Sunday, 10 May 2015

Investing to change lives: IFC and AfDB seek to boost private sector in Africa

Enhancing partnerships with a view to boosting private sector as the driving force for sustainable and inclusive growth in Africa is one of the main priorities for the African Development Bank’s Private Sector Department (OPSD) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC).

For this reason, the African Development Bank hosted a high-level delegation from the IFC for two days of meetings on May 6 and 7, 2015 in Abidjan, to deepen relationships between the two institutions, and to develop initiatives to increase private sector investments in the region. The ultimate goal: to use investment to change lives in Africa.

Opened by AfDB Vice-President Solomon Asamoah, the meeting offered the opportunity to assess the experiences and lessons learned over the past few years of private sector financing to drive better results on the ground. The meeting also examined how the two institutions can better collaborate to bolster Africa’s development by enabling sustainable private investment in a continent, which according to AfDB Private Sector Director Kodeidja Diallo, “is characterized by large and small projects funding gaps and challenges.  

“Africa is a huge market and we need to invest to change lives,” she said, echoing Vice-President Asamoah, Vice-President, Operations, in charge of Infrastructure, Private Sector and Regional Integration.

The meeting particularly seeks how to increase the success factors for operations in fragile states, adequacy of business model for SME financing and advisory services. IFC Directors for Western and Central Africa, Saran Kebet-Koulibaly, and for East and Southern Africa, Cheikh O. Seydi, both of whom headed the delegation, expressed gratitude to the Bank for hosting the meeting, saying that it provided a golden opportunity to revamp the cooperation.
“We believe in our partnership with the AfDB and the benefit of it is to sit down and take the partnership to the next level,” Seydi underscored.

For his part, Asamoah emphasized the benefits of better leveraging of the resources and expertise of each institution for the benefit of Africa. “It is definitely a case of 1+1 potentially equalling 3,” he said.
Source: Afdb

AfDB showcases initiatives for addressing climate change at Africa Climate Resilient Infrastructure Summit

The first Africa Climate Resilient Infrastructure Summit (ACRIS I), which concluded on April 29, 2015 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, offered an opportunity for the African Development Bank to showcase its Climate Safeguard System (CSS). It aligns with the Bank’s Ten-Year Strategy 2013-2022, whose core objective is to promote green growth through sustainable and climate-resilient infrastructure in the region.

The CSS was developed to help reduce vulnerability of infrastructure projects to climate risks by carrying out upstream risk assessments in project designs. The CSS also facilitates the identification of appropriate adaptation components and measures that may be eligible for financial resources from climate funds.

The AfDB was represented by Osward Chanda, Division Manager for Water and Sanitation, East and Southern Africa; Jacques Moulot, Chief Power Engineer for the NEPAD Division, and Timothy Afful-Koomson, Principal Green Growth Officer in the Compliance and Safeguards Division within the Results and Quality Department.

The delegation also shared on the central role played by the Bank in providing technical and advisory services to address climate change impacts and risks, particularly on energy projects under the Programme for Infrastructure Development for Africa (PIDA). Also highlighted was the transformative ability of the Priority Action Plan (PAP-2020) on industrial development, regional trade, employment and job creation.

Some examples of Bank’s projects especially in the water and sanitation sector were showcased, to demonstrate how the Bank is helping Regional Member Countries to enhance water storage capacity. These included the Thwake multi-purpose water resources development in Kenya, and the Mahe water augmentation in Seychelles. In addition, participants of the summit heard how the AfDB is promoting urban water management by upgrading urban drainage to cope with severe and frequent floods in Yaounde in Cameroon, Nakuru in Kenya, and Harar in Ethiopia.

In addition, the Bank’s efforts in improving access to climate funds was also mentioned, with an example of the US $7.14 million approved by the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF) for Central Africa Sub-Program for Water and Sanitation Sector in Bangui and Four Prefectures.

The summit was hosted by the African Union Commission (AUC) in cooperation with Entico Corporation Limited from April 27-29, 2015, under the theme: Africa towards resilient infrastructure development. Its objective is to introduce AU member states to practical solutions that can address the effects of climate change on infrastructure, agriculture, food security and other key sectors in Africa.

