Click HERE if you’re unable to view the gallery on your mobile device.* * *Subscribe to the Mercury News and East Bay Times for $40 a year and receive a free Warriors championship coffee table book* * *PHOENIX – Patrick McCaw joined the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday, but shed little light on why he chose to leave the Warriors. “Nothing stands out to say I didn’t want to go back, McCaw said after his first practice in Cleveland. “I think it was just time for me to move on.”McCaw …
23 October 2006In the waiting area of a large office complex in Accra, Ghana, it’s standing room only as citizens with bundles of cash line up to buy shares of a mutual fund that has yielded an average 60% annually for the past seven years.Africa: Open for BusinessCarol Pineau, a journalist with more than 10 years’ experience reporting on Africa, is the producer and director of the film Africa: Open for Business, which aired worldwide on the BBC in May 2006 and has been released for purchase on DVD at Africa: Open for Business.They’re entrusting their hard-earned cash to a local company called Databank, which invests in stock markets in Ghana, Nigeria, Botswana and Kenya that consistently rank among the world’s top growth markets.Chances are you haven’t read or heard anything about Databank in your daily newspaper or on the evening news, where the little coverage of Africa that’s offered focuses almost exclusively on the negative – the virulent spread of HIV/Aids, genocide in Darfur, the chaos of Zimbabwe.Yes, Africa is a land of wars, poverty and corruption. The situation in places like Darfur, Sudan desperately cries out for more media attention and international action.But Africa is also a land of stock markets, high rises, Internet cafes and a growing middle class. This is the part of Africa that functions. And this Africa also needs media attention, if it’s to have any chance of fully joining the global economy.Africa’s media image comes at a high cost – even, at the extreme, the cost of lives. Stories about hardship and tragedy aim to tug at our heartstrings, getting us to dig into our pockets or urge Congress to send more aid.But no country or region ever developed thanks to aid alone. Investment, and the job and wealth creation it generates, is the only road to lasting development. That’s how China, India and the Asian Tigers did it.Highest return on FDI in the worldYet while Africa, according to the US government’s Overseas Private Investment Corporation, offers the highest return in the world on foreign direct investment, it attracts the least.Unless investors see the Africa that’s worthy of investment, they won’t put their money into it. And that lack of investment translates into job stagnation, continued poverty and limited access to education and health care.Consider a few facts. The Ghana Stock Exchange regularly tops the list of the world’s highest-performing stock markets. Botswana, with its A+ credit rating, boasts one of the highest per capita government savings rates in the world, topped only by Singapore and a handful of other fiscally prudent nations.Cellphones are making phenomenal profits on the continent. Brand-name companies like Coca-Cola, GM, Caterpillar and Citibank have invested in Africa for years and are quite bullish on the future.Caricaturing a continentThe failure to show this side of Africa creates a one-dimensional caricature of a complex continent. Imagine if 9/11, the Oklahoma City bombing and school shootings were all that the rest of the world knew about America.I recently produced a documentary on entrepreneurship and private enterprise in Africa. Throughout the year-long process, I came to realise how all of us in the media – even those with a true love of the continent – portray it in a way that’s truly to its detriment.The first cameraman I called to film the documentary laughed and said, “Business and Africa, aren’t those contradictory terms?” The second got excited imagining heart-warming images of women’s co-ops and market stalls brimming with rustic crafts. Several friends simply assumed I was doing a documentary on Aids. After all, what else does one film in Africa?The little-known fact is that businesses are thriving throughout Africa. With good governance and sound fiscal policies, countries like Botswana, Ghana, Uganda, Senegal and many more are bustling, their economies growing at surprisingly robust rates.Somalia: surprise, surprisePrivate enterprise is not just limited to the well-behaved nations. You can’t find a more war-ravaged land than Somalia, which has been without a central government for more than a decade.The big surprise? Private enterprise is flourishing. Mogadishu has the cheapest cellphone rates on the continent, mostly due to no government intervention. In the northern city of Hargeysa, the markets sell the latest satellite phone technology. The electricity works.When the state collapsed in 1991, the national airline went out of business. Today, there are five private carriers and price wars keep the cost of tickets down. This is not the Somalia you see in the media.Obviously life there would be dramatically improved by good governance – or even just some governance – but it’s also true that, through resilience and resourcefulness, Somalis have been able to create a functioning society.African solutionsMost African businesses suffer from an extreme lack of infrastructure, but the people I met were too determined to let this stop them. It just costs them more. Without reliable electricity, most businesses have to use generators. They have to dig bore-holes for a dependable water source. Telephone lines are notoriously out of service, but cellphones are filling the gap.Throughout Africa, what I found was a private sector working hard to find African solutions to African problems.One example that will always stick in my mind is the CEO of Vodacom Congo, the largest cellphone company in that country. Alieu Conteh started his business while the civil war was still raging. With rebel troops closing in on the airport in Kinshasa, no foreign manufacturer would send in a cell phone