this facility you get a sense of what worker involvement is about,” said Mothiba.

Mothiba added that the Workplace Challenge Programme starts with small things.

“At the heart of productivity is the elimination of obstacles. Over and above you can see that since Abagold joined the WPC Programme their turnover has since increased, their productivity has increased and the number of workers they employ has also increased. What we want as Productivity SA is to have the culture of productivity and competitiveness by focussing on enhancing the productive capacity and operational efficiency of enterprises across the value chain,” he said.

In conclusion, Mothiba said that they had finished implementing the programme at Abagold.

“Going forward we will be establishing productivity champions in each of these beneficiary companies to an extent that we create a community of practitioners that will work with our teams so that they continue working and maintaining the momentum,” said Mothiba.

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Uganda’s first-ever Social Service Delivery Equity Atlas launched Wed, 26 Oct 2016 12:46:27 +0000 unicefAtlas maps key results vs public expenditures for children across Uganda.

The Government of Uganda has today launched an Atlas that helps to monitor the delivery and impact of basic services for children and other vulnerable groups across Uganda.

Dubbed as the Social Service Delivery Equity Atlas, Uganda’s first-ever publication that maps key results versus public expenditures for children, the tool is part of the “Rethinking Public Finance for children: Monitoring for Results” initiative by the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, the Economic Policy Research Centre (ERPC), and UNICEF.

“This initiative represents a fundamental milestone in our efforts to strengthen Government’s current monitoring systems – moving beyond an accountability trail for budgetary resources to a system of tracking service delivery performance and impact,” says Keith Muhakanizi, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development.

The Atlas specifically provides analysis on the impact of public investments on social outcomes like school completion rates, antenatal care visits and improved water source functionality, among others, enabling government and its partners to track decentralised allocations across the priority sectors of education, health and water.

“Much of the information that has been generated through the Atlas shows that poor outcomes are not necessarily the result of insufficient inputs, but sometimes the lack of complementary investments in key areas such as social protection or behaviour and social change interventions,” says UNICEF’s Representative in Uganda. Ms. Aida Girma.

During the one-day conference that launched the Atlas, experts discussed both the Atlas and Public Finance for Children (PF4C) policy briefs focusing on education, health, water, sanitation and hygiene.

According to Dr. Ibrahim Kasirye of EPRC, “the Atlas disaggregates service delivery and identifies gaps in the critical sectors by region, which together with the policy briefs provide direction on where and what effort is required.

By doing so, he noted, “government can move away from the traditional ‘one size fits all’ approach to tailored solutions, which may not necessarily be through increased financing. It is an opportunity for Uganda to improve effectiveness and efficiency in service delivery, especially in the face of resource constraints.”

And, Margaret Kakande, Head of the Budget Monitoring and Analysis Unit within the Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development (BMAU) explained, “this initiative builds on our existing monitoring framework by bringing performance monitoring up to a higher strategic outcome level.

“In order to meet new community demands, monitoring efforts now need to be slightly re-oriented from purely focusing on the effective delivery of key outputs to the actual impact public investments are having, which this does.”

With 56% of its population below 18 years of age, the effective investment of Uganda’s resources into the optimal development of children’s capacities and talents – Uganda’s future human capital – is vital to the achievement of Uganda’s Vision 2040 of becoming an upper middle income country by 2040.

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Agriculture Entrepreneur from Madagascar wins $25,000 2016 Anzisha Grand Prize for African Youth Entrepreneurship Wed, 26 Oct 2016 11:35:55 +0000 anzishaThe 12 Anzisha Prize finalists were hand-picked from an applicant pool of 550 entrepreneurs from 32 African countries.

African Leadership Academy ( and The MasterCard Foundation ( are pleased to announce Heritiaina Randriamananatahina, 22 year old agriculture entrepreneur from Madagascar, as this year’s winner of the $25,000 Grand Prize in the sixth annual edition of Africa’s premier award for youth entrepreneurship. Heritiaina is the founder of Fiombonana, an agro-processing enterprise that manufactures dairy products and confectioneries using only Malagasy raw materials, employing farmers and providing local job opportunities. Heritiaina was selected from a competitive pool of diverse entrepreneurs from all over Africa. For the first time ever, Anzisha Prize ( is pleased to award one of the top prizes to a finalist from Madagascar, creating a truly pan-African network of entrepreneurs who represent Africa’s best youth entrepreneurs.

This year, Anzisha Prize celebrates increased representation of winners from francophone countries. The first runner-up was environmental entrepreneur Yaye Souadou Fall, 21, from Senegal (who will receive $15,000) while agricultural entrepreneur N’guessan Koffi Jacques Olivier, 19, from Cote d’Ivoire was the second runner-up (and will receive $12,500).

