Who’s who in the corporate zoo

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The ‘corporate jungle’ is hardly a flattering term for the management suite, but some similarities have to be acknowledged. Survival is a vital issue in both scenarios. Predatory instincts can be an asset along with the ability to mark and defend territory when necessary.

It’s not surprising, then, that leadership consultants sometimes see parallels between the animal kingdom and successful executives.

After years of approaching (some might say ‘ensnaring’) senior managers, I confess that some prime specimens do possess certain beastly characteristics.

When hunting game like this at least seven targets stand out …

Lion: some bosses may enjoy the association with ‘the king of beasts’, but probably for the wrong reasons. The lion has great presence and the roar can be intimidating, but a lion does little real work. His ‘mates’ generally do that. The power is there all right, but it stems from the lion’s ability to delegate, only moving in to claim his due when the leg-work is over.

Hyena: this sounds insulting, but results can be spectacular. The hyena is nature’s great opportunist. The corporate variety shows patience and lets others claim the kill, but then moves in to grab a big share of whatever’s going. Being first to market costs time and money. You cut risks and costs by coming second, but following up effectively.

Zebra: apparently the perfect team player. He or she seems to blend in with the herd. This is an illusion. Zebras, organisational and otherwise, constantly seek to improve their position and corner the best grazing. When teamwork is prized and aggressive leadership can prove destructive, you bring in a zebra. The team stays intact and the organisation moves in the right direction.

Cheetah: the best leadership choice when speed is crucial. When running down a target is the prime requirement and you need to outpace competitors, this speedster is ideal. Decision-making is instant. But single-minded pursuit at breakneck pace may mean other opportunities are missed. A cheetah’s acquisitions may impress, but slowing down and consolidating requires other skills.

Tortoise: a born survivor. Evolution seems to pass them by, but that solid shell keeps them from harm. They are slow, but get there. Sometimes the prime organisational requirement is a safe pair of hands. The organisational tortoise is safety personified, but may need to team up with other players if additional objectives are; set.

Eagle: the ability to see the big picture is highly prized. The eagle soars high and spots opportunity and danger from afar. But a far-sighted visionary may seem aloof. Coming down to earth and getting the job done requires great versatility – or complementary skills from a senior colleague.

Dolphin: this gifted communicator exchanges information constantly and uses feedback to coordinate appropriate responses. But perpetual chatter may lead nowhere fast. You might optimise short-term opportunities and remain safe from immediate danger, but if more aggressive goals are set, the great communicator may need help from a great executor.

It’s ironic, but in all cases these executive specimens usually improve their leadership performance by applying the human touch.

The post Who’s who in the corporate zoo appeared first on Ventures Africa.

Source: jobd23

Nigerian student turns vintage volkswagen into $6000 solar-powered car

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Segun Oyeyiola, a student of Obafemi Awolowo University, in Ife, Osun State, Nigeria, has converted a Volkswagen Beetle, using mainly scrap parts donated by friends and family, into a $6000 wind and solar powered car. He describes his creation as “Nigeria’s future car.”

The reinvented vintage Beetle comes fitted with a giant solar panel on the roof—exploiting Nigeria’s abundance of sunlight—and a wind turbine under the hood that takes advantage of airflow while the car is in motion. Also, to ensure the car does not clasp under the added weight of the installed technologies, it comes with an extra-strong suspension system.

The car is still in the early stages of design, and still requires a lot of work to reach the optimal target (the batteries for the solar panel take four to five hours to charge). However, now that Segun has succeed in building a working prototype, he plans to take his final university exams and then get straight back to working on the eco-friendly car.

His concern for the environment has always been his motivation, this has helped him dedicate much of his time and resources to creating the automobile despite many critics labelling his pursuit ‘a waste of time’. “I wanted to reduce carbon dioxide emission[s] going to our atmosphere that lead to climate change or global warming which has become a new reality, with deleterious effect,” he said. “Seasonal cycles are disrupted, as are ecosystems; and agriculture, water needs and supply, and food production are all adversely affected.”

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Source: jobd23

CBN Adjusts Naira-Dollar Exchange Rate As Traders Predict Currency Shrink

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Nigeria’s Apex Bank, CBN, has on Tuesday lowered the Naira peg to 196.95 against the Dollar from 196.90, it set last week.

According to Reuters, this is the fourth time the CBN will be adjusting the peg since it was introduced in February.

Information gathered also suggests that the development has led to the recent fall of the Naira to 228 against the Dollar at the parallel market.

The yield on the Federal Government’s 2024 bond in the JP Morgan Government Bond Index also rose by 40 basis point to 14.74 per cent.

Traders said the move might indicate that CBN is beginning to think about how to loosen its currency regime.

Source: 25

#BeingFemaleinNigeria: How social media sparked a necessary conversation about feminism in Nigeria

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It was only a few years ago that Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie’s now globally recognized TED Talk ‘We Should All Be Feminists’ called for citizens around the world to understand the necessity and significance of feminism. However, while Chimamanda’s address was to the world, within Nigeria her speech was met with almost an indifference that illuminates the challenges of talking about feminism or issues affecting women in Nigeria. This may be odd to some, expecially considering some of the realities for women and young girls in Nigeria. Like Boko Haram’s crusade against women, and the continued kidnapping of women and girls throughout Northern Nigeria. Or the fact that Nigeria has some of the highest rates of FGM and child marriage in the world.

So when the Warmate Book Club, decided to create a hashtag #BeingFemaleinNigeria (or alternatively #BeingAWomaninNigeria) to share their first hand stories of sexism in Nigeria- it was somehow surprising yet also welcome, when thousands of women joined in on the conversation. Now over  20,000 tweets later, it’s encouraging yet depressing to hear the tales of what it means to be a woman in Nigeria.

What Nigerian women face before and during marriage:

Just how many different ways women’s rights are violated: 

Then of course, there’s the man who felt the need to tell women to simmer down:

But he was appropriately silenced, albeit by another man:

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Source: jobd23

CBN Vows Not To Extend Deadline Of BVN Registration

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The Director, Corporate Communications, Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Ibrahim Mu’azu, has disclosed that the deadline – Tuesday, June 30, 2015 – for registration of the Biometric Verification Number will not be extended.

According to Mu’azu, bank customers have been given suffice time and CBN expected they should have taken advantage of the period scheduled for the exercise to register.

Contrary to the speculation that customers who do not have BVN will be prevented from making transactions, such as payments and withdrawals, Mu’azu said only customers using remote access services: internet banking, Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) and other on-line services would not be able to transact.

