Posts

SA youth set for Mandela Fellowship in US

Approximately forty-six South African delegates are set to travel to the United States to partake in the 2018 Mandela Washington Fellowship programme from 18 June to 2 August 2018.

The 6-week fellowship aims to enhance leadership skills, bolster entrepreneurship, and connect young leaders from across Africa with the Americans.

The participants are aged 25-35 and were selected for their record of promoting innovation and positive change within their organisations, communities and countries.

Chargé d’Affaires, Jessye Lapenn said: “The program reflects Madiba’s optimism, idealism and belief in what he called the ‘endless heroism of youth.’ The program remains committed to those goals today.  As we celebrate the Mandela Centenary, I hope you take this opportunity to ‘Be the Legacy.”

The Mandela Washington Fellowship programme reflects the diversity of the African continent, with participants coming from a variety of backgrounds, professions, and regions. 

The 46 South Africans will join 700 other young people from sub-Saharan Africa for leadership training, networking and academic coursework, focused on civic leadership, public management, or business and entrepreneurship which will be hosted by 28 US Universities.

Source:SAnews.gov.za

 

Japan exports improve more than it was expected

The value of Japan’s exports rose at the quickest clip in three months in April on increased. The rising volumes has suggested a healthy overseas demand that could help the economy recover quickly from a dip in the first quarter.

According to a Reuters poll, exports grew 7.8% in April from the same period a year ago, below the median estimate for an 8.1% annual increase expected. Meanwhile, in March, exports grew an annual 2.1 %.

In terms of volume, which strips away the impact of exchange rates, Japan’s exports rose an annual 4.6% in April, faster than the 1.8% annual increase seen in March.

The increased demand for manufacturing equipment, cars and car parts are likely to expand exports. However, Japan’s trade surplus with the United States makes it a potential target for U.S. President Donald Trump’s protectionist policies.

Senior economist Hiroshi Miyazaki at Mitsubishi UFJ, Morgan Stanley Securities said overseas economies are in a growth phase which mean the Japan’s exports will continue to grow.

“The U.S. government may turn its attention to Japan’s trade surplus, but there are steps Japan can take, especially given the close defence relationship between the two countries.”

Miyazaki noted that the rise in the volume of exports was another reason to be optimistic.

Exports to China are Japan’s largest trading partner, which rose an annual 10.9% in April, versus a 10.8% increase in the previous month, due to an increase of shipments of machines used to process metals and to make electronic components.

Japan’s exports to China often serve as a barometer of global demand because companies in China use materials and equipment from Japan to make goods for export to other countries.

Source: Reuters.com

 

BRICS NDB could speed up Africa infrastructure projects

The Capacity Development Officer of the new Partnership for Africa’s Development (Nepad), Bob Kalanzi has revealed that Africa lacks adequate infrastructure that hinders regional trade and the delivery of basic services such as health and education. 

Kalanzi said infrastructure was Africa’s  top priority and that the continent has suffered from low levels of intra-regional economic exchange and had the smallest share of global trade.

“Bridging this gap can only be achieved through [greater] regional and continental cooperation, which could be achieved through support from the New Development Bank (NDB),” he said.

He pointed out that infrastructure development in Africa must be prioritised to achieve the accelerated industrial development of the continent.

The African Union’s (AU’s) Agenda 2063 plans to propel intra-African trade to 50% by 2045 and Africa’s share of global trade from 2% to 12%.

Kalanzi also added that infrastructure had the potential to raise gross domestic product by 2% and develop the backbone for rapid industrialisation across the continent, boosting capacity to generate more domestic resources.

“The NDB signifies developing countries’ coming of age and reflects their aspirations to stand on their own feet. It also focuses on funding sustainable development and infrastructure in member nations, as well as other emerging and developing countries,” he said.

Source: engineeringnews

 

How China will sustain its currency

The People’s Bank of China promised to maintain its neutral monetary policy and keep liquidity and credit growth steady while the yuan currency remains fairly stable.

The central bank said that it will avoid systemic risks and use multiple monetary policy tools to ensure financial stability in the world’s second largest economy.

“On the one hand, it is necessary to control the liquidity scale to help deleverage and prevent financial risks. On the other hand, it is necessary to comprehensively consider changes in the macroeconomic environment and strengthen policy coordination,” the Central Bank said.

The bank also mentioned that it will strike a balance between stabilising economic growth, pushing structural changes and preventing risks.

China’s overall debt level rose 2.7% points in 2017 to 250.3% of GDP due to impacts from China’s supply-side reforms, improving economy and corporate profits.

