PSV And Manchester United Confirm Depay Deal

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PSV and United have confirmed officially that they have reached an agreement over the transfer of Memphis Depay.

The 21-year-old has agreed personal terms with Man United. He will undergo a medical in the upcoming days, the deal is set to cost around €30 million and will be completed when the transfer window opens in June.

“PSV and Manchester United have reached an agreement over the transfer of Memphis to the English giants,” a statement on the club’s official website reads.

“Memphis (21) has agreed personal terms with Manchester United, too.

“All the formalities will be taken care of in the upcoming days and the player has yet to undergo a medical.”

Source: 30

UK holds general election

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UK

… Cameron, Ed Miliband, Bennett. others already cast their votes
Millions of people have begun casting their votes in the United Kingdom general election.
Polls opened at 07:00 BST at around 50,000 polling stations across the United Kingdom, which will remain open until 22:00, the BBC reports.
A total of 650 Westminster MPs will be elected, with about 50 million people registered to vote.
As well as the general election, there are more than 9,000 council seats being contested across 279 English local authorities.
Mayors will also be elected in Bedford, Copeland, Leicester, Mansfield, Middlesbrough and Torbay.
In Bedfordshire, a referendum on a council tax increase is taking place.
UKIP leader Nigel Farage, Labour leader Ed Miliband, Greens leader Natalie Bennett, SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon and Conservative leader David Cameron have already cast their votes.
The local votes taking place mean that nearly every voter in England – excluding London where there are no local elections – will be given at least two ballot papers when they enter polling stations.
Some votes had been cast before Thursday through postal voting, which accounted for 15 per cent of the total electorate at the 2010 general election, when the overall turnout was 65 per cent.
For the first time, people have been able to register to vote online.
Most polling stations are in schools, community centres and parish halls, but pubs, a launderette and a school bus will also be used.
A handful of seats are expected to be declared by midnight, with the final results expected on Friday afternoon.

Source: New feed8

Mugabe turns to West as bankruptcy looms for Zimbabwe

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VENTURES AFRICA – Broke Zimbabwe made a surprise move this week when it approached western governments for funding to mend the country’s crumbling economy. It would be the first time in over a decade the country will be plying this route.

President Robert Mugabe has maintained a hostile relationship with western countries, especially United Kingdom, Germany, Canada and United States have been sour in the past decade. He has been very critical of these nations for accusing him of violation of human rights and election rigging. However, a worsening economic situation locally—one that is edging the Southern African country closer to Bankruptcy—has forced the 91-year old’s government to reconsider their stand.

On Wednesday Zimbabwean government officials called for a meeting with Western ambassadors and official representatives from the International Monetary Fund, World Bank and African Development Bank (AfDB) in the capital Harare to discuss direct budgetary support. “As we go forward and as we successfully build trust among ourselves, we can in future channel development assistance through the vote of credit (budget) so that we are able to plan more effectively and more efficiently,” Zimbabwe Finance, Minister Patrick Chinamasa, told the meeting that included diplomats from the United States and the European Union.

The EU has already extended a hand of support to the ailing economy. Earlier this year, it gave Zimbabwe 234 million euros after lifting sanctions in November, the first time the bloc has given cash to Mugabe’s government since imposing sanctions in 2002. Zimbabwe will hope for a similar response from the United States and Canada.

Prevailing harsh economic environment in Zimbabwe has left several companies doors closed, and kept thousands without a pay-check. According to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, about 4,000 workers lost their jobs in 2014, while Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa said 4,600 companies closed down between 2011 and October 2014, resulting in 64,000 job losses.

Zimbabwe is one of the few developing countries that funds its budget entirely from taxes because it does not qualify for international credit due to a foreign debt of $9 billion. Local economist Eddie Cross said, unless something drastic happens, 2015 will be another year of economic decline in Zimbabwe as collapse of social institutions and further reduction in the delivery of essential services takes its toll on the economy.

 

 

By George Mpofu

 

 

Source: New feed23

Why South African companies prefer to invest in Nigeria

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VENTURES AFRICA – Despite the diplomatic strain on Nigeria and South Africa’s bilateral relationship due to recent xenophobic attacks, South African companies are merging to expand investment to oust local competition in the country. Popular supermarket chain Shoprite and Retail clothing store, PEP store are spreading their outlets in major areas of Africa’s most populous black nation.

To meet the needs of over 170 million inhabitants of Nigeria, Shoprite will be constructing 10 other shopping centers in Nigeria. Whitey Basson’s Shoprite which launched into the Nigerian Market in 1995 entered a joint venture with Resilient Africa, a property development and investment company. The $85 million deal involves two other big South African finance and investment organizations: Standard Bank and Group Five.

“The risk in South Africa is up but returns are down. It is time to explore fresh markets,” said the Managing Director of Resilient, Mr. Des de Beer, who is known for spotting growth opportunities. He also believes that Nigeria offers better potential returns than South Africa, where opportunities for new retail developments have become few.

South African based company Pepkor Ltd, owners of PEP stores in Nigeria have also been bought by Steinhoff International Holdings. To increase its presence in Nigeria, the middle income clothing, footwears and accessories retail store will have 31 stores in operation by July this year.

Deon Conradie, the Nigeria’s manager of PEP store recently disclosed that the development is in line with the company’s desire to readily meet the growing market in Nigeria for other goods aside from food. He also confirmed that company’s expansion plan will see to the opening of 10 stores per year till 2018.

