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Weekly press conferences for RSPL – Sponsor Red Stripe moves to build players

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first_img Former St George’s College and Cavalier midfielder Ryan Miller said after watching his more experienced peers, it gave him confidence. “When I just came here, I told my manager that I didn’t want to be here because I didn’t like cameras … but after watching Oneil Thompson and Beckett sit down and speak, that gave me the confidence,” he said. “So this weekly press conference is very good because you learn from older players like Oneil Thompson and Nicholas Beckett. They are the senior players in the competition and they are the ones you look up for inspiration as a youngster like myself,” Miller commented. Price, who is also Boys’ Town’s head coach, said Red Stripe and the PLCA aim to continue improving all facets of the league. “We want to bring up the professionalism in the sport. The Premier League is going out to 33 countries outside Jamaica, so we must bring the exposure up to another level and let it look professional. “The feedback has been good. The players and the coaches really appreciate it and they liked the opportunity to come out and speak, so we encourage the clubs, coaches, the officials and the players to be professional about it and look for this every week.” Price added: “This is where we will be every week, so if the media want any scoops on the Premier League, this is the place to be every Thursday, where the clubs will reveal their plans for the coming weekend,” he added. Red Stripe made another step towards improving the player product of the Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) with the addition of a press conference for competing teams that will be held each week at Red Stripe’s Hospitality Room. Premier League Clubs Association (PLCA) general manager Andrew Price says the RSPL product is growing and expanding internationally and they have to ensure the league has a professional look, especially for viewers outside Jamaica. “What we have is a weekly press conference that we will have here every Thursday morning before the slate of games for the weekend. We believe this is another way of exposing our players and coaches to the media, to allow them to hear the plans, and see the build-up behind the scenes to the games,” he said. “It is something we started today (Friday) and we plan to do it throughout the season. We like the manner how the players and coaches acquitted themselves in these conferences because it is something that is done globally, and when you represent the country at the CONCACAF or CFU levels, you have to participate in these press conferences, so it’s just a matter of getting them prepared for these occasions,” he continued. CONFIDENCElast_img read more

NOCAL Provides Buses for Commuters

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first_imgThe National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL) has donated three buses to the National Transit Authority to help boost the NTA’s capacity to provide affordable commercial public transport to the public.Valued at US $204,000, the buses were part of a consignment of nine buses turned over Wednesday, May 22, to the NTA by the Government of Liberia.Presenting the keys of the buses to Vice President Joseph N. Boakai at a ceremony on Wednesday at the National Port Authority, Counselor Althea Sherman, Chief Operating Officer of NOCAL, reaffirmed the company’s commitment to improving the lives of the people of Liberia through its corporate social responsibility initiatives.She said through its Corporate Social Responsibility, NOCAL will continue to be faithful to one of its core responsibilities of“giving back to the society.”Cllr. Sherman noted that“Public transport, much like our port, is critical to the economy as well as to the social wellbeing of our people.”In addition to the donation of three buses, Cllr. Sherman disclosed that NOCAL is also providing funding for the construction of three bus terminals for passengers in Grand Cape Mount, Margibi and Bong Counties, valued at $450,000, bringing the overall total value of NOCAL’s collaboration with the NTA at US$654,000.Dedicating the buses later, Vice President Joseph Boakai thanked NOCAL for its interventions in the public transport sector, noting that mobility of people is a very important part of economic development.  For his part, Tarnue Jeke, Managing Director of the NTA, while extoling NOCAL for the immense financial contributions to the NTA, pointed out that the donation of the buses will reduce the gap between those with and those without access to transportation.Mr. Jeke reiterated the NTA’s obligation to provide the public access to affordable, reliable and convenient means of public transportation.Also making remarks at the dedication program was the Acting Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Port Authority, Minister Morris Dukuly, who thanked NOCAL for the gesture, which he described as “a true demonstration of your corporate social responsibility.”NOCAL has over the years also made significant interventions in the areas of health, education, housing and sports, among other social projects as part of its corporate social responsibility initiatives. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Where is the $30B GuySuCo bond?

