The event will encourage dialogue on how to strategize and mobilise valuable African resources that are critical to shaping the continent’s emerging economies
LONDON, United Kingdom, February 20, 2018/ — Unlocking Africa’s economic potential by increasing trade, collaboration and philanthropy within the commonwealth will be at the forefront of conversations at next month’s Commonwealth Africa Summit (http://CommonwealthAfrica.com) in London.
The Summit aims to spark new thinking on how to promote collective action, achieve shared prosperity and common good for Africans leveraging on their relationship with the commonwealth family of nations. Through a series of discussions, the event will encourage dialogue on how to strategise and mobilise valuable African resources that are critical to shaping the continent’s emerging economies.
The 5th in its annual series, the 2018 Commonwealth Africa Summit themed Common Good will have as Keynote Speaker H.E. John Dramani Mahama(Former President of Ghana), Amina J Mohammed (UN Deputy Secretary General), H.E. Senator Bukola Saraki (Senate President of Nigeria), Dr. Hassan Ahmed Hilal (Minister of Environment Sudan), Chief Mrs. Folorunso Alakija (Vice Chair – Famfa Oil), Rt. Hon. Mia Amor Mottley MP (Leader of Opposition and Former Deputy Prime Minister of Barbados), Dr. Babatope Agbeyo (Chairman Cornfield Group) and others to be announced soon.
Past speakers at the CAS Summit have included HRH Prince Andrew The Duke of York, Gen. Yakubu Gowon; Rt. Hon. Baleka Mbete (Speaker of the Parliament of South Africa), Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, Baroness Lynda Chalker of Wallasey; Lord Watson of Richmond; Lord Ahmed of Rotherham; Baroness Uddin of Bethnal Green; Simon Walker, Director General of the British Institute of Directors (IOD); Ministers of Government, Ambassadors and many other Global Leaders.
The 2018 summit will also feature as panellist a wide array of senior Cabinet Ministers and Chief Executives of corporations from Africa and across the Commonwealth including Dr. Hassan Ahmed Hilal (Minister of Environment Sudan), Kate Osamor (UK Shadow Secretary for International Development), Ms. Vivienne Yeda (Director General – East African Development Bank), Mark Pursey (CEO BTP Advisers), Henry Sands (SABI Strategy Group), Isha Johansen (President of Sierra Leone Football Association), Muriel Maupoint (CEO Hope for Children), Sally Anne Wilson (CEO Public Media Alliance), Dr. Justina Mutale (Advisory Board Member – World Leaders Forum), Tim Loughton MP, John Penrose MP (UK Prime Minister’s Anti-Corruption Champion), Mark Stoleson (Chief Executive Officer and Partner at Legatum), Martin Realey (CEO Build Africa), Debbie Ariyo (CEO AFRUCA), Tim Wainwright (CEO Water Aid), Paul Smith Lomas MBE (CEO of Practical Action), Dr. Babatope Agbeyo (CEO Cornfield Group and Botosoft Inc), Parminder Vir OBE (CEO Tony Elumelu Foundation), Lord Alan Watson of Richmond (Former Chair of Coca Cola Europe Advisory Board), Dayo Israel(Africa Regional Director, Commonwealth Africa Initiative), Odein Ajumogobia (Former Minister of Foreign Affairs Nigeria), Lord Hughes of Woodside(Chair of the British Anti-Apartheid Movement (AAM)), Paul Kunert (CEO Joule Africa), Dr. V B Narayanamurthy (Professor, India), Sidney Yankson(CEO Ghana Capital Partners Ltd), Dr. Amy Jadesinmi (CEO LADOL Energy), Elikem Nutifafa Kuenyehia (CEO ENS Ghana), Paul Kunert, DJ Cuppy Otedola, Dr. Ken Ikpe, Mark Tierney, Helen Tarnoy (Founder, Managing Director Aldwych International Ltd), Mr. Omar Selim (CEO Arabeque), Edward George (Country Head, UK Representative Office – ECOBANK Group), and many others.
Key themes and conversations will include:
How can we beat Africa’s Water Crisis?
Strong Economic Leadership: An imperative for Common Good
From Emerging Markets to Sustainable Market – Creating Sustainable economies across Africa
Africa for Africans: A New Era of Africa Philanthropic Giving and its impact on the continent
Are there disruptive solutions to solving Africa’s Energy and Infrastructural Challenges?
Economic Prosperity, Poverty and Human Trafficking in Africa: Finding lasting solutions
Climate Change: Issues, Priorities and Solutions for the Commonwealth Africa
Will Brexit Translate to opportunities for African Economy
Improving Opportunities for African Women: The role of economy, policy and culture
Beyond Philanthropy: How do we drive more access to finance for Africa’s budding entrepreneurs?
Investing in Africa: Where are the opportunities? Where are the financing gaps? How to successfully direct invest?
Which emerging markets are ripe for next generation of private equity financing?
How can Africa profit from its creative industries?
With more than 300 global and African thought leaders in government and business expected to attend over the three days, the stage will be set for discussion on issues ranging from trade and investment, entrepreneurship, job creation, economic development, health, security and counterterrorism, and energy.
An overview of the continent’s main natural resources.
Africa is a key territory on the global map. Rich in oil and natural resources, the continent holds a strategic position.
Rich in oil and natural resources, Africa is the world’s fastest-growing region for foreign direct investment. It has approximately 30 percent of the earth’s remaining mineral resources.
It’s home to more than 40 different nations and around 2,000 languages. Sub-Saharan Africa has six of the world’s 10 fastest-growing economies. North Africa has vast oil and natural gas deposits, the Sahara holds the most strategic nuclear ore, and resources such as coltan, gold, and copper, among many others, are abundant on the continent.
The region is full of promise and untapped riches – from oil and minerals and land to vast amounts of people capital – yet, it has struggled since colonial times to truly realise its potential.
Oil and gas
Africa is home to five of the world’s top oil-producing countries, with an estimated 57 percent of Africa’s export earnings from hydrocarbons.
Algeria, Angola, Cameroon, Chad, Republic of Congo, Egypt, Eritrea, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Libya, Nigeria, South Sudan, Sudan, Tunisia, and Mozambique are all rich in oil and gas.
Proven oil reserves have grown by almost 150 percent, increasing from 53.4 billion barrels since 1980, to 130.3 billion barrels by the end of 2012.
The region is home to five of the top 30 oil-producing countries in the world, and nearly $2tn of investments are expected by 2036.
Besides oil and gas, Africa is rich in precious minerals, forests and:
Diamonds: Angola, Botswana, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo.
Gold: Benin, Burkina Faso, Djibouti, Mali, South Africa, Tanzania.
Nickel and Uranium: Burundi.
Pozzolana: Cape Verde.
Fish: Comoros, Guinea-Bissau, Mauritius, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles.
I grew up at time in Africa when many kids believed that places like Nazareth, Jerusalem, and Bethlehem were in heaven. Among the world’s nations, they perceived the U.S.A. as the closest to heaven, a paradise on Earth. Indeed, the United States is still viewed as the promised land, flowing with milk and honey. Little wonder families undertook, as they still undertake, enormous sacrifices to ensure that their sons or daughters can travel to America.
