Tuesday, February 25, 2014


ESPAfrika, the company behind the Cape Town Jazz Festival, has been warmly applauded by the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) Director-General Lionel October for its decision to commission local suppliers to manufacture its clothing giveaways for the 2014 chapter of the nationally (and internationally) renowned festival.

October says he is pleased that Rashid Lombard and Billy Domingo, and their team have taken this step.

“This tells us that the message we’ve been conveying all around the country- for businesses to support local suppliers - is bearing fruit. I hope that increasing numbers of South African companies will follow ESPAfrika’s example,’ October said.

The Strategic Projects Coordinator for ESPAfrika, Wayne van der Rheede, said the decision to buy local followed talks with the South African Clothing and Textile Workers’ Union (SACTWU).

“We have agreed to support local suppliers via SACTWU’s platform. In terms of this agreement, we will be buying branded items such as caps and soft-collar T-shirts from Western Cape factories.  The total value of this will be about R250, 000. There is a possibility that we will also be looking at purchasing shirts for the occasion, in which case the value of the transaction could then rise to in excess of R400,000 ,” ’ stated Van der Rheede.

The Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies says the department has invested close to R1-billion of incentives over the past year to raise competitiveness and to curb job losses in the Clothing, Textiles, Leather and Footwear sectors.

“Having stablised the industry, we have been pushing for the next big development to revolve around companies and organisations coming in and buying local. As such, we are pleased that ESPAfrika has joined retailers such as Truworths and Edgars in supporting local procurement. Hopefully, this trend will continue to grow,” said Minister Davies. 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

ICSFS Wins “Best Core Banking Systems Technology Provider, Africa” Award

 This award highlights ICSFS’ footprints in the African ICT Market

LONDON, United-Kingdom, February 18, 2014 -- ICS Financial Systems Ltd. - ICSFS , the global software and services provider for banks and financial institutions, is pleased to announce that it has won “Best Core Banking Systems Technology Provider” in Africa for its ICS BANKS® solution at the prestigious World Finance Technology Awards that was organized by World Finance magazine.

The World Finance Awards identify industry leaders, individuals, teams and organizations that represent the benchmark of achievement in the business world. They recognize the leading innovative individuals and companies representing best practices for technologies globally.  Informed by a voting system supported by the World Finance magazine’s readership, the World Finance Award Selection Panel has used a wide range of criteria to inform its decision over the 2013 awards, lending the critical eye of a collective 205 years of business journalism to the exhaustive information gathered by the research team.

Alexander Redcliffe, Editor at World Finance stated “It gives me great pleasure to bestow upon ICS Financial Systems. The World Finance 2013 award for the 'Best Core Banking Systems Technology Provider, Africa'.  May the firm's excellent work and devotion to their market continue, “

This award highlights ICSFS’ footprints in the African ICT Market, while considering the rapid expansion of ICSFS’ customer base in many African countries such as Nigeria, Ghana, Gambia, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Congo (RDC), Côte D’Ivoire, Djibouti, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Tunis, Egypt, Algeria, Libya and Sudan.

The Managing Director of ICSFS, Robert Hazboun commented, “We are delighted to be adding such an award to our industry accolades, as it is our fourth time being recognized as the Best Core Banking Systems Technology Provider in Africa. We are very proud to be awarded by World Finance magazine as a leading solution provider. ICSFS invests heavily in research and development to ensure the business requirements delivered to its customers is in line with their rapidly changing needs.”

ICS BANKS® provides a complete suite of banking business modules with a rich sweep of functionality and features, addressing business needs and automating accounting processes, as needed, to improve a bank’s business performance. ICS BANKS® has always been a pioneer in utilizing the latest technology to serve financial institutions. In addition to its embedded Service-Oriented-Architecture (SOA), the system is deployed in a multi-tiered setup that runs on a web thin client, J2EE environment. 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Africa speaks energy

JOHANNESBURG, South-Africa, February 18, 2014 - African energy leaders see global climate framework uncertainty, high energy prices, and commodity prices as the critical issues driving Africa’s energy agenda this year, according to the 2014 World Energy Issues Monitor, released by World Energy Council (WEC).