He also confirmed that over 14 million bank customers have already registered.

For Nigerians in Diaspora to participate in the exercise, CBN has also directed banks to provide online platforms for those who have local accounts to register.

Meanwhile, here are 7 things you should know about the BVN:

1. The BVN is an initiative of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)
2. It was launched in February 2014
3. It is a unique number that enables one person to have a single identity in the banking system
4. It is aimed at protecting bank customers from identity theft
5. It wills serve the purpose of strengthening the Nigerian banking system
6. A customer is only expected to register at one bank, irrespective of the number of accounts he has
7. Customers will still be able to access cash after the BVN deadline ends but online transactions will be restricted

Source: 25

Banks To Deny 14.6Million Customers Banking Service From July 1, Find Out Why

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As from Wednesday July 1, 2015, Deposit Money Banks, nationwide may start denying about 14.6 million customers access to banking services.

CBN Governor

This, according to the Bankers’ Committee of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), was attributed to their inability to comply with the obtaining of the compulsory Bank Verification Numbers (BVNs).

The BVN initiative which started in February 2014, mandates all customers to do biometric registration and obtain BVN; a unique number for proper identification.

According to the Punch, statistics from the Enhancing Financial Innovation and Access shows about 28.6 million adults in the country have bank accounts.

The Bankers’ committee further divulged that the exercise, which formally closes on Tuesday, June 30, has registered 14 million customers as at June 11, 2015.

These figures imply that about 14.6 million bank customers are yet to obtain BVNs.

Statistical analysis from the Electronic Payment Providers Association of Nigeria also indicates that the number of bank account holders – individuals, including children, and organisations – has reached 76 million in contrast to the official population of 170 million people in the country.

The Managing Director, United Bank for Africa Plc, Phillips Oduoza said: “We also discussed the electronic banking space. In the area of BVN, we have done 12.5 million customers and this is a substantial mileage. There is still a need to close the gap before the deadline of June 30 and any customer that hasn’t done so will not enjoy banking services.’’

It was learnt that customers nationwide now engage in last-minute rush to register for BVN before the deadline looms.

Source: 25

Customers Storm Banks For BVN Enrollment As Deadline Approaches

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With less than a week to the deadline of the enrollment for the Bank Verification Number (BVN), hoards of customers in Makurdi have on Monday besieged their banks to enroll for the exercise.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), while many customers had done their registration, a good number of them were yet to comply with the central bank’s directive.

Most customers, it was learnt, were unable to participate in the exercise early enough because of their crowded schedules.

A First Bank customer, Mrs. Dorcas Atim, complained that she just gave birth when the exercise commenced, hence her inability to do the verification earlier than now.

”I was doing everything by myself and as such I had little or no time to spare for other things other than my domestic choirs which were time consuming,” she said.

A UBA customer, Mr Atom Iordaa, disclosed that the demanding nature of his job was the reason why he was unable to register in time.

“I am only free during weekends, but banks do not transact businesses during weekends, but since they said that one cannot transact businesses after the deadline, my Oga, permitted me to come and be captured,’’ he said.

At GTB, a customer, Mrs Rose Otu, said she thought the last minute registration would not be as time consuming because most people would have captured.

“It is unfortunate that l miscalculated that the queue will not be long. It is like many people have that same reasoning of coming now as l have.

“If only they will use the data gathered to forestall bank fraud, it will not be a futile effort, but how will they capture the aged, those on sick bed and those in the Diaspora?’’ She concluded.

It should be noted that the deadline for the exercise is June 30, 2015.

Source: 25

Why smuggling of imported poultry into Nigeria may not end soon

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The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has strongly warned against the consumption of imported or smuggled frozen poultry and meat, threatening to take action should any smugglers or dealers be found with the banned products. NAFDAC Director General, Dr Paul Orhii, gave this counsel at a media briefing in Lagos during which a study carried out by experts from University of Ibadan was presented.

Imported poultry products, especially chicken and turkey have been identified as causative agents in non- communicable diseases (NCDs) and antibiotics resistance. Some of these health conditions include hypertension, kidney disease, and cancer. However the illegal smuggling of these products have prevailed amidst previous warnings.

Despite a ban on the importation of these food items, a group of Nigerians continue to traffic frozen poultry and meat into the country. Their efforts, however, have been encouraged by Nigeria’s inability to meet up with local demand for these products. According to the president of the Poultry Association of Nigeria Dr Ayoola Odutan while the local demand for frozen chicken is above two million metric tonnes annually, Nigerian farmers are only able to produce 300,000 metric tonnes, leaving a wide gap of more than 1.7 million metric tonne. “Out of this figure, smuggled chicken accounts for 1.2 million metric tonnes annually.”

As long as there is local deficit for poultry products, smugglers will remain the go-to “alternative.” NAFDAC has however stressed the fact that although it may seem like the easy way out, these smuggled goods are partly responsible for health issues among consumers.

Dr Orhii explained that the continuous consumption of imported chicken and turkey could damage the human system on the long run, unlike poultry foods produced locally, which have been found safer for consumption.

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Source: jobd23

How Mali is reviving its ailing power sector

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Mali is working hard at ensuring increased access to electricity in the country where power is accessible to only about 17 percent of the population, one of the lowest in Africa.

The west African nation signed a 30-year concession agreement with Kenié Energie Renouvelable, a subsidiary of Eranove Group, a major pan-African player in the electricity and water sectors. Under the agreement, the Group will finance, develop, build and operate the Kenié hydro-electric dam located in Baguinéda on the Niger River, 35km east of the capital, Bamako. The deal makes Mali the latest African nation that is shifting focus to effectively exploiting the potential of renewable energy on the continent.

Hydropower is the world’s largest source of renewable energy. It currently accounts for a fifth of global electricity. If water is harnessed responsibly, it can help to take electricity access to millions of people who currently lack access. Mali is expecting to add 42MW from the Kenié hydro-electric facility to its installed power capacity of approximately 414MW, which covers only half of potential demand.

“And we mustn’t forget micro and pico hydro-electricity either. These small hydro-electric facilities can supply power to villages or groups of villages in remote areas far away from interconnected transmission systems. Hydro-electricity is a renewable and competitive source of power in terms of production costs, and could even play a role in the financial balancing of power sectors and in meeting demand. This would prove hugely beneficial both for local populations and for regional industrial development,” said Marc Albérola, CEO of the Eranove Group in a statement by the company.

