25 May 2011When the world’s biggest retail company, the US-based Walmart, announced in September 2010 a plan to buy South African retailer Massmart for a staggering US$4.2-billion, eyebrows were raised. Foreign investors in Africa have tended to put their money in the riches that lie beneath its soil, where the profits are higher.In fact, the steady growth of foreign direct investment (FDI) flows to the continent during most of the past decade has mostly been concentrated in extractive sectors, especially oil (see Africa Renewal, January 2005).Yet, much like Walmart, a growing number of major investors are now betting on the continent’s ultimate wealth, Africans themselves, according to the World Investment Report 2010 by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad).And for all the shock that Walmart’s foray into Africa initially prompted, when it announced in December that it was seeking to acquire only 51 percent of Massmart’s shares for $2.5-billion, the transaction was still second to the continent’s biggest business deal unrelated to natural resources. Late in March 2010, a record $10.7-billion transaction took place as Kuwait’s telecommunication company Zain sold its African assets to Bharti, an Indian competitor.Investors eye new sectorsOverall, the Unctad report notes, amidst a recent slump in FDI flows to Africa (see graph): “The services sector, led by the telecommunications industry, became the dominant FDI recipient.”Across the continent, new deals involving major foreign corporations are becoming a common occurrence in sectors previously considered unattractive to investment heavyweights. Nestle, a Swiss food company, announced plans to spend $1-billion by 2013 for acquisitions in various African countries, including the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria and Angola. Less than two years ago, Nestle’s main competitor, France’s Danone, bought the yoghurt and desserts division of Clover, South Africa’s leader in fresh cultured dairy products.Such developments call “for reassessment of FDI in Africa, as a different picture emerges,” the Unctad report argues. Potentially, development experts note, an increase in FDI flows to infrastructure, services and retail sales could have a far more positive impact on African economies. Unlike investments in the extractive industries, investments in consumer-oriented sectors often lead to the creation of many more jobs and stimulate consumer spending.Rise of the African middle classAfrica’s booming middle class, with its recently acquired purchasing power, is the main reason behind the new FDI trend on the continent. Various researches suggest that the number of Africans who can afford to buy more than the necessities of daily life is rising rapidly.A much-talked-about report by McKinsey, a US-headquartered multinational consulting firm, estimates that the continent is home to around 50-million middle-class households (defined as those with incomes of at least $20 000), as many as in India. (The report, entitled “Lions on the Move: The Progress and Potential of African Economies”, was published in June 2010.)One in every 10 Africans, says a different study by a French aid agency, is already a “solvent consumer” – one who can afford the latest smartphones, the newest computers and dinners at trendy restaurants.The rise of this middle class is linked to the strong economic performances recorded in many African countries since the end of the 1990s. Average economic growth has been around 5 percent a year, while the average inflation rate fell to 8 percent from an earlier high of 22 percent.From 2000 to 2010, six of the world’s 10 fastest-growing economies were in sub-Saharan Africa, reports The Economist, an authoritative London weekly. In fact, the publication argues that Africa is the site of “the surprising success story of the past decade,” high praise from a magazine that is generally not very enthusiastic about the continent.Strong and sustained growth rates – and not only in the oil-rich countries that benefited from booming demand from emerging economies – provided a platform from which numerous households moved upwards in income.And while growth in oil-producing countries usually did not result in massive job creation, growth in other countries did create some employment, in turn boosting domestic consumption. In South Africa, Tunisia, Egypt and Morocco, Africa’s four most advanced and diversified economies, domestic consumption became the largest contributor