 

By Tobi Eyinade

 

 

Source: New feed23

Struggling Ivorian telco may be saved by Nigerian billionaire

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VENTURES AFRICA – Mike Adenuga, Nigeria’s second richest man, has moved to buy Ivorian mobile telecoms operator Comium Cote d’Ivoire. According to multiple reports, Globacom, a Nigerian mobile telecoms operator owned by Adenuga, has lodged a $600 million takeover bid for the operator.
The move is perceived by many to be a strategic one where Globacom will see gains by way of an increased presence in the West African region. Already, the Nigerian mobile telecoms giant operates in Ghana and Benin Republic, in addition to its home country and will seek to invest over $1 billion in upgrading Comium-CI’s network over the next three years. Officials of both companies are yet to confirm the bid.
Comium CI has more than 900,000 mobile subscribers according to L’Autorite de Regulation des Telecommunications and is a subsidiary of the Comium Group, a Lebanon-based telecommunications company. The group operates as a multi-service provider on four continents, specializing in Wireless Data Networks, GSM communications, Internet service provision and VoIP.
Comium CI is cash-strapped and heavily indebted to the tune of over $25 million; it’s been given till May 15 to pay off or risk being placed into receivership, a situation which leaves it with no better option than to sell to Adenuga.
According to Ventures Africa’s The Richest People in Africa, Mike Adenuga, 63, is the 2nd richest man in Nigeria with a fortune currently estimated at $8 billion. Most of his fortune comes from his ownership of the Nigerian mobile telecoms outfit Globacom, and Conoil Producing, a Nigerian oil exploration firm that operates about 6 oil blocks in the Niger Delta region of the country. His venture into entrepreneurship started with the sales of lace materials and sodas in the 1970s, he later became the first Nigerian to strike oil in commercial quantities.

Source: New feed23

How to keep pace with Africa’s rapidly rising tourism sector

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VENTURES AFRICA – Fuelled by political cooperation, social change, and modern technology, tourism in Africa is finally speeding to growth. The past few years have seen the emergence of new exciting trends in the continent’s tourism industry. Thanks to deepening internet penetration , over 300 million Africans now have every information they need at their fingertips, including about the best tourist destinations and the best guides. This presents a huge opportunity for tourism companies to leverage on technology and effective marketing strategies to win over customers.

Tourism is gradually being shaped by price assessment and combination technology- development of new applications for mobile phones that offer a wide range of opportunities; social networks are emerging within a more transparent market in which citizens work as a team. There are also changes in the concept of the value chain as it regards producing new business models. Change is becoming more apparent and incessant, just like the opportunities being created. Companies and destinations are tasked with reviewing their strategies-innovating through processes, promotion, improving facilities and infrastructure.

For African tourism to remain on the path leading to the next level, two key areas for developing the tourism industry need to be considered. Selling tourism products and services online has changed from being just price-conscious to becoming an inspiration to the viewer. As the online user absorbs information from a variety of sources, it is usually the site or information source that can best stimulate the viewer to travel.

The average traveler visits about 22 travel-related sites prior to booking a vacation. Search Engine Marketing, Digital Marketing, Mobile and Location Based Marketing, and a variety of other channels exist today for reaching the prospective traveler. However, it is the appeal of the content, combined with the right pricing that will ultimately attract the user to your business.

Secondly, the infrastructure of the organization determines the readiness to respond to customer requirements. As more travelers expect personalized products and services to meet their demands, it is important for tourism businesses to have tools that can collect and monitor information in order to meet the individual needs of their clients. The better you know your customer, the more likely you will retain. Visitors are keen to follow in the footsteps of history; attracted by an authentic site, they would like to view a place where history was made. Visitors are prepared to pay for this, but at the same time expect a high level of service quality. Customer relationship management and other fundamental information management systems are essential for businesses to scale-up.

Jovago.com, Africa’s No.1 online hotel booking portal believes that the African tourism &travel industry is rapidly assuming a third “T” –Technology, as technology serves the needs of travelers, companies and destinations, thereby taking the industry to a next level. Jovago has partnered with Ventures Africa, Africa’s leading Pan-African business magazine to ensure that the African travellers can stay updated on happenings around Africa while also getting the best available hotel deals out of over 200,000 hotels. It is important to generate a continuous and productive debate on technology, innovation and participation in the world of tourism across platforms, Africa must continue to work on integrating new technologies in daily management of tourism businesses and destinations.

 

By Chinelo Ngene

Source: New feed26

How to fight poverty without aid

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VENTURES AFRICA- Non-profit global venture fund, Acumen has announced its expansion to support social entrepreneurship in Latin America. The impact investor will be headquartered in Bogotá and will invest in innovative entrepreneurs and establishments in Colombia and Peru.

Despite the rapid growth of Colombia’s economy over the years, inequality still persists in the country. While urban areas have flourished, lives in the rural areas have not improved. But Acumen is set to help better the lives of people in Latin America.

The company’s Latin America Country Director, Virgilio Barco believes that there is a strong pipeline of investment opportunities, particularly in the agriculture sector. He also explained that the organisation is focused on creating opportunities that alleviate potential poverty for generations to come, rather than short-term interventions which only generate sustainable incomes for households.

About a quarter of the country’s population who live in rural areas have been exposed to conflict and violence, thereby hindering development. Agriculture has been are held back by certain factors such as- financial services or technical assistance, land and irrigation. The lack of infrastructure prevents them from competing with other global markets, further aggravating the barriers to progress.

Although extreme poverty in Latin America has dropped by half, over 80 million people still live on $4 a day and more than 200 million suffer the risk of returning to their previous status. This launch to tackle poverty will ensure that income challenges of small holder farmers are addressed while tacking rural challenges such as water, energy and health.

Acumen CEO Jacqueline Novogratz explained that rather than rely on markets or aid alone, turning charitable donations into financial capital is also wise. “Acumen can enable Latin American businesses to grow and ultimately bring large-scale, sustainable solutions poverty.”

