1565 posts tagged africa
1565 posts tagged africa
Botswana’s economic strength came from it political stability. The Botswana government has some of the lowest levels of corruption in the world.
“We are committed to progress and integrity.” She saw the country’s resources as a blessing, which the people had managed well enough to turn into an economic advantage.
On a recent trip to a first world country, which she refused to name, Makgato-Malesu was questioned as to how Botswana happened to have a better credit rating than that country.
“I had to explain that it did not matter where you came from but how well you managed your resources.”
After what many market players have described as impressive performance in the West African region, ICT device assembler, RLG communications has entered Kenya, hoping to spread itself into the booming East African market. The company is hoping to enter Tanzania and Ugandan markets using its Nairobi base under an aggressive plan intended to capture the entire continent within the next five years.
Already, a number of telecom firms and distributors have expressed desire of working with RLG, a company perceived by many Kenyans as a true pan-African brand.
RLG’s flagship products, the Uhuru (a tablet and laptop combined) had its name from East Africa, a Ki-swahili word meaning freedom. The product is said to have taken over the tablet market in a number of African countries.
The company is also hoping to replicate its largely successful Youth-In-ICT training and Corporate Social Responsibility strategies in support of a country that has allocated heavy budgets towards job creation and ICT training.
It has already begun technology partnership discussions with the Jomo Kenyatta University Consortium for the supply of laptops for schools, a deal likely to accelerate the process of establishing an ICT Assembly Plant in the capital.
Another social intervention likely to have huge impact on Kenyan government’s job creation for the youth agenda is the enterprise project which has provided solar powered kiosks and tools to dozens of youth in the Gambia, after successful execution in Ghana, the Gambia and Nigeria.
The Gambian Vice President, Aja Dr Isatou Njie Saidy, has commissioned the country’s first ever ICT Devices Assembly Plant Complex owned by Rlg Communications Ltd in Serekunda near the capital Banjul over the weekend with an announcement that her government had granted Rlg a 5 year tax holiday.
The event will also see the graduation of thirty trainees of the youth-in–ICT training programme which is been run by Rlg Communications Gambia and the The Gambia Priority Employment Programme (Gamjobs) under the Gambian Ministry of Trade, Regional Integration and Employment.
Many people dream of a job. Others create their own job. At the sight of what she calls “cemeteries” of unharvested mangoes lying on the ground in the Bas-Congo region, Gratitude Ntonda Mandiangu decided one day to start her own business. Today she earns a living by turning this unnecessary waste into a resource.
“Passion fruit juice here, mango juice there, the ginger and orange juices at the back. And here the honey and mead used as sweeteners,” says Gratitude.
The sound of clinking glass bottles fills the 25sqm workshop where the young Congolese woman turns surplus fruit into delicious drinks.
“We had to find a way to add value to this readily available raw material,” says the 25-year-old qualified food-processing technician.
Established in 2008, her microenterprise is called Cetrapal, an acronym for the Centre for the Transformation of Local Food Products. Modest start-up funds from the European Union allowed her to purchase necessary equipment for the business.
Today, Miss Gratitude, as she calls herself, employs a score of women from her native Kisantu to clean, cut, crush, sterilize and bottle the fruit.
On her own
At the start, efforts by some to discourage her only strengthened Gratitude’s determination to prove that women can be successful entrepreneurs.
“I pushed forward,” she recalls. Her parents, also employed in agriculture, fully supported the launch of her company. Her mother manages a few fields only a short walk away from Gratitude’s workshop.
Does that mean Cetrapal is a family business? Definitely not.
“She has to succeed on her own,” says her mother. Mixing family and business in this part of the world is a recipe for bankruptcy, she states succinctly.
A plan that makes sense
In the DRC, a lack of vehicles and poor roads make it almost impossible to get most of the fruit to the market on time. So Gratitude’s business plan to convert fresh fruit into less perishable juices makes sense.
G North and Son, which imports and exports irrigation equipment, says it has been recording growth in business over the past five years and sees the trend accelerating with more government investment going into irrigation to enhance food security.
There has been a significant growth of investment in irrigation in the country both by the private sector players and the government,says Mr Elijah Mugah, the manager in charge of irrigation division.
Trends in coffee exports continue to show strong growth ahead as both volume and value post a positive outlook.
Data from the Uganda Coffee Development Authority indicates that in April, the seventh month in the coffee calendar, the country exported 248,749 – kilogramme bags of coffee worth $30.50 million. This, according to the report indicates a 76.14 per cent and 39.50 per cent increase in volume and value respectively.
The growth is a positive trend for the country’s lead export commodity as well as to farmers whose lively hoods are expected to be uplifted.
UCDA attributes the performance to a sustained above average rain volumes which have continued to pound most parts of the country especially the coffee producing corridors.
Africa may be the last investment frontier, but the fact remains that its challenges can be as great as its opportunities for business success.
Rebecca Enonchong is one tech entrepreneur who learnt that expanding into Africa is not without its sacrifices. She is the founder and CEO of AppsTech, a global provider of enterprise application solutions serving clients in more than 50 countries, and has been taking on the challenges in the African business environment for over 10 years now.
Enonchong established AppsTech in 1999 in the United States in what she describes as an “American dream experience”. The following year she expanded into Canada, France and the UK, but she said she had always had an African expansion plan in mind for her company.
“I grew into what we call a micro-multinational, which is a small business but global. I wanted to leverage that experience and I wanted to be strong enough and big enough to go into the African market,” Enonchong told How we made it in Africa. “And the reason I wanted to wait till I had sufficient financial leverage was because I knew it was a long term investment; that it’s not a once-off; that you can’t come in and hope to make a profit after the first year or whatever. So I really had to be strong enough financially to enter the market.”
The Ugandan business community will join their counterpart in the Diaspora to showcase their products and services a course aimed at promoting and attracting investments.
This will be at the forth coming Diaspora Business Expo in Boston, USA scheduled for July 6-7.
The expo is organised in partnership with the Uganda Investment Authority (UIA), Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Promote Uganda- a company that produces investment promotion materials about Uganda’s investment potential.
Speaking to the Media in Kampala on Friday, UIA Executive Director, Eng. Frank Ssebowa said Ugandans in the Diaspora have proved to be an invaluable source of investment for the country. Therefore, he said, the Expo is aimed at encouraging Diaspora-led investment at home and also to improve on the level of exchanges between the Ugandan business community and those in the Diaspora.
Eng. Ssebowa said: “We are looking to our Ugandan Diaspora to actively engage in technological skills and best practices transfer from their host countries.”
The Expo Patron, Dr. Maggie Kigozi said many times Ugandans in the Diaspora spend huge sums of money on relatives without investing at all
As we had exclusively revealed earlier, Safaricom today announced the launch of Vuma Online, which will see commuters access WiFi in public transport vehicles. The service was launched by Safaricom CEO, Bob Collymore, in Buruburu shopping centre at an event attended by a number of matatu operators. Matatus will pay KSh. 2,000 per month and have the service accessible to users for free.