Networking the SA diaspora

first_img4 September 2002The UCT Graduate School of Business, with support from the World Bank, is establishing an international diaspora network of South African professionals working abroad that will pave the way for South African businesses to take advantage of international opportunities.The project is one of the first World Bank initiatives to test the opportunities for mobilising diaspora networks to boost economic growth and investment in developing countries. A similar initiative has also been launched in Armenia.“There is growing evidence that the economic and investment potential of diasporas could become an important development resource for low- and mid-income countries”, World Bank Senior Country Economist Lev Freinkman said in statement released by the School.“While expansion of new companies in developing economies is often constrained by lack of market knowledge and the high costs of entering new markets, diasporas accumulate considerable business, networking and marketing skills that could reduce these barriers for market penetration and growth.”According to World Bank figures, emigration to rich nations has reached a record high, with between two and three million people making the move each year. Freinkman said that the potential inherent in these numbers is “grossly underutilised”, and that the influence of diasporas on business development and growth is unlimited.“This makes the issue of considerable interest to the World Bank and others who are involved in development assistance”, he said.“South Africa presents a very interesting opportunity for analysis of the potential of diasporas, because the South African diaspora has considerable business skills and, probably more importantly, is well organised and tightly linked.”The project to support diaspora-related initiatives in South Africa and Armenia received a World Bank grant through an international competitive process called the Development Market Place.The establishment of the South African diaspora network is being managed by the Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) at the Graduate School of Business. The Centre’s director, Mike Herrington, said the World Bank awarded the contract to the School because of its reputation as a leading South African tertiary institution with regard to innovation and entrepreneurship teaching and research, along with its successful track record in supporting start-up businesses and building networks.“The CIE already has strong networks in place both locally and internationally that are involved in assisting new business start-ups, and so we are well placed to set up and administer the diaspora network”, he added.Herrington led a fact-finding mission to the UK in June to lay the groundwork for the network. The School contacted graduates from both the UCT and Stellenbosch business schools living in the UK, and hosted a workshop in London to introduce the concept. The South African Business Club, with 450 active South African members living in London, also participated in the event.Herrington said they have been overwhelmed by the response, with a number of prominent business people expressing their willingness to be a part of the initiative.He said that the indication is that the network has the potential to have a significant impact on participating businesses, particularly small and medium organisations looking for international opportunities.“The network will increase the quality of international market and competitor information available to these businesses and reduce the cost and time of obtaining reliable information from international markets. This will boost export potential, open the way for more joint ventures with overseas companies and encourage investment in South African businesses”, said Herrington.In the coming months, the CIE will set out a constitution and modus operandi for the South African diaspora network, and hopes to have the network fully operational by early next reporterlast_img read more

Polokwane 2010: under African skies

first_img5 October 2009 Fans attending the four games that will be played at Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane during the 2010 Fifa World Cup will do so under African skies – warm sun by day, glittering stars by night. The 45 000-seater stadium, which has been built to reflect the landscape of South Africa’s Limpopo province, is more modest than some of its big city rivals, but will certainly leave World Cup vistors in no doubts as to where they are. The four corners are designed to resemble the province’s signature baobab trees, while the coloured chairs paint a picture of rolling mountains and a warm African sun. A 172-metre roof covers the eastern stand, while the rest of the spectators will be able to stare up at the big African sky. “The stadium is now largely complete – the pitch has been laid, and the last of the chairs are being put in place,” says Polokwane’s 2010 director, Ndavhe Ramakuela. “All that remains now are some final touches, and then we are ready to open.” World Cup wildlife The stadium, built on the outskirts of Polokwane, is just two kilometres from a game reserve, meaning that spotting the odd giraffe or zebra on the way to a World Cup match is not some far-fetched African fantasy. “Polokwane is a small, intimate city, and people visiting us for next year’s Fifa World Cup can be guaranteed a warm, African welcome,” says Ramakuela. “It’s the kind of place where you can breathe out and enjoy a laid-back atmosphere in a quiet, natural environment.” But that is not to say that the usually quiet Polokwane, which means “place of safety” in northern Sotho, will not be a place of festivity in 2010. “Everything will be within walking distance,” says Ramakuela. “Fans will be free to walk the kilometre or so from the city centre to the Fan Fest at the local cricket club, which is also within walking distance of the stadium. Three of our four matches are in the afternoon, so the celebrations will be an all-day, all-night affair.” Although hosting an event the size of a football World Cup is a big deal for this small city, Polokwane is no stranger to welcoming crowds. Zion City Moria, the headquarters of the Zion Christian Church, the largest African Initiated Church in southern Africa, is just 40 kilometres from Polokwane. Every year at Easter, millions of members of this church make an annual pilgrimage to Limpopo province. The thousands of football fans who will descend on the city from around the world next year are sure to enjoy the tranquility. Until kick-off time, of course! Source: 2010 Fifa World Cup South Africa Organising Committeelast_img read more