Source: New feed23

Ankara Street Style Edition: The Angola Trench Jacket

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Good day beautiful people
With winter finally gone
Spring comes baring beautiful outfits for me to share. Despite the fact I’m a December baby I despise the cold weather and I’m not a fan of boots and scarfs. Which explains my seasonal hiatus from blogging.  So stay tuned for a lot of colors and bold patterns.

I wanted a printed trench coat that had lots of colors which allowed me to dress it up or down.
While shopping for fabric, this number really stuck out to me.
 After posting a sneak peak I was told this material was originally from from the country of 
Angola. Since then I’ve seen lots of different styles from different fashion enthusiasts and how they styled this beautiful fabric.

Top: Zara| Pants: Target| Shoes: Forever 21| Jacket: Designed by me 
Photos by Harry Ondoa

Source: 16

Arsenal will cost Dangote just 5% of his fortune

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VENTURES AFRICA – Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote is still interested in investing in English Premier League side Arsenal FC after a failed bid in 2010. Although he denied he was interested in buying a stake in the club at the time, he has now signified interest and claims he has a strategy for investing in the North London club.

Like most fans, Dangote believes the club needs a new direction and would like manager Arsene Wenger “to change his style a bit”. He is not just another businessman who wants more money, but also a passionate fan of the club. Thus, if he makes a move to buy, Arsenal fans are likely to support him. Independent polls have already shown that majority of the club’s supporters think Arsenal need new investment.

Dang

source: Mirror Football

However, the richest black man is not going to invest in Arsenal just yet. “I still hope, one day at the right price, that I’ll buy the team,” he said in an interview.

“I might buy it, not at a ridiculous price but a price that the owners won’t want to resist. I know my strategy.”

Dangote will only consider buying Arsenal after he is able to take his company to desired level. As his short-term growth plan, his Group has investments worth $16 billion planned for the next few years.

If Dangote will stand a chance of taking up the ownership status at the Emirates Stadium, he will need to convince Stan Kroenke who holds 66.64 percent stake in Arsenal and 29.11 percent held by Uzbek billionaire Alisher Usmanov and London-based financier Farhad Moshiri through Red and White Sec Limited.

If the Nigerian convinces current owners of the club to sell, he will only be parting with 5.1 percent of his fortune as Arsenal is worth $1.3 billion. While a good offer may be welcomed by Red and White, it is unlikely that Kroenke will be swayed by Dangote’s offer. The American entrepreneur has a two-decade-old interest in sports business. The sports mogul bought his first team in 1995 through his Kroenke Sports Enterprises. He owns six professional franchises, including the National Football League’s St. Louis Rams, NBA’s Denver Nuggets and NHL’s Colorado Avalanche.

Same cannot be said about Dangote, who is known for interests in cement, sugar and flour. He is also investing $11 billion in an oil refinery to be located near Lagos. But his multi-billion dollar investments globally focuses on consumer goods, oil and gas and construction. None of his assets is sports-related. Kroenke’s business is sports and it is the only thing he has more than the African billionaire whose fortune quadruples his own.

Whether Kroenke will give up his stake for a good sum remains to be seen, but like Dangote said, he knows his strategy. He will offer “a price that the owners won’t want to resist”.

 

Source: New feed25

Aliko Dangote Still Keen On Buying Premier League Club

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The richest man in Africa Aliko Dangote is still interested in  buying English Premier League side Arsenal.

Aliko Dangote has an estimated fortune of about £10 Billion, the Nigerian has been keen to take control of the Gunners for a number of years and was linked with a stake in the club when former director Lady Nina Bracewell-Smith was selling her shares in 2010.

Majority shareholder at Arsenal Stan Kroenke remains committed to Arsenal for the long-term while Uzbekistan magnate Alisher Usmanov, who controls around 30 per cent of the club, has also expressed no desire in selling any of his stock.

But Dangote is refusing to rule out taking charge of the Londoners in the future.

Dangote, 58, who was speaking to Bloomberg, he said:

“I still hope, one day at the right price, that I will buy the team. I might buy it, not at a ridiculous price but a price that the owners won’t want to resist. I know my strategy.”

However, the 58-year-old was quick to point out that, despite the interest, no bid for the Premier League side ‘is in the pipeline’.

Dangote however had this to say about Arsenal and Arsene Wenger.

“Wenger needs to change his style a bit,” he said. “They need new direction.”

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Source: 25

Why increased global trading is good for Africa

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Trade is the best cure for prejudice. It is an almost general rule that, wherever there is good citizenship, there is trade, and that, wherever there is trade, there is good citizenship.” –  French philosopher Montesquieu.

VENTURES AFRICA – Philosophically, it could be argued that nations are endowed with different sets of natural resources for the sole purpose of facilitating trade and exchange – if every nation had the exact same resource profile, there’d be no need for any form of exchange.

Beyond philosophy, however, the case for boosting global trading has never been louder with the recent growth slowdown in the global economy. A series of analyses from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which has a long history of advocating for more criss-crossing of goods and services, suggest that trading does more than just provide money for nations, it triggers a virtuous cycle that spikes growth and innovation, while reducing poverty. “If you care about growth and innovation; if you care about jobs and the real incomes of the middle-class; if you care about poverty reduction and greater economic fairness; if you do care about all these things, you need to be serious about fostering global trade,” advocates Christine Largarde, the IMF’s Managing Director.

Africa has witnessed impressive economic growth in the last decade—fuelled by increased foreign investment inflow and better commodities trading—but a slowdown in the transfer of goods poses a number of setbacks. Africa is expected to suffer a shrunken portfolio of investment inflows should the slowdown persist.

However, should global trading improve, here are the gains Africa’s stands to attract:

More jobs: A strong correlation exists between trading and job creation. The IMF reports that exports of goods and services directly and indirectly supported an estimated 11.7 million U.S. jobs in 2014.