Today, African immigrants in the U.S. see that, although living in an advanced democracy has its advantages, living abroad is neither a goldmine nor a paradise. But African immigrants in the U.S. and Europe often get a chilling response from relatives and friends when they attempt to express the harsh realities of life in our new homeland. They ask questions like, “If it is like you say, what are you doing there?” Or they contradict us with, “See how you have grown fat!”, as if being “fat” were a sign of wealth. Not believing us, first-time visitors, friends, and relatives often come to the U.S. with a warped mindset that confuses facts with fiction and myths with reality.
Precisely because of such unrealistic expectations, visitors may not understand or appreciate the enormous sacrifices their friends and relatives make in order to host them abroad; sometimes hosting a visitor entails sacrificing some hours or days of work, to offer the best to the visitor, yet some visitors are hardly ever satisfied. Some return home and vow never to come back! Others may anxiously establish relationships with American people, leading to strained relationships whenever their friends or relatives try to caution them against spurious relationships. Some reject the advice pugnaciously, accusing their immigrant friends of being jealous of their relational skills, and wanting to “block” their supposed connections with their newfound friends. But, we ask, how is it possible to hastily establish relationships with Westerners without knowledge of their values, mores, and ways of life?
Consider the story of a Nigerian priest-friend of mine, Thom, and his friend, Paddy (not their real names). Paddy was visiting from Nigeria, and Thom, who honestly dedicated time and resources to make his guest comfortable. Thom had taken time to give Paddy an orientation on the people and their culture. He cautioned him against requesting material things from people and presenting himself as a desperate person from an African jungle. From time to time, Thom would call him to order whenever he struck the wrong chord. Thom was later deeply embarrassed to discover that his friend begrudged him all this advice. When he got back home, Paddy complained that Thom was overly intrusive in his affairs, even going so far as to say that Thom left him alone in the house without garri. As Thom narrated his ordeal to me, I could see the pain in his eyes–yes, ingratitude cuts the heart like a dagger.
It is rightly said that what goes around comes around. Paddy thought his trip was extremely successful because he had found new friends whom he could get along with, Thom aside. He was determined to keep in touch with these people on a regular basis. He was confident that America would become his second home, as long as his American friends invited him back. But it didn’t take long before people started talking about Paddy, and it came to Thom’s knowledge that Paddy had not followed the advice he was given.
One thing Paddy failed to understand was that Americans like speaking about their encounters with people from other cultures, especially visitors from Africa. They try to understand other cultures through the behavior of their visitors. If you call them regularly and ask for any form of assistance, they wonder whether that’s “a cultural thing”. It is within this context that the same people started to question their new African friend’s behavior. As is typical with Americans, they related details of their encounter with Paddy among a close circle of friends. Within a few weeks, Thom discovered how extensive Paddy’s outreach had been. Now, Thom was obliged to answer some hard questions—his friends found Paddy’s requests, which would have been normal in Africa, to be inappropriate and overly dependent. They wondered if all Africans were so desperate.Perhaps readers of “Cameroon Panorama” may offhandedly dismiss Thom’s story as just an awala problem. No, it is not. It is our problem.
Many lessons can be drawn from the true story of my friend. First, visitors should keep in mind and appreciate the enormous sacrifices that their immigrant relatives and friends make to care for them. It is absolutely necessary, not only to understand, but to equally respect people and their cultures, and to avoid imposing one’s cultural traits on others. For example, when Americans say, “Please come again,” it is not necessarily an open invitation, nor a desire to have you back soon. This is just a polite and affirmative expression. Newcomers may mistakenly consider it to be an actual invitation to come again soon. In no way does this diminish the spirit of hospitality and kindness of Americans, but visitors may need a lesson or two in cultural differences in order to understand this.
Another cultural difference: casual greetings like ‘Hello’ and ‘Hi’ are very much ingrained in the American culture. They are a courteous people; on the elevator, on the train, wherever your paths cross, people extend kindly greetings and can even initiate amicable conversations sometimes. It is true that salutation is not love. This is all the more evident in shops and malls, where first-time visitors from Africa may completely misconstrue the warmth of customer service. I was fortunate to have learned about this from a good friend of mine, who lost sleep one night because he thought a salesgirl had fallen in love with him!
Eric had just arrived in America and went shopping for the first time. The girl attended to him at the shop with broad smiles. “Honey,” she said, “how are you? Have you been having a good day so far?” “Did you find everything ok?” And so on. Because of my friend’s foreign accent, the lady was even more courteous. My ebullient friend was completely carried away. He even shopped more than he had planned to. According to my friend, the lady had fallen in love with him. I could not have thought differently had I not learned this lesson from my friend before I ever went shopping for the first time. Yes, even with my collar on, I am addressed as “Honey” or “Sweetheart”!
Independence and privacy are highly valued in American culture.As an African priest, I have observed how this way of life impacts the diocesan clergy. Parishioners can see priests mostly on appointments; rectories are not easily accessible to visitors. Many priests don’t employ cooks, while others have only part-time cooks, like the parish in which I work. Therefore, priests prepare their meals themselves. People cherish their privacy and independence; no one wants to be a burden on another, and everything is scheduled. In no way does this casts doubts on the friendliness of the clergy, it is all a matter of the complex structure of the society and the way of life of the people.
In a way, visitors are like tourists who plan for their trips accordingly. They make great sacrifices; they cherish their exposure and experience rather than any material benefits. Unlike in Africa, where visitors can pop in any time, and sometimes even expect their uncle or father to pay their transport fare back home, this would be absolutely insane in another culture.
Because of all these cultural differences, as a first-time visitor, it is necessary to listen to the counsel of your immigrant relatives and friends without prejudice. It is rightly said that you should listen to your elders’ advice, not because they are always right, but because they have had more experience of being wrong. It is folly to resist advice or read too much into calls to be cautious. What do your relatives and friends have to gain from “blocking” you or standing in your way, as you imagine? They simply don’t want you to repeat their mistakes, and it is all for your good. Like in the case of my Nigerian friend, first time visitors have run into serious trouble by tarnishing their reputations and even the reputations of their entire countries. Rotten apples in a barrel can spoil the good ones. After all, your behavior speaks volumes about your background. When you visit abroad, always go slow, like the proverbial newly arrived chicken that stands on one leg in her new home, otherwise you would fall prey to our lingua franca proverb: “hurry-hurry broke trouser”.
Of course, visiting abroad for the first time ignites much excitement. But, no matter how excited you may be, also be considerate and discreet. Your host cannot always offer you the same kind of reception you got at your very first visit because of the social and economic constraints of life in the Western world. Just as your enthusiasm wanes after your first or second visit, so too with your host. It is not because they don’t value your visit, but it is presumed that you are getting familiar with the way of life and you can manage your own affairs.
