SA business keen on investing in Benin

first_img12 September 2012 South African businesspeople currently on a selling and investment mission in Benin, led by Deputy Trade and Industry Minister Elizabeth Thabethe, have expressed their excitement about investing in the country. Thabethe and the 15-member business delegation arrived in Benin on Sunday night, and on Monday joined businesspeople from Benin at a trade and investment seminar. Thabethe, addressing the seminar, urged South Africa’s business community to seize the opportunities on offer in Benin. Madina Sephou, Benin’s Minister of Industry, Trade, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises, said businesses from both countries should take advantage of the conducive environment created by their governments and form partnerships to boost trade.Opportunities in various sectors Peggy Mahlaba, a Cape Town-based electrical infrastructure engineer and managing director of Imbovotho Engineering, said presentations made at the seminar showed a country undertaking a major infrastructure development programme. “We are interested in claiming our stake in the energy-generation sphere as the country experiences a serious shortage of electricity,” said Mahlaba. “Load shedding is common as they lack capacity to generate sufficient power and meet the consumption demand.” Interior designer as well as deputy chairperson of the KwaZulu-Natal chapter of the South African Women Entrepreneurs’ Network (Sawen), Phindile Mkhize, said the development proposed in the tourism sector would give her an opportunity to decorate hotels, lodges and other tourist attractions in Benin with South African decor, in which the people of the West African country had shown interest. “I will be sharing information on all the opportunities in Benin and contacts of relevant people in different sectors with other Sawen members so that they can also come here and establish partnerships with other businesswomen,” said Mkhize. North West businessman Gordon Cornish said agriculture and agro-processing in Benin beckoned. Cornish said he would study all aspects of both sectors, including legislation governing land ownership, as he intended to invest in land to set up an agricultural and agro-processing business. Meanwhile, Daniel Magagula of JK Consulting Engineers in Gauteng province said he had identified opportunities in mining and the construction of the national road network that the Beninese government had embarked on.Opportunities in various sectors Briefing journalists in Pretoria last week, Thabethe said the mission to Benin took place within the context of South Africa’s strategic engagement with the rest of the continent, aimed at supporting Africa’s economic revival and promoting intra-African trade. “It is important for South Africa to continue to pursue economic collaboration and partnership with African countries when crafting the way forward for sustainable economic development and the development of investment in the African region,” Thabethe said. “Benin, like most countries in Africa, presents a wealth of business opportunities for South African companies. By establishing their presence in this country, South African companies would be able to access other markets in the West African region and Africa at large.” According to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Benin’s domestic economy revolves around subsistence agriculture, which accounts for 35.5% of gross domestic product (GDP) and is the main source of income for over half of the population. Cotton is the main commercial crop, accounting for about 45% of the country’s foreign-exchange earnings. The hydroelectric potential of the Mono River, which forms Benin’s border with Togo, is being developed, with the construction of dams for power generation and irrigation. Mineral reserves, notably of marble, iron, and phosphate, have not been fully exploited, which also presents an opportunity for investment, the DTI said. Source: read more