The African views are in contrast with the global view, where high energy price volatility has for the first time replaced climate framework as the top critical uncertainty.

Bonang Mohale, WEC Vice-Chair Africa, commented at the report launch at the Africa Energy Indaba:

“Our African survey finds that, in contrast with the global findings, climate framework has become an even more critical issue. Africa is dramatically vulnerable to climate change, and Africans are becoming more aware that climate change is an urgent and real issue rather than something that only countries with large emissions should worry about.”

In Africa, electricity supply remains a critical concern, with growing demand, lack of required investment, and increasing power shortages across the continent.  Renewable energy remains a high-priority issue.

As a change from last year’s findings, African national governments and regional institutions are taking actions in energy efficiency and regional interconnection, while investment cooperation with China and India is viewed with increasing importance.

The report captures the views of over 800 energy leaders including ministers, chief executives and the heads of the WEC’s national members committees covering 84 countries. 

In its global findings, climate framework uncertainty is now perceived by energy leaders to have less impact than in the previous three years of the study.  Meanwhile, carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) continues to be viewed as a technology having limited impact. 

Energy leaders are also increasingly concerned about the sector’s ability to access the capital markets for funds towards energy infrastructure, when set against a continued recessionary backdrop.

Christoph Frei, WEC Secretary General, said:

“The fact that both climate framework and CCUS are perceived to be issues of less impact is bad news not only in terms of emissions mitigation, but also for the development of robust and resilient energy infrastructure.  Our energy systems are in a state of massive expansion and transition, and the signals we see today provide clear evidence of the urgent need for more robust, coherent, long-term frameworks for planning our future investment.”

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Somalia Investment Summit (SIS), 6th-7th April, 2014

The second Somalia Investment Summit 2014 takes place in Dubai in April 6th to 7th

 DUBAI, UAE, February 13, 2014/ -- The growing confidence in Somalia’s economic recovery process has seen institutions like the Eastern and Southern African Trade and Development Bank, commonly known as the PTA Bank, lift sanctions against the country.

PTA Bank is the key Sponsor for the Somalia Investment Summit (http://bit.ly/NEQVuU) joining other regional authorities like the Commonwealth Business Council and the Eastern Africa Economic Chambers of Commerce in supporting this high profile business forum.

Hassan Dudde MD of the Somali Economic Forum with British Minister for Africa Mark Simmonds
 ‘’This year’s summit opted for Dubai as a location to target the growing number of Gulf Investment in the Africa Region, the bilateral relations between Somalia and Dubai dates some hundred years, we are hopeful that the Somalia Investment Summit will reassure the Gulf Businesses of the untapped potential that is Somalia’’ Hassan Dudde MD of the Somali Economic Forum summit organisers stated
The summit will be a platform for first-hand success stories of International private sector leaders who have already invested in Somalia and are now successfully operating in various regions. As the State of Somalia continues to attract international exposure and interest, this is the optimal time to invest in reforming the country’s economy to make private sector friendly. Rebuilding the State of Somalia will not only encourage economic growth but will certify vast profitable and effective markets. 
 “SiS will continue to highlight key economic trends that have emerged in Somalia, most notably the increased role of international investment in facilitating rapid economic growth and development within Somalia.” Hassan Dudde commenting 
The Summit will initiate crucial dialogue on the current economic, developmental and financial trends and growth within the county and it will primarily focus on opportunities in the following 5 sectors; oil & gas, finance & banking, telecommunications, infrastructure, Agribusiness and finally the energy sector.
 Somalia is certainly going to benefit from Africa’s growth and the ‘Africa Rising’ phenomenon will soon become the ‘Somalia Rising’ Story.
 According to Economic Analysts, Somalia possesses the hallmarks to be a dynamic, regional economic power due to its strategic location and potential natural resource reserves. The best time to invest in Somalia is now and insiders would all agree that such an investment will pay dividends in the medium and long term.
 The organisers are confident that the platform will act as a dynamic and enriching platform enabling investors to interact with industry captains and members of government to provide sustainable and mutually beneficial investments.