The meeting brought together African ministers for energy, agriculture, transport and infrastructure; financial institutions, development partners, and the private sector, among others. 
Source: Afdb

Friday, 8 May 2015

South Africa tops Sub-Saharan Africa tourism ranking

South Africa has been ranked first in Sub-Saharan Africa on the biennial World Economic Forum Travel’s global Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index (TTCI) 2015 released in Geneva, Switzerland on Wednesday.

Snatching the zenith from Seychelles in the Sub-Saharan Africa category, South Africa was ranked at number 48 globally, while the archipelago of islands was second in the region and followed at a somewhat distant 54 on the world stage.

Seychelles topped the regional rankings in the 2013 report and was at 38 globally, when South Africa held positions 3 and 64.

Mauritius was placed third in the region this year, followed by Namibia, Kenya, Cape Verde, Botswana, Tanzania, Rwanda and Zambia respectively as the Sub-Saharan top ten of 2015.
On the global front, Spain was ranked at the apex, followed by France and then Germany.

Other traditional travel and tourism destinations – the United States, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Australia, Italy, Japan and Canada – made up the rest of the global top ten.

Compared with other Brics countries, South Africa (at 48 globally) was rated better only than New Delhi. Brazil was ranked 28, Russia 45, India 52 and China was at an enviable 17 on the global front.

“The diversity in the top 30 shows that a country does not have to be wealthy to have a flourishing tourism sector,” said Roberto Crotti, an Economist at the World Economic Forum. “But many countries should still do more to tackle travel and tourism challenges, including visa policies, better promotion of cultural heritage, environmental protection and ICT readiness. This, in turn, would drive economic growth and the creation of jobs.”

The report contains detailed country profiles, benchmarking for the 141 economies featured in the study. It includes a comprehensive summary of their overall positions in the index and a guide to the most prominent travel and tourism advantages and disadvantages of each. Also included is an extensive selection of tables that cover each indicator used in the index’s computation.

The report’s executive summary states that many countries in the Sub-Saharan region “are working on their openness and visa policies, though the longstanding challenges of infrastructure and health and hygiene standards need to be tackled to unleash the potential of the T&T (travel and tourism) sector as a catalyst for development”.

Published under the theme “Growing through Shocks”, the full edition of the 2015 report features three additional chapters authored by leading experts and practitioners in the hospitality and tourism sector.

Among other key findings, the 2015 edition shows that the tourism and travel industry continues to grow more quickly than the global economy as a whole. As proof of its resilience, the analysis shows that the sector’s growth – whether in terms of global air passenger traffic, occupancy rates or international arrivals – tends to return to trend quickly after a shock.

The report ranks the 141 countries across 14 separate dimensions, revealing how well countries could deliver sustainable economic and societal benefits through their travel and tourism sector. Spain’s leadership position is attributed to a world class ranking in cultural resources (number 1 globally); its ability to support online searches for entertainment (4th), a measure of how well the country has adapted to consumption habits brought on by the digital revolution; as well as excellent infrastructure (4th).

The World Economic Forum produced the report in collaboration with Strategy & Bloom consulting, Deloitte, the International Air Transport Association (IATA), and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the United Nations World Tourism Organization and the World Travel & Tourism Council.

Source: Eturbo News

Safarilink: Nairobi Wilson Airport to Vipingo Ridge

Duncan WillettsSafarilink will later today officially announce the launch of daily services from Nairobi’s Wilson Airport to Vipingo Ridge. Kenya’s premier safari and business airline is breaking new ground when they will reliably link Kenya’s premier coastal golf resort from the 01st of July onwards with the capital without the need to fly via either Mombasa or Malindi. The 1.5 km long hard surface strip near the entrance of the Vipingo Ridge Resort will be able to accommodate single and twin engine light aircraft but also larger turboprops like the Dash 8 which Safarilink operates. Being at near sea level can this type of aircraft take off safely when fully loaded, allowing for golf bags and luggage to be taken along subject to prior arrangements with the airline which normally allows only a 15 KG allowance.

This is good news not just for golf aficionados from Nairobi or further upcountry who would like the play the 18 hole championship course, rated by Jim McCann of ‘Top 100 Golf Courses’ as Kenya’s undisputed best, ahead of Sigona as runner up and followed by longtime leader Muthaiga in third position. It is good news for coast residents from this part of the North Coast too. It is those residents Safarilink no doubt intends to target, as they did when they launched their daily flights to Ukunda many years ago. From there many Diani residents now fly with Safarilink from Ukunda and spare themselves the tiring and time-consuming trip to Moi International Airport, compensating for the slightly higher fares by saving plenty of time and getting into Wilson Airport rather than JKIA which when getting into Nairobi cuts down on time to spend sitting in traffic.

