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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.

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Civil Society Forum on Migration and Development


From 9-11 July 2007, the Belgian government will host the first meeting of the 'Global Forum on Migration and Development'. The King Baudouin Foundation is organizing the first day of the Global Forum, which will be devoted to civil society. The '*Civil Society Forum on Migration and Development' on 9 July will gather a broad range of non-governmental actors to discuss the migration and development nexus and give input to the governmental discussions on the 10th and 11th of July. www.gfmd-civil-society.org.

Calls for Nominations for GPA Awards 2007

The search is on for Ghana’s Top Professionals and Business people to be recognised at The 7th Annual Gala Dinner and Awards event on Saturday, 7th July 2007, at the Royal Lancaster Hotel, London, W2 2TY. Closing date for the nominations is 31st May 2007. From humble beginnings of showcasing talent and networking in 2001, the GPA awards have emerged as an unparalleled annual calendar event for Ghanaians in the United Kingdom. Regarded as a prestigious and “cutting-edge” event cutting across the divide, it is also a platform highly sort after by Ghana’s UK professionals and entrepreneurs. The GPA, dubbed as the forum for “bridging the Gap” between Ghana and British citizens with Ghanaian Heritage is engineering a paradigm shift for, innovation dedication and excellence in its community. http://www.gpaawards.com

MIDA / Offres de Mission Rwanda Education

Dans le cadre du programme MIDA III au Rwanda, nous recherchons urgemment des candidats pour les missions de courte durée dans le domaine de l’éducation au Rwanda. Nous recherchons en particulier des personnes qualifiées dans l’enseignement de la biologie pour assurer des cours de botanique et de zoologie à l’Institut d'Enseignement Supérieur de Ruhengeri (INES), à l’Institut Supérieur des Sciences Agronomiques et d'élevage (ISAE) et au Kigali Institute of Science and Technology (KIST), l’enseignement de la chimie pour assurer des cours en chimie, chimie organique et chimie physique à l’Institut d'Enseignement Supérieur de Ruhengeri (INES) et au Kigali Institute of Science and Technology (KIST), l’ingénierie civile, l’architecture ou le génie civil pour assurer des cours de génie civil, d’électricité, d’électronique ou de construction à l’Université nationale du Rwanda (UNR) et à l’Ecole Technique Officielle (ETO) de Muhima et de Kinbungo et l’expertise en système d’information géographique pour assurer des cours à l’Université nationale du Rwanda (UNR) et à l’Université d'Agriculture, de Technologie et d'Education de Kibungo (UNATEK). www.midagrandslacs.org.

UK Survey Shows Senior Female Managers have 'fallen by 40 %’

The number of female senior managers working in major UK businesses has fallen by more than 40 per cent in the last five years, according to a new survey. In 2002, women occupied 38% of senior manager level posts in the FTSE 350, but this has now sunk to 22%. The report by consulting firm Price Waterhouse Coopers found that although at the most senior level the number of FTSE 350 female chairs or chief executives had grown, progress was still “painfully slow” and the number could still be counted on one hand. The survey shows that middle management opportunities are shrinking. The report also blames the rising costs of child-care and an increase in women setting up their own businesses. The report was based on data from more than 10,000 UK management roles. Source: PM Online

NEPAD e-schools officially launched in Egypt

The Egyptian Minister of Education, Dr Yousry Al-Gamal, has officially launched the NEPAD e-Schools Demonstration (Demo) Project at Al-Haddain Secondary School in El Behaira Governate, Egypt. The project is a joint venture of the Egyptian Government, HP Consortium, ORACLE Consortium and NEPAD e-Africa Commission. Egypt is the sixth country to launch the project after Uganda, Ghana, Lesotho, Kenya and Rwanda. It is also the first North African country to launch the NEPAD e-Schools. The NEPAD e-Schools Project is led by the NEPAD e-Africa Commission-the NEPAD Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Task Team responsible for developing the NEPAD ICT Programme and implementing related projects. The project focuses on providing end-to-end ICT solutions that will connect schools across Africa to the NEPAD e-Schools Network and the Internet. Solutions also include the provision of content, learning material and the establishment of health points at schools. In total, more than 600 000 schools across the continent will enjoy the benefits of ICT and connectivity to the NEPAD e-Schools Satellite Network upon completion of the project.

MBAs - Are They A Waste Of Time?

