Standard Chartered launches Africa’s most extensive roll out of mobile and online banking

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Standard Chartered Bank (www.SC.com) is bringing its newest mobile and online banking platform to 1 million clients across 8 African markets, the most extensive digital rollout of its kind in Africa by an international bank. Supported by the Bank’s global-standard technology, clients will enjoy a consistent online experience across laptops, tablets or mobile phones, and the convenience of banking from the location of their choice. After the rollout to Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe in the first half of 2016, the Bank will launch fingerprint recognition technology in these markets later in the year, giving clients a more secure and convenient way to log in to their accounts.

We’re bringing the best in mobile banking to Africa – consumers across the continent are increasingly affluent and tech-savvy and they want convenient access to their bank, wherever they happen to be,” said Karen Fawcett, Standard Chartered’s CEO for Retail Banking. “Africa is important to Standard Chartered and this launch is another demonstration of that.

We are committed to making banking easier, faster and safer for our more than 1 million retail clients across Africa,” commented Jaydeep Gupta, Standard Chartered’s regional head of Retail Banking for Africa and the Middle East. “This multi-country roll-out is in line with our promise to bring world-class products and functionality to Africa, consistent with the trends and progress we are making in our international markets in Asia and the Middle East. By early next year, we expect at least 35% of all client transactions to be done through online channels; significantly advancing the transformation of banking in Africa.

The launch is central to Standard Chartered’s strategy of using digital technology to deliver the future of banking to clients in Africa. The Bank last year announced it will invest $1.5bn in technology globally over three years.

With Africa’s mobile penetration estimated to be around 67%, the launch brings Standard Chartered Mobile, Standard Chartered’s mobile banking application to Botswana, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe for the first time. In Nigeria and Ghana, mobile banking clients will move to the Bank’s standard global platform. Through Standard Chartered Mobile, clients can check balances, transfer money and pay bills securely, all through their smartphones.

Standard Chartered is also upgrading its online banking platform in these eight markets, so clients will benefit from improved navigation and user-friendly interfaces on the Bank’s websites. Clients will soon be able to use a new self-service option for wealth management that lets them set up their investment profiles online and find out which products are most suitable by answering a series of questions on their financial position, investment objectives and risk tolerance.

Overall, clients will enjoy a consistent mobile and online banking experience: usernames and passwords, beneficiaries, standing instructions and bill payees are replicated across both channels. Paying bills is easier too as the revamp comes with an expanded list of utility companies, cable TV and internet providers.

Bringing the future of banking to Africa – This online and mobile banking platform puts Standard Chartered at the forefront of digital banking technology in Africa and the first international bank to extend a brand-new global platform to eight countries in one rollout. In Kenya and Nigeria, the bank also recently launched the Retail Workbench, a tablet-based sales-and-service tool that “brings the bank to clients.” Retail Workbench allows sales staff can open an account for a client in any location and makes banking services like loan approvals and credit card issuance fast, simple and completely paperless. Zimbabwe and Zambia have also launched digital branches, revolutionising traditional branch formats.

Standard Chartered’s retail banking business serves the banking needs of nearly 10 million individual and business clients across more than 30 markets in Asia, Africa and the Middle East, through more than 1,000 branches, 5,000 ATMS and a range of digital and staff-assisted channels. In 2015, Global Finance named Standard Chartered the World’s Best Consumer Digital Bank and Best Regional Consumer Digital Bank for Africa and the Middle East.

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

For further information please contact:
Lauren Callie – External Communications, Africa & Middle East
Mobile: +27 (0)63 404 2978 / [email protected]

Note to Editors:

Standard Chartered
We are a leading international banking group, with around 84,000 employees and a 150-year history in some of the world’s most dynamic markets. We bank the people and companies driving investment, trade and the creation of wealth across Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Our heritage and values are expressed in our brand promise, Here for good.

Standard Chartered PLC (www.SC.com) is listed on the London and Hong Kong Stock Exchanges as well as the Bombay and National Stock Exchanges in India.

For more information please visit SC.com. Explore our insights and comment on our blog, BeyondBorders (bit.ly/27YHD1e). Follow Standard Chartered on Twitter (bit.ly/24giYAP), LinkedIn (bit.ly/1TQEfhA) and Facebook (bit.ly/1TH7ykx).

