First VMK store opens in Abidjan

ABIDJAN, Côte d’Ivoire, February 19, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — VMK (http://www.vmktech.com), a company founded by Vérone Mankou, the Congolese entrepreneur behind the first tablet made in Africa, announced the opening of its first VMK store in Abidjan on 19 February 2015. Located in the Treichville commune at Zone 3 C, Immeuble Rive Gauche, this point of sale – which will exclusively sell products from the VMK range – marks the beginning of the Congolese company’s expansion beyond its borders. The Abidjan VMK store, which will ultimately employ around 10 people, will be an addition to VMK’s first-ever store in Brazzaville, which was opened in partnership with the South African operator, MTN.

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Photo: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/index.php?level=picture&id=1768

VMK plans to expand its store locations to five countries in the region by the end of the year. A second store is scheduled to open in the Ivory Coast economic capital, before the opening of three other VMK stores in Kinshasa, Douala and Dakar before the end of 2015. “My underlying ambition is to bridge the digital gap in Africa. These VMK stores are being set up to make new technologies accessible to as many people as possible,” explains Vérone Mankou. “We will offer a top-of-the-range selection of products, aimed at the general public.”

The VMK range, which also includes two smartphone models available from FCFA 11,900 and FCFA 19,900 (EUR 18 and EUR 30 respectively) has recently been enhanced by the addition of a premium model, the Elikia L. This outstanding handset, offered at FCFA 64,900 (EUR 99), comes equipped with a larger screen than its predecessor. Not only that, but VMK is getting ready to launch its second tablet in March. It will be available for less than FCFA 140,000 (EUR 210). “The opening of a store in Abidjan is an essential step in the extension of our Pan-African vision. It is here, at the crossroads of West Africa, that VMK has decided to embark upon conquering the new class of African consumers,” adds Vérone Mankou.

Produced in China until now, VMK devices will shortly be assembled in the soon-to-be factory in the Republic of Congo. This production unit, which is in the process of being built in the Mpila neighbourhood of Brazzaville, has required an investment of nearly two million dollars and will be used exclusively for the VMK range of products. VMK’s Chinese partner company has started training the locals who will be employed at the factory – more than 90 people in total. VMK plans to produce 350,000 units per month.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of VMK.

Media contact

Franck EDI

E-mail: abj@vmkteam.com

Telephone: +225 21 35 83 77 or +225 78 18 78 76

www.vmktech.com

About VMK

Founded in Brazzaville in 2010 by Vérone Mankou, the VMK company (http://www.vmktech.com) (Vou Mou Ka, meaning “wake up” in Kikongo) is behind the Way-C, the first tablet made in Africa. Since then, VMK has developed several smartphone models, whose special ergonomy and price are aimed at the African markets. VMK employs around 50 staff.

Source:: First VMK store opens in Abidjan

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Innovative training to increase employability – UfM project kicks off in Tunisia

BARCELONA, Spain, February 19, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The New Chance Mediterranean Network (MedNC) programme aims at improving the employability of young people who dropped out of school before obtaining a degree and unemployed graduates from Southern Mediterranean countries.

The ISCAE National Institute (Institut Supérieur de Comptabilité et d’Administration des Entreprises), an organisation under the University of Manouba (Tunisia), recently opened its doors to the first cohort of students in the New Chance Mediterranean Network (MedNC) programme. 22 students are enrolled in the programme, 19 of which are women.

The students participating in the ISCAE New Chance programme — mainly young ISCAE graduates currently in search of employment — will be involved over the next five to six months in several activities which will facilitate their access to the labour market by addressing the gap between job opportunities and skills. The programme includes training in soft skills, namely languages and information technology (IT), and in trade competences such as accounting, management, human resources, coaching and initial working experience in partner companies. Specific sessions will also be devoted to job search techniques, job interviews, conflict management, etc.

This pilot initiative has mobilised 15 volunteer teachers who will accompany the students throughout the programme with personalised follow-up. If the programme is successful, it could be quickly expanded to Tunisia’s other 11 public universities and higher institutes of technological studies.

The ISCAE New Chance programme is promoted by the Office of Economic Cooperation for the Mediterranean and the Middle East (OCEMO) in partnership with Marseille’s Second Chance School (E2C) and the French Agency of Development (AFD). It is supported by Association Nouvelle Chance Tunisie and the Tunisian Ministry of Higher Education and framed under the MedNC project, which was labelled by the 43 UfM member states in December 2014.