Rural electrification in Africa is very low at less than 10 percent. Mali is already addressing this through its work with Électricité de France (EDF), which in conjunction with ADEME, has created a Society for Decentralized Services (SDS), aimed at offering energy services to be supported by a local law firm. SDS has only one mission; it is electrifying 20 villages in the French-speaking African nation, using low and medium-voltage micro-stations that could be supplemented by diesel and solar energy. The new agreement with Kenié Energie Renouvelable further shows the commitment of Mali to ensuring energy-sufficiency as one of the poorest countries in the world works towards improving its fortunes.

According to the current project schedule, construction of the Kenié hydro-electric dam is due to begin in 2016 and the dam would become operational in 2020. It will then be operated under a concession agreement by Kenié Energie.

The project is supported by Emerging Capital Partners (ECP), a pan-African leader in private equity investment that has raised more than $2.5 billion in assets for the continent.

About 400 gigawatts of hydro potential remains undeveloped in sub-Saharan Africa. This is enough to quadruple the continent’s existing installed capacity of 80 GW. Although hydropower offers great opportunities, the World Bank notes that it also brings with it challenges such as resettlement of communities, flooding of large areas of land, and significant changes to river ecosystems.

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Source: jobd23

Ghana’s bid to prevent a second flooding may usher in a new challenge

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In the last year or two, Ghana is said to have shifted swiftly from a success story to one struggling to survive. It was the fastest growing economy in Africa in 2011 and was talked up as a model for struggling African economies. The west African country even received commendations from US President Barack Obama, during his first visit to the continent, for maintaining a stable democracy in a period where dictatorships ruled. However, in recent months, that narrative has been altered as Ghana has grappled with a tide of socio-economic challenges. The past 48 months have seen Ghana run to the IMF for a sustainable plan to manage its rising debt, which analysts say is more than 70 percent of GDP. It has also had to contend with utilizing one of the worst-performing currencies on the continent, while its major cities continue to suffer from power blackouts. However, among the growing list of problems on Ghana’s plate, one which is taking centre stage is flooding.

The rains, this year, have been coming down with increased ferocity, and the world is feeling it. From Russia, US, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Hungary, to Nigeria, Malawi and Kenya, floods have threatened to halt business activity across major global cities. Ghana has suffered a similar fate. Two weeks ago, it experienced its worst-ever flooding, one that ended up killing over 150 people—90 of whom were burned to death when after the running water destroyed a petrol station—and caused damages running into millions of dollars. The disaster has been termed the “worst in decades” for the west African country.

Ghanaian President John Dramani Mahama revealed to Journalists earlier that plastic bags, which once served as a symbol of a growing middle class and a prospering economy, were now clogging the country’s drainage systems. “Plastics are choking the drains.…It’s mind-boggling, the plastic bottles, the pieces of timber, and firewood, and old mattresses, and old furniture, and pieces of old cars.”

However, like its economic woes or power challenges, Ghana is already finding ways to address its flooding problem. The government, over the weekend, ordered the widening of the Korle Lagoon, a part of the Agbogbloshie suburb, to prevent a similar occurrence.

According to Reuters, Bulldozers were said to have razed hundreds of homes and businesses in the poor Sodom and Gomorrah neighbourhood of Ghana’s capital on Saturday to make way for free flow of water to the Lagoon. But this has rendered many homeless or without a means of livelihood.  “What they have done is not good for us because this is where some of us work and take care of our families,” said Muhammed Abdul Karim, a local metal worker who had his workshop reduced to a pile of zinc sheets. Tear gas was also sprayed by security forces to dispel those seeking to protect their kiosk or homes.

The government said it has been left with limited alternatives as locals of both communities have raised solid structures that are blocking the flow of water and waste to the Lagoon. Accra Regional Minister Joshua Afotey-Agbo however told Reuters that those affected will be gradually relocated, as will the local markets within the affected communities.

But many have said the move to bulldoze settlements will prove costly for the ruling party in the coming elections, which is expected to hold 18 months from June.”Tell Mahama we are not voting for him again,” many told Reuters.

The ruling National Democratic Congress, founded by political juggernaut Jerry Rawlings, assumed power in December 2012 after a hotly contested election that saw President Mahama emerge victorious with only 50.7 percent of the votes secured. Many from northern Ghana, were both communities are situated, are said to be strong supporters of the ruling party. They are expected to join the opposition now after burning their homes in protest of the destructions.

President Mahama has been very vocal of his desire to see Ghana emerge victorious from its current challenges, stating that steady power supply will soon return to the country. But his latest stride to swiftly address another issue may usher in a new set of problems for him, and Ghana.

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Source: jobd23

Yaya Toure’s commercial success: An indictment and inspiration for African footballers

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In Europe, commercial activity and endorsement deals with sportsmen are notoriously common. But in Africa, where there are not as many marketable sportsmen, the volume of such deals is significantly less. However, despite the shortage of on-the-field activity, one of Africa’s biggest names and faces, Yaya Toure, continues to thrive as the Ivorian has been confirmed as an official brand ambassador of telecommunications firm, Airtel.  As part of the deal, Yaya will play a prominent role in Airtel’s new marketing campaign and also be involved in Airtel’s corporate social responsibility programmes.

The deal is Yaya’s second major endorsement agreement in 2015 after he agreed a corporate partnership deal with car company Nissan in February. The move was strategic for Nissan as they had also agreed a sponsorship deal with Confederation of African Football for the African Cup of Nations and sought to leverage that partnership by deploying Yaya Toure actively in marketing campaigns and their choice was validated as Yaya Toure led Ivory Coast to the title in that tournament.

The appeal of Yaya Toure for corporate bodies looking to connect with markets in Africa is very apparent. The powerhouse midfielder plays his club football in England with Manchester City where he remains one of the biggest football and marketing assets and ranks as one of the best players on the planet. Given his proven ability and achievements, Yaya Toure has risen to become the stand out African footballer in Europe and is the first ever footballer to win the African player of the award four times.

However, the commercial success of Yaya Toure highlights the fact that not many African footballers are nearly as marketable as their European or South American counterparts.

Last year, on a list of the world’s twenty best paid players report made by a respected body in Europe, Yaya Toure—listed 11th—was the only African featured on the list. His earnings of €20 million were inclusive of his bumper contract at Manchester City as well as endorsement deals with PUMA and Nissan. However, with Airtel now in the mix, Yaya’s commercial value and earnings are set for a boost.