Ironically, Africa continues to suffer from massive unemployment. Its two biggest economies—Nigeria and South Africa—both have more than 20 percent of their population unable to secure a job. Interestingly both countries, despite attracting significant international investments, noticeably have marginal trade relations with neighbours. With the U.S. already providing more than 10 million jobs from trade avenues, both economies can take a cue from the global economic leader.

Economies of Scale: Countries like Nigeria are known for oil production, while South Africa is known for diamond and platinum mining, as well as telecom services and finance. East Africa provides a suitable tourism destination in Kenya and Ethiopia. These could all form the basis of specialisation for most of these regions.

Encouraging structural reforms: The IMF believes that trade reforms, which result from increased trading, can increase external competition in the products and services markets. This, it believes, encourages key infrastructure investments, and strengthens institutions by encouraging better governance and an improved business environment. This can be seen in China’s renewed investments strides across Africa. The country, which has sunk a minimum of $200 billion into Africa’s infrastructure landscape, has improved road access, improved aviation and supported governments’ effort in rebuilding the emerging African economy.

 

 

By Emmanuel Iruobe

 

 

Source: New feed23

South Africa to renew energy relations with Tehran

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VENTURES AFRICA – Nearly three years after international sanctions put a moratorium on oil trade between South Africa and Iran, Africa’s most advanced economy plans to reinstate its energy relation with Iran.

Tina Joemat-Pettersson, the energy minister, said, this weekend, that South Africa was looking at cooperating with Iran concerning crude oil, LNG, LPG, gas and petrochemicals. She was visiting Tehran at the weekend.

Joemat-Pettersson added that South African companies could inject money in many parts of Iran’s oil sector.
Mohsen Ghamsari, director of international affairs at the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), was quoted as saying South Africa was poised to import crude oil and other energy products from Iran.

In May 2012, South Africa acquired about 68.000 barrels a day of Iran’s crude. And in September last year, Africa’s second-largest crude consumer expressed interest in restarting imports from Iran, Reuters reported on Monday.

Iran’s exports of crude have slipped to about 1.1 million barrels a day, from a high of 2.5 million barrels a day in 2012 due to international sanctions, which made it tough for Iran to get buyers of its energy. Iran is currently in talks with world powers to cancel crippling economic sanctions against it. Iran could in turn introduce tough controls on its disputed nuclear programme.

 

 

Source: New feed23

The discerning traveller

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VENTURES AFRICA – The act of travelling goes beyond moving from Point A to B. The purpose behind a trip itself informs every aspect needed to make decisions. This can be seen in the case of the average business traveller for whom efficiency is key. Time spent on a trip is result-driven; quick check-in, security screenings, and the avoidance of queues as much as possible. Typically, for business travel, the only down time the individual gets is at the airport; waiting to board or connect flights.

Insignificant as it may seem, the travel experience is greatly tied to this wait time. It takes a discerning traveller to maximize the opportunities that come with it.

Airports around the world have continued to improve their physical structures and retail services to make waiting time more convenient for travellers.

Following extensive passenger research and investigation into industry developments –London’s Heathrow airport that welcomes more than 70 million passengers every year from more than 180 destinations – is fast embracing three key trends in travel which seek to improve air travel for even the most discerning traveller:

Personalised luxury

While Heathrow has been internationally acclaimed for its range of fashion and luxury boutiques for some years, the expectations of customers are constantly evolving.  The airport is now being challenged to match the expectations set by even the most sophisticated of London boutiques.  On the back of research revealing that more than 75 percent of passengers from Heathrow travelling alone and 26 percent of customers saying they didn’t feel they could make a fashion choice without asking others for a second opinion, the airport turned its focus towards providing customers with a new level of personalised luxury. A complimentary stylist is now available to every passenger departing from Heathrow in order to assist with navigating the 400 plus fashion brands across the airport.

Whether it’s an extraordinary dress for an evening event, a new season update or even advice on the latest beauty trends, customers can now expect a Personal Stylist to be available from the first to last flight of the day. These professionals will mimic the kind of service customers can expect from brands such as Selfridges or Harrods.

Premium dining

In 2008, Heathrow challenged the traditional expectations of airport dining by opening the first restaurant created by a Michelin-starred chef in an airport.  Gordon Ramsay’s Plane Food made it possible for passengers to enjoy a dining experience they would normally have to book months in advance.   The opening of the new Terminal 2 in 2014 continued this spirit of innovation with the opening a restaurant by Michelin-starred Heston Blumenthal called The Perfectionists’ Café .  Today, Heathrow is the only airport in the world with two restaurants designed by Michelin-starred chefs.

Inspired by Heston’s years of research and development work, the menu at The Perfectionists’ Café celebrates some of Britain’s favourite dishes and embraces the eccentricity of Great British invention with a wood-fired pizza oven and a liquid nitrogen ice cream maker.  There’s also an element of theatre, burgers are made by grinding all the meat grains in the same direction to maximise the juiciness of the meat while ice cream sundaes are created with spectacular bursts of liquid nitrogen and pizzas are cooked in just 60 seconds in full view of passengers.

 Making the exclusive accessible

With an unconquerable number of luxury destinations, hotels, restaurants, bars and other unforgettable experiences on offer, travellers have never had more ways to enjoy their time away.  Heathrow has risen to the challenge of integrating luxury experiences into the airport by opening up a VIP service previously the preserve of royalty and heads of state to the public.

Affectionately referred to as ‘Heathrow in 50 steps’, Heathrow’s VIP service is a completely private and exclusive journey through the world’s busiest international airport.  The service is designed for even the most discerning traveller with a private airport approach road, champagne on arrival and an executive transfer across Heathrow’s airfield to the aircraft steps.  Passengers can even choose whether they would like to be the first or the last passenger to board their flight.

As traveller expectations continue to evolve, there is no doubt that airports all over the world will be challenged to develop their services.