Coast residents from Mtwapa all the way to Kilifi will find it easier and much shorter to drive to Vipingo when a trip to Nairobi is on the cards, and Mike Round Turner, General Manager of Vipingo, during a more recent visit to the resort, made it clear that Vipingo would provide a level of services which could attract such passengers. He spoke of building a passenger shelter, rest rooms and no doubt secure parking will be provided, giving the right incentives to embrace the Vipingo airstrip just as the South Coast community embraced Ukunda years ago. Once getting used to the new daily service Safarilink will have created a new mini hub for local residents who, according to many chats this correspondent had with acquaintances and chance encounters, frankly abhor the thought of flying out of Mombasa considering the long road journey and the often congested roads getting through Mombasa to the airport.

Flying time, depending on the routing, will take between 1.15 hrs to 1.30 hrs but should the aircraft call on other fields enroute would the flying time correspondingly increase.

Watch this space for breaking news of this kind, giving the latest updates from the Eastern African region.
Source: Eturbo News

She Leads Africa Launches 2015 Entrepreneur Showcase With $15,000 Cash Prize For Winners

The Entrepreneur Showcase is the flagship program of She Leads Africa and shines a spotlight on women who are driving Africa’s growth through leadership, commerce and innovation.

This event is the premier platform for young female entrepreneurs looking to grow and scale their businesses across Africa. Participants in the competition will compete for $15,000 in cash prizes, media features in international news outlets, and exclusive meetings with top investors.

“We decided to launch She Leads Africa because we saw a critical gap in the market - no one was investing in high growth female entrepreneurs,” says SLA co-founder Yasmin Belo-Osagie. “Through our Entrepreneur Showcase we not only give exceptional entrepreneurs a space to connect with investors and the media but we also provide them with training and mentoring to ensure that they are able to take advantage of the experience.”

In 2014, the inaugural event received nearly 400 applications from 27 countries for just 10 finalist positions. The top finalists were featured in Forbes, Ventures Africa, Venture Burn and several other international news outlets.

2014 winner Cherae Robinson founder of travel startup Tastemakers Africa stated that“participating in the She Leads Africa pitch competition literally changed my life and my business, by putting me on a rocket ship towards success.” “I was able to hire my first employee with my winnings and I continue to receive support from the team nearly one year later,” she concluded.

Applications for the 2015 competition open on May 1 and close on June 30. Businesses from any industry are eligible to apply as long as there is one woman on the founding team between 18-35 years old. Companies must have launched their product or service, been in operation for less than 3 years and received less than $50,000 USD in funding.
Source: Modern Ghana

All Set for Nigeria Entrepreneurs Awards, 2015

Entrepreneurs are the corner stone of the economic prosperity in developed countries. Nigeria however; is on the verge of an economic revolution. The 2015 Nigeria Entrepreneurs Awards, with the theme; ‘BUILDING A PROSPEROUS ECONOMY; ENTREPRENEURSHIP AS AN ECONOMIC FORCE” recognizes and celebrates the hardwork, innovation and indispensable contributions of entrepreneurs to our nation’s economy.

The Awards will recognize entrepreneurs from multiple industries across the nation comprising Individuals and organizations that have created jobs, empowered the youths, contributed to the National GDP and rendered services towards the growth of the economy in 2015. The Awards is billed to hold in October, 2015 at Sheraton hotel, Abuja.

The “Nigerian Entrepreneur of the Year Awards” is a strategic initiative designed to activate growth and stimulate entrepreneurship in Nigeria. The selection process for honorees will be administered by a panel of Judges comprising eminent persons of proven integrity.
Source: Modern Ghana

Thursday, 7 May 2015

World Bank $500 Million Facility and Improving Maternal and Child Health in Nigeria

The Board of Executive Directors of the World Bank Group, last month, approved a $500 million International Development Association (IDA) credit for Nigeria. The IDA is the window of the World Bank which offers grants and low- to zero-interest loans for projects and programmes that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve standard of living. The facility granted Nigeria was designed to bring about significant improvements in maternal, child, and nutrition health services for women and children in the country.

