Friday, December 28, 2007

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The African continent just launched a satellite that will make telecommunications in Africa cheaper, and reliant.

From Africa News

The Rascom-QAF1 satellite has a particular importance for the African countries because it will make it possible for these populations to benefit from broadband communications services. The Rascom system will provide an expanded range of value-added services to all African countries that will be using the system, which will include:

Large-scale, low-cost telecom services in rural areas, based on the use of appropriate technologies;
Inter-urban links in each member-country;
Direct international links between all member-countries;
Direct TV broadcast and Internet access services;
Value-added broadband services.

The African rural and urban areas will be thus equipped with a key infrastructure enabling to deliver communication services to everyone, at very low cost. The satellite-based solutions are particularly adapted to match this type of requirements by ensuring a broad geographic coverage at a cost for connection among the weakest. This program illustrates the common willingness of the African countries to reduce the digital divide and make telecommunications a powerful socio-economic development lever.

Read More

Dura Plast Liberia

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Dura Plast (Liberia) Inc are the pioneer manufacturer of Plastic Products in Liberia.

It produces:

» Poly Tanks (Water Tanks)
» Rigid PVC Pipes
» Pipe Fittings
» Waste Bins
» Other Plastic Products

Uranium exploration in Africa by country

Interesting article about Uranium exploration in Africa. With the focus on clean-fuel and renewable resources, uranium is becoming the hot commodity for nuclear energy.

December 26, 2007

LUSAKA, Zambia—Rising interest in nuclear power and high uranium prices have led to new uranium exploration and mining across southern Africa, home to the uranium-rich Karoo Basin. Here's a glance at some of the countries attracting attention.

Africa momentum for 2008 and beyond

2007 was a banner year for Africa, Africa enjoyed unprecedented growth in telecommunications, financials, and consumer products. No longer does Africa have to depend on the west for trade or aid. Africa now, more than ever has many opportunities for trade with other emerging markets.

For the first time ever, emerging markets are collaborating, partnering and sharing intellectual ideas. The Brazilians are collaborating with Africans in ethanol and other Biofuels, Indians and Chinese are buying world renown brands (ex. Lenovo, Jaguar/Land Rover). India outsourcing providers are building BPO capacity in Africa. The Chinese are building massive infrastructure projects all over the continent.

10 years ago the West mainly dictated how the world ran. The world's major currency was the dollar, and the major financial and commodity markets were only in New York, Chicago, London, and Tokyo. 10 years later we have Asian/Middle eastern markets providing capital infusion to the west. Also, Kuala lumpur, New Delhi, Beijing, Abu Dhabi, Lagos, Accra, Nairobi, and others are becoming the new financial cities.

Despite Africa's great success in 2007, how can it grow in 2008 and beyond? That answer lies in trade and partnerships. Emerging markets have mainly grown because they are providing services and resources to wealthier markets; mostly US and Europe. There will be a time when some services and products from Brazil, Russia, India, and China (BRIC countries) become too expensive to produce or service. Africa has to position itself to cater to these BRIC's, and other world markets.

India is facing a turnover and quality problems with it's BPO sector. Many Indian outsourcers are starting to build capacity in Africa. Everyone knows China is taking resources from Africa back to China for finished products then selling it back to Africans. The Chinese are starting to realize it's cheaper to make finished products in Africa then shipping them from China. Also, the Russians, Middle Easterners and many private equity players are looking at investments in Africa.

Despite the mortgage crisis that is effecting the west; this could be an opportune time for investment in many emerging markets. Pension funds, mutual funds and insurance funds that invested in mortgage back securities got burnt and will keep getting burnt until they liquidate their holdings in these securities. Some are investing their monies in emerging markets, and I'm sure some are looking at Africa for investment.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Alwaleed-backed fund to invest $500m in Africa

JOHANNESBURG —A private equity fund whose biggest investor is Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal is raising funds to invest $500 million throughout Africa.

The fund — Pan-African Investment Partners II — aims to ride on the back of strong economic growth on a continent where private equity has made much fewer inroads than in Europe and the United States, a top official of the fund said yesterday.

Read More

Friday, December 21, 2007

Gbenga Odujinrin - Telnet Nigeria

Gbenga Odujinrin is Group Managing Director of TELNET Nigeria Limited. Gbenga, spoke at IBM GIO about Telnet and growth opportunities in the Nigeria economy.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Practice Ventures Limited - maker of medical equipment

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Practice Ventures Limited (PVL) is a UK based company (Incorporated 1996), registered also in Nigeria, and is involved with the development and advancement of the healthcare industry, with emphasis on education and training.

