1[EXCLUSIVE] Africa.com Talks to the Women of GE Africa
Meet Welela Dawit, who is the CFO of GE Africa as well as the CFO of the gas power systems and power services business for sub-Saharan Africa. By having a dual role she has multiple capacities and understand areas of responsibility. First and foremost it’s ensuring the controller-ship of compliance in terms of how we work and record our financial performance, I am supportive of driving commercial growth initiatives particularly in our gas powered business and it’s also all about leadership development of our finance pipeline and ensuring we’ve got future finance talent growing within the system and being able to take on bigger and better roles down the road. Adesua Dozie is the general counsel for GE Africa and general counsel for the gas power systems and services business for sub-Saharan Africa. She manages legal reputation and commercial risk across the continent ensuring that we’re able to do our business sustainably, managing the company’s reputation and ensuring that the growth and our future pipeline is protected and sustained. And co-chairs the GE Women’s Network for sub-Saharan Africa it’s an affinity group that promotes recruitment, retention and support of women across the continent.
2EXCLUSIVE: Deep Dive Into The Historic Silicosis Class Action Case Settlement
iAfrica’s exclusive interview with the attorney that led this historic case that awarded over $350 million to gold mine workers. The silicosis and tuberculosis class action is unprecedented in its scope and ambition. The aim is to compensate former and current mineworkers from South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, eSwatini, Mozambique, Lesotho and Malawi who contracted silicosis or tuberculosis on a gold mine owned or operated by Anglo America South Africa, Goldfields, Harmony, African Rainbow Minerals, AngloGold Ashanti and Sibanye Stillwater from 1965 to date. If the parties had continued with litigation as opposed to settling, it could easily take another ten years to finalise the litigation. The LRC has lost five of its thirteen class representatives – these people passed away. Two of them passed in past 6 months. The settlement shows an acknowledgement from both sides that achieving an outcome beneficial to the mine workers was urgently required. The settlement is important first and foremost for the mineworkers suffering from an incurable and progressive disease or their dependants that cared for them during their illness.
3Highlights from Africa’s Top Employers 2019 Certification Programme
Two hundred and nine organisations in Africa officially registered to participate in this year’s Certification Programme. One hundred and ninety-five organisations spanning 31 African countries and 23 industry sectors achieved the Top Employers 2019 Certification. Ninety-nine certified organisations will carry the South African Certification, while 96 certified Top Employers from other African countries outside of South Africa have also been certified. Eighty-four percent of the certified population in Africa are multinational corporations, while the remaining 16% are national companies. The countries with the most certified organisations are: South Africa (99), Kenya (8), Nigeria (8), Egypt (7), Ghana (7), Morocco (6), Mozambique (5), Tanzania (5), Zambia (5), Zimbabwe (5), and Tunisia (5). Certification has also been achieved for the very first time by an organisation in Burkina Faso. The top five industry sectors in Africa with the greatest representation are: FMCG (55), Transport & Logistics (37), Telecommunications (26), Manufacturing (22) and Pharmaceuticals (14). Fourteen organisations made up of 101 certified operations have earned the right to carry their country-specific and the continental certifications. The coveted Top Employers Africa Certification is earned when an organisation is certified in a minimum of four or more African countries in the same year. These international organisations have proven they are able to offer a consistently harmonised development experience for their employees, no matter where they are located on the continent. According to our research, Africa’s top five HR Priorities are: Talent Strategy, Employee Engagement, Leadership Development, Learning & Development, (Support) Cultural and Organisational Change.
SOURCES: AFRICAN BUSINESS MAGAZINE
4What Africa Could Learn from Maritime Powerhouse Canada
Given that 38 of 54 countries are coastal, there’s potential for Africa to harness its vast coastline. The takeaway from Canada is that innovation can only be born from a foundation of skills and knowledge. Creating a network between the private sector, government and academia is vital. By looking at the methods they used to create a more efficient ocean economy sector, and investigate how it can be applied to Africa’s maritime context. One such is the Marine Institute of Memorial University of Newfoundland, a center of marine learning and applied research. Glenn Blackwood, Vice-President of the institute, who has been involved in training in Namibia and Tanzania, said it’s necessary to start at entry-level jobs. “You can’t be captain the first day on the ships,” he explained, “but you train them to a very high level.”
SOURCE: FORBES AFRICA
5Zimbabwe has Become a Country of Queues
In recent weeks, drivers have typically lined up for about three hours to refuel their cars with gasoline that has been diluted with ethanol, which makes it burn faster. Workers wait for hours in long lines outside of banks to receive their pay in cash, because of a shortage of Zimbabwean dollars. The price of bread has increased sevenfold in the past year, and some medicines are now 10 times more expensive, even as most wages remain stagnant. Added to that is Zimbabwe’s acute water shortage as a result of a particularly bad drought this year, a symptom of climate change. Poor water management has wasted much of the water that remains. Two of Harare’s four reservoirs are empty from lack of rain, but between 45 and 60 percent of the water that’s left is lost through leakage and theft, said Herbert Gomba, the mayor of Harare.
