#TravelTuesday : Claim To Fame

Brazil is home to the biggest carnival in the world, and the Rio Carnival sees over 2-million people per day on the city’s streets. www.festivalsherpa.com

Russia is home to the world’s longest rail journey – the Trans-Siberian. It starts in Moscow and ends in Vladivostok, with the train crossing several time zones. In addition to the endless birch forests of Siberia, the scenery includes the Ural Mountains and Lake Baikal, the largest freshwater lake in the world. Distance 5,753 miles while duration is in six days. www.telegraph.co.uk/travel

India has the largest postal network in the world with over 155, 015 post offices. A single post office on average serves a population of 7,175 people. The country is also home to the world’s only floating post office, which has been operating in Dal Lake, Srinagar since August 2011. www.india.com 

China is where toilet paper was invented, with simple but much-needed product’s origins dating back to the pre-1300s, when it was exclusively for the emperor’s use. www.factretriever.com

South Africa is home to the world’s largest bird (ostrich), largest mammal (bull elephant), smallest mammal (dwarf shrew), largest reptile (leatherback sea turtle : 1,500 pounds), largest earthworm (African giant earthworm), fastest animal (cheetah ), tallest animal (giraffe) and the largest fish (whale shark). https://everything-everywhere.com 

 

 

Celebrating Africa Day: African Union Agenda 2063

Africa Day is the annual commemoration of the formation of the African Union which was then known as the Organisation of African Unity. The Union was formed by thirty African nations on the 25th May 1963, with the aim of working together to encourage the decolonisation of African countries still colonized. The Union vowed to assist the work of freedom fighters and remove military access to the colonised nations. The day was named African Liberation day but when the African Union replaced the Organisation of African Unity in 2002, the day was renamed Africa Day.

Africa Day continues to be celebrated both in Africa and around the world on the 25th of May, marking the significance of Africa’s identity and unity. The theme for this year is African Union Agenda 2063, with focus on Combating Corruption across African States.

 

By: Ntsikelelo Kuse

WCW: Remarkable African women in Politics & Economics

The last few years has seen a slow but steady shift of political and economic power. We’ve highlighted these five phenomenal African women who are making strides in their respective designations. 

  1. Trudi Makhaya (South Africa) – Economist, entrepreneur and writer who was recently appointed to be South African President Cyril Ramaphosa’s economic advisor. Makhaya’s duties include coordinating the work of investment envoys as they travel the world in a bid to attract at least $100-billion (R1.2-trillion) in new foreign direct investment to the economy over the next five years.
  2. Bience Gawanas (Namibia) – was recently appointed by the United Unions Secretary General António Guterres as a new female Special Advisor on Africa. Gawandas who is currently the Special Advisor to Namibia’s Minister of Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare has also served as Special Advisor on health, social affairs and poverty in Namibia and is known as a champion of women’s health and rights on the continent.
  3. NneNne Iwuji-Ewe (Mozambique) – She became the United Kingdom’s first female ambassador. She spent 16 years in the British Foreign Office and will take up her role as British high commissioner to Mozambique, taking over from Joanna Kuenssberg.
  4. Bogolo Kenewendi (Botswana) – She is the youngest minister in Botswana’s parliament. She first joined parliament in 2016 as an elected MP by former president Ian Khama, and she is now the Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry. Her appointment has received a lot of praise as most political positions are given to older people.
  5. Obiageli Ezekwesili (Nigeria) – is Senior Economic Advisor to the Africa Economic Development Policy Initiative. She was a co-founder of Transparency International, serving as one of the pioneer directors of the global anti-corruption body based in Berlin, Germany.

 

Chinese automakers thrive in South Africa by meeting local needs

By Lu Anqi | NO. 47 NOVEMBER 24, 2016

In its spacious showroom in Isando, a small town northeast of Johannesburg, Chinese automaker FAW Group displays its most popular vehicle models assembled in its plant in Port Elizabeth, one of South Africa’s largest cities, located east of Cape Town.