 

 

By Jonathan Coen, Retail Director at Heathrow
Coen has more than 17 years’ experience in airport retailing across commercial planning, category and space management roles at Gatwick, Stansted and Heathrow. He is currently at the helm of Heathrow retail overseeing the passenger offer of shops, restaurants, luxury and media spaces.

 

 

Source: New feed26

New Music: MR Worth – Koleremi ft Dre-san

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God’swill-Ediae, popularly known as “Gwillz” friends call him the “Edo-Lagos boi” or the “magic finger” was signed to Ologobiala records in year 2010 where he released an unofficial mix tape which includes songs like CHANGE feat Oritse femi and later emancipated to signing a record deal with a music factory giant “Baddo records” in 2013 were he did songs like Spartacus, langbejino and a video Ghana Girl with his label mate Kproxzy. The singer/producer”Rundem”crooner *Mr.worth(Gwillz)* who is the C.E.O of “Philterbeatz Ent” has produced songs like “Tomorrow” by Oritse femi feat reminisce and “come on home” on “better” album by Oritse femi, among orders.
Earlier 2014 he dropped a raggae love song (Me and You) featuring one of the finest German Base Nigerian Producer/Rapper SUTFLUTE.
Gwillz rebranded his Name to MR WORTH! in 2015! and decided to Bless his Fans with this Self produced smarshy club banger, tittld koleremi , mix and masterd by Dre-san.
Enjoy.

Download
IMG-20150418-WA0000.jpg-872811

Source: sutbeatcom

Xenophobic attacks could batter SA tourism industry

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VENTURES AFRICA – The xenophobic attacks of the past two weeks in South Africa could batter the tourism industry of South Africa, Africa’s most advanced economy. “(The attacks) are damaging to the brand that we are marketing, damaging to the reputation of the country,” Thulani Nzima, CEO of South African Tourism, told Reuters on Thursday. “We’ve always marketed the country on the basis of the warmth of its people, the welcoming nature of the people, so when things like this happen, it depletes that currency that we’ve punted out there. So of course we’re very worried.”

This could be a hold up for the South African economy which has hustled intensively to fix the manner in which the country is seen by the outside world. But in recent times, the country is now seen as the home of violence because of its high crime rate, particularly in its biggest city, Johannesburg.

Although the triumphant hosting of the 2010 World Cup bolstered South Africa’s positive image globally, graphic images of prowling groups of people carrying dangerous weapons attacking foreigners and plundering foreign-owned shops have invigorated apprehensions that may turn off likely visitors to South Africa.

A little over a dozen people were murdered in the xenophobic violence which took place about three weeks ago, which was chiefly directed at African foreigners.

Source: New feed26

Sainsbury’s CEO jailed for two years

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VENTURES AFRICA – An Egyptian court has sentenced Mike Coupe, the CEO of United Kingdom’s supermarket giant, J Sainsbury’s, to a two-year jail term. He was found guilty for allegedly trying to seize cheques from an Egyptian that had worked closely with Sainsbury’s. The sentencing though, is likely to display potential difficulties of doing business in some emerging markets.

About 15 years ago, Sainsbury’s withdrew from an Egyptian partnership with the North African country’s businessman, Amr El Nasharty, posting losses worth $170 million the process. Sainsbury’s disposed of its remaining shareholding at the time to El Nasharty with the hope of being free of what had been described as a difficult investment.

Nasharty alleged that Coupe was in Egypt in July 2014 and tried “to seize cheques” signed by him to Sainsbury’s in 2001. “This is clearly ridiculous. Mike Coupe was in London carrying out his normal duties that day,” a spokeswoman for Sainsbury’s said in a statement then.

However, as a result, a trial was held in an Egyptian court in September based on these allegations, but Coupe failed to attend. Sainsbury’s say Coupe had no prior notice of the trial. This resulted in a two-year jail sentence on Wednesday without bail, being imposed on the Sainsbury’s boss.

Coupe is currently free to travel and went to Egypt last weekend to try and deal with the charges. His case will be heard again on Sunday, May 3.

 

 

Source: New feed27

Dollar Drops Have Significant Detriment On Naira

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Emerging report have it that the American dollar has sank to its lowest level in more than two months as the currency market adopted a markedly dovish view on the United States monetary policy after data showed the economy virtually stagnating in the first three months of the year.

naira-Dollar.jpg 360nobs

However, according to Financial Times, as the market awaited the outcome of a meeting of the Federal Reserve policy makers, government bonds and equities on both sides of the Atlantic also came under pressure.

This was particularly so in Europe as the euro broke above key resistance levels, further aided by more signs that the European Central Bank’s quantitative easing programme was helping to ease deflation pressures and improve credit conditions.

By midday in New York, the dollar index (a gauge of the currency’s value against a weighted basket of peers) was down 1.1 per cent at 95.09, the lowest since the end of February. In mid-March, the measure reached a 12-year high above 100.

Mr. Ayodeji Ebo, who is an analyst at Afrinvest West Africa Limited, revealed that the drop in dollar might not impact the naira immediately.

He, however, said that if the fall persisted, it might affect foreign portfolio inflow.

He said, “The fall in dollar’s value may affect the FPI if it persists; it may not have direct impact on the naira immediately. However, it may have a very little impact if it persists for a long time.”

Source: 25

Nigeria’s new SEC boss: political settlement meets capable hands

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VENTURES AFRICA – On Monday, Nigeria’s outgoing President Goodluck Jonathan appointed his close ally and the former governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi, as the Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the regulator of Nigeria’s Stock Exchange. The appointment has all the trappings of a ‘token of appreciation’ from Jonathan to Peter Obi for his support in the former’s ill-fated presidential re-election bid. However, regardless of the political underpinnings of the selection, Peter Obi’s precedence in finance and politics means he comes to the SEC with some of the skills and traits that the regulatory body needs to kickstart growth in Nigeria’s capital market.