In conclusion, hospitality, kindness, and generosity are cultural traits across the U.S. It is here that I have been blessed firsthand to meet some of the nicest people in my life and ministry. I am equally honored by evergreen memories of visits of relatives and friends from home. Nevertheless, stories like those of Thom and Paddy compel me to deeper reflection on life abroad, with all its facets, in a bid to spare people from repeating the same mistakes and as a road map to prospective visitors. In order to make one’s visit profitable, one must understand the cultural dynamics of the people and steer clear from unrealistic expectations.
The Minority in Ghana’s legislature is likely to boycott the approval of President Akufo Addo’s candidate for Special Prosecutor. This is despite overwhelming approval from their colleagues on the other side of the aisle. A former deputy Attorney General and minority MP for Bolga East, Dominic Ayine is currently at the Supreme court challenging the legitimacy of the President’s nomination. The lawmaker today reminded the Speaker of Parliament about the possible infraction to the law if Martin Amidu was approved by the House as Special Prosecutor.
“Mr. Speaker I am inviting your good self to make a determination humbly on this matter, in respect of this matter which is before the Supreme Court on the qualification or eligibility of the nominee,” Ayine noted, citing his basis from order 93 of the standing orders of Parliament.
However reacting to the intervention, the Majority leader Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu, argued that precedence before the house suggest the nominee could be approved by the House despite the pending case at the court. But the minority has resolved to boycott the debate and subsequent approval of the Special Prosecutor nominee.
If finally cleared by Parliament and sworn in by the President, Martin Amidu will become Ghana’s first Special prosecutor. The Special Prosecutor is a specialized agency tasked to investigate specific cases of corruption involving public officers, politically-exposed persons as well as individuals in the private sector implicated in corrupt practices and to prosecute the offences on the authority of the Attorney-General.
The Office is also expected to help reduce the workload on existing investigative agencies and, thereby, enhance their effectiveness. The establishment of the Office of the Special Prosecutor has become necessary in view of the institutional bottlenecks that impede the fight against corruption.
On-Grid Customers Still Rely Heavily on Off-Grid Energy Technologies, and Off-Grid Customers Want On-Grid Electricity
A man uses a solar energy panel to charge electric devices in Diebly, an Ivory Coast village without electricity. (Photo: Sia Kambou/AFP/Getty Images)
Washington – A new study released today by the Center for Global Development found that neither grid electricity nor off-grid solutions alone are currently adequate to meet many African consumers’ modern energy demands. The survey of consumers in twelve African countries found that on-grid customers still rely heavily on off-grid solutions like generators for their daily lives, and that off-grid customers want access to on-grid electricity.
The researchers analyzed data from mobile phone-based surveys to assess energy service quality and demand in twelve African countries: Benin, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo), Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia. The surveys were conducted between July 2015 and December 2016, and received responses from 39,000 consumers in 28 languages.
“Making electricity more accessible, reliable, and responsive to African demand across the continent should be a priority,” said Todd Moss, a co-author of the report and a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development. “While many policymakers debate whether grid or off-grid solutions are most appropriate, African consumers don’t view these options as an either-or question. Customers who are on the grid want to be able to use off-grid electricity too. And customers who have off-grid power want access to grid electricity to meet growing demand.”
“Off-grid customers may appreciate the lights and basic appliances like phone chargers that off-grid systems can power, but want to move up the energy ladder toward higher power appliances like refrigerators enabled by a grid connection. At the same time, on-grid customers face a host of reliability issues and thus see off-grid options as an important backup.”
Key findings from the survey include:
Daily outages are a norm almost everywhere. Among those with access to grid electricity, at least half cited electricity outages at least once a day across almost all surveyed countries. Respondents in Mozambique, Ghana, and Zambia reported the highest prevalence of daily outages. The country with the lowest prevalence of frequent outages was Rwanda, where only 18 percent of respondents experienced multiple outages per day. In all countries, the vast majority reported at least one outage per week.
On-grid customers still rely heavily on generators, especially in Nigeria. Almost half of on-grid respondents in Nigeria relied on a generator during power outages – the highest of any other country.
Off-grid customers still desire grid electricity. In most countries, off-grid respondents are not completely satisfied by off-grid electricity solutions and retain a high demand for grid electricity.
Off-grid, non-generator electricity is inadequate for most respondents’ energy needs. A significant proportion of respondents across the surveyed countries reported that their off-grid electricity solution did not fulfill any of their power needs. This includes almost two-thirds (65 percent) of Rwandans with off-grid, non-generator electricity.
In all countries, the majority desire a grid connection. Demand for the grid was highest in Zambia and Ghana, where over 50 percent said that they wanted an electrical connection very much. In all other countries except Senegal and Benin, demand appears to be high but less passionate. Over two-thirds of respondents without an electric connection indicated that they wanted an electrical connection to the national grid either a little or very much.
Satisfaction with service from the grid varies widely. Reported satisfaction with grid electricity ran from Mozambique (74 percent satisfied) and Rwanda (71) at the high end to Ghana (19) and Zambia (27).
Connection costs and distance from the grid are the most common obstacles to grid electricity. When asked about the greatest obstacle to gaining access to the national grid, most respondents cited either the cost of electricity, the cost of connection, or the lack of proximity to the grid.
Demand is high for energy-intensive appliances, especially TVs. Off-grid households indicate a high demand for energy-intensive appliances, particularly televisions and refrigerators. The survey also asked respondents what appliance they would like to purchase if they gained a grid connection (refrigerator, television, hot plate, radio, or iron). Televisions are the most common aspirational purchase across most surveyed countries.
The Initiative for Global Development (IGD) is seeking to use a road show tour to re-shape perceptions on doing business in Africa by highlighting trade, and investment opportunities. Discussing the road show with PAV, Dr. Mima S. Nedelcovych President & CEO of IGD says it will show the thriving business side of Africa. Running from April 18 to 28, the road show will have stops in Washington, DC, New York, Des Moines, Iowa, and Houston, Texas.
The African continent is dynamic and rapidly evolving. We’re seeing some of the fast-growing economies in Africa and a rising influence of homegrown African businesses. Despite the growth and maturation of the African private sector and markets, many U.S. investors still hold negative perceptions about doing business in Africa.
At IGD, we are very excited about launching the U.S. Roadshow Tour to show the thriving business side of Africa and draw attention to its trade and investment potential to business leaders and investors in the United States.
The U.S. roadshow, which will be from April 18 to 28, seeks to re-shape perceptions on doing business in Africa by highlighting trade and investment opportunities in Africa and to build stronger business connections between U.S. and African companies in key growth sectors in four U.S. cities.
With the maturation of Africa’s private sector, U.S. business leaders now have counterparts to do business with in Africa. A decade or so ago, business largely took place between U.S. business leaders and African government officials. That all has changed. Today, there are more than 10,000 African companies with revenues of $10 million to $100 million.
Homegrown African businesses are the drivers of growth on the continent and are creating more than 80 percent of jobs in their countries.
The U.S. roadshow tour aims to build stronger, mutually beneficial business relations between the U.S. and Africa.
Why now and what does the IGD hope to achieve or see as outcome?
