Nigeria Begins Yam Export To Europe, U.S. June 29

Nigeria Begins Yam Export To Europe, U.S. June 29

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbeh, has said the country will commence yam exports to Europe and america on June 29.

He said 72 tonnes of yam would be exported on the said date.

A statement by the Special Assistant to the minister (Media), Dr. Olukayode Oyeleye, in Abuja on Thursday, said Ogbeh disclosed this at a meeting with members of the Committee on Nigeria Yam Export Programme.

The minister said the inauguration of the yam export would be done at the Apapa Port and would be exported in three containers of 24 tonnes each.

According to him, one container will be exported to the United Kingdom, while the other two will be taken to the United States.

The minister appealed to the Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service to reduce inspection charges on export produce to encourage more exporters and enable the country become competitive in the export market.

Ethiopia To Benefit From Djibouti’s New $64m Port Exclusive For Salt Export

Ethiopia To Benefit From Djibouti’s New $64m Port Exclusive For Salt Export

The Red Sea state of Djibouti on Thursday launched a sea port whose main function will be the export of salt, the BBC has reported.

The China-funded facility which cost $64m will exclusively export salt from Lake Assal – located in central western Djibouti.

It is expected to handle about six million tonnes of salt each year. The sea port will also benefit regional economic powerhouse, Ethiopia, as it is expected to facilitate the export of minerals from the landlocked neighbour.

The facility becomes the seventh sea port to be launched in the country and it further underlines Sino-Djibouti economic relations. The most recent cooperation led to the opening of a 690 hectare mega port with world-class facilities and equipment manufactured by a Chinese firm.

The $590 million Doraleh Multipurpose Port project which started in 2015 was jointly financed by Djibouti Ports and Free Zones Authority (DPFZA) and China Merchant Holding (CMHC) to connect Asia, Africa and Europe.

A statement by the port authority said it is one of four new ports in the Horn of Africa nation co-funded by China to establish Africa’s largest free-trade zone that can handle $7 billion of goods every year.

Check Out The World’s Most Expensive City For Expatriates

Check Out The World’s Most Expensive City For Expatriates

Angolan capital Luanda has been ranked the world’s most expensive city for expatriates reclaiming the title it lost to Hong Kong last year. Angola was the only African country in a top pool dominated by Europe and Asian counterparts.

The feat was contained in a survey published on Wednesday by consultancy firm, Mercer. This was the 23rd edition of the annual cost-of-living survey.

Luanda, which had consistently topped the list in recent years, fell behind Hong Kong last year owing to the weakening of its local currency and the drop in oil prices.

The top oil-producer is believed to have reclaimed top spot in the survey largely due to rebound in the global oil economy, a limited supply of luxurious housing and a high demand among expatriates.

According to Africanews.com, the top 10 most expensive cities for expats are as follows:

  1. Luanda, Angola
    2. Hong Kong, China,
    3. Tokyo, Japan
    4. Zurich, Switzerland
    5. Singapore, Singapore
    6. Seoul, South Korea
    7.Geneva, Switzerland
    8. Shanghai, China
    9. New York City, United States
    10. Bern, Germany

The survey is designed for companies to calculate expatriate workers’ allowances.

It weighs up the cost of living in over 200 cities across the world, comparing the cost of more than 200 items in each location, including housing, transport, food, clothing and entertainment.

Youngest ever self-made billionaire is a 26-year-old Irishman

Youngest ever self-made billionaire is a 26-year-old Irishman

The world’s youngest ever self-made billionaire is an Irishman. 26-year-old John Collison was born in 1990 in the city of Limerick and went on to co-found the company Shuppa at the tender age of 17 with his older brother Patrick.

Now both have been included on the Forbes Billionaire List for the first time. They are estimated to be worth a cool $1.1 billion each after founding the incredibly successful online payment system, Stripe.

Ranked jointly at the 1,795th place out of 2,043 entrances the siblings join six other Irish citizens in the exclusive global club.

According to irishcentral.com, the pair is no longer based in Limerick and has taken up residence in Silicon Valley where Collison hasn’t been afraid to dip his toe into the stormy waters of US politics. In February he declared that President Trump’s plans to restrict access to the H1-B visa would lead to the demise of Silicon Valley as the world’s technology capital.

11 AFRICAN ENTREPRENEURS WHO ARE CHANGING THE BUSINESS LANDSCAPE

11 AFRICAN ENTREPRENEURS WHO ARE CHANGING THE BUSINESS LANDSCAPE

From hi-tech to fashion to branding, startups are transforming the continent and supercharging commerce.

Africa is not a country. It is a continent bursting with jewels and ingenuity. Boasting several countries with the fastest growing global economies, the Sub-Saharan African region is a vast business ecosystem, with gems hidden under rough terrains. For the creative entrepreneurs I had the pleasure of interviewing, the secret lies in the digging. Here are their stories.

 

JASON NJOKU, NIGERIA.