The presence of two agriculture entrepreneurs in the top three is emblematic of the important role agriculture plays in Africa’s economies. Agriculture represented the sector with the largest share of applicants for the prize this year. The Agriculture Sector Prize was also claimed by N’guessan Koffi Jacques Olivier who demonstrated the potential for agriculture to create jobs for youth.

As the grand prize-winner, Heritiaina impressed a pan-African panel of judges with his venture response to a real need within his community, effective business model, job-creation potential, scalability, and demonstrated leadership potential. Fiombonana has enjoyed significant success to date including sizeable growth as Fiombonana produces 800kg of cheese a week, with potential for rapid and low cost expansion due to innovations such as reverse-engineering machinery for food processing. “I am so excited to win the Anzisha Prize for 2016, even though I had to drop out of school when I was in grade six. My hard work in my business is paying off. I appreciate the training I have already received so far. Now that I have won, I will invest in my own education and grow my business,” says Heritiaina.

The first runner up for the prize, Yaye Souadou from Senegal and founder of E-cover, is also the first Senegalese entrepreneur ever in the top three in the history of Anzisha Prize. The core need the venture meets is to repurpose the many discarded tyres that are available in her home city, Dakar, into multi-purpose tiles for paving playgrounds, pavements, roads, and other surfaces. Yaye believes that youth can be agents of change to solve the problems that Africa faces and can drive pursuit of opportunities for economic growth. Her win will enable her to build the production capacity that her venture desperately needs in order to meet customer demand.

Anzisha Prize is a truly inclusive and pan-African Prize

N’guessan Koffi Jacques Olivier from Cote d’ Ivoire is the remarkable second runner up who founded Yaletite Entrepreneurship Group CI. Yaletite Entrepreneurship Group CI is an agricultural group with the aim of producing and selling chocolate and food crops for profit and mobilizing youth for agricultural employment. It is unique for the manner in which Koffi operates his farm, through modern methods to ensure maximum yields during processing. Koffi has managed to tirelessly pursue this innovative venture, and create employment for 35 people. Koffi creates improved livelihoods for over 100 households through access to innovative farming practices.

The Anzisha Sector Prize in Agriculture was also awarded to N’guessan Koffi Jacques Olivier. The Anzisha Prize in Agriculture is offered with the sponsorship of the Louis Dreyfus Foundation (, which promotes projects in the areas of sustainable agriculture, food security and self-sufficiency, particularly through education and direct support to farmers. The Louis Dreyfus Foundation Award for Entrepreneurship in Agriculture was offered for a second year this year, and aims to recognize young African entrepreneurs who are making a sustainable impact in the agriculture sector.

The MasterCard Foundation continues to support both entrepreneurs and the Anzisha Prize support program that the entrepreneurs will now access. “Joining the ranks of the Anzisha Fellows, this impressive group of young men and women are igniting the entrepreneurial spark in young people across Africa,” said Koffi Assouan, Program Manager, Youth Livelihoods at The MasterCard Foundation. “This ripple, the #AnzishaEffect has the power to transform the continent as these young entrepreneurs rise to become the next generation of African movers and shakers.”

“Anzisha Prize is a truly inclusive and pan-African Prize. The program is run in a multi-lingual learning environment in which entrepreneurs can learn regardless of their preferred language of instruction such as Arabic, French, Portuguese, and even Malagasy this year. The entrepreneurs really represent the true cream of the crop from the entire continent,” says Grace Kalisha, Program Manager for the Anzisha Prize.

The Anzisha Prize is a partnership between African Leadership Academy and The MasterCard Foundation. The 12 Anzisha Prize finalists were hand-picked from an applicant pool of 550 entrepreneurs from 32 African countries. Now in its sixth year, Anzisha Prize celebrated these outstanding young people at an exclusive, invitation-only ceremony on Tuesday 25 October 2016 in Johannesburg. The 12 finalists presented their ventures to a panel of judges after spending ten days in a business accelerator camp to strengthen business fundamentals. They join a now 67 strong pool of Anzisha Fellows and will receive ongoing business-consulting support, access to experts, and access to networking opportunities to enable sustainable venture growth.

Applications for the next cycle of the Anzisha Prize will open on 15 February in 2017. Nominations for promising youth entrepreneurs are welcome all year round.

For more information on the Anzisha Prize and to nominate an entrepreneur, please visit the Anzisha Prize on, Facebook: and Twitter: @anzishaprize.

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SA: Enrolment at Higher Education institutions on the rise Wed, 26 Oct 2016 09:13:17 +0000 educationBy –

Cape Town – Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) Statistician-General Pali Lehohla says the number of students that have enrolled at institutions of higher learning have been on the increase over a ten year period.

Briefing the media at the Imbizo Centre in Cape Town, on Tuesday, the Statistician-General said the Financial Statistics of Higher Education Institutions 2015 report shows that enrolments at universities have been rising since 2006 until 2015.

