RCA Flag
RCA Flag
Connecting Africa’s Skilled Professionals
RCA Flag

ReConnect Africa is a unique website and online magazine for the African professional in the Diaspora. Packed with essential information about careers, business and jobs, ReConnect Africa keeps you connected to the best of Africa.

Library of Articles


IFC Launches a New Handbook on Stakeholder Engagement


The IFC has launched a new publication, "Stakeholder Engagement: A Good Practice Handbook for Companies Doing Business in Emerging Markets." The Handbook draws on IFC's own learning as well as the current thinking and practices of our client companies and other institutions to provide the good practice "essentials" for building and sustaining constructive relationships over time as a means of risk mitigation, new business identification, and enhancing development outcomes. The Handbook reflects advances in thinking about the centrality of stakeholder engagement to all other aspects of environmental and social performance, and the link between good stakeholder relations and good risk management. Over thirty case examples from private sector operations across regions and sectors illustrate various aspects of the engagement process. In addition to providing practical guidance on key concepts and principles, the publication helps clients work out how these approaches can be implemented at each phase of the project cycle from concept and planning, through construction and operations, to divestment, downsizing, and decommissioning. The publication will be made available in French, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Arabic and Russian as of July 2007.  To download this publication: www.ifc.org/enviropublications.

United Nations Labour Study Notes Discrimination

The disabled, gays and lesbians, and people living with HIV/AIDS are suffering from new and more subtle forms of workplace discrimination, according to the U.N.’s labour agency. Despite major advances in the fight against discrimination, gender, race and religion continue to determine how people are treated in the employment market and at the workplace, the International Labor Organization said in its flagship report on global working conditions. Women are especially prone to labor discrimination, the ILO said in outlining only a mixed bag of success since the last installment of its "equality at work" series four years ago. While more women are joining the work force around the world, they continue in every geographical region to be paid less than men for the same jobs, the report said.  Underlining the persistence of the "glass ceiling" preventing female employees from winning top posts, the agency said women still represent only "a distinct minority" in legislative and senior official or managerial positions. 

Association of Business Executives on Africa Visit

Lyndon Jones, Founder Chairman of The Association of Business Executives (ABE), accompanied by Dr Penelope Hood from Anglia Ruskin University, will be visiting Botswana, Malawi, Zambia and Mozambique in September. During their visit seminars will be held in Gaborone, Botswana, Blantyre, Malawi and Lusaka in Zambia, to which all accredited colleges, plus employer representatives will be invited. The aim is to update colleges on latest developments at ABE. They will be arriving in Gaborone on Thursday, September 6 and will depart for Blantyre on Friday, September 7.where they will spend two days before departing for Lusaka on Tuesday, September 9. On Tuesday, September 11, they will leave for Maputo in Mozambique, accompanied by Professor Jack Makhaza from the Share World Open University in Malawi. The aim of the visit in Mozambique will be to seek potential new colleges to add to ABE’s portfolio. If you are interested in meeting with Lyndon Jones and Dr Penny Hood, please contact Gillian Parkinson at the following e-mail address – gillp@abeuk.com

Increase in Immigrants among Black US Students

A rise in the number of black students from Africa and the Caribbean, and a downturn in admissions of native blacks Americans have been noted in a study released this year. Among students at 28 top U.S. universities, the representation of black students of first- and second-generation immigrant origin (27 percent) was about twice their representation in the national population of blacks their age (13 percent). Within the Ivy League, immigrant-origin students made up 41 percent of black freshmen. Source: New York Times Online

2007 Directory of Development Organisations Available

The Directory of Development Organizations, listing 51.500 development organizations, has been prepared to facilitate international cooperation and knowledge sharing in development work, both among civil society organizations, research institutions, governments and the private sector.  http://www.devdir.org/

The Ideal Place to Work for UK Graduates

According to the respondents to Universum's UK Graduate Survey 2007, PricewaterhouseCoopers is the most 'ideal' place for a graduate to work for in the UK. PwC is closely followed by investment bank Goldman Sachs, the BBC, L’Oreal and accounting and consulting firm Ernst & Young.  Other Entries in the top 10 include Google, Virgin and BMW, while Microsoft features at number 14.  Leading employers in Africa Barclays, Shell, Nestle and Cadbury Schweppes are placed in positions 27 to 30 respectively.  Source - www.universum.se

Call for Papers for 3rd African Women in the Diaspora Conference

The 3rd African Women in the Diaspora Conference, sponsored by Minnesota African Women's Association, MAWA, is scheduled to take place from 20 to 21 June 2008 in Minneapolis, United States of America.  The working Title of the conference is ‘Eliminating Abusive Cultural Rites, Values and Practices – the Role of
African Men, Women and Youth’. The organizers have issued a call for abstracts and proposals.  The deadline for abstracts/proposals is 31 January 2008.  Enquiries: mawa0302@yahoo.com, Web address: http://www.mawanet.org

