The Spectrum Of Business In Africa Through E-Commerce

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Small scale and large scale entrepreneurs have taken the advantage of the effectiveness of the media and technology, including e-commerce to promote and market products, reaching every corner of the globe without fatigue. What is e-commerce and how has it been beneficial to entrepreneurs?

Assuming you live in Asia, Europe or America, would you like to travel thousands of kilometers for a product you want desperately in South Africa? Taking such a journey is not only waste of time but also money. Remember time is money. Through the birth of modern technology, e-commerce acts as a facilitator in getting your message to the manufacturer to send the consumer whatever he is looking for online.

Thus; E-commerce is online shopping making it easier for consumers to purchase products via the internet from manufacturers. E-commence enhances business to reach beyond consumer base and access global markets like never before. Last year, November 18, delegates at the ‘Sixth Annual European Conference highlighted on the effect and impact of in E-commerce generally in Europe.

The European E-Commerce sector is said to worth an estimated 350 billion Euros and it is predicted to create 1.5 million jobs in Europe by 2018.  The writer takes a look at the impact and benefit of e-commerce in Africa’s business. The effect of E-commerce business in the African continent is enormous, changing the face of the traditional consumer.

Internet trade has made it easier for African entrepreneurs to search for quality products online, compare prices and purchased products. According to research by Google South Africa, there was an increase of 49% in query volumes in Nigeria, 37% in South Africa and 33% in Kenya, during 2014.  E-commerce hasn’t been beneficial only to African entrepreneurs, consumers and manufacturers, but also attracted widely investment opportunities alike.

Some of the African countries with booming E-commerce markets, transforming the economic landscape are Senegal, Morocco, Mozambique, Ghana, South Africa, Nigeria, Egypt, Tanzania, Cameroun, and Kenya. At the epicenter of Africa’s thriving economy and business, E-commerce has driven hundreds of businessmen to success, in different fields, especially the mobile telephone industry.   In the year 2010 alone, the Ghanaian government made GHC598 million in taxes and levies, representing 10% of government income for that year.

The secret to every successful business depends on the variety and quality of the products. E-commerce holds a ray of hope for African entrepreneurs and small scale business. It seems after gaining the political independence; Africa folded its arms, waiting for a miracle to come from heaven. God helps those who help themselves, now Africa is gradually emerging from the realms of poverty through the eye of E-commerce.

Africa In The Hands Of China After Colonialism

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Robert Mugabe shakes hands with the Chinese president, Xi Jinping.  

Like the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989, distinguishing the flames of communism, colonialism and Apartheid also faded after the Europeans lost its grip on Africa, when demanding of political independence swept through Africa colony in the fifties.

Even though Africa is much underestimated, the continent’s rich mineral resources always attract both developing and developed countries. China is now actively engaged in Africa, but under heavy criticism, because the West and America see them as opportunists interested in Africa’s resources.

Nearly 600 years ago, the first Chinese reached Africa during the Ming dynasty, a period of cultural restoration and expansion, on the coast of Kenya. The next significant arrival was in the early 1900’s when about 60,000 Chinese miners worked on goldfields in South Africa. Later, Chairman Mao Zedong sent tens of thousands of agricultural and construction workers to Africa to enhance ties with countries emerging from colonialism.

Africa, taken as a continent of ignorance, attract Europeans and Asians because many believe that without enough education, Africa is a place one can easily set up a business and be a boss. A weak economy, influenced by rampant corruption, has allowed African leaders quickly welcoming Chinese business entrepreneurs to Africa. The Chinese have taken over the construction works in Africa, employing hundreds of Chinese and African nationals, becoming the most aggressive investor-nation in Africa.

Although China is playing a significant role in the construction and engineering sectors in Africa, not everything that glitters is gold. Chinese companies are cutting into Africa’s profits. Most African companies are losing jobs to the Chinese companies because a lot of the African leaders have confidence in them and also they offer lower construction prices. Nevertheless; trade between China and Africa reached a new high last year, totaling US$198.5 billion. It is estimated that about 1 million Chinese people are engaged in different sectors in Africa.

The strong presence of Chinese in Africa has sparked controversy, as America and Europe continue to accuse them of flooding the market with inferior or cheap quality products. Due to the rate of poverty, Africans rely on affordable products. It seems they have found solution and satisfaction in Chinese products. To build a good relationship with African leaders China continues to support and giving a loan to Africa to enhance its developments.

In Ghana, a crackdown on illegal miners exploiting the gold industry led to the deportation of thousands of Chinese nationals from the country. The Immigration authorities say more than 4,500 Chinese nationals were repatriated after a series of swoops on illegal goldmines; souring the relationship between the governments of Ghana and China.