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first_imgPaltry half-year sugar performance…PPP Presidential Candidate questions value for moneyWhen Government arranged a $30-billion bond guaranteed by the State and National Industrial and Commercial Investment (NICIL) assets, it was supposed to recapitalise the sugar sector. But the poor performance of the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) for the year raises questions about how the money was actually spent.PPP Presidential Candidate Irfaan AliThe recently released Ministry of Finance half-year report tells of a sector still mired in trouble. And according to People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Presidential Candidate and parliamentarian, Irfaan Ali, the population needs answers for how this money was spent.“Of concern is the Government guarantee $30 billion bonds of which the Government utilised approximately $17.6 billion and is yet to provide an explanation to the people of Guyana regarding the use of these funds”.“In his report, the Minister also stated that NICIL repaid $785.3 million during the first half of 2019. Given the poor performance of GuySuCo during the first half, an urgent explanation is warranted,” Ali said in a statement on Monday.The 2019 mid-year report had found that at the end of June 2019, GuySuCo recorded a cash surplus of $843 million when compared to a deficit of $3.8 billion in the same period in 2018. However, sources have attributed this to the Corporation having received a total of $9.3 billion, of which $3.9 billion came from NICIL’s Special Purpose Unit (SPU) to fund its operations and capital projects.“The Corporation exported 37,836.7 tonnes of sugar, of which 33,263 tonnes were sold to the EU market at a higher price than budgeted, resulting in an increase of $1.3 billion in export sales. Current expenditure was $8.1 billion in the period under review, $2.7 billion lower than the corresponding period in 2018”.“The Corporation’s capital expenditure was $334 million, 90.3 per cent lower than the budgeted amount of $3.4 billion, primarily due to delays in funding for capital works. The Corporation projects a deficit of $920 million at the end of 2019,” the report also said.GuySuCo was also found to have fallen short of its production targets for the first crop, with output reaching 33,531 metric tonnes of sugar. There were delays in the start of production, which attributed to the late delivery of materials for critical repairs to boilers in the factories.In addition, the Corporation had to contend with extended equipment maintenance at the Uitvlugt factory. Thus, the commencement of cane harvesting was pushed to late February. The report also warned that all these things could affect production for the rest of the year and 2020.And in the Bank of Guyana’s recently released first quarter statistical bulletin, it had showed that sugar experienced a major decline of 34.3 per cent, owing to the restructuring process the Corporation is undergoing.EstatesSince the closure of the four estates, leaving more than 7000 sugar workers jobless, Government has moved to divestment the facilities. United Kingdom company, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), was subsequently contracted to carry out valuations of GuySuCo’s assets up for sale and had invited expressions of interest from potential buyers, though it was recently revealed that the political climate has stalled these transactions.The bond was arranged last year by Republic Bank Limited, through its Investment Banking Division, with law firm London House Chambers, headed by Devindra Kissoon acting as a transaction attorney.It was arranged at a rate of 4.75 per cent interest. A source close to the Finance Ministry had told Guyana Times that while the interest rates secured would appear to be very favourable, the implications of failing to consistently repay the bond and related interest rates would be dire.Indeed, SPU Head Colvin Heath-London has previously confirmed that specific NICIL assets are on the line, should they default on the bond. In addition, concerns were previously raised that GuySuCo was not accounting for how it was spending the money, though it subsequently denied this.Meanwhile, Ali also warned that while the report’s monetary statistics paint a “rosy picture” of the investment climate, there are worrying indicators. According to Ali, the monetary statistics revealed that credit to the private sector increased in all the key sectors.“However, the growth in credit should be cause for concern since the commercial banks are increasing credit at a time when the economy is struggling, and non-performing loans are increasing. The ratio of non-performing loans has trended upwards from 5.97 per cent at end-June 2014 to 12.58 per cent at end-June 2019”.“Meanwhile, the reserves for loan losses reduced continuously from 67.24 per cent to 37.05 per cent. Thus, while less reserves are set aside to cater for loans losses, there is a continuous increase in non-performing loans. Since the most critical risks that confront the banking system is credit risk, all should be concerned, rather than happy with the growth in credit,” he said.last_img read more