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Standard Chartered launches Africa’s most extensive roll out of mobile and online banking

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Standard Chartered Bank (www.SC.com) is bringing its newest mobile and online banking platform to 1 million clients across 8 African markets, the most extensive digital rollout of its kind in Africa by an international bank. Supported by the Bank’s global-standard technology, clients will enjoy a consistent online experience across laptops, tablets or mobile phones, and the convenience of banking from the location of their choice. After the rollout to Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe in the first half of 2016, the Bank will launch fingerprint recognition technology in these markets later in the year, giving clients a more secure and convenient way to log in to their accounts.

We’re bringing the best in mobile banking to Africa – consumers across the continent are increasingly affluent and tech-savvy and they want convenient access to their bank, wherever they happen to be,” said Karen Fawcett, Standard Chartered’s CEO for Retail Banking. “Africa is important to Standard Chartered and this launch is another demonstration of that.

We are committed to making banking easier, faster and safer for our more than 1 million retail clients across Africa,” commented Jaydeep Gupta, Standard Chartered’s regional head of Retail Banking for Africa and the Middle East. “This multi-country roll-out is in line with our promise to bring world-class products and functionality to Africa, consistent with the trends and progress we are making in our international markets in Asia and the Middle East. By early next year, we expect at least 35% of all client transactions to be done through online channels; significantly advancing the transformation of banking in Africa.

The launch is central to Standard Chartered’s strategy of using digital technology to deliver the future of banking to clients in Africa. The Bank last year announced it will invest $1.5bn in technology globally over three years.

With Africa’s mobile penetration estimated to be around 67%, the launch brings Standard Chartered Mobile, Standard Chartered’s mobile banking application to Botswana, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe for the first time. In Nigeria and Ghana, mobile banking clients will move to the Bank’s standard global platform. Through Standard Chartered Mobile, clients can check balances, transfer money and pay bills securely, all through their smartphones.

Standard Chartered is also upgrading its online banking platform in these eight markets, so clients will benefit from improved navigation and user-friendly interfaces on the Bank’s websites. Clients will soon be able to use a new self-service option for wealth management that lets them set up their investment profiles online and find out which products are most suitable by answering a series of questions on their financial position, investment objectives and risk tolerance.

Overall, clients will enjoy a consistent mobile and online banking experience: usernames and passwords, beneficiaries, standing instructions and bill payees are replicated across both channels. Paying bills is easier too as the revamp comes with an expanded list of utility companies, cable TV and internet providers.

Bringing the future of banking to Africa – This online and mobile banking platform puts Standard Chartered at the forefront of digital banking technology in Africa and the first international bank to extend a brand-new global platform to eight countries in one rollout. In Kenya and Nigeria, the bank also recently launched the Retail Workbench, a tablet-based sales-and-service tool that “brings the bank to clients.” Retail Workbench allows sales staff can open an account for a client in any location and makes banking services like loan approvals and credit card issuance fast, simple and completely paperless. Zimbabwe and Zambia have also launched digital branches, revolutionising traditional branch formats.

Standard Chartered’s retail banking business serves the banking needs of nearly 10 million individual and business clients across more than 30 markets in Asia, Africa and the Middle East, through more than 1,000 branches, 5,000 ATMS and a range of digital and staff-assisted channels. In 2015, Global Finance named Standard Chartered the World’s Best Consumer Digital Bank and Best Regional Consumer Digital Bank for Africa and the Middle East.

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

For further information please contact:
Lauren Callie – External Communications, Africa & Middle East
Mobile: +27 (0)63 404 2978 / [email protected]

Note to Editors:

Standard Chartered
We are a leading international banking group, with around 84,000 employees and a 150-year history in some of the world’s most dynamic markets. We bank the people and companies driving investment, trade and the creation of wealth across Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Our heritage and values are expressed in our brand promise, Here for good.

Standard Chartered PLC (www.SC.com) is listed on the London and Hong Kong Stock Exchanges as well as the Bombay and National Stock Exchanges in India.