A recent poll undertaken by eFinancialcareers in the UK found that 33.3% of respondents felt the value of an MBA in the workplace was 'invariably pointless'. Yet competition for MBAs amongst investment banks in the UK is thought likely to push their starting packages up again this year, while Bloomberg reports that salaries and signing bonuses for newly MBAs were the highest last year since the data has been tracked. Source: Hereisthecity.com

Top US Diversity Firms Announced

DiversityInc has announced its 2007 DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity????Two of the nominated companies, PepsiCo and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), respectively Nos. 10 and 12 in the 2007 Top 50, have also received recognition for their women's initiatives at the 20th annual Catalyst Awards Conference. Catalyst research reveals that at the current rate women ascend the corporate ladder, it would take 47 years for them to obtain parity with men in the execute suite. Overall progress has remained stagnant in the last year. Source: DiversityInc.

PepsiCo’s CEO Commended for Diversity Initiative

Chairman Elect and CEO of PepsiCo, Indra Nooyi, the first woman of color to head a Fortune 50 corporation, has been commended for the Women of Color Multicultural Alliance. The Alliance—an employee-resource group—works to identify, nurture and retain female candidates of color for leadership positions in middle and senior management to create a solid pipeline of top talent. PepsiCo promotes accountability by tying management compensation to results, which is the most important personal statement of diversity commitment a CEO can make. As a result, senior-level representation of women of color increased by nearly 3% from 2002 to 2006; turnover rates for women who participate in the Alliance's Power Pairs mentoring program are half the rate of those who don't.

UK Facing Skills Shortages

More than half of today's businesses in the UK find it more difficult than five years ago to recruit employees with the skills they need, according to the results of a survey by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC). According to the organization, UK business will be seriously disadvantaged if the current education and vocational training system is not improved. The report found that only 18% of businesses believe that the sector skills councils effectively represent their needs while 83% of businesses said they provided staff training and 77% offered staff professional appraisal and development. The main barriers to providing staff with training included the lack of staff to provide cover while colleagues were on courses and lack of money to pay for professional development. Source: recruitmentmatters.com .

Ethiopian Rainwater Harvesting Project Wins 5th Swiss Re Award for Sustainable Watershed Management

The Ethiopian Rainwater Harvesting Association (ERHA) has won Swiss Re's 2007 International ReSource Award for Sustainable Watershed Management. The ERHA will receive up to USD 80 000 for the implementation of a rainwater harvesting system to provide access to drinking water to a vulnerable community located in Southern Ethiopia, 600km south of Addis Ababa. According to the World Bank, 88% of the rural population in Ethiopia has insufficient access to clean drinking water. The ERHA project aims to improve water availability for household activities and small-scale production by installing water-harvesting techniques. Sand dams and storage tanks will be set up to provide access to reliable clean water for at least 2 000 people in more than ten rural communities. The award of USD 80 000 will be paid in two tranches: USD 50 000 upon completion of the pilot; a further USD 30 000 will be released upon scaling-up of the project.

Commonwealth Report on HIV/AIDS and Education in Africa

A new report by the Commonwealth Secretariat summarises the key issues regarding HIV and AIDS and the education sector and is based primarily on a review of published literature and the findings of the recently held regional workshop organised by the Commonwealth Secretariat and the Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA). http://tinyurl.com/2vl4zo

Africa Union Commission Calls for CVs for African Women in Science and Technology

The African Union Commission is calling for African women in the area of Science and Technology to submit their CVs. For further information contact: masheleni@africa-union.org Source: Pambazuka News

Majority of Women Stuck in Low-Paid Jobs

More women are working than ever but the majority of them are stuck in low-paid jobs, according to a report by the International Labour Organisation (ILO). Most women are also paid less than male colleagues, the research shows. The ILO points out that about 100 million more women were working in 2006 than in 1996 but, for the 1.2 billion employed or seeking work, there still remains gaps in their status, job security and pay.

Kellogg to Offer Undergraduate Courses in USA

For the first time in nearly 40 years, the Kellogg School will offer courses for undergraduates at its parent Northwestern University. Kellogg is following in the footsteps of other top-rated American schools such as MIT Sloan, which already runs a programme for engineering students at MIT. The Kellogg school is going one step further by offering two different certificate programmes for undergrads; one for engineers and the other for humanities and science students. The University says the two programmes are in recognition of the needs of recruiters, who are increasingly looking for bright graduates with knowledge of arts or sciences as well as business acumen. Source: The Financial Times

Business Schools Tackling Corporate Social Responsibility

Following corporate scandals in the US and Europe and rapidly heightening concerns about corporate social responsibility and climate change, business schools are increasingly addressing these topics on their curricula. According to research in the Journal of Business Ethics (Ethics, CSR, Sustainability Education in the Financial Times Top 50), the 50 business schools surveyed reported a five-fold increase in the number of ethics courses in the past 8 years, with 25% of schools requiring students to take a course in business ethics. The deans surveyed from the top 50 global business schools, as ranked by the Financial Times in 2006, reported high levels of interest, with many taking the approach that these subjects are part of cultivating and supporting future leaders. Source: the Financial Times