Well, the trade data says it all. The U.S. and Sub-Saharan Africa has markedly declined in the last few years. U.S imported goods from Sub-Saharan Africa totaled $18.9 billion in 2015, an almost 30 percent decrease from 2014, and down 63 percent from 2005.
The US Trade Representative reports that U.S. imports from Sub-Saharan Africa accounted for just 0.8% of total goods imports in 2015.
For U.S. exports, U.S. goods exports to Sub-Saharan Africa in 2015 were almost $18 billion, down 30 percent from 2014.
That has to change. The U.S. roadshow tour aims to show U.S. business leaders that there’s a market in African countries with the right enabling environment and they have counterparts on the ground for business partnerships.
How does the schedule of the roadshow look like in terms of dates, states to be visited and industries or actors who will engage with IGD?
The U.S. Roadshow kicks off in Washington on April 18 with a Capitol Hill reception in Washington and then a forum on U.S. financing of SMEs and Private Sector Engagement Forum on the 19th.
The New York City roadshow stop will be on April 23-24, focusing on finance, trade, and banking industries. Then we’ll travel to Des Moines, Iowa on April 25 to 26 to highlight agriculture and agro-industry. And finally, our last roadshow stop will be from April 27 to 28 in Houston, Texas, looking at opportunities in the energy and power sectors.
The USA is made of 50 States and the IGD is roadshow is limited to four states, what criteria was used in picking the four states and is this initiative a onetime thing or something that will continue ?
The U.S. Roadshow Tour is our first-ever effort to organize gather U.S. and African business leaders across the United States. We selected each city based on our strong connections in that growth sector. We wanted to ensure that we have solid partners on the ground a deliver an engaging and impactful roadshow.
In each city, African delegates will tour a local industry and gain exposure to cutting edge technologies
and innovation in that sector. The next day, a half-day forum and speed networking with U.S. and African private sector leaders will highlight opportunities as well as constraints in the sector, and forge business relationships that will hopefully translate into business transactions.
We’ve partnered with the USAID Trade & Investment Hubs on the U.S. Roadshow Tour to help companies to navigate the African marketplace.
How do you make the case for investment in Africa to the U.S Investors?
The best way to make the case is to show the opportunities. We launched the Africa Investment Rising campaign to showcase Africa’s business and investment potential through multimedia storytelling, blogs and strategic traditional and social media outreach. On a weekly basis, the campaign produces new content for U.S. investors that makes a compelling case for trade and investment in Africa.
Its been a year of the Trump Administration, what do you make of his African policy?
The Trump Administration’s U.S.-Africa policy seems to be still evolving. Some of the key African Affairs posts still need to be filled and nominations confirmed at the U.S. Department of State and USAID. The nomination for the Millennium Challenge Corporation needs to be confirmed.
Our Government Affairs office will continue to be out front raising awareness about the trade and economic potential in Africa and in helping to shape the key pieces of legislation related to Africa, including swift passage of The AGOA and MCA Modernization Act in the Senate.
One thing we know for sure is that Donald Trump is a shrewd businessman and will be looking for where he can find the best deals. And Africa’s the place.
To those who are interested in joining the roadshow, how can they get on board?
We hope anyone interested in joining the roadshow will log on to our official event site, www.aircampaign.org, to find out more about each roadshow stop and to register.
What other initiatives and programs will the IGD work on in the course of the year?
IGD continues to convene African companies in targeted agricultural value chains to promote market-led solutions to curbing post-harvest losses through the Rockefeller Foundation’s Yieldwise initiative. IGD will, once again, partner with the African Development Bank on the Leadership4Agriculture Forum in Busan, Korea.
We’ll hold a special session on industrialization on the sidelines of the Afreximbank Annual Meeting in Abuja, Nigeria.
The U.S. Roadshow Tour will culminate at our Frontier 100 Forum, to be held on Nov. 5 and 6 in Johannesburg, South Africa, which will be followed by the African Development Bank’s Africa Investment Forum.
Resource-rich African countries are facing significant economic headwinds. Nigeria, Africa’s largest oil producer, depends on oil for over 90% of its foreign exchange earnings and three-quarters of government revenue. The slump in oil prices has adversely affected Nigeria’s economic prospects, pushing GDP growth into negative territory to -1.5% in 2016 before bouncing back to 1.4% in the 3rd quarter of 2017.
Zambia, the second largest producer of copper in Africa, has also registered an increase in fiscal deficits to about 10% of GDP in 2016 and plans to trim its fiscal deficit to 6.1% of GDP in 2018. This is due to falling prices of copper, which contributed about 73% of total exports in 2015. In both countries, rents from extractive resources have failed to leverage sustainable economic growth and development. In Zambia, for example, the incidence of poverty did not change, at 60%, during 2000–10, despite a doubling of economic output.
But there are more to the challenges that low commodity prices presents to the economies of Nigeria and Zambia.
The practices of misinvoicing in Nigeria’s oil and Zambia’s copper exports and imports reflect the challenges that illicit financial flows (IFFs)[ii] presents to Africa’s extractive sector. IFFs accounts for a significant share of total capital flight from developing and emerging economies. According to the Global Financial integrity’s latest report this year, sub-Saharan Africa leads all other regions for illicit outflows – estimated at between 7.5% and 11.6% of total trade in 2014. These outflows translate into $36 billion to $69 billion.
Trade misinvoicing, which is a major aspect of illicit financial flows, is a bottleneck on Africa’s growth and opportunity [see Figure 1: forms of illicit financial flows]. It denies African governments billions of dollars in foreign exchange and taxes revenue each year. It also weakens political and economic institutions that are key to state building because the underinvoicing of exports and overinvoicing of imports make it harder for concerned state institutions to impose and collect taxes and levies.
In Africa, the extractive sector, which is a major driver of economic growth and source of revenues, is more prone to illicit flows. The features of the extractive sector – high level of complexity and revenue-generating potential; cross border supply chains; high degree of technological specialization – make it particularly susceptible to the various forms of illicit financial flows. From 2001 to 2014, the extractive industries made up nearly two-thirds of exports from African countries – with oil and gas alone accounting for close to 50% of total exports. The expansion of the of the extractive sector has increased foreign direct investment in Africa from $10 billion to $50 billion between 2000 and 2012. Countries like Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Mozambique, Central African Republic are expected to register improved growth, to be driven by the extractive industry.
What do the numbers on illicit financial flows reveal in terms of missed development opportunities? African governments are denied the finance needed to bridge the continent’s huge infrastructure deficit. Let’s take energy, for example. Today, two-thirds of Africans – over 645 million people – lack access to electricity. The continent’s power outages is costing it some 2-4% of GDP per year. Africa lost up to US$69 billion from illicit financial flows in 2014. This is more than the total annual financing required to meet Africa’s energy and climate adaptation needs of about $66 billion: $55 billion for energy [from 2015-2030] and $11 billion for climate adaptation [up to 2020] (see: Figure 2).
The good news is that some international and regional initiatives have picked up in countering illicit financial flows. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), adopted in September 2015, have under Goal 16 a target that countries will “by 2030, significantly reduce illicit financial and arms flows, strengthen the recovery and return of stolen assets and combat all forms of organized crime”.
