30 July, 2014

PwC announces investment to accelerate Africa growth opportunities

JOHANNESBURG, South-Africa, July 30, 2014/ -- PwC has today announced it is increasing its investment in Africa and building closer links between PwC UK and PwC Africa, to meet increased demand for professional services as trade activity between the two regions grows. 

The investment is part of PwC’s ongoing strategy to develop high potential markets, and follows the UK firm’s successful investment in Central and Eastern Europe.

Ian Powell, UK Chairman and Senior Partner, commented:

"This is an exciting development which enhances our ability to serve clients across the fastest growing region in the world. Africa has an abundance of natural resources and seven of the world’s fastest growing economies meaning the opportunities for UK business are significant.”

Suresh Kana, PwC Africa Network Territory Senior Partner, said:

“This is great news for our network. Over the years we have built PwC into the leading network in Africa. We now see huge opportunities to build our capabilities further as we will be able to invest even faster in key industry sectors such as Capital Projects & Infrastructure, Oil & Gas, Government & Public Sector and Financial Services. We have great teams in Africa and this investment will help us build more local capacity, and create teaming and secondment opportunities.”

As part of the investment, Paul Cleal, PwC UK partner and chair of its Africa Business Group, will be seconded to the African Leadership team and based on the continent.

PwC teams from the UK and Africa have a strong track record of working together to support businesses, governments and NGOs in nations such as Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda and Zambia with expertise in fields such as economic development, climate change, education, infrastructure, natural resources, and power and utilities.

The UK is renowned for the strength of its business and professional services sector and this deal is a demonstration of how the nation can play to its strengths on the global stage. This commitment not only benefits our clients and the PwC network, but is also good for the UK and African economies.

Professional and business support services is one of the most successful sectors in the UK economy, contributing 12% of total UK GDP - more than financial services (8.5%) or manufacturing (10%). The sector has grown by nearly 6% a year since Q3 2009 and has been one of the biggest job-creating sectors in the UK economy as well as a major contributor to UK exports.

A 2013 report by BIS – ‘Growth is our business: A Strategy for Professional and Business Services (PBS)’ – recognised the contribution of the professional and business services sector to the UK economy, and highlighted the opportunities in developing markets. Other business services contribute 29% of total services exports and totalled £58.6 billion in 2013, with a trade surplus of £29.3 billion.

25 July, 2014

Nokia Lumia 2520:Why Windows 8.1 Tablet's Are Your Best Pick !

Without doubt Android based Tablets are the majority and most used Tablets in the market but if you are used to your Windows based personal computer(pc) and would like to engage the same functionality on other devices any tablet or phone that runs the Windows 8.1 is your best pick. Locally the Nokia Lumia 2520 may be your best pick .

This is not a review of the tablet as there is already much written on it especially since  its launch in 2013 (please watch the video for specifications and hands on demo)  but rather its my opinion as to why running the Windows 8.1 operating system by Microsoft is a game changer in the mobile devices market.

Most of us  have used windows desktop software for much of our social ,academic and business activities.We find it relatively easy to navigate Microsoft Office tools and platform.It therefore makes much sense that we would prefer having these functionality across our different devices.

It so happens that some of us have customized software  for different functions perhaps its research , business, tracking or other software and we find it a tad bit hard engaging a developer to generate an app that can run on our hand held devices.This is where Windows 8.1 devices become readily convenient.The guys up at Marketing at Nokia/Microsoft should actually take advantage of this and run with it ! but so far as yet their approach is down.!

Surprisingly Microsoft after purchasing the Nokia franchise have not been aggressive enough in pushing /advertising their Windows based Tablets in the emerging markets which is their largest consumers.For example just searching for the availability online of the Nokia Lumia 2520 Windows 8.1 Tablet will reveal just press releases by a number of bloggers and news websites.

Their is hardly any review of the gadgets, scant information as to its availability in Kenya, East Africa or the Sub Saharan Region.All price quotations are in anticipated Dollar price rather than Kshs. A search on Midcom East Africa facebook page reveals that many people want  to know how much the device goes for and where to purchase it but there is hardly  any response, just a deafening silence.That's how a good product gets buried under in all the noise that is tech products!