For other African footballers, Yaya’s success is both an inspiration and an indictment. Famous for his footballing ability, Yaya’s commercial success has been helped significantly by his success on the pitch with some of Europe’s best clubs. With fewer African players starring consistently at the world’s biggest clubs, it points to a need for African stars to do much better. Even though endorsement deals for sportsmen have a lot to do with persona and marketability, sporting ability remains a crucial component.

Increasingly, corporate Europe and America is looking to Africa to set up and consolidate operations. With football being one of the continent’s biggest interests and passion, it provides a strategic way for these brands to connect with the African market. Yaya Toure may be an obvious choice for many brands but perhaps, the case is that their pool of options is limited.

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Source: jobd23

It costs more to live in Luanda than in New York

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Angola’s capital city, Luanda has emerged, for the third year running, the costliest city in the world ahead, trumping mega cities like New York and London, according to Mercer’s 21st annual Cost of Living Survey. However, unlike other countries represented in the top five, more than half of the Angolan population lives below poverty line.

Luanda is Angola’s most populous and important city, a primary port and major industrial, cultural and urban centre. Expatriates pay as much as $400 per night for a decent hotel room in the city and up to $75 for a basic lunch. In order to keep up appearances, the Angolan government has been clearing the city of its poor, it called it “war against chaotic urbanization“.

An estimated one-third of the Angolan population lives in Luanda, where many were forced to run to in order to escape the country’s 27-year civil war. The gap between the rich and the poor in the city mirrors that of the rest of the city. The Angola government has been criticized to be fighting the poor rather than fighting poverty.

Although the country currently struggles to fund its budget and growth forecasts have been cut due to falling oil prices, Angola has enjoyed years of wealth from its oil. But during these years of abundance, President José Eduardo dos Santos had been accused of enriching the ruling class at the expense of the poor.

The southern African country’s public facade in Luanda hides the despair of millions of Angolans who struggle daily to access basic infrastructure.

Another African city, N’Djamena made the top ten most expensive cities list. Like Luanda, the Chadian capital has some of the poorest people in Africa. The United Nations’ Human Development Index ranks Chad as the seventh poorest country in the world. Despite this, its capital city came tenth in the ranking. Chad would ordinarily be considered as an inexpensive city, but the cost of imported goods and safe living conditions in the country are available at a steep price.

The economic state of the people of the two African cities that made the top ten mirrors the widening gap between the rich and the poor in Africa. Factors considered by Mercer for the ranking include instability of housing markets and inflation for goods and services, which the global consulting firm says impacts significantly the overall cost of doing business in a global environment.

Hong Kong (2), Zurich (3), Singapore (4), Geneva (5), Shanghai (6), Beijing (7), Seoul (8) and Bern (9), top the list of most expensive cities for expatriates.

Mercer used New York as the base city for the survey, and all cities are compared against it. Currency movements are measured against the US dollar.

The survey includes 207 cities across five continents and measures the comparative cost of more than 200 items in each location, including housing, transportation, food, clothing, household goods, and entertainment.

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Source: jobd23

For the next 9,999 days, Nigerians will have access to free internet

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In a country where mobile penetration is rapidly expanding, it is ironic that data usage still hovers around 38 percent. This is largely due to the high cost of data in the country.

This is why Opera Software, makers of the popular opera mini mobile browser; Nigeria’s leading news portal Naij.com and MTN Nigeria, the country’s top telco; have partnered to provide Nigerians access to the internet for 2,739 years. In other words, those who signed partnership will not live to see its end. The oldest confirmed recorded age for any human ever born is 122 years.

The free mobile internet, for 1 million days, is available to MTN’s 140 million subscribers through Opera’s Sponsored Web Pass, which allows operators to package their data in a user-friendly way. The Web Pass will be given to 40,000 users daily. Each of them will be offered 10MB that can only be used via the opera mini browser. They can only return to claim another Pass after two days. Don’t get the pass if you plan to stream videos or download.

Richard Monday, VP Africa for Opera Software says users will enjoy the experience despite the volume of the data due to Opera’s compression technology that ensures low data consumption when surfing the internet. This technology has saved mobile users in Africa over $2 billion in data cost over the past year.

Monday says Opera is looking at other partnerships as it seeks to connect more people wherever they are and help them to do more with their data.

According to Acting Chief Enterprise Solutions Officer at MTN Business, Tsola Barrow, “Opera’s Sponsored Web Pass helps take the fear out of using mobile internet for the first time”.

“We also truly believe in the power of bringing people online via the devices they use every day,” he adds.

Goke Olaegbe, Country Group Head at Naij.com expressed excitement at the partnership.

Expectations are high that this partnership will help to increase internet penetration in Nigeria. The attendant benefits are immense.

But it’s a daily race against time henceforth as only the first 40,000 MTN users to visit webpass.opera.com will be able to access 10MB data.

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Source: jobd23

Issues that will dominate Nigeria’s Central Bank’s meeting with CEOs of Local Banks

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Following the threat by JP Morgan to eject Nigeria from its Emerging Market’s Government Bond Index (GBI-EM) by the year end, Nigeria’s Central bank has called for an emergency meeting with CEOs and treasures of commercial banks operating in Nigeria. The meeting is expected to be dominated by discussions around the Central Bank’s policy on the foreign exchange market, liquidity, and devaluation.

JP Morgan’s threat

Last week, JPMorgan reaffirmed its threat to remove Nigeria from the Government Bond Index (GBI-EM) by December unless the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, restores liquidity to the foreign exchange market (Forex market) to allow foreign investors, tracking the benchmark, to transact with minimal hurdles. This threat came after Nigeria was placed on a negative index watch in January.

Nigeria was added to the widely followed index in 2012 when foreign investment was at an all-time high and liquidity was improving. It is only the second African country to be listed on the index, after South Africa.

Removing Nigeria from the index would force foreign investors to sell Nigerian bonds from their portfolios, raising borrowing costs for the west African country.

Devaluation of the Naira

Nigeria’s Forex market has been under pressure after the prices of oil, the country’s main source of revenue, began to nose-dive from mid-2014. Since it was hard for the country to absorb the shocks of the price crash, it devalued its currency in November last year. To further curb speculations on the Naira and save its dwindling foreign reserves, the Central Bank went on to impose tight regulations on the foreign exchange market. The restrictions included limiting the amount commercial bank customers can spend using their debits cards while abroad. These moves are said to have reduced liquidity in market.

Though the Naira has regained some momentum since the conclusion of the general elections in May (gaining more than 2 percent against the Dollar during this period), many believe a second devaluation is inevitable as the Naira still isn’t trading at its fair value.