Africa needs to come up with integrated regional measures and countries need their own policies too. The region must have a dedicated tax information exchange across countries, importantly with countries that host multinational companies. Countries must coordinate to ensure data accessibility from other jurisdictions, including arrangements for automatic exchanges of information with other countries.
The African Tax Administration Forum (ATAF), launched in 2009 and with 36 member countries, has ramped up its effort to find solutions to curb illicit financial flows. But this is not enough. African countries must sign onto the Addis Tax Initiative to commit to enhance the mobilisation and effective use of domestic revenues. So far 13 African countries have joined the initiative. Several African countries provide for the negotiation of Advance Pricing Agreements (APAs), but in practice this mechanism is not applied. Other state institutions also avoid undertaking tax avoidance work. Governments must act. One way of boosting domestic resources to finance development is curbing illicit financial flows, which is prominent in the Africa’s extractive sector.
The continent should not only plug the holes of illicit financial flows, but make its political and economic systems work in terms of deploying functional state institutions to enhance taxation. This demands a coordinated regional approach between different jurisdictions.
By: Stephen Yeboah, Political Guru at BBN Times & Former Research Consultant, African Natural Resources Center, African Development Bank (AfDB). This article was first published by the African Development Bank. This is exclusively my view and not that of the AfDB nor BBN Times.
[i] Trade misinvoicing involves illicitly shifting tax liabilities across jurisdictions involving deliberately misreporting the value of a commercial transaction.
[ii] According to the Global Financial Integrity, Illicit financial flows represent illegal movements of money or capital from one country to another. GFI classifies this movement as an illicit flow when the funds are illegally earned, transferred, and/or utilized.
Merck Foundation evaluates the economic and social impact of ‘Merck More Than a Mother’ program on infertile women groups in Uganda
Dr.Rasha Kelej, CEO Merck Foundation and Hon. Sarah Opendi, Minister of State of Health, Uganda with ‘Merck More Than a Mother’ Heroines
KAMPALA, Uganda, February 19, 2018/ — Merck Foundation (www.Merck-Foundation.com), a non-profit organization and a subsidiary of Merck KGaA Germany (www.Merck.com), and Uganda Ministry of Health (http://Health.go.ug) continue their commitment towards childless women through “Merck More than a Mother’ campaign in the heart of Africa. Merck Foundation evaluated the social and economic impact of ‘Merck More Than a Mother’ on childless women in Uganda and encouraged them to continue leading an independent and happier life.
In 2016, Merck Foundation in partnership with Uganda Ministry of Health had started ‘Merck More Than a Mother’ Campaign in the country with the aim to raise awareness about infertility prevention and management, build fertility care capacity and break the stigma around infertile women. They established various income generating projects to support infertile women across the country with the aim of empowering them socially and economically. The business set by Merck Foundation has benefitted over 800 women across Uganda.
“The childless women groups we created in each village are doing a great job. I remember last year they had no purpose in life, no respect from their community and no source of income. Today they have a bank account and a steady monthly income; now they are much happier and stronger.” Explained Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO Merck Foundation.
“For me, it’s essential to frequently visit ‘Merck More Than a Mother’ heroines across Africa to influence their transformation. The base of change in these villages is remarkable, and with our efforts and passion this change will be sustainable”, she further emphasized.
During the event, Hon. Sarah Opendi, Minister of State of Health, Uganda said, “The journey that Merck Foundation has started is a very special journey that has touched the lives of women who have been forgotten in the communities. It has touched not only women but also the lives of men who have been mistreating their women thinking that infertility is an issue of women, not know that 50% infertility is due to the malefactor. I want to thank Merck Foundation for thinking about these women.”
“I feel grateful and honored to be a part of the joy and happiness of these amazing women, who suffered the infertility stigma all their lives. I am glad that the efforts of ‘Merck More Than a Mother’ paid off. Now, these women are independent and getting the respect and support they deserved from the community.” Dr. Rasha Kelej added.
About ‘Merck More Than a Mother’ campaign; In many Cultures, childless women suffer discrimination, stigma, and ostracism. Their inability to have children results in great isolation, disinheritance, and assaults. “Merck More Than a Mother” empowers such women through the access to information, health, change of mindsets and economic empowerment.
Merck Foundation provided for more than 40 candidates, three months to six months clinical and practical training for fertility specialists and embryologists in more than 15 countries across Africa and Asia.
Merck Foundation is making history in many African countries where they never had fertility specialists or training facilities before ‘Merck More Than a Mother’ intervention, to train the first fertility specialists such as; in Sierra Leone, Liberia, The Gambia, Niger, Chad, and Guinea.
Merck Foundation plan supported the establishment of the first public IVF in Ethiopia through providing the clinical and practical training necessary for their staff. Merck Foundation also plans to support the establishment of the first public IVF in Tanzania soon.
Over 1,200 infertile women in Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, Ghana, Tanzania, CAR, Ethiopia, Liberia, Tanzania, Niger, The Gambia and Cote D’Ivoire who can no longer be treated have been empowered socially and economically to lead independent and happier lives through “Empowering Berna.”
Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO Merck Foundation and Hon. Sarah Opendi, Minister of State of Health, Uganda addressing the community in Uganda
The Merck Foundation (www.Merck-Foundation.com), established in 2017, is a philanthropic organization that aims to improve the health and wellbeing of people and advance their lives through science and technology. Our efforts are primarily focused on improving access to innovative healthcare solutions in underserved communities, building healthcare and scientific research capacity and empowering people in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) with a special focus on women and youth. All Merck Foundation press releases are distributed by e-mail at the same time they become available on the Merck Foundation Website. Please go to www.Merck-Foundation.com to read more and/or register online to interact and exchange experience with our registered members.
Merck Foundation is a subsidiary of Merck KGaA Germany
Merck (www.Merck.com) is a leading science and technology company in healthcare, life science and performance materials. Around 50,000 employees work to further develop technologies that improve and enhance life – from biopharmaceutical therapies to treat cancer or multiple sclerosis, cutting-edge systems for scientific research and production, to liquid crystals for smartphones and LCD televisions. In 2016, Merck generated sales of € 15.0 billion in 66 countries.
Founded in 1668, Merck is the world’s oldest pharmaceutical and chemical company. The founding family remains the majority owner of the publicly listed corporate group. Merck holds the global rights to the Merck name and brand. The only exceptions are the United States and Canada, where the company operates as EMD Serono, MilliporeSigma and EMD Performance Materials.
On Thursday 15 February, citizens of Sierra Leone were treated to a first by the country’s six leading political parties as they participated in a first ever all inclusive Presidential debate. Previously Sierra Leone did conduct Presidential debates but they were shunned by the ruling party.
Sierra Leone’s leading television stations and radios l aired live the debate. The debate was scheduled to end at 11:00pm but spilled over ending at 01:00am the following day (Friday).
The presidential debate was held at a conference centre in the capital, Freetown. Close to 200 people packed the conference centre as they looked forward to hearing the constructive debates from the six presidential candidates.