Top 10 football mullets

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first_img 10. Cesc Fabregas – click the arrow to see nine more magnificent mullets – Cesc Fabregas’ 2004 highlighted mullet now sits in the Arsenal museum at the Emirates, alongside Charlie Nicholas’ 1987 effort (see number three). 5. Trifon Ivanov – click the arrow to see more magnificent mullets – Look at those curls! Ivanov’s mullet lit up the 1994 World Cup in the USA, progressing all the way to the semi-finals. Magnificent. 10 6. Rudi Voller – click the arrow to see more magnificent mullets – Rudi Voller’s ‘perm-mullet’ went down in World Cup history as the first haircut to get a player sent off. 9. Sergio Aguero – click the arrow to see more magnificent mullets – Sergio Aguero was clearly watching far too much ‘Dog The Bounty Hunter’ during his Atletico Madrid days. 4. Tony Meola – click the arrow to see more magnificent mullets – US ‘keeper Tony Meola gazes wistfully into the distance, pondering whether mankind will ever truly appreciate the immense wonder of his redneck mullet. 3. Charlie Nicholas – click the arrow to see more magnificent mullets – The most impressive thing about any of Scotland’s World Cup appearances remains Champagne Charile’s 1986 mullet. 10 10 7. Barry Venison – click the arrow to see more magnificent mullets – Former Newcastle and Liverpool defender Barry Venison’s mullet was so glorious it even has its own Facebook profile, which claims Bazza’s barnet has “powers the likes of which no mortal can truly understand”. 1. Gerry Francis – Rumours are rife that it will be soon be a case of ‘Arise Sir Gerald Francis’ for a lifetime of service to the spiky mullet. A deserved number one. 10 10 2. Chris Waddle – click the arrow to see more magnificent mullets – “I once had a penalty shootout with Rudi Voller to decide who had the best mullet. I won and was awarded Mullet of the Year,” claimed Chris Waddle. Why, oh why did he get it chopped before the 1990 semi-final shoot-out against West Germany, then? 10 10 Footballers hair has long been a talking point, from the Sir Bobby Charlton comb over to the Liverpool FC perm, on to David James’ many barnets, right up to perfectly coiffured Olivier Giroud thatch.But no footballer hair cut can cause as much of a stir as the classic mullet.Arguably at its peak in the 1980s, the mullet still occasionally lands on the bonce of a player, usually a continental with an as yet underdeveloped fashion sense.And there is one man whose services to football and the mullet have gone hand-in-hand for decades now, earning him and his hair a special place in the hearts of mullet afficionados everywhere.So please, join us for some business at the front, party at the back action, as we count down 10 top, top footballer’s mullets in the slideshow above. 10 8. Mesut Ozil – click the arrow to see more magnificent mullets – Proving that the mullet was still a German tradition, young Ozil rocked this neck warmer at Schalke in 2006. 10 10last_img read more

JAILBREAKING NEWS: DONEGAL LADS ARRIVE IN SEATTLE IN EPIC CHARITY JOURNEY

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first_imgJAILBREAKING NEWS: DONEGAL students raising money for charity have journeyed more than 7,200kms – all the way to Seattle.Student Daire McMullin from Stranorlar, a student in Trinity College Dublin and pal Paul McDonagh-Forde, made it to America’s Pacific coast this evening.And they made the journey without spending a single cent! All the money they raised along the way goes to St Vincent de Paul and Amnesty International.The winning due out of the 50 pairs of students actually made it to Sydney!Said Daire: “We’d like to Digital Fone Communications Buncrana and Filan’s Centra for help in getting to New York and we’d also like to thank Marian Murphy of Special Olympics Ireland (who we met on a whim at Dublin Airport), the Castlecourt Hotel in Westport, the Oranmore Inn in Collooney, Co.Sligo (we’ll have to have a few drinks there sometime!) and finally to the fantastic Cathal Jackson and Darren Power of Ireland’s top nightclub, Copper Face Jacks, who gave us a massive €1000 towards flights.“It’s all been worth it for a great cause.” You can still make a donation to the lads here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Paul-and-Daire-TCD-Jailbreak-2014-Team-5/224282254425447?ref=settingsand herehttp://www.sponsor.ie/jailbreak-14-1/event/jailbreak14/   JAILBREAKING NEWS: DONEGAL LADS ARRIVE IN SEATTLE IN EPIC CHARITY JOURNEY was last modified: February 24th, 2014 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:charityDaire McMullinjailbreak14Trinity College Dublinlast_img read more