The New Chance Mediterranean Network (MedNC) programme is in line with the objectives and criteria set by the Mediterranean Initiative for Jobs (Med4Jobs) and responds to the UfM’s strategic goal of improving the quality of vocational training and higher education in the region. It is an accredited project promoting the social and professional integration of young people currently excluded from the labour market, namely students who dropped out of school and unemployed graduates, with a particular focus on women (60%). This programme is based on an innovative training model inspired by the Second Chance Schools (E2C) teaching model and seeks to develop a network of New Chance-accredited schools for social and professional integration of young people, specifically adapted to the context and needs of three Southern Mediterranean countries involved in the project (Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria).

Source:: Innovative training to increase employability – UfM project kicks off in Tunisia

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Sogato CEO Kingsley Chiedu Moghalu Appointed Professor at Tufts University’s Fletcher School

WASHINGTON, February 19, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Kingsley Chiedu Moghalu, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Sogato Strategies LLC (http://www.sogatostrategies.com) and former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, has been appointed a professor at Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy in Boston, Massachusetts.

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Photo Kingsley Chiedu Moghalu: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/index.php?level=picture&id=1765

Dr. Moghalu will be the Professor of Practice in International Business and Public Policy effective July 1, 2015. He will teach a course on Emerging Africa in the World Economy in The Fletcher School’s Master of International Business (MIB) graduate degree program and the Institute for Business in the Global Context, focusing on the interplay between globalization, business and government.

“I am honored by this appointment by The Fletcher School, one of the world’s leading schools of international affairs, of which I also happen to be a proud alumnus” Moghalu said. “It demonstrates a recognition of the growing importance of Africa’s emerging markets in the global economy, and will perfectly compliment my work at Sogato Strategies, a global strategy and risk advisory firm with a focus on emerging markets”. Sogato Strategies www.sogatostrategies.com has offices in the United States, Switzerland and Nigeria, and provides bespoke advisory services to business corporations and government entities on investment climate, risk and strategy, corporate governance, institutional strategy and transformation, global partnerships, and strategic communications.

Kingsley Moghalu served as Deputy Governor of Nigeria’s central bank for a five-year term that he completed in November 2014. He led the implementation of far-reaching reforms to Nigeria’s banking sector as Deputy Governor for Financial Stability, and is the author of four books including the acclaimed Emerging Africa: How the Global Economy’s ‘Last Frontier’ Can Prosper and Matter (Penguin Books, 2014) and a forthcoming book on global banking reform.

Dr. Moghalu obtained his Ph.D. at the London School of Economics, an M.A. from The Fletcher School at Tufts University, the LL.B. degree from the University

of Nigeria, Nsukka, and the International Certificate in Risk Management at the UK Institute of Risk Management in London. Prior to his service at the Central Bank of Nigeria, he worked for the United Nations for 17 years and subsequently founded Sogato Strategies S.A. in Geneva, Switzerland in 2009.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Sogato Strategies LLC.

Media contact:

Corporate Communications Service

Sogato Strategies LLC

T: +1 202 368 9905

info@sogatostrategies.com

Source:: Sogato CEO Kingsley Chiedu Moghalu Appointed Professor at Tufts University’s Fletcher School

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Africa: Launch of Solar Power Facility in Rwanda

WASHINGTON, February 19, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Press Statement

John Kerry

Secretary of State

Washington, DC

February 18, 2015

I welcome the completion and launch of an 8.5 MW solar installation in Rwanda by Gigawatt Global. This is the first utility-scale solar project to come online under the U.S.-Africa Clean Energy Finance (ACEF) program, which is now an integral part of Power Africa. The project expands electricity generation capacity by more than 6 percent in a country where more than 80 percent of the people live without access to electricity, and is providing enough grid-connected power to supply 15,000 homes.

With continually decreasing costs, minimal maintenance, and no fuel costs, renewable energy makes more sense now than ever before, especially in remote settings.

Projects like Gigawatt Global’s, realized with the support of the U.S. Department of State, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), and the U.S. Trade and Development Agency through ACEF, underscore that the best path to energy access and economic development is also the sustainable path of clean energy.