The debate was moderated by an ace journalist from the BBC. Most of the questions asked by the journalist centred on national cohesion, the economy and human development. The choice of questions were mainly inspired by the dire social and economic situation prevailing in the country exacerbated by the Ebola outbreak whose devastating effects are still being felt to this day.
The first round of the Presidential election in the country is going to be conducted on March 7.
This year’s elections will be the first time that an incumbent in Sierra Leone relinquishes power at the end of his term without trying to extend it unconstitutionally or otherwise. The outgoing President, Ernest Bai Koroma served two terms of 5 years each. His reign was however affected by the deadly Ebola outbreak that reversed the country’s growth rate and left him with an unsurmountable task of trying to build the nation from scratch.
The highlight moment of the debate was when the candidate of the ruling party (APC Party), Samura Kamara distanced himself from Komora’s record on corruption. The President and his inner circle which Kamara is part of have been accused of looting some of the country’s resources. Kamara did try to prove his innocence but that led to many follow-up questions firstly from the moderator and then from the public as the question and answer segment began.
Before Thursday, a number of other parties contested the decision to allow only six parties to the debate. They argued saying exclusion of other political parties was tantamount to discrimination. However, the case was dismissed as Parliament said only a party with at least four members of Parliament was allowed to participate in the debate.
The six candidates who participated in the debate are Samura Kamara from the ruling All People’s Congress (APC), Rtg. Brig Julius Maada Bio from the main opposition party, Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP). Rtg. Brig Julius Maada Bio is a former Sierra Leone military Head of State. Mohammed Kamairamba from the Alliance Democratic Party (ADP), a breakaway party from the ruling APC. Samuel Sam Sumana from the Coalition 4 Change (C4C), another breakaway party from the ruling APC. Samuel Sam Sumana is also a former Vice President of Sierra Leone sacked by the incumbent Koroma. Kandeh Yumkella from the National Grand Coalition, a breakaway party from the main opposition party, SLPP. Musa Tarawally from the Citizens Democratic Party (CDP).
Finally! “Black Panther” weekend has hit the United States. Marvel’s newest superhero film was one of the most anticipated movies in 2018, and already it is poised to shatter box-office records (the film is expected to rake in about $250 million this weekend) and Hollywood stereotypes about black movies not being marketable. Black audiences in the United States are planning special outfits and parties and raising funds to take children to see the film. But how do Africans feel about this fictional tale of Wakanda, especially when black people in the United States and Africa don’t always seem to understand one another? I decided to talk to Kenyan journalist and broadcaster Larry Madowo to get his thoughts on the film, Wakanda and… those accents. Enjoy! — Karen
Karen Attiah: Okay, so I know we are basically going to be talking about Wakanda, this fictional African country in “Black Panther.” I finally saw it on Tuesday, and I still feel like African Americans and Africans have still been speaking in silos about the movie, and not to one another.
So as a Kenyan, what did you think about the movie? How did you feel about Wakanda?
Larry Madowo: So Wakanda looks like a place I want to be a citizen of, because it looks like such a beautiful, egalitarian society, where the women wear their hair natural and they are powerful warriors. It is beautiful in that sense, as a utopia of sorts. Considering the mess so many African countries are in, it’s an escape to see what we can be: the richest country in the world, everything, vibranium in excess. And if you just think, if you build a model for the perfect African country, Wakanda is that.
Larry: It did make me think about Kenya because many of the problems that we have in Kenya — and in most African countries — are a byproduct of colonialism. … Wakanda was not colonized, so they had a chance to build a society that was free of European influence, whether British or French. We call ourselves Francophone Africa versus Anglophone Africa. We categorize ourselves based on who our oppressor was. I always find that a strange thing. Our identity is so deeply tied to our oppression.
Karen: What were the parts of the film that did bother you as a Kenyan? What did you think of the accents?
Larry: The accents are all over the place! It was jarring and annoying to me! They wanted to base the accents on Xhosa from South Africa, but some of it sounded Nigerian, others sounded more Ugandan. It was very confusing, and I understand perfecting an accent is difficult, but oh, my goodness, it was so messy! I really liked the costumes. They were great. But ultimately, Wakanda, at least in the film, is an approximation of African culture, an outsider’s version of what African culture might be like — the rituals, song and dance, the rites of passage.
Karen: Or even the ancestors thing.
Larry: As an African, I didn’t feel accurately represented in “Black Panther.” There was only one African artist whose song played in the background — her name is Babes Wodumo, she’s South African. I have nothing against Kendrick Lamar, but it would be good to be more representative of African music. It was a missed opportunity to shine a spotlight on African musicians on a huge platform. It would have enriched the story.
Karen: For me, it was visually exciting. It was like, “Try to find your culture somewhere!” It was like I was in African history class. I could hear the Nigerian accent. As a Ghanaian, I was like, “There’s kente cloth,” or, “Look, Shuri is wearing aggrey beads!”
Larry: It was like African bingo of sorts!
Karen: I was excited because I’m not used to seeing African elements on the big screen. Even African Americans here do not know that history or those cultural elements. I can see both sides, as someone who has to explain to white people and African Americans about the beauty of African culture and history. So in a way, “Black Panther” is a one-stop shop, get it all in an hour!
Larry: You know the worst thing? There hasn’t been an African premiere for “Black Panther.”
Larry: That was arranged by a local movie distribution company and Lupita’s dad, who is the governor of Kisumu. But there has been no African premiere where the cast and crew came to an African city like Nairobi or Kampala, Johannesburg or Lagos — like they have done for South Korea, like they did in London or like in L.A. So this film that celebrates blackness has not had an African premiere!
Karen: But maybe that could be in the works? Lagos, Johannesburg and Accra? These cities represent the growth that Africa is experiencing, the modernity of Africa, which is represented in “Black Panther.”
Larry: I could see why they might not have an African premiere. There are less movie theaters in all of Africa than in just in the U.S., so you might not make that much in the grand scheme of things. But it would have been a huge symbolic thing for a movie that unashamedly elevates blackness. I have friends who are going in full Masai wear to the theaters! They feel represented, and yet, the promotion efforts kind of snubbed them.
Karen: So on tribalism and politics: When Killmonger ascends the throne and you realize that this man is an existential threat to Wakanda, you realize the other tribes don’t see things the same way. For me, when I went to Ghana for the elections in 2008, I was struck by how much tribalism played into politics, that the Ashantis were tied to one party, other tribes to other parties, etc.
Larry: Even today, African political parties have tribal vehicles. They will have a tribal chief who will have the power to determine elections. It is very rare across the continent to find a party that is national in nature. A lot of the conflicts across Africa are tribal. Look at Somalia, which has not had a functional government — so much about the clans. Killmonger, King T’Challa and the Jabari Tribe and how they all want different things — that is what goes on in Africa.
Karen: What did you make of the white characters in the film, the Americans?