SOURCE: THE NEW YORK TIMES
6Jumia Uses the Power of Collaboration to Deliver
The promise of e-commerce across Africa has, so far, been partly held up by the logistical challenges of delivery. Jumia, the largest operator in Africa, is taking another crack at the problem through a partnership with Vivo Energy, owner of Engen and Shell-branded petrol stations across Africa. The agreement will see Jumia set up pick-up stations at Vivo’s over 2,000 fuel station outlets, allowing customers pick up orders as well as make payment. The partnership will be piloted in Kenya, Morocco, Senegal and Ivory Coast before being eventually rolled out to countries where both companies operate, says Jumia. Vivo operates in 23 African markets while Jumia operates in 14. The move is Jumia’s latest bid to get around the last-mile delivery problem with logistics currently hobbled by inconsistent address systems, underdeveloped road networks and relatively limited mapping in several of Jumia’s African markets.
SOURCE: QUARTZ AFRICA
7Kenyan Businesses Stage a Comeback after Terror Attack
Normalcy has returned to the 14 Riverside Drive complex, the scene of a bloody attack at the beginning of the year as high-end hotel DusitD2 reopened its doors to customers after seven months. The attack at the office and hotel complex, orchestrated by at least five al-Shabab-linked assailants, killed 21 people and wounded many others on January 15, echoing a 2013 assault on an up-market shopping centre in the capital. In a show of resilience, the DusitD2 complex reopened on Wednesday with staff at most of the local and foreign firms housed there shrugging off concerns to go back to work amid tightened security. Regional tech firm Cellulant, which was hardest hit by the attack by losing six of its staff, is in the process of getting a new office elsewhere in the city. Mwenda Mbijiwe, a Nairobi-based security analyst, said the reopening of DusitD2 Hotel was a show of resilience from the city and “the ability of the nation to rise from defeat”.
SOURCE: AL JAZEERA
8Senegal Appears in the Bad Books
The West African nation home to 15 million is one of the world’s biggest contributors to ocean plastic. Although the country banned polythene bags in 2015, the law is yet to be implemented. Grocers wrap individual items, even blobs of cheese, butter and coffee in copious plastic. “The law is not enforced. When you reach major cities, you are greeted by an unpleasant decor, a … visual pollution made of plastic waste as far as the eye can see,” Environment Minister Abdou Karim Sall. Sall said the government would introduce a new bill in the coming months to ban a wider range of plastic, including thicker shopping bags, following similar moves in Kenya and Rwanda. Senegal is 21 out of all nations for quantity of waste being dumped in the sea – with 254,770 tonnes, only just behind the United States, a vastly bigger economy with many times more people and coastline according to a study in 2010, reported by the journal Science.
SOURCE: AFRICA NEWS
9Mauritius Responds To ‘Factually Incorrect’ Reports
The Government of Mauritius has taken cognizance of the information averred by the ICIJ in the articles, which were illegally obtained and tampered with, and of the allegations which are of a serious and malicious nature, and factually incorrect. It is noteworthy that a criminal investigation is currently being conducted after the police has received complaints that the IT systems of a corporate service provider has been illegally intruded and breached. The ICIJ has, all throughout its articles, clearly stated that “offshore companies and trusts have legitimate uses,” and that “we do not intend to suggest or imply that the people or companies or other entities…have broken the law or otherwise acted improperly”. It would seem that the ICIJ itself is confused as to the purpose and objective of its articles. And it appears, therefore, that its agenda is to use its unsubstantiated “findings” and incorrect arguments just to harm the repute of Mauritius.
10African Investment Scheme Focuses on Cash Cows
Cattle have long been considered a measure of wealth across Africa – but it is not just farmers cashing in. A pioneering app in South Africa lets investors, eager to benefit from rising global beef demand, buy shares in a cow from their mobile phone for as little as $41. Self-styled “crowd-farming” company Livestock Wealth connects investors with small-scale farmers via its “MyFarmbook” app, where they can buy their own cow and receive interest rates of between 5% and 14% depending on where they put their money. Launched in 2015 with 26 cows, the project now includes more than 2,000 cows and has taken in 50 million rand, with 10 percent of investors coming from outside South Africa. Groups of investors can buy a whole cow, while individuals can purchase shares in a pregnant cow or young calf. Livestock contributes around 51% to the agricultural economy in South Africa, with global sheep and beef prices rising after droughts in major producing areas.
SOURCE: REUTERS AFRICA