On the Shoulders of a Giant: Lessons from the life of Oliver Tambo

first_imgThe Oliver and Adelaide Tambo Foundation hosted the Oliver Tambo Centenary Memorial Lecture under the appropriate theme “On the Shoulders of a Giant” at the University of the Witwatersrand On 27 October 2017.Former President Thabo Mbeki delivered the keynote address to a full-house made up of the Tambo family and friends, liberation struggle stalwarts, government and business leaders, students, and members of the media, among others. (Image: Supplied)Phindi Maduna“For the revolutionary movement, anniversaries cannot only celebrate the past. We must recall and acclaim our history, but more importantly, we must use the past to arm ourselves for the future; to learn lessons and to strengthen our resolve and commitment”Oliver Reginald Tambo spoke these words at the meeting to observe the 60th anniversary of the South African Communist Party in London on 30 July 1981. On 27 October 2017, when the Oliver and Adelaide Tambo Foundation hosted the Oliver Tambo Centenary Memorial Lecture under the appropriate theme “On the Shoulders of a Giant” at the University of the Witwatersrand, the intention was to reflect on the past, draw lessons from it and arm ourselves for the future of South Africa.Tambo‚ the longest-serving African National Congress President who died in 1993‚ would have been 100 years old on 27 October 2017. Brand South Africa was honoured to partner with the Oliver and Adelaide Tambo Foundation to celebrate the life of Tambo and his great contribution to the South African liberation struggle.In closing, Mbeki said, “History will answer the question unequivocally whether we had the courage to live up to the extraordinary legacy which Oliver Tambo left behind!”Former President Thabo Mbeki delivered the keynote address to a full-house made up of the Tambo family and friends, liberation struggle stalwarts, government and business leaders, students, and members of the media, among others.He opened by saying “Today, October 27, 2017 our people, joined by the people of the rest of Africa and the world, stand up and say in unison – happy birthday our dear and respected Oliver Tambo, our beloved OR”. Tambo was a committed Pan-Africanist and this according to Mbeki, “helped further to entrench this outlook throughout the ranks of the ANC and contributed in no small measure to the development of the attitude among millions throughout our Continent that the struggle to defeat the apartheid system was as much ours as it was theirs.” Tambo is certainly respected world over for his human rights activism, internationalism, and futurism. There is so much that leaders young and old, across South Africa, Africa and the world can learn from the way that Tambo led the liberation struggle and united the international community against the apartheid government.The audience listened attentively as Mbeki reflected on his relationship with Tambo and shared some of the of the lessons that can be taken from Tambo’s leadership style in order to move South Africa forward. He candidly emphasised the importance of taking lessons from those who came before us in order to continue to make progress in South Africa.Tambo‚ the longest-serving African National Congress President who died in 1993‚ would have been 100 years old on 27 October 2017.Mbeki said that he believed that the best way to honour Tambo as we mark the Centenary of his birth would be to live up to the example he has set by being loyal to the truth; encouraging a spirit of unity to achieve the goal of a better life for all; helping to ensure the full functioning of our country as a constitutional democracy; and, “reasserting in practical ways the principle and practice that we share a common destiny with our fellow Africans, including those in the African Diaspora.”In closing, Mbeki said “History will answer the question unequivocally whether we had the courage to live up to the extraordinary legacy which Oliver Tambo left behind!”It is while standing on the shoulders of a giant like Tambo, that South Africans and South African leaders can realise a future built on consistent perseverance and resilience; because South Africa’s tumultuous past and the manner in which it was overcome is a lesson that we cannot take for granted in the on-going exercise to build a better South Africa, Africa and world.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

Twitter Data & the Future of TweetDeck

first_imgA Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Tags:#Data Services#Interviews#NYT#web 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market An Interview With TweetDeck Founder Iain DodsworthA small startup company called InfoChimps released for sale yesterday three very large sets of data extracted from 500 million Twitter messages. Included in the offering are the senders and recipients of 1 billion @ messages, Retweets and Favorites. We wrote in-depth about the release late last night. This morning we interviewed Iain Dodsworth, creator of the most popular Twitter client, TweetDeck, about the value he might find in that data and the direction he’s aiming to take TweetDeck in the future. Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Dodsworth: Straight off the bat – an archive of tweets could form the basis of a profiler and that’s very interesting. Sentiment analysis (which I am ALL over) requires that kind of base corpus.RWW: InfoChimps isn’t releasing full text yet, but they would do a custom slice if you wanted it.Dodsworth: It’s the historical element that a large number of services are missing and where they will fall flat – analysis based on the last few hundreds tweets is almost pointless.RWW: I’m curious what “a profiler” might mean to you and what this data could help make possible in those terms.Dodsworth: For me a true profiler would be akin to the holy grail – we would analyse who a person converses with, who RTs them the most, essentially all interactions. Then we would track activity metrics (how many tweets sent, replies) and then we would analyse language patterns (usage of certain words) to ascertain how they express themselves and pinpoint sentiment. Off the top of my head this could lead to elements of intention prediction and I’m steering TweetDeck to have this kind of very very basic Artificial Intelligence at its heart.I’m currently researching intent predicition inside high frequency trading systems and it’s fascinating and could directly relate to TweetDeck and social media systems/services in general.[Dodsworth’s background is in developing for financial services, at places like Prudential Financial and PricewaterhouseCoopers.]RWW: What would intention prediction look like in this context? On twitter?Dodsworth: At its most basic if TweetDeck could predict what the user was probably about to require next, based on current activity, then it could start to collate that data in the background – cross twitter/facebook/linkedin data for example. I’m looking at it right now from a cross-service data gathering perspective where our servers do the gathering and hopefully get around the issues of API limits for example.This is based on future functionality we’re mapping out now which is a lot more complex than looking at someone’s profile or seeing how many RTs one of your tweets has.I’m thinking the scope is full social graph rather than just twitter/facebook.RWW: I guess I’m having a hard time imagining “what the user was probably about to require next, based on current activity, then TweetDeck could start to collate that data in the background – cross twitter/facebook/linkedin data for example” might look like. Like, if I’m looking at a person’s profile, I’d probably like to see their LinkedIn data?Dodsworth: Good example…or see how a certain person you’re tweeting with right now stacks up against “similar” people you’ve spoken to – a box could pop up mid-conversation and give you a tonne of metrics on this person. How full of [crap] are they? Are they a social media guru? Would you be wise to tell this person anything sensitive? Based on previous language patterns, is the person you’re tweeting with right now probably lying? A bit out there but possible in theory. marshall kirkpatrick Related Posts last_img read more