‘2014 is indeed time for Somalia’

OpenWeb launches most affordable uncapped data

South African Internet Service Provider OpenWeb has launched Everyday Uncapped, one of the most affordable uncapped data products available on the market today. It offers unlimited data usage with zero throttling.

The big difference between OpenWeb’s Everyday Uncapped solution and similar offerings from competing ISPs is that the Everyday Uncapped accounts are not throttled. OpenWeb shapes according to how busy the network is at any given time, but it never throttles. When the network is not busy, it completely unshapes the accounts.

According to OpenWeb’s CEO Keoma Wright, they do not log usage stats on their uncapped accounts. “Why should we care how much data our client has used on the account? Unlimited means just that. Some ISPs's monitor client data so that they can enforce drastic throttling policies, making an account slow or even unusable. By default, we don’t monitor anyone’s usage on uncapped accounts."

OpenWeb users can freely download movies, browse websites and game to their hearts content via international access through three major fibre backbones. More importantly, the price is locked in for life. If clients signup now, they will get free access for the rest of February 2014.

OpenWeb ADSL has pioneered broadband in South Africa. Offering ADSL bandwidth starting at only R19 per month, OpenWeb allows South Africa to connect to the world, at affordable rates.

NETCB hosts tour to Open Horizons Summit 2014

Local networking specialists NETCB has announced that it will once again be hosting a tour to the Open Horizons 2014 Summit. The conference, for IT professionals focusing on Novell, NetIQ, SUSE and Partner solutions, will take place from 7 - 9 April in Budapest, Hungary.

The Open Horizons EMEA Summit 2014 addresses key elements of modern IT-Infrastructure, collaboration solutions and file management, device and endpoint management, and Linux server management.

NETCB CEO Cobus Burgers says the Open Horizons EMEA Summit is a must for any IT professional. "It's an opportunity to meet old friends and new experts on Novell solutions, since there is so much news to share and to discuss.”

“Visitors can get experience the most recent Novell releases and upcoming products like ZMM, Filr or Mobile iPrint. In the Collaboration space, they can also look forward to interesting roadmap conversations like the expected GroupWise 2014 release."

Along with the two keynote sessions, delegates can choose to attend 5 of more than 30 half-day hands-on practical hot-labs, delivered by a panel of technology experts from the Open Horizons community.

"There are some key market drivers in 2014 and beyond, which are very important to our customers and partners, that will be showcased. Starting with the mobility trend, the associated opportunities and risks, over the explosion of unstructured data and the critical need for a Data Governance strategy, to the new challenges in Application- and Device Lifecycle Management being driven by the new mobile diversity," he explains.

In this context, some keynotes will focus on the Novell approach to make existing infrastructures more agile and more mobile. In other words, how to leverage current investments and how to smoothly adapt them to needs and realities of today.

This conference is ideally for system administrators and engineers that want to gain a deeper technical knowledge and insight around these technologies, CIOs, IT directors and IT managers who want to have a better understanding on how these technologies can benefit their organisations in terms of performance and costs.

Furthermore, it is ideal for organisations and individuals that have no knowledge of these platforms and solutions and want to understand how the new technologies can benefit and improve performance and reduce costs within their current environments.

NETCB will be hosting affordable tours, departing from Kenya, South Africa and Tanzania. Seats are limited and registrations will close on 28 February 2014.

"The surroundings for the conference are second to none, a luxurious 4-star venue in the stunning city of Budapest on the banks of the river Danube. A destination with excellent travel connections," he concludes.


The National Lotteries’ Board (NLB) has distributed more than R 18 billion to good causes over the 15 years of its existence. This was announced by the Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies. Minister Davies was speaking in Cape Town, at the official launch of all the National Lotteries Board (NLB) Funded Projects in the Western Cape Province. He added that since April 2013, more R253 million has been allocated to projects in the Western Cape Province.

