AfricanBrains Africa Education Innovation Technology Investment Networking Events News Social Media Blogs Sun, 24 May 2015 09:44:48 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Uganda will host the Kampala Private Equity and Venture Capitalist Conference 2015 from 24th to 25th June 2015 Sat, 23 May 2015 07:39:54 +0000 Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) invites interested Private Equity and Venture Capitalist Firms in Africa to attend this conference

Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) (uia announces that Uganda will host the Kampala Private Equity and Venture Capitalist Conference 2015 from 24th to 25th June 2015. This will be the first of its kind and will focus on providing alternative sources and financing for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

The growth and development of SMEs, is among Government’s key priority areas which has been hampered by lack of affordable and appropriate finance for the investment growth and expansion of businesses. This state necessitates alternative funding solutions which should be more appropriate and more affordable than traditional funding options. These solutions are from another section of the private sector; and they provide a win win situation. In this case, private equity firms and venture capitalists (individual or firms) look for viable businesses in which to invest their capital and business management practices, while SMEs looking for more than capital in form of money benefit from the partnership, through access to new technology markets and better management practices.

The SME focus of Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) is to strengthen the existing businesses and encourage start ups through strategies that strengthen the competitiveness of SMEs and encourage the consumption of locally produced goods and services. One of the ways to do this is to provide alternative solutions for the funding problem, hence the upcoming Kampala Private Equity and Venture Capitalist Conference 2015. This conference will provide a platform to enable networking with a high quality mix of venture capitalists and private equity firms so that deals can get done. Ugandan SMEs in attendance will benefit from experts and regulatory professionals who will provide an insight into the status of their businesses and possibilities on what can be done to tap into all opportunities presented by the market. We hope funding arrangements between the SMEs and PE and VC firms will be concluded during the conference.

UIA invites interested Private Equity and Venture Capitalist Firms in Africa to attend this conference and get an insight into this unexplored viable investment opportunity.

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Africa central to SA’s foreign policy Fri, 22 May 2015 15:26:06 +0000 Maite Nkoana-Mashabane
International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane

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Pretoria – The African continent remains central in South Africa’s foreign policy, International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane reaffirmed on Thursday.

“We stand for cooperation and partnership, instead of competition, in global affairs. South Africa will continue to forge closer political, economic and social relations through targeted high-level interactions in Africa,” she said while delivering the department’s Budget Vote in Parliament.

But for this realisation to happen, there needs to be peace, be it in the SADC, Great Lakes, and the Horn or in North Africa.

“Peace shall remain a dream if the continent continues to experience setbacks such as the recent coup attempt in Burundi,” she said, reiterating Pretoria’s condemnation of the attempted unconstitutional change of government in that country.

“We must silence the guns! Africa must be at peace with itself.”

The minister said her department will also focus its medium-term budget on the implementation of Africa’s Agenda 2063, a five-decade plan aimed at realising the socioeconomic transformation of the continent.

This will also be a central feature of discussions at the African Union Summit in June, to be hosted in Johannesburg.

The summit will also see the ratification of the SADC-EAC-COMESA Tripartite Free Trade Agreement.

This, according to Minister Nkoana-Mashabane, will pave the way for the Continental Free Trade Area negotiations due to be concluded in 2017 – a step which will ensure that Africa trades more and more with itself.

The Minister said to realise the full benefits of continental integration, democracy must be deepened to give people the voice they deserve.

“We should govern our countries in a manner that is progressive, inclusive, with the people always first. Our constitutions have to reign supreme to ensure the accountability of our leaders and political certainty.”

The minister also took a swipe at the slow pace at which the continent implements policies.

“We are not short of policies. It is in action that we are inadequate. Our continental organisations are in place. What they need however is more effectiveness, sharpness in programme delivery, and finding innovative sources of self-financing for budgetary self-reliance,” she said.

The minister also committed to working with other organisations to G20, BRICS, IBSA, IAEA to promote strong, sustained and inclusive economic growth.

“We must continue to demand and work for a fair global economic order.”