Practice Ventures (UK) Ltd along with its affiliate, Prime Technology Medical Ventures (Nigeria) Ltd, has established itself as a trusted, reliable and successful provider of specialist, and non-specialist medical and healthcare equipment as well as localised medical education and training. The company has differentiated itself to customers not only as a trusted supplier of medical equipment, but more importantly as a genuine partner in advancing the long-term health needs of the local populations served by these customers. Practice Ventures has thereby developed an enviable reputation for effectiveness and gained the confidence of leading healthcare institutions in Nigeria.

Divine Chocolate - farmer owned fair trade company

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Divine chocolate is a marketer of fair trade African chocolate. It is owned by Kuapa Kokoo, a co-op of farmers in Ghana.

Kuapa Kokoo consists of:

  • Kuapa Kokoo Farmers Union – a democratic organization of smallholder farmers run for the benefit of its members. Farmers are organized into village societies, area levels and then at a national level with farmers electing representatives at each level and with significant participation of women.
  • Kuapa Kokoo Ltd – the trading arm of the farmers union
  • Kuapa Kokoo Farmers Trust – the body that oversees the distribution of Fair Trade premiums for community projects
  • Kuapa Kokoo Credit Union – providing credit and banking services to the farmers of Kuapa Kokoo

Ghana Cocoa Marketing Company

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The Ghana Cocoa Marketing Company (UK) Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of Cocoa Marketing Company (Gh) Limited (CMC), a subsidiary of Ghana Cocoa Board.

The company’s primary business is to support Trade, Logistics and Financing activities of the parent company. We inter-phase between our cherished customers and the CMC / Ghana Cocoa Board to facilitate international cocoa business. We also represent Ghana on International Commodity Bodies such as International Cocoa Organization (ICCO), International Coffee Organisation (ICO) and Federation of Cocoa Commerce Limited in London.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Dubai World investing in Rwanda tourism

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Dubai to invest $230 million in Rwanda tourism

State-owned enterprise Dubai World to build eight tourism facilities in Rwanda.

NAIROBI - Dubai World, a state-owned enterprise, said Thursday it will invest 230 million dollars in Rwanda's tourism sector.

Through its investment arm, Istithmar Real Estate, Dubai World will build eight tourism facilities in the tiny east African country, including luxury hotels and lodges in national parks as well as golf courses and villas.

It will put up an 60-room lodge in the Akarega National Park, east of the capital, and a five-star tented camp in the Volcanoes National Park, home to hundreds of rare mountain gorillas.

Read More Here

Rwanda Coffee company - Thousand Hills

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Thousand Hills Coffee Company, LLC was formed to supply the United States with quality Arabica coffee from Rwanda and to help subsidize and promote the Rwanda Middle School Project sponsored by the Paraclete Foundation of South Boston, Massachusetts.

Esv Group - Biofuels

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ESV Group Plc
was established to build a substantial biofuels farming business to supply feedstock to the biofuels industry. Its immediate strategy is to build on its existing business interests in farming and logistics in Ukraine and the transhipment of grain from the region. The Group has a highly experienced team in place, both in the UK and Ukraine, with extensive knowledge and relationships across the agri-business markets. ESV has also recently acquired 11,000 hectares with the aim of developing a substantial Jatropha growing business in Southern Africa.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Artee Group of companies

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Today, Artee Group has ventured and succeeded in three major areas namely, manufacturing, wholesale trading/distribution and retailing completing the cycle of producing quality products and delivering them to the customers.

Brands and operations include

Supermarket & Department Stores
Park 'n' Shop, founded in 1988, has become a household name in modern shopping. Its strength lies in its spread and excellent commitment to quality service & delivery. Today there are nine outlets strategically located in different parts of the country.

Food Processing
Cakes 'n' Bakes, the Food Processing Division of Artee Group is a recognized name specially known for its Freshly Baked Products, different varieties of Bread, Cakes and Pastries which are of international standard. Our highly skilled Chefs, Bakers and Patissieres have continued to exhibit high innovative skills to the delight of our customers.

Furniture/Light Fittings
Millennia Interiors is another highly creative and innovative division of the Artee Group. This division produces first class home and office furniture of various designs and specifications in its factory located in Nigeria and also imports designer furniture.