BD and Direct Relief International Launch Volunteer Service Program to Improve Healthcare in Ghana

BD, a leading global medical technology company, and Direct Relief International, a humanitarian medical aid nonprofit organization, today announced a joint volunteer initiative to strengthen healthcare in two areas of Ghana. Working for three weeks with clinic staff from Direct Relief partners at the Maranatha Maternity Clinic and Motoka Clinic, 12 BD employee volunteers from around the globe will help build local healthcare capacity in the region. This is the third company-sponsored service trip BD employees have made to sub-Saharan Africa. In 2005 and 2006, BD employees volunteered at five clinics in Zambia to help strengthen the country’s capacity to diagnose and treat infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS. Through training healthcare providers, constructing a new health facility, upgrading existing laboratory capabilities and incorporating clean water solutions at existing facilities, these volunteers in Ghana will bolster the clinics’ ability to provide vitally needed services to their patients.

Global Survey Shows Business is more Trusted than Governments

A survey of 3,100 ‘opinion leaders’ across 18 countries has shown that business is regaining the public’s trust across the world after recent scandals. The survey by PR firm Edelman suggests that corporate governance and the rising wealth of individuals in many developing countries are helping the corporate sector to regain credibility. According to the respondents – top earners with an interest in politics and economics –business was more trusted than governments in every continent, with NGOs seen in North America and Europe as the most trusted entities. Business leaders were less favourably viewed with less than one in five British, French and German respondents trusting their CEO’s statements on their companies, while only 22% of Americans in the US trusted their corporate leaders.

Diversity Inc Announces Top 10 US Companies for Recruitment and Retention

According to census estimates, white Americans will become a minority in the USA by 2050 and smart companies are aggressively recruiting minority employees. Diversity Inc has announced its top US companies for recruitment and retention based on a survey of these companies’ recruitment strategies. The publication’s Top 10 R&R hire 45% people of color in comparison with the US workforce of 29% people of colour. 27% of the top 10 companies’ management is of colour, compared with 12% in management nationwide. For retention, companies must demonstrate level rates across race/ethnicity and gender in both the work force and the management ranks. The Top 10 include Bank of America (which also placed top for executive women), Consolidated Edison Company of New York, AT&T, the Pepsi Bottling Group (36% of Board is female, compared with 19% for the Top 50), JPMorgan Chase, Xerox, Verizon, Proctor & Gamble and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida, 25% of whose Board of Directors comprises people of colour. Source: DiversityInc.

Deloitte Foundation and the Management Education Alliance Award New Minority Faculty Grants for Executive Business Programme

The Deloitte Foundation, a not-for-profit arm of Deloitte & Touche USA LLP and the Management Education Alliance (MEA) has announced the first education grant recipients of its jointly-sponsored Minority Faculty Executive Education Programme. The new programme was designed to provide professional development opportunities to minority professors on real-world business issues and management trends. The $25,000 grant from the Deloitte Foundation will send thirteen minority faculty chosen from schools that are members of the MEA to Executive Business Training programs to be held at either Harvard Business School or the Harvard Kennedy School of Government's Executive Education Programs. The programme, which will run from May to October 2007 is a targeted executive training programme designed to familiarize minority educators with key business developments, with instruction in a range of topics including human capital management, marketing strategy, mergers and acquisitions, leadership development, performance management and financial analysis. The MEA is dedicated to fostering professional growth and development among business educators in schools serving African-Americans and Hispanic-Americans.

South Africa Skills Acceleration Programme Records Success

According to the South African Government, the Joint Initiative for Priority Skills Acquisition (Jipsa) has achieved significant progress in the first nine months after it was launched. Launched in March 2006, Jipsa is aimed at addressing skills shortages in order to achieve the objectives of the Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative for South Africa (AsgiSA) and, thus, to push economic growth to 6% by 2010 and to halve unemployment by 2014. Jipsa has identified a number of priority areas to address skill shortages including engineering and planning skills for the transport, communications and energy sectors, urban and regional planning and engineering skills, technical skills, for infrastructure development and management and planning skills. The Government is also targeting skills required by its priority sectors including Tourism, Business Process Outsourcing and Biofuels. JIPSA has managed to implement some short-term programmes such as matching unemployed graduates and employers and the creation and coordination of placement opportunities. Almost 5,000 people have been trained and a detailed plan has been established to increase the country’s engineering graduates.