Source:: Africa: Launch of Solar Power Facility in Rwanda

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The Gambia National Day

WASHINGTON, February 19, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Press Statement

John Kerry

Secretary of State

Washington, DC

February 18, 2015

On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I congratulate the people of The Gambia as you celebrate 50 years of independence on February 18.

The United States wishes you a festive Golden Jubilee and a prosperous year.

Source:: The Gambia National Day

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Employee engagement crucial for business success – DHL

CAPE-TOWN, South-Africa, February 19, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Employee engagement has emerged as a critical driver of business success in today’s competitive marketplace, with various studies showing the positive impact of employee engagement on company performance. Research by Gallup, the American research-based, global performance-management consulting company, describes engaged employees as being psychologically committed to a job, and likely to be making positive contributions to an organisation.

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Photo: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/index.php?level=picture&id=1767 (Lebo Tseladimitlwa, Vice President of Human Resources at DHL Express Sub Saharan Africa)

This is further supported by Lebo Tseladimitlwa, Vice President of Human Resources at DHL Express Sub Saharan Africa (http://www.dpdhl.com), who says that effective employee engagement policies and management can drive innovation, productivity and bottom-line performance, and should be utilised to counter adverse market conditions.

DHL was recently awarded the Overseas Project of the Year award at the UK Employee Engagement awards which recognizes businesses outside of the UK that strive to do things differently and put their workforce at the heart of its operation . Tseladimitlwa explains that having motivated employees as a key focus pillar of the DHL Express global strategy has contributed to the recognition.

Tseladimitlwa says: “Understanding the need to drive a common culture across 220 countries, we launched a Certified International Specialists learning and development program for all 3,500 staff in Africa. Everyone from the Global CEO to a Courier in any country has gone through this training program reinforcing our core competencies as an organization. We also run a number of internal initiatives such as Employee Appreciation Weeks, Employee of the Quarter and Employee of the Year awards as well a yearly Employee Opinion Survey which is managed by a third party in the spirit of anonymity, and employees are asked to give feedback on all areas which impact their satisfaction and engagement levels. We have a task team who analyze the feedback and take the relevant corrective action to ensure that we make significant progress each year. In 2009, our employee engagement score was 57% and for 2014, we achieved 80%. It’s true that what gets measured gets done.”

“We also have an internal development program called Made In Africa, that produces a sustainable and dynamic list of future leaders that can succeed Africa Management Board positions, Country Management positions and senior functional roles. The program reduces the historical dependency on expatriate imports, and improves skills of the talent pool.”

DHL was also recently named Top Employer 2015 in Africa by the Top Employers Institute, recognizing the importance the company places on employee engagement and development. This is in addition to six African countries – South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia and Ghana that were also certified Top Employers in their local markets.

“Employees should be encouraged to grow – both personally and professionally, and should be continuously motivated to broaden their horizons and fulfill their potential via a wide and varied range of learning and development opportunities. These should be defined by the business and evaluated at regular intervals. Employee engagement should also be weaved into the performance criteria expected of managers, as this tends to present the most benefits.”

“We believe that there is a huge caliber of talent available on the continent and it is critical to continually develop employees’ talent and engagement levels. If developed and managed correctly, these engagement levels can result in employees offering exceptional service to clients,” concludes Tseladimitlwa.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Deutsche Post DHL.

Media Contact:

Megan Collinicos. Head: Advertising & Public Relations, Sub-Saharan Africa

DHL Express

Tel +27 21 409 3613 Mobile +27 76 411 8570

megan.collinicos@dhl.com

DHL – The logistics company for the world

DHL (http://www.dpdhl.com) is the global market leader in the logistics and transportation industry and “The logistics company for the world”. DHL commits its expertise in international express, national and international parcel delivery, air and ocean freight, road and rail transportation as well as contract and e-commerce related solutions along the entire supply chain. A global network composed of more than 220 countries and territories and around 315,000 employees worldwide offers customers superior service quality and local knowledge to satisfy their shipping and supply chain requirements. DHL accepts its social responsibility by supporting environmental protection, disaster management and education.

DHL is part of Deutsche Post DHL. The Group generated revenues of more than 55 billion euros in 2013.

For more information: www.dpdhl.com

Stock images available: http://www.dpdhl.com/en/media_relations/media_library.html

Source:: Employee engagement crucial for business success – DHL

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