Cameroon wants education for all, Minister tells NEPAD e-Schools launch

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), paving the way for the launch and implementation of the NEPAD e-Schools Initiative Demonstration Project in Cameroon, was signed in Yaoundé in May 2007 by Cameroon’s Minister of Education, Louis Bapes. According to Bapes, the Government of Cameroon has put in place a national education plan for education for all and the introduction of ICTs in schools is key in this initiative.  Cameroon has also installed 17 multimedia centres throughout the country in response to a call made by President Paul Biya in 2001, to ensure that modern ICTs are incorporated into the schools curriculum.  The NEPAD e-Schools Project was first announced in 2003 at the Africa Summit of the World Economic Forum in Durban, South Africa and focuses on providing end-to-end ICT solutions that will connect schools across Africa to the NEPAD e-Schools network and the Internet.

Goldman Sachs to Donate $2 Million to Morehouse College to Endow Chair in Civil and Human Rights

Goldman Sachs has donated $2 million to endow The Goldman Sachs Leadership Chair in Civil and Human Rights at Morehouse College. The first academic to hold the Chair will be the new director of the Morehouse College Martin Luther King, Jr. Collection, consisting of 10,000 pieces of the late Dr. King's writings and memorabilia. King is a 1948 alumnus of Morehouse College.  The donation will enable the College to fulfill one of the most important aspects of its stewardship of the Morehouse College Martin Luther King Jr. Collection by making the papers available to scholars and others interested in studying his work.  Goldman Sachs will work closely with the Chair to develop programs both on campus and at the Firm around the theme of leadership as exemplified by the life of Dr. King.  The connection between Goldman Sachs and Morehouse dates back nearly 100 years to when John Hope, the first black president of Morehouse and Walter Sachs, the son of one of the founders of Goldman Sachs, played significant leadership roles in founding of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

Affordable Computers for Small-scale African Entrepreneurs

The United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) and Microsoft have announced a joint initiative to help bridge the gap between corporations disposing of their used computers and small and medium enterpreneurs (SMEs) in Africa that can use these PCs to help grow their operations. This is the third collaborative program, in less than a year and it is designed to enable new avenues of economic and social empowerment through access to innovative technology. The program will develop a business model for refurbishment centers in Africa and will pilot the first computer refurbishment center in Uganda. The initiative was announced during the three-day ICT Best Practices Forum for West and Central Africa, which was organised by the Government of Burkina Faso, the African Development Bank, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa and Microsoft.  The Forum is also expected to provide opportunities for countries to learn from these experiences and allow these solutions to be replicated in other countries.

Women Open Small Windows of Opportunity through Glass Ceiling to Global 200 Boardrooms

The glass ceiling in corporate directorships remains firmly in place according to the 2007 report titled "Women Board Directors in the FORTUNE Global 200 Companies," presented by Corporate Women Directors International (CWDI). Women hold a mere 11.2 percent of posts atop the 200 largest companies in the world. Tokenism seems to prevail as board membership is marked by a solitary woman's role at nearly half (45.6 percent) of the companies with female board representation. However, compared to 2004, the first year of this unique global study, CWDI saw a significant increase of 4% in corporate boardrooms with at least one female board member, raising the ratio to 77.5 percent. Whereas the United States continues to be the pacesetter in appointing women to board seats in the Global 200, European companies -- especially those in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands -- show promising increases in female representation at the top, with two European companies taking the lead in this ranking. The global report looks at the world's 200 leading companies in 24 countries.  The study reveals a persistence of vast regional differences; top career opportunities are far more prevalent in the United States, where women hold 17.6 percent of board seats in the 75 companies analyzed. In Europe, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands achieve the top ranks, at 13.9 percent and 12.2 percent, respectively.

US Study reveals that Immigrants Do Not Take Jobs from Americans

In a new study, researchers from Duke University, the University of California-Berkeley, and the Kauffman Foundation show that there is a strong correlation between educational attainment in the STEM disciplines and innovation among immigrant founders of U.S.-based engineering and technology companies.  The authors say that “Education, Entrepreneurship and Immigration: America’s New Immigrant Entrepreneurs, Part II” follows the earlier report which showed that immigrants are helping to create more jobs in the hi-tech business, instead of taking away jobs from American workers.  The researchers used the D&B Million Dollar Database to obtain a listing of 2,054 hi-tech companies founded during 1995-2005, of which immigrants founded around 500 or 25.3%. The companies had more than $1 million in sales, 20 or more employees, and company branches with 50 or more employees. Out of the 500 companies, 144 were surveyed and it was found that 96 percent of founders held bachelor’s degrees, 47.2 percent held master’s degrees and 26.8 percent held a doctorate degree. More than half (53 percent) of the immigrant founders completed their highest degrees from U.S. universities.  Immigrants from India, China and Taiwan were interviewed for the survey, but Indians founded more companies than any other group combined.