As the founder of iROKO Partners, and iROKOTv, the leading online streaming platform in Africa, Jason Njoku’s principle is simple. “I am trying to make people happy,” he says. Njoku admits that starting on YouTube in 2010 and building a successful global media empire has brought its challenges. “I make more mistakes than I make good choices. My only saving grace is that the choices that I make are better and more significant.” Now a venture capitalist, his current obsession is funding local entrepreneurs.  “I want to help young entrepreneurs build the next iROKOTV”, he says.

GINA DIN-KARIUKI, KENYA.

In 19 years, Gina Din-Kariuki has morphed from being a public relations guru, to an award-winning management consultant and social entrepreneur, as well as honorary UNFPA ambassador and Red Cross goodwill ambassador. As the founder and executive chair of the Gina Din Group, she has served as a strategic advisor to Safaricom, steering the expansion of Kenyan telecommunications. Currently she is assisting Kenya’s central bank with its rebranding. At her pinnacle of achievement, what’s next? “Where I am, it is much more about impact and significance,” she says. “I spend a lot of time, building young women entrepreneurs across the continent. I want to be the woman that I didn’t have when I was starting my business,” says Din-Kariuki.

ADAORA MBELU-DANIA, NIGERIA.

The founder of A2 Creative, a thriving brand management company, Adaora Mbelu-Dania’s track record includes being behind Guinness’ recent new product launch in its second largest market, Nigeria. “I am inspired by people,” she says. But inspiration is different than personal foundation, which she describes succinctly: “My recipe for success is God, love, discipline, patience, and forgiveness, in this particular order.” Mbelu-Dania’s business evolution is seen in her mindset change. “My greatest mistake was thinking that I had to streamline and choose one thing,” she says.

ALAN KNOTT-CRAIG JR., SOUTH AFRICA.

A trained accountant, Alan Knott-Craig has been changing the telecommunications industry in South Africa since 2003. His latest innovation is setting up the largest free public WiFi network in South Africa, Project Isizwe, which he has built one community at a time. What drives him? “Fear of failure,” Knott-Craig responds. He attributes his million-dollar success to “focus, keeping my promises and marrying young. When there is no plan B, you have no other options,” he says.

NKECHI HARRY NGONADI, NIGERIA.

How does a person turn a passion into a lucrative business? By becoming purposeful about it. For Nkechi Ngonadi, CEO of NHN Couture, it comes down to her inspiration: “Proverbs 22:29, The Almighty God and His Word,” she says. In three years, NHN designs have been featured on prominent runways, and worn by celebrities across the African continent, and from the US to the Middle East. “Don’t focus on the immediate need only. Set your eyes on the big picture,” she says. What is her best advice? “Integrity, people follow if they trust.” This trust has led to Ngonadi having almost 100,000 active followers (and counting) on Instagram alone.

JEAN BOSCO NZEYIMANA, RWANDA.

How do you describe being seated on a Global Entrepreneurship panel between Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerburg and President Obama? “Exciting and frightening!” says Jean Nzeyimana. As founder and CEO of Habona, a clean and renewable energy company, this young entrepreneur has already achieved a milestone that many can only dream about. For him, it is bigger than a business. By transforming waste in his community to briquettes, a greener alternative to wood charcoal, Nzeyimana provides jobs and a cleaner environment.

MADEY ADEBOYE, NIGERIA.

How do you create a booming business? Find a problem and solve it. For Madey Adeboye, a Nigerian lawyer, this was her path to starting Green Grill House, a leading healthy food café in Lagos, Nigeria, that features delivery options. “Changing my eating habits and seeing the amazing results inspired me to want to do that for others.” In just two years, Adeboye has gone from unraveling healthy cuisine in her own kitchen, to opening up her café and becoming a household name in Nigeria. Today, she has partnership requests coming from all over Africa.

MAAVI NORMAN, LIBERIA.

The founder of IRIS International Consulting, social entrepreneur Dr. Maavi Norman bridges the gap by encouraging foreign investment in Africa, while supporting “deep local impact.” Through his affiliation as a mentor with the White House Young African Leaders Initiative, Norman has helped guide a cohort of like-minded entrepreneurs in Africa. For him, it all comes down to this: “Stay laser-focused on solutions but evaluate a myriad of ideas for achieving them. Be open to readjusting, recalibrating and re-launching.”

GOZIE UDEMEZUE, NIGERIA.

What is the fastest way to scale a business? Find something old, add a modern twist, and send it back out into the world. This is how Nwachinemelu Local Food Kitchen was born. Gozie Udemezue, a trained lawyer and human rights activist, turned her kitchen into a golden goose, proffering a modern day version of her grandmother’s traditional foods. What drives her? “God is my main source of inspiration,” she says. In less than two years, her frozen foods are being mailed across the country and ordered from around the globe.

ASHIFI GOGO, GHANA.

As a consumer, how do you guarantee that your purchase is not counterfeit? That thought got Dr. Ashifi Gogo started on Sproxil in 2009, which was recognized with an award by the White House. “If I am paying extra, I need to know if it’s organic”, he responds. Sproxil engages with the world’s largest brands to protect their consumers from buying counterfeit products. They reward loyal consumers to make them continue buying. Originally intended for the pharmaceutical industry to combat the huge global problem with counterfeit drugs, Sproxil has now expanded into the automotive industry and into the oil and gas sector.