Ranked: Every European Under-21 Championship Golden Player since 2000

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first_img 9 9. 2007: Royston Drenthe (Netherlands) – Click the right arrow above to see how we ranked the European Under-21 Championship Golden Players since 2000… – A superb tournament in his homeland saw Real Madrid swoop for the then Feyenoord man. After regular outings in his first campaign, Drenthe was soon ditched in favour of the progressing Marcelo, while he had loan spells with Hercules and Everton. From here, though, his career stalled and spells with Reading and Sheffield Wednesday were sandwiched by time in Russia, Turkey and United Arab Emirates, before calling time on his career and focussing on becoming a rapper. 9 9 6. 2006: Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (Netherlands) – Although he has been a nomad for most of his career, until he joined Schalke in 2010, Huntelaar has always scored goals. Whether it be for Heerenveen, Ajax, Real Madrid, AC Milan, or the German outfit, the Dutchman delivered. He’s now 33 and has returned to Ajax as he enters the final phase of his career. 8. 2009: Marcus Berg (Sweden) – Following his seven goals in the 2009 tournament, Berg joined Hamburg from Groningen for around €10million. He failed to reproduce the form which won him the Golden Player award, though, scoring just five Bundesliga goals in 54 appearances, and even a decent loan spell with PSV Eindhoven couldn’t perk him up. But he has had a revival in Greece of late, scoring 95 goals in 151 appearances across all competitions. He is now, at the age of 30, set to move to Al Ain. 7. 2015: William Carvalho (Portugal) – The last winner of the award, Carvalho still hasn’t sealed a switch away from Sporting Lisbon but remains a wanted man, according to reports. He’s now a regular senior international and was part or Portugal’s European Championship winning side in 2016. 9 9 5. 2004: Alberto Gilardino (Italy) – A prolific goalscorer in Serie A for many seasons with Parma, AC Milan, Fiorentina, Genoa, and Bologna, Gilardino is currently playing for Pescara, who have been relegated to Serie B. He was an international stalwart, appearing 57 times for the Azzurri, scoring 19 goals and helped his nation to a World Cup win in 2006. He also won the Champions League with AC Milan in 2007. 4. 2013: Thiago Alcantara (Spain) – Still only 26, the Spaniard is developing into one of Europe’s finest midfielders at Bayern Munich. Prior to a €25million transfer, Thiago had already played a big role in three LaLiga title wins, and since then has won a further four in Germany. On the international stage, though, he is still relatively inexperienced, with just 21 caps so far, although more are likely to come. 9 2. 2011: Juan Mata (Spain) – After starring at the 2011 edition of the European Under-21 Championship, Mata was signed by Chelsea, from Valencia, in a £23.5m deal. Talked into a move to England by Fernando Torres, the Spaniard thrived at Stamford Bridge helping the club to win the Champions League in his first campaign, and winning the Chelsea’s Player of the Year. In his second season, Mata won the award again as the Blues lifted the Europa League. Halfway through the following year, though, he was sold to Manchester United, where he has won the FA Cup and Europa League for a second time. On the international stage, the fan favourite has won both the World Cup and the European Championship with Spain. 9 3. 2002: Petr Cech (Czech Republic) – Signed by Chelsea in the same summer as he won the Golden Player award, Cech has gone on to become one of the Premier League’s best ever goalkeepers. With the Blues he won four titles, the Champions League, and the Europa League, while since moving to Arsenal he has won his fifth FA Cup. Still performing at 35, there is still life in the former Golden Player too. It has been another memorable European Under-21 Championship, with a number of sides impressing in Poland.Spain, Germany, Italy and England all made the semi-finals and have all had some standout stars, while Portugal have also had their moments in the tournament.Marco Asensio and Saul have starred for the Spanish, Bruma scored a belter for the Portuguese, while Lorenzo Pellegrini and Federico Bernardeschi have done well for Italy.Meanwhile, Germany’s Max Meyer, and England’s Alfie Mawson have put on a show for neutrals, and scouts.The winner of the 2017 Golden Player award is yet to be named, but history suggests the recipient is likely to go on and have a successful career.So, who has won it since 2000, and how have they done? Click the right arrow above to see the winners of the award ranked… 9 9 1. 2000: Andrea Pirlo (Italy) – Sill playing, Pirlo is a legend of the game and is now one of football’s most loved men. Adored for his suave style off the pitch and artistic playmaking on it. Over his career he’s won six league titles, the Champions League twice and the World Cup in 2006, amongst numerous other trophies and awards.last_img read more