She also turned her focus to the reform of the United Nations and UNSC reiterating that the 70th Anniversary should be year of reform.

Africa must be represented in the permanent category of this council, she said.

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Educate youth for a better Africa: Deputy Minister Fri, 22 May 2015 13:30:39 +0000 Buti ManamelaBy –

Pretoria – Deputy Minister in the Presidency responsible for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, Buti Manamela, has called for the youth to be educated and skilled so they can build a better future for Africa.

“Let us put books and pens in the hands of young people to educate and skill them for a better future for Africa, rather than bullets and guns to fight wars decided by the older generations and which further deteriorates our continent,” Deputy Minister Manamela said on Friday.

He was speaking at the 3rd Intergenerational Dialogue with the Pan African Parliament and the African Youth, which was held under the theme “Promoting a culture of good governance for citizen’s action for empowerment of young women, as well as youth innovation and entrepreneurship”.

“Let us build on the capacity, energy, vigour of young people towards innovation and entrepreneurship to take advantage of the huge need for industrialisation and beneficiation of our mineral resources rather than exporting these resources as raw materials in exchange for arms to fund our internal and civil wars,” he said.

He said the continent needed youth rebels in the field of technology, entrepreneurship and innovation if it was going to give true meaning to the Agenda 2063.

“We are more determined, as we celebrate Africa Day in a few days to come, to continue to build African consciousness and pan-Africanism amongst our people.

“We will only end this form of violence amongst Africans if we destroy the borders that merely shelter our poverty, our inequality and our under-development and strengthens the fear and scepticism that African people will continue to have amongst themselves,” Deputy Minister Manamela said.

South Africa is on the verge of adopting a National Youth Policy 2020.

“Through this policy, and guided by the African Youth Charter, we have placed at the centre youth development and empowerment issues of the economy, access to education and skills, entrepreneurship, healthy lifestyles, national cohesion and nation building and strengthening youth development institutions and agencies,” he said.

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Launch of report on energy and climate change by Kofi Annan’s Africa Progress Panel Fri, 22 May 2015 09:31:14 +0000 kofi annanLaunch of report on energy and climate change by Kofi Annan’s Africa Progress Panel.

What: Launch of report on energy and climate change by Kofi Annan’s Africa Progress Panel

When: 5 June 2015

Where: World Economic Forum, Press Conference Room, Convention Center, Cape Town, South Africa.

Who: The Africa Progress Panel is chaired by former UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan. The other panel members are Michel Camdessus, former Managing Director of the IMF; Peter Eigen, founder of Transparency International; Bob Geldof, musician, businessman and campaigner; Graça Machel, social and political activist; Strive Masiyiwa, Chairman and Chief Executive of Econet Wireless; Linah Mohohlo, Governor of the Bank of Botswana; Olusegun Obasanjo, former President of Nigeria; Robert E Rubin, former Secretary of the US Treasury; and Tidjane Thiam, incoming Chief Executive of Credit Suisse.

The 2015 Africa Progress Panel report, “Power, People, Planet, Seizing Africa’s Energy and Climate Opportunities” details how climate change demands that we rethink the relationship between energy and development in Africa and globally.

appPanel members will address the media at the launch in Cape Town and will be available for interviews in the preceding days.

The embargo will lift at 00:01GMT on 5 June. T

Please RSVP at 11 784 2598 if you will be attending the APP 2015 report launch event on the 5th June 2015, at CTICC, at 10:15.

The Africa Progress Panel 2015 report will be available on the website from 5 June 2015.

Join the conversation using the hashtag #ClimateChange #WEF15 and follow our twitter handle @africaprogress or join us on our Facebook page via

For more information contact:

Max Bankole Jarrett

Deputy Director

Office: + 41 22 919 75 31

Mobile: +41 79 137 1536

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Orange launches the 2015 Orange African Social Venture Prize Thu, 21 May 2015 15:30:09 +0000 orangeThis initiative aims to encourage innovative start-up projects which help to accelerate development on the African continent

Orange ( is launching the call for applications for the 5th edition of the Orange African Social Venture Prize. This initiative aims to encourage innovative start-up projects which help to accelerate development on the African continent.