Traders are optimistic that the outcome of the meeting will help ease the tight control of the forex market and allow the Naira find its true value.

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Source: jobd23

Tips for Travelling During the Holy Month of Ramadan

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Ramadan Mubarak! The moon has been spotted and our Muslim brethren are on for a month of fasting, kindness and self-sacrifice. But what about the Traveler? This season may call for more than just the usual suitcase for the business traveler and the rucksack for the backpacker. The Holy Month of Ramadan may bring with it a few changes in the hotel meal times, safari trips or even business meetings. Here are a few guidelines on what to expect and how to experience your trip to the maximum during this revered season.

Understand the Season

Ramadan sees to the accomplishment of one of the five pillars of Islam; sawm or fasting. It’s a period not only dedicated to self-sacrifice in search of spiritual rejuvenation, but also the act of Zakat or charity. The faithful are expected to abstain from food, sex and smoking between sun rise and sun-set, with each region having a slightly different timing for breaking the fast with the meal commonly known as iftar. Although non-Muslims will not be expected to fast, it may be considered impolite to be seen feasting when others are trying hard to keep off the temptation. Remember to carry gifts when invited for meals/celebrations and also graciously accept gifts when offered, it’s a month of sharing and kindness. Also, seek counsel on the iftar times in the region you are visiting and plan your meals and parties around this time. Otherwise you might be the only guest to grace your soiree!

Your Potters, Chef and Chauffeur

Note that although business may appear to run as usual in most places, it’s not very unlikely that part of your service staff may be fasting and especially in regions or towns with residents of the Muslim faith. Try and be a little patient; the energy levels may be low, and the tour guide may sound less enthusiastic than described in the Trust Pilot review! Do not panic, or second guess your choice, just slow down and indulge them a bit. You’ll be surprised how far a small act of understanding can go.

Pack your meals and water Bottles

This especially applies to smaller towns than in major cities. Most eateries and restaurants will be closed throughout the day till the breaking of the fast. If travelling to the rural towns of the East African coast and especially remote sections of Malindi, Lamu and the North Eastern part of Kenya; it’s important that you walk with your snacks, packed day time meals and water. Still, remember it’s impolite to eat publicly, do remember to be discreet.

Dressing, and Public Display of Affection.

Whether you’ve been to the destination before or not, it is advisable that you dress a little more conservatively during this season than you would in the other months! Avoid clothing that may be considered a little too revealing as it may offend the locals. Also, keep in mind that the rest of the population is abstaining from sex, and be a little discreet with any actions that may be deemed inappropriate.

Getting on With the Flow

The main meals of the day, iftar at sun down and suhoor at dawn break will be served at different times in respective regions. This goes to say that your business trip or family vacation may have to adapt to the new schedule if you want to fully experience the people and culture. Note the important times and accept invitations to overnight parties, food tents along the streets, nightly festivities in every other homestead and general party atmosphere, leading to a very chilled-out day. If on business, avoid planning meetings over lunch time or too late in the afternoon as this may coincide with the prayer times of your associates. Non-Muslims are welcome to most of these parties, just observe basic politeness like carrying gifts for your host, dressing and behaving in accordance with the customs.

One more Thing… Relax and Participate

So you are scared everyone knows you are not fasting? Relax. Remember this is a religious calling and just like in any other faith, you may find a few exceptions. For instance, there are Christians who do not fast through Lent, take heart! You can consider taking part for a day or two and share the experience with your Muslim hosts; it’s a good way of letting them know that you appreciate their culture and religion. That said, enjoy your Ramadan travel, and Ramadan Kareem to our Muslim Brothers and Sisters!

By Lilian Gaitho

The post Tips for Travelling During the Holy Month of Ramadan appeared first on Ventures Africa.

Source: jobd23

New diagnostic device may help end Africa’s struggle with Malaria

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For over two decades, the quest to develop a working malaria vaccine has proven largely fruitless. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), about 3.2 billion people worldwide are at risk of being diagnosed with malaria. Every year, nearly 198 million cases are identified. WHO says a significant number of the almost 200 million cases are from Africa. However in recent times not only is there a potential malaria vaccine in the pipeline, a new device which is capable of diagnosing Malaria in minutes has emerged.

John Lewandowski, co-founder and CEO of Disease Diagnostics Group, has invented a new way of diagnosing the deadly disease using two magnets and a laser pointer. He believes that this will eradicate malaria by strengthening the offensive against it, while curbing issues regarding delay in detection.

The process of testing and diagnosis is referred to as microscopy. This usually involves the addition of a chemical to a patient’s blood sample to make the malaria parasite easier to see through a microscopic lens. The test itself takes about an hour and requires the expertise of a medical personnel. However in developing countries like Nigeria, it can take as long as 24 hours before test results are ready.

Lewandowski’s innovative technique helps determine, within minutes, whether or not there is iron in the bloodstream, as the parasites that cause malaria are usually unable to digest the iron in red blood cells. It is easy to detect traces of iron using magnets, this way the results are produced a lot faster than the current diagnostic methods.

The device, which costs about $250 to construct, is also eco-friendly and portable. It also doesn’t require any prior training before a test can be performed on a patient. This makes it highly attracted for developing nations where medical personnel and resources are relatively scarce.

If the tests currently being run by the U.S Navy on the prototype RAM device in Peru are successful, the product will be in the market before the year end. It will be offered at a price of $2,000 each.

The post New diagnostic device may help end Africa’s struggle with Malaria appeared first on Ventures Africa.

Source: jobd23

Musa Bility: The African seeking to become FIFA President

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After FIFA was rocked by the crisis which saw its executives arrested and its offices raided, Sepp Blatter announced his intention to resign as the leader of the organization and suddenly, just after the elections had awarded Blatter a new five year term, there was a vacancy at the apex of world football. Musa Bility, the President of the Liberian Football Association, says he wants to fill this role.

Bility announced his intentions on the BBC saying that Africa, being a major confederation bloc, must seek more involvement in global football issues.

“If Africa does not put up a candidate, it says a lot about us,” he told BBC Sport. “It shows a sense of mediocrity and that our only relevance is to vote and make leaders. I think that is not right.”

If elected, Bility says one of his focus areas will be redistribution of FIFA wealth as he says the less financially viable football nations are not getting enough from FIFA.

Musa Bility

Musa Bility

“I want to redefine our partnerships to see how those partnerships will directly benefit member associations. Africa and Asia particularly have been left behind. The Goal Project and the Financial Assistance Programme (FAP) are not enough.”