Peter Obi was the head of President Jonathan’s re-election campaign in the South, where the outgoing president got over 90 percent of the total votes. After finishing his second term as governor of Anambra State, Obi moved from the Southeast-based All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) to President Jonathan’s Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) last year October, and became one of the loudest supporters of the president’s re-election bid. He was generally expected to land a ministerial position if Jonathan got re-elected, as is commonplace in reward-driven Nigerian politics. With the failure of Jonathan to retain his Presidential seat, and the grim possibility of a political appointment for Peter Obi under the Muhammadu Buhari-led incoming government, the SEC appointment looks on the surface like a political settlement by Jonathan, whose last presidential acts have been dominated by hirings and firings. But, beyond the surface is a man capable of turning the tide in Nigeria’s struggling Capital Market.

Prior to venturing into politics, Peter Obi made his name in business and the banking industry, the most distinguishing of which was becoming the youngest ever Chairman in the history of top-tier lender, the Fidelity Bank PLC. His business exploits also extend to the fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) industry where he led the Next International Nigeria Ltd to become a leading supplier of products to supermarkets in the country. Obi’s business foundation played a crucial role in his governance of Anambra state, the commercial hub of Southeast Nigeria. He is widely praised for attracting foreign direct investments empowering indigenous investors and industrialists for which the state is renowned.”Anambra State has the tightest envelope but despite that, he achieved a lot,” Nigeria’s finance minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, said of Obi in 2014. She described him as “one the brightest governors Nigeria has produced” because of whom, “Anambra has become a good reference point in the country.” In the SEC, Obi’s finance sector experience ensures he will not be out-of-depth with his new environment.

Among the SEC’s biggest challenges is the poor local participation in the capital market. While local investment in the capital market has remarkably improved in the past few years, with a disadvantaged ratio of 40-60 percent, more Nigerian businesses are direly needed in the stock market. The domination of the stock exchange by foreign investors is one of the main causes of its tumbles in the face of negative speculations or political tensions. This is one of the areas where Peter Obi’s ‘local trader’ status can have a great impact. His connections with the local business community, especially the trading and manufacturing-focused Southeast, could be exploited to get more indigenous enterprises to list in the NSE.

Peter Obi’s ‘chill guy’ factor and political savviness is another trait that the SEC could benefit from. The thin-voiced politician is a clear departure from the loud-spoken hardline boss that the exchange commission had in the controversial Aruma Oteh. Oteh had running battles with members of staff of the SEC and other industry participants. Peter Obi’s success in winning two consecutive governorships terms in Anambra, known for the hotly contested nature of its elections, means he has the leadership savviness to navigate the conflicting interests that abound in the SEC.

While Peter Obi’s appointment may have been President’s Jonathan repayment of a political debt, it may also have landed the SEC job on the right hands. That however, will be judged by Obi’s performance in office.

Source: New feed27

China’s latest gift to Ivory Coast is a 60,000-seat stadium

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VENTURES AFRICA – When China’s Premier Li Keqiang toured Africa last year he pledged an additional $12 billion in credit and funding. The Chinese credit train is now in Ivory Coast, where China will finance the construction of a 60,000-seat stadium, which will be completed before 2021 when the West African country hosts the African Cup of Nations (AFCON).

Details of the financial structure of the stadium are not known, but the spokesman of the Ivorian sports ministry called the stadium “a gift from China,” adding that “Ivory Coast has just the space to put at its disposal.”

“The Olympic stadium of Ebimpe with 60,000 seats will allow the hosting of high-level football, athletics and rugby tournaments,” he told AFP.

The new stadium will be located in Abidjan. At the moment, the city can only boast of one stadium of international standard, the Houphouet-Boigny stadium opened in 1952. Work at the new stadium begins in January 2016 and will be completed in 2018. As part of the project, a sports city will also be constructed around the stadium in the suburb of Anyama. China is also currently building the biggest hydro-electric project in Ivory Coast, as well as a highway to connect capital Abidjan to the Ghana border.

China’s outward foreign direct investment (OFDI) flows to Africa increased from $317 million in 2004 to $2.52 billion in 2012. The country had in 2009 surpassed the United States as Africa’s largest trading partner. Although there have been several criticisms about China’s investment focus on the African continent, the country has continued to seal government-related deals and remains Africa’s biggest infrastructure investor.

Source: New feed25

Michael Jordan shows African sportsmen how to remain top earners after retirement

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African sportsmen can a learn from Michael Jordan on how rewarding it is to make critical business decisions that will return superior earnings well beyond their playing days and mega-bucks salaries.

VENTURES AFRICA – A few months ago, Michael Jordan officially joined the world’s exclusive and elite club of billionaires after landing the $1 billion valuation this week. The impressive achievement has predictably raised the conversation of how retired athletes can remain relevant enough to attract earnings commensurate with what it was during their active days or even slightly increased.

Jordan, initially drafted in 1984 by Chicago Bulls, has gone down as a legend of basketball after a hugely successful career which saw him win an impressive array of tournaments and create a number of records. Predictably, Jordan’s sporting talent spawned a great number of commercial activity as brands sought to associate themselves with basketball’s biggest name. However, since retirement in 2003, the “Jordan brand” has gotten increasingly stronger as the athlete ventured almost immediately into entrepreneurship.

Jordan is now a clear example of how sports biggest names can remain attractively relevant and maintain significant earning potential. In comparison, we take a look at how, through three of the biggest lessons from Jordan’s story, Africa’s sports men can increase business portfolios, enhance brand strength and remain key business players in the sporting sector, well beyond their playing days.