24 July, 2014

Air Algerie Flight AH5017 Goes Missing Over Northern Mali

An Algerian Airplane Flight AH5017 has gone missing over Mali.This has raised fears of a possible crash  due to the  weather conditions and the volatile conditions in the area due to civil strife and armed conflict in the region.This has come shortly after the Air Malaysia crash in Ukraine raising concerns in the international airline industry as to the safety of passenger airplanes especially in conflict regions.
(see  News Clip below)

While its too early to speculate clearly the safety of international airlines needs to be looked afresh.

In present day age and technology its simply incomprehensible to fathom how a Jumbo Jet can simply disappear hours on end without the slightest trace of where the same may be whereas with simple modern day satellite gps tracking systems one can pinpoint the exact location of a motor vehicle within fraction of a second.Clearly something is amiss!

23 July, 2014

African Media Leaders Team- Launch A Campaign Against Hate Speech !

Johannesburg, 23 July 2014 - The countdown to the 2014 African Media Leaders’ Forum (AMLF) has begun with the launch in Johannesburg today of a campaign against hate speech. The campaign will be carried out online and on a full range of media platforms, and will be the main theme of the 2014 AMLF, which is scheduled to take place from November 12 - 14 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
The theme, ‘Turning the Page on Hate Speech in a Changing Media Environment’, will serve as a call to media leaders and operators in Africa to lend their full support to efforts to turn the tide against the rise of hate speech on the continent. Concerned by the surge of intolerance and hate, the growing level of discrimination and the rise in ethnic and religious fundamentalism, the African Media Initiative (AMI), rallied key partners and stakeholders at a regional workshop held in Rwanda last May to agree on an action plan against hate speech in Africa. AMLF 2014 is a continuation of the commitment of AMI, the parent organization that hosts the annual forum, to ensure that media contributes to a culture of peace and tolerance on the continent.
Speaking during the launch, AMI’s Chief Executive Officer, Eric Chinje, pointed to the role of media leaders “in ensuring that media in Africa rises to the challenge of consolidating democracy and responding to the needs of a continent that aspires to emerge as a global economic player”. Media will play that important role, he said, "if the basic tenets of journalism were recognized and respected by professionals, and balance and fairness in reporting became the norm everywhere." Recognizing the challenges that media in Africa face, he pointed out that AMLF 2014 will offer a set of roadmaps with concrete steps for addressing some of the core challenges faced by media on the continent.
Speaking at the press conference, Jay Naidoo, one of the Co-Chairs of this year’s AMLF, recalled the battles fought and sacrifices endured by many in his and earlier generations of South Africans and underscored the significant role played by international media in the demise of apartheid some two decades ago. He noted that AMLF 2014 will help shed light on an issue that continues to tear apart people, communities and nations and impede the emergence of a prosperous Africa.
Six years after its creation, it will be the first time that Southern Africa plays host to the AMLF. A National Organizing Committee (NOC) was set up and its members were officially presented to the press during the campaign launch: Thebe Ikalafeng, Chair of Brand Africa, Louise Vale, Executive Director of the Association of Independent Publishers, Anton Harber, Professor of Journalism at the University of Wits, Ingrid Louw, CEO of Print and Digital Media South Africa and Mathatha Tsedu, Executive Director of the South African National Editors’ Forum.
Speaking on behalf of the NOC, Mathatha Tsedu said that the time was ripe to address the issue of hate speech, especially in a year when two nations - South Africa and Rwanda were commemorating 20 years since the end of apartheid and the Rwandan genocide, two of the most heinous crimes to have been perpetuated on African soil.
AMI Board member Dele Olojede congratulated the organization’s management team for its choice of this year’s theme and urged the media community to demonstrate its ethical commitment to turning the page on hate speech in Africa.
AMLF is scheduled to take place at the Birchwood Hotel and Conference Centre in Johannesburg.

18 July, 2014

Victoria Kimani's New Photoshoot

Apparently the Kenyan songstress Victoria Kimani of "Toto " fame is trending in Nigeria not for her vocal prowess but her Tribal & Edgy Photo shoot .The photos  can be viewed on the BellaNaija Blog and her Nigerian Audience simply love it.

Is modelling her new fame? that remains to be seen.Was she a one hit wonder? That too remains to be seen.

Netherlands/Dutch Response to Malysian Flight MH17 Crash

An international conflict with complex dynamics may just be looming as the World awaits for Netherlands official response to the downing of a Malaysian commercial Airline Flight MH17  near the Eastern Ukrainian /Russian Border. The plane was heading from Amsterdam en route to Malaysia. At present no one has claimed responsibility but its clear that the downing of the plane was a deliberate effort in a highly volatile region where some pro Russian separatists have been battling the Ukrainian Government.