US audience award for Mandela movie

first_img4 October 2013Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, the big-screen dramatisation of Nelson Mandela’s autobiography, won the Audience Favourite Feature award at the Aspen Filmfest in the United States, it was announced on Wednesday night.The film beat a number of heavyweight contenders, including The Fifth Estate, August: Osage County, Nebraska and One Chance, to emerge as the most popular film at the internationally recognised festival.Long Walk to Freedom received an eight-minute standing ovation at its world premiere at the 38th Toronto International Film Festival last month.“Even though the Aspen Filmfest is a small festival, it is very prestigious,” producer Anant Singh said in a statement on Thursday, adding that it featured one of the line-ups of Oscar contenders in the run-up to the 2014 Academy Awards.This included Alexander Payne’s comedy Nebraska starring Bruce Dern and Will Forte; Bill Condon’s thriller The Fifth Estate, based on WikiLeaks and starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Julian Assange; and John Wells’ drama August: Osage County starring Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts.“We are delighted that Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom came out tops, especially in contention with these quality films,” Singh said.Directed by Justin Chadwick and produced by Anant Singh, the epic film spans Mandela’s extraordinary life, from his childhood in a rural village through to his inauguration as the first democratically elected president of South Africa.Three actors play Mandela in the film: Siza Pini plays the eight-year-old Mandela, Atandwa Kani plays him at 16, and Idris Elba plays the remaining years.Elba was praised by critics in the film’s first reviews on Sunday, with The Hollywood Reporter finding him “equal to the task” of filling the shoes of “the man most instrumental in ending institutionalized oppression in South Africa”, and Variety – while taking issue with the film’s grand narrative style – declaring: “Idris Elba gives a towering performance, a Mandela for the ages.”Long Walk to Freedom will have its South African premier at Maponya Mall in Soweto in November, following which it will be publicly released at Nu Metro, Ster-Kinekor and independent cinemas throughout the country on 28 November.SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

Amazon Web Services Gets DDoS Attack and the Client Waits

first_imgTags:#enterprise#news#saas Massive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo… “The lesson here is: ‘Don’t bet the farm on a single cloud provider,’” says Craig Balding, founder of and a security practitioner at a Fortune 500 company. “It’s common sense really. But people get lulled into thinking they site is always going to be available [when they host with a single provider].” alex williams Bitbucket hosts everything on Amazon EC2. They also use EBS service for storage of everything from their database, logfiles, and user data.Bitbucket first recognized the attack on Friday night when their network storage became virtually unavailable. According to the detailed account on their blog, the site crawled to a halt.After the service went down, AWS was contacted. After more than five hours of back and forth about the extent of the issue, the conversation moved to Twitter and you guessed it, that’s when Amazon realized perhaps this might be a bigger problem than they thought.Some of Bitbucket’s large customers contacted Amazon and the problem climbed up the customer support ladder pretty fast.Up until this point, Amazon maintained they did not have a problem with the service. That line soon changed as the issue became more severe. By this time senior executives were on the phone, engineering specialists were being called in and Bitbucket had Amazon’s full attention.Twenty hours later, the service had been restored. But the after effects are still apparent. Jesper Noehr created Bitbucket. He has been tweeting continuously since the problem began. You can tell he is spending a good bit of this time working with customers who are none too happy. Do a search on Twazzup and the complaints about Bitbucket’s problems run down the page.It’s a trust game to this point in the cloud services world. A lag in diagnosis prevented Bitbucket from getting back online. They took a big hit. Not surprisingly, they are considering other services.But for customers out there, it’s time to look more deeply at how much faith you put in one cloud services provider. From The Register: Related Posts center_img 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Now An apparent DDoS attack on Amazon Web Services (AWS) over the weekend left a web-hosting code service down for about 20 hours before the problem became resolved. The attack raises questions about how fast Amazon responds to its clients in times of attack and what level of trust customers should place with one cloud service provider. IT + Project Management: A Love Affair Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of…last_img read more