UCT Business School Cited as One of 6 Leading Business School Innovators

UNICON has identified the UCT GSB as one of six leading business school innovators. Along with IMD in Switzerland, Ashridge in the UK, the BI Norwegian School of Management in Norway, the University of Notre dame, Mendoza College of Business in the US and UNC Kenan Flagler in the US, the School has been chosen to be one of the six case studies for Innovation in Executive Education. A UNICON team will visit the GSB in August to write up a case study to be disseminated globally of the learning methodology entitled “Alchemical Learning” which the School is developing.  In 2006, the UCT GSB Executive Education Unit became the first in Africa to be ranked in the top 10 by the Economist Intelligence Unit and received and award for excellence for its customised programmes.

Most Powerful Black Celebrities Listed on Forbes 100

The Forbes List of the ‘100 Most Powerful Celebrities’ has placed Black television producer and talk show presenter Oprah Winfrey has the most powerful global celebrity.  Winfrey is followed by golfer Tiger Woods as well as other Black celebrities from the fields of sport and music. Source: www.blackprof.com

Business Survey Highlights Skills Shortage in South Africa

A recent survey conducted amongst forty South African businesses by the Centre for Development and Enterprise (CDE) has highlighted the impact of skills shortages on the South African economy. The survey confirmed that shortage of skills is one of the most costly and troublesome issues affecting the management of South African businesses over the last two years. The findings of this survey offer options for addressing the skills crisis through the restoration of the apprentice system, opening up of immigration and a government re-think on the pressures for employment equity.  The survey results are documented in a CDE Report titled The South African Skills Crisis: A Report from the Corporate Coalface which is based on a survey of 40 South African companies recruiting skilled labour in Gauteng. Only CEOs or other senior company representatives were interviewed. Nearly half (19) of the businesses surveyed were in manufacturing with the remainder spread across mining, retail and services. Source: Skills Portal

Frank Horwitz elected to Association of African Business Schools

Professor Frank Horwitz, Director of the UCT Graduate School of Business, has been elected as the South African representative to the five member governing body of the Association of African Business Schools (AABS). The AABS has some 20 business school members throughout Africa and promotes excellence in business and management education in Africa by supporting graduate business schools through capacity building, collaboration and quality improvement. The AABS, with funding assistance form the IFC of the World Bank, supports graduate schools of business through capacity building, collaboration and quality improvement programmes. AABS members also focus on developing business school academic discipline leadership and managerial skills to improve the practice of management in African organisations; and enhancing the relevance and contribution of business schools to policy debate, leadership development, business acumen and practice.

Spain and NEPAD sign Historic African Women Empowerment Agreement

The NEPAD Secretariat and the Spanish Government through the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation (AECI) have entered into a cooperation which will see the Spanish Government support a Spanish-NEPAD Fund for the Economic Empowerment of the Women of Africa. The fund aims to empower African women with financial resources to unlock their economic potential, fight poverty, create wealth and contribute to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), economic growth and sustainable development.  The objectives of the Spanish-NEPAD fund are to mobilise financial resources for women entrepreneurs involved in handicrafts, textile production, agro-business/agro-processing, mining, trade and commerce and the service industry and to enlist their participation, set up a NEPAD Technical Team and activate a Joint NEPAD/Spanish Funds Committee to identify the institutions to work with in mobilising and providing resources to women, set up and operationalise regional business incubation centres and convene and facilitate regular forums for women entrepreneurs initially in Spain and later in Europe, US and Asia.  The project will be evaluated after the first 18 months initially and every two years thereafter to assess the progress made.

Milestone for U.S. Black College Enrolment in South

For the first time ever in the Southern United States, blacks are as well represented on college campuses as they are in the region’s population as a whole — something not yet true of the country overall.  The milestone is noted in a new fact book by the Southern Regional Education Board, a non-profit organization that promotes education.  In the 16 states measured, the number of blacks enrolled in colleges has risen by more than half over the last decade. They now make 21 percent of college students and 19 percent of the overall population.  In 2005 about 61 percent of public high school graduates in the South were white, the education board said, but by 2018 that figure is expected to be 45 percent.

IFRA Nigeria Research Grants on Offer to West African Researchers

The French Institute for Research in Africa (IFRA Nigeria) is offering small grants to assist young European and West African researchers to undertake field research in Nigeria. The grants are open to European and West African doctoral scholars who have received their doctorate in the last two years.  The deadline for European candidates is August 15 and for West African candidates is September 1, 200.  Contact: ifraibsecretariat@yahoo.fr

New Website to Help NGOs use Mobile Technology for Social Change

Nokia and Vodafone have launched a new website designed to help share ideas on how to use mobile communications for social and environmental benefits. The site, www.shareideas.org, was created in direct response to NGO calls for better tools and information to help them use mobile services more effectively in their work. Although initially created with support from Nokia and Vodafone, the site will be developed by a wide range of individuals and organizations interested in using mobile technology for social change. The wiki format means people can edit, update or comment on case studies and stories on the site, and add their own from wherever they are around the world.  Case studies are grouped into six key areas - civic engagement, economic empowerment, education, environment, health and safety, and humanitarian relief projects – topics chosen after consultation with many NGOs.  Tips and advice to help NGOs use mobile devices to help manage their work and communication between their teams or their supporters are also available on the site.