Many Ghanaians and local residents aren’t happy over the action of the Ghanaian government. “They were the ones that provided the mining equipment, most of the Ghanaians left behind can’t continue their operations,” said one of the local residents, but many Ghanaians concerned about health and environmental hazards lauded the government’s efforts to curb illegal mining.

The question is: Why years after colonialism Africa still depend on foreign aid, despite economic growth in many parts of the continent significantly outpacing the global average?’ How is the money spent and how can Africa progress without foreign aid? What is the significance of independence when Africa is still crawling like a baby learning how to move around?

Science and technology provide the transformation of every developing and developed country, in this way, Africa have to build expertise in these areas for the economy to take off, but since corruption has affected every infrastructure, the continent has a long way to go and will always lack behind in development.

Vlaamse Journalisten Vereniging (Flemish Journalists Association) Celebrates Golden Jubilee

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The Mayor of Antwerp, Bart De Wever, delivering his speech yesterday. Standing close is the Chairman of the Flemish Journalists Association, Mr. Walter van den Branden. Photo copyright @ Joel Savage.

It’s an exciting time for the Vlaamse Journalisten Veregniging, as the association holds its end of year press conference on Saturday, December 5, 2015,  at the District House, the main official building of the mayor of Antwerp, Mr. Bart De Wever.  

The association, which continue to grow, remain always adaptable, motivated and responsive, end of year’s press conference coincided with the celebration of the association’s golden jubilee.

At 12.00 pm, the chairman of the Flemish Journalists Association, Mr. Walter Van Den Branden, welcome all the members of the association into the office. After a quick refreshment, Bart De Wever was received by the chairman.

After giving his speech, he gave the platform to the mayor. Like always he shows his experience as a powerful and motivational speaker. He sheds light on his work as a politician, that many are displeased which caused a little laughter.

Like every formidable association, the Flemish Journalists Association, in the past fifty years, works and maintains close relationship with its members, in the fields of freelancing, media entrepreneurs, cartoonists, newspapers and radio journalists.

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Members of the Flemish Journalists Association. Photo Copyright@ Joel Savage.

The Flemish Journalists Association, also maintains close contacts with local authorities, engages in training  and carry out essential qualities needed to journalists to maintain successful careers.

From the mayor’s office, further activities of the association and dinner, took place at the Hotel Ramadan in Antwerp. I have attended many end of year press conferences of the Flemish Journalists Association, but this year’s occasion was exceptional.

After dinner, some of the members retired to bed in the hotel and others left home with free parcels distributed by the association’s secretary Hilde Van Gool.

The Development Of Africa And Asia Through The Lenses Of Technology And Communication

ICT 3Modern technology, through communication and internet have influenced and enhanced Africa’s development, in a way that lives of many throughout the continent have significantly improved. The demand of ICT companies in Africa, have created fast growing mobile and internet markets providing employment to thousands of people.

A country without technology economy can never grow. It is therefore the effort of every government in Africa to invest into ICT facilities to sustain the economy. Technology is therefore essential and important establishing sustainable startup companies and firms in Africa. Today, several major technology trends are shaping the lives of Africans and the economies, with many formidable mobile companies, with communication tools such as the internet and telephone enabling quick access to every part of the world.

Let’s have a glance at the effect of ICT trends in Ghana, choosing MTN as an example. Officially launched in 1994, MTN Group is a multinational telecommunications group, operating in 21 countries throughout Africa, Asia and the Middle East. The MTN Group is listed on the JSE Securities Exchange in South Africa under the share code: “MTN” Detailed Report Data for 30 September 2010, MTN recorded 134,4 million subscribers across its operations in Afghanistan, Benin, Botswana, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Cyprus, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Guinea Republic, Iran, Liberia, Nigeria, Republic of Congo (Congo Brazzaville), Rwanda, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Syria, Uganda, Yemen and Zambia.

MTN MobileMoney,  a service which allows users to perform micro-financing and transfer money from their mobile device, has been adopted across the continent. The basic satisfaction behind this is the answer to customers’ dream of enjoying basic financial services on their mobile phones everywhere they go in Ghana and above all one doesn’t need a bank account to cash his or her money. This service provided by MTN in partnership with banks is also available on the internet. MTN MobileMoney service is recommended to be secure, simple, fast and convenient solution for money transfer and other transactions including reloading of MTN airtime units.