GAA NEWS: FRANKIE MCMULLEN MEMORIAL TOURNAMENT FOR U12’S TAKES PLACE TONIGHT

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first_imgFour Masters GAA Club Notes:An Appreciation: All at the Four Masters G.A.A. Club, the community and country at large were deeply saddened with the death of Mr Jim White.As the club has an extremely wide association with the Abbey hotel and with Jim, who has always been a loyal club member. Jim was most accommodating and helpful down through all the years towards our club. He always had a smile and made sure everything was first class for us. He was a proud man, a great business man, a visionary and a real gentleman.He was a great community man. He will be sadly missed by his family, friends and staff. Our deepest sympathy to all his entire family. Ar Deis Dia go raibh an anam Dilis.New baby: Congratulations to Maeve Espey club treasurer and Peadar on the birth of their new baby boy from all in the club.All Ireland Football Tickets: Applications have been received by the club and ticket orders have closed. As of now the club are not aware of its allocation from the County Board, which is based on our club adult membership. The applications have run away above our membership.Further information will follow on Facebook and by text to club members.Under 10 boys: Pride of place this week must go to our under 10 boys who won out at the division 1 finals evening in ardara on Friday last.Competing against the best that the South of the County has to offer our boys stood up to the tests that were provided and passed them with flying colours.We were grouped with teams from naomh conaill, kilcar and naomh columba.Our two teams played each of these clubs recording 5 wins and a draw. The other group consisted of St Nauls , Killybegs, ardara and Aodh Ruadh.The top teams in each section also played with St Nauls edging out our boys by one point in a great game.With points awarded for each game played our lads had the highest total on the night, a great reflection on how strong our panel was.The announcement that Four Masters were the victors was greeted with great excitement by the boys and supporters and the presentation of the inaugural Conal Gildea Shield was very greatly accepted by the captain Dan Dunnion and his band of brothers. Thanks must go to the gildea family for sponsoring this lovely shield in Conal’s memory and to John McConnell and the ardara club for hosting this fantastic finale to the under 10 season.There is no doubt that the stars of the future were on show in ardara on Friday evening with a number of them wearing the blue and white of Four Masters.A great deal of credit must go to the coaches who have worked with these boys throughout the year.Thanks goes to Kevin, Emmet, Joyce, Mick and Gerry for their dedication over the season and to the parents who have supported their children in every way.Training will continue until the end of September with the memory of Friday night hopefully pushing them on to more great days in the future.Frankie McMullen Tournament: The internal Frankie McMullen tournament for the Under 12 footballers in the Four Masters took place on Tuesday 9th September with 48 children participating.Sean Dunnion Snr Memorial tournament: The Sean Dunnion Snr Memorial tournament for Under 8 footballers took place on Monday 8th September. With 40 children participating.U16 Ladies: The Four Masters Ladies U16’s made the long trek west on Saturday afternoon to Naomh Mhuire in their final group game of the Div1 16B Championship, the girls had already qualified for the U16B Semi final before the game but were playing for home advantage for next week’s semi.Unfortunately, the girls came up short on the day, despite a slow start they clawed back and went in a point up at half time 3-03 to 1-08.There, the long trek took its toll and the home side had the legs on the Masters girls and they got 2 goals in a low scoring rough and tumble second half where the Masters girls gave as good as they got –Final score Naomh Mhuire 3-09 Four Masters 3-04.Now the girls go forward to play Fanad Geals away in the U16B County Semi Final in the next week.Hurling & Camogie: Training will resume on Friday 12th September between 6-8pm, at Tir Conaill Park. This incredibly skilful game is our unique sport, played over millennia.To get your child involved and for further information, contact Laurence Doherty on 087 7532705.Four Masters Lotto: There was no winner of the jackpot this week.This week winners of €25 were, Laurence Mc Garth Bronx, Trevor Bustard, Clarcam, Michael Kelly Sr, Maldoon house and Sean Gillespie, Brookfield.Numbers drawn were 3,4,6 &10. Next weeks jackpot sits at €3,300.To play the lotto please visit our website www.fourmastersgaa.com for further info.GAA NEWS: FRANKIE MCMULLEN MEMORIAL TOURNAMENT FOR U12’S TAKES PLACE TONIGHT was last modified: September 9th, 2014 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:four mastersGAANoticesSportlast_img read more