USB-ED launches Business Women's Academy in South Africa

The first activity of the USB Business Women's Academy will be a five-day, interactive, professional development seminar for business women in southern Africa taking place from Sunday 21 to Friday 26 October 2007. It is aimed at women currently employed at senior management level, or possessing the potential to develop to that level.  The Academy provides a unique opportunity for women to utilise and “shape” the programme to suit their development needs. Since 2001 USB-ED has been delivering high-quality non-degree management, leadership and specialist programmes as public (open) or company-specific, tailor-made courses.

Investors Say: Female Directors on Boards Important to Where They Invest

A recent survey conducted by Opinion Research Corporation for Pepperdine University's Graziadio School of Business and Management reports two-thirds of investors surveyed say corporate boards that include women produce decisions that are the same quality as boards without women members. However, half of the respondents say having women on corporate boards is relatively important in their decision to invest in a company. "The fact that 51 percent of investors consider whether a board has women on it as important to their investment decision supports the contention that many investors value a broader range of perspectives on the board," said Dr. Linda A. Livingstone, Dean of the Graziadio School of Business and Management. The Graziadio School Corporate Board Study is based on interviews with 482 investors, defined as those with $100,000 or more in either mutual funds, individual stocks or a combination of the two. 25% percent think a board with female members would make better decisions than an all male board. http://bschool.pepperdine.edu/newsevents/directorship/.

Study of U.S. Charity Groups’ Boards Highlights Lack of Diversity

The nation's non-profit boards are overwhelmingly white, and just over half are entirely white, raising questions about how well such homogeneous bodies can serve diverse constituencies, according to a study by the Urban Institute, a non-partisan research group.  The study is based on a survey of more than 5,000 public charities across the country. It found that, on average, 86 percent of non-profit board members are white, non-Hispanics. Ten percent of the non-profit executives who responded to the survey ranked racial or ethnic diversity as very important in recruiting new board members; 25 percent rated it as somewhat important. Francie Ostrower, a senior researcher at the Urban Institute, said her study suggests "a level of insularity on boards that really isn't consistent with their mandate to serve the public." Her findings show that even nonprofits that serve mostly minority clients may not have minority board members. Eighteen percent of those organizations with a majority of black clients had no black trustees, and almost a third of groups that serve mainly Hispanics had no board members from that background.

UKTI Announces September Trade Mission to Nigeria

Small, medium and large companies that are looking to develop their export business in Nigeria or promote their goods or services may be eligible for grant support by the UK Trade and Investment body.  Trade missions also offer British High Commission support and advice through a team of dedicated commercial officers in Nigeria as well as business contacts and networking.  For the full application pack please contact the market visit manager, Craig Pym, London Chamber of Commerce.  Email: cpym@londonchamber.co.uk   Tel: 020 7203 1826.  The deadline for completed applications will be Friday 17 August.

Women Entrepreneurs climbing UK Wealth Ladder

Entrepreneurialism among women has meant that inheritance and divorce are no longer the main circumstances behind women’s personal wealth, a new report has shown. Increasing numbers of women entrepreneurs are contributing to a growing rate of female millionaires, according to research by Barclays Wealth Management.
This year, the combined wealth of Britain’s 100 richest women is more than £33bn and the report estimates that by 2020, 53% of millionaires will be women. However, despite the increasing number of women setting up their own businesses, the report said ‘the glass ceiling persists’ and an equal number of women and men on company boards is still some way off. The findings come despite recent research from Catalyst which found companies with the highest female representation on their senior management teams had a 34% higher return on their equity than those with the lowest female reorientation. Source: Crimson Business Ltd. 2007

Ethnic Minority Business Task Force launched in UK

A new Ethnic Minority Business Task Force will help foster growth among black and minority ethnic (BME) firms and boost economic participation by BME entrepreneurs, according to Small Business Minister Margaret Hodge. One of its tasks will be to investigate why ethnic minority businesses face additional barriers in access to finance, as highlighted by a recent survey commissioned by the Department for Trade and Industry (DTI). According to the survey (available at: http://www.dti.gov.uk/files/file39925.pdf), ethnic minority owned businesses pay higher bank loan charges than White-owned businesses and are much more likely than Indian, Pakistani and White-owned businesses, to be rejected for loans outright. Over the next two years the new Task Force will propose ways to encourage more ethnic minority participation in enterprise. It will also reach out to potential entrepreneurs in underrepresented BME groups, including ethnic minority women, looking to help remove the barriers to doing business which face them.

Conflict in HR Departments Rife says Report

Conflict in the workplace is rife, especially in the HR department, says new research from law firm Eversheds.  A study of 1,000 UK employees found almost 1/3 of workers regularly clash with colleagues although 60% respondents believe clashes are unhealthy. Most likely to engage in conflict are 16-24 year-olds in HR, travel and finance. Over 50% workers shy away from disputes but 20% believe it pushes people to do a better job.