Bility’s emergence will be received with a mixture of feelings from the rest of the world as despite the fact that he lacks considerable political capital, he comes from an African continent which is FIFA’s largest voting bloc with 54 confederations. His goal of redistribution of wealth could also earn support- and votes- from other notable blocs such as Asia and North/Central America who jointly have 99 football associations.

So far, the only other candidate to have publicly announced an intention to run is Brazil legend, Zico. However, with South America’s 10 confederations compared to Africa’s 53, Bility- should he get all the votes on the continent- is already at an advantage.

Bility is hoping to become the first FIFA President to emerge from a different continent asides Europe and South America which had produced eight Presidents since inception in 1904. Europe have produced seven Presidents while Joao Havelenge of Brazil is the only non-European to have held the post.

FIFA elections are decided by a secret ballot vote involving 209 member states.

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Source: jobd23

Why the affordable home business is winning in Nigeria

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For as long as I can remember, Nigeria has had a housing problem. A culmination of massive urbanisation and lower government investments have left more than 17 million households without a home. In cities like Lagos, the country’s commercial headquarters, securing shelter often proves a tall order as over 21 million people scramble for just 1.2 million houses. Investments have been made—mostly by private firms—towards addressing the gap, but most have tailored these investments toward providing luxury accommodations, a strategy that has proven largely fruitless.

Ikoyi, Victoria Island, and Lekki—all highbrow areas on the Island of Lagos—are littered with luxurious high-rise apartment buildings and expensive estates, most of which are furnished and serviced. But are also empty. The reason is simple: renting or buying an apartment in these areas are highly unaffordable. The average price of a bedroom in Lagos is N13.4 million ($65,500) for an outright purchase, and N664,000 ($3,500) to rent—in these highbrow areas, the average is more than doubled.

Lagos has a 5 million housing deficit, almost 40 percent of Nigeria’s entire shortage, but as Lamudi, a real estate ecommerce company hinted, the scarcity is not driven by the lack of availability of home, rather by pricing. A city that has more than 50 percent of its population living in poverty—though home to an emerging middle class—will find it difficult to attract buyers for luxury homes. That’s why affordable homes have become an instant hit.

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Affordable housing is considered to be housing that is within the budget of middle or lower income earners (mostly middle). This route has been plied by companies like Lekki Gardens with great success.

Since Lekki Gardens, a property investment company based in Lekki, Lagos, took off in 2012, it has quickly evolved into a household real estate name, with investments well beyond the borders of Lagos—Port Harcourt and Abuja. During this short stint it has developed 15,000 housing units of different typologies, providing homes for over 4,500 families with an additional 10,000 in the pipeline. These investments have also provided direct jobs for 350 persons and 10,000 indirect jobs.

Richard Nyong, Lekki Gardens CEO, has an explanation for its success: loving your customers. His logic is that an investor must love his prospective buyers “enough to price his product in a way that it was affordable.” His explanation shows a great deal of understanding of the Nigerian, and African economic situation.

Though Africa has an attractive amount of high-net-worth individuals (dollar millionaires), many are still in the bottom of the wealth pyramid. Hence, the bulk of Nigeria’s $385 billion untapped real estate potential is stored within that space. Lekki Gardens has already reaped significantly from exploiting this gap and plans to 30,000 housing units in the next two years and a million in the next half-decade.

Lekki Garden’s success confirms that the Nigerian real estate sector still holds an abundance of opportunity. It, however, also informs that this doesn’t lie with the elite, but the middle and lower classes.

The post Why the affordable home business is winning in Nigeria appeared first on Ventures Africa.

Source: jobd23

Shell discards multi-billion airport in Nigeria

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Oil and gas giant, Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) has sold its multi billion Naira airport in Warri, Delta State, to an indigenous energy and infrastructure company, Shoreline Energy International Limited. This is part of its divestment plans and an ongoing review of operations in the eastern Niger Delta region of the country.

“This does not mean we are reducing our investments in Nigeria. What we have invested in Nigeria in recent years has exceeded the divestment of our interests in the eastern Niger Delta. It is just part of the review of our business portfolio,” A spokesperson for Shell, Mr. Bamidele Odugbesan told local newspaper, Punch.

Shell divestment plans

After weak refining margins and crude oil theft in Nigeria forced the profit of Europe’s largest oil company to fall, the company announced in 2013 that it would sell $30billion worth of assets of its company in Nigeria starting from its Niger Delta assets.

From 2010 to date shell has sold more than twelve Oil Mining Leases (OMLs) in Nigeria. Seplat acquired OMLs 4, 38 and 41 in 2010, while the Nigerian Development Company (NPDC) purchased OMLs 26, 42, 40, 34, 30 in 2011 and 2012. In 2013, Newcross Exploration and Production Limited (Newcross) agreed to acquire OML 24, 25 (Still in Court). Aiteo, Talevaras consortium, bought over OML 29 and Nembe Creek Trunk Line (NCTL). In March 2015, Eroton acquired OML 18.

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Source: jobd23

Africa Will Be Better Off With Younger Leaders

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One prominent question on the lips of most Nigerian youths is, “when is our tomorrow?” As kids, we were often told by our parents and teachers, that the future belongs to us, or the common one, “you are the leaders of tomorrow”. On assembly lines, we sang songs like:

Parents listen to your children,

We are the leaders of tomorrow,

Please pay our school fees,

And give us a sound education.

Almost every Nigerian child of my generation sang that song, it’s still sung in most schools presently, and would most likely still be an anthem for future generations. But is this the reality?  Are yesterday’s children turned today’s youths, the current leaders of our nation and our continent?

In 1999, Olusegun Obasanjo became Nigeria’s leader for the second time at the age of 62, having being a military head of state in 1976. On the 29th of May 2015, Nigeria welcomed a new leader in the person of 72 years old former head of state, Muhammadu Buhari, who vied the seat of the presidency for 11 years. What happened to the younger people who also contested the presidency? Individuals like Sam Eke, age 44, or 46 years old Martin Onovo, a widely acclaimed brilliant petroleum engineer and public affairs analyst.

In a recent meeting with the Nigerian community at the Nigerian Consulate in Johannesburg, South Africa, President Buhari acknowledged that his age might be a limitation to his performance in office. Although he had come out to insist that he is very fit to rule, there is a more compelling argument that Nigeria, and Africa will be better off with younger leaders.