Artee Group are Manufacturers' Representative/Importers for many renowned names in USA, Europe and the U.K. With many companies, we are their sole selling agents in west Africa and for other companies, we are the dealers in Nigeria. A few brands to say are Philips, Moulinex, GE Appliances, Canon Photo & Video, Olympus, REMIA.

Most of the over 25,000 product lines stocked and sold are imported by our Import and Wholesale Division which distributes the products to our various outlets and also sells to other customers from our warehouses which are strategically located around the country for quick response to orders. Our warehouses range from 40,000 sq ft to 200,000 square feet, with the state of the art equipments which includes lifters, trolleys, conveyers

Mineral Water Processing
In the manufacturing arena, Artee Industries is into Forward integration, From Pet to Water, Juices and then to juices. The brand ‘Cascade’ has taken a major market share in Mineral Water. “Cascade" natural mineral water is the solution to contamination-free drinking water. "Cascade" has been drawn from a deep spring and processed through a 14-stage world class filtration system and further ozonised to give you 100% pure and healthy water. "Cascade" water processing plant is run by the most efficient professionals, who are expert with vast experience in this field.

Cemya Group of companies

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Cemya is a Nigerian Group of companies involved in Medical Supplies, Training and Turn-Key Projects in the Medical Field. They are into supplies of Laboratory Equipments and Pharmaceuticals. Are exporters of Agricultural products from Africa.

CEMYA GROUP is a group comprising of:

Cemya Medical
Cemya Enterprises
Cemya Harvests
Cemya IT
Cemya Trade

Sameer tire company

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Sameer Africa Limited, formerly under the name Firestone East Africa 1969 Ltd, was established in Kenya in 1969 as a joint venture between Firestone Tyre and Rubber Company of the USA and the Government of Kenya with the aim of producing tyres for the Kenyan and the East African market. The initial production capacity in 1971 was only 400 tyres per day. In 1985 Firestone Tyre & Rubber Company sold a significant part of their shareholding to Sameer Investments Limited, a Kenyan company. In 1988 when Bridgestone Corporation purchased Firestone Tyre & Rubber Company worldwide, Sameer Investments retained its shareholding in the local outfit. The company got listed in the Nairobi Stock Exchange in 1995, enabling other local investors to buy equity in the company.

The corporate identity changed to Sameer Africa Limited in April 2005 after a successful renegotiation of the technical and management contract with Bridgestone Corporation Japan. This change created an independent tyre producer based in Kenya and aiming to supply the East African and the COMESA markets. The current focus is on growing the export business to take advantage of the favourable tariffs within the region.

The production capacity has grown over the years to the current level of approximately 2,500 tyres per day, with an actual production of more than 500,000 tyres per year consistently over the last few years. This capacity is already being increased further to 4,000 tyres per day over the next one year. This production, which has been technologically backed by Bridgestone & Firestone Corporation over the years has enabled Kenyan local engineers acquire cutting-edge comprehensive tyre making skills and techniques of global repute.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Euvin Naidoo article from Knowledge @ Wharton
Courtesy of White African

Interesting article from Knowledge @ Wharton about TED's own Euvin Naidoo a South African transplant living in New York City.

From Knowledge @ Wharton

Africa's stunning lack of basic services, such as electrical and telephone grids and Internet connectivity, might cause many to despair, but Euvin Naidoo -- a leading advocate for Western investment in the underdeveloped continent -- looks at the map and sees something different: hope.

Naidoo, president and CEO of the South African Chamber of Commerce in America, noted that with the world pushing for alternative sources of energy such as windmills or geothermal power, it will be easier to develop and implement these new technologies from scratch in Africa than to impose them on the entrenched power grid in the West. "The key about disruptive technology is that it really has a chance to innovate at the base of the pyramid," Naidoo said in his keynote address at the 15th annual Wharton Africa Business Forum. "The base of the pyramid is the bottom -- the millions who are underserved."

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

George Ayittey speech at World Affairs council in Houston

George and Bono at TED

George Ayittey has coined the term "Cheetah generation" for those who want progressive and sustainable change in Africa. George also believes cheetah's are not blinded by government corruption or coercion.

George goes into great detail about corruption and African economics in his speech he delivered at World Affairs council in Houston.