For more information please visit SC.com. Explore our insights and comment on our blog, BeyondBorders (bit.ly/27YHD1e). Follow Standard Chartered on Twitter (bit.ly/24giYAP), LinkedIn (bit.ly/1TQEfhA) and Facebook (bit.ly/1TH7ykx).

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Categories: AFRICA

10 Year Celebration of the African Youth Charter

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Banjul+10, a youth celebration to commemorate the 10 year anniversary of the African Youth Charter (AYC), was officially opened with a statement by the Vice President of the Islamic Republic of The Gambia, HE. Dr. Aja Isatou Njie-Saidy in Banjul, The Gambia on the 24th of May 2016. Other keynote speakers present were: H.E Mr. Alieu Jammeh, the Gambian Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr. Mabingue Ngom, UNFPA Regional Director for West and Central Africa (WCARO), Commissioner for Human Resources, Science and Technology (HRST) at the African Union Commission (AUC), H.E. Dr. Martial De Paul Ikounga and Pan African Youth Union President (PYU), Ms. Francine Muyumba.

Consultations with youth from all over the continent were held for three days prior to the official opening of the event to gather a general overview of the most pressing and fundamental problems young Africans face – from a youth perspective – and ways in which the demographic dividend can be harnessed. Key areas of deliberation were youth participation in governance and decision-making on the continent, health, education and skills development and employment and entrepreneurship for youth economic empowerment. Banjul+10 is essentially is a platform to review progress that has been made, the challenges involved in the implementation of the Charter, and to chart a future course of action.

H.E. Dr. Njie-Saidy in her opening address highlighted the importance of the African Youth Charter and encouraged Member States which have not ratified the Charter to do so urgently. She further stated that the youth cannot be excluded from decision making processes and “should be involved in decision making right from the beginning” because young people are “an asset and not a liability” and the “most critical investment in Africa must be made in women and youth.”

AUC Commissioner, H.E De Paul Ikounga, reminded the auditorium that there are still States which have not ratified the Charter and urged the Gambian Vice President to call on the outstanding Member States to sign and ratify the Charter by December 2016. Representing the UNFPA, Mr. Mabingue Ngom in his address lauded the African Youth Charter as a great legal and political document for youth development in Africa. The Minister of Youth and Sports in the Islamic Republic of The Gambia in his speech stated that it is time African States recognize the inherent potential of young people on the continent and do what is necessary to accelerate the process of youth empowerment and development.

The President of the Pan African Youth Union (PYU), Ms. Francine Muyumba highlighted that the success in fighting against terrorism and youth radicalization relies on the capacity of the African societies to create adequate opportunities that will address the issue of youth unemployment and entrepreneurship. She recalled that the coming African Youth Entrepreneurship Summit in Algeria and the World Entrepreneurship in Kenya will provide a forum for dialogue in order to accelerate the implementation of the Charter. Moving forward, she emphasized the need for more resources to be allocated towards the implementation of African youth development programs. Indeed, dependence on partners is not sustainable. It is in this vein that she urged African leaders to establish an African Youth Development Fund by the year 2017 to fast track African youth socio-economic integration and empowerment.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of African Union Commission (AUC).

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Categories: AFRICA

New Algerian Ambassador to Seychelles accredited 31.05.2016

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The new Algerian Ambassador to Seychelles, H.E. Mr. Mokaddem Bafdal, presented his credentials to President James Michel at State House this morning.

President Michel thanked Algeria for the many years of cooperation and friendship, as well as the extensive support Algeria had given to Seychelles in its development following its independence, particularly in the fields of media and education.

They discussed the possibilities of new cooperation in the fields of environment, training, the Blue Economy, and sports.

Ambassador Bafdal told the national media after the ceremony said that there is particular significance to develop further relations in the field of sport, as the Algerian national football team is in Seychelles this week to play a match with the Seychelles national team on Thursday. He added that more cooperation can be developed between the two football federations.

The Algerian ambassador is based in Antananarivo, Madagascar.

Also present at the meeting were the President’s Diplomatic Adviser, Ambassador Callixte D’Offay and the Director General for Treaties and Consular Affairs in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Transport, Mr. Ralph Agrippine.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Seychelles.