 

Maintain relevance

In the age of technological advancements in media and connectivity and the fast moving nature of news and events, it is essential for retired sports men to maintain impressive relevance levels in various ways.

Henry Schafer, Executive Vice-President at the Q Score Company, a firm that measures awareness and popularity among fans, has described Jordan’s enduring popularity among fans as unique. Jordan’s Q score has topped all other sportsmen every year since 1987 except in 1990 when he was surpassed. “Jordan is unique in that he has been able to maintain that emotional connection with his consumer base for more than 25 years,” Henry Schafer told Forbes.

This enduring connection and relevance within sports fans give Jordan a unique advantage. These potential retail customers form a major part of revenue for some of Jordan’s main businesses – the Jordan Brand, a division of American sports wear giants, Nike.

Also given Jordan’s continuing appeal, he remains a big attraction for endorsements. He reportedly earned $80 million in 2012 from endorsement deals with partners such as Nike, Gatorade, Upper Deck, 2K Sports, Presbyterian Healthcare, Five Star Fragrances and Hanes. His ability to pull revenue from endorsements two decades after retirement is an incredible achievement.

 

Leveraging brand strength

At the peak of his powers Jordan’s brand was incredibly strong. So strong that Nike thought it smart business to fashion out a division anchored solely on Jordan’s brand name. The famous Air Jordan brand has gone down as one of Nike’s most profitable business decisions. An initial five-year deal which cost Nike $500,000 laid the foundation for The Jordan Brand. It currently generates more than $1.5 billion globally.

Such is the strength of the Jordan shoe brand that in 2012 it had 58 percent of the U.S basketball shoe market, surpassing even its parent company, Nike, which controlled only 34 percent. For sportsmen, given the relatively transient period of being profoundly elite, it can be beneficial to explore long-term avenues of creating value based on brand power. While Nike’s runaway success with the Jordan Brand is largely respected, others have registered success that is, while not comparable with Jordan’s success, also impressive.

 

Investment is non-negotiable 

Fewer things guarantee long-term revenue generation and as such it is crucial for sportsmen to make proper business investments when at the peak of their careers. Despite’s Jordan’s impressive earnings in sports, the former Chicago Bulls star has investments across the United States. He owns seven restaurants, a motorsports team, a car dealership and, most crucially, a 90 percent stake in the basketball team Charlotte Hornets – an investment which was largely responsible for his inclusion in the list of billionaires. Jordan’s investment in Charlotte Hornets has proven to a masterstroke as the team’s recent increase in value following the sale of LA Clippers for $2 billion had positive effects on team values in the NBA. Similarly, basketball luminary LeBron James made $30 million after Beats by Dre was acquired by Apple. Smart and forward-thinking and guided investments such as these could prove to be crucial sources of income for sportsmen in future. Jordan’s financial success off the basketball court with his current valuation as a billionaire is all the more impressive. His career earnings (salaries) totalled only $90 million, a fraction of his current billionaire valuation.

Jordan’s model can serve as a guide of sorts for Africa’s elite sports men who earn millions during their active careers to ensure that their post-retirement lives are just as financially rewarding as their sporting days.

Source: New feed25

Africa’s Richest Man Lists 3 Major Problems Nigeria’s President-elect Should Tackle

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Africa’s wealthiest man, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, has listed three major problems facing Nigeria’s economy that the President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari needs to deal with.

Dangote is of the opinion that Buhari, once sworn in on May 29, as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, should endeavour he makes this 3 his top priorities;
1. Eradication of unemployment
2. Increment of power supply
3. Getting rid of corrupton

Dangote, while speaking with This Day, assured the president-elect that the business community will be backing his administration, adding that with President Goodluck Jonathan conceding defeat, the confidence of investors all over the world has been boosted, and that the business community would wax stronger if the president-elect tackles some urgent needs of the economy.

Speaking on unemployment, Dangote said: “It is a great and pervasive problem in Nigeria. But the point must be made that it is not peculiarly a Nigerian problem. All over the world, there are growing issues of unemployment. And what we are saying is that the in-coming government can achieve a remarkable success in this regard if it declares an emergency on unemployment and tackle it decisively. You know the organised private sector will or should play a key role in this. And that is why we are concerned.”

He further lamented the extent of damage corruption has done to Nigerian economy, describing it as a “big cankerworm that has really eaten deep into the fabric of our nation.”

“The malaise of corruption is a threat to the survival of the Nigeria economy, no doubt. We must all therefore rise in unison to tackle the menace both in the public and private sector of the economy. The Buhari-led government can show a lot of strength on this issue by showing direction, by demonstrating commitment to ridding every sector of the economy of this malaise.

“I can tell you that a lot will change in Nigeria if this issue is tackled decisively,” Dangote said.

Source: 25

Choosing the Right travel gear for a Safari adventure

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VENTURES AFRICA – In contrast to many guidelines, experience has taught me one tough rule while on safari, “glamour comes last in the jungle” This is not to say that you are excused for rocking the most rugged cargo pants or dragging along century old canvas duffle. Rather it’s a clear indication that comfort and camouflage should be the pillars of your safari wardrobe. Whether trekking to catch a glimpse of gorillas up Volcanoes Mountains or using a 4WD across the Mara, the ability to get down on all fours for a perfect shot or the agility to step up to the tunes of the Masai Morans should not be stifled by your outfit.

 

Color and Camouflage

While the Masai shukas, a common regalia that conveys a “been there done that” on Safari in East Africa may look amazing, they could also be the reason you won’t spot any life in the wild! Its commonly known that predators and especially lions are scared away by red, which is the colour of the shukas most Masai warriors will wear as they hunt for their coming of age rituals. Avoid red by any circumstance, also, avoid white and bright clothes as they will either scare away the grazers or stir aggression in the hunters, hence minimize your chances of spotting any. Limit your colours to earthy and laid back, including browns, tans and khakis.