Watch his speech here

TED William Kamkwamba profiled on Wall Street Journal

My Photo

TED fellow William Kamkwamba is profiled on the Wall Street Journal. William Kamkwamba is a self-taught engineer who built a windmill from an American text book he found lying around. Not only did this windmill work, it powered electricity in his village home.

The whole TED community is proud to see William Kamkwamba progressing so much. William Kamkwamba will be in the states next week.

Please read more here

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

EU - Africa summit

The EU - Africa summit just concluded with really no progress on trade and other issues effecting both Europe and Africa. However, unlike other summits the African leaders were united and succinct. No longer are the days of bulling and telling African leaders what to do and whom they should work with. Today, Africa has many interested players wanting her resources and these resources are in high demand.

Besides the trade issues, many Africans believe political issues should be handled by Africans themselves.

Read more about the summit

Serena Hotels

Operating under the “Serena” brand name, Tourism Promotion Services owns and manages fifteen hotels in East Africa and Asia. TPS’s first hotel ventures were established in the 1970s in Kenya, where Serena safari lodges and hotels have come to be recognized as leaders for the quality of their services, architecture and ecological responsibility.

Since the early 1980s TPS has also owned and managed hotels in the mountainous north of Pakistan and has built Serena hotels in Faisalabad and Quetta. These hotels aim to provide a showcase and a stimulus for local architectural traditions and crafts, as well as accommodation in underserved regional centres. In its most recent phase of development, TPS’s Kenyan holding company (TPS Limited) has floated its shares on the Nairobi Stock Exchange. TPS is also pursuing growth opportunities elsewhere in Eastern Africa, in Pakistan and in Central Asia.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Can Greed Save Africa?

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One of my favorite movies of all time is Wall Street, starred by Michael Douglas. Wall Street is a movie that embraces and rewards greed, despite the fact that this movie break all business rules and ethics. In the movie, Michael Douglas proclaims, "greed is good". The word greed usually has a negative connotation associated with it. In this case, Businesss Week's article, "Can greed save Africa" raises some important points and begs the question will capitalism embrace growth in Africa? In Africa's case, many international investors are flocking to the continent looking at great bargains.

The article talks a little about the illiquid markets and how hard it is for some investors to buy large block of stocks or assets because of the bureaucratic or slow banking sectors on the continent. I remember many investors were saying the same thing about South America in the early 90's. Now, Brazil and other South American economies are enjoying unprecedented growth. Despite all of this, many are still finding great bargains and opportunities all over Africa.

Many institutional investors who have read this article or this blog are going to kick themselves if they don't invest now. The fact is, in 5-10 years there will be more competition to buy or invest in assets in Africa. Africa, now more then ever, has greater choices for trade and investment. We don't have to go begging to our European masters, we can partner with up and coming emerging markets like; India, China, and Brazil.

This article is an important shift in the way the international investors are looking at the new and promising opportunities in Africa.

Africa Web 2.0 - Erik Hersman

Here is an interesting collage of African Web 2.o sites. This is courtesy of my friend Erik Hersman A.K.A "White African" or "Hash".

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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Announcing TEDAfrica 2008!

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From the TED Blog

Chris Anderson and Emeka Okafor write:

We're delighted to tell you that there will be another TED conference in Africa next year, and that we hope to make it an annual event on the continent!

TEDAfrica will be held in Cape Town, South Africa, September 29-October 1, 2008 (save the date!), and will follow the format of this year's TEDGlobal conference in Arusha, Tanzania.

The conference will be organized by a wonderful local team, including TED Fellow Kelo Kubu, and the conference will be operated out of a new South Africa-based nonprofit organization devoted to promoting a better future for the continent, the TEDAfrica Foundation. TED will be supporting the foundation both financially and logistically, to help ensure that the event maintains and builds on the quality and success of the Arusha event.

We hope to see you in Cape Town!

And team member Kelo Kubu writes:

It has been an honor and a privilege to be part of the TEDAfrica process . The team is naturally excited to be hosting TEDAfrica 2008, and we look forward to the challenge of generating the usual TED cocktail of inspiration and magic. The task is undoubtedly a daunting one, but Africa provides the perfect platform and Cape Town the ideal location for yet another memorable event.

We look forward to welcoming the world to the southernmost tip of Africa to share, spread and nurture groundbreaking ideas that could open new possibilities to growth and prosperity on the continent.