to growth in recent years, says the McKinsey report.Policies, peace and governanceAfrica’s improved economic performances are also a result of good economic policies and improved political contexts, maintained the World Bank in its report Africa Development Indicators 2007. In Ghana, Uganda and Tanzania, for example, business-friendly policies opened new markets to investors. Angola and Rwanda became fast-growing economies after long civil wars.Some also argue that a continental development plan has helped as well. The New Partnership for Africa’s Development (Nepad), adopted by African leaders in 2001, “did help shape a new, more positive perception of Africa,” argues Patrick Osakwe, an economist with the UN Economic Commission for Africa and co-author of a study on FDI to Africa.By emphasising the importance of good governance, Osakwe told Africa Renewal, the plan illustrated a momentous shift in the way Africans seek to interact with the rest of the world.Expanding prosperityFor a continent so long regarded by outside observers as “hopeless,” the coming years will bring more good news, various analysts say. Africa weathered the global recession better than most regions of the world, and its recent economic performance is second only to that of Asia, according to several international institutions. Over the next five years, The Economist recently projected, “The average African economy will outpace its Asian counterpart.”Such promising prospects are central to Walmart’s expansion plans in Africa. Other major Western investors are likely to follow the US giant, analysts say. One reason is that the continent’s combined consumer spending is forecast to reach $1.4-trillion by 2020, up from $860-billion in 2008. Companies from emerging economies such as China, India and Brazil are already strengthening their positions in the region.As foreign investors rush to benefit from the rise of the new categories of African consumers, prosperity still remains elusive for too many other Africans. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, 250-million people in Africa are undernourished.“To expand prosperity, African leaders need to invest in infrastructure and education, to diversify their economies, so that many more people can benefit from growth,” argues Osakwe.Others note that improving the standard of living of the poor not only makes business sense, but is also a political necessity, as suggested by the recent waves of protests across North Africa. Not addressing people’s economic rights, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay pointedly remarked this January, causes grievances “to fester and eventually erupt on a large scale.”This article was first published in Africa Renewal – produced by the Africa Section of the United Nations Department of Public Information, Africa Renewal provides up-to-date information and analysis of the major economic and development challenges facing Africa today.
Here’s our recap of what happened in online marketing today, as reported on Marketing Land and other places across the web.From Marketing Land:Optimized store landing pages: An important part of local search strategyAug 22, 2017 by Tony EdwardHow can brick-and-mortar stores improve the online experience for both users and search engines? Columnist Tony Edward says the key lies in strong local landing pages.How to improve your SEO with user-friendly interlinkingAug 22, 2017 by Kristopher JonesSure, backlinks are important, but columnist Kristopher Jones makes the case that internal linking is also a critical component of improving your website’s search engine optimization and user experience.The 3 undisputed truths about lead nurturingAug 22, 2017 by Seth PriceContributor Seth Price discusses how automation, content marketing and eliminating limits to follow-ups will improve the success of your lead nurturing efforts.Martech enablement series: Part 3 — Assembling your team membersAug 22, 2017 by Peter LadkaIn his third piece in a nine-part series, contributor Peter Ladka takes a look at the similarities between a race team and a martech team, explaining how to model your team to help it win in the martech enablement race.Navigating the disruptive world of martechAug 22, 2017 by Marketing Land StaffThe Martech Power Pack helps you understand the complex convergence of marketing, technology and management.Why your brand should obsess over its customers, not its competitorsAug 22, 2017 by Mike SandsColumnist Mike Sands believes brands