Domestic reforms aimed at improving cogent primary healthcare indicators in the country and engagements with multilateral funding agencies and donors fructified the credit. In 2012, Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg of Norway and Chelsea Clinton, in her capacity as Board Member of Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI), arrived in Nigeria to join President Goodluck Jonathan and (then) Honourable Minister of State for Health, Dr. Muhammad Ali Pate, to launch the Saving One Million Lives (SOML) initiative with support from CHAI. The rationale for the initiative was that in Nigeria, an estimated one million mothers and children die each year from preventable causes. As a result, the Federal Ministry of Health decided to set new goals to improve quality healthcare from 2013 and save the lives of Nigerian mothers and children.

Health sector experts and stakeholders credit Dr. Pate as the initiator of the SOML initiative. He had come into Nigeria's healthcare limelight following his trailblazing work at the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), where he served as the Executive Director from 2008 to 2011. Prior to his appointment, Nigeria was one of the four polio endemic PAIN countries; the others being Pakistan, Afghanistan and India. Dr. Pate tackled the polio epidemic headlong. By June 2009, he had instigated a grassroots-oriented campaign of engaging respected traditional rulers in the North, under the leadership of the Sultan of Sokoto, to assist with delivery of the immunisation programme messages in combination with the development of an effective primary healthcare system. A decade earlier, the national immunisation programme had suffered severe setbacks, especially in the North.

The effectiveness of the strategic approach adopted by Dr. Pate caught the attention of the international and local stakeholders in less than two years of his appointment. In 2010, incidences of the Wild Polio Virus (WPV) fell to only 11 cases from a staggering figure of 803 in 2008. His work also entailed the consolidation of the National Programme on Immunisation (NPI) into the broader framework of NPHCDA, in line with international best practices. The merger sought to address old issues of structural constraint, fiscal decentralisation, mismatched burden of disease and low quality spending.

This effort resulted in the strengthening of core diagnostics, systems development and human resources capacity development within the new NPHCDA. With the critical arms of the agency thus strengthened, the national Midwives' Service Scheme (MSS) was launched, to mobilise midwives to selected primary healthcare facilities in rural communities to increase the pool of skilled birth attendants and boost delivery of services. The overarching objective of this programme was to significantly reduce high maternal and child mortality and morbidity. The level of work done to achieve the targets of the MSS paved the way for the Saving One Million Lives initiative.

Subsequently, at the time of his appointment as Minister of State for Health by President Goodluck Jonathan in July 2011, Dr. Pate already had a clear focus on what his priorities were, namely continued fight for polio eradication and mobilization of public-private coalition for SOML. Nigeria is now at the verge of being declared polio-free by the World Health Organisation. However, Dr. Pate resigned his appointment in 2013 to take up a professorial chair at the United States' Duke University's Global Health Institute. The position enabled him to serve as Senior Adviser to the Seattle-based Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (a major player in Nigeria and other developing countries in the fight against major diseases like Polio), among other high-level engagements.

Nevertheless, this high profile exit from Nigeria's health policy sector, raised concerns on continuity of some of the programmes that had begun to gain traction under the purview of Dr. Pate. To address the concerns, he offered to continue to provide his services on part-time basis as chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Polio Eradication and the public-private coalition for Saving One Million Lives initiative, in fulfilment of his previous commitments to “see to conclusion of these important national priorities.”

It becomes obvious that Dr. Pate, a consummate Nigerian health professional, has a strong passion and exceptional commitment to improvements in healthcare delivery in Nigeria, especially to the most vulnerable groups. It always instils confidence when donors are able to associate someone of this quality with a development programme they are giving funding consideration. The $500 million credit will serve as a necessary fillip to the policy drive towards a Nigeria where maternal, child, and nutrition health services for women and children would be significantly improved. Not least because of the existing constraint in the fiscal space as a result of the sharp drop in oil prices.

The healthcare challenges the $500 million credit is supposed to help address are enormous. Nigeria accounts for 14% of all annual maternal deaths worldwide, second only to India at 17%. Similarly, the country accounts for 13% of all global deaths of children under the age of five years, again second only to India at 21%.

To address the challenge of estimated annual 900,000 maternal and child deaths, SOML focuses on increasing the use of high-impact reproductive and child health and nutrition interventions, and improving the quality of these services; strengthening monitoring and evaluation systems and measurement data; encouraging private sector innovation; and increasing transparency in management and budgeting for Primary Health Care (PHC) in the country.