ONÓRACHA DO CHILL CHÁRTAIGH AGUS DO GHLEANN CHOLMCILLE

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first_imgSheol ionadaí neamhspleách sna todhcháin áítiúla, Niamh Bean Uí Cinnéide, comhgáirdeachas le muintir Cill Chártaigh agus comhluadar Lár Chomhairle Paróiste, Gleann Cholmcille tar éis dóibh onóracha a bhainnt i gComórtas Glór na nGael.Fógraíodh ag an deireadh seachtaine gur bhain an dá pharóiste Duais Chomhairle Chondae Dhún na nGall.Dúirt Niamh: “Tá an-obair idir lámha ins na pobail sin le blianta anuas chun úsáid na teangan a bhrú ar aghaidh. Is maith a fheiceáil go bhfuil an Comhairle Chondae ag tabhairt athainteas don obair sin.”  ONÓRACHA DO CHILL CHÁRTAIGH AGUS DO GHLEANN CHOLMCILLE was last modified: March 30th, 2014 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:awardsGlencolmcilleGlor na nGaelirish languagekilcarlast_img read more

A new book supports the notion that Africa is truly open for global business

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first_imgMuch has been said and written about the African Renaissance, especially since the 50th anniversary of the African Union in 2013.  The conversation has also been driven by the subject of Pan-Africanism and the key concept of an African Renaissance and what it means for the future economic prospects of this exciting continent.There is no doubt that Africa’s economic renaissance continues apace, with global investors entering the continent to optimise the current dynamic emerging environment.  The continent is the second fastest growing in the world and the only one with a young population that can form an active labour force for multinational companies.At a time in which many global economies are floundering or experiencing both political or economic turmoil, Africa has demonstrated robust economic growth; its companies are performing competitively and are making an impact in the global marketplace, and its internal investors are confidently embracing an economically diverse future.  Africa is also home to some of the world’s fastest-growing economies.      It is ranked second out of 10 regions globally in terms of foreign direct investment attractiveness.   Africa is also where human development levels have grown most rapidly. Of the twenty countries recording the highest rises in the Human Development Index (HDI) since 2000, fourteen are in Africa.  This is also reflected in the significant progress many African countries have made towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals and their targets.The region is more interconnected globally than ever before through trade, investment, migration, mobile phones, and information and communications technologies.Between 1992 and 2011, for example, China’s trade with sub-Saharan Africa rose from US$1 billion to more than $140 billion. Complementing that, over the past decade, nearly half of the financing for infrastructure in sub-Saharan Africa was provided by governments and regional funds from elsewhere in the South.  All of this development points to the potential of this African Economic Renaissance and sends a clear message that the continent is well and truly open for business.This vibrant message is reinforced by a new book on the subject that has just been written by South African author and renowned television commentator and business speaker, Victor Kgomoeswana, entitled ‘Africa is Open for Business – Ten Years of Game-Changing Headlines’.The book is a collection of well researched and expertly written essays about Africa, all of which reflect the socio-economic diversity of the continent.  Written from an unashamedly Afro-optimism perspective, the key departure point for each essay is Africa’s incredible potential as a highly competitive and exciting global business and investment centre, filled with opportunity and on the cusp of fulfilling its economic potential.  The continent’s markets offer huge population numbers, representing exciting sales potential for new global or regional products and services entering the market.  Yet the book does not minimise the challenges and the risks associated with doing business in emerging and developing economies on the African continent.  Instead, it looks to remind readers that the current and future economic development potential of this exciting part of the world represents a real upside, and that the returns on offer to those looking to take the leap of faith and make the investment, far outweigh the risks and any potential downside.The book contains 50 highly individual essays, each one written in a highly engaging and accessible style, examining the economic potential of key African countries, while looking at what differentiates them from a unique business perspective.  From the successful diversification of the Nigerian economy, the Agricultural Revolution and the phenomenon of Uranium mining in Malawi, to the construction boom in Angola, and the global coffee revolution’s impact on redefining the economies of Africa’s coffee producing nations such as Ethiopia and Rwanda – each country has a unique story to tell and one that will resonate with readers, no matter where they live or hail from on the African continent. Beneath what is ostensibly a business review of our Continent, is the subtext of a narrative on our Continent by a man who has not only walked the places he writes about, but quite clearly has come to appreciate them dearly at a  personal level.The book also profiles some of the business success stories, both large and small, that have successfully helped to raise the profile of key African countries, and indeed the continent as a whole, on the world’s business stage.  From the rise of mobile telephony and the exponential growth of mobile brands in Africa, to the fibre-optic revolution that is currently taking place and providing connectivity between African marketplaces and the rest of the world, to the growing tourism market and the interest from the world’s big hotel and leisure companies and niche local hotel and leisure brands that are making their mark.It also interestingly looks at the continent’s business leaders, innovators and brave entrepreneurs who are driving those business and economic successes, examining what makes them tick and uniquely, how their African approach to business defines them in the global marketplace.  More importantly perhaps, it also looks at the contribution these individuals and businesses have made to building the African business success story as a whole, reflecting on their individual achievements over the past few years, and blazing a trail for others to follow in the future.More holistically, the book distils the megatrends of the economic and business landscape in Africa over the past decade.  It also examines the impact of South Africa’s critically important membership of the BRICS grouping of nations and its role in raising awareness, stimulating interest, and generating new investment into the continent, and the impact that has had in making Africa an investment destination of choice.The author has undoubtedly identified a growing interest on the part of the global investment and development community in what Africa has to offer, both in terms of natural resources, but also from an expanding trade, new markets, and human talent development perspective.  As the world’s economic and geopolitical landscape continues to change and face real, ongoing challenges, Africa’s growing accessibility and its undoubted economic potential, represent exciting opportunities for global and regional business interests to take advantage of and to get involved in the continent’s future success story.The foreword for the book, written by South Africa’s Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, contains the following:  “I am confident that this book has a place in the economic reawakening of Africa.  Among those still in doubt, the book’s accessible and humorous style should encourage enthusiasm about the continent. Further, this book will lend a voice to those who have been championing the cause of the continent without an authoritative and current guide. For those simply looking for an anecdotal explanation of where Africa is headed, this book is a good companion. For African leaders, this book is both a celebration of what has been achieved, and a reminder of how much opportunity there still is.”Ultimately, the book ‘Africa is Open for Business – Ten Years of Game-Changing Headlines’ is a must-read for anyone interested in Africa’s Renaissance and its status as a continent to be reckoned with in the future.  It successfully reinforces the message that organizations such as my own, Brand South Africa, together with others working tirelessly to promote and raise the profile of both South Africa and the continent as a whole in the global marketplace, are sending – that Africa is indeed ready and open for business.  The African Renaissance is a reality, and South Africa is part of the success story and this strong message that is finding resonance with key decision-makers, influencers, and opinion-formers around the world.Matola is CEO of Brand South Africalast_img read more