Larry: When I was in the theater in Nairobi, and the scene where Jabari did not allow [CIA operative Everett Ross] to speak, the audience clapped! Africans and other black people are tired of seeing white men in white-savior roles. This time, a white man was the sidekick. He was getting his instructions from a black woman, Shuri (Letitia Wright). The representation was satisfying. Let us see some black saviors for a change!
Karen: The role of America is interesting in “Black Panther.” Killmonger, who was trained in U.S. military tactics knows how to destabilize countries going through tricky political transitions or right after coups. In history, you think of Patrice Lumumba’s assassination, and Kwame Nkrumah’s fall in Ghana, which the CIA had a hand in. It’s interesting that in the movie, it was Ross, the CIA agent — converted — who came to see the light about Wakanda and becomes an ally in their fight.
Larry: It was appropriate. Yes, for all the Americans who are upset about Russia interfering in elections, I’m like, “Really, America? You’ve been meddling in African elections since the beginning of time! And you don’t hear us complaining. It’s payback time!” The American in the movie knew how to destabilize and just meddle, because that is what America does best.
Karen: A big part of this film is the relationship between Africans and African Americans, and it’s probably the most complicated relationship in the film.
Larry: It was very indicative of the current relationship between Africans and African Americans. There’s so much animus or competition that I have never quite understood. Both groups use derogatory names to refer to each other. In Africa, African American culture is very big and influential in terms of how people speak and dress. But in creating “Black Panther,” Africans and African Americans came together to create art that black people around the world are proud of. But in everyday life, there is no such unity. I think it’s a vision for what can be possible when the two groups work together.
Karen: In some twisted ways, I identified with Killmonger. Growing up, part of my exploration into where my parents came from, I felt a sort of anger towards Africa. Like, how did colonization happen to you? And the poverty? How are these leaders not doing more? And being black in America, when we are going through fights with racism, police brutality, we wonder if Africans even care. And I think, “Well, African nations can’t help us. They can’t impose sanctions on America for its treatment of black people.” Which is why Wakanda is so amazing: It has the power to help other countries.
Larry: When it comes to African solutions … African countries gave aid to Haiti during the hurricane, Rwanda is taking in unwanted African migrants from Israel. But yes, there is so much more we can do.
A lot of people here supported Black Lives Matter and don’t think police should be shooting black people in the U.S., but they are perfectly okay with the Kenyan or Zimbabwean police cracking down on protesters violently. You speak out against an injustice half a world away, but when there’s injustice right on your doorstep, you’re okay with it because of the party or politician you endorse.
Karen: At the end, when Killmonger is dying, he says wants to be buried in the water with his ancestors, who would rather jump off slave ships than be in bondage. It seems then he personally identifies with slaves as his ancestors and not the ancestors of Wakanda. That’s how deep the divisions are [between Africans and African Americans].
Larry: It reminded me of Kunta Kinte from “Roots,” who was a warrior that was taken away. There are people who say of slavery, “I would have not allowed myself to be taken.” I see what he was trying to do there — my ancestors were brave. It is a sort of misplaced bravado.
Karen: And gender in the film? How women are depicted?
Larry: Africa is a deeply patriarchal society. In this film, women are equal to the men. They protect the king! They have a mind of their own. Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o) doesn’t want to just get married and be a trophy wife. All the women wear natural hair. In the continent, where weaves and wigs are big business, it’s a legacy of colonialism that kinky hair is not seen as professional.It’s not what you get married in or wear to the office.
Karen: Ah, so you are #TeamNatural! And the power of the women doesn’t diminish King T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman). Africa has had societies in which women played more equal roles before the British came with their Victorian ideas about gender divisions. It made me think that Wakanda’s strength is how it capitalizes on the strengths of both men and women. In this #MeToo moment, part of the tragedy of sexism is that it denies women opportunities to be participants in society. Conversely to how women are treated in Wakanda, Killmonger, he’s this hypermasculine, destructive force. He kills his girlfriend who helps him on his mission.
Larry: I think he’s the personification of toxic masculinity that is so prevalent in black culture.
Karen: I think there’s a very American flavor to his type of anger, but I think of this especially in the wake of the Florida shooting yesterday, in which a teenager walked into a school and killed 17 people. He abused his ex-girlfriend and stalked another girl, before unleashing his anger and violence on others. But yes, I know sometimes that even Africans have an stereotype that black Americans are gangsters and violent.
Larry: Maybe that’s the one overriding stereotype about African Americans here that’s reinforced by hip-hop and quite a few movies. When Africans say, “I’m gangsta,” they’re always referring to the African American caricature.
Karen: Well, thanks so much. Here in the U.S., we’ve gone through a year of Donald Trump. We’ve seen overt anti-black racism. We’ve seen KKK marching in the streets, the attempts to keep out and/or deport black and brown immigrants. The filmmakers could not have predicted that this would be the political moment we would be in; it has come at a moment where we’ve needed something empowering.
Larry: After the kind of year you all have had in America, no one should take this moment away from you. No one should try to diminish it. From those of us from the outside looking in, finally we have a beautiful celebration of blackness. You all absolutely deserve it!
Kushal Nahata, Co-Founder and CEO, responsible for driving the vision, strategy and growth at FarEye
The internet penetration in the African markets is 16% today and is set increase by 50% in 2025. There are 57 million people who have smartphones in Africa and there will be 360 million in 2025.
eCommerce-logistics companies of the region must adapt to new technologies in order to support their delivery infrastructure.
Parcel shops to book, manage, track and deliver to the end customer – making eCommerce convenient for the seller and consumer. Mobile Application enables already established local stores to become pickup and drop points for parcels – saving time, reducing cost and increasing revenue.
FarEye’s technology is enabling paperless delivery of parcels to companies and homes alike, across the world this holiday season.
FarEye’s technology is aimed towards major enterprises and logistics firms globally – sees strong enterprise demand.
Technology has been designed to meet the huge demand for fast parcel facilitation in the logistics sector, as well as for end users – particularly with the growth of eCommerce and online shopping, providing major benefits to e-tailers, and SMEs who demand fast and convenient delivery services.
CAPE TOWN, South Africa, February 16th 2018 -/African Media Agency (AMA)/- FarEye, a digital logistics platform, is pleased to announce the successful introduction of its new parcel shop technology – ‘Drop&Pick’. Launched in January 2017 the technology is already being incorporated by various large businesses like DHL, DTDC, First Flight and many others to facilitate paperless, high speed and secure dispatch/delivery of parcels through its parcel shop network.
FarEye’s ‘Drop&Pick’– aimed at major enterprises and logistics firms globally is built to fulfil the need for fast and convenient dispatch/delivery of parcels with minimal cost of infrastructure. Its successful roll out is now revolutionizing traditional dispatch/delivery processes into efficient and customer-centric approaches.
‘Drop&Pick’ follows a key three phased – book, manage and deliver process, which is based around a simple to use and intuitive mobile application. The app enables any parcel shop to quickly register a parcel, and the sender’s details (including capturing handwritten information), followed by scanning the shipment and adding recipient name, delivery details and parcel size. It then calculates shipping fees which the sender can pay in multiple ways – prepaid, wallets, cash or card. The parcel shop personnel can also book multiple parcels under one sender ID. In the back end – data entry processes convert images to actual data. The parcel is then handed over to the courier and electronic proof of transfer is collected, who then delivers to the end customer and once again, receives electronic proof of delivery from the customer.