 

From Pure Cottons to Heaven-sent Absorbents!

From Iceland to the Danakil –Earth’s hottest point in northern Ethiopia, we’ve all come to appreciate the absorbent characteristic of cottons. That was till we discovered a cooler kid on the block, moisture wicking fabric as is commonly indicated on the laundry label/tag is a specially engineered process that enables absorbing and movement of moisture away from the skin, spreading across the whole garment for faster evaporation.  Moisture wicking fabrics are ideal for safari and outdoor adventure for this cooling effect. Aim for clothes that are also vented

 

The Cargo and the Straw Hat

Needless to say, yet a good reminder; packing light is a valued secret for a successful safari. For the ladies, you do not need that trendy sling bag, not with all the creepers and the monkeys on your path. Take advantage of the numerous pockets on your cargo pants and shirt to stick in just the necessary items like a handkerchief, sunglasses, a tube of sunscreen, extra batteries etc. Just the stuff that you will really need. As for the camera, the stronger the strap the better. Your boots too may come in handy as a secret storage for whatever extra effects that you may need to walk around with.

 

Breaking into your New Safari Shoe

One of the most common complaints on the safari trail is either ill-fitting shoes or too heavy pairs. Give yourself enough time to break into your safari boot before you commit it to the track less-trekked. If possible, expose your shoe to as much pressure as you will during the safari by hitting the road in it during your safari prep. Do not ignore it when the toe pinches, it can only get worse. Also, choosing the right shoe for particular adventure is just as important. While a sneaker will work for hikers, you need a tough sole but one that does not cause too much noise while exploring the Savannah due the thorny vegetation you are most likely to encounter.

 

A Thousand What if’s

It’s good to question your faith, it’s not merely being pessimistic – but rather acknowledging reality! So, what if it rains? Pack a light rain coat that will act as a shelter for you and your camera or smart phone. What if we are attacked by a wild animal? Refer to getting a comfortable shoe, add a professional guide to the equation. What if I’m invited for dinner or required to dress up? I’d say, don’t. Chances are everyone where you are knows and is most likely with you on the safari trip, they totally understand how transforming from an old cowboy/girl look in the wild to a sassy Cinderella on glass sandals can be hard. You are excused!

 

By Lilian Gaitho

 

 

Source: New feed26

Kenyan insurer Britam to spend $1.9m on local sports sponsorship

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VENTURES AFRICA – Financial services group, British American Investment Company (Britam), yesterday, unveiled a three-year Sh75 million sponsorship agreement with Kenyan outfit, Mathare United Football Club. This is in addition to a Sh100 million invested in the branding and renovation of Nyayo National Stadium, a multi-purpose stadium situated in the capital Nairobi.

As part of the deal, which Britam director for marketing and corporate affairs Ngera Muthoga said would grow the company’s brand, the insurer will spend Sh25 million annually to support the Kenyan Premier League club while it will release Sh80 million for the next two years on branding and maintenance of Nyayo stadium facilities. Sh20 million will go to official logistics.

At a media briefing to unveil the branding deal, Culture and Arts secretary Hassan Wario noted that the ministry now looks to the private sector for sponsorship of sports activities in the country.

Following the deal, the Nyayo National Stadium, which was built in 1983, will be painted in Britam’s official colours of red, blue and white. The changing rooms, lavatories for spectators, as well as the VIP area, will also be renovated.

Source: New feed25

2,000,000,000 Adults Worldwide Without Bank Accounts?

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While the World Bank is satisfied with the growing number of adults gradually finding their way into the banking system, about two billion are yet to have access to bank accounts, the World Bank Group President, Jim Yong Kim, reported.

Kim, yesterday, at the bank’s headquarters in Washington DC, said between 2011 and this year, 700 million people became account holders at banks and other financial institutions.

He said the development reduced the number of “unbanked” individuals by 20 per cent to two billion adults.

Source: 25

Gabon named venue for next African Cup of Nations

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VENTURES AFRICA – The Confederation of African Football has announced Gabon as the host of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations finals. The announcement was made after Gabon won a vote by the CAF executive committee in Cairo. The co-hosts of the 2012 edition beat competition from Algeria and Ghana replacing Libya, who withdrew owing to security concerns amid continuing political strife.

Gabon has also announced that four venues, Libreville, Franceville, Port Gentil and Oyem, will be used for the tournament. Officials from the country’s football federation promise that stadiums will be ready in 14 months for official use.

CAF has announced draws for the qualifying process of the 2017 tournament with thirteen groups featuring four teams each. All winners of each of the 13 groups will qualify automatically for the tournament while two best-placed runners-up will qualify as well. The final entrant will host Gabon who will play in the qualifiers but will not be awarded points.

The African Cup of Nations remains Africa’s premier football event. The last edition hosted by Equatorial Guinea, saw Ivory Coast victorious with a $10 million prize.

Draws for 2017 AFCON qualifiers:

Group A: Tunisia, Togo, Liberia, Djibouti

Group B: Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola, Central African Republic, Madagascar

Group C: Mali, Equatorial Guinea, Benin, South Sudan

Group D: Burkina Faso, Uganda, Botswana, Comoros

Group E: Zambia, Congo, Kenya, Guinea Bissau

Group F: Cape Verde, Morocco, Libya, Sao Tome

Group G: Nigeria, Egypt, Tanzania, Chad

Group H: Ghana, Mozambique, Rwanda, Mauritius

Group I: Ivory Coast, Sudan, Sierra Leone, Gabon

Group J: Algeria, Ethiopia, Lesotho, Seychelles

Group K: Senegal, Niger, Namibia, Burundi

Group L: Guinea, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Swaziland

Group M: Cameroon, South Africa, The Gambia, Mauritania

 

 

 

Source: New feed25