The prize will recognize three projects with grants of 10,000, 15,000 and 25,000 euros, along with six months of support from Orange experts. The first prize will also be offered a patent registration in the country of the project’s deployment.

Internet users are also invited to vote online for their favourite project on Orange’s entertainment portal in Africa, The winner of the “Favourite Project” will have its project submitted directly to the jury along with the other project finalists.

Serving development by stimulating innovation

The Orange African Social Venture Prize showcases entrepreneurs offering innovative products or services that meet the needs of Africans in fields such as health, agriculture, education, energy, industry or trade.

Over the past four years, 2,000 projects have been submitted for the Orange African Social Venture Prize, reflecting the dynamism of African entrepreneurs and the potential of the telecommunications sector in Africa.

Supporting African entrepreneurship

Operating in 19 countries in Africa and the Middle East, Orange serves more than 100 million customers in the region. Given the positive impact that digital services have on peoples’ daily lives, this presence means that the Group plays a major role in Africa’s economy and future development.

As a result, one of Orange’s main priorities is to improve connectivity, particularly in rural areas, and to introduce value-adding mobile services. The Group also supports entrepreneurs by offering a variety of support programmes, both to entrepreneurs seeking to create their own company and to mature start-ups. To achieve this, Orange is sharing its experience and know-how by offering access to its networks and platforms, and by facilitating the creation of new services by making available its Application Programming Interface (API) catalogue. In addition, the Group has created special mechanisms for acceleration or incubation such as the Orange Fab programme in Côte d’Ivoire, as well as supporting structures for financing and management. Since 2010, Orange is a partner of the CTIC Dakar incubator, a reference in Western Africa. In April 2014, the CIPME Niger incubator, which was initiated by Orange, opened its doors to start-ups in the fields of renewable energy and the environment.

Who can enter?

Any entrepreneur (aged 21 or over) or legal entity that has been in existence for fewer than three years may participate at no cost and with no restriction on nationality. Submitted projects must be designed to be deployed in at least one of the 17 African countries in which Orange operates and must use information and communications technology in an innovative way to help improve the living conditions of the populations in these countries. Applications are accepted from 21 May to 18 September 2015 on Orange’s pan-African web portal,

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Bright Computing Announces Partnership with NTS Africa Thu, 21 May 2015 15:18:09 +0000 bright compToday, Bright Computing signed a partnership agreement with NTS Africa. Bright Computing is the leader in high performance infrastructure management solutions for cloud, big data and high-performance computing. NTS Africa is a company that provides clients with advanced technology and integrated IT solutions. Through this partnership Bright Computing and NTS Africa plan to drive adoption of infrastructure management solutions in West Africa.

NTS Africa specialises in forming strategic alliances and partnerships to blend best of breed products into leading technology solutions for its African customer base. In this way, customers benefit from state of the art IT solutions that solve real business issues, and first class consultancy and services from NTS Africa’s highly skilled technical team.

Companies across Africa are embarking on transformational IT projects to become more agile, more cost efficient, and more productive. NTS Africa has identified Bright Cluster Manager® as a technology that delivers a clear return on investment and plays a major role in improving a company’s operational efficiency, and is partnering with Bright Computing to capitalise on the opportunity this presents in the infrastructure management space.

NTS Africa is Dell’s Service Delivery Partner in West Africa with the responsibility of deploying Dell solutions and services. Bright Computing and Dell also have a longstanding relationship, and this is evidenced by Dell hardware solutions being regularly coupled with Bright’s innovative infrastructure management capabilities to introduce process automation and centralised operations to IT teams.

The new partnership with Bright Computing puts NTS Africa in a strong position to offer its clients’ valuable services around the world’s most robust and popular server platforms and infrastructure management solutions.

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SA: BRICS to hold Deputy Ministers’ meeting Thu, 21 May 2015 13:40:02 +0000 bricsBy–

Pretoria – International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) Deputy Minister Nomaindiya Mfeketo will represent South Africa at the BRICS Deputy Foreign Affairs Ministers Meeting to be held in Moscow, Russia.