Let’s have a quick glance at India. What is a successful strategic technology? That is an existing technology that has matured, which is the case of India.  The country has become an IT brand among the global countries over the years, with strong policies base in education, well-established telecommunication & infrastructure facilities and favourable market conditions that prevail. Many Indian cities are now holding prominent places in the global IT map. Now India stands out as one of the biggest and fastest growing economies in the world.

The country’s matured technology offers an opportunity for strategic business advantage, continuing expansion in foreign firms owned establishments in India, with its emergence as favorite sector for local Indian investors and talented entrepreneurs. Yet Indian IT industry is still only in its very early stages of development both internationally and domestically and has strong growth potential.

The industry growing at 40 percent per annum between 1994 and 1999, with software exports alone more than 50 percent, earned revenue growth IT industry from $1 billion in 1990 to $8 billion in 2000, envisioned to reach $100 billion in 2008.

“While predicting the future is hard to do, it’s indubitable that the Internet and mobile technology will improve the lives of many Africans in the years to come,” said tech expert Rudy de Waele, who assists global brands and companies with cutting edge open innovation strategy on how to mobilize their business and products through projects, research, strategy, presentations, workshops and brainstorms.

ICT developed and developing continents, such as Africa and Asia hold its own communications future, as talent shines through and the continent becomes leading innovator, manufacturer and exporter throughout the continents and of the rest of the world.

Twitter: The Cheating Games Many Users Play On That Social Media

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‘Twitter is an online social networking service that enables users to send and read short 140-character messages called “tweets”. Registered users can read and post tweets, but unregistered users can only read them.’ That’s the sweetest and shortest introduction of this famous social media, business men, entrepreneurs and people from all walks of life engaged for their livelihood.

On Twitter activities are tweeted, mails are exchanged and friendships are made. However, since every society there are both good and bad people, the same way the social media is occupied by both good and bad people, including people that take the advantage to cheat and those that do desperate things just to gain followers.

I registered on Twitter in 2011. Among all the social media, Twitter was the one I gave less attention to, concentrating much on Facebook. It seems I didn’t know the worth or significance of the Twitter that time. I got notification of every follower, but ignored without following back. Probably I wasn’t  even aware that I need to follow back, because I was green and amateur to social media.

After learning much about Twitter, it was too late and most of those that followed me were gone and when I became more serious on Twitter, following back my new followers, I realized that the social media I had ignored for over two years, worth more than ‘silver and gold.’ Frankly speaking, it is not easy to build or solicit for followers. People are crying to be followed on Twitter, because the more followers you have, the evidence that you are either celebrity or an important person in the society.

The hard way to generate followers genuinely without purchase, has increased dishonesty and cunning activities on Twitter. Out of the blue comes a message of followers. You want to be honest and sincere, so you follow them back, but after two or three days, those you sincerely followed them, unfollow you to increase the number of their followers. Some even do that the same day. Most people who do that profile reads “Following 1,257, Followers 315. Instead of them ‘unfollow’ those who aren’t following them, they unfollow the follower, they think aren’t important to follow.

Thanks to ‘Tweepdash’ which gives me information of those unfaithful ones to weed them out from my yard. On Twitter you see profiles like ‘Be Distinct.’ He wants to fly but has no wings and wants to be a celebrity by means of Twitter. He follows you and a day after he unfollows. This is the style many Twitter users adopt to increase the number of their followers and be ‘distinct.’

I wonder why people make a fun of themselves in this manner and think they are very intelligent. Greed is everywhere and wherever it exists, corruption and dishonesty rule. People pay for book review to be given a good review and many writers who hate to do such things, are merely seen as bad writers, because they see no review yet for their books.

I will always be happy even if I have one follower, because there is a reason that person followed me. I’m fortunate to have great authors such as Joel Friedlander, CNN’s Jim Clancy and musicians such as Chuck D of Public Enemy and Digital Underground following me on Twitter.

Information And Communications Technology: The Key To Africa’s Development And Business Growth?

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Gone are the days when due to lack of modern technology, global businesses encounter impediments, today Internet Global System of Mobile Telecommunication and Satellite  Communication Technologies impact on Africa is enormous, not only in business, but  improving  health of individuals, education and communities.

There is no doubt that Africa is gradually making good use of the fresh demonstration of modern technology and rubbing shoulders with the advanced world. The internet and mobile phones are transforming the development landscape in Africa, making business smooth to run, profitable, easy communication and enhancing the health, educational and economic sectors.

The breakthrough of ICT facilities can’t be denied. The internet has brought commercial success to businesses operated on large and medium scale. The best of it all is reducing labour needed to achieve the same amount of work and above all paving the way for many to engage in education as highly trained ICT specialists.