“It’s called the J5,” Ngoni Chaitwa said, pointing at a large white truck. “It can pull a trailer with a load of up to 34 tons. We call it ‘Beautiful Africa’ because it is doing very well in Africa.”

Chaitwa, a salesman with the company for three years, said FAW vehicles are doing well in the market because they are reasonably priced and most importantly, made in South Africa. This makes having access to spare parts and maintenance much easier.

Pioneer footprints
With the deepening of China-Africa cooperation, Chinese automakers have begun setting up factories in Africa, turning the dream of “Made in Africa for Africa” into a reality.

As a pioneer Chinese automaker, FAW’s journey to Africa began in the 1970s when its vehicles were used in the construction of the Tanzania-Zambia Railway. “The demand has kept rising ever since,” said Hao Jianyu, Deputy CEO of FAW South Africa. “We are probably the first Chinese brand to have set foot on the continent.”

According to Hao, FAW started selling and shipping trucks to South Africa in 1994 and 10 years later established an assembly plant with an annual producing capacity of 5,000 trucks in the Coega Industrial Development Zone outside Port Elizabeth. The total investment in 2004 stood at $80 million.
“The launch has proved to be a big step forward in FAW’s localisation,” Hao said. “People know that we invest here and are determined to ‘take root’ in Africa, so they have confidence in us. Our market share has witnessed continuous growth since 2013, rising from the 0.9 percent growth rate then to 4.2 percent in the first three quarters of 2016, despite the weak market demand resulting from the global economic downturn.”

In 2015, the Coega plant produced 1,000 vehicles, mainly sold in South Africa. In 2016, the target is between 1,200 and 1,300.

Hao attributed the growth also to the fact that Chinese automakers have become better known and are adapting to local needs. FAW South Africa has 28 dealers in the country and more than 100 on the continent. It is building sales and after-sales networks to expand business and improve service.

This article first appeared on Beijing Review. Beijing Review is China’s only national English weekly news magazine published in Beijing by the China International Publishing Group (CIPG). 

Growing your business in India

By BRICS JOURNAL

It’s the fastest growing democracy in BRICS countries. More and more global companies are working on expanding within India, which is home to a fifth of the global population. But it’s a high-patience game that requires you to follow a golden global rule: respect for a local way of doing business.

India offers a very large and long-term market with more than 50% of its population below the age of 25 and more than 65% below the age of 35

 

3 reasons India’s the most attractive market right now

  1. Of all listed companies in India, 67% are family businesses and the majority of them are still run in a traditional setup. Most of these are in the manufacturing of general products and trading commodities.
  2. With the economic policies getting more liberal and foreign direct investment (FDI) being permitted in the majority of the sectors, many traditional businesses are facing tough competition due to limited finances and an ecosystem less conducive for research and development (R&D).
  3. The cost of capital in India is high and profit margins are shrinking, so it’s essential that businesses create real value propositions for their sustenance and profitability. While India is a large, execution-based market, those with strong ideas and a willingness to collaborate will flourish. This opens up new opportunities for companies from around the globe to enter the market.

 

EXPANSION PLANS?

If you’re looking at expanding in the Indian market, it is important to dwell deeper into these points:

 

Choose the right business partners

You need to bank upon the wisdom of a local expert to help you drive your business with the resources they already possess. Finding a partner whose vision is aligned with yours is important. Before entering into any agreement, invest in proper due diligence – it can save you time and money.

Have faith in your Indian partner. Indians are usually trustworthy and born accustomed to the challenges of doing business. They do not too much interference when it comes to decision making, but at the same time are receptive to suggestions and changes, if it is for the benefit of the business.

 

Raise strategic investments

This model is very helpful for startups or mid-size companies which have unique technologies, but don’t have access to the capital necessary for expansion. Finding local partners, who have access to customers, to invest in the business is ideal. Many large Indian corporations like Reliance Industries, Adani Group and Infosys are actively scouting to invest in companies strategically aligned to their businesses.

Indian software giant Infosys recently made investments in Israeli startup CloudEndure – a cloud-based migration and disaster recovery service – and Silicon Valley-based data analytics startup Trifacta, with a view to increasing their value offering to their existing customers.

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