need to take a page from Amazon and put their customers — and the data they generate — at the center of all business decisions.P&G fought online advertising, and online advertising wonAug 22, 2017 by David RodnitzkyProcter & Gamble last month slashed its digital ad spend over bot concerns. But columnist David Rodnitzky says online advertising isn’t broken, and pulling ad spend isn’t the answer.ShareIQ can now generate ad-targeting segments of users who have interacted with brand imagesAug 22, 2017 by Barry LevineThe company says this is the first image-based segmenting, and that it can also create groups of users who have looked at competitors’ images.LinkedIn officially rolls out native video uploading worldwide, but not for businesses (yet)Aug 22, 2017 by Tim PetersonLike other social networks, LinkedIn videos will autoplay without sound. Unlike other social networks, LinkedIn will break down videos’ audiences.Online Marketing News From Around The Web:AnalyticsHow to Measure Social Selling to Improve ROI, MarketoUnderstanding Analytics and Adwords Discrepancies, Clix Marketing PPC BlogBusiness IssuesMedium will now pay writers based on how many claps they get, The VergeContent Marketing5 Effective Ways to Amplify Content, Vertical MeasuresContent Types That Generate High-Quality Leads, MarketingProfsWhere to Begin When It’s Time to Edit Your Content, CopybloggerE-CommerceDo You Have the Chops to be a Top Ecommerce 3PL?, Multichannel MerchantFor success on Amazon and eBay, don’t follow others, Practical EcommerceEmail Marketing8 Reasons Why Email Campaigns Are Still the Most Effective Form of Marketing, Movable Ink BlogThe best email campaigns of the 2017 eclipse, My EmmaGeneral Internet MarketingInfluencer Marketing: 3 Top Challenges and an Overview, MarketingProfsLet’s Talk About The Brand Safety Tax, AdExchangerNo, Your Brand Isn’t Too Big for Thought Leadership, Convince and ConvertInternet Marketing IndustryMyScript Introduces Cloud Sync for Nebo App, PR WebSigstr Secures $5M Series A to Build the Next Generation Marketing Platform, Business WireZyme Hires Veteran Tech Executive Paul Carmody to Manage Products and Solutions, ZymeMarTechDigital transformation: It’s not a destination, EconsultancyIs Blockchain The Best Solution For Ad Tech’s Most Pressing Problems?, AdExchangerWalmart and 9 Food Giants Team Up on IBM Blockchain Plans, Fortune.comMobile/Local MarketingHow brands can and should be using proximity data, Mobile MarketerSMS for Business and Marketing Communications: Trends & Stats, MarketingProfsWhatsApp adds colorful text status updates, just like Facebook, VentureBeatSocial MediaFacebook and Twitter Now Have Original Content, but Can Viewers Find It?, eMarketerFacebook launched a dedicated tab for Safety Check, The VergeThe Q3 2017 Sprout Social Index, Sprout SocialVideoFacebook and Twitter Now Have Original Content, but Can Viewers Find It?, eMarketerReport: AdColony’s interactive video platform ups engagement by 43%, Mobile MarketerVideo Content Marketing: Cheap and Easy Ways to Get Started, Top Rank Marketing BlogFrom our sponsors: Marketing Day: Store landing pages, lead nurturing & LinkedIn video Posted on 23rd August 2017Digital Marketing FacebookshareTwittertweetGoogle+share HomeDigital MarketingMarketing Day: Store landing pages, lead nurturing & LinkedIn video Marketing Day: Store landing pages, lead nurturing & LinkedIn videoYou are here: Related postsLytics now integrates with Google Marketing Platform to enable customer data-informed campaigns14th December 2019The California Consumer Privacy Act goes live in a few short weeks — Are you ready?14th December 2019ML 2019121313th December 2019Global email benchmark report finds email isn’t dead – it’s essential13th December 20192019 benchmark report: brand vs. non-brand traffic in Google Shopping12th December 2019Keep your LinkedIn advertising strategy focused in 202012th December 2019
Yesterday was of course Mother’s Day, and Penn State linebacker Nyeem Wartman elected to give his mother a very special gift this year. On Sunday, Wartman announced via Facebook that he was officially changing his name to Nyeem Wartman-White to honor his mother, Veronica White, and stepfather. A pretty amazing gesture from Wartman-White, who recorded 75 tackles last season, second-best on the Nittany Lions. It’ll be hard to top that Mother’s Day gift going forward, but seeing his new surname on the back of his jersey will be an awesome treat for his mom and stepfather come September.