Western Union And GSMA To Create New Global Mobile Money Transfer Service

18th October 2007: New York: The GSM Association (GSMA), a global trade association representing over 700 GSM mobile phone operators, and The Western Union Company (NYSE:WU), a global leader in money-transfer services, today announced an agreement to facilitate the development of cross-border mobile money transfer services.

Western Union and the GSMA are developing a commercial and technical framework that mobile operators can use to deploy services that enable consumers to send and receive low-denomination, high frequency money transfers using their mobile phones. The first commercial services that make use of the framework are anticipated to be rolled out beginning in the second quarter of 2008.

The framework forms a key element of both Western Union's mobile strategy and the GSMA's Mobile Money Transfer program which aims to use the reach and ease of mobile money transfer services to expand the mobile financial services market and stimulate social and economic development. Mobile money transfer services will make it simple, quick and affordable for more people to send small amounts of money through a conventional and regulated system. Both Western Union and the GSMA believe there is an opportunity to create and grow a large new market for low denomination transfers.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Ghana Association of Software and IT Services Companies - GASSCOM

The Ghana Association of Software and IT Services Companies (GASSCOM) is Ghana’s premier trade association for the IT software and services industry. GASSCOM is registered as a non-profit company limited by guarantee under company’s code of the Republic of Ghana.

GASSCOM's member companies are in the business of software development, software services, IT-enabled/BPO services and e-commerce.

GASSCOM was set up to facilitate business and trade in software and services and be a strong advocate in soliciting government and other public sector support and encourage the advancement of the industry as a key and strategic sector for the growth of the Ghanaian economy in the next millennium.

China to build EA state $10m car assembly plant

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Special Correspondent

Uganda will start assembling vehicles and motorcycles in January 2008 in a joint venture that will see the Chinese government and Chinese automobile manufacturer, Geely International play a crucial role.

The three have formed MFK Corporation to run the project, for which the government will provide the enabling environment while the Chinese will provide the technical expertise.

Uganda will be the third country in East Africa to have an automobile assembly plant after Kenya and Tanzania.

Read more

TeleTech Expands Global BPO Footprint Into South Africa

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ENGLEWOOD, CO -- (Market Wire - Nov 26, 2007) - TeleTech Expands Global Footprint Into South Africa New Facility to Support Growing Need for Global Outsourcing Distribution Source.

TeleTech Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: TTEC), one of the largest and most geographically diverse global providers of business process outsourcing (BPO) solutions, today announced its expansion into South Africa, further broadening its global sourcing platform to encompass six continents. Today, TeleTech began construction on its first facility on the African continent. Ground was broken at the Old Match Factory in Salt River, Cape Town, at a ceremony attended by major officials from the South Africa government. The Cape Town facility is scheduled to commence operations later this year.

As a new investor to South Africa, TeleTech is the first multinational company to benefit from a new investment incentive plan launched by the South African Department of Trade & Industry, which has targeted the international business process outsourcing industry as a major future source of employment.

TeleTech plans to build a number of new facilities in South Africa and in other African countries, creating thousands of new jobs to serve global clients seeking multiple levels of front- and back-office support.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Celsys Limited

Celsys Limited, which listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange in 2003, incorporates four divisions: Celsys comms, Celsys print , Celsys IT and Celsys marketing. The company was formed in 2002 to facilitate the further expansion of the communications technology group which initially started as Cellular Systems in 1996. The group incorporates security printing, airtime recharge cards, computer security, automated teller machines, community pay phones, cell phone sales, online marketing and related communication technologies.

Management’s ability to identify new business opportunities and grow those businesses, even in a difficult economic environment, has ensured that the Company remains competitive. Growth has been achieved through innovative products and aggressive sales strategies.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Oil is giving wealth to emerging markets

The price of oil has always been high, now oil is trading close to $100 a barrel. Many African countries are looking at this new revenue source with opened arms and hopes that it will bring growth into other sectors.

Many are taking note of emerging markets new found wealth.

Oil spike redistributes wealth
November 18, 2007

By Steven Mufson

Washington - High oil prices are fuelling one of the biggest transfers of wealth in history. Oil consumers have pumped more than $2 trillion (R13.3 trillion) into the coffers of oil companies and oil-producing nations this year alone. Every day they are paying between $4 billion and $5 billion more for crude oil than they did five years ago.