Most Youthful Continent

Over 60 percent of Africa’s total population is below the age of 35, according to africaranking.com this makes it the continent with the youngest people in the world. African countries would definitely fare better with young, like mind who understands adequately the thought process, and needs of the youth. But ironically, Africa has only a few young leaders. Most seats of power are occupied by aged men and dictators who are unwilling to give the younger generation a chance.

Energy to Rule

Every leader needs to possess a high level of mental and physical energy. A popular proverb reads, ‘uneasy lies the head that wears the crown.’ The position of a leader requires hard work, brainstorming, staying up for lengthy, sometimes, late meetings, and sitting through long journeys; this can only be achieved by an energized mind and body. President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe has been pictured sleeping during important meetings. Mugabe is 91 years old, and has clung on to power for about 35 years. Africa needs young vibrant leaders who can effectively discharge their responsibilities, in service to their countries, not old liabilities who needs to be nudged occasionally during meetings.

Innovative Ideas

Fresh minds produce fresh ideas. Just how creative is the mind of a seventy or eighty year old? Citizens of Cameroon have bemoaned Paul Biya’s three decades in power. It is said that his administration has not produced positive results over the years.  The 82 years old dictator has turned the country into one oppressed by laws that lock up citizens’ potential and inhibit the free flow of ideas. While younger leaders like Kenya’s Kenyatta are often creating avenues to promote innovation.

Tech – Savvy

Social media has undoubtedly become an integral part of administrations around the world. Since it has been discovered to be an easier, faster, and more personal way to reach its citizens, especially the youths, most government have wholly embraced the use of the new media platform. President Paul Kagame of Rwanda, one of Africa’s younger presidents is an active twitter user, and the most followed African leader on twitter. According to him, social media is a way of narrowing the distance between leaders and those being led, therefore, African leaders should leverage on the opportunity provided by the platform. Most African presidents have indeed adopted the use of social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, but none is as active and personal as President Paul Kagame.

The post Africa Will Be Better Off With Younger Leaders appeared first on Ventures Africa.

Source: jobd23

WHY RUSSIA WILL NOT SHUN NIGERIA’S OIL

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Oil has been at the top of Nigeria’s export list for the past decade or so, accounting for at least 90 percent of overall exports made by Nigeria. This is why the economy suffered greatly when the US, China and India, some of Nigeria’s biggest buyers, shut their doors on its oil.

According to the US Department of Energy, Nigeria did not export a single barrel of crude to US-based refiners in July 2015 for the first time since 1973. Before this, the US imported more than 1 million barrels per day from Nigeria. Nigeria has become the biggest casualty of rising United States shale oil production. Shale oil is of a similar quality to light oil; therefore, Nigeria had lost its biggest buyer. As more shale basins were discovered in the US, they did not need any more oil from Nigeria.

Since then, India has been the larger buyer of Nigerian crude. That, however, has reduced due to India’s growing demand for Latin Americas crude.

Although, a number of countries have turned away from Nigeria’s crude, Russia says it won’t. Valeriy Shaposhmikov, the deputy head of mission, Russian Embassy, said its major Russian oil companies are looking to invest in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector.

The diplomat observed that there are vast opportunities for Russian firms in Nigeria. “An important sector could be the oil and gas sector. A major Russian oil and gas company, Gazprom could be involved in developing pipelines infrastructure and protection systems, and Oil Company Lukoil is coming to work here.”

The Russian Ambassador also said that he supported the recent changes in Nigeria, explaining that peaceful and democratic transition of power was an important step towards development.

However, the reality of these countries slamming the door firmly against Nigeria’s oil exports could be the wake-up call Africa’s biggest oil producer needs.

By April Dokpesi

The post WHY RUSSIA WILL NOT SHUN NIGERIA’S OIL appeared first on Ventures Africa.

Source: jobd23

Nigerian states need a stimulus, not a bailout

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About half of the 36 States in Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy, are broke. Some of them owe workers up to seven months salaries. They have exhausted all available options, including loans. Now they want the federal government to bail them out of the cash crunch caused by reduced allocation.

Governors of Nigeria’s 36 states met today in Abuja, the capital city, to discuss what seems the only way out for them – a financial bailout, at least to pay salaries.

One of the governors, Rochas Okorocha of Imo, a state in the southeastern part of Nigeria, told journalists yesterday that the governors will push for a bailout from the federal government to save the affected States from collapse. Most States in Nigeria depend on monthly allocations from the federal government. However, this has dropped by 30 percent since oil prices began to fall last year. Oil accounts for about 75 percent of Nigeria’s revenue.

Some governors have blamed the reduced allocation for their inability to pay salaries, and are seeking a bailout to meet their primary duties. Locals, however, are opposing the move. “President-elect should not give any kobo in the name of special bailout or intervention to states to pay salaries when he takes over. It is unfortunate and uncalled for that governors most of whom operate in their states flamboyantly and mismanage their states resources to say they cannot pay salaries and shamelessly the President-elect to bail them out. Is it the same people calling for change that are asking to be helped to pay salaries?” former National Chairman of the Labour Party, Alhaji Abdukadir Abdulsalam had said before the inauguration of President Muhammadu Buhari.

Ben Murray-Bruce, a Senator from oil-rich Bayelsa State, one of the states that are not owing their workers, had also expressed his displeasure.

Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomole said slump in oil prices was not an excuse. “It is not the drop in oil price that is causing the crisis, it may have accentuated it, but it is not the primary cause. Even at $60 per barrel we could do a lot better if so much hasn’t been stolen.”

Despite the cash crunch, some states in the country have been able to pay wages. According to a report by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Task Force on employees salary arrears, Anambra, Adamawa, Bayelsa, Borno, Delta, Edo, the FCT, Gombe, Kaduna, Kwara, Lagos, Nasarawa, Niger, Sokoto and Taraba States do not owe their workers.

Nigerian states seem to be united in their expected demand for a bailout, but the ability of some states to continue to pay their workers amid reduced allocation shows they have pursued prudent fiscal policies. States unable to pay workers’ salaries might have been profligate in their spending, with crippling amounts of debts accumulated, making it impossible to turn to banks for loans. But the recent financial struggles of US City, Detroit, offer Nigeria a clue to navigating this challenge.

On July 18, 2013, Detroit became the largest US city ever to file for bankruptcy. It owed $18 billion, primarily due to two causes – pension obligations and money owed to bond holders. Others, though not significant, include unpaid taxes. However, the US administration and the private sector provided nearly $300 million, only a fraction of what the city owed, an action praised by Mark Skidmore, an economist at Michigan State University.