tower, so Conteh got locals to collect scrap metal, which they welded together to build one. That tower still stands today.As I interviewed successful entrepreneurs, I was continually astounded by their ingenuity, creativity and steadfastness. These people are the future of the continent. They are the ones we should be talking to about how to move Africa forward.Obsession with victims, savioursInstead, the media concentrates on victims or government officials, and as anyone who has worked in Africa knows, government is more often a part of the problem than of the solution.When the foreign media descend on the latest crisis, the person they look to interview is invariably the foreign saviour, an aid worker from the United States or Europe. African saviours are everywhere, delivering aid on the ground. But they don’t seem to be in our cultural belief system.It’s not just the media, either. Look at the literature put out by almost any non-governmental organisation. The better ones show images of smiling African children – smiling because they have been helped by the NGO. The worst promote the extended-belly, flies-on-the-face cliche of Africa, hoping that the pain of seeing those images will fill their coffers. “We hawk poverty”, one NGO worker admitted to me.Last November, ABC’s “Primetime Live” aired a special on Britain’s Prince Harry and his work with Aids children in Lesotho. The segment, titled “The Forgotten Kingdom: Prince Harry in Lesotho”, painted the tiny nation as a desperate, desolate place. The programme’s message was clear: This helpless nation at last had a knight – or prince – in shining armour.By the time the charity addresses came up at the end, you were ready to give, and that’s good. Lesotho needs help with its Aids problem. But would it really have hurt the story to add that this land-locked nation with few natural resources has jump-started its economy by aggressively courting foreign investment?The reality is that it’s anything but a “forgotten kingdom”, as a dramatic increase in exports has made it the top beneficiary of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), a duty-free, quota-free US-Africa trade agreement. More than 50 000 people have gotten jobs through the country’s initiatives.Couldn’t the programme have portrayed an African country that was in need of assistance, but was neither helpless nor a victim?Whose portrait of Africa?
The second episode of the new Play Your Part television series airs on Saturday, 2 September 2017. Here’s a synopsis of what you’ll see.Zareef Minty is an entrepreneur and author of the book Empire.Brand South Africa reporterThe second episode of the new season of the Play Your Part television series airs on Saturday, 2 September on SABC 2. Each week, the series, which has 26 episodes, profiles South Africans who are making a positive difference in their communities.Entrepreneur and politician Zareef Minty, Nina Venjakob of the initiative Out of the Box and the team of the Awethu Project are featured.Minty is an entrepreneur and author of the book Empire. The book teaches young people to become financially savvy. There is also a focus on self-branding.The Awethu Project helps entrepreneurs through incubation centres and online mentorship.It has partnered with more than 100 entrepreneurs who were seeking financial and operational support to grow their business, without the business owners giving up control.Venjakob, of the non-government organisation Out of the Box, uplifts and empowers people in Germiston and its surrounding areas.The NGO helps individuals become self-sufficient entrepreneurs. Skills and training are provided.Play Your Part is broadcast at 18:00 every Saturday on SABC 2.To get involved in playing your part in South Africa, here’s what you can do:Check out the conversation on Twitter: #GetInvolvedOr find out about initiatives on Play Your Part here.Tell us how you Play Your Part: @PlayYourPartSA.Follow Brand South Africa on Twitter: @Brand_SA.Like us on Facebook: Official Brand South Africa.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.
Enterprise Green Communities is seeking qualified consultants to expand its Technical Assistance Providers Network in response to the growing demand for specialized technical assistance designing, developing, and operating green affordable housing developments. Enterprise has released its second national Request for Qualifications (RFQ) to identify the nation’s leading green professionals in the residential building sector. The objective of this RFQ is to expand the delivery of technical assistance to local affordable housing developers.The network of approved technical assistance providers will support project teams in one or more of the following categories:Integrated DesignDesign ReviewEnergy ServicesConstruction ReviewHVAC and Air Sealing/Insulation Walk-ThroughsHealthy Living EnvironmentPost-Construction Completion ReviewOperations and MaintenanceInterested parties are encouraged to submit a response to this RFQ that conveys organizational qualifications and project experience byJuly 19, 2010.To access the RFQ go to: http://www.greencommunitiesonline.org/tools/resources/technical_assistance.asp
Learn what makes fluorescent lighting unique and how to best use it in your film and video productions.We recently covered incandescent lighting in our ongoing Lighting for Video series (see those posts here and here). In this tutorial we’re switching gears, going in-depth on fluorescents.Learn what makes fluorescents unique and how they compare to incandescent lighting. We cover a few standard lighting setup examples and I share a few must-know fluorescent lighting tips for video pros (ie, only buy professional grade bulbs!)Fluorescents have a relatively soft throw, so they’re great for adding an overall punch to your image. They are typically lightweight, have great power efficiency and don’t get as hot as other types of lighting instruments.What type of lighting are you using for your film and video projects? Share your suggestions in the comments below (brands, setups or tips that work best for you). Thanks for watching!