Story Highlights Managing Director of the Housing Agency of Jamaica (HAJ), Gary Howell, says that the agency is ensuring that only deserving beneficiaries can access low-income homes.“We try to ensure that persons who are benefiting from these low-income housing solutions are first-time homeowners, so we primarily utilise persons with National Housing Trust (NHT) benefits. We know NHT has a stringent system, which ensures that once you obtain your benefit you cannot get another NHT mortgage,” he noted.“What we don’t want is a situation where because persons have the money they buy more than one of the units cash and then capitalise on it by later reselling it at a significant price. This results in persons who were really in need not getting the opportunity to purchase a unit at the initial price,” he pointed out.Qualified NHT contributors are eligible to apply for a loan to build, buy or repair/improve their home.Currently, an NHT contributor can be granted a maximum loan of $6.5 million. Managing Director of the Housing Agency of Jamaica (HAJ), Gary Howell, says that the agency is ensuring that only deserving beneficiaries can access low-income homes. “We try to ensure that persons who are benefiting from these low-income housing solutions are first-time homeowners, so we primarily utilise persons with National Housing Trust (NHT) benefits. We know NHT has a stringent system, which ensures that once you obtain your benefit you cannot get another NHT mortgage,” he noted. “What we don’t want is a situation where because persons have the money they buy more than one of the units cash and then capitalise on it by later reselling it at a significant price. This results in persons who were really in need not getting the opportunity to purchase a unit at the initial price,” he pointed out.
Health Minister, Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson, has again turned down the suggestion that Government should allow the establishment of smoking areas in business places, describing such areas as “death chambers”.Dr. Ferguson further informed that the Public Health (Tobacco Control) Regulations 2013 do not allow for the establishment of such spaces.“My answer to that is absolutely not. We cannot allow the establishment of death chambers and this is what a room filled with persons smoking would be,” he told journalists on Monday, July 15, during a press briefing at the Office of the Prime Minister.The Minister argued that in such situations, smokers are essentially inhaling their own smoke, plus the smoke of others around them. “In addition, the ventilation system can carry the smoke to other areas, which will then affect non-smokers,” he said.Dr. Ferguson noted that the regulations stipulate that no smoking can take place within five metres of the entrance or exit of a public place and its ventilation system.[RELATED: Big Fines for Smoking Ban Breaches]In the meantime, the Ministry of Health has embarked on a major public education campaign to sensitise Jamaicans on the newly instituted ban on smoking in specified public spaces.The ban, which falls under sections 14 and 15 of the Public Health Act, becomes effective on July 15.It will see a restriction on smoking in enclosed places accessible to the public; public transportation; work places; government owned and occupied buildings; health facilities, including pharmacies; sports and recreational facilities for use by the public; educational institutions; areas specifically for use by children; and places of collective use, such as bus stops.In this vein, the Ministry has launched campaigns in some major town centres across the island to educate and inform Jamaicans on the regulations.“We will also start a radio public service advertisement today on multiple stations and we are continuing on a sensitisation programme for at least the next eight months, so that persons can be properly educated about their rights and responsibilities under the regulations,” Dr. Ferguson stated.[Special Page: [Special Page: Fact Sheet: Ban on Smoking in Public Places]He said the Ministry has also invited discussions with stakeholders, including the police and the Customs Department.The Minister along with representatives from the Ministry will be part of an outside broadcast on RJR’s Hotline on Wednesday, July 17 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., to further answer the public’s questions on the matter.“Our doors are open to anyone who wishes to have clarification on the issues and we have begun to send out soft copies of the regulations to the media, government entities and other stakeholders,” Dr. Ferguson said.Contact: Athaliah Reynolds-Baker
BERLIN — A German labour union is calling on security staff at three German airports to stage a strike Thursday amid ongoing pay negotiations.The ver.di union said Wednesday that it’s urging workers to join a one-day walkout that is likely to cause disruptions for airline passengers.The strike will affect airports in Duesseldorf, Koeln-Bonn and Stuttgart.Security staff at Berlin’s two airports already staged a strike Monday that caused severe disruption to flights.The union wants hourly pay for all workers conducting security checks to rise to 20 ($22.81) euros. The employers association BDLS says this could amount to an increase of 30 per cent in some cases.The Associated Press