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Categories: AFRICA

Cypriot Ambassador to Seychelles accredited

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The new Cypriot Ambassador to Seychelles, H.E. Mr. Andreas Panayiotou,presented his credentials to President James Michel at State House this morning.

The two countries have strong historical links dating back to the mid-1950s when Archbishop Makarios, who later became the President of Cyprus, was exiled in Seychelles.

President Michel said that Seychelles values greatly its relationship with Cyprus and they agreed that the two countries would continue to support one another in bilateral and multilateral matters.

Ambassador Panayiotou told the national media after the ceremony said that his further talks with the Seychelles government will centre on the development of cooperation in air services, tourism promotion, investment, commerce, trade, the Blue Economy and the environment.

The Cypriot ambassador is based in Muscat, Oman.

Also present at the meeting were the President’s Diplomatic Adviser, Ambassador Callixte d’Offay, the Director General for Treaties and Consular Affairs in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Transport, Mr. Ralph Agrippine and the Honorary Consul for Cyprus to Seychelles, Mrs. Georgia Van Heyste.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Seychelles.

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Categories: AFRICA

IOM Egypt Marks End of Labour Migration, Human Development Component of EU-Funded START Programme

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IOM Egypt is hosting a two-day workshop with its partners on May 30-31 in Ain Sokhna to mark the completion of the Labour Migration and Human Development component of its European Union (EU)-funded START programme in Egypt.

START was designed to address unemployment and underemployment in communities impacted by large numbers of migrants returning from Libya and outward, irregular migration due to lack of training and jobs for young people.

The workshop is providing the programme’s partners and service providers in Egypt with an opportunity to share methodologies, discuss challenges faced, analyse lessons learnt, and highlight best practices identified during START’s four-year lifetime.

Partners and service providers taking part in the workshop included Education for Employment | Egypt, El Mahrousa Center for Socioeconomic Development, Innovety, Microsoft, Nahdet El Mahrousa and the National Employment Pact.

“The workshop has been an excellent opportunity to share experiences and make recommendations for future programming. IOM will produce a short publication summarizing the findings, which will be shared among participating partners,” said START programme manager and IOM Egypt head of office Amr Taha.

Throughout its lifetime, the programme has provided technical, soft skills and entrepreneurship training to 2,782 young people in Fayoum, Qalyoubia, Sharquiya and Menoufeya governorates. It referred 2,347 beneficiaries to job interviews, of whom 24.5 percent were hired.

It organized five employment fairs and established four Information, Counselling and Referral Services offices (ICRS) that now serve as one-stop-shops for job seekers and employers to bolster the employability of young people through skill enhancement, job placement and business start-ups.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of International Office of Migration (IOM).

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Categories: AFRICA

IOM Aids Migrants, Refugees Rescued off Libyan Coast

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IOM Libya is helping some 3,500 migrants and refugees intercepted at sea by the Libyan authorities between 22-28 May in several rescue operations near al-Zawyia and Sabratha. They were subsequently transferred to the Abu Eissa and Al Shuhada detention centres in al-Zawyia.

On Sunday 29 May, IOM distributed 600 hygiene kits and 600 non-food item (NFI) relief kits which included mattresses, pillows and blankets to 200 people in Abu Eissa and 569 people in Al Shuhada. IOM Libya’s psychosocial support team carried out the distributions with local NGO partners.

IOM Libya Chief of Mission Othman Belbeisi said that he was concerned about the rising number of maritime incidents involving migrants and refugees off the Libyan coast.

“In the last couple of years, we have recorded missing and dead migrants, sympathised with the families and issued statements about what should be done to stop these tragedies. But unfortunately all these efforts so far have not decreased the number of migrant deaths at sea,” he said.

He emphasized the need to provide local agencies with the necessary support and reiterated calls for more international coordination to build up the capacity of the Libyan coast guard to carry out rescue operations. More support was also needed in improving onshore transit facilities which host the migrants and provide them with basic care.

The large number of migrants brought in over the last week has put a severe strain on the ability of Libyan agencies to respond. The capacity of the detention centres is severely strained, especially in al-Zawyia, where, one centre with a capacity to host 1,000, is currently hosting 2,000 people.

Local humanitarian organizations are urgently requesting supplies, including hygiene kits, blankets, pillows, clothing, shoes, diapers and baby formula. There is also an urgent need for medical assistance for the detainees.