The theme of the launch was “turning the impossible into possible through NLB funding” and thus contributing to the National Development Plan priorities of poverty alleviation and job creation. The main aim of the launch was to further entrench the NLB’s commitment to work closely with all stakeholders including prospective and current beneficiaries.

Minister Davies stated that the Lotteries Amendment Bill that President Zuma signed into Law last year December will go a long way in addressing amongst others the challenges that have been facing the Distributing Agencies (DAs’). These challenges include accountability, conflict of interest, and lack of quorums in the distribution agencies which affects the efficiency of the distribution agencies.

“To address this we will appoint fulltime distribution agencies, part-time distribution agencies we discovered do not work. People will be appointed base on skills and expertise in the different categories. This will further ensure that conflict of interest is eliminated as members will now have to renounce their interests in organisations that will potentially apply for lottery funding,” indicated Minister Davies.

Minister Davies highlighted that the Lotteries Amendment Act will promote the objectives of the developmental state and the integrity of the DA’s.

“With this Act, we want to continue to provide lotteries funds on criteria which meet important developmental national objectives which support charities that do good work amongst low income people. We want to continue to ensure that is the case and that the credibility and integrity of the Distributing Agencies are in place,” he emphasised.

As the Catalyst for Social Upliftment, the National Lotteries’ Board (NLB) has identified the need to profile and communicate the successes of all NLB funded projects in the Western Cape to the broader South African community, particularly stakeholders such as potential beneficiaries, NGOs and social development organisations.

Minister Davies also handed over signed grant agreements and symbolic cheques to the value of R 32 million, to recently adjudicated beneficiaries.

 Minister Davies and Deputy Minister Fransman with lotteries beneficiaries

Wednesday, February 12, 2014


President has assented to the Intellectual Property Laws Amendment Act, 28 of 2013.
The Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies says the Act will protect Indigenous Knowledge (IK) using the current Intellectual Property System (IPS) which includes Copyright and related rights, Trade Mark, Designs and Geographical Indicators.

Minister Davies says the objectives of the Act are to bring Indigenous Knowledge (IK) holders into the mainstream of the economy and to improve the livelihoods of the communities.

“The Act is providing a legal framework for protection of the rights of IKs Holders and empowers communities to commercialise and trade on IKs to benefit the national economy. The intention of this intervention by government is amongst others to protect IK using the IP System,  was triggered by the fact that knowledge derived from working with the communities was protected using IP system without compensating and acknowledging the originators/knowledge holders,” he said.

Minister Davies added that key interventions contained in the Act include amongst others to prohibit registration of Indigenous Knowledge without consent or that is offensive to a particular public. 

‘The Act provides that Business enterprises such as community trusts and cooperatives be formed and need to manage and protect Indigenous Knowledge of Communities. Collecting societies that are not regulated should be regulated beyond the issue of ‘needle’ time royalty. It also caters for compensation for use, by providing for the negotiation of a benefit sharing agreement regime on Intellectual Property  in order to fairly compensate and/or recognise the Indigenous Knowledge owner,’ stated Minister Davies.

According to him, Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) will in line with the Act accredit certain institutions which have the necessary capacity, to adjudicate any dispute arising from the application of the Act.

“These interventions will be introduced in all domains of Intellectual Property and that the findings of Alternative Dispute Resolutions can be made an order of court upon application. The High Courts will still have inherent jurisdiction to entertain any dispute pertaining to Indigenous Knowledge and Intellectual Property,” stated Minister Davies.


South Africa's Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies says the positive impact and success of the Buy Local Campaign is dependent on the private sector and consumers throwing their weight behind the initiative aimed at adding impetus to the country’s economy’s growth. Minister Davies was speaking at the 3rd Buy Local Summit and Expo that is hosted by Proudly South African at the Emperors Place in Ekurhuleni today.

“In line with the theme of the Summit, which is “Buy Local – Make it Your Business”, it is incumbent upon the business sector and consumers to join the government and commit themselves to supporting our localisation efforts by making it their business to promote and buy locally-produced goods. If all of us can take decision to buy locally-manufacture products, we can create a more positive future for our country in terms of employment opportunities,” said Minister Davies.