This technology while enables quick and seamless dispatch and receiving of parcels – has two additional benefits:
SME Ecosystem development – The technology is providing significant benefits for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and micro-SMEs who want to sell their products online but cannot build an in-house delivery infrastructure. Their hence need fast and convenient delivery services for their customers. The sellers may easily deposit their parcels at selected parcel shops or they can also raise a parcel booking request online (and prepay it). It generates a ‘parcel label’ which then acts as a unique order ID.
Reduced carbon emissions: Door to door delivery can waste a lot of time and fuel in finding home addresses, while if parcel is dropped at a network shop, it saves resources. The customer can later collect the parcel at his or her convenience.
This technology is also targeted towards logistics businesses offering franchise models. While this model has been available since a long time to book parcels, the need now is to add a layer of visibility and efficiency to the processes to help businesses make real-time data backed decisions and in parallel empower the customers with easy deliveries, event alerts & notifications. The customer gets an option of getting parcel delivered to a nearby ‘parcel shop’, both -during the time of order placement as well as before the actual delivery.
Kushal Nahata, Co-Founder and CEO, FarEye says, “The reaction to FarEye’s parcel shop technology – ‘Drop&Pick’ has been exceptional. The product is built to enable fast & convenient delivery/dispatch of parcels which provides logistics companies innovative and value-added services, thus increasing their revenue streams while enhancing their customers’ experience.”
Kushal further adds, “There is a sharp increase in online transactions and both sellers & buyers require smart and efficient dispatch & delivery of goods as quickly as possible. The global ecommerce market is about 2 trillion USD and FarEye with its technology excellence is integrating into the systems of major logistics service providers, helping them capture this market. Our Mobile Application for Parcel Shop Delivery is a key aspect of the technology, which is being used by many of our clients including DHL. We expect to see the use of this technology across many key markets in 2018.”
FarEye is a carrier agnostic SaaS platform that digitalizes logistics by integrating and optimizing business processes and adding a predictability layer to make them more efficient. FarEye has designed the world’s first BPM Engine for the modern-age logistics function, enabling companies to become agile and reduce their go-to-market time.
The solution uses a blend of mobility and geo-intelligence to provide real-time multi-enterprise visibility of logistics function.
FarEye empowers the logistics & distribution wings of over 75 large organizations across 15 countries globally. With a growth rate of over 360%, FarEye aims to break down operational silos and enables multi-enterprise collaboration thus helping organizations to champion operational efficiency and customer experience. FarEye executes more than 500 million shipments annually and has increased the first-time successful delivery attempts by 25%, reduced the fuel expenses by 28% and increased the successful customer visits by 66%. FarEye has saved 45,000 million sheets of paper & more than 620 million miles of travel in its quest to promote sustainable logistics.
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, February 15th, 2018,-/African Media Agency (AMA)/-
Following the success of 2017, the ‘Discovery Channel Don’t Stop Wondering Award’ is back for a second consecutive year. After receiving over 200 entries from all over the continent in 2017, Discovery is renewing its partnership with the Jozi Film Festival once again to find its next great African filmmaker.
Submissions for the ‘Discovery Channel Don’t Stop Wondering Award’ open on Monday, 19 February and close on Monday 28 May, calling for 2-5 minute documentaries from filmmakers across Africa which showcase and celebrate unique African stories and capture Discovery Channel’s ethos of sparking curiosity.
“Last year’s entries blew us away, with their creative, emotive and thought-provoking portrayals of the diversity of Africa’s culture and people,” said Amanda Turnbull, VP & Country Manager for Discovery Networks Middle East and Africa. “This year, alongside the Jozi Film Festival, we are excited to once again to recognize and reward Africa’s talented filmmakers, and showcase even more creative stories that fulfill Discovery Channel’s ethos of sparking curiosity.”
“Partnering with Discovery Channel was a wonderful success and thanks to this award we were able to showcase some amazing African talent. This year we look forward to the entries we will be receiving”, said Lisa Henry, Jozi Film Festival Founder and Organiser.
This year’s prize from Discovery Channel will include a Canon XF-405 video camera with Singer Photographic camera accessories worth over $5,800 in order for the winner to use for their next filming project. “We are so pleased to be able to contribute to such an incredible initiative and provide aspiring filmmakers with our equipment which is specifically designed to help them create more of their memorable stories,” said Roger Machin, Canon Product Manager – Professional Imaging Products.
“We believe that given the correct tools and production equipment, these innovative and determined individuals will be able to create even more amazing work and ensure that the continent gets to see high quality story telling”, said Kevin Singer, Singer Photographic Managing Director.
The Top 10 films, as selected by a Discovery and Jozi Film Festival jury, will be broadcast on Discovery Channel in July and August and later at the seventh annual Jozi Film Festival in September. The winning film will be selected by popular vote via the voting tool on Discovery’s website: www.discoverychannelafrica.com and the winner will be flown to Johannesburg to receive their prize at the Jozi Film Festival awards to be held on Sunday, 30 September 2018.
Entrants must be 18+ and be an African resident. Submitted films must be in English or include English subtitles. To enter go to discoveryafrica.com, terms and conditions apply. The closing date is the 28th of May 2018 at 19:00 CAT.
In 2017 Discovery Channel launched its partnership with the Jozi Film Festival with its Discovery Channel Don’t Stop Wondering award. After over 200 entries and over 2000 votes received from across the continent, the inaugural award went to Dusty Van Niekerk’s The Tragedy of Africa, which depicted the sad reality of rhino poaching across Southern Africa, and encouraged viewers to take action to help save our rhinos.
ABOUT DISCOVERY COMMUNICATIONS
Discovery Communications (Nasdaq: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK) satisfies curiosity and engages superfans with a portfolio of premium nonfiction, sports and kids programming brands. Reaching 3 billion cumulative viewers across pay-TV and free-to-air platforms in more than 220 countries and territories, Discovery’s portfolio includes the global brands Discovery Channel, TLC, Investigation Discovery, Animal Planet, Science and Turbo/Velocity, as well as OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network in the U.S., Discovery Kids in Latin America, and Eurosport, the leading provider of locally relevant, premium sports content across Europe. Discovery reaches audiences across screens through digital-first programming from Discovery VR, over-the-top offerings Eurosport Player and Dplay, as well as TV Everywhere products comprising the GO portfolio of TVE apps and Discovery K!ds Play. For more information, please visit www.discoverycommunications.com.
ABOUT THE JOZI FILM FESTIVAL
The Jozi Film Festival was initially created to provide a platform for local filmmakers in Johannesburg, and to develop an audience for South African films. While still prioritizing local film, JFF now accept films from around the world – features, short films, documentaries and student films. We are the longest running multi-genre festival in the City of Gold and our motto remains the same from Day One: We Love Jozi. We Love Film.
The Jozi Film Festival strongly supports independent films.