$150m Grant to Support Sustainable Land Management Programs in Africa

An innovative $150 million dollar grant program aimed at supporting Sustainable Land Management (SLM) in Africa was approved by the Council of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) at a meeting in Washington on 14 June 2007.  Called the Strategic Investment Program for SLM in Sub Saharan Africa, the SIP has been developed over the course of the last two years through an extensive consultation process led by NEPAD, and brings together under one umbrella six agencies including the World Bank.The SIP forms a key part of the new NEPAD-TerrAfrica Initiative - a partnership specifically developed to provide a mechanism through which the operational objectives of NEPAD’s Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) and the NEPAD Environmental Action Plan (EAP) can be actively pursued.  In addition agencies have committed to a 1-to-4 leveraging ratio for use of SIP resources, with already over US$1 billion in leveraged resources identified.


South Africa's Banking Sector Collaborates on Developing Skilled Women

Banks and micro finance institutions in South Africa have collaborated to create and implement a development programme with the primary objective of building a pool of highly skilled women in banking. Although women hold more than 58% of positions in the banking sector, very few women make it up the corporate ladder into senior and executive management positions. Currently, Black women hold only 4% of executive management positions; Black women hold only 3% of senior management level; 7% at middle management and 17% at junior management level.To assist the banking and micro finance sector to meet Finance Sector Charter targets for human resources, the Bankseta will support the achievement of the Financial Sector Charter targets through focused Women Development Programmes. The Bankseta's Women's Development Programme will run for a three-year period. Forty women are guaranteed participation in the programme each year. To qualify for nomination,candidates needed to be employed at a middle management or professional level; a minimum of 5-7 years work experience; the ability to operate in an environment of multi disciplined teamwork; and excellent communication skills.

Applications for World Bank Young Professionals Program Open

Applications are sought for the World Bank's Young Professionals Program (YPP).The program is a starting point for an exciting career in the World Bank and is designed for highly qualified and motivated young people who demonstrate a commitment to development, supported by academic success, professional achievement, and potential for leadership.Applicants must be 32 years of age or younger when entering the YP Program in September 2008 (born on or after September 30, 1975), hold at least a masters degree (or equivalent), specialize in a field relevant to World Bank operations such as: economics, finance, education, public health, social sciences, engineering, urban planning, and natural resource management and have a minimum of three years of relevant professional experience, or continued academic study at the doctoral level.Fluency in English is also mandatory.Interested candidates may apply on-line until July 15, 2007. www.worldbank.org/careers.

U.S. Population of Color Tops 100 Million

The nation's population of color reached 100.7 million, according to the national and state estimates by race, Latino origin, sex and age released by the U.S. Census Bureau. A year ago, this population totaled 98.3 million. "About one in three U.S. residents is a minority," Census Bureau Director Louis Kincannon said in a statement."To put this into perspective, there are more minorities in this country today than there were people in the United States in 1910. In fact, the minority population in the U.S. is larger than the total population of all but 11 countries."

Afro-Caribbean Parents Urged to Help Boys Take Education Seriously

Launching a charter 'Born to be Great' to promote achievement amongst Afro-Caribbean boys, the UK National Union of Teachers (NUT) has called on parents to take more responsibility for their children's education and urge them to take it seriously. The NUT says that black Caribbean boys are the lowest-achieving ethnic group in England and must be lured away from a culture that was causing mayhem on the streets. The NUT also calls on the government to undertake an inquiry into the impact of street culture on society. Last summer only 23% of black Caribbean boys achieved five A*-C GCSEs, including Maths and English compared to a national average of 44%.

Female College Graduates Earn Less 10 years after graduation.

Women make only 80%of the salaries their male peers do one year after college; after 10 years in the work force, the gap between their pay widens further, according to a study by the American Association of University Women Educational Foundation.The study found that 10 years after college, women earn only 69% of what men earn.Even after controlling for hours, occupation, parenthood, and other factors known to affect earnings, the study found that one-quarter of the pay gap remains unexplained. The group said that portion of the gap is "likely due to sex discrimination." Catherine Hill, the organization's director of research, said: "Part of the wage difference is a result of people's choices; another part is employer's assumptions of what people's choices will be. Employers assume that young women are going to leave the work force when they have children, and, therefore, don't promote them."The organization found that women's scholastic performance was not reflected in their compensation. Women have slightly higher grade point averages than men do in every major, including science and math.