“Student enrolment in Higher Education grew by 32.5% from 2006 to 2015. So that’s the enrolment – it grew from 700 000 to almost a million in 2015,” he said.

He said first year students constituted 170 000 of those that were registered to study in 2015. He said before 2015, they were fewer.

Meanwhile, the Statistician-General said grants by national government to Higher Education increased by 144% over a ten year period from 2006 to 2015.

He said grants received by the public Higher Education institutions in 2015 amounted to R26.9 billion, which was R1.5 billion more compared with 2014 (R25.4 billion).

The increase could be attributed to an increase in transfer payments from the Department of Higher Education and Training to the University of Witwatersrand, Sol Plaatjie University and the inclusion of Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University for the first time in the 2015 financial year, the Statistician-General said.

He said salaries of universities comprise about 58% of the total Higher Education expenditure over the ten-year period.

“On average, income from tuition fees increased by 12.7% per annum over the ten year period – well above inflation of 2006 to 2015.

“The annual rise in tuition fees for tertiary education (consumer price index) in 2015 was 9.8%. In 2016, it was 0% and for 2017, it has been set to not more than 8%.”

Income for universities

The Statistician-General said universities had a total income of R63.1 billion from operating activities for the financial year that ended in December 2015.

He said this was R4.9 billion higher than the income that was received in the 2014 financial year.

The increase was mainly due to “other receipts” like tuition fees [R36.2 billion], amongst others, as well as grants [R26.9 billion] received from the Department of Higher Education and Training.

He said cash receipts from “other receipts” went up by R3.4 billion – from R32.8 billion in 2014 to R36.2 billion in 2015.

While the increase in cash receipts from “other receipts” was due to increases in sales of goods and services and tuition fees by the University of South Africa, University of Pretoria and the University of Witwatersrand, he said the increase in grant funding can be attributed to an increase in transfer payments from the department to the University of Witswatersrand, Sol Plaatje University and the inclusion of Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University for the first time in the 2015 financial year.

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SA: Matric exams kick off Wed, 26 Oct 2016 06:19:04 +0000 sa flagBy-

Pretoria – Learners across the country will today sit for their final 2016 National Senior Certificate (NSC) examinations.

They will write their first English Paper at 9am.

A few of them started last week with other subjects including IT.

The Grade 12 examinations will run from 26 October to 29 November 2016.

Umalusi, which quality assures all exit point examinations in general and further education (NQF levels 1-4), says approximately 668 612 full-time and 146 997 part-time candidates will sit for the exams.

The examinations, which will take place at more than 7 000 centres across the country, will be marked by over 38 000 markers across the provinces.

The results will be announced on 4 January 2017.

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International Colloquium of Rabat to study links between trade, investment and sustainable development Tue, 25 Oct 2016 13:35:13 +0000 UNECA logoThis year’s edition of the colloquium will take place under the theme “Trade, Investment and Sustainable Development” and will take place from Thursday 27 to Saturday 29 October at the Faculty of Legal, Economic and Social Science of the Mohammed V University of Rabat (Morocco)

This event is taking place as Morocco is preparing to host the Twenty-Second Conference of Parties (COP22)

The Economic Commission for Africa is organizing, in partnership with the WTO Chair of the Mohammed V University of Rabat and LEAD (University of Toulon Laboratory for Applied Economic Research in Development) the Tenth International Colloquium of Rabat.

This year’s edition of the colloquium will take place under the theme “Trade, Investment and Sustainable Development” and will take place from Thursday 27 to Saturday 29 October at the Faculty of Legal, Economic and Social Science of the Mohammed V University of Rabat (Morocco).

This event is taking place as Morocco is preparing to host the Twenty-Second Conference of Parties (COP22); it will provide participants with an opportunity to discuss topics such as:

  • Financing sustainable development
  • Climate change and the mobility of goods and people
  • Optimal economic management of natural resources
  • Public policies for sustainable economic development
  • Green economy as a new growth niche for Mediterranean countries
  • From COP21 to COP22 : commitments made and their implications for the development of countries
  • The trade of environmental goods and services
  • Dispute settlement and climate change
  • Environment economics
  • The stakes of climate negotiations
  • Non-Trade WTO objectives
  • The complementarity between WTO rules and Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs)

Event: Tenth edition of the International Colloquium of Rabat, under the theme “Trade, Investment and Sustainable Development”

Date: 27-28 October 2016

Place: Faculty of Legal, Economic and Social Science, Mohammed V University of Rabat (Morocco)

Event: Doctoral school of the International Colloquium of Rabat

Date: 29 October 2016

Place: Faculty of Legal, Economic and Social Science, Mohammed V University of Rabat (Morocco)

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