The World Bank Group says it is expected that the new health operation will start implementation on August 1, 2015 and run till December 2019. The Bank's support for SOML will utilize the Programme-for-Results (PforR) instrument to encourage a greater focus on results, increase accountability, improve measurements, strengthen management, and foster innovation. Importantly, the PforR funds will only be disbursed to the Federal and State governments for independently verified improvements in key services such as vaccination coverage among young children, rates of contraceptive use, Vitamin A supplementation, skilled birth attendance, HIV counselling and testing among women attending antenatal care, and preventing new malaria infections among children by using insecticide-treated bed nets. Also, the Federal and State governments will receive incentive payments for effective tackling of governance and management issues in the health sector and for improving the quality of basic health services.

The incoming administration of General Muhammadu Buhari now has the responsibility of successful utilisation of the IDA credit. Based on the passion of the President-elect to serve, there is high hope that the $500 million funding will deliver its objectives, and that further general improvement in healthcare delivery in Nigeria will be realised over the next four years. Appointment of a competent Nigerian with experience in result-based budgeting as Minister of Health will boost the chances of success in the implementation of health policies and foster judicious use of available resources. The need for such a professional to have exposure to the international health policy community and global funding agencies cannot be overemphasized, considering the significant international resources to be mobilized for healthcare under the Sustainable Development Goals which will replace the Millennium Development Goals in 2015.

The WHO asserts that “the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being.” This means children should have access to healthcare when they need it. It also implies that pregnant women should be able to receive antenatal care and deliver safely with the assistance of skilled birth attendants.
Source: Modern Ghana

GM celebrates 500 million global milestone

This week General Motors celebrates 500 million vehicles built globally over the past 106 years - the most by any automaker to date.

GM is the first vehicle manufacturer to achieve this milestone and remains focused on being the most valued automaker in the world.

While GM celebrates this achievement, General Motors South Africa (GMSA) is proud to have produced 2.76 million of these vehicles in the country since it started manufacturing operations in 1926.

Ian Nicholls, Vice President GMSA Operations, said GM attributes this momentous milestone to all its loyal customers.

Nicholls emphasized that they could not have reached this milestone had it not been for the customers. "Five hundred million vehicles means 500 million customers.

"We want to build on the solid foundation and the positive contribution GMSA has made to the lives of people since 1926."

Nicholls believes that buying a GM product from a dealer is not just a purchase, it is a memory. This memory is further nurtured by excellent aftersales service and customer support.

"We are committed to providing outstanding levels of service to our Chevrolet, Opel and Isuzu customers through our 200 dealers across Sub-Saharan Africa," said Nicholls.

With a footprint in the region since 1913 when the first Chevrolets were imported, GMSA's long heritage bears testimony to years of experience in sales and after sales service.
Source: Modern Ghana

Burundi president confirms will seek third term

Bujumbura (Burundi) (AFP) - Burundi's President Pierre Nkurunziza insisted Wednesday he would run for a third term in an election in June, defying international pressure to change his mind in a crisis that has sparked deadly protests.

A day after the Constitutional Court ruled he could stand for another term, Nkurunziza said it would be "the last mandate" he would seek, adding that holding an election was "the only solution" to emerge from the crisis.
Source: Modern Ghana

Ivory Coast bans skin whitening creams

Ivory Coast has banned skin whitening creams, which are widely used in West Africa, because of fears they cause lasting damage to health, the health ministry said Wednesday.

"Cosmetic lightening and hygiene creams... that de-pigment the skin... are now forbidden," the ministry said in a statement.

The ban affects whitening creams and lotions containing mercury and its derivatives, cortisone, vitamin A or more than two percent hydroquinine, a lightening agent that is used to develop photographs.

"The number of people with side effects caused by these medicines is really high," said Christian Doudouko, a member of Ivory Coast's pharmaceutical authority, warning that they could cause skin cancer.

Lightening products can also lead to hypertension and diabetes, said Elidje Ekra, a dermatologist at the Treichville university hospital in Abidjan.

Whitening creams have been popular for years among young African women, who see them as a way to make themselves more attractive.

The use of the creams is believed to be even more widespread in Nigeria.

Although there are no official figures of how many women use such products across Africa, billboards advertising the potentially deadly creams can be seen in cities across the continent.