Obese Workers Costs Firms More

Obese employees in the USA lost many more workdays and filed twice as many workers' compensation claims, and those cases cost nearly seven times as much as those filed by their slimmer counterparts, according to a report. The average workers' compensation medical claims cost per 100 employees was $51,019 for obese workers and $7,503 for non-obese workers, according to the study, conducted by Duke University researchers and published in the Archives of Internal Medicine. The report comes as employers are grappling with rising health care and workers' compensation costs, and are focusing on wellness programs and other ways to create a healthier workforce and reduce medical expenses. The study found the most obese workers lost 13 times as many days of work as their colleagues who weighed less. Source: The San Francisco Chronicle

Teaching IT in South African Languages

Language is no longer a barrier to using a computer in South Africa, thanks to a non-profit organisation that has translated a range of computer software into the country's 11 official languages - and created the first all-South African language keyboard. Translate.org.za, which focuses on the localisation of open source software, has released the popular word-processing, spreadsheet and presentation software OpenOffice.org, web browser Mozilla Firefox and e-mail programme Mozilla Thunderbird in all 11 official languages. Overcoming the language barrier means that the more than 20% of South Africans who did not speak fluent English could now use a computer in their own language.Translate.org.za's "South African keyboard" is released as open source software and can be downloaded from the Translate.org.za website. Translate.org.za has also developed spell checkers for all official South African languages.

Professional Exodus Hitting Many UK Cities

An exodus of highly skilled people from more than half of the UK's cities is increasing the class divide and putting weaker cities' economies at risk according to a soon-to-be published academic report by Professor Tony Champion of Newcastle University. The report into migration between 27 city-regions, which is based on the 2001 Census, says that economically weaker regions such as Sheffield, Nottingham and Birmingham are losing a greater proportion of higher managerial and professional workers than any other occupational group. For every ten highly skilled people leaving Nottingham only six arrive compared to over nine low skilled workers migrating in for every ten that leave. However, London saw 13 professional or managerial workers arrive for every ten leaving. Only four of the 26 cities paralleled London in having more skilled workers coming in than moving out.

Fifth Everywoman Awards - Celebrating Female Entrepreneurs

The NatWest Everywoman Awards are now open for applications.The awards celebrate inspirational businesswomen who have achieved significant success, particularly those who have had to overcome adversities such as financial constraints, social disadvantages or skills gaps.The Awards play an invaluable role in both recognising success and inspiring other women to venture into the field of business.The Artemis, Demeter, Athena,Hera categories are open to any female business owner whether they operate as a limited company, sole trader, or in partnership with others.Closing date for entries is Friday 31 August 2007.Application forms can be found at the following web link: http://www.everywoman.co.uk/everywomanAwards/Abouttheawards

New ILO Report on "Equality at Work: Tackling the Challenge"

The second Global Report on discrimination under the follow-up to the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work examines emerging issues in patterns of workplace discrimination and inequalities and recent policy responses, and outlines the ILO's experience and achievements to date and the challenges it faces. http://tinyurl.com/ys3tp6

Ghana Signs Up for Universal ICT Education

Ghana's Minister of Education, Science and Sports, Papa Owusu Ankomah, has announced that his country's government will introduce universal ICT education into Ghana's core educational system in September. The Minister took the opportunity to make the announcement while opening a training workshop for researchers from both Ghana and neighbouring countries to consider his country's future policy on ICT.

UK Employees in their 40's Seek Ethical Jobs

According to research by Norwich Union, the number of resignations by British workers in their 40's is increasing as people chase fulfilment. It found that 66% of people are "unfulfilled", "miserable" or "drifting" in their jobs, and 52% claim they would happily earn less money in a role that made them feel better about themselves. It says that people start planning for their second careers typically around the age of 36 and found that financial commitments (66%), lack of training/qualifications (34%) and also fear of failure (25%) restricts workers from moving into compassionate careers now. Animal welfare worker, counsellor, yoga teacher, gardener, artist and politician feature on the list of compassionate careers being planned. The ethical and spiritual dimensions of work are more of a priority, and people want to believe their careers contribute towards a better future - not just for themselves but for society as a whole. The survey found the trend, being labelled "Zenployment", has led to 28% of people to call on their current employers to provide them with the opportunity to do unrelated charity, or pro bono work in their field. Source: Recruitment Matters

Ghana's KNUST Takes the Lead in E-Networks

Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) has become the first tertiary institution in Ghana to acquire the services of e-campus network facility to support learning and research work among students and lecturers. The facility will also serve as a platform for distance learning and enhance research between the university and other academic institutions in Europe and North America through advanced technologies such as the Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) aided communications.

Youth Enterprise Game Awards Open

Young people in London are being given the opportunity to develop their business and community project ideas with a new project run by Black Business Initiative (BBI).The Youth Enterprise Game (SLYEG), the brainchild of the organisation's leader, Sunny Lambe, is offering cash prizes to three young people aged 16 to 30 with a winning enterprise or community idea. The winners will also benefit from mentoring and business support to help bring their ideas to fruition.The aim of the project is to encourage young people to develop key business skills, including strategic planning, budget management and leadership, with the hope they will utilise these skills in their everyday lives. The closing date for entries is 30 July 2007 and a panel of enterprise experts will judge applications. For more information about SLYEG: 020 7277 7333 or e-mail info@bbinitiative.com

South Africa Allocates R600 million in Further Education Bursaries

The South African Government has set aside R600 million in bursaries for students at Further Education and Training Colleges in order to significantly contribute to the country's growth targets.The non-repayable bursaries to be awarded over the next three years will help South Africa develop the crucial skills currently required by the country's growing economy, according to the government.This is in line with the objectives of the Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative of South Africa (AsgiSA) and its sub-project, the Joint Acquisition for Priority Skills Development (Jipsa).Under the scheme, FET college students who cannot pay to study at these institutions, which provide crucial skills needed in the economy, will be given financial assistance without being required to repay this after graduation.On top of the R600 million for student bursaries, R700 million has been set aside to boost education levels among the country's teachers.