Read more

Lonrho group of companies

LONRHO is a pan-African company with a diverse portfolio of investments focusing on Africa. Its investments range from primary infrastructure to transportation, support services, hotels and leisure and natural resources.

The Company is focused on servicing Western investment and African business by investing in emerging sectors across Africa, creating hubs of business through key investments.

Lonrho is re-establishing a significant presence on the African Continent through strategic investments across sectors in fast-growing African economies.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Heritage Link Wines

Batswadi Pharmaceuticals

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Batswadi Pharmaceuticals (PTY) Ltd is a newly established black empowered, innovative company with a focus on biotechnology, founded to leverage the unmet needs of the South African pharmaceutical market.

Founded in the spring of 2005 by CEO, Christopher Whitfield, Batswadi (meaning parent in Tswana) aims to increase Africa’s access to innovative products, diagnostics, devices and services.

To ensure that it achieves these aims, it has entered into strategic partnerships with key players that will not only see it deliver economic benefits to its shareholders but simultaneously increase the African people’s access to innovative products and technologies.

Its four core business units: pharmaceutical sales, biotechnology, clinical research and consumer health, are staffed by a team of highly skilled individuals who are dedicated to ensuring the highest levels of excellence in the execution of its strategic intent.

Monday, November 12, 2007

This is Nollywood

This is Nollywood tells the story of the Nigerian film industry—a revolution enabling Africans with few resources to tell African stories to African audiences. Despite all odds, Nigerian directors produce between 500 and 1,000 movies a year. The disks sell wildly all over the continent—Nollywood actors have become stars from Ghana to Zambia.

We experience the world of Nollywood through acclaimed director Bond Emeruwa's quest to make a feature-length action film in just nine days. Armed only with a digital camera, two lights, and about $20,000, Bond faces challenges unimaginable in Hollywood and Bollywood.

Electricity goes out. Street thugs demand extortion money. The lead actor doesn’t show. During one crucial scene, prayers blast from loudspeakers atop a nearby mosque, making shooting impossible. But, as Bond says, “In Nollywood we don’t count the walls. We learn how to climb them.”

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. represents a consortium of local, regional, and global organizations working together to make Kenya a BPO hub in Africa. The Kenyan government has been proactive and vocal with their plans of making Kenya an ICT/Outsourcing destination.

One initiative, and its consortium members will provide the following services to start and/or support call centres and back-offices in Kenya:

  • Templates for preparing business plans.
  • Information and assistance with finances.
  • Guidance on suitability of premises.
  • Advice on equipment and connectivity.
  • Referrals to consultants, lawyers, auditors, and other professionals.
  • Networking with ICT suppliers and other vendors.
  • Introduction to research and technology expertise.
  • Guidance on staff recruitment and training.
  • Advice on securing outsourcing contracts.

OLPC - Give one, Buy one

The people who have developed the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) are offering a 2 for 1 special. Between November 12 and November 26, OLPC is offering a Give One Get One program in the United States and Canada. This is the first time the revolutionary XO laptop has been made available to the general public.

Monday, October 29, 2007

The Africa Channel

The Africa Channel is a showcase for the African continent's most outstanding English language television series, specials, documentaries feature films, music, event specials, biographies, soap operas, current business analysis, cultural and historical programs...shows that reflect the people of Africa, their incredible stories, their daily lives, their music and art, their successes, celebrations and challenges.

Co-Founder of The Africa Channel and originally from Zimbabwe, Mr. Makawa enjoyed a successful career in both local and network television in the United States. For more than 10 years, Mr. Makawa worked as a local news reporter and anchor with leading local stations before joining NBC News as a correspondent in New York and Chicago.

Somdiaa sugar cane producer, distributor

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Somdiaa is the leading sugar cane producer, refiner and distributor in Central Africa. Through its plantations in Cameroon, Chad and Congo-Brazzaville, the Company produces approximately 80% of the sugar sold in the Central African Economic and Monetary Community free-trade region. The Company also owns and operates flour mills in Gabon and produces a range of other agricultural products.

D-MADE grant giving competition for Africans in Europe

D-MADE, is a grant giving competition that will reward the innovative entrepreneurial African diaspora in Europe for projects implemented in Sub-Saharan Africa and has two components:

A Competition of innovative projects that will grant 10-15 prizes (ranging fro €10,000 to €40,000 in size) to implement profit-making projects that empower the disadvantaged, are results-oriented, and scalable. Technical assistance will also be extended to the winners for one year during the implementation of the project.