Shutdown in Kashmir to protest custodial death

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first_imgKashmir Valley observed a shutdown on Wednesday to protest the death of a teacher apparently in police custody. The circumstances under which the 28-year-old man was rounded up and the cause of his death, however, remain undisclosed.The shutdown call issued by the separatist amalgam, Joint Resistance Leadership, comprising Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik, impacted daily life in the Valley. Schools, colleges, offices and markets remained closed. There was thin traffic on the roads. Several volatile areas were sealed by the authorities with additional deployments. Train services were suspended and mobile internet was slowed down “as a precautionary measure.”The victim, Rizwan Asad Pandit from south Kashmir’s Awantipora area, was buried late on Tuesday evening. Hundreds of locals participated in the funeral. The Hurriyat has asked the international community and human rights bodies “to play their role in ending human rights abuses in Kashmir.”Pandit was picked up three days ago by a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP)-led team from Srinagar. A magisterial probe is on to find out if an FIR was lodged in the local police station and permission was sought for a night-long interrogation in accordance with the police rules. The police as well as the probe body, headed by Additional Deputy Commissioner, Srinagar, have remained silent on “the cause and the circumstances of Pandit’s death.” A top police official confirmed to The Hindu that the Awantipora police was not involved in the arrest. It was a Srinagar counter-insurgency cell, widely known as Cargo, which picked up Pandit and subjected him to a “night-long interrogation.” “We have no faith in such probes… I doubt if anyone will be prosecuted,” said the victim’s brother Mubashir Assad, whose father belongs to the banned Jamaat-e-Islami.“Since 2008, 108 inquiries were ordered in Kashmir to probe various human rights violations. Instead of allowing normal investigations after filing a proper FIR, these 108 inquiries led to zero prosecutions of the accused armed forces personnel and thus scuttled justice,” said Khurram Pervez, chairperson at Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances.last_img read more