IYIN ABOYEJI, NIGERIA.

How do you get Mark Zuckerberg to invest $24 million in your company? Well, ask Iyin Aboyeji, he knows. As co-founder of technology giant Andela, he launched a tech talent platform across Africa. Exiting that, he is now at the helm of Flutterwave. “My definition of success is building up others, building up the continent,” Aboyiji says. Indeed he is, as Flutterwave promises to change the way financial transactions take place in Africa, by offering easy exchange of digital currency that opens Africa up to the world.

Write up by Obianuju Helen Okoye

Entrepreneur, Healthcare and Business Consultant

7 WAYS WOMEN LEADERS CAN EXCEL AT BEING THEIR AUTHENTIC SELVES

7 WAYS WOMEN LEADERS CAN EXCEL AT BEING THEIR AUTHENTIC SELVES

As women rise in the ranks they often receive a lot of bad advice to act like somebody besides who they really are.

Women in leadership positions are often told to behave in ways that are viewed as more masculine to be successful. But it’s not that simple. Because when women act like men, their peers and employees tend to think that one thing — that they’re bossy.

In fact, research conducted by our company, Skyline Group International, Inc., found a significantly lower perception of effectiveness when women express the masculine behavior in 57 percent of the 28 leadership competencies studied. What’s more, women were the toughest critics of female leaders. The more detailed, directive and structured women are, the more negatively other women view them.

So, what are women in leadership positions to do? How can they be effective leaders without creating the perception that they are trying too hard and are seen as “bossy”? Here’s a look at seven characteristics employees see as bossy in female leaders and alternative ways for women to be effective:

1. Coaching and mentoring.

The bossy way: Creating a development plan for employees may seem like the most direct way to coach employees, but our research shows that professionals see this as bossy among women in leadership positions.

The better way: Instead of laying out exactly what employees need to work on and setting a specific plan for them to do it, include them in the conversation. Employees react better to women in leadership who approach development through exploration and challenging assumptions.

In other words, don’t just tell employees what they need to do and how to do it. Bring them into the conversation about what they think they need to work on and why. Ask them about their long-term goals, the skills they want to learn and improve and then set a plan together.

2. Executive presence.

The bossy way: Women in leadership are aware that the deck is stacked against them — they have to work harder and do more to be seen as effective. So to compensate, they adopt an overly-formal presence and they command respect. But this persona doesn’t sit well with employees.

The better way: Women in leadership should be themselves with employees and present themselves with poise and authenticity. Leaders can still be professional without being cold and distant. Earn the respect of employees by being dependable, trustworthy, and honest.

3. Entrepreneurship.

The bossy way: Men in leadership tend to take big risks to hopefully win big. But women in leadership who follow this risk and reward model are seen as less effective.

The better way: Instead of charging forward with the riskiest option, take the time to plan out different scenarios. Don’t bet it all for a big reward. Choose a plan with multiple chances for success.

4. Service.

The bossy way: Helping employees is a huge part of effective leadership. But women in leadership who help their team just to meet an immediate goal are viewed as bossy, not helpful. Employees think the leader is stepping in to put out a fire and micromanage the situation rather than being genuinely helpful.

The better way: Stepping in to help employees meet a deadline or win over clients is a good thing, but leaders should help employees because it’s the right thing for the organization as a whole — not just because it will get the team through the day.           

Think about long-term goals and help employees to achieve them. Assist employees in developing their overall skills, not just finishing project and checking off to-do lists. Improving the skills of employees helps to advance the organization and prepares them to solve future problems.

5. Planning and organizing.

The bossy way: When making decisions, taking an analytical approach may seem like the best option. Men in leadership tend to take this approach, making many small decisions to yield a larger plan. But women in leadership who do the same are seen as less effective and bossy.

The better way: Instead of dictating a firm plan, be more flexible in the planning process. Involve everyone in the process and consider new ideas before finalizing the plan. Be open to changing plans if new information and feedback are received.

6. Monitoring performance.

The bossy way: More leaders are realizing that employees need feedback more regularly than a yearly performance review, but using systems like dashboards to check on employee progress every day is overkill.

The better way: While numbers and details are important, performance reviews shouldn’t be a competition and leaders, especially women in leadership, shouldn’t put constant pressure on employees.

Instead of looking over employees’ shoulders, check in with them on a regular basis, looking at their progress in the context of the big picture. Are they moving toward end-state goals and milestones? What else can they do to improve or progress faster?

7. Thoroughness.

The bossy way: While leaders should set high expectations for employees, when women in leadership focus on getting things right the first time, employees don’t take it well.

The better way: Don’t focus on what employees get wrong — focus on how to help them improve. Instead of optimizing work processes to eliminate mistakes, optimize them for continuous improvement. When employees make mistakes, use it as a teaching moment and explain what they can do better next time.

Story by Thuy Sindell and Milo Sindell