The ICT is providing economic opportunities to both urban and rural area, playing a significant role in poverty alleviation. In recent years information and communication technologies (ICTs) have been deployed in numerous initiatives in rural communities in developing countries, bringing much developments to both the health and educational sectors. Everyone is trying to establish small scale business or go to school.

The success of ICT facilities in business, education, banking and health developments, can be seen in almost every African country, including Malawi, Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. It has been acknowledged by international entrepreneurs that development of Information and Communication Technology are playing crucial role in Africa’s development in the economic, health and educational sectors.

Not everything glitters is gold. Africa is struggling in development. According to the World Bank, 2.8 billion people live on less than US$2 per day, and 1.2 billion or one-fifth of the world’s population live on less than US$1 per day. That means many are still trapped in poverty, been deprived of access to essential assets and opportunities such as education, healthcare and employment, but there is hope that Africa will gradually crawl out of poverty as technology advances and business flourishes.

LinkedIn: Thanks For Taking My Career To The Forefront

U.S. President Barack Obama participates in a LinkedIn town hall-style meeting with LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner (L) in Mountain View, California, September 26, 2011.   REUTERS/Jason Reed   (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS BUSINESS) - RTR2RVI2

U.S. President Barack Obama participates in a LinkedIn town hall-style meeting with LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner (L) in Mountain View, California, September 26, 2011. REUTERS/Jason Reed (UNITED STATES – Tags: POLITICS BUSINESS) – RTR2RVI2

Like every aspiring and enthusiastic writer, I joined LinkedIn social platform to promote my work worldwide, since LinkedIn is the leading online professional directory of individuals and companies with over 85 million members, in more than 200 countries, including business executives, entrepreneurs and professionals from all walks of life.

As a writer, as well as a strong believer in God, I adhere to certain principles to enjoy my life and career as a Christian. Two things I hate in my life is pride and boasting, I always tried to avoid the two, because the Holy Bible speaks against them. But at times one gets into trouble, because of how some readers view or opinions over certain articles.

My articles have got me into trouble in the past, especially when I was writing for the ‘The Voice News Magazine’ in Amsterdam, and the latest was on LinkedIn’s platform, when I decided to encourage Africans to read, since many hate to read. God and the library are my witnesses. I was attacked on LinkedIn’s social platform, including a black politician in Gent, Belgium, when I wrote an article captioned ‘Why many Africans are ‘allergic’ to reading?’ Nothing of the sort breaks me down, so I continued with my writings, caring less if people read or not.

But in life, out of every misfortune comes something good. LinkedIn’s social platform didn’t only generate personal attacks over my articles, but has also catapulted my writings to fame. On LinkedIn’s platform, I had many paid jobs, but couldn’t fulfill them, because I need some time for my family as a family-man, to take care of my woman and two sons. (My elder son is now married and lives with his wife.)

I joined LinkedIn not quite long, but the number of newspapers that had contacted me to write for them are too numerous to mention. I chose few like Diplomatic Aspects Newspaper, Sprout Africa and AfricanBusiness.com. But this is not the end; more invitations were coming in with promises, including some American news magazines. Unfortunately, as I said earlier, I need more time for my family, so I couldn’t write for them.

Once a well known key figure and one of the directors of LinkedIn’s social platform contacted me to write an article about Google, because the giant search machine is greedily taking away all the commercials online, leaving nothing to other search engines and I wrote the article captioned ‘Is the greed of Google cutting its own throat?’

The latest was just last week. I had a mail from the editor of HBCUconnect.
HBCU CONNECT was founded in 1999, by Hampton University graduate William Roger Moss III, who connected with fellow HBCU grad and entrepreneur E. Shawn Starks to create the first African American targeted social network launched as “hbcu-central.com.”

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I was very delighted when He told me that they were going to feature me on HBCU. How did he hear of me? Because he reads my articles. He asked me to register at the website, but all efforts were abortive, because the site is purely for African-American graduates, professionals and students. I never had any education in America, so the system was rejecting my application.

I contacted him over my fruitless attempts. I don’t know what he did, after some time the registration was possible. This was just six days ago and just posted my tenth article. I was overwhelmed with joy when I detected that my articles have generated a lot of interests, depending on the number of clicks they have registered.

In whatever career you are pursuing, you may climb hills and face opposition along the path. Don’t let those barriers and opposition be stumbling blocks along that path. Just concentrate without any distraction and at the end of the dark tunnel, there is a strong beautiful light waiting to shine on your success.