What compounds the equation is that this was a commercial flight on an ordinary and unrestricted airspace .Further it is presumed ,according to some US Military analysts that both the Ukrainian Military or the Separatists lack the technological might to have downed the plane at  the Altitude of 30,000 feet(10 Kilometers) which is the point at which the plane went down.The begging question on the international arena is was Russian military hardware used? Now that confounds the whole Ukraine/Russia crisis that has dogged the region over the past few Months.Russia claims the Government(Ukrainian) over which the event occurred should bear responsibility.

International Response:

The biggest loss however is the Dutch republic as the passenger list is reported to have comprised of 154 Dutch, 27 Australians, 38 Malaysians - including 15 crew, 11 people from Indonesia, four Germans, four Belgians, three from the Philippines and one Canadian. The Dutch Prime Minister is yet to respond officially but is jetting back  to his Country from a summit in Brussels obviously to consult widely before issuing their official response.As the biggest loser in terms of human lives their response will be quite telling of what angle this event may take in the international arena.

Australian PM Tony Abbott has called for  a binding resolution through the UN security council for a "full and impartial investigation" of the "crime scene and that the perpetrators "be brought to Justice"

US president Obama has employed a cautious approach stating that they will first establish whether American Citizens were aboard the airplane.This may just inform their next move but in the preliminary they are  offering support and investigation support to the Ukrainian Government.

The Vice Presidents Joe Bidden response is as below in this YouTube Video :

As this whole issue develops and morphs and the diplomatic ramifications begin to emerge one cant help but note that World Peace and Security over the last decade has proved to be quite volatile with Global Terrorism, regional Conflicts and violent regime changes taking centerpiece.

Are the ideals of the UN still relevant and has the creation of that body over the past century enhanced World Peace and Security? The events that continue to occur worldwide are a score sheet for that international agency.

17 July, 2014

Orange to improve Internet connectivity in West Africa through launch of first very large-capacity IP Point of Presence

The Abidjan IP PoP will facilitate the expansion of the African IP Market

ABIDJAN, Côte d’Ivoire, July 16, 2014/ -- Orange has opened today West Africa’s first very large-capacity IP Point of Presence (PoP). The operational launch of this facility, which is located in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, is set to enhance Internet connectivity in the sub-region by offering faster connection speeds and improved reliability for wholesale customers. An IP Point of Presence is part of the technical infrastructure equipment necessary to enable local networks to access the Internet through an interconnection point with long-distance carrier networks.

Investing to guarantee congestion-free service and increased reliability
Abidjan also hosts a landing point for the ACE submarine cable, a 17,000km-long cable which runs down the west coast of Africa from Europe. This makes it an ideal location for the IP PoP facility and allows for optimal connectivity with networks across the entire region.

As a fully redundant IP PoP, this new facility opens up the region and allows Orange to offer high quality, secure connections over the wholesale market to West African countries. Over the medium and long term, the Abidjan IP PoP will facilitate the expansion of the African IP Market, which is an area of rapidly growing economic activity that sees Internet traffic rising at a rate of 41% per year (Telegeography 2013).

By connecting to this very large-capacity PoP, wholesale customers, regional operators and Internet Service Providers will benefit from cost-effective connections to a Tier 1 operator. Additionally, the customer experience will be improved due to this connection point which will bring content providers closer to Internet users.

A continued effort to extend connectivity
Orange is a major Internet connectivity enabler and already has a strong position in Africa, where capacity is constantly increasing. Orange’s objective is to adapt to changes in the industry and become the leading operator in the Internet era.

09 July, 2014

Just A Band -Probably For Lovers Video !

The hit maker "Just a Band" have released a NEW VIDEO  on Youtube entitled Probably For Lovers that is set to go viral.The video song has all the hallmarks of a video that will go viral online with a catchy tune and especially appealing societal theme featuring people of various backgrounds miming the catchy lyrics.Once again they have released the video song exclusively online in an apparent move to appeal to their online fan base again.

Just A Band are remembered for the 2009 viral video "Makmende" which had a Global appeal and cast the group into the international limelight.Their latest song has a happy "sing to it appeal "and has been mostly shot by their mobile phones.This may just be their second big hit after an apparent 'visible absence' in the local entertainment scene.The video has been contrived by asking fans to submit their videos for  inclusion into the video .Will the Probably For Lovers Video replicate their earlier success.The Jury and verdict will be online!


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