Professor Skidmore said that the US had no plans to help Detroit pay its debt, but to recharge the city after years of hemorrhaging money. “What they are trying to do is enable key investments that are needed to help the city once it emerges from all of these immediate [financial] challenges.”

For Nigerian states looking for a bailout, some of whose fiscal irresponsibility put them in the situation they are, only a stimulus will help. After now, states will be more serious about increasing their internally generated revenue to reduce reliance on federal allocation and move closer to self-sufficiency.

The post Nigerian states need a stimulus, not a bailout appeared first on Ventures Africa.

Source: jobd23

Africa offers Nestle a reality check

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Nestle, the world’s largest food company, announced today that it would be sending home almost a quarter of its African workforce. The move is in admittance of its overestimation of growth projections, particularly that of the continent’s middle class.

“We thought this would be the next Asia,” a deflated Cornel Krummenacher, told the Financial Times this week. Cornel is the Chief Executive for Nestle’s equatorial Africa region, covering over 21 countries including Kenya and Angola. He oversees a significant portion of its 11,000 employees spread across the continent, many of whom are expected to receive a notice of termination in the coming weeks.

Krummenacher explained that the food company is struggling to meet its 10 percent growth target, and with job cuts, might be lucky to break-even this year. “… we have realised the middle class here in the region is extremely small and it is not really growing,” he noted. There are a number of factors that may have discouraged the growth of the African middle class.

In South Africa, a combination of wage strikes—which cost the country’s mining sector $6 billion in lost output—and an unstable power sector have scared off mega companies like Ford from investing. This would have provided more jobs for South Africans, lifting many into the middle class. In Nigeria, the recent oil crisis has forced the government, which is heavily dependent on crude sales for revenue, to trim its budget for 2015 and close its coffers to new capital projects, while Ghana’s economic woes—including a soaring inflation and currency crash—are making it harder for entrepreneurs and start-ups to access cheap loans.

Beyond the middle class growth challenge, Nestle has battled with external issues across its top market. In Nigeria, one of Africa’s biggest consumer markets and Nestle’s most profitable, the year hasn’t been very rosy. Its first-quarter pretax profit fell 50.7 percent to 3.48 billion naira ($17.5 million), while revenue plunged to 27.55 billion naira, from 33.42 billion a year earlier. One of the key reasons for this drop is the lingering insecurity in the Northeast of Nigeria, one that has led to the death of over 10,000 people and rendered over 1 million more homeless. Nestle says the Boko Haram-led terror activities have grounded parts of its business in the North – crippling its distribution channels and shutting down its warehouses.

The rapid spread of Ebola also proved costly. According to Politico, the Ebola epidemic threatened to halt Cocoa imports from West Africa – the largest cocoa producing region in the world. Nestle had no factories situated in the three worst-hit countries–Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone–but its major supply market, Ivory Coast, borders two of the countries. Fears of a possible outbreak in Ivory Coast at-the-time forced cocoa prices to skyrocket, raising the overall cost of production for the Swiss-based food company.

Nestle might have placed its bet on Africa’s middle class, but socio-economic challenges are also proving greater hiccups. If it intends to secure a long-term future with the continent, navigating the host of these socio-economic will be key.

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Source: jobd23

Ivory Coast to record double-digit growth in 2016

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Ivory Coast’s economy will grow by 7.9 percent this year and by an average of 7.6 percent in 2016 and 2017, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said in a new report. The country, once torn by civil war, has been showing impressive economic recovery since the end of the crisis in 2011.

Increase in private sector investment under President Alassane Ouattara has largely spurred this growth. However, the outcome of the presidential election, slated for October, will play a key role in the economic prospects for next year. IMF forecasts were below the target the government set for itself this year — 9.4 percent — which it expects to run into double-digits in 2016. “While the staff recognises that a post-election end to the wait-and-see attitude of some private investors could push growth rates above its estimate in 2016, the mission felt that this factor is too uncertain to be incorporated in the baseline scenario,” the report said.

Frontier market investors, who are excited by Ivory Coast’s impressive growth in recent years, are believed to be keen to see Ouattara re-elected. The former deputy head of the IMF had embarked on large-scale infrastructure projects, previously stalled during years of political instability.

The French-speaking nation has also invested heavily in electricity generation, with a new output target set as 4,000 megawatts, from the current 1,600. That’ll be almost double the current output of Nigeria, its west African neighbour and the continent’s largest economy. Already, the country is exporting its excess power to neighbours like Ghana.

Investments into Ivory Coast is also growing rapidly, particularly into its resource sectors. Recently, Olam, a Singaporean firm with agricultural interests across Africa invested $75 million in the country’s cocoa industry, which accounts for 22 percent of the country’s GDP. The first chocolate making factory was also launched in the West African nation this year.

Overall, Ivory Coast’s macroeconomic outlook is positive but risks remain. Poor weather could affect agricultural output and power production while a continuation of recently discovered extra-budgetary spending may affect the economy and scare investors.

The post Ivory Coast to record double-digit growth in 2016 appeared first on Ventures Africa.

Source: jobd23

Xenophobic attacks resurface in South Africa

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The Nigerian Union in South Africa yesterday reported new xenophobic attacks against Nigerians and other foreigners in Sternkopf, Namakwa Municipality, Northern Cape Province of South Africa. The recent events are similar to the nasty acts that occurred in South Africa between March and April 2015, claiming the lives of many African immigrants.

The President of the Union, Ikechukwu Anyene, explained that the most recent attack was reported by the Northern Cape Province Chapter Chairman of the Union, Kennedy Osagie, to its National Secretariat. It was also stated that Nigerians were gravely affected. “Two cars belonging to Nigerians have been reportedly burnt and they have been going from house to house looting and destroying their property.”

Mr Ayene confirmed that six Nigerians have taken refuge with their families in nearby Springbok community, but the whereabouts of others affected remain unknown.

Public criticism 

In April about 5000 people, including religious leaders and influential politicians, marched in South Africa’s coastal city of Durban against xenophobia. Marchers in Durban sang solidarity songs, with many saying it was about time that all South Africans stood up for their brothers and sisters because we are all Africans. “It’s so important to show our support because xenophobia should not be tolerated,” one marcher told Al Jazeera.

South Africa which is host to between 2 and 5 million illegal migrants, many of whom are running from African countries with weak socio-economic and political systems, was hit by a wave of deadly xenophobic attacks two months ago. Tension was lowered until now.

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Source: jobd23