How Colleges Can Better Nurture Startups

first_imgWhile successful technology entrepreneurs like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs founded their respective companies after dropping out of college, research universities have still succeeded in fostering their own innovative technologies. Currently, however, when a professor or student develops a particularly extraordinary idea or product, the process of spinning-off the intellectual property into its own company is usually a slow and expensive process. David B. Lerner, an entrepreneur, angel investor and director of Columbia University’s Venture Lab/Spin-Off program, recently proposed that universities work to reverse this trend and better facilitate startup spin-offs.Some schools, like the ones we recently profiled in our list of the best entrepreneurial college programs, are doing a great job of facilitating entrepreneurship on the educational level. But as Lerner points out in his blog post Why and How Universities Should Embrace Startup Culture, most schools could benefit from revamping their spin-off practices.“If universities wish to continue to be in the business of spinning-out game-changing companies such as Google, Netscape, Genentech, Lycos, Sun Microsystems and Cisco, they must be willing to steadily embrace the startup culture through these dedicated programs,” writes Lerner on his blog.This “startup culture” Lerner references contrasts the “transactional/legal culture” which most universities are currently stuck in, making the spin-off process painful and unattractive. Lerner points to a post by fellow entrepreneur and investor Chris Dixon who writes that the Silicon Valley startup scene has become increasingly based on trust and community as opposed to the legalities and formalities universities are mired in. Changing the culture of university tech innovation is just one of the suggestions Lerner proposes. He adds that schools should follow in the footsteps of Columbia University and create a venture lab headed by an experienced entrepreneur and investor. Along with simplifying and streamlining the spin-off process, Lerner suggests universities place a vested interest in the success of the IP that it creates.“As an equity partner in various startups, the University must treat its portfolio as partners, not simply as licensees,” writes Lerner. “This implies working with its partners to facilitate success and to back-end its compensation and up-side as much as possible.”Essentially, colleges across the nation could become their very own startup incubators. These schools should be doing everything in their power to help researchers in scientific labs uncovering new technologies or entrepreneurial go-getters in business schools to get their ideas off the ground. If their spin-off processes remain too arduous, the talented and brilliant innovators will continue to find resources outside of the university for seed funding and assistance.As author Thomas Friedman recently wrote, the national economy would benefit from a ground surge of innovation and entrepreneurship, and universities could certainly benefit from helping lead that charge.Photo by Flickr user Pink Sherbet Photography. chris cameron Tags:#start#startups Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Related Posts center_img A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hostinglast_img read more

Happy Birthday – the Wiki Celebrates its Sweet 16

first_imgThe wiki turns16 today. How far it has come since that day 16 years ago when Ward Cunningham created a Web page that anyone could edit.Today, we see the evidence of that pioneering work in all facets of the Web and the emerging app ecosystem.In the 1990s, there was a vision of the read/write Web. But most sites were static with little or no interactivity.The wiki helped transform the Web into an experience that is as much about writing to a page as it is about reading it.As I write this, billions of messages are being written on Web sites and apps of all varieties. That’s the read/write Web and what we see as the norm for mobile apps. In may ways, those developments represent the significance of this birthday.So, how can we celebrate?Edit the WikiBirthday page! Add your name and a birthday note. Do so and you’ll get a nice little thank you from Ward Cunningham.Edit the WikiBirthday Facebook page.Tweet a happy birthday note.Write a blog post.Tell your wiki story.Here’s mine:I learned about RSS in 2003 and decided to do a Webcast called RSS Winterfest. I soon discovered Socialtext and learned about the power of the wiki and the potential combination with RSS. Ross Mayfield and the Socialtext team became a big part of that event. We created a wiki that we used as a way to live edit the discussions taking place in the webcast. Roland Tanglao helped edit in real-time as we discussed the potential of RSS in the two-day event with Dave Winer, Robert Scoble, Jeff Jarvis and a host of others. That was a defining time for me and has since led me on a host of adventures. Thank you, Ward. It’s a great day to celebrate! Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Related Posts Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hostingcenter_img alex williams Tags:#cloud#news 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more