A resolution seeking creation of a Legislative Council in Odisha was passed in the State Assembly on Thursday.The resolution moved by State Parliamentary Affairs Minister Bikram Keshari Arukha was passed with as many as 104 of the total 147 legislators casting their votes in its favour. The ruling Biju Janata Dal has 117 members in the House.The legislators of opposition Congress and BJP staged a walkout before the resolution was put to vote. While Congress had opposed the idea of creation of the Council, the BJP had alleged that the government was moving ahead with the proposal to accommodate the sitting BJD legislators who will not be given tickets to contest the 2019 elections.The resolution will be sent to the Centre for approval of Parliament to facilitate creation of the Legislative Council.Wider consultationsAfter the passing of the resolution, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said the creation of the Council will be of great help as wider consultations are required to accelerate the growth momentum that the State has picked up.A proposal for creation of the Legislative Council in Odisha was passed by the State Cabinet on August 24.The proposed Council will have 49 members, which is one-third of the total members of the State Assembly.The Odisha government had set up a committee in 2015 to study the Legislative Councils in other States and recommend for establishment of one in the State.
About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Liverpool legend Souness scoffs at Man Utd youth policyby Paul Vegas5 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveLiverpool legend Graeme Souness has questioned Manchester United’s youth policy.He warns that United won’t be able to nuture these players if they are drafted into a squad low on confidence.”Ever since the Busby Babes, the club have made a fetish out of youth,” Souness wrote in the Sunday Times. “In itself, that is no bad thing, especially at a club which subsequently brought George Best through its ranks and then produced the Class of 92. “It’s possible that the likes of Marcus Rashford, James Garner and Mason Greenwood might go on to emulate their illustrious predecessors — though I’m sceptical — but just because they have been picked to start for United while they are still teenagers doesn’t make it so. “The difficulty is compounded by the fact that they are being thrust into a team which is shorn of authority and confidence.”
BEIJING — China’s legislature is considering a law to ban local governments from forcing foreign companies to hand over technology, an issue that helped to spark Washington’s tariff war with Beijing.Beijing has long denied companies are required to trade technology for market access. But officials including Premier Li Keqiang promised this year to crack down as tensions with Washington heated up.The official Xinhua News Agency said a proposed foreign investment law taken up Sunday by the national legislature would make clear officials cannot “force the transfer of technology” as a condition of business ventures.Washington and Beijing have raised tariffs on billions of dollars of each other’s goods in a dispute over American complaints China’s industry plans are based on theft of technology and violate its market-opening obligations.The Associated Press
By Mia RabsonTHE CANADIAN PRESS Last year, auditor general Michael Ferguson said he tried to test the progress being made on phasing out the subsidies but blasted the government for refusing to provide documents that would allow him to do so.Last month, a dozen of Canada’s most well known and influential environment groups flagged lack of action on fossil fuel subsidies in a report card on the government’s efforts to deliver on its environmental promises.Earlier this month, Canada fared poorly in a report ranking the progress of the G7 nations on phasing out fossil fuels. The report, completed by Oil Change International and the International Institute for Sustainable Development, concluded that the seven biggest developed economies in the world collectively contribute more than $100 billion a year to help the fossil fuel industry.While the U.S. spent the most overall, Canada spent the most per capita of any G7 country on oil and gas production, according to the report.Canada also received a poor grade for transparency of its subsidies.Catherine Abreu, executive director of the Climate Action Network-Canada, said agreeing to work with Argentina to peer review each other’s subsidies is a very good sign the government is finally moving on its commitment to phase them out. OTTAWA, O.N. – The federal government has taken a step towards fulfilling its promise to get rid of fossil fuel subsidies by agreeing to finally explain how much it actually spends on them.Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr was in Argentina on Thursday where he and his Argentinian counterpart announced that each country will conduct a study on how much the other country subsidizes its fossil fuel industries.As part of both the G7 and G20, Canada has committed every year since 2009 that it will work to phase out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies. The Liberals made it a campaign promise in 2015 and the following year said it would be done by 2025. Environment groups have used publicly available documents to try and figure out how much Canada subsidizes oil and gas companies but, without the government producing its own thorough review, Abreu said it’s very hard to know what’s missing.Existing reviews suggest Canada offers about $3 billion to companies to explore and produce oil and gas within Canada. Export Development Canada also finances oil production in other countries, spending almost $12 billion in 2016 and $10 billion in 2017 on foreign oil production.Abreu said the government has never really defined what it means by “inefficient” subsidies so this review may finally shed light on that aspect as well.A spokesman for Carr said the government will make the review report public once it is complete.
TAYLOR, B.C. – At a District of Taylor Council meeting, on Monday, Council heard from a citizen requesting for a variance to a zoning bylaw.Tammy Smith is requesting that Council makes a variance to the zoning bylaw to accommodate her chickens and one rooster, this following a complaint the District had received from an undisclosed resident.The District did not disclose the specific complaint but did list their own reasons for not allowing a rooster within District limits, such as noise issues. As for the limit of chickens, Council said they referred to other communities and found that six was a good maximum to keep down on smell and noise.Smith says she keeps her coop and yard clean by using wood shavings and proper ventilation, so there would be no concern for a smell. As for noise, her chickens are locked up at night until mid-morning.The matter is now before the Protection Committee for further review.