IOM is currently working to secure more hygiene kits and NFIs for distribution to the migrants in the detention centres as the numbers continue to rise.

For more information, please see DTM Libya’s latest flash report at: https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B_3VYzW3ndOTRVRzaG10amdYbHM&usp=…

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of International Office of Migration (IOM).

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Categories: AFRICA

Oil: Equatorial Guinea’s Minister of Energy to make major announcement during live webcast on Monday, June 6 at 14:25 GMT

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Equatorial Guinea’s Minister of Mines, Industry and Energy (http://MMIE.gob.gq), H.E. the Minister, Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima will make a major announcement during a press conference on Monday, June 6 at 14:25 GMT webcast live from the Africa Oil & Power conference (www.AfricaOilandPower.com) in Cape Town, South Africa.

Journalists will be able to ATTEND LIVE VIA THE INTERNET.

Who: Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, Equatorial Guinea’s Minister of Mines, Industry and Energy (http://MMIE.gob.gq)

When: Monday June 6 at 14:25 GMT (Time converter: http://www.apo.af/kQYV8F)

Language: English

How it works: This service is FREE and only requires a computer connected to the internet.

REGISTER: http://www.APO-opa.com/application.php?L=E&vc=EG

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Ministry of Mines, Industry and Energy Equatorial Guinea.

Technical Contact:
[email protected]
+41 22 534 96 97

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Categories: AFRICA

Orange announces improved Internet connectivity in the Middle East with the launch of a new IP Point of Presence in Amman, Jordan

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Today, Orange (www.Orange.com) has opened a very large-capacity IP Point of Presence (PoP) in the Middle East. The facility, which is located in Amman, Jordan, is operational from today and will enhance Internet connectivity in the 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 operators to access the Internet through an interconnection point with long-distance networks.

Orange is the first operator capable of offering reliable, high quality, secure connections for the wholesale market in Middle Eastern countries to support the huge rise in IP traffic in this area. This fully redundant IP PoP, is a secure solution that facilitates the development of this region. Orange is now able offer reliable, high-quality connections for Middle Eastern countries.

With its strategic position in the region, following the launch of this IP PoP in Amman Orange is fully able to address the market’s needs. The Group is already able to leverage its strong existing customer base, through Orange Jordan. In the medium and long term, the Amman IP PoP will facilitate the development of the Middle Eastern IP market.

Orange now offers a full range of services to customers wishing to connect to the Amman IP PoP, including, notably, a range of high-end value added services.

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, customer experience will improve due to this Point of Presence which will bring content providers closer to Internet users.

With the opening of this new PoP, Orange has now enhanced its position as a major Internet connectivity enabler in the Middle East, where capacity is constantly increasing.

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

Press contacts: +33 1 44 44 93 93
Tom Wright, [email protected], +33 1 44 44 93 93
Nicole Clarke, [email protected], +44 7811 128 457

About Orange
Orange (www.Orange.com) is one of the world’s leading telecommunications operators with sales of 40 billion euros in 2015 and 155,000 employees worldwide at 31 March 2016, including 96,000 employees in France. Present in 28 countries, the Group has a total customer base of 252 million customers worldwide at 31 March 2016, including 191 million mobile customers and 18 million fixed broadband customers. Orange is also a leading provider of global IT and telecommunication services to multinational companies, under the brand Orange Business Services. In March 2015, the Group presented its new strategic plan “Essentials2020” which places customer experience at the heart of its strategy with the aim of allowing them to benefit fully from the digital universe and the power of its new generation networks.

Orange is listed on Euronext Paris (symbol ORA) and on the New York Stock Exchange (symbol ORAN).
For more information on the internet and on your mobile: www.Orange.com, www.orange-business.com, www.livetv.orange.com or to follow us on Twitter: @orangegrouppr.
Orange and any other Orange product or service names included in this material are trademarks of Orange or Orange Brand Services Limited.