Click here to apply

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Google hiring in developing markets and education reform

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I just read an interesting Fortune article about Google hiring in India, and thought "wow that is a lot of money." Google has gone to the extreme to hire quality human capital for R&D operations in India. Perks for working at Google India include: taxi service, health care for parents, and etc.

Google is hiring in Africa, but mostly in Kenya and South Africa. Google is not doing this because of pure development/need goals. Google sees Africa and other developing markets as an opportunity. As soon as we get some reliable communications infrastructure: WiMax, fiber, other microwave technology Google will be scaling it's workforce in Africa.

One thing I realized reading this article is that, India is attractive because of it's huge graduate pool of students in the universities each year in Science and engineering. India graduates like 50 million students a year! What we need, and what is lacking is more technical education in science and engineering. One person leading the charge in technical education in Africa is Patrick Awuah from Ghana.

Patrick is President of Ashesi University; even though Ashesi is located in Accra, Ghana a good percentage of it's students are from neighboring countries. We have 53 countries, imagine each country having a dozen quality university or technical schools. This could be very attractive to a company like Google to hire and train African programmers or computer scientists.

Water Health and Lifestraw water technologies

Water is one of the most abundant molecules on the earth's surface. Unfortunately, a small percentage of water is drinkable to man and a smaller percentage is available to many developing markets. However, there are some interesting technologies out there to purify water.

WaterHealth International is leading such a revolution — the Blue Revolution — with a mission to provide sustainable access to clean, safe water to all, including the poorest communities. WaterHealth is already providing such access to clean water to hundreds of thousands of people around the world.

LifeStraw™ is a simple device, still in a prototype phase, designed for those unfortunate people in the third world who do not have access to clean drinking water. The pipe is composed of two textile filters, followed by a chamber with beads impregnated with iodine:

Monday, October 22, 2007

Brazil to promote Biofuels in Africa - Business Week

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The Brazilians are known as experts when it comes to Biofuels. They have been progressive since the early 70's when world oil prices were too high. Most of Brazil's Biofuel comes from sugar cane, and a small percentage from corn and other crops.

Brazil's president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva wants to help African countries seize this surging interests in Biofuel and build their own capacity. Even though Africa is a net exporter of oil, many believe that Biofuels can enable poverty reduction on the continent.

Read this BusinessWeek article about Brazil and Africa's collaboration.

Chinedu Echeruo founder of

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Chinedu Echeruo is the founder of HopStop users type addresses, landmarks or businesses into origin and destination fields. Based on criteria set by the user, the site determines the quickest and most convenient pathway through New York's expansive mass transit system. Users of the free service can print the directions or have them sent as text messages to cellphones.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Ethiopia - Top 10 for doing business in Sub-Saharan Africa

Conducting business in a developing country is never easy. Ethiopia has been ranked in the top 10 of doing business in Africa. Rankings mean a lot to any country, rankings allow you to sell bonds to the world markets and attract foreign investment.

Read EthioBlog about Ethiopia's rankings

South Africa’s Web 2.0 winners

South Africa leads the continent of Africa when it comes to Web 2.0. However, there are other websites catering to content in Africa:,, and

As communications infrastructure becomes ubiquitous, and prices of connection falls many Africans will need to me entertained using the Internet.

Read more about South Africa’s Web 2.0 winners

Monday, October 15, 2007

African countries join the patent game

Africans are looking around the world and realizing that intellectual property protection is important and key to guarding one's intangible property. African countries are starting to collaborate and share resources for IP protection. In a publicly heated debate; Starbucks coffee corporation was trying to patent Ethiopia coffee brands. However, to the chagrin of Starbucks, Ethiopia won this debate and Starbucks agreed to pay the country of Ethiopia royalty rights. This issue wouldn't have even occurred if Ethiopia, or the African Union had a strong patent or intellectual property law.

From Science and Development Network

Researchers in six African countries can now better protect their rights and benefit from the commercialisation of their research as a result of a project to improve their countries' capacity to address intellectual property issues.

Researchers from 22 health and medical research institutes in Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Chad, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon and the Republic of Congo have benefited from a three-year project to build an intellectual property 'hub' through which they share resources to process patent applications and commercialise research results.

The project — the Virtual Communal Intellectual Property Service (SECOVIPI) project — was initiated by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the Geneva International Academic Network (GIAN).