Russia, in its capacity as BRICS Chair, will host the one-day meeting which will be attended by deputy ministers from the other bloc members Brazil, Russia, India and China on Friday.

The consultation amongst the Deputy Ministers will be held in preparation for the VII BRICS Summit, which will take place in Ufa, in July.

“The meeting will also serve to further strengthen BRICS consultations on global issues of mutual interest. Cooperation between the BRICS has deepened over the past year in a number of areas identified at the annual summits,” Dirco said on Wednesday.

Also on the agenda will be the matters relating to the Middle East and North Africa.

Developments in the Middle East and North Africa were first addressed by the Leaders of BRICS at the Third BRICS Summit held in Sanya, China, in 2011.

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SA: Basic Education celebrates Africa Day Thu, 21 May 2015 11:30:55 +0000 africaSchools celebrates Africa Day by singing the AU Anthem and reciting symbols

The Department of Basic Education will mark the celebrations of Africa Day with schools singing the African Union (AU) Anthem and reciting of symbols. A Ministerial directive has been issued to all provincial education departments to instruct schools across the country to call special assemblies at 8am on Africa Day, Monday, 25 May 2015.

This is the culmination of month long celebrations which continue to showcase a variety of activities under the theme: “We are Africa” – Opening the doors of learning and culture from Cape to Cairo”. The activities will also aim to support the AU 2015 theme: “Women Empowerment and Development towards Agenda 2063”.

During the AU Summit in Addis Ababa that took place from 23 – 31 January 2015, it was decided that South Africa will host the 25th Assembly and related meetings in June/July 2015. Additionally, it is at this 24th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the AU that Member States undertook to ensure that their citizens will know the AU symbols and learn the AU anthem.

Africa Day is the annual commemoration of the 1963 founding of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), presently recognised as the Africa Union (AU). The African Union comprises of 53 member states. The AU aims to promote greater unity and solidarity between African countries. It seeks to accelerate the political and socio-economic integration of Africa. The AU is also at the forefront of the drive for peace, security, and stability on the continent.

The department has a roll-out plan for the distribution and teaching of the AU symbols and Anthem in schools nationally. President Zuma announced during the Opening of Parliament on 12 February 2015 that “from this year, schools must also practise the African Union anthem, in preparation for the celebration of Africa month in May, as we implement the African Union decision in this regard”.

The department is committed and support all the energies employed to popularise and highlight the importance South Africa places on the implementation of resolutions made at the AU. The objective of the initiative is to teach the children in South African schools about the AU mandate, symbols and anthem.

The need to conscientise and instill pride and patriotism in the children of South Africa to their African heritage regardless of their race, cannot be overemphasized. We owe it our children to highlight linkages between South Africa and other African countries through the AU.

South Africa recognises itself as an integral part of the African continent therefore learners must be taught to understands that our country’s national interest are naturally linked to Africa’s stability, unity, and prosperity hence the need to recognise and celebrate Africa Month in the continent.

To take the embracing of AU symbols, schools throughout the country will also have an opportunity to sing the AU anthem during the South African Schools Choir Eisteddfod (SASCE) competitions presently taking place in provinces and districts. These are some of the efforts made at ensuring that the children of South Africa learn the AU anthem and show the commitment that South Africa places on its membership of the AU and to the implementation of each and every resolution and declaration that are taken at various meetings of the AU and its organs.

Members of the public are also encouraged, in support of the learners, to learn the AU anthem and symbols. The anthem is downloadable from the Thutong Portal on the Department of Basic Education website and websites of other government departments. Our collective effort will go a long way in eliminating events of the past weeks when foreign nationals were attacked and displaced.

Teachers and Learners are encouraged to be creative and display their passion for everything African on the day.

The provincial education departments and all the education districts have been advised to share details of some of their planned activities for Africa Day after singing of the AU anthem during the assembly at 8am on Monday, 25 May 2015.