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Categories: AFRICA

Technological innovation will act as a catalyst in boosting productivity and growth in Africa’s agribusiness sector: PwC Agribusiness report

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Agriculture is currently standing on the edge of a second green revolution. This revolution will entail fundamental shifts in how the agricultural sector utilises and implements innovative technology to improve output in a sustainable manner and address the need for greater food security globally. These are some of the highlights of PwC’s latest Africa Agribusinesses Insights Survey 2016 (www.PwC.com). “Currently, there is a second green revolution underway. There is a desperate need for food security and therefore higher agricultural output without compromising resources in the process,” says Frans Weilbach, Agribusiness Industry Leader for PwC Africa.

“Advances in technology and innovation are the key to the future of agriculture as agribusinesses strive to feed an increasing population against a background of climate change, scarcity of water and a host of environmental concerns.

“Innovative technology and advancements in productivity are becoming increasingly important as pressure mounts on food systems,” says Weilbach. “The global population is growing rapidly and the climate is ever-changing.

“Agribusinesses are making changes to go high-tech. From data-gathering drones to artificial intelligence farming, technology is making the agricultural sector more precise and efficient as agribusinesses push for increased profits.”

The agricultural sector is regarded as one of the most critical industries for the African continent due to economic potential and is projected to become a US$1trillion industry in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) by 2030. More than half (58.8%) of survey respondents consider investment in Africa as an opportunity for their businesses to expand. The top four countries they are planning to invest in are Zambia, Botswana, Tanzania and South Africa.

PwC’s Agribusinesses Insights Survey 2016 was carried out among a group of African agribusinesses that are mainly focused on delivering agricultural and related services to primary producers. The survey focuses on the strategic challenges that agribusiness leaders face in their businesses, while on the other hand it highlights areas where technological innovation is already taking place and where it can make a difference in the future. In addition, the survey provides viewpoints on the agricultural sector in Nigeria and Kenya.

Survey respondents, however are less optimistic about revenue growth over the next 12 months compared with their expectations a year ago. The majority of agribusinesses (46.2%) are expecting revenue growth of between 0-5%, and 26.9% of businesses expect it to be between 6-10%.

The biggest challenges to business growth cited by business leaders were access to technology, the scarcity of natural resources and supply-side uncertainties. African agribusinesses also feel that there is a long way to go toward better support from government in the sector. For example, businesses are of the view that government does not offer sufficient tax incentives to ensure international competitiveness. Furthermore, they say government is not doing enough to develop skilled workers in the sector.

Edward Kerich, PwC Director in Kenya, says: “Kenya relies heavily on the agricultural sector as the mainstay of its economy, with agriculture contributing 29% of GDP. Kenya is SSA’s leading tea exporter and one of the world’s largest black tea producers. A significant development in the agricultural sector is growth in the number of privately owned tea factories outside of those owned by the KTDA and the large multinationals in the country. The contribution of the tea industry to the Kenyan economy is expected to continue growing, and the benefits realised will be enhanced as some factories move to cheaper renewable energy such as hydropower production.”

Rasheed Rahji, PwC Partner in Nigeria, says: “Agriculture contributed 24.18% to real GDP in Nigeria in Q4 2015. This is mainly due to mechanised farming and to other activities in the agribusiness value chain. It is being fuelled by the Government owing to its focus on agribusiness as a driver for poverty alleviation, and in part by continued investment by commercial farmers. Given the fall in the international price of crude oil over the past 18 months, the Government has encouraged agricultural exports as an alternative foreign exchange earner. A number of challenges in the agricultural sector remain to be addressed. These include inadequate infrastructure, access to credit, and the training and education of smallholder farmers in modern farming techniques. Adequate focus on these matters would certainly assist in improving Nigeria’s food security, grow its GDP and increase its foreign earnings.”

African agribusinesses also indicated they have maintained focus on risk management, with the majority of survey respondents (95.2%) periodically conducting a formal risk assessment. It is also positive to note that 53.8% of respondents prepare an integrated report.

Human resources (HR) models and processes are beginning to evolve, with more emphasis being placed on technology to improve networks and data. Agribusinesses are looking to their HR teams to provide not only basic services and transactional activities but also strategic insights and workforce intelligence. Businesses indicated internal HR capacity, labour unrest, employee turnover, and communication between employees and management as the most challenging human resources matters.