Coca-Cola and USAID to Expand Water Partnership in Africa

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and The Coca-Cola Company have announced a $7 million joint investment in nine new water projects in Africa. The projects will be located in Angola, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda and Ghana/Ivory Coast. Working together since November 2005, USAID and The Coca-Cola Company have supported water partnership activities in Bolivia, Mali, Indonesia, Malawi, Egypt, Thailand, Uganda and South Africa. The new projects in Africa provide locally driven solutions to address the global water crisis, growing the global partnership's investments from $3 million to $10 million. In cooperation with implementing partners in 16 countries, USAID and The Coca-Cola Company are helping more than 300,000 people who struggle for daily access to safe and sustainable sources of water. Planning is underway to expand and deepen the impact of the USAID/Coca-Cola partnership in future years throughout the countries where both organizations work.

South Africa and the UK Establish Dialogue on Sustainable Development and Climate Change

The UK and South Africa have announced the establishment of a partnership aimed at dealing with key international sustainable development issues including climate change. The establishment of a South Africa-UK High-Level Dialogue on Sustainable Development will also include a Working Group on Climate Change. The dialogue is designed to strengthen bilateral ties in a broad range of policy areas and provide leadership on sustainable development and to provide a framework for cross-government collaboration and contact between stakeholders in each country. The dialogue is expected to lead to cooperation between the two countries on a range of sustainable development issues, including climate change, environmental enforcement and mainstreaming sustainable development and joint research on possible forms of long-term global action on climate change.

Djibouti to host African Horn Intellectuals' Conference

To activate the role of intellectuals in the conflict-ridden Horn of African region, Djibouti will offer a forum to the region's intellectuals to debate and start a dialogue on the region's economic, political and social problems in a conference due to be held in November 2007. According to the conference organizers, intellectuals from the region and its Diaspora have a stronger role to play in addressing the region’s political, social, economic and environmental challenges. The conference is intended to contribute to building a strong consensus on a long-term vision in favour of stability, sustainable development and regional integration; to create a forum or "think tank" to promote reflection and exchange on specific issues of concern to the region; to generate studies and analyses, which may contribute to the formulation of proactive policies responding to the new challenges in the region; to organise periodic training sessions in the field of inter-cultural dialogue and regional integration for various stakeholders; to encourage universities and research institutions to develop focused studies on the main trends in the region utilising anticipatory and scenario-building approaches. Organizers are appealing to all intellectuals from the Greater Horn of Africa, including those living and working in the Diaspora, to participate. Source: afrol News / Awdal News Network

Nigeria to Use Native Languages to Promote Science

Nigeria's traditional rulers have launched a new initiative to encourage the development of science and technology by using local languages. Using Nigeria's three main native languages in science aims at making science results more easily applied by the country’s regional and local administrations. The Council of Traditional Rulers in Nigeria says that science and technology is not perceived as culturally relevant, and is not being used in local situations because development strategies are communicated in English - a language not spoken by a large percentage of people. Launched at UNESCO in Paris, the initiative follows a call by the African Union to make 2007 a year of developing and promoting science, technology and innovation in Africa. The initiative will develop teaching and communication materials on science and technology in Nigeria's three official languages - Ibo, Hausa and Yoruba - to promote a culture of science and innovation for building local innovation systems. Scientists, engineers and information and communication technology experts will participate in the scheme, working closely with institutes and universities. Source: Afrol News

Nominations Open for Southern Africa Drivers of Change Award

Nominations have opened for the 2007 Drivers of Change award. The award is expected to attract entries from individuals and organisations in the southern Africa region that in their work to overcome poverty, are making a real and lasting difference in the lives of the poor. The award is in three categories, civil society, government and business. Recipients in each of the categories will demonstrate innovation in the strategies used to develop and implement better public policy and significance for ending poverty and inequality in southern Africa as a whole. Other criteria are inclusion of diverse voices, especially voices of the poor, and policy work that has a real impact on poverty. Established as part of the Mail and Guardian's Investing in the Future awards, the Drivers of Change Award provides a great opportunity to organisations and individuals to gain visibility and recognition in their approach to overcoming poverty. Nominations for the Awards close on 6 July, 2007 and the winners will be announced in October 2007 at a gala event in Johannesburg, South Africa. For more information: info@southernafricatrust.org

Firms Warned of Increasing Staff Demands

Businesses have been warned that they must adapt to a changing workforce in which ‘employee is king’. According to PriceWaterhouse Coopers, a new generation of workers has been identified, and dubbed by some as ‘the Millenials’. These employees will have certain expectations and demands of their employers, and will be more likely to leave if these expectations are not met. According tot eh company’s findings, businesses will have to keep up with employees’ demands in order to have the best workforce. With talent at a premium globally, companies will need to work hard to keep these people engaged and provide the flexibility they demand at work. Employees will be less loyal to employers than any generation before them, and will be more interested in using their work as a bridge to other career opportunities through further education and training. Moreover, it is not all about money. The companies that offer the best package of benefits and brand are going to get the best staff. Source: PriceWaterhouse Coopers

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