"In our cultures, some people think women with light skin are the most beautiful. This beauty standard... pushes many girls to depigment their skin," Ekra said.

"What we see in the media is the lighter one's skin is, the better one's life," he added, referring to advertisements that fill the streets of Abidjan, Ivory Coast's biggest city, showing models with lighter-than-average skin.

While the craze is most widespread among women, some men use the creams too, Ekra said.
The creams are also extremely popular in many countries in Asia, including India, Pakistan and Japan, as well as in the Middle East.
Source: Modern Ghana

Monday, 4 May 2015

Samsung Hopes Galaxy S6 Will Help Reverse 39% 1Q2015 Earnings Slide

Samsung Electronics Co. predicts the new Galaxy S6 devices will help to reverse declining earnings and spark profits from its smartphone and components businesses.

Shares rose on the prediction.

Samsung expressed the coming revival on Wednesday after reporting its fourth straight quarterly drop in net income.

Consumers have been switching to Apple Inc.’s larger iPhones and cheaper Chinese devices as the rising South Korean won makes Samsung products more expensive abroad.

Making chips and screens for its own mobile devices while also supplying rivals may help Samsung blunt the impact of sales gains by Apple, which posted a surge in earnings.

The Galaxy S6 phones, including the more expensive Edge with a wraparound display, were released this month to positive reviews and strong demand said to have prompted an acceleration of curved-screen output.

“The second quarter will be brighter as mobile earnings are expected to improve, largely driven by the increased sales of the S6,” said Greg Roh, a Seoul-based analyst at HMC Investment Securities Co. “The pricier Edge device will take up half of the total S6 shipment from May, and that will give a strong lift to its mobile business.”

Shares of Samsung rose 1.4 percent to 1,385,000 won in Seoul, their first gain in a week. The stock has advanced 4.4 percent this year, compared with the 12 percent increase in the benchmark Kospi index.

Net income, excluding minority interests, fell 40 percent to 4.52 trillion won ($4.2 billion) in the quarter ended March, the Suwon, South Korea-based company said.

Samsung, the world’s biggest chipmaker, said it should capitalize on stronger demand for the semiconductors used in mobile phones and servers.

“In the second quarter, the company expects its overall earnings to increase,” Samsung said. “In 2015, continued growth is expected due to the growth of emerging smartphone markets, such as China and India.”

Operating profit at the mobile-phone unit fell 57 percent to 2.74 trillion won in the first quarter as Apple won high-end customers.

Samsung shipped 83.2 million smartphones in the March quarter, helping it regain the title of world’s biggest vendor after dropping into a tie with Apple in the December period, according to Strategy Analytics. Apple shipped 61.2 million iPhones in the most recent quarter, it said.

Samsung has projected record sales for the high-end S6 smartphones released this month. Samsung will sell 46 million this year, said Kevin Lee, an analyst at Korea Investment & Securities Co.

The phone is among the Samsung products featured in the new “Avengers: Age of Ultron” movie as part of a global partnership with Marvel Entertainment.

Demand for the curved-screen Edge prompted the company to accelerate production, people familiar with the matter have said. The company can make 5 million units a month, they said.

“Edge supply is fast-improving, so the tight supply situation will be eased during the second quarter,” said Park Jin Young, Samsung vice president of mobile communications. “If we look at it over the model’s life cycle, S6 will be the best-seller.”

Apple this week posted a 33 percent jump in profit in the quarter ended in March, driven by strong demand for the iPhone 6 models.

Profit at Samsung’s semiconductor business, which makes both memory chips and application processors, was 2.93 trillion won, compared with 1.95 trillion won a year earlier.
Samsung, which previously relied on semiconductors from Qualcomm Inc. for its mobile devices, switched to its own processor and modem chips for the S6 lineup.

The company also is said to have won orders for the main processors in the next iPhone.

The consumer-electronics division, which oversees TVs and home-appliances, posted a 140 billion-won loss in the quarter from a 190 billion-won profit a year earlier. Samsung expects the unit to have a stronger second quarter on seasonally higher demand for air conditioners and high-end TVs.

Increasing sales of high-margin screens helped Samsung’s panel-making division return to operating profit of 520 billion won in the first quarter.

Samsung Display Co. is expanding sales of its organic light-emitting diode, or OLED, panels from Galaxy devices to Chinese device makers, including Lenovo Group Ltd.