Although there is widespread consensus on the reality of global climate change, much uncertainty still exists when it comes to the exact measurable impact of changes in climatic conditions on agriculture and food security. The majority of agribusinesses are of the view that climate change will have a significant impact on SSA agriculture in the future – 41.2% indicated that there will be a significant impact in the short term and 35.3% that there will be an impact over the next 20 years. In addition, 35.3% of agribusiness leaders indicated that they are considering investment in renewable energy, while 29.4% have already done so. The main forms of renewable energy that agribusinesses have invested in are solar energy and biogas.

Increased pressure on the profitability of farming and agricultural business activities is forcing the agricultural sector to be an early adopter of new technologies in order that it may improve the productivity and profitability of the sector. Survey respondents noted the availability of real-time data as the biggest opportunity for technological innovation. In addition drones are fast becoming a real green-tech tool. Global research also shows that artificial intelligence (AI) farming will be the main enabling factor in increasing the world’s agricultural production capacity to meet the demands of the growing population. This goes hand in hand with precision farming and other technology trends. The majority of survey respondents (76.5%) agree that AI farming will make a major contribution to increasing capacity in Africa over the next ten years. Only 47% of businesses had already invested or plan to invest in the development of AI farming capabilities for primary production. This could be due to the cost of implementation, which was noted as the biggest restriction to the use of AI farming capabilities (64.7%).

All agribusinesses indicated that they felt a responsibility towards food security. Food quality and safety is the one pillar of food security that respondents indicated they can contribute towards the most followed by availability and affordability. It is also positive to note that all businesses indicated their agribusinesses contribute towards corporate social investment (CSI). The top three areas of investment are: healthcare, education and personal upliftment.

“It is predicted that technological innovation will act as a catalyst in lifting agribusiness to the next level in Africa. The winners will be those agribusinesses that seize the opportunity to create new opportunities through technology – they will be able to reach their strategic goals faster and more efficiently,” concludes Weilbach.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC).

Media Contacts:
Frans Weilbach: Agribusiness Industry Leader for PwC Africa
Office: +27 21 815 3204
Email: [email protected]
OR
Bafiihlile Mokoena: Account Executive, Edelman South Africa
Office: + 27 11 504 4000/Mobile: + 27 (0) 73 753 1025
Email: [email protected]
OR
Sanchia Temkin: Head of Media Relations, PwC South Africa
Office: + 27 11 797 4470
Email: [email protected]

At PwC (www.PwC.com), our purpose is to build trust in society and solve important problems. We’re a network of firms in 157 countries with more than 208,000 people who are committed to delivering quality in assurance, advisory and tax services. Find out more and tell us what matters to you by visiting us at www.PwC.com.

PwC has a presence in 36 Africa countries with an office footprint covering 66 offices. With a single Africa leadership team and more than 400 partners and 9000 professionals across Africa, we serve some of the continent’s largest businesses across all industries.

PwC refers to the PwC network and/or one or more of its member firms, each of which is a separate legal entity. Please see www.pwc.com/structure for further details.

©2016 PwC. All rights reserved

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Source:: Technological innovation will act as a catalyst in boosting productivity and growth in Africa’s agribusiness sector: PwC Agribusiness report

Categories: AFRICA

BON Cloud Debuts License-Free Content for African Broadcasters Seeking China-related Stories

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Following the launch of the BON Cloud media platform in August 2014 (http://www.Bon-Cloud.com), and an expansion with cooperating media partners through South and Southeast Asia, BON Cloud now reaches Africa for the first time.

As a part of the launch, BON Cloud publishes a new video series about international lives connected with China. We discover a South African man who has taken to life in China. As a senior golf professional, he manages one of the most exclusive Golf Clubs in southern China, in Shenzhen, a sprawling metropolis, with fascinating insights into everything golf in China.

Next, we experience a unique window into life in China, Chinese Buddhist temple philosophy. The story vividly captures the philosophical connection between Chinese Zen Buddhism and an equivalent practise in Western world, captured through the eyes of a German court judge who explains the story.

Built as a one-stop-shop international media solution for producers, publishers and broadcasters alike, BON Cloud, specialize in creating and distributing China-focused short video content and footage.