African Development Bank sets Higher Education strategy

The African Development Bank group has announced a development strategy for higher education, science and technology. The strategy was adopted by the 53 member countries of the bank at a consultative workshop in Accra, Ghana and aims to establish public-private sector partnerships and programmes aimed at developing skills and strengthening science and technology infrastructure in order to bring about institutional and policy reforms. The Group aims to boost research activities on the continent and will mobilise government finance ministers and key partners, including the African Union and the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) in supporting the plan.

ExxonMobil Plans to Award More than $4 Million to African Nations Battling Disease

The ExxonMobil Foundation has announced the award of a series of grants, totaling more than $4 million, which will support efforts in Angola, Chad, Equatorial Guinea and Nigeria to battle malaria and other infectious diseases. These critical grants will support several organizations actively combating malaria including Safe Blood for Africa, JHPIEGO, Medisend, Africare, Population Services International and the Roll Back Malaria Partnership. Their efforts cover a wide range of tactics in the fight against malaria: training and capacity building; improving accountability in metrics; and providing on-the-ground intervention. A primary goal of ExxonMobil Foundation's Africa Health Initiative is to strengthen the ability of Africans to stop the spread of malaria and treat more effectively the people who are ill with the disease.Since 2000, ExxonMobil has contributed nearly $100 million to African community projects and is committing an additional $10 million this year to the fight against malaria. ExxonMobil is the largest non-pharmaceutical corporate donor to malaria research and development efforts and the largest corporate donor to the U.S. President's Malaria Initiative (PMI).ExxonMobil Foundation is the primary philanthropic arm of the Exxon Mobil Corporation in the United States.

Howard University's President Swygert to Retire

Howard University President H.Patrick Swygert has announced his intention to retire at the end of June 2008.In a memo to the Howard community, Swygert noted several of the university's achievements, including producing Rhodes Scholars,Fulbright Scholars and a Marshall Scholar; raising $250 million in a successful capital campaign ahead of schedule and recruiting 142 new tenure-track faculty and 17 others with tenure since 2001.Swygert said he plans to work on a number of important initiatives during the upcoming academic year and work with the Howard community to assure a smooth transition to new leadership. Source: DiverseEducation.com

UK Points Based Migrants System to be introduced in 2008

A new points-based system aimed at ensuring that only migrants with in-demand skills enter the UK will come into operation in the New Year, according to UK Immigration Minister Liam Byrne.The measures are intended to enable the British Government to manage migration to the UK more effectively and tackle abuse.The new system, which will allow migrants to come to the UK under one of five tiers replacing more than 80 existing routes of entry, will begin its rollout at the beginning of 2008. Tier 1 of the system, which caters for highly skilled migrants such as scientists and entrepreneurs, will be launched at the beginning of 2008; Tier 2, targeting skilled workers with a job offer and Tier 5, for youth mobility and temporary workers, will come on line in the third quarter of 2008; and Tier 4, for students, will follow at the beginning of 2009. The Government will also introduce a system of sponsorship by employers and educational institutions. Under the new system, would-be migrants will be awarded points based on aptitude, experience and age as well as the level of need in any given sector, to allow the UK to respond flexibly to changes in the labour market.The new system also aims at ending employment routes to the UK for low-skilled workers from outside the EU except in cases of short-term shortages.Source: Africa News

Fortune's Top 20 US Employers for New US Graduates

Experience Inc.,an online career adviser and recruitment database firm that serves as a liaison between US colleges and universities and the companies that seek to employ recent graduates, has helped Fortune Magazine to compile a list of companies which offer some of the best jobs in the US to new graduates. Lehman Brothers tops the final list, with PricewaterhouseCoopers taking third place and Microsoft at number 13.Source: Fortune magazine

Ghana launches New Education Reform Programme

Ghana's President Kufuor has launched a new Education Reform Programme that proposes eleven years of Free Compulsory Universal Basic Education (FCUBE) and four years of Senior High School (SHS) formerly Senior Secondary School (SSS). According to GNA reports, the new system will be implemented from September 2007. It starts with two years of kindergarten for pupils at age four, six years of primary school at which the pupil attains age 12, to be followed by three years of Junior High School (JHS) till the pupil is 15 years.After the JHS, the student may choose to go into different streams of the four years of Senior High School which would offer General Education with electives in General, Business, Technical, Vocational and Agricultural Education options for entry into Tertiary Institutions or the job market. President Kufuor said the objectives of the reform included to prepare the appropriate human resource in the form of skilled, technologically advanced and disciplined workforce with the right ethics to service the growing economy.He said the Reform placed emphasis on Mathematics, Science and Technology, but to develop a well rounded society, the Arts and Social Sciences would continue to receive the necessary support in the curriculum. Source: Africa News