Green Goose Wows the Crowd & Raises $100K On Launch Conference Stage

first_imgWhy Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Imagine getting points in an online game each time you drink more water, floss your teeth or take a step toward some other healthy lifestyle goal. That’s the promise of Green Goose, a company that uses tiny sensors and accelerometers on stickers or credit cards to track everyday behavior and record it online.The company demonstrated today how its technology, which is currently in pre-production in China, lets a user put a sticker containing a tiny sensor and a year’s worth of battery power, on the handle of a toothbrush, for example. The motion of the toothbrush sends a message to the Green Goose base station which then publishes a record of the activity online. A wide range of everyday activities can be tracked and the whole system was a big crowd pleaser at Jason Calacanis’s Launch conference. Two members of the panel of investor judges put $100,000 into the startup on the spot while the company was still on stage. A third, Bill Warner, had already invested. “It’s amazing and there’s so much more you haven’t even heard,” he said about the company. marshall kirkpatrick Tags:#Internet of Things#web ReadWriteWeb wrote about Green Goose in February of last year (those investors should read RWW more closely, apparently, might have got better terms) when the company was framing itself as a tool for ecological and financial responsibility. It’s based in both San Francisco and Portland, Oregon.The company seems to have shrunken its sensor design substantially and reframed itself as a health and wellness instrumentation service. It’s all about actualizing your intentions and measuring your behavior as a game, according to the service’s site.Water bottles, tooth brushes, bikes, pill bottles and other objects can be turned into sensors that track our interaction with them and then publish that data online. All thanks to a simple sticker or other attachable sensor. It’s the simplest and most pleasing example we’ve seen yet of the widely anticipated trend called The Internet of Things.All kinds of formerly disconnected devices will be brought online in the coming months and years, their activities and interactions no longer ignored by their users but now tracked, stored and analyzed for patterns, thresh holds and opportunities by web based applications and interfaces. A more measured world will in theory be a more rational, more just and more sustainable world. It looks like it may be a world with better dental hygiene, too.The health angle is a strong one and the healthcare industry knows it. “Insurance companies are really trying to figure out how to reinvent all this stuff,” Web 2.0 forefather and sensor-lover Tim O’Reilly told me about Green Goose today. “They’re all looking for things like this that will drive wellness. The biggest question about it is whether it’s too early. As the old VC saying goes, being too early is indistinguishable from being wrong. But this is defiitely on the right track.” The Launch conference Grand Jury members on stage tonight thought so too. Shervin Pishevar and Jay Levy each said on stage that they’d put in $50,000 investments (pending due diligence), after host Calacanis and the crowd cheered louder and louder at the prospect of their doing so. Calacanis had to admit that the conference’s front line selection committee made a mistake when it neglected to select Green Goose to present at the main event. Fortunately Grand Jury members found, selected and promoted the company from the demo platform tables out in the hallway. They’ll leave much happier birds. Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Related Posts 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

Jat issue, SYL to stir up Haryana budget session

first_imgThe Haryana Assembly’s budget session, starting here on Monday, is likely to be stormy with the Opposition set to train its guns on the BJP government over various issues, including the ongoing Jat stir and the SYL canal.Governor’s address The session will commence with the address of Governor Kaptan Singh Solanki, an official spokesman said on Saturday. The budget for 2017-2018 is likely to be presented on March 6 and the session is to continue till March 10, officials sources said.The Jat reservation issue is set to figure prominently in the session as the community members have been agitating for nearly a month in support of their various demands. Besides seeking quota in education and government jobs under the Other Backward Classescategory, their demands include the release of those jailed during last year’s stir, withdrawal of cases and government jobs for the kin of those killed and injured. The INLD and the Congress have come out in support of the Jats this time and have asked the government to meet their demands.SYL issue The Opposition is also set to raise the SYL canal issue. On Thursday, some INLD leaders led by Mr Chautala tried to march into Punjab to dig its portion of the SYL canal. However, the march was foiled by the Punjab Police. The INLD has maintained that the Supreme Court has given the order in favour of Haryana on the SYL and accused the State and Central governments of not doing anything to implement the decision. Besides, both the parties would seek reply on other issues like law and order situation and farmers.last_img read more