Now fully established, BON Cloud boasts an active database of more than 6,000 international media professionals downloading, re-editing and re-purposing BON Cloud created assets every day, resulting in the production, to date, of more than 4,200 short videos.

“The purpose of BON Cloud is to provide access to fresh, professional China-related content to content acquisition professionals, editors, and producers, across Africa’s 54 nations, and license – free”, explained Ash Bowkett, VP, International Business Development at BON Cloud, “Across Africa, audiences and industry alike are showing increasing interest in China, whether as a strategic development partner, for international trading purposes, or as a holiday destination. We are strongly positioned as the only non-news China-content provider source for Africa.”

While the Associated Press and Bloomberg already source culture and business content and footage from BON Cloud, hundreds of television broadcast stations and websites around the world also access the Platform when they require a China story.

BON Cloud is currently being used by traditional and digital broadcasters to:

  • Locate broadcast-ready video content
  • Obtain media packages for reproduction, including video, audio, scripts and footage
  • Add extra multicultural segment value to the broadcast output
  • Directly utilize the mainland China-based production services offered by the Platform ecosystem

BON Cloud content is story-focused, diverse, high-quality and current, preferring to offer stories about China, instead of advertising or promotions. The international team driving BON Cloud is at the disposal of media organisations across Africa, ready to support the online delivery of fresh, compelling video stories whenever the broadcast need arises.

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

For further information about BON Cloud content, visit http://www.Bon-Cloud.com, or contact Liu Liangling at [email protected] for a speedy response.

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Source:: BON Cloud Debuts License-Free Content for African Broadcasters Seeking China-related Stories

Categories: AFRICA

Dispatch of a Self-Defense Forces member to the Peace Support Training Center, Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia

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1. The Government of Japan decided, in response to a request from the Peace Support Training Center, Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (FDRE-PSTC), to dispatch a member of the Japan Self-Defense Forces (Lieutenant Colonel Norihisa Urakami) for the period from May 31 until June 17 as international consultant for a conflict prevention course to be implemented by the Center.

2. Based on the recognition that peace is a prerequisite for development, the Government of Japan has been providing assistance to peacekeeping operations (PKO) training centers in Africa, with a view to enhancing peacekeeping capabilities of African countries and maintaining the stability of the region. The dispatch of this JSDF member is part of Japan’s support for the FDRE-PSTC, one of the PKO training centers in Africa. Lieutenant Colonel Urakami has been engaged, since even before the Center’s formal opening, in the design and management of its training curriculum. The FDRE-PSTC highly appreciates Lieutenant Colonel Urakami’s long-time contribution, and it is this recognition that is behind the Center’s request for dispatch.

3. The Government of Japan will continue to provide meaningful assistance towards peace and stability in Africa not only on the financial front, but also by drawing upon Japan’s qualified human resources.

(Reference 1) Japan’s support for PKO training centers in Africa
Since 2008 the Government of Japan has provided support worth more than 42 million U.S. dollars to 13 PKO training centers in Africa (Egypt, Mali, Ghana, Nigeria, Benin, Togo, Cameroon, Ethiopia (two locations), Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania and South Africa). Japan’s assistance has been directed, among others, to rehabilitation of facilities, supply of equipment and design and implementation of various training courses. With regard to dispatch of personnel, 43 Japanese experts, including 21 JSDF personnel, were sent as lecturer and/or consultant to 8 PKO training centers in Africa.

(Reference 2) Japan’s support for FDRE-PSTC
The FDRE-PSTC started activities in 2012 and opened formally in June 2015, under the control of the Ministry of National Defense of Ethiopia, with the goal of enhancing capacities for peacekeeping activities in the region. It offers training in various fields such as disarmament, security sector reform, small arms and election-monitoring to Ethiopian and foreign personnel including those from the Eastern Africa Standby Force (EASF) and the African Union (AU). The Government of Japan has provided the FDRE-PSTC with 1.14 million US dollars in total via the Japan-UNDP Partnership Fund to construct a lecture theater and develop conflict prevention, conflict management and post-conflict recovery courses, and has also sent Lieutenant Colonel Urakami four times since 2014.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan.

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Source:: Dispatch of a Self-Defense Forces member to the Peace Support Training Center, Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia

Categories: AFRICA