This option is the second shortest route of the three considered, meets provincial design and safety requirements, and includes a longer bridge at the Cache Creek crossing.Hydro said that compared to the two other options that were considered, the selected route:has similar or lower impacts to archaeological and heritage sites, andhas lower impacts to private lands and agricultural lands than the most northern route evaluated.BC Hydro will be continuing work for this portion of the realignment, including geotechnical investigations and drilling. Full construction on this segment of the highway realignment is expected to be underway by 2020.Hydro said that construction activities for the western four kilometres of the highway realignment at Cache Creek/Bear Flat, which is not affected by the alternate realignment options that were studied for the eastern section of this segment, will begin at the end of this month. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – BC Hydro announced Tuesday that it has selected a new realignment for Highway 29 in the Cache Creek/Bear Flat area, following consultations with Indigenous groups and local property owners.Premier John Horgan announced that the provincial government was proceeding with building Site C following a review by the B.C. Utilities Commission last December.That same month. the Province asked Hydro and the Ministry of Transportation to work with Treaty 8 First Nations and local property owners to redesign the Highway 29 realignment at Cache Creek/Bear Flat to reduce the effects on potential burial sites and areas of cultural importance identified by First Nations. In January, Hydro said it began engaging with Indigenous groups and property owners to share information and get feedback on two alternate realignment options. Indigenous groups and property owners were provided with the draft evaluation criteria that would be used for selecting a new realignment and were invited to comment on the criteria.A third realignment option was developed in early March as a result of the consultation process and became one of the realignment options that BC Hydro assessed.A higher-resolution map of the realignment can be found here: https://www.sitecproject.com/sites/default/files/highway-29-realignment-options-map.pdf.Hydro said that several Indigenous groups conducted ground-truthing investigations and reported on their findings over the spring and summer.In late July, BC Hydro said it met with five Indigenous groups and seven property owners to share and seek feedback on the preliminary findings of the investigations and evaluation criteria.The selected realignment option – which was developed through consultation – is located north of the original route and is approximately 240 metres away from a potential burial site and 370 metres from an area identified to be of cultural importance.
Shirley Dorin, 86, said she and her husband had decades of frustration after allowing an oil well to be drilled on their property near Didsbury in central Alberta in 1970.There was constant flaring that lit up their house, she said, and she developed Parkinson’s disease.Production equipment was eventually removed a few years ago but the site, which has had several owners, still remains.“We didn’t know what it was like to have your life controlled by an oil company and we really didn’t know what we were in for, that’s for sure,” Dorin said. CALGARY, A.B. – A coalition of Alberta landowners, researchers and former regulators say it could cost as much as $70 billion to clean up more than 300,000 orphan oil and gas wells in Alberta.The Alberta Liabilities Disclosure Project released the numbers Monday in Calgary.“Fiscally and environmentally, this is a ticking time bomb,” lead researcher Regan Boychuk told a news conference. “We want it gone.”Her son, Mark, is president of Dorin Land and Oilfield Management and is a member of the coalition.“We can’t develop our land,” he said. “Albertans simply can’t afford to wait another four years for variable solutions as the mess continues to grow.” “They sit idle and they may look harmless, but they’re not. All wells leak eventually and that’s why it’s so important they are plugged and reclaimed properly.”Boychuk said it’s not too late to make well clean up a campaign issue before the April 16 provincial election.“This is the moment when politicians are the most receptive,” he said. “The day after the election is when politicians are the least receptive to public concern. That’s why we are making this data public today to try and influence this debate.”He said most political parties are talking about boosting Alberta’s resource sector but not about the environmental costs involved.“We can either spend money on drilling more wells or spend money on cleaning up.”Boychuk said about $200 million is being held by the Alberta government as a deposit to pay for the cleanup of unreclaimed wells. The problem gets worse once the additional costs of tailing ponds, mines and pipelines are included.