The bank stated that the corporate debt ratio has fell 0.7% points last year to 159% of GDP – the first decline since 2011, while household debt ratio climbed 4% points to 55.1% of GDP.

The Central Bank plans to include negotiable certificates of deposit (NCDs) issued by financial institutions with assets of less than 500 billion yuan ($79 billion) in its quarterly macro-prudential assessment (MPA) from the first quarter in 2019.

The Central Bank reaffirmed that it will keep the yuan basically stable while increasing the currency’s two-way fluctuations and deepening market-based currency reforms.

 

Source: Reuters.com

Rise of unemployment in Brazil

Brazil’s unemployment rate seems to be skyrocketing, with the numbers steadily climbing for a third month. This comes as a shock, considering last year’s decline, but suggests that the breather may have been temporary instead of a sustainable pickup in employment.

The Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics or IGBE confirmed that the unemployment rate rose to 13.1% in the three months to March 2018, rising above 12.6% in the October-December 2017 period.

The unemployment rate is believed to be affecting about 14 million people. The lack of jobs is a consequence of on of the worst recessions in Brazilian history, where inflation skyrocketed to 10.6 % in 2015.

According to Reuters, steady growth in off-the-books jobs, which does not have access to work benefits, had driven a nine-month string of falling unemployment that ended in December. Thus far, informal unemployment suffered at the start of 2018 as contracts for temporary holiday-season workers expired, while formal employment has yet to show signs of rising.

This is a clear indication that Brazil’s slow and uneven economic recovery may take a while before trickling down to the labour market.

Source: Reuters.com

#LocalFindsWednesday: Maxhosa by Laduma

South African knitwear and esteemed runway designer, Laduma Ngxokolo started his brand, Maxhosa by Laduma in 2010.

The brand was inspired by the Xhosa culture with the vision to create a modern Xhosa-inspired knitwear collection that would be suitable for Amakrwala – Xhosa initiates – who dress up in new ‘dignified’ formal clothing for six months after their manhood initiation.



Laduma felt inspired to create knitwear that caters for men and women and celebrates traditional Xhosa aesthetics and drew inspiration from Xhosa beadwork patterns, symbolism and colours.

Since his career took off, Ngxokolo received numerous achievements and captured the hearts of fashion lovers, both locally and abroad, more specifically London, Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin and New York. In 2016, the Design Indaba awarded Ngxokolo’s shawl the coveted title of ‘The Most Beautiful Object in SA’.

Here are some signature Maxhosa by Laduma collections (courtesy of Maxhosa.co.za):

– The Mtanom’gquba collection celebrates dark skin tones in contrast with bright hues to elevate the appreciation of colour diversity. It captures the beauty of being truly African in a modern context that seeks an eternal way of communicating culture through fashion.

– Socks collection – Maxhosa believes that your feet carry you to an occasion you never anticipated you’d appear in

– My Heritage, My Inheritance which was dedicated to his late mother Lindelwa Ngxokolo, whose dream as a knitwear in the 80s was to travel to Paris to see high-end fashion. Maxhosa made his mother dream come true when he was invited by the Labo Ethinik Fashion Week to showcase his 2013 knitwear.

The brand has also received numerous accolades, including:
– 2014 Premium International Best Emerging Designer for SS15 Menwear
– 2014 Africa Fashion International Emerging Designer of the year award
– 2015 Vogue Italia Scouting for Africa Award
– 2016 Fashion Designer of the Year Southern Africa: ABRYANZ Style and Fashion Awards
– 2017 Pride of Africa: Africa Fashion Week Barcelona Awards

Source : maxhosa.co.za

How to Grow and Develop Small Manufacturing Businesses

With the onset of pioneering innovations in the manufacturing sphere, prospective business owners are often faced with a plethora of questions when contemplating how to break into this sector. To answer and address the most pressing questions and concerns regarding the development of small manufacturing units, a team of manufacturing pundits and entrepreneurs are to gather at the Small Business Indaba. This event will feature alongside the Manufacturing Indaba 2018, to be held at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg, Africa’s economic hub, on the 19th and 20th of June 2018.

Business expansion through capital acquisition is one of the most challenging phases of company growth. Within the manufacturing sector, this aspect is even more concerning, due to the extensive financial injections required during the initial phases of business development. Lack of information and awareness regarding financing options often hampers potential entrepreneurs from executing their plans. It is therefore imperative to explore the merits and drawbacks of all available options for acquiring capital and applying effective strategies for improving a company’s chances of receiving funding from financial institutions.