Samsung Display, which is 85 percent owned by Samsung Electronics, is said to have created a standalone team of about 200 employees to work exclusively on Apple products.

Capital spending in 2015 will be similar to the year earlier, though “there is a strong possibility that it may increase,” Samsung said. The company spent 23.4 trillion won last year.

FMC Technologies, UniPort to Develop Next-Gen Subsea Engineers

FMC Technologies, Inc. announced on Tuesday, collaboration with one of Nigeria’s premiere academic institutions, the University of Port Harcourt, with the intent to create the first Master of Science degree in Subsea Engineering offered in Nigeria.

Program curriculum will be developed in collaboration with industry experts to ensure students are prepared for work in the offshore oil and gas industry.

The University will be accepting enrollment applications for this new program starting in 2015.

“FMC Technologies is dedicated to developing its Nigerian workforce so that an ever-increasing number of technical, leadership and management roles in Nigeria can be performed by Nigerians,” said Michael Hunt, country manager, FMC Technologies. “This collaboration represents a major milestone in furthering the development of a highly skilled Nigerian workforce. These students will play a key role in the future of the oil and gas industry in Nigeria.”

Professor Joseph Ajienka, vice-chancellor of the School, expressed his gratitude and described the event as a major milestone, not only for the University of Port Harcourt, but also for the oil and gas industry in Nigeria. “We are very pleased to cooperate with FMC Technologies in this effort.  Given the facilities and experience of FMC Technologies, we are confident that a Master of Science degree in Subsea Engineering will add tremendous value to our services,” he added.

Upon graduation, program participants will have expanded opportunities to work in the energy industry, including potential employment with FMC Technologies in Nigeria.

FMC Technologies has been contributing to the growth of Nigeria’s vital oil and gas industry for more than 16 years and currently employs approximately 250 personnel in country.

More than 2000 jobs have been created, including its employees and supply chain. Nigerian employees have received more than 70,000 training hours since 2012 to expand their skills and increase the number of job functions that can be executed in Nigeria by locals.

In addition, FMC Technologies is currently providing over 80% of subsea production systems in country.

FMC Technologies, Inc., is the global market leader in subsea systems and a leading provider of technologies and services to the oil and gas industry.

The Company helps its numerous customers overcome their most difficult challenges, such as improving shale and subsea infrastructures and operations to reduce cost, maintain uptime, and maximize oil and gas recovery.

Named by Forbes® Magazine as one of the World's Most Innovative Companies in 2013, the company has more than 20,000 employees and operates 24 production facilities in 14 countries.
Source: Nigeria Communications week

Miss World 2014 adds endemic trees to Seychelles Botanical Gardens

Miss Seychelles…another world 2014 Camila Estico was joined by the three beauty queens from Australia, Tanzania, and the United States of America this weekend to add four endemic plants to the grounds of the Seychelles Botanical Gardens in Victoria.

The tree planting activity was organized by the Seychelles Tourism Board in close collaboration with the National Botanical Gardens Foundation.

Present at the ceremony were the Minister for Tourism and Culture Alain St.Ange, Principal Secretary for Tourism Anne Lafortune and that for Culture Benjamine Rose, the National Botanical Gardens Foundation’s Chief Executive Raymond Brioche, the Chief Executive of the Seychelles Tourism Board Sherin Naiken, and its Deputy Nathalie Didon.

Before planting their Ixora pudica tree, an endemic plant to the Seychelles, Miss Tanzania Happiness Watimanywa, Miss Australia Courtney Thorpe, Miss United States Elizabeth Safrit, and the Seychelles’ beauty queen Camila Estico were given a guided tour of the botanical gardens, seeing the endemic coco de mer and other plants.

They were then each presented with two books - Seychelles Festival of the Sea and Seychelles, and The Coco de Mer, a national treasure.

Speaking at the ceremony, Minister St.Ange said it is an honor for Seychelles to have Miss World contestants on its shores.

It is a different approach that we have taken to have “the face” of your countries in Seychelles, instead of just cultural delegations, he added.

“The beauty of Seychelles is part of our culture and our diversity is the strength of our country,” the Seychelles Minister said.

The young ladies have echoed words of thanks to Seychelles for the hospitality they have received and vowed to come back to the islands. They left the gardens with a souvenir plaque which will remind them of the trees planted in Seychelles.
Source: Eturbo News