Washington DC: A 31-year-old Indian national has been sentenced to eight years and nine months in prison on Monday for his involvement in a major call centre scam under which he and his co-conspirators extorted money from American residents by impersonating tax officers, the US Department of Justice said. Nishitkumar Patel, who had pleaded guilty to the charges on January 9, has also been asked by a Florida court to pay USD 2,00,000, forfeit cash and a 2015 Land Rover that was seized in October 2018. According to court documents, Patel connived with the US-based co-conspirators and the India-based call centres to extort money from American residents by impersonating Internal Revenue Service (IRS) officers between 2014 and 2016. The IRS is the revenue service of the United States federal government. During this period, they mislead the victims in believing that they owed money to the IRS and would be arrested and fined if they did not pay their alleged taxes back immediately, as per the documents. The conspirators collected the fraud proceeds by withdrawing cash from prepaid cards purchased and funded by victims; hiring other conspirators (runners) to retrieve money wired by the victims to those runners; and/or hiring runners to open bank accounts into which victims deposited fraud proceeds, revealed the documents. The defendants collected the proceeds by providing the runners with the victims’ names, locations, and amounts paid. The runners were directed to retrieve the fraud proceeds in cash and turn the funds over to the defendants, often less a payment to the runner for opening the account or conducting the transaction, according to the documents. Four others have already pleaded guilty for their roles in the scheme. On March 25, Alejandro Juarez was sentenced to 15 months in federal prison. Hemalkumar Shah, Sharvil Patel and Brenda Dozier are currently awaiting sentencing. “We here at IRS CI recognise the heartache and concern these crooks cause innocent people. This is why we are eager to team up with our law enforcement partners to track down these impersonators in whatever corner of the globe they may be hiding in,” said special agent in-charge Mary Hammond of IRS Criminal Investigations, Tampa Field Office.
Rabat- It seems that the war between the Benkirane Government and the High Commission for Planning (HCP) will not cease any time soon.Sources quoted by daily Al Massae in its Monday, January 27th issue, revealed that powerful voices within the governmental coalition are pushing towards overthrowing HCP boss Ahmed Lahlimi Alami whose recent figures and his gloomy forecast in his predictions regarding the state of the economy did not please the PJD-led government.The same sources added that these powerful voices inside the Benkirane cabinet suggested transforming the High Commission for Planning, a constitutional institution, into a directorate subordinate to the Ministry of Economy and Finance in charge of planning and statistics. This move aims to avoid any future figures released by the HCP that will do harm to the government and its image in the eyes of international institutions such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).Other sources, however, suggested working around the proposed constitutional challenges if the government were to attempt a transformation of the HCP into a directorate and appoint a technocrat director on top of the HCP instead of Lahlimi whose socialist background is believed to be responsible of the Commission’s recent figures.The same sources went on to add that an IMF committee will arrive in Morocco in the coming days in order to address the recent figures released by the Ministry of Economy and Finance and the HCP about growth rates, the deficit, and unemployment.The paper’s sources said that the International Monetary Fund is following with deep concern the “war of figures” between the government and the HCP. The war erupted last week in the wake of Lahlimi’s figures, which predicted that the growth rate will decline in 2014 to about 2.4 % and that the budget deficit has stabilized during 2013 at 6%.The government’s responded as soon as the HCP figures were released by publishing a statement which said that the budget deficit in 2013 had stabilized at 5.4% not 6%, as Lahlimi’s HCP has claimed.Controversial deputy Minister in charge of General Affairs and Governance, Mohamed El Ouafa also intervened in the “war of figures” by describing Lahlimi’s figures as both childish and medieval.Edited by Matthew Osborn