He added that government was committed to ensuring that public entities took steps to ensure that there was a progressive and incremental movement towards fulfilling the aspirational target of 75% local content in procurement, which was agreed upon by all stakeholders in the formulation of the Localisation Procurement Accord.
Minister Davies stated local procurement was one of the tools that government was putting in place to promote and strengthen industrialisation. Others include amendments to the Preferential Procurement Policy Framework Act and designation of locally-manufactured goods for procurement by government.

“We cannot expect to grow, develop and increase employment as a country if we simply continue to be located in a world economy as producers and exporters of primary products and importers of finished goods.  Part of efforts to bring transformation in our economy such that it could create sustainable, decent work and address poverty and equality, which are our major challenges, required that we bring a structural change. That is the reason why industrialisation has become the imperative of our government, “ said Davies.

Speaking at the same event, the Minister of Public Enterprise, Malusi Gigaba said Eskom has set itself a target of spending over R24-billion a year to businesses owned by black youth by 2017.

He stated that it is critical to use state owned companies to open up opportunities for emerging black miners.

“Eskom has negotiated an export capacity allocation at Richards Bay which will be used to provide emerging miners with access to global markets. We have also established a task team involving Transnet and the Chamber of mines to determine how the expansion of the Richards Bay coal terminal can be leveraged to enable access to more capacity for emerging miners,” added Minister Gigaba.

Minister Davies cutting the ribbon to open the Buy Local Summit

AfrAsia Bank launches a pioneering rewards program, ‘XtraMiles’

A first in Africa: AfrAsia Bank launches a pioneering rewards program, ‘XtraMiles’, offering a world of possibilities to its MasterCard cardholders

XtraMiles is a new currency that clients can collect not only on everyday spending, but also on bank deposits and investments held with the Bank

PORT-LOUIS, Mauritius, February 10, 2014 -- AfrAsia Bank introduces Africa’s first rewards program offering real time booking on over 450 airlines and at 200,000 hotels to its World and Titanium MasterCard cardholders. In collaboration with Infinia Services & Solutions and MasterCard, this rewards program enables cardholders to earn XtraMiles whenever they swipe their World or Titanium MasterCard credit cards. This innovative product underpins further the bank’s unremitting commitment to creating value for its niche market and differentiating itself through unique products with priceless privileges.

 (From left to right)- Didier Perrier – Manager at Scomat, Marie Agnes Legoff – Procurement Manager at MSM, Christophe Quevauvilliers – Finance Manager at UBP and Suneeta Motala, Head of Marketing and Public Relations at AfrAsia Bank)

XtraMiles is a new currency that clients can collect not only on everyday spending, but also on bank deposits and investments held with the Bank. With a secure, convenient and reliable live platform, customers can complete an entire transaction with just a few clicks of the mouse, searching for fares, choosing a trip itinerary, booking a flight or hotel, and pay using their XtraMiles. Besides a complete accrual engine attached with Customer Relationship Management and communication capabilities, there is no manual processing of rewards as the platform will be accessed by clients for automatic redemption.

Cardholders have access to an extensive range of benefits including exclusive lifestyle experiences, local rewards and online merchandise among others.

“At AfrAsia Bank, we believe that it is important to anticipate our customers’ needs and wants, and tailor the most rewarding experiences for them. We are thrilled to be the first bank not only in Mauritius but in the African territory to introduce this revolutionary rewards program and living up to the strides we have taken to become our clients’ financial partner of choice. The collaboration with MasterCard and Infinia to introduce the XtraMiles rewards program cements our position as the best private bank in Mauritius, which is also in line with our strategy to serve our valued clients locally and globally,” says James Benoit, CEO of AfrAsia Bank.

“MasterCard and AfrAsia Bank have collaborated for more than six years to bring customers innovative products that complement their local and international lifestyles,” commented Daniel Monehin, Division President, sub-Saharan Africa, MasterCard. “We are thrilled that the bank has selected two premium MasterCard payment cards to introduce the first air miles rewards program in Mauritius.”