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High School Senior to Take on Mt. Kilimanjaro to Ensure Girls No Longer Miss School Simply Because They Have their Periods Thu, 21 May 2015 08:51:59 +0000 kilimanjaroBella Wiener, a high school senior from Bend, OR, is preparing to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro June 17-27, 2015. Her goal is to spark awareness for one of the most overlooked problems: millions of girls and women in developing countries missing up to 50 days of school each year because there is a lack of affordable sanitary pads. UNICEF has estimated that one in 10 African girls miss school during their periods. The reason: sanitary pads cost more than a day’s worth of wages.

Bella always had a desire to summit Mt. Kilimanjaro, and decided that she wanted to make a lasting difference for girls and women while taking on this personal adventure. “I knew that I wanted to raise $60,000 by doing a charity climb of Mt. Kilimanjaro,” said Bella.

When Bella discovered Sustainable Health Enterprises, or SHE, and its innovative solution, she knew that this was the cause and organization. “I came across SHE and fell in love with the work and ideas. I appreciate how SHE isn’t just providing temporary aid, but rather is building a business that will help girls to continue to go to school and employ local women. SHE is creating a much more sustainable solution to the problems that women in sub-Saharan Africa face when trying to receive equal education opportunities.”

A social venture that invests in overlooked ideas that can have a significant positive impact, SHE is increasing women’s access to affordable menstrual products by manufacturing low-cost maxi pads using local agro-waste, primarily in Rwanda, but soon globally.

Bella reached out to SHE about her plans, and its Founder and Chief Instigating Officer Elizabeth Scharpf expressed immediate interest in helping Bella achieve her goals.

“Bella is a smart and passionate young person who is a great example of how one person can make a difference. $60,000 will help us double the number of girls that will have access to our radically affordable menstrual pads – from 3,000 to 6,000 girls. Bella’s climb will also allow us to expand and scale globally with our patented technology.”

Bella also has formed a national climb team that includes her mothers Sara Wiener and Joanne Richter of Bend, OR; Mia Klonsky, a high school senior in Portland, OR; Ashley Lalonde, a high school junior of New York, NY; Beatrice March, a high school junior of New York, NY; Chloe Raymond, a woodcarving artist of Bend, OR; Eva Johnston and her 16-year old son, Connor of Newport Beach, CA; Gayle Baker, a retired stockbroker of Bend, OR; and Connie Austin of Bend, OR.

So far, Bella and her Mt. Kilimanjaro Climb team have raised over $29,000 of their $60,000 goal. Now, Bella and her team are preparing for their 10-day summit in June, and are inviting everyone to join the #climbforSHE campaign to support her effort. “The best way you can support to the #climbforSHE campaign is to set up your personal fundraising page at, donate to me or one of my climbers, or tell your friends about SHE and its mission.”

You can follow Bella and her team’s preparation for her climb on SHE’s website:

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SA, Mozambique set to strengthen bilateral ties Wed, 20 May 2015 15:34:46 +0000 zuma 1By –

Pretoria – Bilateral ties between South Africa and Mozambique are set to soar to new levels as President Jacob Zuma undertakes a two-day state visit to that country.

The visit – which kicks off on Wednesday – will allow the two leaders to consult on issues of mutual interest, in particular on bilateral, regional and continental cooperation, the Presidency said on Monday.

“The visit will further foster closer trade relations with Mozambique, which is one of the seven fastest growing economies in sub-Saharan Africa.”

Mozambique has investment opportunities in sectors such as construction, mining and petroleum.

South Africa and Mozambique already share strong historical and fraternal ties dating back to the fight against colonialism and apartheid.

With the advent of democracy in 1994, South Africa and Mozambique have strengthened their relations especially in the area of economic cooperation and investment.

This cooperation resulted in the implementation of multi-billion rand economic projects such as the Maputo Development Corridor and the trilateral Spatial Development Initiative with Swaziland.

President Zuma will travel to Mozambique, accompanied by the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Minister of Arts and Culture Nathi Mthethwa, Minister of Energy Tina Joemat-Pettersson and Minister of Environmental Affairs Edna Molewa.

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