National Consortium for Study in Africa Resources

The National Consortium for Study in Africa provides an extensive list of volunteer, research and work opportunities in Africa according to organisations that are predominantly based, but not limited to, the United States.http://www.isp.msu.edu/ncsa/volteer.htm

African Economic Outlook 2007 Launched

The African Economic Outlook is a unique tool combining the expertise of the OECD Development Centre and the African Development Bank to understand the economic and social developments of African countries. Five editions have already been published and the sixth edition was launched in May 2007 at the Annual Meeting of the African Development Bank in Shanghai.The Outlook provides comprehensive and comparable data and analysis of 31 African economies (compared to 22 countries in the third edition), accounting for 86% of Africa's population and 91% of its economic output. This year's edition focuses on drinking water and sanitation.

South African Business Leaders and Government Join Forces to Tackle Crime

The South African Government and business leaders in the country have established an Anti-Crime Leadership Forum to fight crime.Co-chaired by Safety and Security Minister Charles Nqakula and Business representative, Derek Cooper, the Forum consists of four working groups focusing on various strategies to deal with the question of crime. The groups, according to the Department of Safety and Security, will look at mobilising the society against crime, reducing violent organised crime, improving the criminal justice system and enhancing delivery effectiveness. Some of the key activities from businesses and government in the group include crime operations across provinces, establishing operational control centres, improvement of arrest, investigation, prosecution capabilities and processes within government. Other activities are the development and upgrading of the closed circuit television systems to support crime prevention, law enforcement, and prosecution.

Africa Union Summit to Work towards a 'United States of Africa'

African leaders are to meet in Ghana for an African Union summit in June to discuss ways of working towards a "United States of Africa", the bloc said in a statement on Friday. The summit, from June 25 to July 3, will be devoted to a "grand debate on the union government", the statement said. "The ultimate goal of the African Union is full political and economic integration leading to the United States of Africa," it said. The goal of political and economic integration DisplayDCAd('220x240','1',''); Â of African countries has existed since the AU began in 2002, but the issue divides the body's 53 members. The meeting will also see the appointment of new AU commissioners and a new commission president to replace Alpha Oumar Konare, who has announced he will step down. It will also discuss regional conflicts, notably in Darfur and Somalia, where the pan-African body has deployed a vanguard force of about 1 500 Ugandan peacekeepers. Ghana currently holds the bloc's rotating leadership. The AU, which replaced the Organisation of African Unity in 2002, comprises 53 African territories and aims to promote political, social and economic development as well as security on the continent.

Mauritian Prime Minister Launches Nepad E-Schools

The Mauritian Prime Minister, Dr Navinchandra Ramgoolam, launched the NEPAD e-Schools Demonstration Project on 3 May 2007 at Belle Rose State Secondary School,in Plaine Wilhems District, in southeastern Mauritius. The project is a joint venture of the Mauritian Government, Cisco Consortium, Microsoft Consortium, and NEPAD e- Africa Commission. The launch, which covers six schools across the country, makes Mauritius the eighth country to launch the project after Uganda, Ghana, Lesotho, Kenya, Rwanda, Egypt and South Africa.

New Nigerian Law Establishes IT Development Agency

A bill establishing the Nigerian National Information Technology Development Agency has been signed into law. Called the National Information and Technology Development Act 2007, the law empowers the agency to oversee the development of IT in Nigeria and gives legal recognition to NITDA, which was created as a unit of the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology since 2001, but had been operating without an enabling law, thereby limiting its effectiveness.The lack of legal backing for NITDA has been identified as one of the major reasons for the inadequate funding of the agency and the subsequent limited effectiveness it had exerted on the IT industry in Nigeria. Besides recognizing NITDA as a legal entity, the bill also establishes the National Information Technology Development Fund.This fund would be financed partly by contribution of one per cent of the annual operational profit that IT firms contribute to a common pull for the development of the Nigerian IT sector.

Africa Thesis Award 2007

If you are interested in Africa and have you written your Masters thesis on an African-related subject, the African Studies Centre (ASC), the Netherlands institute for Southern Africa (NiZA) and the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA) are offering the chance to win 4000 in The Africa Thesis Award. The deadline for the submission of theses is 15 June 2007.

Internship Opportunities in Human Rights and Development

Human Rights Activist Network provides a link to Internships, Employment, Volunteering and Travel Opportunities in Human Rights and Development on their website.http://www.webcom.com/hrin/worktrav.html Source: Pambazuka News

Welcome to the new, upgraded ReConnect Africa website.
Please help us provide you with information relevant to your needs by completing the fields below (just this once!)