Small manufacturing units are usually backed by a competent idea for driving business growth, however, these ideas are seldom supported by a strong and well-researched business plan. Industry analysts believe that thorough business plans play a critical role in ensuring that a company becomes an ideal candidate for lending. By integrating the elements of financial projections, economic forecasts, product marketing, organisational overview, target market and expected sales revenue, a business plan depicts the entrepreneur’s confidence in the success of a venture.

With the launch of several industrial initiatives across Sub-Saharan Africa that have extended to the fields of technology, healthcare, construction and social development, amongst many others, the entrepreneurial conditions in the region are indeed promising. This provides the ideal opportunity for prospective speculators in South Africa to learn the tools required to drive a manufacturing venture towards the path of success. As the government aims to establish a positive and welcoming climate to stimulate investment in South African Small and Medium Enterprises (SMMEs), a number of funding options have become available to kick-start potential projects.

Apart from government institutions and financing bodies, private investors who are optimistic about the economic growth of the region are willing to extend their capital to South African business ventures with the potential to provide a superior return on investment. While these investors will secure a portion of the profits generated by the company as a reward for their investment, a business has a better chance of obtaining substantial funding through this option without any additional borrowing costs. As Sub-Saharan Africa propels itself towards a promising economic future, small manufacturing businesses can benefit by applying effective strategies and ideas to grow the scale of their operations.

The Small Business Indaba will serve as an excellent liaison and business networking opportunity for the small manufacturer, manufacturing stakeholders and SMME leaders and entrepreneurs to advise potential manufacturing business owners on definitive strategies to advance the development of their business.

– Issued by: Siyenza Management

The creation of the National Association of International Information Security

Faced with mounting threats in the information space, civil society continues to look for the most effective ways to counter these challenges, using various forms of consolidated efforts by professionals. The non-governmental sector is ready to contribute to international information security and make the information space a secure environment.
In line with this trend, the National Association of International Information Security was set up in Russia on April 10, 2018.

Its constituent founders are Lomonosov Moscow State University, the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (University) of the Russian Foreign Ministry, the Diplomatic Academy of the Foreign Ministry, the Academy of National Economy and Public Administration under the President of the Russian Federation, the Institute for Modern Security Challenges (a subsidiary of the Norilsk Nickel mining and metallurgical company) and the editorial board of Mezhdunarodnaya Zhizn (International Life) magazine.

Vladislav Sherstyuk, Director of the Information Security Institute at Lomonosov University, was elected association president, while Anatoly Smirnov, president of the National Institute for Global Security Research, became the General Director.

The association’s presidium comprises leading researchers and specialists, and well-known experts in international information security.

The main goal of the association is to assist in the implementation of state policy in promoting international information security and advance Russian initiatives in this area.

In addition, the association intends to participate in keeping civil society institutions in Russia and abroad informed and explaining to them the basic provisions of the Government’s policy in this field. The association is planning to focus on making analytical work in this area more effective and working out corresponding recommendations for all bodies and
organisations concerned.

The association will coordinate research at scientific centres and universities by dividing it into the scientific, humanitarian and technical aspects of ensuring international information security.

It views cooperation with similar associations of researchers and experts abroad, both in a bilateral format and within the framework of various international platforms and forums, as one of its key areas of activity. As envisioned by its founders, the association will help bolster national security in the information space.

The results of this effort will be used by the authorities and organisations involved in the implementation of state policy in the area of international information security.

Copy: Embassy of the Russian Federation in the Republic of South Africa

Public lecture on BRICS at the University of Limpopo

The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) has partnered with the University of Limpopo for this morning’s public lecture on South Africa’s hosting of the 10th BRICS Summit.

Taking place under the theme: “BRICS in Africa: Collaboration, Inclusive Growth and Shared Prosperity in the 4th Industrial Revolution”, the lecture was presented by Prof Anil Sooklal, Deputy Director-General for Asia and Middle East at DIRCO and BRICS Sherpa.

Addressing students, Sooklal said: “Today, it is important that people know about BRICS because the people are at the forefront of BRICS. The organisation is focused on advancing the economy and the domestic interest of South Africa including the SADC region.”

Prof. Sooklal was joined by Mr Kenneth da Nobrega, Sous Sherpa for the Republic of Brazil and Mr Pavel Knyazev, Sous Sherpa for the Russian Federation. The meeting of the BRICS Sherpas will take place 24-26 April 2018 at the Mabula Lodge in Bela Bela, Limpopo.

Image: Embassy of Russia

DIRCO

[WATCH] Selection and election: How China chooses its leaders

China has developed a unique system of choosing its leaders, eschewing Western models for a process based on merit and broad support. Scholar Zhang Weiwei argues that while the system of “selection and election” is not perfect, it is a match for alternative models and has delivered for the Chinese people.

Copy & video: China Global Television Network