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Ghana-India Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence in ICT (AITI-KACE)

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The Ghana-India Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence in ICT (AITI-KACE), Ghana's first Advanced Information Technology Institute works to stimulate the growth of the ICT Sector in ECOWAS. Established in 2003, through a partnership between the Government of Ghana and the Government of India, this state-of the-art facility provides a dynamic environment for innovation, teaching and learning as well as practical research on the application of ICT4D in Africa.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

African countries strive for outsourcing business

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There is a great article on outsourcing in Africa by Offshoring Times. As soon as we get redundent communications infrastructure: fiber optics, microwave or other emerging technology Africa can then be an international player.

Most recently, the government of Nigeria has decided to put together a national strategy for an official Outsourcing industry. The government is also looking at building educational institutions focused on ITES, or BPO market. There will be a time when the Indians outsourcers, the Wipros, Tata's and Infosys will be outsourcing back-office work to Africa. The Indians are already setting up show in Mauritius because of the close colonial ties to that country.

From Outsourcing Times: African countries strive for outsourcing business

The South Africa is vying to bring in more of business processing outsourcing (BPO) on the continent, and other countries are also following to attract more of this business.

There are common factor in the African continent is the language skills, time zone/geographical location and an underemployed workforce with resulting low labor costs. But among all these the only real competitor to them in the BPO sector is Egypt.

Egypt at present has 4,000 agent positions and is estimated to grow to 12,000 in 2012, according to a technology analyst with consultancy Datamonitor PLC.

Afropop African music

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Afropop is a radio program, a web site, a searchable database, an international musical archive, a team of researchers, and a travel series to Africa and Latin America . “Afropop” is also now used as a general term to describe popular African music.

In 1988, interest in international pop was at an all-time high and Afropop was launched by NPR as a weekly series. It was the first of its kind and, years later, the program has expanded its vision to include the music and cultures that encompass the entire African Diaspora. Now known as Afropop Worldwide (APWW), the program is still the standard for both the curious and the connoisseur.

Hosted by one of Africa 's best-loved broadcast personalities, Georges Collinet, and produced by Sean Barlow for World Music Productions, Afropop Worldwide is currently distributed by PRI Public Radio International to over 100 stations in the U.S. The series is also heard in Europe and Africa .

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Kenyan economic growth up to 7 percent!

Reuters Africa is reporting that Kenya economic growth is 7% for the second quarter of this year!

From Reuters

NAIROBI (Reuters) - Kenya's economy grew a robust 7 percent in the second quarter, up from 5.8 percent in the same period 2006, the Central Bank said on Tuesday in good news for President Mwai Kibaki two months before an election.

Friday, October 5, 2007

The Wharton Africa Business Plan Competition

**Phase I submission due October 27**

Register and submit here

The 2007 Wharton Africa Business Plan Competition (WABPC) Finals will take place on Saturday November 10, 2007. The competition will be a key component of the 2007 Wharton Africa Business Forum and is organized to promote entrepreneurship in Africa. The intent of program is to link entrepreneurs with African business ideas to prospective investors such as banks, advice and investments toward the implementation of their business Idea.

The WABPC is organized in 3 phases. In Phase I, applicants submit an executive summary of their business plan

which will be reviewed for admission into Phase II by a group of professionals from the consulting or the investment world. In Phase II, the 6 admitted applicants from Phase I will pitch their business concept to a group of bankers, venture capitalists and private equity investors: The top 3 best ventures win predetermined prizes. In Phase III, follow up advice and funding is provided to co-opted ventures by investors and other professionals on their sole discretion. Finalists are eligible to win up to $3,000 in prizes.

Upcoming events

Start: Oct 08, 2007
End: Oct 10, 2007

The 12th International Business Forum in Washington DC, is part of the continued cooperation on ‘Business and the Millennium Development Goals’ (MDGs) between InWEnt – Capacity Building International, Germany, and the World Bank Institute. It deals with the prospective impact of the business sector in promoting sustainable development and furthering the MDGs.

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Start: Oct 09, 2007
End: Oct 10, 2007

Emerging markets are too important to be overlooked by businesses that want to grow in the coming decades. Spotting new opportunities and managing risks are key to success in emerging economies.This 2-day summit in LONDON will address major issues for those who want to do responsible business in developing and emerging world.You'll learn how to develop strategies that combine responsible business with profits.
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