Prashant Khattar, Managing Director of Infinia Services and Solutions said, "At Infinia we put our customer's customer at the forefront of our platform, offering them not only a wide range of products and services to choose from, but also a knowledge base to document behavioural spending."

On a concluding note, General Manager and Executive Director AfrAsia Private Banking Thierry Vallet pointed out that as a financial service’s market leader in Mauritius, AfrAsia Bank tailors innovative banking solutions for customers, and partners with like-minded organizations. He pointed out that partnerships with MasterCard and Infinia, two organizations able to share global insight and experience, allows the bank to meet the demands of its affluent customers.

CONCO realises the power of AccTech VRM

CONCO, a subsidiary of JSE-listed Consolidated Infrastructure Group (CIG), has streamlined its business processes by implementing AccTech Vendor Relationship Management (VRM). Sage partner and business solutions provider, AccTech Systems, deployed the solution.

CONCO provides high-voltage electrical substations and the accompanying overhead high-voltage cabling that form part of the national power distribution network. It is also moving into the development and provision of alternative power sources.

AccTech VRM helps organisations streamline the entire vendor selection, maintenance and rotation process. User-friendly software allows procurement departments to capture business critical vendor information, ensuring uninterrupted service delivery and compliance with BBBEE targets.

CONCO creditors manager Christine Bester points to typical problems they were encountering prior to implementing AccTech VRM. “Managing our vendors, capturing and validating their details and supporting documents, was time consuming. We had no central location for data and documentation, managing and uploading or even maintaining the BBEEE certificates and status was nearly impossible.”

The collection and management of vendor data is a time consuming and costly business activity. However, the BEE rebates are significant and it justifies the time and effort allocated to managing vendors. AccTech VRM simplifies the vendor master data collection and capturing procedure, companies can now compile complex vendor reports that assist with BEE rebate calculations.

Bester says vendor selection and vendor rotation is fraught with inefficiencies and in some cases even corruption. “Proactive management of any organisation's BBBEE score requires the strict management of vendor expenditure.”

AccTech CRM Business Unit Manager David Cosgrave says AccTech VRM provides a customisable electronic questionnaire that can be emailed to all vendors. “The completed questionnaires can be imported into the VRM system providing a complete vendor overview at the click of a button. Alerts can also be set for documents such as Vendor Tax Clearance Certificates warning customers of imminent expiry dates.”

AccTech VRM customisable reports allow users to compile company or department specific reports in a matter of minutes, detailing virtually any business aspect. All reports are exportable in HTML; XLS or CSV format for a quick and easy data analysis.

“Vendor data becomes extremely valuable once customers start to apply AccTech VRM’s advanced reporting capabilities. The powerful features and integration with our current financial system makes AccTech VRM the perfect choice for fast, accurate managerial reporting and analysis,” concludes Bester.

The Rockefeller Foundation and Tony Elumelu Foundation announce Africa winners of the Impact Economy Innovations Fund

The winners were selected from a highly competitive pool of hundreds of applicants from across Africa

NAIROBI, Kenya, February 11, 2014/ -- The Rockefeller Foundation and the Tony Elumelu Foundation have announced the winners of the Africa Impact Economy Innovations Fund (IEIF).

Launched in April 2013 at the Africa Impact Investing Forum supported by the Rockefeller Foundation and the Tony Elumelu Foundation, IEIF provides grant capital for entrepreneurs with projects that create jobs in underserved sectors, and supports proposals geared toward enabling capital solutions, fostering entrepreneurial ecosystems and promoting impact investing industry infrastructure.

Funded by the Rockefeller Foundation and the Tony Elumelu Foundation, the winners were selected from a highly competitive pool of hundreds of applicants from across Africa, and represented several sectors across the continent including Finance, Agriculture, Policy & Research and Information Technology.

Administered by the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN), the rigorous selection process was undertaken by a committee which included Malik Fal, Managing Director of Omidyar Network Africa; Emmanuel N. Nnorom who was at the time, CEO of UBA Africa and currently the President of Heirs Holdings Group; Amit Bouri, Managing Director of the Global Impact Investing Network; Eme Essien Lore, Senior Associate Director at the Rockefeller Foundation Africa Regional Office,; and Dr. Wiebe Boer, CEO of the Tony Elumelu Foundation.

Making the list of winning applications were Investisseurs & Partenaires (Senegal), Renew LLC (Ethiopia), M.Lab Africa (Kenya), Policy and  Economic Research Council (Tanzania), Doreo Partners (Nigeria),  GIMPA Centre for Impact Investing (Ghana)  and SliceBiz  (Ghana).

The vision for the winners is to enable through their various projects, opportunities for additional entrepreneurship activities across Africa to thrive. “The winners were selected for their work in bridging the gap between African businesses and financing options. We, at the Foundation are excited to be part of the process of supporting interventions that contribute to sustained economic development across the continent.” Dr. Wiebe Boer, explained

Upon receipt of the grant, several winners expressed renewed commitment to providing support services to their stakeholders with the additional supporting resources at their disposal.

"The IEIF grant will assist us to augment our portfolio of services with improved interventions for social enterprises and enable us increase the potential for success for start-ups that go through our incubation program." said John Kieti of M.Lab, the grant winner from Kenya.

"Thanks to this funding, we can now focus on our core mission of creating alternative finance pathways for the next generation of African Start-ups through a micro-investment platform. This funding is by far our most remarkable opportunity to date and we intend to fully leverage the advantages to deliver some key outcomes for the Ghanaian and African start-up ecosystem,” added William Senyo the CEO of SliceBiz, one of the winners from Ghana.

Eme Essien Lore, Senior Associate Director at the Rockefeller Foundation, Africa Regional Office expressed enthusiasm for IEIF’s contributions to the global network of global investors.  “The business ideas we received through the IEIF reflect the extensive entrepreneurial potential that exists in Africa.  Our Foundation continues to believe that impact investing can transform the development landscape across the continent and we welcome opportunities such as the IEIF to prove that.”

The Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) will play an administrative role to manage the IEIF on behalf of the Tony Elumelu Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation.  


The Deputy Minister in the Presidency Mr Obed Bapela has urged the community of Alexandra to grab the job opportunities that currently exist in the country and refrain from seeing some of these jobs as low-level jobs. Bapela said many jobs exist in the country. However, many people fail to realise that these opportunities exist because they look down on them.

He was speaking at a co-operatives workshop hosted by the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) in Alexandra on Monday, 10 February 2014. Aspiring entrepreneurs and the youth were workshopped about forming co-operatives in order to access funding from government and its agencies.

“There are a lot of dumping sites in Alexandra, and if the youth could see such opportunities, organise themselves into co-operatives and clean up these sites or even recycle the material found there, such projects would assist them to create jobs for themselves and also participate in the local economy,” said Bapela.

He advised the community to copy the strategies utilised by foreign nationals to establish and run businesses and compete with them instead of fighting them.

The chairperson of the Trade and Industry Portfolio Committee Mrs Joanmariae Fubbs said co-operatives provide a tool to creating jobs for oneself, others and vehicle for growing the economy. She encouraged the community to think out of the box, stop asking for government to provide jobs and start creating their own jobs.

“If you are united in number you have the power. Co-operatives are successful because they bring together different skills and contributions and promote corporate ownership,” she added.

According to Fubbs, the Co-operatives Act which was recently signed into law provides for a lot of opportunities for support and funding for co-operatives.

The community was given an opportunity to interact with officials from the dti’s   incentive administration division, the Youth and Co-operatives Directorates, Small Enterprise Development Agency (seda), Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) and the National Empowerment Fund (NEF).

Ms Linda Chauke, an entrepreneur who owns a Mayonnaise manufacturing company said she was excited about the information she received at the workshop. She said she had been struggling to get funding to improve her business and buy new equipment.

“I am happy to have received this information. I am now considering converting to a co-operative and give ownership to other people I work with so we can be able to access these wonderful opportunities from government,” she added.